No Batter, No Batter

Rena Butler

$ 4.99 USD

Previously published in Hat Trick

When Kevin, a former college baseball star and current single dad with a spot on the local softball league, accidentally gets into a rivalry with a member of another team, he finds out there’s a lot more to learn about being a player. If he’s going to work out this thing between him and Dan, the surprisingly hot, loud guy behind the catcher’s mask, Kevin’s got to step up to the plate.

I panicked.”

At first, Kevin didn’t think the man was even talking to him — he’d never heard Dan’s voice at such a reasonable volume on the field — but then he continued, “You were very nice and apologetic, and I just sort of freaked out. I think I owe you an apology now.”

“Oh,” Kevin said, glancing over as the batter went to work on her shoe. “That’s… I mean, that’s fine. I didn’t mean to come off as threatening.”

“You didn’t,” Dan insisted, though he kept his eyes fixed down the third base line. “I’m just pretty nervous about this whole softball thing? You, uh, may have noticed that I’m not exactly athletic.”

Kevin took the moment to glance Dan up and down. Lean body, good arms, surprisingly filled-out calves. He’d sort of clocked before that Dan was in decent shape, but it wasn’t as obvious when he was squatting behind home plate. Kevin chuckled disbelievingly. “You’re probably in better shape than I am.”

Dan finally looked at him, blinking as if startled. “What? Oh, this” — he gestured down at himself — “is strictly decorative. I go to the gym because I want to look good. Coordination, not so much. I was never the sporting type.”

Back at the plate, the batter’s shoe was ready to go, and she took strike one. “And yet here you are, playing a sport,” Kevin replied lightly. Conversation was easier with both of them focused on the batter — any second now, Dan might be required to take off for home and Kevin might have to field the ball.

Beside Kevin, Dan chuckled. “It’s as improbable to me as it is to you. But they needed bodies and I already knew the rules.