Gimme S'more (Hot Cakes #6) by Erin Nicholas



1





Piper Barry was in love with an amazing, brilliant, funny, good-looking man.

Who, at least twice a day, she wanted to smother with the stuffed dragon that sat on the corner of his desk.

Okay, maybe not smother. That was extreme.

But duct tape over his mouth? Oh yeah, she thought about that often.

“Is spit better than snot?” Oliver Caprinelli, that man—and her boss—asked her as she crossed his office to refill the water pitcher by the window.

“In every single context, yes.” Piper was also aware that in any other workplace with any other boss, that question would be strange. Here though, not so much.

On her way back past his desk, she set the two folders and the manila envelope she carried in front of him. He was just one of her five bosses and the least likely to open those folders or that envelope. She put them down anyway.

“Grant said that a soda flavor called unicorn piss wouldn’t sell well,” Ollie said, almost as if he was thinking out loud.

He did that a lot. Thought out loud.

That never stopped Piper from chiming in though.

“And you think that calling it unicorn snot would make it sell better?”

This wasn’t even the strangest conversation she’d ever had with Ollie.

“Wouldn’t you assume that unicorn piss or snot tasted good?”

She wrinkled her nose. “No.”

“Why not?”

“Uh, piss and snot.”

“But unicorn,” he insisted.

“I have never, not once, thought about the taste of unicorn… anything.”

“Well, think about it now. Yes, good?”

What she thought was that working for Oliver Caprinelli would be a lot better if he didn’t think out loud.

If he just sat there looking cute, things would be great.

“Why are we talking about unicorns?” she asked. “If you’re adding something new to Warriors, you can do better. Unicorns are overdone.”

The chances that this was about Warriors of Easton, the video game that Oliver and his four best friends had turned into the biggest-selling online game of the decade, was very good. It was nearly all Oliver thought about.

Ever.

Even when she wore her sexiest dresses. And the body oil that all of the other guys said smelled like spicy candy and that made them walk extra close by her desk every time they passed just so they could get a whiff. And when she worked late just so it could be only her and Ollie in the office after dark.

“It’s not for Warriors,” Ollie said. He still sounded distracted.

Honestly, he sounded distracted 90 percent of the time he talked about anything.

The man was a genius and his thoughts were always going in a million directions. It was one of the things that fascinated her most about him.

And that made her think about picking up the dragon on his desk and stuffing it in his mouth. Trying to get Oliver’s attention was hard enough. Keeping it was nearly impossible.

“What’s it for, then?” she asked, pausing in front of his desk with the water pitcher.

She was able to study him as she waited for his answer. He was leaning back in his big leather chair, one ankle propped on his opposite knee. He was wearing dark gray slacks that went with the dark gray jacket he had tossed over the armchair that faced his desk. She wasn’t sure where his tie was. She found his ties stuffed in drawers, suit jacket pockets, seat cushions, and file drawers—wherever he happened to be when it started bugging him, and he yanked it off.

His white linen button-down shirt was unbuttoned at the top, revealing tan skin and a hint of dark hair. The hair on top of his head was sticking up a bit in the back where he had a cowlick, and she made a note to schedule a haircut for him as she resisted the urge to brush that hair down. He also hadn’t shaved this morning. He never grew a full beard or even let it get too scruffy, but once in a while there would be a day or two of growth. It made him look older and more intense. When he shaved, he looked easily five years younger than his twenty-eight years.

He was looking at the dragon on his desk, but Piper knew he wasn’t seeing Spark. The plush dragon was one of the toys from the Warriors of Easton merchandise line. Spark was the one dragon in the game that couldn’t breathe fire no matter how hard he tried.

Piper didn’t know anything more about Spark than that. She didn’t play the game and her awareness of it was limited to the things she’d handled as Oliver’s personal assistant. That consisted mostly of keeping his appearances organized, answering emails, and dealing with the paperwork he had to do as one of the company’s owners.