'Love begins at home, and it is not how much we do. . .but how much love we put in that action'- Mother Teresa
The days blended together for Amaya since there was no real sunlight to ring in a new morning and depended on the intensity of the light to inform her. When she lost count of the days, she looked to a paper calendar that Christopher had brought to keep track of Earth's time. It took a while to adjust to the large vessel but there wasn't much to do since the mothership had been wiped clean after MNU boarded. Only bed sheets, medical tools, and game tables were left in reminder to the old inhabitants. Oliver had happily stocked the kitchen cupboards with the food they'd brought and enjoyed having a real meal to eat every day as he helped Amaya cook. He managed to escape with tasty bites before mealtime for his good behavior and counted himself a lucky boy for living a safe life without fear. From all of Christopher's food boxes, Amaya had happily counted that they could live from canned and dry foods for two years in total so it was phenomenal in case they did have to leave Thalis on a worst case scenario.
Christopher took on the role of captain with great reluctance since he was on his own and thanked both the inventions of coordinated star maps and auto-pilot to return him safely to Thalis. Everything on the ship was advanced in comparison to Earth's space shuttles (which reminded him of ancient relics from his own kind) so maintaining the intricate machinery wasn't difficult. The father of a childhood friend back on Thalis had been a pilot and Christopher remembered visits to the large docking ports. He never knew what became of his dear friend, Garcanuk, since they were not chosen to leave on the first exodus ships and hoped that he'd managed to survive or received a quick death (no child deserved to endure the pain of that plague). Knowing that his little child was safe and wandering the ship, his mind was at ease. No parent could bear the thought of injury to their child and during Oliver's first day of life, Christopher understood why his father had been so adamant that he board the mothership.
He stepped up to Amaya's closed door but the sensors allowed him entrance as the metal door slid to the side. Since the beginning, Oliver failed to leave Amaya's side when he traveled the ship and would only do so when it was time to sleep. Being a young child, he yearned for the companionship that Christopher failed to provide in the district due to his long laborious hours and Amaya fulfilled that longing for friendship. Christopher also caught up on missed time with his son and enjoyed teaching him about the ship so he could continue learning about their engineering capabilities. Oh, how he wished Oliver could've had the schooling he had on Thalis but maybe one day, he could.
"I will be putting the ship in sleep mode as Oliver calls it so use the wash rooms to finish up your day" Christopher announced through the doorway, tapping his hand against it with a friendly trill. Amaya dropped the items of clothing she'd been folding over the large rectangular bed and turned around to nod in acknowledgement. He always came by to announce when the ship's non-emergency power would shut down to conserve energy during the night and she appreciated it. Becoming lost on a return trip from the showers was not an ideal night for anyone on the gargantuan ship.
"And Oliver?" she asked curiously since her little one wasn't far from his father in the large mothership. At least once a day, she spotted her child peeking over his father's leg with bright eyes. As much as Oliver liked to explore on his own, he was always on the same level as Christopher to prevent becoming lost and kept in contact via a communicator bracelet on his wrist.
His father wasn't risking any injuries or worse for his child because he knew how curiosity tended to turn for the worst when one wasn't careful and wanted to avoid that. Christopher had found a few communicators hidden within the cabinets from private quarters since their technology was meant to be operated to each individual's biometrics and nobody else's. It was why MNU never recovered anything vital about their advanced technology and a reason for their animosity. The cabinets of each quarter were part of the walls so when one placed their hand on a white square, the door of the cabinet slid open to reveal the hidden area. Their technology was built to last as they used elements that withstood time and doubted MNU's primitive technology could've even dented one of the walls.
He pointed in the direction of their adjacent dormitory to the right and informed her about Oliver's whereabouts, "Reading his worn books to make himself sleepy but I leave the lights on to prevent him becoming frightened."
"You are the best papa of all" she smiled warmly to his never-ending care for their child while she stayed in the shadows in the role of a friend. Christopher was the kind of father she'd imagined for her child since he treated everyone he met with a friendly smile. After all, he'd managed to draw her attention as a child with his alien features and she'd forged their friendship with persistence. Her time inside the large mothership allowed her constant interactions with Oliver, which satiated her heart at knowing he was safe with her. It had been her dream to spend every day by his side to watch him grow and for the past month and a half, she had.
