Wilfic -- Fiction by a Reader

As mentioned last week, I recently received a short Wilfair fic from a reader. Uhhhh, exciting! I'm thrilled.

And she's kindly letting me post it here. It can be a challenge to put yourself out there creatively, and since this is her first public toe-dip into Wilfic, she's going to sit on the sidelines for now, name-wise. That may change! I leave it to her.

Here's part one. I'll post the second and final part in a couple of days.


                                              Did It Feel Good to Mix Things Up?      
   
     “I don’t think we should, like, be here.”
     “It’s your hotel, isn’t it?”
     “Well, yes.”
     “And the kitchen is part of the hotel.”
     “Yes.”
     “So it’s your kitchen, too.”
     “Um. I guess so.”
     “Good. You’ll need to help me find everything.”
     I leaned uneasily against the countertop, chewing on the edge of my thumbnail, and watched as Gomery strode confidently to The Wilfair’s walk-in refrigerator, pulled open the stainless steel door, and disappeared inside. Despite his assurances, I couldn’t shake the fear that someone was about to catch us on our illicit midnight baking adventure and that when that happened, I was going to be in big trouble. Trouble with whom, I didn’t exactly know, but that didn’t help me feel any less nervous.
     I was so lost in my thoughts that the sound of a door opening nearly made me jump out of my skin. I looked around the kitchen in panic before realizing it was just the refrigerator. Gomery poked his head out, his glasses fogging thickly as he did so. “Fair? Could you give me a hand in here?”
     Still warily casting glances around the kitchen in case someone was hiding in a corner, waiting to catch us, I followed my partner in cookie-baking crime. “Brr. It’s cold in here. I mean, of course it’s cold. It’s, like, a refrigerator. Its purpose is to keep food cold. I just. Um. Never mind. What did you need?”
     “Butter,” Gomery replied. “I already found the eggs.” He paused. “You know, if Monty were here, he would probably make that into a joke, seeing as you, well, have eggs, of a sort, yourself.” He paused again and pushed his glasses up his nose. “Er. I kind of ran that into the ground, didn’t I?”
     I wrinkled my own nose and shrugged. “A little. It doesn’t matter. Anyway, there’s the butter.” I pointed to a shelf to the right and slightly above our heads. Gomery reached up easily and brought down a stick of butter in its waxed paper wrapper. As he handed it to me, his fingertips brushed mine. I could feel all the hairs standing up on my arms, but I didn’t know if that was from his touch or from the refrigeration. I wondered if his arm hairs were standing up as well. Then I wondered why arm hairs did that. Why did goosebumps happen? And why were they called goosebumps, anyway?
     “Uh, Fair?” Gomery prodded gently. “Do you think we should maybe go back in the kitchen where it’s warm?”
     “Oh, right. Sorry. I was just thinking about, uh, goosebumps, and I forgot where we were. Anyway...” I spun around and led the way out of the refrigerator.
     Gomery followed, carrying the carton of eggs. “Did you know, goosebumps are a vestigial structure? Like your appendix. Other mammals can fluff up their fur when they’re cold or threatened, but we humans don’t have the same thick fur that they do. Well, most of us don’t, anyway.” I remembered the man with the chest pelt I’d helped at The Redwoodian, and I could tell my current companion was remembering the same thing. He cleared his throat. “Um. In case you were wondering.”
     “Not everyone has their appendix, either,” I added.
     Gomery smiled. “That’s true. But I do.”
     “Me, too.” I set the butter on the countertop. “So. What else do we need?”
     “Let’s see. Flour. Sugar. Vanilla. Cream of tartar. Baking soda.” He held up a hand and counted off the ingredients on his fingers as he listed them. “Oh, and we’ll need a mixer, of course, and a spatula and a mixing bowl.”
     “Like that?” I asked, pointing to the large stand mixer in the corner of the kitchen.
     “Well, that will work, for sure, but I’d rather use a hand mixer, if we can find one. I think that might be easier for you to handle, seeing as it’s your first time.”
     “Hmm,” I hummed, thinking. “Between the two of us, you’re the expert here, so I want to make sure you have everything you want.”
     “Everything?” He raised one eyebrow teasingly.
     “Everything you want for baking cookies,” I clarified with an eye roll as I began to open cabinets. Together, we managed to hunt up all the ingredients and tools that Gomery had specified.
     When I looked at everything spread out before us on the countertop, I began to feel a little overwhelmed. “Are you sure this is going to work?”
     “Oh, absolutely. I’m the expert, remember?”
     “But it seems like there are so many variables. I’m going to screw it up.”
     “We’ll take it one step at a time. It’ll work out in the end, trust me.” Gomery’s voice was easy and confident.
     “All right.” I still felt unsure, but I didn’t want him to know that.
     “Now what?”
      “Now, if we were doing everything absolutely properly, we’d wait for the butter to warm up and soften on its own. But frankly, I’m feeling a little impatient tonight, and it’ll make very little difference in the final outcome anyway, so we’re going to speed things along a bit.” He strode across the kitchen to the microwave. “Just don’t tell anyone about this.”
     “If we were doing everything absolutely properly, we wouldn’t be here, in our pajamas, at” – I checked the wall clock – “nearly one o’clock in the morning.”
     “That’s true,” Gomery replied. “But I think in cases such as this one, a little impropriety doesn’t hurt.” He dumped the softened stick of butter into the mixing bowl, then picked up the mixer. As he rotated the blades to fit into their sockets, the muscles in his forearm flexed. Not entirely unlike the way they did when he turned a stubborn valve on an ancient steam boiler. I felt my head start to go damp as it often did when I thought too intently about Gomery’s forearms.      
     Focus, I reminded myself.
     I shifted my attention to watching how he held the spatula in one hand and used it to scrape the side of the bowl while he manipulated the mixer with his other hand.
     Watching his hands was, of course, only marginally less exciting than the alternative.

     To be continued... 

 

3 comments:

Caitlin #2 said...

*smiles and happy noises*

Amanda W said...

perfect!

Kelly said...

I miss the little reaction button thingys, this deserves several kinds of upvote!

 
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