Double Play XXII

By Cruise

Chapter 28

"Of course, the offer still stands.  I was worried you weren't going to accept it, but I'm very happy that you did!" Dakota smiled uncontrollably, feeling nervousness deep inside.

"How could I turn you down?" Cass grinned and patted Dakota on her stomach.

Dakota laughed and slid her arm around Cass as the pair continued walking.  "You have been known to turn me down for a date."

"That's because you were too pushy and way too full of yourself."  Cass giggled and tickled her ribs.

Dakota laughed harder and moved away to avoid the offensive tickling.  "Well, I'm still too pushy and way to full of myself so how come you're accepting dates with me now?"

"Because I saw another side of you and found out there is someone else behind that ‘I'm full of myself' person."  Cass giggled and nudged Dakota who laughed.

"I guess my secret is out."  Dakota smiled and winked.

"So, when are we going to Daytona?"

"I have another late night shift tonight at the hospital."

Cass whined.

Dakota frowned.  "Trust me, I would rather not have to, but it was the only way I could finagle it.  So, we'll leave around nine tomorrow morning."

"What time do you leave the hospital?"

"At eight."  Dakota chuckled.

"You are going to be exhausted."

"As long as you are with me, I'll stay awake."  Dakota kissed Cass on the forehead.

"Aah, you are such a smooth talker."  Cass looked at Dakota when she had stopped.  "What?"

Dakota motioned her head in front of her.  "Are you sure you are ready to do this?"

Cass looked around and saw that they were at the campus security building.  "As ready as I'm ever going to be I suppose." 

"Let's nail this guy!"

"I like that idea."  .


Cass and Dakota sat in the room before the female officer from the previous night giving their statements. 

"Is that enough officer? I have to run off to class."  Dakota asked, moving forward in her chair.

"Yes, sure thanks."  She smiled cordially.

Cass and Dakota stood up.

"Oh, Miss Storms I need to talk with you a little more."

"Aah, okay." 

Dakota rubbed Cass' arm and smiled.  "I'll see you in the morning."

"I wanted to walk you over."  Cass frowned.

"I know, but this is more important.  I'll try to call you later. Bye."  Dakota leaned down and kissed her.

"Bye."  Cass smiled sadly, watching Dakota leave the room.  She was still flabbergasted by how Dakota had defended her at her own risk the previous night and injured her hand in the process.  ‘I owe her so much for what she did for me.'  Sighing, after Dakota disappeared; she sat back down to finish her statement.


Brooke and Mary grabbed a corner table in the coffee shop after ordering their lattes.  They stared at one another for a moment and chuckled.

"So, where shall I start?" Brooke smiled and took a sip of her coffee.

"Wherever you would like."  Mary patted her hand comfortingly.

Brooke looked down at her hand and then up at Mary, enjoying the comfortable feeling the woman before her gave off.

"Well, Michelle and Chad, Kody's brother, have always been close friends.  Too close for my comfort and I would get jealous that she would want to spend so much time with him.  So, we had some fights about how close she was with him."

"What would she say about their relationship?" Mary took a sip of her coffee.

"She would just say they were friends, but I got this feeling that there was something else going on between them.  After she returned from her trip with him to Jacksonville, she had changed.  That same day she broke up with me."

"Did she give you a reason why?" Mary inhaled, remembering the same day as she spoke with Cass about fighting for her and the outcome was the same, Cass wanted to be with Kody…Colby.  She saw the pain in Brooke's eyes and felt a connection to the woman.  They had both had their hearts broken and Colby's were involved.

"She told me that she had planned to break up with me, that we were just not working out and then she told me she kissed Chad romantically when they were out of town.  She said that she had to sort out her feelings for him."

"Sort out her feelings for him? I thought she was gay?"

"So did I, but it seems she has deeper feelings for him than just friendship and I was on the losing end."  Brooke's expression turned solemn as she absently rubbed her cup, thinking back to that day.

Mary felt sadness and patted Brooke's hand, staring into her eyes when she looked up at her.  "I'm not sure if this will help, but things happen for a reason."

"That's what Cass told me."

"She did huh? How is she doing?" Mary felt a catch in her heart at the mention of Cass' name.

"I think she's heading for heartbreak, but she thinks differently.  She's going to Kody's house to have Thanksgiving with her and her family."

