Esther, Kelly and Dan:
"I'm Esther. My daddy told me I have to listen to you when he's not here, and he's the boss."
Esther looked at the two strangers with eyes full of faith, as if daring them to challenge her father's ultimate authority.
"Your daddy helps teach us, so he's the boss to us, too." the boy replied. "My name is Dan, and she's Kelly. Do you want to learn with us?"
"Not really." Esther replied. "But I don't care. Daddy said as long as I study with someone I can stay here. So if I have to, I'll study with you."
The two teenagers stood up to face Shane again. Dan was laughing, and Kelly was glaring at him indignantly.
"She's straightforward enough to be on a team." Dan remarked. "But it's not entirely my acception that'll do." he glanced at Kelly. "What do you say?"
Kelly glanced at the little girl for a moment, lost in her thoughts. She might not be able to study with Dan like before if Esther stayed, but there was something powerful inside this cute little blond girl. Yes, Iejovah was definitely with Esther. But could she handle being with kids so much older then her?
"Kelly?" Dan gently touched her arm.
Kelly nodded, in assent,giving Shane the most rebellious glare she could muster. "We'll find out if she can last."
It wasn't easy after that, either. Kelly and Esther had plenty of little disputes, which Shane solved with much-worn patience. It was six months later that Esther and Kelly both accepted that fact that they would eventually form a team:
Kelly, who was on her way to meet Dan for lunch, heard a commotion at the top of the stairs.
A few interns Ayira Agency had heard of Shane bringing in his own students, and were not happy with it. Shane was a member of the agency as well as a Teacher, and they did not find it very thrilling that a few kids were studying to be members.
Some people took years to discover their gifts, they said, and a few kids honing a shred of talent did not belong at Ayira Agency.
They decided that the best way to show this was by pushing seven-year-old Esther around near some stairs.
"Look at her!" one intern exclaimed. "She's so tiny and. . . .scared."
"Come on, little one, we don't bite." another added as they pushed little Esther back and forth around the group.
A third intern grabbed her just as she fell down some stairs, pulling her back with a laugh. "We may not bite, but we do pull a little." she grinned as Ester glared rebelliously at her from the floor.
"I bite!" Kelly zoomed up the stairs towards Esther. "I bite and so does she." She stepped between the three interns and Esther, who stood and and clung to Kelly.
"What are you going to do about it?" the female intern demanded. "Tell your precious teacher?"
"No!" Kelly and Esther exclaimed.
"You can't maul Shane's daughter." Kelly said. "Not if the girl rescued outsides Eyphah's Gates is protecting her."
The interns all took a step back.
"You?" one of them exclaimed.
"You're the kid Shane salvaged from outside Eyphah's Gates." another repeated increduously.
"Don't touch Shane's daughter." was all Kelly said before she whisked Esther away.