‘Scuse me while I kiss this guy

Julian sighed and ruffled a hand through his hair as he walked through the corridor on his way to the bridge. He felt as though he hadn’t had a moment to himself since he got up. Just then, he was running an errand for the chief engineer. He stopped, pressed the button to call the elevator to the upper level and leaned against a wall.

He closed his eyes for a moment. He was glad to have something productive to do. It kept his mind busy and made him feel like he was being useful. However, he knew there was more to life than the constant demands of his shipboard duties.

He felt a tug on the bottom hem of his tunic. His eyes opened and he saw that his daughter was there. “Hello, Darling,” he said. Unconsciously, a smile touched his features.

“Do you have a moment, Daddy?” she said, looking surprisingly serious for such a little girl.

Julian frowned slightly and knelt to look into her eyes. “Certainly,” he said. “What do you need?”

“This,” she said. Then, she leaned in to kiss his cheek. “Love you,” she said, flashing him a sunny smile.

Julian returned the smile and hugged her. “I love you, too,” he murmured. This was why he did everything. Being a member of the crew gave his daughter a home. It gave him the balance he needed – balance he’d lost when his wife died – to take care of her the way she needed him to. He’d never forget that.


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