The Shadow

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The Shadow was how she was known to all but her closest allies or, to be more exact, ally. To that one person, Vincent Sinclair, she was Caeli Porter, a teenage girl rather than an internationally known assassin. They lived a life filled with danger and treasure, and it had just been the two of them until Vincent met a kid in Australia who changed their lives. Nylah Dawson. It was Nylah's older brother that created problems for Caeli. Syrus Dawson was a talented pickpocket who had a habit of landing himself in jail, the two would never have met if not for Vincent setting them up to go after the same treasure and cross paths without knowing. With their lives now intertwined, and a lack of choice for Caeli about whether the Dawsons stick around, Caeli and Syrus have to learn to work together. Especially when Caeli discovers a clue that could lead them to Paititi, the Lost City of Gold. The two teens are as strong-willed as each other and are equally as protective over their pride. It seems near impossible for them to cooperate... until an organisation of assassins from Caeli's past do all they can to stop her and her newfound allies from reaching the City of Gold. To her, the past is more important than anything else, the past can hold us back, and she has to learn how to let it go in order to get to Paititi first. And it seems Syrus is the only one who can teach her how.

Thriller / Adventure
R. A. Mayes
Age Rating:

The Music Box

(Author Note; this book will be rewritten late 2022/early 2023)



The guards, although well trained, weren’t fast enough to stand their ground against me. I kept quiet to use my stealth against their numbers. If even one guard got away, they would alert the others, and it would ruin my whole heist.

As per usual, I needed the money too much to let that happen.

I had a rough idea of what I was looking for, my primary focus was on where. In my eyes, if worst came to worst, I could take whatever was close to the description that Sinclair had given me and we could sell all of it. It seemed to be a win-win situation.

Eventually, I made it to the right room and began looking in the glass cabinets, searching for the golden music box. There was one thing that felt odd about the whole situation to me, that Sinclair had trusted me to do this by myself...

I found it.

After a few seconds of looking at the item, just to make sure it was the right piece, I began picking the lock to the cabinet. I almost had it open when a voice cut through the echo of rain on the roof of the museum.

“Step away from the artefact.” Female. British?

“I can’t do that, sorry,” I said as I turned around to face her. She had piercing grey eyes, bleached blonde hair with black regrowth tied into a ponytail, small tendrils of hair falling to frame her face. Piercings covered her ears… she was attractive if I was honest.

“Is that so?” She asked. It was only then that I noticed the handgun being pointed at his skull. Probably should have seen that first…

“I need to make some money here-”

“By God…” The girl cut me off, obviously not keen on listening to my story. Rude. “What’s your name?” she asked me next. The fact she was even asking that question shocked me.

“Syrus?” I stated, although the tone was more aligned to a question, I was far too confused about the situation to answer with more clarity than that.

“Who sent you?” she asked as she took a few more steps towards me. Her eyes darted to the music box before looking back to me. We were both here for the same object. It made the situation even stranger.

“That’s not important...” I responded, not feeling too alarmed by the weapon she had aimed between my eyes. She didn’t seem interested enough to push me for a genuine answer.

“Move.” She told me instead, but I shook my head. “Move, or I’ll make you.” I had to stop myself from laughing. She was small... there was no way she could take me down. Instead of doing what she wanted, I stood still, my hands reaching behind my back before I pulled my gun out and aimed at her, ready to shoot.

But she moved too fast for me to get an aim, she ducked underneath my arm, disarmed me and knocked me to the ground in a matter of seconds. I didn’t even have time to pull the trigger on her. Instead, she had me pinned to the ground, a knee on my chest, the other on my right arm while she held my left. Her forearm was weighing down on my throat... but her face was hovering just slightly above mine.

Was I turned on?

“Why couldn’t you just move out of my way?” she asked with a bored tone, I smirked.

“If I had, we wouldn’t be like this now, would we?” I questioned. She rolled her eyes. But I felt I had a valid point.

“You’re lucky I didn’t kill you.” She whispered as she stared into my eyes. It gave me a moment to appreciate the colour of her irises and how much I felt her staring into my soul.

“Give it time...” as I spoke, I realised the colour of her eyes was more silver than grey. Even the pure metal couldn’t do the colour justice.

“A bit confident there Casanova, I’m not sticking around you at all to be blessed with another opportunity to kill you.” She stated with a fake smile before she took her forearm away from my throat, put the safety back on the handgun and holstered it. “One wrong move and I’ll kill you with my bare hands.” She warned me, and funnily enough, I believed her.

“Fair enough,” I replied as she stood up and took another look at the music box I should be stealing. I kept still, not moving from where I lay on the floor as I watched her pick the lock to the cabinet. She looked down at me for a second before she sighed and looked back to the lock.