Mary shifted in her seat uncomfortable with the news and smiled slightly.

"I'm sorry; maybe I shouldn't have told you."

"It's fine.  I've been trying to take my own advice and remember that things happen for a reason."
"I suppose they do huh?" Brooke smiled slightly, unsure if that were really true.

"Yes, look at us.  We probably wouldn't be sitting here, striking up a friendship if we were still with Cass and Michelle."  She smiled and stroked Brooke's on the hand, leaving it there.

"Very true."  Brooke smiled broader as she stared at Mary and gently rubbed the woman's hand.

"So, are you going to your parents' house for Thanksgiving?"

"Yes, I'll be in Orlando.  How about you?"

"I'll be in Miami with my family."

"Are you driving or flying home?" Brooke asked, sipping her coffee.

"Flying, that is way too long of a drive for me!" Mary chuckled.

"That's nice and before you know it, you'll be home.  Oh, man speaking of that I've got to get going.  My dad has a fit if I'm on the road when it's dark on a holiday weekend."

"You don't want to upset daddy, that's for sure."  Mary smiled and stood up as did Brooke.

"Oh, no."  Brooke chuckled and walked towards the door.  "When do you fly out?"

"Later tonight.  Hey, aah would you like to come down to Miami for a visit over the weekend?"

"That would be great, thanks for the offer.  Let me check with my parents and make sure.  Give me your phone number and I'll call you.  You can come up to my place and we could go to Disney World or Universal Studios."

"Ooh, that sounds like fun.  Here is my number."  Mary looked at Brooke who pulled out her cell phone as they walked toward their respective dorm rooms.

"Got it!" Brooke smiled and closed her phone after entering Mary's number in it.

"Thanks so much for listening, I really appreciate it and I look forward to us getting together this weekend." Brooke stopped in front of her dorm.

"Me too! Have a happy turkey day." 

"You too! Bye."  Brooke smiled and kissed Mary on the cheek before walking away.

Mary stood watching her walk away, taken aback by how good the kiss had felt.  She inhaled deeply and sighed when Brooke disappeared.  She came back to reality when she felt a presence behind her.

"Are you Mary?"

Mary turned around.  "Yes."

"You know Cass right?"

"Yes, I do, and who are you?"

"If you don't mind me walking with you, I'll tell you along the way."


Michelle paced back and forth in her room, nervously as she waited for Chad to pick her up for their date.  ‘What in the hell am I doing going out with a guy? Have I completely lost my mind?' She looked in the mirror at her choice of outfits, wondering if Chad would like the black pant suit with the white button down shirt she had decided on.  ‘Since when does it matter to me what he thinks of my outfits.  I have lost it.'  Jumping and turning when she heard a knock on the door, she smoothed out her outfit as she looked in the mirror.  She ruffled her hair and checked herself over once more, before heading to the door. Inhaling deeply to calm her nerves, she exhaled slowly and opened the door.

Chad stood staring at her with a dozen red roses in his hand, his heart beating uncontrollably at the sight of her.

Michelle was shocked to see him in graphite colored dress pants, a light gray button down collared shirt and a blazer, which matched his pants.  "Wow, you look great.  Where did you get those clothes?" She chuckled looking him up and down again.

He blushed at the comment and looked down at his outfit.  Looking up at her he smiled.  "On a quick shopping trip to the Kenneth Cole section of Burdines."

"Amazing.  I don't think I've ever seen you this dressed up."  Michelle chuckled.

Chad laughed and there was a nervous, silent pause between the two as they looked at each other.  "Oh, aah these are for you, obviously."  He smiled, handing the roses to her.

"Thank you, they are beautiful."  Michelle smiled and took them from him, smelling the roses as she walked towards her desk.  She placed the flowers down and turned back to Chad.   Feeling a wave of insecurity course through her as he stared at her, she looked down at her outfit, then up to him.  "What?"

"You look absolutely stunning."  He smiled awestruck.

Michelle giggled and blushed.  "Thank you."  She walked over to him.  "Shall we go?"

"Ladies first."  He smiled, motioning with his hand.

"Oh, don't give me that crap."  She laughed and playfully shoved him ahead of her, grabbing her keys from key holder on the way out the door.

