Chapter 27

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On my way back to camp, I spy a tree with oranges growing on it. My stomach immediately begins to growl. When was the last time I ate something? A big and particularly juicy one catches my attention, but it's pretty high up.

Finding a good spot for footing, I begin to climb upwards. The higher I go, the more accomplished I feel, but when I look down, I feel panicked. Sure, going up is easy, but what goes up must come down.

When I finally get close enough, I reach for the orange, almost being able to taste it. Only then do I see another person's hand come out from nowhere and grab the orange I was after. I look up, only to see my food in Peter's hand, and his mischievous smile on me. "Very funny, Peter. Now can I please have it back?" I ask.

"Have it back? You never got it in the first place," he states with a laugh. Then, he jumps out of the tree and falls to the ground, landing on his feet like a cat. "Peter please give me my orange!" I plead, though now even I'm fighting the urge to laugh with him.

"Just pick another one!" He says, laughing. "No, I want that one!" I fire back, trying to fight the urge to laugh along with him. "Well come and get it then," he taunts. No longer caring about the height, I jump from the tree in the same manner that he did, only I tuck and roll onto my feet instead of landing on them. He took my orange; it's on now.

"Impressive, but the trick is getting it from me," he explains with a smile. I lunge for the orange, but he holds it above my head. Since he has several inches of height over me, I can't reach it even if I jump. I turn begging again. "Please give me my orange, Peter." "I would...but it looks too good to give away unless I have a valid reason," he explains.

Seizing the opportunity, I reach up and pull his face down to mine and kiss him, forgetting entirely about the orange for a moment. "How's that for a valid reason?" I taunt when we pull apart. "I should steal oranges from you more often," he jokes. "Does that mean you'll give me my food now?" I say, my eyes brightening. "Nope," he says with a smile.

"You're a very selfish person, you know that?" I say, annoyed with his stubbornness. "I have my moments," he explains. Thinking I have him occupied, I make a quick move to grab the orange out of his hand, but he dodges my grasp. "Nice try," he admits. "I swear Peter, if you don't give me the orange, I'll...I'll," I begin. "You'll what, Ms. Lancaster?" He says with a smirk. Trying to regain my seriousness, I say, "I won't talk to you anymore."

"You won't talk to me?" He asks.

"That's right," I confirm.

"Not even a word?" He pushes.

"Nope," I say.

"Not to disappoint you and your empty threats, but you're still talking to me," he points out.

"I meant I won't say anything to you starting now," I say, fighting back a smile.

"Now?" He asks.

"Yes," I say.

"You're still talking to me," he says, smiling.

"Peter!" I protest.

He just laughs and walks away from me, orange still in hand. I follow, not letting him get away with my food. After this whole fiasco, I intend to get what's rightfully mine. I quickly stick my foot out and trip him, and he drops the orange while he falls. "I'll take that," I say accomplished as I pick up my orange. "Good trick, I'll admit that. However, I have my own tricks as well," he says cunningly. Before I can prepare myself, he trips me as well so I fall down right next him. He then takes the orange out of my hand while I'm distracted.

"I give up!" I say, getting up from the ground and walking away. If you really loved me, you'd give me the orange. I feel Peter wrap his arms around me from behind and whisper in my ear, "But I do love you," indicating he evaluated my pouty thoughts. Then, he finally puts the orange back in my hand.

"Thank you!" I exhale. He just smiles at me and walks away again, heading up towards camp. "Hey," I call out. Peter turns back around, his brown eyes sparkling with warmth and love. "Here," I split the orange and toss him half.

"Thanks," he says. I walk over to him, and we sit down and enjoy the thing we spent the last ten minutes battling over. When we're finished, I lean in to kiss him again when a voice interrupts me.

"If you two are done, we've got trouble coming! The camp's going to be attacked!" I look up to see Cassia scowling at us. Getting up, we all run back to camp to fight.

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