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Chapter 17 - Offenbach

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1 Chapter 17 - Offenbach on Sun Nov 28, 2010 7:54 pm


The aromas wafting from our seldom-used kitchen were supposedly delectable, though, quite honestly, all it smelled like to me was sugar, yeast, raw eggs, and lard; each separate ingredient thoroughly distinguishable to my sensitive olfactory glands.

Bella was patiently showing Esme how to cook; more specifically, how to bake a groom's cake. Though Alice insisted on having all wedding cakes made by a professional, Esme exercised her matriarchal authority, overruling Alice and going along with Renee's suggestion that the mothers of the bride and groom prepare the second cake themselves. This was the necessary practice session, so that Esme could more easily hide her inability to bake once Renee arrived in Forks.

I had reluctantly left Bella alone in the kitchen with my mother at first, allowing them some rare, mother-daughter bonding time. Bella had begrudgingly played along through all of the recent wedding preparations, even though her heart wasn't really into the decorating, choosing of bridesmaid's gowns, and addressing invitations. However, she was delighted when Esme asked her to demonstrate how to bake a cake. Bella had always felt at home in the kitchen, and this particular wedding task would actually be particularly enjoyable for my dear bride. Therefore, I didn't want to interrupt her fun...but I also couldn't stand to be away from her, either.

Eventually, I snuck a peak through the door to see how things were going - every second away from my betrothed was pure torture, even if there was only a thin wall between us. The women were conversing softly, working easily alongside one another as Esme greased a baking pan and Bella began to mix together the various ingredients. I wondered if some of Esme's human memories were beginning to stir while partaking in this domestic task. After all, surely she knew how to bake when she was still mortal.

Edward, please come in. You're more then welcome to watch if you like.

I accepted Esme's mental invitation and quietly slipped into the kitchen. Soft music played in the background. Offenbach. It was one of Esme's favorite overtures, and evidently agreeable to Bella as well - she was tapping her foot to the quick, allegro meter of the piece. Actually, it was the perfect accompaniment to a day of baking. Light, airy, and cheerful, just like the mood in the kitchen.

Bella hadn't heard me enter yet - she was focusing intently on mixing the cake batter by hand. I chuckled lightly, wondering why she wouldn't let Esme do such an arduous task. My quiet laughter caught Bella's attention at once - her head popped up and she spun around to face me, smiling brightly.

"Hi!" she breathed, her eyes dancing with happiness. My chest throbbed at the sight of my beautiful Bella, so obviously pleased to see me.

I crossed the room and planted a virtuous kiss on her forehead. "Hi, yourself." Then I hopped up on the far counter to sit out of the ladies' way. "How are the baking lessons going?"

Esme grinned merrily. "I think they're going well, but ask Bella - she's the expert. Almost a shame you can't enjoy her wonderful cooking talents, Edward." Her tone was light and humorous, putting me at ease despite the obvious ramification of her meaning.

Bella smiled at Esme's comment, then resumed mixing the cake batter. I sat back and watched her as she confidently moved about, demonstrating to Esme some well-known tricks on how to get the batter smooth.

"Fortunately, Renee isn't that handy around the kitchen, so you won't have to do much to impress her," Bella commented. "I can always be nearby to help out too..."

Esme's jaw dropped. "Absolutely not! I wouldn't dream of allowing the bride to prepare her own cake!"

Bella began to blush. "Technically, its Edward's cake."

I pursed my lips together in order to hold back an inappropriate comment. Images of Bella not only baking, but feeding me my own cake trailed through my mind - I would gladly force down anything she fed me. Which gave me an idea...we'd undoubtedly have to go through the tradition anyway; would it hurt to practice on the practice cake? I started plotting at once.

Oh, dear Bella, you truly are the sweetest girl in the world. How lucky our Edward is to have found you!

Esme's thoughts impeded my mind, temporarily distracting me from my scandalous musings. I looked over and smiled fondly at my caring mother.

"Just offer the taste test duty to Renee, and you'll be fine." Bella finished up mixing the cake batter and poured it into the pan. Then she began instructing Esme on temperatures and baking times as she slid the pan into oven.

Bella snuck a quick glance in my direction. "Next, the frosting."

I raised my eyebrows, giving my best attempt at looking innocent, which made her blush again. What was going through her head? I was dying to know, especially in light of my own libidinous thoughts.

As the two women worked amicably around the large bowl of white frosting, my attention was diverted by a new thought coming from someone other then Esme.

What is that smell?

Emmett was home.

Is Bella cooking something? Sugar?

Suddenly the kitchen door burst open, startling Bella and nearly causing her to drop the bowl of freshly-made frosting.

"Bella! I thought I smelled you in here!"

I growled loudly.

Relax, I'm just kidding.

Esme smoothed her apron before responding, "Emmett, why are you back so early? Weren't you out hunting with Rosalie?"

"She sent me back for a few things. What are you guys cooking in here anyway?" It smells horrible!

