A/N: Here's the not-so-long awaited sequel to "Broken." Hope everyone enjoys!
Julie stood behind the counter, bagging up some rolls for one of their regular customers. The new-hire, Jayne, took the money and gave back the change with a glowing smile. With only a week on the job, Julie could tell she was a natural with people. That was a quality Julie mostly lacked, her area of expertise being the kitchen. But of course she had her moments, especially when the customer's grandson tagged along, flying a toy airplane and making the sound effects. Julie slipped two chocolate chip cookies into the bag while no one watched and handed the bag over the counter.
"Here you go, Mrs. Fitzroy," she smiled.
"Thank you, Julie dear," the older woman replied. "And Jayne, you make a wonderful addition to the store."
"Thanks, Mrs. Fitzroy," Jayne grinned. "I had a good trainer."
Julie laughed appreciatively as the customer left, the little boy trailing behind. She turned back toward the kitchen when Jayne tapped her on the shoulder.
"I saw that, you know," the other girl chided playfully.
"What can I say," Julie replied, smiling sheepishly. "I'm a sucker for cute boys with toy airplanes."
Jayne laughed as Julie started for the kitchen. But then she heard the entrance bell ring, followed by Jayne saying under her breath "Speaking of cute boys."
Julie's face brightened. Peaking around the corner, she saw the faces she had missed for the last month and a half. Almost squealing in delight, she rushed out into the small lobby and was immediately grabbed up by a grinning Murphy, who spun her a bit and laughed as he kissed her cheek.
"Ye think she's happy ta see us, Connor," he asked, releasing Julie so she could hug his brother.
"Aye, Murph," Connor laughed, stroking back a few stray strands of hair as he kissed her forehead. "I do believe she is."
Julie's happy face started to scowl as she slapped at both men. "Where the hell have you two been? I haven't heard from you in over a month. I was so worried."
"We're sorry, Julie," Connor said sheepishly. "Decided ta hole up a while after that last incident."
"Did you guys get hurt," Julie asked concerned, looking up into Connor's eyes as she kept a grip on his arms.
"A bit," he answered, looking away from her as if he couldn't bare the way she stared at him.
Julie gave an annoyed sigh. "Why didn't you come get me to help you?"
"Because we're grown men, Julie. And we can take care of ourselves," Murphy replied with a grin. "Now, aren't ye gonna introduce us to yer new friend?"
Leave it to Murphy to notice any girls in the room. Julie smiled, letting his comment pass as she motioned for Jayne to join them. "Jayne, these are my friends; Connor and Murphy."
"Connor and Murphy," she smiled, walking over. "Aren't those your dogs' names?"
"Aye," Julie replied, mocking the boys' accents.
Both laughed and Connor tousled her hair. She gave a huff and tried to smooth her hair back into place, which made everyone smile.
"So, what are you guys doing here," Jayne asked, very much the people-person that Julie almost envied.
"Came by to get a taste of Julie's cookin'," Connor replied. "It's been so long since we've had any."
"Aye," Murphy added, nudging Julie's side with his elbow. "D'ye do any cookin' here, Jayne?"
"Not much," she replied casually, shrugging a shoulder. "Julie hired me to work the counter mainly. But she's been teaching me a few things."
"Ye couldn't ask fer a better teacher," Connor grinned, wrapping an arm around Julie's waist and making her blush.
"Trust me, I know," Jayne assured with a wave of her hand.
"You're getting better," Julie coaxed. "Pretty soon, you'll be better than me and running this place all by yourself."
"Excuse me, fellas," Jayne said and reached over to flick Julie's nose playfully with her fingers. "What did I tell you about saying things like that? There's no one better than you in a kitchen, Julie. And I'm tired of hearing you put yourself down."
"I like her," Murphy smiled at his brother.
Connor gave him an amused look, leaning down to kiss Julie's cheek as she covered her nose with her hand. "She's got a point, Julie. Ye're always puttin' yerself down. Sometimes I think ye're not right in the head."
Julie looked up at him with puppy dog eyes and he gave out an anguished sigh, pretending to hold his heart. "Don't look at me tha' way, Julie. Ye break me heart every time."
"Good," she nodded smugly, then grinned up at him. "But come on. You guys said you wanted something to eat. We have plenty."
Julie led all four back to the counter, Jayne and Julie stepping behind the glass display case. Jayne smiled at them and spread her arms wide in a dramatic flourish. "Anything you guys want. Friends eat free, especially since Julie's the one baking."
Julie sighed in mock frustration and pulled out a tray to put food on. Both men stroked their chins thoughtfully.
"My, but those cookies look delicious," Connor smiled, tapping the glass.
"And those cinnamon rolls must be a bit a heaven," Murphy added, licking his lips.
Both girls smiled and took a few of each out of the case. Julie arranged them neatly as Jayne watched, trying to memorize how the more experienced girl plated the food. Julie noticed and leaned in a little to say quietly "Presentation can be half of what makes something so delicious. Of course, having good food to start with helps."
Jayne nodded with a smile, but that faded when she saw Julie pull out a few of the donuts she had made for the first time today. They weren't the tastiest looking things in the display case, but Julie had insisted on putting them out as a show of confidence in Jayne's abilities. No one had bought any, and it was nearing the time for them to get changed out, but Julie knew the twins wouldn't mind a bit.
"Ye spoil us, Julie," Connor said in awe as he watched her set the tray in front of them.
"What are friends for," she replied, watching as he looked up at her with a slow grin.
Murphy reached over everything to grab a cinnamon roll, stuffing nearly the whole thing in his mouth. He took a few quick chews before saying around his mouthful "God, we've missed ye around the apartment, Julie."
"Aye," Connor remarked, shaking his head as he took a huge bite out of a cookie, giving an appreciative smile.
"Here boys, try these," Julie said, picking up two donuts and holding one out for each. She glanced back at Jayne, who didn't look too amused, and gave a sweet smile. "Jayne made these this morning."
Both brothers swallowed their mouthfuls before taking a bite of donut. They chewed thoughtfully, as if testing it like professionals, rolling it around on their tongues.
"She's right Jayne," Murphy finally said, giving her a wink. "Ye're not half bad at this whole cookin' thing."
Jayne smiled politely and for the first time, Julie would have said she looked a little shy. The men finished the donuts off before returning to the other treats. Julie went to pick up a cookie at the same time Connor did. He smiled at her and let it go. She smiled back, breaking it in half and giving him a piece.
Just then, there was a mechanical vibrating sound. Jayne nearly jumped, grabbing at her pocket. She pulled out a cell phone and read the outer display.
"Julie, can I take this," she asked worriedly.
"Sure," Julie answered. "You're due for a break anyway. I can watch the counter."
Jayne nodded her thanks and walked toward the kitchen area. She looked up and caught Murphy watching Jayne walk out. Julie couldn't help but smile at that.
A/N (again): So, what do you think so far? If you liked it, leave me a good review, if you don't, then leave me a bad one. Either way, please, please, please review XD I know, I'm a review hog :)