It was becoming increasingly harder to try to pretend that everything was alright. At least, it was for Lexi. None of the others seemed to be that affected by the news of a murderer nearby, though as Law had explained previously, they were probably used to death like that by now. No surprise there, now that she really thought about it. They were pirates after all.
All the same, having to still go about her days at the university was so different. The atmosphere on campus had changed drastically in the days following the news report. Most noticeable was the increase in security. Guards stood at most doorways into the school, stoic expressions as they watched the students go to and from class.
The students themselves were pensive. Conversations in the main hall were quieter, less pronounced. People constantly glanced over their shoulders, as if they were continuously being watched. Some had even stopped attending for the time being, as each of her classes had a higher absence rate than before.
Professors had cautioned students to never walk alone, to use the buddy system, as juvenile as the term may seem. Though it appeared that everyone was following that plan eagerly. Girls were seldom seen alone, though the guys, predictably, held less faith in its usefulness.
Brittany had tagged along with Lexi every day in the week following, making sure she was safe while at the same time taking comfort in having her best friend around. They didn't even talk too much while they were together, instead trading reassuring smiles and sticking a little closer if some guy eyed them a little too suspiciously.
Apparently the football team was taking Cooper's murder with mixed emotions. Though he was probably a friend to most of them, in the aftermath of the sexual assault claims against him not too many were very eager to defend or talk about him.
Lexi also worried about what the police may think. Being so close time wise from the party, she was afraid they would turn to her as a possible suspect, or even the pirates she was housing. That would be rather difficult to explain, seeing as they had no papers or passports verifying them as 'exchange students.' If people started questioning too hard into the matter, she'd have some serious problems to deal with.
Things had been…tense, with the pirates after that. Shachi and Penguin not so much, though in the past week they'd come across as more subdued. Whether this was due to the murder report itself or the palpable tension in the air of the Roe household, she couldn't quite tell. Bepo was just as adorable and neutral as ever, quite content that his captain was still alright. The bear would do anything to protect his friends, and perhaps her if the situation was right, should the need arise, and that was that.
Speaking of the captain, she'd tried her best to avoid him when she could. Not that that was very often, considering her hesitation to leave the house alone and having nothing to do to keep her occupied for long periods of time. After seeing the news, Lexi had been reminded of how dangerous people could be, and the pirates were no exception. Law especially. Sure, they'd been relatively calm and nonviolent, but who knew when that would stop? They were still capable of cruel acts like what had happened with Cooper. And yet there she was thinking back to that kiss in her room, with Law in nothing but a towel, making her heart beat a bit faster. In addition to that, what she could remember of that party was a nice, hot make out session with a certain man, feeling things she hadn't since her first and only boyfriend from a few years ago, and that didn't help matters either.
'What were you thinking? Stupid…' She thought, mentally kicking herself for her previous actions. Oh, if only sober Lexi had been the one in charge of her decision making that night. Things probably wouldn't have ended up so bleak.
She shouldn't be getting so close to them, most of all their captain. He was cunning, and she could see how that could factor into being manipulative. Perhaps that had been his plan all along, to manipulate her in the end, though how he was going about it still was unclear to the brunette. If he was, she couldn't tell.
And even if he wasn't, getting more attached to the man wouldn't do her any good either. They'd somehow find a way home, leaving Lexi all alone again with a broken heart that she had only made worse for herself. None of the outcomes in those scenarios sounded appealing…but still, her mind betrayed her. Still, she couldn't help but want his company even when she was simply digger her grave deeper.
Law had seemed to pick up her inner turmoil after about the second day, seeing her avoid eye contact with him whenever she could. He'd given her confused looks, frowning as he tried determining what was up, though she always excused herself to her room before he could ask what was the matter. She really didn't have an answer that wouldn't make her sound like some schoolgirl with a crush or an overly worried weakling. Because she couldn't picture herself being either of those things.
