authors note: This is only going to be five or six chapters. Sorry if I don't update quickly, I'm a little busier than usual these days. I hope you enjoy and let me know if it's worth continuing :)
disclaimer: I do not own Glee or it's characters.
The first time Santana Lopez held an onion she was eight. That was also the last time she held any food - for about 15 years - with the goal of cooking it. You see, Santana is one of those late in life cooks. She never paid any attention to her mother's lessons as they'd stand in the kitchen with an aroma of different spices invading her senses.
The only meal Santana could make was spaghetti and her fiancé absolutely adored the rare nights where she would actually make it. As long as he's happy, Santana thinks, that's all that matters. She doesn't even think Robert has noticed she barely enters the kitchen unless it's to spray a bug. Insects; she can handle, recipes on the other hand…
Living with Robert has so far been the best times of Santana's life. She's received a few foot rubs in the past year, a number of diamond bracelets and an endless shoe closet which she barely enters because she feels more comfortable in her converse sneakers. All the women on her street have husbands like Robert, well, the ones that would invite her over for brunch occasionally. Their conversations branched from careers to any woman that wasn't invited to brunch that day; which always got Santana a little concerned as to what these women who were her 'friends', would say about her when she wasn't there.
She's currently at her desk, surfing through the net when an add flashes on the side of the screen. Normally Santana would continue on browsing, but this particular ad gains her attention and soon enough she's calling the bold number underneath the title PRIVATE COOKING LESSONS. She doesn't even take in to account how many dollars she'd be spending for private lessons. Santana is just so sick of not being able to provide a three course meal full of flavours for her husband-to-be and it's about time she does something about it.
After several rings a light female voice answers; rendering Santana speechless. She's wondering if she accidentally called heaven.
"Uh, hello, I just saw your ad online and was wondering if it was like, legit…" Santana stammers. The female on the other end laughs breathlessly and then clears her throat.
"Yes, it's legit. I'm free on Tuesday and Thursday afternoons if that's okay with you…" The voice trails off and Santana realises that the woman is waiting to find out her name.
"Lopez," she clears her throat, "Santana Lopez."
The woman laughs softly again. "Well Santana Lopez, how do those days sound for you?"
"G-Good, really good," Santana laughs awkwardly and then tightens her lips so she doesn't splutter anything else. This woman probably thinks that she's some kind of idiot who has a fear of talking to people on phones. Santana sucks in a deep breath and waits for the woman to reply.
"Great, could I get your address please?"
Santana speaks to the mysterious chef a minute longer before hanging up. She's aware that her fiancé won't be around on Tuesday and Thursday afternoon as he works until 11pm. She's also aware that she was rendered speechless by a fucking voice. Santana feels hands on her shoulders and she dips her head forward, sighing as her fiancés fingers work into the tense muscles in her neck.
"Who were you talking too?"
"I'm getting some cooking lessons," Santana says while humming softly.
"Oh? Why do you think you need those?" Robert asks sarcastically. He always teases Santana and most of the time she'll laugh along with him, but right now she's feeling a little down and all she wants is some support.
She stands up abruptly, leaving Robert to scratch his head. Santana locks herself in the bathroom that night until she knows that Robert is asleep, then creeps into the kitchen and starts reading over a hundred recipes, trying to memorise the most popular meals among family and couples.
She wants to impress the professional cook coming to teach her but she also realises that because she called in help, the chef won't expect her to impress. That makes this even more exciting for Santana.
Of course every time she attempts a dish she always looks for Robert's approval. Unfortunately it's not always positive. The man can be a little harsh without considering Santana's feelings, but she has a heart of steel and believes that criticism will only make her stronger. And maybe Santana should have gotten help with cooking sooner, she would be ready for when she gets married, but since the engagement Santana hasn't felt like herself and thinks that learning to cook will be a great start to finding herself finally.
