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Chapters 26 - 33

December 7 2004 at 9:55 AM
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Response to Basic Black Glamour Dolls

Chapter 26

Stunned, Belle leaned back against the pale yellow wall, and closed her eyes as she said a silent plea, ’Why God, why is this happening to him? Please let him be okay…Please let his knee heal! Baseball means so much to him…he’ll die if he can’t…’ The doctor’s voice broke her heartfelt prayer, “…however, we were able to mend it back, to almost 100%. Shawn is a very lucky man...He’ll be walking around in no time.” The doctor looked down at the ground for a slight moment, as if there was something left to say, but…was afraid.

Picking up on the man’s hesitancy, Hope, assuming the worst, stepped forward, grazing her cool, shaky fingers along his forearm; “Doctor…what is it?” As the man’s uncertain green eyes, met with Hope’s tortured hazel pools, she knew what was coming next, but before he was able to get the words out, Belle stepped into the room, with warm, salty tears streaming down her face.

Biting her lower lip, she cautiously moved to stand in front of her father, “He’s not going to be able to play again…is he?” Her voice was like a whisper, carried by the wind in a huge field. The barely audible sound echoed throughout the enormous private suite that John had demanded Shawn be placed in, earlier that night. Her misty, pain filled eyes, slowly passed over the doctor’s to Hope’s, then to Bo’s and then she turned to her father, silently pleading with him to do something to fix this.

The squeaking of ungreased wheels broke the uncomfortable silence, as a bed was rolled in the room, sans Shawn. Confused as to where he was, Belle took a few steps towards the door, only to be met with a set of extremely angry, chocolate brown eyes, belonging to a young man, being pushed by an equally upset nurse. “It seems that Mr. Brady here, wasn’t too keen on the idea of being rolled in on his bed. It was all I could do to get him to sit in the wheelchair!” Shawn lazily rolled his eyes as the nurse rattled on, clearly still affected from the anesthesia and painkillers that had been pumped into his system.

Bo and Hope stepped back as another nurse came in and helped get Shawn moved to the bed. Shaking her head in disbelief, Hope glanced up at Bo, mentally blaming him for their son’s stubbornness. A chuckle escaped his lips as he instantly read her thoughts. Playfully slapping him on the arm, a mischievous glare appeared on her face as she whispered for him to behave.

As the nurses continued to get Shawn comfortable, Belle took a seat in a pleather recliner next to his bed as she realized he had yet to acknowledge her. He had yet to acknowledge anyone for that matter, still…a twinge of hurt tore through her heart that he hadn’t even sent a smile her way. She knew deep down, he was only angry with himself for hurting his knee, but why did he have to take it out on the ones that loved him? Wait a second…loved him? His parents obviously loved him, but her? Surely one week was to soon…or was it? Shaking her head skeptically at her previous thoughts, she promised herself to explore them again in the near future, when emotions weren’t running so high.

Deciding to cut him some slack and overlook his pig-headedness, Belle patiently waited for his parents to finish codling him, and for her father to say his peace, before seeking his undivided attention. Picking up a stack of magazine’s, she found the May edition of ESPN Magazine and started flipping through the pages. After getting through 1/3 of the publication, she found an article on the Mariners, highlighting Jason, and decided to check it out…

With Shawn Brady out for the season, due to a recent knee injury,
Jason Welles, the Mariner’s starting second baseman,
should have no problem breaking the team’s home run record.
But how will his recent encounter with…


“Belle…we’re leaving honey,” Belle looked up from her reading, as Bo and Hope made their way around the bed to give their son’s girlfriend a hug. Shoving the magazine in her purse to finish later, Belle stood to receive Hope’s embrace. As her arms wrapped around Belle’s slender body, appreciation spilled out her lips, “Belle, I hope you know just much we appreciate you being here for Shawn and taking care of him. I know it means a lot to him to have your support through all this.” As Hope stepped back, Bo took his turn at hugging the petite blonde and thanking her as well.

Not long after the Brady’s left, Belle found herself hugging her father goodbye as well. As the door closed, leaving the two alone, Belle turned to face Shawn for the first time since he had fallen beside home plate. Unsure of what to say, Belle crossed the room to his bedside, hoping he was in a better mood then when he was originally brought in.

Apprehension overcame her, as his eyes met hers. She read the pain that resided there as a bad sign, but hoped she would be able to ease some of his tension. A sincere smile crossed her lips as she approached his side, and reached for his hand, hoping to lighten his mood. “Hey you.”

Shawn squeezed her hand and pressed his lips together in attempts at a smile, “Hey…” but failed miserably. The morphine pump at his side was keeping him heavily sedated and he was fighting tooth and nail to stay awake. “…What time are you co…coming back…tomorrow?” His speech was slightly slurred and was very slow.

Belle’s heart fluttered at Shawn’s consideration, and she smiled amiably in return as she began to explain that she was staying there with him tonight. “Actually…I’m not leaving…” Shawn’s eyes opened wide in confusion upon hearing Belle’s declaration, “I’m staying here, with you.”

Before Shawn could protest, they heard a slight knock and the door opened. In came a nurse, carrying two pillows, a set of sheets and a couple extra blankets. Crossing the room, she set them down on the end of the couch and explained to Belle that it actually turned into a bed. “If you’ll remove the cushions, the couch pulls out into a full sized bed, surprisingly, it’s fairly comfortable. If you need anything else Miss Black, please don’t hesitate to let me know.” She smiled sweetly as Belle nodded her head and then turned to Shawn, “And how’s my favorite patient?”

Shawn groaned and raised his head in a slight nod, not wanting to really talk. “Alright, well I’ll take that as you’re okay for now…” She glanced over her shoulder and winked at Belle, “Just remember, your call button is on both sides of the guard rail and all you have to do is press it if you need anything.” Satisfied, the nurse turned and left the room, leaving the two alone again.

Trying to sit up, Shawn finally managed to prop himself up with some pillows. “Shawn…hold on…” Belle rushed over to his side, “Let me help you…”

“NO…” Shawn’s eyes glazed over with frustration, as Belle stepped back, wounded from his shortness. “…I mean…I got it…” His eyes immediately softened, as he felt bad for snapping at her. Reaching out to her, Belle stood firmly where she was with her arms folded securely across her chest, striving to remain patient with him.

Letting his arm drop from exhaustion, Shawn sighed as his moodiness took over again, leaving him feeling empty. “I think…you…sho…should…g…go…” Shawn let his head rest back against the pillows as another dose of morphine kicked into his system. Taking a slow, deep breath, he turned his head to the side, hoping that Belle listened to him, but found that she was still in the same position as she was a few moments ago.

However, her eyes were dark and serious, and he could see the wheels turning inside her head. He knew she was angry, angry with him for failing, angry with him for ruining his career, angry with him for ruining them…and…and their future, or was it…could it be him that was angry? He was so confused and he was taking it out on the one person he had only hours ago, decided was the one.

Belle’s shrill voice brought him back from that little place between passing out and a deep sleep. “…You’re just being selfish Shawn! I know you’re hurting…I know you’re disappointed…hell, I would be too, but that’s no reason to give up!” Belle was now pacing in at the end of his bed. “So what if the doctor says you can’t play again…” She stopped, as her eyes magically lit up. Placing both hands on the end of the bed, she leaned forward and offered him a challenge, “Prove him wrong!”



