Something So Right
Lastly, Joshua test bounced the basketball several times before choosing one. As he walked toward BJ, she smiled and stood with her toes turned slightly inward. The stance made her look sweet and innocent. He had a brief moment of feeling like a dog because his own mind was consumed by thoughts of getting her into the sack.
He moved faster, dribbling toward her. She gave him another charming grin and just as his heart swelled, she swerved and slapped the ball downward right out of his hand. He was left there with his mouth open.
The little minx had stolen the ball!
She laughed her head off, after feinting one way and lunging the other. He hadn’t been able to follow and it was more than a bit sobering. Every move she made was fluid and perfect. His challenging her might not have been such a smart idea.
She was good!
He made several attempts to get back into the game, all of which she foiled. They weren't playing by any rules and she headed straight to one basket, where she landed two shots right in a row. If he thought she was going to give him a chance to run the ball, he was mistaken. He was trying hard to be a good sport about it.
Finally she lunged one way and then switched directions on him. He tripped right over her foot. That landed him face down kissing the floorboards. BJ's laughter, both raucous and feminine washed over him. He hobbled onto his feet again, feeling really sheepish.
The truth was that not only was she really good but there were disadvantages against him that he hadn't counted on. For one thing, her body, that he'd been lusting after was not only gorgeous, it was also strong. The other problem was even worse. She was female and he'd always played with men. Why hadn't he thought of that before?
Although she was a big girl, every time he got too close he'd freeze up, terrified he'd hurt her. He must have been crazy to challenge this woman. But if he was honest, the worst injury he was suffering that evening was to his male pride.
She was dribbling circles around him and then it finally happened--his worst fear.
They banged hips and his larger body mass and extra pounds sent her flying. She bounced off him and seemed to fly through his fingers as he tried to catch her. Landing on her bottom, she slid three feet across the highly polished floor. When she stopped, she drew up into a fetal ball and remained perfectly still for several heart-stopping moments. She was curled on her side with one arm thrown over her eyes. His heart jumped into his mouth. She looked so small and defenseless.
"BJ," he tried to yell but it came out a horrified, croaked whisper.
He rushed to kneel at her side. He was afraid to touch her. Gingerly, he tapped her as carefully as he could on her shoulder. She moaned feebly.
"Ouch," she groaned louder this time and massaged her bottom.
His hand followed hers to rub her bottom before he caught himself. He certainly couldn't take the liberty of touching her there. Could he? Not yet. Probably never after this.
"Are you okay?" he asked.
She peeked from under the arm covering her eyes and then turned over on her back. She broke into laughter. She was so amused that she drummed both heels on the floor. "You look so funny," she gasped between the laughs.
"Am I to take it that you're not hurt?" he said through clenched teeth.
She sat up, still laughing. "You should have seen your face." She seemed barely able contain her mirth as she shook her head.
"What's so funny? I almost had a heart attack. I thought I killed you!" Lord, how he'd love to shake her until her teeth rattled.
"You turned gray," the irrepressible BJ said.
She set the basketball close by her on the floor as if to keep it near enough to grab if needed. However, it slowly rolled across the floor. That's when he realized that the minx had held onto that damn ball through the whole incident, including the punishing slide across the floor.
With no further ado, he stood up. "That's it," he said, "No more Mr. Nice Guy."
BJ had been thoroughly enjoying herself until Joshua stood. He walked around to her back and unceremoniously hauled her upward to her feet. One glance at his expression and she sensed things were about to change.
Joshua's face was a study in male determination as he went to retrieve the ball. He bounced it hard toward her.
"Oh, what's wrong with you?" she demanded, catching the ball. "Can't you take a joke?"
With both hands on hips and glaring down at her, he snarled, "Your ball. And be warned, “I intend to whip your butt."
"You and what army?" she gave back.
She knew immediately that had been a mistake. Joshua thumped the ball out of her hand, bumped her when she tried to recapture it and with a triumphant male laugh pivoted and dribbled toward the basket. She couldn't keep up with his longer legs in the mad dash down the court. She also couldn't do a thing when he went up and slam-dunked a second time.
"That had no finesse," she accused, "only male bulk."
"Sore loser," he taunted.
Their pacing increased. They both banged into each other constantly. Worse yet, she suspected that he was still restraining himself although not nearly as much as before.
With the two of them stomping, jumping and yelling their heads off, the sound bounded off the tile walls of the deserted gym.
Joshua seemed determined to give her a real race. In a short time it was as serious as a duel and they both worked up a sweat, grunting and snarling. She knew she was no pushover and he hadn't expected her to be so good.
In the end, he won despite her fighting like a she-cat. He roared with laughter and she tripped him. As he was going down, he deliberately dropped the ball and grabbed her. Although she tried to evade him, they both sprawled down together as the ball slowly bounced the other way.
They both laughed but old habits die hard, she thought as she watched the ball roll to a stop. When she realized that Josh was looking at her, she said, "Those girl teams were tougher than you thought, right?" She lay back on the floor, still breathing hard. "I thought you said you didn't play?”
"I use to play--now and again," he answered.
"You've played more than now and again."
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