Double Play XXI

By Cruise

Chapter 27

He grinned slyly.  "I'm really not supposed to tell you anything because you are not her next of kin.  We are still trying to reach her aunt who is listed as her emergency contact."

"Technically, she's my patient as I brought her in."  Dakota countered with a smirk.

"Oh, would you two stop it and just say what is going on with our friend?" Chad interjected authoritatively.

Dakota and Dr. Perez looked at him and chuckled.  "I'll fill Dakota in seeing as how Cass is technically her patient, but you'll have to step outside."

"Okay, it's cool."  Chad quickly exited the room.

The doctor turned to Dakota.  "Well, it's confirmed she was given ecstasy.  She'll be fine after sleeping it off."

"Now, was that so hard?" Dakota asked sarcastically.

"Keep it up Colby and I'll give you an extra graveyard shift in the ER!" He warned with a chuckle.  "She can leave when she wakes up."  He winked and walked away.

Dakota looked back at Cass, and raised her hand, lightly kissing it.  "I'm sorry; I hope you can forgive me."  She said softly and lightly stroked Cass' hair with her injured hand.  "I don't want anyone to hurt you."  Inhaling deeply, she tried to keep her emotions in check and blew out breath heavily, closing her eyes.  ‘Please let her be okay.' 

"Dakota."  Cass whispered, trying to keep her eyes open.

Dakota's snapped open, staring at Cass and smiled when she saw a glimmer of green.  "Hey, I was worried about you."  She stood up and leaned over the bed.  Reaching up, she lightly rubbed Cass' cheek with her thumb.

"What…" Cass inhaled and exhaled, blinking her eyes fighting the drowsiness.  "What happened?"  She asked weakly.

"Well, Beetle put an ecstasy pill in your drink and…" Dakota looked away, feeling a catch in her heart at the memory of what happened.

Cass raised her head to look at her body.  "He didn't…" Cass' heart raced franticly. 

"No, he didn't sexually assault you."  Dakota inhaled; trying to calm the nervousness she felt thinking about it and kissed Cass' hand.

"Thanks to my sister."  Owen announced when he walked in.

Dakota looked at him and furrowed her dark eyebrows for him to be quiet.

"What?" Cass was confused as she looked between the pair.

"She beat the hell out of him."  He smiled proudly and glanced over at his brother who stood next to him, then looked back at Cass.

"Would you shut up?" Dakota said in a hushed tone.

"You did, for me?" Cass asked surprised.

Dakota looked at Cass.  "I would do anything for you."  She smiled wholeheartedly.

Cass smiled and gasped from the admission, reaching for Dakota's hand that stroked her face.  She pulled Dakota's hand to her mouth and moved the hand away when she saw the bandage.  "Oh, you're hurt!"

"It's fine, don't worry."

"You're bleeding." Cass looked at her hand and then looked at Dakota.

"It will heal."  Dakota shrugged her shoulders, smiling to ease Cass' pained expression.  As she stared at Cass, she felt guilty for being late to the party.  She leaned over and kissed Cass on her forehead.  "I'm sorry I wasn't there to spare you what happened."

Tears trickled from Cass' eyes as she reached up and pulled Dakota down to face her.  "You are not responsible for this and I don't want you to feel guilty."

Dakota stared into her moistened green eyes and was unable to respond.

"Promise me you won't."  Cass stared deeply in Dakota's eyes.  "Please."  Her tone was insistent.

Dakota saw worry in Cass' eyes and couldn't bear to see her distressed.  She smiled.  "I promise."

Cass smiled and pulled Dakota down for a kiss.  She broke the kiss smiling and stared deep into Dakota's wounded soul.  Her heart raced and warmth swept over her.  "I want you so much Dakota."

Dakota's eyes widened with surprise.  "Aah, yeah I want the same, but not right now."

Owen grinned and tapped his brother on the shoulder, nodding towards the curtain.  Both walked out of the area towards the hallway, snickering.

"I am so horny for you."  Cass' lust for Dakota took over and she pulled her down for a long, deep kiss.

Dakota fought the kiss at first and gave in momentarily.  Once she came to her senses she broke the kiss and leaned up.

"Excuse me Miss. Colby, I need your statement."  The female officer interrupted after entering the room.

Dakota frowned for the intrusion and stood up, facing her.  "Do we need to do that now?"

"We should, while it's fresh in your mind.  Hi Miss. Storms.  I'm happy to see you are awake." 

