The chopper dropped Claudia off at her apartment building a few hours later. She jumped out and stood there for a few minutes to watch the chopper fly away. She then went into the building.
As Claudia stood in the elevator, she suddenly remembered what day it was, August 9th. Today was her sixteenth birthday.
Not that she really cared about her birthday, she felt that they were about as unimportant as can be; however, her dream as a child was to have a birthday party. A real party like the normal kids had. She remembered one day when she was five. She had been taking a walk with Mrs. T, her old teacher. No one knew very much about Mrs. T, although it was rumored that she had once seen Dunsworth with her own eyes. Not even Claudia, the best in the business had ever seen him and whether or not the rumor was true, it was the reason she had idolized her. So one day they had been taking a walk and Claudia noticed a small house across from where they were standing, through the window, she could see that there was a party going on. She saw a bunch of kids about her age running around and laughing and having a good time. Then the light went dim, and little lights came floating into the room. A minute later, the lights came back on, and she could see a big cake in front of a little girl with blonde hair and a big smile on her face. For that one moment, Claudia wished she could be that little girl.
But as she grew older, that dream died, and Claudia became too dedicated to her worked for something as childish as “dreams.” When it got to her floor, Claudia exited the elevator and walked down the hall to the door of her apartment. She was not in any way prepared for what she was about to see. She opened the door and turned on the lights…
Claudia almost jumped as she looked up at the three people who had screamed and were now blowing streamers in her face. There were two boys and one girl. The first boy was tall and muscular with blonde hair, brown eyes, and very white teeth. Next to him was a thin boy with red hair and blue eyes and next to him was a girl with black hair and grey eyes. Claudia smiled a little when she saw the girl. “Lydia,” she began, “What is this?”
The girl laughed, walked up to her and put her arm around her shoulder, “This is your birthday party, what do you think it is?”
“You know I don’t like celebrating my birthday” said Claudia quietly so only Lydia could hear.
“I know but it was your boyfriend’s idea, he thought you’d like it.”
Claudia looked up at the taller boy and smiled. “I should’ve known.” She looked back at Lydia, “So can you help me pretend to enjoy this?”
Lydia grinned at her “Of course.”
Claudia let go of her and went to her boyfriend, while Lydia pulled Michael, the shorter boy who was also her boyfriend, into the kitchen so Claudia and Liam which was her boyfriend’s name, could have a little privacy.
“So do you like your party?” he asked her.
Claudia put on her best face and tried to sound convincing, “Sure do” she grinned and looked straight at him, so he wouldn’t suspect she was lying. But somehow, he saw past that.
“You’re lying” he said
“No I’m not” she retorted.
“Liar” he said.
Claudia gave up; she just couldn’t lie to Liam. “Yeah you’re right”
Liam grinned triumphantly, “I knew it, don’t worry, its okay, it’s just that you always seem so down I thought maybe this would cheer you up.”
They were both silent for a minute, Claudia look back towards the kitchen door and noticed Lydia peeking in at them. She gasped and immediately shut the door when she noticed Claudia who couldn’t help but laugh a little. She turned back to her boyfriend, “So what did you get me?” she asked him.
He grinned at her, all his brilliantly white teeth showing. “You’ll find out later, but first…”
He came up to her, pulled her down on the couch, and began to kiss her passionately. They stayed that way for a few minutes until they were interrupted by a snobby voice form right next to them. “Hey, get a room why don’t you”
They broke apart and looked up at their surprise guest, and for Claudia, it was not a very pleasant surprise at all. The girl that stood before them was a thin girl with shoulder length blond hair and blue eyes. Her face had a snobby look to it, with an upturned nose, and big ears. Claudia was not happy to see this girl. “What are you doing here Andrea?” asked Claudia angrily.
“I came to deliver a message from Dunsworth.”
“And that would be…” said Claudia, who wanted Andrea out of her apartment as soon as possible.
Andrea cleared her throat, “You’re to come down to headquarters on Monday, august 16th for a private meeting.
Claudia sat still for a moment as if in shock, this was the reason Andrea had come to her apartment uninvited, she had had plenty of meetings with Dunsworth in the past, not actually seeing him of course, she would simply talk to him through the intercom. So what was so important about this meeting? Claudia decided to worry about it later, right now; she had to get Andrea out.
“Okay, so you delivered your message, now it’s time to go” she said and with that, began shoving Andrea to the door.
“What, no tip?” said Andrea when she was almost out the door.
“Here’s a tip” Claudia responded, “don’t let the door hit you on the way out” and with a final shove, Andrea went into the hall, and Claudia shut the door.
“That was weird” said Liam.
Two hours later, Claudia received her presents. Lydia gave her a fountain pen. Michael, who was unaware that Claudia, Lydia, and Liam were all assassins, gave her a pair of very expensive looking high-heeled shoes. Claudia hated high-heels, but she put on a good face and accepted his gift. Now it was time for Liam’s gift. “Okay everyone gather round this one’s for everyone. Now they were all curious as to what Liam had gotten her. Out he pulled an envelope which he handed to Claudia. Opened it and pulled out four pieces of paper. “Are these…” she started to asked, but Liam finished for her, “Yup, plane tickets, for a week long vacation starting Monday.”
“This Monday?’ asked Lydia.
“Yes, this Monday, so are you guys coming?” Liam asked them.
“Of course we are” said Michael, “Right Lyds?”
Lydia looked at Michael, then at Liam, then at Claudia before finally answering, “Yeah, of course I’ll come.”