Christopher slowly entered her quarters, being respectful of her private room since she never treaded into his private bedroom without asking. He couldn't help but wonder about certain nights when she stayed in their bed after Oliver requested she stay out of fear of the darkness. When Christopher instructed him not to do so out of inconvenience for her (and for his aching heart), his crafty son decided to disobey by continuing to do so. Oliver was too young to know what he was inadvertently doing to his poor father but the young child simply wanted to keep his dear friend close because in his eyes, his father would always protect them. His fingertips tapped together in hesitation as he approached her and asked a question that often popped into mind, "Have you decided when to tell him?"
She halted her fiddling with a black backpack that Oliver had given her for their upcoming journey and stood upright to sigh softly, "Not yet, but I hope I can gather my courage before landing."
"He is a kind soul that doesn't judge" he reminded gently since Oliver had a gentle heart that matched his mother's and would understand what Amaya did. Whenever he saw Oliver, he saw Amaya in his eyes as his demeanor reflected hers in every way. Their son might have his physical features but he had her heart. Unfortunately, this was her choice to make and allowed the matter to drop for now. He noticed her packaging different items (food, clothing, and other things) into the backpack that held patches to upkeep it and asked with a soft trill, "What are you doing?"
"Preparing what I'll take and what can be left here or thrown away" she explained as she made sure enough first aid kits and food cans could be taken while clothes would be packed last. If clean water was available from natural water formations, washing one set of clothing wouldn't be a problem. Her wooden trinket box remained on the bed and she fiddled with the lock combination to pop it open, smiling as she lifted the top. Christopher sat down with curiosity to the mystery box she kept closed from everyone on the top shelf of her cabinet and always wondered what she kept within it. He hoped it had nothing of her previous mate that showed lingering feelings because he often wondered if a part of her had loved Davin. He didn't have the right to be jealous after pushing her away but she was the one he loved and it wouldn't be changing anytime soon.
She'd been eyeing one thing in particular and smiled widely when she pulled out one of Oliver's first pajamas during his second month as a hatchling. It was her dearest token in reminder to his younger days when she stayed for months alongside him. The hand sewn neck and abdomen alterations reminded her how special her little one was and how lucky she was to be gifted with such a precious child that was proving to be more brilliant than both his parents. She and Christopher hadn't been too shabby with their genetic pools and hoped that their DNA would be stable within Oliver to allow him to live a full life. Christopher touched the little feet of the familiar yellow pajama and smiled as the soft texture brought back nostalgic memories. Had it really been years since his son had been so tiny? Oliver would age slowly since his people lived for two centuries in comparison to humans but it was still surreal to know he'd been small once.
Amaya smiled forlornly to the lost memories that Oliver would never remember but sighed dotingly nonetheless, "Oh, how little he was and he loved applesauce."
"It still looks new" he trilled softly since he never expected to see it again after knowing how dangerous keeping certain trinkets secret could be. It was why they'd never taken a picture to preserve fond memories and Christopher lied to the district about his child by stating he was a sole parent. Unfortunately, he didn't count on the mother of his child making a getaway with a few treasured items. Amaya could be very defiant when upholding what she believed in and he couldn't help but love her more for it, cherishing her unyielding friendship. Looking from the small pajama to Amaya, he met her gaze as he saw the woman that had flourished from that young mother and admitted, "You were such a beautiful mother, holding our hatchling as he sucked on his fingers for delight."
She chuckled fondly to the memory and blushed lightly to his words as she folded the pajama neatly to return it back into the small box. It would be there for safekeeping from any eyes but theirs and one day, she would give her treasures to Oliver when she passed on from the world. Her eyes lingered on the silver band on her left hand that was given to her on that warm summer years ago and mused fondly, "How could I not love a piece of myself and the man I treasured for years?"
Christopher became silent as the past brought both happy and somber memories but they resurfaced when she whispered, "I still love you. . ."
