Tina Chen and Blake Reynolds have been together for almost a year. In that time, they’ve grown closer on just about every front. The one exception? Blake’s father has never let anything stop him. Tina’s parents have never let anyone push them around. And they’ve never met.
That’s about to change. But don’t worry—fireworks are traditional at Chinese New Years.
Note: This is a short story (10,000 words) that follows Trade Me, happens about halfway through Hold Me and What Lies Between Me and You. It assumes that you’ve already read Trade Me. Points of view are split pretty evenly between Blake, Tina, and Adam Reynolds (Blake’s father). I wouldn’t say there are spoilers, but if you’re gonna spend time in Adam’s point of view, you’ll learn stuff about him.
“This is a hysterical, laugh-out-loud (several times!) story. When I’m down, I’m pulling this back out and rereading the cake scene.”
“Simply fabulous. I loved just about everything in this story. More please!”
“It’s super short, but if you enjoyed Trade Me, you’ll doubly enjoy this hilarious meet-the-parents story. Included: more sexytimes, a mystery around Adam Reynolds, and one of the best Chinese moms I’ve ever seen in literature. Enjoy.”
Super-tiny excerpt from Adam’s point of view:
There’s a plastic wall between us, but I tower head and shoulders above it. I am close enough that I could reach out and tap her on the shoulder.
I don’t. “Hey.” I pitch my voice to reach her ears alone. “Hong Mei.”
Mrs. Hong Mei Chen looks up. Her eyes meet mine and her gaze narrows.
Yep. She sure as fuck recognizes me.
“You.” That word is imbued with a thousand suspicions. “What do you want?”
“A couple minutes,” I say. “I—”
She jerks her head toward the front of the bakery. “You forgot your custom cake order form.” She says those last four words so swiftly that they run together, like she’s so used to saying them that they’ve blurred into one word, no pauses. “I need a custom cake order form before I can talk to you.”
I blink at her. “Are you fucking serious? You know who I am.”
She rolls her eyes, then drops her voice in imitation of me. “‘You know who I am.’ Yes, I know who you are. Doesn’t matter. Corporate policy is that we need a written custom cake order form first, then you can give specific direction. You of all people should understand corporate policy.”
I exhale. “Look. Hong Mei. This isn’t how I wanted us to meet, either. But I wanted to talk about Blake and Tina—”
“Some of us still have to work. We can’t drop everything just because a big, important man wants to have a conversation in the middle of our jobs. You want to talk to me? I didn’t realize buying a cake was such a problem.”
“Come the fuck on.”
She tilts her head toward the order forms, and…
And fuck it, why the fuck do I care if I have to buy a fucking cake?
All my books get codenames, and I called this one “Let Them Eat Dick” for a while. I did say that Adam had a point of view, did I not?