Chapter 20: Complexity
It was all so sudden—the icy blue eyes gazing back at her surprised ones, and warm lips moving roughly against her own. In her most vulnerable moment, giving in to temptation wasn't that hard. When Rian closed her eyes, all coherent thoughts went out the window.
The moment he felt her submission, Kaiba brought their lips closer, deepening the kiss. Demanding hardly described the way he kissed her. It was as if he always longed for this—this moment. And he wanted to go further…wanted to do more…
"Stop," Rian breathed after pushing the CEO away. Her face was bright red and her breathing was ragged.
Kaiba, for once, was at a lost for words. Was that fear he saw in her eyes? Did she, by any chance, sense how he felt? She pushed him away, didn't she? This would be the second time she rejected him, and his pride couldn't take it. Quietly, he moved back to his seat and pushed a certain button.
The sound of the doors being unlocked brought Rian back to her senses. It took a few seconds releasing herself from the seatbelt and when she did, she immediately got off the vehicle and ran toward her apartment building.
Mokuba Kaiba was just heading back to his room when he heard the front door open and saw his older brother come in. He would've went his own way when he noticed that his older brother didn't head to the study, like he always did, but upstairs instead. He tried to greet his older sibling but the serious (pissed off described it most likely) look on Seto Kaiba's face told Mokuba to leave his brother be.
But he had to admit, Seto only had that expression whenever he lose a duel. And just how many times did he lose in a duel anyway? He could count it with his fingers. But that's a topic he'd never bring up to Seto. Mokuba shook his head. He'd find out, sooner or later, the reason behind his older brother's behavior.
"I swear, if I hear you sigh one more time, you're gonna ruin my engagement party!"
Rian stopped mixing the batter and looked at her friend. "Sorry, I didn't mean to dampen the happy mood. It's just that there's a lot going on in my mind right now." At the moment, she was helping her friend, Mea, at Circe's kitchen in preparation for Mea's engagement party later.
Mea took a deep breath. "That reminds me…you never told me what happened to you last night. Who gave you those bruises?"
Rian touched her cheek reflexively. And she thought she hid them well with the concealer she stole from her friend's room…
"It was Mio's mom. You know, we sort of saw each other at the party last night then something happened that led to this and that and—"
"She still hasn't forgiven you, huh?" Mea nodded in understanding. "It's a small world, huh?'
"Yeah," Rian answered, turning on the mixer. "Are we expecting a lot of guests later?"
Mea returned to the task she was doing earlier. "Not really. Just some friends from high school…a few acquaintances," the raven haired woman paused, "Seki Azumi's invited, too."
"Of course," Rian said, a blank expression on her face.
"You're not mad?"
Rian just shrugged her shoulders. "It's not my engagement party. You can invite anyone you like."
"I'm sorry. I didn't know my fiancé is acquainted with him," Mea shifted her eyes toward her dark blonde friend and carefully watched her expression. It remained blank and she felt relieved. "So, who's going to be your date later?" she asked offhandedly.
"No one, I'll come alone. Unlike you, I have no time to even think of going out with anyone. What with all the problems I'm facing at work."
The raven haired woman let out a small laugh. "Then why don't you ask that guy out—what's his name?"
Rian arched an eyebrow. "Who?"
"Your father's secretary…the guy who used to live with your family?"
"Matt? Oh no. No. He's like a brother to me," if Rian only knew. "Besides, he's always busy."
Mea nodded. "Showbiz answer. What about your ex-husband then?"
There was a pause.
"I don't like him." That memory from last night flashed by.
Mea's suddenly smiled, and a devious one at that. "Are you sure?"
"I am sure, and—" Rian's voice suddenly faltered, "even if I do like him, the feeling isn't mutual. The guy hates me for all I know and so yeah, that's just about it."
The other girl shook her head, a dubious smile on her lips. "Whatever you say…but then why are you so defensive?"