His amber eyes met hers since he'd never expected to hear those words and murmured uncertainly, "But Davin-"
"You truly believe I'd love him on the same level as you?" she asked firmly as she closed her box, turning to him with disbelief written on her face. How many times would she have to disagree on that until he believed her? There was only one man in her life and she ran a palm over her forehead as she emphasized clearly, "How many times did I try to evade the union? I brought it up continually hoping that you'd change your mind and tell me to stop seeing him-"
"How did you think I felt knowing that you were sharing a life with another?" he hissed back with the same hurt lacing his voice but he'd forced the choice, not her. She'd asked him every time she visited whether he supported the union and he'd swallowed the truth to keep her safe. Everything that had happened was of his making and he couldn't put the blame on anyone but himself. He hung his head as he leaned on his elbows to bear his weight as he sat and spoke with a defeated tone, "That should have been my home, my bed, and I should've been the one you shared your nights with- but no! My people are seen worse than trash and any hope of being with you kept leaving my grasp. I wanted to keep you safe but it went horribly, horribly wrong-"
She embraced him tightly, wrapping her arms around his shoulders to rest his head against her chest as she kneeled on the bed. He returned the embrace tightly after missing and longing for her touch for years, leaning into her arms without fear of persecution. There was nobody looking over his shoulders with an oppressive eye that held a trigger and no laws to forbid him. She was on his ship where he made the rules and for the first time in years, he was as free as a bird in the wind. Her hand stroked the back of his head with a tender touch and she whispered gently, "You were in the forefront of my mind- only you. I refused to love another and I hurt him as well by pulling him into this so not all of us are innocent. There were so many times I wanted to leave to return to you and Oliver but couldn't."
"I wish I could've yelled the truth without risking death for all of us" she continued as she confessed every desire her heart sought during those lonely years until the moment she abandoned her own wedding. She'd never been a liar and starting out like that in a religious house and in front of family would've shamed her conscience for ages. Davin was an innocent man through her plan and she couldn't do that to him when someone that he belonged to was somewhere out there in the world. She'd been lucky to find her other half, despite the horrible laws segregating them, and insisted firmly, "He's my son and you were my mate. No words can ever describe my devotion to you or the love you fill in my heart."
His golden eyes glittered against the bright lighting of the bedroom as his heart filled with warmth and he whispered tentatively, "So you . . . still love me?"
"Of course I love you" she answered breathlessly as tears filled her eyes to his hopeful tone and kissed the top of his head. His skin resembled shiny green grass nowadays with hints of emerald around the jointed areas of his body but he'd become so beautiful. She could only imagine how his species truly looked on the homeworld before humankind had reduced them to nothing on theirs. She touched her forehead against his as she'd done during her youth as a sign of affection (among his kind) and reinforced lovingly, "I've never stopped loving you, not for a mere second. You're my Kraiivyanwe."
"It hurt me to lie and push you away" he admitted shamefully and fell into her arms for refuge and forgiveness. Time could not erase what he'd done and atoning for all of it would bring him peace now that it was all laid out before Amaya. She deserved better than him after fighting in his corner by herself as she lived outside the district. His body shook with remorse as she rocked him gently and Christopher confessed mournfully, "I wanted you safe and happy for all time because I loved you more than anyone else. It tore me to feed you lies about my feelings but you were my priority after giving me Oliver-"
She shushed the rest of his words because she understood his intentions and soothed, "It's all right. This is a new chance for us, away from Earth, and we won't wallow in the past."
He peered up at her with hope in his eyes to what she implied and his antennae tapped her head as he felt a flutter in his chest. It reminded him of the day she'd admitted her attraction to him and he'd stammered nervously about what a union like theirs could become. Now, they were a decade older and had the freedom to do whatever they wished. Amaya pressed a soft kiss between his eyes as his glittering amber eyes had quite the sentimental effect on her and she whispered sweetly, "Will we continue where we left off or keep doing a runaround? I won't last as long as you will and I'd love to have every moment I can."
Christopher purred softly because she wouldn't last more than a century and if granted a long life, he would carry on without her for another. He didn't want to waste time either after enduring horrible years in the district and agreed, "I feel older than I should be but I'd love to have you by my side until the end. I would be honored to call you my mate, my partner, if . . . if you would have me again?"
"I should make you write me a love poem after that Davin question" she teased playfully since he had a way with words and his eyes were priceless when it came to expressions. He might not have lips like hers to form expressions but his eyes controlled that role as they revealed his inner emotions. His antennae flattened against his head since his forte delved in science rather than the written word and her smile widened to his feeble expression. She kissed his left cheek affectionately before nuzzling the underside of it as she leaned against him to finish, "But I'm not cruel."
