He gets so worked up about cake.
“The way the knife cracks the meringue just enough to ease it down through it’s puffy goodness… And then, without knowing exactly when, your arms feels the resistance of the ice cream and it’s so hard compared to the top part!”
He licks his lips. He’s trying to slice the jelly roll he made for dessert while he describes cutting a Baked Alaska for the first time. His excitement over the solid mass of ironic ice cream makes the raspberry cream filling ooze out of the side of the roll.
I sit on my hands to keep them still. My face is flushed, and my fork is waiting.
“So then the knife slides down through the ice cream and you get to do it all again on the other side of the slice! It’s just, so magnificent.”
He brings me a slice of the jelly roll. The escaped cream smeared up and all around the spongy cake. I cut a piece and smash it with my fork, just to watch it creep in between the fork's pointy fingers.
Leaning forward, I fold my leg up underneath me to get closer to my plate. The hole in my tights where I snagged them today forces my flesh to protrude, rather rudely.
I take a bite. The bubble of flesh on my thigh is under too much pressure and I slide my index finger under the tear, calming my skin with the pad of my fingertip.
“Ahem, are you done yet, Bella? I, uh, think I may have some pictures of the cruise in my bedroom and I’d love to show you.”
I press my fork on my tongue, catching all the crumbs.
“Bring them out here, Edward. I’m not done eating yet.”
I don’t actually need to see the pictures. Living in Alaska negated the necessity of Alaskan cruise photos from Edward’s college years, but I humored him. The cake was messy and divine.
We met at the fish market. I was in Fairbanks for graduate school, hoping to finish a creative writing degree so my passion for food and the written word could finally marry. I’d finished culinary school in Seattle and had come here for the fish, the cold, and the northern lights.
With a box of homemade violet cupcakes held steady under my arm, I’d come to the Fairbanks Fish Market for some salmon. It was, obviously, the very best version of the fish I would ever find and I ate it at least three times a week.
He was working the counter, his hair the color of ancient koi, and his lips a smooth reproduction of a salmon pink crayon.
“Whatever you have in that box smells much better than what I have in this case.” He mused.
His broad shoulders were crossed with the straps of a set of rubbery coveralls that led my eyes straight to his thin, strong waist.
“That piece of salmon right there, though?” I pointed with my only available finger. “It’s flesh is so silky, even my frosting would be jealous.”
“Frosting? Oh man. I've been here smelling fish all day and you bring frosted something-or-others to tempt me? Not fair.”
He put his hands on his hips, his long fingers slipping just under his uniform to reach the notch he desired.
“Oh! Well, I made them for my advisor but you can definitely have one. I wouldn’t want to tempt fate and leave you hanging in a frosting-fantasy for the rest of your shift.”
I watched as he peeled off the clear cellophane gloves he’d had on his hands and reached into their box on the counter to get fresh ones.
“Wait! I have a napkin in my purse! I…I just can’t watch you hold the cupcake in that crispy plastic glove, it makes my heart sad.”
I pouted my lip, unconsciously, as I dug for a napkin in my purse, balancing the box of cupcakes on my other hip.
“Ah ha! I got it.”
He held open his chapped hand to reveal a warm, pillowy palm. I spread the white napkin over his skin, and placed the pale purple cupcake in the exact center.
“There.” I said.
He watched me and gave the cake a tentative squeeze, breaking out in a huge grin. Bringing it to his mouth he ate the entire muffin top of the mini confection in one bite, humming with pleasure.
“They’re perfect!” He said with shocked, wild eyes. “How did you do that?”
“Umm, with my mixer?” I laughed.
He shook his head and pulled on fresh gloves, whipping my precious piece of salmon out of the case with practiced precision.
“It’s on the house today, alright? I’ve never met another person who could make such a heavenly cupcake.”
I smiled and thank him for his gift, my feet trying too hard not to dance as I pranced away.
The next time I stopped at the market, I brought meringues from home. Raspberry with flecked white chocolate, to be exact. I know it’s silly to bring gifts to strangers, but they are so simple-fancy I couldn’t resist. The glint in Mister Master Fishmonger’s eye and the way his palm felt underneath the napkin stuck with me like well applied fondant.
