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Zari gets an email in the lazy hours of the afternoon that reads, “Your order is ready from Sweet Victory.” And this is surprising to her, mostly because she’s at Sweet Victory enough to know if she’d placed an order there, and she hasn’t. She and Amaya have yet to exchange contact information, something Zari is hyper aware of, given that she’s considered just calling the bakery itself to see if she can ask Amaya how her day’s going.

She hasn’t. Yet.

And that’s especially odd, given that Amaya is exceedingly precise, to the way she folds those white paper boxes to the way she cuts a cake. So a mistake from Amaya doesn’t seem possible. On the other hand, that would mean that Amaya not only remembers the name of Zari’s strange and convoluted startup, but that she’d checked their online directory for Zari’s email. And then made up an order, just to get Zari’s attention.

Zari getting up the confidence to call the bakery is more likely. Which is to say, almost completely impossible. It must be an error. zari@bighackproducts.com could be an easy email to mistype.

She quickly sends back, “Think you mistyped the email. Haven’t placed an order, but thanks!” She then types out, “Love, Zari.” Which is desperate. She tries, “Sincerely, Zari.” No. “Warm regards, Zari.” She lingers on that one for a moment before just deciding on, “Best, Z.”

Amaya responds mere minutes later, with, “No error. Come pick up your order today, please! Warmest Regards, Amaya.” So maybe “warm regards” was cool now, though Amaya did have something pointedly old fashioned about her. Which in truth, only made Zari fixate on her more. Amaya could be almost jarringly formal but unmistakably kind, the kind of awkward that meshed just right with Zari’s own sardonic, terribly unfunny brand. 

Zari writes back, “Okay. Be there around five.”

Amaya says, “We close at five on the dot, so knock on the door if you’re late and I’ll let you in. I’ll be in the back.”

 

 

The idea of having a tight schedule is entirely foreign to Zari, though she knows when she arrives at 5:06PM that the door to Sweet Victory will be locked. It gives her a moment of pause, catching her reflection in the glass with the name logo so carefully placed on door. The little pie slice drawing is exactly where Zari’s head would be, so she can see her jeans and her olive drab jacket and the two straps of her black backpack slung over her shoulders and then- A piece of pie.

It’s an unflinchingly accurate look at herself, really.

She always thinks maybe she should dress a little nicer when she goes to see Amaya, which really translates to just wearing all black, but still. Even though Amaya’s usually in jeans and a brightly colored v neck tee shirt, or sometimes a tank top with a little line of buttons coming down from the color. She’s always got an apron to match her shirt, something with flowers or polka dots or pictures of bread, her hair pulled back.

There’s just something about her, regardless of what she’s wearing, that makes Zari want to look nice for her, nicer than just the clothes she throws on most of the time.

She raps her knuckles on the glass door, and waits.

It’s hard to see in the bakery with the lights out, save from the glow she can make out from the doorway behind the counter. She can’t see anything past that, and knocks again, more firmly this time.

Amaya’s silhouette appears in the light, momentarily bigger than her tiny frame as she walks past what must be a distant light. She steps around the corner with the practiced grace of someone who knows the space inside and out. It’s not so dark outside that the place is entirely impossible to see your way around the bakery, but the light’s getting dimmer every evening as they grow closer to fall.

She becomes fully visible, tangible, in front of the door, keys dangling out of her pocket. The whites of her eyes are brilliant, cherry, mirrored by her teeth as she smiles. “You’re here!” she says, voice muffled by the door, and leans down to get the bottom lock. She clicks the second one moments later, throwing the door inward and letting Zari come inside.

She greets Zari with a short, sweet hug, mostly just one arm quickly wrapped around Zari’s shoulders, but they’ve never actually hugged before. Come to think of it, she’s never interacted with Amaya when she wasn’t behind the counter.

“Yeah, I’m uh-“ Zari goes to hug her back just a little too late, and ends up quickly squeezing Amaya’s waist with her arm and then letting her go. “I had an order, didn’t I?”

It’s warmer in the front of the bakery than it usually is, the AC turned off for the evening. And it always smells good in here, but right now it seems even better. It’s doughier and more potent, inviting as anything could ever be.

“It’s in the back,” Amaya says. “Just wait, I’ll bring it out.”

“Actually,” Zari says, still wondering if she should’ve held Amaya a little tighter, longer. “I could come in the back with you. Save you the trip.”

“It’s no trouble, really,“ Amaya says. “I’ll just be a moment-“

“I’ve never seen the back of a bakery,” Zari says, too quickly and too earnest. “I mean, I’ve been to enough of them that I should really see the- The heart of one, you know?”

“Oh, wow,” Amaya says. “That’s such a beautiful way to put it.”

Zari offers her a smile that definitely has no hints of embarrassment in it, and everything she’s ever said has been clever on purpose, and she is very charming.