He pulled her onto his lap since he'd longed to have her as his mate from that fateful day that he'd asked without breaking that vow. Unfortunately, society had crushed that pledge and the mere hope that they could rekindle what was lost gave him enough courage to pursue it. He would not hide his emotions any more for fear of damaging his friendship with her but Amaya locked her arms around his neck to answer sincerely, "I will love you until the last breath leaves my lungs in this life."
"I will treasure you dearly" he vowed softly with a loving purr since bonds were taken quite seriously among his kind and tearing theirs when they had been young had been agonizing to say the least. It was hard to live without his other half on the same planet they inhabited but now, they would be together until death. He cupped the back of her head to run his tendrils down the smooth length of her neck and she reciprocated by running her fingertips over the back of his head. After years of solitude away from each other in a romantic manner, Amaya was more than eager to bask in affectionate gestures.
His gentle nips on her throat brought back their intimate moments together in their home and her arms instinctively tightened around his neck. Had she really lived so many years without him? Time flashed by so quickly in her mind but Christopher failed to age due to his long lifespan and she could only wonder if it felt the same to him. Her fingertips caressed the sensitive spaces between his scales as they gradually smoothed to the soft skin of his throat and his purr deepened with each feathery movement of her fingers. She still remembered each of his erogenous spots like the back of her hand and smiled as his tone deepened with each touch. Her own breathing was increasing gradually with his as their caresses turned from affectionate to amorous and she murmured with longing, "I've missed you. . ."
Her lips trailed over the soft warm skin of his throat and felt the faint pulse of his heartbeat as the lack of heavy scaling allowed it. It was the only area on his body that held one and remembered running her nose along the area years ago to feel that familiar human feature. She enjoyed hearing each soft purr and delighted trill as her fingers danced over his body, adding softly, "So, so much."
When his fingers made contact with the bare skin of her back, familiar tingles excited her flesh that had been dormant for far too long. Davin could never make her feel like the unique woman Christopher did or give her the roller coaster of emotions she endured when they made love. Her hand grasped his to pull it away from underneath her blouse and she reminded quickly with heavy breathing, "Oliver's waiting-"
"I've waited for years to touch your skin once more- grant me this" he interjected softly with a gentle purr against the crook of her neck as her pheromones overcame his senses. If she had his acute sense of smell, she would've detected his since the moment she pulled him into an embrace. She was lucky not to be bathed in them with her weaker sense of smell because he was having a hard time after years of intimate inactivity. Did she know how easily he was brought to his knees by her unique scent alone?
It was hard not to melt into his comforting embrace since his taller height allowed him to shield her protectively and she stayed put. There was no eagerness to leave on her part and his fingers cupped her chin as he reminded carefully, "Besides, Oliver knows to call you first if he becomes worried but he's always trying to prove himself brave. I'm quite sure our youngling can stay safe for the next half hour."
She smiled widely with blushing cheeks as they contemplated on a different reunion and felt delightful anticipation for the first time in years. Would he take notice of any differences on her bare body after seven years? Would she notice the same on his? Her fingertips smoothed over his chest to draw circles over the blue fabric and her voice lowered as she doted sweetly, "He is rather brave, isn't he? And we made that bright eyed child."
Yes, they had, and that love hadn't withered over time.
"My heart hasn't stopped yearning for yours" Christopher purred softly since he'd been lonely from the day she'd left Oliver in his care. Now, she was back in his arms to continue down the life path they'd started as a couple years ago. Her lips traced over his tendrils, drawing him close by the collar of his simple blue shirt and his body went lax to her touch. Her fingers lowered to the hem of the shirt to shed the clothing from his body and she smiled tenderly to the polished emerald skin of his chest, placing her palm upon the center. Continuous bathing had shed any last remnants of tough dirt stuck onto his body and Christopher truly felt like a new man after his second shower. Who wouldn't after seeing their skin turn two shades lighter?
There were no muted colors due to lingering dust and she could see tiny markings from lighter hues between each scale and she whispered tenderly, "I can finally see you, not the dirt clinging to your body, but who you are."
