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Fake Jake: A Teen Spy Thriller (Courting Disaster Book 3)

Fake Jake: A Teen Spy Thriller (Courting Disaster Book 3)

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Secret doesn't even begin to describe his job.

When your dad is a black ops agent, and your sister hacked the FBI when she was five, it's easy to fly under the radar. It also makes you a heckuva good spy because nobody looks twice at you. Especially when you have Down syndrome.

Main Tropes

  • Spy Family
  • Down syndrome
  • Diverse cast
  • Disguises & Manipulation
  • Secret Missions
  • Double Agent

Synopsis

Secret doesn't even begin to describe my job.

When your dad works black ops, and your sister hacked the FBI when she was five, it's easy to fly under the radar. It also makes you a heckuva good spy because nobody looks twice at you. Especially when you have Down syndrome.

Of course, I'm used to being invisible. Lots of people treat me that way. Except now, I use it to my advantage.

I have the best job in the world. Sneak into places, use the high-tech stuff they make for me, and grab any info Courtney and the A.G.E.N.C.Y. need me to get.

Until, one day, things go south and I'm caught red-handed. A charming smile, and playing stupid isn't going to get me out of trouble this time.

The people who caught me are made enough to kill.

Can I get out of this pickle alive? Or will I end up buried next to my dad?

Fake Jake is a suspenseful teen thriller filled with physically and developmentally diverse characters that will challenge your perceptions of ability. This is one book you won't be able to put down.

Intro Into Chapter 1

Flying Under the Radar 

#JACOB 

When your dad is a black ops agent, and your sister hacked the FBI at age five it’s easy to fly under the radar. It also makes you a heckuva good spy because nobody looks twice at you. Especially when you have Down syndrome. 

That doesn’t make the job any less dangerous though. If I ever got caught, nobody would think twice about killing me. 

Having Downs means I don’t react as quickly as other people. I have to work hard to get my brain and my body to work together. But it isn’t impossible. I’ve just gotta be smart and work with what I’ve got. 

I gotta be at the top of my game. And I can NEVER get caught. 

Which is why I’m at the gym again, practicing my gymnastics and honing my skills. 

I practice in a huge warehouse with cement walls and high ceilings. There are trampolines and mats of all sizes on one side. A row of beams fills another section for the girls to practice on, and rings hang from the ceiling for guys.

There’s also uneven bars for the girls and a high bar for us guys. 

A giant blue mat takes up the center of the gym where we practice our floor routines. 

On the left wall, a long runway leads to the vault. But my least favorite place in the gym is the pommel. My arms are too short, so I’m constantly hitting the pommel with my legs. It’s frustrating. 

Right now, I’m practicing my floor routine. 

“Again,” my coach, Mrs. Collins, says from the sidelines in a thick Russian accent. Rumor has it she used to be a Russian spy, touring all over the world and gathering secrets as she competed in international gymnastics meets. All I know is for a little old lady, she is awfully tough. 

“Knees together, tuck your chin, then stick your landing. I don’t want you to be good at the Special Olympics. I want you to be the best!” 

I want to be the best too. It’s been my goal since I first heard about Special Olympics. 

So, I turn, return to my spot at the corner of the mat, and put my heels together, waiting for Mrs. Collins’ signal. She nods. 

I put my hands up in the ready position, then sprint toward the diagonal corner of the floor. Cartwheel, round off, back handspring, back tuck. I land with a thud, slide my heels together, and throw my arms up again, sticking the landing. 

“Stop!” 

Mrs. Collins presses her lips tight, shaking her head. Her gray bun whips from side to side. “Don’t be sloppy. You can do better, Mr. McMasters.” She narrows her eyes and wags a finger at me. “Concentrate!” 

“Yes, ma’am,” I say, breathing hard. I return to my mark at the corner of the mat and wait for her cue. When she nods, I bolt forward, pointing my toes, tucking my knees, and focusing on my form until I stick the landing again. 

Mrs. Collins lifts her chin, but she’s still frowning. “Better. Do the whole thing from the beginning.” I nod, wipe sweat from my forehead, and move into position. 

Two hours later, my feet drag as I walk out of the gym with Mom and Kenny following behind me. 

Mom looks tiny next to Kenny. She’s got short brown hair, light skin, and likes to wear sweats and T-shirts. Kenny has his long black curly hair pulled back into a man bun. He reminds me of Maui with his massive tanned arms, tribal tattoos, and a huge grin. 

