Chapter Eight: Into the Unknown

Alzeid's scarlet red eyes skimmed over the hand of cards, moderately pleased with the outcome. He flipped his silvery white hair from his eyes, and grinned at the girl and guy sitting on either side of him.

"This, my friends, is a four of a kind," He informed, throwing the cards down in front of them and looking cockier than he ever had. He wanted that kiss from Rahzel. Not only because he didn't want Baroqueheat to be the one putting his lips on hers, but because Alzeid himself wanted to kiss her. And not just when she was asleep. He wanted her to be aware that it happened; he wanted her cute, blushing expression to show how flustered she was.

Alzeid grew uneasy, however, when he saw Baroqueheat smirk instead of strike out in anger. Could it be possible that Heat had a better hand than he did?

"Straight flush."

Shit. Apparently it was.

Alzeid's red eyes turned into small slits as he shot a glare at Baroqueheat's smug face. Fucking bastard! An entire storm of curse words rained over Alzeid's mind; though he would never say them out loud. He couldn't let Baroqueheat know that he had gotten to him. Alzeid then turned to Rahzel, who was looking strangely calm. It annoyed Alzeid. Why the hell wasn't she freaking out? She would end up having to kiss Baroqueheat! Why wasn't she reacting?

Rahzel's pink lips turned into a wicked smile; and she haughtily showed the boys her hand. "Mmmm, isn't this a royal flush?" Rahzel asked in a sweet, honey dipped way that made Alzeid's mouth drop. Did Rahzel just manage to sound sexy? Alzeid ran the way she said it in his head over again. Yes, she had sounded sexy. Oh god, it's the sign of the apocalypse!

Then Alzeid looked at her cards. She did indeed have a royal flush; the key to winning poker. Alzeid's eyes met with Rahzel's, and only one side of her mouth was turned upward, showing off a little lopsided smile. 'God, that's adorable', Alzeid thought. Then it hit him that she had won; not he, not Baroqueheat, but Rahzel.

Baroqueheat grinned a little bit. "Looks like our little Rahzel won the game," Then he let out a sigh. "That means I have to pay for you," Heat pointed to Alzeid and stuck his tongue out at him disdainfully. Alzeid shrugged and Rahzel was still looking triumphant over her win.

"Yep, that's right! I warned you both and you didn't listen!" Rahzel gloated. She tossed her winning handful of cards back into the unused deck, and let her weight set on her palms as she leaned back. How she loved to be right.

"…Hmph." Grunted Alzeid, staring off into the dark woods away from Rahzel's direction. He began to mutter unintelligible words underneath his breath, causing Rahzel to tilt her head in wonder.

"What?" She asked sharply, and her crystal blue eyes narrowed at him.

"Nothing." He murmured, still not looking at her. His face was a bit red; either from embarrassment for revealing that he wouldn't mind kissing her or anger from losing to Baroqueheat AND Rahzel. Or perhaps it was both; Alzeid didn't care anymore.

"Whatever. I'll be back." He said as he got up and began walking into the forest. Rahzel opened her mouth in attempt to call after him, but only a tiny sound came out and her jaw slowly shut. She Baroqueheat watched him disappear into the blackness of the woods.

"…Well, there he goes again…why does he always go off and sulk?" Rahzel was half talking to Baroqueheat, and half to herself. She shook her head in thought.

"That's just Alzeid. He takes things more personally than normal people do; it's part of his nature, you know what I mean?" Heat explained.

Rahzel agreed, but she wished that it wasn't part of Alzeid's nature. It tended to bother her when Alzeid stalked off and wouldn't talk to them. Maybe she just didn't understand him as much as she had once thought…what goes on in his mind? "Yeah, I guess so," Rahzel paused, and continued talking. "Hey, will you wait here for a bit? I'm going to make sure he's okay." Rahzel then stood up and began following the direction Alzeid had gone off in.

Alzeid hadn't stopped walking yet as he passed by large trees that were darkened by the cloak of night, and he could hear a running stream nearby. He just needed some time to think; cool off his head. And get Rahzel off of his mind, because that girl was starting to drive him insane. It's like he couldn't escape the sound of her over confident voice, the image of her delicate, beautiful face, or the charming way she smelled.

