Disclaimer: First of all, not mine. Not in the least. The only things I own are a nice little townhome, a dog, and maybe a nice new truck by the end of the day. (It's blue, baby! Blue!) Twilight, not so much. Although, if it has the Cullen Crest on it, I like to at least think it's mine.
Summary: Pure fluff. With extra fluff. This is slightly out of sequence with the stories but it basically somewhere in Eclipse. I wanted to do a Mother/Daughter fluff scene with Bella and Esme making a cake. The only reason I could come up with for Bella making a cake was to have a fund raiser of some sort so...hence the Senior Trip that never happened in the books! Unless it's one to Italy....hehehe....
I came up with this while working on my other project. I can only think in 17th c English for so long before the modern nonsense comes out. I'll finish this up today or tomorrow and then go back to the other one.
Why oh why did I agree to this? Oh, that's right. Because I'm Bella Swan and I couldn't let Angela do this all on her own.
Angela, one of the few human friends I have, agreed to help with the fund raiser for our Senior year trip. We had a budget, a plan, and talent. The talent being myself, Angela, Ben, Mike, Jessica, Alice, my beloved Edward, and a few other kids from our class. We were going to have a raffle, a silent auction, and a cakewalk.
Alice and Edward both decided to "donate" something for the silent auction. I didn't even have to look at the objects they donated to know that they were going to be more than most people's salaries for a month. Stupid all-knowing, all-seeing vampires….
Oh yes, I was in a bad mood. Why? Because despite the fact I get to hang out with all my friends to help "plan" the mini fair we were going to have after school next Friday, I got put in charge of baking cakes for the cakewalk.
Originally, I was going to bake only one or two and then Lauren, the very epitome of evil right now, snarfed at the idea of me baking. Alice didn't like that at all and Edward just pulled me closer, kissing me on the head. "Great, I wonder if either cake will survive given that Bella will most likely faceplant into one of them," the embodiment of darkness muttered. That caused Edward to growl into my hair. I did the only thing I could do, turn beet red.
Alice turned to Lauren and smiled sweetly before anyone else could defend me. "I think it's a great idea if Bella makes a couple of the cakes. Bella makes the best cakes," Alice informed the group. Like she would know; after all, she was a vampire and couldn't even remember ever eating cake! Well, at least not at a time when it would have tasted any good.
"Oh really?" Lauren asked, fawning innocence. She put both hands on either side of her face as she leaned slightly across the table towards Alice…and Edward.
"Of course! Bella cooks and bakes a lot at home," Alice started off truthfully at least. Well, sort of. I did cook and bake but that didn't mean I did so well. "I am 100% positive that everyone will love the cakes Bella makes," Alice said, smiling and then giggling at her own little rhyme. I think I went from beet to fire engine red when Alice said that.
"Well, then, maybe Bella should make all five cakes," Lauren stated, trying to act all nonchalant while she took up a sudden interest in her fingernails. "After all, we wouldn't want anyone to get a bad cake and demand their money back, would we?" she asked.
It was Mike that spoke up this time. "Lauren! That's too much! We have to split all this evenly," he said, half glaring at her. Jessica looked slightly upset as if she wasn't sure where her allegiance should lie in this mini battle.
"If Bella is such a good little baker," Lauren started. I heard another growl from Edward. "Then, five cakes should be nothing at all," she finished.
I figured it was about time to actually say something about me and my baking skills given that that was the current topic. "I can probably do two," I started, looking around the table at our assembled Seniors. "Maybe three. Will that be enough?" I asked. I didn't want to have anyone else shoulder making another couple of cakes if all we needed were three. Three by Friday? Three I might be able to do….
Lauren turned to me, an evil glint in her eye. It was Angela that spoke up though. "Three is great, Bella! I can make another two and then well have plenty for the cakewalk," Angela stated.
"This will be so much fun!" Alice chirped. I only groaned in response.
So, now I have to make three cakes by Friday. Today is Wednesday. If Charlie had a bigger kitchen and more cake pans than the one 8"x8", this wouldn't be that hard. However, the kitchen was about the size of your average dorm room (now that I had seen them in one of Charlie and Edward's "you've got to check out the colleges" tasks) and half of that was taken up but the mismatched breakfast table. The oven, which I knew was way older than me, and maybe close to being older than Charlie, was not up to the task of three cakes in a 48 hour period. It simply wasn't possible.
While I stood there, in the middle of the yellow painted cabinet kitchen, I felt two familiar cold arms around me. Almost instinctively, I leaned back against him. "Hi," I whispered.
He chuckled. "Hello, Bella," he whispered back. He must have seen my line of sight before he wrapped his arms around me. "Is there something terribly interesting regarding the oven?" Edward asked.
