Alyx stood near the starting line of the night-race, a strip of purple material that fluttered in a slight breeze stretching out between the hands of two scantily-clad seraphelle. In the crowd there were a few faces, leering and eager, that she remembered seeing at the last race and the one before that. They were her followers and bet for her to win.
A face in particular caught her attention. He had a strong stubbled jaw and sun-streaked hair, loose and long like a gypsy. Even she could admit he was handsome, but that’s not why he was standing out to her. He was staring at her and he didn’t look away when she glared back.
Instead he moved towards her and the crowd moved around him like water around a rock. His body was muscled yet graceful, like that of a warrior, but he was no one she recognized.
“Hey,” he said when he got within earshot.
Alyx ignored him and turned her attention to her race competitor. The announcer called him Griffin but she knew it wasn’t his real name. Just as Bullet wasn’t her real name. She didn’t recognize Griffin but she could tell from his build that he was another lightwarrior. From the deep tan of his skin, Alyx guessed he was from the coastal city of Urielos. He was standing within a small group of Seraphim while she stood alone.
“I said ‘hey’. I’m pretty sure the standard response would be at least a ‘hey’ back.”
The man with the staring problem had stopped right next to her, looking down at her from his extra head of height. This close she could see those probing eyes of his were pale green, the color of mint tea. Apparently he didn’t understand the concept of personal space.
“I don’t date fans.”
He laughed and a wicked-looking smile pulled at his thick lips. “I’m not asking for a date.”
“What do you want then?” Alyx turned her face from him again.
“I heard you had a vision,” he leaned into her ear, “Alyx.”
She whirled around to him, her blood thumping in her ears. Her hand went to the blade handle at her hip. His hand closed down on hers so that she couldn’t draw. Their hands trembled from exertion against each other. Their eyes locked.
“How do you know that?” she hissed at him. “How do you know my name?”
“I have sources.”
“Really. Did your sources tell you I don’t take kindly to nosy strangers?”
“I don’t want to fight you, Alyx. I want to help you.”
“Bullet, Griffin,” a voice boomed around them, “take your places at the starting line.”
A hush descended upon the crowd, punctuated by a couple of catcalls and the complaints of a few who were being jostled. Alyx barely noticed as she and this seraph were still locked in this strange battle of will and strength.
“Looks like they need you, Bullet,” he said. “I’ll catch you another time when you’re not so…busy.” He moved his hand off hers and the pressure released.
“There won’t be a next time.”
“Oh yes, there will.”
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