Loyalty

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Chapter 45

The first thing Essie realised when she surfaced was that she wasn’t alone. The room was dark, and she groaned as she tried to sit up. A hand on her elbow had her turning her head to face the figure to her left. “How did I get here?”

Shaun held out a glass of water. She took it and took a small sip. “You collapsed on the bathroom floor while brushing your hair.”

Essie nodded. “I remember the bath. How long has it been?”

Shaun glanced at his watch. “You’ve been asleep about eight hours.”

Essie handed the glass back to Shaun, and noticed the drip in her arm. “I hate needles.”

Shaun rested his hand on her forehead. “It’s only until the end of the day. Maria says you need small meals to get your weight back up to where it belongs.”

Essie took a deep breath and shut her eyes. “Is my mother okay?”

Shaun nodded. “There’s a ninja with her now.”

Essie swung her legs over the edge of the bed. Shaun helped her to her feet, and grabbed the drip. Supporting Essie with an arm around her waist, he helped her to the door and down the stairs. Essie felt her legs give out near the bottom of the stairs.

Shaun swung her up into his arms and handed the drip to her. Essie blushed as Shaun set her down on the sofa in the living room, and pulled a throw blanket over her shaking frame. “You okay?” his hands touched her face again.

She nodded. “Just embarrassed. I can’t believe how weak I am now. I don’t know why.”

Shaun removed a picture off the wall behind her, and replaced it with the saline drip bag. “We were speculating that sometime last night. We figured as soon as you relaxed because you were safe, the experience of the last four weeks just took over. Maria said you will be okay with a bit of food.”

Essie rested her head back on the sofa and shut her eyes. “I wish this was all over.”

Shaun looked up as Henry entered the living room. “We have contact from Justin. And a big problem.”


Justin sat opposite Master Wong. “We are certain that they took the file.”

Master Wong shut his eyes. “How could they even know the Black File Archives exist?”

Justin scowled past the master’s face. “It’s a prevalent rumour within the agency. But one of Liborio Fragale’s contacts decided to follow the rumour. Turns out he managed to access and copy the information.”

Master Wong stood up and paced the room. “Justin, this is a problem. The location of this school, as well as my ninjas. They’re both in there.”

Justin nodded. “Master Wong, the file was heavily encrypted. But we know Joe is working to break it.”

The master looked over at him. “Timeline?”

“Undetermined.” Justin took a swig of his coffee. “But I say we have less than a week before all hell breaks loose.”

Master Wong sat back down in his chair. “Alert the ninjas. Prepare for war.”

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