Chel walked to the window, searching her mind for the right thing to say. “I thought you’d like it if I caught the last one.”

“I would have,…” Lexx swallowed hard, feeling a lump rising in his throat. His mood was swaying uncontrollably to a point in which he couldn’t figure out if he was mad, disappointed or sad. The closer Chel was, the more strongly he felt it. He took a moment to adjust his relay filters. “The first day. One less for me to have to fight, but it is not necessary for you to dirty your hands in this evil game.”

He finally turned to look directly into Chel’s eyes. “I would prefer that you not be contaminated by it. Especially not on my account.” He stared pointedly, a look that made Chel want to disappear.

She didn’t say anything. There was nothing she could say. Instead, she nodded and turned away, going toward the bunkroom. If she opened her mouth right then, she might burst into tears and that was the LAST thing she wanted to do in front of Lexx. That look had really hurt in a way she didn’t fully comprehend.