Her smile turned into pure curiosity as her fingertips moved lower to outline his sides and mused softly, "You have light green markings between each of your scales. I've never seen these on you for all of the years I'd known you. If our son grows to look anything like you, which he already does, he's going to be a magnet."
Christopher chuckled with delight to the idea of seeing his son as an adult one day and venturing out to create his own life in the galaxy. He wouldn't be the same man without that bubbly child by his side after Amaya had left and he'd be nothing without either of them. They were his lifeblood and fueled him to continue on with his mission because if he couldn't do it, nobody else would. The mothership was in his hands and only he knew what was occurring on Earth while his people were stranded. He brushed back her loose thick black hair with a gentle hand and peered into her blue-gray eyes to promise fondly, "I assure you that he will give us grandchildren to be proud of one day. Who knows, he might even name one after his mother."
Amaya's smile shook to the idea of meeting little hatchlings to call as her dear grandchildren one day and embraced him tightly with a kiss to his neck. Nobody else could fill her with hope and joy- simply pure completion- as he did with every word he uttered. Christopher's old feelings of shame and inadequacy faded as he was free to be himself, to eat and bathe like any sentient being. He was no longer a stain in MNU's grip as he could move freely and slowly return to being the man that his culture taught him to be from his earliest lessons in life. Her carefree smile brought one onto his face and his long fingers cupped hers affectionately to trace his fingertips over her familiar skin. If they met fabric that obscured his mate's body from view, he didn't hesitate to remove it and Amaya teased his eagerness. He replied with the same since her own fingers were pulling at his cotton pants to remove them from his body with haste.
Amaya burst into laughter when she slipped from his grasp as he tried to remove her jeans and fell onto the floor on her butt. The impact failed to affect her as their innocent haste to begin their festivities made them clumsy and Christopher's shoulders slumped, displaying her jeans in one hand. Well, he managed one of his goals at least and Amaya shot him an amused smile. Being nearly naked brought no bashfulness from either party as her victory pants were humorous enough and she chuckled heartily, "If anyone ever asks about our interspecies antics in the bedroom, we can display the pants as a trophy."
Christopher placed them beside him as he leaned down to pick up his mate with careful hands and she fell into his embrace with an impish smile. Nobody else could make him laugh like she did and another bout erupted from his throat when she folded them to declare they were the first Earth pants to be handled in space for an amorous battle. There was a playful ambience to their reunion as the fear of persecution and oppression had been completely lifted from them. There was no fear of being caught unaware as she pushed him underneath her, straddling his hips with hers as she leaned down to meet his face for an open mouth kiss. The familiar tip of his larger tongue brushing alongside hers sent delightful tingles down her spine and she squeezed his hips with her soft thighs.
A deep purr reverberated through his chest to echo against hers in effect to their passionate kiss and she parted her lips from his to whisper silkily, "I've waited years to spend a moment like this with you. Just us and endless freedom. . ."
Her eyes closed briefly in content to the silence around them as only their breathing was audible and she smiled with appreciation, "I've never felt so free in my life."
Christopher agreed wholeheartedly on that part because they'd been incredibly lucky to survive leaving Earth. His hands roamed over her smooth back and outlined her recent scar in reminder that he almost lost her to her own people. They were no longer the innocent children that had met at that shopping center and bore the scars for believing in a greater dream to free his people. There were times they had believed they could unify bought their people under a peaceful banner but time had whisked it away. The agonizing fear he'd felt the day they escaped was one he never wanted to relive and cupped the right side of her face as he purred dearly, "I always hoped I'd have you in my arms again. It was a stupid dream after telling you to bond with another but . . . you were my mate once."
The last words were barely audible but they stroked her heartstrings with the emotion lacing them. Sitting up, he pressed his body against hers to nuzzle her neck and inhale her unique scent after missing Amaya for years. She groaned against the feel of his tendrils grazing the crook of her neck with feathery sensations while his palms cupped her shoulder blades to keep her in place. Her left hand teased the spaces between his scales behind his neck as they held similar bundles of nerve receptors like humans. They were only located between the spaces of each adjoining scale since the outer ones held little sensation in order to protect a poleepkwa's body. This time, she couldn't feel the tiny specks of dust that lingered there but smooth polished skin that belonged to the brilliant man she called her mate. His tongue joined his tendrils to taste her smooth velvety skin that was alien but dearest to him and he murmured, "I never want to lose you again."
