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Eat Your Heart Out

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There goes the baker with his tray like always. . .” Stiles sings as he moved the pans of cookies out of the oven and onto the cooling racks, “ The same old bread and rolls to sell. . .”

Once he finishes moving the next sheets of cookies into the oven, he wipes his hands and presses play on his phone connected to the speakers. Screamo filters through the shop and Stiles is whisper screaming along to the songs. After this batch of assorted cookies, he’ll be good to go for the morning. The bread is done rising so Stiles put the loaves into the second oven. The first batches of sourdough go in first. The top two ovens fit twenty loaves and the bottom two hold twenty more.

“Sourdough, check,” Stiles sighs, “Whole wheat, check.”

He slides in the twenty loaves of whole wheat into the bottom two ovens of the double stack then goes to mix focaccia. He loves making bread and ever since he could afford to buy his beautiful new standing mixer can mix about 45 pounds of dough to make around fifty loaves of bread. Stiles loves that he just pours in the ingredients and presses a button. It’s so easy and allows him to start working on other products. Plus, there’s enough dough that he can put half of it in the fridge to be baked later so that he has plenty outgoing. Today, he’s going to make cinnamon rolls and he’s finally perfected his recipe. It’s even Scott approved.

Stiles has been baking for the past hour and he’s worked quickly and efficiently. He’s got another three hours before the shop opens at six. He had an early morning after not being able to sleep. He usually opens the shop fifteen minutes early for the early risers and morning shift and even graveyard shift workers in town who love coming to the shop. Isaac won’t be into work till five thirty and lord knows that Erica won’t be in until six fifteen.

Stiles works the kitchen quickly, his apron becoming messy with flour and stray eggs. It smells absolutely delicious in the bakery as the bread bakes and the scent of fresh baked cookies fills the shop. Stiles loves his bakery. He’s invested so much blood, sweat, and tears into his little shop and it’s paid off. He started the bakery almost three years ago after finishing culinary school in only two years and a half a year in Europe, studying in different bakeries and restaurants. He rebuilt the shop and started with only one oven, the basics of utensils and hope. The bank had barely given him enough money to remodel and build his kitchen. It took a lot of investment from his friends to get where he is. And now, three years later, he’s doing well for himself and the kitchen has never looked better. His financial advisor is even suggesting he buy the space next door to expand.

Yes, things are going well for him and his little bakery, ‘ Eat Your Heart Out’. Stiles couldn’t be happier. He moves about the kitchen, putting the coffee beans in the grinder for brewing later then begins working on all the other sweets in the shop. Muffins, scones, and croissants oh my! Stiles thinks. He laughs to himself.

“Hey boss,” Isaac walks into the kitchen and puts on his apron.

“Wow, is it after five already?” Stiles asks himself and looks around. He’s been moving around on autopilot, happily moving cookies and bread too and from the ovens and onto the racks for the last several hours while singing along. It’s so easy for Stiles to lose track of time in the bakery. His friends have often found him running extremely late, just baking in his shop. Isaac laughs and starts moving products from the cooling racks into the display case.

“Is this the new Annisokay album?” Isaac asks curiously.

“Yeah,  it’s not so bad.” Stiles shrugs.

“Your favorite band is Amity Affliction,” Isaac rolls his eyes, “You’re super biased towards anyone else.” He teases.

“Whatever,” Stiles grins.

“The cinnamon rolls look so good,” Isaac remarks.

“Perfected the recipe,” Stiles grins, “It was the icing that kept messing me up.”

“The bread’s all done for now too?” Isaac asked.

“Yeah, the dough is in the walk in,” Stiles tells him while we set a batch of cookies and a bagel in a box to take to the sheriff's station for his dad and the deputies.

“You're spoiling them,” Isaac points out.

“Oh shut it,” Stiles sticks his tongue out at him, “I'll be back in twenty to open the store. Get everything ready would ya? And if Erica does show up on time for once, she's on register today.”

Isaac nods and heads off into the back to do as asked. Stiles makes his way with the box of fresh cookies to the station. It's a small town and the walk to the station only takes five minutes. Tessa smiles at him when he walks in the door and practically tackles him for the box.

