Solace ~ h.s.

If he weren't there... I don't know what would have happened.

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48. ⪻ 48 ⪼

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“Look who I found!”

My head whips up from the sweets I’m perfecting in front of me just in time to see Edward running excitedly into the room, with Harry trailing slowly behind.

“Ah, there he is -” Edward practically bypasses me and reaches for the sweets behind me, but I’m quick enough to stop him from almost ruining everything I’ve worked so hard for. “Don’t touch!” I nearly shout, grabbing him and pushing him lightly away from the treats I’ve been slaving over for days.

Tonight’s the night of the charity ball Anne is putting on for the hospital Harry works at. I couldn’t be more nervous and uptight about everything. Just this morning I jumped down Harry’s throat for coming into my flat and trying to clean the place; to say it’s a mess would be an understatement. I’ve been so focused on baking that household duties have taken a step back.

“Sorry, buddy.” I apologize to my brother as I reach over to the discard pile, where the sweets that won’t make the cut sit. “Here, you can have one of these.” Edward takes the chocolate mini roll from my hand and eats it in under ten seconds, smiling up at me and Harry. “Is it good?”

“Really good.” He assures me, as Harry reaches into the discard pile and tries one of his own. I look to him for conformation and he simply releases and moan that’s almost too inappropriate to be sound in front of Edward.

“Love, this is delicious.” Blushing, I send a silent thank you to him before gazing back to the sweets behind me. “How’s it going, Masterchef?” Harry wonders, walking up to me and wrapping his strong arms around my waist, pulling my back to his front. He rests his chin comfortably against my shoulder as we both watch Edward look about the room.

“Brilliantly.” I answer.

It’s taken me days to prepare everything, and even with hours to go, I’m still slaving away. Somethings can’t be done too ahead of time, or they’ll go bad, so that’s what I’m working on today.

“I’m ahead of schedule by a dozen raspberry and honey pastries, but I’ve still got a long way to go.”

Just thinking about the amount of things that need to be completed by nine pm is already stressing me out. I’ve been doing this all on my own too, no staff to back me up. It wasn’t the smartest move, but I’ve been able to manage.

“Well it smells delicious in here.”

“Why thank you. See, I told you I didn’t need an assistant.”

It’s true, about two weeks ago, after returning from Scotland, Harry came over to my flat one day to find me lying sprawled out on my bedroom floor. I was fast asleep with cookbooks, recipes, and baking utensils surrounding me. Next thing, I know Harry is waking me up thinking I passed out for some reason. He told me he didn’t want me working myself into a stupor so I needed to get an assistant. But I being the stubborn woman I am, told him no.

“You were right, I was wrong.” Harry admits, though I know he hates to. I turn around in his grasp after a look to the clock and wiggle out of his hold. I can’t be wasting too much time having a good ‘ole chat. “What time am I picking you up tonight?” Once again, I’m back at my baking post.

“What are you talking about?” I wonder, confused as to why he would be picking me up. I’m staying right in this very room until dessert is served to the guests tonight; my little culinary station in one of the kitchens of the hall where the ball is being held at is where I plan on staying.

“You’re my date tonight.” Looking up and pouting at Harry, I shake my head. There’s far too much for me to accomplish today to be his date. I need the time of the charity ball, before dessert, to do the final preparations.

“I can’t go, Harry. I’m working.” Harry opens his mouth to counter what I’ve said, but I only continue. “Once everything is baked, it’s got to be stored, then plated and set out, then I’ll have to refill the dessert table with any extras after the treats are served, and so on.” I ramble, my eyes fixing down to the desserts in front of me.

I can already feel my anxiety rising through the roof at the mere thought of getting everything done in time.

“Relax, shhh.” Harry mutters, coming up behind me and massaging my shoulders to get the kinks out. “I just want to introduce you to some people tonight.”

Maybe I can take a bit of a break later, just to meet some people.

“Well, there’s no need to pick me up tonight because I’m not leaving.” I glance over my shoulder to see Harry pouting with that adorable face of his. If I weren’t so stressed and focused on baking I might have caved in to that face. “Besides, why go home when I brought my dress with me?” I say, pointing to the garment bag hanging near the corner of the kitchen.

“I’ll be able to steal you away for a bit?” Harry asks happily.

“After all the treats are plated and before they are served to the guests.”

“Deal.”

“How’s your mum doing?” I question as I go back to working, all whilst Harry hopefully keeps a close eye on Edward. Last time I saw Anne, she was checking in on me an hour ago, since then I haven’t heard or seen her.

“Running around like a crazy person trying to get everything perfect. You two have that in common, both perfectionist.”

“Annie; Annie!” Looking up from my sweets, I see Edward rushing towards the both of us. His, or rather my, tablet is in his hands but he’s no longer paying any attention to what’s on the screen. “Can I have another sweet?” Biting my lip, I shake my head and go back to work.

“I think one is enough, buddy.”

“Yeah,” Harry agrees with me, “you don’t want to be too crazy for Leigh-Anne tonight, do you?”

Obviously, Edward wasn’t going to be able to stick around tonight at the charity ball, on behalf of the no children allowed rule. Since Niall, Anne, Harry, and myself were all in attendance, we found ourselves in a bit of a predicament about what to do with Edward. Harry asked his step-sister, Leigh-Anne, if she could watch him. Thankfully, she said she could come up from London and watch him for the night.

“Your sister can still watch him tonight?”

“Yes; she’ll be at my place at six and then as long as we shall want her to stick around for.” Harry mutters, pressing a kiss to the back of my head.

“Is she nice?” Edward questions, wrapping his arms around my waist from behind. Without looking, I give him a pat on the back before directing my attention back to my work. He’s usually very nervous around new people, but not so much when they’re members of Harry’s family. He seems to get very comfortable around them shortly after meeting them.

“Leigh-Anne is the nicest.” Harry answers, and from the corner of my eye I see him kneeling before my brother.

“Nicer than you?”

“Not possible.” Harry says quickly, making Edward laugh. “I’m the nicest.”

Smiling to myself at their conversation, I turn around to move to the station where my raspberry and honey pastries are sitting and nearly run directly into Edward.

“Look out, Edward.” I warn him, growing a little frustrated in this tight working space. It’s not his fault that he was standing in my way, this kitchen is in fact very tight. I barely have room to walk on my own without running into something inanimate, now with two others in the room I feel suffocated.

“Sorry, Annie.” Edward says in a sad voice. My heart nearly cracks in two upon hearing it.

“It’s alright, buddy.” Harry says to him for me. “Let’s just let your sister work. Wish her good luck tonight.” Turning from my station for a quick second, I give Edward a tight hug, before releasing him and standing beside Harry.

“Good luck, Annie.”

“Thank you.” Harry claps his hands together and pulls me in for a kiss, earning a moan of disgust from Edward.

“And I’ll see you at six-thirty.”

“Seven.” I counter, six-thirty was way too early.

“Six forty-five.”

“Deal.”

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