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Chapter 18

Shyla felt chills sprint down her spine. “Shaun wants to settle an old score.” She murmured. She had a feeling it was more than just money for Shaun.

Henry tightened his arms around her shoulders. “I’m here to protect you.” He mumbled into her ear.

“I do not need protection.” Hissed Shyla indignantly. “I can protect myself.”

Harry, standing just up the street from where the two ninjas were hiding, turned his head sharply in their direction. “I heard voices in that doorway.” He said. “Shaun, I think I’ve found your ‘ninjas’.”

Shaun appeared about thirty seconds later at the bottom of the building. Harry indicated the doorway where Shyla and Henry huddled. Shaun switched on his torch and illuminated the entire doorway. It was empty. Henry had dragged Shyla from the doorway, as the bright spotlight made the surrounding shadows impenetrable by comparison. They sprinted full tilt down the street, into a nearby alley, onto a roof, and down the other side into a dark courtyard. About a mile away, they slowed down to a brisk walk up Rutherford’s Main Street. “Now you see why I want to protect you.” Said Henry, looking down into Shyla’s face.

Shyla huffed angrily. “I can look after myself.”


Shyla glared at him, her arms folded, and said nothing.

“You’re so cute when you’re angry.” Laughed Henry, lightening the mood. It was never pleasant to be on the run.

Shyla stopped and kicked him in the shin. Not hard enough to really hurt, but it still smarted a little. “Am I cute now?” she asked, watching him hop theatrically.

“You’ve done it now.” He mock-growled, rushing at her.

She side-stepped him, and they play-fought in the middle of the street. She jumped over his head, but he successfully managed to wrap an arm around her waist and lift her off the ground. He slung her over his shoulder in a fireman carry and walked down the road. She kicked and fought, struggling to get loose. Henry stopped in the middle of the empty street. “Put me down, you big oaf.” Squealed Shyla.

Henry gently lowered her to the ground, keeping his hands securely on her waist. He pulled her up against his chest. “I love you.” He whispered into her ear.

“I love you too.” She mumbled into his chest.

Henry glanced up. Their slow walking had taken them away from Main Street. The bustling night club scene was along the northern rim of the CBD, whereas the south edge, where they currently were, was all day businesses and office buildings. The apartments were all situated in the south west corner.

Henry’s grip instinctively tightened around Shyla’s shoulders. A shadowy figure stepped towards them. “So,” a familiar male voice said out of the darkness. Shyla spun to face it. “We meet again.”

“Shaun?” asked Henry. “What on Earth are you talking about?”

He pulled his mask off. Shyla felt a gentle kick to the back of her leg and did the same. Shaun turned his torch on at the same moment, and Shyla squinted into the light. “What are you two doing here?” he asked, confused.

“Firstly,” said Henry. “Please get that torch out of my face.” Shaun dropped the beam to the floor. “Secondly, who did you think we were?”

Shyla knew exactly who Shaun thought they were. “You thought we were those two ninjas, right?” she asked, laughing a little. They had an act to play up to.

Shaun couldn’t understand how Shyla knew that. “Um, yes.” He mumbled, looking down. “By the way, what are you two doing out here?”

“I was visiting my mom,” Henry replied quickly, indicating somewhere to the west of their position. “Shyla offered to come with, and we were walking home together.”

“Oh.” Shaun looked at Henry. Something didn’t add up, but he couldn’t figure out what. “See you soon then.”

He walked off, utterly confused. He met up with his friends around the corner. “Was it them?” Harry asked. Shaun shook his head. “Who was it then?”

“Henry and Shyla,” replied Shaun bitterly.

His friends didn’t reply, but the group of four migrated back to Shaun’s house in silence. Outside Shaun’s front door, he glanced up towards Shyla’s house and froze. Silhouetted against the night sky were two black figures standing on her roof.

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