None of that is true, and yet Amaya still takes her by the hand and pulls her behind the counter, into the illuminated doorway.

The smell grows stronger and more enticing, and Zari can’t help but feel like she’s being pulled into some kind of strange and beautiful pocket dimension, where she and Amaya are like friends, or something.

Zari is taken aback, if anything, by the sudden rush of warmth that rushes down the hall to greet her. And that surprise is joined immediately by just how small the space is, like everything is built on top of each other. Amaya has one long table taking up most of the room, already laid out with flour and bowls in preparation.

“Hold on,” Amaya says, sidestepping the table and finding herself in front of a giant, ancient-looking fridge. “I made it this morning so it’s had plenty of time to set, I hope you don’t mind that it’s not fresh out of the oven but-“ She returns with a medium sized white box. “Here.”

Zari looks at her, and looks at the box, and looks at the fridge and then back at Amaya. Then she points to herself. “You made me something?”

“Well-“ Amaya says, and Zari takes the box before she can overthink it further, setting it down on the long table with a sudden and overwhelming urge to peek inside. “I know we had that talk about pie, how you can’t eat the ones in the display case because of the lard in the crust and I felt so bad, you just seemed so crestfallen, so-“

Zari studies the contents inside. The perfect lattice top and cinnamon colored insides. “You baked me a whole pie.”

“It’s an all-butter crust instead,” Amaya says. “I tested a couple just to see what I liked best but- It’s all yours!”

Zari looks up at Amaya, standing by her side, looking right at Zari and not at the entire pie she made. “Amaya- This- This must’ve been so much work, and-“

“Oh, I can make a pie in my sleep,” Amaya says. “It’s pear. Well, it’s pear with some chopped up hazelnuts, I know you’ve had nuts before in my pastries so I didn’t think there would be an allergy but oh my gosh are you-“

“No, no,” Zari protests. “I love nuts.” She draws her lips into a line. “You,” she corrects. That’s worse. “Your nuts.” She’s going to die.

“That’s good,” Amaya says, beaming. “I really do hope you like it.”

Zari’s brain is stuck somewhere between raw me and marry me, and somehow in her infinite skill she asks, “Do you want to come over?”

Amaya tilts her head. “What?”

“I mean, do you want to uh, come to my apartment and share this pie with me?” Zari says. “Like, now? There’s so much of it.” And it’s kind of comical, that she’s pretending she couldn’t eat that whole entire pie in one sitting, probably in like, thirty minutes. But if Amaya’s going to be sweet and soft and so damn beautiful literally all of the time then maybe, just maybe, Zari could get her shit together for two or three seconds.

“I- I-“ Amaya says, and her gaze shifts, she’s actually shy about this, actually bashful, like maybe Zari took this entirely the wrong way and this is the last pie she’ll ever have. Ever. “I have to make the dough for the scones, but-“ Amaya nips at her lower lip, finally meeting Zari’s eyes again. “You could stay while I do it. I’ll teach you and then we could go to-“

“Yeah, my place,” Zari says, trying to remember if she’d at least put all of her underwear in the hamper as of late. History does not point to yes. “I’ll uh, get you a car back to your place later I know you’ve got to be up early and stuff-“

“Oh, yes,” Amaya says. “That should be- Good.”

“Okay,” Zari says. “Perfect.”

Amaya gives her a tiny, cute nod. “Perfect,” she repeats.

“So,” Zari says, resting her hand on the table and trying with all her might to have some semblance of chill. “How do you… make scones?”

“Oh!” Amaya says brightly, like she’s just remembered the subject at hand. “Let me show you.”

 

 

Amaya gingerly closes the white box, moving it to the far corner of the table. “Which are your favorite?”

“Oh, uh,” Zari says, and she notices that Amaya hasn’t started the routine yet. The flour remains unopened, the bowls still fresh and clean, and really it would make no sense for Amaya to be waiting on Zari to tell her what scones to make for tomorrow. Not after she’d already baked a perfectly good pie. That would be. Absurd. “I really like the cranberry walnut ones. I don’t know if that’s like, super unsophisticated or-“

“That’s perfect,” Amaya says, her smile kind of fond. “It’s just what I wanted to make.”

“Are you just saying that?” Zari asks. “Because I like all kinds of scones, really. I like lemon blueberry, and I like the pumpkin ones, and I like the like, plain ones? I don’t know what that is, if it’s like, vanilla, or something?”

“Just cream,” Amaya says, and now she’s measuring the flour, hands so used to the task that she doesn’t even need to look. “And sugar.”

“Right,” Zari says. “I like those, too.”

“Then I guess you’ll have to keep coming in for breakfast,” Amaya says. “Have the whole scone assortment.”

