The gracious greeting René planned stuck in his throat the instant he turned and gazed into a pair of intense blue eyes. René forced himself not to gaze up and down the opposing coach’s tall, tight body, but he couldn’t help following as Hawley slowly licked his lips. Jesus, Mary, and Joseph, the man had the most incredible wheat-blond hair just begging to be pulled.
David cleared his throat. “Um, Coach Hawley, I’m David Reynolds, Mobile’s first-base coach.” He shook Hawley’s hand. “This is René Días, our head coach.”
René finally remembered he was supposed to talk. “Nice to meet you, Coach Hawley.” René held out his hand.
Coach Hawley wrapped his long fingers around René’s hand and held on to it. “Nice to meet you too. Call me Matt, though.”
“We’ve been looking forward to playing your team.” René smiled when Matt’s grip tightened. “I’ve heard great things about how you’ve developed the team since you took over this year. Congratulations on your first state final.”
“Thank you. This is your school’s third year in a row here. That’s a sure sign you’re doing something right down in Mobile.”
If there was a sure way into René’s good graces, it was to compliment his team. He could think of plenty of other ways the gorgeous Matt Hawley could impress him—most involving them being naked together—but they had a few baseball games to play. René released Matt’s hand and tried to ignore David’s bug-eyed look at his side.
The meeting with the umpire was a formality. They discussed the rules of the best-of-three series and the umpire’s definition of the strike zone, and the coaches gave the umpire their batting order. René concentrated on each word of the umpire’s speech and blocked out the coach next to him. Baseball was serious business, and he couldn’t let Matt, however tasty he appeared to be, distract him. But as soon as the meeting was over, René found himself locked into that deep blue gaze again.
Matt swallowed slowly. “Well, René, it was nice meeting you. Good luck.”
“Thanks.” René could feel his cheeks heat. “Good luck to you guys too.”
Taking two steps back, Matt pulled on his baseball cap and smiled before turning to walk away. René couldn’t take his eyes off the slow sway of Matt’s hips. For just an instant, he imagined digging his fingers into those hips and the kind of bruises it would leave on Matt’s fair skin.
“Down, boy!” David punched René’s arm. “And retract your tongue before you close your mouth.”
René suddenly remembered where he was. “You think he noticed?”
“You’re kidding, right? I would say he noticed you every bit as much as you noticed him.”
“I meant— Oh!” René stared toward the door. “Cool.”
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