I grimaced. "No," I told him. I waited a couple of seconds, still thinking of the mathematical possibilities of getting three cakes done in the tiny oven with only one 8"x8" pan, then I turned in his arms to bury my face in his chest. "I don't want to bake cake," I muttered.
I could feel Edward's smile before he gently pulled back and then lifted my chin. "And why not? I thought you liked to cook," he asked me while looking into my eyes. Darn it! He was dazzling me again. Stupid perfect vampire boyfriend….gag!
"I umm…" I started and then managed, somehow, to look behind me at the oven. Oh, that's right. The oven. "The oven is old and won't heat up quickly," I told him before burying my head back into his chest. "That, and I only have one cake pan," I grimaced. Yes, I could go and buy more while I went go buy the ingredients but that was beside the point! The point was that Lauren was evil and Alice hadn't helped.
Edward laughed softly at me. I grumbled. "You know, love, there is more than one cake pan over at my house, I do believe," he informed me. I stood back a bit and looked at him. Why the heck would vampires get more than one cake pan?
He shrugged, taking in my expression. "Esme liked the purple and colbat glass ones. She wanted to use them in one of her decorating themes for the kitchen," he informed me. That would explain it. I have learned that Esme was to interior design was Alice was to fashion. The only difference was the Esme didn't demand to re-do my room every other day.
"Do you think Esme would let me use them?" I asked, staring back at the oven. I could maybe fit two at a time into the oddly small contraption. Maybe if I put one on the bottom rack and one on the top…I just had to hope they didn't fall.
"I think Esme would be happy to lend you use of the entire kitchen, if you so wished," Edward told me. I turned to him to see a smile on his lips. My eyes must have shown my shock. "She loves that she has you so she can actually use the kitchen. To have you use it, to have it be a functional kitchen, would make her happy," he informed me quietly with a kiss on my forehead.
"Really?" I asked, all full of hope now. The Cullen kitchen was a dream kitchen. It was a shame that it got so little use. Well, except for the ice maker. Emmett and Jasper apparently think its fun to throw ice and also tried to rig the thing up one day to make their own indoor skating rink. I know Carlisle and Esme weren't happy with that one and I don't think Edward was quite as innocent of helping with that as he claims.
"Of course, love!" he laughed at me before taking my hand to lead me outside to his car. We were planning on going over to his house this afternoon. Alice wanted my opinion on one of the games for the fair. She had said earlier something about needing a human's perceptive…
"I believe Esme may even wish to help," Edward continued as he opened the passenger side door. I waited the second it took for him to slide into the driver's seat before speaking. "You already told her about the cakewalk?" I asked speculatively.
Edward shrugged as he pulled out of my driveway and started to go 80+ mph towards his house. "Esme always wants to know about our days at school," he stated.
I crossed my arms and sank into me seat. I had a feeling that, somehow, somewhere, this was really part of a grand vampire conspiracy that would end up with me dressed up like Betty Crocker and only being allowed to put icing on three perfectly even, perfectly matched cakes. They wouldn't even have those little spongy bubbles or the slight dip in the middle.
Edward looked at me, concerned, from the corner of his eye but said nothing the rest of the way to his house. I thought about the horrors of pink lacy aprons until he pulled into the garage. By the time I unbuckled my seatbelt, Edward had my door open and held his hand out for me.
"Thanks," I whispered. We walked into the house to find Jasper and Emmett playing Mario Cart. Jasper was Luigi and Emmett was Bowser. "Hey, Bella!" I heard both of them call over their shoulders followed by Emmett's "You are so going down, bro," to Jasper.
"Never!" Jasper exclaimed, followed by a quick movement of the wireless steering wheel that caused Bowser (Emmett's character) to go over the edge of a mushroom. Emmett pouted until a little cloud guy pulled him out of the abyss and he could race again. "I'm going to get you for that," Emmett grumbled.
Edward shook his head and gently lead me to the kitchen. Inside the Cullen kitchen, it was every chef's dream. It was wide and open and had a large island in the center. Esme was upon a small step ladder pulling down glass cake pans from a cabinet above the fridge.
"Hello, Esme," Edward greeted – for all intents and purposes- his mother. She turned and quickly came down the ladder placing the glass cake pans on the island in one smooth motion before coming over to give us each a hug. "Edward! Bella!" she greeted us before taking me from Edward. "Alice and Edward both told me you might need some help with the cakes," she said. "I hope you don't mind," she almost asked more than said. Her eyes looked worried, like Renee's get when she really wants me to do something with her but she leaves it to me to decide.
"I'd love some help, Esme," I told her truthfully. I looked to Edward who was looking towards the living room where his brothers were still, loudly, playing Mario Cart. "Go, play," I shooed him. Edward grinned and ran, vampire speed, to the living room. I think I heard him say something about wanting to play Wario but I'm not sure.
