Thrown by a curve, p.32
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       Thrown by a Curve, p.32
 

         Part #5 of Play by Play series by Jaci Burton
Page 32

  Author: Jaci Burton

  Annamarie cocked her head and frowned, then said, “Oh. Right. You’re like a giant target. ”

  “Exactly. If I don’t get him up on the mound and pitching, it’s not going to look good for me. ”

  Annamarie half turned on the bench to face her. “Quit worrying. I’ve seen you work with the guys, Alicia. You’re very good. You have this almost sixth sense about therapy and rehab, and your outcomes are in the highest percentiles. Do you have any doubts that you’ll have Garrett pitching this season?”

  That day in St. Louis when Garrett had asked her what her opinion was, she knew with certainty that she could fix him. She still felt that way. “No. None at all. ”

  “See, that’s where you and a lot of therapists differ, where you and I differ. I know there’s still so much I have to learn, but you’ve always had this ballsy confidence. You plunge headlong into whatever you’re doing with this uncanny conviction that the outcome is going to be a one hundred percent rehabilitated player. ”

  Alicia looked at Annamarie. “I’d never thought about it like that. I must be out of my freakin’ mind. There are no certainties like that, especially in this field, because there are so many variables, including the players themselves. You know as well as I do that their level of cooperation is paramount in their recovery. ”

  Annamarie laughed. “Of course I do, which is why I’m not as confident as you are. But I think your confidence stems from your ability to sweet-talk them into cooperating. Look how well it’s working with Garrett. You’ve made amazing strides with him so far, haven’t you?”

  “I suppose I have. ” She had. A lot of that had to do with Garrett’s willingness to cooperate and the way he approached his therapy. She’d been tough on him, but he’d been equally hard on himself.

  “Then don’t change anything you’re doing. It’s working. ”

  She squeezed Annamarie’s hand. “Thank you. I needed this. It’s been a real confidence booster. ”

  Annamarie laughed. “That’s what friends and colleagues are for. Call me anytime. And when this crunch is over, we need to have lunch together. I’ve missed you. ”

  “I’ve missed you, too. ”

  After Annamarie left, Alicia thought about what her friend had said. It made a lot of sense, but it also freaked her out. Was she really that fearless in her treatment plans and the way she handled players?

  She had been with Garrett. And so far it was working, so maybe she shouldn’t overthink it.

  She looked around. Where was Garrett anyway? She realized she’d been talking to Annamarie so long that the stadium had cleared out.

  “We’re about to shut out the lights, miss. You coming?”

  She looked up to see one of the stadium crew members.

  “Actually, I’m waiting for one of the players. I think he’s still out in the bullpen. Garrett Scott. He might be out there with one of the coaches. ”

  The crewman grabbed his phone and sighed. Obviously, there was somewhere he needed to be.

  “We’ll lock up if you need to go. I’m sure Garrett or the coach he stayed behind to work with can get the keys to you tomorrow since we’ll be back here early. I want to work with him on his throwing before the team shows up for warm-ups. ”

  “You sure?”

  “Positive. Go on. ”

  He nodded. “Okay. Thanks. I’ll take care of the stadium lights. You can turn off the ones in here before you go. ” He handed her the keys, and she went and locked up the gates behind him.

  After the lights had shut down, it was dark and a little bit scary in the dugout. She waited, figuring as soon as the stadium lights went out, Garrett would appear.

  He didn’t.

  They had come in the same car. Surely, he wouldn’t have left her here alone, would he?

  She went into the locker room, but it was empty, so she hightailed it outside to scan the parking lot, just to be certain. The car was still there, but Garrett was nowhere to be found.

  She went back inside, through the locker room, and back out to the dugout.

  A single light was still on across the field toward the bullpen. She crossed the dugout and picked up the phone the coach used to call for relief pitchers.

  The phone rang several times before Garrett picked it up.

  “Yeah?”

  “I was hoping you were out there considering you drove us here. ”

  “Sorry. I’m still here. ”

  “What are you doing out there?”

  “Thinking. ”

  “You’re alone?”

  “Yeah. ”

  Huh. “What are you thinking about?”

  “Some stuff. ”

  She wondered where his mental state was. “Are you okay?”

  “Yeah, I’m fine. I stayed behind to talk to a few of the guys. When they left, I found myself not wanting to go. ”

  She took a seat on the bench. “Okay. You want to talk?”

  She heard his soft laugh. “About?”

  “I don’t know. I’ll let you decide. We could talk about your therapy. It is going well, Garrett. ”

  “I don’t want to talk about therapy. Or my shoulder. Or anything having to do with my recovery or rehab. I’m taking the night off from thinking about it. ”

  “All right. How about we talk about the game instead. ”

  “It was a good game. Sorry I bailed on you. I wanted to hang out here with the other guys. ”

  “You don’t have to stick to me like glue, you know. You were right where you were supposed to be—with the other pitchers. ”

  “Thanks. It felt good to be back here. Did you enjoy the game?”

  “I did. I’m glad the team won. They look good this season. ”

  “Yeah. They do. ”

  This conversation was superficial. There was something he wasn’t telling her, something bothering him.

