Spy School: Outbreak

Chapter 3

Armistead Dormitory

Academy of Espionage

Washington, DC

2100 hours

The answer was 2:00 A.M. Because of course it was. Cyrus had given us the rest of the day to pack and recommended to us that we get to sleep early, so we were well-rested when the time came to leave. Yeah, that wasn't what happened.

The packing went just fine. Being at Spy School had taught me to pack light, so I could be ready extremely quickly. The sleeping was where I ran into trouble. I tossed and turned for at least an hour, before resigning myself to sitting on my bed and waiting. I decided to go talk to Erica about the mission ahead, considering the fate of Humanity itself hung in the balance. I crept into the hall and walked over to her door, and raised my hand to knock, before realizing that that would alert everyone in the surrounding dorm to what was happening. Turns out I didn't need to worry. The door swung open to reveal Erica, who reflexively stuck her head out the door and looked down the hall before pulling me into her room, shutting and bolting the door.

It hadn't changed since the last time I had been inside, a year ago. There was still a teapot for brewing poisons and antidotes, a baby blue comforter on the bed, posters of kittens, and a strange amount of throw pillows.

I opened my mouth to speak but only got out "Eric-" before she interjected.

"Yes, you can talk to me about the mission," Erica said, sitting down on her bed.

"How is it you do that, Erica?" I asked.

"Do what?" She answered smiling coyly.

"You know," I said. "The thing where you magically predict what I'm going to say. That thing."

"I don't know what you're talking about," She told me. "Now, what were you saying? I won't tell the future this time."

"Look E," I said, my voice wavering. "I'm worried. I feel like this is going to end up badly. I've felt nervous about all the missions, but this one feels different. I don't know if I can do this. Even with you, I just don't know."

She seemed to realize just how upset I was and stopped joking around. She gestured for me to join her on the bed. I walked over to her and sat down. She seemed to drop her cold, outer persona, something she almost never did. She placed her hand on top of mine, sending an electric current throughout my body. I shifted a little closer. She gazed into my eyes with those piercing, icy blues of hers. Already, this calmed my nerves a little, but my stomach still felt like it was doing an Olympic gymnastic routine.

"Ben, look at me," She said softly, a tone I don't think I'd ever heard her use before.. "You are one of the best spies I've ever met. If anyone can handle this mission, it'd be you, and me."

"But what if-" I started. But I never got to finish, because Erica pressed her lips to mine, effectively shutting me up. The first time she had kissed me, we had been in Colorado on Operation Snow Bunny and were about to slide off of a cliff into the Climax Mine, believing a nuclear bomb was about to end our lives. All in all, though I'd enjoyed it at the time, it wasn't something I was nostalgic about.. Erica had claimed that the only reason she did it was to make sure I wasn't afraid when I died.

This time was different. This was real. I could feel it in every fiber of my being. I got over the shock of her kissing me, and I kissed her back. For a moment that could've been an eternity, or could've been a fraction of a second, I felt as if we were one. That we had merged to become one being. Then she pulled away.

She smiled at me, her face tinged pink, and said, "Go try and get some sleep. I'll wake you up. Big day tommorow."