Over the Counter

Disclaimer: I am in no way intending copyright infringement; I do not own the Twilight Saga.

A/N: There's a long-winded sappy author's note at the bottom as to why I posted this one shot. Basically: I've been a member of the fandom for four years today. So happy anniversary, guys! I am in fact, just cheesy enough to do this.

Many thanks to my beta and hero: jadedandboring; and to my prereaders: fanglanalang and Chrisska, my brain twin.

~:~:~:~

I feel my eyes pulling toward the right, past the frozen cakes and over the cracker-box tower.

But, I won't look to my right. I won't.

Because I think the people at the deli counter are kind of freaked out about my subtle, not so casual glances. There's a paradox for you.

But not really. There's nothing subtle about those looks.

"Hello, sir, how can I help you?" I ask the man standing at the counter. He's in front of the cheesecakes, looking at them with hungry eyes.

Maybe they're too hungry. He could take with eating only a few of the mini cheesecakes in the next display, instead of the eight-inch coma-inducer.

"I'd like the assorted fruit cheesecake." I think he knows there's more glaze on that cake than any other one we offer here.

"Will that be all?" I ask, because I'm supposed to. I want to shove the cake at him and – try to – push him away. It's almost time to look towards the deli counter.

But, then I remember I'm not allowed to look anymore. My eyes are still following my old schedule; look once, for one minute, every ten. One scanning glance, pretend to check out customers, look for him, and then actually do my job.

"I'd like to write something on it. Can you?" he inquires, looking at me questioningly, as if I can't.

I can. I work in a bakery. I wield icing writers better than I do a pen.

"It would be on a piece of chocolate; is that okay?"

"Sure, sure. 'Happy Anniversary Bob and Margie.' Can you spell anniversary?"

I save my withering look for the cake. I think the strawberries dry out a little bit.

"Do I pay here, or up at the front?"

Jesus fucking Christ. "Up at the front." My cheeks hurt from the falsity in my smile.

"Hey," he says. The reason the deli crew stays away from me.

"Hi." My smile is genuine, and it still pains me. Maybe I just shouldn't do that. Smiling.

"We need to borrow your push broom." He's already moving to the back, dodging the cool rack full of buns. He's careful to move – he thinks they're hot.

"So long as you bring it back." There's a split second where I think I'm going to wink, and please, God, thank you, I don't, but then my eye twitches. I smile to cover up. It doesn't help.

"Sure," he mutters over his shoulder, already making his way to my right.

I try very hard to not look at his ass. I do, but in case he looks back, I pretend to look at the couple struggling with the bread slicer.

They've been in before. I've taught them before.

I miss the final view of his ass before he walks behind the exotic cheeses. Fuck.

~:~

I'm finished.

My badge slides through the punch clock once, twice. Still nothing happens. I casually clean the magnetic strip. I used it to scrape the royal icing off my chrome table.

This wouldn't be the first time the icing prevented me from punching out on time.

And as I slide it through again, I hear a person shuffle in behind me, forming a line. Another person comes in too.

"Bella, I think you've got the badge in the wrong way." Angela whispers from a couple people behind me.

I look at the card. The clip is broken; it dangles from a mangled red lanyard. 'Isabella', in formless capitals is stuck on the plain white side. The side that's facing the doors.

My name is supposed to face the mirror. A blush settles into my cheeks, but it's too dark for anyone to see. The area by the punch clock is eerily dim. The spotlight overhead flickers occasionally.

It's a fucking Law and Order crime scene waiting to happen.

I hit the punch out button. By the grace of God, I'm on time. Barely.

People at the back of the growing line will have to get the manager to punch them out. Oops.

I duck and make a quick getaway to the locker room. I follow the faded yellow lines, indicators for those with regular shoes to stick to.

I'm not worried; I spent the seventy-five dollars on the steel-toed, steel-plated, anti-slip-sole shoes. They're ugly and uncomfortable.

And seventy-five motherfucking dollars. I was reimbursed twenty-five. Fuckers.

I don't see Deliboy. I even peeked into the loading area, where the garbage compactor is.

My olfactory sense was ruined for naught.

I sigh as I scuffle past soda bottles.

~:~

I don't know what to do for dinner.

I ate something before I left for work, but damn't, I drudged up an appetite.

