Strike Zone

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Summary

Keep the ones that heard you , When you never said a word. Nate Segler has spent most of his life in the spotlight. He's knew that baseball was his game from a very young age and this was the path he wanted. He and his brother, Dillon, with their friend Reese are the stars of the Anaheim Angels. Taking their division team to finals every year and playoffs for the World Series. This year won't be an exception. Women only come with the territory. One night fate makes a change, Nate's world collapses when he's not just injured but could be facing the end of his career. In one play, Nate is forced to take a long look at what he wants when he benched from his injury. Not wanting to call it quits, Nate knows surgery is the only answer giving him a chance. When Nate runs across Kayleigh Thomas he learns that not everyone has heard of him and not every woman wants him. It's a challenge that seems too good to resist. Kayleigh is different from every woman he knows. She's distant, distracted and completely unimpressed with his status. Loving a good challenge, Nate gets lined up in the strike zone and aims for a home run. Mature content readers advised

Genre:
Romance / Drama
Author:
LyonMom
Status:
Complete
Chapters:
52
Rating:
5.0 17 reviews
Age Rating:
18+

Prologue

Every champion was a contender that refused to give up

Nate


The game tonight was a bitch. It was a full count, three and two and Miller was up to bat. The runner in front of me lead off, so did the other two and I knew it was between me and my brother Dillon, who plays center outfield, to catch this ball and make sure the Rockies only get one run at most. If they get more than that we won't have a chance to win this game. It's not happening on my watch.

My baby blues search for the call, Reese shrugs off the call from Mark, our catcher, he wants to throw his heater. I'm all for it. Reese has a fucking killer arm, his fastball is one of the best in the game. When he gets the call he wants I grin, my dimple on show for all the ladies. I hear the screams of my name and know the camera caught it on the big screen again. Those women are here for me, every home game I have a group that gathers behind home plate and outside the locker room just for me.

What can I say, I'm a handsome devil with my dark hair, blue eyes and stubbled face. I work hard on this body, on my game and they love me. Or would love to have me as it is for most women. But my love is the game. I have no interest in settling down with one woman. I'm on the road for weeks at a time, I'm gone half the year or more depending on the schedule and any endorsements I get. I don't have time for a woman. Besides, Carla takes care of any needs I have without the commitment. We've had our arrangement for a while now. She has her reasons and I have mine. It works for me.

My mind has to stay in the game, I can't get distracted. I work hard on my hitting, I've got the most home runs on the team. I'm one of the best in the league at third base. I punch my fist into my glove and get into my position. Glove up, eyes scanning the field, runners ready to go for it as soon as Reese lets the pitch fly. The balls released and they're off and running, the ball is hit and I'm jumping high to catch the ball. I feel the heat of the ball over my head and the hard thump as the ball flies into my glove. I lunge out to tag the runner whose sliding right towards me.

It was fast, faster than I thought when I tagged the runner but he kept coming. Legs sliding past me and his helmet hit hard into my knee. I felt the pain hit, felt it shoot both directions up and down my leg. I felt something rip and know I cried out, it fucking hurt something fierce. When I fell to the ground grabbing my knee the entire stadium went silent. I couldn't breathe, I didn't want to think about how bad it was. I'm not sure I want to know. MLB is finicky that way, if you don't play you'll lose your position in the game. I have to play. Baseball is my life. I breathe this game.

The coach and medical team were out on the field instantly. They asked over and over if I was okay, could I stand, could I walk. If I could don't they think I would be walking it off? Instead, I'm sitting on my ass on third base, holding my fucking knee praying my career isn't over. It felt like it, it was a hard hit. Harder than any other I've taken.

"Nate, let's get you on your feet and off the field to get a good look at it. Come on, man. Suck it up just for a minute then you can scream." Our trainer Carson, voiced to me before shrugging my arm over his shoulder and helping me to my feet.

Carson is a big guy, he works out with the team and is in just as good of shape as I am. He also gets just as many if not more women than some of us. His brown hair and brown eyes and built body with a perfect smile and tanned skin all give the hot surfer impression but I doubt the guy goes to the beach much less spends much time in the water.

The crowd cheered loudly for me as I started off the field, a close up of my face cringing was up on the jumbotron. Just what I want my family seeing right now, me in pain, my face red and drenched in sweat. That's not gonna make them worry at all.