Chad laughed and waited outside for her.  The pair walked to the car and he opened the door for her, closing it once she was inside.

Michelle got into the seat and watched as he walked around the front of the car to the driver's side.  ‘This evening should be very interesting.'


Dakota slowly and reluctantly entered the hospital; she wanted to be with Cass.  She walked through the hospital and pushed the door open leading to the ER, pulling her cell phone out of her pocket.  After hitting the speed dial, she put the phone to her ear.  A smile instantly flushed her features when she heard the sweet voice on the end of the line.  "Hello beautiful."

"Hello, I was just thinking about you."  Cass giggled like a school girl, blushing.

"Oh, really and what were you thinking about?"

"Many things."  Cass teased and laid back on her bed.

"So, are you going to elaborate so I have something to look forward to?"

"Okay, I'll tell you one tidbit to help you get through the night."  Cass laughed.

"You are so incredibly generous."  Dakota chuckled and placed her book bag in her locker.

"I know, what can I say?"

"You can say what you were thinking about!" Dakota laughed as did Cass.

"I was just thinking of how nice it's going to be..."

"Let's go Kody! We have accident victims coming in."  The doctor yelled, when he peeked through the door.

"Damn, I've got to run.  Can you tell me quickly?"

"I was just thinking how nice it's going to be spending the entire weekend in your arms."  Cass felt a tingling sensation course through her.

Dakota's heart skipped a beat and she inhaled deeply. She sighed in exhalation.  "I can't wait either; it's going to be wonderful."  She smiled while walking towards the door.   "Have sweet dreams.  I'm sorry, but I've got to go."

"Thanks.  Try to have a good evening and save some lives.  Good night." 

"You too, bye."  Dakota's heart fluttered and she sighed after hearing the click of the phone.  She clicked off her phone and dropped it in her pocket as she hurried down the hall.


Michelle and Chad entered her room laughing.  She placed the keys on the key holder and sighed, surprised by the date so far.  She thought she knew just about everything about Chad, but after dinner she had found herself amazed at how much she didn't know.  Earlier in the day, she wondered if the date would be a complete disaster, but it had turned out quite well.

"Do you want something to drink?" Michelle offered heading towards the small refrigerator.

"Sure, what do you have?"

Michelle looked in.  "I've got water, soda, OJ and one Corona."

"I'll go with the beer thanks."  He smiled when she looked at him.

"You're going to take my last beer huh?" She chuckled and twisted off the cap before handing it to him.

He smiled flirtatiously.  "We can share." He took a long sip and held it out for her.

She took the beer and took a sip, then stared at him when she lowered the bottle.  Her heart raced when he leaned down and kissed her. 

He wrapped his arms around her smaller body and deepened the kiss.

Michelle broke the kiss and was quickly engulfed in another as he pulled her closer.  Her eyes snapped open when she felt him move his hand up to her breast.  Feeling anxious, she pulled away from him, flustered and held him at bay when he moved closer.  "We should stop Chad."

"Why? We want to be together right?"

"We…I need for us to take this slowly.  Are you cool with that?"

He sighed as he stared into her brown eyes.  His heart sank from the fear he saw in Michelle's eyes and smiled warmly.  "Yeah, I'm fine."

"Great."  She inhaled deeply and blew out her breath, nervously looking away.  She glanced at him, anxiously.   "I had a great evening.  Thanks."  There was an awkward silence between them. 

"I did too and you're welcome.  So, what do we do now?"

 "I aah, need to get packed to leave in the morning."  Looking down she tucked her brown hair behind her ear.

The night was not going as he had planned, but he didn't want to scare her away.  Regretfully, he decided to give her the space she so clearly needed.   After all, he thought, she was in love with him and she only needed some time to come to terms with that.  No other woman had refused him before; this one would not be the exception.  "Okay, well, I guess I'll head out."  He walked towards the door and turned back.  "Will I get to see you over the Thanksgiving holiday or are you going to stay in Tampa with your family?"

"I'll give you a call when I find out what my parents have in store for me while I'm home. "

He moved closer to her and placed his hands on her hips.  "I'm going to miss you."

Michelle looked up at him shyly.  "Me too.  Thanks for a wonderful date." 

"No thank you."  He smiled and lightly rubbed his thumb against her cheek.  "Bye." He leaned in and kissed her passionately.

