Chapter 10 The rest of the day was a blur. While some would have been upset at Deana for daring to come to my office, I was quite pleased with her bold and brash visit. I like that she knew that I would be more pleased to see her than be worried about our secret being exposed. She made my day with that move and it was another way that she sold me on her love and commitment. By the time I had gone to bed that night, I was speculating on how she would find time to spend with me going forward. Softball season was almost over and even though the team would continue to hang out together, I wondered how we could hold on to the magic. I drifted off to blissful sleep, dreaming of being with Deana full time: eating together, walking together, going on dates and making love endlessly. Friday was spent in preparation for the game that evening. I brought my bats and cleats to work and cleaned them off during lull periods. I also gathered together more weather related items that I could give to Denny if/when the need arose. I wanted to be ready in case yesterday’s scenario happened again and to give the little guy a gift of sorts. I could tell that he was a very bright boy. After work, I hurried to my room and took a quick shower. Got dressed and just sat on my bed for a while. I found that I was equally excited to see Deana as I was for the game. My mind went to the times we’d spent together and I relived every detail of those encounters. I wondered what it was about her, specifically, that gave me a feeling that I could not get enough of her. It couldn't be her size, could it? As I mulled this over, there was a knock at my door. I instantly sprang to me feet, my body tingling. Was it Deana? I opened the door with a big smile on my face only to find Sgt Brimseth standing there, smiling himself. The disappointment on my face must have been evident. He said, “What, you aren’t happy to see me?” I laughed and let him come in. He wasted no time in letting me know why he was there. “Dale, I’m going to move you up in the lineup. You’ve been hitting the ball much better lately and are driving in a bunch of runs. We are going to need them today. You are going to bat third, Hoss will stay at fourth, and I’ll bat fifth.” I was delighted and shocked all at the same time. “What do you think?” Of course I was elated and thanked him for his confidence in me. As he left my room, I was excited but not just because of the lineup change. I couldn’t wait to tell Deana. At about 5:15 pm, I gathered up my stuff and headed down to the ball field. Some of my other teammates were also making the quarter mile trek from the barracks. I ran into Hoss who asked, “Are you excited about the lineup?” I was. But I was more excited to see Deana to tell her that her tutelage had paid off. But suddenly, I wondered how I would be able to tell her with everyone there. It hadn’t occurred to me that it could be difficult to get some privacy. Rounding the corner to the ball field, the whole team was either already there or just arriving. Jack was tossing the ball with one of the guys. Curiously, I did not see Deana nor little Denny. I wondered if they would show up at all. After putting on my cleats and stretching for a bit, I looked for somebody to warm up with. I saw Hoss also looking for partner, so I waved him over to the outfield and we started tossing the ball back and forth. While we were out in the field playing catch, Hoss started in on something I had been wondering about. “What do you think about Jack screwing around with Connie”, he said. I didn’t want to give away that Deana and I were seeing each other as well. So instead, I just said it’s a shame that he had to cheat on his wife, even though part of me was glad he did. Then Hoss said something that made my blood boil. “Well, if she was so fat, he probably wouldn’t need to cheat.” Then he laughed out loud. It was all that I could do to keep from running over and busting him in the mouth. The next time he threw the ball to me, I purposely missed it and let it fly past me. I needed some time to calm down and chasing after a loose ball was the easiest way I could think of. After grabbing the ball about 20 yards behind me, I tossed it back to Hoss and tried to measure my words carefully. “Her size is not a reason to just cheat on her. She has feelings like all of us do. Her weight has no bearing on what kind of person she is. If he doesn’t love her anymore, maybe he should just get a divorce instead of sneaking around behind her back and humiliating her at the same time. I mean, would you want your girl to do that to you?” Hoss stopped throwing the ball, as if trying to process what I had just said. It was my hope that he took what I said at face value without trying to ascribe a hidden meaning to it all. But no such luck. He