Hero Heroine

It's too late baby, there's no turning around

I've got my hands in my pocket and my head in a cloud

This is how I do

When I think about you

I never thought that you could break me apart

I keep a sinister smile and a hold of my heart

You want to get inside

Then you need to get in line

But not this time

She was so aggravating. There was no denying it—Alanna of Trebond was a handful. But it was just the way he liked her. He loved his Lioness, almost more than life itself. He would never admit it to anyone—not even himself—that he loved her that much, but he did. She meant the world, moon, and stars to him and there was no way of getting around the fact that he loved her.

There were so many women at the palace he could have. Quite honestly, if he wanted one, he could snap his fingers and they would be at his feet. But he didn't really want any of them. He didn't like whores; he didn't like those feminine women. He liked his lady knight, Alanna the Lioness. He liked his women strong—women who really knew how to make him run around. And if anyone knew how to make him run, it was Alanna.

Cause you caught me off guard

Now I'm running and screaming

He had told her before that he loved her, but it never seemed to have soaked in. She was a knight now, and everyone knew who she was. Lying beside her, His Royal Highness Prince Jonathan of Conté looked down on the Lioness' sleeping form and smiled. She was so beautiful, in a different sort of way. With her short, stocky (yet lithe) build, peculiar violet eyes, and copper hair brushing her shoulders, she was in no way traditionally beautiful. But, in his eyes, she was the most beautiful woman in the entire world.

I feel like a hero and you are my heroine

Around her, Jonathan felt like they were two characters in a storybook. They had been friends first—she had saved his life at a young age. Years later, she became his squire after he learned her secret. They had fought many a battle together. Alan (or Alanna) of Trebond had been the most renowned page in his (her) year. Everyone had known who he (she) was. It caused a scandal when Alanna not only killed Duke Roger of Conté, Jonathan's cousin, but was also revealed as being a woman. Yes, their lives were something out of a storybook you read to your child to make them believe that anything can happen. But it was real. She was a real, live hero.

I won't try to philosophize

I'll just take a deep breath and I'll look in your eyes

This is how I feel

And it's so surreal

I got a closet filled up to the brim

With the ghosts of my past and the skeletons

And I don't know why

You'd even try

But I won't lie

Jonathan leaned over and kissed her collarbone. "Alanna," he whispered. "Are you awake?" He kissed her lips, swollen from previous kisses. She stirred slightly in the way that Jonathan knew signified she was just on the edge of consciousness. "Alanna."

"Urrrrgh," she moaned, rolling into his warm frame and nestling against him. Jonathan chuckled softly. She was so lovely when sleeping. He gently rolled her back, and she snuffled.

"Alanna, listen to me." He saw the motion of her eyes beneath her eyelids and decided he could go ahead and say it. "Alanna, I love you."

You caught me off guard

Now I'm running and screaming

Alanna's eyes popped open. Had he just said he loved her? Oh, gods, he had, hadn't he? In her head, she swore. Jonathan had told her a lot that he loved her. Once, when she thought he was asleep, she said it back. He had said, "I know", but Alanna never really believed he had been awake for the whole thing. The idea that he knew was almost too terrifying to mention. She had sworn for years—told another man who claimed to love her, even!—that she would never, ever fall in love. Never. And she had fallen hard for the Crown Prince. She knew he had fallen just as hard for her in return.

And this was a problem?

I feel like a hero and you are my heroine

Do you know that your love is the sweetest sin?

He was her fantasy romance. One of those things that women dream about in their deepest sleep and rarely remember when they wake up. But she was awake—she'd been awake for more than a year—and it had really been happening. She was really the Prince's lover. She was really the one sharing his bed every night. He was really here, in her bedroll. He was really hers. And he loved her. There were worse problems a woman could have.

But Alanna didn't want love. All right, fine. She wanted Jonathan's love, but she didn't want to have to deal with it. She wanted to be loved but not have to act on it. Being in love with the Prince had its drawbacks, of course. She loved him in return, but he couldn't ever really know that. Because then they might have to act on it, and that would be the worst of all. She couldn't be queen and a roaming lady knight.

And I feel a weakness coming on

Never felt so good to be so wrong

Had my heart on lockdown

And then you turned me around

I'm feeling like a newborn child

Every time I get a chance to see you smile

It's not complicated

I was so jaded

Alanna rolled onto her back and just looked at him. He was so cursed handsome. His face as chiseled, his chin strong. His proud Conté nose was straight until it hooked slightly at the end. He had a few days' growth of coal black hair, just enough to make him look manly. A head of midnight hair just long enough to run your fingers through topped his perfect head. Two long-lashed sapphire blue eyes twinkled at her. His body was that of a man who had spent nearly his whole life training to be a knight. They were so young—she eighteen, almost nineteen, and he twenty-one, going on twenty-two. There was so much time left.

And you caught me off guard

Now I'm running and screaming

I feel like a hero and you are my heroine

Do you know that your love is the sweetest sin?

"Did you hear me?" Jonathan asked, kissing her gently. Alanna nodded.

"I heard you, Jon, I heard you," she whispered, using his nickname. The nickname he had given her permission to use after—oh, gods—seeing her naked. Not when they started the affair, but years before, freeing the Bazhir people from the Ysandir. The god-like creatures had stripped her of her clothes in a sort of sick joke, revealing her sex in the most embarrassing of ways to Jonathan. He had thrown her his tunic. It had smelt of him, and had given her strength.

"And?" Jonathan looked at her expectantly. He wanted some sort of response. Thank you? If she said thank you, would he walk out right then?

(I feel like a hero and you are my heroine)

And I feel a weakness coming on

Never felt so good to be so wrong

Had my heart on lockdown

And then you turned me around

(Do you know that your love is the sweetest sin?)

I'm feeling like a newborn child

Every time I get a chance to see you smile

It's not complicated

I was so jaded

"Oh, Jonathan." Alanna sighed. She sat up, holding the blanket around her naked form. She kissed Jonathan softly on the lips and prepared to tell him that she couldn't love him. But looking into those perfect blue eyes set in that perfect face, she couldn't. She couldn't break his heart, for breaking his heard would break her own. She wrapped her arms around him and whispered into his ear. "I love you too."

Jonathan held her at arms length. "Do you?" he asked seriously. "You aren't just saying it?" He didn't want her to lie about something as serious as being in love. It wasn't worth the effort if she didn't really mean it.

"Gods, Jon. Don't you know me at all?" Alanna wanted to know. "I won't just say it if I don't mean it!" She was slightly appalled that he would ever think she was lying. Even if love wasn't high on her list of priorities, she still took the emotion very seriously.

A smile spread across the Prince's face, making it even handsomer, if that was at all possible. The smile reached into his eyes, making them sparkle in a way all his own. It was that smile that made Alanna's heart flutter more than anything else. It was a smile reserved only for her.

(I feel like a hero and you are my heroine)

And I feel a weakness coming on

Never felt so good to be so wrong

Had my heart on lockdown

And then you turned me around

(Do you know that your love is the sweetest sin?)

I'm feeling like a newborn child

Every time I get a chance to see you smile

It's not complicated

I was so jaded