Chapter 27

“Prove him wrong?” Shawn sat straight up in his bed, slightly dizzy as the pain medicine started to take affect, “Isabella, they’re the doctors…not me and definitely not you!” He leaned back against the upper portion of the elevated hospital bed, hoping to over power the feeling of nausea that had started to creep through his body. He closed his eyes, as his still bitter voice became a touch softer. “I’m through…I’ll never be able to play Pro ball…ever…again!”

They were drowning in silence for what seemed like forever, when Belle finally broke the unbearable tranquility. “Are you done feeling sorry for yourself?” Shawn opened his eyes long enough to read the seriousness in hers and shoot a glare her way. “You listen to me Shawn Brady...” Belle moved around the side of his bed, decreasing the distance between them. “…for as long as I’ve known you, which I realize hasn’t been very long, you’ve always been the positive one. You’ve always looked for the good in any situation and I’m not about to let you stop now.” Belle reached for the side rail, trying to prevent from ringing her hands. “I mean you played ball with broken fingers, broken ankles and now…just because one doctor tells you it’s unlikely that you’ll pla…”

“You don’t get it do you?” Shawn snapped. He was unable to sit up, however he did roll over onto his side, so that he could face her. His eyes were very solemn and dark, and the anger was very apparent as his next words seethed from his lips. “What Major League Baseball team is going to want a broken down, twice mended short stop, who’s knee could go out again, at any moment?” He was barely able to control the rage growing inside him, “I’m going to say this one more time, I…am…through with Baseball. I’ll just have to settle with coaching women!!” The sarcasm dripped from his tongue as he rolled his eyes.

“But Shawn…”

“NO…No buts Isabella. This discussion is finished!” Shawn was all but yelling as he drew his arm across his neck, signaling its completion. “There’s no use in arguing with facts. My knee is fucked and there’s nothing I, you or anyone else can do about it! So please just let things be and quit trying to fix everyone and everything.” Shawn’s head rolled to the opposite side as he tried to calm himself down.

Exasperated at the “child” before her, Belle shook her head slowly as she dropped her hands to her side. He was hopeless…at least right now, so she decided to do as he asked, and leave him alone. “Alright Shawn, you win…for now. But don’t think this is over!” Belle crossed the room and searched through her purse for her keys. “I realize that you just had a bomb dropped on you that is going to change your life…possibly forever. I’m also going to let your snide little demeaning comments go, assuming you really didn’t mean them and said them in a fit of rage, but don’t think I’m going to let you give up.”

Belle started towards the door, with all intentions of leaving when the third shift nurse came rushing in, with a panic-stricken face. “I’m sorry…I was supposed to have been in here to check on him at the start of my shift!” She rushed to Shawn’s side and immediately began checking his temperature, pulse and heart rate, then pressed a few buttons on his monitors. “Shawn…” He looked up at her with a look of submission, “How is the pain in your knee? On a scale of one to ten, with ten being excruciating and one being little to none, how would you rate your soreness.”

Shawn looked at Belle and then back at the nurse, “Uhmmm, well, I don’t really feel much at all…unless I move my leg…then I guess it’d hafta bea seve…no…fou…definitely a five.” Shawn shook his head up and down in all seriousness, then immediately changed directions, “Belle I thought we were going to play scattorgories?” The nurse pressed her brow together skeptically as she wrote down Shawn’s reply and shook her head, stifling a laugh as Shawn began talking nonsense.

Belle couldn’t help but giggle at Shawn, as she realized the morphine was causing him to talk out of his head. She glanced at the confuzzled nurse and slid in an apologetic smile. Hoping to prevent any more embarrassment, Belle tried to cover for him, “Shawn, I told you I left that game at home. We’ll have to play it tomorrow, when you come home.”

Shawn looked at her perplexed, “Play what at home? I thought you were going to get beer?” Belle could see that Shawn truly had no idea what he was talking about, but was getting very agitated at the nurse for her poking and prodding. “What are you doing?” The look on his face was priceless. His head was facing forward, yet cocked slightly to the side. His irritated, chocolate brown orbs were slammed against the right edge of their sockets, and his lips were pursed together tightly. “I’d really like to get some tonight, and you’re not helping matters!”

Completely embarrassed, the nurse quickly finished her routine and exited the room, leaving Belle alone with Shawn once again. A soft chuckle escaped her lips, as a sly little smirk appeared on her face. Shawn’s last comment had created a debacle in her head as whether to stay or leave. Quietly crossing the room to check on him, she found him fast asleep, snoring softly like a baby. Hovering over his chiseled physique, she smiled and moved a few strands of hair off of his face, “Sweet dreams…my love…” then kissed him softly on the forehead, her decision finalized.

The next morning, Belle was expectedly exhausted. The nurses had come in every hour, on the hour to check on Shawn and seemed to make as much noise as possible with each visit. Then, promptly at 6:00 AM, Shawn’s doctor made his appearance, informing him that he was scheduled to go home around 3, meaning it probably wouldn’t be until around 6, and that he would leave a prescription, the date for his next appointment and further instructions for the care for his knee, with the nurse on duty. Whoever said “You get more rest in the hospital!” should be shot!

Realizing she wasn’t going to get anymore sleep, Belle got up and began making numerous phone calls, in regards to her concern for the final day of tryouts. Without Shawn, no one knew what to do next, and this day above all other days was of the utmost importance. After explaining the situation to her father and to Jason, it was decided that Jason would handle the final day of tryouts, then would bring Nicole and Mimi, as well as all the filled out evaluation forms, home to assist with Shawn’s final decisions.

Surprisingly by 5:45, they had made it home and Shawn was now lying on the couch in his own living room. His knee was encased with a blue Velcro brace that started a little below his groin and ended a few inches above his ankle. Coming from the middle of the brace, was a clear plastic tube that connected to a cooler that pumped ice water throughout the brace, keeping his knee iced down to prevent excess swelling. The brace was locked in a straight position and would only be released, at minimal angles, when he started Physical Therapy.

“Here…” Belle handed Shawn a small red capsule and a glass of water, as she read the instructions on the bottle, “It says you need to take these every four to six hours, for pain…” She looked down at Shawn, “How are you feeling?”

Shawn winced as he shifted his body over towards the back of the couch. “I’m here…” He tried to smile, but the pain was really getting to him. He popped the pill in his mouth and drank ¾ of the glass of water. “Thanks…”

Belle gave Shawn her best smile, and reached for the glass, letting her fingers graze his, “I’ll fill that back up for you. The pharmacist said you’d need to drink a lot of water with these pain pills.” Belle disappeared around the corner and was back before Shawn knew it, coddling over him just like his mother. “Alright…do you need anything else?”

“No…I’m good…thanks!” Shawn started changing the channels on the TV when a thought came to him. His hand encircled her wrist and he pulled her down on the edge of the couch, “You know…I just thought of something,” Belle read the mischief in his eyes and knew exactly what he was about to say.

Giggling and placing her hand on his firm chest, she nixed that idea immediately, “Shawn…your parents are coming by, and Jason, Nicole and Mimi are going to be here soon too…” Shawn had immediately stuck his lower lip out and played his gorgeous puppy dog eyes to perfection. “Oh come on Shawn…you know that those eyes are lethal! Look, I promise I’ll put it on for you when they leave, Ok?”

