‘I didn’t think about it that way. I am such an idiot at times.’ Lexx felt his head aching again. This was the first time he’d had to look at things like this or really contemplate another person’s feelings. It was really dragging on him that he could also feel what Chel was feeling. Disgust, anger and emotions that Lexx was all too familiar with himself, but had never realized anyone else could feel as badly as he did. ‘I should have realized that I was doing the same as Claudia was doing to me. I didn’t mean it the way Claudia did, but I think I can see now that I was really wrong.”

He swallowed hard, studying his hands. ‘I could just let this go and not say anything more. Maybe she’ll decide it’s not a good idea to stay here,…’ There was a brighter side. He still wanted her to leave. She was bothering him in ways that he had avoided in the past. He was also beginning to get used to her being there. It had only been five days, but already he had become a little attached.

Lexx had a weakness for liking some people and beings once he got to know them. As a child, he’d never been the shy type, which always left him open to being taken advantage of and being hurt. Over time, through the Academy he had learned that the best way to avoid the wrong type of people was to be hostile and unlikable. If they saw they couldn’t get anything from him easily, they left him alone.

Of course, that approach left him with few friends. Damian and Claudia were his friends, no matter how much they annoyed him. They tolerated his behaviors and it almost seemed to be an allure to both of them. They wanted to know him and he resisted them both. He didn’t want to know them. He’d carried his barriers too far.

Now, the girl was getting to him in a way that was aggravating and refreshing at the same time. She frustrated him. He didn’t understand her. He couldn’t figure out why she wanted to be here. For the cat? That cat was a nuisance. She had no reason to be here, other than she just wanted to and Lexx just could not fathom how someone could do something without a real reason.

She had made him smile.

Now, she was making him feel guilty. ‘If she leaves, Claudia will be after me again,… if she stays, I’ll be using her to keep Claudia away. I don’t use others, I don’t.’ He thought it over to himself. What was the best way to handle this?

He didn’t want the girl to leave. He realized that it was a bad idea for her to remain, but at the same time, he did not want her to leave. That kiss, as erratic and forced as it had been, was pleasant. Much better than being forced to do what Claudia wanted. Of course, that had only been about two seconds, then he’d almost been knocked off his feet by the following punch.

It had been worth it.

Lexx bit his lower lip. This was not a decision he wanted to make. He wouldn’t decide, instead, he found his way out, ‘I’ll leave the final decision to Chel,.. but I will try to treat her better than I have to make up for putting her in the middle, not to convince her to stay. At this point,.. it’s all her choice. I have no reason to be cruel, but as a person I do have a reason to be,.. considerate.’

He lied to himself, dancing around his true feelings. He wouldn’t acknowledge his desires. They would get in the way if he did, but at the same time, he was sabotaging himself. He didn’t care. He could play this game back and forth. He could walk this fine line as long as he could avoid really thinking about it.

Tomorrow might be his last day alive,… but tomorrow could also be another step toward his own freedom and a real future.