Bring the Heat(7)

By: L. Wilder


“Oh, good grief. You’re such a dork.” I giggled as I reached for a box of takeout. “So, what’s it going to be? Are we going for the old stuff like The Amityville Horror or The Exorcist, or something new like Annabelle?”

“Hmm …. Let’s go with one of the newer ones, but first we’ve gotta see what’s even on,” she said and started flipping through the movie channels. Once she’d found what she was looking for, she purchased the movie and started it. As the credits started to play, she turned to me and asked, “I forgot to ask. How did things go at ball practice with Kaden?”

“I don’t know.” I shrugged. “All things considered, it was pretty good I guess. I mean, Kaden seemed to have a good time.”

“Why do I get the feeling you aren’t telling me something?”

“It’s nothing really.” I took a bite of my lo mein, then asked, “Have you ever heard of a baseball player named Tucker Michaels?”

“Who hasn’t?” she scoffed. “He’s a great pitcher, and he’s hot.”

“Well, he’s helping out with Kaden’s Little League team, and he’s a—”

“What?” She sat up in her seat with an animated expression. If I hadn’t known better, I would’ve thought she’d just won the damn lottery. “He’s here, in town, and you’ve actually seen him?”

“Yeah? Like I just said, he’s helping out with Kaden’s baseball team.”

All her woes were suddenly forgotten as she started pounding me with questions. “Was it for just that one practice or is he coming back?”

“I think he’s going to be there for a couple of weeks. I think it’s because he hurt his knee or something.”

“Oh my God, Kaci. I can’t believe you are just now telling me! You do realize that he’s—”

“A jerk? Yes. I realized that right away,” I grumbled.

“He can’t be that much of a jerk. I mean, come on! He’s one of the best pitchers around, and here he is taking the time out to help with your little brother’s baseball team. And he’s doing it while he’s hurt! He can’t be all bad.”

I watched as she reached for her phone and started typing. “What are you doing?”

“Holy cow. Just look at him.” After several seconds of drooling over the screen, she finally turned it towards me, revealing a picture of Tucker with no shirt. “If I lick him does that make him mine.”

“I don’t think that’s how it works.” I rolled my eyes and laughed. “Besides, I don’t think Zach would appreciate it if you went around licking other men.”

“Probably not, but it never hurts to look,” she replied as she continued to flip through all the different pictures. “So, when is the next practice?”

“Tomorrow afternoon. Why?”

“Just curious.”

“Umm-hmm.” Hot or not, I was growing tired of talking about Tucker Michaels, so I changed the subject. “Are we going to watch the movie or are you going to sit there staring at your screen for the rest of the night?”

She looked up from her phone just long enough to ask, “You really don’t think he’s good-looking?”

“I didn’t say that, Jess. I said the guy was a jerk, but like you said, I could have him all wrong. I don’t know, and honestly, I don’t care. Now, let’s watch the stupid movie.”

“Seems like Mr. Tucker made quite an impression.” Jess snickered. When she saw the irritated look on my face, she shrugged and said, “Fine. We’ll watch the movie.”

“Finally.” I huffed.

“One last thing … You might wanna fix yourself up a little for that practice tomorrow. It wouldn’t hurt.”

“Jess!”

“I’m just saying.” She giggled. “If I know you, I’m sure you made quite an impression on him, too.”

Thankfully, the movie started playing before either of us could say anything more. We actually made it through the rest of the night without any further talk of our bad day, cramps, or Tucker Michaels. By the time we finally went to bed, Jess’s mood had improved dramatically, but as expected, she wanted to keep all the lights on in the house.

The next morning I struggled to get out of bed. All I wanted to do was lay there and enjoy the comfort of snuggling under my warm quilt, but I didn’t have that luxury. First, I had an early morning class; afterwards, I needed to pick up Kaden for practice. I threw the covers back, forced myself out of bed, and headed into the bathroom for a shower. As soon as I was dressed, I hurried downstairs and was surprised to find Jess in the kitchen making coffee.

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