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   Chapter 52 No.52

Dead Beckoning By Christina Engela Characters: 5446

Updated: 2018-06-30 19:01

"Why, what do you mean?" Dellon asked.

"I mean, well – our relationship began in the middle of chaos, threatened by the Akx and Billingham, and nearly dying of hypoxia… and not long after getting back into our routine, more chaos, almost being killed by Corsairs… and here we are!"

Dellon shrugged uneasily. What was Joe getting at?

"Here we are." He agreed cautiously.

"What I mean, really is, that we're still together." Lofflin smiled, reaching out to take the bottle, and laying his hand warmly on his. "D'you know, I've never been happier?"

"Really?" Dellon asked hopefully. "You really mean that?"

"Yes." Joe replied, and sent his partner a smile, and Dellon smiled back. "I do. And it's all your fault."

Joe poured two glasses of wine, and dropped the bottle into an ice bucket on the counter, and Dellon followed him to sit at the table. Two plates of steaming hot food had already been set.

"Chicken ala King!" Joe grinned, nodding approval. "My favorite!"

"Everything I cook seems to be your favorite!" Dellon teased.

"Well, you're very good at it!"

"Thank my mom, when you meet her one day!" Dellon smiled happily. "It's her recipe!"

"Think she'll like me?" Lofflin asked.

"She better!" Bennett laughed. "It's a long way from here!"

* * *

Dr. Payne was an expert in her field – which happened to be space medicine. Fairly young for all her accomplishments, and having a serious bearing, she also had a pretty sharp wit, as Adam had discovered early on his previous stay on the Antarse. The Doctor's demeanor towards him had changed and mellowed since that time – he wasn't 'the

me, but it would do for now. Anyway, he had some unfinished business down there by the name of Marsha. After that, who knew? Perhaps he would go to Earth or Andronicus after all, to see what a so-called civilized world looked like. After all, he'd never actually been there before to see what all the fuss was about. The question was, would he go there alone or would he have company? The answer to that, he suspected, lay on that ugly yellow smear on the display.

"Stay tuned for the suspenseful further adventures of Blachart, the ex-Corsair!" He mumbled melodramatically to himself, following it up with a little imitation fanfare.

He stopped, pondering something. Then he grinned. The name didn't fit him anymore. It just didn't fit. Not in a rebellious sense of denial – somewhere along the line, it had just stopped. His heart felt light for the first time in years! He felt clean, and keen! Excited! He felt… anticipation! He was looking forward to answering that question. He closed the bag, looked around to make sure he hadn't forgotten anything, and prepared to leave.

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