"You won't, not as long as you fight for me" she promised with a caring smile because their bond would be eternal and rocked her hips against his to begin their reunion. With their little Oliver occupied by bedtime reading, they had enough time to bask in their love and reacquaint themselves in the bedroom.
Christopher tucked her close as her naturally warm body brought him tranquility within the loneliness of the ship's silence around them. The blankets from her bed kept their bare panting bodies cozy as they lay together as a couple for the first time in years. Her hands smoothed over his chest in contentment as her nose nudged his throat, snuggling close to him as she'd missed doing so for years. She'd gone through her family, a city, an entire district, and MNU to get to him- an act that he'd never forget. His soft purrs reverberated from his chest as his antennae playfully tapped on her head in affection. Although they were from two different cultures, not to mention species, they blended their affectionate gestures so their union was mutual. She'd longed for days they could spend in bed without worry that they'd be caught for simply loving each other and she sighed serenely, "This is what I dreamt of ever since the day I confessed that I loved you."
"I still can't believe you wore a dress into the district" he trilled with amusement in remembrance to her sheepish words as she'd wrung her hands nervously while admitting her affection. His exhausting day had been lifted with a ray of warmth as Amaya confirmed what he'd hoped for and he'd professed his love in every way possible. His fingers weaved through her frizzy black hair that was dampened at the scalp from their lovemaking and his trill lowered to a purr as he whispered, "We can build our dreams on Thalis and if the worst comes to be realized, we can move to another planet and build a colony of our own. There's a world called Mira, near the center of the galaxy, that is a pure natural paradise with beautiful magenta sunsets and two moons that have stirred numerous poems for its beauty."
Her gray eyes brightened to the prospect of a new life alongside him since she'd never imagined traveling out of her home planet. She wasn't an astronaut and to be the first human in space was a heavy responsibility since only she could gauge the effects of interstellar travel on her body. Christopher wouldn't allow anything to happen to her, especially now that their future held hope, and proposed, "There are many peaceful beings in the galaxy, Amaya. The Daki were always very kind when I read and saw transmissions in the news, calm and concise like true scientists. They were considered one of the most intelligent races in our galactic government, alongside ours. We were much younger when we joined the republic so we learned much from them to branch off into our field of engineering. They have usually been the ones to uplift species ready to join the many already inhabiting this large galaxy."
"How do they look like?" she asked curiously since she'd never heard about alien species before as the focus of their talks was his culture. She learned about the structure of their architecture in the cities, the branches of engineering that they dominated in space, their foods and culture, and milestones in life. Now that they were heading to Thalis for aid, they had to ponder on the fact that they would need aid from other alien races. Amaya was a new alien in space and the thought of meeting another species was frightening but curiosity lingered as well. What would they think of her? Would they imprison her once they heard what Earth had done to another species? Could she redeem the fraction of her people that held her peaceful mindset?
"They are about your height with colors ranging from yellow to dark orange on that scale" he answered carefully as he conjured the image of the lean petite beings that made up for their size with intelligence. He had the honor of meeting one during his father's visits to the sky stations for projects and Christopher had tagged along with excitement at meeting an alien. Since childhood, he thought his species was the leanest but there was another similar to him! The Daki had been an older male of his species as his speckled orange skin had turned duller with age and he recounted, "They have large almond-shaped black eyes with heads that peak out a little longer than yours in the back. They have four fingers to allow better dexterity but they are highly intelligent since they tend to be the majority that uplift species ready to join our government. Alongside us, we were the engineer masterminds and with the Uleri, they dominated the Special Intelligence Operations to keep the peace."
"I would like to see more of this universe that I've apparently missed out of for many centuries" Amaya chuckled softly since there was an entire galaxy awaiting her. She hoped to shed a kinder light on the faction of humanity that didn't pose a danger to alien life. Would she meet a Daki? Or one of these unknown Uleri?
