Use code DAD23 for 20% off + Free shipping on $45+ Shop Now!
Only the Good Spy Young
By Ally Carter
Formats and Prices
- ebook $7.99 $9.99 CAD
- Trade Paperback $9.99 $10.99 CAD
This item is a preorder. Your payment method will be charged immediately, and the product is expected to ship on or around June 29, 2010. This date is subject to change due to shipping delays beyond our control.
Also available from:
When Cammie Morgan enrolled at the Gallagher Academy, she knew she was preparing for the dangerous life of a spy. What she didn't know was that the serious, real-life danger would start during her junior year of high school. But that's exactly what happened two months ago when Cammie faced off against an ancient terrorist organization dead set on kidnapping her.
The Gallagher Girls must hack, spy, steal, and lie their way to the truth as they discover that the key to Cammie's future may lie deep in the past.
OTHER BOOKS IN THE
GALLAGHER GIRLS SERIES:
I’d Tell You I Love You, But Then I’d Have to Kill You
Cross My Heart and Hope to Spy
Don’t Judge a Girl by Her Cover
Out of Sight, Out of Time
United We Spy
Copyright © 2006, 2016 by Ally Carter
Cover design by Liz Casal
All rights reserved. Published by Disney • Hyperion, an imprint of Disney Book Group. No part of this book may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying, recording, or by any information storage and retrieval system, without written permission from the publisher. For information address Disney • Hyperion, 125 West End Avenue, New York, New York 10023.
“Targets acquired, ten o’clock.”
My best friend’s voice was as cool as the wind as it blew off the Thames. Her resolve was as solid as the Tower of London’s ancient stone walls that stood twenty feet away. I could see the night getting darker—the lights grow brighter—and my best friend’s confidence was almost contagious. Almost. But staring at the crowd in the distance, I couldn’t help but think I am not prepared for this.
I mean, don’t get me wrong, I am prepared for a lot of scary situations. After all, in the last year and a half I’d been fake kidnapped once, almost truly kidnapped twice, targeted by one international terrorist organization and two incredibly cute boys. So, scary? Yeah, scary and I go way back.
But at that moment Rebecca Baxter and I were standing on ice skates on a rink that used to be the moat around the Tower of London. We were outnumbered and outsized. So something about that moment was…terrifying.
Even though my best friend was beside me. Even though our school had trained us well.
Even though we go to a school for spies.
“Ooh, Cam. They’re looking this way.”
Part of me hoped Bex was talking about her father, who stood by the skating rink’s concession stand, or her mother, who was by the rink’s east exit. I totally wished that Bex was talking about the agents in the crowd, whose job it was to protect me—like the woman with the backpack who had been trailing us all afternoon, or the man who was posted at the top of Tower Bridge, as it spanned the Thames and offered a birds’-eye view of all transportation routes for a half mile in any direction. But I knew Rebecca Baxter well enough to know that she wasn’t talking about the spies. She was talking about…the boys.
When Bex spun effortlessly and skated backward past the crowd of guys that stood laughing and showing off at the edge of the rink, every single one of them turned to stare at her. Her red scarf waved in the wind as she smiled. “So which one do you want?”
“No thanks.” I shrugged. “Trying to give them up.”
I mean, sure, they looked nice, cute, and completely harmless, but if there’s one thing we Gallagher Girls know, it’s that looks can totally be deceiving.
“Come on, Cam,” Bex pleaded. “How about the tall one?”
“The short one?”
“No thank you,” I said with a shake of my head.
“The one with…” Bex didn’t finish. Her eyes went wide and she stared past me, but my mind was thinking back to a chilly November night in Washington, D.C., and a steamy summer afternoon on a rooftop in Boston, as the two scariest moments of my life flashed before my eyes.
I felt my heart begin to pound. “What is it?” I scanned the crowd, trying to catch a glimpse of what Bex had seen.
“Cam…” Bex started.
I spun around on the ice, waiting for Bex’s mother, for her father, for some of my guards to register the same shock I saw in my best friend’s eyes, but their faces were blank.
“Bex,” I snapped, “what is it?”
