My first shot at trying a romance, and I hope you guys enjoy :) If there are any grammar or spelling mistakes, I'll be sure to fix them if I manage to find them.

~Miki


One

"Hi, how can I help you?"

"Ah, can I get a coffee? And one of those vanilla slices, please."

"That'll be seven-fifty, ma'am."

The woman at the counter reached for her purse, opening it and scanning through her notes. Finally, she pulled out a ten dollar note and handed it to the cashier. The young teen took it with a smile and opened the register, placing the note inside and giving the woman her two-fifty change, and then went off to make her coffee as the cashier next to her called for the next customer. Lana Stevens watched from the kitchen behind the cashiers, sighing to herself as she pulled a tray of slices from the fridge and left them to sit on the counter behind her. Of all the days for Mal to call her to work, it had to be today.

"Hey, Lana," Kimberly, the girl who had taken the order, called out. She popped her head into the room curiously, bumping her shoulder as she did so. The girl was only fifteen, much shorter than Lana had been when she was that age, and had today left her caramel hair to hang low and around her shoulders, and had also seemed to apply a bit of lip gloss and eyeliner before coming into work. "Are those slices ready yet?"

Lana merely gestured to the tray she'd placed onto the bench and then opened a cupboard beneath her in search of a plate. After finding a small, squeaky-clean, white one, she placed a square of vanilla slice onto it and handed it to Kimberly.

"Ah, thanks!" Kimberly thanked in her usual, anime-like way. She'd apparently given herself the self-title of anime otaku (whatever that meant) and had begun to start thanking people like an anime character the same age as her – Mattel Kuro, was it?

Once Kimberly gave the woman her coffee and slice, she called for the next customer. It was one Lana couldn't recognise – everyone that came to Little Slice of Heaven was a local and a regular. Kimberly noticed this also, immediately stuttering as she addressed him. Who could blame her? The man was gorgeous from where Lana was seeing him!

He gave Kimberly an amused grin and glanced up at the wide chalkboard that hung on the wall behind her, scanning the contents for something he wanted. With a shrug, he leaned close to Kimberly and muttered his order, causing the teen to turn around and rush for the kitchen – and straight for Lana.

"He wants a chef recommendation!" she whispered in a panic. Lana raised a blonde eyebrow sceptically.

"And that is bad, because...?" she demanded. The ninth-grader gave her an 'are you crazy?' stare.

"For one thing," she listed, "the guy is a fricking hottie!"

"For another thing," Lana cut in, "I do have eyes. Oh, and last thing: The kitchen isn't sound-proof."

Kimberly flushed bright red, hiding her face in her faces with a half-laugh, half-squeal. All Lana could do was roll her eyes and walk out of the kitchen, taking Kimberly's place at the register and getting a good look at the customer.

The girl had been right – the man was well over six foot, with his messy black hair pushed back and held back with dark geezer shades, leaving his amber eyes bare and openly amused at everyone he saw. His skin was quite pale, and his mouth was curled up in that same grin he had just before. He was, surprisingly, dressed in rather casual clothing – it was the time of day where people would usually be dressed for work, implying that they had some kind of uniform, but this man was dressed as though he planned to roam the town and browse around at the stores. A simpler way to put it would be that he was in a white shirt that was covered by a navy hoodie, and wore baggy jeans that nearly devoured his black Converses.

"Any suggestions, love?" he asked smoothly. Lana blinked, taken aback by the thick Irish accent he had, and cleared her throat.

"Bear in mind that I don't get called out for this," she told him. "But I'd suggest – maybe – that you get a bagel and a flat white."

He let out a "hm" and looked to Kimberly, who was watching wide-eyed and red-faced. "I think I know what I want," he told her.

Lana turned on her heel and made her way back to the kitchen, casting a glance at the vanilla slices as Kimberly nodded furiously at the man. As the teen went to go prepare his order, Lana pulled her aside momentarily.

"Slices should be good to serves," she told her. "Could you–" Lana cut herself off as she said it, realising that, which Kimberly as she was now, the slices would never make it from the kitchen to the display case in one piece. "You know what? I'll take 'em out."

Kimberly gave her a blank stare, but got back to preparing the man's order anyway. Lana let out a breath and turned back to the slices with a glare. It was the last thing she had to get ready before she was allowed to leave for the rest of the day, so why not just get it over with?

She lifted the tray carefully and carried it out of the room, noticing that Kimberly had just finished serving the Irish man and he'd begun to make his move toward a vacant seat by the cafe window.

Lana forced herself to ignore him as she arrived at the display cabinet and slid it open. She picked up one slice at a time with the tongs in her apron pocket and then shut the cabinet once she was done, pleased that her day was going to end after this.

She turned on her heel and walked back into the kitchen, setting the tray down at the sink. She could wash it tomorrow, she thought. It didn't have to be done straight away. Besides, it wasn't like Mal would hound her to do it the moment it was dirty.

Untying her apron, she let out a breath and yawned slightly. She'd been woken up by Mal early in the morning – about six o'clock, if she was right – just to set up the food and have everything ready so that Lana could have the day to herself, instead of having to slave away in the kitchen all day.

While it was kind of Mal to do so, it was also a little sudden. But, Lana couldn't complain; she was getting a day off on a weekday – and it wasn't even a public holiday!

She hung the apron up on the kitchen door and then walked over to the exit near the end of the kitchen. Barely missing her own beat, she called out, "Kimberly, tell Mal I'm done today!"

An "Okay" came from Kimberly, and then Lana was out the door, taking in the scent of the eight-in-the-morning air. What was she going to do with the rest of her day?

Let's see...

It finally dawned on her; she was going to go back to bed.