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not the true believer (this song’s for you)

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"They're rising!" Mel says. She's ass up in front of the oven, bending to peer inside. "Come see!"

Sue bites down on the inside of her lip, the same spot that's gotten chewed on plenty during their long friendship, and tears her eyes away from Mel's backside.

Instead, she elbows her out of the way and sits cross-legged on the kitchen floor, staring at the oven like it's showing a Cohen Brothers film: something brilliant but a lot weird. "Wow,” she says drily. "I guess seventh time really is lucky."

Mel huffs from somewhere above. "I wasn't the one who forgot the baking powder last time," she says. Her hand comes down to swat Sue's head in mock annoyance except the way her fingers slide through her hair feels more like a caress.

"These will be the best cookies in the world," Mel declares, with confidence Sue has always envied. "Okay, well, the best cookies in this house at least."

"The very best," Sue echoes, keeping her eyes firmly on the round spoonfuls of pistachio and white chocolate dough slowly spreading in the heat. She tells herself that she means the cookies and not the baker, and almost believes it.