“It’s okay, I’m pretty sure she’s been sleeping for a while now.” He whispered, trying not to jinx himself by waking the small girl curled against his collarbone.
Melanie let out a soft breath and carefully took a seat next to him.
“I can’t believe she’s letting you hold her like that. I mean, all those contact protocols so we didn’t scare them witless, and there’s a human sleeping in your hand.”
Cameron’s blank expression shifted subtly, the line of his mouth turning down and the skin under his eyes pulling tight.
“I have to be honest, Mel... I’m pretty worried over here. When she pulled out of recovery and looked out of the view port for the first time, just staring at Earth way below us, I thought she would have been terrified. You know, scared that we’d taken her away from her home and that we might keep her here for whatever reason. But she was just... I mean she seemed... relieved. And then, I mean, you saw how fast she warmed up to Ben and me. Suddenly everything was a great big game, and even though we’re huge, even though she has every reason to be scared, she told me she felt safe here. That can’t be right.”
Mel chanced a quick look at the small girl, who in spite of the whispered conversation seemed to have remained comfortably unconscious. She smiled softly, a warm, maternal feeling spreading through her chest as she gazed at the sleeping child.
“Well, you’ve got to admit though, it is pretty touching the way she’s accepted us all so readily.”
Cameron’s expression became more pained.
“Mel, what could have possibly happened down on Earth to cause this little girl to trust us so blindly, just as long as it means we don’t bring her back?”