Or perhaps it was the cannoli I had to fill. Mascarpone and chocolate chip filling does something to me.

Options: There aren't many. I can settle for a doughnut and a large chocolate milk from the Dunkin' Donuts across from the hot pizza counter; pizza from the aforementioned counter, or the hot foods.

I think he's working tonight. Deliboy. Sometimes he mans the hot foods counter.

I'll walk by the counter. I usually do, when I want food. Or to gossip with Jessica, the Customer Service chick. She isn't a chick, not really. Jessica's in and around thirty years of age.

I don't plan on staying in this hellish place 'til I'm thirty.

I digress; she has the scoop on the entire store. She knows everyone's dirty laundry. It's how I found out why my dickwad of a manager wasn't fired after telling off a customer. With toddlers, using some choice words.

He's dating the store manager's mother. What the hell? She's even uglier than the both dickwad's combined.

Grocery stores are filled with ugly people.

Except for Deliboy. The man beautifies this place.

I'm disgustingly infatuated. And hungry.

There's fresh pasta to my left, and to my right, I see a vast array of sandwich meats. Kielbasa, salami, fresh pepperoni…

There's an awkward thought process developing. Sometimes a cigar is just a cigar. I'm not sure if that's my superego defending me, or my id playing Devil's advocate.

Cigar, my ass, I decide. I'm thinking phallic objects… and phallus. Deliboy's phallus? Now I am. And then I'm thinking about the word phallus.

Deliboy isn't in tonight. Or he's just not working right now.

Maybe he's flirting with the big-titted Kate in the produce.

He does that. I've seen him. I've seen him mosey – but it's with purpose. His façade is weak to me – and push the doors to the Cut Fruit section.

No cameras, no pushy customers, no openness, no exposure. It's heart wrenchingly, enviously, private.

If I needed privacy, I'd have to wiggle into the wiggle-less freezer and numb myself.

I get a glazed cake doughnut dipped in chocolate. With a large chocolate milk.

He isn't in the break room.

~:~

There's so much bread to slice. It won't even fit outside. Not unless someone is okay with squished bread. But I slice anyway; fully knowing that tomorrow someone will bitch if it isn't. Namely Maria, the Mexican lady with the thickest accent I've ever heard. Actors in those telenovellas would have better English.

I think it's all an act. But that's just me.

She'll complain about something else I didn't do (or didn't do properly). It's how the whiny bitch works.

"Excuse me, miss? I'd like some help – I can't find the lemon tarts," he asks.

He knows where the lemon tarts are. I've shown them to him before; and I know other girls in the bakery have helped him find the damn things before. He grosses me – us – out, the stupid, gap-toothed man. His belly hangs out from under his shirt. It makes me want to vomit.

As it is, I gag.

I think he just likes to look at our asses. And I can't help but think: you disgusting fucker, we're jailbait. I shiver; I can't help it.

"There they are, sir." I sweep my arm towards the tarts in question, nestled in between brownies and chocolate cupcakes. I walk away after his mumbled thanks.

Ha! No response; nothing. He doesn't deserve one of my customary "good nights." A shiver rolls through me again.

I think I feel his eyes on me, their dull blue leaving dirty streaks on my baker's jacket. I don't look back, nervous to see if I'm right. I might not be.

God knows I have an overactive imagination.

I go back to slicing bread, trying to pick up my rhythm again. I have a half an hour before I'm officially finished, but I'm worried I won't be finished. Fuck. I hate leaving things left over.

I can see breadcrumbs fly through the air and settle in the tiniest crevice my stupid work shirt leaves open. They're in my bra. I'm positive I'll be shaking and rubbing my boobs before I get ready for bed.

But they're really itchy though, now. I'm tempted to do something right this second, rather than awkwardly use my forearm to brush up against my chest to relieve the pressure.

The stupid slicer is loud, and it never really hits me until I turn it off.

"Hey. I need the push broom." Deliboy!

Crumbs in my bra are forgotten.

"Er, sure thing." I jerk my head to where the broom is, my hands full of whole wheat bread. I don't know what makes me do the head jerk. He knows where the broom is kept. I know that he knows.

"Thanks."

"You're welcome," I mumble. "Umm..."