Those gray eyes always sought after her own green ones once he'd realized she wasn't feeling quite the same. Which only brought her thoughts back to that party, to that closet, where she could barely determine their color in the darkened interior, piercing into hers as she leaned closer…
Was she really that desperate for physical attention? Lexi had never described herself as needy or eager for pleasure. She was still young. Granted, it wasn't like she had no experience with the more sexual aspects of a relationship. There were only few instances of it anyway, nothing too memorable. But to feel the need, especially with Law of all people, to take things a little further, and further still, after just that one taste was a bit extreme for her. She wasn't used to experiencing that passion from inside herself towards another person. It was difficult to tell if it was a normal reaction.
Not for the first time since their arrival, she wished that they had never found their way to her world at all, thinking that perhaps things would have been a lot less complicated that way.
Shaking her head, she grinned inadvertently. Alongside that thought, she was also very grateful they had. For reasons she didn't really want to give a name to.
Law decided that enough was enough. He couldn't quite explain what was going on with their host, seeing as she wasn't too eager to be around him since hearing about the murder of her attacker. It was downright confusing, seeing as he couldn't think of anything he'd done to deserve such a withdrawn treatment.
Perhaps it was that kiss from before? But that didn't make sense, considering she'd appeared to be fine when they'd visited the grocery store that night. Her normal behavior had returned not long after that day, which left him still wondering what could possibly be going through her head to make her avoid him to this extent.
Staring up at the stairs from his position on the couch, he listened as the woman in question closed her bedroom door behind her, turning in for the night. Bepo had gone to sleep earlier on, leaving only Law and his two engineers still awake, sitting on the couch across from him.
Eyes not leaving the railing at the top of the stairs, he pondered how he could fix this situation. Law found he didn't much enjoy having a host who was constantly on edge around him, seeing as things were rather boring and tense. It wasn't going to make things easier when trying to find a way home.
Sighing, because he was tired of dwelling on the topic, knowing it would only cause him to be unable to sleep that night, he rose from the couch and stood, making his way over to the stairs.
"Are you going to sleep, Captain?" Shachi questioned, his and Penguin's eyes following after their leader.
Too tired and preoccupied to explain that he wasn't actually headed to the guest bedroom, he nodded. Accepting their goodnights and mentioning that they shouldn't stay up much later, he trudged up the steps to the upstairs hallway. Reaching the top, he bypassed the door to the bedroom his crew slept in and headed straight for Lexi's door.
Knocking on the wood, he waited for her to answer.
"What?" She called from within.
"We need to talk." He replied quietly, eyes intent on the doorknob. He heard her sigh deeply.
"Can't this wait until tomorrow?" He could almost picture the scrunched up face as her hands rubbed her forehead in frustration, a habit he'd noticed she tended to do. The mental image made him grin.
There was a pause, and she sighed again, before he heard the shuffling of fabric, most likely the comforter on her bed. Her feet padded to the door, and it opened a moment later, revealing a tired-looking Lexi.
Wearing a pair of sleep shorts and an oversized t-shirt with some sort of strange red 'S' symbol on the front, she glanced up at him standing in front of the door. Not a moment after looking up at his face, she glanced away, walking back inside her room but leaving the door open behind her, a silent invitation for him to come in.
Doing so, he closed the door gently behind him, and she took up the chair in front of her desk, leaning an elbow on the wood and supporting her chin with one hand.
"What is it?" She asked sleepily, eyes half closed already.
He crossed his arms, leaning against her bed opposite of her. "Why are you avoiding me?" He cut straight to the point, not bothering to ask the other, less-direct questions he had on his mind.
"Who says I am?" She tilted her head, hoping to play his suspicion off as him simply overthinking. Too bad for her, he wasn't that stupid, and she wasn't that great a liar anyways.
"I find your suggestion that I haven't noticed you actively keeping your distance from my men and myself insulting." He raised a brow at her attempt to deflect his question.