"Segler! I'm sorry man. I didn't mean to hit you!" The runner said in his thick accent. I nod to him and give him a wave, no one means to hurt anyone out here but it happens more than we want to admit. Most of the time we walk it off but I can't this time. I can't even put weight on it.

I get help into the locker room and get up on the table that's setup for injuries. Carson grabs ice and his bag. Setting both next to me he lifts my leg up and stretches it out on the table. I'm fisting both of my hands trying to keep from punching him out. I know he's doing his job. I know he's got to look at it but it hurts like hell.

"Fuck! Carson I can't straighten it like this! What the fuck?" I ground out trying to control my pain. It wasn't working at all.

"I need to check it out, man. Let me scan it." He gets out the ultrasound machine, putting some gel on my leg and waves the wand over my knee. I'm watching the screen just like he is, I can't tell what happened in there. Carson makes some sounds and grumbles to himself before pushing the machine back and leans against the counter behind him.

"Well? I'm okay right? Just a pull." I say hoping he's going to agree with me.

"It looks like you tore your meniscus. It's the thin, fragile tissue that is found in between the joints of your knee. I need an MRI to be sure but depending on where the tear is and how bad it is, depends on what we need to do. You could need surgery, Nate." Carson knows that isn't what I want to hear. "Sorry man. Get the MRI tomorrow, I'll know more after that."

Well shit!

Kayleigh

I got the job, I got the condo and I will be able to do this. Moving away from everything I knew was the hardest thing I ever had to do. But I did it. I wasn't exactly given much choice in the matter. My mother was remarried to a man that hated me. The feeling is mutual. I couldn't stand by and watch him tear her down and rip us apart. I know it's horrible of me but it's not like it really matters to her. She wasn't my real mom. I don't know who my real mom is, or my real dad. I was just a kid in the system growing up at the hands of the state and whatever family decided to take me in until they got tired of me and sent me back.

That's the story of my life.

Moving as far from that world as I could, I bought an old car. It ran and got me here, I worked until I had enough money to get a place out here on the coast, as far as I could without crossing oceans and I got a job that will just pay enough for everything. As long as I have no emergencies, I'm good.

I turn on my tv and adjust the screen and hope for a local channel that doesn't require cable. I don't have cable, or satellite or anything like it. I have an old hand me down tv from Goodwill and my phone. That's my entertainment for a while. What I do have is a gorgeous view of the beach and a job within a short driving distance of here. I can run on the beach for exercise and for entertainment. I can people watch, enjoy the view of the ocean and the sunset. I'm free.

I don't need anything else.

I find a channel but it's a ballgame. I'm not really a sports fan, but I leave it on for background noise so I can finish unpacking. I don't have a lot but I managed to get some dishes and pans from Goodwill and some towels and cleaning stuff from the dollar store. I've learned where to shop on a dime and I have no problem with it. I'm supporting myself that's what matters, I owe no one for anything.

Having bounced from the state to homes and back, I didn't make friends easily. I knew I wouldn't be anywhere long enough to get to know anyone and then if I was, I didn't have anyone who kept in touch. Out of sight, out of mind. So it's just me. I'm okay with my own company. I'm not afraid to be alone, I'm not reliant on anyone to take care of me or support me. I'm very independent and I like it that way.

I hear the crowd on the tv go crazy then it went dead silent. I thought I lost signal and looked over to see a player on the field holding his leg and rolling in the dirt as what I assume are teammates and coaches race to the field to help him.

The camera does a close up on the players face. It's all scrunched up, red and sweaty. Gross! He's trying to stand but I can read his lips, the guy's cussing his head off. He's helped off the field and the crowd cheers as he waves.

"Ouch! Sucks to be you buddy." I say softly and put on my hot water for my ramen noodle dinner.

He's definitely going to be off that leg for a while. I'm wanting to study nursing. I've been reading a lot online and at the public library studying but I've never had enough money for college. The closest I've gotten is this job. I'm a secretary in a medical rehabilitation office. They work with old people who've fallen, spine issues and sports injuries. It's the closest I've gotten to where I want to be. I wonder where those guys go for their medical team? It's probably some place fancy and really expensive. I would hate to see him in our office on Monday. I bet he's pissed after that hit. The other guy took him right out at the knees. He's definitely needing therapy if not surgery.

I tune out the tv once again and finish cooking my dinner. Pouring it into a bowl, I carry it out to my balcony and sit on the wood deck. Letting my legs dangle down over the street below, I eat my ramen and watch the sunset over the ocean. I'm finally home.

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