"Sit still." Her mother scolded as she set the plate of food down in front of her daughter. "I've said it before and I'll say it again. You have got to let our visitors settle into their accommodation. They don't want you bursting in and constantly chattering away at them."
Sammy stared at her mother. The woman sniffed and pushed a strand of dark auburn hair behind an ear, sitting down opposite her daughter. Sammy hesitantly began to eat her breakfast, eyes focused on the door, waiting for her father to get back from making sure the boats were secure.
She had finished her breakfast when her father - a thin man with brown hair and grey eyes - pushed into the house. He was obsessed with fishing and sailing, hence why he had hurriedly stepped up to the job of helping out the visitors. Sammy beamed when he sat down and had his breakfast, and got to the job of interrogating him.
"Sammy." Her mother glowered. "Let your father have a break. He's been out all morning. Why don't you go and see Lila and her kids?"
With a sigh of annoyance, Sammy made her way out of the dining room, and into the hallway. She loved her mother, but she was very strict and thought that Sammy liked spending time with Lila and her crazy children. In actual fact, it was torture. But how could she say that to her mother's face?
So she shut her mouth and pulled on her boots, before stepping outside of the house and heading in the direction of the Grey's house. She had spent many drawn out afternoons at the small house, babysitting Lila's children and staying out of her mother's way. It was like a second home - that was far worse, in her opinion.
Lila was a short woman with mouse blonde hair pulled into a plait. She always wore an apron covered in some unknown substances (Lila spent most of her time cooking and painting) and was a stay-at-home mother. Which meant that supervising three kids was a tricky job, and that's where Sammy entered the picture.
When she entered the house, Lila was busy trying to clean away the dishes and calming down her children, all at the same time. They seemed as excited as Sammy about the new arrivals. The eldest of her children was an eight year old girl named Trinity. She had dark brown hair and huge blue eyes that followed you everywhere. Then there was six year old May, who had pale blonde hair and equally blue eyes. Last but not least was three year old Milo, a short boy with messy brown hair and pale green eyes.
Milo spotted Sammy first and flung his arms into the air, racing towards her. He leapt into Sammy with enough force to wind her. Then came May who shrieked and did much the same, with Trinity wandering behind in a much more calm manner. Sammy gritted her teeth. "Okay, I think that's enough." She peeled the children off. "Now, what are you meant to be doing?"
"We're going out for a boat ride!" May stated with enthusiasm. "Mumma promised us and said we might see the Drakons!"
Sammy forced a smile. "Oh. Well, I hope you have fun."
"Hello, Sam." Lila appeared, sporting her normal outfit, and a frying pan in hand. "We were just about to go out for a little boat ride, would you like to come?"
"May was just telling me about it." Sammy glanced at the desperate faces of the children. "I'll be happy to come. Can I go and get my coat?"
Once she had grasped her coat from the hook on the wall in house, Sammy rushed back to the Grey's home, whilst pulling it on. Her heart was beating with excitement. When she was younger, Sammy had adored being let on her father's boats, going for short rides around the dock. She had almost forgotten about it, what with the arrival of the Hive. Speaking of, she hoped that she'd be able to see them again.
Lila and the children were waiting outside, all with thick coats and grins of enthusiasm. Slowly, the group made their way to the docks, huddling together to keep warm. The boats were all prepared and Mark - one of the fishermen - was waiting for them.
"There you are." He glanced briefly at Sammy but didn't say anything. "Shall we get started?"
The group settled onto one of the boats. Trinity and Milo sat beside Sammy, whilst May clung to her mother. Mark was at the front, steering the boat. Sammy ignored the children and instead focused on the ocean. She loved everything about it - the wide expanse of water, the mystery of what was beyond the horizon and what was beneath them. It was all very terrifying and that was the fun part about it. Sammy had forgotten the meaning of fun lately.
The boat slowed and Sammy found that she was grinning ecstatically from the ride. For a moment, she didn't notice the strange sound. Then it overwhelmed her senses and she was looking around wildly, searching for the source.
The Hive. They were low to the water, tails skimming the surface, and making chirps and clicks. Sammy grabbed the side of the boat and glanced at Lila, who had gone a pale shade of green. What was happening?
The Drakons headed in another direction, back towards the docks and the village. Sammy followed them with her eyes until they tiny dots in the distance. She took a seat and held the children close to her body.