The Baker of Brennan #11

Is it supposed to look like that?”

Rose scowled as she regarded the slice of oat bread still steaming on the counter. “It’s the best I could do with what I’ve got. Would you like to try your hand at baking?”

No, no,” Scott said with a grin, holding his hands up in surrender. “I have nothing but respect for your skills. I’m sure it tastes better than it looks.”

Thanks.” Rose rolled her eyes and picked it up, breaking it in half and offering him half. When he hesitated, she glared at him. He took the bread. She took a bite and chewed it slowly, tasting it and rolling the texture around on her tongue. Instead of offering her opinion, she looked to Scott for his.

It’s good,” he said when he’d swallowed his bite. “Not the same as regular bread, but good.”

You sound surprised.”

He laughed. “That’s because I am.” His smile shifted into something of a leer, but with a bemused twinkle in his eye. “I didn’t think it was possible for something so delicious to come of such a disastrous morning.”

Nice save.” She sliced the rest of the loaf and set it aside. “I need to make more. Are you going to help or hinder, or just get out of the way?”

Already standing close, he slipped an arm around her. “How about if I hinder for a little while, then help to make up for it?”

Rose had to admit that, even if he wasn’t the most handsome man she ever met, he had his good points. It was hard not to want to melt into big strong arms, at least for a few minutes. Especially when the morning had been so difficult. A little comfort would actually be welcome. She found herself staring at his mouth, knowing he had every intention of kissing her. “Everything you own fits into a pack, doesn’t it? All you have to do is pick it up and walk away.”

Maybe I just need someone to make me want to stay.”

Maybe you need to want to stay on your own.”

He took a deep breath and pulled her into an embrace, arms wrapped around her. “Can’t you just indulge for a few minutes?”

It did feel good, to have someone hold her. She was reminded of the time when her father doted on her, before her mother died. He was a shield, keeping all the monsters and nightmares at bay for her. When she fell, he picked her up and wiped away her tears. Scott held her like he’d do that, too. “That’s what cookies are for.”

You don’t seem to have any right now.”

She pulled away enough to see him giving her that look men do when they’re expecting something. It made her narrow her eyes and give him a cool stare. “Give me an hour and I can fix that.”

His lips curled up into a grin on one side and he dove in, keeping her tight in his arms so she couldn’t resist effectively. He kissed her, the bastard, and it was warm and soft, tender and delightful. Despite herself, she melted in his arms. Until the front door slammed shut. 

They both jumped, startled by the noise. Rose slapped Scott while he turned to see who interrupted them. Surprised by it, he let go of her and staggered back a step, rubbing his face.

I probably deserved that,” he said, moving his jaw around to check it.

Probably?” She curled her hand into a fist and held it up to threaten him. “Get out of my kitchen.”

Kent stood at the door, mouth hanging open, watching as Scott nodded and hurried away from her, down the hall and into his room. When he turned to her, blinking stupidly, she scowled at him, then waved to keep him quiet while she stormed off to her own bedroom. She slammed the door shut behind herself.

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