When Tuesday finally arrives, Santana receives a call from her mystery teacher confirming that her lesson is at 4:30. Santana doesn't stumble over her words this time; she's actually able to have a normal conversation with the woman. She finds out her name is Brittany and she's been working as a private cooking teacher for three years. Santana doesn't have time to mention anything about herself because her boss is screeching outside her office. She apologizes to Brittany and the blonde understands and laughs that heavenly laugh again.
Santana hangs up, making sure to sound enthusiastic when she mentions the lesson in a few hours.
Once she deals with her hysterical boss, Santana packs her bag and leaves the office. She's not sure how many times she's left work feeling unhappy and pessimistic, but right now is a different story. She's excited and marginally prepared for her first cooking less, hoping that Brittany will be as bubbly as she sounded on the phone.
Santana doesn't have many close friends; only a few she met during college that she lost contact with, but she is definitely willing to add another friend to that pretty much empty list.
The women in her neighbourhood aren't considered her friends, because Santana would have to actually enjoy their company for them to attain that label.
She doesn't know what's worse; the fact that her car broke down two blocks from her house, or the fact that her fiancé hasn't mentioned anything about their two year anniversary next Tuesday. Robert barely said a word to her before he left for work and to say he is acting distant is an understatement. She's aware he could be planning something secretive for their anniversary but highly doubts the man has time for that. He barely has time to kiss her any more.
It's a short wait for road side assist but Santana feels like they took forever as the heat starts to wear her down. She paid the helpful man who replaced her old battery and speeds down the street. She knows she could have walked, or ran, to her home because maybe then she wouldn't make a terrible first impression with Brittany, but Santana is definitely glad she didn't because she wouldn't be able to hide her gaping mouth and bulging eyes at the sight of her cooking teacher leaning against a red Cadillac.
Santana has been attracted to women for as long as she can remember. She also despises most females because they can bake and cook tasty dinners. She never thought she was gay, even growing up. There was the experimentation stage during college but that was short lived because she met Robert and they were on and off for a while. You could call it an open relationship. Santana would go out to clubs and scowl the crowd for males or females, while Robert would flirt with bartenders and hand his number out like he was a promoter.
Santana thinks maybe she settled too soon and didn't have enough time to really explore her sexuality.
She knows she's definitely attracted to Robert, but she also knows she's never frozen up after seeing a woman, especially from this distance. Santana's staring at Brittany through her window as though the girl is a beautiful sculpture. She wets her lips and sinks in her chair a little, aware that Brittany could have seen her car pull up.
Santana inhales deeply, grabbing her bag from the passenger seat and slowly exiting her car. Brittany's parked in her driveway and the brunette's not even the least bit angry.
The door slamming catches the blonde's attention and her head whips in Santana's direction. First Santana notices the large grin on the blonde's face that appears in slow motion. Then she notices, as her eyes travel up a little, that Brittany's eyes are stunning. She doesn't even realise she's walking on a different surface until there is a squish sound and Santana realises that she just stepped on a rotten apple.
"Oh god," she breathes.
Brittany laughs and steps forward, attempting to help Santana but the brunette just flinches and moves back. Santana tucks some hair behind her ear while shyly avoiding eye contact with the blonde.
"Are you okay?" Brittany asks genuinely concerned.
"Yeah," Santana says confidently, her voice only slightly wavering.
"Good," Brittany beams and then stretches an arm out, silently telling Santana to lead the way. Santana kicks the heel of her shoe on the grass subtly before walking towards the front door. She unlocks it and doesn't stop walking inside until she reaches the kitchen.
"So," she breathes, "tell me how this works."
Brittany smiles brightly and unzips the red leather bag she's carrying. She pulls out two aprons and winks as she hands one to the brunette. Santana hesitantly accepts it, unfolding it to reveal and yellow smiley face on the front.
"Thanks," she says shyly.
"No problem," Brittany replies, "I give it to all my students." Santana doesn't know why but she's a little disappointed that Brittany treats all her other adult students like this. She would have liked to receive a little something special…wanky.
"So what I'm about to teach you is real simple," Brittany faces the bench and runs her ringers over it, "you don't need to worry about fillings or anything like that, we're just going to make pastry. Okay?"
