COOKIES

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Chapter 8

Nina’s story – 5 & 1/2 years ago

Indiscretions and Poop-wars

Where to begin, where to begin?

Well, for starters, Dean and I had been living in Sandstone for almost six months now. The good people in this town finally started warming up to us. Maybe it was the upcoming holiday season that tended to warm people’s hearts; either way, I’d take it. I ironically managed to make a couple of friends, Izzie, a twenty-something hairstylist at the local salon, and her partner Sasha, the owner of our one and only hometown grocery store. The moment I met the two while perusing the wine aisle at Sasha’s store, we just clicked. These two are just adorably awesome. They absolutely complement each other just as much as Dean and I do. The ying to the other’s yang; while Sasha is more reserved and serious, Izzie is an utterly snarky spitfire who has an opinion about everything and everyone in this town, especially the notorious Anabelle Adler. According to Izzie, Anabelle had quite a scandalous past. She had been a pageant queen but was dethroned when it was brought to light that she slept with a few of the judges to earn her title. After that, she dated several older, well off men until she finally locked her hooks onto her naïve husband, Nathan Adler, heir to a very famous coffee chain and worth millions. The rumor was, Nathan’s family actually owns the little town of Sandstone; something about one of his descendants purchased the sleepy town as a wedding gift for their spouse. Talk about setting the bar for the rest of that marriage. I mean, honestly, how do you even top that later on?

But I digress.

Anyway, it turns out; little miss sunshine had recently been spotted at the Casino a few towns over in Hinkley playing tonsil hockey with quite a few different men.

Just eww.

When Izzie shared this juicy little tidbit, I wasn’t surprised in the least. The way I had spotted Anabelle eye-raping, my husband, in front of me, mind you, these last few months says it all; the woman had like no sense of morality. Poor Nathan. I truly hoped someone would let the poor man in on his wife’s notorious escapades. I personally did not feel it was my place to be the one to do so. I may seriously hate his wife, but I don’t really know him that well, and it just didn’t seem like my place. I felt like doing so would only result in a bad outcome for me and possibly Dean’s recent budding business.

Nope, it was better for me to keep my mouth shut about Anabelle’s infidelities.

Besides, I had my own vendetta to deal with her about.

Dog Shit.

That’s right, dog shit. It seems that Anabelle, whether accidentally or deliberately, I’m thinking the latter, hasn’t been keeping tabs on their stupid dog. Since we only have an electrical fence to keep Mitzy in, Princess makes it her daily mission to deliver steaming baked goods on my lawn every damn day.

At first, I brushed it off and picked up the unmentionable without complaint. But seeing that this has been going on for a month now, I have made it a habit of waking up at the crack of dawn just to saunter over to the Adler home and regift Princess’s presents onto their porch.

Is it the most mature way of handling the situation? Probably not.

Do I care? Definitely not.

As they say, payback’s a bitch.

However, the problem with payback is that sometimes you have to remember that some people will cross any line to get the satisfaction of their revenge. Anabelle Adler taught me this painful lesson, and I’ve carried it with me ever since.

*********************************************************

A few days ago, a very toothy grinned Dean came traipsing through the kitchen like a kid in a candy store. I had been working on making a couple of loaves of zucchini bread for the girls when a pair of muscular arms wrapped around me and lifted me into a tight embrace.

I giggled.

“Put me down, you brute.” I teased.

“Why is it every time I pick you up, you always call me a brute?”
“Well, if you didn’t have a penchant for lifting me up whenever you hugged me, I wouldn’t have to.” I teased.

“Hahaha. It’s not my fault you weigh practically nothing.”
Oh, I just love this man. Those are the best words ever!

“I’m pretty sure you’re exaggerating, but I’ll take it. So, my sexy brute, to what do I owe the pleasure of your excited greeting this time?”

“Well, my lovely little baker. I know you have been bored out of your skull here these last few months. And … despite what you think, I have been paying attention. I know you were hoping to find a part-time job that still allowed you to help me out with the Funeral Home. I also know that you haven’t had any luck.”

“Thanks for reminding me, Captain Obvious.”

“Ha Hah, you’re welcome, my little tartelette. So, anyway, I was talking to Nathan Adler the other day over at the hardware store, and he had told me that Anabelle was hosting some kind of swanky dinner party for the city council members and their spouses. He said that she had found a caterer for the food and appetizers but was hoping for something special for the dessert course. I guess the baker she normally goes through is sick, and now Annabelle’s in a bind. Since Nate knew what an awesome baker you are, he was wondering if you’d be willing to, with pay, of course, bake the desserts for Anabelle’s dinner party if she agreed to hire you. I told him I thought it was an amazing idea. I mean, this could work as a potential side income for you if things go well. I hope you don’t mind. I know I should have told you sooner, but I wanted to surprise you, not to mention I know that his wife can be a bit off, so I wanted to wait until we had the final ok which Nate just called and told me if you want it, the job is yours.”

I was stunned. A flurry of emotions ran through my mind. None of them good. I hated Anabelle, and the feeling was obviously reciprocated. Why she agreed to have me cater the desserts for her party was beyond me. I’m sure she has to be planning something to make me look bad. I wanted to say no, but the sweet innocent look on Dean’s face made it very difficult for me to do so. In his innocent mind, he was doing something for me; he wasn’t actually aware of the poop-war and how much I detested that horrible woman. With every second that passed, Dean’s brows began to furrow even deeper in worry. I knew I needed just to bite the bullet and agree to do this; I was just having a hard time shoving back the bile threatening to spew alongside my words.

I masked my face with a huge grin causing Dean to relax once again.

“I’d love to, babes. Thank you so much for thinking of me and setting up the amazing surprise. There are literally no words to express what this means to me.”
And happy Dean made an appearance.

“So, when is it, and how much will I be getting paid for this little event? Do we know how many people will I be baking for? Also, does she have any particular ideas regarding what she wants?”

“Next Sunday, forty-two people, whatever you think is appropriate and three-hundred dollars.”

Holy Crap!

I hadn’t expected that generous of an offer. Is it possible that I may have misconstrued Anabelle’s intentions with hiring me as her party’s baker?

Maybe. Maybe not.

*************************************************************

Ironically, the infamous poop war ended the day Dean had informed me that I would be baking the desserts for Anabelle’s party.

Smart move Anabelle, smart move.

Saturday morning before the party, I had decided that I would run over to Hinkley and get all the supplies I needed for the desserts I would be baking for Anabelle’s party.

Since Dean was gone for the weekend, he had to meet with a supplier up in Duluth, and I was going to be gone for most of the day; my little Mitzy was going to be left unattended for a bit. I hated to do it but being that she has a small bladder, I decided to let her be free in the yard during my absence. The electric fence and collar would make sure she didn’t venture beyond the back yard, so I didn’t have to worry about her running out into the street. I could tell Mitz-Mitz was a little sad when I left her, but I’d make sure to bring her a special treat when I came home as a reward for her good behavior.

I know I spoil her. What can I say … that’s my girl, and I would do anything for her.

As I drove away, I didn’t notice that someone watched my every move, devising a despicable idea that would cross a line that should have never been crossed.

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