I walk out of inauguration and I collapse. I failed. I was accepted into FLEET and now I can’t even lift myself off the shiny marble floor. Then I feel someone grab my arms and pull me up. I bite my lip to keep from screaming. They sweep me off my feet and carry down the hallway into a room. The person smells musky so I force my eyes open. Aiden’s hair falls over his eyes as he looks down at me.
“Aiden?” I whisper.
“Shh. Save your energy Shay.” He replies.
I curl closer to his body feeling the waves of emptiness wash away. He sets me down on a bed.
“Don’t leave.” I mutter.
“I’m right here.” He replies as he sits down on the bed and ruffles my hair softly.
“Thank you.” I whisper contently.
He leans down and brushes his lips on my cheekbone. Then he says something else but can’t make out his words anymore and I fall asleep in Aiden’s arms.
“Shay wake up.” A voice commands while shaking my shoulders.
I groan because my body is still sore but I open my eyes and find myself staring at Skander’s slim torso. She places her hands are on her hips and then steps back.
“Where am I?” I ask groggily.
She shakes her blonde head. “Really you don’t remember? Wow this is pathetic and to think you scored higher than me.”
I glare at her, “I know I’m at FLEET. I remember everything but this isn’t my room.”
Skander cocks her head. “This is Aiden’s room. Thanks to you he had to sleep in the training room and he looks terrible.”
“I’m sorry; I guess I owe him now.”
“You sure do. Anyways Shay I’m one of your advisors. So I had to come get your butt out of bed that way you can go and receive your schedule. This is the only time I’ll do it though. I’m not a babysitter.”
I shrug and get out of bed, “I won’t need a babysitter.”
She laughs, “The next couple of weeks will be like inauguration only ten times worse. You’ll be begging me to help you. Hurry and get dressed breakfast is in ten minutes.”
“I need clothes.” I say.
Skander jumps sheepishly, “Oh yeah,” she says and hands me a pile of clothes, “Here.”
I quickly get dressed and we walk down to the cafeteria together. People smile at us and I don’t feel so out of place anymore. A good looking guy with jet black curly hair stops right in front of us.
“Skander and Shay. Nice ladies nice.”
I roll my eyes and Skander laughs, “Faust you weirdo. How’s it going?”
Faust shrugs nonchalantly, “Shay baby I heard you scored a seven. That’s mighty impressive. Soon you’ll be at my level and we can boogie.”
I glance over at Skander who looks mad. “Uh yeah whatever.”
Faust grabs Skander’s arm “Don’t worry hun I’m still waiting for you.”
Skander tosses her blonde hair and pulls her arm away, “Get lost Faust.”
He winks at me and leaves. He sits at a table full of guys, among them I see Aiden he’s sitting with a girl but he is looking up at Skander and me. Our eyes meet and we hold our gaze until Skander takes me by the arm and leads me to the breakfast line. We pile our plates and then walk over to a table where two girls sit. Before I sit down I sneak one last glance at Aiden but he is no longer looking at me he is busy talking to the girl next to him. I push his thoughts away and sit down.
The girls at the table look friendly. One has curly hair that falls softly just above her shoulders. She is African American and has a dancer’s body tall and graceful. She has caramel skin that accents her gray eyes. The other has red hair cut boy short. There is a sprinkle of freckles over her nose but only there which makes it cute. Like the other girl she is thin and elegant. Her bangs are swept over her forehead and she has thick eyelashes without a trace of mascara. Her brown eyes sparkle as Skander sits down and motions to the seat next to her. I sit down and smile at the girls.
The curly haired one turns out to be named Tacy and the red headed one’s name is Hattie. We chat and they complement me on my rank. Apparently I’m rank seven and it’s a pretty high rank. Hattie and Skander are both at that rank currently. This is why Skander is one of my advisors. I don’t ask how she is ranked at my level when she’s been here for four weeks already. I’ll probably ask Hattie later.
Once I finish eating I go and receive my schedule. I have training every day for half a day then a special weapons session, tactile scenarios, and finally mental preparedness class.
The list of rules are as follow:
You must attend every class
You must always check in with FLEET when out in field
Relationships are banned for active FLEET members
Pledge to FLEET and only FLEET
Never doubt FLEET
Always fulfill your missions
Follow all FLEET rules.
I crumple the paper in my hands and toss it into the trash. For me FLEET is just a temporary home so what if I break the rules?