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Hard and Fast
Lisa Renee Jones

She blinked away the erotic images, reprimanding herself for allowing them to surface. “Goodbye, Brad.”

The line was silent a moment, neither of them hanging up, their breathing soft, intimate, sizzling with promise. Amanda forced herself to set the receiver on the cradle.

What had just happened? She grabbed a piece of paper and fanned herself. She’d never been this tempted to stray from a goal. And her career represented an important goal. Yet, Brad had most definitely proven he could seize her attention and make her forget all the reasons she needed to avoid him. If the man could get her this hot on the phone, what could he do in person?

And there was the question she couldn’t help but want answered. Yet, she couldn’t—no, wouldn’t—allow herself to find out. Brad Rogers was off limits. She wasn’t about to compromise her journalistic integrity to discover if some ballplayer with a God complex burned up the sheets as much as his voice promised.

She pushed to her feet, and made herself repeat her vow. She would not be seduced by Brad Rogers.

And that was that.

She hoped.


SEVERAL HOURS AFTER Amanda’s little chat with Brad on the phone, she walked to the ballpark concession stand, Reggie by her side. “You enjoy your talk with the girls?” he asked.

“Actually, I did,” Amanda said, surprised at how much she’d learned from her powwow with some of the groupies. One in particular, a young girl named Laura, had taken to Amanda and been quite informative. She found herself giggling at all the dirty little details those women had shared.

“Okay, none of that,” Reggie scolded. “Must share all jokes with your wingman. It’s a rule.”

Leaning closer to Reggie, she lowered her voice. “I now know one of the players has a foot fetish. Another one likes a little bondage action. And you know the rookie pitcher, the one they just recruited?” She paused for effect. “I hear he’s watched a little too much Bull Durham.”

“Okay, I’ll bite. Meaning what?”

“Word is he’s so uptight about walking in Brad’s footsteps, he’s resorted to wearing a garter belt under his uniform.”

“Get out of here,” Reggie said, eyeing the sky. “What a flipping freak.”

“You haven’t heard the half of it,” Amanda declared, “but I’ll save the rest for later.”

“So which part of this are you thinking of using for your story?”

“The garter, maybe.” She inspected Reggie for a reaction. “What do you think?” Not waiting for an answer, she made her case. “It fits my superstition theme and it’s such good timing. You know, having written about the center fielder after Brad, doing a story about the new pitcher—”

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