A Challenge He Can't Refuse

Irritation surged through Alexander's blood and he resisted the urge to shove Zahra away so he could release himself once more, after a long and hard time. But that would not be something pleasent to do and considering how guilty he really felt after the way he'd treated her, Alexander knew better than to push her out of the wine cellar.

Sighing, he muttered a curse in his mind, knowing he'd regret ever having continued this conversation later. Turning around to face Zahra, the hovering surface of the bottle near his lips moved farther away in distance. It physically pained Alexander to know he was so close to having a droplet of alcohol but was intentionally giving it up.

Zahra had her hands clasped together in an almost pleading manner, her face distorted into an expression of frustration. But seeing the (positive) reaction she'd gotten from the Prince, she relaxed slightly, but too soon.

"What would you do to stop me?"

There was no hint of good humor or playfulness in Alexander's voice. Zahra could see that by the look in his eyes, cold and serene and she knew this was no time for joking.

She wracked her mind for a good answer. What could she possibly say that would leave him speechless, or better yet, defeated? And this was no normal person. It was Prince Alexander. If Zahra were to convince him, she'd have to know the tactics to win over her audience.

And she did.

Hiding the smug smile that so wanted to release itself onto her lips, she said in a fairly steady and strong tone of voice, "I challenge you."

Alexander raised an eyebrow, looking slightly confused. "Wh-"

"I challenge you to a game of swordplay."

This time, she couldn't hold back the grin as the expression on Alexander's face changed to one of complete shock. Zahra interpreted this to his fear of the proposition, but that wasn't why Alexander had felt such a way. He'd not been expecting this from Zahra. Not at all. Yet, something about the overconfident look on her face, that shine in her eye created a feeling of unease in his stomach.

"You're not scared that I'll beat you, are you Prince?" Zahra mocked him.

Alexander stood rooted to the spot. His hand tightened on the glass surface of the bottle. He didn't have to listen to some petty captive. For all he cared, her opinion didn't matter to him at all. Yet, she'd trapped him at the right spot. Zahra knew him well enough to know that he wouldn't be able to turn down the challenge. His pride had been crushed when he'd lost against the Knight, someone of lower status, in swordplay. And if he were to turn down this game, he knew that would only disgrace him further, knowing Zahra would take it the wrong way.

Feeling his throat choke up slightly, Alexander looked down at his hand. Oh, how much he wanted to have just one long and bliss-filled sip out of the bottle. Yet he knew now wasn't the time.

Setting the bottle back in the cabinet, he closed it then turned around to face Zahra with a blank expression across his face.

"Winner has it their way?" He asked.

Zahra nodded, her grin widening. "You're going down, my Prince."

Alexander smiled wryly, knowing surely how this would end. I should be saying that to you.

The End

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