Zari would respond, but she finds herself quietly mesmerized by the fluidity of Amaya’s motions, the neatness and precision with which she performs each step. When she needs walnuts, she knows where they are. When she smashes them into pieces, she does so with such tidiness that Zari thinks it almost like magic.

“Here,” Amaya says, breaking Zari out of her spell. She’s passing a box of clear gloves, procured quickly from under the table. “Do you mind?”

“No I-“ Zari follows her request, pulling a glove onto each hand and bending her fingers to watch the plastic tighten around her knuckles. “Why?”

“Come stand next to me,” Amaya says, cutting butter into pats. “I sometimes use the machine but other times-“ She looks up to Zari, still standing there, puzzled, idiotic, out of place. “You just want to put your hands into it and feel it, you know?”

“Yes,” Zari says, mostly to Amaya’s face and the content, intense expression she wears. She’s not actually sure what Amaya just told her.

The corners of Amaya’s mouth begin to twitch, added to the crinkles by her eyes. Something is very funny to her, and Zari wishes she could be in on it. “What?”

“You’re…” Amaya nips on her lower lip. “You’re cute. Did I ask you to stand next to me, or was it that thing where I only talk in my head again?”

“No, you-“ Zari rounds the corner of the table, all too aware of how clumsily she takes up space. “You did, I was just distracted.”

“By what?” Amaya asks.

“Um, food.” Zari says. She keeps a distance between her body and Amaya’s, for fear that Amaya might be able to feel her radiating an uncomfortable and all too present heat. “So what are we doing?”

“Come closer,” Amaya says. “I was hoping you could help me mix the butter in.”

Zari moves another couple of inches.

Amaya tilts her head. “I don’t bite, Zari.”

“I’m- I’m sorry,” Zari says, closing the distance between them, her hip awkwardly brushing Amaya’s. “Do I just.. stick my hands in there?”

“Actually?” Amaya says, and proceeds to do just that. “Yes.”

“Oh,” Zari says, and does so much less confidently, finding there’s just enough space in the bowl for her hands to keep their distance.

“You have to grab everything in handfuls,” Amaya says. “And then you just smoosh it all together.”

“Wow,” Zari says, watching Amaya repeat the motion. “You have really… strong hands.”

“It’s a lot of practice,” Amaya says. “I don’t do it as often, now that I’ve got all my machines, but-“

“So why do it now?” Zari says, her own fingers listlessly raking through flower, pitifully trying to mimic some ghost of Amaya’s motions.

“Here,” Amaya says, taking Zari’s by the elbow and tucking herself under Zari’s arm. Zari can’t even fault the bit of dough on her coat that’s left behind. Amaya is herself kind of flour and cinnamon scented. She bends forward just slightly, and she brushes just the crook of Zari’s thigh through their jeans. She puts her hands over Zari’s own, slender in stature but insistent in touch. “Like this.”

She folds her fingers and Zari moves with her, taking fistfuls of flour and butter and squeezing them into crumbs. Amaya has warm hands, felt through the thin plastic of her gloves, guiding Zari with the utmost care. Her fingers curl up along Zari’s own before she repeats the motion, waves beating rhythmically in a metal bowl.

Zari moves forward, finding her chin just finding the crook of Amaya’s neck, just resting on her shoulder. Her cheek brushes Amaya’s hair. She would be overwhelmed by the idea of Amaya in her arms, settling against her. She makes a small noise of contentment without meaning to, eyes shooting open in panic.

“Hm?” Amaya asks.

“Oh, uh, nothing,” Zari says. “This is- It’s easy to drift off, is all.”

Amaya doesn’t let up on her hands, the pattern of her touch ditching the path of Zari’s thoughts, lights in her brain going off when Amaya bends their fingers together. Then they just slightly relax, as Zari presses the crumbs against her palms. The motion repeats and the lights go off again.

“I’m thinking about-“ Zari realizes she’s talking softly, closely to Amaya’s ear. “I’m thinking about you.”

“Oh?” Amaya asks. “What about me?”

“You’re really-“ And Zari has to turn her head away, resist the urge to press her lips against the line of Amaya’s jaw, her perfect visage looming in Zari’s vision. “It’s all so natural to you.”

“It takes practice,” Amaya says. “Everything does.”

She lifts her hands, but doesn’t move out of Zari’s embrace. She’s practically sitting on the table when she turns around. She rests the palms of her hands on the table’s surface. They’re so close, just inches from being flush against each other. Zari can make out the exact curves of her cheekbones. The way that she catches the light in her big, round eyes.

Zari notes that Amaya has tucked her hand under Zari’s chin. That she closes the space without needing to wonder if she should, knowing with utmost certainty that when she kisses Zari, Zari will whine into her mouth. Desperate, needy, her hands still in gloves and taking Amaya’s hips, pulling her closer as Zari kisses back.