Compromising, Shawn happily agreed to wait, “Alright, but only if you promise!” He wrapped his arms around her waist and pulled her to him, to seal their deal with a mouth-watering kiss.

Chapter 28 – Rated NC-17

Three hours, thirty-seven minutes and forty-two seconds later, Shawn eagerly watched as the front door closed for the last time, finally leaving them alone. His parents, John, and Mimi had finally gone home and Jason and Nicole, who wanted a little time to themselves, decided to go out on the town, giving him and Belle the privacy they were longing for earlier.

Deciding to relax, while Belle finished her shower, Shawn laid back against the pillow Belle had placed under his head when they had arrived home. Relishing in the peace and quiet, Shawn seriously considered taking a nap, but the thought of Belle with water running down her body was keeping his mind awake. Drifting off into a fantasy world, Shawn pictured himself coming into the shower behind Belle and taking her forcefully, hard and fast against the cold shower tile. The image in his mind was making him hard and he hoped that the shower would end soon. He had a plan for miss Belle and he hoped she’d oblige.

“Isabella…” Shawn hollered as reached for his glass of ice water. However, due the awkward angle, and his limited mobility, he accidentally spilled its entirety down the front of his shirt. “Damn it…” He quietly swore as he set the empty glass on the floor and reached for the bottom hem of his shirt, preparing to pull it over his head.

Belle came bursting out of the bathroom, clutching a towel wrapped loosely around her still, very wet body. “Shawn, are you..." was all she got out of her mouth as she came to a stop at the sight of him lounging back on the black leather sofa, wearing nothing but his shorts. 'God, that man has one hellacious set of abs' she thought to herself as her mind began reeling very naughty thoughts. "Good thing you didn't spill that water any lower Shawn, it might have killed the mood," Belle made her way in front of Shawn and slowly and seductively dropped her towel. "Do you...need any help...taking off the rest?" Not waiting for an answer, Belle began a careful yet erotic decent in between his legs, slipping her perfectly manicured fingers along his waistband and began to gingerly slide them downward.

All Shawn could do was just sit there and stare. Here, before him was an angel who had put up with his verbal abuse at the hospital, had been playing nursemaid to him since he had been home, and was now, making him feel absolutely unbelievable. Shawn let his head roll back as he felt Belle's tiny, soft hands take a hold of his growing erection and stroke it daintily. Hearing his moans of pleasure, she instantly increased the pressure and speed.

Not being able to take anymore, Shawn pulled Belle fully onto his lap and brought his lips to her breasts. Lapping her nipples at first, he finally gave into her moans and took one his in mouth. Sucking and pulling on the rosy pert tip, he could feel her body start to tremble. Quickly adding his hands into the mixture, he took her over the edge. As Belle's body began to calm down, Shawn moved his hands further down her body to the haven he sought. Gently rubbing his thumb over her nub, he felt her shiver at the touch. Slowly inserting a long, lean finger into her hot, wet cavern, he proceeded to take Belle to heaven and back once again. As Belle began the decent this time, she took matters into her own hands…literally.

Gently taking his remarkably hard rod in her small eager hands, she guided him to her extremely wet core. But when she opened her hooded eyes, looking for the go ahead, she noticed he was fast asleep. Between the ecstasy of their love play and the effect of the pain medication, Shawn Brady was smiling in his sleep like he had just hit a grand slam home run in the bottom of the ninth. Belle couldn't help but smile herself. Even though this game wasn't finished, she loved the way their bodies responded to each other and looked forward to completing what was started once Mr. Brady came back to life.

About forty-five minutes later, Shawn woke up, thinking he had just experienced the best dream of all time. However, as his mind started to register the added weight on his chest, his eyes focused on the golden haired beauty sleeping soundly on top of him, wearing nothing but her birthday suit. He cursed himself silently as he realized his so-called dream was in fact a reality and he had actually fallen asleep on her…mid stride. Gently waking her up, by lightly massaging his fingers up and down her back, he saucily suggested they move into the other room to continue what had been started earlier.

After getting Shawn comfortable on the bed, Belle disappeared, explaining that she had something to take care of. While waiting for her to return, Shawn grabbed the remote and turned on the radio, flipping through the channels and stopping as he heard the lyrics to The One by Gary Allen.

No rush though I need your touch
I won't rush your heart
Until you feel on solid ground
Until your strength is found, girl

Setting the remote on the nightstand, his eyes were struck with the most exquisite site he’s ever seen. Closing the door behind her, was Belle, dressed in a sheer, pearl colored, negligee, stopping just above her knees, leaving very little to the imagination. It had an empire waist and the top, covered with a few simple flowery designs was overflowing with cleavage. It was being held up with exceptionally thin spaghetti straps, and defined every curve on her body.

I'll fill those canyons in your soul
Like a river lead you home
And I'll walk a step behind
In the shadows so you shine

Shawn’s heart rate quickened as he felt as if he had just fallen as far in love with this woman as humanly possible. The love from her heart, poured out of her shining, crystal blue eyes, as he watched her saunter towards him.

Just ask it will be done
And I will prove my love
Until you're sure that I'm "the one"

Words were not spoken, however so much was said as their eyes met and clung to one another. Isabella stood at his bedside, as Shawn reached for her hand, intertwining their fingers, slowly and seductively.

Somebody else was here before
He treated you unkind
And broken wings need time to heal
Before a heart can fly, girl

Shawn’s eyes pried themselves away from hers, in attempts to ravish the rest of body. Amazed at the intricate features of her, his fingers grazed over the silky translucent material, trying to take in every contour of her body.

I'll fill those canyons in your soul
Like a river lead you home
And I'll walk a step behind
In the shadows so you shine

Belle felt shivers run up her spine, as Shawn’s rough fingertips, lightly ran across her skin, making it harder and harder to stand. Deciding to join him in bed, she crawled up and over his body, as if to taunt of him of what was soon to come.

Just ask it will be done
And I will prove my love
Until you're sure that I'm "the one"

It was all Shawn could stand to have this goddess of a woman, hovering over him. Wrapping his arms around her waist, he pulled her to him, feeling her breasts crush against his chest. Their lips were inches apart, and their eyes were locked, reading into each other’s souls.

Trust in me and you'll find a heart so true
All I want to do is give the best of me to you
And stand beside you

Shawn wanted to take things slow. He wanted to enjoy Belle's body like he never had before...and her, his. This time would be about them loving each other out of the adoration they felt...not out of the sexual desire that was obviously there for each other.

Just ask it will be done
And I will prove my love
Until you're sure that I'm "the one"

As the song ended and another one started, Shawn began to glide his hands up and down her sides, moving the flimsy material out of the way. He brought his fingertips to her face, cupping the softness of her cheeks in his palms, and brought her lips to his, instantly feeling the surge of energy and sparks of electricity that flowed through them, proving to him, without a shadow of a doubt that she really was The One and he had to tell her…tonight.

Slowly pulling the strap of the silk down right Belle's shoulder, he kissed it softly where his fingers touched her skin. Following the same pattern with the other, her pert breasts sprung from the fabric, just begging for attention. Pulling her arms free, Belle settled them just behind Shawn's head, allowing him access to her chest.

