Forking Around Page 2

This party was step one in their plan to make Hot Cakes bigger and better than it had ever been. They’d had a huge town hall meeting where they’d introduced themselves to the employees and the town at large. They’d presented their new ideas, taken questions, and rolled out some new benefits programs. Then they’d given everyone cake and champagne.

Judging by the smiles and laughter—and the need to open the second case of champagne—it was going well. That, or everyone had just decided to drink their worries away. Either way, the guys were determined to make this work, and Dax’s specialty was making things better.

He’d never met a situation he couldn’t make more fun. Not that he knew anything about factory work, but they made cake. They literally dealt in sugar and chocolate and frosting. It was, if he did say so himself, a sweet gig.

Hot Cakes snack cakes were sold in grocery stores and convenience stores throughout the Midwest. There were very few people who hadn’t had a Peanut Butter Pinwheel or a Strawberry Swirl, or the original and best-known Butter Sticks, in their lives. Mass produced, individually packaged, available anywhere chips and beef jerky were sold, Hot Cakes was a multimillion-dollar business.

And he, Aiden, Cam, Grant, and Ollie were going to make it even better.

“I’m… a friend of Whitney’s,” his cake-pop goddess finally said.

Whitney was Whitney Lancaster, the granddaughter of the founders of Hot Cakes who had served as the vice president of marketing for the past nine years. She was thankfully staying on to work with the guys now that they’d taken over.

“Oh, Whitney’s great,” Dax said, finishing off the chocolate cake pop and reaching for another. Damn, these were amazing. He would have eaten four hundred brussels sprouts if it kept this woman here talking to him though. And that was saying something. He was incredibly grateful he didn’t have to prove his devotion via brussels sprouts.

Zoe, Aiden’s girlfriend, and the owner of the town bakery, Buttered Up, had made the cake pops for the event. Apparently, Buttered Up and Hot Cakes were longtime rivals. The grandmothers, Didi Lancaster and Letty McCaffery, who had started each business, had been best friends at one time. Until Didi allegedly stole the recipe from Letty that would go on to become the beginnings of Hot Cakes.

For over fifty years, the two women had hated each other, and the town’s loyalties had been divided. Now, with Aiden taking over Hot Cakes, and he and Zoe falling in love, things were starting to heal.


At least, that was the plan.

“Whitney is wonderful,” the cake-pop goddess nodded. “So… it was nice to meet you. I need to go.”

“You know if you don’t tell me your name I’m going to have to refer to you as Red,” he told her.

She rolled her eyes. “Real original.” She shook her head, her thick, wavy red hair swishing against her mid-back.

“Because of the red-velvet cake, of course,” he said. Though, damn, he loved her hair. It was a deep, rich medley of gold and auburn and copper and crimson. And that was pretty damned poetic for a video game designer who loved Ping-Pong and gummy bears.

She actually laughed. “Oh, of course.”

“Just one little crumb, and it’s all I can think about.” He wasn’t talking about the cake. She’d given him a few little crumbs of flirtation and humor, but he was already addicted.

“Zoe can totally hook you up with as much as you want,” she told him.

He didn’t want anything from Zoe.

Okay, not true. He suddenly fucking loved Zoe’s cake pops.

But everything else he needed in this moment, he needed from Red.

Yeah, that wasn’t original at all. He was going to have to come up with something else.

“You’re really not going to share that last one with me, are you?” he asked.

She glanced down. “Um…” She looked up at him. “No.”

“Not even if I say please?” He leaned in a little.

“There are maybe two things in the world that could get me to part with a red-velvet cake pop from Buttered Up,” she told him. “And hot millionaires with sexy smiles are not one of them.”

Ha. He felt victorious in that moment. She’d called him hot and said his smile was sexy. She’d also called him a millionaire. That meant she knew who he was. Maybe not from his YouTube videos like his millions of adoring fans did. Those were mostly boys between the ages of ten and twenty-five who were crazy about Warriors of Easton, the video game he and his friends had developed in college and that had accidentally turned into the biggest online gaming phenomenon of the past decade. But she knew who he was, and she was still here flirting—kind of—with him.

“So what can hot millionaires with sexy smiles get you to do?” he asked. “Because I’m thinking that cake pop may not be the most interesting thing you can give me.” He really wanted her name and phone number.

Her eyes widened. She actually looked shocked. And maybe mildly amused. But mostly shocked.

“Are you seriously thinking I might give you a blow job?” she asked.

Dax’s eyes widened as well. They were now talking about blow jobs? How had that happened?

“Does that happen a lot?” she asked. “You just meet a woman, know her for like five minutes, and she ends up on her knees?”

He sucked in a quick breath that made him cough. Holy shit. “That is… damn… that’s not what I was thinking.”

Once in a while… okay, more often than he could even believe… he got blatant offers very quickly at Comic Con. The ladies—not all his fans were boys between ten and twenty-five—who played Warriors of Easton were also big admirers of the game’s creator.

Red rolled her eyes. “It’s a blow job. Guys think about those like twenty-seven times a day.”

He half laughed, half choked again. “Wow, who are you hanging out with?”

“You don’t think about blow jobs twenty-seven times a day?” she asked.

He actually thought about her question. He was sure he saw the corner of her mouth twitch as if she was fighting a smile.

“No,” he finally said, shaking his head. “Maybe fifteen. I mean, if we’re talking averages anyway.”

“That’s it?”

“Blow jobs, yes. But there’s all the sweet stuff I like to put in my mouth to think about too.”

It wasn’t a quip about her putting balls in her mouth, but it still checked all the boxes—a little dirty kind of funny would definitely reveal what kind of sense of humor she had.

He was rewarded for it when she lost the fight to not smile and grinned.

She held up the red-velvet cake pop toward him.

“Oh, I couldn’t.”

“Honestly, you have to now,” she said. “You have to add these to that list of things you like to put in your mouth. You’ll definitely be thinking about these tomorrow.”

She was rolling with it. Awesome. His grin huge, he took the cake pop from her. “Yeah, I’ve definitely got a couple of new things to add to those daydreams.”

She took a deep breath. “And now I need to go.”

He bit into the red-velvet cake pop then ran his tongue over his bottom lip.

She watched and his body heated.

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