"Two tablespoons," I snapped.
"It says one and a half," Willow argued.
"Just put in two!"
"It'll fuck up the recipe!"
"I swear to God if you don't put two tablespoons in there I will-"
"Fine," she snapped. "Just get that pole out of your ass."
I rolled my eyes and went back to making the dough. Willow and I were baking pies for a bake sale the local church was having. It had been five days since the foal was born and so far everything was going well. She forced me to go down every day to check in on it since she was restricted from the barn. Willow had gotten bored quickly, though, and jumped at the opportunity when a pastor came by asking for donations.
"Now what?" she demanded.
I looked over at the picture of apple pie. I stuck my finger in and tasted it. She looked disgusted.
"Now I have to start over!" she cried indignantly.
"Oh shut up. My finger was clean. It tastes good. Now, if you'll excuse me, I need to make this dough or we'll never get the pies done in time."
"Shut up," she groaned and looked out the window.
I rolled out the dough and cut it out to put in two pie plates. I lined it and let the crust cook for a few minutes then poured the mixture in.
"You twist it, right?" she asked, looking at the left over dough.
"Yeah," I said and showed her. "Some people prefer to do a flat cover for apple pie but I've always liked the look of a crisscrossed top."
"How long do they cook for?"
We slid the pies in and I brushed my floury hands together.
"About 45 minutes," I answered and glanced at the clock. "We have two hours before the sale begins so that'll give it time to cool down."
"Do you think they'll be there?" she asked quietly while we washed our hands.
"I haven't said anything to the classes," I said. "Have you?" She shook her head no. "Then we should be safe. You still have it with you, though?"
"Yep," she said, patting her back pocket. "It's staying with me everywhere."
So far the threat of the check had worked but, after sending the letter saying they were going to sue us, I didn't think they'd hold back much longer. I was worried but did my best to hide it.
"You're not fooling anyone," Willow said suddenly, getting on the couch and turning the TV on.
Once again, I had to make a conscious effort to look away from her legs. She was in a pair of mid-thigh shorts again and a short sleeved white shirt. Instead of her boots, she wore a pair of black flip flops.
"What do you mean?" I asked, sitting beside her.
"I know you're worried," she answered. "You can stop trying to pretend you're not."
I sighed and leaned back some more. "I dunno, Willow. I don't want anyone getting hurt anymore. It's exhausting and I just want to live like a normal person."
I glared at her as she started to laugh.
"A normal person?" she repeated. "Nathan, there's no such thing for you or us. Not anymore. We'll be like this for the rest of our lives."
"You really think so?" I mumbled and she stopped laughing.
"Yeah, I do," she whispered. "There may come a time where they'll leave us alone but, every time we leave this house and people see us, they'll remember it. We'll be questioned by random people in the grocery store. Occasionally our faces will appear in the magazines when they run out of things to report." She shook her head sadly. "Nothing's going to be the same."
"I'm sorry you got pulled into this," I said and she looked over at me.
"It's not your fault, Nathan."
I scoffed. "Yeah it is, Willow. If I hadn't been such an immature bastard, my parents wouldn't have wanted my sister to pull that shit."
"What if they see you've changed?" she asked. "Do you think they'll take you back?"
I frowned. "If they do, my answer is going to be a huge no," I said, adding a flourish with my middle finger. "I don't understand why they would do something like that to their son. There are other ways to stage an intervention without ruining someone else's life. What?" I asked when I saw her looking at me strangely.
"You care?" she asked.
"What do you mean?"
"You care that my life has been-"
"Fucked up? Yeah, I do."
I shifted and looked back at the TV she had muted. It was some stupid infomercial. I knew she was still staring at me, though.
"We're friends now," I muttered.
The timer went off and we both got up to check on the pies. The air around us was a little tense as I tapped the crust on top.
"They're ready," I said and took them both out. "Usually it takes an hour to cool so we'll be right on time."
"That's good," she said in a strange voice.
I looked at her. She was frowning at the stove top. The pies were on the counter on wire racks so they would cool down faster.
"Hey," I said and she looked at me for a second. "What's wrong?"
"Nothing," she said quickly and I rolled my eyes.
"You're not fooling anyone," I mocked and she sighed, leaning her hip against the counter.
"I don't know," she said. "I'm being honest," she said when I arched a brow. "I just feel...."
"Confused?" I suggested.
"Yeah," she mumbled, rubbing the back of her neck.
"Why are you confused?"
She looked at me again and, for the first time since I've known her, I realized how pretty her eyes were. Her tanned face made them pop more and her lips were red. I wondered what her face felt like. Would it be soft? And what about her lips.
I didn't realize it, but our bodies were inches away. My hand was on the countertop and slid on top of hers. She was breathing quicker and I felt a batch of nerves that were very unfamiliar. I was centimeters away and her eyes were closed. Just a few more seconds and-
"Those kids will never learn!"
Willow and I jumped and turned to the back door. Aaron stormed in, looking severely pissed off and wiping sweat from his face.
"What happened?" Willow asked, stepping away from me and I felt disappointed.
"How many times do I need to tell them to hold the reins loose!?" he complained and I quickly got him a can of beer for the fridge.
Willow grimaced. "Are these the Logan twins?"
"Yes," he sighed, sitting down heavily. "What're the pies for?"
"Church bake sale," she answered. "Do you want to come?"
"Eh, why not?" he said. "I'll go shower."
"How's the foal?" she asked anxiously.
He smiled. "He's just fine, Willow."
She nodded and he went up the stairs. I cleared my throat and rubbed the back of my neck awkwardly. I didn't know what to say or do and she seemed to have the same problem. Part of me wanted to grab her face and kiss her but the other part was too worried I'd ruin our friendship. I tried to look at her but I couldn't bring myself to do it.
So, instead of speaking, we stood for the whole time her dad was in the shower. As we were walking to the church, though, each of us holding a pie, she whispered.
"I'm not sure which of us is more stubborn."