All That’s Left
Best friends, business partners, and deep space explorers, Ceaira and Grazer are forced to reevaluate their friendship when a near-death experience uncovers their mutual love and affection.
Tropes – Science Fiction Romance, Best Friends to Lovers
The static over the radio cut off. The vacuum of outer space was overwhelming in its stillness. All they had left was the red, blinking emergency lights and 30 minutes of life support.
They stared out the main window into the Alta Star System. The beautiful Prima Sintori constellation came back in view as they drifted in lazy circles through the cosmos.
“This is it. Unless someone hears our distress beacon in the next 30 minutes, we’re dead.”
Ceaira didn’t respond. She couldn’t respond. All of that time wasted for what? A nomad’s life, chasing coin, never setting down roots, rarely appreciating what she had. Never telling the man she loved that she loved him. And now they were both going to suffocate and drift into the ether.
“Grazer?” She turned to look at him, really look at him one last time. His broad shoulders. His chiseled features. His dark skin glowing from the warm lights. Her favorite feature, his piercing hazel eyes, were a dizzying mix of brown and green with gold flecks like tiny drops of concentrated starlight.
He gave her a sad quirk of his lips, an approximation of a smile, as he met her gaze. “Hm?”
She took a deep breath to steady herself against the quickening of her heart. “If this is it-If this is our last night together, will you hold me like we’re more than friends?”
Grazer held her gaze for too many heartbeats before opening his arms for her to slide onto his lap. Ceaira luxuriated in his warmth, in the tightening of his arms around her waist. Their breaths condensing in the frigid air. Life support shut down the heating system an hour ago to preserve energy for oxygen generation. Soon it would shut off all together.
Grazer rubbed her back and kissed the top of her head. He laid his cheek on her crown and whispered, “You have always been more than a friend.”
She pulled her head back. Their faces were inches apart. His breath warmed her lips. She tilted her chin up to close the distance between them when a bright light suffused the cabin. Outside the main window a standard issue Huntsman patrol ship approached.
Ceaira jumped out of Grazer’s lap and they prepared to be boarded. When they were safely aboard the patrol ship, she avoided Grazer’s gaze and locked herself in her assigned guest quarters for the rest of the evening.