Hello, everyone. *Sigh* I know. Sorry doesn't even cut it for the massive amount of neglect I've been giving this tale. :( I apologize for that, you guys. I didn't mean to keep you waiting this long. Yet I pulled through and created this piece. :D Hopefully this new update will stir your interest. ^^

Special thanks to my pal SuzukiChiyeko for helping me conjure this idea. I greatly appreciate the help you've given me. \(^o^)/

Cold fear slithered Misaki's stomach.

What...is she doing here? He thought, trying to control the rising panic fluttering throughout his veins. Is she following us or something?

As much as he wanted to believe that, he knew that assumption was foolish. The confrontation had nothing to do with this crazy woman: they'd just been at the wrong place at the wrong time—yet that didn't mean Misaki couldn't curse their own stupid luck.

Great. He thought as he stared within those heartless eyes. Just great.

Aaliyah was stunning, plain and simple. Tonight she was dressed in white: a skin-tight dress, opal-tinted nails and ivory heels, her blond hair styled elegantly atop her head. Her depthless blue eyes regarded him coldly, almost as though he were intruding within her territory. He didn't notice that though, he was too engrossed within her scorching blue orbs. His breath caught, how could someone so cold possess such mesmerizing eyes? They were a deep, depthless blue like the ocean where no man had dared to adventure. The woman spotted that and her pale mulberry lips curved into a slow smile. A chill slithered down Misaki's back.

"Misaki." Aaliyah slowly drawled out, making the brunet's hair rise on end. "How very nice it is to see you again."

"It's nice to see you too, Aaliyah," Misaki replied, using every once of his willpower to keep his voice from shaking. A tremor slipped out anyway and not just from the cold. Aaliyah smiled, amused, and leaned back, observing him with emotionless eyes.

Silence fell for a few heartbeats.

"So." Aaliyah tapped her nails with a rhythmic clicking sound, making the teen jump. "Here we are. You must think you're very clever, don't you?"

"I—I'm sorry?" Misaki stammered, as an icy fist gripped his heart. This wasn't going well, not at all.

"You're not," Aaliyah continued, giving the brunet a patient smile. "But you will be." She stated, leaning forward as her eyes induced a poisonous stare. "Make no mistake about that."

Misaki shivered, fighting the urge to run away screaming.

For a moment, the woman stared at the brunet, her features cold and blank, letting the teen squirm uncomfortably in the terrible silence.

Aaliyah smirked. "Are you guys having fun?"

"I—what?" Misaki questioned, totally not expecting that answer.

Her eyes glimmered playfully. "I said," she drawled out, her lips curving into a wicked grin. "Are you guys having fun?"

Misaki did his best to ignore the rising panic that was bubbling throughout his body. Why...was she asking this? Since when was she interested in the matters of their personal lives? He didn't see how this information would benefit her and was tempted to tell her so. Yet given the beastly sneer that was slowly designating upon her beautiful face...he thought better of it.

"Y-Yes," he mumbled, casting his eyes downward as he unable to look within those calculative orbs. "W-We are."

"That's nice," she breathed, her voice trailing into a hateful purr. "I'm glad to see you're able to enjoy yourselves. Would you like to hear how my night's going along?"

"I highly doubt he'd be interested in your deplorable matters," came a strong voice before Misaki could answer. "It'd blacken his night tremendously."

Misaki whirled around, his heart leaping through his chest as the handsome figure stalked towards them.

The teen gasped, desperately trying to remember the basic concepts of breathing. He didn't know what it was, but there was something strangely...exotic about his lovers' particular movements. Of course Akihiko was always attractive, yet for some reason he looked more...refined than usual, almost as though that trip to the bathroom had heightened his grace. Akihiko was a walking wet dream, that's all there was to it. He stood magnificent in his beauty, his long silver hair rippling like liquid mercury. Every delicious ridge and ripple of muscle of that perfect upper body was visible through his turtleneck sweater. Boots made deep, satisfying thuds against the golden floor with each step as his eyes circled within those pools of lavender, with a hint of darkness tainting the edges.

Misaki let out a small whimper, utterly mesmerized by the handsome figure gracing them with his presence.

The woman seemed to feel the effects the author was inflicting upon them as well. "Hello, Akihiko," she purred, not even attempting to hide the hunger lurking within her cold eyes. "Nice to see you enjoying yourself. You're out with the boy, I assume?"

"Among other things." Akihiko's voice was cold; fury rippled below the surface, and the air around him turned chilly. "What are you doing here?"