She broke the kiss and smiled.  "Bye.  Tell your mom hello for me."

"I will. Call me."  He winked and walked out.

Michelle closed the door and leaned against it.  Inhaling deeply, she ran her hands through her hair, frustrated by her feelings.

Chad stood outside the door with his hands on his hips and shook his head before walking away.


Dakota hurried from the car towards Cass' dorm, tired from working the graveyard shift.  She rushed down the hall and knocked on Cass' door.  She was instantly rejuvenated when Cass appeared before her.  "Buenos días."

Cass smiled, excited to see her.  "Good morning to you and happy Thanksgiving."  She took her hand and pulled her inside, firmly planting a kiss on Dakota's lips.

Dakota sighed when Cass broke the kiss.  "Hmmm, I really like that greeting from you."  She smiled flirtatiously and pulled her closer for another kiss.  "Happy Thanksgiving."  Dakota whispered, breaking the kiss.

"I'm ready to eat some turkey."  Cass smiled and turned toward her side of the room, pulling Dakota along with her.

"Oh, you'll get plenty of it this weekend, I guarantee it.  My mother gets the biggest turkeys around."  Dakota chuckled, following Cass.

Cass grabbed her bag and tossed her backpack over her shoulder.  "I'm surprised your mom celebrates Thanksgiving seeing as how she's from Spain."

"Here, let me take that."  Dakota took the heavy bag from Cass and tossed it over her shoulder.  "Well, she's proud of the tradition and besides, she loves it when her entire family is eager to sit down for a family dinner." 

"Shame on all of you to make your mother wait until Thanksgiving to have dinner with her."  Cass teasingly shook her finger at Dakota.

"I know, we are incorrigible.  Do you have everything?"

"Yes, I'm ready to go."  Cass chuckled and walked to the door, opening it.

Dakota passed through, followed by Cass and both were quickly heading down the hall.  "I see that you packed everything you own again."  Dakota teased and tossed the bag over her shoulder.

"Is it that heavy?"

"Actually, you're lighter than your bag."  Dakota chuckled and winked.

"Very funny.  By the way, thank you for carrying me to the hospital."  Cass smiled appreciatively and slid her hand in Dakota's.

"You're welcome." 

"I'm not sure how I can thank you or pay you back for what you did for me, but…"  Dakota stopped and interrupted her when she placed her finger over Cass' mouth.

"You don't owe me anything.  It was pay back enough for me to know that you were not injured." 


Dakota leaned down and kissed her.  Smiling when she broke the kiss, she stared into Cass' eyes.  "I'm sure you would have done the same for me."  She slipped her hand in Cass' and both began to walk.

"Of course, well I would have tried to carry you, but I probably would have just ended up dragging you across the road."  Cass giggled.

"Are you insinuating that I'm heavy?"

"Oh, no not at all.  I'm just saying that, yeah you are heavy." Cass laughed harder.

"Oh, really? I have a feeling it's just that you need to work out those tiny little biceps a little more."  Dakota teased and poked Cass' arm.

"Easy big girl, I beg to differ that these biceps are strong."

"Let me see."  Dakota laughed when Cass held her arm up, flexing her bicep.  "Not bad, but it's still small.  I wonder how you're even able to hold up your bat."

"Ooh, you keep it up."  Cass pinched Dakota in the side.

They laughed and playfully nudged one another all the way to the car.  Dakota opened the back of Chad's SUV and put Cass' bag inside.  They walked to the door to the back of the car and Dakota opened it for Cass, who climbed in.

"Well, it's about time slow poke!" Owen teased, looking over his shoulder from the front passenger's seat.

"Happy turkey day you two!" Cass greeted with a smile.

"Same to you."  Owen smiled back and Chad looked at Cass with a slight smile, and then looked ahead as Dakota climbed inside.

Cass was confused by his attitude and looked at Dakota, mouthing, ‘what's up with him?' As Chad steered the car out of the parking lot, heading through the city.

Dakota leaned over and whispered in her ear, "Michelle is not coming with us; she's going to her parents house.  So, he's bummed out."  Dakota took the liberty to kiss Cass on the cheek before sitting back.

Cass nodded her head in acknowledgement and smiled when Dakota slid her hand in hers. 

