* * * * *
“I think I’ve given him hell enough over the state of his equipment that the hero worship has gotten tarnished.” Alan grinned, a wicked curve of his lips and his eyes glinted with challenge. “You do realize that your team doesn’t stand a chance against mine don’t you? I have the best batting lineup in the county.”
“Keep telling yourself that, Hartner,” Ruben retorted. “With the pitchers I have, your boys won’t even get a chance to hit.”
* * * * *
For as long as Ruben Martell has known him, he’s been in love with his best friend Alan Hartner. They played together, traveled together, and publically dueled on opposite teams. Now years later, they’re both retired from the majors, running a business together, and coaching rival Little League teams. And in all those years, Ruben hasn’t given up hope that Alan might return his feelings one day, but now he’s starting to believe that Alan will never chose to move beyond the memory of his late wife.
Alan quit the game at the height of his career to take care of his sons, and the one constant he’s been able to rely on is Ruben. And in all that time he has tried to forget about the night everything changed, only being with Ruben on a day-to-day basis is weakening his resolve. They’d stepped over the line before and it had hurt their friendship and left Alan with a guilt he didn’t know how to handle. Alan doesn’t want to do anything to jeopardize that friendship now, even if it mean denying the feelings he’s kept locked away for so long.