“It’s nothing. It’s just…Tell me this, Cam…” Her smile was pure evil, and she spoke so slowly that I sort of wanted to hurt her. “Just tell me…are you sure you’ve given up all boys?”
“Bex, what are you saying?” I asked.
But my best friend just pouted, raised her hand to her mouth, and said, “Oops.”
And then Rebecca Baxter, the most highly coordinated girl at the Gallagher Academy for Exceptional Young Women (which, believe me, includes some really coordinated girls), tumbled onto the ice.
Well, it turns out that pretending to fall down is an excellent way to make boys stop staring and start moving. Of course, our other roommate, Liz, would no doubt require a lot more evidence before citing that as a scientific certainty, but considering the fact that eight boys had been staring and seven boys rushed to Bex’s rescue, I’d say our results were pretty statistically sound.
But, honestly, at that moment statistics were the last thing on my mind, because fluffy white snowflakes were floating through the night sky that stood between me and the one boy who didn’t move, the boy who didn’t swoon, the boy who just stood by the rails with his hands in his pockets, staring at me, saying, “Happy New Year, Gallagher Girl.”
There is a pretty wide range of emotions that any girl—much less a Gallagher Girl—is bound to encounter on any given day—from joy to sadness, frustration to excitement.
At that moment it’s pretty safe to say that I was feeling all of them.
And I was trying to show none of them.
Bex’s seven suitors kneeled beside her on the ice, while my skates pulled me closer to the one boy who lingered by the rail.
“You look cold,” I somehow managed to say.
“I used to have a warmer jacket, but then I gave it to some girl.”
“That wasn’t very smart.”
“No.” He smirked and shook his head. “It probably wasn’t.”
Despite having known him for almost a year, there were a lot of things I still didn’t know about Zachary Goode. Like how soap and shampoo could smell so much better on him than anyone else. Like where he went when he wasn’t mysteriously showing up at random (and frequently dangerous) points in my life. And, most of all, I didn’t know how, when he mentioned the jacket, he made me think about the sweet, romantic part of the night last November when he’d given it to me, and not the terrible, bloody, international-terrorists-are-trying-to-kidnap-me part that came right after.
From the corner of my eye, I could see that the boys had “helped” Bex to a bench not far away, but Zach didn’t seem to notice. He just inched closer to me and smiled.
“Besides, it looked better on you.”
There are a lot of things that the Gallagher Academy teaches us to remember, but right then I was wishing my exceptional education had also taught me how to forget.
I mean, it was a chilly night in a foreign city, and an incredibly hot boy was smiling at me through the soft glow of sparkly lights! The absolute last thing I wanted to remember was the last time I’d seen Zach—the screeching tires or the masked men. Seriously, forgetting would have come in so incredibly handy at that particular moment. But I’m a Gallagher Girl. We don’t forget anything.
“Why do I get the feeling you aren’t here on vacation?” I asked.
I heard Bex laughing. I sensed Zach’s hand inching down the rail, closer and closer to mine. For just one second, I thought he might say me—that he was here to see me.
“I’m looking for Joe Solomon.” He glanced around the Tower grounds. “Thought maybe he was with you?”
And just that quickly the pounding of my heart took on an entirely different meaning. Sure, it sounded like an easy question, but nothing about my Covert Operations instructor has ever been easy. Ever.
“What’s wrong?” I asked, my mind reeling with at least a dozen reasons why Mr. Solomon might follow me to London—and not one of them was good.
“Nothing, Gallagher Girl. It’s probably noth—”
“Tell me or I’ll yell for Mr. and Mrs. Baxter, and you can find out how Bex became Bex.”
He kicked at the hard-packed snow gathered at the edge of the rink.
“We were supposed to meet up a few days ago, but he didn’t show.” Zach stared at me. “And he didn’t call.”
Okay, I know when most teenagers talk about someone not calling, they’re usually complaining. Or whining. But Zach isn’t exactly the whining type.
I felt cold for the first time on the ice.
“He’s not on my protection detail.”
“Your mom’s off looking for leads on the Circle, right?” Zach asked. “Could he be with her?”
“I don’t know,” I said. “I guess so, but…I don’t know.”
“Has he checked in with the Baxters?”
“I don’t know.”
