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[personal profile] annabirmingham
For those who may have missed this on BBM Slash last week, this is the Secret Santa Gift I wrote for the lovely Kelly, aka [livejournal.com profile] heathyluv

Kelly, I hope I managed to fulfill your every bizarre and perverted wish – this is a first (and most probably a last!) for me, so don’t y’all be asking for a Part 2, ok?? Heheh...

Title: The Kokopelli Cake Shop

Genre: AU/AU/AU/AU/AU…
Warnings: Expect the unexpected. Please suspend all disbelief at the door – there may be some hocus pocus and supernatural shenanigans going on here…
Rating: NC-17
Length: 6000 ish

You can also find the original entry here: http://brokebackslash.livejournal.com/3796632.html#comments





“We’re lost.”

“We’re not fucking lost, Jack.”

“Well I don’t know where the hell we are.” I leaned forward and tried to peer through the flurry of snow obscuring the windshield.

Ennis suddenly swerved the car off the road and jammed it into park. “Gimme that.” He grabbed the crumpled map off my lap.

I leaned back with a sigh and pulled my iPhone from my pocket, willing for a miracle. I don’t know why I bothered as there had been no signal for at least half an hour. “Why don’t you have SatNav in this heap of junk?” I asked, not for the first time.

Ennis glared at me and resumed his study of the road map. “Didn’t we pass over the interstate a few miles back?”

I snorted. “The hell if I know.”

Ennis shot me a withering look.

“Oh come on, we can’t be that far away. Surely?”

Ennis slapped the map back across my chest.” You tell me, Mr. Navigator. Where does your cousin live again?”

It was the night before Christmas Eve and we were traveling into the middle of nowhere. My cousin, Tony, and his family had bought a new pad out in the country and had invited us to spend Christmas with them. It had seemed like a good idea at the time. Seven nights without any cell phone reception, limited internet access and three kids under the age of ten. What on earth were we thinking? Actually, that wasn’t strictly true – internet and cell phones aside, the kids were adorable and I couldn’t wait to shower them with the gifts we had bought. Christmas was more magical with kids around. I just had to convince Ennis of this fact too.

“Fuck!”

Ennis’ shout made me jump as an unexpectedly strong gust of wind lurched the car sideways and the engine stalled, plunging us into darkness.

“Fuck!” Ennis exclaimed again, turning the key and pumping the clutch.

Nothing.

The wind whistled around us and fat snowflakes splattered on the windows.

“What the hell did you do?” I said.

“Me?” Ennis said indignantly. He tried in vain to start the car again, but after one final pathetic whine, it died completely.

Ennis leaned forward and rested his head against the steering wheel. “I knew I shoulda renewed our AAA membership,” he muttered.

“The fuck, Ennis?” I yelled, shivering as the temperature in the car started to drop.

“Yeah, I know.” Ennis sighed and looked up at me. “Can’t do shit about it now. You got any signal?” he added, nodding at my cell phone.

“Nuh uh.” I rubbed my forehead with my fist, “and we can’t stay here, we’ll freeze our asses off. Can’t we jump start it or something – we’ve got leads in the back, right?”

“Yeah, but we ain’t passed another car for ages. You wanna try and push this thing in the snow?”

I opened the door a crack and shivered again as a gust of frigid wind hit my face. I looked down at the rapidly rising snow. “Shit, it must be about six inches deep out there already. How did it get so deep so fast? I doubt either us could push this thing through that.”

Ennis shrugged and rubbed his palms over the stubble on his cheeks. He cupped his hands over his face, blowing warm air into them. He was obviously thinking so I kept my mouth shut.

Ennis and I had slept in a car before, but that had been last summer and we’d forgotten to pack the tent when we’d spontaneously driven up into the mountains for a night. This time of year I sure as hell didn’t want to spend the night in this ice box, and I was out of ideas - save walking somewhere, anywhere, but what would we find out here in the middle of freaking nowhere?

