Amoung the Rooftops: Chapter 3

by Lydia Bowers

As we sail through open air towards the roof below us, I can't help but smile. Jumping from roof to roof is a very normal here in Clan W, for most of the elevators don't work. We were lucky to ride one up here. We both land on the metal roof at the same time, both finishing the fall with a roll, for it helps break the fall. Without hesitating we jump to the next roof, which is about 15 feet below us. As soon as we reach the main city roofs, we walk along them until we reach our own house. As it comes to view, the sun disappears. I open the door and pat Jupiter on the back.

"Good job" I exclaim.

Jupiter yawns in reply and I feel affection for him run through me. I sweep him up in my arms and carry him to his bed on the floor. I set him on it and kiss his forehead.

"Sleep well, you have a big day tomorrow"

I stand up and survey our apartment. Blue wallpaper is falling off the walls and the floor need's swept. Our home isn't much to look at, but it is everything to me and my brother. Its where the memories of our parent's lurk. I grab a broom and start to sweep the tile floor, which is cracked and losing its paint. Sometimes I wish I could do better for my brother, give him all the things he wants. I open the door and sweep my pile out of the house.

"Sky!"

I am so startled by Asher's appearance that I jump back into the house. He is leaning off of our roof, only his head showing. I shh him and close the door behind me, I don't want Jupiter waking up. He jumps down beside me and laughs, his blue eyes twinkling. The lights of other apartment's shines down on us, so I can see his face clearly. His black hair is tousled and ruffled, and I guess that he just finished work. Asher is two years' older than me and works as a guard at the Electricity compound. He is very serious about his work, usually only talking about it when he is disappointed with the new leaderships. He is my only friend, because he's the only kid I played with when I was little. He has always been there for me when I've needed him.

"So, what job did you pick?" Asher asks.

I blink.

"I am going to be a S.O.C"

Asher eyes widen and his face breaks into a huge smile.

"That's great! You will get an awesome pay!" He exclaims.

I smile, but inside, my stomach is a mess of butterflies. Asher seems to notice. He clasps my hand.

"What's wrong?" he asks worriedly.

I frown.

"Jupiter is starting school"

Asher chuckles.

"Don't worry about that, he will be fine" he assures me.

I nod, but deep down inside of my heart, I am worrying like the devil.

I wake up the next day to loud pounding on the door. I am surprised for a moment, but I regain my sense's quickly. I jump to my feet and shake Jupiter awake, who is snoring peacefully.

"Get dressed" I order him, turning to open the door.

A man is standing in my doorway, tapping his foot impatiently. I smile and quickly close the door behind me,

"Are you Miss Sky Arta?" he asks, looking me over.

I nod, swallowing nervously. This man is going to take Jupiter to school? What does my little brother need, a bodyguard? He looks to be about 6 feet tall, and is wearing a dark blue security suit which is a sign of power in all of the Clans. But what catches most of my attention, is the AK-47 strapped to his back and the pistol attached to his belt. He seems to notice me staring because the ends of his mouth tip upwards into a smile.

"It's part of the job" he says, putting a hand into his pocket.

I slowly nod, but I have no idea why a soldier needs to escort my brother to elementary school. There hasn't been any news of the Untamed ones breaking into the city for months.

"Are you ready?" he asks, glancing at my clothes.

Understanding floods into my mind, and I immediately feel embarrassed. He's here for me, not for Jupiter. My cheeks grow hot.

"Just one minute" I mutter, going back inside.

I change quickly, choosing a black t-shirt and sweatpants that will be easy and comfortable to move in. I didn't know that S.O.C's were so armed. My heart starts to beat faster when I realize that sometime I will have to learn how to use a gun, maybe even today. I put back my stubborn brown hair into a tight ponytail and check myself in the mirror. Bright green eyes stare back at me, and I smile. I got my eyes from my mother. Everyone always said that we looked like sisters. A tug at my shirt jerks me from my thoughts.

"There's a scary man outside"

I look down to see Jupiter staring up at me fearfully. I bend down and kiss his blonde head, worry piercing my thoughts. I don't feel comfortable with leaving him here alone, especially if his escort doesn't show up. I walk over to the door and open it, jumping slightly when I see the man standing there. He tips his head when he sees me, his dark blue eyes filling with an unreadable emotion. I shift uncomfortably under his gaze.

"Uhhh, could we wait to go until my brother's escort comes?" I ask, opening the door slightly more to reveal Jupiter.

The man smiles and shifts the gun on his back.

"You know; I can take him. We can stop at the school on the way to the compound"

I breathe out steadily and ruffle Jupiter's hair.

"That would be great"

The man stretches out a hand and I take it, shaking firmly and gripping his hand hard. My dad taught me that a handshake tells a lot about a person, so I am going to strive to make a good impression.

"The name's Christian, I'm a trainer of the new's"

I smile.

"I'm Sky. It's nice to meet you"

Christian's eyes grow confused for a moment, and he motions to Jupiter.

"You're Sky and Jupiter? You stayed with us for while after your parents died...remember?"

I immediately feel my heart turn stone, and my expression turns cold. I place a comforting hand on Jupiter's shoulder and stare straight into Christian's eyes.

"Can you lead the way?" I ask, demanding more than asking.

Christian nods, frowning slightly. I drape an arm around Jupiter as we follow him, trying to get rid of Christian's question that is lurking in my mind. I do remember that day. The day when my parent's died. I was up on the rooftops, looking out toward Clan S. It was a beautiful day, too beautiful for death. I heard the crash. It echoed throughout the whole city, and I immediately knew that something was missing. Something was torn from my heart that day. I ran all the way home, finding Jupiter there crying. Two S.O.C employees were with him, and I knew that they were gone. I knew they were taken from us forever. They took us to the compound, explaining to me that we had to stay for a while. I didn't understand, and was confused. After a week, I wanted to leave. Since I was old enough to take care of Jupiter on my own, they granted my request. I don't really remember the compound that we stay at, since I cried in bed most of the time.

"Here we are"

Christian's voice shatter's my thoughts, and my grip tightens on Jupiter when I see the Elementary school in front of us. Kids and parents are everywhere, and I guess that its registering day. Some parents are sending me icy glares, and I return them evenly. Christian places a hand on Jupiter's shoulder and crouches down beside him.

"You don't need to sign up little buddy, you are all paid for. All you need to do is find the 1st grad classroom. It's the first door on the left" he explains.

I open my mouth as Jupiter kisses me on the cheek and walks toward the school, not even looking frightened or concerned. I take a step toward him but is stopped by Christian's hand. I glare at him, and he returns it evenly.

"He has to find a way for himself. He has a hard future ahead of him"

I watch as Jupiter strides into the school. I swallow back the tears that are coming to my eyes. I wish that he didn't have to grow up so fast.

"He'll be alright" Christian assures me, his voice softening.

I sniff and spin around.

"Where's the compound" I demand.

Christian puts a hand on his belt and points his head towards a very large concrete building in the distance. My eyes widen.

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