I turned my attention back to Esme and then to the very colorful display of glassware. I realized a few of these cake pans were probably too old to be trusted with, well, me. I'm pretty sure the green and pink glass cake plates that Esme had also dug out were at least as old as Emmett and Rosalie. I think Mom called them "depression ware" or something like that…
"Wow, you really do have a lot of cake pans," I said and I picked up one that looked to have been made in my lifetime. It was purple and said it was microwave safe. Good, it was made in the last 30 years or so then. If I broke it, I wouldn't feel nearly as bad as breaking the antiques.
Esme smiled warmly at me. "There was a lovely picture I saw a few years ago of a kitchen that had glassware all around the top of the wall. It seemed a lovely idea at the time," she said while picking up a cobalt blue cake pan. "Unfortunately, I forgot to factor in children," she said whimsically. I could imagine what she meant. Emmett deciding that the kitchen was the perfectly place to play pong with a dodgeball or Alice and one of her schemes; either way, I surprised any of the cake pans made it out intact!
Esme's butterscotch eyes looked up at me and smiled. "So, what do we do first, dear?" she asked, letting me at least pretend to run this show. In all honesty, I'm not sure if any of my vampires could cook but I was still going with the whole "grand vampire conspiracy" theory for now. …where was Alice anyway? Shouldn't I be in a vintage apron and having my hair curled to perfection by now? I decided not to question it.
"I think we probably need to go to the store," I told her. I know they had some food for me around the house. Well, they had chips, popcorn, a year's supply of chocolate, and caffeine free coke-cola. It wasn't what you'd consider healthy eating.
Esme whisked up the keys and promptly lead me out to the silver Volvo. Of course, this was not before doing her motherly "I will tear your limb from limb if there is even a crack in the floor" look to the boys. "I'm taking Bella to the store. I expect the house to be in perfect condition when I get back, gentlemen," is what she said, but her eyes had a different story.
I giggled quietly at the "Yes'm"s and "Okay, Mom"s I heard as I went out towards the car. Three strong vampire men brought down by one vampire mom. Never underestimate the power of a mother.
Esme drove quickly, but not as quickly as Edward, to the Thriftway in town. She happily got a cart and threw her designer purse into the child's seat. I guess it was because she'd seen every other human female do that. "Now, where do we start?" she asked, her eyes brimming with happiness. I guess she was really enjoying doing something human.
I tapped my chin in thought. "I guess, we can start with the cake mix aisle and then see what else we need to get from there," I told her. Esme nodded and let me lead the way aisle 9 where I knew the cake mixes would be.
I, of course, didn't see the small yellow sign warning everyone of the slick floor and started to slip. Just before my head made contact with the hard linoleum floor, Esme bent down and caught me. She quickly straightened me up and looked around carefully to make sure no one saw her move so quick. "You must be more careful, dear," she whispered into my ear. I blushed and mumbled an apology.
Esme simply smiled. "Not that I wouldn't mind seeing my husband at work, but I don't want to see you hurt either," she said as she pushed the cart to the cake box aisle. I was up to beet level red as I followed her.
Now came the hardest part of making a cake, or, at least to me it was the hardest part. What kind of cake should I bake? I looked at the large array of cake mixes and decided I should make at least one yellow and one chocolate but what kind of chocolate? The yellow cake mix was a slightly easier decision since I almost always went with the butter recipe. I quickly grabbed that box and threw it into the cart.
"Hmmm," I said aloud while I glanced over every mix from "Funfetti" to "German dark chocolate". Esme pulled out one of the boxes and looked at it critically. "What about this one?" she asked as she handed me the box. It was for carrot cake. I, for one, detested carrot cake on the very principle that vegetables and sugar should never be intertwined.
"I don't know," I started and then I looked up at her, about to say more. Esme looked…sad? Maybe that wasn't the right word. She looked like how I did when I knew I was about to get a bad grade on a project that I had worked at. I suddenly realized why Esme looked that way.
It has probably been about 80 years since she's had to do any real grocery shopping. Sure, the Cullen's did some shopping to keep up appearances but they never had to actually eat any of the stuff they ever bought. It was simply thrown away (or used for target practice) almost immediately after whomever went shopping got home. At least, that's how it was until I came. Edward's little human as Rosalie use to snide.
Esme was trying to actually think about what to really make. I tried to think of what would possess her to pick up carrot cake and I smiled slightly at her. She probably knew I loved carrots with ranch dressing –yum!- and she did know I loved cake so she probably thought the combination of both would be my favorite. I wanted to hug her.
"Not everyone likes carrot cake," I started carefully and it made me feel like the worst human in the world when I saw her face fall. "And since we are doing this for the cakewalk, and not just for me," I quickly amended, "we should probably go with things that most people like."
Thank goodness, she smiled at that. Esme took the box and put it back on the shelf. "What are some kinds that everyone likes?" she asked, re-scanning the boxes.
