Being in charge of the kitchen at the house wasn’t a hardship. Not for Liz, at least.
When she lived with the pack, kitchen duty had been a chore. A hundred plus ravenous wolves to feed had sucked all the joy out of cooking.
Plus, she hadn’t been in charge there.
She’d been just a worker bee, washing dishes and stirring pots while the real cooks had been planning meals and sourcing ingredients. The one time she’d screwed up her courage enough to suggest a substitution in one of the staple dishes, she’d gotten such looks of horror that she’d wanted to crawl into a hole and die of embarrassment.
So, yeah. Cooking for people who got irrationally excited whenever she mixed things up a bit was no hardship.
And she was allowed to bake.
Good gravy, she hadn’t known how voracious supernaturals could get around sweets until she’d made her first batch of scones. She’d barely finished putting the icing glaze on them when her friends had appeared.
Michael had given her the most pathetic set of puppy dog eyes she’d ever seen until she relented and slid the cooling tray over to him. Those scones had been gone in a heartbeat.
And the next batch.
She’d put her foot down on the third batch and refused to let them eat them until Ari got home. Her decree had earned her more than a few grumbles of discontent, but, for once, Liz hadn’t been bothered by them.
She made quality baked goods. If they wanted more on a regular basis, they’d abide by her rules.
When Hobs Bakery opened by the college, she’d been a cross between relieved and irritated. It meant her friends could sneak off and buy their baked goods instead of hounding her, but it also meant she…
Actually, not having to make five dozen sweet treats a day had freed up a lot of her time. Which she wasn’t going to complain about because more free time meant more time spent with Akakios.
But it kind of stung to have them raving about those damn cinnamon rolls.
Those damn, delicious, heavenly cinnamon rolls.
Hobs Bakery sure did know their dough.
The house quiet around her in the early pre-dawn hours, Liz pulled out her battered cookbook and flipped through the pages until she found the recipe she wanted to try. It was a twist on the classic cinnamon roll and she was…well, she was a little nervous about tweaking something that was such a hit with the others.
What it they hated it?
What if they loved it? What if her changes had her friends abandoning the bakery rolls and demanding she gave up all other pursuits to make them exclusively?
A laugh snorted out of her and Liz clapped her hand over her mouth before she was overcome with giggles.
Right. Like her recipe was going to ruin them for all other cinnamon rolls. The Hobs Bakery ones were good enough she didn’t have to worry about being forced to become the sole supplier of sweet, cinnamon-y goodness.
The soft rustle of wings alerted Liz to the presence of one of her friends.
Turning, she found Vane hovering in the doorway, his expression apologetic. Vane often came down before dawn to wish her a good day and ask her to relay a message to Liam or Ari if it was important enough it couldn’t wait until he rose the following evening.
Flashing him a smile, Liz gestured him in.
One thing she could say about her friends, they might be monsters and beasts, but they were all very careful to observe the unwritten rules that said the kitchen was her domain. Her territory.
Well, except Ari. But that was to be expected seeing as it was her house.
Although, Liz would prefer she didn’t use all the flour and sugar when making muffins and then NOT tell her they were out.
Some people had no concept of the sheer quantity of ingredients were needed to keep a household this size fed.
Vane cleared his throat.
Liz’s gaze snapped to him. Right. She needed to stop dwelling on Ari’s flour incident from a few weeks ago.
“What’s up, Vane?”
The big gargoyle looked almost embarrassed as he shifted from foot to foot. It was sort of sweet.
“If you were to make anything sweet today, I was wondering if you might put some aside for me.” He gave her a slight smile. “Cin brought a box of donuts from the bakery the other night, but they weren’t quite what I wanted.”
For Vane, she’d certainly set aside some of her hybrid cinnamon rolls. He so rarely asked for anything since his schedule was the opposite of everyone else’s. By the time he rose from his daylight slumber, she’d usually finished cooking for the day.
“Sure thing,” she told him softly. “I’ll put aside a whole batch for you.”
The gargoyle was startlingly handsome when he smiled like he was now. Happiness was a good look on him.
She’d have to make sure she put aside something for him every time she baked.
Just because a guy only came alive during the nighttime hours didn’t mean he had to miss out on treats.
“Thank you, Liz. I appreciate it.”
As Vane disappeared into the heart of the house to seek out his daytime resting place, Liz turned back to her preparations.
Moments like these were why she didn’t mind kitchen duty.
Would the house survive if she suddenly stopped cooking for them? Yeah, it would. But she made a difference here. She gave people happiness in the form of sugary confections and fuel to keep them strong and ready for anything.
No, this definitely wasn’t a hardship.
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