Lexx froze, assessing the situation he had caused. Chel was looking at him with a blank look on her face. ‘No,.. no! Why did I say that?!’ Regret raced through Lexx’s thoughts. ‘I couldn’t stop myself!’ Why couldn’t a logical explanation come just as easily?

“I need friends!”  Lexx blurted, pacing aside and casting furtive glances in Chel’s direction.  “I didn’t mean,.. Deuce, Chel!”  He was visibly squirming in discomfort.  “Don’t misunderstand me!”

“Stop that, Lexx.”  Chel blinked.  She did not like seeing him act like this.  It made her feel sorry for him.  Was he that worried about what she thought?  She had picked up on a slight concern before, but this was more obvious.  Blatantly obvious.  It was also awkward for her to deal with.  So Lexx had gone from treating her like someone he could care less about to worried that she misunderstood his intentions.  Now was probably as good of a time as any to set a small boundary, for herself and Lexx.

“I have so few true friends,… I,…  I’m not helping myself, am I?”  Lexx clenched and unclenched his fists, trying to rid himself of a sudden surge of energy.

“No.  I get it,…”  Chel turned away from Lexx.  She couldn’t face him and say what she had to, because looking at his terrified eyes only made her want to comfort him.  Not here.  Not now.  She held herself back only by turning and not looking at him.  “But please, Lexx, don’t depend on me as anything more than a friend.  Do not do that,…”

The last thing Chel needed was to have that pressure.  It was hard enough to leave and go home without him verbally expressing his feelings.  The more time she spent around Lexx, the warmer she felt toward him.  Chel reminded herself again,… distance.  There was a need for some distance to clear her mind and see things from a more objective standpoint.

‘Depend?’  Lexx inhaled deeply, feeling a weight of anxiety press on his chest.  ‘I’m not doing that, am I?  I just want… you to stay around, Chel,.. I’m not,.. am I?’  He fought to put the sensation down, but was having a difficult time wrangling his emotions to a point where he could fully control them.  He immediately wished he had prepared and had a soothing nutramix before he left the ship.  ‘I don’t know!’  He blurted inside, repeatedly, admitting his failure to comprehend fully what he was doing.

Chel waited for Lexx to respond, gripping her arms and listening to the slight rustle of Lexx’s wings in the breeze.  He was still squirming.  She bit her lower lip and stared at the sand.  ‘This can’t be happening!  I can’t let this happen.  I can’t.  We spent too much time together.’