Waiting in anticipation for him to take her over take her nipple, Belle slowly raised and then lowered herself, hovering just over his awaiting open mouth. Shivers ran down her spine has he took the pert bud between his lips and suckled it gently, creating a surge of warm liquid to pool in between her legs.

Sensing her readiness, Shawn reached for her hips, centering them over his throbbing manhood, guiding himself into her wet, and inviting core. Gently placing the tip, at her entrance, he slowly plunged into the most succulent warmth he had ever felt. It was all he could do, to control the emotions running through his body.

He felt their souls connect, fully and completely, as he gazed into her all telling eyes. She brought her lips to his, as he plunged deeper and deeper inside her. Reaching for her hands, he laced their fingers together, helping her to quicken her hip movements, bringing them both to a peak, and sending them both into the oblivion.

He squeezed her tight as he felt his final release, enter into her. Her hands left his as she slid off of him and down to his side, letting her right arm, rest across his chest. He pressed his lips to her head, kissing her hair softly when he realized this was the time, the time he had been waiting for. He was going to tell her, "I think…Isabella...I…I’m falling...Isabella, I’ve fallen in love with you..." As the words left his lips, he felt her pull back and looked to see what he hoped was love in her eyes.



Chapter 29

Unfortunately, what he found was that she had only made herself more comfortable, in the wake of his heartfelt words. She was fast asleep, curled up against his side, with a smile that spoke volumes. Her angelic features were completely relaxed and fully content, displaying such a peaceful expression, so full of love.

Kissing her forehead gingerly, he decided to join her in her night’s slumber. He wrapped his arms around her protectively, when his bedroom door flung open, “Hey Shawwwwwwwwooooooohhhhhsssshit!” and closed just as quick.

Scrambling to pull the covers up over his and Belle’s entangled, naked bodies, Jason cracked the door without peeking in and whispered, “Dude, I’m really sorry man…I just…fuck…I’ll just…I’ll talk to you in the morning!” Saying that, he quickly and quietly closed the door back, leaving Shawn utterly in hysterics. It was all he could do to keep from laughing out loud at his friend’s antics, knowing his face had to have been three different shades of red.

Feeling Belle stir from the commotion at his bedroom door, Shawn changed the channel on the radio to a soft jazz station and lowered the volume, then cuddled her closer to him. Slightly disappointed that he hadn’t been able to share his feelings tonight, his mood instantly changed when his mind started reeling with alternate plans…all he had to do was just be patient.



The following three weeks passed by in a blur. The team roster had been finalized, practices were being held and Shawn’s mobility had greatly improved, thanks to Erin Rich, the nationally known Physical Therapy Specialist John had flown in specifically for him. He would be walking, with a simple knee brace, just in time for the first game.

The weekend following Shawn’s surgery, Belle, Shawn, Jason, Nicole, Mimi and Sami, as well as two of the assistant coaches they had decided to keep, sat down to decide on the rest of the players for Basic Black’s team. There were 30 girls left, excluding the four friends trying to decide who should play with them.

They had all argued and pleaded, discussed and bargained until they it had come down to the last position. They were all at a loss as to what to do, but knew that the roster was due to the league commissioner by Monday morning and a decision had to be made. There were two candidates that could easily fill the spot, but only one of them would make the team.

Susie Ledbetter was a good player and had a pleasant disposition. She was courteous to the coaches and listened to what she was told, but a hitter she wasn’t. She would fill the roster perfectly, considering she played first base, and that was the position they had left to fill, but…

Jennifer Roy was a damn good softball player too. She had an all smiles, very outgoing personality, and always seemed open to suggestion. An added bonus was that she was quite a slugger…the only problem was…she was a catcher, and that spot was already filled.


Now if Sami hadn’t insisted on being the catcher, Jennifer would have been a number one pick, however, Shawn knew better then to step on his cousin’s toes. She had a mouth like a loose cannon and he wasn’t about to set her off. Belle, on the other hand, had other plans.

She didn’t hesitate to suggest that Sami play first. She remembered how much Sami had enjoyed the base when she initially started playing softball. It wasn’t until her second year in high school, that the coach moved her to catcher, where she found a new love for the game. Surprisingly, Sami eagerly agreed and Jennifer was added to the team as Basic Black’s catcher.

They spent the next little while calling the sixteen girls, letting them know they had made the team and what to expect for the following three or so weeks. They would be having practice Sunday thru Thursday, similarly to the hours of tryouts and all other details would be handled on the first day of practice, including getting everyone’s sizes for the uniforms and cleats. They were also told to think of good name for the team, and at the end of the week they would vote on the best suggestions.

By the end of the first week of practice, the girls were extremely worn out. Jason, Jeff and Russ had literally run them ragged. They started the day running the bases, then were separated into, in and out field groups, to work on basic fielding, plays and drills. After lunch the girls took turns batting, running and perfecting the proper way to slide.

As Friday’s practice ended, all the girls were rounded up underneath Basic Black’s temporary locker room…the tryouts tent. The team name suggestions were all written up on a chalkboard and each girl was handed a piece of paper and a pencil. After calculating totals, it was official. Basic Black finally had a name…The Glamour Dolls were going to kick some ass.

John was exceptionally pleased with the team name, considering the industry he was in and was even more impressed with the professional way his daughter had handled the ones that hadn’t made the team. Gladys mentioned to him that Belle had called and requested that she type up a “Thank-You” letter for all the girls that didn’t make the cut. She wanted to ensure that they all knew how much Basic Black appreciated their willingness and desire to represent the company on the softball field, and to not give up, that their names would be kept in a file for next years tryouts. Belle also had T-shirts, with Basic Black Softball printed across the front, created to send along with the letter as another way of showing their appreciation.

All in all the three weeks had gone by quick, painful and remarkably…very productive. They had fifteen days of hard practice, and they appeared to play extremely well together. Uniforms were done on time and the schedules had all been handed out. Then to top it all off, Shawn’s progress was incredible. Thanks to Erin’s superb skills, in just three weeks, he was able to move his knee to 75 degrees, and had relatively good mobility; however, he still had to wear his brace.

Emotions were high as Belle realized that tomorrow was the day. The Glamour Dolls were going to take on Bradley Medical Equipment, for their season opener and she couldn’t be more pumped. She was playing ball again, and nothing could make her happier!



Chapter 30

“If you’ve got something to hide, you better cover it up!” Shawn rapped on the woman’s locker room door as he, Jason and Russ entered, not waiting for a response. “Hustle up girls, the game starts in 30 minutes and none of you have even warmed up yet…” His eyes scanned the room of girls, searching for his starting pitcher, “Mimi, you’re going to be starting tonight. I want you and Jennifer…” He looked around for their catcher, not finding her anywhere “…Where the hell is Jennifer?”

Isabella stepped forward, gazing at their coach and her new found love. He was dressed in a pair of wrinkle free khaki’s and a black golf polo, with a Glamour Dolls insignia on the top right side and the word Coach emblazoned on the back. His eyes appeared to be extremely dark and troubled, as he realized his catcher was nowhere to be found. “I saw her earlier, she mentioned something about Jeff teaching her a new technique…I haven’t seen her in about 45 minutes though.”

