Lexx laid down in the grass next to Spark, who wasn’t going anywhere even though Dash had since lifted his paw and was sitting nearby. “Don’t feel so bad about it, Fly.” The Rishan patted the squirrel’s head in a condescending manner. “Chel thinks you’re so cute just the way you are. You should count yourself lucky you didn’t change.” He smiled, thinking to himself about the moment. It was good.

Without Spark making noise, everything was quiet except the sound of breathing and the gentle rustle of wind through the ankle deep grass. Tree limbs rustled in a relaxing manner under a moonlit sky. It was clear and simply beautiful. For a moment, Lexx wished that Chel had come down here with him, but she’d stayed behind at Epsy’s begging to play with her.

It made Lexx smile more thinking about that. She liked the dice and they liked her. How could they not? She really cared about them. “If you got bigger, you couldn’t sit on her shoulder anymore, now could you?” He was teasing Fly now. The squirrel grumbled and fumed.

“You’re jealous.” Dash snorted.

Lexx hrmpthed, resting his head in his hands. “What do I have to be jealous of?”

The tiger growled faintly. There was no use arguing with Lexx. He knew it. Dash had always been the most confrontational of the dice. Stealth was bad about sticking her nose where it didn’t belong, Dash would dig in with claws and fangs when he felt like making a point. But with Lexx, arguing wouldn’t get him anywhere. Dash was just making a ‘comment’.

“Dash,.. don’t start with me.” Lexx sat up and stared at the sky. Somewhere up there,.. was his ship and other ships. Somewhere up there,.. someone was going to come after him.

“Nine down and forty-one to go.” Lexx had hurried back to the Rift after remembering the oncoming battle. He had an overwhelming desire to be with Chel, just to be in the same room she was in until it was time. Now, he was standing in front of the dice rack with Spark’s dice in hand. “Spark’s a bit high strung,.. she needs the rest.” He stated, gently placing the dice into its assigned slot.

“So, took eight days to catch nine dice? Thirty-two for the rest and then you’ll be done?” Chel counted the days on her hands. It had already been eight days, actually nine. She was almost sad to count down the rest of the days at this rate. It was going by so quickly.

“I’d say forty-one. I’m ahead this time.” Lexx pushed the button to close the rack. It retracted into the wall and a golden orange panel slid into place. Chel was quiet. He turned and looked at her, studying her face. There was an odd look there. “Hungry?” He inquired.

“No,.. just ate an hour ago. It was pretty good by the way.” Chel grinned broadly, squinting slightly as she did.

Lexx smiled in return, unable to help himself. “Thank you.” Then, they just stared at each other, neither saying a word. A few strands of golden orange hair fell in front of Chel’s eyes and caught Lexx’s attention. He lifted his chin as though studying them, at the same time lifting his hand. He caught himself and abruptly changed the direction of his hand to his own hair, brushing it back and out of his eyes.

Chel caught the movement and raised an eyebrow curiously. Lexx turned to walk away, “Going to bed soon?” He asked curiously.

“I’m not tired.” Chel shrugged and walked after him. She wasn’t.

“You should rest.” Lexx made it sound more like a command than a suggestion.

Chel reached out after him, grabbing the back of his cloak. Lexx stopped walking, letting her walk into him. He stood there, not saying anything. Chel dropped her hand, remembering that Lexx hated being touched.

Lexx lowered his head, biting his lower lip thoughtfully. This was awkward. He didn’t know what to say or do now. “I like it when you read, since you know what some of the words mean that I don’t know.” That, was a stupid statement. Why had that popped into his head? “Would you mind reading tonight?” That was an idea, she could read and probably end up falling asleep after awhile and he could enjoy listening to her voice for an hour or so.

“Sure,” Chel grinned. It seemed an odd thing to read to someone when they were older than you and well,.. alien. Reading aloud was something you did for little kids who couldn’t read for themselves. “What do you want to hear?”

“I think you were reading something to the dice earlier about a hall of some sort and a monster,.. Grendel was it? I would like to hear that one.” Lexx replied. Chel chuckled. Last semester’s Literature book was coming in handy up here.