"Well, I got yellow cake," I said gesturing to the cake mix already in the cart, "and I'm thinking of the rich chocolate one but I'm not sure." I also needed a third one but I was having enough trouble deciding between rich chocolate and devil's food cake right now. One yellow, one chocolate, and one ummm…coffee cake maybe? Ugh! I hate this part in cake making!
It took me a moment to realize Esme was watching me carefully. I glanced up at her. "Which ones are you trying to choose between?" she asked in her motherly fashion.
"The rich chocolate still and Devil's food cake," I told her. She looked slightly startled and placed a hand where her heart was.
"Devil's food cake?" she asked breathlessly.
I blinked. What was wrong with Devil's food cake? "Yeah, it's pretty good. It's got more of a cocoa flavoring than a milk chocolate flavoring, or at least I think so," I told her.
"What on earth is in it?" she asked warily. I suddenly had to smile. It was the name. A vampire was afraid of devil's food cake? God help us all! If she had been Alice or Edward, I would have teased her mercilessly. But it was Esme, my second mother, and I simply couldn't do that to her.
Instead, I choked down my giggles and managed to pick up the box to read off the ingredients. "Ummm, flour, sugar, cocoa, some chemicals I can't pronounce right," I informed her.
Gently, she took the box from me and looked at the ingredients herself. She bit her lip and seemed to be deep in thought. "Why don't you get the rich chocolate instead?" she asked. I nodded and knew better than to question my second mother. I placed the rich chocolate cake mix in the cart while Esme put the devil's food cake mix back on the shelf.
"We need one more," I told her. She looked a bit wary this time and quickly glanced back over the packages of cake mix. "Is classic white good?" she asked.
"Perfect!" I exclaimed happily. The warm swimmingly happy look was back in her butterscotch eyes. Esme placed the box of cake mix in with the other two. I quickly picked out matching icings for the three cakes. The icing was easy. The hard part was simply figuring out what to make!
I looked at the various sprinkles and a part of me realized that Esme could help with this. She wanted to help, that's why she was here with me. Choosing sprinkles, although a small part in making a cake, was very much a part of the human experience. "Esme?" I asked her.
"Yes, dear?" she replied while looking at the things we had in the cart.
"What sprinkles do you think we should get?"
At this, she quickly, almost took quickly, moved right next to me. She looked over the meager selection of sprinkles that Thriftway provided us and picked up a jar of multi colors and a jar of blue sprinkles. "How about these two?" she asked.
"Those would be great, Esme," I told her happily. I was always one for the colored sugar crystal sprinkles but I knew a lot of people just liked the multi-colored ones. She took them and placed them in the child's seat next to her purse on the cart.
"Do we need anything else?" Esme asked, looking again at the contents of our outing.
I nodded. "Eggs and vegetable oil," I told her. As we moved to the next aisle, where they hid the vegetable oils, I wondered if they had measuring cups and spoons. I doubt those would really come in handy with interior decorating.
"Esme?" I asked.
"Bella?" she replied while she looked over the various vegetable oils. I picked up the Crisco one and looked at her. She smiled warmly back at me until she saw my expression.
"Do you have measuring cups and spoons at the house?" I asked. If not, we can always stop by Charlie's on the way back. I know there are some at his house. Well, not a tablespoon but I typically made do with just the half tablespoon. Where the real tablespoon went is a complete mystery that will never be solved. Maybe Edward and I will find it three hundred years from now in an archeology dig of Forks! Yeah. Right.
"Oh, yes, we do. Don't worry about that," she told me smiling. Something in the way she said it worried me. Like they had them for some reason I would never want to know, like extreme Volcano making for a science class years ago. Well, at least measuring spoons don't come in antique glass – I don't think- and I'll let Esme handle the measuring cup so as not to break anything in a house full of vampires.
We got the eggs easily enough, and butter to grease the pans with. Esme, of course, had pulled out the credit card before I could argue…much. I did try to dissuade her from paying for my project for my senior class fund raiser. It didn't work. At all. All I got was a laugh and a "Bella, sweetheart, I want to help you!"
At least she let me carry one of the two bags to the car. Thankfully, she carried the bag with the eggs. I don't want to think what would have happened to the eggs when I tripped on air, again. Esme couldn't catch me that time given there were too many people round.
"Bella! Are you alright dear?" she asked as she helped pick me up and dust my jeans off.
"I'm fine," I sighed and went towards the passenger door.
"Are you sure, sweetheart?" she asked in her worried mother tone.
"Yeah, just some scrapped palms" and a bruised ego again, I said/thought as I pulled my seatbelt over me. It was a very light scrap at that; no blood, thank goodness.
"Alright, Bella but I do want you to be more careful," she said in her serious mother tone. I smiled at that. "Yes, Esme." And with that, we headed back to the house to make cakes!