"Hey, do you like to go horseback riding?" Dakota asked, glancing over at Cass.

"I love it." 

"Great, we can go later on then." 

"I look forward to it.  How many horses do you have?"

"Each of the boys have one, my mom has two and I have two."

"Wow, you have two huh? How did you manage that?"

"That's because she's a spoiled brat and abuelo spoils her rotten."  Chad interjected.

"Jealous!" Dakota mocked and the three laughed.

Cass looked out the window and noted they were at the small airport, heading across the tarmac.  "I didn't know we were flying there."  She looked at Dakota.

"Did I forget to mention that?" Dakota grinned sheepishly.

"Yes, you did."  Cass looked out the window when she felt the car stop next to a small private jet and looked back to Dakota.

"I'm sorry, it's just that I was so happy you were coming with us that it slipped my mind."  Dakota smiled mischievously.

"Oh, this is too sappy.  I think I might blow chow."  Chad said and exited the car.

"I'm with you man."  Owen jumped out.

"Jealous, plain and simple."  Dakota laughed.

"How much do I owe for the ticket?"

"Nothing."  Dakota grinned and opened the door.

Cass grabbed her arm and Dakota looked back at her.  "You are not going to pay for me again like you did in Jacksonville."

"I know and like I said it's free.  This is my mom's plane."  Dakota winked and stepped out of the car.  She walked around and opened the door for Cass who stepped out.

"Have you all ever heard of driving home?" Cass teased, following Dakota to the back of the SUV.

"Yeah, but two and a half hours is too long to waste driving for mom's turkey."  Dakota laughed and pulled out their bags.

"Shit, I almost forgot my purse."  Cass walked back to her seat and reached inside the car.  She grabbed her purse and looked out the window, catching a glimpse of the man in black.  Quickly looking back to where she saw him, she inhaled deeply feeling fear flood her when he smiled at her and walked around the building, out of sight.  She hurriedly walked away from the car, looking to see where he went, but saw nothing.  ‘Did I just imagine I saw him? I thought they were going to take care of that guy? I'll have to call them, soon and find out what is going on.'  Cass jumped startled when she felt a hand on her shoulder.  "Oh, wow you scared me."  Her heart raced and she put her hand on her chest to calm her nervousness.

"I'm sorry I didn't mean to scare you.  I was calling your name and you didn't answer me.  Are you okay?" Dakota was concerned by the look on her face and rubbed her arm comfortingly.

"I'm fine."  Cass chuckled nervously and patted Dakota's hand.  "I was just lost in my thoughts, that's all.  Is it time to go?" She motioned towards the plane, seeing Chad and Owen climbing the stairs.

"Yeah, are you sure you're okay?"

"I'm great!" Cass smiled and walked towards the plane.  She boarded and took a seat next to the window.  ‘What is he doing back? I want this with him to be over.'  Inhaling deeply to calm her anxiety, she slowly exhaled, hoping she would never see that man again.

Dakota sensed something was not right and looked in the direction Cass was staring at, but only saw the empty hanger.  Dakota shrugged her shoulders and walked towards the plane, looking back once more with the same result.  She scaled the stairs in no time and took a seat next to Cass.

Cass smiled as if nothing were wrong when Dakota sat next to her.  "Will the flight take long?" Cass asked, glancing over at Dakota.

"Nah, it will seem like we are descending shortly after we take off."  Dakota smiled and leaned closer to her.  "I'm really happy you are with me."

Cass felt her heart skip a beat and couldn't control the smile that slipped across her face.  "Me too." 


After a short plane ride the pilot made the announcement that they would be landing soon.  Cass looked out the window with her eyes widening at the landscape below her.

"Uh, Dakota what airport are we landing at?"

"Colby international."  Dakota chuckled, looking across Cass out the window.

"It looks like we are going to land near those homes."  Cass pointed out the window, slightly apprehensive.

"We are.  We live in Spruce Creek fly in.  We have a landing strip near our home and a hangar next to it."

"Are you kidding me?" Cass looked at her surprised.

"Nope, not at all.  See look, there is our runway and our house is off in the distance.  Once we land, we'll taxi up to it."  Dakota pointed it out to her.

