"Hi," a face hovered inches away from his. "What's your name?"
This face was somewhat plain in appearance with chapped lips and freckled skin. The jaw was bit too strong, and thick brows topped a pair of striking brown eyes. It wasn't a pretty face by any means, yet Jett couldn't help but stare. Part of him was stunned by the close proximity of it, but the other part was nearly blinded by the brilliant grin that threatened to leap off that face and spread across the world.
"Uhhh," he managed to make a sound after a while. "What?"
That face finally backed off as the person straightened, the frightening grin shrinking to a more normal size. "Your name," she said. "Don't you have one?"
Jett felt a little dizzy. "It's Jett."
"Jett, huh?" She observed him for a moment, then nodded once, like she approved of it. "It suits you. I'm Callie."
She stuck out a hand. Jett blinked. He looked at the hand, wondering what he was supposed to do with it. Did she want him to shake it? She was holding it flat, with the palm facing the sky. That wasn't how people normally shook hands, was it?
While he was trying to figure out what she expected of him, two men hurriedly pushed through the crowd of Crossfires. They were Jerrick and Callie's father, Darren.
"Callie," Darren called out, a hint of warning in his voice. He reached out for her, but she lightly stepped away. His thick brows knit together, clearly unhappy.
She went to Jett's side, smiling. "Da, this is Jett. Jett, this is my Da."
"Callie, please." Darren said again. This time, he spoke with an interesting mix of exasperation and dismay. He lightly tugged on his beard, as if not quite sure what else to do.
Abruptly, the girl squatted so that she was on the same level as Jett. Her eyes openly roved across his body, an act that made his face grow warm. She didn't seem to notice that she made him uncomfortable.
"Why is your suit white?" she asked. "Are you some kind of new flyer? I've never heard of a white flyer before."
Her questions took Jett by surprise. Rather than the expected distrust and wariness, she showed genuine curiosity. Her gaze held no hatred, only friendliness. The last people who had looked at him that way had been Suil and Iern. And those two would probably never look at him like that again.
They're the enemy now. Because of what I did.
He couldn't meet her eyes. That expression felt wrong. Undeserved. So he turned his head to the side, choosing to stare at the group of vehicles that clustered near the farmhouse.
"I'm a Talon," he said softly. "And I chose this color for my suit."
"But why? Black is so much better. The other flyer was all black and he looked really cool."
Jett's head snapped around so fast he nearly gave himself whiplash. "What?"
Before Callie could respond, she was pulled away by Darren. She started to protest, but her father did not let go. Jett stared at her, eyes wide.
There was only one flyer on the planet that wore a black suit.
"All of you, get back to work!" Jerrick's shout broke the silence. The watching Crossfires obeyed, shuffling off to the campfire. About half a dozen wandered off into the darkness, carrying guns. They would be the first watch of the night.
"Take Robbie and get something to eat," Darren told his daughter. She glanced at Jett, before stubbornly sticking out her chin. It was clear she wasn't willing to go. Jett didn't want her to go either, because he wanted to ask her about the black flyer.
YOU ARE READING
Sequel to I AM A FLYER The common people fear and loathe him, yet he's determined to protect them. The military organization that he betrayed calls for his death. And the madman who has begun sending out armies of mechanical warriors to burn the w...