"I'm not," Rian said, her tone going up an octave. "I'm done with the batter. I'll just put it in the fridge and then I'll take a break."
Mea followed her friend's back until Rian completely left the kitchen. Smiling to herself, the raven haired woman concluded that 'a pause before a denial' could very well mean the opposite of what the person in question, denied.
Cabinets and drawers were forcedly opened, and their contents were recklessly strewn in random directions. When the person failed finding what they were desperately looking for, they turned their attention to the other objects inside the apartment.
Blankets and covers were pulled from their respective beds, and mattresses were turned over. Clothes were thrown out of their respective wardrobes, and shoeboxes were emptied of their contents. Still, the person couldn't find what they were looking for.
Sighing in frustration, the person brought out a mobile open, flipped it open and dialed some numbers. The call was answered immediately. "Did you find it?"
"No. She must have it with her," the person replied, their eyes roaming around the room. Only the light of the moon from outside was their source of light. Then their eyes fell on something green and rectangular on the floor, the word "Passbook" barely readable. They slowly picked it up, flipped it open and almost coughed when they saw what was inside. "Look what we have here…"
"Is it the disc?"
The person snorted. "It's her passbook. And I say this woman is one of the richest in Domino City! You won't believe how much money she has with her all this time!"
There was a brief pause from the other line. "How much is in it?"
The person said the amount written in the passbook.
An amazed whistle came from the other line. "Take the passbook, but keep looking for the disc. She won't be back until later."
Cheers and greetings for the newly engaged couple came from all four corners of the restaurant. Rian couldn't be more happy for her friend, Mea and her fiancé, Aki for finally deciding to tie the knot. The look of utter happiness on their faces almost made the dark blonde cry. To tell the truth, she was a wee bit jealous of Mea. Then again, she had no one in mind that she might want to go out with. What with all the things she was going through, the thought of even going out on a date seemed farfetched.
"What are you doing here sitting all alone?" a voice interrupted her thoughts. Rian recognized the owner of the voice immediately.
"Can't you tell? My gloominess might ruin the happiness I'm seeing in front of me. That's why I'm sitting here. All. Alone," the dark blonde tried to sound sarcastic but found out that she couldn't. For some reason, the newly engaged couple's positive mood was rubbing off on her.
Seki Azumi smiled boyishly at the young woman's attempt of brushing him off. "Anyway, here," he started, handing Rian a bouquet of white roses. "I'm sorry for what my stepmother did last night."
Rian made no attempt of accepting the flowers. "Are you sure you're giving that to the right person? I'm not the one being engaged here."
Seki let out a small laugh. "Stop being stubborn. They really are for you. I know they're your favorite," he smiled again.
Rian sighed, accepting the flowers as graciously as possible. "Thanks," she put the bouquet aside.
"So," Seki began, trying his best to engage the dark blonde in a decent conversation. "How are you?"
Couldn't the situation be more awkward? Rian thought as she tried to come up with an answer that wouldn't sound rude. "As you can see, I'm fine. What about you?" Gods, could someone please remove the word 'polite' from her vocabulary?
"Stressed. You know how hard it is running a company," Seki answered, then noticed how Rian's shoulders suddenly stiffened. Wrong choice of words there. "I'm sorry! I'm not trying to be sarcastic or anything."
Rian heaved a deep breath. She could tell how much effort the man seated beside her was giving just to hold a decent conversation. If he was being sincere or not, she'd find out sooner or later. "What are you doing here anyway?"
"Oh! Actually, Mea's fiancé, Aki…his family is a close friend of mine"
Rian frowned a little. "I didn't mean that. What I'm trying to ask is; why are you talking to me? You do remember what happened the last time we saw each other, right?"
"Of course. How could I forget? You were with your husband then," Seki almost choked on the word 'husband' back there. "You two are already divorced, right?"
Rian suddenly had a faraway look on her eyes. "Yes, we are."
