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Chapter 19

The puzzle pieces dropped quite suddenly into place for Shaun. “Good night, guys.” He said, quite loudly. He turned to his Harry, who was about to leave with the other two. “Inside, now.” He hissed.

Harry followed him into his house. “What’s up, Shaun?” He asked, closing the door.

“Henry will kill me,” whispered Shaun. “But they are those two ninjas.”

“Henry and Shyla?” Harry didn’t look convinced.

Shaun flipped the light off and slid the curtain back. “Believe me now?” he asked, triumphantly.

The two figures were sitting on the peak of Shyla’s house, apparently watching the stars. “No way.” Breathed Harry. “So Ginger Ninja, I mean Shyla, whipped your ass that night.”

“Henry helped.” Scowled Shaun.

“Dormer,” said Harry. “You shouldn’t feel too bad,” he let the curtain drop. “She has a strong personality. Henry’s about the only guy who can hold her back without too much trouble. I mean, have you seen how buff that guy is?” he laughed.

Shaun could feel his anger building. Harry looked at him and took a step back. “I’m sorry,” he said, grinning. Shaun could hold his own generally, but, if what he was saying was the truth, Henry would make mincemeat out of him. “I forgot about your huge crush on Shyla.”

Shaun reacted sharply to his words. “You honestly think I like...” his voice trailed off.

“Since the day you laid eyes on her.”

“Damn you, Harry.” Shaun turned on the light and sat down. “I hate it when you’re right.”

Henry had the girl of his dreams in his arms. Shyla was drifting off to sleep, and he stared at her while the stars flickered above. He didn’t care if he was being sappy and goofy. This girl was his, and he cared a lot about her.

A faint voice drifted from across the street. Henry thought he only heard it because it mentioned Shyla’s name. He stood up and carried Shyla carefully into the tree. He gently slid her through the window, promising to come back later and put her into her bed properly. After a perfectly executed back flip onto the grass, Henry sprinted across the street to Shaun’s house. A ground level light turned on as he reached the window. Henry stood silently in the shrubbery next to the window, listening to the conversation going on inside. “I hate it when you’re right.” Said Shaun.

“It’s not exactly like you hid it very well.” Henry recognised Harry’s voice, and wondered why they were talking about Shyla. “What?”

Apparently, Shaun had given him a dirty look.

Unaware that Henry was listening to their conversation, Harry continued speaking. “I’m sure that the thought of them, like that, boils your blood, but what am I supposed to do about it?”

Shaun continued glaring at him. “I need to get Shyla alone.” He mused. Henry almost broke the window in a rare burst of violent anger, but restrained himself through strict ninja training that had been ingrained into him until it was automatic.

“And that would achieve, what, exactly?” Harry was confused. “Either way, Henry would kick your ass before you got anywhere near his girlfriend. He’s about ten times stronger than you, and he’s a freaking ninja.”

Henry almost collapsed in shock when he heard that. His blood ran cold, spreading ice throughout his body. Although it was a fairly warm night, he felt chilled to the bone. How the HELL do they know that?! His thoughts screamed at him. He fought to remain calm. This was just Harry and Shaun. There was little they could do that the ninja school couldn’t recover from.

Shaun walked to the window and yanked the curtain back. Henry ducked, unseen, below the windowsill, and stayed very still. “My parents are out of town,” muttered Shaun, clearly angry about something. “So I have the right to say the following.” He spun around to face Harry. His brown eyes burned in anger. “Do you not think that I don’t know that?” He bellowed. “Are you trying to taunt me with the fact that Henry is a much better choice for her?”

“Shaun,” stated Harry, raising his hands in an attempt to calm his friend down. “Relax.”

“Relax?” questioned Shaun, getting angrier. “How do you think I can relax when ‘Dark Ninja’ is out there, laughing at me and making me look like an idiot? I mean, how did I ever think I would catch them in the first place? I must look like a total nut job!”

“He is not making you look like a nut job.” Said Harry, keeping his tone even. “You’re doing a good job on your own.”

Shaun turned to face the window again. Henry crouched below the window, silently fuming. Shaun had no chance of taking the stubborn and relentless Shyla from him, but the idea she could be hurt made Henry almost blind with rage.

Shaun had a sudden upsurge of violent anger and slammed his fists against the large glass pane in front of him. The ninja below his window covered his face in anticipation of the inevitable. The glass disintegrated above him, spraying razor sharp shards down onto Henry’s back. “Now you’ve done it, you idiot.” Muttered Harry, clearly agitated by Shaun’s uncharacteristic anger. “How are you going to explain that to your mother?”

Shaun’s knuckles dripped blood. Henry attempted to move silently away from the window, but the glass shifted, making a noise and drawing their attention to his presence. “Have you always had a ninja outside your window?” asked Harry, concern for his friend’s safety evident in his voice.

“Dark Ninja,” Shaun couldn’t get the words out clearly; his voice was choked up with rage.

Henry sprang lightly to his feet. Harry tried to restrain Shaun, but to no avail. Shaun scrambled through the gap where the window once was and flew at Henry, fists blazing.

Henry jumped over him and dived for some nearby bushes. He wanted no confrontation with Shaun for two reasons. The first one was that it was clearly an uneven match, and Henry was sure to win. The second was that he might need to do serious damage to Shaun, who clearly wasn’t thinking straight.

Shaun tried to follow his route, but Henry scrambled onto the roof and lay flat. “Coward!” yelled Shaun, to angry to care that the neighbours were beginning to switch on their lights to find out what the shouting was all about. “You’re not man enough to fight me! You don’t deserve her.”

“Probably not,” agreed Henry from the safety of the roof. “But if you touch her, you die.”

Harry appeared next to Shaun. “Go inside,” he ordered, clearly fed up with Shaun’s behaviour. “Clean yourself up.” Shaun disappeared through the window and back inside. “Um, Dark Ninja,” mumbled Harry. “I’m truly sorry about Shaun. He has a tendency to overreact. Thanks for not beating his guts out, even though you probably wanted to.”

Henry stood up and front flipped onto the grass next to Harry. “Don’t mention it,” he said, holding out his hand. “I don’t want to kill him. He grates my skin and turns my stomach, but I’m holding back. Shyla would want me to.”

Harry took the offered hand and shook it. “You’re not mad that we know who you are?” he asked.

“Yes,” relied Henry. “But I won’t hurt you, unless you spread the information. It’s important that you don’t, not just because of Liborio Fragale, but because we need to remain anonymous. Keep it under wraps, don’t tell anyone, and I won’t be forced to take action against you and whoever you tell.” He smiled at Harry and sprinted off up the street.

Harry went inside to find some duck tape and some black garbage bags to fix the window. Once the window was fixed, he switched off the light and disappeared upstairs to check on his friend.

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