“Arik?” The drac's eyes had grown wide and true surprise covered his features. I had a feeling that was a rarity. Then the man was shoved aside and a women took his place. She had long blond hair that fell in beautiful cascades around her petite face. Sharp electric blue eyes stared intently through the screen. She studied Arik for a few moments before muttering something to the man. Then she left abruptly.
“You have permission to land, hurry,” He said before cutting off the connection. Arik turned to look at us and I think we all had equally shocked expressions.
“Your the drac prince that went missing thirteen years ago?” Kimla asked, her mouth forming a small “o”. A prince? No way, couldn't be. I mean he didn't act like one. Though how a prince acts I wouldn't know.
“Doesn't matter, we're safe from Argon for now,” He muttered. Heading towards the main corridor. I wanted to follow and ask more questions but I had no clue what to say. How was I supposed to act around him now, knowing something like this?
“I told him to be careful with his words,” Gloria whispered to herself. She'd known all along, but she'd never told us. I wasn't sure if I felt betrayed by all of this or just plain stupid. He'd always talked about how he left home because he was sick of the politics. I'd never asked for anything more than that. But now his words and this. I shook my head and claimed one of the front chairs.
“What now?” I asked. Ian leaned forward and made the ship continue it's route.
“Guess we're going to live with the drac for a while,” He replied with a grim smile. At least these guys were meant to be in favour of protecting us. I heard a sharp in-take of breath and turned to look at Kimla who had her hands over he mouth.
“This explains why Argon was chasing us, he must want to convince Arik to be on his side,” Kimla said.
“His side?” I asked, eyebrow raised.
“Everyone knows since he and Cera were young, they'd been opposites. Before their parents died, they gave Cera the throne. Argon had never liked that. But the council told Argon there was no way to over-rule his parents last words. But they had never given an opinion on whether Arik could or couldn't have the throne. Only that Cera should have it and Argon couldn't,” Kimla explained. It all sounded so complicated and I felt a little mad. I should be hearing this from Arik. Then something that she said clicked.
“Wait, is Argon Arik's brother?” I asked and Kimla nodded silently.
“The twins who fought for the crown and the younger brother they exploited as a pawn on a chessboard to settle their petty issues...” Gloria trailed off. I stood up quickly and muttered something about needing to go. Arik's room was empty so I headed back to the conservatory and found him sitting on the floor looking out the ceiling.
“Why are you here? I'm pretty sure the others downstairs covered everything,” He murmured, not even bothering to glance my way. I considered leaving, clearly he was in no mood to talk but instead I sat down next to him and looked at the ceiling. He could be stubborn all he wanted, I wasn't going anywhere.
“So you're a prince...explains why you were such a brat when we first met,” I said, hoping to break the tension.
“You're one to talk, at least I could look after myself,” he replied. The recesses of a smile on his lips. I felt relief flood through me and let out a small laugh.
“Remember that time I convinced you to try an apple,” I said, recalling one of our earliest memories and he laughed.
“Yeah, the thing tasted disgusting and I threw my guts up. Was a great day for me,” He said with obvious sarcasm, rolling his eyes.
“Well, you should've had the brains to realise you couldn't eat the thing. I was just trying to help,” I said with a proud shrug. He shook his head and looked at the stars again.
“Promise me something, Erika.” The fact that he used my proper name told me he was being serious again.
“Anything,” I replied, without a seconds hesitation.
“Don't let anybody on that planet change you,” He said, turning to meet my eyes.
“Please, I'm not going to let some royals and posh types effect me. Wait, does this I can call you posh-boy?” I asked with a wide grin and his deadpan expression made it clear I absolutely couldn't. Not that I was going to let it stop me. Something he knew based on the groan he let out.
“You call me that and I'll tickle you,” He murmured darkly.
“Pfft, I'm not scared of your threats posh-bo-.” My word got cut off by his hands snaking round my waist. I screamed helpless and tried to get away, but as always it was pretty pointless. Eventually after lots of begging from me, he let go.
“No fair, you're not ticklish,” I muttered after I got my breath back.
“Well if you hadn't said it, I would've left you alone,” He said with a shrug, barely hiding the smirk on his lips.
“Bully,” I muttered, though I knew I was smiling myself.