Chapter 14: I Hate U

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Gwen stood staring at it. In her dreams these little things attacked her, called her horrible names like fake, untalented and worse of all, bland. Not only that but she seemed to be naked in class in all her dreams. Which would be fine if she was dreaming about Dorian, but she wasn't, she was dreaming of the confections she created for the internship. The ones she made and remade five times over the weekend. The ones she stared at right now.

"I really shouldn't have done it. What was I thinking?" Gwen's wide eyes looked up into Dorian's and Annalise's soft eyes. Her heart pounding in her ears and she swore she could feel her armpits leaking. As if there was a faucet under her arms that was on full blast right now. She would be waving her arms in the air in panic right now if she wasn't so worried about the huge pit stains on her blue polka dot blouse.

"If it is anything like the other four batches you threw out, then you are sure to land the internship." Dorian's warm voice, which usually soothed her to at least smile, did nothing. What does he know? He isn't a chef. He isn't a baker. Oh God she is going to come in last. Not only that, they will laugh at her like they did in the dream.

Gwen felt hands on her shoulders and she realized she was staring at her dessert again. Her eyes rose to meet a pair of warm, deep brown eyes. Annalise pulled her into an embrace, "Woman! You will be amazing. This dessert, just the idea alone is fantastic. Dorian is right, we both gorged on your throw away desserts you made and they were crazy good. If for some unbelievable reason you don't get an internship then I don't ever want to eat in those places because they wouldn't know good food if it came up and punched them in the mouth."

That helped a little, especially when Dorian came up beside them and added to the hug.

"There, there. Now you two kiss. That should help." Dorian lowered his voice and Gwen almost didn't catch what he said. Annalise and Gwen stilled before pulling away to stare at him.

"What?" Dorian threw his hands in the air, feigning innocence.

"We aren't going to make out for your pleasure Dorian." Gwen remarked while arching her eyebrows at him.

Dorian shrugged, "A man has got to try."

Annalise rolled her eyes and went over to open the front door, "Well, good luck today but I don't think you will need it. Text me later and tell me how it goes. Bye." She closed the door behind her on her way to work.

Gwen thought about quitting school and contemplated becoming an interior designer like Annalise. Surely her roommate would help her with any project that came along. Interior design required creativity but wasn't her passion which was perfect. Now she won't get her heart smashed to smithereens by renowned bakers and chefs.

"I decided to pursue interior design. Maybe if I catch Annalise she will let me hang with her today. Show me what a typical day for her at work is like." Gwen started for the door but Dorian's hand planted firmly on her shoulder, stopping her escape.

"Gwen, stop. I know this is scary, risking yourself like this. But you are too good at baking to give it up. This is life. You have to take risks in life in order to find happiness. The more you love something, the greater the risk. I believe in you. Annalise believes in you. Your brain is a little too clouded right now with worry to see the beautiful and clever creation your talented hands made. I bet you there will be no one in your class that came up with anything close to this. They are probably trying to impress the judges with something complicated and overdone. But, this is what makes you so amazing. You do none of that. You find something simple and sweet and turn it into something incredible."

Dorian's words penetrated her deafening heart to help ease her worry. She looked up at him in wonder. Gwen may be able to create, as he put it, incredible desserts but he was the amazing one. As his arms pulled her in and wrapped around her she started to believe his words. Her eyes closed and one deep inhale of his cozy scent gave Gwen the fortification she needed. She was stronger than what she claimed. Despite her unease she was thankful to have friends that knew her well enough to call her bluff and be there when she need it.

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