He turns, leaning on the broom, looking even more scrumptious than the onion buns he lingers beside.

He looks expectantly; raises an eyebrow. He makes it look sexy. But when I do it, my stupid scar is exaggerated. I hate that scar.

"Yeah."

I blush. The fluorescent lights are better here. As in: every flaw is noticeable.

"I'll need it soon." He makes a move to bring it back, but I wave him away. "Just… make sure it's here before nine. Please?"

He does. Only he has some random chick bring it back.

~:~

I can't get the box. These shelves are freakishly large. Too large. Shit on the top is pretty much SOL until someone tall enough can reach it.

I'm not this person. Why? I'm standing on the stepping stool, with a broom in my hands, trying to move the stupid box. I've achieved nothing but a gaping hole in the bottom; the cardboard bent inward and ripped in a long line.

I heard plastic make a terrifying crack the first time I broke the box.

And the second. And the third. I'm pretty sure there are five unusable cookie containers now.

I stomp my foot on the stool. It's childish and accomplishes nothing, but damn if I don't feel even a little better.

Usually if I can't reach something, which I admit is most of the time, I get the breakout boy, Felix to get it. He doesn't even need the stool.

But I'm alone tonight. And the cookies need to be packed or my ass is going to be fucked. In the most unpleasant of ways.

With a renewed sense of purpose, I step off the stool, and put the broom away, tucking it in beside the bread crumb machine. The residual powder rubs against my arm, embedding itself with the tiny hairs there. Fuck. I'll be itchy forever.

I pass the olive and pasta/salad bar thing. The Kalamata olives are tempting in their oily sheen. I know for a fact they're popular. I see their aubergine pits in my assorted bun bins. It's disgusting and disconcerting, but it doesn't stop my craving for them.

I know what I'll be picking up once my shift is over.

Deliboy is working. Perfect. He's even taller than Felix. I swallow the sigh threatening to escape, and end up suffering a coughing fit. My cheeks, red enough from the exertion of my coughs, deepen. I'm positive.

"Edward." I test the word out slowly. It's the first time I say his name out loud. In public, at least.

"Yeah?" There's a brief gap that tell me he doesn't know my name. I ignore it and continue.

"There's a box on the top shelf. I can't get to it." He frowns for a moment. I hope and pray to God that he has a brain and gets what I'm inferring.

"Sure."

"Thanks," I smile. Relief settles in me.

We walk to the bakery side by side, in silence. It's definitely uncomfortable.

The standard issue black apron we both wear flutters with the movement of his legs. It's almost addicting to watch.

Almost. Until I nearly collide with a stand full of sourdough baguettes. Then I just focus on the linoleum under my feet.

He lets me go ahead of him.

I point to which box I need, wordlessly. He reaches up, his long arms reaching the package I want – he has a different one that I'm pretty sure I need.

The box is in my hands, removed from its high perch.

"Thanks," I repeat, for lack of anything better to say. So why not say nothing? I ask myself this all the time.

"Sure," he says over his shoulder.

The apron strings dangling down his ass really are addicting.

~:~

He's in the break room when I'm in the break room, too. I smile as I walk in, moving to the sink to wash my hands. I'm a compulsive hand washer, dealing with food as I do. He has an empty container in front of him. I bet it was French fries.

Maybe it was fried chicken.

Go figure. He makes greasy food attractive. Or perhaps I need help.

Probably the latter.

Politics. Stupid, necessary politics rule break room seating. One must never sit near someone else unless friends. Or there's no space. One chair minimum distance.

The break room is horribly empty. I have no choice but to sit away from Deliboy.

I pick a corner with a decent vantage point for creeping, conveniently paired with a newspaper. I sit and read and watch and sip my Brisk Ice Tea.

"So…" his voice is firm and gruff in the silent break room. He still doesn't know my name.

"Yes?"

"How's the – bakery, right?" I nod. "The bakery?"

I'm unsure of how to respond. Whine like a bitch about the greasy pizza buns, or fluff? Decisions, decisions. I fluff, because no one likes whiners.

"It's cool. I love all the desserts and stuff." Stuff. I'm appalled with my use of the English language. "How's deli?"

"Good."

Of course it's good; they have three people sharing the work. I'm stuck all by my lonesome.

"Can I have the comics?"