said, “Are you sweet on his old lady or what?” It was lucky for me that I took the time to quiet my mind a little. If I didn’t answer this question right, it could have exposed Deana and I before we had a chance to get started. My built in response was, “Hoss, when I first got over here, I heard from a friend that my girl back home was cheating on me. Not only was some guy banging my girl, he was driving around in my car! My fucking car! She didn’t even have the decency to tell me until I confronted her with it. I had to have one of my buddies back home confiscate my car and keys from the bitch. That’s why I’m down on people who cheat.” For a long moment, Hoss just stood there, mulling over what I had said. Then he exclaimed, “Damn! That’s fucked up man. I see why you are so heated about this. But why haven’t you said anything to either of them about it?” Internally, I was still very tense but I managed to present a tranquil exterior. I said, “Their marital situation is none of my business and I don’t want to cause any trouble”. That seemed to assuage Hoss’ curiosity and he finally said, “You’re right, none of our business.” We began walking back over to the dugout. I felt relieved as though I had dodged a bullet. That whole exchange could have undermined the relationship between Dean and myself. I think instead, it may have given us a certain amount of leeway, at least in Hoss’ eyes. It was a good feeling topped only by seeing Deana and Denny getting out of their car, eating ice cream. Deana was wearing a green, knee length dress with red roses on it. It was a stark contrast from what I’d seen her wear previously. It was daring. It was slightly revealing. It was bold. And it was perfect for her. As she strode over to the bleachers, she seemed not have a care in the world. She was also wearing 3-inch wedge heels that accentuated her powerful calves perfectly. I made a mental note to pay special attention to them on our next encounter. Deana made it to the bleachers and sat on the third tier. While I was standing in the dugout, her knees were just about at my eye level. The umpire had just called the team captains to home plate to give the customary instructions. Everyone else was in the dugout getting fired up. I turned around to tie my cleats tighter and to get a look at Deana without anyone noticing. She was sitting there just licking away at her ice cream cone. Was it my imagination of was she licking it in a more seductive manner? The game started and as we were the home team, we had to take the field first. As I gathered my mitt and headed out to right field, I glanced at Deana. Chocolate ice cream was dripping from the cone onto her hand. I glimpsed that she was licking the chocolate off her hand in a manner that aroused me. I had to check and see if anyone else saw this and they all seemed oblivious. Standing in the outfield thinking of Deana in that dress, licking her ice cream, I began to fantasize about being with her again. It seemed that as we grew closer, she was blossoming. Perhaps her self-esteem had returned to what it should have been all along. I was so caught up in my musings that I didn’t hear the clink of a bat. Someone had hit a rocket out to the left of me in right field. It took all of my speed to rundown what would normally be a routine fly ball. I had to keep my head in the game. The next two hitters made outs and as I jogged back to the dugout, my eyes were transfixed on Deana in the stands. I had to physically control myself the closer I got to her. While preparing to bat in the dugout, I again stood up, and turned to tie my shoes, glancing up at Deana as I did so. For herself, Deana was not looking at me but at everyone else. And then, she did something that excited and delighted me all at once. While making sure no one was looking, she opened her legs wide, briefly. I could see all the way up her big, soft thighs and to her little blonde bush. She was not wearing panties! After she closed her legs, she gave me a quick wink. Then started to clap a bit as Jack was coming up to bat. Jack got a hit and you could hear other fans in the stands cheering as well. I stood up to grab my bat and get on deck. As walked over to the on-deck circle, I glanced over at Deana and she flashed me again. I was delighted! I was just enjoying the moment when I snapped out of my daydream by the roar of the crowd. Ike, our second batter, had just gotten a hit. Now, Jack was on second base and Ike was on first and I came up to bat. I was eager to do some damage and thus on the first swing, I totally whiffed! There was a groan from the dugout and then some cheers of encouragement. Above all the noise, I could hear Deana’s voice. “Lead with those hips!” The next pitch came and bam! I launched a rocket out to left-centerfield!