Magical Knight Lune XY: My HOMIE Swooped Me off My Feet, and Now I Think I Might Be in LOVE?!
“This was not what I had in mind when I signed up for this job,” Jack whined, collapsing in the seat across from me.
“Have you never come here before?” I asked.
“No,” he replied with a heavy sigh. He looked back at Kuma Cakes and gestured, “You see that girl who let me on my break? She’s the one who got me the job.”
“Who is she?”
“A neighbor at my apartment complex. I met her while doing laundry, and we got to talking. And when I brought up that I was in need of a job, she told me how her coworker went AWOL and offered me the job. She told me it gets busy here, but I figured something along the lines of a tiny crowd periodically. Not…”
Jack motioned his hand at the crowd still waiting in line.
“Yeah,” I replied. “You gonna quit?”
Jack took offense. “Quit? Never. Especially after agreeing to help a neighbor.”
“I see,” I say, glancing at the box in his hands. “Soooo, what’cha got there?”
Jack smiled, looking like he was waiting for me to inquire about it. “Oh, this? Just a little something I thought you might like.”
He placed the box on the table and scooted it over to me. My hands trembled with excitement as I popped it open.
Contained within the box was the grandest cake to ever exist. It had a swirl of purple, pink, and white frosting. Pearl sprinkles and gold shavings sparkled in the light. A red ribbon of fondant icing neatly wrapped around the edge. Whole fresh strawberries dipped in cream surrounded the base of the cake.
Never had I seen such exquisite confection.
It's only flaw was that it had tipped over in the box, and icing smeared against the sides. Minor cosmetic damage, but it was still good.
“Presenting her royal highness, The Princess Cupcake,” Jack said. “That’s real gold shavings on it, by the way. Twenty-four karat apparently.”
“Certainly looks fit for royalty. What kind of filling does it have?”
“Nothing but cake in this beauty.”
“Oh,” I said.
Disappointing, sure. But I think I’ll manage to survive. There’s already so much happening on the outside as it is.
“Guess how much this sells for,” Jack said.
Considering how much some of the others were going for, I wanted to say “stupidly expensive,” but that was a given.
“Forty?” I asked.
“If not fifty… Seventy-five?”
Jack shook his head and pointed upward.
This guessing game was making my stomach churn, ruining my appetite. Just let me enjoy it in ignorance!
“...A hundred,” I painfully stuttered.
He leaned in with a stupid grin on his face. Whatever he was about to say, I didn’t want to hear it.
“Three hundred big ones.”
Then I came back to life.
“T-t-three hundred?” I uttered in disbelief.
This cake, sold as a cupcake, costs as much as a video game console.
“What?! Why?! Why is it so expensive?! What could possibly make it cost that much?! Was it blessed by the dang pope or something?!”
Jack leaned back and shrugged. “No idea. Something about imported strawberries and specialty ingredients. But you want to know what’s even more sickening?”
“I don’t think I can handle anymore,” I said aloud.
“They were just gonna throw it away.”
If there’s anything that can quickly set me off, it’s wasting perfectly good food. Especially when it comes to sweets.
To think they were going to throw away this deliciously luxurious treat all because of some aesthetic deficiency?! I mean, come on! It’s not like it fell onto the floor or something. It’s perfectly edible! Who cares about optics! Delicious sweets are always delicious, no matter how they look! Throwing sweets away before someone (like me) can enjoy them should be a war crime!
“That’s what I said!” Jack replied. “I was trying to handle it while wearing those dumb bear gloves they force us to wear. After I knocked over this one and accidentally touched it with my gloves while attempting to fix the icing, they finally let me take those stupid things off.”
"You touched it?" I asked, slightly worried.
"Don't worry. I scooped off the bit I touched, but they were still anal about it. I wouldn't give it to you if it was seriously contaminated."
“I see. Kinda wish I was here earlier. I would’ve loved to see you wearing them with those adowable bear ears.”
As I was about to dip a finger in the frosting for a taste, Jack grabbed my wrist, stopping me. “Hold on,” he said. “You’re not allowed to eat that without this.”
Reaching into his coat, Jack pulled out a sparkling diamond tiara. Is this the real reason why the cake's so expensive? He then gently placed it on my head and started pinning it into my hair. My chest grew tight from embarrassment as he stood over me.
"Are those real diamonds?" I asked, referring to the tiara.
“It's not a kids' meal toy. That's for sure," he answered.
Once the tiara was secured, he leaned back into his chair. "There! One must be a proper princess before eating a Princess Cupcake,” he chuckled.
Oh, he was totally waiting to put that tiara on me! It was revenge for me for laughing at him earlier. Well, jokes on him because I’m already used to this sort of thing, being a magical girl and all.
“Ha ha ha! Man, I’m sorry. I didn’t realize you were gonna be that embarrassed,” Jack said.
Well, that caught me off guard. “What do you mean?”
“I know you’re trying to play it cool and all, but your red face completely exposes you.”
“Y-yeah, well…” I glanced away.
Man, was I signaling that much? Now I really felt embarrassed.
I looked up at Jack, who was leaning back in his chair, smiling at me.
Ugh! Now my hand’s trembling! What’s with me! Grah! I’m just gonna dig into this cake!
I examined the box, trying to find the best method to hold this monstrosity and take a bite. With all the icing and decorations covering the whole darn thing, there was no way to eat it without–
“A fork, your highness,” Jack quipped, pulling out a plastic fork from his coat pocket.
“Thanks,” I said, taking it from him.
Good thing it was wrapped in plastic, or else I’d hesitate to use it, considering how rarely Jack washes his coat.
Proper utensil in hand, I was ready to let my taste buds loose on this sweet, sweet–
“WHAT D’YA MEAN Y’ALL DON’T HAVE IT?!”
Startled by the shout, the fork in my hand flew out from my grip and plopped onto the cake.
The source of the furious scream was a young woman at the front of the line. Or, I assumed so judging solely off the voice. The large crowd obfuscated them, so I couldn’t get a good look.
Curiously, the voice sounded strangely familiar.
“I STOOD IN THIS GODFORSAKEN STUPID LINE FOR OVER AN HOUR FOR THAT PISTACHIO CUPCAKE! IF Y’ALL WERE OUT, THEN Y’ALL SHOULDA PUT UP A SIGN SO I WOULDN’T HAVE WASTED MY TIME! I’M GONNA BE LATE TO WORK NOW WITH NOTHING TO SHOW FOR IT!!!”
The mall security guards quickly darted to the front of the line and confronted the unruly customer.
“HEY! HANDS OFF, BUDDY!” the woman yelled.
One of the security guards went flying over the crowd, who was still waiting in line, refusing to give up their space despite the sudden outburst of violence.
“That’s… looking pretty bad,” I commented.
Jack turned around, putting an arm over his chair’s backrest. “Third time today.”
Jack let out a sigh and stood up. “I couldn’t do anything before since I was behind the counter, but now I can show those security guards how a pro does it.”
“Don’t escalate things,” I warned him.
“Relax. If there’s one thing I’m good at, it’s calming people down.”
“That’s what I’m warning you about.”
“Come on, Daniel. You know I’ll never fight a woman. Well, unless they’re stronger than me, that is.”
“But fighting is how you always calm people down.”
“You just haven’t had the chance to see my persuasion skills in action,” Jack said as he took off his jacket and undid his bowtie. “Watch these for me.”
I watched Jack march into the crowd, forcing his way to the front of the line. “Hey!” he shouted. “You need to calm down! People are trying to enjoy their cupcakes!”
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