The dark haired man frowned, not liking that look on the young woman's eyes. "Did you—" he looked like he didn't want to continue, "by any chance…fell for that person?"
The dark blonde laughed discreetly as to not disrupt the happenings up on the front. "No! What made you think that?"
Seki sighed, as if relieved. "Just asking, that's all. So it's alright if I a—"
Rian was very quick to answer his unfinished, but obvious, question. "No. I'm sure there's a lot of other women out there who's dying to go out with you. I mean, let's start looking here," she motioned for the beautifully dressed women, except for her friend, in the room. "There," she pointed to a brunette wearing an elegant magenta-colored dress. "She used to be a classmate of Mea and I in high school. She used to be one of your admirers and it seems, she still admires you. See? Oh, she's glaring at me."
Seki just shook his head. "Nice try. Buy you know, you're not the only one who changed after all these years." A look of seriousness crossed his features. "I changed, too. The last time I saw you—with that person," he didn't want to say her ex-husband's name, "I was consumed with jealousy. That's why I acted that way with you last time."
Rian crossed her arms above her chest. "Look, I don't need to hear your explanation," she suddenly stood up and gathered her things. "It'll take time before I change my opinion of you. You changed, you say? Fine, that's good to hear," she forced a smile. "Well Mr. Azumi, thank you for accompanying me. I sure enjoyed catching up on things with you," she knew she sounded sarcastic on the last part, but she couldn't help it! "See you on the wedding then." With that, she made her way to the couple up on the front and discreetly said her reason for leaving early.
Seto Kaiba tapped his fingers on the steering wheel as his eyes drifted back and forth from the traffic light to the empty seat beside his. In his mind, he could see an outline of the person who last sat there; a tear-smudged face, shiny blue green eyes, lips parted invitingly…
He let out a series of colorful curses. The way he acted at that moment defied everything he knew about himself. He was always in control of everything, his emotions especially. But what he did last night—where did all that control he was so proud of, went? He wasn't one to act on his feelings without a plan, especially an unknown feeling at that! What was it? What was that feeling that overcame his reason last night?
The moment the traffic light turned green, the CEO stepped on the gas and steered the vehicle at full speed. Despite the speed he was driving, his eyes didn't miss the familiar intersection, which, if he were to turn left, would lead him to a particular district, where a certain apartment complex stood.
"Here. Keep the change," Rian smiled, handing the cab driver her fare with a generous tip. The driver tipped his hat as Rian stepped out of the vehicle, its door automatically closed once the passenger got off.
The dark blonde stood in front of the apartment building, her eyes locating the balcony attached to the unit she occupied. Tonight marked the beginning of her living alone as Mea already decided to move in with her fiancé after the engagement party. The thought of going back alone on the apartment she used to share with her friend saddened her. Once again, she was left alone. She would surely miss a lot of things after tonight.
Heading for the elevator, her hand fumbled for the keycard she knew she hid on one of the pockets of her jacket. She was just a few steps away from the elevator when its door opened and out stepped a man who, for some reason, smirked at her. She gave him a bewildered look but brushed the man's rather creepy behavior once she boarded the elevator.
A few moments later, the elevator's bell dinged and its door opened. With her keycard tucked securely in one hand, Rian made her way to the door of her unit. She slipped her keycard in its intended slot on the door and waited for the "beep" which meant the door was finally unlocked, but there was none. Frowning, the young woman turned the doorknob and found the door was indeed, unlocked. She quickly pushed the door open and the site that greeted her made her gasp.
The very first thing the CEO of Kaiba Corp. noticed was the flashing red light of a police car parked in front of the apartment complex, as he stopped his car. Rolling down the window, he could see a policeman standing on the balcony of a particular unit on the fourth floor doing something akin to an inspection.
Half an hour or so later, a pair of policeman and a certain young woman appeared from the entrance of the apartment complex. The young woman was saying something to the pair of officers, then bowed her head in a grateful manner. The two officers then tipped their hats, boarded their patrol vehicle and drove away.
