I awoke to a hand stroking my hair and sigh, slightly agitated. Nik had woken me up several times through the night- not that I was complaining. Making love with him was amazing.
“Jade,” My eyes flew open to find my dad beside my bed, smiling shakily at me.
“Daddy!” I jump up, throwing my arms around him.
“I’m so glad you are okay.” He whispered. I cried, unable to help myself. “You are okay? Right?” He asks, quietly. I pull away to look at my dad.
“I’m fine. Really, daddy...” I promise him. The door opens and Nik walks in pausing slightly at the door. I smile at him. Excited that he’s here with me and my father.
“Nik,” I jump out of bed leaving my dad, who also looked a little awkward, and run to Nik jumping to throw my arms around his neck.
‘Careful, I brought food.’ He uses his way of communication. He does have a tray of food, but still he’d, some how, managed to maneuver it safely from being knocked over while still catching me with his forearm resting under my butt to hold me up. My legs wrap around his waist to help hold up some of my weight. My father looks back and forth at the two of us.
‘Thank you, Nik. I’ve really missed my dad.’ I say stroking the back of his neck with my thumbs. He smiles then glances over me to look at my father, he looks worried.
‘Are you happy here, Jade?’ He finally asks.
“Why would you ask that?” I question aloud. I knew my father had to be at least a little confused by mine and Nik’s exchange. Nik didn’t answer, he only looked down. “Nik, talk to me.”
‘I want you to be happy,’ He pauses and then glances back at my father. ‘Your maker hasn’t decided on whether he will come with us to Keiilei, or stay here on your world. If he chooses not to come with us... will you be happy to stay with me.. to come to my home, or will you grow to resent me?’ Tears welled up in my eyes. He was worried I didn’t want to be with him if my father chose to stay here.
“Nik, I meant what I said when I told you I love you. I do love you. More than I ever thought I would love anyone.” My hand automatically reaches for the ring on my left hand. “No matter what my father decides, my life is with you now.”
He looked doubtful for a moment, so I pull him closer so my lips could touch his. “I want to be with you.” I promise him.
“I thought he was lying.” I turned to see my father looking at Nik and I incredulously. “I didn’t think.. It’s only been a few days.” My dad shook his head.
“I know, daddy. But I do. I love him! And I’d love for you to come with us. To be with me. To be with us. I want us to be a family.” my throat constricted slightly. “But.. I-”
“I will stay with you.” My father answered. Happiness burst from me. And I knew that this happiness was just the beginning. What I’d seen as a threat, as a disaster had turned out to be the best outcome of my life. I would have a home. My dad. Nik. I’d have a family.
I’d found the love of my life. Something I’d never thought I’d find. Something I’d given up on. And now, I had it all.
My dad was fitted with implants that night and also given a room down the hall from our own on the shuttle that was to take us home. The implant allowed my father to communicate effectively with all of the Keiiless people.