Authors: Stacey Lynn Rhodes
Tags: #Erotic Romance Fiction
A Totally Bound Publication
©Copyright Stacey Lynn Rhodes 2014
Cover Art by Posh Gosh ©Copyright May 2014
Edited by Rebecca Douglas
Totally Bound Publishing
This is a work of fiction. All characters, places and events are from the author’s imagination and should not be confused with fact. Any resemblance to persons, living or dead, events or places is purely coincidental.
All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced in any material form, whether by printing, photocopying, scanning or otherwise without the written permission of the publisher, Totally Bound Publishing.
Applications should be addressed in the first instance, in writing, to Totally Bound Publishing. Unauthorised or restricted acts in relation to this publication may result in civil proceedings and/or criminal prosecution.
The author and illustrator have asserted their respective rights under the Copyright Designs and Patents Acts 1988 (as amended) to be identified as the author of this book and illustrator of the artwork.
Published in 2014 by Totally Bound Publishing,
Newland House, The Point, Weaver Road, Lincoln, LN6 3QN
This book contains sexually explicit content which is only suitable for mature readers. This story has a
Stacey Lynn Rhodes
Book four in the Seasoned Women series
With two diverging careers on the line, Teri and Aaron are torn between the right thing to do…and what feels so right to them.
With a son who’s played since he could walk, Teri lives, eats and breathes baseball. She was almost more excited than Emery when his invitation to a minor league team’s training camp came. But excited doesn’t begin to describe her reaction to Em’s new mentor, Aaron Reynolds. A spring fling? Just the ticket.
Fighting a chronic injury, Aaron is biding his time until he can return to the majors. Being assigned a mixed-up rookie to babysit is fine with him, especially one that comes with a sassy, sexy camp follower like Teri. But he soon finds he has his hands full…trying to keep Emery on the straight and narrow…and trying to keep his liaison with Teri strictly physical.
With love to my real life inspirations:
Teresa, who showed courage, humor, and energy in raising her twins from such a young age. You did great, little mama. Hope you like my Alex and Em.
And Theresa, the biggest baseball fan I know, with a four-pack of boys and a donated kidney—endlessly positive and energetic. I’m truly blessed to have you for a sister-in-law.
The author acknowledges the trademarked status and trademark owners of the following wordmarks mentioned in this work of fiction:
Culver’s: Culver Franchising System, Inc.
Google: Google, Inc.
Miata: Mazda Motor Corporation
Facebook: Facebook, Inc.
Bose: Bose Corporation
Volvo: AB Volvo
“Heads up, it’s a bunt! He’s putting it down!” Teri screamed, cupping her hands around her mouth. The infielders were already reading the stance of the batter and moving forward in anticipation.
Sure enough, the batter skillfully laid a soft bunt down the third base line and took off for first, and with bases loaded, everyone was running.
Teri jumped to her feet. “Home, force at home!” she yelled as if she could be heard over the roar of the crowd. Her eyes were glued to the third baseman.
He charged the ball, snagging it on the run then deftly flipping it to the catcher for the out at home.
“Turn two, turn two!”
The catcher heaved the ball to first, just past the head of the batter, and Teri watched, heart in her throat, for the call from the umpire.
Before he’d even finished his “Out!” signaling the successful double play, she was in the air with a whoop, looking automatically to the tall, rangy third baseman, who was pointing straight at her with a crooked grin. She blew him a kiss, and the handsome ballplayer winked back before running to join his teammates celebrating their victory with a huge dogpile on the pitcher’s mound. It was early in the season yet, but a return trip to the College World Series in Omaha was looking more and more likely.
Her heart pounding with adrenaline, and still feeling giddy from being on the receiving end of that beautiful smile, Teri turned a bit sheepishly to the tall, equally handsome man standing and clapping next to her on the bleachers. He was looking down at her with a familiar combination of amusement and embarrassment. As soon as their eyes met, she threw her arms around his middle in an apologetic hug.
“Do I know you?” he mocked.
Teri smiled against his shirt. “Know me and love me.”
more.” He patted her on the head.
It was a frequent complaint, without heat, and one she always had an answer for. “I love you both the same, just differently.”
“Yeah, right.” Alex gave her one last squeeze before setting her aside. “I’m going down. You coming?” He rolled his eyes dramatically. “What am I saying? Of course you’re coming. Stick close to me—it’s a mob scene down there.”
