beautiful young woman with flour on her face

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.

“What’s next?”

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?”

She nodded.

“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.

Happy Birthday America

I literally just remembered that it’s America Singer’s birthday and I had written this thing last year as a birthday gift to my best friend so in honour of the protagonist of my favourite series, here’s this thing.

The King of Illea stared in annoyance at the burnt cake on the kitchen counter. It was the third failed attempt at a birthday surprise for his wife.

“Daddy this one’s not good either,” his five year old daughter stated, looking rather distressed.

“I know princess,” he sighed.

His son sighed as well, mirroring his sister’s expression as he also stared at the newest monstrosity. Even though they were twins, Ahren looked up to his sister as if she was the older sibling. Technically she was, by a couple minutes and she often took great pleasure in reminding them of it. But lately, he had taken to mimicking all of her actions, something she clearly enjoyed.

Eadlyn, ever the little enthusiast shouted, “Let’s try again!”

“I think you’ve done enough,” a voice said from behind them.

They all whirled around to find a very amused America standing in the doorway. She gestured at the mess they made while Maxon smiled sheepishly.

“It was supposed to be a surprise. It was supposed to be the best birthday ever,” Eadlyn said disappointedly, already looking near tears.

“Oh sweetheart,” America said, wrapping her arms around her daughter. “I just need you to make this the best birthday ever,” she said, gently planting a kiss on her forehead. “You and Ahren and daddy,” she told her, pulling her little prince into her arms as well.

“Okay,” Eadlyn smiled, the dark brown eyes she inherited from Maxon, staring into America’s blue ones.

“Do we have to clean up the mess now?” Ahren suddenly asked.

“Yes we do,” laughed America, causing both her children to sigh and grumble until she shot them a look that made them immediately quiet down.

As they all began to work, America smirked at Maxon, “Three burnt cakes? Really?” she grinned at him.

Her husband merely glared at her before grabbing a handful of flour and throwing it in her face.

“Maxon!” she shrieked as he collapsed into a fit of laughter.

She huffed before proceeding to fling some right back at him. It was her turn to laugh as he slowly blinked, caught off guard for a moment. Soon they were all throwing flour at each other and screaming at the top of their lungs.

America and Eadlyn faced off against Maxon and Ahren as Eadlyn declared that girls ruled and Ahren instantly retaliated that boys were better. Loud giggles and shrieks echoed off the kitchen walls and it was surprising that no one had come to see what on earth was going on.

Finally, they all collapsed on the floor, trying to catch their breaths.

“We made an even bigger mess!” Eadlyn shouted.

“We did!” her brother repeated, rather joyously in fact.

“Yes we did,” Maxon echoed, wrapping an arm around his wife to pull her closer. He held their daughter in his arms and she had their son and he smiled as he took in the sight of all of them huddled together.

“A beautiful mess,” America murmured into his shoulder.

Maxon gently kissed the top of her head, causing her to look up. An immense rush of love filled him as he stared into the piercing blue eyes of the woman he absolutely adored. Flour covered most of her face and her hair was dishevelled but god she was stunning.

He raised a hand to cup her cheek and she leaned into his touch, a content sigh escaping her lips.

“Beautiful,” Maxon mumbled before closing the distance between them and capturing her lips with his.

They quickly pulled away, before their young children could begin to protest and call them gross.

“Just a little taste of your present tonight,” Maxon said with a wink.

America laughed as she leaned against her husband.

“Happy birthday my darling,” he whispered in her ear before she looked up and kissed him one more time.