Published by: eXtasy Books
Author : Derek Adams
Word Count :5829
Publication Date :2013-07-05
Series : #
Heat Level :
- Product Code: 000673
All reporter Pat Chandler ever wanted to do was cover a men’s fashion show in New York City. So what the hell is he doing on the spring training beat in Yuma, Arizona?
Pat Chandler doesn’t know first base from a pop fly. That never mattered until now, when his boss takes him off a plum assignment covering a major fashion show and banishes him to the wilds of Arizona. Instead of interviewing important designers, he’s charged with getting the goods on a rookie pitcher from the middle of nowhere. Things go from bad to worse for Pat, but then he meets the rookie and everything begins to change as Pat learns to steal home.
“Run that by me again, would you?” I came to a dead stop in front of the chief editor’s door, hoping desperately that my ears were acting up. I could have sworn I heard him say something about sports to me. Surely there was a terrible mistake.
“I said you’ll be covering the spring training beat for the next couple of weeks.”
“Spring training? Training for what?”
“Baseball, Pat. Surely you’ve heard of it. A group of guys stand around, one of them has a bat, another guy throws a ball at it. If the first guy hits it, his team gets a point. That is, of course, unless somebody on the opposing team catches it. Does any of this sound familiar?”
“Vaguely. Look, I’d love to help out, boss, but I’m up to my ears in the Designer Home Showcase project right now. Besides, I’m flying to New York in a couple of days to cover that big Armani fashion release everyone’s been just buzzing about. I’ve got no time to watch grown men play stupid games. Sorry.” I started to breeze back to my desk, but Henson stopped me with a significant glare.
“Marla Prendergast will be covering the Armani show and I’ll also get her to help out with the showcase.” He looked up at me and smiled innocently.
“Marla Prendergast? Marla doesn’t know teal from aqua! She’ll ruin the whole spring fashion supplement! Boss, you can’t do this to me. Besides, what’s wrong with that big galoot who covers sports for the paper? You’re not suggesting we work together, are you?” Phil Renner—the big galoot in question—hated my guts and I returned the sentiment. Teaming us up would be tantamount to setting up a murder.
“Phil’s out on sick leave. Gall bladder, I think. He won’t be back to work for a month. Everyone else is working on really important assignments, so you’re my man.”
“I suppose the Home section and our annual fashion supplement aren’t important?” I glared at Henson, my temper rising.
“Marla will be right in there. Sam Jackson can help her out if push comes to shove.”
“Oh, my God! You can’t be serious. You might just as well put Charles Manson in charge of a daycare center. I can’t believe this is happening. Next thing I know, you’ll be carpeting my office in orange shag.”
“There’s no money in the budget for that this year,” Henson deadpanned, obviously enjoying my discomfort. “I want you there at the camp first thing tomorrow morning. You wouldn’t want to miss even a minute of their practice sessions, I’m sure.” The bastard chuckled at his feeble attempt at a joke. “I want you to keep special tabs on Marcus Campbell. He’s a young southpaw pitcher from Georgia who’s supposed to be a real hot-shot. I figure he’s good for a feature at least.”
“Swell,” I harrumphed. I realized I’d been had. Once Henson set his mind to something, there was no turning him back. “Will they be practicing at Franklin Stadium, or will they be out at one of the local playfields?”
“Yuma,” Henson grunted, not even bothering to look up at me.
“Yuma? Sorry, boss, that’s a suburb I haven’t even heard of. Which end of town?”
“Arizona, Chandler. Yuma, Arizona. That’s where the camp is. Your tickets are on your desk. Good luck.”