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Scoring Position- Strike Zone Series Book Three

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Summary

Bailey Carruthers has made a name for herself. Growing up in baseball she fought the odds of succeeding in a man’s sport. When a mistake from her past is brought into the locker room, Bailey is forced to stand up for herself and face down the one person who can ruin her career. Dillon Segler was in a slump. With his brother, Nate, on the injury list, the team is looking to him to get them to the playoffs. The owners bring in the best batting coach in the league, and as Dillon is stumbling over himself to get trained, he ends up falling head over heels with a woman who can make or break his career. As a deadly predicament causes Dillon trouble, he has to find his way back to a Scoring Position.

Genre:
Romance / Drama
Author:
KelleyLyonAuthor
Status:
Excerpt
Chapters:
6
Rating:
n/a
Age Rating:
18+

Prologue

Prologue


As the oldest, I’ve always tried to be the easygoing child. I never wanted to rock the boat, or create drama for my family. I’m the laid back who gets along with everyone, I’m that kind of guy. Or I was. It’s funny how in one instant, one person can change everything.

Kayleigh has made that change in my brother. Nate, the swinging single guy he is, has never wanted to be tied down to one woman. Not until he literally fell for Kayleigh. From that first moment, he was hooked and willing to do whatever it took to keep her.

I’m proud of him. We were brought up with some pretty good values. Our parents made sure we were grounded and reached for our dreams. Not everyone is that lucky. The three of us were.

Between Nate making a sharp turn in his life and Molly, our sister, finally going for what she wants, the boat has certainly been rocking. They’ve found what they wanted and are going for it. Good for them.

I’m realizing that sometimes rocking the boat, pushing limits, means doing the right thing. Not everyone likes that. They can kiss my ass. Sometimes the person who is changing you, means more than the boat. In this case, the boat can kiss my ass.

I pushed Bailey to spill her guts to me. I wanted to know why she was keeping me at arms length. Now I know some of her reasons and I gotta say, I don’t like them. And I know there’s more that she’s not telling me. Her reasons, and I know she doesn’t like it anymore than I do, are well… Bullshit.

The coach told her she isn’t allowed to be friendly with the team, mainly the players. Coach told her she has to keep her distance, when every other coach is allowed to hang out with the team. Double standard for one reason. Bailey is a woman.

If she wasn’t a female, this wouldn’t be an issue. If she were a man, we would be hanging out at the bar with the rest of the team, drinking some beer and eating pizza while we bitched about the game.

But she’s a beautiful woman who’s getting a raw deal. And is making the hard decision to not let anyone get close to her so she doesn’t lose her job. How messed up is that?

I understand her reasoning, but I don’t like it. No one should have no one on their side. No one should be alone. I did manage, with a lot of convincing, to get her to agree to be friends with me in secret. I won’t let her go through this without a friend by her side. That’s just who I am. Bailey is a good person, she doesn’t deserve this treatment. She’s agreed, we keep our friendship between us and no one knows our secret.

I’m not pushing her for anything else. I want her to get to know me first. But I think a long talk with Matt McConnell about this might be in order. I need to know what her options are. And yeah, I’m overstepping slightly, I know that but I think she’s getting a bad deal.

In my desire to learn more about Bailey and the internet research I did on her, I didn’t find out much from her social media. I did find some dirt from some of the gossip areas. Bailey dated a player in New York, someone I happen to know and don’t trust with my least favorite person.

Erik Tipton, pitcher for New York, hustler, cheater, and overall ass. I’ve played against him plenty and I can honestly say there are very few players who actually like him. I don’t know what Bailey saw in a jerk like him, but I think I need to find out the truth about that situation before anyone else finds out.

I know Tipton is an egomaniac, he will do anything that gives him an edge, and cheats. He’s done stuff in games that are clearly against regulation but has managed to worm his way out of them. He’s used rosen, Vaseline, pine tar during games. He’s thrown games, done steroids, and stolen signs. He’s not the kind of guy a woman like Bailey would go for.

But I’m betting he’s the reason Bailey lost her job, and I’m fairly certain that this is why the coach has put these restrictions on her. If that’s the case, someone needs a coming to Jesus meeting with me.

I don’t judge people on their mistakes. We’re all human, mistakes are how we learn. I do however make my decisions on how they treat others and if those actions are an error or repetitious. Tipton doesn’t make mistakes, he purposely does things that make him look better despite the fallout for anyone else.

