There was a lot of media buzz surrounding the upcoming charity event. So far, the only news released by the event organizers was about the team of award-winning bakers and the charity organization but none about the actress. Everyone was speculating about the actress in question. Several well-known names were thrown up for discussion but the organizers and everyone else involved in the event remained tight-lipped about it. Everyone had to sign a non-disclosure agreement and whoever who violated it would be heavily penalised. In this way, the organizers created hype and aroused interest in the event.
One morning, Suzuki was summoned to the organizer’s office for a meeting. It turned out that the organizers wanted Taeyeon to teach Yukiko how to bake. They needed some footage and photographs of Yukiko baking as part of their press release. In order to ensure Yukiko appear more ‘natural’ during the event, she would need to have prior practice in baking. Plus, it would be more credible that Yukiko put in some effort in contributing to the charity event instead of just making an appearance. This would greatly boost her popularity, thereby gaining more leading roles in dramas and endorsement deals. When Suzuki broke the news to Taeyeon, Taeyeon couldn’t help but suspect that Yukiko had a hand in requesting for the practice sessions. Afterall, Suzuki’s team had more than eight people, so why choose her specifically?
This was how Taeyeon was ended up staying back late on the same day, waiting for the Japanese actress to arrive at the kitchen of one of Suzuki’s cafe. In order to prevent unwanted media attention and leakage of pictures, the kitchen staff were all told to leave. Only Taeyeon and Ren stayed behind. It was a low-key operation and only a few knew about this ‘private session’.
Ren helped Taeyeon prepare the necessary ingredients and tools for the session. He was very excited and looked forward to the time the actress would arrive. He had an important duty on hand; to stand guard at the back door of the cafe and lead the actress into the kitchen. After which, he had to wait at the back door, clean up and lock the cafe after everyone was done. He was not allowed in the kitchen when the session was on-going.
An hour after the scheduled time, Taeyeon heard the back door open and Ren speaking to someone. Shortly, the sound of high heels clicked against the concrete floor. She smoothed out the creases in her baker’s uniform and prepared to welcome her guest.
Yukiko looked like she had just walked out from a fashion shoot as she sauntered through the back door of the cafe. She wore a dark blue Claudie Pierlot Magnum long sweater that covered her butt and a see-through Sybil skirt of the same brand. It accentuated the actress’ height and slim figure. Taeyeon looked away quickly in case she was mistakenly seen as gawking at the actress. Yukiko’s stylist, Riko appeared right after the actress and Ren followed closely behind the guests. His grin was so huge, Taeyeon thought the corners of his lips would tear. He quickly backed out once the actress and stylist were welcomed by Taeyeon.
Riko greeted Taeyeon with a bow before informing Yukiko that she would be waiting outside. Yukiko gave a quick nod to Riko before turning her attention on the petite baker. Now, Taeyeon and Yukiko were left alone in the small kitchen.
“Taeyeon-chan, sorry to make you stay back to wait for me. The photoshoot took longer than expected.” The sultry voice filled the small quiet kitchen as the Japanese actress walked towards the baker. She gently rested her palm on the edge of the table top and the other hand was resting on her waist, as if she was posing for a photographer.
“Takahashi san, it is alright.” Taeyeon took out a clean set of apron from the cupboard and offered it to Yukiko. “Do put an apron on in case you dirty your clothes.”
A frown appeared on Yukiko’s face as she folded her arms across her chest.
“Mmmm-hmmm. You’ve forgotten what I told you the last time. We’re alone now,” Yukiko grunted her dissent and shook her head.
“I’m sorry…” Taeyeon paused. “Yuki chan.”
Taeyeon bowed apologetically as she stood in front of Yukiko with the neatly folded apron in her hands. It wasn’t easy to say those two words. She wasn’t that close to the actress and it sounded rather rude to call Yukiko in such a casual manner.
The frown was immediately replaced with a devilish grin. Uncrossing her arms, Yukiko wagged a finger and beckoned Taeyeon over.
“You’re forgiven if you help me put on my apron. It’s my first time using an apron and I don’t know how to put it on.” Yukiko winked her eye playfully at the baker while pointing at the apron.
“Sure,” Taeyeon said hastily, not realising the ulterior motive Yukiko had in mind.