Just as he was so used to seeing, he rubbed her forehead with a hand, shielding her eyes from view. "I don't really want to have this discussion right now…" She murmured. Her exhaustion was evident in her quiet voice.
"I don't care." He replied, watching her glance up at his sharp and unsympathetic response.
"Can't you just leave me alone?"
He shook his head. "I believe I've done so for the entirety of this week. My patience is running thin." He warned, a note of anger in his tone.
"What do you even care anyways?" She bitterly questioned, turning her face away and crossing her arms in similar fashion to his. Rolling his eyes, he shifted his feet.
"Considering we are residing here for the time being, anything that concerns you also concerns me, especially if it affects my crew as well."
"You are so frustrating." She scowled, unable to sit still any longer and watch him passively piss her off even more. If he was going to be doing this so late at night and getting under her skin, she wanted a little more movement. "I don't understand your reasoning."
"And I don't understand your reasoning for keeping me and my crew at an arm's length. So please, enlighten me." He smirked, making her frown angrily. Who was he to come barging in her room at…11:00 at night, as one glance at the clock confirmed, asking all these stupid questions?
"God, why do I even put up with you?"
"Because you have no other choice." He unhelpfully reminded her. "But I'd rather know why you've been so aloof than listen to your thoughts on my tolerability." He returned to his original question, hoping she'd stop looping their conversation with pointless questions, even if he so loved her amusing reactions.
"And if I told you it was none of your business?" Her eyes narrowed, but he simply continued to smirk.
"You're just going to stand there until I answer you, aren't you?" The corners of his lips widening slightly, he nodded, looking rather pleased with himself.
She groaned, finally turning to him. If he was going to be such a blunt ass about things, than she'd give him blunt right back. "You know why? Because you don't belong here in my world. Not only that, but you're probably a murderer too, and now that I think about it I was being stupid to even let you guys stay here. I should have just called the cops on you when I had the chance."
Law's grin widened. "And yet you didn't. So what does that say about you exactly?"
Her eyes narrowed, and she scowled, her nose scrunching up in anger. She'd already had the same thoughts on several occasions but it was a lot more frustrating when someone else was voicing the questioned her about it. "That can still change, you know. And I guess that makes me an idiot, for letting you guys get this close. I shouldn't never have tried to like you guys in the first place."
Law noticed she was sort of pacing, not in regular cycles but in random, zigzagging patterns across her room. It seemed she couldn't keep still, and that only made this all the more amusing for him. Lexi, on the other hand, wasn't too happy with his expression.
"Oh? Have you grown attached? Developed some petty infatuation?" He purred, latching onto to her admission of letting them close to her. Whether she had intended to mention it or not he wasn't quite sure. Probably the latter, seeing as she narrowed her eyes a fraction, probably upset with herself for blurting out that bit of information.
"No." She denied almost immediately, crossing her arms once more and leaning away, a sure sign of her deception. He chuckled, pushing off of the bed and stepping closer to her. Now that he really looked, he noticed just how much of her legs were exposed beneath those shorts. He hadn't really noticed until then, taking in the messy bun atop her head that framed her face in a pleasing way.
"Is that why you've been so keen to get away from me? Embarrassed by your feelings?" He taunted. Surprisingly, she was able to stop the blush from rising to her cheeks.
"I don't have feelings for you, asshole." She scoffed.
"Hmm…I don't quite believe you." He pushed, still closing the distance between them. Noticing this, Lexi took a step back, warily watching him pursue.
"You're being ridiculous. Now get out of my room, I'm tired." She tried threatening, looking away as her words still didn't stop his advance. She retreated further, wondering why she still felt an exciting thrill beneath the growing anger and irritation she felt towards the man. Somehow, in this highly unnerving situation, she still felt that thrill of danger…endearing, if that were possible. Her brain took that moment to recall the tattoos he'd had on his chest, but she threw those thoughts out as soon as they'd appeared, trying to remain angry at him.
