How long can you last lying to Those you say you love?
Swimming In Lies
Welcome Home
Ryan´s POV
I was escorted out of the car to find myself standing in front of what seemed to be an old peanut factory. The car quickly drove off, leaving me with nothing but a suitcase with standard living items and another suitcase with a bomb.
Now, despite what you may think, the bomb isn’t to blow up Charlie. That´s not my goal. No, the bomb is for another plan.
I inspected the entrance to the factory from a safe distance, quickly spotting the lasers and cameras set up around the entryway.
He´s still insanely paranoid. I thought to myself smugly.
I walked up to one of the cameras, set down my bags, and waited.
It took only a few moments before I heard the voice of my brother.
¨Identify yourself.” Charlie demanded quickly, before the intercom shut back off.
¨Ryan Quentin, aged 16, youngest Quentin brother.¨ I replied flatly.
¨16? But we’re only Freshman?¨ Charlie replied quizzically.
I chuckled. ¨During this mess, a whole year has passed. You and I are both technically Sophomores now, and Adam´s a Junior. We’re 16, he´s 17.¨
¨Wow, so I’ve missed everyone´s birthday, including my own. Interesting. Anyways, enter.”
The intercoms clicked off, and I heard the beep indicating that it was now clear to enter.
The second I stepped into Charlie´s base, I was blinded by how incredibly pristine the place was.
Everything seemed to be glowing a bright white, including the uniforms of the agents.
This, of course, made it more difficult to find anyone I actually wanted to talk to.
Well, that was until a certain idiot ran into me.
¨Ryan!¨ Tyler exclaimed, enveloping me into a hug.
¨Tyler, get off me.¨ I snapped, shoving him off.
He simply smiled in return, grabbed my bags, and strode off.
I stood there in shock for a moment, but then hesitantly followed him up the also impossibly white stairs.
After a few minutes of silence, I finally asked, ¨Why were you sent to greet me?¨ It ended up sounding much harsher than I had intended, but Tyler, as usual, remained unphased.
¨Well, Charlie´s busy managing the agency right now, Amelia just simply didn’t want to see you. Neither did Adam, for understandable reasons. So, I was the only one left to greet you and take you to your room!¨ He cheerfully explained.
I understood my brother Adam for not wanting to see me, considering I did kidnap him and hold him as ransom to get Amelia back to hold Amelia as ransom to get Charlie back.
But I was slightly offended that Amelia didn’t want to see me.
Yes, the way I acted previously was harsh, but I was desperate to get Charlie back. But I do genuinely love her, and I think she knows that. She saw it back when she was scared, and I was the only one there to comfort her.
And yes, I did knock her out after that kiss, but only to keep up the act for Charlie.
I love Amelia, and I want her to see the side of me that truly cares.
Just when I thought I was finally alone to unpack my things, my door slowly opened.
“If you’re Tyler, I’d like to recommend that you leave now before I throw you out my window.” I droned, getting quite irritated by the general bright yet simultaneously tense aura this base emitted.
“Ryan, it’s Amelia.”
I shot up, quickly turning and dropping the things I was putting away.
“A-Amelia! I wasn’t expecting you at all, what a lovely surprise! I’d like to apologize for the last time we met.” I quickly said, moving towards her.
She stepped back. “No, that’s not what I want to to you talk about. I want to talk about... this. Why do you want me to be head agent of your side?” She snapped, her face cold and dark.
“Amelia, think about it. You and I working together...we’d be incredible! With our manipulation and acting skills-“
“No, Ryan, I’m not like you. I’m nothing like you.”
“Being like me isn’t a bad thing, Amelia, and you know that.”
She seemed taken aback, but she knew I was right. She clenched her jaw, and lifted her chin.
“Fine. I may be like you, but I’m not a psychopath.”
And with that, she stormed out of the room.
A few hours later, everyone was called into the Common Area. That was the first time since I’ve arrived that I’d seen Charlie. He glanced over at me, almost expectantly, and then addressed the crowd before us.
“Agents, today marks our truce with Ryan and his agents. Ryan, as you can see, has already joined us. His agents will be arriving soon.” He announced. I nodded in response.
“You never said anything about his agents coming!” One of his agents protested. My attention quickly snapped over to them, and their expression of anger quickly turned to one of fear.
These people were afraid of me?
“We can’t just leave them to run wild. They’ll need to be kept under control as well, so they will be joining us.” Charlie quickly responded.
No one protested after that, but they still remained uneasy.
That’s one thing I never understood about the way Charlie ran his agency. It was just so uniformed, so strict, so perfect.
But it was perfect in a way that was eerie. Perfect in a way that even if one of these hundreds of agents were a centimeter out of line, if their arms held behind their back weren’t at a perfect 45 degree angle, if their posture wasn’t exactly the same, you would notice. It would stick out like a sore thumb.
At my agency, we have no uniform, we have no orderly lines. They don’t silence themselves at my mere presence like Charlie’s do.
I was beginning to become concerned about bringing them here.
But of course, the second I begin to rethink things, they arrived.
They seemed to come from everywhere; the doors, the rafters, through open windows.
But not only did they enter, they entered loudly.
There was screaming, hooping, and hollering as all of my agents entered in a sea of disorganization.
