What better time than the holiday season to be with the ones you love? In Changing Scenes, circumstances force Astrid and Donnie to spend their first Christmas apart. This is a much bigger deal for Donnie than it is for Astrid; while she sees holidays as something to endure, he enjoys going back to his grandmother’s house and spending a day or two cooking up a feast for his family.
In order to show Astrid just how much he is going to miss her, Donnie plans a special breakfast for Astrid—but this breakfast doesn’t involve bacon and eggs. Instead of traditional breakfast foods, he makes a few different chocolate pastries for Astrid, and she gets to choose between the sinful desserts. Does that make Donnie the dessert to the dessert? I guess it does.
In the spirit of Donnie’s romantic breakfast of desserts, here’s a recipe for one of the most sinful chocolate cakes you’ll ever encounter. Below that breakfast scene itself.
Happy reading—and baking!
butter and flour for coating and dusting the cake pan
3 cups all-purpose flour
3 cups granulated sugar
1½ cups unsweetened cocoa powder
1 tablespoon baking soda
1½ teaspoons baking powder
1½ teaspoons salt
4 large eggs
1½ cups buttermilk
1½ cups warm water
½ cup vegetable oil
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Butter three 9-inch cake rounds. Dust with flour and tap out the excess. (see cooking lesson below)
Mix together flour, sugar, cocoa, baking soda, baking powder, and salt in a stand mixer using a low speed until combined.
Add eggs, buttermilk, warm water, oil, and vanilla. Beat on a medium speed until smooth. This should take just a couple of minutes.
Divide batter among the three pans. I found that it took just over 3 cups of the batter to divide it evenly.
Bake for 30-35 minutes until the cake meets the toothpick test (stick a toothpick in and it comes out clean).
Cool on wire racks for 15 minutes and then turn out the cakes onto the racks and allow to cool completely.
Frost with your favorite frosting and enjoy!
Excerpt from Changing Scenes: Donnie makes Astrid a special breakfast
After the session wrapped, I went home, showered, and took a nice, long nap. When I woke I ate a bowl of cereal, then I got dressed in my warmest socks, leggings, and sweater while I waited for Donnie to pick me up. My man was right on time and came bearing hot coffee, and we did our usual circuit of the market.
“These fish get heavier every week,” I said when we were loading up. “And I think Trevor put rocks in those sacks instead of clams.”
“I hope they’re not clams,” Donnie said. “I paid for mussels.”
I shook my head, unsuccessfully stifling my latest round of laughter; my chef thought he was a comedian. “I’m ready to head out if you are.”
“You know it, babe.”
We hopped into the fishmobile and left the market. I watched the market get smaller and smaller in the rearview mirror, wondering how big of a catastrophe would be needed for Donnie to cancel Christmas and hang out with me instead. The restaurant burning down? No, since he’s not an owner he’d probably go back to his family and wait for word from his boss. Massive snowstorm? No again, since he’s a New Englander; they laugh at snow. Me breaking a leg? Hmm, now that could work. Donnie would have to stay in my apartment with me, taking care of me, keeping me company… Of course, I would have that broken leg to deal with…
“What?” I asked, blinking myself back to reality.
“You’re a dreamer, you know that?”
I looked down. “I was just thinking.”
“Hey.” I glanced up, saw his smile. “Dreams are good.”
I returned his smile, then I realized we were headed toward my apartment instead of the diner. “We’re not going to breakfast?”
“I thought we’d do something special.”
“What special thing?” I pressed.
“I’ll make breakfast at your place.”
I flopped back in my seat, totally speechless. Just when I thought Donnie couldn’t be any more perfect, he goes and one-ups himself. Then I remembered that all this cooking would be taking place in my kitchen, and my happiness turned to horror.
“I don’t have a lot of food at home,” I babbled. “I haven’t had time to shop, and I don’t own things like spatulas and cooking spray.”
“I brought everything we’ll need.”
“’Course I did. When I was in your place before I checked out your kitchen.” He gave me a look, and added, “The stove didn’t look like it’d been used this year.”
“I’m not a cooker like you.”
“Babe, there was dust on the burners.”
I crossed my arms and fidgeted in my seat. “What can I say, housekeeping hadn’t come by.”
“It sure hadn’t.”
We reached my building, and I directed Donnie toward my parking space. Once that was complete he handed me a cooler, then he grabbed a second bag and we headed toward the elevator.
“Will the fish be all right?” I asked.
“They’ll be fine for a few hours,” he said. “It’s cold, even in here, and they’re packed in tons of ice.”
When we entered my apartment Donnie went straight to the kitchen. “What do you want me to do?” I asked.
“What do you usually do after I drop you off?”
“Change and go to bed.”
“Go change, then.”
I blinked. “I thought if I didn’t help, I didn’t get to eat.”
He kissed the corner of my mouth. “Grandma’s rules, not mine. Don’t worry, I got this.”
I did as ordered, and shed my fish market gear. Since I wasn’t going to see Donnie for a while I decided to dress sexy, and put on a blue satin spaghetti strapped nightie and matching robe. The smell of coffee lured me back to the kitchen, and I saw little pastries set up on the counter.
“What’s all this?” I asked. “No bacon and eggs?”
“Sweets for a sweet lady,” he replied. The coffeemaker beeped, so Donnie poured a cupful and handed it to me. “Gonna try one?”
“Sure.” I selected a tiny chocolate confection, then I took it and my coffee to the couch. Donnie sat beside me a moment later. “What brought this on?”
