Home > I'd Tell You I Love You, But Then I'd Have to Kill You (Gallagher Girls #1)(14)

I'd Tell You I Love You, But Then I'd Have to Kill You (Gallagher Girls #1)(14)
Author: Ally Carter

"Rebecca," said a male voice. I turned away from the tight-lipped smirk that was spreading across Macey's face to see Joe Solomon standing behind me, speaking across the table to Bex, who was slowly allowing blood to creep back into Macey's arm. "I understand you could get into trouble for that," he said.

It's true. Gallagher Girls don't fight in the hallways. We don't slap and we don't shove. But mostly, we don't use the skills of the sisterhood against the sisters. Ever. It's a testament to how universally despised and viewed as an outsider Macey was that Bex wasn't immediately jumped from ten directions. But Mr. Solomon was an outsider, too. Maybe that's why he said, "If you're so eager to show off, you and your friends can take point tonight." He looked at Liz and me. "Good luck."

It wasn't a cheery, break-a-leg "good luck," though. It was a watch-out-or-you'll-have-your-legs-broken "good luck."

Liz went back to her flash cards, but Bex and I stared at each other across the table as our faces morphed from sheer terror to uncontrolled excitement. For Gallagher Girls, leading a mission is no punishment—that's the gold-freaking-star! Only a little of the dread lingered in the back of my mind as I realized that we were about to play with live ammo— maybe in both the literal and figurative senses of the word.

Macey returned to her salad while Mr. Solomon added, "Et n'oubliez pas, mesdemoiselles, ce soir vous êtes des civils— ressemblez-y."

Oh, yeah, just what I needed—fashion advice from Joe Solomon himself. The Grand Hall went back to normal, but I doubt that any of the sophomores, besides Macey, took another bite. As if we hadn't known it before, Joe Solomon had just reminded us that we'd soon be venturing out from behind our comfortable walls, operating on our own for the first time in our superspy lives.

Four years of training had all come down to this, and I for one didn't have a thing to wear.

I'm not sure how it happened, but at some point between one P.M. and six forty-five, the sophomore class from the Gallagher Academy for Exceptional Young Women morphed from a group of spies-in-training into a bunch of teenage girls. It was pretty scary.

Liz spent her afternoon becoming the textbook version of what an undercover operative should look like, copying everything from the patent leather purse to the pillbox hat. (It was a pretty old textbook.) Then the hallways started reverberating with terrifying yells of "Have you seen my black boots?" and "Does anyone have any hair spray?"

I was seriously starting to worry about the fate of national security. In our suite, Bex looked awesome (as usual), Liz looked ridiculous (but try telling her that), and Macey was looking at an old Cosmo as if determining whether green is the new black was a matter of life or death. All I could do was sit on my bed in my old jeans and a black knit top my mom once wore to parachute onto the top of the Iranian Embassy, and watch the clock tick down.

But then Tina came busting into our room. "Which one?" she asked, holding a pair of black leather pants and short skirt in front of her. I was on the verge of saying, neither, when Eva Alvarez ran in.

"Do these go? I don't know if these go!" Eva held up a pair of high-heeled boots that made my feet hurt just by looking at them.

"Um, Eva, can you run in those?" I asked.

But before Eva could answer, I heard someone say, "They're all the rage in Milan." I looked around. I counted heads. And then it dawned on me who was speaking. Macey stared at us over the top of her magazine, and added, "If you want to know."

Within minutes, half the sophomore class was in our little suite, and Macey was telling Tina, "You know, lip liner is supposed to go on the lips," and Tina was actually listening! I mean, this is the same girl who had single-handedly started the Macey-is-Mr. Smith's-illegitimate-daughter rumor. Little did we know she was one fashion emergency away from turning to the enemy!

Courtney was borrowing earrings; Anna was trying on jackets; and I wasn't sure if I would ever feel safe going into hostile territory with any of them ever again.

"You know, Eva, what blends in Milan might stick out in Roseville," I tried, but she didn't care.

"You know, guys, hiding in plain sight requires looking plain!" I said, but Kim Lee was wriggling out of a halter top and nearly knocked my head off with her flailing arms.

"You know, I really don't think he's taking us to the prom!" I shouted, and Anna put Macey's gorgeous formal gown back into the closet.

I'm the chameleon! I wanted to cry. I'm the CoveOps legacy! I'd been preparing for this night my entire life—doing drills with my dad, asking my mom to tell me stories, becoming the girl nobody sees. But now I was drifting deeper and deeper into the shadows until I was standing in the middle of my own room, watching my closest friends swarm around our gorgeous new guest, and I was completely invisible.

"Lose the earrings," Macey said, pointing to Eva. "Tuck in the shirt," she told Anna, then turned to Courtney Bauer and said, "What died in your hair?" (Courtney does have a tendency to over-gel sometimes.)

Bex was sitting with Liz on her bed, and they both looked as amazed as I felt.

"Hey!" I cried again, to no avail, so I called upon my superspy heritage, and seconds later I was whistling loudly enough to make the cows come home (literally—that's why Grandpa Morgan taught me how to do it).

My classmates finally turned away from Macey, and I said, "It's time."

A silence had fallen over the room, but then a longer, deeper quiet stretched out.

We were through playing dress-up, and everyone knew it.

"Hello, ladies."

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