Leaving Bluestone

Leaving Bluestone by MJ Fredrick

Book: Leaving Bluestone by MJ Fredrick Read Free Book Online
Authors: MJ Fredrick
but he held tight. Turned out the joke was on him—he could feel the heat of her body, and just an inch away was her bare skin. Was she sensitive there, at the small of her back? She turned toward him and pressed her hands to his chest. A moment passed before he realized she was looking for leverage to break free—a moment where she looked up at him, her breath hot on his throat, the heat of her palms burning through his t-shirt, his hand around her waist.
    As the crack of a bat echoed across the field, she broke free and ran for second.
    He was still aching from wanting her the next inning when he faced her across home plate, bat cocked over his shoulder. He knew better than to think she’d make it easy on him. He swung hard at the first pitch, only to have it drop just before home plate, damn it. He glowered at her and she squared her shoulders, then caught the ball from Trinity, the catcher. Behind him, he heard Theresa calling encouragement, and hell, he should be flattered, but it only made him scowl harder—and swing too soon.
    “Strike two!” Trinity trilled.
    “Should you even be playing pregnant?” he growled back at her.
    “As long as you don’t try to run me over again,” she returned. “That is, if you get on base.”
    Quinn wasn’t accustomed to teasing, but didn’t have time to react before the next pitch sailed toward him. On pure instinct, he swung, and connected. He didn’t even check to see where it went, though he glimpsed Lily looking over her head so he knew it wasn’t foul, so he charged for first base. He felt the satisfying give of the base beneath his foot as he rounded and headed for second. The shouting of the crowd mingled with cries on the field.
    “Get him! Get him!”
    “Third base! Third!”
    Second base was behind him and he looked up to see Lily right in his path, glove extended toward the outfield, where presumably someone had the ball. He grabbed her around the waist, hauling her with him as he dove for third, twisting at the last minute so his body took the impact. His hand hit the base, her ass hit his gut, and the ball hit her glove, all so fast he couldn’t figure out the exact order.
    “Safe!” a voice shouted above him.
    He tried to recover his breath while he savored the feel of Lily in his arms, his hand still looped around her waist, her ass shifting downward as she tried to get up, over the fly of his jeans.
    Hell. So much for trying to get his breath back. She just took it away again. Her ponytail swept across his face and her elbow bit into his bicep as she pulled free. She twisted to look down at him and winced. He followed her gaze to the bloody scrape along his forearm, dotted with gravel.
    “Worth it?” she asked, leaning one arm on her bent knees.
    He grinned. “Hell, yeah.”
    But despite his best effort, his team lost, twelve to two. He offered his team a free round on the house as a consolation prize, and let Dale clean up his arm after Theresa offered to. He didn’t want that girl within ten feet of him. It just didn’t feel right. He only had to avoid her for a few more hours, then she’d be gone, and would no doubt forget about him.
     
    At dinner at the bar that evening, Rick again broached the subject of investing in the bar. “Have you thought about my offer?”
    Quinn sat back in the booth, both hands around his beer bottle. “I have. I’d like to think about it some more. I haven’t decided if I want to stay in Bluestone. I’m pretty sure I don’t.”
    The older man drew his chin back in surprise. “What do you mean? You’re an important part of this town. You’re in charge of the concerts, you’re a leader on the baseball field, everyone seeks you out to talk to you, and they listen to you. You’re a leader here as much as you were in the military.”
    Quinn stared at the older man. Was he right? He couldn’t be. “Maybe,” he said doubtfully. “But I’m not sure that’s who I want to be.”
    “Son, none of us is

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