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Slow Pitch
Author: Amy Lane

Slow Pitch

By Amy Lane


Tenner Gibson has a job he enjoys, a prickly ex-wife, and an adorable daughter he wouldn’t trade for the world. With no romance, no sex life, and no other hobbies, a rec league softball team is as close as he gets to hedonism.

But life throws him a curveball when cocky Ross McTierney sets his sights on getting under Tenner’s skin.

One explosion of lust later, Tenner wonders what possessed him to have a quickie with Ross, and Ross wonders how to do it again.

Tenner has eight weeks to convince his tiny modern family that Ross is what’s best for him. Ross has eight weeks to get used to the idea that complicated doesn’t always mean bad. Their sex life is moving at the speed of light, and everything in their relationship is coming at them too fast….

But together, they might make a connection and knock it out of the park.



Calling, the usual suspects. Mate—you think I don’t pay attention, but I get why you love sports. Mary, Tenner is yours.



Hatesex and Baseball



“HEY, BATTER batter, sha-wing, batter!”

Tenner Gibson rolled his eyes. God, that guy was annoying, but Tenner needed to get his head in the game. He eyed the pitcher across from him and hefted the bat, choking up a little for control.

Slow-pitch softball—the ball went up, up, up in an arc and came down, down, and Tenner waited for it to come just right—

“Sha-wing, batter!”

And he swung too early and whiffed.

“St-er-ike!” the umpire called, and Tenner lost his patience.

“Goddammit, Pat, could you make that asshole shut up!”

“C’mon, Ten-Spot!” the catcher chided. “What’s up your craw? It’s just a little trash-talking.”

Pat Caldwell, Tenner’s friend and the asshole who had drafted him into this league, grinned from behind his catcher’s mask and chewed his bubblegum fiercely. Tenner could still hear their conversation….

“C’mon, Ten-Spot, the other team has to forfeit if they don’t get one more player. If you play for them for the rest of this season, we can grab you for next season!”

“So I’m playing with a bunch of strangers for this season?” Tenner had rubbed the back of his neck and pulled his attention away from his computer.

Pat, ginger-haired, fortyish, handsome, and very, very married to his wife and three adorable children, held up his hands in supplication. “Please, Tenner. Next season is this summer. There’s spring season, then summer, and then fall. C’mon, do me a favor, will you? I need to play. My daughters hate baseball—they want to play soccer. And my son’s in love with ballet. If this team doesn’t come up with another guy, we won’t have enough teams in the league. And I worked my ass off scraping together a team of my own. We had to grab my wife’s little brother to play for us. He’s only here for two months and he’s a self-professed asshole, and still, playing with him is better than not playing at all!”

“I don’t have cleats!” Tenner protested. “Or pants or—”

Pat had three children under thirteen. He could sense a rare but important victory a mile away. “There’s a sports store two blocks from here. Let’s go!”

“But I have to call Nina.” His ex-wife did not like her plans changed.

It didn’t matter. Pat was dragging Tenner out of the office and into the bright spring day to his car—predictably a minivan—and taking him to the store for cleats, baseball socks, and those nylon pants you could slide in without taking off skin.

And a bright yellow shirt, because who didn’t like the way they looked in bright bumblebee-wet-dream gold?

Besides Tenner, of course. He looked like he had jaundice. Even his eyeballs looked yellow.

But now he was a member of the CompuCo Sunspots, whether he liked it or not.

He had to admit, part of him was secretly thrilled. He hadn’t played sports since college, and while he worked out daily—and was looking forward to coaching Under 8 soccer in the fall—there was something about playing competitively that just added to the joy of the whole thing.

And he’d always loved baseball.

He’d texted his ex-wife and told her he’d be picking Piper up later, if that was okay. Nina had not been pleased. I have a date, Tenner. We agreed that you’d be punctual.

He’d sighed. Please, Nina. I’m at a softball game. I haven’t played since college.

He waited for a moment, knowing their layers of anger and guilt went both ways. Fine. Remember she has gymnastics tomorrow.

Thank you. I’ll be there as soon as the game’s over.

And so, here they were, bottom of the ninth, bases loaded, tied, two outs. All he needed was a base hit—a sad, soggy little base hit—and they could win the game and he could get to Nina’s house before she even remembered she’d told him he could be late.

All he had to do was pretend the ball was this asshole’s head.

Holy crap, the entire game this player on Pat’s team had been nothing but a pain in Tenner’s ass. For fuck’s sake, had he never heard of moderation? The guy was cute—six-feet plus, blond hair that waved, stunning blue eyes—but damn, was he loud. Loud, obnoxious, and constantly taunting the other team, especially Tenner. He’d hooted and hollered when the other guys were up, sure, but with Tenner, he seemed to get a thousand times louder.

“Hey, batter batter, sha-wing, batter!”

Tenner used to be able to blow these guys off in college—and the shit talk had gotten pretty nasty then. It wasn’t just “sha-wing, batter!” eight years ago. It had been “Come suck my fat johnson, faggot!” And that had been the pretty stuff.

It hadn’t made Tenner’s life particularly easy, because he’d never wanted to be a trailblazer. He’d wanted to have a perfectly normal life—wife, kids, job, the works. Enter Nina, who’d been a baseball groupie and had a fast-and-loose definition of the truth.

Particularly the truth of whether or not she was on birth control.

And here came the ball. The big, soft grapefruit-sized ball that Tenner wasn’t quite used to yet. Slow, Tenner. It’s slow. Wait for it. Wait for it. Wait for—

“Sha-wing, batter!”


“Strike three! You’re out!”

“I swear to Christ, Pat, I’m going to rip off his skull and use it for a soccer ball!”

And Tenner’s friend—his best friend, the only one with a front-seat view to Tenner and Nina and why they’d really gotten a divorce—laughed so hard, he sat down in the dirt.

“Ten-Spot, dude! That was the best swing! It’s a good thing you didn’t catch a piece of it or someone on the freeway would be dead!” The freeway was a good mile away. It was clearly an effort on Pat’s part to not make Tenner quit in a fit of pique.

Tenner let go of some of his anger and held his hand out to help Pat up. “I’m gonna kill that asshole,” he said as his team, with lots of groans and resentful looks at Tenner, made ready to take the outfield. Extra innings. He cast a glare over his shoulder at the guy—Ross Something Or Other—and seriously wished he could use his head for batting practice.

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