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two teaspoons of ginger

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Bella Swanson smelled weird. It wasn't a bad smell just...sharp. Kind of floral, in the way the smell of wine might be called floral. Weird, though—that much was certain. Scott had noticed it the first day in class, when he'd ended up at the station next to her and caught a whiff of it.

She also never ate any of the food they prepared, which was fine, given that they weren't really supposed to, but they were first year culinary school students. Everyone ate the food they made in class. Weird.

She was also beautiful in a really breathtaking way that made Scott wonder if she was actually real. Or human.

She probably wasn't. Human, that is. Not fully, anyway.

"Hi, Scott," she said, hovering by his work station. "I wanted to give you this." She handed him an envelope. It was one of those expensive, fancy envelopes, made of thick paper that was nice to touch and always smelled good.

That was...a surprise, to say the least. They had chatted on occasion and worked on a couple group assignments, but their conversations had always been about school. "Thanks," he said slowly. He took the envelope from her and she smiled at him, her gaze arresting. "What is it?"

She drummed her fingers on his workstation absently. "My adoptive family doesn't...celebrate with food," she said, her voice somehow cautious. "But when I was growing up, I always made these cookies with my birth mom. I thought...someone should make them. And you're the best baker I know." This was all said with that strange intensity she often spoke with. It reminded Scott of the way Derek used to talk, before he started dating Braeden.

But—"I couldn't possibly," he started, and then stopped, when Bella frowned. "I just—it means so much to you. Surely you could—or, we could make them together, maybe?"

That seemed to surprise her. "You want me to bake with you?"

He thought about it. He didn't really know her, and he was pretty sure that she was either a vampire or a faerie, based on the weird way she talked, which could be dangerous, but he was also more sturdy than the average human, given the whole alpha werewolf thing. He doubted she posed serious risk to him, and even if she did, his intuition told him to give her a chance. "Yeah. You should come over this weekend, and we'll bake cookies."

She looked very uncertain. "I don't know..."

He scrambled for something to convince her. "My mom and I used to make fudge around Christmastime. We could make that, too."

She gave him that arresting smile again. "Okay. Yeah. I'll see you Saturday."


On Saturday, when she didn't eat anything, even after looking longingly at the cookies when Scott pulled them out of the oven, he cracked. "Okay, level with me. Vampire?"

She blinked at him. "I don't know what you're talking about."

"Seriously, it's fine. I'm a werewolf." He shifted halfway, just to prove it to her.

"No way," she said, grinning and reaching up to touch his face. "That's really cool."

It's not the worst reaction he'd had to his shifted face, so he decided he would take it equally well. "This wasn't just a ploy to get invited into my house, right?"

"That's a myth," she told him with a smile. "I also don't have fangs."

"But you do drink blood?" he guessed.

She nodded.

"So what the hell are you doing in culinary school?" He couldn't parse it—why would a vampire, who at least didn't eat human food, if she even could, go to school to learn about cooking?

She shrugged. "I always cooked for my parents—they're both shitty cooks. And I missed it, even if I don't get to eat anything any more."

That was...sad. But. "I guess I'm glad," he said slowly.

"Why?"

"We probably wouldn't have met, otherwise."

She ducked her head and then peered at him through her eyelashes. "That would have been a shame."