Harsh laughter befell from those beautiful lips. "Honestly, Akihiko. Must you always be so cold to me?" She mused, her lips curling into a playful sneer. "Can't you give me the benefit of the doubt and consider that maybe I had no intention of interrupting your little...session?"

"I'd consider it if you weren't the evil, conniving bitch I know you are."

"Usagi-san!" Misaki exclaimed, utterly flabbergasted by the author's language. "Don't—"

Aaliyah gave a cold, high-pitched giggle. "Really, Akihiko," She crooned, her voice designating into that familiar, terrifying tone that turned the teen's blood to ice. "You flatter me."

Akihiko's face was shut into that blank, empty mask, his eyes cold and expressionless. A self-defense mechanism, Misaki recognized, to shield himself from the cruelty of others. Although the author didn't say much about his past, Misaki was positive the people within it preyed on the weak, and emotions there were considered a weakness.

"Only you would say something like that," Akihiko uttered calmly, his face betraying no emotion.

Aaliyah's smile was thoroughly frightening. "I'm flattered you know me so well."

Silence fell for a few heartbeats.

"You." Aaliyah said, shifting her depthless gaze upon the frightened teen. "You did something to him, didn't you? The Akihiko I knew would have never turned against me like that. I cannot believe—"

"You will not talk to him," Akihiko said in a lethally calm voice, inflicting goose bumps amongst the teen's skin. "I will not allow you to bother him any longer."

"Me? Bother him?" Aaliyah looked incredulous, her blue eyes widening into the picture of pure innocence. "Why, I'm never a bother. We were just having a scintillating conversation weren't we, Misaki?"

"Er..." Misaki sputtered for words, feeling Akihiko's cold gaze on the back of his head. "I—"

"You will not talk to him," Akihiko repeated, emotion building within his impassive tone. "I will not ask you again."

Aaliyah smiled nastily. "Ah, a demand from the Great Usami," she teased, her eyes sparkling with glee. "It's been quite a while since I've received that particular honor."

"I am very serious, Aaliyah," He uttered calmly, shooting the woman a look of pure poison. "You will not harm Misaki. He has nothing to do with this pointless quarrel that should have ended years ago. I will not allow you to inflict him within your sick world. You will let him go."

"Will I, now?" Aaliyah smiled humorously, a dangerous edge to her voice. "And just how do you expect to convince me, darling?"

"Wait!" Misaki exclaimed, barging within the argument before the writer could snap back a retort. "It's okay, Usagi-san. I'm fine."

Akihiko blinked. "Misaki—?"

"Aaliyah didn't doing anything to me," Misaki lied, fidgeting under that gaze slightly. "We were just talking about random events. There's no need to get so worked up about it."

Akihiko shot him a exasperated look. "Misaki," he said in a weary voice. "There's no need to lie to me. I know she did something to you. It's okay," he paused, raking his fingers through the teen's hair. "You don't need to protect this woman for my sake. Trust me, you don't know this woman like I do. If I wasn't here, she'd eat you al—"

"I already told you!" Misaki stated, his voice seeping with impatience. "Nothing happened so there's no need to worry! I don't need your approval, Usagi-san! I don't need you to protect me from everything!"

Although his wording choice was a bit harsh, Misaki meant every word of it. He didn't want the author to worry on his behalf. He couldn't stand the thought of inflicting hardships upon his lover. He couldn't stand it! The author had enough to deal with already, and the last thing the teen wanted was to conceive more troubles for him to face. He would protect Akihiko. He would protect him at all cost. And if that meant lying to him about the misdeeds of Aaliyah, he'd gladly comply with that task. He'd find a way to deal with Aaliyah on his own, that much was for sure. Yet he didn't want the man to fight for him. He would not allow Akihiko to fall victim to his troubles, he'd never forgive himself if he influenced those burdens upon his rabbit.

Unfortunately, the author didn't see it that way: shock, hurt, and disbelief flickered amongst his features. Then, his expression closed, his eyes turning blank and frigid as the mask of the heartless Usami Akihiko dropped across his face.

"As you wish, Misaki," he said in a stiff, decorous voice. "It was foolish of me to involve myself amongst the matter. I'll be sure not to do it again."

Misaki shivered upon hearing him speak like that. That cold, unreachable voice of his past self.


"What would you have me to do now, Misaki?" Akihiko interrupted, that coldness never leaving his tone.