Mom takes my duffle bag and gives me a water bottle and a towel. I wipe the sweat off my face and damp blond hair. “Thanks.” 

I guzzle the water till it makes sounds in my stomach. "Don't drink too much," Mom says. “You don't want to get a stomach ache." 

"Don't baby him," Kenny says. "You're not doing him any favors. Plus, he's twenty. He’s a grown man."

Mom narrows her blue eyes at Kenny. "Don't tell me how to raise my son. You've only been here a few months. I've been raising him his whole life." 

Kenny raises both of his hands, palms out, as if in surrender. "I'm not trying to tell you how to raise your son, Audrey. But he’s more capable than you think." 

"Let me decide how to care for him. I know him best," Mom growls. 

I roll my eyes and keep walking. She says the same thing to Dad every time he’s home. I've tried to tell Mom that Dad’s right, but she doesn't listen to him either. She says she babies me because of my heart surgery after I was born. It made her love me more fiercely, and she's more protective. But I don't know. Courtney almost died a couple of times, too and Mom doesn't treat her this way. 

I wait for Mom to unlock the minivan. She and Kenny are still fighting like brother and sister. I can't wait until Dad gets home from his job in Walla Walla so he can step in and tell them to shut up. 

Mom opens her door and finally unlocks my door. I climb into the back seat, leaving the front to Mom and Kenny. 

Listening to them talk makes my stomach hurt. My shoulders sag and I stare at my hands. I wish I could shut them out of my head. 

Pressing my eyes closed, I tuck my head into a shoulder. I hate that I can’t shut them out. I hate not being able to ignore the feelings of everyone around me. I feel it all. 

If they’re happy, I’m happy. If they’re upset, I’m angry too. 

Mom pulls out of the parking lot. They aren’t fighting anymore, but one look at her face, and I know she’s still mad. There's so much anger in the air right now.

I curl into myself and take long, deep breaths, trying to stay calm. 

The drive back to our house is pretty. It’s almost winter here in Spokane, so the trees are orange and brown, and it’s finally cool. I like colder weather. 

Summer makes me sweat. I get enough of that at gymnastics. 

Fall means bright leaves, burying Courtney’s German Shepherd, Max, in the leaves, and finding deer in our front yard. 

And cider. I love Mom’s cider. 

And Dad’s s’mores. 

And bonfires. 

When we pull to a stop in front of our house, I jump out of the car and don’t look back at Mom or Kenny. 

Max must’ve heard me because he’s scratching at the front door, barking when I get there. 

I open the door and he jumps on me, his tail wagging. The pit in my stomach disappears and I bury my face into his furry neck. 

“Hey, Max.” I scratch behind his ear. “Where’s Corney?” 

Max drops to all four feet and hurries off down the hall toward mine and Courtney’s bedrooms. I drop my duffel next to the front door and run after him. “Corney! You down here?” 

“I’m in my room!” my ten-year-old sister yells. Then I hear her giggling. “Max! Get off me!” 

Max barks, and she giggles again. 

When I get to her room, Courtney is on her bed with Max pinning her on her back using his front two paws, licking her face. 

I laugh and then dive onto her bed next to her. She yelps when my weight makes her bounce, and her long brown hair flies in all directions. 

Max Barks, then jumps on me, licking my face too. I shove the dog off me, and then Courtney does a WWF jump. She lands on my chest and shoves me backward until I hit the bed. “1-2-3. Pinned ya!”

“Hold on! I wasn’t ready.” I giggle, and wrap my arm around her waist, pulling her onto her back before I start to tickle her. 

“Wait…stop!” she says between laughs. 

Max barks at us. 

When her face is red and she looks like she’s about to pee herself, Kenny fills Courtney’s doorway. He has his arms folded over his chest and a smirk on his face. 

“Your mother asked me to check on you guys and make sure Courtney wasn’t being tortured to death by her big brother,” Kenny says. 

I pull away from Courtney and give Kenny a giant grin. "Only a little bit." 

Kenny shakes his head and rolls his eyes. "Dinner is ready. Kat and Henry are in the kitchen. too." Courtney jumps off the bed, squeals, and runs towards the kitchen with Max right behind her. 

Kenny waits for me to pass him before he flops an arm over my shoulder and walks with me to the kitchen. "How are you feeling? Do you think you have enough energy to do a session with me tonight?"

I look up into his brown eyes and gnaw on my lip. My muscles are already jelly from gymnastics, but I need to get better at my karate. It takes me longer to get my arms and feet to move the way I need them to. Which means I need more sparring time than the others. "Let me eat and rest first. Then we can do something after dinner,” I say. 