My heart dropped when I didn’t see him, but he materialized from the back room when I'd placed my order with his co-worker.
As his partner moved aside to prepare my fillets, my mongrel-man smirked in my direction.
“I brought you something.” I said, shoving the box of dessert up onto the counter. He brought it to his nose with a pretentious sniff and quickly hid it under the counter top.
I paid for my fish and thanked both the recipient of my late night baking and the man who helped me.
Walking away, my head whipped back sharply, a “psssst” piercing my eardrum enough for me to shake my head to free the noise from my noggin.
It was him, again. He motioned me back and pulled out a small piece of wax paper weighted down with a succulent salmon cake. Now it was my turn to gush. I held it adoringly in my hand, testing the texture against my finger before tearing off a bite, observing the scrumptious crumb it left behind.
It tasted even better than it looked and my eyes rolled back, embarrassingly.
“A cake for a cake” He said.
“It. Is. So. Yummy!”
He belly laughed at my response.
“Did you make these?” I asked.
They were better than any recipe I’d mastered in culinary school.
“Yeah, I just finished them when I heard your voice.” He blushed at his own revelation.
I continued stuffing chunks of fish into my mouth, hiding it behind me when the other guy came to see if there was something else he could help me with.
“I’ve got it, Emmett.” My very own, personal fish-man said.
“Whatever, Eddie.” Maybe the other guy wasn’t so helpful after all.
“Eddie? That’s really your name?” It didn’t fit him at all, and I was tempted to take back my edible gifts.
“No. He just calls me that when he’s cranky. It’s Edward, actually. What’s yours, Oh Queen of the Baked Goods?”
“Bella. Well then, Bella, what is your opinion on both the cake your currently eating, and the one you brought me last week both being called 'cake'? It’s always confused me.”
I thought about it while I scarfed the rest of my unexpected treat.
“Maybe it has something to do with the way your fork feels when you cut into it? Or maybe it’s just because they both contain some kind of bread-like ingredient to hold it together…”
“I’d never thought of it that way. I figured it was the eggs.” He gave me that silly smile again.
“Well, Edward, I have to go.” I admitted sadly, brushing my hands off on my butt. “School awaits. Enjoy the stuff in the box! I’ll see you on my next fish run.”
He tipped an imaginary hat my way and winked.
On my next excursion, I chose a dozen oysters on the half shell as a special reward. My advisers had approved my thesis and I was treating myself.
I asked Edward, or Cullen, as his new name-tag read, how he would cook them.
“If it was me, I'd kick back half of them raw. A little lemon, maybe some good hot sauce. These are really fresh too. Mmmm…”
I appreciated his honesty. The small sea creatures were pricey, and enjoying them in their natural state was very fulfilling. Animal eating animal.
“And the other six?” I broke him from his food reverie.
“I’d dress them with some bread crumbs, Cajun seasoning, and wrap them in bacon. Then make a cream sauce on the stove while they baked.”
“That’s exactly what I’ll do then.”
It sounded so delicious. He was overjoyed that I would use his recipe.
‘Edward?” I asked before I left. “I know this is going to sound strange. But, would you come cook with me this week? You name the day, if you want to, and I’d love to invite you to my kitchen.”
His smile was so huge I could see his molars.
“Really? Invite me to your kitchen… hmmm…”
He rubbed his chin like it was a complicated conundrum. I giggled.
“I’d be honored, Bella. And since their is no confidentiality agreement with Fishmongers, I think we’re safe from Emmett too.”
He pointed to the shiny new name tag pinned to his shirt and rolled his eyes.
I clapped my hands, gleefully. I so wanted to cook with this guy. Mr. Edward Cullen, Fishmonger of Fairbanks, Alaska.
“How about Saturday afternoon? I get done here early, about 2:00, and I could be at your place by 3:00?” He asked.
“That sounds great! Here, let me write my address down.”
I pulled out a matching napkin to the one I presented his cupcake on and wrote down my information.
“You bring whatever you’d like, and I’ll do the same, okay?” Even if we just chopped simultaneously, it would still be incredible.
