Temptation lurks around every corner and sometimes attacks in your very own kitchen—Penny knew this, had written it as gospel in her heart, but even after months of relentless calorie counting and hundreds of hours logged on the elliptical, one little whiff sugary goodness could turn her knees to butter.
Tess, who pretended to be her friend but kept company with the enemy, held out a spoon weighted down with frosting. “You have to taste this.”
Penny gripped her spatula and her willpower. “Just a spoonful of sugar makes the boobies hang down.”
“Boobies will hang anyway. It’s what they do.” Tess laughed and wiggled the frosting under Penny’s nose. “You’ve already lost so much weight, how much damage can a smidge do?”
Penny sniffed at the offending spoon and returned to creating spun sugar roses. “That smidge is a whopping 150 calories.”
“How can you decorate an entire wedding cake without even taking a lick?” Tess asked.
“How can you profess to love me and still tempt me?”
“How can you be such an amazing cook and stay so thin?”
Penny sighed and put down her spatula. “All I have to do is close my eyes and picture myself at my brother’s wedding, wearing the beige dress that makes me look like a giant pralines and cream ice cone.”
“Ah, the dress from hell—or Dairy Queen.”
“Same thing,” Penny muttered.
“It can’t be that bad,” Tess said. “Rosalynn loves you, right?”
“I thought she did until I saw the dress.”
Tess licked her spoon and settled down on a stool in front of the three foot high, nearly completed wedding cake. “I’m glad my brother isn’t getting married. This wedding is enough stress. Thanks again for helping out.”
Penny smiled at her creation. If she couldn’t eat, she could do the next best thing—bake. “Anything for Samantha and Greg.”
“Unless calories are involved.” Tess popped another spoonful in her mouth. She licked her lips, closed her eyes and murmured, “Yum.”
“Yum is right.” Penny bumped her hip against Tess and pointed her spatula at a tall, blond and blue eyed man standing in the courtyard. He looked lost and Penny fought the temptation to rip off her apron, bolt through the door and ask him if she could show him the way to where ever. “Who is that?”
Tess peered through the window and Penny elbowed her. “Don’t look!”
“How can I know who he is if I can’t look?” Tess asked.
“Okay look, but be fast and remember I tapped-tapped him first.”
Tess casually stood, went to the window and tweaked the curtain. “He’s visiting the new guy in 2B.” She resumed her spot on the stool, her back to the window.
Penny tried to focus on the cake, but for once sugar loaded calories had lost their appeal. The visitor of 2B glanced her way and their eyes met briefly. Embarrassed, Penny filled her pastry bag and drew a series of repeating hearts around the base of the bottom tier. When she looked up he was gone. Penny sighed, put down the pastry bag and returned to the sugar spun roses, promising herself that one day she would attend a wedding in a dress she loved.
And she would bake the cake and eat it, too.
Penny and Tess are introduced in Losing Penny, a novel that sizzles with romance, suspense and lip smacking recipes.