I couldn't resist taking writing this story. It sorta just flew right out of my fingers.
Summary: When a new group of humans gets to know the clan in the caves, Jamie figures it's just a chance to get to know more people. Trade and travel between the two groups are common, but Jamie likes to go out and visit for more than the thrill of being out of the caves. There is someone he can't seem to stay away from... someone not entirely human.
"Jamie!" called Wanda. "The other group is here!" Wanda was at the end of the hall. Another group of humans was expected to arrive today. I was reading a book in Brandt and Aaron's room. It was my room too, but I still hadn't settled in yet. I put the book down and ducked out into the tunnel. Wanda was standing at the end, her hands swinging by her sides.
"Where's Mel?" I asked as I walked toward her.
"She already at the game room," answered Wanda. I took her hand when I reacher her. She looked up at me. "Have you grown even more since this afternoon?"
I smiled and brought myself up to my full fifteen-year-old height. She was so little in her new body. She said the same Wanda words though, so it was like nothing had ever changed. "Only an inch or two."
When I heard the clamor of our guests, I sped up. I was almost dragging Wanda behind me. There were other humans out there. It was so beyond our wildest dreams. Nobody here thought that there would be others that survived.
It got lighter as we approached the game room. I figured that Jeb must have wanted the room as bright as possible. He was a pretty hospitable host when he wanted to be. Sure, he'd shoot you if you got out of line, but that hardly ever happened.
When we turned into the game room I was shocked to see how many people were there. There had to be at least fifteen new humans there. The brandy that Jared had collected on his last raid was circling through the group like it was going out of style. It was a time for celebration.
"Wanda!" exclaimed Ian from the crowd. He left the others and came to greet us. He had a cup of brandy in his hand. "Try a sip of this," he said, giving the cup to Wanda. He kissed her on the cheek.
"Ian, I hate this stuff," sighed Wanda.
"Would I give it to you if I thought it'd hurt you?" he asked.
"Well, no, but..." said Wanda.
"Jamie!" called Mel. It was difficult to hear her over the chatter of the people in the room. I left Wanda and Ian to go find Melanie.
She was standing on the other side of the room. Jared was at her side, of course. She was talking with a girl who looked about my age. Mel waved me over.
"This is Rose. She's from the other group of humans. She's fifteen, just like you," said Melanie. Jared sighed and rolled his eyes, Melanie elbowed him in the stomach.
"Hi, Rose," I said, extending my hand. Her small hand almost drowned in mine. Her hair curled in long, dark spirals. It was tied back by a red ribbon, but some of the strands escaped, framing her face. Her skin was about the shade of Jared's. Her eyes were icy blue... and they had a reflective ring around them. She was thin, small. She looked sort of breakable.
"Oh, you're a soul," I said, surprised.
She nodded. So far, Rose didn't seem to be a big talker.
"Are you from the Flower Planet?" I asked. Rose sounded like a name from there, after all.
"No, actually. This is my first planet. My host was named Rose. I thought the name was nice, so I kept it." She shrugged. "I've heard the Flower Planet is wonderful, though. I don't figure I'll ever get to try it out," she said, grinning wryly.
"How do you like this one?" I asked.
"I love it," she gushed. "I've heard it's one of the most interesting planets, and from what I've experienced so far, I can't really argue."
"Would you argue even if it weren't?"
"Well, you have a point," she laughed. Her laugh was high, but in a pleasant way. Not shrill or anything. Just right. She brushed the stray pieces of hair out of her face.
"So, how far away do you guys live?" I asked.
"I'd say it's about twenty miles. I'm surprised we didn't know you were here! We live so close!" she exclaimed, throwing her hands into the air.
"That is crazy," I agreed.
"Rose, can you come here?" said a voice from the crowd. It was one of the new people.
"Bye, Jamie," she said, smiling sweetly. She melted into the group. I was strangely sad to see her go. I figured it was just because she was new.
I looked over to talk to Mel and Jared, but they weren't there. I shrugged and went to look for them.
They were standing just outside the game room. I interrupted a cozy little moment between them. Cozy little moment meaning make-out session. They had been sneaking off so often since Melanie got her body back, it was hardly anything new.
"Hey, guys, how long are the others going to be here?" I asked.
"They are going to stay for about two weeks. They want to rest and all that. And Jeb won't take no for an answer if they try to leave before that," said Jared, obviously irritated that I'd interrupted them.
"Sweet!" I said, smiling.
Melanie looked at me slyly. "How did you like Rose?" she asked.
"She was pretty cool. Why?"
"Oh, just wondering," she answered innocently. She must have been with Wanda too long. Mel was hardly ever innocent. She was lying.
"Mel," I pressed.
"I just think you guys would be cute together, that's all," she said, shrugging.
I cocked an eyebrow. "I'm fifteen."
"Since when does age matter?" she asked.
"Don't try and hook me up with people, Mel. It makes things all awkward," I said.
Jared laughed. "I don't think anything can be awkward with you, kid."
I shook my head and walked back into the game room. I decided I'd try and find Wanda and Ian. It'd be a miracle if Ian had even gotten Wanda to take a whiff of the brandy.
I was surprised to see that Wanda wasn't standing with Ian, but with Rose... and some other tall redheaded man. I went over and put my hand in Wanda's.
"Hi, Jamie," she said, smiling at me. "Have you met Rose?"
I grinned wryly. "I don't think we've met. I'm Jamie," I said, reaching out to shake her hand once again.
"Well, Jamie, I'm delighted to meet you."
"I would ask if you were from the Flower Planet, but I just don't think so. I'm not getting the Flower Planet vibe from you," I said, trying not to laugh.
"You're right! I'm not from the Flower Planet. You're so smart," she said. She began to grin.
"I am known for my intellect around here," I boasted.
Wanda was looking at us like we were insane. "You make me wonder sometimes, Jamie. Anyway, this is Burns." She gestured to the tall man. "Burns Living Flowers."
"You're from the Fire Planet!" I exclaimed.
"That I am," he answered.
Before I could ask him any of my burning questions, Jeb called us to attention. "Alright, you lot. I figure it's time for some story telling."