Taeyeon unfolded the apron and put it over the actress’ head before moving to the back to tie the loose ends. When Yukiko saw Taeyeon’s hands adjusting the sides of the apron, she grazed her hands along Taeyeon’s arms before grabbing them and pulling their owner towards her. This resulted in the baker falling in front from the sudden tug and pressing her body against Yukiko’s back like an awkward backhug. The actress couldn’t suppress a smirk on her face when Taeyeon’s body fell onto hers.
As if she touched a hot pan, Taeyeon jumped a step back instantly when their bodies touched. The actress wore a strong perfume which lingered in her nose. It was overpowering.
“Sorry, sorry,” Taeyeon apologised for bumping into the actress.
“Taeyeon chan, you have such fair hands and they’re so smooth and soft, just like tofu,” Yukiko praised, completing ignoring the string of apologies. She leaned against the table and smiled seductively at the baker, enjoying every moment teasing her.
The atmosphere in the kitchen was filled with sexual tension, making Taeyeon feel a little warm under the collar. Pushing irrelevant thoughts out of her head and focusing on the task at hand, Taeyeon was anxious to start the lesson soon so that she could end it as early as possible. She took large strides across the kitchen to the other side of the table, trying to keep a reasonable distance from the actress.
“Today, I’ll teach you how to make a light cheesecake. The Japanese cheesecake is different from its American counterpart because it is known for its soft and light texture. It has a hint of cheese and if done well, will have a melt-in-your-mouth feeling.”
The corner of Yukiko’s lips lifted up into a lopsided smirk as she licked her lips very slowly. “Melt in your mouth sounds good. I can’t wait to taste the end product.”
Taeyeon could feel her pulse increasing and the blood rushing to her cheeks. She ignored the seductress and gathered the necessary tools to bake the cake. She pointed out the various ingredients and explained the steps of baking the cheesecake.
Taeyeon melted the cream cheese, butter and milk over a pan while the actress observed. Then Taeyeon taught Yukiko how to fold in the flour, cornflour, egg yolks and lemon juice. Midway through, Taeyeon handed the mixing bowl and spatula to Yukiko and told her to follow what she had done. Yukiko intentionally pretended she was clumsy and insisted Taeyeon guide her.
Letting out an exasperated sigh inwardly, Taeyeon had no choice but to have close physical contact with the actress again. The actress giggled cheekily as Taeyeon placed her palm over her own and continued to fold the ingredients.
Throughout their baking session, Yukiko asked a variety of questions, ranging from personal to event related. She tended to speak in a soft and gentle tone, resulting in Taeyeon having to lean close to her in order to hear what the actress was saying. On a number of times, Yukiko’s lips almost touched Taeyeon’s ear and the baker could feel the actress’ warm breath. Taeyeon’s cheeks were painted pink by now, embarrassed yet feeling uncomfortable about the close contact.
In order to lessen the physical contact with the actress, Taeyeon used the electric mixer to whisk the ingredients together instead of the manual whisk. The actress watched the baker with amusement as she knew the baker was intentionally avoiding her.
“Have you baked for someone special before?”
Taeyeon was caught off-guard at this question. However she realised it was a good opportunity to clarify her relationship status.
“Yes I do, quite often. I bake for my fiancée.” Taeyeon emphasized the last word on purpose.
“Oooohh,” Yukiko said in an exaggerated tone. “Someone’s engaged already. Oh what a pity, another eligible person taken off the market. Your fiancée must be a very lucky girl.”
Taeyeon nodded and flashed a small smile. She hoped this would keep Yukiko away from her since the actress knew about her relationship status. Little did she know the actress would not be deterred by such details.
After placing the cheesecake in the oven to bake, Taeyeon offered Yukiko a cup of hot green tea. Taking out a similar cheesecake she baked earlier on, Taeyeon cut it up into slices and offered it to Yukiko. The actress picked up a small slice of cake and put it into her mouth. Taeyeon was confident that actress would like it. Using a fork, she cut up a small piece and ate it as she observed the actress’ reaction.
As predicted, Yukiko’s face lit up with delight after eating the cheesecake. Yukiko knew the baker was quietly looking at her so she licked her lips in a slow and deliberate manner, keeping her eyes focused on the baker who was staring at her. Her eyes were focused onto Taeyeon’s and there was an electrifying sensation when their eyes met. Taeyeon quickly looked away, feeling embarrassed to watch a sensuous display of joy on the actress’ face. It was becoming quite unbearable for her.