He kept pushing, until she felt her back hit the wall besides her closet as he approached. She tried to sidestep out of his way, but he got there first, trapping her in place with a hand on either side of her arm. There was nowhere to go, nowhere to look except his piercing gray eyes, boring into hers.
It was strange, how even being held up against a wall by this man didn't cause her anxiety to spike to unimaginable levels. Well, it still did, but not in the way she'd thought it would. Deep in her chest, her heart beat faster and leapt into her throat, but she wasn't terrified of him. Afraid, perhaps. Afraid of what this man could make her do and say and feel. But not terror. Not like she'd felt being pinned up to the wall from her hands by Cooper that night at the party, feeling the unwanted touches of his dirty fingers on her. That had been full-blown panic and terror.
This was more like a buzz, a static that left her anticipating what he would do next. And she couldn't for the life of her figure out why that was.
Realizing they'd been silent, standing there like that for several silent moments, Lexi blinked as she remembered where she was. Staring up at Law, she tried hiding the involuntary swallow as she tried clearing her throat.
"Leave." She said with a low and even voice, trying in vain to even out her rapid breathing. Law's eyes, half-lidded, examined her face with intrigue as she struggled to contain her body's reaction to him.
"Make me." He breathed back, the amusement all too evident in his smirk and teasing gaze. Law, on his part, was enjoying himself immensely, watching her squirm beneath him. She was so easy to rile up, to catch between a rock and a hard place when he wanted to. His initial reason for coming up to talk with her partially forgotten, now all he could really focus on was her pleasing reactions, and how she looked rather attractive in her sleeping clothes.
The subtle bite of her lower lip as she tried thinking of a way out of this, the way her hands clenched on either side of her thighs, her eyes flicking back and forth between his as she struggled to find something to say, these were all things he noticed.
He also noticed how close her lips were to his, suddenly feeling the urge to feel them with his own, and get another taste.
But what he failed to see was how his body slowly leaned forward of its own accord, closing the distance between their faces. At least, until he automatically closed his eyes for the kiss, feeling her soft lips responding to his own as he traversed the rest of the space between them.
Lexi, too stunned at first to respond, but not making any move to push him away after his demand to do something about his close proximity for herself, quickly closed her own eyes and brought her hands up to his chest, her grip tightening in the fabric of his hoodie.
Chuckling at her sudden acceptance of his actions, Law tilted his head, bringing one hand up to gently cradle underneath her chin as he did so. His lips slowly moving on hers in an unhurried but insistent kiss, he pressed her further against the wall, their chests inches apart and separated only by Lexi's hands clutching his top.
Her breathing hadn't evened out, if anything growing steadily harder as their mouths moved against each other. Law's other hand moved from the wall to her side, trailing his fingers gently up her t-shirt. Feeling the tingle even through the fabric, she shuddered, letting loose a tiny gasp at his touch. They parted a moment to breathe, and he grinned against her mouth at the sound of her pleasure. Recapturing her lips with his own, he slipped a hand underneath the shirt, making its way to the skin on her back, slowly tracing circles and trails of fire.
She wouldn't be surprised if he could feel the heat on her face, the blush that finally made itself known as he sent those sparks of pleasure and excitement coursing through her nerves, and for just a simple kiss.
God, a part of her wondered if things would get to the point that they did in that closet-
'No! What are you doing?' The rational part of her brain was finally able to penetrate the adrenaline that had begun clouding her judgment, screaming at her to think about what it was she was doing.
Law pulled her closer to him, his lips leaving her mouth to trail kisses up her jaw and down towards her neck. The sensitive skin there tingled at the feel, and she shivered again as her grip on his hoodie increased, her fingers buried in the yellow and black fabric. His tongue darted out and licked at the soft skin just below her lower jaw bone, earning his a breathy moan, so small but too loud in her own ears. His actions partially erased her internal warnings, but it came back in full swing a moment later.
