Title:Vanilla, Cinnamon, and...?
Character/s: Arthur, Merlin, Percival
Summary: Merlin is getting more attention than normal and he can't figure out why.
Warnings: Some swearing and lots of sniffing
Word Count: 987
Author's Notes: Based on a true story. Ladies and gents...this actually works. :) Also in the same verse as 'Flour, Water, Yeast and Salt'.
Merlin knew there was something off that first morning. He had just finished baking off a batch of cinnamon sticky rolls, the last things he liked to do before the morning crowd, when his first customer walked in and commented on how good everything smelled. Usually this was a happy compliment that Merlin would take in stride. A customer would inhale sharply and bat their eyes at the breads, both sweet and savory with all the desire of people who had not eaten anything in years. This time however the man wasn't looking at the bread. He was staring quite strangely at Merlin.
Merlin tried not to think of the odd customer and moved on through his day. He noticed he had run out of golden raisins and he had forgotten about an order for Mrs. Clancy this afternoon for 3 Babka, so he closed shop for a few minutes to run down to his local produce supplier. While waiting in line though, Merlin caught something odd taking place. The man behind him in line was sniffling him. Not just sniffling the warm vanillas and cinnamon that clung to him even after long hot showers. Those kinds of things Merlin was strangely used to, but this man was hungrily smelling Merlin. Desperate and not caring what he looked like doing it either.
Merlin jumped back away from the man who didn't look to be an escaped mental patient. In fact judging from his clean cut appearance and the items in his hands, he was only in the shop for a small salad for lunch.
The man blushed, "Sorry, I didn't... sorry." The man bowed his apologies but Merlin could tell he was still insanely attracted to the scent and was still taking in every bit he could get. "Its just you smell so good. What the hell are you wearing?"
"Eau d'Pastry?" Merlin laughed it off because honestly he didn't do anything different today. It was the same old same old. and yet there was at least two responses today that had been vastly over the top.
When he got back to the shop, the counter helper Merlin had recently hired, Percy, had his apron on and was getting ready for whatever tasks Merlin was going to give him.
Merlin squeezed by the much taller man to the back area. Setting down his purchases, he was going to get started on Mrs. Clancy's order. She would be there in 5 hours and that didn't give him much time. Instead Percy was found over his shoulder sniffing at him.
"Boss? What do you have on?" Percy showed concern. Merlin's assistant was a handsome guy, and from all indications of his girlfriend of two years, Percy was supposedly straight. So for him to be sniffing at Merlin with a very curious look on his face meant something was actually very wrong here.
"I'm not sure. Obviously something's not right if you're saying you smell something too."
"I think whatever it is might be too 'right'. Its like all of the stuff you bake but there's a subtle hint of something else." Percy shook his head, trying to clear something away from his mind. "I currently want to bathe my girlfriend in whatever it is an lick it off of her."
Merlin blushed. Working so many years in the bakery meant Merlin no longer could really smell the bread and butter that lingered in his skin. He futilely sniffed again at his body, raising his arm a little, getting a manly kind of whiff of his lingering morning shower. There was a slight hint of something else. Something new that he wasn't sure about.
As per usual, he came home sore and tired. It was a good feeling. Sweat and flour caked everywhere. He needed a shower badly and so he walked toward the bathroom. That was when he spotted Arthur a few feet away and saw the very odd look crawling slowly across his husband's face. Merlin was immediately reminded of the looks of his first customer, the man at the store, and Percy.
"Oh Shit. Arthur."
Arthur, a man that already liked to breathe in Merlin more than air. A grown man that pressed his face to the glass of Merlin's bakery to tease, but also to smell everything.
Arthur's eyes glazed over like Merlin's cupcakes. "Wait. Honey?" Merlin defensively held up his hands thinking of the first time Arthur finally got him in bed. Both could barely walk two days after. And not for lack of penetrative licking and sucking.
When he got insatiable, Arthur was barely in control. Merlin usually loved it, but right now he really wanted a shower and maybe a nap first.
Merlin's thigh muscles burned, his lower back ached, and the dull throb of welts peppered all over his skin were all nothing compared to the well used feeling of his arse. Arthur finally collapsed after hours and hours of gnawing at his favorite treat. Merlin smiled to himself as he stumbled to the bathroom.
He finally got his shower and finally understood what happened over the last 24 hours. All could be explained with a small bottle, his antiperspirant, a mistakenly new flavor. The dark blue plastic container looked just like his old 'Forest Rain' but in very small writing along the bottom was printed. 'Cherry Surrender'.
Merlin thought back to his old biology professor in college. Merlin laughed back then since he was working in the bakery and only managed to attract the attentions of a childhood classmate Arthur, but the cranky old man commonly known as Dragoon may have been right.
"Men are strongly attracted to three scents, Vanilla, Cherry and Cinnamon. It's why most women's perfumes are based on one or more of the three."
Merlin smiled fondly at his new weapon. This was going to be fun.