Gator GirlzBy: Ali Spooner
I would like to thank my fans for following my stories, providing great feedback and encouragement. Writing wouldn’t be so much fun without you. Thanks to Affinity, Irish Dragon for the cover art and the team of editors, readers, and publishers who continue to help me grow as a writer.
This story is for Haeden, and Emily. I hope you grow up together to be as close as Cam and Sandy. Love you both!
When Cam St. Angelo and Tab Fortner returned to Baton Rouge after the NCAA Softball tournament in Oklahoma City, it was time to say goodbye to their friends and teammates for the summer. They would see each other again in mid-June, and then in mid-July for a weeklong softball camp. Cam had received confirmation from her coach, that Wanda, Cam’s thirteen-year-old sister, and Logan, Wanda’s best friend and teen crush, had slots reserved for the July camp. She planned to share the news with them when she returned home for the summer. Just as Cam had promised, she and Tab would share a weekend with Wanda and Logan, at the hunt camp on The Island, to give them an opportunity to discover their feelings for one another.
“I’ll see you in two weeks for the campout, right?” Cam asked Tab.
“If not before. I don’t cherish the thought of spending this summer with my mother.”
Cam could hear the sadness in her voice. She wrapped her lover in her arms. “We’ll put you to work, but you’re more than welcome to spend as much time as you can with my family. We can take over the hunt camp for the summer, and I’ll teach you how to be a country girl.”
“Are you serious?”
“Absolutely. You’re a part of our family now and are welcome any time.”
“Do you need to clear that with your folks?”
Cam gave her a sweet smile. “It’s already cleared. It was Dad’s suggestion.”
“Yes way. He knows how happy you make me. He will work you hard, though.”
“I’m not afraid of hard work. I’d do anything to be able to spend the summer with y’all.”
“I’ll go ahead and move out to the hunt camp, then. That way my sister Teresa doesn’t have to bunk with the others again. And at seventeen, I’m sure she’ll appreciate that. We’ll have some privacy that way too. You know Mini-Me will insist on spending time with us, though.”
Tab chuckled. “Sandy is such a sweetheart. I don’t mind sharing you with her at all.”
“Oh no, my dear, it’s you she’ll want to spend time with. I hope you like to fish.”
Tab blushed with a confession. “Um, I’ve never been fishing.”
Cam stepped back to look at her. “Never, ever?”
“Nope, so you’ll have to teach me.”
“You will have two of the best teachers ever.”
“That sounds like fun. What kind of clothes do I need to bring?”
“Jeans, shorts, T-shirts, some work boots if you have them. If not, you can use a pair of mine.”
“I’ll be borrowing a pair. The closest thing I have is hiking boots.”
“Those wouldn’t be bad to bring.”
“Would it be okay if I come down next weekend?”
“That would be perfect.”
They kissed, and when Cam stepped back, she said, “Let’s go say goodbye to Liz and Ruth.” Liz and Ruth were their teammates and best friends, and Cam was really going to miss them.
After agreeing to meet Ruth and Liz back on campus a week before the first camp, Tab and Cam started for home.
“I love you,” Tab said as they walked to their vehicles. “I’ll call you soon.”
“Love you too. Can’t wait to see you next weekend. Drive carefully.”
She watched Tab’s Mustang disappear, then drove by the stadium on her way off campus. Cam smiled as she thought about her freshman year. She had survived her first year of classes and found she really enjoyed college life. Living away from home had given her experiences that had made her mature and realize she was rapidly becoming a leader. It was different from being with her sisters, and her desire to be the best had made a lasting impression not only with her teammates, but within the friendships she had developed. While she hadn’t realized her dream of playing in the national softball tournament, she had experienced a great first year. The disappointment of losing in the Super Regionals charged her motivation and desire to work harder in the coming year. Most importantly, she had found love. Cam had never dreamed that falling in love could feel the way Tab made her feel. The smile grew on her face with every passing mile. The year had been great, but she was ready to be home.