A/N: This is for cdunbar and Helliex81's 'An Exploration of Senses Contest'. Bella meets Edward in a bar while trying to make her ex, Jake, jealous. Strawberry lip-gloss and spearmint abound. Enjoy!
Disclaimer: I own none of the characters in this story, just the plot.
Title: Cinnamon and Vanilla
Pen Name: anji91
Characters: Bella & Edward
My lips taste like strawberries and lemon rind.
His fingers are like watermelon candy and cherry popsicles. His breath is the sweetest strawberry nectar, from sucking on my glossed lips.
I don't know his name.
I know that his auburn hair is cinnamon and his green eyes are spearmint, and that his skin is warmth and musk and vanilla and something underneath that is purely, entirely him. I know that he works at Venom, the bar Rose dragged me to tonight. I know that Jake is here, and that I'm supposed to be dancing with the hot investment banker Rose found for me to make him jealous. I know that I'm the good girl; the one who doesn't flirt with cute bartenders and let them feed her key limes and then give her long, sweet strawberry kisses.
I'm ignoring my date.
"Sugar, if you don't at least pretend to be into me, this plan your friend over there thought up isn't going to work," Emmett whispered into my ear while stroking his thumb across the back of my dress.
I turned so I was enclosed in his embrace. Emmett is cute, and apparently, really nice. "I'm sorry. I'm just distracted." Sweet strawberry kisses…
"Yeah, I saw how distracted you were," he laughed. "But kissing your ex out by the dumpsters isn't the way to make him jealous."
I turned my head. "I didn't kiss Jake."
"Oh?" Em nodded his head towards the bar. "Then why is he staring at me like he wants to kill me?"
I blushed. Cinnamon-Vanilla was watching me. Watching us, I suppose, if Emmett was right. His eyes were dark…black pepper in the spearmint.
"That's not Jake," I said softly, looking down at my shoes. Rose was going to kill me. I spend two months pining for Jake, and then I come here and one melting smile from the bartender has me wrapping my legs around him next to the dumpsters behind the bar. All her hard work was going to waste.
Em raised an eyebrow, but I could see him fighting a smirk. "Looks like you didn't need me after all, then, Beautiful."
"I'm sorry," I said, because I was. This guy was so great, and nice, and I felt unbelievably guilty for planning to use him like that. And for wasting his time when he agreed.
"Don't worry about it." Emmett stretched, and I could imagine Rose's eyes widening as his whole torso flexed. He could have been a personal trainer. Or a wrestler. "To be honest, I'm more interested in your hot friend over there," he nodded at Rose. "I've never seen anything like her before."
I smiled. "Rosalie is gorgeous," I agreed. "And single."
His eyes widened. "You okay here, Beautiful? Need me to beat up any bartenders for you?"
I laughed. "No, I'm good. Besides, I don't think anything he initiates will be unwanted tonight."
Emmett laughed. "Yeah, I'll bet it was all wanted. Let me know if you need me, Beautiful." He kissed the top of my head, then sauntered off towards Rosalie, who was trying to look aloof.
I turned towards the bar. Focus, Bella. Come on, you can do this.
I walked towards the bar, trying to be seductive and avoid tripping at the same time. If Cinnamon was still looking at me, I didn't want to look any stupider than I already had. I was an idiot for letting him see me with Em.
Or maybe…not. If the way those black-pepper and spearmint eyes were staring at me was any indication, Cinnamon was—jealous. Adorably jealous, with his eyes flickering between Em and me and his hand clenched in a tight fist over the glass he was letting overflow.
"Hey!" Someone down the bar called, grabbing Cinnamon's attention. "Dude, it's full already!"
I smirked, watching as Cinnamon's ears deepened to match his hair.
"Bartender!" I called, trying to emulate Rose and act confident. "Give me a hounddog." I handed him my credit card.
I watched as Cinnamon smirked. Evidently, the implications were not lost on him.
"And how would you like that, miss? Here—or to go?"
I bit my lip, trying to keep from laughing. Cinnamon might be cute, but he had some of the cheesiest lines I'd ever heard. Working in a bar wasn't doing much for his pick-up lines, I suppose.
I shook my head. "Just to drink here, please. I have other things I'd like to take with me," I said, eyeing him up and down. Hey, might as well play along. Cheesy pick-up lines are my specialty.
Cinnamon grinned. "What about your boyfriend over there?" he asked, nodding towards Em. I turned around. Em and Rose were licking salt off each other's hands.
"Looks like he's taken," I said, turning back around and smiling at Cinnamon. "He's not really my type anyway."
He grinned. "One hounddog, coming right up."
I watched as he muddled the limes and strawberries in the shaker, then poured in Midori, Chambord, and Vanilla Vodka. Melon, raspberry, and vanilla….mmm. He topped it off with lemonade, then handed me a key lime. "We both know how much you like these…" he murmured. I shivered.
"Only if you come with it," I whispered. Cheesy pick-up lines, all the way.
He grinned. "I'm getting off in a few minutes," he said casually. "I'm just filling in tonight until the regular guy shows up."
I smiled. "I came here with a friend, but it looks like she's leaving without me," I said, jerking my head in Rose's direction and watching as Emmett murmured in her ear and she shivered in delight.
His eyes darkened even more. "Can I give you a ride home?"
"Absolutely." I said, smiling even more at Cinnamon.
"Thank you," he said, leaning forward. "Bella." He handed me my credit card and pocketed the slip of paper I had given him with my number on it.
"Hey wait!" I called out as he turned to pick up his things and leave. "What's your name?"
Cinnamon smiled. "Edward."