Returning to Willow Run is like stepping into another world.
I turn the key and slip into the foyer of the vacation home owned by my general manager, Mike Messmer. The heavy wooden door closes behind me, the noise a reminder that I’m here to shut the door on my old life and enter a new one. Mike thinks I’m back to once again pull myself together, to find my head. But that’s far from why I’ve returned. There’s one simple explanation.
A woman. An innocent. Not at all the kind of woman who’d have anything to do with a professional baseball player like me.
But like a foul ball hitting an unsuspecting fan in the stands, she bounced off my chest, mouthed a mesmerizing “I’m sorry,” and shot me with a blue-eyed gaze that made my heart skip a beat and my brain forget why I’d been sent to Willow Run in the first place. The smell of beer-battered fish and the long line I was standing in reentered my mind but only after she finished lifting her full pink lips and tossed me a genuine smile that kick-started my senses.
“Fish out of water.” Her perky tone lifted toward me through a grin. “Didn’t mean to flop into you. Every spring fish fest is packed like this, yet every year I manage to lose my best friend. I should put her on a leash.”
I immediately wanted to be that best friend of hers, not just for the day, but also for the entire week I’d be staying in Willow Run. Heck, she could put me on a leash. I’d happily kneel at her feet, look up at all that radiant beauty, and flash my puppy-dog eyes at her.
She lifted a hand in greeting. “I’m Addison. I see you’ve found the right line for the best fish fry in Southern Indiana.”
I held her warm hand in mine. Couldn’t let go.