Amaya has a spectacular and earned confidence, a sense of certainty to everything she does. Zari feels willfully guided by Amaya’s kiss, told by her lips just how to move her own mouth, how much pressure to use, how their breathing starts to sync up as she listens to the way Amaya sighs against her.

She is so desperate, so ready for Amaya’s affection. When their hips bump, Zari pretends it doesn’t make her long for an immediate more, that the intensity of their kiss isn’t making her squeeze her thighs together.

“Let me,” Amaya says, gasping out as Zari gives in and kisses her neck. Once, twice, laying a trail of touch across her throat. “Oh, Zari, I- I-“ She nibbles her lip and tosses her head back. “My scones,” she whines, taking Zari’s hand off her hip and pulling it to her chest. “I need to just finish my scones, please-“

Zari squeezes Amaya’s breast through her shirt. “You don’t wear a bra?” she murmurs.

“Not today,” Amaya says. She can’t seem to quite lock down the rise and fall of her hips every couple of seconds. Like she wants to rub herself against Zari’s leg and remembers she shouldn’t but wants to so badly.

Zari flicks at her nipple under her shirt, moving her left leg forward in invitation.

“Not here,” Amaya says, but there’s relief in her tone as she spreads her legs and writhes against Zari’s hip. Zari watches her countenance betray her by the small dots of sweat on her brow, by how she seems to fall into Zari, into letting herself be held. “It’s my kitchen,” she says. “It’s not clean-“

“Oh,” Zari says, like she’s still not thumbing Amaya’s nipple in small, tight circles, like she doesn’t feel Amaya’s little whimpers like touches between her legs. “Yeah there’s- You make food in here.”

“Uh huh,” Amaya says.

“So that would mean we shouldn’t-“

Amaya kisses her again. “I’ll- I-“

Watching her composure flicker on and off is driving Zari out of her mind, like into space, probably, but she knows what Amaya meant. “Let’s uh- Not break any health codes?”

Amaya nods, though it takes a moment for her to stop herself from eagerly humping Zari’s leg. “Yes that would be- Bad.”

“But this isn’t, right?” Zari asks. “Bad?”

“Well, not so far,” Amaya says, putting her own hand against her chest, like she’s trying to still her own heartbeat. “But you haven’t really made a proper woman of me, yet.”

“I’m sorry, are you courting me?” Zari asks.

“You’ll find I can be very old fashioned,” Amaya teases.

Zari presses her tongue against the back of her teeth. “Oh?”

“Just,” And she finally shoos Zari off of her. “Let me finish my scones. They need to chill overnight.”

Zari herself could do with some time in a walk in freezer, but instead decides it best to stand back and let Amaya resume her work. “Sure,” Zari says.

“Did you like it?” Amaya asks.

“There’s really nothing I want to do than keep it going,” Zari replies.

Amaya is quiet for a moment, adding cream to make batter. “Good,” she says, decidedly. “Then you have two things to look forward to.”

Zari tilts her head. “Two?” She blinks. “Amaya,” she says, almost pained. “You nearly made me forget about pie.

“Well don’t,” Amaya says, and there’s that amusement again. “I worked hard on it.”

Zari would say something about repaying the favor, but that would feel kind of cheesy. And Amaya still doesn’t know just how uncool she is, not yet, and why spoil that now? “I-“ She presses her lips together. Takes great pains to pull them apart. She can’t think of anything decidedly cool to say, anything smooth or coy or just, like, something that would make her seem like a regular person. “I love pie.”

“Okay,” Amaya says, kind of tilting her head like she’s a little concerned. “I’m glad.” The awkward silence that settles between them asks, should we be making out, still? Amaya nods her head. “I’m gonna go get my coat.”

Zari realizes with an astounding certainty that there is no way she can take Amaya on the bus. Not that there’s anything wrong with the bus, but there certainly isn’t anything right with the bus, either. And Zari doesn’t need the most significant connection of her whole, entire life, right now and possibly in the future, messed up by someone blasting their entry level death metal on the uptown bus.

“I’m sorry, I’m sorry, I’m sorry,” she whispers, mostly to her wallet, as she opens the seldom-used cab app on her phone and schedules a pickup. “Amaya? Pickup’s in three minutes.”

“You called a car?” Amaya asks, slinging her bag over her shoulder. “That’s so fancy.”

“You know, tech jobs,” Zari lies. “Always… paying.”

“Are they?” Amaya asks.

“N- No,” Zari says. “But I want to- Protect the pie.”

“I can always Venmo you half the ride, if you want,” Amaya says. She picks up that familiar white box and places it squarely in Zari’s grasp. It feels kind of like holding excalibur, but better, because it’s pie.

“Don’t!” Zari says. “I mean- It’s- You know, you shouldn’t have to pay on our… thing.”

“Our thing?” Amaya says.

“Our hangout,” Zari says. “I’m the one who invited you over.”

