Home > I'd Tell You I Love You, But Then I'd Have to Kill You (Gallagher Girls #1)(12)

I'd Tell You I Love You, But Then I'd Have to Kill You (Gallagher Girls #1)(12)
Author: Ally Carter

"Thank you, Jessica." How much do I love my mother? Very much. Mom opened a thick file that lay on her desk. "Macey, I see here that you spent a semester at the Triad Academy?"

"Yeah," Macey said. (Now, there's a girl who knows how to slouch.)

"And then a full year at Wellington House. Two months at Ingalls. Ooh, just a week at the Wilder Institute."

"Do you have a point?" Macey asked, her tone just as sharp as the letter opener-slash-dagger that Joe Solomon had been absentmindedly fingering while they spoke.

"You've seen a lot of different schools, Macey—"

"I wouldn't say there was anything different about them," she shot back.

But no sooner had the words left her mouth than the letter-opening dagger went slicing through the air, no more than a foot away from her glossy hair, flying from Mr. Solomon's hand directly toward Buckingham's head. It all happened so fast—like blink-or-you'll-miss-it fast. One second Macey was talking about how all prep schools are the same, and the next, Patricia Buckingham was grabbing a copy of War and Peace from the bookshelf behind her and holding it inches from her face just as the dagger pierced its leather cover.

For a long time, the only sound was the subtle vibration of the letter opener as it stuck out of the book, humming like a tuning fork looking for middle C. Then my mom leaned onto her desk and said, "I think you'll find there are some things we teach that your other schools haven't offered."

"What…" Macey stammered. "What… What… Are you crazy?"

That's when my mom went through the school history again—the unabridged version—starting with Gilly and then hitting highlights like how it was Gallagher Girls giving each other manicures who had figured out the whole no-two-fingerprints-alike thing, and a few of our more highly profitable creations. (Duct tape didn't invent itself, you know.)

When Mom finished, Bex said, "Welcome to spy school," in her real accent instead of the geographically neutral drawl, which is all Macey had heard until then, and I could tell she was about to go into serious information overload, which, of course, wasn't helped by Jessica.

"Macey, I know this is going to come as a big adjustment to you, but that's why my mother—she's a Gallagher Trustee—has encouraged me to help you through this—"

"Thank you, Jessica," Mom said, cutting her off yet again. "Perhaps I can make things a little more clear." Mom reached into her pocket and pulled out what looked like an ordinary silver compact. She flipped up the lid and touched her forefinger to mirror inside. I saw the small light scan her fingerprint, and when she snapped the compact closed, the world around Macey McHenry shifted as the whole Code Red process went into reverse. The bookshelves had been facing wrong-way-out for a week, but now they were spinning around to show their true side. Disney World disappeared in the photo on Mom's desk; and Liz broke out her Portuguese long enough to say, "Sera que ela vai vomitar?" But I had to shake my head in response because I honestly didn't know whether or not Macey was going to throw up.

When everything stopped spinning (literally) Macey was surrounded by more than a hundred years of covert secrets, but she wasn't stopping to take it all in. Instead, she screamed, "You people are psycho!" and bolted for the door. Unfortunately, Joe Solomon was one step ahead of her. "Get out of my way!" she snapped.

"Sorry," he said coolly. "I don't believe the headmistress is finished quite yet."

"Macey." My mom's voice was calm and full of reason. "I know this must come as quite a shock to you. But we're really just a school for exceptional young women. Our classes are hard. Our curriculum unique. But you may use what you learn here anywhere in the world. In any way you see fit." Mom's eyes narrowed. Her voice hardened as she said, "If you stay."

When Mom stepped forward, I knew she wasn't talking as an administrator anymore; she was talking as a mother. "If you want to leave, Macey, we can make you forget this ever happened. When you wake up tomorrow, this will be a dream you don't remember, and you'll have one more dismal school experience on your record. But no matter your decision, there is only one thing you have to understand."

Mom was moving closer, and Macey snapped, "What?"

"No one will ever know what you have seen and heard here today." Macey was still staring daggers, but my mom didn't have a copy of War and Peace handy, so she reached for the next best thing. "Especially your parents."

And just when I'd thought I'd never see Macey McHenry smile…

Chapter Five

By the third week of school, my backpack was heavier than me (well, maybe not me, but probably Liz), I had a mountain of homework, and the sign above the Grand Hall was announcing that we'd all better dust off our French if we intended to make small talk over lunch. Plus, it was almost a full-time job keeping rumors separated from facts. (No big surprise who the rumors were all about.)

Macey McHenry had gotten kicked out of her last school because she was pregnant with the headmaster's baby. RUMOR. At her first P&E class, Macey kicked a seventh grader so hard she was out cold for an hour. FACT. (And also the reason Macey's now taking P&E with the eighth graders.) Macey told a seventh grader that her glasses make her face look fat, a senior that her hair looks like a wig (which it is, thanks to a very unfortunate plutonium incident), and Professor Buckingham that she really should try control-top panty hose. FACT. FACT. FACT.

As we walked between Madame Dabney's tea room and the elevator to Sublevel One, Tina Walters told me for about the tenth time, "Cammie, you don't even have to steal the file…Just take a little—"

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