"I'm not quite sure what you expect to find here. We've been looking for like an hour, and there's no sign of how to get you guys back home." Lexi said, leaning against the nearest tree and crossing her arms. The extreme heat of the afternoon, coupled with the high humidity in the air, had her sweating profusely in her skinny jeans and short-sleeved t-shirt. If only she'd had the good sense to wear a tank top, maybe she wouldn't feel so miserable.
Law and the two engineers weren't in any better shape, judging by the stooped-over posture and heavy breathing. Law outwardly looked normal, though he kept taking off his hat and smoothing down his hair, which was slick with sweat. Not only that, but he still wore his hoodie. She wondered how he could wear that thing on a daily basis and not die of heat-stroke.
"I'm not sure myself, though there has to be something that gives us a clue." Law said, staring up at the entrance to the cave they'd come from, watching as the tiny stream trickled down the side and into the river beside it. It cut close, but didn't exactly go through the tunnel, just around it.
They'd been wandering around since before lunch, poking at stray rocks and scanning the entrance bit by bit. As the morning became the afternoon and the sun rose higher in the sky, so had the temperature, making their search all that more unpleasant.
"Well, I'm pretty sure if there was something here, we'd have found it by now." Lexi sighed, pushing off the tree and hopping over the rocks in the river to the other side. Law followed after her, trailed by the exhausted engineers, too tired to complain or say a word.
"You're sure this is where you guys came from?" She reiterated, watching Law inspect the inside mouth of the cave for the eighth time that day. He peered at the rock, slowly nodding.
"Yes, I remember feeling the rock when we came out."
"Hmm…" Lexi hummed, eyes lazily drifting over the cave again. The inside was dark further in, but the light of the sun illuminated the first fifty or so feet inside. They examined the sides, but still found nothing.
"I say give it a rest for today. Who knows, maybe there'll be something tomorrow or the next day?" Lexi tried convincing the captain, who still wanted to keep searching in and around the cave yet again. "We've been at this for a while now, we need a break and obviously we're not finding anything this way."
Law was silent, staring at the cave, before nodding silently. Though he wanted to search some more, he realized that Lexi was right. There were no clues as to how they'd gotten here, and the longer he looked the more time they were wasting. She knew it, and he knew it too.
"Fine." He supplied, following her and the others outside of the cave and over the river once more. They made their way back to the forest path towards where Lexi's truck was parked. The walk back seemed shorter than when they'd found there way here. After exiting the forest, they walked through a grassy field towards the main road, spotting her truck as soon as they stepped out of the coverage.
"God, it's so hot." Lexi complained, pulling several times at her collar to try getting more circulation to her chest. Law agreed, but was beaten out by the engineers.
"Is it possible for a human to melt? Because I feel like that's what I'm doing." Penguin panted out.
"Just put me in the freezer when we get back, Lexi-chan." Behind him was Shachi, in as bad a shape as his friend.
"I'm definitely taking a cold shower when we get home. The air conditioner has been acting up lately, so it won't be exactly pleasant getting back to the house." Lexi sighed again as they reached the truck, and she pulled the key out of her pocket before unlocking it. They all climbed in and she started up the engine. With one more glance towards the tree line, Lexi turned the truck back towards home and sped off down the road.
"Ah, so good to be back." Shachi exclaimed, stepping into the foyer of the house. The other followed behind him, though not nearly with as much excitement. While it was a bit cooler inside, the air was nowhere near the temperature they would have liked.
"If you really want to stay cool, you could go down to the basement. It's the coldest place in the house." Lexi suggested nonchalantly. Without another word, they hurried off to the downstairs. "Don't touch anything while you're down there!" She shouted after them, hoping that nothing would be caught on fire or destroyed.
Law smirked at Lexi, making her roll her eyes in his direction. Tossing her purse over the side of the stairs banister, she trekked upstairs and into her room. Law went up a moment later, opening the door to the guest bedroom him and his men shared. Bepo was inside taking a nap on his back. When he opened the door, the bear cracked open an eye.
"Oh, you're back. Did you find anything at the cave?" He asked, and Law shook his head, moving to sit on the edge of the bed.
"Nothing. There's no sign of anything there, but I'm sure that was where we came from."
"I thought so too, but maybe you guys can look another day?"
"Yes, we will have to return and search the area again." Law mused, his thoughts beginning to wander back to the cave. It was then that the sweat began to dry against his back, making his shirt cling to his skin. Grimacing at the feeling, Law sighed and stood once more, heading towards the door.
But before he could even step out into the hallway, he heard the bathroom door shut and lock, meaning Lexi had beat him to it. Returning to the bedroom, he decided he'd lay down to wait for her to get out.
Eventually, he heard the shower turn off, and the thumping of Lexi's feet as she walked around on the tiles. He closed his eyes again, waiting to hear the door open after awhile. And he kept waiting. Until he frowned, thinking that it had been way too long since she had finished taking a shower. With a low growl, because he still felt sticky and unclean from being out in the heat himself, he swung himself out of the bed and stood, making his way into the hallway.
