The life of a Co-Op Secret Service teenage spy is riddled with mystery and danger. With a little love thrown in.
Vanessa Blackleif is only 17, but already runs with the big dogs. This is her story.
"Isabelle! Damn it! Come back with those!" Vanessa shouted at her little pit-mix puppy from the bottom of the grand staircase, stamping her foot. She was desperately trying to get her things together for school so she could leave. She only had 15 minutes before she needed to leave to make it to school on time. If this kept up, she was going to be seriously late and get in trouble with her homeroom teacher and probably the Vice Principal as well. Hell no. She was having none of that. Vanessa watched, nonplussed, as her crazy dog just turned around and gave her one of those silly dog smiles where they lift their upper lip, socks poking out of either side of her mouth. And then she was gone once again, running down the halls and hiding in dark corners.
She blended in very well considering the fact that she was pure black except for about six white hairs in the middle of her chest, and even those didn't make finding her any easier. It was almost impossible to spot her, especially when being spotted was the last thing she wanted. And most of the time, she couldn't be found. It's quite obvious if you think about it: black dog... black corners... it is impossibly irksome. And she knew it. That was the worst part. And, unfortunately, it just so happened that today was one of those days where she just did not want to be found...
Sighing audibly with frustration, Vanessa briskly walked the short distance to the chef-worthy kitchen, the heels of her four inch pumps clicking loudly on the obsidian tiles. Upon entering the kitchen she glanced around, taking in the splendor she was so accustomed to. The sink, refrigerator, stove, and island counter top were all stainless steel. The cabinets were painted white and had stainless hardware. The counter tops were all green and white marble. The floor was marble as well, black and white in a checkered pattern, imported from the continent of Olümna. Striding across the room, she grabbed a chicken flavored dog treat from the ceramic bowl above the stove before turning and entering the walk-in, store-like pantry to grab a granola bar for breakfast. Although, in the opinion of most, a granola bar is certainly not breakfast. Leaving the kitchen, Vanessa walked slowly back down the hallway to the grand entrance, munching quietly on her granola bar and scanning dark corners with her cat-like eyes. Once she got there though, her darling little mischievous puppy was still nowhere to be found. Thinking for a moment, she had an idea and decided to go sit in the parlour. It was notorious as Isabelle's favourite spot in the house, a fact Vanessa's mother resented.
Vanessa turned and entered the parlour. Taking in the thick, green shag carpet that resembled moss, the life-like wood paneling on the walls and the green silk furniture, she got the impression like she always did, that she was inside a tree. She strode over to one of the high-backed, throne-like chairs and, sitting down, began whistling. Anyone with an ear for classical music would recognize the tune as that of Beethoven's seventh symphony. Believe it or not, the dog loved the music and it was an almost certain way to get her to come to you. Running out of breath, Vanessa stopped whistling and took a deep breath.
"Isie," Vanessa shouted at the top of her lungs. "Isie, Isie, Isabelle!" she called, her voice quavering with badly suppressed anger. Just then, that little, black, self-assured, menace of a dog pranced into the room by means of her own personal hallway and stair system within the walls of the mansion. The place was just that big. She looked up at Vanessa, her expression saying it all: 'What do you want smart one?' Vanessa held up the treat for Isabelle to see. "Do you want a treat?" she asked sweetly. "It's your favourite! Chicken! If you do, you're going to have to give me my gym socks." Just then a thought struck her like a blow to the head. "Please," she added in a sickly sweet voice, drawing out the 'e', her eyes wide and innocent with only the slightest hint of malice hidden in their depths. Isabelle took a tentative step forward, socks dangling out either side of her mouth.
"Come on pretty girl. Come get the treat." Isabelle adamantly refused to come any closer, sensing a threat from Vanessa's sickly sweet voice, tensed body, and altered balance. "You don't want to come? That's okay. You can lay down for me." As soon as the words left Vanessa's mouth, Isabelle turned and dashed out the door and around the corner, heading down the hallway toward the basement and her specially made kennel.
Rising from her place on the green silk chevron patterned chair, Vanessa began stalking towards the basement. "Silly mutt... You fell for it yet again!" she muttered under her breath as she reached the stairs leading down to the basement. Descending into the darkness, she mentally counted the stairs to prevent herself from tripping. Reaching the bottom, she reached to her right and flipped the light switch, looking around at the four-dog, two-cat kennel. Isabelle was nowhere in sight. "What the fuck!" Vanessa groaned angrily. Practically running up the stairs, she burst into the hallway.
"So you want to play a game of hide and seek I see!" she hollered. "Well you get your wish." Hearing the telltale click of nails on tile, she whirled around. Nothing. Damn. "I'll only play on one condition though. You have to give me my socks! No hiding them somewhere in the house!" she told the hallway. She knew Isabelle was listening though, because she could hear a faint chuffing sound. Isabelle's doggy laughter. Vanessa tromped off with an angry look on her face, heels clicking sharply. Finding the breaker box, she wrenched the heavy door open and hit the red lockdown button that was underneath the breaker for the kitchen. Instantly, two-ply sheets of steel reinforced metal began lowering, covering every window and door that led outside the storybook worthy mansion, including all of Isabelle's doggy doors.
"Ready or not here I come!" Vanessa called, leaving the breaker box to search the parts of the house Isabelle had access to.