"Sure," Santana nods, bobbing her head in excitement as her eyes draw away from Brittany's long slender fingers.
"Have you made pastry before?" She asks
Santana gulps embarrassingly loud. "No."
The blonde sends her a gentle understanding stare and shrugs. "No problem, that's why I'm here, right?"
Brittany's carefree, bubbly nature has Santana feeling more at ease at time goes on. She's ecstatic that her teacher is just as energetic as she sounded on the phone. The blonde informs her in detail about how much of each ingredient they need and always waits for Santana's nod so she knows the brunette is paying attention.
Santana is a very good actress though, so she's been told by her mother and father since she was little, and she's able to look more interested in what Brittany's showing her than the blonde herself. She doesn't think anything of it at first – it's just one woman admiring every part of another woman. Santana is, somewhat, happily engaged and not bothered by her sudden infatuation over Brittany. She's sure after their lessons are over they will go their separate ways without ever having to contact each other again.
That's if Santana follows the blonde's instructions and manages to cook something by the time her lessons are over.
Brittany slides the wooden board over to Santana who stares down at it blankly. She wonders if the blonde wants her to smell it or even taste it.
Brittany waits, and waits, and waits. But Santana isn't budging. The brunette dips her eyebrows and nods in mock curiosity, causing the blonde to laugh softly. "You have to knead the dough," she says finally. Santana flinches slightly, smiling bashfully as she begins to work the dough between her fingers. She's unsure how hard and for how long she has to knead it and frankly she feels like throwing up out of embarrassment.
A good housewife should know how to knead dough. Santana is positive half the kids on her street know how to do this. But that's why she asked for these lessons; so she can learn.
"All right that's perfect," Brittany chirps, taking the board away from the brunette and pressing her knuckles firmly down on top of the dough. Santana rests her palm on the table, watching the blonde at work. She notices the way Brittany's hair falls in gentle curves down one side and pictures her at some big awards with a long sparkling gown.
"You're very pretty," Santana blurts out. Her eyes widen slightly as she waits for Brittany's reaction. The blonde slowly turns to her and sends her a half smile. "Sorry I just had to say that."
Brittany giggles and then turns back to the task at hand, staying quiet which makes Santana wonder what she's thinking. Santana enjoys people that make her think – mysterious has always been her type.
It takes Brittany around three minutes to make the perfect pie shape. She started it off for Santana because the brunette was still off in dream land and then ordered the brunette to have a go. Santana pinches the edges of the dough, hoping that would keep the sides up right. She gauges the blonde's reaction to her experiment and Brittany seems satisfied.
"Now that the bottom part is done," the blonde places the pastry shell in the fridge, "we have to make the lid of the pie," Brittany explains, flattening out the extra dough onto the wooden board. "You should be able to do this," she adds in a challenging tone.
The brunette is slightly taken aback at Brittany's playfulness. She doesn't know whether to return the flirtatious gesture or simply ignore it.
She chooses the latter, because Brittany must have a boyfriend or husband at home drooling over her delicious meals. "What if I screw it up? The top of the pie is the best," Santana says with a pout. Brittany sighs and shuffles a little closer to the brunette, eyeing the way Santana's fingertips add pressure to different parts of the dough.
"How about I guide you?" Brittany suggests and before Santana can react or object, the blonde is moving behind her and holding the shorter girl's wrists lightly. Santana's frozen for about a second before she shakes her head and remembers that Brittany is a professional.
The blonde begins moving Santana's hands for her, controlling where each of the shorter girl's fingers go. Brittany then reaches over to grab a metallic circular cutter and places it in between hers and Santana's hands. "Push down slowly," she instructs in a whisper since they're so close.
Santana tenses, slightly turning her head and darting her eyes left to see that Brittany is leaning over her shoulder. "Um," she gulps, "like this?" Santana presses down, immediately noticing that the blonde isn't guiding her any more. Brittany's fingertips lightly graze the back of Santana's hand until they fall onto the edge of the bench.
