The Perils of Paul

“God dammit,” growled Mary Ellen when the monks burst into the coffee shop where she and Paul were having coffee. Coffee, for crissakes. “Get down!”

Paul threw himself down like a good sport and she braced herself over him, fists raised defiantly, hopelessly, glaring at the monks as hard as she could, knowing it was hopeless. Knowing. And sure enough, while a circle of still-faced bald men danced around her, the barista with the cute shoes and the hoop earrings flung a scone tray straight into the back of her head. Stars and stripes, bells and whistles…

She wasn’t out for very long — lots of practice! — but it was long enough for the monks to scoop Paul up and make it out to the waiting helicopter. By the time she burst through the plate glass window onto the street, the end of the rope ladder was far out of reach. The head monk had Paul thrown over his shoulder. “At last,” he hollered, “the Last Scion is ours!”

“Son of a bitch,” spat Mary Ellen. “Paul! I’ll get you back, don’t worry!”

“Yeah, yeah,” said Paul. “No rush. Same time next week?”

Mary Ellen blushed and grinned widely. “Sure thing!”

And then the helicopter was too far away to hear anything.