“Ouch, ouch, ouch.”
The oven mitts were full of lies. They were supposed to keep people’s hands from burning, and yet my fingers felt like they were about to fall off while holding on to edges of the cake pan. Sliding it on top of the stove, I pulled my hands from their gloved state and flicked them back and forth in the air. I don’t think it was scientifically proven that it made injured body parts actually feel better, but the searing sensation faded as I wiggled my fingers.
I took a step back and looked at the tins, running over the directions I found in one of Jhett’s books in my head. Red Velvet cake was his favorite, and even though we agreed that we weren’t going to make a big deal out of Valentines Day…I just couldn’t help it. What was the fun in a holiday made for lovers if you couldn’t actually do something for the one you love? Who cares if it’s just a giant commercial holiday. The cute little hearts everywhere won me over.
Deciding to forgo the cooling time the instructions called for, I turned the heart shaped tin over in my hands and waited. And shook it. And waited some more.
Nothing happened. I’d watched the cooking channel. I knew that the cake was supposed to slide right out and produce a perfectly spongy-looking cake. But not mine. Mine clung to the edges of the grey metal as if its life depended on it.
Shaking my head, I slammed the cake pan down on the counter, probably with a little more force than necessary. I pursed my lips and counted to five. That’s how long that cake had to figure out if it wanted to do this the easy way or the hard way. Using one finger to life up the edge, I peeked under and waited for the answer.
“Ha! Take that cake.” The cake separated from the sides, leaving only a few dark red chunks behind on the inside of the pan. I set the cake down with a plop on the round oversized plate. Next up was the frosting.
Spreading the cream colored frosting over the cake was the easiest thing I’d done since I started baking the cake. It was impossible to mess up; all that needed to be done was cover all the red spots. Piece of cake.
I giggled at my joke as I continued to work. Before long, the lump of baked ingredients and smeared frosting looked like an actual cake. Pride swelled in my chest. Operation bake my first cake was success. My tongue stuck out between my lips as I squeezed the remaining frosting out into words on the top of the heart cake.
Now it was perfect.
“What happened in here?” The voice slicing the silence was enough to snapped me back to reality. I pivoted on my heels, my bottom lip between my teeth, as I hid the cake from his view with my body. I let a knowing smile creep over my lips as I leaned against my palms pressed into the counter behind me and saw the one person who could take my breath away with his presence alone. Jhett stood before the kitchen island with crossed arms and a smirk that matched the boyish enthusiasm emulating from his eyes.
“Uh….nothing?” I didn’t bother to catch the oversized button down shirt as it fell off my shoulder. It hung loosely to my thighs, barely covering the blue boy shorts hiding underneath it. He nodded his head in my direction once he was done taking in the sight of me.
“Uh huh.” He raised an eyebrow. “Nice shirt.” His bag dropped as made his way towards me; his eyes never leaving my body.
“Oh, this old thing?” I asked; grabbing the collar and turning my back to him. His eyes roamed my exposed skin as I wrapped the shirt closer around me. “You don’t think it’s too….revealing?” I asked with a coy smile.
A gasp escaped my mouth when he grabbed my waist and spun me around so only inches were left between us. His hands crept up around my back and under the shirt; pressing his palms into my bare back and sending an electric rush through my body with only his touch. I bit my lip to keep any more sounds from escaping and looked up into his intense gaze.
“No, definitely not. In fact, I think you could stand to reveal a little more…” He gripped the hem of the shirt with his fingers and began to pull it up towards my head. My arms snapped down to my side in protest, putting a stop to his advances.
“Jhett!” I backed away from him and laughed as he lost his grip on me. I held a finger up at him. “Not right here…”
Jhett raised an eyebrow at me and then looked around dramatically. “I don’t see anyone else around to stop us.” He stepped forward, but I avoided him; stepping to the side of the island.
“It’s just…you’re all sweaty from work and I’m covered in….food…” I paused and tried to think of another excuse while Jhett tried to figure out my next move. With my window of opportunity slowly closing, I decided against coming up with another excuse and took off past him. I barely made it to the other side of the kitchen when his hands were around my middle again, pressing my chest to his.
It took everything in me to attempt to escape his grasp. I fought against him, writhing back and forth, and anger rose up inside me until something escaped from my lips…a giggle, and then another. It felt good and I let the infectious feeling creep over me. “You smell like a cheeseburger!” I shouted between each gasp while trying to catch my breath.
He rubbed his face into my neck and cheek in response. “But you love cheeseburgers.” His voice was muffled from the way he buried his head into my neck.