"Aah, listen she's really not up to it right now and I know exactly what happened.  So, how about if we stop by tomorrow and give you that statement."  Dakota smiled and gasped inwardly when Cass rubbed her backside out of the officer's view.

"Well, okay, but make sure you see me tomorrow morning."  Insisted the officer.

"We will."  Dakota smiled.  "Have a great night and thanks."  She waved, reaching around to fend of the groping hand.

"Good night."  The officer left the curtained area.

"It's about time she left."  Cass giggled and pulled Dakota down, quickly capturing her lips with her own.

Dakota broke the kiss and laughed nervously.  "Aah, I need to see where the nurse is with your discharge papers."  She quickly walked out of the area, inhaling deeply to fight off her own arousal. 

Dakota turned around and wiped her mouth when she heard Cass seductively call her name.  ‘I think it's time to get her home.'  She hurried over to the nurse's station.


Dakota was able to pull some strings at the hospital and get Cass discharged quickly.  They walked across the street towards Cass' dorm.

Cass stopped abruptly.  "I'm dizzy again."  She struggled to steady herself.

"Here."  Dakota leaned over and lifted Cass into her arms.  "This might be easier."  She smiled when Cass looked at her, settling Cass in her arms safely.

Cass put her arm around Dakota's neck and smiled at her.  "You are my strong knight in shining armor."  Her voice had a flirtatious ring to it.

"I'm glad I could help."  Dakota grinned and began to walk briskly towards the dorm.

"Me too."  Cass leaned in and pressed her lips against Dakota's, easily sliding her tongue past her lips.

Dakota felt a tingling sensation throughout and responded soundly to the kiss as she had stopped walking.  She broke the kiss when it dawned on her that Cass' inhibitions were lowered from the drugs and didn't want to take advantage of the situation.

"What? You don't like my kisses?" Cass stared at her with a sad expression.

"Oh, NO…I really enjoy them."  Dakota smiled as she walked up to the dorm.

"Good."  Cass smiled and leaned in, kissing Dakota's neck softly.

"Oh, Cass."  The feeling from the kisses flooded her senses.  She stopped again and closed her eyes, inhaling deeply to calm down.

"By the way you're reacting I can see you really enjoy them."  Cass giggled and continued her assault of Dakota's neck.

Dakota hurriedly walked into the dorm and down the hall fighting her urges to give into the temptation.  Stopping at Cass' room, she leaned down so Cass could stand up.

Cass reluctantly released her lips from Dakota's neck and stood up.  As Dakota straightened up, her eyes met Cass' and they settled upon one another.

Dakota inhaled deeply and exhaled, calming her arousal.  "I aah…where are your keys?"

"In my pocket, want to get them?" Cass smiled provocatively, staring deeply into Dakota's eyes.

‘Damn, she's really making it hard on me to behave!'  Dakota reached into Cass' pocket and quickly pulled out her keys.  She opened the door and chuckled when Cass jumped into her arms, wrapping her legs around Dakota's waist.  Turning on the lights, she noted that Brooke was not there and closed the door behind them.

"Dakota, make love to me."  Cass whispered pleadingly.  She kissed her deeply, wrapping her arms tightly around Dakota's neck.

Dakota could no longer resist her attraction and sank into the kiss, deepening it.  She walked to Cass' bed and leaned over with Cass still clinging to her.  The kiss grew more intense and Cass lay on the bed, pulling Dakota on top of her.

‘No! You can't do this no matter how much you want to.'  Dakota broke the kiss breathless and stared at Cass panting.  "I'm sorry; I can't do this now."  After pulling Cass' arms and legs off of her, she stood up inhaling and exhaling deeply, trying to calm her labored breathing.

"Why?" Cass asked agitated as she sat up.  "Don't you want me?" Her voice quivered with emotion.

"Hey…no, it's not that I don't want you."  Dakota sat next to Cass when she saw the look of hurt in her eyes.  "Because, I really want to be with you, but not when you are like this, under the influence of drugs."

Cass leaned closer, "this is not from the drug," and kissed her passionately.

Dakota broke the kiss.  "I'm sure much of your desire for me is from the drug and I don't want you to regret us being together.  Let's wait, please."  Dakota smiled warmly and moved the piece of burgundy colored hair that covered Cass' face.

Cass inhaled and sighed, feeling warmth in her heart.  "You are so good to me.  Thank you."  She leaned in and kissed Dakota's lips softly.

Dakota smiled shyly when she broke the kiss.  "Maybe you should try to get some sleep."  She stood up and guided Cass into a supine position on the bed.

