“I just wanted to tell you,” Buffy began. She was well into her forties now, and there were signs of weariness in her face and voice, but to Angel her beauty had not so much as diminished. He listened attentively as she brushed back a lock of hair and spoke, a half smile on her lips. “I finished baking.”
“Really?” Angel leaned forward, barely believing what he was hearing.
“So I can come into the kitchen now?”
“Be my guest.”
The heavenly scent that had been teasing Angel’s nose for hours hit him in full force when he entered the kitchen. Every inch of counter space was occupied by trays and plates, each of them piled with a warm, soft morsel freshly delivered from the oven. Unable to control himself, Angel grabbed one from the closest platter without examining it, and stuffed it in his mouth as he toured the rest of the room, chewing avidly and peering at Buffy’s handiwork.
“Those are your standard indispensable chocolate chippinators,” she said, pointing. “And over here are ginger snaps. These are oatmeal raisin, not my favorite but we can’t neglect the classics, and the big ones are cowboy cookies—“
“What’s a cowboy cookie?” he interrupted, whirling on her.
She grinned and took a bite of a cookie of her own before answering around it. “You’ll find out. So, what do you think?”
He swallowed his last bite as fast as he could, grabbed her around the waist, and pulled her to himself to dip her into a passionate, sugar-enhanced kiss. “Perfect,” he murmured before letting her up. He licked his lips and smiled. “You taste like chocolate chip.”
“You taste like snickerdoodle,” she replied. “Wait, we’re doing this wrong. I owe you a glass of cold milk.”
After she had poured one for each of them, there wasn’t much talk for a few minutes. Angel devoured one cookie after another, choosing his targets with gravity, while Buffy munched her way through her personal favorites without any real plan except to stop when her stomach began to complain. Eventually she remarked, “I can’t believe this is what you wanted to do for our anniversary.”
“That starts tomorrow,” he reminded her. “This is how I wanted to prepare for our anniversary.”
“Right,” she smiled. “We better start getting these packed up, then. So, where are you taking me?”
“You’ll find out.” He kissed her again, this time unhindered by crumbs in either of their mouths. “I love you more than cookies, Buffy.”