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05/18/17 04:16 am
pj! I remember wishing one of your stories would be finished seriously about a decade ago. Amazing. I just tried an old password I used to use and amazingly got in too. Memories!
03/20/17 01:20 am
10 yrs later, i finally rem my username and password. Pari, you rock. Hope you are well.
12/23/16 01:12 pm
I donate every month. Please donate to keep this site up!
10/06/16 08:34 am
Great post.
08/31/16 03:45 pm
And anyone else who loves this site, it's worth mentioning there's a nifty little "Donate" option just below the shout box here! ;)
08/31/16 03:43 pm
Just wanted to take a moment to thank Pari and all the mods for maintaining such a great site!


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Authors Chapter Notes:
I've decided I want to start posting this before "Kitchen Confidential" premieres on TV because I don't want people to think I got inspired from the show- actually, this is kind of a true story based on what happened at my job over the summer. I hope you like this first chapter, and if people like it enough, I'll try to post chapter 2 sooner rather than later!

Spike Brooks looked around the kitchen of his restaurant and shook his head, crossing his arms.

“This place looks like hell,” he said loudly, getting the attention of his employees, who were madly scurrying about, trying to finish completing orders for the restaurant’s customers. “There’s flour all over the floor, truffles melting on the counter, and is that a rag beside the oven, dangerously close to the flame beneath the saucepan?”

“Sorry,” his friend Xander said, grabbing the rag quickly.

“Are you trying to burn the place down, whelp?” Spike asked, shooting a pointed look at the brunette man. “I didn’t know sabotaging your place of work was a priority.”

“It was a mistake,” Xander replied sincerely. “I’m sorry.” Spike sighed and unfolded his arms, putting his hands in his pockets instead.

“I’m sorry, everyone,” he said, looking around at the people watching him nervously. “I’m under a lot of stress, especially with the competition coming up.”

“You’ll do great,” Xander said, patting his shoulder. “Andrew and I are going to help you through it, alright?” Spike looked at Andrew, who was cutting up a head of lettuce and nodding in agreement. “Plus, I think Jonathon and Warren volunteered to do some of the prep work before the competition starts.”

“I just wish it was over already,” Spike said, running a hand over his face, frustrated. “There’s a lot riding on this one, you know.”

“Spike, you’ve won the last five years, ever since you opened Chantarelle’s,” Andrew said, looking at his boss and friend. “I wouldn’t worry so much if I were you.”

“Yeah, but now I have to contend with Buffy Summers, the owner of Joyce’s Pastry Shop,” Spike replied, annoyed. “And I’ve been told she’s one hell of a chef.”

“She’s a newbie,” Xander said, and Spike looked at him with a quirked eyebrow. “People tend to stick with what they know, which means that you’ve got an advantage over her.”

“Are you saying I’m old?” Spike asked, his tone becoming light. Xander smiled and stirred the sauce on the oven. “So, who wants to go spy on my major competition with me?”

“I will,” both Xander and Andrew said in unison, causing Spike to chuckle.

* * * * *

“Anya, you put way too much sugar in this,” Buffy said, making a face as she took another bite of a piece of cheesecake. “I can’t sell cakes that taste like this.”

“I’m sorry,” Anya apologized, taking off her apron. “But you distracted me while I was pouring it into the mixer.”

“How did I distract you? By telling you that it’s hot in here?” Buffy asked, frowning. “You need to be more careful. I don’t want to throw away a bunch of otherwise perfect cheesecakes.”

“I know,” her friend said, grabbing a tray of éclairs and following her boss into the storefront of the building. “So, are you excited for the Best Dessert In Sunnydale Competition?”

“Of course,” Buffy answered, smiling. “I’ve been looking forward to it ever since I applied at culinary school years ago.”

“Need help unloading those?” their friend Willow asked, appearing from behind them, pointing to the tray Anya was holding. “I finished the dishes.”

“Sure,” Anya said, putting the tray down on a counter as Willow walked over to her.

“Do either of you need my help?” Buffy asked, and both women shook their heads. “I’ll be in the back, working on my top secret project.”

“Is that code for you’ll be on-line?” Willow asked, and Buffy laughed.

“Pretty much,” Buffy replied, walking away from the girls as the door opened, three men walking inside and looking around.

“May we help you?” Anya asked, looking at them with a hopeful expression.

“Yeah,” Xander said, stepping forward and smiling at the blonde woman. “We’d like to sample some of your products.”

“I’m getting married soon and offered to find a cake for my reception,” Spike partially lied, smiling at the women. “But it seems you sell more than just cakes.”

“We have a wide variety of things,” Willow said, motioning to the glass coolers and display cases surrounding her. “Macaroons, truffles, mini cakes, cheesecake suckers, and these really neat cookies that we fill with jelly.” Xander looked at the cookies and grinned, suddenly becoming hungry. “Would you like to try a little bit of everything?”

“Sure,” Spike answered, nonchalantly surveying the room as Anya and Willow began taking trays out and putting samples on little plates. Xander and Andrew sat down at a table and motioned for Spike to join them, but he indiscreetly shook his head and continued to visually assess the place. “Pretty nice business for such young women to run.”

“Oh, it’s not ours,” Anya said, putting three plates down on the table that Xander and Andrew were occupying. “Our friend Buffy owns it.”

“Oh,” Spike said, finally knowing for certain that neither of them was his competitor.

‘Probably better this way,’ he thought as he sat with his friends and looked at the plate of dessert samples in front of him. ‘Along with being safer. If she saw us now and then at the competition, we might have a problem on our hands.’

“Dig in,” Willow said, handing them forks. All three men chose a different sample first and all made pleased faces as they swallowed the delicious desserts.

‘Wow,’ Spike thought, surprised. ‘If this is Buffy’s work, then she’s pretty good.’ He paused. ‘But not as good as I am.’

The three men continued eating until their plates were empty and stood up to dispose of them.

“So, what’s the consensus?” Willow asked after talking to several customers who had sat down.

“We’ll get back to you,” Spike answered, smiling. “I’m particularly fond of the key lime cheesecake.”

“Me too,” she said, returning his smile. “Well, if we don’t see you again, good luck with your wedding and congratulations.”

“Thank you,” he replied, turning around and exiting the building, his friends behind him.

Buffy stood in the doorway, her arms crossed over her chest and an irritated look on her face. Willow noticed her and raised an eyebrow at her friend’s cross expression.

“What’s wrong?” the redhead asked, worried.

“What the hell was Spike Brooks doing in here?” Buffy asked, and Willow’s face fell.

“That was him?” she asked, and Buffy nodded sternly. “I didn’t recognize him from his picture in the paper.” She paused and looked outside, watching the men cross the street and talking excitedly. “I’m sorry.”

“It’s fine,” Buffy said angrily, turning around and disappearing into the back kitchen.

Willow and Anya shared a look.


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