Jerret hopped into the ship and shook his fur dry. It had started raining lightly again as night fell. The Mr’Kana had left his pants by the door for him, judging by the smell. He left them there and curled up on the floor in the cell room, huffing heavily. Calvin wasn’t here, so they’d probably taken him to the other ship. The quiet was relaxing and he could almost feel himself drifting off.
His head snapped up at the sound of footsteps outside and he stood up on all fours again. He shifted back and managed to get dressed before Jessie’s father came inside.
“Oh good, you’re back.” He said, standing in the doorway to outside. Jerret stared at him silently. “I have a tow coming, current eta is a week. We just need to hold out that long food-wise.”
Jerret acknowledged what he’d said with a nod and headed for the kitchen. The man followed him as he found some food and sat down to eat. He tried to ignore the man as he sat down across from him and watched him eat. This worked until the food he’d grabbed ran out and they were just sitting in silence, with him staring at an empty container as his stomach growled.
“So…” The man leaned forward eagerly as he spoke and Jerret leaned back, tossing the dish behind him onto the counter, “I have questions.”
“Ok.” Jerret narrowed his eyes a little. The food had helped but he was still starving and exhausted from shifting.
“Young Mr. Sutro seems a bit indisposed and Jessie will talk your ear off without telling you anything. So that leaves you.” He gestured a little as he spoke, as if trying to force the words at Jerret.
“Ok.” Jerret shut his eyes completely, hoping he might pass out despite the man’s talking.
“So who are you?”
Jerret opened one eye and studied the man.This was not a conversation he wanted to have without more sleep. The man started to fidget a little as he stayed silent.
“Okay, okay… vague question I guess. What’s your name?”
“Jerret.” Jerret shut both eyes again, tilting the chair back so it leaned against the counter.
“Is that your… right…” The man trailed off and Jerret could hear fingers drumming on the table, “I’m Sam Mitchell, Jessie’s father obviously.”
Jerret opened both eyes slightly and could see Sam watching him. He exhaled slowly and sat up straight. The man’s eager expression didn’t change, even as Jerret glowered at him.
“Alright fine, you’re not much of a talker. Given your situation I guess I wouldn’t be excited to get questioned either.”
“Situation?” Jerret raised an eyebrow.
“Unregistered vagrant shifter, probably born into the fights if I had to guess. Assuming you’re a decent fighter, or were, from the scars. How long ago did you get out?”
Jerret looked out the door into the hallway instead of responding.
“Too personal? Fine… I’ll leave you alone if you tell me what happened and why you’re involved.”
“Wrong place, wrong time.” Jerret put his head down on the table. It felt cold and damp from the humid air outside.
“Whatever food you guys have in here is local, and I doubt Mr. Sutro is much of a hunter. You’ve been keeping them alive, not just yourself.”
“Needed Calvin to fix the ship until he snapped, and she’s just a kid.”
“How did you even end up on the ship?”
“Ask your security guard, he saw the footage.”
“There was no footage, someone tampered with it.” Sam said calmly
Jerret looked up at this. The man was staring down at his hands, rubbing them together.
“I didn’t have anything to do with this.”
The man held up his hand even as Jerret protested, “I’m asking you what happened. You and Jessie are the only ones who might know and can talk about it at this point.”
Jerret studied him carefully, but the man’s expression was unreadable now, “She wouldn’t know, she was unconscious.”
The man frowned for a moment, then returned to his blank expression, “Unconscious?”
“He drugged her somehow, that’s how I knew something was wrong. I could smell it.” Jerret tensed as the man’s expression flickered at the word ‘smell’.
“Mark said you were restrained at that point, how’d you end up on the other ship?”
Jerret didn’t answer at first. He stood up, grabbed some water, and paced a little while drinking. Sam waited patiently until he sat down again.
“How’d you get out of the restraints? And why?”
“I saw Calvin carrying her away, it didn’t seem right. I shifted out of the restraints and chased after him.”
“Why? Why put yourself at risk of discovery when you didn’t know what was going on?”
Jerret looked out into the hallway again. He drank some more water to avoid answering, until Sam started fidgeting again.
“What are your intentions towards my daughter?”
Jerret choked on his drink and started coughing, staring at the man, “What?” He managed to gasp out finally, catching his breath.
“You stuck your neck out for her, made sure she survived, from the looks of it I’m guessing you were giving her the lion’s share of food for some of this.” Sam gestured to Jerret’s uncovered chest and Jerret frowned, looking down at himself. He’d lost a bit of weight, but it shouldn’t have been that obvious.
“She’s just a kid.”
“You could’ve alerted security, been a witness, maybe made this end quicker even. You don’t impulsively break out of restraints and risk your life and freedom for ‘just a kid’.”
Jerret stood up and walked over to Calvin’s room, shutting himself inside before Sam could follow. He could hear the man walk up to the door and pace for a little while before heading outside again. He flopped down on the bed and finally got some sleep.