The old leather seat squeaked as Ennis suddenly turned in his seat, peering through the back window. “You see a light back there?”

I turned and squinted in the direction he was pointing. “Maybe. You wanna check it out?”

“Don’t see we have any other choice.” Ennis said, grabbing his heavy work jacket from the back seat. “Maybe they have a phone we can use.”

I snorted with laughter, “yeah, and maybe they’re having an Annual Transvestite Convention as well.”

Ennis looked at me blankly.

“Oh come on, Ennis! You never seen The Rocky Horror Picture Show? Brad and Janet? Crazy orgies? Making men out of rainbows?”

“I have no idea what the hell you’re talking about,” Ennis mumbled as he shrugged into his jacket. “Come on, grab your stuff.”

¬***

It was eerily quiet as we trudged through the snow – the soft crunching of our boots the only sound. It was not long after sunset so I kind of expected to hear some traffic somewhere, or maybe a hint of wildlife in the never ending canopy of trees. But nothing.

I stopped walking for a second, feeling uneasy. I shifted the two bags slung over my shoulders into a more comfortable position.

Ennis stopped a few steps ahead and turned to look at me. “You ok?”

I nodded. “Yeah. Bit quiet out here, don’t you think?”

Ennis smiled and walked back to me, raising a gloved hand to gently brush snow off my hair. “That’s West Virginia for you, Jack.”

I smiled back at him and clapped my hands together to try and get some warmth into them as the arctic air threatened to give me frostbite.

We carried on, heading for the one light - the one sign of humanity - that we could see through the trees. As we got closer to the building it came from, I could see that it wasn’t actually a house but more of a village store or a even a café. At the end of the driveway a sign hung motionless. The writing on it was partially blocked by the falling snow. I stepped closer and tapped it with the back of my hand to knock the snow off. The small squeak it made sounded unnaturally loud. “The Kokopelli Cake Shop?” I said in disbelief. “Who the hell would have a cake shop out here in the butt crack of nowhere?”

“You said it,” Ennis replied. “But we ain’t going anywhere, so it’s our only hope.”

The path to the door snaked around some small stone figurines, but I couldn’t make them out from under their snowy blankets.

The doorbell was one of those old fashioned ones that you have to pull with a chain. Ennis dumped his bags on the porch step and rang the bell. We could hear the faint jingle echoing inside the shop.

A few moments later the heavy door creaked open and I did a double take. The lady standing in from of us was tiny, she must have been no more than four and a half feet tall. Probably in her seventies, she had a shock of curly white hair and was dressed in an ancient velvet gown of deep blues and purples.

She took one glance at us and held out her arms. “Oh you poor boys!” she exclaimed. “You must be frozen.”

Ennis cleared his throat, “sorry to bother you, ma’am. Do you have a phone we can use? Our car broke down a half mile or so down there.” He pointed into the snowy distance.

“Of course, of course! Come on in, both of you. And bring your things too.” She added, nodding at the bags of gifts that Ennis had put on the step.

“Thank you so much,” I said as I followed her into the blessedly warm hallway. “We won’t be long.”

“That’s what they all say,” the lady chuckled. “Don’t worry, I’m only messing with you,” she said, patting my arm when she saw my startled expression. “I’m Elvira,” she said, gesturing us to follow.

Ennis caught my eye as we walked behind her.

Elvira? I mouthed at him, cocking an eyebrow.

Ennis gave me a stern glare and I swallowed down a giggle, not wanting to seem rude by laughing behind her back. I already felt bad enough, dripping wet snow all over her lovely polished wood floors. Not that she seemed to mind – or even notice.

“The phone is in here,” Elvira said, pointing into a lobby at the end of the hall. “Come and join me in the dining room when you’re. It’s back down the hall, opposite the gift shop. You can’t miss it. I’ll make some hot cocoa to warm you up.”

“That’s really kind, thank you.” I smiled at her.