Suddenly remembering the extra attention Jeff had been paying to his catcher, Shawn realized what “technique” she was probably referring to. Dismissing the girls, he gave Russ some quick instructions on what he wanted them to work on before the game and asked Jason to draw up the line up and turn one into the scorekeeper and another to the opposing team. He explained to them that he needed to locate his catcher and turned to head toward the men’s locker room, hoping his hunch was correct.

As he pushed on the recently painted door to the men’s restroom, he found it locked, confirming his previous assumption. Pausing, with a smile forming on his face, his imagination took over, as he pictured a naked Belle bent over the back of one of the black leather couches that had been strategically placed in both locker rooms. Snapping out of his daze, he made a mental note to pursue that fantasy at a later time, and pressed the key into the lock, quietly entering the men’s room.

“So…Jen…you planning on playing tonight…” He couldn’t help but chuckle, ”…softball I mean?” Shawn was leaned up against the wall, just outside of the showers, with his arms folded across his chest and a smirk across his lips. Their moans and body movements ceased as Shawn’s voice echoed throughout the vaulted ceiling locker room, “You have five minutes…” with that said, he turned to wait for them on one of the couches, debating on how to handle them.

A few minutes later, Jennifer appeared before him, hesitantly, with an embarrassed, yet contrite expression on her face. She was wringing her hands as Jeff followed closely behind, holding his head high. “Shawn…I…”

Shaking his head and closing his eyes, Shawn held up his right hand silencing her apologies. “I’m only going to say this once.” He stood from his sitting position, as Jeff moved to Jennifer’s side. “What you two do on your own time is your business. What you do on my time is my business.” He faced Jennifer, “You are the catcher for the Glamour Dolls…when you are here for a game, you are to be with your teammates, in the woman’s locker room, warming up or waiting for instructions. You are here to play…!” Jennifer glanced up at Jeff with an impish grin. “ball…not with Jeff!” She immediately dropped her gaze to the floor, hanging her head.

Shawn turned to face Jeff, “And you, you are an assistant coach! You are supposed to be helping me, Jason and Russ prepare the girls for their games…not trying to pull off some clip from a porno movie.” Jeff never lost eye contact with Shawn and simply nodded, communicating to Shawn that he understood, in that silent male interaction that infuriated most females.

Shawn’s voice softened, “I hope that we don’t have to have another one of these talks, because if we do…you really won’t like what I have to say…Now…” Shawn glanced down at his watch and then back and forth between the two of them, “…we have a ball game to play.” He got a smile from both of them, as they all headed out to the field.

“Line em up!” Belle glanced around for Shawn, as the umpire called for both teams to line up along the baselines. “Home team, I need someone to pray!” Andrea Fountain, the right center fielder for the Glamour Dolls, stepped forward and requested that everyone bow their heads, just as Shawn, Jeff and Jennifer joined them on the first baseline.

After prayer, the Glamour Dolls rushed out to take the field, as the announcer called their name out: “Taking the field, we have playing Left Field…Trisha Smith, Left Center…Amy Joy, Right Center…Andrea Fountain, Right Field…Amber Harrel, Third Base…Kim Daily, Short Stop…Isabella Black, Second Base…Nicole Walker, First Base…Samantha Roberts, Catcher…Jennifer Roy and the Dolls starting pitcher…Miriam Lockhart.” The cheers were deafening, from the community that had come to watch their first semi-professional team to ever grace Salem.

“Okay guys, there’s two outs, plays on three!” Belle quickly announced to her outfield, then turned back around to face the batter, noticing her feet shift towards right field. Turning her head to look at Amber, she caught her gaze and gave her a quick nod, as Amber readied herself for the possible play.

Mimi glanced at the runners on first and second, then eyed Belle. Giving her a slight smile, she looked for Jennifer’s signal and set her feet. The pitch was high and outside, and the batter did just as they had hoped. “I got it!” Amber ran up and caught the high line drive to right field giving them three outs, and taking them up to bat.

Amy was up first, hitting a line drive straight to the third baseman, getting them their first out. Next, Nicole hit a pop up that dropped right in front of the Left Center Fielder getting herself on first, leaving it up to Isabella to get her home.

Belle placed her right foot in the batter’s box, digging her cleated foot into the soft red dirt. Finding a hole in the field, she brought her other foot in and readied herself for the first pitch. “Strike…0 and 1” Belle never swung at the first pitch, “Ball…1 and 1” Belle glanced at Shawn as she noticed that all of this pitchers pitches were slightly outside and gave him a quick wink. Changing her stance just slightly, Belle gripped the bat firmly and eyed the pitcher as she slung in the next opportunity.

Belle swung and dropped the bat as she made solid contact, sending the ball soaring over the second baseman’s head, then over the Right Center Fielder. She rounded first, then second, where Shawn stopped her at third, smacking her on the ass with the clipboard. “Nice hit Ms. Black,” Shawn finished marking the scorebook and gave Belle a brilliant smile. “Okay, there’s one out, you don’t have to run. If it’s a fly ball, make sure you tag up.” Belle nodded and watched as Jennifer came up to bat.

Wasting no time at all, Jennifer brought the bat back and smacked the first pitch out of the park. The score was now 3-0, The Glamour Dolls and it looked like the rest of the game was going to go over without a hitch. All the players came out of the dugout, to congratulate Jen on her two run home run.

By the seventh inning, Belle was beginning to get worn out. She forgot just how tiring it was to play a full game of softball. The score was 10-3, and they just needed one more out and the game was over. Being the home team and being ahead had its advantages.

Number twenty for BME stepped into the batter’s box and set herself up to hit. Mimi checked the girl on first and the one on second, then watched for Jen’s signal and pitched a low strike just at her knees. “Strike…1 and 0” Jen tossed the ball back to Mimi, as she noticed the girl on second inching her way further from the bag. “Ball, Inside…” Jennifer threw the ball to Kim, just in time to tag the runner out trying to steal third, giving the Glamour Dolls the victory.

The fans went wild as the girls ran into the pitcher’s mound, hugging each other on their first game and win. Shawn and the rest of the coaches were also hooting and hollering as the girls all shook hands with the opposing team.

Back in the locker room, Shawn waited for all the girls to get settled down and comfortable, “Alright girls, that was an excellent win! You guys played smart and held on to the lead.” He looked around at all of the smiling faces, “Now on Thursday, we play a team from Canada and from what research I’ve done, they’re tough. We’ve got to keep our head’s in the game and continue to hit the ball and we’ll be fine.” His eyes twinkled when they met Belle’s, god he had missed her during these past few weeks, “Alright that’s it, you’re all dismissed.”

Shawn and the rest of the guys left, so the girls could get changed; however Belle quietly followed them out, catching Shawn by a belt loop, just as he stepped through the men’s room doorway. “Excuse me, coach? I was wondering if you knew of any good misuses. I just played an excruciating game and my muscles could really use a good rub down.” Belle bobbed her eyebrows up and down in anticipation of Shawn’s response.

“Why yes…yes I do”



Chapter 31

The yellow and orange amber glow from the burning wicks, flickered against Belle’s bedroom wall as Shawn pulled the comforter and sheets from her bed. Shaking it from its folded state, he quickly tugged and pulled until he had the new cream colored, silk fitted sheet, smooth along the pillow top mattress. Glancing around the candlelit room, he ensured that everything was in order to give her the rub down of a lifetime.

