“Bad dream?” Arik asked. I tore my line of sight from the ceiling to see Arik rubbing his eyes on the sofa. I nodded silently and sat on one of the kitchen stools.
“You'd think it'd stop by now,” I said quietly. Arik studied me before standing up and grabbing the other stool.
“Well, the annoying thing about your past is no matter how hard you try to avoid it, it catches up,” Arik said. Now it was my turn to watch him and wonder.
“Will you tell me who Argon is yet?” I asked and his yellow eyes met mine and there was something very young and scared in them.
“He's the bad guy, Erie. He's the one who sent his followers to earth. He started the massacre,” He explained quietly. His eyes never leaving mine as he spoke. Suddenly having a name and face to the person responsible made me grow cold. Because all those childish thoughts I'd had growing up of finding and killing him were never going to happen. I got up and grabbed the coffee pot, just because I needed to do something.
“Erika...” Arik trailed off, knowing full well what I was doing. I felt my hands shaking and it was an effort not to spill the boiling hot broth on myself by accident. I heard the metal squeak as Arik stood up, I could feel his body heat emanated through my skin as he stood behind me.
“Erika, look at me,” He whispered. But I refused to turn around and felt my grip on the pot handle tighten. Arik took it from me and rested it on the counter. I felt the sting in my eyes and internally yelled at myself. I gripped the counter as if my life depended on it and fought them back. Told them to go away, but they wouldn't listen.
“So this is the second time that person has destroyed everything.” The words barely stirred the air as they left my lips, but I knew Arik had heard them. His hand took mine and I caved.
“It's okay,” He murmured, as I cried like a child against him. I knew I was being weak, knew crying was pointless and didn't change anything. Eventually the tears stopped and all I could do was shake.
“Come on,” Arik whispered. He pulled me to the sofa and sat me down.
“You need to sleep, too much has happened,” He said. I nodded mutely but I was afraid the nightmare would come back.
“Will you stay with me?” I asked, aware of how small my voice sounded. Arik smiled and a whisper of a laugh left him.
“You've asked me that everytime you've woken up in the middle of the night with a nightmare. Do you really think I'm going to start saying no now?” he replied and sat next to me. I felt a little foolish for a second. He was right, ever since that first night when he didn't even understand why I was crying, he'd let me join him. I leaned against him and felt his arms wrap around me as we both collapsed on the sofa. I lay there for a few minutes just breathing in his familiar musky smell. Letting his body warmth steal the chill from my skin.
I don't think I was asleep for very long when violent shaking woke me up. Arik's arms tensed and prevented me from falling off the sofa. The shaking died down but it was closely followed by another wave.
“What's going on?!” I shouted, covering one ear as I heard something give, loudly with a metallic screech. If Arik replied I couldn't hear it over everything. He grabbed my hand and steadied me when everything shivered again. We ran to the main deck where Ian was panicking and cursing loudly at the navigation board. Arik quickly shoved his frantic hands aside and brought up a holographic screen.
“It's him, Arik,” Gloria said calmly as she walked up the stairs. She was closely followed by Kimla, who looked absolutely terrified out of her wits. Arik murmured a curse, but I had no hope of repeating it's pronunciation. Seeing as it was his language, not mine. The screen loaded up a map and on it was a layout of the ship.
“Ian, go down to the engines and see if you can repair anything.” Ian nodded, engines he knew. Navigation not so much. It looked like there were a lot of red flashing lights on that layout, but I couldn't get a closer look as he changed the screen to something else. There was a small representative of the ship and all the nearby planets showed up as small dots and here and there were glowing circles. He traced a path to the nearest one and the map shifted. Moving to a completely different area of space where it showed the representative emerging from another glowing circle. He muttered something about Gloria's damn predictions and continued the path to the closest planet. A nearby switch started flashing red and he glared at it before pressing it.
“Ah, finally. How are you, Arik? Having a good fly in space?” It took me a while to place the voice, since his face had been impossible to make out in the dark. Argon had pale turfs of hair coming out of his scalp and the coldest blue eyes I'd ever seen. His slitted pupils met Arik's evenly.
“Oh, a great one. Though there's this bastard firing at us,” Arik said nonchalantly. Argon chuckled and shook his head slightly.
“Well then, maybe you should stop and surrender yourself. Of course, I can't guarantee your pet human's safety, not anymore,” He said.
“Well, guess it's pretty pointless asking me then,” Arik replied, then he flicked the switch back, cutting off the connection. He turned a nearby dial and glanced at some complicated looking calculations on the screen.
“The invisible shield should last us to the hyper-jump. Just about,” Arik said. I wanted to ask him to explain what that was. But most importantly, I wanted to know why this Argon person wanted him so badly. But Kimla took my hand and dragged me away.
“Your wound's reopened, let me re-bandage it,” Kimla said. I didn't even realise there'd been something covering it. I guess Kimla must've snuck into my room and done it while I slept.