“Ah ah ah, nope, these are going straight to the coffee counter then when I'm safely ten feet away from the box you all can attack it.” He smiles at her.

He walks with a smile to the sheriff's door only to be stopped by a hulking mass of gorgeous hunk in a uniform. Derek Hale, Stiles loves the Hales. They all frequent his shop and he’s gone out to drink with Cora more than once. Laura always brings him a sandwich from his favorite Italian restaurant when she’s in the neighboring county. All the Hale’s are gorgeous and Derek is no different, although Derek has always been too brooding and stern for his taste. Not to mention the deputy is in a solid relationship with the local PI, Braeden. It was a sad day when Stiles had learned when  His eyebrows are hard set and only a little terrifying to Stiles but he just smiles at the man and does his best not to tremble under the man's perfect gaze.

“Hey, Derek! How are ya?” Stiles smiles through nervous tremors.

“I’m good, Stiles. Dropping off?” Tall, dark and handsome asks with a small growl.

“Yeah, I even brought you a cinnamon roll. Fresh from the oven.” Stiles tells him, sliding over a small bakery box with the still warm roll. The deputy seems to ease up and relax, as much as Derek finds the smiling and effervescent young man to be an ever-living ray of sunshiney pain in his ass, he can admit that he made amazing baked goods.

“Stiles!” His dad grins at him from the now open doorway to his office, “My son in trouble, Derek?”

“Not at all, sir. He’s brought more treats.” the deputy admits, stepping out of the way. He took his treat and went to go eat at his desk.

“Oh good, I was getting a little hungry.” his dad rubs his hands together eagerly and tries to snatch away the box in Stiles’s hands.

“No, you don't! You get the whole wheat bagel and nonfat cream cheese.” Stiles pulls out the bag with the bagel, “Enjoy your cinnamon roll, Deputy Hale.”

“So whatcha got for us today?” Deputy Taylor asks, coming up to inspect the bakery box and its contents.

“Assorted cookies,” Stiles says excitedly, “I've got cinnamon rolls fresh at the shop too if you guys want to come by today. They're new and if they go over well with the public today then I'll work them into the rotation.” He then moves to place the cookies on the counter and backs away quickly.

“Alright, have at it.” as soon as he's clear of the cookies, the deputies descend upon the treats eagerly.

“Alright kid, thanks for bringin’ the snacks but we’ve got a high profile case going on and the ADA is coming in today to go over the case with the vic.” His father says, gently nudging him to the door.

“We got a new ADA? A new case, huh? High profile?” Stiles asks curiously but his father makes an objecting noise.

“Don’t even start, young man. You’ve got a bakery to run.” His dad urges. The other deputies chuckle at his curiosity and happily munches on their cookies.

“Alright, alright, ol’ man.” Stiles grins mischievously, “I better get back, it's almost opening time and I've got a lot of work to do. I'll see you around.” Derek watches Stiles practically skip out of the office.

“Good job getting rid of him, Sheriff. Probably best that Peter doesn’t meet him.” Derek murmurs from his desk, “Stiles is just his type.”

“My son would never date a lawyer.” Noah chuckles dryly. Until he gets to know the new ADA, he isn’t going to have his son around, especially after what Derek’s told him. The new bad-boy hotshot lawyer had been making waves these past few years and the sheriff had heard some not too flattering details about the man’s character. Though he’s impressed by Peter Hale’s success in court and all the work he’s done in the past for their county as well as all the victims he’s defended, he’s still not sure he wants to introduce the man to his son when he knows that Stiles’ magnetism and innate innocence will draw the lawyer in right away. No, better safe than sorry.

