seated in his usual spot at the bar with a soda and Princess was busying herself with
Entering the busy diner with the kids in tow, the pair walked over to another booth, like fish
out of water. Jason told them he wanted to catch up with a friend for a few minutes.
More customers came through the door after him. Princess was busy taking orders on the
other side of the diner. The casual atmosphere and the reasonable prices made Snack Jill’s a
popular place for teenagers to hang out.
Pulling up a seat next to Mark, he observed two particular teens he’d brought with him. The
boy with insipid skin and a beanie pulled down past his ears, and long sleeves. His clothing
too warm for the weather.
He looked like he need a few days of sunshine to gain any, colour, and a girl must be his
sister upon closer inspection.
Jamie eyes swept the room, eventually his gaze fell on Mark, breaking eye contact and
picking up a menu. His commander’s sharp instincts appeared to be working overtime from
the way he was gripping his glass cup.
Enhanced hearing meant they didn’t have to move closer to hear their conversation. Both
Mark and Jason tuned in on the suspicious pair.
Spotting them Princess brought them over an extra menu. Politely thanking her, the girl
ordered sodas and picked a meal, along with the boy.
“No hot chips.” She said to her brother. Pursing his lips, he didn’t appear happy.
“You’re not mom. If I want hot chips I’m having them.” He bit back.
Forcing a smile, the pretty young girl, turned to Princess. “I’ll have the chicken salad thank
“Burger and hot chips.” The boy ordered, sending Princess a few charming smiles drawing a
blush from her. “Extra chips with gravy.”
Sending a Glare at his sister in full defiance.
Prin left to them, striding towards the kitchen, catching both their eye’s she signalled her
understanding of seeing them at the track. Still blushing, Jamie had worked some charm on
“Well… “ Syrah leaned in closer. “Are you going to approach him?”
Shrugging his shoulders, he stared out the window.
“Feels different now that we’re here.” He said. “Why not you?”
“Because it was your idea.” She indicated with a cranky finger, sitting back in her seat.
Silence fell between them.
“Are you sure it’s him?” She broke the silence. “I mean-“
“Are you kidding, look at him.” Jamie hissed. “Syrah, its him.”
Sighing, and shifting in her seat as Princess brought over their orders.
“Are you two visiting?” “Princess asked casually.
Silent communication happened between the boy and girl with wide eyes, facial signals and
“Ahh… yeah our, umm…our Aunty.” She sweetly smiled at her waitress. “She’s ahhh… going
“Working today.” The boy jumped in. “We decided to go to the track than sit around a
“Oh- Did you enjoy the race?” Prin’s friendly manner was infectious.
“Ahh…yeah Jason was awesome, we came her with him.” Syrah purred, winking in his
direction. “Ouch what was that for?
Screwing up her face, rubbing her sore leg. Jamie cast her an evil grin.
They’re lousy liars. Jason scoffed internally. Mark thinks anything suspicious could be
Spectra. They’d been on high alert for the last six months with no activity. The intel they’d
been receiving painted a different picture.
“I hope you enjoy your meal, we have a great dessert menu for afterwards.” Prin softly
smiled. Jamie blushed- The boy could sum up a bit of colour after all.
Prin left them to serve other customers.
“She’s hot.” Jamie grinned. “Kinda girl I’d date.”
“She’s older than you.” Syrah scolded him. “We’re not here for you to go on dates.”
“I think I could ask her out on a date, I made her blush. She’s not that much older…I’m
fifteen, I should be dating.” He leaned forward clutching his hands above the table.
“Mom doesn’t think so.”
“What she doesn’t know.” He snickered. “She’s overprotective.”
“What are you going to do?”
“Ask her that pretty girl out on a date as soon as the opportunity presents itself.” Jamie
“Then she finds out about-“ Syrah face changed, lines etched across her young forehead.
The kids face darkened. ”Let, me pretend I’m a normal teenager for once.”
Mark responded, by shifting uncomfortably in his seat, clenching his glass tighter until
almost breaking point.
“Focus on why we’re here, once mom and dad work it out. They’ll interrogate Joey and then
watch out.” She shuddered. “You really wanna be on dad’s bad side.”
“You’re in as deep as I am. They won’t miss the a few dollars…” Jamie chuckled. “Who knew
they were that loaded… and we live like paupers.”
“That bit I don’t get either.” She picked at her salad, casting him disapproving glances.
“Get your mom looks off my food.” Jamie picked up a chip, leaning over and crunching it in
her face, earning him a sharp kick from under the table. “Ouch.” He flinched.
“The flight was awesome.” Her eyes widened. “First class all the way.”
“Scored well on that one sis…” He said, offering her a victory fists of approval from across
the table. “Work this right, and they’ll never know we were gone.”
“I hope Joey holds out… he promised he’d cover for us, along with your friends.”
“Ryan won’t tell a soul. He’s reliable.”
