The longer he was gone, the more nervous she got. Not that she was necessarily worried that something had happened to him, but they had only slowly began rebuilding trust. And Lydia found that it was a constant struggle. It was, after all, why they had taken this trip to begin with; so they could move past the latest bump in the road. Admittedly, she was finding it difficult, near impossible some days, to simply forgive and forget. What he had done betrayed her. But he was sinking in addiction and there was nothing she could do to help him.
It had been hours now and she was growing seriously concerned. When he’d left, he hadn’t told her where he was going. The tension in the room had been palpable since they arrived. Even thousands of miles away, it was hard to escape the issues they had left at home. She had hoped maybe they could ignore them, However, every time she looked at him, she only saw what he had done and it made her sick. Their relationship was fragile enough as it was, and they were already only holding it together with duct tape and super glue. But she felt like they had something worth fighting for. It was why she was here in the first place: to work on them.
Finally, the nervous waiting had to cease. She needed to find him, if only to put her own mind to rest. He could be anywhere. In the lobby, the pool, taking a walk outside on the beach. But she felt compelled to check the one place she knew spelled danger for both of them. If she found him there, she couldn’t even begin to think of what would happen. He’d made her a promise, swore that he would give it up. Whatever they had meant more to him than some game. Part of her, though, still felt it wasn’t the case. And as she made her way to the hotel casino, the sinking feeling in the pit of her stomach only got worse. Part of her hoped with all of her being he hadn’t betrayed her again, but the other part knew better. He couldn’t give it up. Not even for her.
As she made her way across the flush carpet, she finally spotted him. Her heart dropped and her eyes blazed with anger, hurt, and betrayal.
Alexander could feel the tension in the back of his mind, trickling like a leaky faucet. He knew he wasn’t supposed to be seated where he was, wasn’t even supposed to look in the direction of the room he’d sauntered himself in to. Yet, he’d made it his home for the past few hours. Uneasiness washed over him, settling in the pits of his stomach and flipping over, as he waited. He had to finish this game and make it back to her. But he’d already told himself that twice before he’d beckoned to play another hand. Gambling had become his deepest desire, his darkest need, and he desperately wanted to give it up to make her happy, but the urges were calling to him every moment of every hour. He was addicted in every fashion.
He fiddled with his hand of cards, impatience running dry as a bell chimed alerting another hour had passed. His eyes darted to a clock on the wall and an uneasy growl rippled up in his chest. He had to leave. He couldn’t put any more time into this. She would find out, and he would lose her for good. He place his cards face down, before speaking. “I fold. You win.” His voice had lost all trace of joy and before another moment passed he was bouncing to his feet, grappling his jacket and tugging it on. He stepped away from his stool, nodding apprehensively and pushing it into the small cave that held it. Quickly he shook hands with a few men that had played and then turned to leave. Once away from the table, Alex place his hands on the back of his neck and took a few short, stressful breaths. He could feel the guilt eating at him, burning into his gut as he moved away. He’d betrayed her, yet again, and he’d done it with such easy and carelessness.
Quickly he made his way towards a set of double doors that led to the entrance and exit. He had to get out of the room. Maybe he could go back to their room, see her face, and possibly tell her of his mistake. It was a mistake, right? It was a lie, and that was..wrong? The lines of right and wrong blurred between his eyes as the alcohol induced crater shoved into his brain. He knew he’d done wrong, but he couldn’t take it back, even if he regretted it. After a few moments of forcing himself to relax, pretend like everything was alright, and just breathe, Alexander pushed his eyes away from the floor and towards the door. Without a second glance, he saw her. Her eyes were singed with anger and pain, and he immediately felt his own body droop with helplessness. He had been caught, and now things were only going to get worse.
With his back to the door, and cards settled neatly between the folds in his hands, Alexander waited. He knew he wasn’t supposed to be in the hotel’s casino; he was never supposed to gamble again. Yet, here he was-betting away paper bill after paper bill. He could feel the tension in his chest as it wrapped itself up under his rib cage and around his lungs, cutting off the normal, even paced breathing he was used to. His breaths were ragged and weak as if he’d been running a marathon for the past half hour. The devil’s games did that to him.
As time ticked by, the newly tanned man began to sweat. The game was almost over, and not only was he currently leading, but he hadn’t gotten caught by the one girl who had accompanied him on the vacation he was supposed to be one; a girl he’d made a promise to. For the most part he was in his own mini-vacation, just currently not spending it with her like they’d planned. A man across from him slid his cards face down on the table, folding in the game, and Alex gulped quietly. The nerves that rumbled through him were one of the reasons he’d grown attracted to the silent bets. The only thing that made it a sealed deal, for his growing addiction, was the deadly stares, smart comments, secret threats, and the chance of losing it all or winning it big. It was a risk, and it all made him feel alive.
Alexander had already memorized his cards, and as he sat, waiting, for anyone to make a move, he kept his eyes on the drink a girl had placed on the table for him moments ago. He’d already had two and was definitely beginning to feel the pressure roll off of him and ease away. With a bit of reluctance, the dark haired young man pitched his body forward and reached out to the glass; with his free hand. The icy hardness of it pressed against his palm and he lifted it, pressing the top of it to his lips and tipping it up. With a few gulps it was gone and he was back in the same place as before: waiting.