For Stiles, opening the shop is always fun. When he walks in, he flips the sign and not even two minutes later, the graveyard shift hospital workers walk in, tired and hungry. Isaac rings them up, Erica hasn't shown up yet, and Stiles gets them their coffee. It's a well-known fact in Beacon Hills that Stiles is the nicest, kindest baker to ever live. Everyone, even the questionable people in town, loves the baker. He talks with his customers while they wait and smile at them, brightening their mornings and sends them on their way with treats so good that they keep coming back. His prices are low and that only spurs on more business. People love his shop, and they love him. It's a small town but everyone knows  Eat Your Heart Out and frequents the shop. The little sitting area fills quickly with people and customers filter in for the morning rush. People come and get their bread, the croissants, cookies, whatever their hearts desire in the mornings or to just sit in the cozy atmosphere of the shop that Stiles has been told more than once reminds them of their childhood. Stiles takes immeasurable pride in that.

Stiles loves his job, talking and laughing with his customers before they head off to work. He loves heading into the back to make more cookies throughout the morning as they quickly sell out despite him baking nearly 200 before the store even opened. People just love his cookies.

“Stiles!” Laura comes rushing into the store, hair a mess and eyes tired. She looks like she's just run a marathon. Stiles knows that she's running late for work and begins putting together her usual order.

“I got you, Laura,” Stiles laughs and hands her the food. She begins to reach into her purse but Stiles stops her, “On the house, get to work.”

She gives him the most grateful smile and rushes out of the store, practically chugging her coffee. Once the morning rush settled down around ten o'clock, he and Isaac move to the back to clean, take inventory and put in the evening batch of products. Not to mention, Stiles needs to get started on a special wedding cake order that came in just a few days ago. Breaking into the wedding business wasn’t too difficult, especially since everyone already loved his sweets, it wasn’t long before all the brides in Beacon Hills wanted their wedding cakes or cupcake towers or just about any type of sweet done by him. Isaac sets off to do inventory and they work in comfortable silence while Erica manages the front.

“What are you making now?” Isaac asked as Stiles begins to fill the cake pans.

“An old friend from school, Heather, she’s getting married and she wants me to do the cake,” Stiles tells him as he carefully pours the mix. His tongue sticks out just a little, and his concentration is centered on filling the pans and not spilling. Stiles wants to make this cake special for his longtime friend.

“You’ve been getting a lot of business for weddings recently.” Isaac points out.

“Which is great, it’s a whole new market and I get to have a lot of fun decorating. It’s a great new skill to have.” Stiles smiles brightly, “When you’re done with inventory, do you mind ordering everything? We’re exceptionally busy recently and I’ve got my eye out on some cake decorating equipment.”

“Sure, no problem, boss man.” Isaac gives him a small smile, Stiles gets back to work and places the pans in the oven. He's eager to see how they turn out and-

“Stilinski!” Stiles rolls his eyes and wipes his hand, walking out to greet Cora.

“Good morning, Cora. What can I get you today? Usual?” He asks her. Her glare could rival Derek’s.

“Don't give me that crap! You know you were supposed to let me pay you for all those cookies for the kids.” She scolds him.

“And I told you that I was happy to make those cookies for free!” Stiles argues. Cora is a special ed teacher at the elementary school down the street. She's only in class with them four days out of the week and today's her day off. She chose to spend that day off, yelling at the baker who made her dozens of cookies for her class party last week.

“You're going to go bankrupt if you keep giving away free treats.” She growls, “You need to let me pay you for this.”

“Cora it was only three dozen cookies.” Stiles tells her, “It's not going to break the bank.”

“Stiles, you know I really appreciate you giving me all that food and the kids love your cookies, but you need to let me pay you.” She tells him ardently putting an envelope of money on the counter.

“I can't accept.” Stiles turns his back, “Now why don't you order something huh?

“You're too stubborn,” Cora growls, “Got any chocolate chip scones left?” Stiles gives her a smile and goes to retrieve the scone.

“Why don't you use that money to buy the kids something for school?” Stiles suggests, putting the envelope back in her hand along with the warm treat.

“You're a jerk,” she tears into her scone, “A nice, pain in the ass, wonderful jerk.”

Stiles chuckles, “Why don't you take a seat. I'll eat breakfast with you.” She begrudgingly takes a seat and munches on her food. Stiles smiles at Erica and snatches a croissant from the display and a cup of coffee then sits with Cora.

“So I went to the station this morning and Derek told me about the new ADA, did you hear anything about that?” Stiles asks curiously.

