Bring the Heat(2)

By: L. Wilder



It wasn’t exactly my fault. I blamed it totally on Mr. Hottie, because honestly, I couldn’t exactly concentrate with him lurking over by the fence. Wondering if he’d seen my little mishap, I stole another glance. My eyes roamed over his tight-fitting t-shirt, and I marveled at how it clung to the muscles of his chest and arms. Then I noticed how good his ass looked in his low-waisted athletic shorts, and I was a goner. Even though his ball cap was pulled down over his eyes, I knew he’d seen me checking him out. I could feel the heat of his stare, burning hotter than the sun.

I was lost in a daze when Kaden shouted, “Any day now!”

Quickly pulling myself back to reality, I reached for another ball and tossed it towards him. As soon as his bat made contact my stomach sank; I dreaded turning around, knowing exactly where it was headed. The wayward ball landed next to the handsome stranger who bent down and scooped it up. He was wearing a knee brace and had a slight limp as he started walking in our direction. I silently cursed myself as I glanced down at my worn out, cut-off jeans and Nirvana t-shirt. I looked like I’d just rolled out of bed, while he looked like something out of Playgirl magazine.

Completely ignoring me, he headed straight for Kaden. “Got yourself a pretty good swing there, kid.”

Kaden looked at him like he was the brightest star in the sky as he replied, “Thanks, Mr. Michaels.”

Still paying no mind to me at all, he asked him, “Have you been playing long?”

“No, sir. This is my first time.”

“It might help if you held the bat down with your hand close to your shoulder,” he suggested as he struck a batter’s pose, demonstrating exactly what he meant. “And square your feet.”

Kaden lifted the bat into position and shifted his feet apart. “Is this better?”

“Oh, yeah. Much better. Just think of home plate as a box. Position your body square with the bat just above your shoulder.” Once Kaden caught on, he took a step back. “Now that we got that sorted, you’re playing baseball and not softball, right?”

“Yeah?”

“Okay, then.” With a smirk, he looked over to me and replied, “We need to get your mom to stop throwing it underhand.”

Kaden’s eyebrows furrowed as he shook his head with embarrassment. “She’s not my mom. She’s … uh … my sister.”

I knew I looked bad. My hair was a mess and I hadn’t taken the time to put in my contacts, but it was hard not to take offense to the mom comment. His lips curled into a sexy smile as his eyes slowly, provocatively trailed the length of my body, and as much as I wanted to hate the way he was looking at me, I didn’t—not at all. My overactive hormones kicked in, and I suddenly felt like a cheap slut. Angry with him and myself, I wanted to say something brazen to knock that sexy little grin off his face, but before I could think of anything, he looked back over to Kaden. “I take it your sister is new to the game, too.”

“Yeah. She doesn’t know what she’s doing.”

It was one insult too much. I turned to look at the arrogant, obnoxious prick and said, “You do realize I’m standing right here, right?”

“Couldn’t miss you if I tried, sweetheart.” He gave me a quick wink, and then without skipping a beat, he continued his critique of my coaching skills. He motioned behind me as he said, “You know, there’s a reason the pitcher’s mound is back there. It gives some distance between the batter and the pitcher.”

“Yeah?” I responded with somewhat of an attitude.

“Well, you might wanna take a few steps back, so you don’t get hammered with the ball. Wouldn’t want any casualties out here today.”

“Duly noted. Now, do you have any other words of wisdom, or can we get back to our practice?”

“Kaci,” Kaden scolded.

I turned to my brother with a warning look. “What? I’m sure Mr. Michaels has better things to do with his time.”

Mr. Michaels grimaced as he reached down for the handle of my bucket of balls, and then slowly made his way over to the mound. “Actually, I’ve got half an hour to kill before practice starts. And call me, Tucker. Mr. Michaels is my dad.”

I should’ve been tickled to death that this handsome stranger had come to save the day, but I wasn’t—not even a little. Everything about him screamed arrogant asshole, and I wanted nothing more than to give him a piece of my mind. I was about to do just that when Kaden rushed over to me. “Do you know who that is?”

“No.”

“Come on, Kaci! That’s Southpaw Tucker.”

“Who’s Southpaw Tucker?”

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