“No one ever tells me anything, remember?” I searched his face, and despite everything, I couldn’t help but savor the fact that there was finally something Zach didn’t know. “Being out of the loop isn’t fun, is it?”
“Rebecca!” Bex’s mother’s voice echoed through the cold air.
“You’ve got to go,” Zach said with a nod in the Baxters’ direction.
“If Mr. Solomon is missing call-ins, then we have to look for him. We’ve got to tell Bex’s parents….We’ve got to call my mom so she can—”
“No,” Zach snapped, then shook his head and forced a smile. “It’s probably nothing, Gallagher Girl. Go on. Have fun,” he said, as if that were possible.
“Cameron,” Bex’s father called. “Say good-bye to the young man now.”
“We’ve got to tell them, Zach. If Mr. Solomon is missing…”
“They’d know,” Zach reminded me. His voice softened. “Whatever is going on, I promise you they know a lot more than we do.”
Zach eased away from the rail while, behind us, Mr. Baxter’s voice grew louder. “Let’s go, Cammie!”
I looked over my shoulder at my best friend’s father, her mother, and the guards that had surrounded me for weeks. “I’ll be right there!”
When I turned back to the rail, Zach was already gone.
Bex’s dad is one of England’s top spies (not to mention the man who taught his daughter how to use Barbie as a weapon when she was seven), so I didn’t run after Zach. I didn’t yell. I just kept pace beside Abe Baxter, skating slowly across the ice.
“The Tower of London is the oldest royal building still in official use today, Cammie.”
“She knows, Dad,” Bex said, even though A) I actually didn’t know, and B) at that point, I had far more covert facts on my mind.
“Mr. Baxter—” I started, but Bex’s father was already pointing at the Tower’s tall stone walls and saying, “The Jewel House alone is a Grade AA target—”
“She knows, Dad,” Bex said again, rolling her eyes. But she didn’t really seem annoyed when she stared up at her father, listening for him to go on.
“It has reinforced titanium security gates and a nine-hundred-and-eighty-point self-modifying laser grid.” Then he stopped. “I’m sorry, Cammie, you were saying?”
But something in the way he looked at me made me forget about Zach and Mr. Solomon and even the Circle of Cavan. Something reminded me that dads tell corny jokes. Dads drone on and on about history and facts that don’t really matter to ninety-nine percent of the world’s population. Dads sometimes look at daughters like they’re more precious than all the diamonds in England. I remembered that—once upon a time—someone had looked like that at me.
“I…I just wanted to thank you again for letting me spend winter break with you,” I managed to mutter.
He squeezed my shoulder. “It’s our pleasure, Cameron.”
And just like that, I told myself that Zach was right—it was probably nothing. Everything was probably fine. After all, Mr. Solomon was careful. Mr. Solomon was good.
Still, as I glided to one of the benches and started loosening the laces on my skates, my fingers didn’t want to work. It was like I’d forgotten how to breathe.
“Ooh…ravens!” Mr. Baxter said, easing onto the bench beside me. He pointed to a blackbird that was scavenging for crumbs near the base of the tall stone wall. “Now, there’s an interesting piece of history, Cammie. According to legend, England will fall if the ravens ever leave the Tower of London.”
I looked at the bird but didn’t say anything. It was so black against the white ice.
Mr. Baxter sighed. “They clip their wings so they can’t fly away.”
And then, despite the icy wind, my face felt hot. My hands were sweating inside my gloves while I pulled at the scarf around my neck, suddenly dizzy as I stood in my socks on the frozen ground, while the skaters kept circling around and around.
Mr. Baxter stood. “What is it, Cammie? What’s wrong?”
I shook my head. “It’s…nothing.”
But something was coming over me—like déjà vu, only stronger. There was something in the crowd that I should know, something I should see. I shook my head, and for a split second I thought I saw a tall, graceful woman across the ice; my breath caught as I remembered the woman from the rooftop in Boston.
“No,” I muttered.
I looked at Mrs. Baxter and her colleague with the backpack who had been following us all day. They each held cups of coffee in their right hands—the sign that our tail was clear, that things were fine. But things weren’t fine. There was a ghost in that crowd—something I should see. Something I should know.
“Cammie?” Mr. Baxter’s hand was on my shoulder. “What is it?”