“My uncle, actually. He’s this big shot in LA and took the job as ADA for Beacon County. He’s hoping to be the District Attorney at some point in the near future.” She told him, her eyes squinting at him as her brain works, “Why?”

“No reason other than your brother and my father practically throwing me out of the station at the mere mention of him. You couldn’t possibly know why they would act like that, would you?” Stiles asks with a suggestive smirk and a raised eyebrow. Cora stops chewing and looks at him skeptically.

“I wouldn’t know. I don’t tend to know why my brother acts the way he does.” Cora reminds him of feigning innocence.

“Because the only time that my father tries to keep information from me is when he thinks that there might be potential for danger. And I just have to think. . .what kind of danger is he trying to protect me from?” Cora chuckles at Stiles’ line of speculation knowing that no one gives Stiles credit for his intelligence and secret deviousness. How own father believes him to be the sweetest, most innocent little muffin this side of California. That’s just the way Stiles wants his father to think, she’s sure.

“My uncle isn’t dangerous in the traditional sense,” She smirks, “And he’s just your type. Which is why I’m sure that your father doesn’t want you two to meet until he gets the full read on him.”

“My father loves to play matchmaker.” Stiles rolls his eyes fondly, “I’ll let him have his fun. For now.”

“Sounds like a plan. Uncle Peter is extremely ambitious, he’s a shark that not many people see coming. If you ever do meet him, I think he’ll finally meet his match.” She says in finality.

“Cora, you are the best, my dear,” Stiles says as he lifts his coffee cup to toast to his friend.

“I know that already. Where would you be without me?” She asks with a smile.

“Sad and alone,” Stiles laughs, “Now get out of here, it’s your day off. Go live a little.”

“Stiles, you deserve the best!” She says earnestly as she gets to her feet. She gives him a tight hug and strolls out of the shop. He shakes his head fondly at the retreating girl knowing that she’s the best informant he’ll ever get. Stiles returns to his little office in the back, he passes Erica along the way and smiles. She’s busy on her computer while the rush has died down, her current chemistry class is kicking her ass but she’s studying hard and he won’t yell at her for that. She works all day long here at the office to keep her and her boyfriend, Boyd, afloat. He doesn’t mind her doing homework.

Stiles spends time in his office managing the business and when he finds that all the tasks are finished for the time being, he goes back to putting the wedding cake together. It’s calming business, Stiles always manages to lose himself in his baking. Though he’s been in business for several years now, baking has never gotten old for him. It’s what he loves doing and when you do what you love, it's never work. By the time Isaac gets back, he laughs at Stiles’ appearance.

“What?” Stiles chuckles.

“You’ve got dried frosting in your scalp.” He chuckles, pointing to where Stiles had probably wiped the sweat with the back of his hand at some point.

“Oh,” Stiles laughs. He pulls off his glove and scratches at the dried frosting over the sink, watching it flake off into the steel basin, “I tend to get icing or frosting everywhere, no matter how clean I try to be, I just can’t seem to keep it together.”

“It’s endearing,” Isaac says consolingly. Stiles shrugs and looks up at the clock, seeing that it’s almost time for the lunch rush, he begins to bustle around the kitchen.

“Isaac, could you refill the display cases with Erica and get the rest of the baking of the dough? It’s time to start prepping for the after-school rush.” Stiles tells his employee.

“Let’s do this,” Isaac tells him, showing the baker out of the shop.

The three of them work quickly to put out the new pastries, ready for when all the kids and tired parents walk into the shop. Stiles restocks the bread bins with delicious smelling bread while Erica and Isaac attend to the cases. They make quick work of it but Stiles feels out of breath.

“Maybe you should consider bringing on another employee?” Isaac suggests, “You’ve got a lot going on and if you want to be more involved in the wedding business, you should spend more time in the back.”

“I know you’re right, but I wouldn’t even know where to begin.” Stiles sighs tiredly, “I guess I could just hire on a part-time employee. I hate that you two have to clean while you work. . .it’s a lot of tasks for both of you to take on.”

“Why not hire weekend part-timer and a weekday part-timer? They could be students. High schoolers would kill to have this job.” Erica points out while munching on a raspberry scone. Stiles nods thoughtfully.