"Could we perhaps have a family to see this galaxy together?" he asked hesitantly and his antennae flattened as he posed the question that had been poking his mind. It was all he'd wanted for years but the laws had pried them apart for Oliver's safety and they'd complied. Now, Oliver was old enough to know the truth but Christopher wanted Amaya's support in moving forward with it. He hoped he hadn't overstepped his bounds by putting heavy emphasis on it and offered an alternative, "You don't have to answer me now-"
"It depends on Oliver" she stated without hesitation since her priority was her youngling now that she was there to provide her role as a mother. She understood why he asked since she wanted to return to her younger days when they had been a happy family, even if stricken with poverty. Her palm smoothed over his ridged cheek as she pressed her forehead to his and she smiled fondly, "His happiness comes first and if he's fine with it, I won't hesitate to agree. Despite all of that, I love you and it will never change."
His mouth nuzzled the crook of her neck and she pulled him close by locking her arms around his neck. He fell onto of her from the strength of her affectionate tug and laughed softly to her enthusiasm after longing for such moments through the years. Her lips littered his face with chaste kisses as his tendrils curled in effect to the warmth settling in his heart and she requested sweetly, "Mate with me again. My contraceptives are still good for two weeks and I've missed you for years, Christopher."
"It's a shame we started this late into the trip" he murmured charmingly and she chuckled, tapping his small immovable antennae in return. She never did forget his sweet spots, did she? He was proud to call her his mate once more and this time, nothing would tear them apart. If anyone tried to denounce his union, he would fly to the most remote colony and live out his life with Amaya and their son. Of course, he'd have to figure out schooling for his child but he wouldn't ponder about farfetched maybes since the galaxy was more permissive than Earth. His hands cupped her soft round face as he locked their gazes and whispered softly, "There are no words to describe my happiness at this moment."
She smiled warmly when he pressed his forehead to hers and whispered tenderly, "All of our hard work wasn't in vain. We can have another chance for ourselves while giving our son a future, not to mention the others on Earth. A future where he isn't afraid and can roam freely as he desires without fear of persecution."
"With a mother and father alongside him this time" he murmured contently to that long forgotten dream because now, it wasn't so farfetched. He could provide his son an education once he freed his people but if he couldn't achieve it or died in the process, he would make sure Oliver knew his grandparents had monetary accounts offworld. His father had transferred everything out of Thalis' main banking branch to one of the Daki's colonized planets, Arnak, since the family expected to wait at a refuge center provided by the republic. Christopher and his siblings might not have lived the life his parents envisioned for them but he would leave everything in Oliver's name, meaning enough money to provide him a decent education and life until he was of age. After decades of interest, the account had to be worth something since only Oliver was his descendant to inherit.
Amaya broke her gaze from his as their talk returned to the truth and she sighed with guilt in her eyes, "It is time, isn't it?"
He was ready to allow her the option of postponing it but Amaya knew he would keep poking her about it for Oliver's sake. Their son deserved better but Amaya feared to lose the trusting friendship that took her years to build. How could she remove the blindfold she'd placed over his eyes for the real truth that had purposely evaded him? The thought of his bright blue eyes glaring at her with mistrust was a horrible image to ponder but in the end, he needed to know. It wasn't simply because of morality's sake but health wise since he was a hybrid child and needed to have a doctor (non-human, of course) oversee his genetic coding for anything strange. She leaned back against her pillow to watch the silver ceiling with worry furrowing her brow but knew it held no easy answer for her. This was her choice to make alone and she closed her eyes to murmur weakly, "I can't drag it out forever and he's such a sweet little child. I will tell him tomorrow morning but please, help him understand that I only left to protect him because I wouldn't have if-"
"I would never allow any blame to befall you" he interjected firmly because she'd been entirely heartbroken to leave Oliver alone without his second parent. How could one bear knowing they willingly left their child and admitting it to them? To see the same face that greeted you in later years but knew absolutely nothing of times shared during their early months? Oliver would never recollect the moments that both of his parents recalled clearly and Christopher promised quietly, "I know what happened that day and it will never be erased from my mind. You can't forget your child's wails or the fact you can't bring back what his heart desires."
