I held my hand out for one of them and opened it for her before placing it on the desk beside her elbow.

My fingertips brushed the skin of her arm and she said, “You touched my weenis.”

I blinked. “I touched your pen…what?”

“Weenis. Weenis is also known as the skin of your elbow. See?” She pointed at her elbow, then pinched the loose skin there.

“Oh,” I paused. “Good to know.”

She bit her lip, then looked away quickly, clearing her throat.

But before I could tease her about her ‘weenis’ or answer the last two questions, the bell rang. “I’ll answer these at the beginning of next session so I don’t interrupt Ms. Crusie’s next class.”

“Yes, Coach,” the class replied.

After a myriad of ‘bye, Ms. Crusie, bye, Coach McDuff,’ the class finally emptied of its occupants, leaving me and the silent woman sitting next to me completely alone.

“That was fun,” I replied.

She rolled her eyes and stood up, reaching down to collect her papers that were half under my ass.

I didn’t move.

Not until she turned her eyes up to me, and even then, it was to grab her wrist so she couldn’t go any further away.

“Go to the baseball game with me tonight, then have dinner with me.”

She blinked.

Blinked some more.

Then burst out laughing.

Chapter 6

My PEN IS bigger than yours.

-a note from student to student in Raleigh’s class


“Why me?” I asked bluntly once I’d regained my composure. “I’m nobody. Is this a pity party date or something?”

He wasn’t being serious.

Ezra McDuff, heartthrob and star in my own private fantasies for more years than I could count, was not asking me out on a date.

Hell had frozen over.

“Come on,” he urged, his eyes genuine. “Please? Is it so hard to believe that I find you pretty, and want to take you out to dinner?”

I didn’t want to tell him no.

I’d tell him yes every single time.

Do you want to come to the moon with me, Raleigh? Yes, I’ll fly to the moon with you every day and twice on Sunday if only you asked it.

Will you loan me eight thousand dollars? Sure, let me borrow against my 401k. It takes two days. Is that okay?

I need bone marrow from a child that’s of my blood. Will you have my babies?

“Raleigh?” Ezra urged.

I blinked, startled.

“Yes, I’ll have your babies,” I blurted.

His face split into a wide grin. “That’s not quite what I asked.”

I felt like I was going to vomit.

That did not just come out of my mouth.

I looked at him wide-eyed. “What did you ask again? I’m afraid I got lost when you told me I was pretty.”

His smile turned soft. “I asked if you’d go to the baseball game with me, and then go out for a bite to eat afterward.”

So nowhere near ‘have my babies.’ Got it.

“I don’t know…” I hedged. “Me and sporting events aren’t really a good idea. The students weren’t joking. They all look at me like I have the plague when it’s mandatory that I attend. You should’ve seen the last event that I was forced to help chaperone. Everyone was on their best behavior because they thought I was going to ruin it if they did anything to garner my attention.”

He snorted and scooted minutely closer.

“I promise that it’s not going to be bad. You don’t need to show up until the end of the game,” he said. “And you can hide in the back by the dugout. They’ll never even see you unless you come around the wall.”

I frowned. I could do that…

“All right,” I acquiesced. “But if this goes bad, you only have yourself to blame.”

He winked at me. “It’ll be fine. You’ll see.”

In two hours, he’d be choking on those words.



“Johnson,” I bellowed. “Pull your head out and play ball!”

As a coach, I probably shouldn’t tell any of my players to ‘pull their head out.’

However, they were playing like utter shit. Like we hadn’t gone through practice for two months working on the most basic of drills.

Yet, here they were, missing balls left and right, showing me that they weren’t near as ready as I thought they were.

A little league team could play better than them right then.

I should also have some more composure than I did, but I couldn’t manage to get my shit together.

My day had gone from great that morning after spending it with Raleigh, to absolute and utter shit the further the day went along.

All of that had to do with the goddamn school board and their refusal to consider building the athletics department a goddamn field house or sporting complex that wasn’t falling down to the ground.

Hell, getting new uniforms out of them had been like pulling teeth, and even then, they’d only had to cover the cost of shipping the goddamn things. The damn booster club had raised the money for all the rest.

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