He placed the warming, vanilla scented massage oil that was sitting in a container of hot water, on the bedside table, then crossed the room to her stereo, to start some soft, seductive “mood” music. A smirk appeared across his lips, ’A little Al Green should do the trick’, and as the disc changer finished loading the CD, the bathroom door opened.

Belle stepped out, with a thick, fluffy towel wrapped around her damp, glistening body. Her tangle free hair hung straight, still wet from her shower, and her gloss covered lips were turned up, in a megawatt smile, that gave the seductive glow covering the room, a run for its money. “Hey…” Belle stepped forward, amazed at the lengths that Shawn had taken to make this so special.

Shawn looked up, through the wisps of his hair, forgetting the stack of CD’s he was browsing through, to turn and face her. “Hey yourself…how was your bath?” He held out his hand for her to come towards him, and led her to the bed. “I hope you don’t mind, I changed your sheets…”

The atmosphere Shawn had created overloaded Belle’s senses. The soft music, the scent from the many burning candles, the freshly changed sheets, the enticing massage oil warming beside the bed, in her favorite scent no less and…him…standing next the bed, in nothing but a sexy smile and a pair of black silk pajama bottoms, leaving his well defined abs and chest, fully exposed.

Her muscles had refused to move, as her gaze hesitantly crept up his chest and focused on his mahogany colored love pools. “I…no…I mean…thank you…” she quickly looked down at the embarrassment of her stuttering, “the sheets are great!” She reached for his extended hand and climbed the few steps to her awaiting bed.

Reaching for the heated oil, he flipped the top open and squirted a small amount into one of his eager paws. “Now I want you to lie on your stomach and relax,” His fingers started at tips of her feet, beginning with the smallest toe on her right foot. His fingers gingerly moved from appendage to appendage, rubbing each one, between his digits. He crossed over to the other foot, giving it the same attention as the previous, with just as much care and love.

As his hands crept further up her legs, he added more oil to his hands to caress and massage the sore, tense muscles, when he heard a soft moan of enjoyment coming from the angel lying before him. “God Shawn…” She licked her lips, “This…feels…soooo…good!” She couldn’t help it; she had never had such a magical feeling in her life. Sure, she’d had plenty of massages…but nothing…nothing could to compare to this.

It was as if her body was talking to the tips of his hands, telling each finger and thumb what to do...and they were listening! The pressure…the rhythm…the speed…the intricate movements that his glorious hands were creating, were absolutely impeccable. Her body was floating. He hadn’t even made it to the top of her legs yet and she was already on cloud 9.

Shawn’s hands continued up Belle’s long, toned, tan legs, to the crease just below her buns. He hesitated as he moved the towel up and then decided to remove it completely. “You don’t mind…do you?” Belle would have sold her soul to the devil at this moment in time.

“Mmmmm…nooo…” She lifted her body up, keeping her eyes closed, as Shawn pulled the velvety cotton covering from her body, leaving her soft, creamy, skin fully exposed to his delight. Straddling her legs, his hands instantly found the perfectly rounded curve of her firm buttocks and began kneading them with his palms, causing a pool of warm liquid to form at the entrance to her throbbing core.

Continuing further up, through the small of her back, he added more oil and allowed his fingertips to press firmly into her skin, pushing upwards towards her shoulders. He raked what little fingernails he had down her back until he was forced to move back up again.

His hands flowed up and down her body, as he took in the heavenly scent that seemed to put him in a trance like state, in turn causing his member to become fully aroused. But how could it not be? The exquisite creature, lying under him, was…in a word…flawless and her squirming beneath him was causing his desire for her to increase tenfold.

Catching him off guard, Belle flipped over quickly, pulling the warmth of his body between her legs, as she locked her long limbs around the back of his. “Brady…I couldn’t stand another second…” Her lips met his in a heated rush, creating a fiery inferno to stir up from bottom of both their souls. Neither had ever felt a need quite like what their bodies were currently demanding.

Shawn’s pants were off instantaneously, and he was in her within milliseconds, the forces of creation couldn’t have kept them apart. He pounded into her as if it was the last time they’d ever be able to make love, as beads of sweat formed along his brow. The animal side of Shawn had finally come through as a howl escaped his lips upon his release into her.

Her body clenched and her eyes closed as she felt the warm liquid shoot up inside her. She herself had just felt the release of her own body, as he let his body relax on top of her. Placing his head between her breasts, he blew out a deep breath, satisfied with the glorious feeling that they had just shared. Kissing her softly on the lips, he pulled out of her, and crawled up next to her, taking her in his arms.

As Belle curled up against Shawn’s side, her train of thought was more on when her father would be coming home, then relaxing in his arms. She glanced at the clock, reading the bright red digital numbers, 1:37 AM, “You know Shawn, I’m sure my dad, Jason and Nicole will be home soon, do you think we should move down to the guest house?” Her fingers were lightly grazing up and down his chest, as she thought back to her father’s invitation to the team victory party at The Blue Note.

She and Shawn weren’t about to give up their previously planned evening for a surprise victory party, courtesy of her father. Shawn had explained to John that his knee had started bothering him and he wanted to just go on home and get it up, and Belle being the polite, caring girlfriend that she was, was going to be going home with him to take care of him. Needless to say, John bought it, hook, line and sinker.

Shawn leaned over, placing his lips against her forehead, “Yeah…I suppose. You know I was thinking...I really think I’m going to get an apartment of my own.” He felt her shift positions beside him, “I’m sure your dad has figured out that you stay with me, but I’d rather it not be “under his roof” if you know what I mean.” His arm squeezed her tight before releasing her and moving get out of the bed.

Belle followed, thinking about what Shawn had just said, not responding immediately. In fact, she hadn’t said a word until they arrived at the cottage Shawn was staying in behind the huge mansion and were climbing in bed. “Would you be living alone or would you…wa…need a roommate?” Her voice was filled with worry and anticipation of his answer.

Shawn’s eyes sparkled as he just what she was asking. “Well, I was thinking about asking Jason if he wanted to share a place…why? Did you have another suggestion?” He was testing the waters…’Surely she wasn’t ready to live together? Not that I would mind…or complain…I mean what is better then this…’

Belle slid her leg in between his and rested her head on his chest and sighed, “No…not really…I was just…curious…” her yawn stifled the hesitant tone in her voice as she lost the battle to exhaustion that took over her worn out body. “Good night baby…”

Shawn smiled down at her, as his angel fell asleep in his arms. ’…There was nothing better!’ Shawn decided that when he found a place, she would be coming with him, and he doubted he would get any arguments from her.

The next morning, Belle awoke with a start. Sitting straight up in bed, she rigorously started shaking Shawn, trying to wake him up. “Shawn…Shawn…what is today’s date?” Her voice was stressed and panicked, “SHAWN…did you hear me?”

“Wha…What?” Shawn’s hand covered his mouth to hide a yawn, “What date is it? It’s the…” He had to think for a second, “I think it’s the 25th, why? What’s wrong?” Shawn was now fully awake and sitting upright as Belle rapidly sprung from the bed and was grabbing for clothes, a towel and her makeup bag, and heading towards the shower.