“I don’t know.” I shook my head. “It’s just—”
Before I could finish, I heard a burst of static from the comms unit in Mr. Baxter’s ear—a distant, muffled cry. Across the ice, the woman with the backpack spun, as if looking for something—someone. The cup fell from her hand and tumbled toward the ice. And in that moment, my mind flashed back to D.C., and then further back, to Boston.
Get her. The words echoed in my mind.
And then the lights went out.
Even in the pitch blackness, I knew that commands were ringing in the ears of the agents at the rink. In an instant, Mr. Baxter grabbed me, pulling me away from the ice and closer to the shelter of the Tower’s stone walls.
The ground was hard and cold against my feet, but there was no time to grab my boots—not a second to do anything but run and listen to the cries that floated through the dark. I kept one hand against the rough stone wall and the other tightly in Mr. Baxter’s grasp as we moved deeper into the crowd of panicking tourists—pushing through the chaos—until, suddenly, Mr. Baxter’s hand pulled free of mine.
“Cammie!” he yelled, and I reached for him through the dark, but there were too many people.
“Cammie!” he called again, but before I could answer, a pair of strong arms locked around my waist, and someone pinned me against the stone wall. I started to strike out, but the man countered as if he’d known exactly what I’d been trained to do. He squeezed my arms to my sides so tightly that I only had one choice: I pulled my head back and struck with all my might. I felt the blow land—heard the man wince. Then something else—a familiar voice in my ear, saying, “Cammie, calm down.”
For a second I thought I must be wearing a comms unit—that my teacher’s voice was coming back to me, telling me how to save my own life.
“Cammie, stop fighting,” the voice whispered as, one by one, the Tower’s backup security lights began to flicker to life. And through the soft glow that spread over the grounds, I saw Joe Solomon staring into my eyes. I felt him grab my hand.
And I heard him whisper, “Run.”
“They’re coming, aren’t they?” My breath fogged in the cold air, and yet my arms kept pumping, my feet kept moving, and my teacher kept a solid grip on my hand, pulling me across the Tower’s dim grounds toward a busy London street while I said the words I’d been dreading for weeks:
“The Circle…they’re here.”
“Ms. Morgan, we only have a minute until they find us, so you have to listen to me very carefully,” my teacher said, tightening his hold on my hand, urging me through the steady stream of traffic and onto Tower Bridge.
“Are you on comms? You have to tell the Baxters you have me. We have to call in an extraction team and—”
“Cammie, listen!” His order seemed to echo in the dark, and something about it made me stop there in the middle of the bridge. He sounded angry and frantic and scared.
Joe Solomon was scared.
He grabbed me by both shoulders. “Cammie, we only have a minute until they find us, and then they’ll take you away—”
“No!” I shouted.
“Listen! Any day now they’re going to take you back to school, and when you get there, you have to—”
When Bex’s father appeared on the dark bank of the river, his voice was even and calm, but he wore the same expression that Bex does when she’s focused and angry and when there’s no force on earth that can stop her.
And yet Mr. Solomon didn’t turn to look at him. He was still gripping my shoulders as if no assignment in my entire life had ever been more important than the one he was about to give. “Cammie, listen to me!”
“Come on, Joe,” Mr. Baxter called across the bridge, easing forward like a man bracing for a fight. “Turn yourself in. Let the girl go.”
I shook my head. Nothing made sense in that moment—not what Mr. Solomon was saying or the way Mr. Baxter was looking at us. Neither of them seemed to know that they were both on the same side—my side.
“It’s okay, Mr. Baxter,” I said, turning to Bex’s father, thinking maybe he didn’t recognize my teacher. “This is Mr. Solomon. Joe Solomon. He’s—”
“I know who he is, Cammie.” Bex’s father inched closer. “And he’s going to come with me now—fly to Langley and get this mess straightened out.”
“Cammie!” Mr. Solomon shook me slightly. “Don’t listen to him. Listen to me!”
But Bex’s father kept talking. “Joe, you’ve got to let her go.”
Bex’s mother walked out of the shadows behind her husband. “Cammie, sweetheart, I want you to walk over to me now.”
