On the field, little kids milled around, all of ’em knee high to a tall guy holding a microphone. Dave’s gaze kept returning to the same little girl. There was something familiar about that knee-high bundle of energy sporting red-gold pigtails.
She reminded him of…of his kid sister, Michele. Ridiculous. Michele was childless the last time he’d talked to her…two years ago? Had it really been that long? He definitely owed her a phone call. Even if she had kids now, they’d be in Michigan—and not old enough to be standing on the field, receiving praise for Little League accomplishments.
“Sure is hot out here.” Matt, Dave’s roommate on road trips and the team’s catcher, plopped onto the bench, took off his hat and shook the sweat off his hair.
“Yep.” Dave nodded and pointed toward the girl on the mound. “That kid reminds me of my sister.”
His buddy cleared his throat. “Not to be crude, but from what you’ve said about your dad, that could be your sister.”
“Right on.” Dave’s father would never win Father of the Year. A lifetime achievement award from Skirt-chasers International, yes. But parenting was not his forte. Damn shame, with at least three kids to parent. More if the kid out there turned out to be a long-lost half sister.
“Think I should introduce myself?”
“Someone your age striking up a conversation with a toddler? You aiming for a guest spot on To Catch a Predator?”
“Good point.” Dave sighed. He had no desire to clean up after his father, anyway.
He closed his eyes and massaged his temples. When he refocused on the pitcher’s mound, the girl was stepping forward for her award. Best batter in T-ball, the guy with the microphone said.
Matt jostled him. “Clearly not your family’s genes. You’re crap at the plate.”
“Shove it.” Making the third out in the sixth still stung.
Just then, a gust of wind blew the girl’s hat off. She started yelling and someone ran up from the baseline. That someone was a trim woman in denim cutoffs and a pink sleeveless top. Next time he spoke to his father, he’d have to congratulate the old man on nailing such a hottie.
With her back to him, he admired the woman’s shapely backside and blond ponytail. With those curves and that hair, she reminded him of—
His heart stuttered as he sprang to his feet. Could it be? “Turn around. Turn around.”
Matt jumped up, too. He put his hand on Dave’s shoulder. “You okay, man? If you’re gonna puke, do it before we get on the bus. I don’t want to smell your cack all the way to the hotel.”
Dave held his breath as the woman scooped the sobbing child into her arms. The little girl threw her arms around the blonde’s neck and burrowed into her shoulder. Would she ever face him?
An eternity later, she turned toward his dugout. All the breath whooshed out of his lungs. It was her. The woman who’d reluctantly told him her name was Melinda. Lin.
That meant the child in her arms wasn’t his sister. It was his daughter.
Click Follow to receive emails when this author adds content on Bublish