She winked at me, then retreated, leaving me and Ennis alone in the lobby.

“Look at this old thing,” Ennis said in bemusement. The phone looked like something from the 1930s. It had a dial and the handset rested across the top of the base, attached with a cord.

I picked up the handset and heard a dial tone. “Well it seems to work,” I said. “I’ll call Tony and see if he can help.”

I rang my cousin and filled him in on our situation.

“Where the hell are you?” Tony asked.

“Some place called The Kokopelli Cake Shop.”

“The Kokopelli Cake Shop? Never heard of it. You sure you crossed the I-79?”

“Yeah, pretty sure.”

“Well you can’t be that far away, can you ask the lady where you’re near? And what the road is?” Tony said.

“Sure.”

I covered the mouthpiece and whispered to Ennis, “go ask Elvira where we are – what road this is or something.”

Ennis nodded and disappeared.

“And tell Ennis that he needs to get a new car when all this is sorted,” Tony added. “That old rust bucket is clearly on its last legs.”

“Tell me about it,” I said.

A minute or so later Ennis reappeared. “I can’t find her,” he said in confusion, chewing on his thumb. “I checked in the dining room and everything.”

I frowned, “how weird.” I uncovered the mouth piece and spoke to Tony again, “Umm, look, we’ll have a chat with the owner when she’s back and call you again in a while. Is that ok?”

“Yeah, no problem.” Tony said. “Stay safe, guys. See you soon.”

I hung up and turned to Ennis. “Ok, let’s go find our elusive lady.”

Ennis led me back to the dining room, and the first thing we saw was Elvira pouring mugs of steaming cocoa.

Ennis stopped in his tracks and pointed at her. “You weren’t here. Where were you?” he said accusingly.

Elvira looked at him with a small smile, “but of course I was, dear. Where else would I be?”

“But…but…” Ennis spluttered.

“Never mind that now,” Elvira said. “Come, sit. Have some cocoa.”

I pushed Ennis forward and we sat at one side of a table, the wood was dark and the chairs were richly upholstered in a deep red velvet.

“Can you tell us where we are, exactly?” I asked her.

“You’re in my cake shop,” she said with a twinkle in her eye.

“Yes,” I sighed. “But the area, the road we’re on, what’s it called?”

“Ah. Well. This is the Old Montgomery Road,” Elvira said, sitting herself down opposite us. “But you won’t find it on the map.”

“We won’t? Why not?”

“It’s very small and very old.” Elvira smiled and lifted a silver domed cover off a cake stand, revealing a luscious looking marbled cake covered in cream frosting. It smelled delicious. “Would you like some of my cherry cake?”

Neither of us had eaten for about five hours and my stomach growled in protest. I knew Ennis wouldn’t refuse either, sweet tooth that he had.

“Thank you.” I nodded. “But where are we? And how do you run a cake shop out here if no one can find the road?”

“You did, didn’t you?” Elvira replied, cutting us both generous slices of cake.

“But we were lost. That doesn’t count,” I said. “How would we tell someone how to get here? My cousin will fetch us if I can give him directions.”

Elvira paused and looked at us. “It’s a bit complicated. Now see, why not eat your cake and you can call your cousin back after? I’ll speak to him and tell him where we are.”

Ennis and I exchange a look, but I didn’t feel that I would get any more information out of Elvira. Her request seemed reasonable enough to me.

“Ok,” I shrugged, spearing a huge chunk of cake with my fork. It really was the most beautiful looking thing – all swirly and sparkly, with the red cherries plump and glistening. It almost seemed to glow with life, which was a bit stupid as it was only a cake.

Ennis, ever the suspicious type, poked at it with his fork. “Don’t look like any cherry cake I’ve ever seen before,” he mumbled.

Elvira laughed and tapped the side of her nose. “Secret recipe,” she said.

