Heart-Shaped Cookies

The Grammys were always an event. When we were first starting out, we’d sit on the floor of Lou’s mansion and watch the awards in awe. He always told us that one day we’d be sitting in the audience, and that one day we’d be going up on to the stage to accept our award.

He wasn’t entirely wrong. We had attended many Grammy Awards. Never won, though. That’s okay, it wasn’t meant to be. That’s what I kept telling myself, anyway.

We’d spent the last few months in LA recording our next album. The first one that would be released since Black and Blue. (Well, technically the first one to be released since the Greatest Hits album, but we won’t talk about that.)

It had been Kevin’s idea. “Why don’t we get together and watch the show like we did in the old days?” he’d said. None of us had any other plans, so we’d quickly agreed. After all, it seemed like it would have been fun.

It was when Nick and AJ had decided to host the party at their place that I knew there was going to be chaos.

Since I had nothing else to do that day, I arrived at their house early. What I didn’t expect to see was the two of them in the kitchen, the entire place covered with flour, batter and what appeared to be red, white and pink heart-shaped sprinkles.

“Hey guys,” I said suspiciously. “What’s going on?”

“We’re baking cookies,” Nick said, as if it were obvious. I guess it sort of was, given the sprinkles and the batter.

“Heart-shaped cookies,” AJ added.

“Because it’s Valentine’s Day tomorrow.”


The two of them looked so serious, that I couldn’t help bursting out in a fit of giggles. I laughed so hard that I actually had to grab on to the wall to stabilize myself. And if you’re thinking it wasn’t that funny, then you obviously haven’t seen Nick and AJ baking cookies. Heart-shaped Valentine’s Day cookies, to be exact.

“It was Nick’s idea,” AJ defended himself, pointing at the grinning blonde who had gone back to rolling out the pink dough.

“Nothing wrong with wanting to get into the Valentine’s day spirit,” Nick said, as he happily cut out cookies and placed them on the baking tray.

“It’s Christmas spirit, dumbass,” AJ retorted. “No one says Valentine’s Day spirit. That’s not even a thing.”

“It could be a thing!” Nick replied, looking over at me for support.

“I guess it could be a thing,” I shrugged. I pondered for a moment about what sorts of odd conversations Nick and AJ had when the rest of us weren’t around.

Nick grinned. AJ rolled his eyes.

“Whatever,” AJ said, walking past me and moving towards the front door. “I’m going out for a smoke. Don’t forget to put my cookies on the cooling tray when they come out of the oven, Carter!”

The door slammed, and he was gone.

I washed my hands in the sink and got ready to help Nick put the sprinkles on the cookies. Because if you can’t beat ’em, you might as well join ’em. Besides, I liked baking cookies. I’ve always found it to be relaxing and fun. That, and I sort of missed hanging out with Nick. I remembered when it used to be the two of us in the beginning, and we were inseparable. Now, it seemed like AJ and Nick got along a lot better than he and I did.

“So what made you guys decide cookies would be a good party snack?” I tried to make conversation as I intricately put the sprinkles on the cookies.

Nick shrugged, rolling out the dough yet again. “I dunno. We were at the store and we went down the baking aisle for some reason. I saw these sprinkles and it just went from there…”

Not surprising in the least. Then again, Nick has always been a sucker for Valentine’s Day. You wouldn’t expect it from him, but he was always the one giving us goofy cards and cinnamon hearts on February 14th.

“How’d you get AJ to agree to it?”

“AJ likes baking cookies!”

I raised my eyebrow. “How’d you get AJ to agree to it?” I asked again.

Nick laughed, knowing I’d called his bluff. “I told him he could mail a box home to his mom.”

Yeah, that would do it. AJ was a big ol’ mama’s boy.

“You guys did end up getting chips and all that stuff though, right?” I asked with a cheeky grin.

Nick gave me a look of worry. “Uhhh…” he said, glancing around the kitchen.

Leave it to Nick and AJ to completely forget about what they originally set out to do.

“Way to go,” I laughed, picking up a few sprinkles and throwing them at him.

He retaliated by picking up a pinch of flour and tossing it in my hair.

You can probably guess what happened after that. Sprinkles and flour flew everywhere. Nick and AJ’s kitchen became an even bigger mess than it had been already.

“We can always go back to the store,” he finally said, wiping some flour off the sleeve of his t-shirt.

“Yeah, that’s a good idea. Before Kevin shows up and sees that you’re missing his dill pickle chips.”

“Heaven forbid,” Nick laughed, putting his shoes on.

We stepped outside just in time to see AJ stomping out his cigarette butt on the ground. “Where are you guys going? And what happened to you?”

“Back to the store to get chips, which you guys forgot,” I laughed. I left out the part about the impromptu food fight. He’d probably be able to figure that much out on his own once he saw the mess we’d left inside.

“Uh huh,” AJ replied, walking back towards the house. “Hey,” he said, turning around, “did you take my cookies out of the oven?”

“Uh, no…” Nick and I exchanged a glance.

The three of us made a mad dash back inside the house and over to the kitchen. AJ opened the oven to reveal a cloud of smoke and a sheet of burnt cookies.

“God dammit! Those were the ones I wrote ‘Mom’ on with sprinkles!” he shouted. “I thought we were done dealing with Frick and Frack getting into trouble.”

“Sorry, J,” Nick said as the two of us unsuccessfully tried to stifle our giggles.

“Well, look at it this way,” I said, still laughing a little as I put my hand on AJ’s shoulder. “At least we were already planning on going back to the store.”


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