Hours later, they arrived at the seaside village of Mare, which was a pleasant break from the decimated town they had come from. The air tasted of salt, and the sound of the waves crashing as the wind pelted them against the edge of the cliff was mesmerising. The wind was strong, blowing fiercely on their faces. White rocks showed the way inside.
“Kyla, you’ll blow away if you’re not careful,” said Alec. There was amusement in his tone as he playfully ribbed her.
“I’ll hold on to Jaycee then.” She wrapped her arms around his neck and grinned. Her weight was as light as the breeze.
Alec glared back at her, his fan covering half of his face. “Watch where you put those dirty hands of yours.”
“Jealously isn’t a good look on you.” Kyla stuck her tongue out and tightened her grip on Jaycee.
“Child, come here and say that to my face.”
“I don’t mind.” Jaycee felt like if he didn’t say something, they would continue to bicker for hours. They were like brother and sister, constantly at each other’s throats. He’d find it amusing if he wasn’t always stuck in between as the focus of their arguments.
“See? We’re friends now. That’s what happens when you abandon us to go have fun and leave us together to fend for ourselves. Now we’re even closer.”
Jaycee was positive that wasn’t how friendship worked. Then again, he seriously lacked any friends as he shied away from them. People in his line of work had more acquaintances than anything. If they didn’t end up dying during a mission, they’d inevitably betray their own, or they’d die by the ones closest to them.
Alec draped an arm on the other side of Jaycee while he glared daggers at his companion. “Let’s play janken. Winner is right and gets bragging privileges.”
“Bring it on. You messed with the wrong girl. I’m a master at that game.” Jaycee felt the weight on him lessen as she stretched out her hands to prepare for whatever game they were talking about. He was becoming worried, crazy scenarios rushing through his mind.
Black hair tickled Jaycee’s cheek when Alec turned his head. A warmth settled in his chest. “You’re on.”
This had gone on long enough. “Okay, enough. I know I’m a hot commodity around here, but—”
“Don’t get involved.” They both spoke, surprising him.
What felt like an hour later, they finally arrived at the Blacksmith’s. After Kyla lost to Alec, she had pouted the rest of the way there, refusing to even look his way. Now Alec had an extra pep in his step. It took a lot of willpower to not roll his eyes.
He was becoming comfortable, and that scared him.
Outside, lying against the front of the building, a familiar face greeted them.