Cass stroked Dakota's muscular arm.  "Only if you stay with me."

Dakota sighed wanting nothing more than to stay, but she didn't think she could trust herself to stop again if Cass came on to her again.  "I'm not so sure that's a good idea."  She frowned, staring her in the eye.  ‘I can't believe I'm turning a woman down who is basically throwing herself at me.'

"I'm not going to sleep if you leave."  Cass pulled Dakota closer and patted on the bed next to her.

"Cass."  Dakota's voice lowered, warningly.

"I promise I won't come on to you."  She grinned and put her hand up as if she were giving and oath.  "Please."  Smiling warmly, she patted the bed next to her again.

Dakota relented and smiled as she kicked off her shoes.  "You better keep your hands to yourself."  She warned teasingly.

Cass removed her shoes and slid over.  "I promise, but only for tonight."  Chuckling, she rolled onto her side facing the wall.  She smiled when Dakota moved in next to her.

Dakota grinned when Cass took her hand and pulled it onto her.  Moving onto her side, she slid her opposite arm under Cass' neck.  She wrapped her arms around the smaller woman, snuggling closer in a spooning position.  Chuckling when Cass grasped her hand, she kissed Cass on the cheek, whispering in her ear, "good night."

"It is now."  Cass said softly and held Dakota's hands closer to her, kissing one of them before closing her eyes.

Dakota reveled in the feeling of having Cass in her arms.  ‘She feels so warm, soft and so right.'  Inhaling Cass' sweet scent, she smiled from the wondrous warmth that swept across her.  ‘That fucking guy.  It infuriates me to know that he put his hands on her.  I should have beaten him worse.'  Her thoughts grew angrier, but subsided quickly when Cass moved.  She stared at her and smiled when Cass intertwined her fingers with hers.  ‘You are so beautiful and I want to be with you like never before.  I don't want anyone to hurt you, including me.'  Dakota lightly kissed the side of Cass' face and smiled when she moved her head in response to the kiss.  Dakota laid her head back and closed her eyes, enjoying the feeling of the smaller woman within her confines.


Dakota opened her eyes to Cass' sweet face in front of her.  Smiling as she looked at the slumbering beauty peacefully sleeping on her shoulder, she lifted her head and glanced down.  She chuckled seeing Cass' leg draped across her legs as she lay supine.  Turning to her right, she saw Brooke staring at her.

"What's going on?" Brooke stood with her arms crossed over her chest, none too pleased with the situation.

"What does it look like?" Dakota countered sarcastically, not pleased with the look on Brooke's face.

"Hmmm, what's happening?" Cass asked groggily as she tried to open her eyes and grasped Dakota when she felt her move.

Dakota looked at Cass and lightly stroked her arm.  "Its okay, Brooke wanted to know what was going on."

Cass rose up on her elbow and stared at Brooke trying to focus on the blur before her.  "Hey Brooke."

"Are you okay Cass?" Brooke grew concerned and moved closer to the bed.  "Did you do something to her Kody?" Her question had a twinge of fear in it.

Dakota sighed, exasperated with Brooke's tone and sat up much to the disappointment of Cass.  She brushed her hair back and glared at Brooke.  "Not that it's any of your business, but no I didn't do anything to her."

"What's wrong then?"

Dakota glanced back at Cass.  "Listen, call me when you are up and about and away from your pit bull."  Dakota flashed Brooke a menacing look and glanced back at Cass with a smile.  "Bye."  She kissed her on the cheek and stood up.

"NO, don't go."  Cass grabbed Dakota's hand.

"It's okay, you two need to discuss a few things, alone."  Dakota smirked at Brooke and brushed against her shoulder when she passed by to the door, exiting.

Brooke was over Dakota' attitude and followed her out.  "What did you do to her? She is out of it."  She grabbed Dakota by the arm, stopping her.

Dakota moved closer to Brooke.  "I'm really growing weary of your jealousy or whatever it is you harbor against me, Brooke, but I will tell you that I didn't do anything to Cass.  She was drugged at a frat party last night.  Fortunately, I stopped the guy who had other intentions for her and brought her back here.  She asked me to stay."

"Oh, my god!" Brooke gasped.

"I warned you once before to stay out of my relationship with Cass and I'm going to do it again for the last time."  Dakota threatened soundly, staring deeply into her eyes.

"I don't want you to hurt her." 

"Are you sure that's the real reason or is it that you're jealous that Cass needs someone other than you?" Dakota smirked and walked away.

