My pulse spiked as I stared at the card in my hand. I had lost D.K.'s money. I'd actually managed to get it, and then I just let some punk dressed as a neon sign take it from me. D.K. was going to kill me for this! No, I told myself. I could still make this right. I just had to find Roy and take the money back. After a few seconds of looking, I saw him further down the street, standing in line for a snow cone.
"All right," I growled as I took off after him, "you wanna mess with the wolf? Here come the teeth!"
I ran down the sidewalk and then across the street, narrowly avoiding being hit by a car, and then put on an extra burst of speed. If he knew I was coming, he didn't show it. He thanked the man at the snow cone stand, handing him a couple of bills from my stash, and then turned around. He wasn't even running. I'd be there in less than three seconds. I'd punch him, take back my money, and then dump that blue snow cone on his face. He wouldn't even see it coming.
At the last moment, though, something occurred to me: we weren't alone out here. The nice weather had drawn lots of other people out of their houses, and the sidewalk was crowded with them. Roy had gotten away with stealing because I hadn't realized he'd done it until he was already gone. If I ran up, slugged him, and then took money off him, I would look like the world's boldest mugger. People would see my face, someone would call the police, and I'd be in jail within the hour. Somehow, I didn't think D.K.'s ill gained wealth would stretch far enough to bail me out.
So I skidded to a stop right in front of me. He looked expectantly at me for a few seconds, and then licked his snow cone.
"Hey, toots," he said. "Miss me already?"
"Call me toots again," I said, pointing at his face, "and I'll have to reconsider not hitting you in public. Now give me back my money!"
Roy gave me his most innocent look. "What money?"
"I am not in the mood right now," I said. "I don't know how you got the money out of my hand, but I want it back right now!"
Roy got a thoughtful look on his face, and then he grinned and nodded.
"Okay, fine, I'll give your money back. But don't you want to know how I took it in the first place?"
I shook my head. "Not really. Just give it back."
"At least hear me out, okay? I've wanted to tell someone about this for a long time. Just listen, and then I'll give your money back. Promise."
My anger spiked, and I could tell my face was turning red, but I held it in. After a few seconds of thinking, I finally nodded. What other choice did I have? Beating him up was still out of the question, at least until he took me somewhere people couldn't see us.
"Great!" he said, and immediately turned and headed for a nearby alley. I followed, but kept my eyes and ears open. I may have been a werewolf, but I wasn't in a hurry to get jumped or anything.
"Okay, check it out," Roy said, turning back to face me. He held up his snow cone.
"Yeah, I'm sure it tastes great when someone else pays for it," I said.
"Delicious," he agreed, and then pointed an empty soda can sitting on the ground a few feet away. "See that too?"
"Yeah," I looked at him. "What about it?"
"Well, wasn't it just over there?" he asked, and held it up for me to see.
I'll admit, it took me a couple seconds to realize what he meant. The soda can that had just been sitting on the ground was now in the hand he'd been holding the snow cone with. When I looked again, I saw the snow cone on the ground, where the can had been, turning the pavement blue as it melted.
"How did you do that?" I demanded.
"That's the awesome part!" he exclaimed, laughing at my reaction. "I don't know! I just found out I could do this a few months ago."
"So, wait," I held my hand up, "what exactly is it you do?"
"I switch things," he explained. "If I can see it, I can switch it."
"So that's what you did with my money?" I asked as he idly turned and tossed the can out of the alley. "You switched it for the card you were holding?"
"Bingo! Pretty cool, huh? Pretty much, if I can see two things at the same time, I can make them change places."
Okay, so that was pretty cool, but… yeah, I wasn't going to tell him that.
"I'd be a lot more impressed if you'd make my money appear back in my hand."
"I can even do it to myself!" he went on, ignoring me. "I just have to hold my hand up in front of my face so that I can see it, and I can switch myself with anything else I can see."
"My money, Roy!"
He gave me a crazy smile. "I can get anywhere like that, and I can take anything I want. I'm like a freaking ninja!"
I snorted. "In those clothes? Anyone could see you a mile away. If you're a ninja, then you're the most amateurish ninja I've ever met."
Not that I've met many ninjas… but still.
He turned back and raised his finger. "If I were an amateur, you would have noticed me stealing your pants five minutes ago."
"What?" I screamed, and looked down. To my relief, my pants were still firmly where they belonged. "What the heck are you—"
Roy was gone. Where he had just been standing was an empty soda can.
Oh… he was good.
NEXT TIME: Amateur ninja or not, Roy's managed to get away AGAIN! Amber had better get after him, or she may still end up getting the worst of D.K. again.