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Chapter 8

Shyla sat on the roof of an office block downtown, waiting for Dark Ninja to appear. It had been a week since she had had a chance to roam the streets as a ninja. Clarisse didn’t generally let Shyla out on weekdays as a ninja due to school and other commitments. But school would be out in another two weeks, and then she could roam all she wanted. That was the agreement mother and daughter had come to.

As the stars grew brighter and the moon rose, Shyla spied a black shape moving towards her position. She realised – belatedly – that she was silhouetted against the night sky, and cursed inwardly. Before Dark Ninja could reach her position, Shyla had moved, circling behind him, and followed him to another office block.

“Dark Ninja.” She said, causing him to spin and crouch.

“Ginger Ninja.” He said through his teeth, straightening up. That didn’t mean he considered her no threat, but only that his confidence in his skills was high enough that he could relax with her. Shyla raised an eyebrow at him, but he didn’t see it, which was probably a good thing. “What do you want?”

“To talk.” Replied Shyla.

“To me?” asked Dark Ninja.

“No,” replied Shyla, folding her arms and scowling. “To the tree behind you. Of course I want to talk to you.”

Dark Ninja looked around. “Seeing as there are no trees in the immediate area, I guess it would have to be me then.”

Shyla glared at him. “Stop being dim.”

Dark Ninja just looked at her. “I’m waiting.” He said, folding his arms across his chest.

Henry stood waiting for Ginger Ninja to start speaking. He had a few things to say to her himself. “Dark Ninja,” began Ginger Ninja. “About last week; I think what happened was a mistake.”

Henry took a step closer, attempting to box her in. “You think so?” he asked, frowning down at her. “Didn’t you enjoy it?”

“I did,” she replied.

“So what’s the problem then?” asked Henry, relieved and confused at the same time. This wasn’t how he had expected this conversation to go.

Henry had been playing the scenarios over in his head for the last week. They had varied from her breaking down into tears, into a full-blown fistfight. But none of them were like this.

Ginger Ninja took a step back. “The problem is,” she stated, pulling him from his thoughts. “You are too intimidating. You never even gave me a chance to resist you, and that’s not fair.”

“You’re right,” whispered Henry, taking another step towards her. “But I’m not sorry I did it. I could never walk away from you.”

Ginger Ninja took another step back, stopping when the low lip around the top of the building caught her in the middle of her thighs. “Don’t.” she whispered. “Please.”

Henry took two more steps towards her, but Ginger Ninja stepped to the side. “Why not?” he asked. “It’s not like we haven’t already.”

“Because I told you ‘no’.” Said Ginger Ninja harshly.

She turned her back on him, and, to Henry, it appeared she was sulking. He tried to wrap his arms around her from behind. Ginger Ninja stiffened and tried to pull away as his arms wound around her.

Shyla wasn’t sure what to do next. Clearly Dark Ninja wasn’t about to give up on Ginger Ninja, but Shyla was not going to reveal who she was, not if she ever wanted to get away from this whole. “What are you doing?” asked Shyla through her teeth.

“I just wanted to give you a hug.” Replied Dark Ninja. “Is that a crime?”

Shyla relaxed, or at least, she tried to. But thought’s of Henry and betrayal kept swirling through her mind. “Dark Ninja,” she whispered, grabbing his hands as they rested on her forearms.

“What?” he asked. “If you want me to let you go, it’s not happening. So deal with it.”

“You don’t want me to deal with it.” Replied Shyla through gritted teeth. “I might end up hurting you.”

Dark Ninja laughed in her ear. Shyla turned around so that she was facing him. She lifted the bottom of his mask so that it was showing his lips, which were curved into a small smile. He slid the tips of his fingers under the edge of her mask, lifting it. It revealed her matching smile. She twined her fingers through the curly hair she could feel sticking out the bottom of the mask, pulling his face down to hers. He closed the gap, kissing her gently, tightening his arms around her waist. A single flash flickered out of the corner of his eye, but he paid no attention to it. She pulled him closer, and he pulled her tighter against his chest.

Shyla slowly pulled away, uncurling her fingers from his hair. Dark Ninja gently pulled her mask back over her face. Shyla followed suit, but the chase was not won. He had managed to convince her for now, but as soon as he was gone, she would hurt. She stepped back, turned, and cart-wheeled over the edge of the building before he could stop her. Shyla wanted to get away from him, before this infuriating ninja could scramble her mind any further. She landed on a window ledge a few storeys down, stopping to catch her breath and attempting to clear her mind. She needed to stay away from this dangerous ninja before he ruined her.

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