David Miles and Richter Layover are young lovers from West Hollywood who move to Snowden to open a liberal and fun bakery called Cupcakes. What follows is a string of extraordinary men who enter their lives and change their matrimony and the bakery forever.
Realtor Anthony Jarr, handsome and alluring, who lives above Cupcakes and considers himself an exceptional lover. When he meets Ryan Glayson, a professional cellist with a relentless urge for sweets, Jarr falls in love for the first time, turning his life into a topsy-turvy spin of surprising romance and selflessness.
The magnetic and strange Stefan Pavlov is one of Cupcakes' regulars. Although he comes across as being sweet and charming, he has secrets that are quite damaging, which are exposed during a heated summer along the lake. Erich Misslow, a part-time employee at Cupcakes, becomes enamored with Pavlov, who is almost three times his age. Erich has always enjoyed the company of older men, but does Pavlov have too much peculiar baggage to share?
Cupcakes also draws in Ken Eclipse, a charming underwear model with a taste for sweet men and sultry sex. Eclipse searches for Mr. Right like a slice of cinnamon cake for his appetite and personal needs. Can he find the man of his dreams at Cupcakes, or will he forever be single, enjoying the bakery's treats alone?
These employees, friends, and lovers combine together with their individual recipes of bliss and loss, and the little bakery called Cupcakes comes to life as the sugary flavor of a gay neighborhood along the lake bursts into life.
Cupcakes “ ... is to die for,” according to food editor, Wayne Rightsville, of the Snowden Post. “If you want something yummy, serious, or teaspoon-perfect, drop by the place and try anything!”
Wayne wrote a fabulous review of the bakery before Cupcakes opened for business, which pleased Richter and me. Wayne mentioned the original Tiffany windows over the front doors, the mahogany floor that squeaked when customers walked over it, and the vintage U-shaped glass cases filled with breads, pies, cookies, cakes, and other treats. He said the tiny, two-person dessert tables at the front of the store were “comfortable and eye-appealing,” and added that “playful music from the fifties and sixties” filled the bakery and added “much cheer and friendly zest.”
Such a review helped Cupcakes’ grand opening. Richter and I opened the place on January 14, sixteen months ago. Business textbooks say the first year of a business is the hardest, but I have to confess that it was breeze, minus a water leak during our grand opening, an asbestos ceiling that needed removed during remodeling, funky tasting white icing during the month of March, and the mysterious death of a beefhead named Marcus Sa, one of Jarr’s sexual flings.
As for the water leak in the kitchen, it was nothing. Sink Helpers came out and fixed it with no pain. As for the funky tasting icing in March, neither Richter nor I were certain what happened, but both of us thought it was because of a bad bag of powdered sugar. As for the Marcus Sa incident, that was a little more dramatic.
Besides a few traumatic incidents, Cupcakes ran like a gem. Richter baked his butt off, I did the books and generated business, and Jarr sometimes worked the counter pro bono. By mid-April we needed more help and hired two more counter people and an assistant for Richter. And by July of that first year we opened the place at seven every morning and closed at seven.
Truth was Cupcakes was a success from the very start. All of Snowden and its surrounding towns (Erie, Templeton, North East, Bowers, and Channer to name a few) raved about our peach jelly rolls, Easter Egg Nest Cake, meringue tortes, Heavenly Shakes, spiced cocoa donuts, double-fudge chocolate cake, and cinnamon apple pie bars.
I believed Richter loved his baked goods a little more than me. That sounds silly today, but it was true then. He was enamored with flour, eggs, and sugar. He desired time with fluffs and creams to the fullest. And never did he ignore the bagged jellies and precious wall of nuts near the fresh fruits. The man was in love with Cupcakes without any conditions whatsoever, which somewhat left me ignored and on edge. No matter how busy we were, he never complained or scowled though, loving his pastries, cinnamon breads, and trail mix breakfast bars.
Driven seemed an understatement regarding the man. He slept about five hours each night, awakened with a smile, showered, walked down the rear flight of steps to the bakery, and processed his day, which were always over eighteen hours long. Although he was a busy bee he was never exhausted. Cupcakes was his love and life, icing was his blood, and my heart was somewhat pushed aside for the time being.
I realized two important things after Cupcakes was open for five months: one, we needed more help at the bakery; two, I had to attract my lover better. Golden honey on my chest would have worked, since he loved its natural sweetness, but that task was far too sticky to carry out. I could have coated myself in bittersweet chocolate for him, but I preferred butterscotch instead, which he liked but didn’t love. Colorful gumdrops could have been eaten off my torso, decorating my pecs, navel, and abs, which he loved, but I was quite sure he wouldn’t take the time out for the sweet snack. Bottom line: I wanted alone time with Richter, and we needed a date away from Cupcakes where it was just the two of us.
He agreed to both conditions: we would hire a new employee to help at Cupcakes, and he would go on a date with me, outside the bakery’s doors.
Good for me -- us.