Bring the Heat(9)

By: L. Wilder



“Looks like something, and what’s up with your hair?”

I looked back at the mirror as I asked, “What’s wrong with my hair?”

“Nothing. Just looks like you actually brushed it today.” He mocked.

“Shut up and get your stuff, Kaden,” I scolded as I reached for my book. Following him over to the field, I was surprised to find that the bleachers, which were practically empty the day before, were now full of parents, mainly moms. I could only assume that the sudden rush of parental support had something to do with Tucker, especially since the mothers were dressed in their cutesy little outfits with perfect hair and flawless make-up. I looked down at my black tank and khaki shorts; suddenly, my perfect outfit didn’t seem so perfect. To make matter’s worse, just as I was getting settled in the bleachers, I noticed Jess walking towards me. The dirty, rotten little slut was dressed like she was about to hit the club with her short mini-skirt and skimpy halter top.

Acting like her presence was nothing out of the norm, she plopped down next to me with a big, innocent smile. “Hey. How’s it going?”

“Really?”

“What?”

“What are you doing here?” I growled.

“I thought I’d keep you company for a bit.” She turned her attention to the field; after several seconds, she took in a deep breath. “Oh, my. He’s even hotter in person.”

“Does Zach know you’re here?”

“Not exactly.”

“Umm-hmm.”

“I’m just here to look, Kaci. Now hush, and let me enjoy the view.”





Tucker





I woke up with a strange feeling that today was going to be a good day, and for half a second, I actually thought I might be right. As I lay there, I realized that I’d slept a full eight hours without any burning pain or cramping in my leg, which was a huge improvement. After I got dressed, I went downstairs and found that Dad had cooked us a big breakfast. He made all my favorites: bacon, eggs, biscuits, and gravy—and it smelled incredible. It had been a long time since we’d spent a morning together, and I couldn’t think of a better way to start the day. I was feeling pretty damn good as he drove me over to the rehab center for my physical therapy. It was then that everything started to go to shit. My PT was a fucking prick on a good day, but on this particular morning, he was even more of a douchebag than usual. I know he was just doing his job, but he was on my ass the entire session, pushing me to my limits at every turn. By the time he was done, I could barely walk. Every muscle in my body ached, and I just wanted to go home and take a long, hot shower. Unfortunately, that wasn’t going to happen. I’d promised Colton and the kids that I’d be at the park early to help set up drills for practice, so throbbing pain or not, I had to get my ass over to the field.

While Dad drove me over to the park, I took some pain relievers and tightened my leg brace. I thought it would help turn things around, but as soon as he dropped me off, my day went from bad to worse. I was late. The kids were already warming up while Colton was in the dugout unloading all the gear from his duffle bag. Oblivious to the crowd of parents sitting in the bleachers, I hobbled over to help him out. When I opened the gate, he looked up at me with a pissed-off face. Assuming that he was ticked because I was running behind, I said, “I’m sorry, man. Therapy took a little longer than expected.”

“Well, I hope you’re all warmed up and ready to go,” he glared over at the bleachers and growled, “because it looks like they’re expecting a dog and pony show today.”

I glanced over at all the parents and grumbled, “Well, fuck me sideways.”

“Guess I’ll have to tell them that practices are closed from here on out.”

“Can you do that?”

He stood up and grabbed a couple of bats. “It’s not like they’re leaving me much choice. Whether you’re here or not, I’m not putting up with this kind of bullshit.”

“I can just go, Colt. I don’t want to make things harder for you and the team.”

“No!” he barked. “I need you and those kids do, too. I can deal with a few horn-dog mothers for a couple of hours.”

“Oh, yeah. Way to ‘take one for the team,’ Coach,” I grumbled.

Colton called out to the boys and they came rushing over. In a matter of minutes, he had them all separated into groups and ready to go. With their parents watching, the kids were especially eager to get started. Trying to appease them, I wasted no time getting my crew ready for my first pitch. After handing out a few pointers, I grabbed the ball and was about to throw it when I spotted her sitting in the bleachers.

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