Amaya grins at her, lopsided in the way all mischievous things should be, catching Zari directly in its sights. “Okay.”

“Yeah,” Zari says. “It’s all cool.”

“Zari,” Amaya says, kindly.

“Hm?” Zari says, considering the weight of the box in her hands.

“I think our car is here.”

Zari remembers, with a sudden and desperate chill, that her apartment is kind of a wreck.

 

 

“Just-” Zari lets Amaya take the box back as she digs in her jacket pocket for her keys. “I just need to uh, do a sweep of the place before you… Make sure it just looks… One sec!”

It’s the best possible impression she could make, squeezing into her own apartment and trying not to slam the door in Amaya’s face.

She has literally, literally, like thirty seconds to make this place look habitable.

She does what any reasonable person would do. She takes all the dirty dishes in her sink and throws them right into the garbage. Then she grabs everything thats on the floor, throws it into the hall closet, and shuts the door.

“Okay!” Zari announces, letting Amaya in. “Come in! Can I get you anything? Do you drink tea?”

“Tea would be nice,” Amaya says. “Can I put my coat-“ Her eyes catch the hall closet. “Just one second-“

“Oh, no!” Zari gestures as Amaya turns to look at her. “The closet- Floods.”

“Have you told your super?” Amaya asks.

“Sure have,” Zari says. “You know how it is.”

Amaya gives a kind of giggle, a small smile that tells Zari she doesn’t entirely believe her, but also doesn’t seem to mind. “Should I cut you a piece of pie as you get the tea on?”

“Yes,” Zari says. “I hope you… Like my place. You can make yourself comfortable!”

Amaya seems fine enough without the invitation, announcing herself by placing the pie box on the counter island. She stands there for a moment, waiting for Zari to reach up and grab two mugs from her shelves. “Oh,” Amaya says, looking at the TARDIS mug that Zari hadn’t meant to grab. “You like the phone booth show!”

Zari tries to think of any possible way to explain herself. “I sure… do,” she says. “You uh- Know it?”

“Oh, not really,” Amaya says, and honestly, Zari will give it up if she asks, she’s that desperate for this woman standing at her kitchen counter right now. She’ll throw the mug right out the window. “But I’m glad you enjoy it!”

The mug stays. But it’s on thin ice.

“Thanks?” Zari offers.

She watches Amaya’s lips curl into a smile. She rounds the other side of the counter, making herself clear and present in Zari’s space. She tucks a stray hair behind Zari’s ear. “You’re cute.”

By some miracle, possibly divine intervention, Zari manages to remain a solid human being. She figured she’d not melt into a puddle right then and there.

She can’t say the same for her insides, which now feel impossibly warm and gooey. The next time she goes to the doctor, they’ll probably be concerned. “Am I?” she asks.

“Yeah,” Amaya says, trailing her fingers down Zari’s cheek, tucking them under her chin. She looks at Zari’s lips, her face just a breath away. She doesn’t move any farther forward, but seems to have no interest in stepping back.

“Amaya?” Zari whispers. “Do I have something on my face?”

“No,” Amaya says. “I just wanted to be close to you.”

Amaya kisses her with an easy and graceful confidence. Zari finds herself pressed against her countertop, held fast by Amaya and the intent with which she kisses.

Amaya pulls back, leaving Zari to take a couple deep breaths, her fingers white-knuckling her countertop. “Oh,” Zari says.

Amaya taps Zari under the chin, and then withdraws her hand. “What?”

“You’re just-“ Zari gives Amaya a look. “Into me. Like, for real.”

Amaya giggles at that. “Would I come over if I wasn’t?”

“I mean, I don’t know,” Zari says. “Maybe you just felt bad for me?”

“I don’t feel bad for you,” Amaya says. “I think you’re pretty cool.”

“Me?” Zari says. “Cool?”

“Yeah,” Amaya says. “You’re so funny. You’ve got this weird tech job. You’re cool.”

Zari takes a beat to try and figure just how long she can make this illusion of coolness last. If she wants to stay cool, she probably shouldn’t say anything to Amaya ever again. Lest she ruin her own cool factor with her actual personality. “You’re like, the most prettiest person I’ve ever met.”

It lasted as long as it could’ve.

Amaya leans in again, just to tease. “Do you have a cake cutter?”

“I-“ Zari looks at her, being swallowed up by her gaze. “I- No?”

“Too bad,” Amaya says, standing up straight again. “A knife should be fine, but it won’t be as pretty.”

“Yeah, it’s-“ Zari takes a step forward, opening the drawer she’d been blocking. “I-“ She reaches in behind herself, fiddling with her cutlery. She pokes her fingers once, twice, and decides it’s best to turn around. “Let me just get-“

Amaya sidles up behind her, snaking her arm under Zari’s own. “Here,” she says, grabbing a sharpish knife and a fork. “This should be fine.”