"That's not a house, it's a mansion!" Cass chuckled seeing how large the house looked from the sky.  She watched as the plane landed and taxied toward their home.  "This is quite an experience.  I didn't know such a thing existed."  Cass smiled looking at Dakota.

"It's pretty cool."  Dakota smiled and squeezed her hand, raising it for a kiss.

The pilot steered the plane into the hangar and shut the engines down.  Once the plane was stopped the group disembarked and was instantly greeted by the Colby matriarch. 

Angelica greeted each of her children with hugs and kisses as well as Cass.  "Okay, enough hugs and kisses; we need to get up to the house before my turkeys burn!" She announced and walked away with her arms wrapped around her sons. 

Cass was stunned as she looked at the extravagant home that looked as if it were made out of glass.  "I take it your mom enjoys having light in her home?"

"Oh, yeah she loves the sunshine."  Dakota smiled and walked with her arm over Cass' shoulder.


Once inside, Dakota gave Cass a tour of the Spanish accented home, ending in her bedroom.  Cass was stunned by the beauty of the home from the gorgeous marble floors, to the brass handle railings along the stairs, the opulent furniture, the game room, the theatre, the gym and the numerous windows that illuminated the home with sunshine.

"This is your room?" Cass looked around the spacious room, filled with various sports posters, pictures, a big screen TV, a couch and recliner chair as well as a large King sized bed with large windows at the head of the bed.  A large bathroom was to the right of the bed.  She walked over and was surprised to see black granite flooring, a black tub as well as a glass shower.

"Yes, do you like it?"  Dakota took her bags next to the bed and placed them on the floor, then sat on the bed.

"I love it.  It's beautiful."  Cass smiled and walked out of the bathroom to the window opposite of the bed.  Her eyes widened when she looked at the immaculately groomed grounds noting the Olympic size pool, with a Jacuzzi and a waterfall just in front of her.  Her eyes moved away from the pool.  "How sweet is that? You have a softball field and a small football field?" Cass looked at Dakota who had approached.

"Yeah, mom was tired of us playing in the house and breaking things."  Dakota laughed. 

"I would be too. Your mom has some beautiful statues and artwork that I'm sure is priceless." Cass glanced to her right, noting the large white stables farther away from the house.  "Doesn't the sound of the airplanes bother the horses?"

Dakota stood next to her looking out.  "At first it did, but they got used to it."

"How big is this house?" Cass moved from one window to the next scanning the spacious grounds.

"I think it's like 15,000 square feet along with ten acres of land."

"Hey, what is that marshy waterway over there?" Cass pointed off in the distance, past the stables.

"That's Spruce Creek."

"Isn't that the name of your high school?"

"Yep, it takes its name from the Creek.   It's a blackwater river with a lot of swampy vegetation, which goes all the way to the coast."

"Do you go swimming there?" Cass looked from Dakota to the swampy waterway.

"Not me, too many critters are in there."  Dakota laughed, looking to Cass who turned to her.

"Critters? What kind of critters?"

Dakota laughed at the serious look on Cass' face.  "Plenty of Alligators and snakes."  She chuckled, leaning closer to Cass.  "Care to go swimming?"

"Aah, that would be a definite no.  I will, however go in that pool."  Cass laughed.

"The view from here is quite beautiful. I usually get to see gorgeous sunsets and when there is a full moon it's awesome to see how the moon reflects off the water.  It looks really eerie too at night.  It looks like the Spanish moss hanging down from the trees glow and if you open the windows you can hear noises from the animals that live out there."

"Noises? Glowing Spanish Moss? Eerie? It sounds like a perfect place for a horror flick to take place." 

Dakota laughed as she faced Cass and pulled her closer.  "Don't worry, we haven't had any problems.  Besides, I'll protect you."  She smiled flirtatiously and leaned in, kissing Cass passionately.

Cass' heart raced faster as she wrapped her arms around Dakota's waist and deepened the kiss.  She felt a tingling sensation within when Dakota's hand slowly moved upwards from her waist.  Breaking the kiss for a deep breath, she smiled when Dakota opened her eyes and sank into the kiss when Dakota pulled her close once again.  She dug her fingernails into Dakota's back when she felt her hand touch her breast.  "Oh, yes."  Cass moaned through the kiss and deepened it.

To Be Continued…

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March 2006