Unable to run away any longer; Vyse must finally make his choice. Aika or Fina. Who will be the lucky one?
So I knew this day would come, Vyse thought. That doesn’t make this easier.
Ever since that day… First it was Fina, and then Aika. One thing led to another, and here he was. As their target. Judge and accused one the same.
Never ever. Aika and Fina were very dear to Vyse. And now he would have to deliver to them a message that would make one of them happy beyond all limits, and the other one crushed by despair.
More than that, it felt bad to be so totally sure about his choice. That he was so sure about which one he preferred. It wasn’t Vyse’s fault, but would she understand?
And would she forgive him?
“Well?” Aika said, a bit cautiously.
Vyse took a deep breath.
“Okay, I’ve thought about this long and hard. And I understand that you want to know.”
Both girls nodded. Vyse continued:
“I know I should’ve said it earlier, but it’s not the easiest thing for me to do. I don’t want to hurt either of you.”
“Then tell us,” Fina said in an anxious tone. “I want to know. Even if…” Her words fell out into nothingness.
Yes, as long as they didn’t know they were in grim state of uncertainty. He couldn’t torment them anymore.
They wanted the answer.
Vyse would give it to them.
“Fina,” he said plainly. “Yes, you.”
The silvite’s face was cleaved with a warm smile, her eyes sparkled like green Moon Stones. Quickly Fina leapt forward and flung her arms around Vyse. It was all too easy to imagine her great joy. Vyse carefully hugged her back.
But Aika wasn’t as glad.
“Well, what do you know,” she said in a bitter voice. “I kinda guessed it all along.”
“Come on, Aika,” Vyse said, trying to cheer her up. “You know… nice try, but better luck next time.”
And to think he used to be good at these sorts of situations! What he just said had been directly thoughtless and idiotic, he regretted it already. It was clear to see that Aika was not pleased.
“I wish that was so.”
It was all too obvious he should’ve said something more tactful. Now Fina had recovered from her shock of happiness. She let go of Vyse, then turned to face her friend.
“You were still a fierce opponent,” Fina said. “Just make some changes, and I know no guy will be able to resist. I know you will make it one day. Don’t give up.”
Aika brightened up slightly.
“Thanks, Fina. And… I’m happy for you.”
“So am I,” Vyse said. “But seriously, do I have to continue grading your cookies like this? Can’t you ask your boyfriends to do that?”
Fina’s eyes sparkled at the thought of her darling sweetheart. Vyse then saw traces of cocoa around Fina’s lips. So much for “Can you test these for me, please?”
“It’s for his sake I’m doing this,” she said. “All I give him is from my heart, and I want it to be tasty, with or without sugar glazing.”
“Same for me,” Aika smiled and took a bite from one of her newly-made brownies. “But I seemingly need more training. Ever since I baked the sugar-kisses, well, he keeps running for his life when I tell him I’ve made cookies.”
“When you, instead of sugar, put in salt?”
“Okay, so I made one puny mistake! So what!?”
Vyse’s two “brothers in law” would maybe be drenched in cookies, but until then, and ever after, they bathed in great joy. They had both won the highest prize in the lottery that’s called love.