“I can’t believe this…” She stuck her head back in the room, with a look to serious for Shawn to comprehend, “…I’m late…I’ve got to make an appointment with Dr. Bader…today…”



Chapter 32

“WHAT?” Belle’s body was trembling with anger, as she clenched her fists at her sides, “You’re benching me? WHY?” Her blue eyes were blazing as she threw her arms up in the air. “You can’t bench me!! It’s MY team!” Belle was not about to be replaced by someone for no reason!

“I can and I will!” Shawn wasn’t about to let her play in the condition she was in. “Your father gave me full control of this team and I intend to run it the best way I see fit!” Shawn turned towards their stunned and silent audience, searching for their backup infielder; “Heather, take short stop…and the rest of you…take your positions!”

Knowing full well not to cross Isabella Black, Heather simply did as she was told, with a slight nod to Shawn, without making eye contact with the team’s starter or saying anything to anyone else. The remaining nine other girls took a seat in the dugout, trying to ignore Shawn and Belle’s argument as it got even more heated.

Isabelle started to stomp off, in search of her father when a strong hand wrapped around her forearm. “Isabella…wait!” Knowing he needed to explain his actions, he looked around for Jason, Jeff and Russ, finding them all out on the field with the girls. “Fuck…” His mutter did not go unnoticed by Belle. “Look, just give me five minutes, okay?”

Belle didn’t want to give him five seconds, let alone five minutes. However, his eyes were full of distress and she figured she did at least owe him that much. “Fine!” She crossed her arms over her chest and rolled her eyes, letting out a huff as ran up to the fence, hollering for one of his assistants.

Following him into the locker room, he finally turned and faced the irate blonde, with her dainty hands planted firmly on her hips, “Isabella…” Shawn’s voice was steady, yet firm, cautious, yet extremely tender. “Look, I’m not sure what happened this morning, or what your doctor told you, but…if what I think she said is true…I…I want you to quit playing!” There, he said it.

Ever since Belle had run out of the apartment, in a panicked rush earlier that day, the suspicion of her being pregnant dominated his thoughts. Starting with shock, he went through all the emotions from the surprise of finding out that he was going to be a daddy. All day he had thought and prepared himself for her announcement when she got home and how he was going to react when she finally told him. He looked deep into her anger filled orbs, only to find a hint of laughter starting to shine through. Confused, his lips parted, as if his brain stopped functioning properly. “…Don’t you…agree?”

“Shawn…you don’t think…” The locker room was filled with laughter within seconds, as it dawned on Belle what he was thinking, “…honey, I’m not pregnant!” A warm smile took over her lips as she tried to read his expression. “I just missed my appointment to get my Birth Control shot. I’m on DepoProvera, it’s a shot you get every three months. I was supposed to have gone in on the 20th and I was afraid that I was too late and was going to have to start over.” She bit her lip as she realized there was almost disappointment in his eyes.

Shawn looked down, letting out a deep breath, relieved, yet…somewhat sad. They didn’t need a baby at this point of their relationship, but…a part of him was almost…excited. “I’m sorry for jumping to conclusions…”

Belle interrupted him, placing her hand along the side of his face that was now harboring a five o’clock shadow. “Hey…it’s my fault for not explaining more. I guess, saying ’I’m late’ wasn’t exactly the best way to tell you that I missed my appointment!” She caught a small smile coming from Shawn’s mouth as she brought her lips to his briefly in an apologetic kiss. “Now, don’t we have a game to play?”

Shawn wrapped his arms around her petite waist and swung her around, “That we do little lady…that we do!” After setting her down, he took her by the hand and led her back out to the field, to find that the Glamour Dolls were up at bat.

“Come on Kimmie…Base Hit, Base Hit!” Belle clapped her hands together rapidly as she cheered on the batter. There was one out, Andrea was on first and Heather was on third. Belle watched as she eyed the incoming ball, and swung, sending the ball over the right fielders head, bringing both runners in and getting her to third. “WHOOOO HOOOO, Atta girl Kim!!”

The score was now 2-0, The Glamour Dolls and Belle was becoming antsy to get in the game. “Shawn…can you sub me in?” She flashed her baby blues up at him, hoping they’d work their magic on him, “You did…after all…take me out for no reason…” She batted her eyes once more, as she let a finger slide down his chest.

An inner battle began to take it toll on Shawn. Yes he was smitten with her, but he was still the coach. “I know, and I will, but only after the second inning. I want Heather to have a few innings in the game since I already started her.” He reached for her hand as she started to turn away pouting, “Hey…you’re still my star player…you’ll be back in the game before you know it!” His wink was just enough to satisfy her.

Just like he said, the second inning came and went and Belle was now taking the field, subbed in for Heather. “Okay girls, let’s hold em…one, two, three!!” Taking control of her team, she was more then ready to get the lead back, and preventing them from scoring was now a top priority. In the last inning, the visiting team scored three runs, causing them to be one up on the Dolls.

The first girl hit a ground ball straight to Kim, who scooped it up and gracefully threw it to Sami, giving them their first out. The second batter was able to get on first, with a base hit just over second base, setting Belle up for a perfect double play.

A sly grin over came her face as she noticed the third batter’s feet. They were aimed directly at her and if she had her way, they would be back to playing offense in not time. Kimber threw the first pitch high and inside, with the batter leaning back as if she was going to be hit. “Ball, Inside, 1 and 0.” Jennifer threw the ball back to the pitcher and signaled for the next pitch, noticing Belle’s current position.

Kimber nodded and threw the next pitch a little high, but straight down the middle. The batter swung, sending the ball straight to short stop and into Belle’s glove. She ran to second, tagged the bag, then fired it to first. “Out at second…Safe at first!”

“BUT…She was out by a mile!!” Belle was starting to argue with the umpire and Shawn didn’t like where it was going.

“I call it like I see it…and I…say…she…is…SAFE!” The umpire was not backing down, and even looked to the plate ump for backup. Pointing toward home plate, she watched as the original call got reinforced, yet again.

“Isabella…” Shawn was motioning for her to come towards him, as she blatantly turned back to her position at shortstop, ignoring him. Not wanting to cause another scene, he let her go, hoping she could hold it together. Thankfully they only needed one more out.

<CRACK> The next batter’s hit came straight at Belle, bouncing off her ankle, and rolling towards second base. They made no outs, there were now runners on first and second and Belle’s ankle was beginning to swell and bruise. “I’m okay…it hurt a little, but I’m alright. Come on…Let’s play ball!”

The final ball was hit short to Left field, where Trish was able to make an amazing play, running and catching the ball just as it was about to hit the ground. The Glamour Dolls scraped by the top of the inning, not allowing any more runs to score.

The last four innings went about the same way; with both teams taking turns scoring. The visiting team most likely wouldn’t have scored again, had Belle had her head in the game. She over threw first twice, dropped and bobbled six ground balls hit directly at her, and missed a tag and an easy toss to third. They lost the game 14-9.

She had never been angrier with herself for screwing up as bad as she had. She cost them the game, and it was all due to her stupid pride. Had she just gone to Shawn when he called her, allowed him to calm her down, she might not have a black, blue and purple colored ankle the size of a baseball and most likely wouldn’t have lost the game. Her teammates must be mad at her, her father had to be disappointed in her and Shawn…Shawn probably wouldn’t play her again, for the next three games, she’d be lucky if he played her again.

