Home > Sea Glass Summer (Seashell Harbor #2)

Sea Glass Summer (Seashell Harbor #2)
Author: Miranda Liasson

 

Chapter 1

 

Oliver Wendell Blakemore looked like a cute, round marshmallow as he stood at home plate, the bright May sunshine bouncing off his helmet, a cartoon shark grinning on his bright white jersey. His teammates sat on the nearby bench, a few watching, others, being five-year-olds, wiggling and laughing and fooling around and earning a semi-sternish look from their coach.

“Go, Ollie, go!” Kit, his mother, gave a whoop and a big thumbs-up as she watched nervously from the stands. The warm day, with the promise of many more to come, and the vision of the sapphire-blue ocean sparkling in the distance beyond the baseball field belied her anxious feelings. She’d made certain her son had everything he needed. Helmet, check. Striped socks, baseball pants, and glove, check. Cleats, double check. She’d even studied the rules of Tee ball on YouTube so she’d understand what was going on. And bought herself a glove so she could practice with him.

She’d wanted Ollie’s first team sport to be a big success, even if his dad wasn’t here to cheer him on.

I miss you, honey, a little voice inside of her whispered. She felt the familiar heart squeeze that she felt every single time she thought about Carson. Which was only about a hundred times a day.

“Don’t forget to cheer,” Kit said to her best friend Darla, who was sitting next to her. “Do you think I should go sit with the dads?” She glanced down at the front row, where said dads lined up, yelling out occasional tidbits of advice and encouragement to their sons.

“Only if you want to make the other moms angry,” her other best friend, Hadley, said from her seat on the other side of Kit.

“Why would I make them angry?” Kit asked.

“Because you’re gorgeous,” Hadley said, brushing Kit’s long ponytail back, “and while you mean well, they might interpret it as flirting.”

“It’s not right that that bench is just for dads. Also, I don’t even remember what flirting is,” Kit remarked as she smiled widely and hiked another big thumbs-up to Ollie. “And I’ve been too busy to get a haircut. And I think I have chocolate icing on my shirt from the brownie I grabbed this morning on the way out the door.”

“I can barely see the icing,” Hadley said. “And maybe you’d better remember about the flirting quick because Coach Bryan keeps looking at you.”

“Coach Bryan is newly divorced and hot,” Darla said as she poked Kit with an elbow. Most people would think at first glance that Darla, who was barely above five feet tall with curly blond hair and pretty blue eyes, was demure and unassuming, but her friends knew that she was about as subtle as her elbow nudges.

The three women were as different in personality as in physical characteristics—Kit’s hair was nearly black, Hadley’s was light brown, and Darla’s was blond—but they’d been bound together as best friends since the age of five, their parents calling them the Three Musketeers.

“And his little boy is on the team. That’s sweet,” Hadley said.

“You’re missing the point,” Kit said. “I don’t want to flirt with anyone. I just want to make sure Ollie has some representation down there.” Not that she would do much since she barely understood the rules, but she was learning. Should Tee ball be this stressful for a parent?

Maybe when you were a single one, it was.

A dark-haired, well-built man walked up the bleachers to join them, smiling, joking, and fist-bumping with people on the way.

“Here comes your guy,” Kit said to Hadley. For the past year, Hadley had been dating former pro footballer Tony Cammareri, or “Cam” as they all called him. And was blissfully happy.

“My guy is currently on my Z list,” Hadley said. Okay, make that blissful most of the time.

“How come?” Darla asked.

“We’re having wedding stress,” Hadley confessed. “Tony knows so many people—football players, coaches, owners, managers, sportscasters—and he considers all of them friends.”

“Cam’s always had a big personality,” Kit said. “He does tend to like everybody.”

“Plus, with his new restaurant,” Darla added, “he probably knows even more people.”

Hadley threw up her hands in frustration. “If the guest list grows any more, we’re going to need a bigger backyard.”

“Oh, you’ve decided to get married in your own yard?” Darla said. “That will be amazing.” Hadley and Cam’s backyard was…on the ocean. Enough said.

“Maybe we’ll just elope,” Hadley said. A little wistfully, Kit thought.

Cam sat next to Hadley and kissed her solidly on the lips. “Eloping is like fumbling the ball on the ten-yard line. We’ve come this far—we just have to agree on a few more things.”

Hadley smiled sweetly. “You’re not going to make it over the finish line if we can’t get this resolved.”

Cam chuckled good-naturedly.

“Oh, you two are so perfect for each other, it’s sickening,” Darla said.

“Ollie’s up.” Kit pointed to home plate. Down on the field, Ollie shuffled his feet, his eyes darting around. She made sure to send him an encouraging wave. “He looks nervous,” she said as she sat on her hands so she wouldn’t bite her nails.

“Go get ’em, Tiger!” Cam yelled. “I mean Shark. Go get ’em, Shark!”

That got a little smile out of Ollie. And a few envious glances from the other boys, who well knew that Cam was a legendary football player, born and raised right here in Seashell Harbor, their quaint Victorian beach town in south New Jersey.

Kit cast him a grateful smile. Her friends and family had done all they could to make the past two years as normal as possible for her and Ollie after Carson’s death in action as an air force fighter pilot. She was lucky to have such a wonderful support system.

Ollie wound up his bat, focusing on the ball perched atop the tee, which seemed bigger than he was.

He swung wildly, the bat hitting the tee with a reverberating clang.

A few of the kids tittered. So did one of the dads, which Kit instantly took note of. Maybe she would have to head down there after all.

“Easy, Kit.” Darla grabbed hold of her elbow in case she followed through on her obvious impulse. “Look. Bryan is walking over to Ollie.”

“It’s okay, bud,” the coach said, replacing the ball on the tee. “Try it again.”

Ollie whiffed the air.

“How many strikes in this game?” Darla whispered. “Is it like regular baseball?”

“They get seven tries,” Hadley answered.

“Seven?” Darla exclaimed, her eyes wide.

Yes, Kit confirmed with a nod. Seven excruciating strikes.

That realization made her nerves jangle. Not only because she’d wanted Tee ball to be a fun, confidence-building experience for her boy but also because it was slowly occurring to her that Ollie might be terrible at it. And if Ollie had inherited her athletic ability instead of his dad’s, they were in for big trouble.

“What’s the Admiral think about all this?” Hadley asked, nodding to the bleacher seat a few rows down from theirs, where Kit’s parents sat. Her dad, a four-star navy admiral, sat with his arms crossed, assessing.

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