He reads comics? Adorable. I'm about to pass them to him, but I won't make it. Short arms, small body and all that.

Whoever said being tiny was delicate was a lying sack of… well, shit.

But that doesn't matter because Edward is up and out of the chair and rounding the square table to me. I pass him the comics, surprised that the paper isn't rustling with my trembling hand.

"Thanks."

I finish my break, my shift, somewhere in the stratosphere.

~:~

Mornings are stupid bitches. Can't we wake up to the afternoon?

I'm here, in this hellish place at seven a.m. to open the damn bakery. And I'm working with fucking Maria.

I had a coffee before I left home, and another one before work in the break room. Now I have to pee.

Maria gives me dirty looks as I dance slightly, wiggling my hips and desperately refusing to think about my need to pee.

My rhythm degenerates by the time I'm filling the bulk bins. I'm dancing and shifting my weight from my right to left foot. I'm shivering, the need to urinate that intense.

"Isabella?" Maria calls from bagging the baguettes. "'Choo hab to go to da batroom? Go! Go!"

I go. I run, my shoes losing purchase slightly as I come around the corner. I slow my pace, knowing that if I fall, I will wet myself.

But I don't have that much time to slow before I'm stopped by someone's chest.

"Ow," the chest says, and fuck me it has to be him.

"Sorry." I turn my face, not wanting him to see my blush.

He rubs the spot my stupid head connected.

"You're in horribly early, too, then?" he asks.

"Yup." I'm about to start wiggling again. God help me if I start my stupid dance.

Everything is stupid. Especially mornings – this morning.

Fuck.

"How busy can deli be this early in the morning? How many people want your salami at seven thirty?"

Your salami? Your salami? He coughs, looking to the boxes of soda cans.

"It's okay. Mostly it's just refilling the counter and the salad bars and stuff. And like, restocking the bunkers."

"Cool."

"Cool."

"Excuse me, I have to punch in," he says, already stepping around me. I turn my head back, as usual. Apron strings over his ass, as usual.

~:~

I can't be sure, but I think Deliboy just walked out with one of those taste-testing girls; those really pushy bitches that shove subpar cookies and granola and crackers in the customers' faces.

And everyone knows that walking out with one of them means walking to a car or secluded spot and making out, maybe a hand job.

Yeah, those hookers. And the jealously that bubbles inside me – it does bubble, you know. Like heartburn. Indigestion. I think there's bile climbing up my throat.

And the jealousy, it hurts on its way up. And I'm stupid and annoying (both conclusions I came up myself) and have no right to feel envy.

But it's there. And I hate it.

I flirt with the dopey boy at Dunkin' Donuts, and end up with a free soda.

~:~

"Isabella?" I'm pretty sure pigs just flew because I never expected my name to come out of his mouth. And what a pretty mouth it is.

I try to breathe and talk at the same time; as a result, I cough. He waits, patiently for my goof up to finish. "Yeah?" my voice is raspy and hoarse.

"I'm… about to go on break."

This is unexpected. Really unexpected. And perplexing. Is he asking me to go with him? Am I supposed to go with him?

Why can't he be direct like every other boy I know? He seems, erm, dumb like every other boy.

Maybe it's a ploy to give me an aneurism.

The fuck, Edward?

"Cool. I'm almost finished down here. See you soon." Direct and evasive. Slightly.

He nods in response.

"It's… Bella, Edward. I prefer to be called Bella."

"Sweet." He smiles then, and his apple green eyes brighten from underneath the company hat.

It still hurts me to see his pretty penny hair pulled back in a hair net and covered with a cap.

Life just… isn't fair.

I shove the next customer onto Felix, regardless of the fact she needs some writing done.

I run to the Dunkin' Donuts, missing a geriatric and her cart by inches, but receiving her stink eye in buckets.

I go for the Boston Crème, mindful that the crème squirting out looks like… cream squirting out – and a small white milk. And then it's a race again for the break room for my break with Edward.

Who asked me. To go with him. On break. Together.

He's there, with the comics laying flat along the table. The news section is beside him. I have to wonder if it's for me.

I also wonder if we're acting like an old couple. We haven't even fucked yet for that to happen.

I suppress a groan, because it's fucking and Edward and with Edward. And fucking.

