Semi-Sweet On You Page 1

Author: Erin Nicholas

Series: Hot Cakes #4

Genres: Romance


“I think my butt looks really weird in this. Can you come look?” Whitney called from inside the powder room in her office.

Piper was out at her desk in the reception area of the Hot Cakes executive suites and this dress was hers. Whitney did not think she was pulling it off. At all. The other woman wore the pinup-style dresses and looked like a million bucks. But Piper had the curves for it. And the attitude. She was confident, sassy, and sexy.

Whitney knew she didn’t have the curves, and she was pretty sure she didn’t have even half the attitude.

But she wanted it.

She really did.

She wanted a change, that was for sure, and her attitude was just part of it.

This dress might be a good start.

She turned in front of the mirror on the back of her powder room door. Or maybe it wasn’t a good start.

She wasn’t ready for a dress like this.

“Seriously, I don’t have the curves for this,” she called. Piper might be on the phone, but Whitney really needed a second opinion.

“I sincerely doubt I’d ever use the word ‘weird’ in regard to your ass.”

Whitney swung around with a gasp. That was not Piper’s voice.

“But I’m very happy to take a look.”

Whitney sucked in a breath. Dammit. That was Cam.

Camden McCaffery.

One of the partners who owned Hot Cakes.

One of her new bosses.

Her ex.

Oh, and the guy who she was still sort of in love with.


She took another breath and then peeked around the edge of the door.

Cam was leaning against the doorjamb of her office door. Looking hot in a custom-tailored charcoal suit, the light blue shirt underneath unbuttoned at his throat. And cocky. As always. And amused.

“I thought Piper was out there,” Whitney said. Which was obvious. But what the hell else was she supposed to say?

“That’s who I came up to find too,” Cam said, stepping into Whitney’s office. “But she’s gone.”

“Gone?” Whitney asked. Piper knew she was in here trying on dresses.

Cam shrugged one big shoulder. “I guess.”

Whitney swallowed, her eyes on that shoulder. He was so… yeah, big. Wide. Solid. He’d always been muscular, but now he was… big. He had definitely changed over the years. Grown. Filled out. Gone from cute to oh-my-God hot.

Which was really unfortunate for a girl who was trying to her damnedest to be over him.

She’d seen him here and there. It seemed every time he was home to visit they ran into each other. Sometimes literally. Like the time she’d come around the big display of marshmallows at the end of aisle three at the grocery store and run directly into his chest. She’d jumped back, trying to avoid him touching her, and fallen right into that big stack of marshmallows. The entire store had come rushing to see what had happened.

And that wasn’t even the most embarrassing time.

“So come on,” he said, motioning her forward with his hand. “Let’s see.”

Her eyebrows shot up. “See what?”

“Your ass.” His lips curled on one end. “Isn’t that what you’re worried about?”

“I can wait for Piper.”

“Why?” He tucked his hands into his pockets. “I’m quite qualified to judge how a woman’s ass looks. In dresses. In jeans. In shorts.” He paused. “Out of all of those things.”

He was an ass. She couldn’t forget that. Of course, when he was an ass, it was on purpose. Especially when he was an ass to her. He was stubborn, had a quick temper, a deeply ingrained sense of justice and loyalty, and a pretty black and white view of how things should go, but he had never been an ass to her. He’d been downright sweet and protective and romantic and… sexy.

Until she’d broken his heart ten years ago.

So, yeah, she might deserve it a little. She knew that.

They’d been in love. He’d wanted her to go to college with him. When she’d said no, he’d wanted to stay in Appleby with her. So she’d broken up with him. No way could she have kept him here. But it had broken his heart.

And it certainly made working for him now a challenge. Hell, it made seeing him on Main Street a challenge.

He’d been poking at her for the past month. Ever since he’d come back to Appleby full time. Every time they were in a meeting together or had a conversation, he made comments that were meant to annoy her. She didn’t know why, exactly. She could speculate, but she hadn’t even let herself go there.

She just knew she had to hold her shit together. She couldn’t lose her temper. She couldn’t snap at him—or even glare at him, honestly. He was her boss. He was one of the reasons the company was still standing. That she had a job at all. That her family’s name wasn’t a curse word in this town.

She freaking owed him.

Which he was very aware of.

Maybe that was why he was poking. Because he knew she couldn’t give it back. Or maybe because he was hoping to push her to the point where she would lose it and he could fire her.

Whatever the reason, she just had to breathe deeply, smile, let it roll off, and act professionally.

Good thing she’d been practicing all of those things for the past ten years working with her grandfather, father, and brother.

She was a fucking pro at letting male egos and snide remarks roll off.

It was why she drank wine. And kickboxed. And did yoga. More the kickboxing, but still.

Of course, Cam had started going to the morning yoga class she had always liked best, so she’d had to adjust her schedule because there was no way in hell she could be in a room with him for an hour watching him bend and stretch and flex.

“Come on, Whit. Let me see.”

Fine. What she’d learned about the asshole men she’d been working with for the past ten years—yes, all her relatives—was that not letting them know they were getting to her was the most important thing.

She stepped out of the powder room, running her hands over her hips, smoothing the dress.

Cam’s eyes widened as she came into full view.

Yeah, take that.

Hey, she didn’t say the stuff out loud but that didn’t mean she didn’t think it. She schooled her features and just watched him taking her in.

His gaze tracked over her. Slowly. Twice.

Her whole damned body was tingling by the time he was done.

And if she didn’t want him to know that his comments about being her boss and saving the company and how her family had nearly put three hundred and forty-seven people out of work got to her, she sure as hell wasn’t going to let on that his biceps and tattoos and cocky smile got to her. And she was not going to react to him reacting to her.

Because he was. He really was.

His jaw was tight, he was standing straighter, and he looked as if he was putting every ounce of willpower into just standing there and not coming toward her.

She lied to people all day long. For years it had been to her dad and brother and grandfather. She told them she was fine and on top of things and thought things were going well. Those were all lies. She hadn’t been fine, and she’d never felt like she was doing what she wanted to be doing, and no, she’d never liked how her family ran the business. She also lied to her grandmother, telling Didi that everything at Hot Cakes was great and she loved her job.

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