“I’m so gonna hit you in the face!”
Bobbi stood a safe distance from Quinn in his large backyard as she casually bounced a baseball in her hand. Quinn squatted lower and held the catcher’s mitt out from his face. “No, you won’t.”
“Dude, if I break your face, the Dodgers are going to kill me.”
“You’re very confident in your pitching,” Quinn nodded. “I like a woman who’s confident.”
“Whatever!” Bobbi laughed. “Here it goes but if I poke your eye out, you better not blame me.” She wound back her arm and threw the ball. It bounced and limped over to Quinn.
Quinn still had his arm out, despite the baseball was ten feet from him. “Okay, that’s a good start. Let’s try another one.”
“I was distracted!” Bobbi defended and laughed. “Too many pancakes.”
“It’s okay you suck, honey.” Quinn smiled. “We can’t be good at everything.”
“Oh, what?” She smiled. “For your information, I’m good at a lot of sports like tennis, basketball, and I can even play a little football.”
“And apparently you suck at baseball,” Quinn nodded.
Bobbi narrowed her eyes at her boyfriend. “I got something for that ass.”
“I sincerely hope you do!” Quinn hit the mitt and extended his arm again. “Let’s go.”
Bobbi wound her arm back and threw another pitch. The ball landed in the mitt and Quinn nodded. “That’s my girl. Let’s keep it going.”
For the next several minutes, Bobbi threw pitch after pitch to Quinn. Finally after the last one, she was exhausted. “Dude, my arm is jelly.” She sat down on the plush grass. “How do you do this every night?”
Quinn grabbed a couple bottles of water and sat next to her. “For the love of the game. Plus, your techniques really do work some magic.”
“That’s why they’re paying me the big bucks,” she took a swig of water, “I can do it when no one else can.”
“You are one of the best,” he looked over at her, “why did you go into physical therapy?”
“I wanted to become a doctor but I couldn’t handle the thought of surgery. I wanted to show there are other ways to relieve pain without relying on painkillers, especially in athletes where the rate of addiction is super high.” She shrugged again. “So I went into physical therapy. I was contemplating opening my own clinic when I got the call from the Dodgers.”
Quinn nodded. “Do you think you’ll still open your clinic?”
“I don’t know,” she looked out into the bright Los Angeles sky, “traveling during season takes up a bunch of my time and the off-season is very short. I know it’ll be successful as all heck but it’s just a matter of putting that much effort into something. I wouldn’t be able to travel with the Dodgers or any other team. I would have to stay put here.”
A brief silence passed between the pair before Quinn spoke again. “I don’t want be a reason you don’t open your clinic.”
He was and they both knew it. Opening her clinic meant she would have to quit the Dodgers and be in Los Angeles full time while Quinn traveled during the season. She knew how long, grueling the schedule was, and maintaining a commitment long-distance relationship was hard on any couple.
Bobbi exhaled a deep breath and chewed her lips. “I didn’t say that.”
“You didn’t have to.” He looked over at her. “But I’m putting it out there in case that is an issue. I don’t ever want to be a reason why you don’t pursue your dreams.”
Bobbi wasn’t sure how to respond to that. She’s never had a man who was fine with her goals and dreams, and didn’t mind playing a background role so she could pursue them. It made her feel surprisingly uncomfortable. “Okay,” she took another swig of water and stood up, “ready to start pitching again?”
Quinn caught Bobbi’s deflection and let it slide. They’ll revisit the conversation again when she was ready; he just hoped it would be soon. “Let’s go.”
In the back of the D’Amato Bros. novelette will be an extended sample of the next sports romance, featuring Quinn Riordan. He made guest appearances in the Breakaway series and The Ex-Factor (Scott & Mariana).