This is the story of how a young boy,
living in an orphanage,
ends up being a ninja girl.
Ninja Girl - Part 4
Dinner was nice. Falcon and Riley had been working on it in the kitchen; while Cassie was going through the documents they acquired on their recent sortie. Falcon took the opportunity to teach him some basic stuff about cooking. She was initially surprised that he knew absolutely nothing about it, but considering what he had already told her about his previous life, it made complete sense.
They didn’t say anything about what had happened out there, or in the military hospital, or in Redwood Manor. Riley was just happy to be there, and whatever was happening between Falcon and himself, was far more important to him than any of that stuff.
“You know, honey”, started Falcon, “I was wondering why you didn’t get along with anyone at the orphanage, when you were living there. You are a lovely girl, well behaved, friendly, and you don’t seem to have problems being with people, at least, not with us”, she wondered.
“Well, I didn’t like them. They didn’t like me either, they were not family, they were not friends, it was just their job”, replied Riley.
“Oh, yes, it probably was, but that doesn’t mean that they didn’t care for you and that they couldn't be friends, does it? And what about the other kids there?”, asked Falcon.
“Once, one of the carers told me, when I was very little - dunno, about 4 maybe? That it did not matter to him whatever happened to me, that I was just a job to him”, he answered.
“How could he say something like that?”, replied Falcon, outraged.
“Well, I had done some bad things and he was very angry with me”, said Riley, a bit ashamed, “I thought about what he said for a long time, and, well, I guess he was right”.
“Is that why you didn’t want anything to do with any of them? Because of what he said to you?”, she asked again, still a bit upset with that carer.
“Uh huh”, nodded Riley. “I just needed to get away from them, I couldn’t stand them at all. I hated them. I kinda made friends with some kids in the town."
“At first the carers tried to force me to obey their rules and be one of their kids”, he continued, “but I forced them to leave me alone.”
Falcon simply nodded, and hugged him.
The three of them had dinner together: Falcon, Cassie and Riley. Cassie wasn’t a big talker, but you could tell that she was a great listener, and that she cared about things. Falcon and Riley, on the other hand, seemed to like chatting. In any case, they had a nice conversation about all and nothing, and about those very important things in life that you usually talk about when having dinner.
After dinner, Falcon had a very important conversation with Riley; it would have far reaching consequences for his future.
“Listen, honey, and listen carefully, because this is important”, started Falcon. “I like you, and after all we’ve discussed, I don’t think that you’d like to go back to the orphanage, am I right?”, she asked very seriously, looking him in the eyes. Riley just nodded, acknowledging the importance of the conversation.
“I’ve been thinking about it”, she continued, “and I thought that you might want to stay with me. It’s not gonna be easy for any of us. As you’ve seen, I’m involved in quite delicate matters, and it’s quite likely that sometime you will be too. You’ll have to be very obedient with whatever I ask of you, and at some point you’ll just have to trust me”. Riley’s face lit up when he heard that he could stay with her, and he started to smile happily.
“I need you to think about it”, she finished, signaling with her hand for him not to say a word. “I really mean it. Think about it tonight, and we’ll talk about it tomorrow, all right, baby?”
He just nodded again, then hugged her very tightly and let a couple of happy tears flow from his eyes. She kissed him on the forehead and finally sent him to bed.
When Riley woke the next morning, he washed, dressed and went down to the kitchen. Falcon was there, making breakfast, she smiled at him as soon as he entered.
“Good morning, sweetie”, she greeted him.
There was a small TV in a corner of the kitchen. The news was showing an accident that happened the previous evening, involving a train, which ended up in flames. Apparently, the police suspected it was not an accident. Falcon turned it off, and served some breakfast for Riley and herself, and sat with him at the table.
“I want to stay with you”, said Riley, not even waiting for her to raise the issue.
“I thought you would”, she replied. “You’re my baby now, then?”, she asked, with a smile on her face. He just nodded.
After lunch, Falcon told Riley to go with Cassie and her to the woods. Falcon produced a gun, took all the bullets out of it, and gave it to Riley.
