Oh, Fudge Page 1

Author: Erin Nicholas

Series: Hot Cakes #5

Genres: Romance


He had the best hands. Big, hot, slightly callused, causing a delicious drag over her skin. And confident. This guy knew what he was doing when he put his hands on a woman.

His big palm slid up the side of her thigh to her hip, then under the edge of her half sweatshirt onto her bare skin. The hot touch made her suck in a quick breath and then let it out in a soft moan as he ran his hand up and down her ribs.

As his hand was moving, so was his mouth. He dragged his jaw along her neck to her collarbone, the scruff on his face abrading her skin and sending goose bumps dancing joyously down her arms and tightening her nipples.


She loved the way he said her name. Low and needy. The deep voice combined with the slow Louisiana drawl made heat pool in her belly and then slide lower, making her feel achy and tingly. In spite of the fact that she was wearing loose, soft, comfortable yoga clothing—a sports bra, a half sweatshirt that hung off her shoulder and had been washed so many times it felt like cashmere, satiny soft leggings, no panties so as not to pinch or restrict any motions, and nothing on her feet—she was aware of every bit of her clothing rubbing and pressing and she wanted to tear them all off. She needed to be naked. She needed to be free to wrap herself around him and feel every inch of him against every inch of her. She wanted his hot skin and his possessive hands and his wet mouth and—


That wasn’t a deep moaning sound. That was a sharp whisper.

Paige’s eyes snapped open.

Piper Barry, a friend and one of the women in her afternoon yoga class, was staring at her with wide eyes.

Paige abruptly came back to the moment.

And the yoga class she was teaching. Or that she was supposed to be teaching.

Damn. She’d gotten caught up in dirty daydreams about Mitch Landry.


She never did that. Never. Guys were fun, no doubt about it. She loved guys. She loved the things she did with guys—and no, she didn’t mean sex. Okay, she didn’t just mean sex. She did love sex. But she also loved dancing and… okay, she loved men for sex and dancing. Still, that wasn’t just sex.

But she didn’t daydream about men when they weren’t around.

She cleared her throat and straightened her spine. No more prolonged periods of meditation. She needed to kick this class up a notch. Take her mind off Mitch. And the fact that he was going to be here in two days. After not seeing him for six months. And four days.

She also never kept track of how long it had been since she’d seen a guy.

Of course, all the guys she typically saw for sex and dancing she could see any time. For the most part. They didn’t live a thousand miles away in another state like Mitch did.

That was probably it. She just wanted what she couldn’t have.

The sexy, sweet texts didn’t help though. And the fact that the one night they’d had together had been the hottest she’d ever had. And the fact that—

Piper cleared her throat.

Right. Yoga. And the fourteen people facing Paige at that very moment waiting for her next instruction.

“Deep breath in. Feel your ribs rise,” she said in her soothing I’ve-got-your-peace-and-enlightenment-right-here voice. And as if she hadn’t been having them sit and quietly center themselves for the past several minutes. And as if her heart wasn’t racing and her nerve endings weren’t popping and her brain wasn’t full of rugged, big-handed, slow-smiling, how-about-you-bend-over-the-end-of-the-bed-so-I-can-hold-on-to-that-sweet-ass-while-I-fuck-you Louisiana-boy thoughts.

Paige shook her head and forced herself to move her class, and herself, through the next three poses without any thoughts of how great dirty talk was when done with a soft drawl.

Paige moved them from their beginning sitting pose to their stomachs and then into their first standing pose.

She caught Cam McCaffery eyeing Whitney Lancaster’s butt appreciatively.

She could understand how it might be distracting having your girlfriend in yoga class.

If Mitch were here, bending over, or behind her watching her bend over… Paige wobbled as her thoughts drifted again, and she pulled in her core and forced her mind onto her practice.

She loved yoga. She never had trouble concentrating like this. She looked forward to her practice so she could block out all of the thoughts racing around and the distractions that grappled for a hold on her attention. She was a master at blocking it out. It was why she’d gotten into yoga in the first place.

“Pull your navel toward your spine. Roll your shoulders forward, up, and back. Hug your elbows in, and squeeze your shoulder blades in, together, and down.”

Her life in tiny little Appleby probably didn’t seem stressful to anyone looking at it from the outside. Appleby was a sweet Midwestern town where everyone looked out for each other. Local businesses were supported. Neighbors brought casseroles over when someone was sick or a family member died. There were town festivals—including the Apple Festival starting tomorrow—and holidays were not just family events but entire community celebrations.

Paige’s family had lived in Appleby for generations. Her sister Josie lived in the house that their great-great-grandparents had built when they’d first come to Appleby.

All of that was why Paige did yoga. And collected cats. And drank vodka cranberries.

A lot of cats. And vodka cranberries.

“Now inhale, lift, and lengthen up through your spine,” she coached softly and steadily.

Fred, a big, long-haired, orange cat, came strolling past her mat and stopped to have his head scratched. Which she did while still holding her pose, engaging her core, and breathing. The cats were part of the practice, and everyone who came to Cores and Catnip knew they’d be joined by feline classmates.

The cats lounged and watched. Or wound their way between participants, getting petted and cooed over. Sometimes they’d choose a mat and join one class participant for the duration. Sometimes they made their rounds. Sometimes they slept and sometimes they played.

The yoga studio was a cat café and adoption center as well. Actually, Paige’s business had started as a cat café and adoption center. People could come in, get coffee, smoothies, and healthy treats—oatmeal, multigrain bars, cereal mixes, and low-fat muffins—and work or read with a cat curled up by their feet or in their lap. She ran a used-book swap and offered free Wi-Fi. It had been a great idea. People especially found it interesting since her sister worked at the local bakery, Buttered Up, a business that had been a part of the town for more than fifty years. Buttered Up offered all the typical treats—cupcakes, full-fat muffins, cookies, scones, and pies. Josie was a master baker and decorator. Buttered Up’s offerings were absolutely delicious. And a sharp contrast to the food that Paige offered. But she and Josie had fun with it, and recently Josie had started her own side business and now made healthy muffins and bars for Paige as well.

That was just one example of how her family was interwoven into everything Paige did. She loved and hated it.

Her family was here. Everywhere. All of them. All the time. She couldn’t run an errand without running into someone she was related to. She couldn’t go to the doctor’s office without her family knowing—her aunt was the head nurse. She couldn’t even dance with a guy without her mother wondering if it was serious and telling her how nice his grandmother/sister/mother/aunt/cousin was. Or how bitchy his grandmother/sister/mother/aunt/cousin was. Sometimes a girl just wanted to dance and for it to have nothing to do with his female family members’ dispositions.

Next page