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“How the heck did I become a Missus? More importantly, why can’t I remember the last 12 hours!?”
I stayed away from tall, hot and tattooed.
And Mason was all three.
The jerk took every opportunity to get under my skin since he moved in next door.
With the insolent way he looks me over.
And always calling me “Cupcake”, like it was an insult.
It really was too bad I couldn’t stop kissing him.
And falling into bed with him.
Or accidentally marrying him…
Good girls are NOT my thing.
They were way too vanilla in bed
And Trish was the perennial good girl
She was just too… sweet.
But why can’t I keep my eyes, or my mouth away from the sexy little baker?
And why does she have a starring role in all my dirty dreams?
Most importantly, how did this good girl manage to teach me some new tricks?
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Getting up early in the morning, every morning, sucks. A lot.
A strange statement to make for a coffee shop and bakery owner, but there you have it. I, Trish Danvers, am not a morning person. Or an early riser, at least not without seven different alarms set all around my little house just to make sure I got up early enough to start baking the day’s pastries.
Today I was up and already walking to my shop, La Belle Bean, on Belle Musique’s equivalent to Main Street, and it was barely four o’clock in the morning. Ungodly, I know. But I needed the extra time because I had to frost and decorate five dozen cupcakes for the Chamber of Commerce luncheon today. A luncheon I should be attending, but begged off because I couldn’t take the time away from the shop. Everyone needed coffee, or tea, and they chose La Belle Bean because of my delicious pastries, the gossip and the sense of community found within.
Yeah, my place was amazing. And now that I served a small selection of gourmet sandwiches on fresh-made bread for lunch, business was booming. It felt good, and I knew my Aunt Becca would be proud she’d left her business in good hands.
Of course, I had to put my own touch on the place, so a few years ago I got rid of the French country kitchen style and turned it into an adorable little shop with pastel colors. It was girly, with the lavender awning and a handwritten cursive white logo. Inside, the pink and sea green gingham tablecloths with matching branded boxes and bags only made it more feminine, along with the pastel colored mugs that bore the shop’s name along with funny quotes about coffee. It was a dream come true, and best of all, it was all mine.
Since the shop wouldn’t open for another couple hours, I locked the front door behind me and left the dining area dark as I made my way to the pride and joy of my shop, the industrial grade kitchen. Complete with four oversized ovens, stainless steel appliances, large mixers and everything a proper pastry chef could ever want. Not that I was a proper pastry chef, I didn’t go to culinary school or anything. My training came from Aunt Becca, who’d imparted all of her wisdom—baking and business—onto me from the age of ten.
I remember vividly, spending hours beside her at the home I now lived in, or here in this very kitchen, doing just what I did now. Smoothing a thick buttercream frosting over the top in an elegant ‘s’ formation. “Remember to always use a light touch, Trishy,” she’d always say in that soft melodic voice of hers.
On days like this, I couldn’t help but think of her. Though I called her Aunt Becca she was more of a mom to me, taking me in when I was just three years old after my mom died from the cancer no knew she had, and raising me like I was hers.
Every day I worked hard to make her proud. And I knew these cupcakes, all original recipes, had achieved that.
Frosting cupcakes was one of my favorite jobs even though it didn’t require much skill. It helped clear my mind. I’d come up with some of my best ideas for expanding the shop or creating new recipes while doing this mundane task. And by the time each cupcake bore either the Belle Musique flag or the town crest, I was fully awake with a pot of coffee brewing in the corner. Maybe it was the second pot.
Another hour later, and the shop doors were open, but things were quiet as I filled the display case with glazed donuts to start, adding chocolate, sprinkles and jelly and custard filled donuts to the rest of the trays. Cranberry orange muffins with shaved white chocolate went in next, along with banana walnut and blueberry pecan. The baking didn’t stop until around eleven, when I was sure I’d have enough to make it through the late afternoon sugar rush. Then I got started on the breads for sandwiches.
“Hey Boss, how’s it going?” Molly appeared, bright-eyed and full of the kind of energy only a twenty year old could possess. She was beautiful in an unconventional way with cat-like hazel eyes that matched high cheekbones and full lips, capped off with a sleek black bob that made her look more worldly than anyone else in this small southern town.
“It’s going, Molly. Baguettes are in the ovens on the right, rolls on the left.” My kitchen ran like a well-oiled machine, mostly due to my iron fisted control on every aspect of the business for the past few years, but also because Molly followed orders perfectly and made my work life easy. Efficient.