Henry arrived on Shyla’s doorstep bright and early the next Saturday morning. It was a little over a week and a half since they had met with Justin and Master Wong. “You ready?” he said as she opened the door.
“Yup.” She replied.
They walked to the shop in silence, Henry with his arm around her shoulders and Shyla with her arm around his waist. They were both armed discreetly with a knife each and a small handgun. Shyla’s was in a shoulder holster under her leather jacket. Henry’s in an ankle holster.
The door to the convenience store slid silently open and they walked inside. Mr Russell started and turned. “You scared the living daylights out of me.” He said in surprise, looking the two teenagers over. “Who are you?”
“Your bodyguards.” Replied Shyla.
“You’re kidding.” Said Jake. “I call the FBI and ask for help against Liborio Fragale, and they send me two kids.” He looked at Henry. “I can believe that you’re a bodyguard, but your girl over here doesn’t look up to the task.”
“I am fully up to the task of protection you.” Said Shyla indignantly. “I am fully qualified.”
Jake’s eyes went wide in surprise. “I’ll believe it when I see it. Right now, you need to start your day.”
Jake walked Shyla through the process while Henry went out back to look at a car parked there for repair. This was where Chubby Chuckies was different, because it was a service station, mechanic shop, and convenience store. Henry popped the hood, and began digging around in the engine as Shyla started her day inside.
The first customers of the day shift entered the store.
Shyla looked up, and froze. It was Shaun and three of his friends. One of them was holding a skateboard. They wandered the aisles of the small store, picking out several items. They headed to the counter, when Shaun stopped dead. He looked at Shyla, and shook his head. “This is sad.” He laughed. “I never thought I’d see the day when Shyla Evans would have to serve us.” He walked up to the counter. “Well, well, well. If it isn’t Shyla.”
He loaded up the counter with the items they selected. Shyla went through the routine Jake had taught her, keeping a smile on her face. “Do you want a bag for all that?” she asked, keeping professional for the sake of Jake’s store.
Shaun shook his head. “What?” he asked. “Isn’t Henry here with you?”
“He is.” Replied Shyla. She ignored Shaun and turned to the next customer, and elderly woman.
Henry walked in at that point, wiping his hands on a rag that had oil stains on it. Shaun saw him and hurried from the store. Shyla watched him leave and smiled at Henry.
The rest of the day was uneventful, with Henry managing to complete an effective repair on the car out back.
Henry and Shyla walked home arm in arm. When they got to her door, he bent his head down and kissed her. She slid her hand into his hair and pulled him closer.
Shaun stood at an upstairs window in his house, watching them kiss. “So it’s official.” He murmured. He turned and looked over his shoulder. I wonder if the ninjas will be out tonight. He thought idly. He planned on catching them, especially Ginger Ninja. He wanted that money. After one more look out the window, he disappeared into his room to get ready.
Master Wong pulled out his cell phone and left it on the table next to where he sat drinking his tea. He definitely wasn’t a young man anymore, but the elders were never disregarded, because they had a wealth of experience the young ninjas simply didn’t possess.
The phone next to him rang. It was one of his graduated students, responding to a general message that had been sent out. Because, what Master Wong was about to engineer was going to go against sixty years of teaching. He was about to bring together the most formidable fighters he had, and this could change the entire face of their fight against Liborio Fragale.
Shyla sprang onto her roof. Henry appeared from literally nowhere and joined her as she dropped down onto the grass of her front garden. He kissed her forehead softly, and then they turned towards the northern end of the suburbs.