“This is a nine millimetre gun, honey. Play a bit with it to get familiar with its weight and shape”, explained Falcon. “Now, we’re going to teach you how to use it. We want you to learn, in case you eventually need it, but listen to me carefully, baby”, Falcon looked Riley directly in the eye when she said this, “you’ll never ever take any gun unless I tell you to. Never. I’m very serious about it”. She continued, “Remember what I told you about a condition to stay with me, it is to behave?”, he nodded. “Well, I trust you to behave, so don’t disappoint me. Okay, love?””
“Yes”, answered Riley seriously. “I’ll never ever touch it unless you tell me to. “I promise”.
“Good girl!”, Falcon praised Riley. “Now, listen carefully to what Lisa says”, she continued, pointing at Cassie. “She’s Lisa and I’m Ally”, added Falcon, clarifying the names, “but whenever we’re talking through the intercoms you have to remember to use our bird names. You can do that, can't you, honey?” Riley replied with a nod.
“Lisa is the best with firearms”, continued Ally, alias Falcon, pointing to the gun. “She’s all yours, Lisa”, she added.
Lisa briefly explained how the gun worked, then had Riley handle it without bullets, to get used to it. She showed him how to shoot, aiming at different things in the woods, finally giving it to him so he could try it himself.
His first shot was awful, due to the gun's huge recoil, even though Lisa had alerted him to it, but he didn't lose his balance. He got better at it, even though he never came even close to any of the selected targets, after a while, he was able to fire it almost properly. Lisa and Ally seemed happy with his progress.
“Go up to your room and pretty yourself up, will you, honey?”, said Ally, after getting back to the house. “We’re having visitors for dinner”, she added. “Your room”, thought Riley. It sounded so nice. He smiled happily.
“Yes, mummy!”, he replied. Falcon looked with tender eyes at her new baby, as he was scooting up to his room. They seemed to be bonding faster than she had expected. It felt nice.
There weren’t many clothes from which to choose, but some were really cute, so he went through them, trying to decide what he fancied most. He initially went for a dress, but finally decided on a pleated skirt and a lovely printed top.
“Can you help me with my hair, please?”, he begged Ally, after coming back down.
“Of course, cutie. Let me brush it a bit. What about braids?”, she asked him.
“Yes! That would be great!”. She sat him down and started brushing his hair until it was fully untangled, then proceeded to make two braids and finally brushed his bangs.
“There you are! The cutest girl I’ve ever seen”, proclaimed Ally.
Riley just went to her and hugged her. “Thank you, mummy, for everything”.
“You’re so welcome, baby. Come on, we have a lot of things to do in the kitchen before our guests come!”, said Ally, taking Riley by the hand and bringing him along.
The dinner was almost ready when their guests arrived. Riley was getting more comfortable in the kitchen, and Ally had started to teach him some essentials of cooking. Lisa opened the door and let in a woman and a girl.
The woman was very athletic, with middle length blond hair. It was quite obvious that she was related to Lisa, maybe her sister or something. The girl, probably her daughter, was maybe about thirteen or fourteen years old and had her long blond hair in a high ponytail. She had a lovely smile.
“So this is the famous Robin”, said the woman when she first saw Riley. “She’s as lovely as you said, Ally”, complimenting him. Riley blushed with embarrassment.
“Honey”, said Ally, making the introductions. “This is Melanie, and her daughter Ariana. Mel, Ari, this is Riley. Just so you know, Mel is Piper on the intercom, and Ari is Hawk. They’re staying with us tonight; Ariana will sleep with you in your room, in the other bed. Will that be okay, baby?”
Riley just nodded, and greeted the guests with a “Hi!”
“Hi, Rye”, said Ariana, with a friendly smile and shortening his name.
End of Part 4
Lots of thanks to Amrad for helping me fix most of the mistakes in the text! Also thanks to and Cat Lochley. The remaining mistakes are still my fault, and I apologize for them.
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