"Just like that," the blonde answers quietly. Brittany's lips are hovering right near Santana's ear and the brunette has to close her eyes for a moment to steady herself. "Now pull away the excess dough off around the circle," Santana does as instructed, "…then take away the circle. Perfect."
Santana only just realised how much of Brittany's front was pressed against her as the blonde pulled back to stand a fair distance away by the bench. Brittany wipes her upper lip and takes a deep breath, waiting for Santana to work on instinct.
When the brunette begins pinching the edges of the dough so each bit curves up slightly, Brittany smiles proudly. "Awesome," she states. Santana laughs, working her fingers so hard she thinks they might get lost in the dough.
"Done." She grins at Brittany who shrugs nonchalantly.
"Adamant," she comments teasingly, sliding the board back in front of her. Santana feigns hurt and crosses her arms over her chest.
"First awesome, now adamant?" Santana gasps. "What does a girl have to do to get a little more praise around here?"
Brittany's smile fades slowly as she stares at the brunette. Santana notes the way the blonde's mouth falls open as if she desperately wants to say something she shouldn't. Santana raises an eyebrow, urging Brittany to spit it out, but the blonde chooses to remain quiet and professional – letting any unprofessional thought floating around in her head stay there.
"So now that we've managed to make something simple, our next lesson will involve filling and cooking the dish. Then we'll get to preparing meals because all dinners should look pretty." Brittany's ears turn a light shade of pink and Santana finds that adorable.
"So we're going to work our way up to harder meals as the lessons go on?" Santana asks, sliding her fingers up and down the bench slowly. She observes the way Brittany eyes flit down to her digits, following their movement before clearing her throat and meeting the brunette's gaze again.
"Yes," Brittany nods firmly, "so I suggest you read some versatile recipes before our next lesson. If you want you can pick out any meal you love to eat and we can make that."
"Thank you so much for this Brittany," the brunette responds genuinely. "It's so frustrating being the only girlfriend in the neighbourhood that doesn't know basic cooking techniques."
Brittany notices the way Santana smiles as she speaks, but there is no brightness to it all. "It's really my pleasure," Brittany shrugs, "you'll be a culinary chef by the time I'm done with you."
"I hope so," Santana sighs sadly. The room goes quiet for a moment and Santana suspects that's it's the end of their lesson, but then Brittany sparks up a new conversation which takes the brunette by complete surprise.
Brittany knows she's going to sound completely unprofessional and she doesn't mean to pry – she just has to possess some knowledge of her student's lives. "So you mentioned a boyfriend," Brittany begins tentatively, "is he the main chef around here?" Good. Stay within the topic of cooking so Santana knows you're not trying to get personal.
"Yeah, well my fiancé; he's a great cook," Santana replies nodding.
"Has he tried to teach you?" Brittany asks.
"Well," Santana's lips pinch together and her nose crinkles, "yeah but I never paid much attention."
"Do you get distracted easily?" The blonde questions suddenly and their eyes meet. Brittany has such intensity to her gaze that Santana feels as though she could be knocked backwards in a flash.
The brunette licks her lips and lets her gaze waver south a little. She observes Brittany's protruding collarbones and the slimness of her neck. Santana has a weird fetish for necks but she has yet to tell anyone that. "I guess you could say that," she responds barely audibly, letting her eyes meet Brittany's again.
She swears she saw the glimpse of a smirk on the blonde's lips but it's gone before she can question it. "Well hopefully," Brittany steps forward, "now that I'm here," she takes another step, "you won't get distracted." Santana knows there is about three inches separating their bodies but she doesn't let that deter her. Brittany is definitely challenging her strength for some reason and she doesn't like to lose at anything.
Santana's heart is pounding in her chest and she's aware how red she must be now. Her skin feels like its burning and to make it worse Brittany looks like she's about to pounce. Santana's eyes flicker down to Brittany's hand which is slowly rise towards her hip, but before she's able to make contact a phone goes off in the distance – effectively breaking the girl's from their staring match.
