Chapter Nineteen: New Challenges

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The last thing she wanted to do was hear they had gotten in another fight. Melia had just sent the boys on a grocery run. Not get in a fight and kill a guy. Or wind up with another person.

A child, really. An eight year old boy, bound to be a stud for some breeder. The boy would have been ruined and wasted, but that didn't mean she had to like it. And she had to have an accurate headcount when it came to knowing who was on her ship. She had to work out a way to feed another person. Growing boys ate quite a bit. And that child probably hadn't been fed like he was supposed to. The poor boy probably needed more care than she could give him, at least for a little while.

Fives was the first one into the galley. He looked exhausted. His eyes were closed a little and he had a cup of caff in his hands. "Hey, you got the comm, right? We got Drake's son back? Well, one of his kids. Drake says there are five. Not counting Ferris and Jelani."

"Yes." Melia leaned back and crossed her arms. "So his name is Ferris, huh? Weird name." Zabrak scent bonding had to be strong for Drake to recognize his child.

The clone smiled softly and started putting things up where they went. "Yeah. Drake calls him Ferris. Cute kid. They're hugging like the galaxy is going to hell if they ever let go."

"Ferris was probably ripped out of his arms." Melia helped him and smiled when she saw the food he'd bought. Cabbage salad, carrots, several cans of soup, and more. They would enjoy eating it. As much as Melia wasn't happy about it, they now had Drake's oldest son. "Drake doesn't want to lose another kid. You know he wasn't supposed to be pregnant with Jelani."

"And that makes me sick." Fives helped put the last of the food up. "You wanna go meet the kid? He's real shy."

"I'll take a look at him," Melia replied. She strolled through the ship, following the sounds of happy child. It sounded like Drake was feeding Jelani. She stopped in front of the common room. Drake was sitting on the couch, with Jelani at his breast. Ferris was looking at the wooden blocks on the floor like he didn't know what to do with them.

"It's okay, Ferris," Drake was gently saying. "Those are your toys. You play with them. Here. I'll show you after I get done feeding your little brother."

"But I don't know how," Ferris protested. Melia got a good look at his stubby baby claws, not trimmed back like the claws Drake had. "I've never had toys, mama."

"Neither have I." Drake wrapped Jelani in his arms and settled down. The child fussed a little, but quieted as Drake kissed the top of his head. "But I do want to play with you." Yet Ferris snuggled into his mother's side and Drake held him close. The little boy, his honey gold hide so closely matching his mother's, pressed into Drake's arms like he was a part of the other Zabrak.

"Are these people mean?" Ferris softly asked. "Are they gonna beat me like they beat Red?"

"What did Red do?"

"Red bit Master's hand off." Ferris looked up with soft amber eyes. He offered a weak purr. "They took his bitch away from him and he took a big chunk out of Master." Melia swore softly. Zabraks could do something like that?!

Drake shook his head no. "Fives can be a little grumpy, but he's all right. Melia is very kind. Bee is just a droid."

Feris didn't look convinced. "They didn't try to take Jelani away? And is my last name Skye, too?"

"It can be Skye if you want it to be," Drake replied. He wrapped his arms around his son and rocked him back and forth. "I never thought I would see you again, little one."

Said little one pressed deeper into his mother's arms. Drake nuzzled him gently and nipped Ferris' ears. Ferris giggled softly. He tugged on his mother's horns, mostly just to play, and Drake took it with a gentle smile. The only thing that was missing was the other five children. Melia was watching them closely, almost afraid to look away.

"Thank you," Drake softly said. The tiny baby in the sling squirmed and started feeding again. Drake purred softly. Jelani didn't respond, much more interested in the food. "Thank you for letting me have my family." Melia nodded.

"He's so tiny," Ferris whispered. The little boy looked over, looking at Jelani's tiny face. He wasn't as smushed in as he used to be, but Jelani still looked like the newborn baby he was. "Was I this little, mama?"

Drake nodded a little. "You were pretty little, but you were a bit bigger, I think. You were still very small, though."

Ferris frowned and ran his baby claws over Jelani's head. "His horns are coming in! Did mine bud like this?"

The older Zabrak sighed softly and nuzzled his son, drinking in his scent. "I...think so. But I didn't get to hold you like this, Ferris. They...they took you away from me."

"But you got to hold Jelani..." Ferris protested. He looked at his mother with large, wounded eyes. "But you love me, don't you?"

Drake just pulled Ferris into him. "I love you, Ferris. I love you more than you'll ever know."

Ferris looked at him and nodded before throwing his arms around his mother.

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