Knocking on the door, he stood outside with his arms crossed. "Lexi-ya?"
"Huh? What?" She called from inside.
"Are you nearly finished?"
"Yeah, almost." She said, ending the conversation there. Rolling his eyes, Law knocked a few more times, with a little more force than before.
"You've been in there for an hour." He said, only guessing since he hadn't kept track of the time.
"No, like 45 minutes! I'll be out soon." She said, and he sighed once more.
"How long is soon?" He questioned.
"I don't know, I've still gotta do a few things. Not long."
This was getting ridiculous, he thought. "If you don't come out within the next minute, I'm coming in."
"No you won't." She retorted confidently, continuing to do whatever it was she was doing in there. Clinks and thunks were all he could really hear, so it was hard to tell what she was doing. Either way, it didn't sound like she was getting dressed, which would make what he was about to do extremely perverse if she was, but he took a shot in the dark.
The lock on his side of the door was easily turned, as it had a slot for something to undo it, and he quickly twisted it with his fingernail before turning the handle and opening the door. Lexi shouted in surprise on the other side, gaping up at him like he was a madman.
"Time's up." He said, a grin marking his face. Lexi, who'd been in the middle of doing her makeup, hair still wet, held a mascara brush in her hand. It seemed he'd interrupted her while she tried applying it, since there was a large black mark right besides her eye. Thankfully she'd already gotten dressed.
"Law! Get out!" She backed up a bit, though after a second thought tried pushing him out towards the hallway again, but he was a lot stronger than her and simply kept going in.
"You've had your turn, now it's mine." He stated, closing the door behind him.
"What the hell?" Lexi gasped in exasperation, and she capped her mascara before trying to open the door again. He held it shut. "What is wrong with you? Seriously, what kind of house guests are you people?" She tried provoking. He simply smirked.
"If you don't want to get out, fine. That's up to you." He said, and she frowned.
"Umm…" Ignoring her confused and still angry look, he walked past her towards the shower, where he turned on the water. Then, still not acknowledging her, he grabbed his hoodie and removed it, setting it on the counter beside him.
Unbeknownst to him, though he suspected it would happen, Lexi's face went beet red at what he was doing. Her eyes took in the black ink that adorned his back and shoulders, and she was willing to bet that if he turned around there'd be some pretty large tattoos on his chest as well. She swallowed, suddenly unable to look away. Then, remembering that she was supposed to be angry at him, she shook her head before glaring once more.
"What are you doing!? Law!" He looked behind his shoulder, smirking wider.
"If you want to stay that's your choice, I already told you. But I'm taking my shower." Law turned then, displaying the tattoos she knew would be there, stalking closer to her. "With or without you here."
Her mortified expression returned, and she was forced to look up at him as his taller height became apparent. She forced herself not to look at his perfectly toned chest, adorned with his black tattoos while he was up this close and staring into her face. Her breathing seemed to stop, and besides the rushing water in the shower, there wasn't any other sound except his breathing.
She said nothing, simply staring up at him with an unreadable expression. His smirk didn't go away, and he was quite intrigued as to what she would choose. He was almost positive she'd simply turn around and leave the little room that didn't give either of them much space, but he wanted to make sure. There was a part of her that undoubtedly found itself attracted to him, if the first part of that party was anything to go by.
She had surprised him before. Maybe she'd do it again. And he saw it, that little spark in her eye when she had decided on something. And then it was gone.
"Alright. Fine." She said, grabbing her stuff from the counter and turning towards the door. He raised a brow, slightly disappointed that she hadn't challenged him like he'd wanted her to, though he supposed she wasn't that bold of a person. She opened the bathroom door and closed it behind her, and he heard her bedroom door close a moment later.
Taking off the rest of his clothes, Law stepped into the shower and closed the curtain.
About half an hour later, Law turned off the water before drawing back the curtain and stepping onto the rug below. The whole room was still hot from the steam, and the mirror above the sink was foggy. Grabbing a clean white towel from the shelf, Law ran the towel over his head until his hair was messy and slightly drier than before. Then, he tied it around his waist, securing it and wiping off some of the fog from the mirror.
It was then that he felt something was wrong. His eyes narrowed, and he stared at his reflection as he tried to think what it was that was making him feel like-
He stopped, eyes shifting to the side as he stared at the empty sink counter. Well, it wasn't empty, there was a bar of soap in the corner, and a toothbrush holder. But, nonetheless empty.
An empty counter. Where his clothes should have been.
Despite the situation he was in, he couldn't help but chuckle to himself. It appeared that Law had underestimated the crafty mind of a certain brunette. "Always full of surprises." He muttered, shaking his head.
