Brushing Ellie’s arms gently with his hands, Kort spoke softly, “Are you in that big of a hurry to leave me, now?”
Ellie smiled and kissed him on the lips. “No. You know that isn’t it. It’s just…I know there’s still work to do and we still need to find a way to…” Kort interrupted her with a kiss.
“There’s no need for you to get back to the greenhouse, sweetheart. They can manage and you still need to heal.” She loved the way he focused so completely on her well-being. He’d forsake his own if he ever had to make the choice, she was sure of it.
“I’m feeling much better, honest,” she said while looking into his eyes. Sometimes when she stared at them intently, she was sure there was something different about them. She couldn’t quite put her finger on it, but it seemed that he had changed. Of course, he’s changed, she’d think to herself. You can’t spend so much time above ground in such peril and not change somehow.
Kort laughed a little at her insistence. She was certainly stubborn. It was something that he’d admired in her for such a long time. He had been so jealous when she had attached herself to Kai. What had she seen in him? They were twins, after all.
Thinking about Kai caused anger to rise within Kort. His fists tightened into a ball and he turned away from Ellie, taking a deep breath before speaking again.
“I need to know you’re safe and completely healed, love. I hate that my own family did such horrible things to you while I was away. I promise you, I will take care of Ronin. He is mine! And you don’t need to worry about finding a way to save everyone. I’ve already given you all we need in order for us to leave.” Kort paused, unsure of how Ellie would respond to what he’d just said. He and Kai hadn’t been close. His speech and actions were as close of an approximation to what he’d imagined Kai would say and do given that they were similar simply because they were twins.
“Babe, what are you talking about? The only thing you’ve ever given me are those books. I treasure them all, I’ve read them all, but I don’t think I’ve read anything that would help us get everyone into space.” Ellie sat down, trying to recall all at once everything she’d ever read. Maybe there was some piece of information in those books that she’d mistaken for insignificant.
“Listen, sweetheart, I have some things that I need to get taken care of today. And I need to speak with my commanding officers about replenishing the ranks since most of our men haven’t returned. Promise me that you will stay here while I’m out so that I know you’re safe?”
“I promise, I won’t leave the room,” Ellie said, still lost in thought.
Kort bent down and kissed her forehead before walking out and locking the door behind him. Poor girl, he thought. She’s so lost in this romance that she doesn’t even realize that she’s still a prisoner. Still, he smiled at the thought that she was now his.