After the heart to heart I had with Bailey, I’m determined to have her back. I’m also more determined to be by her side if the coach decides to do something stupid, like fire the best batting coach in the league. And if Tipton turns out to be the slug I think he is, if he’s the reason Bailey loses her job, I’ll be going on a warpath to correct it.


~ ~ ~ ~ ~


I knew I should have stayed home. It was a bad idea to go to Dillon’s but I’m so tired of being alone. Even my father isn’t talking to me. No matter how many times I’ve tried to explain it, no one listens. I’m not the person that’s to blame for the situation. It wasn’t me.

But I took the fall for his lies, for his problems, for his ego. I allowed myself to be made a scapegoat for his lifestyle and I got fired because I refused to continue the lie. Because I wanted to be honest but in the end I was blamed.

How is that fair? How is me losing my job for that selfish son of a bitch fix the problem? It doesn’t, it doesn’t fix anything but remove me from the equation. I hope he chokes on his own balls!

Dillon wants to be my friend. He’s determined, and he’s sweet. No matter how many times I tried to explain that being friends with him could ruin his career, he wouldn’t listen. He wants to be here for me. I just hope it doesn’t hurt him.

Leaving New York was my only hope of salvaging what was left of my career after Erik wrecked everything I had accomplished there. I don’t know what he was trying to do to me but in the end he managed to make me look like I had convinced him to cheat, lie and ruin the team’s chances to win the series.

No matter what I said I couldn’t dig myself out of the hole he put me in. So I accepted the kick to the curb and left. My tail between my legs and I found myself here. As far away from the life I knew as possible. I got Anaheim to give me a shot, one shot, to get them out of the gutter.

There were stipulations, of course, to my hiring. I’m to keep my interaction with the team as business only. I’m not to socialize with them, be friendly with them and God forbid, I cannot date any of them. I don’t think I want to date anyone again.

But then Dillon took me to the hospital and refused to leave me alone. He called me baby. As unconscious as I think it was, it was still a jolt to hear it from him. Then he did something that made a big crack in my walls. He signed that sweet little boy's cast. He made my heart melt.

How could I not see the kind of man he is? How could I not see that he was gentle and kind, trustworthy and truthful? How could I not know he is exactly the opposite of Erik?

After the horrible way I left New York I didn’t expect my new position here would be easy. It’s not. I have to start all over and prove myself again. It’s starting from scratch and that is so hard to do again after years of building my reputation there. But it has to be done.

My Dad was against me getting into baseball. As much as he liked to watch me playing softball growing up, he despised me trying to make it in what he considers “a man’s sport.” I was determined to prove him wrong.

I wanted to be just like my Dad. It was just the two of us most of my life. Not that my mother died, she didn’t. I actually don’t know where she is anymore. The last time I spoke to her was five years ago. I had just started with the New York team and wanted to share my news with someone I thought would be excited about it. I was wrong.

She was in Paris on a holiday and I interrupted her dinner with her latest flavor of the month. She was put out by my call and disgusted that I didn’t do something more with my life. I’m too much like him, Parker Carruthers the legend of baseball.

So I opened a bottle of champagne alone and celebrated by myself. When I went in for my first day on the job no one took me seriously. I fought to prove my worth. I struggled to get the respect I deserved as a coach. And it was an uphill battle.

I thought I had won. I received accolades for my hard work and the players were the first to acknowledge my success. Erik, pushed for it, for me. He made it seem like he was on my side and wanted to see me succeed.

It was when he started asking for extras, taking advantage of our relationship when the tides turned. My star was rising as his was slipping. He wanted me to get him some extra endorsement opportunities with the makers of our bats, mits and special things the team received. He wanted time in front of the camera and a spotlight on his career. He wanted longer massages, a private plane and more money.

He blamed me when he didn’t receive it. I was the one who told him no. I was the one who had to explain that’s not how it works. I was the one who got fired when Erik threw games to prove his point. And my father refused to back me.

I’m not a stranger to being alone. I feel like I’ve been alone for a long time. Dillon doesn’t want that for me. He’s determined to have me see things his way. I wish it was that simple. I wish life was as simple as a baseball game. I understand those rules. I just need to find me A Scoring Position.



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