Forking Around Page 1

Author: Erin Nicholas

Series: Hot Cakes #2

Genres: Romance


He could watch this woman eat cake all night.

That was a weird fetish he hadn’t been aware of until now, but he was totally okay with it. As fetishes went, this one seemed on the tamer end of the spectrum.

The curvy redhead put her third cake pop in her mouth. The mouth he was now going to have major fantasies about. She had full lips that matched the pink icing on the vanilla cake pops, and every time she ran her tongue over that bottom lip, his body tightened. And she was running her tongue over her lip a lot with all the cake eating she was doing.

She’d eaten the first two in a couple of bites each. But she’d just stuck the entire third cake pop in her mouth. The girl liked cake. Man, he loved people who were enthusiastically open about the things they enjoyed.

People should never apologize for loving what they loved. Especially if they were gorgeous redheads who loved putting balls in their mouths. He grinned. He was totally going to use that line. It was just the right amount of immature and dirty and playful that he appreciated.

He definitely knew there were times when lines like that were inappropriate. Knowing that wouldn’t keep him from using the line, of course, but he did know he couldn’t expect an equally playful, good-natured response from just everyone. That was why it was perfect. It was a great way to find out if he was talking to someone he could have fun with or not.

He definitely needed to talk to her.

“Excuse me.”

He’d moved around the table so he was slightly behind her now, but he saw how she froze. Then she started chewing faster, then swallowed, wiped her mouth, and turned to face him.

“Um, hi.”

He chuckled. “How’s the red velvet?” he asked. She had a few red-velvet crumbs on the front of her dress, the red pieces standing out against the teal fabric.

“Um.” She swallowed again. “Great. They’re all great.”

“I guess I’ll have to take your word for it. Since you took the last one,” Dax said, looking pointedly at the now empty tray with the tiny sign next to it that read RED VELVET.

She glanced down and knocked the sign over. “Sorry.”

“I don’t think you are. You ate two of the last three and have the third in your hand.” He gave her a grin.

She looked startled for a second. She probably hadn’t been expecting him to have been keeping track of her cake-pop consumption.

“Sorry is just the polite thing to say.” She swiped her thumb over her bottom lip. “I don’t mean it.”

He lifted an eyebrow. “I’m going to assume that means you’re not going to share the strawberry one you’re holding either. It’s the last one of those, too.”

She lifted the strawberry cake pop to her mouth and took a bite. “Nope.”

He definitely liked her. His let his mouth drop open in mock outrage. “Wow.”

“I know. I’m the worst. You should definitely go find someone else to talk to.”

There was absolutely no one else he wanted to talk to more than he wanted to talk to her. He also wanted to kiss her. But he’d wanted that even before he’d known she’d taste like red-velvet and strawberry cakes. He stepped forward.

She didn’t even blink.

He lifted a hand and picked a crumb of cake from the front of her dress. It wasn’t on her breast, exactly. It was just below the scooped neckline. It wasn’t like he was feeling her up. But it was safe to say he hadn’t missed the fact she had some very nice curves. Without them, those crumbs might not have gotten hung up during their fall to the floor.

He met her gaze as he lifted the cake crumb to his mouth. She watched as he licked the tip of his index finger.

“Mmm, the red velvet is good,” he said.

She looked down to where he’d touched her. But she didn’t slap him or shove him away. Her cheeks got a little pink. Then she stuffed the rest of the strawberry cake pop into her mouth, chewed, swallowed, and smiled. “They’re all very good.”

“Not the slightest bit apologetic?” he asked, incredibly amused and very drawn to her.


The strawberry cake pops were coated in white icing and she had a streak of it just to the side of her mouth.

He wanted to cover her in that icing.

He grinned. “Excellent. Never apologize for doing stuff that makes you feel good.”

Her eyes widened slightly and for just an instant, her gaze dropped to his mouth.

He definitely made a note of that.

“So I’m going to go,” she said, taking a half step away from the table.

“I’m Dax.” He needed to know who she was.

Appleby, Iowa, the town where his best friends—and business partners—had decided to buy a snack cake factory, was tiny. It wouldn’t take him long to find out who she was. But he wanted her to tell him. And give him her number. And agree to have dinner with him tomorrow. And eat cake pops in bed with him.

Not necessarily in that order. But giving him her name would be a great start.

“I’m… late,” she said.

She grabbed one of the vanilla cake pops and started to slip around him. Then she paused, turned back, grabbed a chocolate, then slipped around him.

“Do you work for Hot Cakes?” he asked, watching her go with a grin.

She turned back and met his eyes. But didn’t say anything.

For nearly thirty seconds.

She just… looked at him.

Finally, he asked, “Are you okay?”

She blinked, seeming to realize she’d been staring. She nodded. “Um, yes.”

She didn’t sound entirely convinced.

“You’re sure?”


“You don’t need another cake pop, then?” he asked, eyeing the four she held. “If I go for one, I’m not going to lose a finger or hand?”

He really wanted her to smile again, instead of the way she’d been looking at him as if she’d gotten lost in her thoughts. Thoughts that weren’t especially happy.

He wanted her to be happy. That was a strange instinct. He didn’t know this woman at all. He loved her curves, and her lips were going to star in some of his dreams, he was sure. He was newly addicted to cake pops because of her. But the urge to make sure she was actually, legitimately happy was a little out there.

Sure, in general, he liked hanging out with happy people. His friends were, for the most part, optimistic, driven, happy guys.

Dax worked hard to make their company—Fluke Inc.—an upbeat, positive, relaxed place to work. He also refused to do work that didn’t fulfill him.

But a lot of his… penchant for fun… was about proving to his father that you didn’t have to be an overbearing, micromanaging, superficial asshole to be successful. You could laugh and enjoy your work and make the world a better place and still make money. Lots of it. Dax and his friends had proven that repeatedly over the past nine years.

“Nope, you’re safe.” The redhead finally gave him a smile. But it was clearly forced.

She did, however, take a bite out of the chocolate cake pop she now held.

He picked one up. Also chocolate. “So do you work for Hot Cakes?” he repeated.

He really needed to know who she was. If this woman worked for his new company, Dax could easily see her again.

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