And now I needed the subject change. I’d relived my mistake with Chrystle every moment since I made it, and talking about cheating with Cassie fucking wrecked me inside. “You know, there isn’t much more of the story to tell if you want to quit interrupting and let me finish.” I cracked a smile.
She crinkled her nose in response to my words, a slight smile spreading across her cheeks. I waited for what I was certain would be a smartass remark when she simply said, “OK. Finish.”
Wrong again, buddy.
I breathed out a long, steady sigh before picking up where I left off.
I leaned against the couch in my newly rented Arizona apartment. Spring training for pitchers and catchers was in full swing, and I was still a married man.
“We should really start on divorce proceedings, Jack.” Marc’s uneasy voice buzzed from the phone at my ear.
“Is that your professional opinion?”
“We’re only dragging this out further. She’s never going to sign something that makes her look as bad as the annulment does. As it is, there’s a thirty-day waiting period after we’ve filed the divorce paperwork.”
My head pounded as my rage exploded. “Thirty days? Fuck!”
“I know. Let’s just get this over with for you, OK? Let me withdraw the annulment and start the divorce paperwork. Although I have to warn you, she can refuse to sign the divorce papers too.”
“Jesus Christ, Marc. Just give her whatever the hell she wants and get me out of this.” I jammed my finger into the End button before pitching the phone full speed against the wall of my apartment. Pieces of plastic flew into the air, leaving a hole in the wall behind it.
The next day I opened my e-mail inbox to see a message from Chrystle’s best friend, Vanessa.
We need to talk. I can help you. Call me as soon as you get this.
I stared at the e-mail with her phone number for a good half hour before remembering I’d shattered my phone. Before practice, I picked up a new one and almost knocked the salesman out when he suggested I change my number to a local one. I’d never change my phone number to a number Cassie didn’t have, and the mere suggestion almost cost that guy his pretty little face.
“Jack?” Vanessa said when she answered my call.
“What do you want?” I asked abruptly. This girl was Chrystle’s best friend. She knew everything Chrystle lied about and did nothing to stop it.
“I can’t let her keep doing this to you, Jack.” Her voice broke, but I remained unconvinced and questioned anyone who could stay best friends with a person like Chrystle. “I didn’t know she faked her pregnancy,” she whispered before continuing. “I mean, at first I didn’t know.”
“Did you know at the wedding?” I asked through gritted teeth.
“No. She was still lying to everyone then.”
I didn’t care. “Get to the point.”
“After seeing you at the bar and hearing the things she said to you, I tried to talk to some sense into her. But she won’t listen. She got even crazier after that night. Like more determined or something…” Her voice trailed off.
Annoyed, I huffed into the phone. “Vanessa, I don’t have time for this. Either get to the point or I’m hanging up.”
“I’m trying to say that I’ll testify on your behalf. I’ll talk to your lawyer, or judge or whomever. I’ll tell them that everything you wrote in those annulment papers is true. And I’ll tell them everything they need to know that not even you know, Jack.”
My chest heaved as disbelief and elation coursed through me. The air around me thickened as I struggled for a response. “Why would you do that?”
“Because you don’t deserve what she’s doing to you. It’s wrong, and I don’t want to be a part of it anymore.”
I wanted to believe her. “If you’re serious,” I paused, still unsure of truth versus lies when it came to those girls, “I’d like to pass your phone number along to my lawyer and have him call you. Is that OK?”
“Yes, of course. I’m really sorry, Jack. I hope this helps.”
Cassie swiveled her head back and forth in disbelief. “This story. Seriously. Crazier and crazier.”
“I know, but thank fucking God Vanessa e-mailed me when she did. Marc was just about to file the divorce papers when I called him.”
“Of course. Just in the nick of time, like a well-played movie.” She raised her eyebrows.
“A well-played Lifetime movie,” I added with a smirk.
“So, Vanessa followed through? She wasn’t lying?”
I knew Cassie’s mind wandered to the same places mine had originally. Was this another trick, a lie, another baited hook I was sinking my teeth into? “Not only Vanessa, but she got their friend Tressa to make a statement corroborating my claims on the annulment. Chrystle signed the papers that week.”
“Wow. Wow.” Her hand covered her now gaping mouth. “Just like that? That’s all it took to get her to sign?”
I raised a hand in the air. “Just like that.”
With her head back on my chest, I wound my fingers in and out of her hair. “Yep. That was spring training, then the season started, and here we are.”
She lifted her head back up from my chest, a wicked grin covering her face. “Uh-uh. I want to hear about you seeing me at the field with Joey the other night.”
“The other night? That was weeks ago,” I complained.
“It sometimes feels like the other night.”
“You’re a cruel girl, Cassie Andrews. Anyone ever tell you that?”
“Maybe once or twice.” She leaned in, her soft lips pressed against mine.
