Hi lovelies! So when I released the Asphalt Bay Boxset Vol 1 I included this story as bonus content. What I forgot to do was post it here on the blog in my freebies section so readers who already had the first three books didn't need to buy the boxset to read it. It's about a year late (So sorry about that!!) but I hope you enjoy.
Blurb: Lykos has been tasked with making cupcakes for his son Talon’s entire third grade class. The problem? He’s not allowed to use magic and must bake them all himself. Oh, and let’s not forget that they must be decorated to perfection following the theme Talon has chosen. When Lykos’ family decides to drop in for a visit, an all-out war to see who can decorate and bake the best cupcake begins. With three gods and a demigod going all out, it’ll be a miracle if there’s still be a kitchen left by the time they’re finished.
It’s been eight years since I brought my son Talon into this world and the little hellion has me wrapped around his little fingers. Which is why, despite not being the best person in the kitchen when not using my powers, I agreed to provide nature themed cupcakes for his entire class because they’re doing a scavenger hunt tomorrow. Since we live in such a small town that’s mostly run by the pack our children go to school on pack lands. It’s like being homeschooled but with a different approach to teaching. The problem is, my son told me I couldn’t take any shortcuts with the cupcakes, which means I’m currently standing in the kitchen with a recipe book in front of me trying to figure out what flavor would be best.
Deciding to make both chocolate and vanilla, I get to work mixing the ingredients for the batter. Gods, I hope these taste okay. The last thing I want to do is poison my kid and his classmates. I’m starting to think my boy loves torturing me. The little shit could’ve asked Declan to make him cupcakes because we all know he’s a wizard in the kitchen. Hell, for that matter, he could’ve asked his grandma. But no, he asked me and now I have to do it because I don’t want to disappoint him. Let’s hope I don’t screw this up.
After lining my cupcake pans with the paper cups, I begin scooping the batter into the pans. I’ll have to make a few batches since there’s about thirty kids in his class and all of them are shifters. Two cupcakes per child probably won’t be nearly enough to satisfy them but I’m not about to let them have any more than that. The entire pack would probably lynch me if I sent their kids home hopped up on sugar from too many cupcakes. Then again, I’m sure all the other parents are making something too, so I don’t think I’ll be the only one providing sweets. The pack is having a potluck for when the children get back from the scavenger hunt because it’s supposed to be an all-day event. I’d make enough cupcakes for the kids and the parents, but I don’t have that much confidence in my baking skills, so I’ll be drawing the line at making sixty.
I’m on my second batch of batter when my uncles and father appear in front of me. “What are you guys doing here?”
My uncle Hades says, “What we can’t just stop in for a visit?”
“Sure, you can, but you usually have a reason for dropping in unannounced.”
“We just wanted to see you and the kiddo, that’s all.”
My dad looks at the mixing bowl in my hands and says, “Do you need some help with that?”
Knowing where this is going, I shake my head. “Nope, I’ve got it.”
My uncle Zeus gets this glint in his eye and smiles. “Come on, let us help.”
“It’ll go faster if you do.”
“No. I know how you three are. What happened at my wedding is a perfect example.”
“Oh, come on, don’t be a spoilsport. We were only having a little fun.”
“Need I remind you of what happened the last time you were only having a little fun?”
Hades rolls his eyes and says, “We know, dinosaurs went extinct.”
“No, actually, I was talking about the snowstorm that hit the northeast and killed four hundred people in 1888 because the three of you threw power around so much it created a winter hurricane.”
Zeus says, “Come on nephew, we haven’t done anything like that in years.”
“Tell that to the state of Hawaii. I know you three vacationed there a few months ago. Their volcano is still erupting.”
My dad says, “You can’t blame us for that.”
“Sure, I can.”
“How about this, the three of us will bake a different kind of cupcake and decorate it. Whoever has the best cupcake gets to help you finish yours.”
Shaking my head, I say, “No. Not happening, I know how you guys are.”
They each give me their best puppy dog expressions and I sigh. “Okay, fine. But you can’t use magic.”
Hades says, “Why not?”
I give him a look that clearly says are you serious right now and shake my head. “Talon told me I couldn’t use magic for this so that means neither can you if you plan to help me.”
“Right. That makes sense.”
Zeus claps his hands together and says, “Let’s get started then.”
My dad uses magic to conjure aprons for all of them as well as enough ingredients and mixing bowls for each of them. Thankfully, I used my own magic to supply enough cupcake pans for multiple batches in case I screw something up though I’m hoping I don’t. Leaving my family to do their own thing, I start filling another set of pans with my second batch of batter. The timer on my oven dings and I take my first batch out and set them aside to cool.
As I’m preparing my icing, I look up to see my uncles staring each other down. Sensing something is about to happen, I turn off my mixer and face them. My father is standing off to the side putting the finishing touches on his own cupcake. It’s then that I notice the two nearly identical cupcakes sitting on the counter. The only difference in them is the way they’re decorated. Sighing to myself, I wait for my uncles to start arguing.
“You stole my idea!”
“I did not!”