I put the huge chunk I’d stabbed into my mouth and closed my eyes in pleasure. It was the most delicious thing I’d eaten in a long time. “Oh man,” I said with my mouth full. “That’s amazing.”

Elvira beamed in delight as I quickly forked in another piece.

Ennis watched me for a second before shovelling some into his own mouth. The low moan he emitted confirmed my assessment of the cake.

“No wonder you don’t need to advertise, if your cakes are this good,” I said to Elvira. “You must make a fortune.”

“Ah, I do ok.” Elvira said. “Please, have as much as you like.”

Ennis and I probably guzzled out way through half of that cake and possibly two or three cups of hot cocoa each too. Elvira cleared everything away and then refused to take any money when we got out our wallets to pay her.

“How about we go call that cousin of yours?” she said.

Ennis and I quickly agreed and hurried out of the dining room after her. We’d almost got to the lobby when a loud crash made us all jump a mile in the air.

“Fuck!” I automatically grabbed Ennis’ hand, pulling him close as the lights flickered off then on. I was never good in dark places. Especially strange and dark places.

“What the hell was that?” Ennis said, squeezing my hand reassuringly.

“Hmm,” Elvira tapped her chin and looked around. “Power seems ok. Wonder if a tree came down outside? Occupational hazard, being out here.”

As much as I wanted to just call Tony and get the hell out of here, Elvira had been super nice and I felt obliged to help her out. “Ok, let’s go look,” I said, turning towards the front door – the way Ennis and I had come in.

“No. Come with me,” Elvira beckoned us into the kitchen. “The window goes around three sides and we’ll see more without getting wet.”

We didn’t have to look far. One glance out of the large kitchen window did indeed reveal a fallen tree, half buried into the powdery snow. And it had taken some wires with it.

“Oh bother,” Elvira tutted, hands on hips.

“Is that the phone line?” Ennis said in disbelief.

“I’m afraid so.”

I hurried back out of the kitchen and across to the lobby to pick up the phone. The large sound of silence filled my ear. Oh crap. “What the hell do we do now?” I yelled.

“Stay here.” Elvira’s soft voice made me spin around quickly.

“Here? In a shop?”

“Of course! This wasn’t always a shop, you know. Back in the day this place was a bustling roadhouse. People travelled through the state and stopped in for a bite to eat and a bed to sleep in. It was wonderful…” Elvira looked wistful for a moment. “Yes… anyway… there are guest rooms upstairs. Although we don’t get nearly as many travellers as we used to. I admit that only one or two rooms are suitable for use.” She looked down at our clasped hands – I hadn’t realised that I had grabbed hold of Ennis again – and smiled. “I expect you’ll only be needing one room though.”

Ennis took a small step backwards, but I refused to let go of his hand.

“Yes, one room would be great. Thank you.” I said.

“Don’t worry,” Elvira replied, her eyes on Ennis. “Nicholas will be here in the morning and he will fix things out there.”

“Nicholas?” Ennis said with a frown.

“A good friend of mine.” Elvira crooked a finger, “come on boys. This way.”

We collected our bags and followed her up the creaking stairway. I felt like I was in an old western movie as the walkway to the upstairs rooms was open on one side and looked down over the gift shop. I could well imagine it being a saloon in days gone by. There were Christmas decorations everywhere – wreaths on the doors, tinsel wrapped around the banister - and a huge bunch of mistletoe hanging right above our heads.

“This is the one.” Elvira said, stopping abruptly. “The bed is made and there’s a private bath inside so you can wash up after…” she tailed off, looking a little flustered.

“After?” Ennis queried, raising an eyebrow.

“Um… after you’ve settled in. You must feel terribly grimy after your long journey.”

It wasn’t what she had been going to say, but I wasn’t about the push her.

“Well boys. Have a good night. Please came and find me if you need anything. My room is at the end of the hall and up the stairs. Breakfast will be at 8am.” She patted both of us on the arm and cast a long glance at the mistletoe above our heads. “Don’t forget to make a wish,” she added with a wink.