He glances up, a smile on his lips. I move cautiously toward him, sitting in front of the newspaper. Dost mine eyes deceive me? Does his smile grow?

Best break ever. And it was mostly silent.

Christ on a cracker, I need help.

~:~

Afternoon shift. Fucking A.

There's almost nothing to do. Which means whoever's in after me will have almost nothing to do. Which means I can do fuck all now and screw her.

I look to my right. There's a minor tower of flavoured olive oil in my way. Kind of.

He isn't in today, which is kind of too bad. I mean it is bad, but he wasn't there to distract me. In the flesh, at least.

Because in my head, he threw me up against the freezer doors, the oven, inside the fridge, and onto the chrome table and did… things. Delicious things. Sometimes with delicious things. Like the royal icing I used to dress the cinnamon buns.

He liked it. So did I.

By the time I punch out (10 minutes early, because I'm awesome and there's little do to), I revisit my imagination and the royal icing and the chocolate crème used to fill the birthday cakes. I'm not a fan of pudding, but Deliboy was – is.

I take my time walking to the locker room. I even do it on the floor, passing the meat and fish department. It smells disgusting; like raw meat, old fish, ammonia and disinfectant. My nose burns and my eyes begin to water.

"Excuse me, can you please help me?" A bitchy customer; I can tell by her tone – and the way she looks at my glazed eyes with disdain.

"I need two pounds of the fresh ground beef."

"I'm sorry ma'am -"

"And grab it from the front, please. It looks better," she's barreling over me, figuratively. But I'd not be surprised if she runs over me.

"Get it yourself, hooker," is right there, on the tip of my tongue, but I don't because I like my job. Mostly.

"Sorry, ma'am, but I don't work in this department. Excuse me while I find someone who does." I smile, and it stretches my cheeks uncomfortably. I should just fucking give up on that.

I step back, mildly disgusted with the liquid covering the floor. I knew there was a reason for everyone wearing rubber boots, and not to look fashionable. It's motherfucking slippery.

"Hello?" I call. Eerily, my voice echoes back to me. I shiver; the metallic tinge to my voice creepy.

"Hey?" Everyone in this department is useless, I decide.

Who was working, who was working? "Jack?" He's a stupid git. There isn't anyone at fish either, or else I'd make them give the woman her damn ground beef.

"Bella?" Of course he'd find me tiptoeing around a strange department with meaty water creeping up my pant legs. Fuck. There's also apple filling in my hair, I'm pretty sure, somehow managing to get under the hair net.

"There's no one here, and that hooker outside wants ground beef." I scowl at the cutting board, a giant, raw… something lying there bloody and gross. "What the fuck? Disgusting. And besides, I'm punched out and I'm all finished. And Jack's a douche nozzle."

"I'll deal with her."

I think my eyes widen, and they probably bug out, too. "Really? You'd do that for me?"

"Sure." He shrugs. "I mean you're off the clock and all. And Jack is a douche nozzle. He shouldn't fuckin' take off like that."

I'm stuck on him shrugging. The stupid baker's jacket we both wear is baggy on the shoulders, but when he moves them like that, he fills out the excess fabric nicely. Very nicely.

"Thanks, Edward." For reasons unknown to me, I blush. I feel the heat flooding in my cheeks and I just know I'm an ugly red colour.

"No problem. I'll punch him for the both of us."

He smiles.

I float.

A good day, all in all.

~:~

"So, Bella." Edward is there, in the opening between the cakes and the commercial bread, about to voyage into bakery chaos.

I hold up one finger, the universal symbol for wait a fucking minute. I'm not mad at him, but at the idiots in my department. So much work… can't function.

Well, I can barely function. Breathing is on the wayside.

I write on the cake with teal icing, the colour horribly at odds with the orange and red. I grimace at the combination. I hold the cake up for the customer's approval. Edward glances, and stops. "Nice, Bella."

"Thank you." I glow. The customer nods and waits as I box it up. I know for a fact that I wouldn't have given a fuck had the customer not liked it. Edward does, and that's all that matters.

"Have a good night." I smile; it's really because Edward is around. There's less of a twinge in my cheeks. Maybe I'm getting the hang of it.

"What's up?" I lean up against the counter, my back to any potential customers. I don't care, though. Not really.