He had never thought that he would think about Rahzel in this way. Yes, from the very beginning Alzeid had a strong attachment to her; but he didn't think of it as anything more than simple escorting while they journeyed together. Now, he wanted her for himself. He didn't want to share the affection she gave; it wouldn't make him feel special to her anymore.

Alzeid then grabbed and shook his head. "Argh…"

"What's wrong?"

Though Alzeid was startled, didn't need to turn around to know who it was. He had her tone memorized; he'd know it anywhere.

He turned and saw Rahzel. The moon's subtle light was just enough to illuminate her pale skin, blue eyes, and raven black hair. She looked like a goddess of the night.

Alzeid cleared his throat. "Nothing."

Rahzel's lips opened, and sincerely asked, "Are you upset because you lost at poker?" She looked a little cautious, as if she was trying to diffuse something dangerous.

Ah, she was coming to make sure he was okay. Alzeid lowered his head so that his hair shielded his face from Rahzel, and he shared a tender smile to himself. "No, I'm not upset. I'm fine." He allowed his smile to gradually disappear before he regained his straight face and looked back up to Rahzel.

"…" Rahzel was worried about him…he'd been acting so strange lately. She thought back to moments ago, when he betted to kiss her…why would he do such a thing? She knew he didn't have feelings for her, so why? She wanted to talk to him about it, to get to the bottom of it. But Rahzel felt awkward asking, like it wasn't her place. Maybe she should just wait for Alzeid to come to her? Rahzel didn't know.

Alzeid was amused by the confused look Rahzel had on her face. She looked adorable, like a teddy bear or…or a lamb. That fit better, since she was so innocent.

"Alzeid, come with me," Rahzel said suddenly, grabbing his hand and pulling his arm.

"Where do you think you're taking me?" Alzeid said skeptically, not budging from where he was standing.

Rahzel looked up into his eyes and – intentionally or not – gave him an insistent glance. Alzeid sighed, and gave in. "Fine."

She took him towards the growing sound of the stream, and in minutes they reached the bank of the water. Rahzel sat on the bank, and Alzeid remained standing.

"Why are we here?" Alzeid asked, his hands in his pockets, staring up at the stars above their head.

Rahzel was gazing into the stream, with her knees tucked to her chest. She had decided she wanted to ask Alzeid about his unusual behavior. But the only problem was that she didn't exactly know how to ask him.

"I just wanted to talk for a little bit, if that's okay." She said.

Alzeid didn't understand why she had brought him here, but being with her made him…not happy, but certainly not unpleasant. "Okay. Well…what do you want to talk about?"

Rahzel had dreaded that question. "Um…well, I guess about you." She began picking at the ground uncomfortably. Alzeid raised an eyebrow curiously.

"And what about me?"

"Well," Rahzel realized she was talking upward. "Look, could you just sit down?" She asked in an impatient way. Alzeid smirked and did as she ordered, taking his seat beside her.

"You were saying?" He inquired.

"Right. Well, I'm kind of concerned about you, Alzeid. I'll be honest; you haven't been yourself lately."

Alzeid grinned a little. "You're definitely right about that." What surprised him was that she had actually picked up on it.

"Well then tell me why!" Rahzel demanded, lengthening her neck towards Alzeid intuitively. But at the same moment that she did, Alzeid faced her as well. Their faces were only a couple inches apart. Rahzel saw something in Alzeid's crimson eyes that she had never seen before. Something that was gentle and warm.

Alzeid was fully conscious of the fact that her lips were so close to his that it was unbearable. Her sweet scent filled his nose…and her eyes were so expressive and beautiful. He abandoned his rationality for a split second, and the next thing he knew, he was slowly inclining towards her.

Rahzel's breath came to a halt in her lungs as she realized what was about to happen. As his lips came closer to touching hers, she let go of all the thoughts in her mind and did what came naturally to her. She closed her eyes, and she could feel Alzeid's cool breath near her mouth…

"Hey." Baroqueheat's voice came from behind them, and their eyes both shot open as they jerked back from each other before their lips met.

To be continued...

Oh, my darling readers! I'm SO sorry for the YEAR long wait I put you all through! I lost my inspiration for writing for a while, I apologize. But I'm back, so I will be updating MUCH more often now. Also, I know ABSOLUTELY nothing about poker, so if I made a mistake with the game or something, forgive me because I have no knowledge. Ahhhh I'm so happy with this chapter! I hope you all are pleased as well. Thanks for reading! Don't forget that I value reviews! :)