Rian stood on the sidewalk, her hands wrapping her jacket tighter around her upper frame. A heavy sigh escaped from her lips. "Really, when will this long string of bad luck end?" She was about to turn around when her eyes caught the sleek bluish silver sports car parked across the street. Who could ever forget such a beautiful car? And could she ever forget the one behind the wheel?
When the CEO of Kaiba Corp. stepped out of the vehicle, Rian wasn't sure with what she felt. Oh no, she wouldn't say she was happy to see him nor was she angry. No word could describe what she felt. Kaiba's long strides quickly brought him to where the young woman stood.
"What are you doing here?" she asked bemusedly, avoiding his icy blue eyes.
Kaiba's eyes studied her closely. "What happened?"
"I've just been robbed," Rian brought up a hand to cover her face. "You didn't answer my question. What are you doing here?"
The CEO wanted to ask that question to himself. If he knew the answer, he would've said it already. And he thought he already knew everything…
Matt sat a good distance away from the foot of the bed where a certain old man lay. His face was scrunched up in anger as he held a green passbook in his hand. To think the old man left his daughter this much money…
"This is supposed to be mine, old man…mine, damn it!"
Kouzou coughed slightly. He would've said something but the stabbing pain he felt all over his body prevented him from doing so. But despite the pain, his hearing and thinking were functioning properly. He knew what the young man was talking about. With a groan, the old man barely delivered his words.
Matt's anger rose to a higher level when he heard his father's words. "What the hell do you mean I can't use it?" he crossed his arms above his chest. "You think I can't? Watch me. If I managed to steal and use company funds without being caught, taking this large sum of money wouldn't be so hard."
If there was one thing Kouzou Kayama regretted in life, it would be the mistake of fathering this young man.
Heaving a deep breath, Rian rolled the sleeves of her jacket and shirt up her elbows and started picking random things up the floor. Her shoulders were rather tensed as she went about her chore, a pair of icy blue eyes following her every movement. She bit her lip and moved quickly to her bedroom. Why was he inside her apartment again? She had no idea. They were standing outside just a few minutes ago and neither of them was talking. And it's not like she invited the CEO in…
Seto Kaiba looked around the messy living room and noticed that some of the furniture were either pushed to the side or turned upside down. He then walked toward the door of the nearest bedroom, careful with every step he took. The first bedroom wasn't as disorganized as he thought it would. Aside from the few articles of clothing and bed sheets on the floor, the room appeared like its occupant had just moved out. He then moved to the next bedroom, where he found Rian picking some of her clothes off the floor. The degree of damage in her bedroom compared to the other rooms in the unit explained everything.
"You were the target, weren't you?"
Rian paused briefly with what she was doing as her eyes glared at the floor. "Yeah, I was," she resumed with her chore. "I don't know if I should be thankful or not for arriving a few minutes late."
Kaiba ignored her attempt at small talk. "What was stolen?"
It took some time before the young woman answered, "a passbook."
The CEO looked around the room again, "and?"
The dark blonde sighed, "just…that." She shook her head slightly and stood up, a bundle of clothes gathered in her arms. "Hey, um, Kaiba—" she started as she whipped her head toward the door. To her surprise, the CEO wasn't in the room anymore. She just shrugged her shoulders, thinking that the CEO had already left.
An hour or so later, Rian finally finished rearranging her room. She then proceeded cleaning her friend's room, thankful that it wasn't as messy like hers. As she walked toward the living room, she was surprised to find that the few pieces of furniture in there had already been returned to their original positions. Heck, even the old magazines and newspapers were neatly organized under the center table! It doesn't take a genius to figure out who did this. But come on—there was no way that guy would do something like this!
"What are you doing?" Rian asked, finding the CEO of Kaiba Corp. doing something on the security device of her apartment's main entrance.