"Not much. Wanna go on break?"

I look at all the work I have to do. Buns to pack, bread to slice, mini Danishes to cover with snow sugar. And clean the outside. And the inside. And it's 7:30.

I frown. "No, sorry. There's too much shit to do."

He studies the bakery too, a calculating look in his eye. "I'll help."

What a sweet guy, but he's got his own stuff to do. And as I point this out to him, he shakes his head.

"Nah, don't worry about it. Emmett and Lauren can deal."

I need the help. And they can't spare a cashier up front. And I want Edward around. "Sure, thank you so much." Relief courses through me – warm and tingly.

I have him pack buns. And then pack the outside buns. While I study his.

Not the ones he packs, but his ass. I like it.

I slice bread while he packs my Danishes.

I'm thinking of my vag (God, what an ugly term) right now. I wonder if he'd be opposed to packing those Danishes.

We work together and Edward is a quick study. He picks up his tasks easily, leaving me to focus on the shit I need to complete.

As he sweeps outside, all hovered over the broom handle, I look at his figure – really look.

His torso is long, arms long, legs long. I like his shape. He makes lean look athletic and not gangly, which tends to happen with people like him.

Then I look at my reflection in the glass doors of the counter. Brown; hair and eyes. Pale skin, even in the yellow light. The jacket hides my decent shape – if I do say so myself – but the apron pulls it tight around my waist. I angle my body slightly, enjoying the view. I can't help but pop my hip, jutting my ass out into the world.

My ass enjoys itself.

I finish up inside; he comes in, carrying a dustpan I missed him picking up (damn) and the broom.

I finish on time because of his help.

"Thank you so much!" I want to hug him… I want to kiss him and tackle him to the ground. But I settle for what's about to be a high five, but who the fuck does that? So I let my hand hang for a smidge, then drop it.

Yeah, that is so much better. Christ.

"You're welcome, Bella." He smiles.

And then Edward surprises me, because that's what he does. He always shocks me, and most times it's in the best way possible.

He leans over and kisses me. He has to bend a lot, actually, but it's nice.

His lips are smooth and warm. Dry too, because he doesn't lick them a lot or anything.

Opening. There is lip opening. And tongue. It slips inside. It's mellow like he is. I think I orgasm. I shuffle closer, trying not to break the kiss, but it's impossible. He'd have to snap his neck in order to let it continue.

So instead he cradles my head to my chest. "That was nice."

Nice? Nice? Angels sung! Birds chirped! Flowers are growing around us now!

Nice. I chalk it up to guys not being poetic and leave it at that. I nod into his sternum because it's right there, and kind of eww, but I feel the bone through his clothes.

~:~

We aren't scheduled together again for a while. I don't how to look at that except that I have horrible luck, and it seems to be rubbing off on him.

And I'm a horny idiot because I didn't ask for his number. I was in a stupor, more or less, because his wiry body was so close to me. And it wasn't even because I walked into him. That time.

I've work three shifts since the kiss. And I even managed to find an excuse to come into work on my off days, just to see him.

Four days equals feta cheese, Maple Leaf premade bacon, egg whites and yolks (bought separated. I'm not describing an egg in two parts), and quinoa.

He's there on Feta Day and Quinoa Day. Edward beams, I smile in return and stumble into the pasta bar. The spoon flipped up onto my chest.

Oil is difficult to get out of one's clothing. But he laughed and I sucked in my embarrassment.

~:~

Edward's starting, as I'm finishing.

How do I prepare myself for the Outside? I rid myself of the nasty apron, and the formless baker's jacket. I stand in front of the mirror, painstakingly trying to remove the hairnet and not damage the hair. Because every time my hair cooperates I work.

Hairnets are the bane of hair's existence. They squash a style, crush curls, and flatten out poofs. Hair becomes knotted and gross once emerged from the dreaded net.

It takes me a while, extricating my hair from the net of doom and I hate how my head turns out afterward.

My hair lacks oomph.

I miss all the oomph it had before I came here. And I'm self conscious enough for Edward to see me with pretty hair not these… lank noodles. And it's the disgusting whole grain pasta. It looks as a bad as it tastes, and it tastes horrible.

"Hey, Bella."

Christ. I try to hide my head, throwing my arms around the empty melon.

