Loyalty

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Chapter 26

Shyla walked away as the cops drove off. Henry followed ten feet behind her as she pulled out her cell. Henry glanced at his watch, and then frowned at Shyla, who turned away. “It’s one in the morning,” Henry commented, trying to catch her eye. “Exactly who are you phoning?”

Shyla said nothing as she punched in the numbers and pressed dial.


Shaun was woken from a deep sleep by his cell. He fumbled groggily across his bedside table before his hand came to rest on it. He squinted into the screen as his brain tried to register the numbers. He slid it up and pressed it to his ear. “Hello?” he mumbled.

“Hey,” a female voice said. “I’m coming over.”

“Okay.” Was all Shaun said before sliding his phone closed.

He held up his phone and checked the numbers again. His heart almost stopped when he realised that Shyla had just phoned him. He crawled out of bed and slid his window open. He had come to some form of realisation sometime since he had cooled off from the fight. He was glad to have the chance to speak to Shyla without Henry.


Henry grabbed Shyla’s arm. “Who did you phone?” he demanded, gripping her arm tightly.

Shyla yanked her arm out of Henry’s iron grip. “I phoned Shaun.” She replied, looking him in the eye.

“Why the hell did you just phone Shaun at one in the morning?” Henry fumed.

“Because my day is incredibly busy tomorrow,” explained Shyla, stepping away from him. “And I need to get this out of the way now.”

You’re not going there alone.” Henry scowled.

Shyla walked up to him and yanked his mask off. “I will do what is necessary to protect both me and you, even if it means going to Shaun’s house now.” She growled. “This needs to happen, because otherwise we will never get past this point.”

Henry backed away slowly and gently took his mask. “I’m sorry.” He mumbled. “But please be careful.”

Shyla vanished into the night, leaving Henry standing, bewildered, in the middle of the street.


Shaun stood facing his window. He had pulled on a shirt and was waiting. Shyla appeared on the branch and peered through the window. After a moment, she launched herself into the room and rolled to her feet. Shaun stepped towards her. “Shyla.” He murmured.

“Cut the chatter,” muttered Shyla, pulling the mask from over her head. “You know why I’m here.”

“I do,” replied Shaun. “You want me to keep quiet about who you are.”

“There is a lot more to my visit than just that, although that is a big part of why I’m here.” Shyla leant against the wall next to the window, arms folded.

“I take it Henry told you the whole story then.” Said Shaun, sitting on the edge of the bed with his head in his hands.

“He did.” Shyla said gently. “But you have to know, I’m with him, not just because he and I are in the same field of interest, but because I care a lot about him.”

“I realised that after I calmed down.” Shaun looked up at her. “Shyla, I was an idiot when I said those things.”

Shyla frowned. “I don’t understand? Didn’t you mean them?”

Shaun sat up. “I though I did, until I realised that I was more in love with the idea of you than actually in love with you. You’re great; don’t get me wrong, but…”

Shyla raised an eyebrow. “But you would probably run away screaming if you had to try deal with me for more than a few hours at a time.”

Shaun nodded. “I admire you, and I think you’re brave for being different. And for putting up with my crap for so long. But I don’t love you. Not the way you need to be, and definitely not the way Henry does.”

Shyla smiled at him and pushed away from the wall. “That’s actually the nicest thing you could have said to me. One question though; why were you such an ass to me before?” She asked.


Shaun shrugged. “I was impressing my friends by being as asshole to the one girl I admired. I don’t know. Guys are idiots” Shaun grinned.

Shyla smiled back at him. “I can agree with that. But that isn’t the only reason I’m here. You tried to turn me in to Liborio Fragale for money. I can understand if you didn’t think about the consequences.”

Shaun’s expression turned dark, and he pushed himself to his feet. “I was being stupid. If I had known it was you, trust me, I wouldn’t have even looked twice at a ninja. Shyla, I’m sorry.”

“Liborio Fragale is after us.” Shyla said, pacing. “Those guys are dying to find us, and kill us for doing our job. But nobody can ever know who we are. I’m at risk even telling you now.”

“What did you do?” asked Shaun. ”and why are you at risk?”

“We work as bodyguards for the FBI. We protect a guy wanted by Liborio Fragale. We beat Joe Fragale’s lynch mob up, and now there’s a target on us.” Shaun’s eyes grew wide. “You cannot tell anyone who we are. Please. Henry and I would have to leave Rutherford forever, and we cannot risk that happening.”


Shaun caught her arm again. “Please stop pacing.” He asked. “I’m getting dizzy. If I agree not to tell, will you at least stop hating me?”

Shyla shrugged “I never hated you. I was upset at being singled out for being different, but I never hated you. I’m willing to do pretty much anything to protect Henry, you already know that.”

Shaun grinned. “Can we forget the whole thing, and be friends?” he asked.

Shyla thought for a moment. “What about your other friends? I’m protecting Henry just by being here. I don’t want you to give up on your friends because of me.”

“They don’t like you. Not because of me, but you’re just too wild for them.” Shaun looked through the window. “Honestly, they would prefer to not associate with you at all.”

Shyla stood in thought for a moment. “Let’s just see where things go from here. Just please tell nobody.”

Shyla turned to go, when a surprisingly strong hand wrapped around her upper arm. She turned to look up into a pair of dark eyes, and raised an eyebrow. Shyla turned to face him fully, and Shaun unexpectedly wrapped his arms around her and squeezed her tightly.

When he let go, she turned and vanished out his window, gone like a shadow into the night. Shaun bent down and picked up her discarded mask. Moments later, she appeared at his window again. He grinned and handed her the mask. She ran off, red-faced.

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