At home that night I was his pearl. I followed every detail of the recipe he’d shared with me, envisioning the silky, salty oyster sliding down his throat. I had always heard that oysters were an aphrodisiac, but I was sure the glistening sheen of sweat over my body had more to do with Edward and his beguiling smile. And possibly his everything else too.
On Saturday I was like a kid on Christmas morning. I hit the grocery store as soon as the doors were open, grazing each aisle with his face in mind. We’d spoken again on the phone when he’d called to make sure I was serious.
He sighed heavily into my ear when I reassured him I was, indeed, planning for him to infiltrate my kitchen today. He was bringing dessert, he said, to repay me for the cupcake and the meringues. I was responsible for the main course.
Seeing as how I couldn’t think of Edward and not think of seafood, I decided to do something with shrimp. It had to be something that would require our hands to touch, and something to be eaten with fingers. Spring rolls would be perfectly decadent against whatever sweets he brought with him.
I gathered rice paper wrappers, plump shrimp, crisp veggies, and the makings of a couple of killer dipping sauces. The peanut sauce would be slightly gritty against the sheer rolls, and the wasabi mayonnaise would counter the sweet shrimp so nicely.
When I got back home I unloaded my haul and counted the minutes until he would get here. My astute finger math, and the fact that it was still technically morning, told me I had a while until I’d see him. In an intuitively counter-productive move, I decided to skip any prep work I might normally do and go back to bed.
The more we had to do when he got here, the longer I’d have him in my kitchen.
He arrived with a cake stand shrouded in a dish towel.
“No peeking.” He scolded, as we exchanged a far-too-friendly embrace.
I led him to the kitchen and offered him some ice tea. With his thirst sufficiently quenched, I opened the fridge and pulled out everything I'd purchased earlier.
"Those shrimp are hot, Bella. Are you seeing other fishmongers behind my back?" He joked.
"No, I just got these at my grocery store, actually. No fish-mongering necessary."
"I see how it is." He chided, pretending to be offended.
"Are you going to help me or just watch, Eddie?" I knew that would get him going.
"The view is just fine from here, Bella, I think I'll just watch."
Butthead. He was so deviously cute.
I sat down next to him at the table and sipped my tea, pretending there wasn't an entire counter full of things that needed to be processed before dinner could be eaten.
He gave in first, waltzing up the the counter and peering at the vegetables there.
"Whatcha makin' anyway?" He asked.
"WE were going to make shrimp spring rolls. But I'm just fine with tea and dessert if you don't want to cook with me."
I pouted. It worked.
"Come on, Bella. Let's cook then."
He twirled my largest knife like a baton and my heart palpitated.
Oh yes, this was going to be fun.
I set him up to julienne the carrots, cucumbers, yellow peppers, and red onion. I took my time sauteing the shrimp, keeping him busy in return for his teasing.
He minced some garlic and threw it into my pan on the stove when I turned to get a drink.
"Hey, dude. This is MY domain!" I said.
He just smiled at me, fake puppy dog eyes softening my face, just like he knew they would.
"Just helping, Bella..." He said.
"Chop some cilantro too, okay? The shrimp are almost done, then we can roll everything in the wrappers together." I said.
He minced the cilantro with quick and fancy knife skills, wooing me yet again.
I moved the shrimp to a small bowl to cool and we began laying dainty strips of vegetables into the opaque wrappers.
Our hands kept bumping. We grabbed for the same piece of pepper. And when the shrimp were the right temperature, we argued over how many to put in each roll.
He stuffed his so full it was ready to burst, while I placed three immaculate crustaceans atop my patterned plant matter before rolling it up carefully.
When he went back for his glass, however, I swapped out rolls on the plates and sat them at the table.
He didn't notice until I put his large, bulging roll into my mouth, biting off almost more than I could chew.
He coughed and spluttered, gawking at me in a way that nearly had me choking with laughter.
"Umm, Bella? I think that's mine." He said, questioningly.
"I know it, Edward. Boy, do I ever. Did you see how full my mouth was? I could've choked to death! Three shrimp are plenty. Taste mine and you'll see."