The bridge was cold and rough beneath my feet, but I didn’t move. I scanned the shadowy banks of the river, looking for Bex, needing her to help me explain to her parents that they were making a terrible mistake. But all I saw were guards and operatives who were closing ranks around us, and in that moment I realized that no one was searching the crowd. Not a soul was looking for the Circle. Instead, the people who had sworn to protect me were staring as if that bridge were the most dangerous place in the world that I could be.
When the operative from the observation tower appeared on the opposite end of the bridge, I knew we were surrounded.
“Cammie, now!” Mrs. Baxter ordered, but I stayed frozen in place.
“Her father was my best friend!” my teacher shouted, the words echoing off the river and out into the night.
Bex’s father nodded and eased closer. “I know.”
“This is crazy, Abe.” Mr. Solomon shook his head.
“Sure it is,” Mr. Baxter said calmly. “But protocols exist for a reason, Joe. We know—”
“We know how this ends!” my teacher shouted.
“Not this time,” Mr. Baxter said. “Not necessarily. Not if you let Cammie go, and come with me.”
“Mr. Solomon…” I didn’t recognize my own voice. It sounded far off and frail. I saw the way I stayed in the shadows, not fighting against my teacher’s grasp. Weak. I felt weak. And so I pulled away.
“Cammie, come here,” Bex’s mom ordered again. I could see Bex behind her, not moving. Dazed. “Cammie!” Bex’s mom snapped, but I looked at my teacher.
“Mr. Solomon, what is going on? Why are you here? Why didn’t you meet Zach? Why do they keep looking at you like…Why are they talking like you’re the enemy?”
“The CIA has some questions for him, Cammie,” Mr. Baxter answered. “That’s all. He just needs to answer some questions.”
“You’re gonna try to turn me in, Abe?” Mr. Solomon laughed, then turned to Bex’s mom. “Grace? Are you going to cuff me in front of Bex and Cammie?”
Bex cried, “No!” but her mother’s voice was even as she said, “You know we have to.”
“Mom!” Bex cried.
“Rebecca, stay out of this,” Bex’s father warned. Then he looked at the man we all knew—the man only Bex and I still trusted. “You should have known better than to come here, Joe.”
“I had to talk to Cammie.”
“Cammie was safe with us,” Bex’s mother told him.
My teacher just shook his head. “Cammie isn’t safe anywhere.”
I didn’t want to cry then, but I couldn’t pretend anymore either. I wasn’t on vacation. I was hiding. I was like the ravens, a prisoner of a destiny I didn’t know and couldn’t control. So I looked at the grown-up I knew best—the only man I’d truly trusted in a very long time.
“Mr. Solomon, please, what’s going on?”
And then his hands were back on my shoulders. “Cammie, you have to follow the pigeons.”
“I…I don’t understand.”
“Promise me, Cammie! No matter what, promise me you will follow the pigeons.”
It didn’t make any sense—not the words or the look in his eyes or the way my best friend’s parents stood staring as if the moment they’d been dreading for days was finally here.
A siren sounded, and I felt suddenly unsteady on my feet, as if the earth were moving.
“Mr. Solomon,” I spoke slowly, calmly, “maybe you should come with us….We’ll call my mom and she’ll explain that you’re a teacher and that there’s been some kind of mistake and…”
But then I couldn’t finish because the earth was moving. The siren was growing louder; spectators were beginning to call out from the riverbanks. In a terrible flash, I remembered that Tower Bridge is a drawbridge, and Mr. Solomon and I were standing in the center.
The bridge lurched and Bex yelled, “Cammie!” but her mother held her back.
I grabbed at the rail as the bridge rose higher and steeper, and Mr. Solomon reached for my shoulders, holding me, steadying me.
“Cammie, you have to promise me!”
“Okay, Mr. Solomon. Of course. I promise.”
“Thank you, Cammie.” He relaxed his grip and lowered his head. For the first time, he seemed to breathe as he sighed, “Thank you.”
“Okay, Joe.” Mr. Baxter inched closer. “You talked to Cammie. You got your promise. Now, come on. Let’s go get this settled.”
- On Sale
- Jun 29, 2010
- Page Count
- 272 pages
- Little, Brown Books for Young Readers