“Oh, good,” Zari says. “Because I’d eat pie with my hands, really, but-“

“Well, not this time,” Amaya says, taking the pie out of the box. “Come here. You won’t even need your hands.”

“I’m gonna…” Zari tilts her head. “I’m gonna eat it like, contest-style?”

“No, silly,” Amaya says. She opts to take a small piece of pie from the crust, holding it up with her fork. “Let me feed you.”

“That’s so much nicer,” Zari says.

“I would think so,” Amaya teases.

It’s sort of weirdly vulnerable, eating off Amaya’s fork. Even if it’s technically. Her fork. And her apartment. Amaya just has this authority to her. This really, really sexy authority. And Zari had never really thought about sex appeal and food. She’d thought about both separately. A lot. But not like this.

It makes a perfect pie even better, somehow.

Zari licks her lips. It might be kind of uncouth. It might be more about Amaya than it is about the pie. She manages, “It’s perfect.”

Amaya breaks into the most blinding grin, lighting up parts of Zari that she didn’t even know could be this helpless and gay. “Really?”

“Yeah,” Zari says. “Really. More, please?”

“More of what?” Amaya asks.

“Seriously?” Zari says.

Amaya just bats her lashes.

She could test the waters. “Which are you more inclined to give?” Zari asks.

Amaya presents her with another bite of pie.

“Well,” Zari says. “That’s one answer.”

Amaya grins as she eats, slowly withdrawing her fork and then wiping at Zari’s lower lip with her thumb. “And here,” she says, giving Zari another quick kiss.

Zari tries to blink her shock away, wondering if she’s ever going to be sensible about being kissed, and not go all melty when Amaya kisses her.

There’s really only one thing to do.

She catches herself in the throes of Amaya’s gaze; that satisfied, cat-like way Amaya watches her. And Zari takes her wrist, pulls her in, and kisses her back.

She also pokes herself with the fork Amaya’s still holding.

“Oh,” Zari says. “Ow.”

“Hm,” Amaya says. Her lips pull against her teeth for a moment. A taste. “Are you sure you like it? It seems heavy on the cinnamon.”

“I’m sorry,” Zari says. “You got that from… my tongue?”

“Yes,” Amaya says. “Of course.”

“You’re like,” Zari tilts her head. “Kind of particular about things.”

“Of course I am,” Amaya says, and she takes a bite of pie for herself. “I’m a baker.”

“You’re really hot,” Zari says, kind of like she’s whining about it, and all Amaya does is stand there, being hot, and also being smug.

“You know,” Amaya says. “I almost invited you to my place, but you beat me to it.”

Pie for Zari. “Really?”

“Yeah,” Amaya says. “I would light some candles, get my pie plates out, and I’d sit you down and my kitchen table and feed you properly.”

“Oh,” Zari says. “You have like, a whole kitchen setup?”

“And then,” Amaya says. “I’d take you to bed and I’d tuck you in. I’d take care of you.”

“I can-“ Zari points towards her bathroom. “I have a bed-“

“And in the morning,” Amaya says. “I’d make you pancakes.”

“Holy shit,” Zari says. “I could marry you.”

Amaya tilts her head, letting one of her braids fall over her shoulder. Zari isn’t quite sure when her braids fell out of their coronet, but the pigtails are overwhelmingly cute. “I didn’t even tell you what we’d be spending the night doing.”

“You don’t have to,” Zari says. “You said you’d make me pancakes.”

“I mean, I can still make them here,” Amaya says. “So long as you have… basic baking supplies.”

“I… should,” Zari offers. “But if I don’t, let’s just say right now that we can always go to your much cooler apartment.”

“So you’re planning on a next time?” Amaya asks. “Will I have to bake another pie to get you to come over?”

“I won’t tell you no, because I’d do anything for your pie,” Zari says. “But I think I’d also do anything for you.”

“I could make cinnamon rolls,” Amaya says. “Or shortbread cookies. I could make you as many pies as you want-“

“Amaya,” Zari interrupts.

“Hm?” Amaya says.

“Could you please fuck me already?” Zari says. “You can use my shower or my bedroom or just fuck me on this counter but I need you, it’s starting to hurt-“

“You’re not hungry?” Amaya offers, saccharine in her teasing.

Please,” Zari offers.

“Since you asked,” Amaya says, and she takes Zari by the wrist. “Your bedroom is at the end of the hall?”

“Yeah,” Zari offers. “It’s kind of messy though-“

“I promise I’ll ignore it,” Amaya says, and she practically carries Zari away.

“Is the pie going to be okay?” Zari asks.

“It can sit out for a little,” Amaya says. “Don’t worry. I’ll take care of it.” She shoves the door to Zari’s bedroom inward. “And you.”

