It hit his nose, strong and thick.
Alastor's eyes widen slightly, sniffing the air. He could smell smoking meat, spices, chocolate, and... hazel? No, cinnamon. It was cinnamon.
His ears picked up a faint sound off in the distance. Of metal crashing against the floor, food splattering on the wall, and someone screaming. Chuckling, Alastor stood up from his desk, tidying away his papers, and vanished.
He reappeared in the kitchen and was taken back by the sheer state it was in.
Splatters of food covered the walls, floor, and ceiling. Knives were embedded in the counters. A pot filled with a boiling concoction hung on the chandelier. And half of the room was on fire.
And the trio responsible for the mess had yet to notice him standing in the room.
"Carrots go in next!"
Alastor chuckled as his children argued with each other, still failing to notice him as he stepped closer to his offspring.
"The book says that we need to add the potatoes next! Not carrots!" His eldest held up a book, pointing at the words. "We need to follow the book exactly like it says so!"
"But mom says that carrots are good for you, and she likes carrots!" His second oldest held a carrot like a weapon, jabbing it at the book. "And dad doesn't use a book to help him cook!"
"Cany! Cany!" The youngest sitting on top the counter cried, holding a bag of candy above their head. How and where she managed to get the bag, Alastor would never know.
"No. Candy doesn't go in the recipe Willow." The oldest huffed, taking the bag away from her sister.
"Cany!" Willow made grabbing motions with her hands, tears welling up in her big doe eyes.
"Hey now. Didn't your mother ever tell you that taking candy from a baby is wrong?" Alastor spoke up, finally making his presence known in the room.
Willow's eyes brightened, squealing with delight at the sight of Alastor. "Dada! Dada!"
"Hello my little fawn." Alastor scooped up his youngest, holding her against his chest as he looked down at his two eldest.
His eldest daughter was almost a look-a-like as a smaller version of her mother, sharing her pale white skin, yellow eyes, blond hair, and inheriting her grandmother's horns. However, she did inherent some of his features as well, like his nose, teeth, ears, and tail. As well as his wendigo appetite.
His second oldest and only son was an odd case. He shared his mother's nose and skin, while having Alastor's ears, teeth, and head shape. His antlers were just starting to come in, peeking out from the mop of dark hair growing on his head, and had a long, thin black serpentine tail with a red tuft at the end. His left eye was like his mother's while his right was like Alastor's own two eyes. Alastor wasn't sure where the tail was inherited from, but he could guess that the hair and the hoof feet belonged to his genes.
His youngest, who currently occupied herself tugging at Alastor's bangs, had inherited the most of his genes. To her bright red hair, her eyes, skin, ears, and fuzzy little tail, Alastor could almost says she was a perfect reflection of him as a girl. But she had her mother's black nose and face. Though Alastor couldn't be mad at that. It made her look like a cute little fawn in his eyes.
"Now then, would anyone liked to tell me what's going on here?" Alastor shifted one arm out and motioned to the mess the kitchen was in.
"It was all Venicesa fault!" His son pointed at his sister.
"My Fault?! You're the one who came up with the idea!"
"But you were the one who didn't want to ask for dad's help!"
"Because daddy was busy with his work! And we're not allowed to interrupt daddy while he's busy!" Venicesa butted her head against her brother.
"He knows way more recipes than your dumb cook book!" Her brother shouted back, jabbing a finger in her chest.
"It's not dumb! Cook books are not dumb you stupid bone head!"
"Okay, O-Kay! Enough!" Alastor's hand got between their faces, splitting them up. "No fighting, save it for later. You wouldn't want to get your mother involved with this right now, would you?"
They looked to the ground, mumbling out a no.
"Good. Now Venicesa, don't go calling your brother a bone head."
Venicesa frowned as her brother stuck his tongue out at her.
"And Jr. No calling cook books dumb either. I happen to like cook books."
Jr.'s face fell as Venicesa's eyes brightened, clutching the cook book to her chest. "Really daddy?"
"Of course my dear!" Alastor's grin widen. "In fact. Hold your sister for a moment." He handed Willow to Jr., disappearing for a moment before reappearing with a large book in his arms. "Here it is!"
"What is that?" Jr. asked, watching Alastor set the book down on a clean surface.
"Why this is my cook book! Filled all sorts of recipes and special food dishes that I enjoy baking time to time!" Alastor flipped open the book, letting his children peek inside as he flipped the pages. "These are just some of the recipes I've gathered over the years from up top and down here! Even Charlie has a few favorites in here as well!"
Venicesa's grin grew, eyeing the recipes in the book. "Wooooow! You must have a lot of recipes in here daddy!"
"Indeed I do! Hundreds of 'em!" Alastor smiled at his daughter. "Most of them were given to me by my mother! And she was a wonderful cook! In fact, it nearly killed her! Ha!"
"What's this one daddy?" Jr. pointed to a recipe in the book. Alastor followed his finger, grinning widely.
"Ah! That's one of my favorites my boy! An old famous calsic from up top!"
Venicesa peered at the recipe, grabbing Alastor's jacket and tugged at it. "Can we make it daddy? Please? Plllllleeeeeease?"
Alastor hummed, rubbing his chin. "Hmm. I don't see why not." His children cheered, but were promptly cut off as Alastor slammed the book shut. "After, you clean up this mess you've made."
Venicesa and Jr. groaned, flattening their ears against their heads, while Willow just drooled all over her hand.
Charlie was beyond exhausted as she reached home. Work at the hotel was always taxing, but rewarding in the end. The souls she managed to redeem always motivated her to keep going, even if it so tiring and stressful at times.
Opening the door, a strong smell hit her nose. She stopped, sniffing the air. Her mouth watered at the smell as she stepped inside, following it to the kitchen. Peeking inside, she found her family standing at the stove.
"You're doing great Venny! Keep stirring it like that." Alastor praised their daughter, holding Willow against his shoulder. "Jr., we don't want the onions to be that thin my boy. But you're still doing fine on your own."
Charlie smiled as she watched her family cook together, pried swelling inside her chest as she stepped into the room.
Willow instantly caught sight of her, squealing loudly. "Mama! Mama!"
Alastor whipped his head around, grinning widely. "Charlie! How wonderful to see you home!"
"Hi mom!" Jr. smiled, waving a knife in the air before Alastor took it away.
Venicesa looked over her shoulder and pouted. "Awww. She ruined the surprise!"
"No harm done my little one. The gumbo is just about done anyway!" Alastor smiled, handing Willow over to Charlie's out streached hands.
"Oh, you three are making gumbo?"
"Shrimp and sausage gumbo!" Jr. grinned, waving another knife in the air. Alastor quickly took it away from him.
"And what big help they've been! Why they practically handled the whole thing on their own like natural cooks! They're going to take the entire pentagram by storm with their cooking talents!" Alastor beamed, wrapping an arm around each elder child and lifting them up.
"Daddy! I need to keep stirring the gumbo!" Venicesa whined, trying reach the pot.
Charlie laughed, nuzzling Willow as the toddler babbled in baby talk. "Well, I can't wait to taste it! It smells wonderful."
"It smells, it tastes, and it looks wonderful my dear!" Alastor released their children, pulling her forward and hugging her tightly. "Not as wonderful as you though."
"Al." Charlie blushed.
"Eww! Gross." Jr. stuck his tongue out, making gagging noise.
"You say that now, but wait till you get older my boy!" Alastor smirked at their son, who only blew a raspberry in return. Charlie laughed, enjoying the warmth her small family shared together.