Baking was a great passion of Selene's; however, there were just some dishes that she could never do half as well as Albert Allan. She'd tried, of course, she'd borrowed his recipes, bought the same specific ingredients that he used, she'd even gone so far as to use the very oven he baked his goods in, yet still, they never quite lived up to the same perfect taste. So, once a week, even in winter, she made her way down to the bakery to buy the various pastries that she could never master, profiteroles, croissants, beignets, and any other delicacies that caught her fancy that particular day.On this particular day, that had been a particularly delectable collection of fresh macarons, something that Allan only baked every other month, at most. "They'll just be 20 minutes, Selene." Having to wait was a small price to pay for having them freshly baked, so she strolled over to one of the empty sofas that lined the shop, and sank into it, deciding that she'd kill time on her phone while she waited. As expected, one of the top texts on her phone was from her brother, holding a badminton racket and shuttlecock, captioned with just the number '3007'. It was hard to hold back a laugh at that, and she tapped out a response, 'Bullshit. What's the real number?' She could practically see his impish smile when he wrote back with the truth, '97. I'm still older than you, though.' Her brother always knew how to start a competition, and she leant back to get more comfortable in her seat as she tapped out a mocking response, knowing that their pointless disputes could easily last them twenty minutes.
Maximilian was best known for a hard attitude and a powerful family name, and most tended to steer clear of the boy as a result, but, in truth, he had a sweeter side which he reserved for very few, and which mostly manifested itself in his incredible sweet tooth. If it was sweet, then he was likely to enjoy it, and such was particularly the case for pastries, for Maximilian could easily consume an impressive number of pain au chocolats each day and, in truth, had always traditionally eaten at least two at breakfast. He craved the pastries often, and it seemed that Albert Allan knew precisely how to quench that hunger. His treats were not only delicious, but there was a certain degree of variety to them, and the man knew how to produce both milk and dark chocolate delicacies which always soothed Maximilian's desires.This was the very reason why he now found himself entering the small yet homely bakery, relishing in the fact that there was no queue through which he might have to push his way, and marching with his usual imperious nature to the counter. His gaze ran over the display of confectionary on offer and, seeing nothing which overly appealed, landed on the man himself, expression shifting to the one generally associated with something Mummy had promised not going precisely to plan (an idea which seemed quite unfathomable). There were no pain au chocolats on offer, and he could not understand why, if partially because he could not comprehend why something he desired would not be available."Bertie," he called out, brows furrowed in confusion, neatly manicured nails tapping impatiently on the dark wood of the counter. He was overly fussy for sure, but that was Maximilian's nature. "Bertie!"The man emerged from his backroom, and smiled in that way he always did despite the frustration of such a bothersome customer, wiping the excess flour from his hands with a red-and-white-checked tea towel. "Maximilian!" he declared, smiling brightly. "What can I do you for?""There's no pain au chocolat," Maximilian replied, making no attempt to hide his accent for one brief sentence, for the words he spoke were French, after all. "Make me some. I want, like, five, and I need them as soon as possible. Some macarons too, since you're, like, making them already."He slapped some cash on the table, unaware of the actual amount but unbothered as he watched the man return to his kitchen, then spun around to run his eyes over the cakes decorating the shelves, as if his mind might suddenly change and he would decide he wanted it all. It was a genuine possibility, and especially so when there seemed so many tasty treats on display.
The 'debate' with her brother had grown rather fierce, her fingers furiously tapping out retort after retort, yet it was still impossible for her to miss the arrival of Maximilian Denvers. He never arrived quietly to anything, no, from the tattoos that decorated his skin to the way he tapped his nails loudly on the counter, everything about him demanded attention, and who was she to deny him that? So, Selene allowed her eyes to linger over every single beautiful facet of the boy, the way his dark hair fell over his pale skin, a perfect contrast, the way his tattoos crept up around his slender neck, and when he turned his head, she could see the brilliant blue hue of his eyes, the sharpness of his high cheekbones, and the all too familiar pout on his lips. She didn't believe she'd ever seen the man without that classic pout; it was practically part of his outfit, another carefully chosen accessory, and she had to admit, he wore it splendidly. For a few moments, that was all she did, simply sitting and admiring, but she soon decided that it wasn't enough. So, she checked her appearance in the front camera of her phone, pouting and turning her face to one side and then another to make sure her appearance was perfect before slipping it back into her pocket. Her outfit was, of course, impeccable already, a long dark fur coat worn over a shoulderless black jumper, with dark khaki jeans that clung to every curve of her legs. After one final adjustment of her jumper, Selene pushed herself up off the sofa and strolled over to where Maximilian was standing at the counter, the slightest of smirks on her face as she addressed him, "Bonjour, Maximilian." She leant against the glass display, quite brazenly admiring the boy in front of her, "So, will you be gracing my soirée with your presence this Friday?" Her head tilted slightly to one side, and she gave him a coquettish smile, "I'm sure you remember how much fun the last one was."