It had taken Christopher an hour to settle his child's cries when Oliver realized his mother wasn't returning after crawling all over their shack trying to find her. She'd always come to his side when he called for her in the morning but his little voice eventually muted when his throat ached after endless chirps. Christopher could only rock his son back to sleep as he whimpered in longing but time dulled the emotional despair in his heart until Amaya became a distant blurry memory that couldn't be recalled. He pulled his mate against his chest to offer her comfort from the plaguing memories and reassured gently with warmth in his golden eyes, "He loved you once in his life as a mother and does so as a friend right now. He carries our best traits and knowing how we are as individuals, could you truly see our son acting as anything but understanding?"
"I'm a lucky woman to have you" she smiled appreciatively as tears blurred her vision and embraced him tightly. He became entangled in the sheets as she clutched him close with grateful words but Christopher acted like any other mate would with his partner. He would provide unyielding support to his Amaya when her strength wavered and together, they would love and protect their Oliver.
A/N: So sorry about the lateness but life and stories intervened since I received writer's block on more than one. The chapter came out longer than I originally intended since Oliver was supposed to know the truth but I promised he'll know it next time. They need to land on Thalis soon so that little alien will be running happily with his new family. Not to mention, we need to check on Wikus on Earth. I will try my best to update within the month since I do love my sci-fi stories the most and crafting worlds for both District 9 and Avatar is wonderful.
Thank you for the never-ending support on this story and the reviewers:
ZabuzasGirl: Thanks for the PM, I need a little budge when I'm overdue.
xXRoweenaJAugustineXx: He'll find out in the next chapter but he's going to be happy for the second parent he's always wanted.
CLTex: Thanks for loving the story, I try my best with each chapter- even if it takes a while for an update.
storywriter1994: I still haven't found the outline so I'm going off the top of my head since I know it goes: 1) Oliver finds out the truth, 2) District 10, 3) the arrival on Thalis, 4) Christopher finds the truth about his people. Hopefully by then, I'll find the outline.
Princesa de la Luna: I hope this chapter was long enough for you, I always try to make each about 16 pages long.
Guest: Hope you like the update!
Here's a sneak peek for what I have in store for the next chapter, my faithful readers:
Christopher was reading the recent test reports on the ship's maintenance when Oliver burst through the door, squeezing in before the door had finished opening fully. His entire frame shook as he scuttled over to his father and Christopher detected the distress radiating from him. Instantly, he left his work station to approach his frantic child with a sympathetic face to calm him and kneeled down to ask carefully, "What's wrong, Oliver? Did something happen?"
His blue eyes were wide with uncertainty as he tried to form the words and managed to stammer, "Amaya, she . . . she told me you never hatched me . . . that she carried me."
His little hands wrung together with worry to what he'd heard and warbled softly, "Why is she lying to me? I-"
Christopher embraced his concerned child to wash away his fears and closed his eyes gratefully at knowing Amaya had begun to tell him the truth. He'd expected Oliver to be skeptical since he had been the only parent in his life for years and wasn't surprised by his visit to confirm everything with him. The truth was sensitive enough for his child to question his origins but Christopher would smooth over everything carefully with him. He didn't want to lower his sense of trust with Oliver either and met his gaze to state softly, "Son, I want you to know that Amaya and I would only lie under dire circumstances. I . . . we did it to protect you, I didn't want to but she was worried that MNU would find you."
Oliver warbled weakly as his entire origins were ripped away to be replaced with something entirely new. His father hadn't borne him? Was Amaya truly stating the truth with her tale? His father didn't want to cause stress to his young mind and squeezed his shoulders to explain gently, "Amaya was your bearer because I loved her very much in my youth and she found her way to me after delivering you. Your egg was small because we didn't think humans could carry one and we knew nothing about the true compatibility of our genetics. How could we when education was denied to us about either species? She begged me to find any help that I could to make sure you survived as time ticked away and I ran to ensure her wish. Jane kept you in her hatchery until you were ready to hatch and I was there to hold you when you were born but Amaya wasn't due to her schooling."
"She . . . created me? But why. . .why did she leave me?" Oliver asked with a trembling voice and his antennae flattened at realizing that she'd been there the whole time and didn't know. All those times the dreams of another holding him were fragments of long forgotten memories- not dreams. The pain of loss and abandonment at the end of each dream that had been laced with idyllic love and comfort were pieces of a puzzle that was being solved in front of him.