"S-stop." She whispered heavily, finally gaining a semblance of control over herself. Finding the strength begin to return to her arms, which until then had begun to feel like jelly, she pushed against his chest with her hands. "Law, stop."
Trailing his lips back up to her mouth, he gave her one chaste kiss before pulling away. Noticing her tense up and her pushing at his chest, he gave her a grin.
"Why are you fighting what you obviously want?" He asked in a gravelly whisper. She swallowed thickly, no doubt trying to will her voice not to come out unsteady. She wouldn't meet his gaze, staring at the ground between them.
"I can't do this." She tried again, not quite sure how she wanted to phrase her concerns with him. With Law, you just never knew how he'd take things.
"Can't, or won't?" He inquired, hands still drawing lazily on the skin of her back. "Why not simply give in? I know you want me, Lexi-ya. That much is obvious." He purred, watching as her cheeks turned a lovely shade of deep red.
"I…" She started, but paused as she wondered how honest she wanted to be with herself, and him, in that moment. She shook her head, deciding that maybe it would be easier just to get her true worries out of the way and out in the open. "I can't get attached to you because you'll just end up leaving me alone in the end, once you go back to your world…" She muttered, not realizing that her fingers still held on tightly to his hoodie.
He glanced down at her whitening knuckles, tilting his head in interest.
"It's just setting myself up for heartbreak." She finished, still refusing to look up at his face. Maybe the late hour was making her a little too bold, a little too honest, because she instantly regretted saying anything so vulnerable and emotional. Scoffing at her own pathetic feelings, she shook her head. "But it doesn't matter to you anyways, I know that."
She felt one of his hands leave her back and gently force her chin up, but she resisted, too embarrassed to meet his gaze. He persisted, finally gripping her chin with more force than he'd perhaps intended, making her look up at him.
His gray eyes caught hers once more, and Lexi found she couldn't look away from his intense look. Whatever expression he currently wore was unreadable to the brunette, only making her fidget more underneath him. His eyes searched hers, but what he was looking for was beyond her. Maybe to see if she were lying.
Finally, he grinned, leaning his forehead onto hers but still maintaining eye contact and gripping her chin. "Such an interesting woman you are…" He muttered, more to himself than anything.
"I-" She began, intent to tell him that she didn't want to talk or have him in her room anymore, but he beat her to it.
"Come with us." He stated bluntly, and she frowned.
"W-what?" His sudden statement didn't quite make sense, and he chuckled again. Before she could react, he closed the distance once more, planting another kiss on her lips.
"When we find a way back to our world, come with us. Join my crew." He explained realizing that her tired and still-spinning mind hadn't caught up with the conversation quite yet.
"I don't even have a response to that…" She finally replied, shaking her head. What he was implying was too much for her to comprehend at that moment. Leaving her world behind to pursue a life she wasn't sure about? In a world so filled with death? Was that even possible? Was she just hearing things? Perhaps Law and his crew of pirates was simply a figment of her imagination and this was all some twisted, never-ending dream. Maybe she was actually in a mental hospital, pumped full of drugs and putting her into some loopy dream state.
Cutting through her thoughts was Law's chuckle, and she looked up in time to see him slowly release her chin, but still closing in for one more kiss. Finally, he eased up on her, allowing her to get up from the wall.
"Think about it." He said, turning around and heading towards her door. Sparing her one last glance before leaving, he sent his trademark smirk over his shoulder before disappearing into the dark hallway outside, shutting the door behind him.
For several minutes Lexi could do no more than stare at the spot where he'd been pressing her up against the wall with that sexy look in his eyes. She could still feel the tingle on her back and the press against her lips, as if he'd never left.
Then, finally feeling her exhaustion catch up with her, but knowing she wouldn't be able to sleep a wink that night, she sighed and turned off her overhead light, making her way to the bed so she could lay there for hours staring up at the ceiling, images of Law dancing across her mind.ns 184.108.40.206da2