Guilt stabbed Misaki's heart. This wasn't his intention at all; the last thing he wanted was to anger Akihiko. He did it for his sake, to protect him, but apparently Akihiko didn't understand. Still, Misaki found it hard to explain his reasons to his lover. He doubted Akihiko would even listen to him if he tried, but Misaki couldn't think of any other way to make up with him. "Just...sit next to me," he mumbled, casting his eyes downward.

The author did what he was told and pulled a seat next to his lover, his gaze directed at anything but Misaki. Hurt flashed within the teen's eyes.

Aaliyah laughed, cruel as the edge of a blade, enjoying their little torment. "Awww...trouble in paradise, my dearies? Not to worry," she taunted. "Break-ups aren't all that bad. Personally, I didn't think you two made a good enough couple anyway—"

"It doesn't matter what you think," Akihiko snapped, narrowing his eyes in anger. "Mind your own business."

"There's no need to get so hostile," Aaliyah replied, sounding horribly pleased with herself. "I was just giving my opinion."

"Well you and your opinion can go to—"

"Aaliyah," Misaki inquired, mentally cursing himself for the next question that would designate from his very lips. "Why don't you sit down with us?"

He got the reaction he expected. "Misaki?" Akihiko asserted, his tone sounding as if he were trying to contain the shock that wanted to erupt.

Misaki understood Akihiko's shock perfectly. He knew it was beyond insane to invite that hellish woman to sit with them, but it was the only way to accomplish his task. It was sheer curiosity on his behalf and he couldn't get it out of his head. Aside from what Akihiko had told him, he hardly knew anything about Aaliyah. In fact, Misaki believed he didn't know her at all.

Something about Aaliyah had sparked Misaki's interest. It was like she was constantly hiding herself behind a mask and the brunet wanted nothing more than to snatch that mask away and see who she really was. However, that did mean that he was obligated to speak to her.

Aaliyah snorted in amusement, and Misaki had realized just how odd that question sounded, even to him. "Foolish boy," she quipped, flickering her cold gaze upon the anxious teen. "Do you even realize exactly what you just ask me?"

Akihiko went rigid; Misaki could feel that menacing gaze upon him as he continued to play this dangerous game of fire. He cringed, wondering how things escalated this fast.

Misaki sighed. It was now or never. "Yes," he replied, trying to keep his rising panic in check. "I perfectly understand the question I just asked you."

"And...?" Aaliyah prodded.

"My stance remains the same." Misaki stated, looking within that emotionless gaze. "Will you join us for dinner?"

Silence fell. Misaki could feel the tension mount as the woman stared at him, her remorseless gaze traveling amongst his face; thoroughly inspecting the concepts within his heart. Akihiko tightened his fists, tense and ready to spring into action if needed.

For a few heartbeats, nobody moved.

Then Aaliyah threw back her head and laughed, making the teen jump. The aroma around them swiveled darkly as that laughter continued, reminding them greatly of the dangerous situation at hand as the woman swung her gaze down at the teen.

"Really," she mused, fighting the giggles that threatened to overwhelm her. "I had no idea you possessed such courageous spirit. It seems like I underestimated you more than I realized!"

Misaki ignored that implied insult. "Will you join us?" he asked again, his tone unwavering.

Aaliyah pursed her lips. "You two are pressing the boundaries of my patience." She drummed her nails on the table and sighed. "Oh, very well, darlings. I have some time to spare. I suppose it wouldn't hurt to humor you—"

"I don't think so," Akihiko uttered calmly, his eyes radiating with hate. Misaki shot him a weary look.


His argument was cut short as soon as Akihiko stabbed him a look of pure fury. Misaki shivered, unable to say anything as that glare prickled him at the very touch.

"Quite the romantic couple you are." Aaliyah giggled.

Akihiko turned his callous gaze towards the woman. "You will be silent," Akihiko continued. "The last thing we need is to be graced with your meddlesome presence—"

"Oh, come off it, Akihiko," Aaliyah teased. "Do you really think I would hurt him? You heard the boy—he only wants to talk, and who am I to deny him of that sweet request? Are you really that distrustful of me that you have to deny everything I say outright?"

"I have no reason to trust anything you say," Akihiko stated flatly. Aaliyah rolled her eyes.

"Fine," she sighed. "You want an oath out of me, is that it? Here it is, then. I, Aaliyah Hamilton, promise not to inflict any harm upon Misaki as long as you remain on this table. There—is that good enough for you?"

Akihiko said nothing.

