Annie stumbles across We Like the Cake a month into her freshman year of college. It's just off campus, a pale yellow building tucked away at the end of the street, and she wouldn't even have noticed it if she weren't exploring, specifically searching out the best things this new city has to offer.
Inside, it's light and airy and there's a band Annie likes playing softly in the background. She grins, can't help it, and approaches the dark-haired girl behind the counter. The nametag on her fitted cream shirt says Laena; Annie thinks it suits her, soft and quirky and pretty.
"Hi," she says, shyly. The girl, Laena, glances up, flashing her a smile. "Can I have-"
"Wait," Laena says, narrowing her eyes. "You want... the hazelnut brownies with marbled chocolate glaze." Laena nods, satisfied, and Annie raises her eyebrows. "Trust me," Laena laughs, "I'm good at guessing these things."
"What if I were allergic to nuts?" Annie asks, but she's more curious than anything else.
"Are you?" Annie shakes her head. "Well then," Laena says, satisfied. "You've got nothing to lose. Just try it, okay? And if you don't like it I'll get you something you do want, on the house. Deal?"
Annie just shrugs, figuring she's really not in a position to turn down free baked goods, delicious or otherwise, and Laena hands her the brownie. Annie's probably imagining things, but it feels like Laena's fingers linger for a second too long before she lets go. Clearing her throat, Annie holds it up, inspecting it closely.
"It looks very nice," Annie comments, but her dubiety must be obvious because Laena chuckles.
"It's not going to bite you," she says gently, biting her lip. "Just try it. Please? Pretty please with icing on top?"
"Okay," Annie says, reluctant, and takes the smallest bite she thinks she can get away with, holding it in her mouth for a second before swallowing. Her eyes promptly go wide. "Oh," she breathes, "oh that is gorgeous."
"Told you," Laena says, grinning as Annie does her best to not just stuff the rest of it down her throat.
"Three more of those," Annie says, when she swallows the last of it as gracefully as she can manage. "How much is that?"
"Nothing," Laena says cheerfully, "they're on me," and she shakes her head when Annie starts to protest. "No, I insist. Although, you should feel free to buy me coffee later to make up for it."
Annie just gapes at her.
"...or not," Laena says, seeming to deflate a little. "Sorry, I- I shouldn't have-"
"No," Annie says quickly. "I mean yes! Yes, yeah, that'd be- I'd love to."
Laena's face lights up with this blinding grin which makes Annie's chest feel swoopy and ridiculous. "Great," she says, handing over a pastel blue paper bag with what looks like a hand-drawn brownie on the front. Annie doesn't think she's imagining the way her hand lingers, this time. "I get off at two."
Annie barely glances at the clock. "I can wait," she says, and grins.