Speaking of Shawn, she wondered where he was. She hadn’t gone to the locker room with the rest of the team, nor had she sought him out, as she saw the players starting to leave. She simply grabbed her stuff, and started walking, ending up here, at the pond behind her father’s office.

Her self-pity trip was cut short, when she heard a familiar clearing of the throat.
“So…you come out here often?”



Chapter 33

Belle didn’t move as the voice registered in her head, nor did a cognitive thought arrive to help with an answer. The smell of stale cigarette smoke and Irish Whiskey burned her nostrils as the figure came closer, invading her private solitude and preferred isolation, taking a seat on the park bench beside her. “It’s very beautiful here at night…you’re father did an amazing job with the design.”

Still not speaking, Belle continued to stare out at the water, as the harvest moon shown down, creating what appeared to be a pathway for her escape. She pulled her knees up into her chest, babying her swollen ankle and let out sigh, shutting her eyes tight as she wished she were home, safe within the confines of Shawn’s arms. Hearing the click of a lighter, as her new companion lit another cigarette, drug her back to the harsh reality that this really was happening.

Out of the corner of her eye, she watched as he took a long drag, then pulled the burning stick away from his lips, resting his hand on his knee. “You know Belle…I realize that I haven’t been a great father. I wasn’t around when my children needed me the most.” He turned to face her, “However, I plan to change that…starting now, with you.”

Belle’s gasp could be heard for miles. She knew what he held over her head. She also knew what she risked to lose. She could only wonder what he wanted from her or worse yet, what he wanted her to do. Her angry, steely blue eyes flashed towards him to retort, when she was cut off with the wave of a hand. “Now, now…don’t worry your pretty little head, I don’t plan on telling daddy dearest your dark little secret…”

He brought the cigarette back up to his lips for a few more puffs. “…That is, as long as you do as I ask.” Belle closed her eyes slowly and covered her face with her hands, preparing herself for what this man was about to say. Today had been a day from hell, starting out with extreme worry which eventually led to beyond angry. Then disappointment took over; bringing her to now…terrified. Her insides were burning with hate and disgust as she realized just what had gotten her into this mess.

Dropping her hands and standing abruptly, she moved to stand before the man that was about to turn her life upside down. Chills ran up her spine at the thought of having to deal with this again. Pumping her fists at her side, she counted to ten backward before speaking. “I will not allow you to control me, let alone blackmail me into doing what you want! You can threaten me, you can torture me, but I will not, I repeat, I will not be extorted like this!”

“TIIINK…Are you out there?” Belle’s head snapped around, as she heard her brother’s voice. Glancing towards the direction of the ball field, she saw two male figures coming towards her.

Turning back towards the bench, she found that the shady threatening man had faded away into the shadows of the night, as if he had never been there at all. It wasn’t until moments later when she heard the eerie hushed, raspy voice, coming from the direction of the iridescent glow from a burning cigarette that reinforced the severity of the situation, “I will be in touch Isabella…”

Belle jumped as she felt two hands surround her waist, “Jeeeesssuss!” Pulling away, she turned around to find Shawn and Brady with concerned yet somewhat amused expressions on their faces. “Scare a girl, why don’t ya…Geeeeezz!” She wrapped her arms around herself as she began to pace slowly in a small circle, trying to calm down the rapid beating of her heart. “It’s a good thing I didn’t have to pee!”

Glancing quickly at Brady, not knowing if he should laugh or not, Shawn started to apologize, “I’m sorry baby, I didn’t mean to scare you, I thought you saw us coming!” He held out his hand to her, as Brady picked up her bag, “We waited until everyone was gone and when you didn’t show up, we got a little worried.” He shrugged, “You’re car was still in the parking lot, and Brady figured you probably were out here.”

Belle stepped forward, glancing over her shoulder, as she took Shawn’s hand while the smirk on Brady’s face grew, “Ya know Tink, you oughta feel pretty damn special, sister or not. I put off a date with Mimi to come find you!” Belle just glared at him as they started walking back towards the parking lot, stopping when she realized what he had said.

“Wait a minute…Mimi? What happened to Chloe?” Belle was surprised to hear that Chloe was out of the picture, especially after such an intimate vacation between the two. “You two just got back fr…”

Brady’s chuckles interrupted Belle, as she realized this story was going to be good. “Well, apparently Chloe has a soft spot for the natives of the French Polynesian.” He sighed, “Let’s just say, the day we were supposed to be leaving, I came back to the room to find her in bed with the towel boy and the maid.”

“Th..the maid?” Belle’s eyes widened and she looked down trying to digest what her brother had just told her. “Are you…okay…with this?”

Brady gave Shawn a knowing look. “Well…I wasn’t mad…in fact it was actually entertaining for a minute, but then it dawned on me. What Chloe and I had was really just habit. We weren’t in love with each other, and we both knew it. It was a mutual decision really.” Brady shrugged as he started walking again. “As soon as we landed, she went home to start packing up her stuff. I guess the towel boy got her a job singing in the lounge.”

“…Nice…” Belle rolled her eyes as felt Shawn squeeze her hand. “So how did you meet Mimi?”

Brady went on to explain how he had been working late the night of their first game and how their dad had called and invited him to the victory party. Nicole and Jason had introduced him to Mimi, after he had made the rounds with his father, meeting all the other team members. They had hit if off immediately, not leaving the others side the rest of the night. He offered to take her home and they stayed until the bar had closed.

“…I’ve never met anyone like her,” Brady was shaking his head with an enormous smile on his face, as he finished his story. “I’m kinda glad things happened the way they did with Chloe…” He trailed off as he noticed Mimi leaning against the back of his car. She gave them a small wave as they made their way over to her.

Wanting a few moments alone with Brady, Belle whispered to Shawn. “Hey, will you keep Mimi company for a minute, I’d like a few words with my big brother…” Shawn nodded with a smile and released her hand. “Hey Brady…”

Dropping her equipment bag behind her car, Brady turned back towards his sister, cocking his head. “Yeah…what’s up?”

Hooking her arm through his, she warned Brady not to hurt her new friend and starting pitcher. “She’s really fragile right now and I think she’s still a little afraid…” Belle proceeded to tell Brady about Kevin and to what lengths Shawn had gone through to get him to leave her alone. 10 minutes later after Brady calmed down from the fury that had almost given him a heart attack, he promised to be gentle with her and to protect her from the mentally insane couch monkey.

Belle gave him her blessing, as well as a hug, “I’m glad you’re interested in Meems…she’s a great girl…perfect for a great guy!” Belle winked at her brother as they made their way over to where Shawn and Mimi were standing.

Belle moved to stand closer to Shawn as she watched Brady and Mimi’s eyes lock, immediately noticing the sparks that seemed to be exploding between the two. “You ready to go?” Brady lifted the handle on the passenger side door, opening it for her to get in.

“Yeah…” She walked around and started to climb in, “Belle, I’ll call you tomorrow…See ya Shawn!” Brady closed the door and walked around the car, hugging Belle in the process, then shaking Shawn’s hand, thanking him silently for taking care of his sister.

Belle stood and watched as the taillights disappeared out of the park and down the road, before turning to find Shawn leaning against the wooden fencing, with his ankles crossed and his arms folded across his chest. Her smile faded with his next words, “I think we need to talk…”


    
This message has been edited by Mrs.B. on Dec 7, 2004 9:58 AM


 
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