"I'll be all right," Misaki assured, placing his hand upon Akihiko's shoulder to calm his raging fury. "She promised not to do anything. It'll be okay."

Akihiko shrugged off the teen's hand. "I don't like it," he fumed, crossing his arms as he gave the woman a hateful glare.

The woman let out a cruel laugh. "Regardless if you like it or not," she sneered. "It's what the boy wants...and you'd do anything to please your beloved Misaki, wouldn't you?"

The author could say nothing to that.

"Splendid!" She exclaimed, clapping her hands together, oblivious to the author's beastly frown. "Now, I simply must join you for dinner!" She gushed. "I've been dying to hear about Akihiko's strange obsession with you. And of course, how your little relationship started in the first place," she mused, wrinkling her nose in an almost affectionate manner. "Ah, young love. It must be wonderful to be so nai—"

"And one more thing," Akihiko said in his dangerous, soft voice as Aaliyah flickered her amused gaze towards him. "If you hurt or even attempt to distress Misaki in any way, I can assure you that you won't like the end result. That is my promise to you, Aaliyah."

Aaliyah's eyes glimmered dangerously. "My, my," she breathed, smiling in a matter that made Misaki's skin crawl. "Such a powerfulstatement. I wonder if I should be worried. Yet rest assured," she whispered, drawing out each word as if it were life itself. "There's no need to look so concerned. I gave you my word and I'm bound to uphold it despite how hard it is for you to believe it." she finished, rising up from her booth and making her way over to their table as if the matter were settled.

"So," she said, sinking gracefully into the opposite chair as she stared eagerly at the teen. "Let's get started."

Before Misaki could say anything more, that's when their server arrived.

"Hello. My name is Jessica, and I will be your server tonight. What can I start you guys with this evening?"

"I'll have three Cokes," Aaliyah said rather rudely.

"I'll be right back with that," their server assured, flashing Aaliyah a warm smile that wasn't returned.

"Why are you ordering for us?" Misaki asked as soon as their server left. Aaliyah laughed.

"I'm hurt," she teased. "Can't I offer hospitality without being questioned? I only offered because I thought it'd be a great way to present the kindness from my heart."

"You aren't capable of kindness." Akihiko stated, his tone vivid with dislike.

"Oh, you're quite the charmer, aren't you?" Aaliyah snickered. "Too bad you aren't far from that route yourself."

The author shot the woman a furious glare while she stuck out her tongue playfully.

"Y...You don't have to do that," Misaki said before another argument could erupt. "We're perfectly fine of paying—"

"But I want to." Aaliyah said simply, thoroughly dismissing the matter. "Besides, I'd feel better talking with you if you had some food in your stomach."

As if on cue, the waitress appeared with their drinks and a basket of breadsticks. She stood with her back facing Misaki as she placed them on the table.

"Are you ready to order?" she asked Aaliyah.

"Misaki?" Aaliyah inquired, beckoning the waitress towards him.

"Um..." Misaki mumbled, the blush rising against his cheeks. "I—"

"He'll have the Salisbury steak," Akihiko said in perfect English.

"And you?" She said to him with a smile.

"Nothing for me," he said in bored voice.

"And you, miss?" The waitress said to Aaliyah.

"I'm fine," she said dismissively.

"Alright," the waitress uttered, writing the remaining details amongst her notepad. "Let me know if you guys change your mind," she said, smiling yet again at the two who failed to acknowledge her.

"Drink," Aaliyah ordered as soon as the waitress left.

Misaki had sipped his soda obediently, anything to please this hellish woman. He was shocked when he took another sip, and then another. It seems he didn't realize how thirsty he was until he was staring at an empty cup. Akihiko pushed his glass towards the teen.

"Th-Thank you," Misaki muttered, taking another sip.

When the teen had finished the second drink, that's when the woman pounced.

"Now," Aaliyah purred, her eyes glowing with mischief. "You will tell me everything."

Ugh. What is this bitch planning? -_- Misaki, you better watch your back.

Hehe. I hope you all found this chapter to your liking. :3 It took me months to write the whole thing. ^^;;

Again, I would like to apologize for the neglect I've been giving this tale. I just haven't had the time to write lately. Yet like I said before, I'll at least try to make an effort to write. That's something, isn't it? The next chapter is currently in the making! I can't say when it'll be up here, but I promise I'll try to post it soon.

As always, thank you to all my readers who took the time to read this :) I appreciate your support. As always, reviews are welcome. ^^

Please and Thank you! ヽ(*≧ω≦)ノ