Inning 21 ★ A League of Their Own

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I wouldn't say they had it covered. Yes, they'd peppered the entire school in posters for the car wash, making sure to say like the shirtless baseball team would wash your car for $5, but it was the picture in the poster that was causing the buzz. Jessica, Gigi and another girl appeared wearing their cheerleading skirt and matching bikini tops. It was a guy's fantasy come true. I was sure half of the school would show up. The male half.

I saw Gigi giggling as one exceptionally grumpy teacher tore down some posters, and I guessed that really disrupting the system was her kick out of this whole thing. Or she was a bit exhibitionist. But cool, I didn't judge.

Dad did, though. He sat me down after practice the very same day we'd hung the posters and asked me what the hell I was doing.

I lifted my palms up. "I didn't know this was what was going to happen when Ellen enlisted cheerleaders to help."

Ellen, still shadowing me and interviewing people for her article, just gave him a smile. "Call it a senior year prank with a noble cause."

Dad pursed his lips. "The Principal told me to take down all the posters or he'd walk back on his promise."

I jumped to my feet. "Taking down the posters, right away."

That took me a while. I couldn't take down posters and hang new, PG rated ones, fast enough. I was sure there were still some racy ones hanging in weird corners by the time Saturday rolled in.

I was wearing my pink bikini under a Sea World t-shirt and jean shorts. A few of the people and I were prepping up a corner with packs of bottled water while the rest were filling up buckets with soapy water and large sponges. We'd reeled hoses all the way from the side of the front school building to the parking lot and were ready to start receiving customers.

"Any time, now," Anthony said next to me, and I resisted thinking about how in a few minutes people would start driving in and I'd have to take off my clothes. What if dad went ape crazy? I glanced at him as he directed some of the boys to the first approaching vehicle.

He was definitely going to go ape crazy.

Ellen was bursting at the seams. "Ooh, this is going to be so exciting."

"Stop," I hissed. "You're making me nervous."

"Why?" She put her hand on her cheek. "Is it because you're going to be showing everybody, especially Santiago, what yo momma gave ya?"

I shushed her and looked around. No one showed signs of having heard our conversation. Not even Anthony, who was the closest. "You're killing me, Smalls!"

She winked and left me to join Chris. We'd spoken at length about today the past few days. Her big plan was to seduce Chris with soapy goodness on her pineapple bikini and invite him over tonight, because her parents were out of town. "You should totes do the same with Santi!" she'd said last night, as if my parents were out of town or as if he and I were at that stage. I glanced at him, now shirtless and in navy swim trunks. He didn't look my way, but I swore he felt my eyes on him because he lifted his hand to brush at the longish top of his hair, flexing his biceps in a way that made my tongue grow thick and heavy.

"Did you chicken out?" an obnoxious voice said behind me.

I tried to shake off whatever dreamy eyed haze I probably had over my face. With a sugary voice I said, "Hi, Jess. So glad you could join us."

She wore a tiny, baby blue bikini that brought out her eyes in a striking manner. I had no problem ogling her openly. She was fine and I admired her blatantness about it.

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