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Chapter 63

Shyla had her back to the wall of Joe’s office, her hands up beside her head. The bay window overlooking the grassy compound lawn had been shattered by a stray bullet, and a cool summer breeze wafted in past her. She felt the promise of rain in the breeze, and fought a responding shiver. Her mask had been ripped out of her hand by Vinnie, and he was turning it over in his hands, examining the cotton fibres. Joe sat behind his desk, a grin on his face that made Shyla think of cats and cream. A single candle sat in front of him, casting eerie shadows onto his face.

Joe rested his hands on his desk. “Why shouldn’t I kill you?”

Shyla shrugged, glancing towards the window. “There isn’t any reason I could give you that would convince you I’m no threat to your crime ring.”

Joe sat back in his chair and nodded. “That is true, Miss Evans. However, I’m sure we can make some sort of trade. Your life, for some information.”

Shyla almost rolled her eyes. Almost, since the act would more than likely result in her being shot. Clearly Joe had no idea how loyal these ninjas were, and that she refused to sell out her family. Not even her own life was worth it. “There is no price you could offer that would make me betray my family.” Joe raised an eyebrow. Shyla smiled. “I’m just saving you the time it would take to torture that exact sentence out of me.”

Joe glanced at Vinnie. “I’m sure we can arrange that torture, Miss Evans.”

Shyla opened her mouth to reply, but was stopped when the door next to her opened. A tall blonde man came in, and glanced once around the room, and looked directly at his boss. “We’re losing ground, Boss. Their team, they’ve taken down almost the entire security team. We have ten minutes at most before they get in. We need to get out to the chopper, now.”

A tiny noise drew Shyla’s attention, and she listened closely. She was certain the men hadn’t heard what she had. In amongst all of the gunfire, she could make out the distinct sound of two people climbing up the wooden cladding on the exterior of the house. Shyla knew one of those people would be Henry. Her boyfriend was always going to be the one to come to her rescue.

However, Shyla needed to distract the three men long enough for the ninjas to enter the room unnoticed. She shifted her hand down towards her pocket, and Vinnie turned to face her. There was a gun pointed at her - Shyla knew they wouldn’t chance her going for a weapon – but she couldn’t focus on the gun now. This was all about timing. “Aren’t you concerned that my friends will overpower your security before you can lift off?”

Joe laughed and shook his head. “Shyla, your friends may be good, but we are better. The security team will win. We are certain of it.”

Shyla nodded, pretending to agree with the man, and moved her right hand lower. Vinnie shifted his gun, and Shyla paused, looking directly at the blonde who had entered the room. “I know you; you interrogated me when I was here last time.”

The men ignored her statement. “Don’t move that hand any further.”

Shyla giggled, and knew Henry would have cringed had he heard the sound. “I’m not trying to get to a weapon, Vinnie. My earpiece is in that pocket. I need to check in, or they have orders to blow the whole building up, because I’m dead.”

Vinnie glanced at his boss, who waved his hand at Shyla. “Go ahead, but keep it short.”

Shyla pulled out the earpiece and slotted it in. “this is Number Four.”

Henry heard Shyla’s words as he hung below the window, and scowled. Her voice came into his ear a moment later, but he had no way of replying without giving away his and Steven’s positions. The master replied instead. “Ginger, we have a lock on your position. Dark and Polka are close. Home is out of range. Let’s take these bastards down.”

Shyla replied. “Affirmative. All stats are good. We are go on Delta three.”

Henry understood what Shyla couldn’t say, and so did Master Wong. “Ginger, if you can make it out, do it. Henry, Steven, don’t get my ninja killed.”

Steven glanced at Henry, and Henry could see the other ninja was smiling. Delta three was their cue to enter. Henry went first, and gently pulled himself over the edge of the window sill. Joe’s desk was between him and Shyla, and Henry moved down the wall to clear the way for Steven.

As Steven entered, a walkie talkie on the desk buzzed. “Boss, this is Jordan. You need to get out, now. We have one operative out on the lawn, using some sort of melee weapon to take down our security.”

Joe stood up, and Shyla straightened her back. Henry knew she had seen them enter. “Miss Evans, we need to go.”

Shyla didn’t move. Vinnie stepped forward to grab her arm, but Shyla backed out of the way. “Base, this is Number Four. Are we go?”

Henry glanced at Steven, who nodded once. Both ninjas stood up and stepped out of the inky shadows. The power was still off, and since security was obviously being tied up trying to track Anna, the power wasn’t a priority. Shyla dropped onto the ground and tumbled into the shadows as Henry lunged for Vinnie.

Shyla rolled to her feet and ran for Joe. She and Steven reached him at the same time, and both swung their fists. Joe tried to jump back, but his chair toppled over. He went sprawling onto his stomach, and tried to crawl away.

Vinnie and Henry were locked together, and Emmett was attempting to pull the ninja off. Henry felt the barrel of the gun hit his back, and froze. Vinnie didn’t. He managed to wrench himself out of Henry’s grip, and nodded once at Emmett.

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