 

 

“I think I’m having a heart attack,” Zari says, letting Amaya push her onto her unmade bed. She knows Amaya isn’t crazy about that kind of set up, could read it on her face, but some people were perfect, like Amaya. And some people, like Zari, couldn’t be bothered to make their bed. “It’s like, pounding out of my chest.”

“Oh,” Amaya pauses. “Is that- Bad?”

“No,” Zari says. “I just-“

Amaya lays down on top of her, lifting Zari’s hands over her head. “Just tell me if you need me to stop.”

“Can I actually marry you?” Zari says. “Like, for real?”

Amaya gives a half smile. “Maybe,” she says, and then she’s kissing the breath out of Zari’s lungs.

She feels like her clothing is growing impossibly tight. Like it’s shrinking, trapping her in its confines. Every time she tries to move her hips in a show of desperation, of something, she is reminded of the feeling of the seam of her jeans. “Clothes,” she manages, rubbing one socked foot against the other, like that will pull them off. “I think we should-“

Amaya reaches down and deftly opens Zari’s jeans, the button and the fly no match for her quick fingers. “Pink,” she says, noting the color of Zari’s underwear.

“Yeah, uh,” Zari says, acutely aware of Amaya’s eyes on her, on her underwear. Looking at her. Taking her in. “I buy bulk packs.”

Amaya doesn’t recoil from the statement. So maybe it’s only kind of the least sexy thing she could’ve said. “Cute.”

Zari hasn’t ever thought of herself as someone who could be lusted after, not like this, not with such a blatant show of wooing. Not with courtship, with pie. Zari hadn’t needed wooing! Amaya could’ve sent her like, one text that read, “DTF?” and Zari would’ve walked to her apartment at 3AM, if that had been what it took.

Instead, Amaya is sitting just below her hips, gazing down at Zari like she’s beautiful, like she’s worth all the trouble. It’s kind of disorienting, getting lost in the sheer desire across Amaya’s face. That it’s about Zari. That it’s hers. “I’ve been thinking about you,” Amaya says.

“Uh,” Zari says, wondering if she’s going to be embarrassed when Amaya actually pulls her jeans off and sees how wet she is, wonders if it’s showing through her underwear. It’s just basic cotton, completely unprepared and undeserving of Amaya’s attention. “You do?”

“When you come in every morning,” Amaya says, her finger tracing Zari’s jaw. “And you’re always… flustered. You’ve always got something on your mind.”

“Yeah, I’m a uh- I’m a trainwreck,” Zari offers.

“No,” Amaya says, softly, almost chiding. “You’re… busy. I think about slowing you down. I think about… what you’d look like with your clothes off. I think about how I could get you alone.”

“You-“ Zari stops herself, sucks on the inside of her cheek. She’s distracted by the pertinent thrum between her legs, louder and louder with Amaya’s affection. She’s breathlessly turned on, more into this than even pie. Amaya, standing in her bakery, daydreaming about all the ways she could get Zari naked.

Imagine being in a bakery, and thinking about that. Zari’s mind would be boggled if it wasn’t so hazy with dirty thoughts.

“I think about you too,” Zari says. “I mean, all the time. Like morning until evening. I think about what I’m going to say to you every morning before I go in. I think about your smile. I think about ways I can get you to like me more, to want to be my friend-“

“I think we’re past friends,” Amaya says, entirely satisfied with herself.

“Yeah,” Zari says. She’s still got her arms above her head, where Amaya put them. Almost like moving them would be wrong. “You could say that.”

“You know what I really think about, though?” Amaya says, brushing her thumb against Zari’s lower lip. “At the end of a long day, when it’s just me, all by myself?”

“Is this going to be dirty?” Zari asks.

Amaya ignores the question, opting instead to take Zari’s shirt collar and hold it in her fist, hoisting Zari up like it’s nothing. “I wonder what you taste like.”

“Oh,” Zari says, and she’s never really had a mental orgasm, isn’t really sure how that would work, but she’s acutely aware of how it feels like she’s seeing stars, how it feels she’s trying to stimulate herself simply by being this into it. “Me?”

“You,” Amaya says, and she punctuates that sentiment by moving back, her hands taking Zari’s jeans by the waistband and impatiently pulling them down.

Zari feels herself panting, trying to catch her breath. “Because I mean, I really don’t think I’m worth all that thought and effort, you baked me a whole pie and now you’re gonna make me come and-“

“Zari,” Amaya says, far too firmly for someone planted with the utmost intent between Zari’s legs. “I wouldn’t bother if you weren’t worth the effort.”

“Me?” Zari repeats, in an even higher pitch this time, her disbelief at a crescendo. “Are you sure?

Amaya responds with a pause, taking her hands off Zari’s hips, resting back on her heels. “Are you okay? Should I stop?”

