I just stared. His blind eye felt like it was glued to me, stopping me from looking anywhere else.
“The captain asked you a question Scav.” Riley cut in and I switched my eyes to her.
“No, I didn’t see anyone,” the shard felt heavy in my pocket, “or anything.”
Conner looked as though he believed me, but Riley kept her eyes on me. I had an extended moment to get a good look at her, to see the small scars on her neck and hands from battle. The marks of someone who never gave up, which made her sudden interest in whether or not I was lying even more unsettling.
Riley’s eyes never left me. A glare that could melt ice, she was like a walking inferno. Ready and more than willing to burn everything in her path. Which at that moment was me, and I couldn’t move away. I froze up and waited for her to thaw me. Maybe she was just having a bad day or lost somebody recently, which was likely for a soldier of the Militia. Maybe she wasn’t always like this, but I’d have no way to know. Once she left here it would be very unlikely we would see each other again.
“Are we done here?” Brooke asked.
“Yes.” Conner looked at the pool and then to us. “If we have any other questions we will follow up.”
My body relaxed with relief. I’m glad they didn’t decide to search us or anything, I don’t know what this thing in my pocket is but I know the Militia shouldn’t have it.
“Don’t even think about using this as an excuse for missing morning drills.” Luke scolded all of us. “I’ll see you both in the morning,” he said to Simon and Brooke. “And I’ll see you at home.” To me.
We didn’t hesitate to leave. I looked back, but Riley was already turned around and talking with Conner. Why did I want to talk to her again? There was something familiar about her, but I know we’ve never met before. I’d definitely remember a feeling like this.
The door closed tightly behind us and we walked side by side down the main hallway. It’s strange seeing it empty, most of the city is employed by the Carrion or the Militia. There’s almost always a few people in the halls chatting outside of training rooms or trying to avoid training all together. I know we’ve been caught a few times doing that.
“Rude much? I hate the Militia.” Brooke tightened her braid. Her black hair faded to blonde at the bottom.
“Well, it wasn’t a bad experience for all of us.” Simon nudged me.
I didn’t want to talk about it, but the downside of having two close friends meant a lot of peer pressure. It was either talk about it now or get more questions about it later.
“Yeah, what was that all about?” Brooke grinned.
“I don’t really know. I felt…no it’s stupid, forget it.” I shoved my hands in my pocket, forgetting the shard was there but thankfully not cutting my hand.
“Oh, you like her.” Brooke pulled out her sing-song teasing voice just for me.
“No, yes? Maybe, I don’t know.” I massaged my temples. “I don’t know what that feels like, besides she’s Militia and I’m a Scavenger. It won’t work anyway, even if she wasn’t so rude and controlling.” I pushed open the doors that led to the city and the sun was still high in the sky. Well, an artificial sunlight. Regardless, it was early afternoon.
We walked down the front staircase of around fifty steps. I made it to the middle and leaned against the railing. Simon and Brooke sat down on the stairs. From here there was a beautiful view of the city below, and even with the unexpected interviews and everything of the morning we still found time for our daily routine. Watching the city move below us, it made our place in it feel important.