Babies, babies, babies, was the first thought that popped into my head. I’d made no secret of wanted to start a family with Ennis, but I still wasn’t 100% sure how he felt. But this wasn’t the time or place to have that conversation again.

Ennis and I watched Elvira retreat to her room. A door clicked in the distance and we were alone. I was never one to turn down an opportunity to kiss Ennis, so I put my bags on the floor and gently prised the bags from Ennis’ fingers.

“Who can argue with tradition?” I murmured, pulling him to me.

We stood close, not quite touching, our fingers intertwined as his warm breath fanned over my face. I closed my eyes to savor the moment. Damn, but I loved kissing Ennis. One quick breath and his mouth swooped in, claiming mine.

My reaction was instant, it always was. I clasped the back of his head, digging my fingers into his short, blond curls. Ennis’ hands slid down to my ass, pulling me in tight. We kissed and kissed - snow, car and fallen trees all forgotten as we lost ourselves in each others mouths. Our encounters were usually passionate, but there was something different about this one. There was an underlying hunger and desperation. I could feel it in the way Ennis nipped at my lips and grabbed at my ass. Could feel it rising in my own blood and I wanted him now, now, now. I fumbled for the doorknob behind me and Ennis shoved us both through, leaving our bags abandoned outside on the balcony. He slammed the door shut and I never even noticed the room – except for the soft mattress under my back.

Ennis barely paused for breath before he ripped off my jeans and underwear with one hand, the other hauling my sweater up and over my head. I would have laughed at his urgency had I not felt the same clawing desire deep inside my gut. We needed to fuck. Right now.

Ennis pushed his jeans to his knees and with only the most basic of preparations, surged inside of me. It should’ve hurt, but it didn’t. It felt perfect. Ennis was like a man possessed, thrusting hard and fast. His grunts and groans turned me on like nothing else. I barely managed to push his heavy shirt up to his armpits before I felt myself start to come, giant waves and pleasure crashing over me. Ennis gave a strangled moan and I felt the hot rush of him inside before he collapsed on top of me. Bright colors swirled before my eyes and it was a while before I could focus.

“Wow, that was…” I licked my dry lips. “That was intense.”

Ennis’ laugh tickled my ear. “Mmm hmm, sure was.” He squeezed me tight.

We lay, recovering, for a few moments before Ennis slowly extracted himself. A warm wet towel plopped onto my stomach a minute later.

I cleaned myself up and pushed the towel into the floor. Ennis loomed over me and I let my eyes slowly drag up over his naked body. He was still the sexiest guy I had ever seen and as my gaze lingered on his cock and hard stomach, I felt my desire start to rise again – which was crazy as I’d orgasmed, like two minutes ago.

My eyes travelled over his hair-dusted chest and up to his face. Our eyes caught and I could still see desire burning in his dark brown eyes.

“Goddamn, you’re so sexy,” Ennis growled and fell back on top of me.

I welcomed him eagerly, but rolled us over so that I was on top. The uncontrollable urge to fuck swelled inside me. This time I wanted to be the one running the show. Ennis didn’t bottom often, but when he did it was the most amazing experience.

“I want to fuck you so bad,” I whispered in his ear.

Ennis replied by wrapping his legs around my waist and urging me on.

I didn’t need to be told twice.

I’ve no idea how many times we had sex that night, but we were like animals. We couldn’t get enough of each other. Just as I thought we were done, we’d look at each other, kiss, and bam – off again.

As the early morning light began to filter through the curtains, we were both exhausted. Ennis was lying on his front, facing away from me, snoring gently. The whole room smelt of sweat and sex, and for the first time I had a chance to look around at our accommodation.

It was a beautiful old room, all heavy drapes and dark wood. A picture of a funny looking man-lizard playing a pipe hung opposite our bed. It looked vaguely familiar and I stared at it for a while until I felt Ennis stir.