"Bitch!" Brooke shook her head and walked in the room, closing the door behind her.

"What is Brooke's problem?" Cass sat up and became dizzy.  "Whoa!"

Brooke walked to Cass' side of the room, seeing Cass sitting on the side of the bed holding her face in her hands.

"Kody just told me what happened.  Are you alright?" Brooke's concern showed as she approached Cass.

"I'll be fine as long as you stop antagonizing Dakota.  I'm tired of the way you treat her.  I don't know what is going on with you, but stop it."  Cass' authoritative tone and demanding look expressed her point.  She stood up and walked unsteadily into the bathroom.

Brooke sat on the bed and sighed.  ‘I guess it's time for me to make nice with Kody for my friendship sake with Cass and just let her find out the hard way that she'll hurt her.  I'll be there for Cass to help pick up the pieces when that day comes and then I'll make Kody pay.'


After sleeping for most of the day Cass stepped into the shower to shake the sleepiness out.   She closed her eyes as the warm water beat down on the back of her neck.  Sighing in disbelief of what had happened to her, she shivered at the thought of what could have happened had Dakota not come to her rescue.  Her emotions overwhelmed her as she thought about it and allowed her tears to fall unchecked.  She inhaled trying to calm her feelings and saw a flash of Dakota's warm smile, which instantly put a smile on her face.  ‘She is so sweet and kind to me.  I want so much more with her; I hope she wants the same.  I need to see her.'  She quickly rinsed and turned the water off.  ‘She looked so hurt and angry by the way Brooke treated her.  Brooke needs to back off!" Toweling off in a hurry, she stepped out of the shower while wrapping it around her and opened the door to find Brooke standing before her.

Brooke had left the room earlier so Cass could sleep and had just returned in the afternoon, hoping to make amends with her roommate.  "Cass I'm sorry."

Cass gave her a sideways glance and walked past her.

"Come on; don't give me the silent treatment."  Brooke followed her with guilt heavy on her mind.

Cass inhaled trying to calm her anger.  "Brooke, you have no right to be angry with Dakota, she has never done anything to you."

"I just don't want you to get hurt."

"I know and I appreciate your concern, but I am into Dakota big time.  It's too late for me, my heart is with her.  If she hurts me, I'm going to have to deal with that, but I need to give her the benefit of the doubt that she won't."  Cass walked to her dresser and pulled out a t-shirt and a pair of jeans, then tossed them on the bed.  Looking at Brooke she said, "You don't have to be best friends with her, but you should remember that she is your teammate and at the very least you could be civil to her for the sake of the team."  She stared at Brooke.  "I would appreciate it if you would do that much for me."

Brooke sighed feeling regretful of her actions after seeing the disappointment in Cass' eyes.  "I will, I promise.  I'm sorry.  Please forgive me."  She smiled hopeful.

"I will."  Cass smiled and moved back when she saw Brooke move to hug her.  She put her hand up to stop her.  "Oh, no not when I have a towel wrapped around me."  She laughed as did Brooke.

"Okay, thanks."  Brooke winked and walked to her side of the room.  She began to make her bed.

Cass tossed her towel on her chair and began to dress.

"Hey! What are you doing for Thanksgiving?"

"Well, if the offer is still available, I'll go to Dakota's home in Daytona Beach."  Cass slipped on her socks, then her hiking boots.

"Ooh, that's a nice place especially for spring break.  If the offer is still not there you are more than welcome to come with me to my parent's house."  Brooke walked over and tossed more clothing into her overnight bag.

Cass walked to her closet and pulled out an orange University of Florida softball team sweatshirt, slipping it over her head.   "Thank you, I appreciate the offer.  I'll let you know later about Dakota.  When are you leaving?" Cass ran her fingers through her hair and stepped to Brooke's side of the room.

"Around four today after weight training."  Brooke looked up from her bag.

"Okay, I'll know by then."  Cass smiled and walked into the bathroom.  She applied some make up and brushed her hair.  ‘Just what do you see in me Dakota? I look like a bum.  I'm not like the other bombshells you've gone out with.'  She sighed at her look in the mirror.  ‘Maybe I need a new hairstyle?' Shrugging her shoulders in defeat of her appearance, she walked out and saw the sad expression on Brooke's face as she continued to pack.  Cass sighed, worried about her friend and walked over to her side of the room.  She sat on the bed and looked up at her.  "How are you doing?"

