She was without a doubt, the hottest con artist he’d ever seen.
“You suck,” she yelled to the batter, her hands curved around her mouth.
The batter yelled back, “How about you suck me?” And then he blew her a kiss.
Finn straightened to kick the guy’s ass but the ref pointed to the batter and then gestured he was out.
“On what grounds?” the guy demanded.
“Being an idiot.”
This came from the coach of Pru’s team. Jake. He sat at the edge of the dugout, baseball cap on backward, dark lenses, fierce frown . . . a badass in a wheelchair.
With Thor in his lap.
Finn waited for the ump to give Jake a T and kick him out of the game but it didn’t happen. Instead, the hitter took one look at Jake, kicked the dirt, and walked back to his dugout.
The next two batters got base hits and both made it all the way home thanks to the fumbling on the field.
Pru’s team was the Bad News Bears.
In the dugout between innings, Pru tried to keep morale up, clapping people on the backs, telling them “good job” and “you’re looking great out there.”
Her rose-colored glasses must also be blinders. Because no one had done a good job and no one had looked great out there either.
At the bottom of the next inning, Finn watched his teammates blow through two strikes in two batters.
The third person up to bat was a twenty-something who had her dark hair up in a high ponytail that fell nearly to her ass. She was teeny tiny and had a sweet, shy smile.
Finn did not have high hopes for her. He might have muttered this under his breath. And Pru might have heard him.
She shot him a dark look. “Positive reinforcement only,” she told him. “Or you’ll have to go dark.”
“Yeah.” She jabbed a thumb toward Jake, who was on the other side of her, watching the field, expression dialed to irritated as Thor snoozed on in his lap. “Like Coach Jake,” Pru said and turned to her boss. “How are we doing tonight?”
Jake paused as if struggling with the right words. “Fuckin’ great,” he finally said.
He didn’t look great, he looked like he was at stroke level, but Pru beamed at him and then patted his shoulder.
Jake blew out a heavy exhale. “I’ll get you back, Prudence.”
She gritted her teeth. “We talked about this. You only use my whole name if you want to die. Horribly and slowly.”
“Prudence?” Finn repeated, amused by the death glare.
“I know, hard to believe, right?” Jake asked. “It’s an oxymoron,” Jake said. “She’s anything but prudent.”
Finn smiled. “And the ‘they’re doing great’ part?” he asked Prudence. “Are we watching the same game?”
Jake did an impressive eyeroll, slid Pru a glare, and kept his silence, although it looked like it cost him.
“It’s called encouragement,” Pru said. “And Jake had to go dark, meaning he can’t talk unless he’s saying something positive, on account of how he used to lower our morale so badly we couldn’t play worth anything.”
Finn bit back the comment that they couldn’t play worth anything now but as the girl at bat stood there letting two perfect strikes go by without swinging and Jake’s expression got darker and darker, he nearly laughed.
Because he had no idea how Jake was doing it, keeping his mouth shut. Competition went to the bone with Finn and he was guessing Jake felt the same. “Is she going to swing?” he asked. “Or just keep the bat warm?”
A strangled snort came from Jake, which he turned into a cough when Pru glared at him.
“Abby is Jake’s secretary,” Pru said. “She’s really great.”
Finn looked at Jake.
Jake gave a slow head shake.
“What,” Pru said, catching it. “She’s wonderful! She handles your entire office and she’s always sweet, even when you’re a total asshole.”
“Yes,” Jake said. “She’s a sweetheart. She’s great. In my office and also at handling me, even when I’m a total asshole. What she isn’t great at is softball.”
“She’s learning,” Pru insisted.
Abby struck out.
The next batter was a lean and lanky kid, late teens, early twenties maybe.
“Nick,” Pru told Finn. “He works in maintenance.”
“Pru got him the job,” Jake said and Pru shushed him. Nick strolled out of the dugout, winked at Pru and got a second base hit.