We walk into the kitchen and it’s already full of people. This is the fourth house we’ve had since joining the A.G.E.N.C.Y.. 

Somehow the houses keep getting blown up, or Simon finds us. Maybe we’ll stay in this one a little longer. Mom has this kitchen painted in grays and whites, with a little bit of yellow. 

Kat is in her wheelchair at the head of the table with her black curly hair pulled up into a messy bun. She has her elbows resting on the long wooden table that's probably big enough for a football team. 

Kat’s chin is propped on her hands as she talks to Henry who is seated next to her in a chair. 

Henry is in his usual outfit: jet-black hair slicked back, white shirt, black tie, black pants. The sleeves of his white shirt are rolled up to his elbows and his tie is loose at the neck like he's had a hard day at work. 

With Courtney as the Director of a child-spy agency and his boss, I’d be tired too. Or annoyed. 

Courtney sits next to Henry. Max sits on the floor next to Courtney. 

I grab my chair on the other side of Kat. Kenny grabs a chair next to Mom at the other head of the table. "I hope you like roast tonight," Mom says to us, pointing to the crockpot in the center of the table. "It's one of the easiest things to make when Jake has gymnastics."

I lick my lips and my stomach growls. “Smells good.”

Mom’s also got a bowl full of baby potatoes, carrots, and rolls. Why is she apologizing? This is my favorite meal. I reach out to grab the roles and Mom holds up a finger. "Don't fill up on carbs, Jacob. Save some rolls for everyone else too.” 

"I will, Mom." 

I take two rolls and pass them on, then add roast to my plate. 

Kat dishes carrots onto her plate and then passes them me. 

We continue grabbing food and passing it on until everyone's had a chance to grab whatever they want. When the rolls get back to me, I grab another one when Mom isn’t watching. I eat it in three bites. “How is your physical therapy going?” Mom asks Kat. “Are you seeing any progress since breaking your back? Does the doctor think you’ll be able to walk on your own?” 

Kat finishes her bite of potatoes and rocks her head from shoulder to shoulder. “It’s good. Excruciatingly slow, but I am making progress, and that’s what counts.” 

Kenny wags his bushy black eyebrows. “She’s working hard. She’s already getting more sensation back into her legs. Kat’s a fighter. We’ll have her up and running in no time.” 

“And out hunting Vel to pay her back for throwing me down the stairs,” Kat says. 

Henry’s face darkens and he stares at his food. “One day, we’ll give Simon and Vel a taste of their own medicine. I will gladly make sure neither of them walk away from their next fight.” 

Kat puts a hand over Henry’s and gives him a small smile. “I know you will. But in the meantime, let’s focus on today. You need to protect Courtney. I need to get better. And we need to find out where Simon is hiding.” 

Courtney catches my eye and pushes away from her seat. “I think I’m full. I’ve got some homework to do. Can I be excused?” she asks Mom. 

Audrey tucks a lock of her brown hair behind her ear and takes another bite of cooked carrots. “Sure, Sweets.” She glances at Kenny and Henry. “I think Kenny was going to give me a karate lesson in the barn while you work.” 

“Then I’ll be back for you,” Kenny says, pointing to me. 

Mom catches Henry’s eye. “Are you going to be around a while to keep an eye on Courtney while we’re out back?”

Henry nods. “We need to touch base about tomorrow anyway, and I promised to help her with her math.” 

Courtney picks up her plate and takes it to the kitchen sink. 

I’m shoveling food into my mouth as fast as I can. That look in Courtney’s eye tells me she wants to talk. But I don’t want to leave anything on my plate. I probably won’t get another snack before bedtime.” 

Courtney stops at the hallway, and looks over her shoulder at me, clearing her throat. “Jacob, I think I owe you a game of Monopoly before I get started, isn’t that right?” 

I shove a roll into my mouth, and then add some potatoes until I feel like a chipmunk. Then I look over at Courtney and nod. “Be righ der,” I say through all my food. 

She disappears down the hall, and I stand. Chewing as fast as I can, I shove more food into my mouth as I slowly walk to the kitchen sink with my plate. 

Mom looks up at me and her brows scrunch together. “Why don’t you finish your food, then go play with her?”

“I’m almost done.” I shove the final piece of roast in my mouth, followed by the last bite of potato, and finally the third roll. I can barely close my mouth, but I got it all. Chewing, I walk down the hall toward Courtney’s room. What’s so important that she had to talk during dinner?

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