Brooke frowned and shrugged her shoulders, absently rubbing her socks.  "I'm trying to be strong and move on, but it still hurts."  Looking at Cass, she inhaled deeply to fight the forming tears.

"I know it hurts hun."  Cass rubbed her arm comfortingly.

"I guess what is really disheartening is that she left me for a man.  I guess I shouldn't be all that surprised, I always knew something more was going on with those two than just friendship."  She sat on the bed next to Cass and faced her.  "Did you know about them being together?  Did you see anything going on when you were in Jacksonville?"

Cass stared in her eyes, wondering how to answer the question without hurting her.  "To be honest, I didn't see anything out of the usual with those two.  I was as surprised as you."

"You would tell me the truth even if you thought it would hurt me right?"

"Yes, of course."  Cass said nervously, with a feeling like she was lying to her friend.  ‘Maybe I saw something between them and didn't realize what was going on? I should have seen it and warned Brooke.'

"Thanks for being there for me."

Cass hugged her.  "Things will get back to normal for you and you'll move on to someone new.  You have to be strong and go on. "

"I hope it happens very soon!" Brooke smiled and released the hug.

"It will.  Hang in there."  Cass smiled and patted her on the leg. 

Brooke inhaled and sighed, having a warm feeling that her dear friend was by her side.  "Hey, thanks now you need to get running.  You don't want to miss Kody." 

Cass was surprised by Brooke's change in attitude towards Dakota.  She paused looking at Brooke and squeezed her hand.  "Thanks for giving her a chance." She grabbed her book bag as she headed to the door.  "I'll see you later."  She smiled at Brooke and walked out.

"Bye."  Brooke smiled weakly and sat down on her bed.  ‘First, I lost Michelle and I almost lost Cass.  I won't let that happen.' 


Cass had stopped at Dakota's house and was informed by Chad that Dakota was at the hospital in the pediatric wing.  Cass entered the hospital tired from her long trek across campus and walked through the large hospital building.  Smiling as she looked at the various cartoon characters painted on the wall, she stopped at the front desk, waiting for the receptionist to look up. 

"Hi, I need to see Dakota Colby." 

"Sure, follow me."  The smaller, older woman who was dressed in blue scrubs with the Florida Gator logo on the upper right shoulder smiled pleasantly and waved for Cass to follow her as she headed down the hall.

They stopped near a large window and Cass stopped when she saw Dakota in the middle of the room with a group of kids sitting around her.  She felt mesmerized by the sight of Dakota reading a book and laughing along with kids.  Then she noticed the various machines and IV's they were hooked up to and Cass felt a tug at her heart.

"The kids love her.  She comes here every week and reads to them."  The woman smiled when Cass looked at her.  "Would you like to go in?" She pointed towards the door.

"Oh, aah I don't want to bother her."  Cass shook her head, reluctantly.

"Don't be silly hun, it's no bother.  Come on."  She grabbed Cass' arm and pulled her inside. 

The two women stood to the back of the room and the woman waved to get Dakota's attention.

Dakota looked up and was surprised to see Cass there.  She smiled excitedly.  "Hey everyone, I want you to meet one of my teammates."  Dakota stood up and walked over to Cass.  "Hey."  She smiled broader when she stood next to Cass.

Cass' heart raced when Dakota touched her arm.

Dakota took her hand and pulled her around to where she was sitting before.  "Can anyone tell me who this is?" Dakota smiled, pointing at Cass.

"I know, I know!" A boy shouted out enthusiastically.

"Okay, Frankie lay it on me."  Dakota chuckled looking at him.

He moved his wheelchair closer to Cass and looked at the rest of the group briefly before looking at Dakota.  "That's Cassandra Storms."

Cass laughed, slightly embarrassed.

"This is Frankie."  Dakota conducted the introduction.

Cass moved closer, leaning down to shake his hand and smiled. "Hi Frankie, it's nice to meet you."

"Same here. I'm going to call you marshmallow."  He chuckled and laughed.

"Okay, thanks."  Cass chuckled and looked back at Dakota confused by the name.

Dakota moved closer to Cass.  "He gives everyone food names.  I'm peanut…it's nice to meet you marshmallow."  She smiled and shook Cass' hand.

"It's a pleasure peanut."  Cass grinned and shook her hand, enjoying the contact.

"Are you feeling better?"

"Much better, now."  Cass giggled.

"I'm glad.  Have a seat and join us."  Dakota motioned for the chair next to her.

"Oh, I don't want to interrupt any more than I already have."  Cass looked nervously between the kids and Dakota.

