Sugar Rush Page 1

Author: Erin Nicholas

Series: Hot Cakes #0.5

Genres: Romance


She was really tired of being a virgin.

Zoe McCaffery rolled her eyes as she loaded a plate into her mother’s dishwasher. She was twenty-five, for God’s sake. What was she waiting for?

Well, it sure wasn’t for The One.

She knew better than to think that Prince Charming would be the one to…deflower her.

She rolled her eyes again. Deflower. See, it was the fact that it even had special terminology. Sure, some of it was nice and sweet while some of it was a little vulgar. “Popping her cherry” came to mind. But either way, there was so much importance put on the whole first-time thing that it even had specific phrases referring to it.

Anyway, it would not be Prince Charming who took her V-card—another specific term, though for some reason one she didn’t mind quite as much—because she was going to take care of it long before that guy came along.

In fact, she intended to take care of it long before any other guys came along.

Well, except him, of course. The one who would take her maidenhood.

Zoe shuddered. That was just so bad. Why did all of the slang terms for having sex the first time have to be so obnoxious?

She rinsed a pot under the warm water, lost in thought.

This was going to suck. And not in the fun, dirty way.

If she’d just gone all the way—seriously, ugh—at age seventeen or eighteen like a normal horny teenager then the guy would have understood if she was… well, terrible at…well, all of it.

But at age twenty-five? No way. She should not be fumbling around in the dark, trying to find stuff, and not sure where to put that stuff once she found it.

She was good at everything she did. Everyone knew that.

She could not be bad at sex.

Especially given the eighty-five percent chance that her first time would be with someone she’d known since kindergarten. Her hometown, where she still lived and worked, was small. Really small. They got a few people moving in here and there, but they were never young, hot guys. Unless they were young, hot guys that had left Appleby after high school and now came home from time to time to visit their grandmothers.

Who she’d known since kindergarten—them and their grandmothers—and who knew everyone else that she knew.

Which meant that even if she hooked up with one of them when they were home visiting for Christmas, they could still tell the entire town how bad she was in bed.

That couldn’t happen. It just couldn’t. She had two choices: she could wait and have sex with the man she married, after they were married and he essentially had to keep her secret because…marriage. Or she could lose her virginity with someone she completely trusted not to blab about it.

She was good at things. When she wanted to learn something new, she researched, she practiced, and she worked at it until she was good. And then she just kept doing it the same way over and over again.

Like in her bakery. She had recipes that people drove from over an hour away to get. Her bakery, Buttered Up, had been her grandmother’s and the recipes had been making people happy, and making the McCafferys money, for over fifty years.

Zoe had never changed one thing on the menu or one measurement in the recipes. If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.

Sex could be like that. Once she knew what she was doing and was good at it, she could just keep doing it the same way.

She just needed to get there first. And not humiliate herself in the process.

“Here’s the last of the plates.”

And the maybe-kind-of-bad-but-hopefully-not-totally-terrible idea that she’d had brewing was suddenly front and center.

Aiden Anderson.

He was the solution to her problem. The only solution to her problem.

She needed a guy who she was attracted to and who wouldn’t spill her big bad-at-sex secret. Aiden was the only one who checked both of those boxes.

She watched as he bent to put the plates in the dishwasher.

He had a nice ass.

She wasn’t sure when that had happened, but she certainly knew it to be true now.

She’d known Aiden all her life. He and her brother Cam were five years older than she was and they’d become best buddies their first day of school, so it was not an exaggeration to say that Aiden had always been there.

Zoe tipped her head and studied him. He was a lot bigger than her. The top of her head came about to his nose and her head settled perfectly on his shoulder when they hugged. They hadn’t hugged in a while though. Now that she thought about it, they hadn’t hugged since he’d seen her in her bra and panties. Huh. That was interesting. Had their physical awareness of one another subconsciously kept them from touching?

She’d always liked his hugs. He had big arms and a wide chest that she’d fit against perfectly. She knew he ran to keep in shape and his flat abs and muscled thighs and that nice ass were definite perks. He had dark blonde hair and deep green eyes and an easy smile that was as familiar to her as her father’s or brother’s. More familiar, really, than her brother Cam’s, because Cam didn’t smile as easily as Aiden did.

Aiden had been like a brother to her for years, but she’d been very aware that other girls found him hot. Because they were constantly telling her that. She’d have older girls ask her about him—what he was like, if he liked chocolate chip cookies or peanut butter cookies better, if he had a date for the school dance. She’d gotten so sick of being Aiden Anderson’s personal dating assistant that she’d started lying to them all. She told them he picked his nose and was mean to dogs, hated all cookies, and that yes, he did have a date for the dance.

He’d been annoyed. But then he’d picked his nose and wiped it on her arm and made her make him chocolate chip peanut butter cookies to make up for it.

She’d made the cookies. And spit in the batter.

That was how their relationship had been. Older-brother-younger-sister type stuff.

Until one day it hadn’t been anymore.

Aiden had gone off to college and gotten hot.

And nicer. That hadn’t hurt. He’d never been an actual jerk, but he’d teased her and pointed things out like bad haircuts and done things like the boogers on her arm.

Once he went off to college, he’d just been nicer. More mature. He’d ask how she was and actually listen as if he was interested. He’d tell funny stories about what he and Cam had been up to and wouldn’t roll his eyes when she asked questions. And, maybe most of all, he raved about her baking. Every time he came home to visit, it was as if he hadn’t eaten a decent cookie or cupcake or piece of pie in months.

Nothing got to her like someone loving her cupcakes.

Her literal cupcakes.

But then one day he’d walked in on her ironing a dress in her underwear.

And the way he’d looked at her had made her think that maybe he kind of liked her cupcakes too.

Her body had heated and tingled and in a blink Aiden had gone from her brother’s annoying friend to a hot guy she would really like to kiss.

It had been that fast.

That had been two years ago. They hadn’t kissed, or seen each other in their underwear, or anything else unusual since then. But she hadn’t stopped thinking about it whenever he was visiting. And wishing he’d just take the initiative and do something.

How was she supposed to make the first move? The furthest she’d ever been had been Justin Lewis’s hand in her bra in corner of his living room during a movie party with twenty other people.

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