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chapter five: kitchen spills

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"Life moves pretty fast. If you don't stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it."

~Ferris Bueller's Day Off

Kelsey handed a ramekin of crème brulee to Ethan, who was leaning against the stainless steel counter.

He was wearing a wrinkled blue t-shirt and his brown hair looked like it had been perfectly coiffed at some point during the day, but was ruffled on one side now.

"Thanks for knocking this time," Kelsey said, cracking the torched layer above the brulee with her spoon. "So did you forget your script again, or...?"

Ethan shrugged. "Nope."

"Then why are you here?"

"Because I assume you never leave this kitchen, so how else was I supposed to see you?"

Kelsey raised her eyebrows. "Wow. That's sweet of you. But I shall have you know that I do get out of this kitchen. Quite often, actually."

Ethan snickered. "And do what? Pet cats and read cookbooks?"

Kelsey playfully slapped his shoulder. "Rude! I don't even like cats."

"Dog person?"


She swirled her spoon around in the cream before popping it into her mouth. "So, I saw you on TV the other night."

Ethan squinted up at the ceiling. "You mean on Saturday?"


"I haven't done one of those in a year. What'd you think?" He asked through a mouthful of brulee.

"I thought Becca Lynn was quite the character."

Ethan grinned. "Yeah, she is. We practically grew up together."

"Who's Mack?"

Ethan spluttered and looked at her as if she was crazy. "Jordan Mack? The rapper?"

Kelsey gave a guilty shrug.

Ethan shook his head and laughed. "He's really famous."

"I assumed."

"Doesn't deserve it in my opinion," Ethan muttered. "All he raps about drags women through the mud and he swears so much in between that you can't even decipher what he's talking about. Not that you'd want to, anyway."

"And he's married to Becca?"

"They tied the knot last year," he said, shaking his head again. "That's why I try to stick close to them, you know? I don't trust Mack with her, but she's too blind to leave him. I guess I kind of feel like it's my responsibility to watch out for her."

"I know the feeling," Kelsey nodded, and couldn't help but think of Alex and Sandy, though she had to admit Ethan was kinder than she was. She'd been avoiding Alex since she'd arrived in California and never thought to intervene in order to protect Sandy.

Kelsey set her ramekin aside and rested her elbow against the counter. "I couldn't help but notice that you seemed... different."

"Really? Well, people are different when they have twenty cameras pointing at them. You never really get used to it."

Kelsey tilted her head towards him. "You know what I mean."

He shrugged. "We've all got our family issues."

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