I glanced down at him and smiled at his sleepy yet well-fucked expression. “You ok?” I asked.

“Hmm.” Ennis stretched and grinned.

My eyes drifted back to the painting. The little lizard guy was kinda cute.

“Kokopelli.” Ennis murmured.

“What?”

“That’s Kokopelli – in the picture. Blowing on his flute.”

The twelve year old in me wanted to snicker, but I refrained and snuggled back under the blankets. “Who is he?”

“Uh… some kind of ancient symbol.” Ennis said, his eyes falling closed. “Fun and fertility or some shit like that.”

I laughed and buried my nose in his hair. “How come you know all this crap, Ennis?”

“How come you don’t?”

I didn’t reply, just pulled him closer. I slid my hand around Ennis’ chest, smoothing over the muscled ridges of his torso before succumbing to temptation and circled around his cock. Ennis moaned and arched back into me.

I nibbled on Ennis’ neck, “hmm, well there’s only one flute around here that I wanna blow.”

Ennis huffed out a laugh. “Yeah, but we should probably shower first.”

I smiled and squeezed him gently. “I’m in.”

****

Thirty minutes later I exited the adjoining bathroom to find Ennis – dressed only in a towel – opening the curtains to peer out into the grounds.

“What the fuck?”

His sudden exclamation made me jump. “What?”

“Come here.” Ennis grabbed my hand and yanked me to the window.

I looked outside and blinked in disbelief, “where did all the snow go?” It was a beautiful morning - clear, bright, and not one flake of snow to be seen anywhere. “I guess it must have melted overnight,” I murmured, mostly to myself.

“Yeah, right. That much snow? Don’t seem right, Jack.”

“Well whatever, it’s gone now. That’s good, isn’t it?”

“I guess.” Ennis mumbled.

We finished getting dressed and packed up our things before heading downstairs. Elvira found us in the hallway, just as the mouth-watering smell of pancakes and fried bacon hit our nostrils.

“Morning!” She chirped with a grin. “Sleep well?”

Ennis and I exchanged a look, not wanting to give away that we had hardly slept, having spent most of the night fucking. “Er… yeah, it was great. Thank you.”

“Wonderful,” she beamed. “You’ll be glad to know that the phone is working again, plus Nicholas found your car and towed it back here. He said you just needed a jump start, so you’re all set. Coffee? Pancakes? There’s a fresh batch waiting for you in the dining room. Please help yourselves.”

“Uh…” my head swirled with the information overload.

Fortunately Ennis stepped in. “Thanks. That all sounds great.”

Elvira hurried off in a cloud of lace and velvet so I took the opportunity to call Tony, telling him we should be there by lunch. I fielded his questions about where we were or what had happened last night. To be honest, I didn’t quite know what to tell him.

The lure of breakfast led us back to the dining room and as promised, there was a huge stack of pancakes and crispy bacon waiting for us, together with a steaming pot of coffee.

“Where did Elvira go?” I looked around in vain. I couldn’t see or hear her anywhere.

“Weird,” Ennis muttered.

We were both starving after our late night shenanigans, so guzzled down most of the food Elvira had made. It seemed rude not to. Like the night before, everything we ate was delicious and I made a mental note to stop by when we came to visit Tony again.

We finished breakfast and gathered up our things, ready to leave – but there was still no sign of Elvira. The place was deserted and we never caught sight of the elusive Nicholas either – our car was simply parked outside the front door.

“We can’t just leave,” I said to Ennis. “We’ve got to give her something – she’s done so much for us.”

Ennis nodded and dug into his wallet, pulling out a wad of bills. “Let’s leave her a note, and some cash for the bed and food.”

I found a notepad embossed with the Kokopelli Cake Shop details on a table in the hall. We scribbled her a quick note, thanking her for her generosity and wonderful cooking. Ennis placed the bills under the note.

We stood at the front door, looking around a little helplessly. I didn’t really want to leave without saying goodbye, but I didn’t know what else we could do.

