Bases Loaded: A Going for the Gold novel
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by Sean Michael
Category: Erotica/Gay-Lesbian Erotica/Romance
Description: Baseball player Brett has off-season orders from his team; get into rehabilitation for his shoulder if he wants another season in the Major League. He and his lover Benj take off to the boonies to stay with physical therapist Ralph, a tough-talking, routine setting kind of guy, and Jean, Ralph's Cajun lover, who cooks as well as he loves. Brett and Ralph butt heads from the beginning, speaking two different languages. Ralph wants Brett to be more in touch with his feelings, Brett wants Ralph to give him his therapy and leave him alone. Benj and Jean get along far better, with Jean showing Benj around the kitchen and reassuring him when things with Brett get hard to deal with. Before Ralph can even begin to work on Brett's shoulder, though, Brett is faced with an even more difficult physical challenge, one that does more than threaten his career. He and Benj have to work through some tough issues, making decisions that will affect the rest of their lives together. Their gradual friendship with Ralph and Jean helps them through the tough time, but even their friends' support may not be enough to pull them through. Can Brett and Benj survive the off-season, or will they strike out this time around?
eBook Publisher: Torquere Press/Top Shelf, 2009 http://www.torquerepress.com
eBookwise Release Date: September 2009
49 Reader Ratings:
Available eBook Formats: OEBFF Format (IMP) [273 KB]
Reading time: 171-239 min.
Benj wiped down the kitchen counters one more time and then filled the watering can. He carefully checked each plant and added a bit more water to most of them.
It probably wasn't necessary, Jennifer was coming by once a week to give them some loving, but it kept him busy while they waited for the limousine. It also gave him an excuse to come into the den where Brett was flipping channels, swirling the amber liquid in his glass. He stopped a moment, just to stand and watch.
His lover was a beautiful man.
They'd been young when they'd first met, Brett the up and coming ball player, a good-looking hotshot, all stud. Benj had fallen hard.
The years had been kind to Brett, the man in his prime now.
The shoulder injury that had halted Brett's meteoric rise to the top, however, had not been so kind.
The lines in Brett's face were becoming more pronounced, the trim mustache no longer neat, cared for. Two operations had left Brett almost skinny, and his shoulder still not good enough to continue playing, hitting, doing what he did so well and loved so much.
Benj put down his watering can and went over to stand behind Brett's chair, hands sliding down to stroke over Brett's shoulders. His fingers slid through blond hair that was curling around Brett's neck for the first time in all the years they'd known each other.
"The limo should be here for us soon, love."
"I'm surprised the club sent one. Usually the down-and-outers rate a cab." God, that bitterness never went away these days. Never.
He squeezed Brett's shoulders, carefully working his fingertips over scars and tissue he knew were still sore, despite everyone's best efforts. "They want you back, love. You know that. Mr. Chives himself set up this retreat for you." He didn't need to mention it was their last hope.
"Yeah. The whole off-season in the fucking boonies. You going to be able to stand it?"
To get his Brett, his kind, generous, stud of a man back, he'd spend more than just the off-season in the boonies. Hell, he just wanted Brett to be happy again.
"I'll manage, love. Who knows, maybe I'll learn to love nature."
That got him a soft chuckle, an almost real laugh. Almost. "I'd like to see that."
Benj smiled and rubbed his cheek against the top of Brett's head. "Yeah? Maybe you should buy me one of those flute thingies and a pair of hooves, and I'll dance about like Pan."
Oh. Oh, that was a real laugh, deep and hard and long. Oh, God. Yes.
He didn't know whether to laugh or cry, and he let a chuckle out and then another and it felt so good to laugh with Brett.
"Love," he murmured, kissing the top of Brett's head.
"Yeah. Yeah, Benj. I love you, huh? Still."
"I know, Brett." He did. It was the reason he was still here, why he wouldn't give up on his lover, even when Brett told him he should.
"I've done some research into this place we're going to," he said softly. "I really think they can help us."
The tension started creeping back into those shoulders. "It's my last chance. If I can't play, it's over."
Benj massaged, working at the tension, trying to fight it. "Your ball career is over if you can't play, love. Not your life. Besides, if they didn't believe they could help you, they wouldn't have asked you to go."
"I hope you're right, baby." Brett finished his drink, poured the last couple of fingers left in the bottle. "I hope you're right."
He tilted Brett's head back and took a soft kiss, ignoring the burn of the alcohol as his tongue dipped in for a taste of his lover. "I am." The alternative just sucked too badly for him not to be.
Brett held him, kissed him back with passive heat, a lack of passion that broke his heart. These days, all Brett did was rage or die.
The buzzer sounded while they were kissing, and he slid his tongue across Brett's lips one last time. "Come on, love. Help me take our bags down."
"You sure you want to do this? You sure you want to spend the winter away from everything? Away from family?"
"I'm sure I want to spend the winter finding you again, finding us."
The buzzer sounded again, longer this time.
"Come on, before they think we've changed our minds."
"Okay. Go get the door. I'll grab the bags and shit." Brett stood, finished his drink. "Let's get this circus on the road."
"'Kay, love." He smiled and nodded, loving the flashes of the 'old Brett' he'd get now and then, the ones keeping his hope alive.
He went to the door and pressed on the intercom button. "We'll be down in a minute."
"I can help with your bags if you have any, sir."
"Oh, no, thanks. We've got them."
Brett came rolling the cart with the duffles, the odds and ends. "You got everything you need?"
He fluttered a moment, mind flying through the packing job he'd done. Twice. His heart pounded. "I think so?" He resisted the urge to open the bags and double check. God, he hated the lead-up to going somewhere. He'd managed to avoid a lot of the last minute stress just by focusing on Brett.
"Hey. Baby." Those bright green eyes met his, suddenly sure, warm, strong. "Whatever we forget, I'll get you."
Oh. Oh, there was his man. He melted against Brett, just holding that gaze. "Okay, love."
"Downstairs. Let's go." Brett looked around, shaking his head a little. "Let's get out of here."
He nodded and locked the door behind him, hand sliding into Brett's as they headed for the elevator.
God, he hoped this worked.