By Clay Cormany
Can you mix romance with softball? Jace Waldron hopes so. That's why he's volunteered to assist the girls’ softball team his mom coaches. But Jace has some surprises coming as well as some lessons to learn about discovering inner beauty.
The next three Dragons went down on a pop-up, a fielder’s choice, and an easy grounder back to Corey’s glove, giving the Valkyries their first win.
Parents cheered while their daughters created a mob scene at the pitcher’s mound, giving hugs and lifting each other into the air. Some of the players’ younger siblings got involved, including one little girl who did cartwheels and somersaults. Jace joined the celebration. He hugged Corey and Heather, patted Lauren on the back, and even gave Phoebe’s shoulder a quick squeeze. He was about to herd the team off the field when Sylvia bumped into him. She threw her arms around his neck.
"We won, Jace! Doesn’t it feel great to win?"
"Yeah, it sure –"
Before he could finish his sentence, Sylvia planted her lips on his slightly open mouth and gave him a kiss that made his head spin. The sight of their two assistant coaches kissing brought a chorus of giggles from the girls around them.
"Wow, look at the lovebirds," quipped Heather.
Sylvia broke off the kiss and took a step back.
"Oh, I’m sorry, Jace," she blurted, her face reddening, "I guess I got carried away."
He took a step back and caught his breath. "Maybe we better line the girls up," he said. "There’s probably another game here after ours."
As he and Sylvia watched their players slap hands with their defeated foes, it occurred to Jace that he wasn’t the least bit sorry Sylvia kissed him. And another more impudent thought also bullied its way into his mind. Maybe the mouthy coach’s description of Sylvia as a "hot chick" was not so far from wrong.
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Clay Cormany is the author of two YA books. The first, Fast-Pitch Love (Clean Reads, 2014), combines the angst and thrill of teenage romance with softball competition. The second, The Bullybuster (Kindle Direct Publishing, 2019), examines not only the harm of bullying but also the consequences of revenge. His shorter creative works have appeared in the Columbus Dispatch and Spring Street, Columbus State Community College’s literary magazine. Cormany has also edited numerous books. Among these are a three-volume biography of Christopher Columbus and A Death Prolonged by Dr. Jeff Gordon, which received coverage in the New York Times and on PBS.
Outside of his writing, Cormany enjoys bicycling, running, and spending time with his grandchildren. He is a strong supporter of literary organizations in his community, including Thurber House and the Ohioana Library.
Connect with Clay: Website • Facebook • Twitter • Goodreads • Amazon Author Page.
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See you on your next coffee break!
Mary Anne xxx