A Baking Surprise
Iris checked the time on her phone again, letting out an exasperated sigh.
She looked up and gave a forced smile to the baker whose cakes she and Barry were supposed to be taste testing.
“I’m so sorry, he should be here any minute.”
The older woman didn’t look amused, so Iris elaborated.
“He does really important work down at CCPD. Forensics. It’s impossible to predict when he’ll be needed at a crime scene!”
She tried to laugh and make light of the situation, but the woman was clearly losing her patience as their appointment was edging on being thirty minutes past when it was supposed to start.
Just as Iris was about to speak again, Barry walked in.
“I am so, so, so sorry for holding you up Mrs. Quinn. My job can just be so unpredictable sometimes.”
Iris gave him a pointed look.
He gave both women his best smile and held a hand out to greet Mrs. Quinn.
“My mom used to order my birthday cakes from here when I was a kid, and my father’s for that matter, and from what I can remember they’re amazing. I just knew we had to book you for our wedding.”
The older ladies face softened and she smirked at Iris.
“He must get away with murder with that smile and charm.”
She and Iris shared a laugh. Barry shrugged his shoulders and gave a sheepish grin.
“Well I’m glad you could make it Mr. Allen. Shall we get started?”
“Yes please,” Iris said.
The woman grabbed a tray with a number of cake samples on it, all neatly labeled, and placed it in front of the couple.
“So what I normally do is go down the line and have my clients try each one and share their thoughts, but since we’re a little pressed for time why don’t you all just kind of dig in and discuss among yourselves, then let me know what you think?”
Barry and Iris looked at each other.
“Sounds good to me,” Barry said with a smile. “Well if I know my fiancé as well as I think I do, we can probably skip all the vanilla ones and go straight for the chocolate.”
Iris nodded her head.
“One of the reasons I’m marrying him,” she said to Mrs. Quinn.
Just then the phone rang and Mrs. Quinn excused herself.
Barry picked up the first piece of chocolate cake he could find, which was topped with a caramel ganache, and brought it to Iris’ lips. She smiled and opened her mouth, her eyes going wide when she started chewing.
“Mmmmmm oh my god this is amazing! Babe you have to try it.”
Barry lifted his eyebrows at her before leaning in and kissing her full on the lips. He quickly coaxed her mouth open with his tongue.
After a few seconds he broke away.
“Mmm you’re right, it is amazing.”
Iris held her hand over her mouth.
“As sexy as that was, you can’t do that when she comes back out here or you’ll get us kicked out for public indecency.”
She winked at him and gave him another peck before taking a sip of water.
Barry looked at the samples and picked up another chocolate piece that had raspberry filling and a rose water frosting.
“Wow, this one is even better! And it sounds so fancy. I really like it.”
Barry nodded in agreement.
“I know not everyone likes chocolate though, so should we get a cake that’s maybe half this and half plain vanilla? But all with the same frosting?”
“Sure,” Barry said. “We can ask if that’s something she can do. It’s our day though, so if not, you should definitely get what you want.”
“I know babe, thanks.”
She smiled and gave him another kiss.
Mrs. Quinn cleared her throat upon entering the room again.
“Did you guys try any of my cakes or just each other?”
Barry’s face went red.
“I’m only teasing son,” she laughed.
Iris described to her her hopes for the cake and Mrs. Quinn was more than happy to accommodate and make exactly what they wanted.
“I’ll even throw in some cupcakes on the side for free. A variety of chocolate and vanilla with the rose water frosting!”
Iris finished putting her jacket on and grabbed her bag.
“We couldn’t possibly take anything from you for free, especially with how disorganized and late we were today. But I love the cupcake idea! That sounds lovely.”
“Please dear, the cupcakes will be on me.”
She turned towards Barry and placed a hand on his arm.
“You’re Nora’s son aren’t you?”
Barry glanced at Iris briefly before turning his gaze back to the older lady.
“You remember her?”
“I knew you were her son the second you smiled at me - you have her smile. She was one of the kindest people I’ve ever met. I used to teach baking classes here in the afternoon back in the day and she took one of them. She wanted to learn how to bake sweets for her young son.
I didn’t know her well, but I could never forget her.”
Barry let out a soft laugh.
“Ya, baking was never really her strong suit, but she tried.”
“Well, I thought you should have this. One of the other people in the class took this of us - said there was something magical in our energy together. I was so sorry to hear about what happened. She’d be proud to see that you’ve grown up to be such a kind man, marrying such a smart and beautiful young lady.
So you see, I couldn’t possibly charge you for more than just the cake. All the extras are on me - you can thank your mom and her kindness to me all those years ago.”
Barry looked at the picture and couldn’t help when his eyes got watery. Nora looked so happy, laughing with Mrs. Quinn, flour on her face and in her hair.
“Thank you for this, truly.”
He hugged the woman then turned towards Iris to leave. They thanked her again and she said she’d be in touch about the details.
Iris interlocked their fingers as they walked out.
“You were definitely right about this place, it’s the perfect match for our special day.”
She held onto his arm with her other hand, squeezing him tightly. She couldn’t help but think Nora had a hand in how it all worked out and smiled knowing she’d still be a part of their wedding day.