He picked up the perfect package on his plate, making sure to show me his teeth as he took a small bite. Those pink lips, around the food I'd made with him, were beyond seductive. He licked them when he was done.
"That is one delicious spring roll, Ma'am. Now, may I have mine back please?"
I nodded my head, still in a daze, watching his mouth as it formed the words I'd heard.
The cooking continued that way, with each of us alternating between sweet and savory, always trying to out-do the other person. I'd never eaten so well in my entire life, and for a month of suppers we were together in my kitchen.
One night he confessed. “The very first thing I tried to bake when I moved here was a Baked Alaska. It just seemed right, you know? But it was horrible.”
I chuckled. “Did you have one of the pans meant for making a dessert like that? Or did you want to do it by hand?”
“By hand, and my ice cream was too warm and my pound cake was too dry and the meringue didn’t harden…” He shook his head. “I haven’t tried again since.”
“I’ve never actually made one either. I’ve done meringue pies, ice cream cakes... All the things that come together to make a mountain of meringue sit perfectly still on top of ice cream, but I don’t have a Cūlinique pan either.” I stilled my imaginative hands and shrugged.
I’d worn a sweater dress that day to school, with intricately lacy tights underneath. I went through tights even faster than I did cupcake recipes. It was ridiculous. Today had been no different. I’d caught my binder on the knee of my stockings as I was packing up after class.
Now, as I bent to scoop the stray dinner crumbs from the floor a muffled zipping sound caught my attention. “Dammit!” I said. “This was one of my favorite pair.”
Edward watched with rapt attention as a runner snaked it’s way from my knee cap to the top of my thigh, and higher, hiding under my dress. His Adam’s apple bobbed with effort as he tried to find a witty retort to my leggings making things so personal so suddenly.
But he could do nothing but stare. So I made the remark for him.
“Alright, Cullenique. Quit ogling my ruined tights and start washing the dishes!” I said, standing with my hands on my hips. “There will be no double standards in this kitchen.”
He rubbed his hands over his face and smiled sheepishly. “Yes, Ma’am. And.. Sorry… It was just fascinating!”
He started toward the sink then stopped. “Wait. Cullenique? Cullenique? How did you know my last name?” He thought about this for all of two seconds before grumbling “Emmett” under his breath.
“Get busy, Cullen, or I'll change it to Sullenique and have a little talk with Mr. Emmett the next time I’m at the shop.”
He blew a very mature raspberry my direction and filled the sink with water.
“Let’s try tomorrow night.” I said suggestively.
“What? You mean… really? You want to?”
I had just finished the the raspberry cream jelly roll. I licked my fork one last time and sighed.
“Yeah… Let’s do it. I just have to get one thing before we get started.”
He pumped his fist in the air and clicked his heels together, like a male, middle-school Dorothy who'd been told he could go home after all.
I went to the restaurant supply store the next morning, giggling to myself when I asked for the infamous “Culinique”. I would have to try it out again as Edward’s permanent nickname. It was just too perfect.
The store was beautiful, full of equipment for every culinary adventure you could ever dream of. The walls were lined with photographs of the local landscape; frosty mountains and expansive chilled earth.
In my head I recited part of the poem that drew me here from a very young age:
“These are the things which made me
These are the things I call home…”
I really did adore this place.
My hand glided over a panini press. Pressing sandwiches with Edward was something I would definitely enjoy. Did I want to press other things with him as well?
“…Cooking on a coal stove
Cutting meat with a dull knife”
The image of him cleaning a giant fish filled my mind. Strong hands, expertly cutting. There’d be no blood visible when he made his mark. I shivered.
“My hands raw from picking rose hips…”
Strong hands on my hips. Crushed petals smell the sweetest.
I finally found the aisle with the specialty cake pans.
“Few would guess now how much I miss you Alaska”
If this thing worked, we might even get to see some sky magic tonight.
I gave the pan a secret, soft kiss, rubbing it’s rounded top like a Buddha belly for luck, then rushed to check out with my face flushed.
We met in his kitchen like Mission Impossible characters armed with cooking gear. I had the pan, he had the ice cream machine. He'd separated eggs for meringue, I'd made the pound cake. Success was our only option, and our one-track-mind approach was comical.