“And what do you think you’re doing?” she asked to which I shrugged my shoulders, although she didn’t seem to notice the movement

“You said no wrong moves,” I answered as I sat up, humour clear in my tone.

“I didn’t mean for you to not move at all.” She said as she shook her head. She finally picked the lock and grabbed the music box before using the sleeve of her denim jacket to clear her fingerprints from the glass of the cabinet, closing it quickly before she moved towards the exit.

“Where are you going?” I asked the British girl as I rushed to stand up. She turned to look back at me with an almost dumbfounded expression on her face.

“Well, I don’t know what you plan to do with the rest of your night, but I’m not staying here for a guard to find me. So, I’m going to leave, it’s in your best interests that you do so as well.” She told me, tucking the artefact into her jacket pocket. I was about to say something but stopped myself when I saw a guard in the doorway who the girl turned and walked right into.

“Hi,” she said sweetly before punching the guard in the throat. I watched as she twisted around the guard and somehow took the adult man down in a handful of seconds. I was in awe.

The girl didn’t take the time to move the guard, she instead took off down the hallway at full sprint. I figured that the best chance I had of getting out without getting caught was to follow her... so I did. She could take down people efficiently and quietly, which I found very useful. She led both of us out with no trouble. The handful of guards we did meet weren’t able to stop her. She was about to run away into the night when I grabbed onto her wrist, although she deserved it more than I did... I couldn’t let her go with the trinket.

“Don’t you dare touch me,” she turned to look at me, a killer look in her pale grey eyes and her voice far too dark for a teenage girl.

“I need that music box,” I told her. She ignored the conveyed sense of urgency I felt. Maybe the icy rain, which soaked our clothes, distracted her too much from my tone.

“I’ve already taken you down tonight, and if you need me to do it again to prove a point, I would be more than glad to. This time I won’t take it easy.” She hissed through her teeth, and with that blatant threat on my life, I dropped her wrist and held my hands in the air.

“Fine, fine. Just, I need that music box. My sister and I-”

“Who sent you after this?” She asked as she pulled the music box from her pocket and held it in the air. I may hate Sinclair, but there was no way that I would snitch to someone as dangerous as this girl. “This music box belonged to the Romanoffs and it will go for thousands if not more at auction. It’s also something a conventional thief would look over, so I will ask you one last time before I resort to violence. Who sent you after this?” There was a moment of silence before I groaned in response.

“Vincent Sinclair, I hate the bastard.”

“You’re that kid’s brother, aren’t you?” she asked next. It led me to another state of confusion. Did she know Sinclair?

“Are you talking about Ny?”

“If that’s the Dawson kid that Vince met almost six months ago, then yes. I’ve met the girl once.” She ran a hand through her hair, seeming to realise something that I didn’t. “That asshole set this up, set us up to meet.” She whispered just loud enough that I could hear. Although what she said made little sense to me.

“What are you talking about?”

“Vincent Sinclair set us up to meet, and I am going to kill him.” She stated, throwing the artefact at me, which I luckily caught. There was a moment of silence as she observed me more carefully than before. And I would kill to know what she was thinking about when she did so.

“If that’s the case, can I know what your name is?” I asked, I didn’t know what else to say and wanted to hear the answer.

“And why should I tell you that?” She questioned with one eyebrow raised.

“You know mine, only seems fair,” I replied. I looked to the sky before I looked back into her eyes, I felt my reason was stable enough. “Plus, I think you’re kind of cute,” I added; as I spoke, she tucked a few of her loose hairs behind her ears. Judging from her eye roll, she didn’t seem to like that further comment. Why couldn’t I keep my bloody mouth shut?

“Caeli Porter, it’s not necessarily nice to meet you.” She said, which made me grimace only slightly.

“Worked with worse...” I trailed off, even though I hadn’t. Pretty much everyone I met liked me straight away... unless they didn’t, which happened a little more often than I would ever admit. Okay, maybe I lied.

“Don’t get any ideas because you aren’t working with anything.” She stated as she walked the same direction, I had to go to get back to the motel I was staying at. If Caeli knew Sinclair, we were probably staying at the same place.

“Too late, dear Caels,” I said as I followed her, nicknames usually helped people warm up to me.

“Call me ‘Caels’ again, and I will shoot you where the sun doesn’t shine.” Well, I was wrong. I caught up to her just as she finished her sentence, and we looked into each other’s eyes for a moment. She had a reasonably intense glare on her face, and it brought a smirk to mine as I knew exactly how to get on her nerves.

“A feisty one, then.”

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