“That’s the perfect way to get me to stop telling you stories.” I deepened the kiss, my tongue pushing its way into her mouth.
“Tell me first; kiss me after.” She leaned away from my face, and I thought briefly about teaching her a lesson. One that included the fact that I’d kiss her whenever I damn well pleased. But I was close to finishing my story and I wanted to move on.
I kicked the mound of dirt at my feet, adrenaline coursing through my veins. I fought with my head to keep its focus, but it kept drifting to thoughts of Cassie. I was in New York, and she lived here.
She won’t be here.
She doesn’t come to your games anymore.
My stomach twisted as I faced my catcher, tossing warm-up pitches into his glove. I’d thrown no less than ten pitches when a man’s voice shouting stopped me mid-pitch. I almost threw my fucking arm out stopping like that.
“Cassie! Cassie, wait!”
The air in my lungs escaped without warning, and I almost dropped onto the dirt mound at my feet. I glanced in the stands toward the sound of her name, catching sight of her long blonde hair flying as she ran. I’d know her anywhere. A guy chased after her, and my chest blazed with jealousy. I clenched my jaw, every muscle in my body tensing at the sight of her with someone else. She turned around to face the guy, and her eyes met mine for a brief moment as my temper raged like an out-of-control inferno. The guy put his arm around her, and I forced back the urge to charge him like a bull in a bullring. I wanted to break his fucking arm. No one touched my girl but me.
“Carter, let’s go!”
I turned away from her, refocusing on the batter’s box, and threw the ball with all my strength.
“I didn’t know he was taking me to the game.” Her eyebrows creased as her expression turned remorseful.
“That…” I paused, reliving the feeling of seeing him toss his arm around her shoulders again, “made me almost come unglued.”
“Well, I’m glad you didn’t. I’m so sorry you saw me there with someone else.”
“It’s in the past now. Ready to hear how nervous I was when I got here last night?” I played with her hair again.
She moved to straddle me, sweeping her legs on either side of my waist. “I’d like to hear about that in a minute.” She leaned down, sucking my bottom lip into her mouth, her hips grinding into my waist.
She thinks she’s in control.
In one quick movement, I flipped her onto her back. Pinning her beneath me, I pressed my hard-on against her shorts. “Is this what you want instead of story time?” My mouth plunged toward her neck, nipping gently before licking and kissing up to her ear. “This what you want, Kitten?” I breathed against her.
“Mm-hmm,” she moaned softly, her back arching.
“Say it.” My hands wandered up her thighs before finding the sweet spot between her legs. “You’re burning up down there,” I said. Knowing how hot she was for me fueled my hard-on even more.
She moaned my name, and I covered her mouth with mine. “Say it,” I demanded, breathing into her.
Her eyes opened, her chest rising and falling. “I want you instead of story time. Now, stop fucking around.” Her hands wrapped around the nape of my neck, tugging and pulling my hair. I leaned away from her, enjoying the control.
I pulled her clothes off, tossing them over my shoulder before adding mine to the pile. Bringing my fingers and body back to hers, her back arched and writhed as she begged, “Jack, please.”
“You need to learn some patience.”
“Fuck patience. Get in me!” she practically screamed, her hand wrapping around me. I bucked against her gently before peeling her hand away. I tried to be strong, but who was I fooling? I wanted her just as badly as she wanted me.
I placed my arms on each side of her gorgeous naked body before guiding myself inside her. “So wet, Kitten,” I said, instinct and need taking over.
Her eyes closed as her fingertips pressed hard against my shoulders, working their way down my back and settling on my ass. I moved in and out of her, slowly at first. The feeling of her tightness surrounded me. Coupled with my feelings for her, I knew I wouldn’t last long.
This girl is ruining my ability to last in the sack.
“Jack. Faster.” Her voice was breathy and filled with need.
Goddamn, she’ll be the death of me.
I quickened my pace as she pushed and pulled against me, her breathing accelerating. I drove myself into her with more force, fighting the urge to explode right then. I leaned into her mouth, gliding my tongue along her bottom lip before pushing it inside her mouth. We breathed into each other, tongues desperate and needing, as her body started to quiver.
There is a God.
I refused to stop, pushing deeper as pleasure-filled screams tore from her lips and filled the air between us. Her body trembled as I grew harder, the blood draining from the rest of my body and pooling in one central location.
Her eyes focused on me just as I closed mine. A growl escaped as I called her name. I released myself inside her, my hips slowing before finally stopping. I collapsed on top of her with a laugh.
“Seriously? Get. Off,” she demanded, gasping as she exaggerated her inability to breathe.
“I thought I just did.”
Cassie rolled her eyes, shoving me with all her strength. “OK, OK. I’ll move.” I wrapped my hands around her shoulders and rolled us both over. I pulled her naked body against mine, refusing to let her go.
“Now I’m hungry again.” She kissed the top of my nose. “And ready for the rest of the story.”