The Orphans (Orphans Trilogy Book 1)

Free The Orphans (Orphans Trilogy Book 1) by Matthew Sullivan

Book: The Orphans (Orphans Trilogy Book 1) by Matthew Sullivan Read Free Book Online
Authors: Matthew Sullivan
the fact that he was continuously getting caught in his lies made it nearly impossible. “Oh. Yeah. I did,” Charlie admitted. “He was here when I got home.”
    “And … did he say anything?”
    “Nope,” Charlie asserted without thinking it through.
    “That seems weird, don’t you think?” Terry said, feigning confusion. “He was here, but he didn’t say anything. He just left without saying a word?”
    Of course that wasn’t the truth. He was busted again. Charlie had dug himself into such a deep hole that he could barely see the light at the entry. He needed to give Terry something, anything that might help him climb his way out. Or else Terry might push in the excess soil and bury him alive.
    “We talked,” Charlie said. “He just didn’t say much. That’s what I meant. I, uh, told him what you said about my dad and he agreed. Then he said he had to get going.”
    Terry peered right into Charlie’s pupils. “That’s it?”
    Charlie felt Terry’s eyes on him like a spotlight. He swallowed hard, the air getting caught halfway down his throat. “Yep,” he squeaked, desperately hoping Terry would finally buy it. Beads of sweat began to pop from the pores on his forehead while he waited for Terry to shoot down his most recent lie.
    After a long moment, Terry calmly replied, “That’s too bad. We’ve been having a lot of trouble with your father’s prototype, and I was hoping he might have said something that would help me fix it. But I just don’t know if that’s gonna be possible now. Which is a shame. The world needs it.”
    “Yeah, it does,” Charlie said, still uncertain if Terry was satisfied or if a whole new line of questions was about to come.
    “Anyway,” Terry said, finally easing up, “let me give you another one of my cards”—he dug into his pocket and pulled out a business card—“just in case you ever misplace the first one. These things are so small, it happens all the time. It never hurts to have an extra.” He handed the card to Charlie.
    “No, it doesn’t,” Charlie said. And lucky for him, he hadn’t intended to say anything more, otherwise he would have definitely stopped short when he noticed that the card wasn’t as crisp and clean as the one Terry that had previously given him. The corners were bent and there was a pronounced crease down the center, as if it had been crumpled.
    “After all,” Terry said, “we still need to iron out the details on your internship.”
    Charlie said nothing. He just kept gazing, zombie-like, at the folds in the business card. There was no doubt in his mind that it was the same card Walter had taken from him. Charlie determined that had to be how Terry found out that he had spoken to Walter. Terry must have taken the business card from Walter before they did whatever they did to him. That was where he got his information, and his suspicion. It was also an admission of guilt and potentially a thinly veiled threat.
    “You want the internship, right?” Terry said. He waited a second for Charlie to respond. After he didn’t, Terry added, “Do you not want the internship?”
    Charlie’s head shot up. “No! I mean, yes! I mean, I do want it,” he said as if his life depended on it, because as far as he knew, it might.
    “Good. I was getting a little worried I was going to lose you to someone else. Just shoot me an email whenever you get a chance, and we can start the negotiations.”
    “Great,” Charlie said, forcing a smile.
    Terry smiled back and then headed down the porch steps. The younger bodyguard, Max, followed Terry, but the older guard, Cain, held back. He stood perfectly still, his sunglassed eyes never leaving Charlie.
    Charlie did his best to avert his eyes from the imposing stare, opting to watch Terry and Max; but eventually, Charlie caved. He glanced up at Cain, focusing on the N-shaped scar on his cheek.
    Cain tilted his head so their eyes were forced to meet.
    Charlie saw himself in the reflection of

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