Leave the Pieces Behind Chapter 6

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Foodie Fact #6: Cupcakes originally weren't frosted. Spices or dried fruit were used for flavor.

I usually didn't mind large crowds, but the one at Tori's house was ridiculous. I stood in a corner behind a table of food, trying to figure out a way to sneak away before another person came up to me to rave about the banana cream caramel cupcakes and the raspberry Linzer tarts I had baked for Tori's Halloween party. The statement wasn't entirely true. Tori and her two besties had also helped baked. Those three had become my students in the amateur cooking classes I had been teaching for the last few weeks.

The three in question, dressed as sexy angels and devils, left me to watch the food while they mingled among the close to two hundred partygoers. Yes, two hundred from the senior class had come, with the possibility of more stopping in throughout the night.

The blaring music changed from pop to rap, making my head pound. Tori had suggested I come as a French maid. Her ways of persuasion were strong because she bought me the costume, complete with fishnet stockings and gloves, so I couldn't say no.

Foster came dressed as a pirate captain. He even looked hot in his fake curly black wig and ruffled shirt. Before the party while he and his crew helped Tori set up, he told me I looked cute. He hugged me, showing me off to his friends, who also agreed. They were probably just being nice because I kept some extra desserts off to the side for them.

My skirt had wilted, my hair flattened, and noticeable rips appeared in my fishnets. My calves throbbed from standing in high-heel pumps I had borrowed from Mom. I slipped out from behind the table and hurried with aching feet across the packed room.

I had just reached the hallway when Tori appeared with five other girls who'd dressed more to go clubbing than for a Halloween party.

"Bree!" Tori squealed and threw her arm around my shoulder. She held a red plastic cup with some green liquid in her hand, which she drank, making her lips darken.

"Hi," I croaked, my voice rough. It probably had to do with speaking to people over the blaring music.

"Here is the woman of the hour." She gripped my upper arm to keep me near. "Bree helped me bake all the yummy food for the party."

Assisted would be a better word, but I kept my mouth shut because correcting her wouldn't accomplish anything.

The girls around us squealed and clapped. One dressed as Wonder Woman went as far to grab me from Tori and hug me.

"You have to teach me to bake like you did with Tori!" She latched on to me, making us sway to the side. Based on her breath, she drank something more than just soda.

Tori snagged me by the arm, laying claim to me again. "Get in line. I'm not done with Bree yet."

I winced, not because of her hold, but her choice of words. I hated thinking after our lessons she would toss me away. But for now, I remained useful to her, and it kept me in Foster's orbit, for him to notice me constantly, which I counted as a bonus.

Wonder Woman's pouty boo-boo lip made everyone giggle.

Tori finished her drink and handed her cup to one of the girls. "I can thank B.A. for making Foster and me stronger than ever." She pressed her cheek to mine. "Last weekend we baked these cream cheese brownies for him. He wouldn't stop eating them, and then he thanked me by—"

"Going downtown?" one of the angel girls asked, and everyone roared with laughter.

Tori's entire body seemed to vibrate. "A girl doesn't kiss and tell."

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