Home Run (The Boys of Summer 2) - Page 10

“Ainsley, that was years ago.”

“It doesn’t matter when it happened, it happened. I was in love, he was the quarterback, and we were engaged. Athletes are all the same.”

“Not all guys cheat.”

I laugh, because she knows that’s not true. “It’s a moot point, Stella. I’m not interested. Besides, I have too much on my plate right now with my mom being sick.” I stand and push my chair in, grabbing my purse so I can leave. “I never thought growing up without a dad would be a big deal, but it is. Taking care of mom by myself is tiresome. It’d be nice to have a little help every now and again.”

“I help as much as I can,” she reminds me.

“I know, and I appreciate it, but it’s not the same. I know my mom is lonely. She wants me to get married and give her a grandchild, but it’s not going to happen. The doctors aren’t very optimistic about her prognosis.”

“Maybe Cooper is willing?” Stella states as she shuts off my light and closes the door behind us. We walk out of the office, saying goodbye to the other staff members before heading toward the parking lot.

“No man is willing to knock someone up to appease a dying woman’s wish.”

“In vitro?”

Shaking my head, I fish my keys out of my purse. “No, she’ll just have to hang on until I meet the man of my dreams.”

Chapter 7


“Keep your front leg planted and use your hip more, Bailey. You’re not a power hitter.” The Renegades batting coach, Mickey King, demonstrates the movement that he wants to see from me. I should be pissed about the criticism, but I’m not. I’d rather rack up the RBIs or get on base and let the others bring me home. My base running speed is one of the fastest on the team, and I have the ability to steal any base. So what if I’m not hitting a ball out of the park every game?

Digging into the dirt, my leg twists twice before I settle into my stance. I’ve been practicing for the past twenty minutes, hitting meatballs all over the park. King doesn’t like my stance and says that I’ll have a hard time with the left-handed pitchers when I face them and I need to adjust. I didn’t have a problem in the minors. A decent number of the pitchers we faced were Major Leaguers rehabbing until they get called back up.

The pitch comes, and I keep my front leg planted and twist my hip as King instructed. The ball sails, caught easily by one of the outfielders waiting their turn.

“You’re stiff. Loosen up.” King rubs my shoulders quickly, patting and stepping away. He’s wearing catcher’s gear so he can watch me from behind and is probably praying he doesn’t take one to the junk while he’s squatting.

My right cleat digs in, followed by my left. I swing the bat a few times, trying to loosen up and prepare for the next pitch. It’s delivered. I swing, and the beautiful sound of the ball hitting the sweet spot of my wooden bat fills my ears. The ball travels along the left field line, staying fair but far enough out of reach that, if this were live, the ball would be hard to get to. I’d be on second by now with a stand-up double.

Behind me, King hoots and hollers, telling me that this is what he wants to see every time I’m in the batter’s box. I step again and take the pitch with a similar result. This continues for another twenty minutes until he tells me to head to the trainer and get some ice for my shoulders.

Bainbridge is in the dugout, waiting his turn, along with a few of the other guys. I nod to most of them, but things between Bainbridge and me are going to go from bad to worse in less than a week, and there isn’t shit I can do about it. Right now, I’m performing better in the outfield, running the bases faster and more aggressively, and my batting is only going to improve now that I know what King wants. It would make sense for me to start over Bainbridge.

We don’t exchange glances after I stow my gear and head to the training room. Words are mumbled as I pass by, but I pay them no mind. The guys on the team are loyal to Bainbridge, and that’s the way it should be. They’re lucky no one is vying for their spot or they’d be freaking the hell out like he is.

In the training room, Davenport and Hawk Sinclair, one of our starting pitchers, are taking an ice bath, while a few of the other guys and staff filter around the room. The trainer tells me to have a seat on the table, and he’ll be with me in a minute. Slipping off my jersey, I sit there wondering if I should strike up a conversation with the guys.

For the most part, Davenport has been a good buddy to me, Kidd too. But I still feel like the odd man out, especially considering Bainbridge.

“Yo, Bailey, how’s that hot piece of ass from the zoo?” Sinclair asks, causing Davenport to look over at me. They’re both waiting for an answer, one that I don’t have for them.

“Uh, not sure.” I run my hand over the back of my neck and shake my head. Water splashes, and a very naked Davenport steps out of the tub, wrapping himself in a barely big enough towel.

“You got the chick’s digits. Have you used them?”

Shaking my head. “Nah, man. Not yet.”

“Why the fuck not, Bailey?” Sinclair asks, standing in the tub so the room can see all his glory. He doesn’t care that his dick is hanging out for everyone to see, and the fact is that he’s standing there with his hands on his hips, mimicking the way Kidd was acting at the zoo. It’s hard to take a man like Hawk Sinclair seriously when he’s like this. Hell, it’s hard to take any of them seriously most of the time.

“Dunno, she didn’

t exactly give it to me.”

“Who the fuck cares? Call her,” he bellows. “She was fucking hot. You could be tapping that ass before we have to get down to business.”

Tags: Heidi McLaughlin The Boys of Summer Romance
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