Kaiba seemed busy configuring the electronic panel beside the door. The focused look he had on stopped the young woman's approach. It was the first time Rian saw this side of the man she was once married to. With just that kind of expression the CEO had on, she understood, if only a bit, why Kaiba Corp. was one of most powerful and successful entities in the business world.
Pressing a set of buttons, Kaiba closed the panel and smirked. It was like he figured out something difficult that others couldn't. Rian would've smiled at the sight, but the fact that Seto Kaiba just tinkered with the security panel of her apartment's door brought her to her senses.
Kaiba closed the door, an affirmative "beep" telling him the security panel was successfully fixed. He smirked again, which made Rian take a step back. The CEO heard the sound that small movement made and turned around. The smirk he had on disappeared and a cold expression replaced it. "Whoever came up with this kind of security system is a complete moron. Have it replaced soon or else—"
Rian gasped as her eyes went wide, a shaking finger pointed at the CEO. "Who are you and what did you do to Seto Kaiba?"
"Idiot," Kaiba deadpanned.
The young woman glared at the CEO. "So what else is new? Didn't you say that last night, too?" Something flashed on her mind and the next thing she knew, her face was bright red.
Kaiba stiffened; it wasn't that hard reading her facial expression. If she remembered, so did he! Clearing his throat, he said (rather stiffly), "I'm leaving." Yes, he knew he should leave. Now.
Rian nodded her head (and vigorously at that) in agreement. "Yeah, you should. Goodnight!"
The sound of the door opening and then closing snapped the young woman out of her embarrassment. What just happened back there made her realize that she liked the CEO—
—much better when he was being a jerk.
Walking over to the door, she purposely let her forehead hit its cold and hard surface, hoping that action could clear her mind.
Kaiba felt and heard the soft thud from the other side of the door, as his back was leaning against it. Both his hands were tightly clenched into fists and his eyes glared heatedly at the space in front of him. He came here, in the first place, to look for answers; and it seemed he would leave without finding any. And the person who was the cause of his dilemma was just behind the goddamned door!
He turned around, one of his hands hesitantly closing in on the doorknob. Once more—he was sure if he saw her one more time, then he'd be on his way.
The door suddenly opened, revealing a flustered Rian much to the CEO's (although subtly) surprise. Not that she was expecting to see him standing there.
"I know you didn't mean it—" for some reason, Rian wanted it the other way around, "but thank you for the help." There, she said it. Although a small voice from the back of her head wanted to say these words: Oh, and can you please go back to being a jerk? I like you better that way…
Kaiba planted his palms firmly on each side of the door, his eyes set in a burning glare. "You're annoying."
Rian returned the glare. "And you're a jerk!"
Be careful with what you wish for…
"You—" Kaiba's head slowly moved closer, "what did you do to me?"
Rian instinctively took a small step back, at a lost for a witty comeback. Oh how she regretted opening the damn door…
Suddenly, one of Kaiba's hands grabbed the hem of Rian's jacket and yanked her forward, crushing his lips to hers. His other hand anchored around the back of her head as she tried to push him away. It didn't take long for her to give in, however. With hands on her sides, Rian let the CEO dominate her with his mouth in a rough kiss.
Author's notes: It's a fact: Kaiba and Rian make an awkward pair! Whenever I try coming up with situations where they could be lovey-dovey and stuff, they either end up awkward, funny or just plain silly. Kaiba is also OOC! Epic fail! Blame it on a local song I was listening to while typing the fluffy part. If you're curious, look up the song "I've Fallen for You" by Freshmen. And while you're at it, look up its lyrics, too. Back to business, thank you very much for the wonderful reviews! I feel my writing has matured, if, for a bit. Who would've thought you'd like the fluff in the previous chapter? And before I forget, HAPPY BIRTHDAY SETO KAIBA! The fluff at the end is a little gift for him (although EoI used to say that he should get laid –scoff-).