Waking up a couple of hours before they were set to leave, Galen looked over, smiling. Skye was fast asleep in his bed, and although he liked the view, she probably wouldn't wake without some persuasion.
He, on the other hand, was ready to get this mission over with already. So he carefully got out of bed, slipping on his training pants before stepping into the living room.
It was still dark outside, reminding Galen of his homeworld a bit. Only he knew the bright yellow star would warm their part of the planet soon enough.
He moved to the wall-sized window, his eyes seeing everything as if it was midday. Only a few soldiers moved about within the compound, most likely enjoying the few hours of peace before the humans began waking.
Keeping the lights off, he turned to the kitchen, filling a glass with water. Earth's freshwater was sweeter than most, despite how humans treated their world.
That was one thing Galen couldn't understand. His people treated every world they visited with utter reverence, leaving the ecosystems better than how they'd found them.
But most humans didn't respect the planet they inhabited and couldn't just leave like many races.
Perhaps it was good that they invaded. At least Earth could heal itself now.
Galen set down the glass, exhaling quietly. He turned to the small food synthesizer he persuaded Bram to give him and punched in an Earth drink called hot chocolate.
Unlike most Wanderers, he liked sweets and was curious about the drink's taste.
Galen smirked, snatching his notebook from one of the drawers. Who was he kidding? Everything about humans intrigued him to no end: the good and the bad.
The synthesizer dinged, a cup of hot chocolate waiting for him.
Grabbing it, he carefully sipped the sweet drink and let out a sigh. It was delicious. Rich and sweet, along with some darker flavor notes, it was the whole package.
He smirked again, realizing it reminded him of the woman sleeping in his bed. It even matched her skin tone. No wonder he liked licking her.
Although he liked many things about Skye, most of which had nothing to do with her body. Such as her kindness and willingness to help others at all costs, even if it went against every fiber of his being.
But what Galen liked most was her resilience, ability to adapt to new situations, and independent nature.
Soshi hadn't been like that at all. And it had cost him much.
Galen sipped more of his sweet drink, preparing himself for the mission. He would do his best not to interfere with whatever Skye needed to do but would step in if her life was at risk.
Standing in the garage, Skye couldn't help but bounce on the balls of her feet. It was the only thing she could do to keep herself from needlessly pacing around.
She watched as Nash, Ava, and Galen did their last-minute preparations for the mission, whatever those were.
It amazed Skye how easily Ava fit into the flow of the two men. It was like a dance between the three of them. As if they'd been doing this for years.
And she knew she wouldn't be part of it, which Skye was fine with. She preferred helping people heal.
"It is cool to watch." A voice said from behind her.
"Aahhh!" Skye jumped, turning around, "Please don't do that."
Jo'dan smirked, "Sorry, couldn't resist."
She huffed, glancing back, "Then why don't you join in?"
"I don't know how to fly a ship."
Skye knew they didn't have a lot of pilots on the base, but that surprised her. "Neither of these two have taught you?"
Jo'dan shook his head.
All three of them stopped, looking at her.
Skye lifted her chin, "Yeah, you two heard me."
"Who's a jerk?" Bram was suddenly next to her.
She yelped again, hearing Galen chuckle. What was their deal? "Dammit, you two, stop sneaking up on me!"
"What are you doing here?" Nash walked up. "I thought you were too good to interact with us."
Since when did Nash get catty?
Bram rolled his eyes, "I'm coming with you."
Galen stopped for a moment, "Really?"
"Yes. I haven't been to the compound, and you could use my skill set."
"I'm sorry, but who are you?" Ava looked confused.
"Bram, Chief Engineer."
"And chief dick," Nash mumbled under his breath.
Before Ava could move, Skye smacked him on the arm. "Behave."
Nash looked startled, but everyone else laughed. He really wasn't used to her chastising him. That would change soon enough.
"Don't worry. I won't ride with you, second." Bram straightened, clearly challenging him. "I wouldn't want my presence to offend you."
Skye smacked Bram in the ribs, "You behave as well."
Skye glanced over, seeing Galen with a big grin on his face, "What?"
"You're amazing, you know."
She turned away from everyone, her face and low core heating up.
Luckily, Olsen, Max, and Evan arrived, relieving her of her sudden need to jump his bones in front of the others. Would he even be into that, though?
Skye shook her head. Now was not the time to be having sexy thoughts, turning back to the group.
Within minutes, everybody was strapped in and ready to go. Most were in the Defiant, except for Olsen, who was probably still too leary about her or Galen attacking him.
Bram sat in the co-pilot chair, Skye and Jo'dan in the row behind, and the rest sitting on the seat by the wall to her left.
Closing her eyes, Skye tightly squeezed the straps as the Defiant quickly ascended into the air, her stomach flip-flopping. She would never like flying.
Jo'dan suddenly took one of her hands, holding it. "It's almost over."
She squeezed it. He was so nice.
"He is right, my sweet," Galen sighed, "just a couple more moments."
"It better be." Max sounded woozy. "Do you have any plastic bags on this ship?"
Bram snorted, "You'll be fine."
Skye smirked. Her favorite engineer, while kind to her, lacked bedside manners to pretty much everyone else. But she knew he was a good person, just rough around the edges.
Finally, the Defiant leveled off, and she leaned forward, able to take full breaths again.
Jo'dan let go of her hand. "You survived."
He laughed quietly.
"I am not that bad at flying a ship." Galen tried to sound irritated, but she knew better. "I'm actually pretty good."
Nash was much better, but Skye wouldn't tell him that. Not now, at least. She wanted Galen to be as relaxed as possible.
As her stomach settled, Skye unbuckled herself and walked to the cockpit, staring out into the vastness below them, the Deviant off to the right in front of them.
Galen looked up at her, "Enjoying the veiw?"
Skye raised a brow, "Wanna share with the class?"
But a moment later, she was yanked down and sat on Galen's lap. "Umm, what just happened?"
He smiled at her, "What? There's enough room."
"Aren't I a distraction?" She adjusted so she leaned against him.
He shrugged, "I prefer you here anyway."
"Okay," she squeaked out, earning a look from Bram.
Relaxing into place, she focused on the viewscreen, knowing it would be a little while before they landed.