Home > I'd Tell You I Love You, But Then I'd Have to Kill You (Gallagher Girls #1)(6)

I'd Tell You I Love You, But Then I'd Have to Kill You (Gallagher Girls #1)(6)
Author: Ally Carter

"Don't bother taking a seat," Mr. Solomon said as Anna started toward a desk in the back of the room. "Your classmates were just leaving."

We all looked at our recently synchronized watches, which showed the exact same thing—we had forty-five minutes of class time left. Forty-five valuable and never-wasted minutes. After what seemed like forever, Liz's hand shot into the air.

"Yes?" Joe Solomon sounded like someone with far better things to do.

"Is there any homework?" she asked, and the class turned instantly from shocked to irritated. (Never ask that question in a room full of girls who are all black belts in karate.)

"Yes," Solomon said, holding the door in the universal signal for get out. "Notice things."

As I headed down the slick white hallway to the elevator that had brought me there, I heard my classmates walking in the opposite direction, toward the elevator closest to our rooms. After what had just happened, I was glad to hear their footsteps going the other way. I wasn't surprised when Bex came to stand beside me.

"You okay?" she asked, because that's a best friend's job.

"Yes," I lied, because that's what spies do.

We rode the elevator to the narrow first-floor hallway, and as the doors slid open, I was seriously considering going to see my mother (and not just for the M&M's), when I stepped into the dim corridor and heard a voice cry, "Cameron Morgan!"

Professor Buckingham was rushing down the hall, and I couldn't imagine what would make the genteel British lady speak in such a way, when, above us, a red light began to whirl, and a screaming buzzer pierced our ears so that we could barely hear the cries of the electronic voice that pulsed with the light, "CODE RED. CODE RED. CODE RED."

"Cameron Morgan!" Buckingham bellowed again, grabbing Bex and me by our arms. "Your mother needs you. NOW!"

Chapter Three

Instantly, the corridors went from empty to overflowing as girls ran and staff members hurried and the red lights continued to pulse off and on.

A shelf of trophies spun around, sending the plaques and ribbons commemorating winners in the annual hand-to-hand combat and team code-breaking competitions to the hidden compartment behind the wall, leaving a row of awards from swim meets and debate contests in its place.

Above us, in the upper story of the foyer, three gold-and-burgundy Learn Her Skills, Honor Her Sword, and Keep Her Secrets banners rolled miraculously up and were replaced by handmade posters supporting someone named Emily for student council president.

Buckingham dragged Bex and me up the sweeping staircase as a flock of newbies ran down, screeching at the top of their lungs. I remembered what those sirens had sounded like the first time I'd heard them. It was no wonder the girls were acting like it was the end of the world. Buckingham yelled, "Girls!" and silenced them. "Follow Madame Dabney. She's going to take you to the stables for the afternoon. And ladies"—she snapped at a pair of dark-haired twins who seemed to be especially frantic—"composure!"

And then Buckingham whirled and raced up the staircase to the second-story landing, where Mr. Mosckowitz and Mr. Smith were trying to wheel a statue of Eleanor Everett (the Gallagher Girl who had once disabled a bomb in the White House with her teeth) into a broom closet. We swept through the Hall of History, where Gillian's sword slid smoothly into the vault beneath its case like Excalibur returning to the Lady of the Lake, and was replaced by a bust of a man with enormous ears who was supposedly the school's first headmaster.

The entire school was in a state of organized chaos. Bex and I shared a questioning look, because we were supposed to be downstairs, helping the other sophomores check the main level for anything spy-related that someone might have left lying around, but Buckingham turned and snapped, "Girls, hurry!" She sounded less like the soft, elderly teacher we knew and more like the woman who had single-handedly taken out a Nazi machine gun on D-day.

I heard a crash behind us, followed by some Polish expletives, and knew that the Eleanor Everett statue was probably in a billion pieces; but at the end of the Hall of History, my mother was leaning against the double doors of her office, dropping an M&M into her mouth as calmly as if she were waiting to pick me up from soccer practice, acting like it was just an ordinary day.

Her long dark hair fell across the shoulder of her black pants suit. A wisp of bangs brushed across a flawless forehead that she swears I'll have, too, just as soon as my hormones stop waging war with my pores.

Sometimes I'm seriously glad that we live ninety percent of our lives inside the mansion, because whenever we do leave, I have to watch men drool over my mom, or (ick) ask if we're sisters, which totally freaks me out, even though I know I should be flattered that anyone would think I was related to her at all.

In short, my mom's a hottie.

"Hey, Cam, Rebecca," she said before turning to Buckingham. "Thanks for bringing them, Patricia. Come inside a sec."

Inside her office, thanks to its soundproofed walls, the mayhem of the rest of the school completely faded away. Light streamed through leaded windows and flashed upon mahogany paneling and floor-to-ceiling bookcases that were, even as we spoke, spinning around to hide tomes like Poisons Through the Ages and A Praetorian's Guide to an Honorable Death, replacing them with a flip side of volumes like Educating the Upper Echelon and Private Education Monthly. There was a photo on her desk of the two of us on vacation in Russia, and I watched in awe as we hugged and smiled in the frame while, in the background, the Kremlin was replaced by Cinderella's Castle at Disney World.

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