“This is delicious. Thank you for your guidance, Taeyeon chan,” Yukiko beamed as she leaned closer to Taeyeon.
Before Taeyeon could reply, Yukiko placed a thumb on Taeyeon’s upper lip and used it to clean off some loose crumbs. Taeyeon’s jaw went slack and she felt her breathing stop for a second. The cold touch on her lip lingered for a few moments.
A cackle jolted Taeyeon from her surprised state.
“You eat like how a young child would. It’s so adorable.”
That comment struck a chord with Taeyeon. Jessica made a similar comment during the first few times when they met in Tokyo. Suddenly, Taeyeon wished Jessica was by her side right now.
Intending to clean her mouth before Yukiko could take the opportunity to touch her again, Taeyeon hurriedly grabbed some napkins from the table and accidentally knocked over a plastic holder containing metal spoons, sending them crashing to the floor with a few seconds of clangs before the silence resumed in the kitchen.
Both of them bent down to pick up the spoons together and their heads almost hit each other’s. With every spoon that Yukiko handed to Taeyeon, the actress made an effort to brush her hand against Taeyeon’s.
“Yuki chan, I’ll get them since I caused the mess. Please do not trouble yourself over this,” Taeyeon said hastily, trying to scoop up as many spoons as possible.
“There are so many spoons. It will take you a while,” came a sultry reply.
Both Ren and Riko appeared in the kitchen. They heard some noises and decided to rush in to check if everything was alright. Seeing the mess, Ren instinctively dashed over to help pick up the spoons.
“Is everything okay?” Riko asked, swiftly appearing by Yukiko’s side. She glanced around and was thankful no one was injured.
“Yes, Taeyeon san accidentally dropped some spoons. I’m helping her to pick them up,” Yukiko explained. She made an eye contact with Riko and muttered some instructions. Riko gave a quick nod and helped Yukiko up. Both of them headed out of the kitchen, towards the back door.
The two bakers sped up and managed to grab every single spoon that fell onto the floor. Ren chucked all of them into the sink, intending to wash them after the actress left. Meanwhile, Taeyeon packed the remaining cheesecake into a box and led the way out to the back lane.
“Taeyeon chan, I’ll be back for another session. Please teach me something different next time,” Yukiko said with a smile, her hand casually brushing against Taeyeon’s. She flashed a wink at Taeyeon and joined Riko in the car.
Taeyeon smiled politely and waved as the car passed by. Walking back into the kitchen, Taeyeon plonked herself onto a nearby chair. Pulling the baker’s cap off her head, Taeyeon used it to fan herself as she heaved a sigh of relief. It was definitely not an easy session to conduct.
Ren, who had been eager to ask Taeyeon about Yukiko’s session, decided to hold back when he sensed the lousy mood Taeyeon was in. He washed the spoons and cleaned the kitchen. Taeyeon joined in and soon they were done.
“I’m going back to the hostel. Thank you for the good work.” Taeyeon gave Ren a pat on the back and flashed a tired smile.
“You’ve worked hard. Thank you for the good work, Taeyeon senpai. Have a good night’s rest!”
On the way back the hostel, Taeyeon was typing away on her phone while riding in a taxi. Jessica left a few text messages earlier on but she hadn’t had the time to read them. Reading them, Taeyeon couldn’t help but wished Jessica was with her. She was missing every inch of Jessica; from running her fingers through Jessica’s hair to holding her hands, from watching her sleep to kissing her eyelid as a good morning greeting. She wondered if Jessica was dreaming about her right at this moment while she was sleeping.
“Baby, I keep myself busy but every time I stop for a while, I still think of you. Sometimes the things I do and see remind me of you. I miss you so much…,” Taeyeon mumbled to herself as she pressed the ‘Send’ button on her phone. With a slight smile, she played with the ring on her necklace as she looked out of the window of the taxi wistfully and mentally counted down to the day they meet.
A/N: Sorry to keep everyone waiting. An inspiration struck recently and I quickly penned it down while I had the mood. I hope there’re people who are still following Heartbeat.
Today’s the release date of Taeyeon’s 1st full length solo album #MyVoice. I’m loving the songs in the track list. Are you?