“Trevor, what are you doing here?” London asked incredulously.
“I want you back, London. I’m serious. I made a huge mistake, and I know that now. I’m ready to be a family, for real this time. I’ve grown up.”
Stellan stood quietly, observing the exchange. He was still vaguely in shock, first from the reveal of London’s child and then by her presumably ex-partner barging in. As London screamed at Trevor, Ket and Karly continued to argue as well. Lyndsy had scooted out the side door and onto the patio, desperately trying to distract the twins. Orla continued to wail as she stomped her tiny feet on the ground.
Stellan knelt down to the toddler so he could be eye-level with her. “Hi there,” He said softly. Orla continued to cry, barely registering his presence. “Hey there princess,” He called again, a little bit louder this time.
Orla looked up at him with big brown eyes filled with tears yet to be shed. “Helwo,” She mumbled back, rubbing her eyes.
“Can I pick you up?” He asked, careful to keep his voice soothing and his distance safe. A tear dripped from Orla’s eye as she nodded slightly.
Stellan gently picked the girl up and set her on his hip. London was wrapped up in a heated argument with Trevor, so Stellan slipped by as quietly as he could.
“Oh, I thought you were Karly,” Lyndsy said as Stellan stepped out onto the patio. “I’m the only one she ever confided in about you-know-what.”
Stellan nodded as Orla wiggled her way out of his arms. She wobbled over to her grandma and wrapped an arm around Lyndsy’s leg.
“This is all such a mess,” Lyndsy continued. “I told London she’d have to tell you the truth at some point. I didn’t want it coming out like this.”
Stellan shrugged. “There’s not much to do about it now.”
“Still, I’m sure you would have preferred a more private setting.”
Stellan chuckled with no humor. “I’m used to bombshells like this now. It’s apart of the job.”
“It’s okay to be upset,” Lyndsy said soothingly. “This isn’t your job, this is your life.”
As Lyndsy imparted some motherly wisdom on Stellan, London continued to berate Trevor. Karly and Ket had stormed upstairs, each slamming doors in different bedrooms.
“Why, Trevor?” She asked. “Couldn’t you just leave me alone? I was finally happy!”
“How can you be happy if we’re not together?”
“Because I met a man who actually respects me! One who doesn’t take off at the first sign of trouble.”
Trevor barked out a laugh. “Oh yeah? If he’s such a good guy, why isn’t he in here right now?”
She went silent. It was a question that had crossed London’s mind when she scanned the empty store. For one time in her life she was grateful customers never showed.
“You know what? I don’t care what you think anyways. I never have.”
“You cared when I was grading your baking.”
London practically growled. “Don’t throw that in my face! I was young and stupid, and you were older and stupid.”
“And now look where we are. Two mature people ready to start a life together.”
“What part of the word no don’t you understand?” London said, eerily calm. “I’ve been perfectly fine with my little family of two. Orla and I don’t need you in our lives.”
“No! I don’t want to hear anything else. Get out!” She screamed, standing up and pointing a shaky finger at the door.
Trevor stood up as well, but made no move to leave. “I’m not leaving until you take me back.”
“Then I guess you’ll die standing in that spot!”
Trevor sighed and put a hand on London’s shoulder. “Please, just-”
Before he could finish, London grabbed a cup filled with some sort of drink off the countertop. She swung her arm backwards, gaining momentum as she flung the red juice all over Trevor’s face. The syrupy sweet drink matted down his carefully styled hair and dripped off his long nose.
London slammed the cup back down and met Trevor’s eyes. “Now I’m not going to ask you again. Get. Out.”
Trevor wiped his eyes viciously and shook the juice off of his hands. “Fine. But this isn’t over, London Caliente. If I can’t have you, I will have our child. Don’t doubt that.”
And with that, the front door slammed open and shut. London watched him storm away, hardly believing what had just happened. She felt her knees give out, and before she knew it, she was curled into a ball on the floor. London wrapped her thin arms around her knees and let out all the tears she had forcefully held back for months upon months.
She barely noticed the door open. Stellan knelt down next to her, Orla in his arms. He set the small girl on the ground, and she immediately scurried to her mother, wrapping tiny hands around London’s. London opened her arms and let Orla fall into them, petting the young girl’s blonde mop while whispering kind words.
After some time passed, both London and Orla calmed down. Stellan cleared his throat, making London jump.
“I think we need to talk,” He said simply.
“He was my T.A at my culinary arts school. He helped the professor grade things, and helped the students with any questions. I stayed back after class one day to ask him something, and we just hit it off,” London admitted. “We dated for maybe three months, secretly of course. Then, I found out I was pregnant and he just…took off.”
“And now he wants you back?” Stellan guessed.
London nodded. “He does, but I don’t want him back. He abandoned me.” She looked down at the little girl playing with a duck next to her. “He abandoned us,” She whispered.
Unaware of the conversation, Orla toddled away happily.
“Why did you enter the competition?” Stellan asked.
London sighed sadly. “To give Orla a better life. The Cupcake Cafe is failing miserably, I’m living with my mother, I didn’t even finish pastry school because of having a baby. I have no prospects.”
Stellan scoffed. “That’s not true. You’re a wicked baker either way. You’re a mother, and a plum good one at that. You’ve got great people skills. I could go on and on.”
“None of that pays the bills. I saw the flyer for the competition and thought it could be my lucky break. But I’ve never lied to you, Stellan. Please know that. I’ve been completely myself the entire time.”
Stellan smiled softly. “I don’t think you have it in you to deceive anybody.”
“Are you going to send me home?” She blurted out.
Stellan laughed. “Really, London? Do you even have to ask? We all believed Salem was my son for weeks, and you never left. You could have packed your bags and said ‘no thanks!’, but you didn’t. And I’m not planning on walking away either. But I am going to leave the decision up to you. You’ve got a lot to take care of here, and I understand if you want to leave the competition. I’ll help you in any way I can regardless. We won’t stop being friends just because you’ve gone home.”
London smiled at the man who had unexpectedly become not only her love interest, but her best friend.
“That being said,” He continued, “I think I should leave now. Use the next couple days to relax and maybe sort some things out – I’ll see you later.”
And with that, they said an early goodbye.
So, who should go home?
Also, want to ask me any questions about what goes on behind the scenes? Want to know who my favourite was, or what happens to the eliminated girls? Maybe you’d like to know the writing process?
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