I hissed another low warning at my brother, my muscles tensing reflexively as he continued to insult my fiancée.

Bella had finally recovered enough from her startled nerves to answer. "Hi, Emmett. We're doing a practice run on the groom's cake for the wedding. I'm teaching Esme how to bake."

He sauntered across the room to check out the bowl of frosting. "Is this the cake?"

"No, the frosting." Bella's sweet laughter filled the room, briefly competing with the Orpheus overture.

Frosting! Is that what smells so bad?

I tried to focus on Emmett's thoughts, but he was acting faster than he was thinking. Before I knew it, he had reached over to dip a finger in the bowl. He moved so quickly and powerfully that Bella lost her grip and the bowl slid from her fingers.

"No!" I flew off the counter in a mad attempt to catch it, but I was a millisecond too late. It hit the floor right-side up and bounced once, sending gooey frosting everywhere. Due to my extreme proximity, I took the biggest hit. I now had the sticky, white substance all over my shirt and face, as well as slathered in my hair. Rising slowly from my crouch near the floor, I looked up to assess the damage done to Bella.

Her mouth hung open in shock, cheeks fiery red, with frosting splattered over most of her shirt. Thankfully, the bulk of it had hit me, and she had a limited amount dripping from her hair and face. Esme was far enough away that she received only a few spatters. Emmett, however, looked nearly as bad as I did.

"Sorry, Bella," Emmett muttered. I glared over at him, hearing the hint of sarcasm in his voice.

You have to admit that was darn funny. You should see yourself right now, Edward! Your hair is almost completely white from that nasty stuff!

"Thank you, Emmett, for that wonderful visual," I seethed. I was just getting ready to chase him out of the room, when Bella began to giggle.

We all turned to look at her, which made her laugh even harder. She pointed at us, her eyes starting to moisten.

"You're both covered in frosting!" Bella was now laughing so hard that tears began to stream down her face. "Vampires...frosting..." She was unable to finish her sentence as she doubled over.

Emmett took Bella's reaction a little too well. Again, he acted before he thought through his plan, giving me no time to shield her.

He reached down, grabbed the bowl, and scooped a glob from its rim before hurling it straight at Bella. So much for her hair not getting messed up. His next thought rang loud and clear through my head.


I was already in motion, trying to get to Bella before he smeared anything else on her, but she was no longer his target. Suddenly, I had a mouthful of frosting jammed into my face from my impious brother. I nearly choked as the offending substance started to unwillingly slide down my throat.

"Emmett! What do you think you're doing?" Esme raised her voice, trying to distract him from further culinary debauchery.

This time I heard his thoughts before he acted. Esme was about to wish she hadn't spoken up.

Hey, how come she's not covered in this crap, too? I'll fix that...

Emmett launched himself across the room, running fingerfuls of white frosting through Esme's caramel locks and around her neck. She shrieked loudly, trying to avoid his hands as he repeatedly wiped them all over her face and shoulders. Suddenly, Emmett bent down, giving Esme what she thought was a window of escape. She turned to flee the room, but she wasn't fast enough - Emmett rose up from behind her, his hands recoated with the sticky substance. Reaching for her waist, he caught her effortlessly, and proceeded to jam the frosting down the back of her pants, while chortling loudly.

As entertaining as it was to watch Emmett attack our dear mother, I returned my attention to Bella. She was still doubled-over, howling in amusement.

Esme hollered for assistance as she attempted to fight off the much stronger Emmett. I immediately went to help, the three of us now sliding across the slippery floor in a bizarre, immortal dance. Offenbach's overture was nearly over, yet the familiar notes of the "Can-Can" motif rang out through the kitchen, adding a crazy sort of soundtrack to the hilarity that ensued. Caught up in the irony of that particular portion of the overture, none of us heard the oven door open until it was too late.

"Oh, Emmett?" We all froze and turned to look back at Bella. She had removed the half-cooked cake from the oven, and had scooped a lumpy handful of batter out of the pan with her hot mitt. She hurled the steaming mass straight at him, hitting him squarely in the face.

"Nice shot, love." I sniggered as Emmett tried to blink through the batter.

All of a sudden, I felt something hot and sticky slide across the top of my head. Apparently I wasn't immune to Bella's aim. How could my sweet bride attack me?

"You didn't." I tried to remain calm and keep a smirk off my face.

She grinned viciously. "I did."

I vaulted over the center island and grabbed my fiancée around the waist, simultaneously taking the baking pan out of her hands and tossing it brusquely on the stove top. I felt our feet begin to slip from the myriad of frosting that now covered the kitchen floor, so I pulled her body up and over mine, letting myself crash to the floor, effectively breaking her fall.

Bella was frantically trying to catch her breath between sobs of amusement, tears still streaming down her cherry-red cheeks. I held her for a moment, catching her infectious laugh and hugging her affectionately to my chest as she wheezed loudly.

"Are you okay?" I asked between bouts of wild laughter. I had to choke them back again, at the sight of her face, completely smeared with frosting.