  “Garrett—we’ll get you out there. This is still preseason. ”

  He paused. “I know. ”

  She had to get his mind off baseball and what he wasn’t able to do right now. “So . . . what are you wearing right now?”

  He laughed. “Are you trying to phone sex me from the dugout, Miss Riley?”

  “Maybe. ”

  “Are we alone?”

  “Yes. Crew is gone. ”

  “In that case, I’m naked out here. ”

  If only that were the case. “Really. Since you’re naked, you should take your cock in your hand and stroke it for me. ”

  She heard him take in a deep breath. “You know I’ll do that. Out here. If you slide your hands in your pants and touch yourself. ”

  Now, her breathing quickened. She knew they were alone. It was dark in the dugout. No one would see her. She slid her hand down the front of her pants. Garrett was so close, but he couldn’t see her, either.

  “Touch yourself for me, Garrett. ”

  “I’m hard already. You know I’m going to fuck you here. ”

  She palmed her sex, already wet and quivering in anticipation of him doing just that. “Then get over here and do it. ”

  “Hanging up now. ”

  She hung up, too, and sat on the bench. The light in the bullpen went out, bathing the entire ballpark in darkness. She heard the squeak of the bullpen door, and a short time later she caught sight of Garrett’s tall, lean form making a determined trek across the field toward the dugout.

  She didn’t get up, not until he walked down the few steps toward her. Then she stood. He tugged her against him and kissed her.

  The passion in his kiss never failed to ignite her, to take her right into the maelstrom of desire and need, where she wanted to be naked and feel him inside her right away. She toed out of her shoes and frantically clawed at her zipper while Garrett turned her around so her back was to him.

  He cupped her chin with one hand, tilting her head back while she dr
opped her pants to the ground.

  “I really hate this uniform of yours, Alicia,” he said, licking the side of her neck.

  She trembled. “Me, too. ”

  “You should be in a skirt tonight. Or a dress I could lift up so I could shove my cock in you and fuck you hard. ”

  Her sex quivered at the mental image while she shimmied out of her panties. “You’re not making this any easier. ”

  He sat on the dugout bench and unzipped his pants. “Yeah, well, I’m getting harder. Come sit on me. ”

  Thank God she had condoms in her bag. She might have cried if they didn’t have any. She straddled him, bending her knees to slide them across the bench on either side of his hips.

  “Ever make love in a ballpark?”

  She laughed. “This is definitely a first for me. ”

  He swept his hands across her thighs, holding her in place while she eased down on his cock.

  “I like being a first,” he said, sliding his hand under her shirt.

  He was definitely a first. For a lot of things.

  He lifted her bra over her breasts, filling his hands with them while she sank down on his shaft.

  “Christ,” he said, stilling as she buried him inside her. He squeezed her breasts, brushing his thumbs over her nipples, then brought her forward to lick them. When he blew on them, his warm breath caused a fire to burn deep within her. She grasped his arms and brought a nipple to his mouth.

  “Do that again. ”

  His lips curved, and he caught one of the buds between his lips, sucked it between his teeth, and flicked his tongue over it.

  So achingly sensual, the painful pleasure seared her.

  The night was hot and steamy, not the slightest bit of air blowing to cool off her heated skin as Garrett began to thrust upward. She held onto his shoulders and lifted, then sank onto him again, the sensations heating her to boiling.

  “Your skin is silver in the moonlight,” he said, wrapping his hand around the nape of her neck to draw her down for a kiss.

  When he kissed her and made love to her, her toes curled, her hair stood on end, and everything in between ignited. She dug her nails into his shoulders and rode him, bombarded with sensations that brought her to the breaking point.

  And when he pulled away, she arched her back, giving him access to the most intimate parts of her. He rubbed her clit and she shattered, gripping his cock as waves of orgasm convulsed within her.

  “Christ, Alicia. ” He swept his arm around her back to pull her against him. He thrust deeply into her and his harsh groans were the sweetest sounds in the quiet night as she rode out her climax, then took him along for the ride.

  Clasped tightly to him, she stroked his sweat-soaked back. He pressed a kiss to her neck, then eased her off his lap and set her on her feet.

  She held on to him. “My legs are shaking. And I’m not sure I know where my panties are. ”

  He laughed. “We should probably find them or we’ll have some explaining to do to the crew tomorrow morning. ”

  “Yes, and speaking of the crew, they left me the keys to the gates, which means an early workout for you in the morning. ”

  He put his arm around her and tugged her against him, his eyes still heavily lidded with passion. “Worth it, don’t you think?”

  She shuddered and pressed her hands to his chest. “Definitely. I’ve never had dugout sex before. ”

  “Me, either. ” He kissed her thoroughly, his fingers diving into her hair to hold her firmly against his mouth while his tongue plundered. By the time he pulled away, she was more than ready for round two. But they should probably get out of there before they pressed their luck and someone showed up. Not that she expected anyone to haunt the ballpark after hours, but one never knew.

  They searched and found her panties under the dugout bench. She dressed and fished the keys out of her pocket so they could get out and lock up.

  On the way back to the house, she remembered her conversation with her cousin earlier. “Oh, by the way, Gavin suggested we all have dinner together. ”
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