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   Chapter 54 Kernak

Bactine By Paul Kater Characters: 12140

Updated: 2018-02-11 19:03


"Daniel?" Rayko's soft and not so awake voice startled him.

"Oh. You're awake." Daniel became aware that he had no idea how long he had been sitting there, dividing his time between reading the book, dozing off and thoughts.

"I think so, " she said. "Could you help me sit up, please?"

"Certainly, " he said. He put the book on the bed and held her up, rearranging the pillows with one hand. "Comfortable enough like that?"

"Yes. Thank you." She smiled a tired smile. "I just wish this sitting and pain was over. I want to go outside. Walk. Feel the sun and the wind, and smell the ocean." She reached out for the book, a short twitch in her face showing that the movement still hurt. "Oh." She smiled. "You were reading this."

"Yes, I did. I picked it up as I was afraid it would fall off the bed, " Daniel said.

Rayko looked at him. "How long have you been sitting here?" Her voice did not sound accusing, it was just a question.

"I'm not sure. For some time." Daniel noticed the empty cup. "Would you like something to drink?"

"Oh, and to eat, please!" She nodded. "I am famished." After all, she had missed breakfast.

"I'll go see what the house has to offer, " Daniel said as he got up and picked up the teacup. "Do you want to try sitting in the dining room?"

"I'd really like to. Maybe we can see Kernak from there."

"Oh, you know her?" Daniel asked.

"Yes, I have seen her several times. She is magnificent."

Daniel agreed. "Let me see what can be arranged. I'll come back for you, okay?"

Rayko glared at him. "Okay. Okay. Do you know how much that makes you sound like an uncivilised peasant boy, Daniel? It is such a dumb word."

"Calm down, you. You're in no position to fight, remember?" Daniel warned her.

"Hmpf. If my ribs did not hurt, I would throw a pillow at you. You don't know how lucky you are that I am defenceless at the moment."

"Shouldn't that be offenseless?" Daniel laughed.

"Oh, go and do something useful, instead of trying to outsmart me." She opened the book and stared so intently at the page that it was clear she considered the matter closed.

"It's upside down, " Daniel said before he left. He laughed at the peasant sound she made as he closed the door behind him.

It did not take long to get a nice lunch on the table in the dining room. Daniel and a servant had brought a large chair into the room, filled it with pillows and then he had picked up Rayko and seated her in the chair.

"I am relieved that you no longer worry about me dropping you, Rayko, " Daniel said as she was sitting and he took his own seat.

"I know now that you are strong enough. And not nearly as clumsy as you look, " she said as she reached. "Oww... could you please hand me the bread?"

"Of course. What do you mean by looking clumsy?" Daniel had no idea that he looked like that. He held the bread basket for her.

"You're so... big. Broad. Your voice was so loud then. And then your clothes... so sailor like. And you smelled bad."

"I was at a ship, Rayko. Sailors don't wear suits or costumes."

"So I've noticed. Marmalade please."

For a while they ate in silence, until Rayko suddenly exclaimed: "Oh, there she is!"

Daniel looked over to where the woman was pointing. Outside the window, the Kotrvayk walked to her spot under the low tree. "She's magnificent, isn't she?"

"Oh, yes, I can't look at her enough."

"She is also good fun to play with, " Daniel said, a grin on his face as he remembered the tugging contest.

"Play?" Rayko's large eyes stared at him. "Surely you are joking, aren't you?"

"No? Why should I? The senator int

fresh sheets now.

"I did, yes. And, uhm, Daniel? Thank you for helping me overcome the fear."

"Sure. I'm glad it worked out so well, " he said. "You'd better rest now. I'll come and have a look occasionally, to check on you, if you want."

"Yes. I'd like that." She looked at Daniel, and she saw a different person. "Thank you, preacher."

Daniel winked at her and left the room.

"You're not so bad after all, Mr. Zacharias, " Rayko whispered.

-=-=-

"You are working miracles with that girl, Daniel, " said Sygra. "She starts to trust you, instead of wanting to take your eyes out."

Daniel grinned. He had noticed the change in her as well. And the one in himself. Then he talked to Sygra about the call he'd had from Huajo, earlier that day, and told the senator about the plan he had made, together with the ship owner. "It would be great if we could have some official backup of sorts, just in case, " he ended.

"I see that you are determined to do something drastic, Daniel, " said Sygra. "I will see what I can do for you, but as usual, there is nothing I can promise."

Daniel understood. The senator was influential in inter-planetary affairs, but not so much in local things. Especially the fact that they were going against one of the most powerful and respected people of the Zoroon community made things a tad more complicated.

Sygra had some lunch and left again. Daniel in that time made contact with several people and informed them of the plan he wanted to deploy the next day.

Most of the people he called were immediately ready to help. Some, as he had expected, were not so enthusiastic. The action against Clelem would mean going against their employer. Daniel could not blame them.

After all these things, he carefully looked in on Rayko. She was sleeping, the book resting on her knees again. Daniel smiled as he saw her. How different things had become in these last few days. As he was closing the door again, he heard her say his name.

"Daniel?"

When he looked again, she was awake. "Oh... I thought you were sleeping..."

"I was dozing. Are you busy?" she asked.

"Not anymore, " he said.

"I would like to talk with you, Daniel."

Daniel pulled up a chair. "Is there anything in particular you want to talk about?"

"Yes. I want to know what you think of me. And, if you want, I will tell you what I think of you."

They talked for a long time.

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