“Guess we’d better be off?”

“Yeah…” Ennis seemed as reluctant to leave as I did.

On impulse I grabbed the unused portion of the notepad and shoved it into my jacket pocket. Call it sentimental, but I somehow wanted to take a piece of the place away with me.

We loaded our bags into the car and it started easily with one turn of the key. We looked at each other but made no comment as we slowly pulled away from the building.

Just before we turned out of sight I shifted in my seat and looked back. I did a double take as I saw Elvira standing in an upper window, watching us. I raised my hand to wave at her. She waved back with a smile and then moved out of view.

“Huh,” Ennis said in surprise.

“What?” I shifted back around to face him.

“Isn’t that the road we need?” He pointed to a turning not two hundred yards ahead, the route clearly marked.

“Yeah. It is. How the hell did we miss that last night?”

Ennis shrugged, “who knows. Lots of things happened last night that I can’t explain.”

“You and me both,” I said, stretching my arms above my head and yawning wide. “Damn, I’m tired.”

Ennis smiled at me fondly, “why not grab a nap. It looks pretty straightforward from here.”

“Wake me up if you get lost.”

“I never get lost,” Ennis deadpanned.

“Yeah, right. Remind me of that when we end up in Mexico.”

Ennis slapped me on the leg. I slapped him back, then settled down to close my eye. Within minutes I had drifted off to sleep – a sleep filled with lucid dreams of bouncing children and swirling cherry cake.

****

“Uncle Jack!”

The piercing shriek of my niece jolted me awake second before all three kids launched themselves at me through the open car door. I ruffled their hair and tickled their wriggling bodies. Call me a doting uncle but I adored those kids. I caught Ennis’ eye over the top of the pile of children. “We made it then?”

Ennis winked. “Piece of cake.”

I snorted and hugged my niece and nephews close as we all tumbled out of the car.

Tony strode over and clapped me on the back with a grin. “What the hell kept you? These three have been bouncing off the walls since last night.”

“Sorry, bud.” I returned his hug with relief. “A crazy ass snow storm and an even crazier night at some crazy old place in the middle of bumfuck nowhere.”

Tony laughed, “hey! That’s my town you’re dissing. Where were you exactly?”

“Some place called the Kokopelli Cake Shop.” I dug into my jacket for the notepad I had taken.

“A cake shop?” my eldest nephew said. “You stayed in a cake shop? Cool!”

“Uh… yeah.” I smoothed down the pages before handing it to Tony.

He looked at it closely and turned it over in his hands. “Where’s the name? Address?”

I grabbed the paper back. I could’ve sworn there had been some words on there earlier – not that I’d been paying that much attention. Tony was right, only the little flute player was printed on it.

“That’s kind of weird, right?” Tony said.

I sighed. Not even trying to explain. “Dude, you have no idea.”

****

We stayed with Tony and his family for just over a week and despite some initial reservations, had a fabulous Christmas. I lost count of the hours I spent on my knees, building train tracks with the boys. I knew that this was what I wanted with Ennis – a family, a proper family – and made a mental note the talk to him about adoption again after the holidays.

****

“Shall we stop by the Cake Shop on the way home?” Ennis said as we pulled away from Tony’s place for the final time.

“Yeah. I’m dying for some more cherry cake. I’ve had dreams about that cherry cake,” I moaned.

“Me too,” Ennis replied with a grin. “It’s like I’ve got a weird craving or something.”

“You always want cake,” I said. ”How many slices of Christmas cake did you have in the end?”

Ennis cleared his throat and checked the road before pulling out. “Dunno, maybe three or four?”

“Ha! Try six. I counted.”

“Yeah well you had three helpings of plum pie. So you can’t talk.”

I leaned back in the seat and patted my belly. “I’m a growing man, what can I say?”

Ennis shot me an amused glance, but didn’t say anything.

