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I brought a tray of cookies out to the living room, but there wasn’t any room on the coffee table beside the dozens of other goodies we had already brought out. I’d overdone it maybe, because I’d made it past silver and ceramic trays into the silly plastic kinds from the bottom of the cabinet.
Jess stopped me before I tipped something off the low table, “I think it might be more practical to bring in a folding table in from the garage and set it up against the wall. This Vampire Book Group probably won’t eat all of this, and they might need the space for their books or notes or whatever.”
“Sure, although this doesn’t even seem adequate for twenty people.”
“Oh, it’s more than adequate,” Jess said. I didn’t understand, but believed her. She’d asked me to host, something up with her apartment after all. She’d thanked me repeatedly for inviting them, but I was happy to help.
After we brought the table back, and I’d rearranged all the food, I asked Jess what book they were reviewing in the Book Club.
“Eat Pray Love,” she answered, helping me rearrange the tea tray.
“That’s not a Vampire book,” I said, confused.
Jess’ eyes seemed to be glowing somewhat as she turned to me, smiled oddly and responded, “No… it’s not.”
Marni looked at the silver frosting on the cookie and wondered how the color was gotten. Did they put actual silver in the frosting? Wasn’t silver bad for the body? It was certainly bad for her body. Being a fairly new werewolf, Marni stayed as far from silver as she could. But would the cookie’s frosting have the same effect?
Roydan, her maker, was buying the bakery clean out of croissants. Apparently, the rival pack they were visiting had a fondness of the baked good and since they were trying to work out a truce, bring them seemed like a game booster.
Being a lawyer in her precious life, Marni was brought along as the practical and mostly law abiding XXX. She actually enjoyed it and hoped that they would come to an agreement that would get her a feather in her cap.
She preferred arbitrating too her courtroom law days and despite the pain of the change, this new life suited her well.
The smell of death brought her head down from the clouds and she glanced furtively around the bakery. Roydan had straightened she noticed but it was a new and different smell of death.
Roydan whispered for her ears only, “Vampire.”
Cookie considered the silver dress, which was more practical than the gold strings that were somehow supposed to cover key parts of her body. Still, she thought, holding the thin tube of silver mesh and lace out in front of her, the silver didn’t seem to do much more.
She cursed, knowing that even she called for another dress, the alien servant would just bring her something more outlandish, insisting that covering skin was rude, that the more material she wore, the more offended her hosts would be.
She glared at the metal band around her wrist, knowing that she still had hours to go before the machine teleported her back. She was going to give the Home Office so much crap for this when she got back.
Why did she have to end up in the stripper alien world? This place was clearly meant for Brittany; she stripped regularly and for fun, like on stage. She would know exactly what to do with those strings.
It’s because my name is Cookie, she fumed, dragging the silver “dress” over her head and struggling to make it fit properly. Everyone just assumed things.
She thought of her mother’s love for chocolate chips and baking and sighed. The world was a lot simpler back then, back before teleporting and galaxy hopping and Home Offices that judged people by birth names instead of previous professions or even current hobbies.
She took in her appearance in the mirror.
Not bad, she allowed. If she had to do this, at least she looked good by Home Office standards.
The coven sat around the table, waiting in eager anticipation for the return of their beloved, and long-lost member. The table was laid as if for high tea, and each witch (or warlock) sat with barely suppressed glee at the array of treats, cookies, and scones before them.
The food wasn’t just for indulgence, but also had a practical purpose. It was awfully difficult to get angry at a fellow witch (or warlock) when delightful blends of flour, animal fat, and sugar spun into deliriously decadent concoctions were melting on the tongue.
A witch with silver in her hair shifted a bit as the silence stretched out. The aromas of tea and cakes continued to create salivating mouths. A warlock gently wiped his mouth with a napkin. The clock chimed the hour, witching hour of course and all heads turned as one to the doorway as a small blue dragon flew in and settled on the mahogany chair at the end of the table.