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The Russian Undertaking

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Summer passes easily in the West/Allen/Smythe household, surprisingly quiet after Barry was released from the hospital into Joe’s care. Barry easily regains his strength after the lightning strike and soon the twins are practicing lacrosse in the backyard while Iris and her friends alternate between gossiping and watching the twins and playing intense pick up games of basketball on the small concrete pad Joe had installed a couple summers back for the girls.

 

“Gonna try out for the basketball team?” Barry asks Iris during one of the two group’s mutual gossip breaks, days before the twins were due back to Dalton.

 

Iris shrugs, “I don’t know. I might, but it depends on whether or not I get nominated as class president.”

 

“Why can’t you do both?” Barry raises an eyebrow, “You’re amazing at time management.”

 

“Yeah,” Sebastian interjects, “unlike Barry.”

 

“Shut up.” Barry mutters, jabbing a snickering Sebastian in the ribs.

 

Iris’ eyes light up at the thought, “I just might. Might forget to eat every now and again, but I think I just might.”

 

“Honey, you’ll be amazing.” Elizabeth compliments Iris, causing the four other girls to nod in agreement.

 

“Yeah, you get ‘em guuurl!” One of the other girls, Sarah, crows gleefully, “I wish I could be as amazing as you.”

 

Iris smiles at her friend, “Oh, but you are !”

 

“Don’t sell yourself short, Sar.” Elizabeth sternly tells the other girl.

 

Sarah nods, “I’ll try and remember that.”

 

“You better.” A fair-haired, baby blue eyed, bespectacled girl snaps her fingers in Sarah’s face, “Or you’ll have Mama Emma after you!”

 

The group laughs helplessly at Emma’s snap. “Oh, you’re too cute!” Sarah coos.

 

Emma flushes, “Oh hush.”

 

Sarah mimes zipping her lips shut as everyone else laughs at the pair. Sebastian’s phone starts to ring, shushing the girls from their giggling. “Ooh, who’s that?” Elizabeth prods.

Sebastian shrugs as he looks at his phone, “Blocked caller. Hello?”

 

The girls watch in interest while Barry simply rolls his eyes and pulls out a criminal science textbook from where he stashed it under the patio table. Sebastian’s face goes through a series of expressions, many unreadable to the girls. “No. I am not he and I would rather you not call this number any more.” Sebastian decisively snaps his phone shut after he said this.

 

“Who was that?” Iris asks.

 

“Someone claiming to be the head of some Russian sounding organization and they’re looking for the man who wanted me to call him father.” Sebastian describes Richard with distaste, not even able to say his name.

 

Before the girls could respond, Barry’s cell starts to ring. Barry looks at it in shock, not used to having anyone but family call. Hesitantly he picks up the phone and mutters, “It’s a blocked caller.”

 

“Don’t answer it.” Elizabeth warns. “You don’t want to open that can of worms.”

 

“But what if it’s important?” Barry asks, Sarah nodding in agreement.

 

“Then they could call back with a phone number that’s not blocked.” Elizabeth sharply counters.

 

Iris and Sebastian give Elizabeth strange looks, “Is there something you’re not telling us?” Sebastian prods.

 

Elizabeth gives the boy a frosty look, “Nothing to say but don’t pick up that call !”

 

“Well if you can’t tell us why he shouldn’t…” Sarah starts.

 

“It’s probably just a prank call, probably just Nick or Jeff being stupid.” Barry shrugs as he says this, “Hello?”

 

Barry’s face spans a range of emotions, mirroring Sebastian from only moments before. “I think you have the wrong number, sir.”

 

“Well?” Iris demands as soon as Barry hangs up.

 

“They said that they were a part of a Russian organization that knew my father, Henry, and that Richard Smythe was in cahoots with this group to kidnap Sebastian from his family.” Barry numbly answers, face rather pale.

 

“What?” Sebastian snaps.

Barry shudders, “They weren’t making much sense. They kept interjecting every other sentence with a tirade of Russian. I think I’m going to go lie down for a bit.” Barry faintly mutters before leaving the group, thick textbook in hand.

 

Sebastian gives Barry a minute or two before giving a lame excuse and following his brother up to their room, leaving the girls behind to continue their gossiping and basketball.