Riley grinned, leaning over to be eye level with Chel. She picked up on it quickly. He was trying to push her buttons.

“That isn’t funny, Riley!!” Chel frowned.

“Oh, but your expression was.” Riley chuckled.

“I’ve only known Lexx nine days!!” Chel snapped a bit quicker than she intended. Her face was burning and she didn’t want to be talking about this.

“I was kidding!” Riley persisted, now keeping his hands to himself. Once he’d noticed she really looked embarrassed, he had decided he’d done enough. He really didn’t want her to be so uncomfortable around him. “But you seem to be blushing really brightly for someone who has never had the thought of Lexx in that -”

“Riley,.. isn’t it time for you to leave yet?” Chel tried to turn away from him. She did not want him seeing her face, especially after pointing out how red she was.

She couldn’t get away from him. Riley blocked her path and reached out to put a finger beneath her chin, lifting it slightly. “Look at me, Chel.” His voice had taken on a much more serious tone, which caught her attention better.

“You’re going to be really mad when you figure something out. I’m not telling you what it is, but even if you go home now, right now, you’ll still have it. There is a reason you are being drug down by Lexx’s moods.”

“Uhm,” Chel blinked uncertainly. A reason? She’d felt slightly odd for a while now, but hadn’t thought anything of it. On occasion, she had a fuzzy sensation in her head and thought she was hearing things. Chel had put it off as something caused by being in space. It hadn’t caused her any pain. But now that Riley mentioned it, she realized that her moods were in a way, paralleling Lexx’s. That was a frightening thought. Why?