It's a melon and it's pretty damn empty – why else would I do that? I think I may break universal Internet code and face palm in the flesh.

"Edward," I mumble.

"I think your hair is really pretty." I see him behind me, looking down with profound honesty. I melt and sigh and gush.

He's making me into a marshmallow. "Are you lying to me?"

Edward has the type of smile that makes me want to smile. But instead, I peak out between my fingers, especially when I feel a slight tugging at my arms.

"The best hair I've ever seen."

And then he touches it – from root to the tip, slowly, softly. He sighs, and I feel it whisper in my hair, brushing my scalp softly.

I'm the marshmallow guy-thing from Ghostbusters.

~:~

"I missed you, too," I say, the grin stretching my face natural. It doesn't hurt so much.

"I'm excited for tonight."

"So am I."

"Don't you want to know where we're going?"

Kind of, actually. He refuses to let me go home and change. So of course, this is the day there is coloured icing all over my ass.

"Nope." I pull at my jacket, suddenly self conscious of the rainbow on my bum.

"I like the blue. And the pink. And the purple. The orange? Not so much." Edward looks over, reaches over and pats my ass gently.

"I'm glad you approve." I'm glad I have extra clothes and shoes shoved in my locker.

"Bella?"

"Edward?"

"I can't wait to kiss you after this shift."

My knees quake. I lean over the chrome table, my chest dangerously close to the lemon meringue pies. "Same here, Deliboy."

"I like it when you call me that, you know."

"Good."

He's silent a while, watching me package these stupid lemon meringue pies. Meringue creeps me the fuck out. It's unnatural and fluffy and weird.

"Bella? I have to go back now." He pouts adorably.

"Edward? There's no one watching."

He moves from his lurking spot beside the ovens and turns me around. Edward's hands are on my waist, his lips on my jaw, their upward descent evident.

He tastes like the buttercream icing he ate straight from the tub earlier.

~:~

"A few more minutes, Bella." He pulls me into his lap further and grinds me against his erection. It feels good for both of us, I can tell.

"But… we don't have much longer, Edward! Someone could, ohhhh." His tongue has found my neck, while his hands have lost my neck. I consider it breaking even.

And then his fingers have found my buttons. My uniform's buttons, not my, erm, love buttons. Ugh. Love makes me stupid.

And then his fingers are on my breasts, dragging back and forth over the satin and lace. Because, yes, I do wear good bras to work, where they will be sweated in, filled with breadcrumbs and apparently, groped.

I think it's the final reason I wear them. No… no, I know.

"Bella, I love your tits." He groans, and rubs his nose on my sternum. He places a kiss on either side.

He slips a hand down my stomach. I love the feeling of the feather light touches, sending tingles down to my Danish.

And then he rubs through my stiff cotton pants on my clit. I'm a goner. I grind against him harder, and feel his erratic thrusts upwards.

I kiss him – a long, wet and sloppy kiss, hoping it'll send him over the edge.

It doesn't occur to me he'll be working with jizzy boxers.

My name is a long groan from his mouth.

I think it'll be a good shift, tonight.

~:~:~:~

A/N: I hope you enjoyed this! Deliward is so sweet, right? I work in a bakery – the tasks and some of the rants were definitely inspired by my job. Is there a Deliward where I work? No. No ogling, unless it's a customer and that's just weird! Lol.

The sappy moment: I've been around for a long time; Twific has always kind of been there (unless it was that time I was on an LOTR binge)… and so have the people. The authors and the readers; it's a wonderful community we have here. Sure there's drama (It's 90% estrogen, duh), but we're… fuck it. I'm not gonna go Halle Berry Oscar Award Acceptance Speech right now. We're an awesome bunch. We've made friendships that transcend the Internet and the pennames we use. That alone is pretty cool. The Twifandom has become personal, not with the likes of facebook and twitter. It's so cool to be a part of it.

And fuck, I guess I did go there. I hate long A/Ns as much as the next person. Oops.

Self pimpage: I'll be entering the Season of our Discontent Anonymous Angst Contest. The entries are not for the faint of heart. My heart breaks with every new one shot. I love it. Please check out the contest; just make sure you're equipped with a cuddle army and something strong to drink.

Tell me what you thought of Over the Counter.

Thanks, VE.