When we arrived at our final baking class, Grace was surprised at how many students were already there setting up.
“And here I thought we were early,” she murmured to me.
“I guess everyone is eager to get started,” I replied.
The grocery bag I carried wasn’t all that heavy, since most of the stuff we needed for the recipe was available as staple ingredients in the classroom pantry. Mostly it was the tubs of yogurt that weighed me down.
“Do you think we should stick this in the fridge, or will it keep?” I asked her, hefting up one of the tubs.
“Better safe than sorry.” She took it from my hands and went to the classroom fridge, opening the door to find it mostly full already. She bent at the waist to place the yogurt on a lower shelf. I let my eyes linger on hips and ass as she re-arranged the other stuff to make room for ours. Damn, but that girl drove me crazy doing even the most innocent of things. Just the sight of her was enough to make my cock twitch.
I noticed the guy in the baking station next to me was giving her a good ogling, too. I glared at his back. The only one allowed to appreciate Grace’s luscious ass was me. I thought about throwing something at his head but Grace straightened up and made her way back before I could go ahead with any kind of plan. She slowed her walking as she came back, stopping in front of me and crossing her arms.
“Did you enjoy the show?” she asked with a raised eyebrow.
“Were you doing that little butt wiggle on purpose?” I accused.
“No, but I recognize that horny look in your eyes,” she said. “You were staring at my ass the whole time, weren’t you?”
“I wouldn’t say I was staring.” I put my hands on her hips and drew her close. “It was more of an admiring appreciation.”
“I think its been properly appreciated by now,” she said. “You wrote a whole song about my backside, after all.”
“I include one little line about a delicious peach, and all of a sudden its, you can’t write lyrics about my ass, Zain,” I teased.
“I’m trying not to stiffen your creativity, but there are limits,” she laughed as we started setting up to bake.
Before I’d met Grace I would never in a million years have considered baking a cake. I wouldn’t have thought to make it from scratch, instead of using some kind of re-packaged mix. I definitely wouldn’t have thought about doing it with a girlfriend.
Before Grace, I’d never even considered that I might want a girlfriend. I had tons of girls throwing themselves at me after every concert. Why would I want to limit myself to just one? That was one of the best perks of being a rock star, after all.
But that was before Grace.
She was everything I hadn’t known I’d wanted. Everything I didn’t think I needed.
I hadn’t realized, until Micah had so obviously pointed it out, that I tended to push people away. It made sense, considering how I grew up. I never did it consciously, but it was true that any time things started getting too serious with a girl, I ended it.
And of course, my idea of “too serious” was usually “she wants to spend more than one night.”
But everything had changed when I met Grace.
“You know,” I started, “there are about a dozen other ways to use glaze that’s not drizzling it over a cake.”
“Each and every one of those ideas are dirty in some way, aren’t they?” she asked.
“I’m just thinking,” I said lightly, “it’s all sticky and sweet, it would be kind of fun to pour it all over you and lick—”
She slapped a hand over my mouth.
“Not in front of the class,” she admonished. “Save those thoughts for later.”
Later, hm? I eyed the sugar. I could probably make a little extra…
The rest of our time went pretty smoothly as far as the “making the cake” part went. The only thing left to do was put it in the oven and wait. That was when the band showed up to give us, what Kaylee was calling, moral support.
“Did you think we wouldn’t come?” she chirped when I went over to quickly say hi to the band.
“You better bake me something awesome, ‘cause I’m starving,” Finn declared with a hearty slap on my shoulder.
“Didn’t anyone ever teach you to share?” I retorted.
“Hey, I’m great at sharing some things,” he replied with a mischievous smirk. “In fact, don’t you remember that time when—”
“Shut it.” I punched him in the shoulder. “No sex jokes or you don’t get any cake.”
“No sex jokes?” He shook his head sadly. “Grace really has done a number on you.”
“And no being mean to Grace,” I added.
“Why would I be mean?” he said, faking offense. “In fact, I’m going to go give your girl a hand, seeing as how you just left her to do all the work.” Finn tsked at me. “What a terrible boyfriend.”
“You better actually help and not just try to steal a bite before everyone else,” I warned.
“I would never,” he said, but there was a devilish gleam in his eyes.
I watched with a frown as he made his way over.
“Don’t worry,” Micah said. “He’s going over to apologize. He feels bad about everything.”
That was a relief. Finn had made himself conveniently unavailable whenever I’d invited Grace over to our place, and I was worried about the tension that still existed between my best friend and my girlfriend. He must have been taking the time to think things over, if he was now ready to say he was sorry.
“Thanks for coming,” I told the others. “I know it’s not really your thing.”
“Grace has been coming to all of our shows,” Anya said softly. “It’s only right that we support her in return.”
“And a baking competition is a lot more low-key than a concert,” Kaylee said. “Plus we get cake!”
“Hopefully,” I muttered. I still wasn’t sure how it was going to turn out. I was trying to be optimistic. “Either way, I appreciate you being here. It will mean a lot to Grace.”
“And you,” Anya added. “I know how seriously you’ve been taking this.”
I ducked my head sheepishly. It was kind of embarrassing, having your rocker band mates see you in an apron covered with flour, but Anya was right. I really did care about this new hobby of mine. I’d never made anything with my own two hands before aside from music, and I didn’t think that really counted.
“Looks like Finn is struggling over there.” Kaylee nodded to my baking station where, to my surprise, Finn was helping clean up.
“I better go rescue him,” I told the others. “Thanks again.”
I jogged over quickly to save Finn from the drudgery of washing dishes. He was cheerful and upbeat about it, so whatever he’d talked about with Grace must have gone over well.
As Grace and I discussed how to do the finishing touches, I couldn’t help but think about how happy I was that the two of them managed to patch things up. It would have sucked if they hadn’t been able to get along. Because while Finn was my family, Grace was also a part of my life now, and nothing was going to change that.
We were just about ready with the garnishes when the oven timer went off. I grinned in anticipation as we took out the cake. My smile immediately fell.
Burnt smoke wafted from a blackened, crispy husk of a ruined cake.
I sighed inwardly. Well, at least we tried.
But Grace didn’t take it too badly and we were able to laugh about it. Finn was going to be disappointed that he didn’t get to eat any cake, though.
As I gave Grace a kiss, I whispered into her mouth.
“I love you. You know that, right?”
“I do know that,” she replied.
“And what about you?” I teased.
“You know that I love you, too.” She snuggled down into my arms. “And I’ll tell you a hundred more times if you need me to.”
My heart soared to the moon, my chest filling to the brim with joy until I thought it might explode.
I loved this woman more than anything.
As we finished cleaning up, I spotted the sugary liquid glaze sitting unused in a bowl.
I quickly scooped the sticky stuff into a plastic container and secured the lid tight.
“You want to head back to my place?” I asked once our station was sparkling.
Grace wrapped her arms around my neck.
“Sure,” she said. “I’m done with baking. If I never see another bowl of flour or cup of sugar again for the rest of my life, I’ll be happy.”
I thought of the container of sweet glaze.
I hid a wicked smirk.
Once I told Grace my plans for it, I was sure she’d change her mind.
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