I stirred together a batch of raspberry sorbet and preheated the oven, while Edward whipped the meringue by hand, the veins in his arm screaming for him to stop.
As I listened for the oven I watched as sweat formed in his Cupid's bowl. I wanted to be the one to lick it off, but he beat me to it, just as the air-filled egg-whites formed firm peaks.
I set the sorbet, now in a Tupperware, in the freezer, hoping it wasn't the only thing that was hard at the end of the night. I should've packed a protein bar.
When the sorbet was set, we arranged the first two ingredients, one on top of the other, into the Culinique. The pound cake and ice cream married and honeymooned in Iceland, while the meringue hung out with last night's leftovers in the fridge.
With the oven at the perfect temperature, Edward finally assembled the entire concoction. Piling the fluffy topping high against the cake, he swirled a menagerie of tips into the meringue before ever-so-slowly sliding it into the oven.
Neither of us spoke.
Squatted down to peer into the oven door, we waited with wobbles and baited breath as each decorative twirl began to toast under the oven's hot glare. It was a countdown to delicious victory, and it needed to end soon or I was going to fall on my butt. Squatting is for toddlers, not fully grown women in cute shoes!
As soon as it was an exquisite shade of golden brown, the hottest, most ear-pleasing sigh came from Edward's mouth. The entire balancing act of the entire night was worth it to hear that sound.
He pulled the Baked Alaska from the oven, his face bursting into a sunshine bright smile, and set it on the counter.
"We did it, Bella."
"Yeah...we did." I agreed.
"If you were a dude this would be a high-five moment. But you're you, and I don't want to frighten her."
"So the cake is a girl then? I can handle that. But if I don't get a high five, what is it I do get from you?" I asked, trying not to smile too wide.
"I...was hoping for a hug?" He said.
I raised my arms up high and he stretched his down low. Our hands met the other's neck and waist and it was just the right amount of squish, though it didn't last long enough.
Edward held his face close to my ear when we let each other go.
"You. Cut it."
His voice rumbled down my spine and made me quiver.
He stood behind me to guide my hand as I began slicing the cake. I pushed the knife between crusted pillars of toasted egg and air, and he pushed his knee between my legs, widening my stance enough to press even closer to me.
"She is so beautiful." He said, reverently, into my hair.
I blushed. I knew he was talking about the cake but he was just so near to my skin I couldn't help it.
"I kissed the pan. Maybe that helped a little." I admitted.
He chuckled. "You kissed the Culinique? Is there any particular reason why?"
I'd completely pierced through one side of the first slice. With his hand now covering mine, we lifted our arms in tandem, fingers gripping the knife, to begin the second cut.
"It was a special moment, I guess. Baking a baked Alaska in Alaska is very exciting for someone like me." It was a lousy excuse, even to my ears.
We finished the second side and Edward slowly pulled the piece away from it's fluffy, igloo-shaped house. The inside was gorgeous. The red of the sorbet seeped slightly into the bisque colored cake, which effortlessly became the meringue.
"Your lips are good luck. Do you want the first bite?" He asked.
I nodded my head and he dove into the cake with a fork, coming up with a huge bite. I opened my mouth wide, but I still felt warm meringue slide around my lips. I licked them clean after I swallowed.
"It's divine, Edward. You have to have some!" I squealed.
He took his own giant bite and jumped up and down when he was done.
"Oh my God! THAT is a Baked Alaska! Let's take it outside to finish; I'll cut another piece."
We sat on his back porch and dug into our servings. Actually, Edward's idea of a serving was a quarter of the cake, but I wasn't complaining. It was cold enough outside that it wouldn't melt.
"There are supposed to be lights visible tonight." I mentioned in a sticky voice.
"I keep a blanket by the back door for that very reason. I love how often we can see them here in Fairbanks."
He opened his back door and grabbed a soft, fleecy blanket from a wicker basket on the floor.
"Come on! Bring your dessert! We can lay down on the blanket on the porch." He offered.
The sky was just beginning to look like melted ice cream, magnetic elements rolling across and through the mountains behind it.
We lay down together, side by side rolling toward each other.
“You, uh, have a piece of cake in your hair.” He pointed out.
