“Keona?” Luc called out, peeking under another set of crates. A giggle chimed out from his left and a hot breeze brushed past him. A big bushy tail disappeared behind a stack of cryofood just as he turned around.

Bougie? Hiding’s not gonna help. You’re not getting off the ship unless you take these shots,” he straightened. He felt the heat radiate around him, but before he could pin-point it’s exact location, a figure jumped out from behind the crates and smacked him in the back of the head. It sailed over him and landed on the other side of the land rover. “Bougie!” he angrily exclaimed. “Don’t make me use the tranq gun,” he warned. He could almost bite the cigarette in his mouth in half.

A pair of large red wolf ears poked out from a corner of the rover, followed by large, green eyes and a grinning mouth with a fang that stuck out from the left top corner of her smile. Her long large tail snaked behind her head, and she flicked sparks at him. The face he made at her as he flinched away made her laugh out loud.

She jumped up onto the rover and perched on its roof frame, smirking at him. The tips of her ears and tail glowed with yellow fire and waggled mischievously. “Come on, Keona. We’re piercing orbit soon. And it’s time you updated your vaccinations,” he sighed.

She drooped over the edge of the roof. “But you said no power in the ‘verse could stop me,” the wolf-girl sulked.  Luc tilted his head. “You know better than to be that conceited,” he commented. She grinned, flashing her sharp teeth. Luc held out a hand. “C’mon. I know you can burn everything that tries to hurt you, but part of you’s still susceptible to illnesses,” he shrugged.

Keona purred and rolled off the rover. “I’ll get Leon to give you a scallop,” he offered. “Nah, I’m good,” she sulked and stuck her arm out. “Stick it to me. Hurry up,” she looked away. Luc chuckled at her choice of words. “Here?” he raised his eyebrows suggestively, taking her hand. Keona shot him an incredulous look. “Oh pfft,” she whipped the tip of her tail at him, cracking a stream of flame like lightning. He turned his head to catch the end of his cigarette in the fire and smirked at her.

Her hand began to heat up in his, but he didn’t pull away. It would take a little more to burn through his diamond skin; but to a normal human, it would already probably be like holding a hot ember. It did create a little annoying sensation though, but he was used to it and barely felt it.

“We’re entering orbit!” Talon announced over the intercom. “You want to go see the market later, you’re gonna have to take your shots first,” Luc tightened his grip on her hand.

“I’m your captain,” she pouted. “I’m your doctor,” he retorted, pulling her to the med lab. “I hate needles,” she grumbled. He turned back to look at her and pursed his lips. “But I love you?” he tried to appease. “Liar,” she grumbled, but went off to the med lab anyway. He took a draft of his cigarette and exhaled a plume of pink smoke.

Dealing with her was like dealing with a child – and if one thought about it, their age gap was that large and she didn’t have a chance to properly experience childhood anyway; but after all they’ve been through, none of that really mattered. Besides, they’d been together for a while now, and she now looked more or less as old as him. Or as young as him, if seen from his point of view. Antares natives are the vampires of the galaxy, and as much as he hated his race, it had its perks.

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