Stealing His Heart

By: AJ Jarrett

Nehalem Pack 25

Stealing His Heart

Chapter One

“Breathe, son.” His dad, Caleb, put his big, warm hand on Kamden’s neck, but it did nothing to calm his raging nerves. “Remember they wanted to meet you. They want you to play for them.”

“Yeah.” Kamden pulled at the collar of his light blue button-down dress shirt. It suddenly felt too tight. He winced as another drop of sweat dripped down his back. “They wanted to see me. I have nothing to worry about,” Kamden mumbled to himself. “I’m the greatest shortstop who’s ever lived.” He wasn’t, but Kamden liked to pump himself up. It helped a little.

“Yes you are.” His dad moved his arm to Kamden’s shoulders. “You’re the best ballplayer I’ve ever seen. They’d be crazy to not want you.”

“You have to say that.” Kamden cocked his head to the side and stared at his father. “I’m your son.”

“True, but even if you weren’t I’d feel the same way.” His dad tightened his hand. “Son, your stats speak for themselves. Last season at Louisiana State you had no errors and you had a three sixty-two batting average. You’re an amazing athlete. The athletic director at the college said that Coach Henson is eager to have you play for them. According to Sean, Henson thinks you’d make a great addition to an already successful team.”

“Why though? I mean any player can look good on paper, but you need to watch them in action to really know what kind of player they are.” This was the one thing he didn’t understand. PJ Henson had never met Kamden or actually seen him play. He’d come to Silver Creek after Kamden had graduated high school. They’d never met.

“He talked to your high school coach.” His dad, with one arm on Kam’s shoulder, guided him toward the entrance into the baseball stadium where the coaches’ offices were. “According to Henson, Coach Clevenger raved about your talents, and Henson did get some of your game footage from the coaches at Louisiana State.”

“I guess. I’m just nervous.” Kamden shrugged. It wasn’t surprising. His coaches down in Louisiana knew he was having a meeting at Hemsworth.

Kamden had played down in Louisiana for the past two years. He liked it there—he really did—but he was homesick. His best friend Carson had moved back to Silver Creek, and his brother Ryan and his little boy were there now, too. When he left Silver Creek, Kamden wasn’t on speaking terms with Carson and Ryan had gone off to college in Texas. Kamden felt it was his turn to go off and do his own thing, but the shine wore off that real quick. Sure he’d made friends, but nothing long-lasting. He just wanted to be at home where things were familiar and where he was comfortable, and if he could still play baseball it was a bonus to him.

“It’s good to be nervous.” His dad smiled at him. “It means you haven’t gotten cocky. You’re a great ballplayer, but you don’t act like it. That’s a great character trait to have.”

“I guess but what if after all this they don’t want me?”

“Then they’re bat-shit crazy.”

Kamden chuckled at his father’s words. His dad pulled him to a stop in front of the front entrance.

“Kam, you might be my kid, but I would never lie to you about this. You’re an amazing ballplayer. Have a little faith in your ability.” His dad gave him a quick pat on the arm. “Now let’s go see what they have to say.”

“Thanks, Dad.” Kamden took a deep breath, grabbed the handle on the glass door, and pulled it open. The cool air rushed against his face as he walked inside the building. An older lady with short blonde hair and a friendly smile on her face sat behind a narrow high top desk ten feet from the door. “Hi. I’m here to see Coach Henson.”

“You must be Kamden Kline-Kemp. My name is Lisa, and it’s very nice to meet you.” Lisa stood and came around her desk to shake his hand. “Henson is expecting you.” She waved for them to follow her. “Just follow me, sweetie.” She looked back over her shoulder. “Henson and Baxter are down on the field.”

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