The Proposal

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❤️If there's a whisk, there's a way❤️

An odd mixture of cinnamon and pepper filled the apartment as Sam walked in and locked the door behind him. His eyes locked on the counter dividing the kitchen from the living room, which was currently filled with red velvet cupcakes. There sat four pans of it and he had a feeling that she wasn't done.

Now what?

“Zee?” He left his phone in the living room and went into the kitchen to find her. “Baby?”

“Taste this.” A black spatula found its way in his face and he had to take a step back. She was sweating and her front hairs were matted against her face. Her white under blouse over the shorts had spills of whatever she was making on them.

“Heyyy, be careful with that. Is that..pepper? That's a whole lot of pepper, what are you making?” She ditched him and went back to her pot on the stove, stirring it's contents around.

“Pepper crabs. And shrimps. I'm not sure about the taste and I really want it to come out okay because I haven't had it since my dad died but I remember everything that he did so it should be okay, right? Right? And the cupcakes are because I wanted to eat some but then I mixed too much batter so I had to make them all but you don't mind, do you? I'm sorry about the mess, I'll clean everything up as soon as this starts to taste right. It's just not coming out the way I want it to and it's frustrating—”

He pulled her away from the stove and took the spatula out of her hands, hugging her close to him. “Breathe, Zelah.”

“But it'll burn” she said, her voice muffled in his shirt.

“No it won't. I won't let it or  you go up in flames.” He lowered the fire underneath the pot and leaned against the counter, still holding her. “Tell me what you're feeling.”

“Anxiety.” She whispered, holding him tight. “I missed you today.”

He pulled back a little and kissed her forehead. “I'm sorry, I'm here now. Okay? I can help with that if you want.”

“You don't think I'm crazy..? Didn't you miss me? You didn't say you missed me. Isn't it burning? I have to check if it's burning.” She looked frantically at the pot but he didn't let go of her.

“Zelah? Zelah, look at me. I miss you all the time, today was no exception. Okay? You're not crazy, you just have a lot going on, that's all. And you have it all inside you because you're not ready to talk about it.”

“I don't want to think about it” she leaned her head against his chest, still staring at the pot. He rested his chin on her head and closed his eyes. “Please don't let me go.”

“Never. You're everything to me, baby. I love you so much.”

“You love me? You really love me?”

“More than I thought was possible.”

“How much..? How much can you take before you leave me?” She put her face in his chest and held him even tighter.

“Zelah..I'm not sure leaving is possible for me anymore.”

She didn't have an answer to that so they stood there in silence. He was scared out of his mind but he couldn't afford to show her. She was depending on him to be strong for the both of them.

It was one of the hardest things he'd ever had to do.

“Can you taste it? I want to go wash my hands.” She detached herself from him and kept her head down.

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