“Dad would get it out of him, you know he’s scared of him.”
” Did Cassie do the same for you?” He asked.
“That’s what besties do.” She smirked. Spying Jason again, the young girl drew in a breath.
“He’s cute.” She whispered to her brother.
“Too old for you. Guys like him, don’t look at girls your age- it’s called cradle snatching.
You’re fourteen, he’s at least eighteen.” Jamie teased.
“Same for the pretty green -eyed wench.” She hissed back.
Marks expression turned more pensive at the words spoken about Princess.
Like hell that kid was dating her. He thought.
“Get a grip.” Jamie chided.
Jason got his queue to join them, Mark followed.
“This is my friend Mark.” He casually introduced them. Mark extended his hand to Jamie,
who accepted it in a brief shake. They moved over for him to sit down next to them.
“Hi.” Syrah smiled as Jason sat next to her.
“What brings you to New Jork?” Mark started the conversation, underlying he was
“We’re visiting out Aunty.” Syrah chimed in.
“You’re too young to be out on your own-“
“Who do you think you are? You don’t know us.” She defended a little too eagerly.
“Have you two runaway from home?” He persisted.
“No.” She answered him, a shaky hand gave her away.
“I said we’re visiting our aunty-“
“You’re not a good liar.” Jason pointed out.
“We should go.” Syrah indicated she wanted him to move.
He wasn’t moving, she sank back into the booth. A little frightened.
“We’re not here to hurt you.” Jason smoothly indicated for Princess to come over.
“This is our friend too, you saw her at the tracks right?”
“Yeah.” Jamie was on guard now, be he kept casting Mark curious glances.
“We wanna get to know you more, that’s all…remember I invited you here for a
She warmly smiled. “I’ll bring some spider sodas on the house…. Since its race victory day.”
He went onto introduce his new friends, and she warmly welcomed them. Princess was
good at putting people at ease. She could be disarmingly innocent as she gathered
information. The conversation relaxed again as they struck up a conversation together. The
atmosphere at the table over the next hour became more friendly and open.
“What?” Mark’s eyes lit up. “You can fly a plane.”
“I can hold my own in a cessna.” Jamie retorted. “My dad taught me how to fly.”
Mark straightened, his tone softened. “Mine too.”
“I haven’t flown in a while.” Jamie stared into his cup.
“Why not?” Mark genuinely wanted to know from the way he turned in his seat.
Shrugging he didn’t elaborate too much, mentioning his dad had been away on business and
not as much time at home from school.
“You fly with your dad much?” Jamie asked.
“My dad went missing.” Marks tone lowered, it was sore spot, and something he rarely
talked about. By all reports his father wasn’t listed as missing like Mark claimed.
“I ride motorbikes too” Jamie, changed his tone. “How good of a pilot are you?”
Syrah’s turn to darken a little, she didn’t like her brothers tone from how she stared at him.
“I can hold my own.” Mark wasn’t going to be baited. He too sensible for it.
“I bet I could outrace you.” Jamie challenged. Mark’s poker face came into play.
“Why?” He asked. “I’m not the competitive type.”
Jason could have choked on his coffee, Mark was competitive in his own field.
“What is going on?” She asked, turning on her brother. “How did this come about.”
“I wanna know how good he is.” Jamie huffed. “See if he’s made of something.”
Jason twisted his head sideways, a pensive expression passed across the Eagles starch
features. His commander was rarely drawn into things like this. But from his looks he was
“I bet you can’t out race me in your plane… “ Jamie said.
“Jamie.” Syrah hissed. “Stop.”
She jumped over the table, pushing past Jason roughly determined to get them out of there.
Jamie reluctantly followed her.
“Here’s the address kid. Dawn, be late and the race is off.” Mark handed him a piece of
paper as the taxi pulled up.
Syrah pushed her brother into the backseat. A pair of hazel eyes flashed darts at him.
“I’ll be there.” Jamie promised.
“You’re insane.” She soured like curdled milk, jumping in beside him, folding her arms tight.
“Stupid… so stupid.” She scolded.
Jamie ignored her. “The Hyatt please.”
These kids must have wealthy parents. He thought.
“Mark what was that all about?” Princess had joined them, she’d finished her shift was
preparing to meet up with friends. Two sets of eyes turned on him.
“He has a chip on his shoulder… but there’s something else.” Mark in deep thought
furrowed his brows.
“The kid has attitude, and he’s aiming it at you.” Jason agreed.
Mark didn’t reply, stoic as always, he stared into the open skies, like he expected to see
“They said they flew in from Utoland.” Princess added. “It’s odd, but I think they’re just kid’s
Mark nodded, he was thinking, but not talking, like there was something he did know, or
picked up on.
“He’ll can use my trail bike, a race through the hills around the airfield will sort him out.”
Mark walked over to his red sports car. “I’m going to get some sleep, looks like I have to
spent time sorting these kids out in the morning and getting to bottom of it.”