“I’ll think about it.” Stiles tells them. They work the lunch rush and time flies so fast that before anyone knows it, it’s near closing time. Stiles is putting all the day olds in boxes to take them to the homeless shelter in town before he heads home for the night when the little bell above the door chimes. He had sent Erica and Isaac home almost twenty minutes ago. He looks at the clock and sees that the time is 5:24 P.M. Just six minutes until closing. The rest of the patrons had been long gone and the place cleaned long ago.

“Is anyone here? I’m sorry to intrude right before closing but-” A deep voice calls from the front of the shop. Stiles wipes his hands on his apron before hurrying to the front. His feet hurt and he’s exhausted but there’s still one more customer.

“It’s not a problem, I’ll be with you in a moment,” Stiles calls back from the kitchen. He’s cleaning his hands of stubborn icing, “What can I get you, sir?” He looks up at the customer and it feels as if the wind has been knocked out of him. The man standing before him is hands down the most attractive man he’s ever seen. Stiles scrambles to form a thought and the customer seems to straighten just a little more. The expensive suit he’s wearing is so fitting that Stiles has to really stop himself from scanning the man from head to toe. He’s holding a briefcase and jacket in one hand and holy hell, Stiles thinks, the sleeves of his crisp, white button-up shirt are rolled up to the forearms and Stiles thinks he might be salivating.

“I was at the sheriff’s station earlier and one of the deputies there had the most delicious smelling cinnamon rolls and I’ve been craving one all day.” The man explains. A charming smile breaks out on the man’s face as he assesses Stiles’ wide doe eyes and slightly open mouth. “I was hoping you might have some left over.” Stiles nods almost numbly, trying not to stare anywhere but those piercing blue eyes.

“Actually, I have one left, it’s a bit old but I’ll imagine it’ll taste just as good.” Stiles murmurs, a light blush starting to color his cheeks making the man smile even wider. The glint in those baby blues gives Stiles the inclination that he’s inclined to mischief.

“Wonderful,” The customer says, “I was afraid I’d be too late.”

“You just made it, let me go get it for you,” Stiles turns quickly and retreats back into the kitchen. Once behind the wall to the kitchen, his jaw drops and his whole body shakes. He mouths oh my God and tries to reign himself in. He absolutely did not do a short happy dance. He reaches for the box he had just packed with the last cinnamon roll and assortment of sugary goodies to give to the man that he swears was carved from marble.

“Here you go,” Stiles says, returning with the pink box in his hands and hands it over to the man. The blue-eyed beauty opens his mouth to say something but Stiles shakes his head quickly, “I take it you’ve never been into my shop before?”

“First time,” The man admits almost sheepishly.

“Then it’s on the house, a sample box if you will.” Stiles shrugs nonchalantly.

“That’s not-”

“They’re day olds anyways, I was going to take them to the homeless shelter in town so it’s no big deal. If you like the treats then I know I’ll be seeing you again.” Stiles gives him his most charming smile, but after a long day in the kitchen, he’s sure he doesn’t look like a ray of sunshine or smell like a bouquet of roses.

“Thank you,” The man gives up quickly and exchanges the goodies for a smile, “I’m sure I’ll be in again soon. Have a good evening Mr. . .”

“Stiles, you can call me Stiles. Mr. is my father.” Stiles almost cringes at his own job but the small chuckle he gets from the mystery man is all he needs.

“Thank you, Stiles. I hope to be seeing you soon.” The man’s voice drawls ever so slightly and Stiles feels like he’s hanging on to his every syllable. He gives a meek wave as the man retreats and when the door finally clicks closed, he stares at it for another few minutes thinking about the man’s blue eyes and chiseled features. He feels hot all over and then cold when he realizes he never caught the man’s name.

“Nice one, Stilinski. Nice.” He sighs, shakes his head and goes to flip the sign on the door to closed. It’s the end of the day and Stiles is 100% sure he’s going to be thinking about the mystery man all night long, and if he sees those piercing blue eyes in his dreams. . .well, that’s just a bonus.