Maximilian had focussed his gaze on a particularly delicious-looking collection of cupcakes on one shelf, each confection's icing designed to look as if the snack had been topped with a different kind of flower. They were overly elaborate, he thought, for their usual audience, for most of the students at Farrow Academy were likely only to care for the taste, but he supposed he could not blame the man for wishing to show off his baking talents, and particularly not when Maximilian was just the sort to show off his own skills at any given opportunity.He might have reached to take one of the cupcakes for himself, but the number of people around almost unnerved him, as if it would be a blow to the man's reputation to be seen savouring a cupcake which resembled an intricate carnation. Luckily, it did not come to such awkwardness, for he was suddenly approached where he stood, and spun around to face the girl who had wandered up to him, smiling in recognition. There were plenty of people who came up to Maximilian on a daily basis, and he appreciated the attention, but none so much as when a pretty girl decided she wanted a chat with the boy, especially if it was someone he already knew and judged to be an acceptable part of his circle of acquaintances."Selene," he replied, his tone friendlier than the normal, although he could not help running his gaze down the length of her body, as if especially interested in the tightness of those jeans. "I have swimming on Fridays, and I'm sure you're, like, totally aware that it's super important that the captain actually, like, be there." It was an irrelevant statement, of course, since the swim team practice sessions were early enough in the evenings that any students who had planned a later activity would be able to make it, but he preferred to make all his plans clear in advance, just in case something or other needed changing to fit his schedule. "Still...I think I can, like, make an exception for you."The last of Selene's parties had undoubtedly been an enjoyable affair, although that much had seemed doubtless as soon as he had received the invitation. There had been little holding back on the rule-breaking, which he rather enjoyed, and the ladies who had chosen to grace the event with their presence had been thoroughly delectable, for lack of a better word. The falsely dark-haired man wasn't quite sure how many he had ended up leading into some dark corner for dark deeds, and the availability of drink had addled his memories from the evening, but it had been good enough that he wasn't planning on turning down another invitation.Maximilian fixed his gaze on Selene, tilting his head to match her own, an eyebrow raised and his words laced with evident flirtation. "I think I might need some, like, info on the dress code before I go, though. Maybe you could share what you're gonna be wearing for the evening, so I can, like, get an idea?"
As expected, Maximilian rewarded her efforts with clear admiration, his gaze lingering on her legs, as though he wanted nothing more than to take her into a back room and peel her out of those exceedingly tight jeans. Her mind travelled back to the last time they'd been in a back room together; it had been after one of their swimming lessons, she'd snuck into the boys changing rooms to see him, and he'd dragged her into one of the broom closets and made her miss detention, a consequence that she still considered entirely worth it.When he spoke, snapping her out of her lustful daydreams, she could just barely detect the slightest touch of a French accent in his words; she'd never understood why he hid it in the first place, she had always felt that it only served to make him more attractive. "Don't worry darling, you know I always keep my parties late, so they don't interfere with your very important schedule."As always, their conversation had turned to barely veiled flirting once again- Maximilian had always been one of her favourites to play with, and even though she was never one for commitment, she always found herself coming back to him. She reached out to gently trail her finger down his chest, the silk shirt soft underneath her fingertip, "I believe I'll be wearing something tight and strappy, no doubt, but I haven't decided on a colour just yet." A slight smirk touched her rouged lips, and she looked up at him, enjoying the way that the boy towered over her, "Why don't you come back to my room after we're done here? I could show you all the different dresses that I have in mind, and you can pick the one you love the most."
"And for that, you're, like, a total blessing," Maximilian replied, though his attention shifted with no subtlety to the finger that now trailed along his chest, an eyebrow raised at the action. Still, he said nothing to prevent her from continuing. He was never one to reject the soft and obviously flirtatious touch of a girl he thought gorgeous, and he might have been enticed to act on her obvious flirtations if they had not been in such a public location.He smirked, already imagining the way Selene would look in the outfit she described, the image already stored away in the back of his mind. "Hm...I think I'd like that very much indeed." His falsified accent was almost entirely dropped now, as it often was when Maximilian gave himself over to a brief coquetry with another, for he knew that, though it might not have been the case for every woman, Selene was the kind who preferred his natural voice, and the tinge of French in his voice only added to the dalliance. "I can't quite be expected to go to a party if, like, I don't know what my host is gonna be wearing. Besides, you know I have a tendency to, like, overdress, and I think you might need to help me with that..." The implication in these final words was as clear as Selene's had been, and he could not help but wink at the girl before turning away to the counter, acting as if their brief conversation had barely happened. he called to the back of the store, hoping the owner would hear him once more. "I'm in a rush now, so if you could, like, hurry it up, that would be the best." After all, chocolate-based snacks were undoubtedly important, but they were nothing compared to the possibility of these flirtations going a little further, and particularly not after that time at the pool the other day, which Mihail recalled with delight. "I have a more important engagement."
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