Teri grinned as her protective ‘older’ son grabbed her hand and used his height to his advantage in shouldering his way through the masses toward the dugout of the celebrating players, tugging her along in his wake. They successfully navigated the stadium steps then worked their way along the walkway until they could get down to field level.
One body separated itself from the team and was suddenly thumping against them, enveloping them both in a hard, sweaty embrace.
“Get off me, fucker, you’re gross.”
“Alex! Watch your mouth.”
“Sorry, Mom, but he
the word I meant, and you know it.” She turned to her youngest son, Emery—youngest by a whole five minutes—and reached up to take his face in her hands. “Great play at the end, Em. Good hustle. They never would’ve gotten the batter in time if it’d been anyone else.”
Emery flushed with pleasure at the compliment, even as he contradicted, “Jeez, Ma, you’re not biased or anything. That’s a play any good third baseman should’ve made.”
“Be that way. I know you’re awesome.” She stretched on tiptoes to kiss his cheek. “You coming with us to grab a bite after you clean up?” It was a rhetorical question, of course. Emery was a growing boy and never missed a chance to eat, especially after a game
when Teri was paying. She was all about giving her boys choices, though, even obvious ones.
“Excuse me, Emery Sandusky?”
The family turned as one toward the unfamiliar voice.
“Yeah, I’m Emery.” Em froze when he saw who was speaking.
Teri’s smile glued itself to her lips and she carefully watched Em. He swallowed and glanced at his head coach, who was standing slightly behind the stranger.
“Bill Patterson.” The man offered his hand to Em, who thankfully had the presence of mind to accept it for a shake. “Your coach and I have been talking. Do you have a minute?”
Teri’s breath caught—
Oh my God, it
—and she practically shoved Em toward the two men. “You go, hon. We’ll be at Culver’s. On second thought, we’re driving through. I’ll get you the usual. See you at home. C’mon, Alex.” She pulled on his arm frantically and aimed him toward the car.
“What’s the hurry? Didn’t you want to hear what he had to say?” Alex reluctantly allowed her to lead him back up to the walkway out of the college stadium.
Teri didn’t answer right away, her mind churning over the possibility of Emery getting his break into professional ball. There was no doubt in her mind he had the talent. She’d been watching every level of baseball for years and knew her son had ‘it’—that quality from which stars were made. Her concern was more for his level of commitment and focus. All the knowledge of the game and physical talent in the world couldn’t make up for a lack of drive and the immature antics she knew him to be capable of.
She sighed and reminded herself Emery was still a kid, a pretty typical twenty-one-year-old. Teri had just never been able to rein him in all the way, and as a result, she and his more level-headed twin brother were always bailing him out of one bad scrape after another. Oh, nothing major…
she added cynically
But he was still a worry to her in a way Alex had never been.
It was one of the rare moments Teri regretted not having anything to do with their biological dad. Maybe having a father-figure around would have been what Em needed. Even as the thought occurred to her, she was shaking her head, negating it. The twins had been the result of her first, and only, sexual escapade in college, with an older student who, unbeknownst to her, had already fathered a kid by another girl.
When she’d turned up pregnant, he’d shown his true colors and had not been exactly supportive. His parents had joined forces with hers, though, and the young couple had acceded to their wishes and tried a brief, disastrous marriage soon after the boys were born. He’d gone on to cheat on her when the twins were toddlers, and that had been that.
She and the boys had done well by each other, and as they grew, the differences in the two became more evident. Alex was quieter and more studious, while Emery was the life of the party and had a tendency to struggle in school, mostly from lack of interest. He and Alex had started out about as identical as could be, but now they looked more like brothers than twins, which suited them just fine. Alex was more slender, with a runner’s form, while Emery hit the weights and was much broader and more muscular. Alex alone needed glasses, although he usually wore contacts. Emery wore his dark brown hair longer than his brother, in a sort of rebellious, shapeless shag that stuck out from under his ball cap.
Teri smiled up at her more clean-cut son and looped her arm through his, finally responding, “You know I’d love to be a fly on the wall, but Emery doesn’t need his mom hovering over him for this. His coach is there with him. He’ll do fine.” She hoped. “I’m sure we’ll hear all the details a hundred times. Let’s go pick up some dinner—you know your brother’s going to be starved.”