Turning towards the door, he opened it and stepped into the hallway before barging straight into Lexi's room without knocking.
Lexi's gaze swung to the wall between her room and the bathroom when she heard the water stop. A smile on her face, she returned to reading the book that she couldn't even think of the name of at that moment. She was too focused on what Law's reaction would be when he found out she'd stolen his clothes. Oh well, that's what he got for barging in on her while she was using the bathroom.
Of course, she'd kindly placed his clothes back in the guest bedroom for him to find, though not in an obvious place. Unless he looked really hard, which she doubted he would, he wouldn't find them unless Lexi told him where they were. And she wanted to watch him have to beg for where they were. Or just get angry. That would be amusing too.
The door to the bathroom opened while she was still in her thoughts, but she jumped when her own door opened as well, and a half-naked Law strode in, still dripping water from the shower.
"If you wanted to see me without clothes on you should have just asked." He started, an amused smirk on his face. Unfazed by his comment, Lexi simply returned to her book with a pleased expression.
"You wish. And I could say the same to you, walking in on me like that."
"Where have you put them?" He asked, cutting immediately to the point. Feeling like pretending to read now was pointless, she set the book beside her on the bed and looked up at him.
"You can't get something for nothing." She watched as he rolled his eyes and crossed his arms.
"And what is it that you want in exchange for my clothes."
"Ah, I don't have your clothes. But I know where they are." She smiled pleasantly, trying to prolong this experience as long as possible. He must have figured this out, since he only shook his head.
"Fine. What do you want for me, in exchange for telling me where my clothes are?" He made sure to talk slower, just to try to annoy her, but she just kept smiling.
"An apology, for forcing me out of the bathroom and for getting on my nerves all the time."
Lexi shrugged her shoulders, reaching to pick up her book once more. "Well, then I guess you'll have to get used to wearing that towel."
"You're acting like a child." Law sighed, and Lexi only laughed.
"Don't I know it. Good luck trying to find your clothes."
Finding her smug attitude a little annoying, he glared at her and left the room, shutting the door behind him as he went in search of his missing clothes.
Wherever she hid them, it was a good hiding spot since, after ten minutes of searching his room and the bathroom, he couldn't find them. Deciding that she was probably lying about not having his clothes, or he would actually have to find out from her where they were, he returned to her room a short time later.
"No luck? That's a shame." She said without sympathy. Raising a brow, he narrowed his eyes and moved to her closet, throwing open the doors and peering inside.
"They're not in there." She called as he rifled through several of her hanging shirts. There was no sign of his clothes, and he growled low in his throat. This was getting ridiculous now.
"Tell me where they are."
"Are you ready to apologize yet?"
When he looked back at her, she was smiling again. But he suddenly had a thought that would give him the upper hand once more, and he smirked back. Closing the closet, he stalked closer to her.
"I'm waiting." She said cockily, sitting up and crossing her arms.
He gazed cooly down at her, staring at her silently, before stepping forwards and leaning in, closing the distance between their lips.
She sat with her legs dangling over the side of the bed, and he wedged himself between them, resting his arms on either side of her thighs. This meant she couldn't lean backwards far enough to escape him, even if she wanted to. Hearing her gasp, he snuck an arm behind her back to keep her close. She brought her hands up to his chest, resting them there, probably not sure whether she wanted to push him away or simply feel his skin.
"Mmph." He heard her muffled attempt to tell him to stop, which quickly died in her throat when he tilted his head, deepening the kiss. One hand moved up to cradle her face, his thumb gently brushing over her cheek.
They separated for air. Lexi rested her forehead against Law's, panting to try to gain her breath back. Her eyes were still closed but Law watched her curiously, seeing her cheeks tinted red from either embarrassment or just the heat of the moment. Either way, he was satisfied that he'd effectively made his point.
Lexi didn't open her eyes until she heard the pirate chuckle. Seeing him staring at her with a smirk, he leaned forward again, his lips inches from hers.
"Will that apology suffice?" He muttered, staring into her eyes.
And it was then that Lexi realized she'd played straight into his hands, though her brain was having a hard time trying to figure out why that was such a bad thing, considering the results. Still breathing hard, she stared up at the cunning man in front of her and sighed.
"Under your mattress." She whispered, watching as he smirked wider and straightened up. He trailed his hand gently from her back as he stepped away, making her shiver. Leaving her be, he left the room to go put on his clothes. Lexi, on the other hand, simply fell back onto the mattress and stared up at the ceiling.
Unconsciously, she brought her hand up to her lips, still feeling the heat on her face. The kiss brought up such mixed emotions. God, did it feel really good. But the fleeting possibility of a long-lasting relationship with that man was slim to zilch, and she wasn't really betting on the idea of them staying forever in her didn't belong here, and she knew that.
Which made it all the harder to enjoy having him close to her, because she knew that as time went on, eventually she'd end up alone again.ns 18.104.22.168da2