I tried to move my hand to get to it, but he captured my wrist and lowered it down to my stomach. With slow movements he carefully extricated the escaped meringue from my locks and licked his thumb.
“It’s on your shirt too, but I’ll let you get it this time.” He smirked, lowering his eyes to chest level.
When I’d leaned in to cut our creation, the tip of a pillowed sugar castle had brushed my chest, leaving a trail of sticky meringue across one breast.
Giggling, I licked my own finger and pressed it against the path of white on my shirt, gathering what I could before lifting it to my mouth.
Edward smacked his lips.
“We did a really good job, didn’t we?” I said.
“Yeah, I would’ve never gotten lucky with that meringue without your fancy pan.”
“My fancy pan, huh? Maybe if you had used enough rock salt in your ice cream the first time it wouldn’t have melted everywhere!” I said.
“Fine, you win.”
“Really?” I asked.
“You’re giving up a food fight, just like that? This is very unlike you Cullenique.”
“You call me that again and I’ll kiss you.” He said. His face so very close to mine.
He was so fun to pick on. He huffed and wiped his hand down his face.
“You’re being difficult, BellaBaker. You don’t want a kiss from your fish monger?” He asked, feigning hurt.
I didn’t answer his question. With a deadly smirk I started again.
He moved to tickle the right answer out of me and I was the one who gave up.
“Okay, okay! NO tickling the Bella!”
“And now she talks in third person.” His fake despondence was sickeningly sweet.
“Cullenique.” It was almost a whisper.
His mouth met mine so swiftly I didn’t have time for any more comedy routines. His lips were soft and cold and sugary.
We gawked at each other, both stunned that the other one wanted that kiss so very much.
“Well, at least you know I haven’t been practicing on the fish.” He said.
I laughed and rubbed my finger over his bottom lip, pretending to sniff his breath.
“Are you sure, because you do smell a little fishy. Is there something fishy going on here?”
I cocked my eyebrow, hoping for the right balance of flirtatious and desiring.
“Nothing fishy, Bella, but if you call me that God forsaken nickname again there will be serious consequences!”
He was egging me on. I wanted consequences. I was a bad, bad, Bella. Plus the nickname was destined from the start.
"Cullenique!!" I stuck out my tongue at him.
"That’s it, Frosting-Girl.”
With that he lowered his head back to my chest, making sure that I followed his movements. He kissed his way across my clavicle and then place an open mouth kiss on the pillow of my breast, through my cake-sweetened shirt.
“Oh…” It was all that came to me.
Laughing devilishly, he lapped at the sugar stuck to my ribcage. My shirt was suddenly a painful nuisance.
His tongue moved north to the swell of my breast. He looked up at my face, my cheeks burning while the rest of me was chilled by his cool mouth so close to my skin.
He sucked at the spot where my rosiest rose sat under my clothing, and she bloomed rapidly.
His hand replaced his mouth as he nuzzled his face into my neck.
I squeaked, my arms wrapping around his frame frantically.
He pushed his face deeper and sucked at the spot below my ear as he’d done on my chest. My body lifted toward his without my permission, another strangled, Oh..., escaping my mouth.
“Your nose is cold.” I said with great effort.
He huffed a chuckle against my skin and rolled us over.
I squealed when he suddenly sat us up, mid-turn, a look of anguish on his face.
“Oh no!!” He said, trying not to laugh through his discovery.
I felt down his back with my hands and there was a cold mass smashed into his shirt.
“The cake!” I said. The laughter that erupted from both of us could’ve shaken down an avalanche.
We ran back inside to change our clothes, both of us now marked with the tell-tale signs of making out with a Baked Alaska.
With appropriately warm clothing on, and a few blankets and pillows to keep us warm and comfy, we went back outside to watch the sky swirl and dance, a molten meadow of colors turned upside-down.
The greatest thing about the Aurora Borealis in Fairbanks was that you really had to lay down to see them clearly. This was an observation I’d only just made as I snuggled close to Edward in the blankets.
I lay in the crook of his arm, my leg tucked across his. It was a fairly innocent position that left us plenty of wiggle room.
