Chapter 15: Not U or U

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Gwen never thought a week without seeing Dorian would make her body, but especially her mind, feel like Play-Doh. The pull of wanting to talk to him but then every time she was about to open her front door to go to him she was struck with a vice around her heart.

Dorian had tried every day to find her, call to her but Gwen never answered. She thought by now she would be used to men hurting her but for some reason this hurts even more. A month ago she didn't even know who Dorian was and here she is crying as if she has known him for years. Her eyes red and swollen and her head pounding as if she took one too many shots of vodka the night before.

At least she has her internship which is the one thing that gets her up in the morning. That Friday after she found out she would be interning at Got Cake she started her training. Now it is Tuesday and she just finished making her first batch of their signature profiteroles with vanilla filling.

"Gwen, I know you haven't spent much time in the front but would you mind taking over for a few minutes at the cash register while I run to the restroom?" Tabitha, the thirty-something with a cute red pixie hairstyle and the mom of twin boys asks while poking her head back into the work area.

Gwen smiles, nervously. She has already fallen in love with Tabitha and her five year old boys. The red head brings her kids in after lunch every day when they have finished with kindergarten. Tabitha does a good job keeping the boys out of trouble with crayons and toys but Gwen likes to spoil them a bit by sneaking them a few of her newly made sweets. After only a few days the boys now refer to her as Auntie Gwen which helps give her something to smile about.

As much as Gwen doesn't want to work the counter, she likes Tabitha too much to prevent her from using the bathroom.

"Of course Tabitha. Let me wash up and I'll be right out." Gwen makes her way to the large metal utility sink by the far wall. Everything in the work area is either metal or ceramic, the walls are a light yellow subway tile while the appliances are stainless steel.

Just before she enters the main shop Gwen takes off her flour-coated red apron to hang on the hook by the entranceway. Pushing the plastic flap that separates the kitchen from the shop she emerges into the bakery decorated with a country feel. The wall closest to her is lined with brown brick while the rest of the shop is painted in a honey color with matching wood accents.

Gwen steps up to the cash register and notices the boys aren't in their usual spot. She thinks Tabitha's bathroom break was more of a bathroom emergency for her boys, as neither of them are to be found. Gwen sighs, at least there is no one in the shop.

She was trained on Friday on the register but that was it. Gwen wanted to spend some time observing Tabitha or one of the other sales staff to get a better feel for ringing someone up but she has been too busy the past several days learning the recipes.

As Gwen bends to check to see if the display case needs to be refilled she hears the distinct sound of a bell ringing, indicating someone has opened the door. As she stands, her eyes fall on the man who has entered the shop. Her heart stops, along with her breath and she can only hear a buzzing in her ears. It's him.

His brow crinkles as his features etch in surprise. Gwen doesn't have time to walk away, nor is there anyone there to help her. She just has to face him. She watches as his look of surprise creeps into a confident smirk. He walks toward her, coming to a stop just on the other side of the counter, "Hello Gwen."

Her jaw clenches as she grounds out his name, "Steve."

After that neither of them speak for what Gwen can only describe as a week, but is more like ten or twenty seconds. His golden eyes, which at one time caused her to catch her breath but now only make her want to throw something, dart around the shop. He is visibly uncomfortable and for that, Gwen is thankful. Let him suffer, he deserves it!

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