The urge to laugh finally died down due to the soft kisses that spread across my now exposed shoulder. I gave in and relaxed in his arms. “Not as much as I love you.” He stilled at my words; leaning back far enough so he could look down into my eyes again.
Gently, he pressed his lips to mine. My arms slid around his neck as we parted, and I was sure my grin matched the satisfied one he wore. Jhett let out a throaty moan. “You’re a tease, you know that?” He tugged at the collar of my shirt as it threatened to fall off my body at any moment. “Especially in this. I think you do this to me on purpose.”
I stood on my tiptoes and quickly kissed his cheek. “That’s the definition of tease, isn’t it?” I pushed away from him, catching him off guard, and ran to cake, whipping around just in time to bump Jhett’s chest with the plate. Presenting it to him in both hands, I held in the urge to collapse in a fit of giggles from the strange look on his face.
“Happy Un-Valentines Day,” he read out loud. “Seriously? You made a cake?” Confusion stained his voice.
I rolled my eyes. “I’m pretty sure I didn’t make a pizza…so yeah. It’s a cake.” Pushing the plate a little closer to him, I bounced on my toes. “Go ahead, try it. It’s your favorite.”
Jhett eyed me carefully, but he didn’t hesitate to swipe his finger along the side of the cake and pick up a heap of frosting on the tip. With a wicked grin, he reached out and smearing the cream cheese flavored icing down my cheek, leaving a trail down to my jaw.
My mouth fell open. Oh. No. He. Didn’t. His smirk told me one thing. Oh, yes he did. All bets were off. This was war.
Grabbing a fitful of red cake, I brought it up into Jhett’s face, wiping every crumble I could over his forehead, nose, and cheeks. The sight of him shocked me. I’d never smashed food on anyone’s face, ever. I couldn’t even remember doing anything like that as a child either. But it didn’t feel wrong…it felt freakin’ fantastic.
“Oh, you asked for it now, woman.” I already held a new piled of cake in my hand when Jhett snatched the plate from me, grabbing his own huge handful. I backed away from him, holding my arm up as if threatening to throw a grenade. “Come on and throw it. I dare you.” His teasing ignited a fire somewhere inside me. I knew he was only joking, but I hated to lose, and this was one fight I fully intended to win.
Dropping my hand, I stuck my bottom lip out and pouted. “Can’t we just eat the cake the normal people? I worked really hard on it and now it’s practically ruined.” I watched as Jhett’s shoulders slumped forward, my words causing his guilty conscience to flare up almost immediately.
My plan worked. I had him where I wanted him. “I’m sorry baby. You just got me all riled up in that t-shirt of mine and with all that flour and frosting all in your hair when I walked in. It’s like every cooks fantasy.”
His words caught me off guard. “I have…there’s stuff in my hair?”
Smash. A palm sized piece of cake smacked me dead on in my face. My plan backfired and I fell for Jhett’s revenge tactics. What an amateur move on my part.
As I wiped the cake from my eyes, Jhett’s arms slipped under my shirt and he grabbed on to my bare hips. His touch was warm and welcomed, despite the lingering annoyance from my thoughts of my obliterated cake. Light kisses grazed my cheeks and I shut my eyes, eager to enjoy whatever he planned next.
“Mmmmm….” He groaned. “Cream cheese frosting….my favorite.” Each new kiss was slick from his tongue. “I could get used to this.” It was too much for me.
My eyes flew open, focusing on the streak of icing that ran across his neck. With my arms wrapped around his shoulders, I kissed his collar bone, taking my time with each kiss up to his neck, until finally I was able to taste the sweet frosting myself. It was ten times more delicious when it came off of his body.
“I could get behind this whole Valentines Day thing if this was on the agenda every year.” I ignored him; instead of worrying about his words, I carefully placed icing-lipped kissed up by his ear, jaw, and finally, on his lips. The taste between the two of us was delicious. “If you keep doing that, the cake isn’t going to be the only thing lying on this floor.”
A shudder ran through me. His sexual threats were enticing. “You wouldn’t hear me complain…” I whispered next to his ear.
Jhett’s grip on me tighter, his self restraint being held together by a thin cord. “Don’t say I didn’t warn you.”
Excited giggles echoed through the kitchen as we made our first, of many, Valentines Day memories.
EEP! A huge thanks to Melissa for inspiring this scene. I hope you all enjoy your day, whether it's spending time with your significant other or maybe curled up alone with a good book, I hope it's full of love and sunshine! <3