I gazed out of the window as Ennis drove, when a wave of tiredness rolled over me. The madness of the past couple of weeks had clearly taken it’s toll and once again I feel asleep, lulled by the gentle motions of the car.

I woke some time later when Ennis shook my leg.

“Jack. Wake up. Is this it?”

I rubbed my eyes and peered out of the window. The road look familiar and I thought I recognised the landscape. “The Old Montgomery Road, right?”

“Uh huh. I think so. There’s no sign.”

We turned a corner and I fully expected to see the Kokopelli Cake Shop between the trees, but… nothing. Nothing apart from a half rotten barn and derelict farm house.

“Funny. I could’ve sworn it was here.” Ennis said.

“Me too,” I agreed. “You sure you didn’t pass it back there?”

“No way.”

“Maybe it’s further on?”

“Can’t be. Interstate’s just up there.”

I scrubbed my hand across my face and leaned forward, closer to the window. “I can’t see anything here. Want to go back and check down the road?”

“Nah. Must be on another road. We must’ve made a wrong turn somewhere.” Ennis said.

“Again?” I’ll admit that my navigation skills weren’t the best, but Ennis never forgot a name or a place. Odd that he’d missed this one. “Let’s not worry,” I said. “We’ll be over this way again, so can look next time. Maybe it was hidden by a weird tree angle or something.”

“Maybe,” Ennis echoed, but didn’t sound convinced.

“Don’t worry, I’ll shout you some lemon pound cake at Starbucks.”

Ennis narrowed his eyes. “Hot chocolate too.”

“Deal.”

****

Exactly one month after our jaunt to West Virginia, I started to feel very strange. I struggled to get out of bed in the morning – more so than usual – and the smell of fried food made me want to hurl. I was having the most bizarre dreams too, mainly of the Cake Shop and the steamy night that Ennis and I had spent there. That was another thing – we hadn’t had sex since we’d got back. My libido had dropped through the floor. Not that Ennis appeared to have noticed as he was working crazy hours and then was in bed asleep by nine every night.

Deep down I had an uneasy feeling that I knew exactly what my problem was. It was exciting, it was surreal, it was obsured – and I sure as hell couldn’t explain it. I need a good time to talk to Ennis, but he was so busy at work and seemed even more distracted and aloof than usual when he got home.

One Sunday morning I got up early and made coffee and pancakes, in the hope that I could feed him up before I hit him with my news. Actually, breakfast in bed sounded pretty damn good, so I loaded everything up and took it back into our bedroom.

Ennis was in the bathroom when I returned, so I picked at the edge of a pancake. And waited. He was taking forever. This was Ennis aka Mr. Efficient "I can shower, shave and get dressed within five minutes, don't you know."

“You ok in there?” I shouted.

“Um hmm,” came the muffled response.

Well at least he hadn’t drowned in the bath tub. That was some comfort.

The toilet flushed, then Ennis appeared looking somewhat sheepish.

“Coffee?” I said, raising up a mug.

“Yeah, thanks.” Ennis put something on his bedside table and didn’t quite meet my eyes and he grabbed the mug.

I knew I had to just dive right in.

“Ennis… look. I don’t know how to say this. I sure as hell don’t know what happened, but I’m pretty damn sure I’m right. I’m… fuck… I can’t believe I’m going to say this… Ennis, I’m pregnant.”

Ennis choked on his coffee and finally looked me in the eye. “Pregnant?”

“Yeah.”

“But that’s… that’s…”

“Crazy? Impossible? Stupid ridiculous?”

“Uh… yeah…” Ennis cradled his coffee mug and looked down at the bed sheets again.

“Is that it? Aren’t you freaked out? Is that all you have to say?”

Ennis shook his head, a small smile tugging at his lips. He leaned over to the bedside table and opened his hand to reveal a white plastic stick. He pointed at the two blue lines clearly visible in the little window. “Me too.”

THE END
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annabirmingham

June 2013

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