"Um," Santana mutters, moving backwards to create as much distance as possible between her and the blonde. She excuses herself and walks over to the living room to retrieve her mobile. She stares down at the desk and groans when there is a text from her fiancé informing her he won't be home until early morning. Santana hates when his work meetings run late and everyone at his office decides to go out drinking until five am.
Meanwhile in the kitchen, Brittany stands flustered with her arm hovering lamely in the air. She doesn't know why she attempted to touch her student. What would have happened if that phone hadn't gone off? Would Santana have allowed Brittany's unprofessional advances? A million thoughts plague Brittany's mind and she shuts her eyes tightly and lets her arm fall back down to her side, clenching her hand into a fist.
Santana throws her phone on the couch and then joins Brittany in the kitchen again. She doesn't know why she's blurting out so much this evening, but there is something about the blonde that makes Santana feel comfortable. It's easy talking to Brittany, although being super close to her causes the air around the brunette to feel toxic.
"That was my fiancé and once again he won't be coming home tonight."
Brittany sends Santana a sympathetic look and is about to step forward again but decides against it. Just because other people find Brittany's hugs incredibly comforting doesn't mean Santana will. "When are you guys getting married?" The blonde hopes speaking of something she thinks is positive will take Santana's mind off of what just occurred.
"A month and a half," Santana responds meekly. The blonde sends her a tight lipped smile, thinking carefully about her next question. She's learnt by spending just a few hours with Santana that the girl can become defensive if you say the wrong things around her.
"Was it love at first sight?" The blonde asks in a dramatic tone, causing the brunette to smile weakly and duck her head.
"No, I don't believe in that," she meets Brittany's gaze again, "do you?"
"Of course," the taller girl answer immediately, "there's something so endearing about seeing someone for the first time and just knowing," she shrugs, "that you have to have them." Brittany's voice becomes softer by the end as though she just revealed a secret she only wants Santana to know.
Santana nods slowly, letting Brittany's answer sink in. Her eyes never wavering from the blonde's as she walks a little closer. "That's beautiful."
"You're beautiful," Brittany responds boldly. Her haste surprises Santana. It's as though that compliment was on the tip of Brittany's lips for hours just waiting to be shared. "Sorry, just had to say that," she echoes the brunette's earlier excuse. Santana smirks and rolls her eyes, loving the fact their conversation can go from serious to playful in a matter of seconds.
"You shouldn't say that," she shakes her head smiling.
"Why not?" Brittany retorts. "You can call me pretty but I can't call you beautiful? I think it would be disrespectful of me not to comment on your beauty."
Santana's heart begins to race and she looks down to make sure it's not noticeable against her chest. She might just leave the state if Brittany knew how flushed she was. The blonde can probably tell just by looking at her cheeks.
"This is getting a little unprofessional don't you think?" Santana asks, raising an eyebrow.
Brittany shakes her head, pursing her lips so they're almost invisible. "Nope, but the more you comment on us complimenting each other then it might."
Santana smirks. "Right…" she looks towards the clock near the fridge and gasps. "I didn't realise how late it was."
"Maybe if you knew how to make pastry it wouldn't have taken hours," Brittany teases back. She begins packing her bag and removes her apron to throw in there. Santana starts to undo hers and leaves it hanging around her neck as she walks Brittany to the door.
"Thank you again Brittany, I promise I'll read some cook books before I go to bed," Santana says sweetly. Brittany throws her head back with laughter and grazes her fingers along the brunette's shoulder, lingering there for longer than appropriate.
"Text me if you have problems, but not after 9 because I'll most likely be in the bath," the blonde explains before winking and sauntering off down the pathway towards her car. Santana tries to get that wink out of her head. She tries to get the image of Brittany naked in a bath out of her head, but it's no use.
Even when Santana's asleep she finds herself dreaming of those long creamy legs and gorgeous pink lips. She won't scold herself for thinking of the blonde this way when she wakes up, because she's admired women her entire life and Brittany deserves to be told how beautiful she is.
Santana just hopes that when her fiancé gets home, he can take care of all the random built up tension between her legs.