Read Mated to the Alpha Twins [by Jane Doe] Chapter 38
Resisting the intense urge to purchase one of everything, I ordered myself a blueberry muffin and something called a bear claw.
I sat down at one of the shiny looking booths, the striped pink and white seats gleamed merrily. Everything in the bakery looked brand new, from the shimmering booths to the large ovens peaking over the counter.
I couldn’t help but watch the duo running the counter in silence. It was clear they were related, most likely brother and sister. Each had the same shade of sandy blonde hair, the same full yet pouty lips. The girl was slim with curves in the right places, looking out of place in the bakery. I would’ve expected to see the girl on the cover of a magazine, not at some bakery. The two of them rushed from counter to oven, to prepping tray, to cash register. Each a whirlwind of energy and determination, as I continued watching in silence.
I had long ago finished my muffin and bear claw, wiping the sugary goodness from my fingers with a napkin. The heavy crowd eventually died down, people leaving the bakery in large clusters. Once the two siblings were no longer overwhelmed with customers, I approached the register.
“What did you need, sweetheart?” The guy turned, his eyes a startling shade of blue. For just a second, my heart leaped in my chest. The word ‘sweetheart’ bounced around in my head, only a different voice was speaking.
“I–” I stammered, losing my train of thought as the image of two handsome face’s popped into memory. “Are the owners of this place hiring?”
“We are the owners girl.” The blonde girl emerged from the back, a smear of flour coating her shirt. Her cheeks were flushed from running around the bakery, yet none of her hair fell out of place.
A blush creeped along my cheeks, staining my skin as I looked at the girl. They looked around my age, most likely a few years older than myself. They both seemed pretty young to own a bakery in town.
“Our parents own a few shops down the street. My sister wanted to open a bakery. At the time she couldn’t make cookies without burning them.” The guy snickered, giving his sister an amused look.
“Last I checked, you couldn’t either.” The girl poked her tongue out, flashing her brother a hard look. “Nearly b****d the shop down last time you tried.”
“I’m better with the register.” The guy grinned at me, shrugging indifferently.
“I could use another baker.” The girl huffed, frowning at her brother. “You know how to bake?”
“Not at all.” I shook my head, my face burning brighter than ever. The thought of actually baking hadn’t crossed my mind. I had been lulled and seduced by the scent of sweet pastries, thinking little of what my job there would actually entail.
The girl frowned, “Give me your phone number, I’ll call you if we need another employee.”
“I actually don’t have a phone.” I chuckled ruefully. The conversation was going poorly, as many of my attempts have today. “I’m staying at the motel on the corner. I’ll be there for the next two days.”
“The motel?” The girl frowned, wiping some of the flour from her cheek. Something flashed across her light-colored eyes, something similar to concern. “What are you doing two days from now?”
“I’m not sure.” I shrugged; my lips pressed into a tight line. “Probably stay another night if I can’t find a job.”
The girl’s full lips tugged down in a frown. Her and her brother locked eyes, having a silent conversation between the two of them.
“You already know my answer.” The guy shrugged, grabbing a rag and a bottle of spray from under the register. “If it keeps me out of that kitchen, I’m all for it.”
“Can you be here tomorrow?” The girl turned to me, her eyes wandering the planes of my face. “An hour before opening?”
“I can be here whenever you need me.” I nodded enthusiastically. The knot that had been forming in my stomach turned to butterflies, anticipation flooding through my veins.
“Be here at six. You can help me open, and I’ll have a little time to teach you the basics.” The girl nodded, a smile twitching at the corner of her lips. “I’m Beth and this is my annoying brother Jake.”
For a moment, I debated on what name to give them. Lying continued to eat a hole in my stomach, bringing me discomfort at every waking moment. Yet I couldn’t bring myself to say my actual name. The thought of being dragged back my Garrett picked at my mind.
“Amber.” I forced a smile as I looked between the two siblings.
“Well Amber, I’m not half as annoying as Beth makes me out to be.” Jake grinned, flashing a gleaming set of teeth. A smile like that would have once sent butterflies swarming in my stomach. Instead of butterflies, a strange hollow feeling had built in my chest. A cold gust of wind swirled within me, whizzing through the hole in my chest.
“Let’s hope you got some skill, Amber.” Beth shot a calm smile my way, “I don’t need another cashier. Jake’s already filled that position. If you can work hard and bake something edible, you’ll have yourself a job.”
“I’ll do my best.” I promised, a hopeful grin spreading on my face.
I enjoyed the rest of my afternoon, wandering the remaining shops in town. While a little lunch café was calling my name, I resisted the pull. I had enough money to support myself for a few weeks, but couldn’t risk draining my pool of money. I made a silent promise with myself as the smell of rich soup and melted grilled cheeses filled my nose. If I managed to secure this job at the bakery, I would take myself to the café and order whatever I wanted.
Once the sun had begun to set, I meandered back to the shady motel. The lopsided spring mattress was calling my name, the thin quilt beckoning me to curl up inside. While I had slept peacefully, two distraught faces swirled in my dreams.
It had taken me half an hour to set an alarm on the crappy alarm clock the hotel provided. I had lurched from bed at 5:30 a.m. the faces of Alec and Kade still fresh in my mind. If they hadn’t noticed my absence, they would today.
I had a shift at the restaurant later today, one I would undoubtedly miss.
I yanked myself from the motel bed, stumbling to my feet with an eager smile on my face. I hadn’t the first clue about baking, but Beth was willing to let me try. I threw on a pair of jeans and a faded t-shirt, hoping she would give me a uniform to borrow. I stuffed a granola bar into my mouth, the smell of fresh pastry still lingering in my mind.
I had shown up to the bakery fifteen minutes early, lingering out front as I fought against the crisp morning chill. The sun was beginning to rise, casting buttery light across stores and down the sidewalk. The sky was lit in hues of blue, orange and yellow.
Five minutes before six, a shiny silver car pulled up the side of the road. Beth was already in uniform, hopping from her car with purse in hand.
“Where’s your brother?” I couldn’t help but ask. I wrapped the long sleeves of my t-shirt around my fists, warming my hands.
“He’ll be here once we open.” Beth snorted, “Getting him out of bed early is miserable. We live in separate apartments and I hate having to drag him out.”
Even as she closed her car door, the smell of pastries wafted from inside. I wondered if the smell followed her wherever she went, making her smell like a freshly baked muffin at all hours of the day. I could think of worse things to smell, and wouldn’t mind carrying around the scent of thick frosting and brown sugar.
Beth unlocked the front door and flipped on the lights, the pink and white booths shining merrily.
“Jake cleaned the store last night, so we can focus on getting everything ready for the morning rush.” Beth called out over her shoulder, motioning for me to follow.
My eyes ran over every surface of the kitchen. Every shiny metal contraption fell under my gaze. The huge ovens followed by the large cooler and freezer. An assortment of piping bags sat out on the metal prep-table in the center of the room.
“I’m going to talk as we go. Follow what I do as best you can.” Beth huffed, pulling a large contained of what looked like dough from one of the many fridges. “Try your best to keep up, and if you have any questions feel free to ask.”
Pushing away the lingering faces of Alec and Kade, I followed Beth closely. The scents and sights of the bakery helped distract me, helped turn my attention from the black hole in my chest.