Let Me Love You
By Iris Blobel
Oliver Dempsey, pitcher for a Melbourne baseball club, loves the women, and they love him…
But he keeps them at an arm’s length, and when he meets Tamara, he’s unprepared for the attraction he feels for her. Told by his coach that she’s off limits, only draws him in more.
Tamara Amis moved to Melbourne to find some distance between her past and herself…
With the help of her uncle, the coach of a Melbourne baseball club, she quickly finds a job, and a place to live. Yet, one meeting with the handsome pitcher stirs unexpected emotions that threaten to overwhelm her.
It’s Oliver’s injury that brings them together, but as they find out about each other’s pasts, how can they be ready to share a future?
Sweat ran down Oliver’s back, soaking his shirt. He’d been on the field for a couple of hours, but frustration grew in him with every ball he missed. He placed his hands on his knees and took a deep breath, fixing his stare at the ground. For Pete’s sake, he was a pitcher, not a hitter, and well known for his fastballs as well as his perfect curveballs. Alas, he had neglected his hitting. Today, his swing was below average, and, unable to focus, he walked over to the bench where he spotted Coach Becker shaking his head towards him.
Pointing his finger back towards the field, the coach said, “Head right back out there, Oliver. You need to improve your hand-eye coordination. I want to see more, and better.”
Oliver cursed under his breath. “It’s not going to happen. My shoulder’s killing me. It’s been a long day.”
Coach Erik Becker rubbed his face.
“It’s not gonna happen today,” Oliver persisted.
With a grimace on his face, his coach nodded.
"Righteo, call it a day. But I want you back out there again in the morning, though.”
Oliver eased off his gloves and shoved them into his back pocket, before removing his helmet.
The coach gave him a gentle slap on his back. “I need you to concentrate more tomorrow. Remember what I told you. You need to focus on your proper stance as well as swinging the bat. Keep your eye on the ball as it comes towards you. Try to connect the bat with the ball, preferably at the fat of the bat. We have a game coming up soon. Go and deal with the shoulder issue. Check in for a massage.”
Oliver wiped his forehead with his arm when he noticed a woman standing in the coach’s shadow. Raising his eyebrows, he nodded towards her as to ask who she was.
Erik turned slightly. “Oliver, this is my niece, Tamara. She’s moved here from Perth. Tamara, this is Oliver.”
Oliver extended his hand towards her. “Nice meeting you.”
She ignored his hand and took a step back. Taken aback by her reaction, Oliver instinctively checked his hand for dirt or sweat. Questioningly, he looked at his coach.
Erik ignored the situation and simply said, “Have your shower and see me before you head off to discuss your training schedule.”
Nodding, Oliver took another quick look at Tamara. For a brief moment, their eyes met, and he was puzzled by her expression. It seemed as if her intense blue eyes were trying to hide something. The distant look in them was almost mysterious, and combined with her body language, he couldn’t help but get the impression something was wrong. She was very guarded.
With one last look towards Tamara, Oliver turned and left.
As soon as he got to the locker room, he peeled off his t-shirt. Pain shot through him the instant he lifted his right shoulder. He’d been ignoring the twinge during the training session, but knew he had to have it looked at. The fucking skateboard rider had nearly knocked him over the previous day when he came out of nowhere. Oliver hadn’t had a chance to move out of the way fast enough and slammed his shoulder into a post.
He slowly stripped out of his track pants before grabbing a can of Coke out of his bag. Leaning against the wall, he chugged half of the drink while enjoying the quietness around him. Everyone else was still out on the field trying to please Coach Becker. He choked a laugh, hoping his mates would put Erik in a better mood than he had. They had a few important games over the next few weeks before the season ended, and for the first time in years, the club was doing well.
As he walked to the showers, he thought about his training session and wondered whether his shoulder was to blame for the bad hits, or his lack of training. But who was he kidding, he always liked to throw everything he had at people, yet was hopeless in receiving anything thrown at him. That applied in baseball and in life. When he’d been to see his first baseball game as a kid in Los Angeles, he’d known he was born to pitch.
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Iris Blobel was born and raised in Germany and only immigrated to Australia in the late 1990s. Having had the travel bug most of her life, Iris spent some time living in Scotland, London, as well as Canada where she met her husband. Her love for putting her stories onto paper only emerged a few years back, but now her laptop is a constant companion. Iris resides west of Melbourne with her husband and her beautiful two daughters as well as their dog. Next to her job at a private school, she also presents a German Program at the local Community Radio.
Where to Find Me:
My Blog: www.iris-b.blogspot.com