Flicking cigarette ashes into the empty tabasco bottle next to the stove, he eyed the saucepan he'd been standing over for the past two hours. The opaque red liquid was simmering softly, occasionally popping with a small bubble and leaving pasty spots on the counter. The whole thing looked like a bad horror movie creation, maybe some liquefied entrails with a pint or two of blood. Smelled nice though, spicy. His great aunt's kitchen had smelt the same way for most of his childhood, god love her. She'd died cooking up a pan of it for herself, or so his father had claimed.
He rifled through a coffee-can-turned-utensil-holder until he found a battered wooden spoon, then stirred the rusty sludge seven times clockwise. Fuck the people who said superstition was a waste of time, there was a method to making this shit. Besides, deviating from the exact recipe made it taste about as appetizing as pickled cod. If Landon didn't have ice and a blender at his apartment when Alaric brought the stuff over, the kid may as well give up and suffer his flu.
Ten minutes later he was digging a mason jar out of the pantry to take it to Landon's. The place was full of them, some empty and some full of bulbous rotten things he couldn't identify. It appeared as though his estranged grandmother had been an obsessive preserver. Of what, exactly, he wasn't sure. Could be fruit, could be cat fetuses. Could be his grandfather, actually.
The low groan of hinges from the front door caused him to lean out of the pantry, twisting to see down the hall into the foyer where Tristan and Landon were dripping on the floor. Not that a little more warping would hurt the floorboards at that point. He raised an eyebrow at the scarf Tristan had clenched in his fist like a makeshift leash.
"PETA would eviscerate you if they knew you were walking your puppy in the rain." He gave Tristan a dry look, then went back into the pantry. "Find him some dry clothes before he passes out," he called, setting the mason jar back on the shelf and dragging out the blender instead.