Chapter 9

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Sharla was asking her so many questions about the game that at one point, Gretchen googled "how to play baseball" and handed her phone over.

"This should cover everything you haven't, but will, ask me."

Her friend laughed and put her arm around Gretchen's shoulders, pushed the phone back to her and held onto her for a moment, squeezing. It was the eighth inning, and they had been non-stop talking, catching up, simply having fun with one another. It had been far too long since she and Sharla had really, truly spent time together doing something other than wine tasting. She would have to thank Josh for this gift later. Even though she knew he had ulterior motives, she was happy to oblige them. She got to be here, watching her favourite sport, spending time with her best friend, thrilled at the knowledge that he had wanted to see her again, and perhaps repeat what had happened last night.

"I am just trying to get you wound up, you fool." Sharla giggled, and then tilted her head to rest on Gretchen's. "I am really enjoying getting to spend some time with you, you know."

"I am too." Gretchen said quietly and smiled. "We should do this more often."

"Well, we will once you marry that gorgeous man down there." Sharla replied, and squealed as Gretchen pinched her.

"Sharla!" she hissed, feeling the blush creep back up. "It was one night! A weekend at most! I'll likely never see him again after this."

"Uh huh. Bullshit." was all Sharla replied, and Gretchen turned her eyes back to the game, attempting to get past her friend's teasing. Which it was. Sharla was nuts, but she was not mean, and it was all in good fun. Marry him? Right.

The BlackJacks were batting, and the seventh in the lineup was getting ready to take his chances. The opposing team, the Yosemite's, had a good closer, and he was pitching right down the middle, red-hot. So far, he hadn't made it easy. If this guy was able to make it onto base, then Josh might have a chance to bring him in, if he could connect with one of those pitches. She hoped he would, it would dramatically improve his confidence.

Sparrow, the name across Josh's team mate's back, swung wide at the first two, then cracked the third for a base hit. As he ran, her eyes swivelled to the side and Josh was swinging his bat with some weights on it. He looked as he always did, and her heart skipped a beat. How many times had she watched him just like this, when he was in Toronto? His high stance, his tight grip, tall socks favoured over the long pants with ties. But as she watched his hands throttle up on the bat again, the butterflies decided to do a tour of her stomach. Those hands had been hot on her skin, and her body flushed with heat as he bunched up his muscles, swinging the bat. Those muscles had held her as he-

"You ok?" Sharla asked. "You look flushed."

"Fine, fine. Just a hot flash or something." she deflected, fanning herself.

"Uh huh. Riiiight." Sharla replied, amusement threading her voice. "big sexy baseball man in a uniform is using his muscles. I see right through you."

Gretchen bit her lip and crossed her fingers as he thunked the weights off into the circle, the chalk rising in a puff as they hit the ground. He stepped over to the plate, flexing his shoulders out, his face a mask of seriousness. He was sexier than he had ever been, now that she knew him. The way he walked, his stare towards the mound, even his jaw flex was more intimate to her as she watched him.

Hot flash. Hah. She was full-on nuclear, watching him set up to bat. Officially bonkers. Crazy. Sex-addicted. But, Vegas Carpe Diem meant Boring Gretchen could return when she went home. Right now? She was enjoying this.

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