Lance sighed and rested his head in his palm, gazing outside of his window into the bright, cheery summer day. To him, the weather was horrible. He hated bright, sunny days.
Then he smelled something. Something that made his stomach growl viciously.
He stood and crept down the stairs, and there was Ilana, pulling out a fresh batch of strange, round, brown things with brown spots on them. What were they called again? Cookies?
Ilana heard Lance's stomach growl and turned around, smiling brightly, as usual. "Oh, hey, Lance. I was just making some cookies. Want a few?"
Lance looked at the food as if it were a potential enemy. Delicious it might've smelled, but anything can be dangerous.
"Why did you make these?"
Ilana rolled her eyes. "Don't tell me you think that they're poisonous, Lance. Watch. I'll try one."
Ilana picked up a cookie, and in a flash, Lance snatched it away from her. "No. As your protector and friend, I have to try it first. For your safety."
Cautiously, he took a bite and tensed up, expecting the worst. Instead, the sweet taste hit his tongue. He ended up shoving the entire treat into his mouth.
"Hey!" Ilana protested. "I picked that one for me!"
Lance frowned at her. "Just to be safe, I'll have to test another one out."
Ilana rolled her baby-blue eyes, the gold flecks in them catching the light. "Whatever, Lance. You just want another one because they're good."
Lance tried to hide his smile as he picked up another cookie and ate it. "No," he opposed unconvincingly, "I'm just concerned for your and Gallaluna's survival."
Ilana gave him a deadpan stare. "Just take as many as you want, as long as you don't eat them all."
Lance grinned and snatched about seven from the tray, sitting down at the table.
"Nope. Way too much," Ilana declared.
"Come on, Ilana. I'm a growing boy. And a soldier who needs to protect you. I need my sugary foods." Lance's dark blue eyes looked up at her past dark eyebrows, breaking her resolve.
She sighed and sat next to him, laughing a little bit. "Fine."
The two finished off the cookies. Lance smiled at Ilana. She burst out laughing.
"What?" he asked, confused.
Ilana answered through giggles, "You…..have cookie...all…over….your…face…"
Lance's face reddened. Before he could, Ilana grabbed a napkin and started wiping the chocolate and crumbs from Lance's mouth.
About halfway through, Ilana's laughs faltered as she looked into Lances eyes. Lance's smile dissolved at he noticed Ilana's quietness, and he looked back at her, getting trapped in her eyes the same way that she was in his.
The two sat there for the longest time. They didn't realize it, but they were slowly leaning closer…..and closer….and closer…..
Octus burst in, causing Lance and Ilana's eyes to widen as they realized that their faces were an inch apart. They each yelped and pulled away, blood rushing to their faces and painting them bright pink.
"Princess Ilana and Corporal Lance, I-" Octus stopped as he analyzed the expressions of the two teenagers. "What is happening?"
Lance mumbled something incoherent, and Ilana answered shrilly, "Oh! Um, Lance had cookie on his face! That's all!"
"Oh." Octus wasn't convinced that that was all that had happened. He was lucky that he was in his normal form, or else the soldier and princess would see his smile.
"Now, if you'll excuse me, I, um, have a biology assignment." Ilana bolted up the stairs.
"One day, you'll have to tell her." Octus said to Lance when she had left.
"Tell her what?" Lance looked over at Octus in confusion.
"I already have. She's a brave- sometimes stupidly brave, but still- smart, selfless, kind, unique girl who'll one day, if we're lucky, be a great queen." Lance shrugged innocently.
"Lance, I can tell how you really feel about her," Octus stated. "Your heartbeat quickens when she's around. You smile much more. You get furious when someone hurts her. It's quite obvious that-"
"Don't say it!" Lance almost shouted. "Don't even think about it. You're the one that decided that our cover was brother and sister. So that- whatever you're thinking- is off limits. Besides. We're just friends."
"I can tell when a person lies, Lance," Octus said. "And, while you may be a very good liar, you can't hide from the truth."
Octus then walked away, leaving Lance to shake his head. No. He and Ilana were just friends. Despite the fact that she was beautiful, smart, kind, and the only Gallalunian girl left…
They were just friends.
Ilana sighed. She couldn't fall in love with Lance. That would be wrong. As to why, besides the fact that their cover was brother and sister, she couldn't place. They could always move to another town.
But no. Lance may have been smart, strong, fast, sweet (although he was so moody, something that Ilana hated) (and over-protective) (and secretive), funny, good-looking, an elite soldier, and the last Gallalunian male that she knew to be alive, but for now, they had to stay in Sherman, Illinois. As siblings. And, therefore, dating was off-limits.
But still, both of them wondered.
If they ever returned to Gallaluna…..
Could they become something more than friends?
Jeez. The things that cookies can do to your thoughts.