She took a deep breath before replying. "Yes, just a bit...sticky." She lifted up one hand to brush the hair out of her eyes, inadvertently caking it with bits of frosting as well. "So much for baking lessons. Now we'll never know how it turned out."

I grinned impishly. "Sure we can." I took my index finger and ran it along her cheek, collecting a decent lump of frosting and bringing it to my lips. "Delicious."

Bella raised her eyebrows warily. "I'll have to see for myself." She proceeded to lean in and run her hot tongue across my frosting-covered nose. "Hmm." Her eyes danced seductively as she savored the taste. "You're right. Delicious."

Reaching up to cup her face, I brushed my lips across hers. "But not as delicious as you." Bella let out a small moan as she pressed her mouth to mine, both of us smearing more confectionary delights across one another, and consequently, the floor, as we fought to get closer to one another.

I was so distracted by her sumptuous, saccharine taste that I completely missed hearing my not-so-amused sister burst into the kitchen. She practically tore the door off the hinges.

"EMMETT MCCARTY CULLEN!" Rosalie nearly shattered our entire collection of rarely-used glassware with her screech. "WHAT IS GOING ON IN HERE?"

Bella buried her face into the crook of my neck, covering her ears with her hands to keep her sensitive eardrums from rupturing. I sat up immediately, cradling Bella to my chest while simultaneously hissing at my irate sister.

"Rosalie! There is no need to shout - you're going to deafen Bella!" I spat at her.

She turned her icy glare off of Emmett and Esme, and snarled at me. "Would you care to explain why you are all rolling around in that...disgusting food?" Her tone had dropped a few decibels, enough so she would not injure Bella; but her volume remained incredibly loud, nonetheless.

I returned her withering look, waiting for her instigator-of-a-husband to explain.

"Rose, I'm sorry. We just...well, Bella dropped the bowl of frosting and it sort of splattered all over me and Edward. She started to laugh, so I thought I'd..." he trailed off sheepishly, hanging his head like a whipped puppy.

"You thought you'd...what, exactly?" If words could kill, Rosalie's would be lethal.

Emmett cowered further into the floor. "I just threw a little glop at her. Nothing major."

"Don't forget about the mouthful you gave me," I added innocently. Better to deflect Rosalie's wrath away from Bella. Esme picked up on my tactic immediately.

"And me too." Our mother-figure had risen off the floor in all of her food-caked glory. She met Rosalie's stare evenly. "I have to say, I've never been in a food fight before. And despite the...unusual taste of the frosting, I quite enjoyed it. Though I'm not so sure about this mess in my kitchen..."

"I'll clean it up, Esme," Emmett volunteered quickly.

Rosalie's mood was still simmering. "Why do you have to clean it up if it's Bella and Edward's wedding cake?"

Emmett started to argue, but I quickly interjected.

"I'll clean it up. Go let Rose hose you off, brother."

Oh man, thank you Edward. My butt's still in a sling, but she may lessen the punishment if I can get out of these nasty clothes sooner than later...well, you know what I mean.

I nodded once in Emmett's direction as he and Rosalie disappeared out of the room, then extracted myself rapidly from his head. I did not need to see what form of sexual apology he had in mind to conciliate his fuming wife.

"Edward, I can help you clean up." Esme smiled despite the hardening confectionary that frosted her delicate features.

"That's okay Esme, I'll help him. It's my fault that I dropped the bowl to begin with." Although Bella's voice sounded meek after Rosalie's screeching tirade, I could distinguish the insinuation of mischief in her tone. I glanced down at her, and she gave me a wink.

Despite her attempts to be subtle, Esme got the hint. "Well then, I'll leave you two to clean up. Maybe our next practice session should be at your house, Bella, to avoid any unnecessary...disruptions."

"Of course."

"I'm off to find my own hose..." Esme laughed quietly as she exited the room, leaving us covered in sticky food, but also alone.

Bella reached up and pulled my head down to hers. She pressed her warm lips to my ear. "Are you thinking what I'm thinking?"

I gave her an evil smirk. "Ladies first."

"You sure we won't get interrupted?"

"Emmett wasn't kidding about the smell - to them, the frosting is a bitter deterrent. They won't dare come in here until all of this is...cleaned up." I brushed my lips across her forehead, taking more frosting with me.

She frowned as I stepped back to look at her. "Doesn't it smell and taste bad to you, too?"

"Not when it's sitting on your succulent skin." I leaned back towards her, running my tongue along her cheekbone. Bella giggled softly before reaching up and burying her hands in my hair.

"We better get started...cleaning up."

"Yes we should, Isabella Marie Cullen."

"I told you not to call me that until after the..."

I crushed my mouth to hers, affectively stifling her arguments, and began the luscious task of removing every last little bit of frosting from my Bella.

Maybe cooking wasn't such a bad thing after all...

Ageless in my Big Brother From A Different Mother I love you
Daughter Of Nyx - My Sister I love you
Fuarie - My Seestor From A Differnt Meestor Smile I love you

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