Sinbad stared at the package of dubiously named “Magic Butter”. A few years ago, he would’ve gladly bought the store’s entire supply.
Of course, things had changed since then. And he was certain Shark wouldn’t appreciate cookies made with this sort of butter.
Regular it was, then. Sometimes the redhead wondered how the store managed to keep itself under the radar with that sort of merchandise.
“Hey, dumbfuck. Move it. I want to watch my shows, and they’re not on Netflix. So get your half-naked ass off the couch and do something productive.”
Lolly was being unusually rude and snappish today. She stood next to the couch, attempting to shoo her brother away from the TV show.
“But I want to get in some Anthony Bourdain before Sinbad gets back!”
“Don’t care. Up.” Sighing, Shark flipped it back to regular TV and stood up. When he walked by, his sister immediately regretted standing so close.
“And it wouldn’t kill you to wear pants around the house!” Lolly covered her eyes until Shark left the room.
For whatever reason, she was not in the mood for his usual shenanigans today. Waiting until she heard the bedroom door close, Lolly turned around and stomped after him.
The redhead came home later to find Lolly casually watching some overly cliched teen series.
“Hey, Princess. Where’s your brother?”
Lolly glared up at Sinbad. “Doing the usual stupid shit he’s been doing for years.”
Sinbad decided to just stop talking to her there, lest he start a verbal altercation with a teenager. He set down the bag of ingredients, and began to pull out the devices needed.
“Dad says you’re not allowed to use that stuff when he’s not home!”
“Oh? That so?” Lolly nodded. “If I call your daddy, is he gonna tell me what you said?” He began to twirl a heart-shaped cookie cutter on his finger.
Then the girl’s face blanched. “No, no…Eh, go ahead.
The brunet was laying face-down on the bed when Sinbad checked on him.
“Rough day?” Shark nodded without lifting his head up.
“Any way to make it feel better?” This time, Shark shook his head. “Wanna talk about it?” Again, an answer for no.
“That bad, eh?” Now he got a verbal answer in the form of a drawn-out “Yes.”
The redhead reached over and gently patted the bread loaf-sized thigh that belonged to his boyfriend. “I’m making some cookies. Would that help?”
Shark just uttered something that sounded like “Eh.” Assuming that meant yes, or something close to it, Sinbad went back into the other room.
For whatever reason, Sinbad didn’t notice the suspicious position of the ingredients when he put the tray in the oven.
He did realize the cookies tasted off when they were done baking. He also saw, out of the corner of his eye, Lolly having a smug grin on her face. That right there should’ve been a sign she did something bad.
Sinbad tried to ignore it as he picked up a cookie or two to bring to Shark.
“All right, what’s eating you?” In the time it took him to get back, the brunet had assumed the sitting position. His arms were behind him, implying he was trying to hide something behind his back.
“I don’t want to talk about it.” Shark looked at the cookie being offered to him, then leaned in and took hold of it with his mouth.
“That bad?” Sinbad watched him shrug. Shark cringed as he swallowed his cookie.
“Probably not as bad as that was. How much baking soda did you put in those?”
The expression Sinbad now took on was one best described as worry and realization, then was promptly shook off for later.
“Not that much. Anyway, what the hell is wrong today?” With what appeared to be much reluctance, Shark pulled out his ‘birthday bear’. “Okay, what about it?”
A mere flick of the fingers, and the bear’s head came off. The sight caused Shark to look near tears, presumably for the second time that day. Sinbad was shocked and confused.
“What the hell happened?” The stuffing that stuck out from the neck indicated it wasn’t a clean rip.
“I don’t know! First she told me to get up off the couch. Then a while later, she came in and just ripped its head off! I asked why, and she said it was ‘to teach me a lesson’. What did I do wrong?”
Lolly was still watching her show when Sinbad stormed back in, blocking the TV.
“Hey, I’m watching that! Now get your ugly tattooed ass out of the way!”
Sinbad didn’t move an inch, except for displaying the decapitated bear’s head to her, and pointing to it. When she recognized it, she snorted and chuckled.
“Oh, you think this shit is funny? You think ripping up something important and making a grown man cry is something to laugh at?!”
More laughter. Sinbad growled at her, seeing that she wasn’t going to listen to him.
“You’re just a real fucking piece of work, ain’t ya, kid?” He then stalked off to his room, only to come back out with Shark in tow.
“Where are we going?” The brunet cradled the headless bear in his arm.
“Someone I know can help.” It was then that Lolly saw that, indeed, her brother had finally put pants on.
“Yo, Amy!” The woman looked an unfamiliar sight in an orange bathrobe. Her hair was down, and face was devoid of her usual makeup.
“Sinbad! What’s going on?” If she’d not said anything, Shark wouldn’t have recognized her at all. He couldn’t help but notice the way she moved to cover a slightly protruding belly.
The redhead took the bear’s body from Shark, and handed it to her along with its head. “Got a little job for you. You’re still learning to sew, right?”
Amy stared at the cloth and stuffing remains. “I am, but…What happened?”
“Lolly happened. So can you do it, or are you not at that point in learning yet?”
The woman nodded, and took the bear from him. “I can do it! I can fix it by tomorrow! But, Sinbad…” Amy looked away. “Can you, uh…”
“Come on, spit it out.” Sinbad had a feeling he knew what she was going to ask.
“I have a prenatal visit next week, but…” Amy suddenly began squinting her eyes, like she forgot what she was going to say in mid-sentence. “Well, so does Jenni, and you know Goodwin can’t attend both without rousing suspicion, right? So can you…?”
“Yes.” Sinbad nodded once, looking over to Shark to see if his answer was acceptable. The wordless yet favorable response Shark gave proved it was. “If you’re asking me to be there, like for support or some shit, then sure.”
The woman’s eyes lit up, and she hugged her friend. “Thank you, Sinbad. This means so much to me.”
“Hey, if Daddy doesn’t show, why not? Anything to help a friend.”
“Sinbad?” Shark said his boyfriend’s name quietly, as the two were on their way home.
“Hmm?” Sinbad thought he was going to ask about what he’d just agreed to. He couldn’t be any farther off the mark.
The brunet tried to look emotionless. “When we get home, can we make another batch of cookies? Like, ones that don’t taste like ass?”
Sinbad scoffed at the terminology used. “Sure.”
This time, he made a note to himself to let Shark’s father know about Lolly’s potential as a culinary saboteur.
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