“No!” Zari protests, boosting herself up on her arms. “I mean- Please, don’t. I want this. A lot. I’m just… starstruck by you, I think.”

Amaya’s tongue darts out against her lower lip. “I like you a lot,” she says, leaning in again, spreading Zari’s willing legs. She kisses the inside of Zari’s thigh. There’s something fond in her gaze, at the way she regards the soft, short black curls peaking at her from behind a swath of pink fabric. “I want to take care of you. I want you to be mine.

Zari knows, she can tell, that there must be a visible wet spot, and it’s so embarrassing that she’d get this hot and bothered, this ready to submit, that she’d do anything Amaya wanted her to do. Anything.

The embarrassment just makes her feel impossibly hot. Adds fuel to the fire. She thinks Amaya can feel it on her, on the goosebumps that dot Zari’s legs. Amaya runs her hands up and down in a steady motion, feeling the bumps of Zari’s skin.

“God,” Amaya says, and then trails off. “You’re so-“ She closes the gap, mouthing at Zari’s pussy through her underwear. Kissing her between her legs, running her tongue over the dampness.

Zari can’t really do anything but make soft sounds of encouragement, hitching her knees higher like that will somehow coax Amaya to do more. To do it harder.

“Eager,” Amaya says, lifting her head and placing her hands comfortably on Zari’s thighs. “Do you have any toys?”

“Right now?” Zari asks.

“Well, not right now,” Amaya says. “Relax your legs.”

Zari obeys with an eager swiftness.

“Aw, thank you,” Amaya says, and casually rolls Zari’s underwear down her legs. “Could you take your shirt off for me?”

Zari almost tears it off, lifting herself briefly off the mattress to pull it over her head and fling it somewhere. Her bra follows suit.

Amaya takes a beat to stare at her breasts. Maybe several beats. Maybe she’s planning something. She manages to nip at her lip and say, “I’d really like to spend the rest of my life with you, I think.”

This is exactly how Zari likes her dirty talk. “I’d let you do whatever you want.”

Amaya giggles at that, almost like she’s a little embarrassed, too. It’s nice. It’s good to fall. “Okay,” she says, pressing Zari to the bed with the splay of her hand. “Then lay back.”

Zari’s legs move again, completely on their own. They want to let Amaya in. Her body needs her.

Amaya takes a moment to settle. To just stare at Zari fondly, first at her body and then directly at her, like she’s getting to know Zari’s pussy before she makes love to it.

Zari presses her heels intently to the mattress.

It’s so good. It’s like, insanely good. The first taste had been just a tease, something coy between her and Amaya and how wet this makes her. But when left to work, Amaya’s tongue is as talented as the rest of her, as clever and as beautiful. She creates pleasure, an soft cloud of sheer joy, with every deft swipe of her tongue.

She moves her hand, rubbing her thumb against Zari’s curls before spreading her lips wider, pressing her clit between the V of her index and middle fingers.

Zari’s clit is in love with Amaya. Zari, personally, is also in love with Amaya.

She could be a baker’s wife. That’s her dream job, actually.

Zari’s thoughts are filled with ideas of time spent with Amaya, the buzz from her pussy growing more insistent as Amaya makes her throb. She’s leaking against Amaya’s chin, she’s so messing, she’s so helpless under Amaya’s touch, completely at the mercy of her whims.

That thought makes her gush, reward Amaya’s deft licking with a show of appreciation. “Amaya,” Zari groans, kicking at the bed in her overwhelmed, hyper-sensitive state. “You’re so good, I’m going to-“

“Ah,” Amaya says, moving her mouth away, gently squeezing Zari’s clit between her fingers. Completely in charge of the situation. Completely taking care of things. “You’re sweet.”

She slides her finger in, moving her thumb to work Zari’s clit, instead.

“Oh, fuck,” Zari says, heat radiating from her chest, burning her cheeks, thrumming between her legs.

“You’re so… fuckable,” Amaya says. “I couldn’t resist you. I had to have you. I had to.”

“Hn?” Zari says.

Amaya flicks her tongue against Zari’s pussy, just for the sensation of it. She rests her head against Zari’s leg for a moment, just watching her fingers work. “You’re beautiful.”

Zari lets out a whine in response, growing more desperate.

“Fuck,” Amaya says, the filthy, perfect little baker that Zari is absolutely going to marry. She moves to suck Zari’s clit again, her fingers still fucking Zari in a steady rhythm.

Zari thinks of pie and tastes cinnamon on her tongue, of pancakes in the morning and unrelenting, wet pleasure.

And then she comes her brains out, and she can hear Amaya cooing to her.

“Let me taste you,” Zari begs, her eyes scrunched shut, finding it hard to even breathe. “Amaya, please, I need you-“

“Of course,” Amaya says. “Anything for you. Anything you want.”

Zari licks her lips.