Meeting Megan Again. Julianna Morris

Meeting Megan Again - Julianna Morris

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with shy anticipation in her eyes. “Are you ready?”

      “Sure. Let’s go.”

      “I want Tyler on our team,” Kara exclaimed. They’d just arrived at the ball field and the youngster tumbled from the car with more enthusiasm than grace.

      “Maybe I’ll just watch,” Tyler said. “There seem to be more than enough players.”

      “Oh. But are you sure?” she asked. “It’s loads of fun.”

      “Sweetheart, don’t pester Tyler,” Megan said. “He doesn’t have to play if he doesn’t want to.”


      Kara looked so disappointed that Tyler sighed and found himself agreeing to join the team.

      “Yippee! I’m going to tell Reece. He’s the other captain.” Kara immediately dashed away, heading for the tall, brown-haired man who had arrived at the field ahead of them. They’d come in a dozen different vehicles, most of them filled to capacity. Nobody wanted to miss one of the family softball games, even if they didn’t actively participate.

      “Isn’t Kara a little young for softball?” Tyler asked.

      “Anyone who wants to participate, gets to,” Megan murmured. “But you don’t have to go along just for Kara. I know you aren’t used to children and don’t play softball that often. Not in San Francisco. Besides, you work in an office with secretaries and stuff all calling you sir. That magazine said you—” The words froze in her throat as Tyler caught her elbow and swung her around.

      “So you think that’s why I don’t want to play? Because of an idiotic magazine article?”

      His eyes blazed at her and she swallowed. Well, too bad. Megan lifted her chin. He wasn’t going make her tongue-tied and incoherent. Not this time. She tried to shake his fingers away from her elbow, but without success.

      “Jeez,” she muttered. “You don’t have to make a federal case out of it.” Maybe if she annoyed Tyler enough he’d leave her alone. It was too confusing having so many different responses to the man. Her body was going hot and cold, her mind was screaming “don’t give him an inch,” and her heart was in full retreat. Tyler wasn’t safe, he was like a panther in the wild—lean and dangerous.

      “For your information, my business is property development,” Tyler said. “We specialize in restoring old buildings. That’s how I started out, buying old places, fixing them up, and selling them. I wasn’t born rich and I haven’t forgotten how to swing a hammer and work hard.”

      “Like I said, you don’t have to make a federal case out of it,” she snapped. “What’s wrong with you? I was trying to be considerate, that’s all. I love my daughter, but kids can be exhausting and Kara isn’t any exception.”


      She looked at him suspiciously but he seemed sincere. His fingers gentled, stroking the soft inner skin of her arm.

      “Did I hurt you?” he whispered.

      “No…of course not.”

      “I’m just sensitive about that article.” Tyler grinned lopsidedly. “I thought the magazine was going to write a real story about the importance of dedication and hard work, instead they made it sound like I did nothing but eat caviar and chase women all day.”

      “Not exact—”

      “Mo-o-om, aren’t you guys coming?”

      The insistent shout from the softball diamond made Megan jump. “They probably want to get started,” she said.


      Tyler shook his head as he followed Megan toward the other players. Lord, he was losing his grip. Two hours of exposure to the woman and he was acting like a raving lunatic. On the other hand, it didn’t excuse his behavior, or the things he’d said.

      “Hey.” He caught up in two long strides. “Am I forgiven?”

      “Don’t worry about it. I’m not.”

      The careless answer tightened his gut, but Tyler gritted his teeth rather than say something else he’d regret. It was much harder than he’d expected to pretend Megan didn’t mean anything to him. Though…male hormones and pride being what they were, he should have realized seeing her again wouldn’t be easy.

      Hell, why couldn’t she have grown a third eye or something?

      Glancing down at Megan, Tyler knew that wasn’t the answer. He had a dismal feeling she would attract him no matter what. It was as if she exuded some type of chemical that messed with the normal functioning of his brain.

      “You’re on our team,” Kara said the minute they got close. “I already told Reece.”

      “I see.” Tyler smiled at the child. One of his friends had a daughter close to her age, so he had some experience with kids. Not that much experience, but at least he knew better than to ruffle her hair or treat her like an infant. “How good are they?” he asked, gesturing toward the group clustered around Reece O’Bannon.

      “We beat ’em two out of three times last year,” Grady declared. “Nobody gets a run off one of my pitches.”

      “Granddad, you know the doctor said you couldn’t play so soon,” Megan scolded. “You’re benched.”

      “I can pitch. The shoulder is as good as new.”

      “You don’t want to tear that rotator cuff again, so go sit with Grams.” She pointed toward the small stand of bleachers with a no-nonsense look on her face.

      Grady muttered something beneath his breath about uppity youngsters who thought they knew better than their elders, but Tyler detected a twinkle in the old man’s eyes.

      “I heard that,” Megan said. “And it was your idea to make me captain this year. Now go.”

      Grady retreated, though not before offering another protest.

      “Eleanor writes every couple months, but she never told me Grady had had surgery,” Tyler said. “He’s what—at least seventy-five? How did he get hurt?”

      Megan smiled. “He did it golfing, only he won’t tell us the whole story. And he’s eighty-one.”

      Tyler looked toward the bleachers and whistled. If he could be that active at the age of sixty he’d consider himself lucky.

      “All right,” Megan said. “Let’s get set up.” She swiftly gave directions to the team, assigning them positions and a batting order.

      Good-natured jeering passed between the two teams, and they tossed a coin to determine who would bat first. Megan’s team lost the toss and they scattered to their positions on the diamond.

      From his spot at first base Tyler watched her take her place as shortstop. He shouldn’t have taken her comments so seriously, but he didn’t have good sense when it came to Megan.

      He was so deep in thought that the crack of a ball hitting wood made his head jerk around. A teenager he didn’t recognize was charging toward first base, determination in each step. There were shouts of “hurry,” “run” and “easy out” from all sides.

      The right fielder scrambled after the moving ball and threw it in time for Tyler to tag the first out of the game. The next two outs weren’t so easy, and they barely prevented the other team from scoring, tagging the runner as he rounded third base, headed for home.

      “Told ya we’d get you,” Megan told the other captain as they exchanged places on the field.

      Reece tugged the braid that had fallen forward over Megan’s shoulder. “It’s just the first half of the first inning, kiddo. We have six and a half to go.”

      “I’m not worried. By the way, I like your fiancée,” Megan said, nodding

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