His left hand was lightly brushing up and down my back, playing Pete and Repeat with my hand on his chest.
An exceptionally beautiful shift in the heavens changed things though. My gasp pressed my chest fully into his, and my hand unthinkingly grabbed at his stomach.
His girly laugh tickled me to no end.
“Are you that ticklish Edward?”
He bit his lips and frantically shook his head, signaling to the dumbest of dumb that he was devastatingly ticklish on his belly.
I pretended to stop, then made a fist and shook it violently against his middle muscles. He snorted.
“You snorted!” It was hilarious.
“Ahhhh! Nooo! Stop Edward!”
He had my thigh in a vice grip and he was tickling the dickens out of me.
Really I only kissed him so he’d stop with the tickle monster business. But as his hand continued up my thigh, things became more serious.
His hand made quick acquaintance with my derriere, squeezing it like my cupcake on our first meeting. I squirmed closer to him, sucking his bottom lip into my mouth. Both of his hands scooted me bottom first on top of him. It was a good place to be.
I sat up and grabbed the blanket forgotten at his calves and swallowed us in it’s soft blackness.
Our breath was so chilled it made visible puffs in the inky darkness before his hands snuck up to my hips, curved my spine down to his body, and my mouth met his: open, wet, and wanting.
His response to our mouths' current meeting was just a low moan. His hands found my backside again, pressing me down against something deliciously hard and all him. Now it was my turn to moan.
I pushed into him harder, voluntarily partaking in this clothed race to ecstasy.
But his moans became pleading sounds and I sat up, my heart stabbing me from the inside out.
"No... No sweet Bella. Stop that." His eyes reflected my hurt and his hand covered my heart.
"It's just that we left the cake sitting on the stove and I'm afraid it's half melted by now. Let's go back in and see what needs to be done. Then we can...umm.. continue? If you'd like."
I bent and kissed him one more time to reassure him, smiling at his handsome face.
We raced back inside, again, and found that our solid mass of raspberries was slowly slipping down the cabinets by the stove. Already, a pool of blood-red syrup was building on the floor.
I crouched down with a hand towel to swab my sticky cabinet and my knees collapsed under me!
"It was all that squatting!" I yelled from floor, my lower half now splattered with the sloppy innards of our Baked Alaska.
He bent down to help me back up, but I refused to be alone in this mess. So with the last of my measly strength, I pulled him down to the tile with me.
His right hand flew up, flailing for the counter to stop his inevitable trip down south, clawing his fingers directly into the rest of the destroyed cake in the process.
I bellowed with laughter.
"There's no saving it now, Cullenique!" I giggled.
In response he took his drippy hand and rubbed it thoroughly in my hair.
"You. Did. Not. Just do that." I said with an eerily calm voice.
I scrambled to the floor and filled my fists with cold poundcake. Stalking toward him, ever so slowly, I backed him into the table.
When he stopped, I attacked, rubbing cake all over his pretty face.
I wasn't stupid enough to think I could get away from him after that, but I tried to run anyway.
He caught me by the back of my shirt, jerking me to him like a yo-yo.
Spinning me to face him by my shoulders, he kissed me hard and fast, smudging my revenge back into my waiting mouth.
When we finally paused in our epic battle to devour each others' faces, he asked if I wanted a shower.
"I have some pajamas you could borrow." He added hopefully. "You could stay here tonight even, if you want. Take my bed."
I wanted him to take me to his bed.
"Alright." I said.
"Let me make use of your shower and then I'll help you clean up the kitchen. Unless you wanted to do it by yourself." I teased.
I knew exactly where I wanted this to go.
"No way, Lady. We made the mess together, we clean it up together."
"All of it?" I asked innocently.
"All of it." He confirmed.
I turned toward his hallway, kicked off my cute shoes, and glanced back to see him starring.
"All of it, Cullenique. Get moving." I commanded him.
It was a very thorough, four-handed shower. And it was so, so sticky.
He gets so worked up about cake.
Happiest Happy Birthday, Miss Yellowglue! This is the closest I could get to making you a cake myself. xoxo, MzE. The poem is The Slow Migration of Glaciers, by Jewel Kilcher.