“I’m going to miss you, that’s what,” he said. “Not gonna lie, I was single for a long time before we met. Been a long time since I found anyone I wanted to spend time with…” Donnie shook his head. “And now, I won’t even be with you over the holidays.”
“It’s not like you’ll be gone forever,” I said, ignoring the pang in my heart. “If it’s any consolation, I’ll be miserable with my family.”
Donnie made a face. “I’d be miserable too, if they dragged me to some restaurant on Christmas.”
“Yeah, restaurants are terrible,” I said. “And the chefs, especially the head chefs, now they are the worst.”
“Hey, take that back.”
Donnie grabbed my coffee and pastry from my hands and set them on the table, then he grabbed my waist. “Take it back,” he insisted, his hand sliding up my spine toward my neck.
Polly glanced at her watch as she stepped into the house. Good, she had plenty of time to
indulge herself before Lucan came home. She shut the door and ignored a bill that lay on the
All day she’d steamed through her to-do list, knocking each thing off with a tick of
satisfaction. She’d even forgone lunch, choosing to eat her salad at her desk. Her colleagues had
soon taken the hint, when she’d given one-word answers to their chatty questions, she just wasn’t
in the mood.
Some solo fun was what she needed before Lucan walked through the door. He’d toss his
keys into the ceramic bowl on the dresser in the hallway, hang his jacket in the cupboard and
then plant a chaste kiss on her cheek. She’d bet money on him commenting on “thank goodness
it’s the weekend,” then he’d put on his old Oasis t-shirt and worn jeans, and pop a beer.
She’d cook, they’d watch TV, then it would be their usual Friday night missionary sex
beneath the duvet. The highlight of his week, he always told her afterwards as he pulled his
boxers back on.
Trouble was, their sex routine had become so stale if it were bread it wouldn’t be any
good for even the ducks. He tweaked her nipples, rubbed her clit for thirty seconds and then
pushed in. After that it was a predictable four minutes until he came.
Polly never did.
She’d tried to push him onto his back so she could climb on top and get herself off,
encouraged a little oral fun with a sexy whisper, even hinted that they take a trip to a sex shop for
some toys. Her suggestions were met with a big strong body that had only one plan for their
bedroom sequence and, much to her dismay, had fallen on deaf ears.
Maybe she hadn’t been firm or loud enough.
For as long as she could remember, frustration burned hotly through her veins. It was an
itch she couldn’t scratch. A longed for possession she would never afford. And she had no idea
what to do about it.
Until, that was, a few weeks ago.
She’d been scrawling through Facebook on her laptop when she’d seen a Gucci handbag
on sale—the GIF flashing excitedly—and clicked the link. Only it wasn’t a handbag sale, not by
a long shot. Before she knew it a porn site had filled her screen and the wails of a woman in the
throes of climax echoed around the room. She’d been alone but still glanced about the kitchen,
embarrassed at the wild cries of release.
As she’d watched, heat had traveled up Polly’s spine and her cheeks had flushed. She’d
squirmed on the seat and curled her toes in her fluffy pink slippers. The woman on screen was
getting a good seeing to, the black man she was with pounding into her hard and fast. The
camera angles were rude and crude, up close and personal. A big dark cock disappeared over and
over into her wet, pink pussy.
Polly had stared wide-eyed, knowing she should turn it off. The link could be full of bugs
or viruses or whatever else infected computers. But she couldn’t, she was utterly mesmerised.
The woman’s breasts jiggled, the camera gave a shot of the man’s ass cheeks as he thrust
with ever-increasing speed.
Polly clenched her internal muscles as another shout of “It’s here, oh yes, oh yes, fuck
me, fuck me harder,” rattled from her laptop speakers.
The man groaned, deep and guttural, a sound that spoke to Polly. When had she last
heard Lucan moan like that? He seemed to hold his pleasure in, a few panting breaths, a low
rumble in his throat perhaps. Why couldn’t he let go? Allow his release to be unharnessed and
escape wild and free. It wasn’t as if they had any children to worry about, their house was their
own, they had all the privacy a married couple needed.
Quickly Polly dumped her work-bag on the counter. She reached into the fridge for a
bottle of Chardonnay and poured herself a large glass. Then, with her laptop under her arm, she
headed up the stairs.
The cat was on the bed. “Tilly, come on, out you go. I don’t want an audience,” she said
as she tugged the covers.
Tilly voiced a quick complaint then sauntered from the room. She’d likely been asleep all
day so Polly didn’t feel guilty. Her own needs were greater and they needed seeing to.
After taking a few more big sips of wine, she began to strip. When she was down to
knickers and bra she flicked on the shower in the en suite. She had at least an hour and a half
before Lucan came home. The traffic was always heavy on the ring road on a Friday with
everyone escaping London for the weekend. Perhaps he’d be even later than she expected. But
she couldn’t count on that, she had to presume he’d be in at the earliest time possible.
She pulled the curtains closed, even though it was still daylight, then shucked her
Humming a happy tune, she twisted her hair on the top of her head and stepped into the
stream of warm water. She filled her palms with coconut scented shower gel and rubbed it over
her breasts. Her nipples spiked and she held her face to the water, letting it tap on her eyelids and
run over her lips. Her breasts were heavy and had always been very sensitive, especially on the
outer curves. She adored having the skin there lightly brushed, stroked, caressed, because it sent
a tingle to her clit. Shame Lucan only thought it was her nipples that needed stimulating.
Had he always been that way?