“Yours looks exactly like mine, well, apart from your horrible decorating.”
“You take that back! My decorating is not horrible.”
“It is! Your woodland animal looks like an alien blob!”
“It’s a squirrel!”
“It looks nothing like a squirrel!”
“Well, yours looks like something you’d find in a baby’s diaper!”
“Are you saying my cupcake looks like baby shit?”
“If the diaper fits.”
Suddenly, Hades grabs a handful of leftover icing and slaps Zeus in the face with it. Zeus grabs three eggs and smashes them into Hades’ hair. Grabbing my finished cupcakes, I move them away from the kitchen. Once I’m sure they’ll be safe, I head back into the kitchen to grab my other batches of cupcakes and my bags of icing, so I can finish decorating them before my uncle’s fight gets too out of hand and messes up my hard work. As I walk into the kitchen, an egg flies past my face and hits the fridge. Shaking my head, I quickly grab my things and leave before I get caught in the fray.
An hour later, my uncles come out of the kitchen covered in flour, broken eggs, and a number of other things. I swear there’s even ketchup and mustard staining the front of their t-shirts almost as if they picked up the bottles and started squeezing them at each other. My father follows behind them completely unscathed holding a perfect cupcake iced to look like a fox. He hands me his cupcake and I can’t help grinning.
“How’d you manage to come out of there completely unscathed with a cupcake?”
He winks at me and says, “I snuck out the back door when the eggs started flying.”
Laughing, I take a bite of the cupcake and groan. It tastes like heaven.
My dad grins and says, “So, what’s the verdict?”
“Grab a bag of icing old man, you can help me finish decorating these.”
“Sir yes sir.”
Turning to my uncles, I say, “You two better clean up your mess because if you don’t, you won’t like me very much by the time I’m done with you.”
Suddenly, my front door bursts open as Declan runs in shouting, “There’s a tornado heading this way we have to get to safety now.”
He takes a look around and says, “What the hell happened in here?”
Standing, I cross the room and say, “Long story sweetness. I’ll tell you about it later. Show me where this tornado is so I can make it go away.”
“You want to go up to a tornado and make it go away? ARE YOU INSANE?”
“You know it.”
“Jesus Christ, I have no idea what fate was thinking when she saddled me with your crazy ass.”
“Aw sweetness, come on, you know you love me.”
“I do, very much but sometimes I wonder how in the hell I manage to put up with you.”
“You can’t live without me, that’s how.”
“True. I couldn’t imagine my life without you in it.”
“I can. It would be very bleak and lonely. You need me to spice things up. Besides, if I don’t do something crazy once in a while, you might get bored with me.”
He pulls me into his arms and says, “Love, I could never be bored with you. Now, let’s take care of this tornado before it threatens our afternoon plans. I’m looking forward to sampling your cupcakes.”
Waggling my eyebrows at him, I grin and say, “If by cupcakes you mean my balls then honey, you can sample those anytime.”
He throws his head back and laughs. “No, I actually meant the cupcakes you baked however, I do look forward to sampling your balls as soon as we get Talon into bed tonight.”
“I’ll hold you to that.”
Stepping outside, I feel a powerful wind gust and turn towards the direction it’s blowing from spotting the tornado in the distance. Grinning to myself, I use my powers to change the weather slightly, so the conditions needed for a tornado to appear no longer exist.
Turning towards the sound of my son’s voice, I see him running at us waving a piece of paper. When he reaches us, he says, “Guess what?”
Declan crouches down and says, “What is it?”
“I won the scavenger hunt!”
“That’s great buddy.”
Talon turns to me and says, “Did you make cupcakes?”
Grinning at him, I ruffle his hair and say, “I sure did, kiddo and I didn’t use magic.”
He grins at me and says, “Can I have one?”
Nodding I say, “After dinner.”
He hugs me and says, “You’re the best,” before running off to join his friends.
Pride fills me as I watch him play with his friends.
Declan puts an arm around my shoulders and says, “He adores you, love. You know, he told me he wanted to be you when he grows up.”
“You’re kidding right?”
“Nope. It was part of a school assignment. The teacher asked all the students what they wanted to be when they grew up and said to draw a picture for them. He drew you. I have it inside somewhere.”
“Why didn’t I know about this?”
“You were on a job and I forgot to tell you?”
Raising an eyebrow, I smirk at him and say, “You forgot huh?”
“Okay, okay, I was a teensy bit jealous so, I didn’t say anything.”
“A teensy bit jealous?”
“Okay, a lot jealous. He’s your perfect mini me and I swear I think he loves you more than me. I want my own mini me.”
He says that last bit with a pout and I shake my head. “No.”
“Come on, love, I want another child.”
“No. Ask me again in a hundred years, maybe by then I’ll have forgotten what it feels like to be pregnant.”
“Damn right. Trust me sweetness, if I could pass this ability to you and have you carry our next child, I’d do it in a heartbeat. But, I can’t so you’re just going to have to wait.”
“Fine, but know this, I won’t give up trying to convince you.”
“Looking forward to it, sweetness.”