"You have been named so now you are a part of the group."  Dakota smiled and sat down as did Cass.  Dakota opened her book and looked up at the kids.  "Okay, where were we?"

"We want marshmallow to read to us!" Frankie shouted out with a grin that melted Cass' heart as she stared at him.

"Yes, yes!" The group shouted out excitedly.

Cass laughed, flattered and looked at Dakota who handed her the book.  "Harry Potter huh? I didn't know you were a fan?"

"The kids love the book.  Who am I to deny them?"  Dakota smiled with a wink and slouched in her chair.  "You better start reading, they can be very impatient." 

Cass smiled at Dakota and then to the kids who waited with anticipation.  Cass chuckled, noting that the group had identical jerseys as Dakota's softball uniform. 

"We are on page fifty, marshmallow." One of the other kids called out.

Cass glanced at Dakota.  "I told you they were impatient."  She laughed, watching as Cass began to read.  Dakota soon lost herself in Cass' beauty, watching in awe as Cass read the story animatedly, seemingly enjoying every minute.  She was fascinated, looking at the kids who were as equally taken by the young woman.  Smiling, she turned back to Cass.  ‘I wonder if she knows how she lights up a room when she's in it.'


Brooke went through the motions with her workout as thoughts of Michelle were heavy on her mind. 

"Hey, Brooke."  Mary greeted as she approached.

Brooke was startled out of her thoughts and looked up with a slight smile.  "Hi."

"How's it going?"

Brooke placed a weight on the bar and glanced over at her.  "It could be better."  She laid on the weight bench and positioned her hands on the bar.

Mary moved around to spot her as she lifted the bar off the rack and lowered it to her chest.  "I'm sorry to hear that.  What's going on?"

With each repetition, Brooke blew out her breath hard, straining to lift the heavy weight and placed it on the rack, exhausted.  She sat up, breathing heavily.  "Well, Michelle and I broke up."  Brooke wiped the sweat from her face using her towel.

Mary moved around to face her.  "Oh, man what happened? Did she break up with you or did you break up with her?"

Brooke stared at her.  Seeing compassion in her eyes, she smiled.  "It's kind of weird us talking about this considering my best friend broke your heart."

Mary chuckled and looked away.  Looking back to Brooke she smiled.  "Yeah, I guess so.  If it's too strange for you I understand." 

Brooke felt bad from the disappointed look on Mary's face.  "No, it's cool.  We have both been hurt by Colby's so why shouldn't we talk?" She smiled and stood up.

"Kody hurt you too?"

"No, her brother Chad is the reason Michelle and I broke up."

Mary shook her head, wondering if she heard that right.  "I'm confused."

"I've got a little bit of time before I head to my parent's house.  I'll enlighten you on the way to the coffee shop, I'm buying."  Brooke slipped her hand in Mary's arm and the pair walked towards the door.

"Okay, great."

"You were finished working out right?" Brooke laughed.

"I am now."  Mary giggled and held the door for Brooke who exited the building.


Cass and Dakota took turns reading the story until it was time for the children to head back to their rooms.  They said their good byes to the kids and walked down the hall silently.

Dakota looked at Cass, seeing her staring at her and looked away.  She looked back and saw that Cass was still looking at her.  "What?"

"I'm just surprised and in awe of you.  You were wonderful with those kids, it was so sweet."  Cass smiled exuberantly.

"Is that a compliment?"  Dakota chuckled and held the door open for Cass to pass through.

"Oh, yes I'm sorry I didn't mean it to sound bad.  I just think it's wonderful that you take the time to spend with the kids.  Many students of your stature wouldn't do that."  Cass smiled and wrapped her arm around Dakota's waist.

"Well, then thanks for the compliment."  Dakota smiled and gave her a playful squeeze.  "I love reading to the kids.  They come to the games and sit in a special section next to the dugout called ‘Kody's korner.'  They have so much fun and it is wonderful to see their smiles."

"Aah, how sweet.  That is awesome."  Cass felt a catch in her heart and her eyes water with emotion. 

"It really is, maybe you should get involved with the kids too?"

"I would love to!" Cass eagerly agreed.

"Great, softball season will be kicking into full gear here very soon so I'll get that set up for you when we return from the holidays."  Dakota smiled.

"Excellent, I can't wait."  Cass stopped under a tall pine tree.  "If the offer is still available I'd like to accept your invitation to join you for Thanksgiving."

To Be Continued…

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March 2006