I stick my tongue out at her backside. Then I head back into work, still refreshing my inbox. Still confused.
That confusion only increases when an hour later, Lara ducks into the back room. “Carmine? Customer to see you.”
I dust flour off my hands, run them under the tap quickly, and duck out of my apron to head to the front. Halfway out the door, though, I freeze.
Lara leans in close, that mischievous grin on her face again. “Honestly, Carmine, way to pick ‘em. I didn’t even know guys like this existed in real life, but…”
Across the shop, Caleb leans in the doorway. He’s dressed in even better clothes than he wore last night—a really nice shirt along with dress slacks. The shirt sets off his jawline, and makes his gray eyes seem even more piercing than usual as he grins at me. The lopsided grin isn’t helping my knees function properly either.
“Is he as well-hung below the belt as above?” she whispers.
I manage to stomp on her foot without giving too much away, I think.
“Good morning,” I say when I’ve recovered enough to cross the store toward him.
He takes a moment to let his gaze drift over my body in that way he has, drinking in every inch of me before he responds, the grin still on his sexy fucking mouth. “You look good today, Carmine.”
“Back at you,” I respond, unable to help myself. “Tell me, do you always stalk your clients after encounters, or did you make a special visit just for me?”
His eyes dart past me when I say the word client, probably looking for Lara. But she’s too good at reading situations to have stuck around for this—I know she ducked into the back room to give us privacy.
Caleb relaxes a little. “It’s not normal practice, no. But then again, you aren’t normal, are you, dirty girl?”
“Only as filthy as you,” I remind him, voice lowered so Lara won’t hear me from the back room.
His grin widens. “Actually, I came to ask a favor.”
“You never charged me,” I say, already reaching for my wallet. “Did you forget, or…?”
But he’s shaking his head and wrapping a hand around mine, closing the wallet again between us. “I don’t want your money.”
My heart leaps into my throat. “Why not?”
“First round is free.” He winks.
“Sounds like bad business practice to me,” I point out with a raised eyebrow. Mostly to disguise how hot that makes me feel. My pussy is already getting wet just at his proximity.
He laughs and steps closer. His scent wraps around me, warm and familiar already, even after just one night together. “I’m kidding,” he says, and my heart sinks again.
But he’s still holding my wallet shut.
“I didn’t charge you because I need a favor,” he says.
My brows contract, and I tilt my head with a frown.
“My sister needs a cake for her daughter,” he explains. “It’s her birthday on Monday. She actually…” He glances past me at the calendar on the wall. “She actually already booked one with you guys, but you got in touch and said you needed to cancel it next week. You offered a huge discount on another cake at a later time, which, don’t get me wrong, we totally appreciate, but it’s my niece’s birthday, and she had her heart set on this cake…”
My cheeks flush. Figures. You go and cancel just a few orders when you’ve gotten yourself snowed under, and what do you do? Decline to bake a cake for a nice little girl. A nice little girl who’s the niece of the hottest man on earth. The man who stuffed you fuller than you ever imagined possible just last night…
My whole body heats up with the memory of our night together, and it takes every ounce of energy I have to step away from him and draw in a deep breath of air. “I think we can work something out.” I frown at the calendar. “We’re booked solid today, but tomorrow, I could come into the store on my own and make something…”
I glance back at him, eyes widening.
He lifts an eyebrow, still wearing that grin. “Would you like an assistant while you do?”
I blink. “Both our cooks will be off tomorrow, since it’s Sunday…”
“I meant me, silly.” He steps closer once more. I let him. I’m pinned between him and the counter now, the hard edge digging into my side. But I don’t move. I’m too distracted by the way he’s gazing down at me, desire white-hot in his eyes. He trails a fingertip up my arm, from my wrist all the way to my shoulder. It sends a riot of shivers throughout my body—not to mention a wet sensation starting between my thighs. “I’m eager to help you in any way I can, Carmine. I remember how much you enjoyed my assistance last night, after all.”