Charlie’s agents, however, remained at attention, even if they did glance over at the ruckus surrounding them.
Charlie glared at me, his eyes piercing daggers into mine. I simply shrugged in response, turning to face my own agents.
“Hey, shut up, would you?” I called, and the room slowly died down to a dull whisper. “Okay, so, welcome to Charlie’s agency. You will respond to both him and I now. You are not to cause any trouble with his agents, you understand? Just be reasonable and cooperate.” I stated. “Now, I’m assuming that Charlie has some rules he would like to go over, so I’m gonna hand the mic over to him now.”
Charlie continued to stare at me, still completely disgusted by the way my agents entered.
“Yes, welcome. I suppose I am taking the figurative microphone now. Anyways, yes, there are some simple ground rules that I expect will be followed by everyone. Firstly, we will be dividing this agency in half, meaning half of you will be directed by me, and the other half will be directed by Ryan. This includes everyone , both my agents and his. So, agents A01-M01, you will remain my agents. Agents N01-Z01, you will now be responding to Ryan. Ryan’s agents, I ask that you divide yourselves into whatever system you see fit.”
Amelia seemed to cheer up at this. She turned to Adam, and I could vaguely make out her saying something about being agent Ao3.
“Now, in addition to the command of the agency being shifted, the uniforms will also be shifted. We will keep the standard white uniform, but we will be adding crests to them. Depending on which half of the agency you are on, you will either get a red or blue crest. This is simply for organizational reasons, and not to create a new divide in the agency. “
“Finally, I would just like to make it clear that I still expect the same amount of respect and organization from everyone as there previously was. Regardless of which director you are responding to, I expect order at all times. To help me with that, I will be appointing Head Agents for each director. For myself, I have appointed Tyler.”
Tyler’s face lit up the second Charlie said his name. All of the agents seemed generally annoyed by this, but they seemed to understand that there was nothing they could do about it.
“For Ryan, I have appointed Amelia.”
Amelia’s face dropped. My heart dropped with it.
She hesitantly walked over to my side, and quickly regained her perky and somehow smug composure.
“Moving forward, our goal as an agency is to defeat The Enemy. We will begin appointing missions and training tomorrow morning. For now, you may continue in your previous activities. Until then.”
And with that, all the agents dismissed, most of Charlie’s agents returning to their work, with the rest beginning to direct mine to their rooms and giving them their uniforms.
Adam and Tyler walked off, Tyler eagerly talking Adam’s ear off about something. Charlie, Amelia, and I remained on the podium.
“I still don’t agree with this plan, Charlie.” Amelia complained, her previously neutral expression turning to one of clear anger.
“Amelia, we’ve discussed this-“
“No, more like you discussed it at me. Charlie, you never let me have any say in anything-“
“That’s because I’m in charge here, Amelia-“
“So you don’t trust me-“
I watched the argument happen like a tennis match, each one volleying back a more intense and convincing argument.
However, I was quickly getting sick of it and had to intervene.
“Look, let’s just see what happens, okay? If Amelia and I working together works, it works. If it doesn’t, it doesn’t. It’s that simple.”
They both looked at me like I was crazy, which, to be fair, I kind of am, but each released a sigh.
“Fine. That sounds fair.” Amelia shrugged, breathing heavily.
“Yeah, okay.” Charlie agreed.
“Good. Maybe things will end up happily ever after.” I smiled.
But of course, knowing our luck, it never does.
With a deafening bang, a wall of smoke burst through the common area, knocking everyone who was in it flat.
When the dust cleared, we all groggily stood back up, coughing and brushing ourselves off.
“What the heck was that?” I groaned, shaking the dust out of my hair.
“I think I know.” Amelia replied, pointing a shaky finger at the wall across from us.
On the now dust covered white wall, there was a message written in sloppy red spray paint:
Two more years left. Lying won’t save you now. So far, you’ve collected five of the eight tools needed to stop me. You have:
1: The Liar
2: The Clueless
3: The Director
4: The Con
5: The Mad
You still must find:
6: The Traitor
7: The Thoughtless
8: The Last
Find them, and maybe you’ll have a chance of defeating me. If you don’t, you will face The End.
Best Wishes,
The Enemy.
Amelia threw her head back and groaned. “Oh, come on. Can’t anything go right?”
“No, it can’t. But if we want it to, we’re going to have to work together, and fast.” I replied, nervously glancing over at the 4 other people around me, who are now considered tools to the plan.
“For once, I have to agree with my brother. Everyone, let’s go.” Charlie concluded, directing everyone to The White Room.
And that concludes the first installment of The Liars Series!
First and foremost, I would just like to thank you all for being on this nearly 2-year adventure with me. It’s such an honor to write for such a supporting and loving group of people and I couldn’t ask for better.
Also, dang, that cliff hanger, amirite?
Well, don’t fret, because another installment to this series is coming!
It’s called Drowning in Lies and it will be the continuation of this story.
In Drowning in Lies, the team will have to band together to find the three remaining Tools in order to defeat The Enemy.
And of course, along the way, they will have their usual banter.
Such as Charlie and Amelia bickering.
Tyler and Amelia having a good laugh.
And Adam standing awkwardly in the background (sorry Adam, we love you).
I hope you will continue to love this story and will support Drowning in Lies as well!
See you at the next book!
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