Taming the Bachelor Online - M.J. Carnal

Prologue

10 years ago

“Moretti, let’s wrap it up man.” Rich Dickerman pounded his fist on the side of the Chevy Equinox with the steam covered windows. “Five minutes until first pitch. Let’s get a move on.” Rich paced the length of the car. His role as look out was getting old. He couldn’t wait for the day Mark Moretti decided life was not just one party after another. He would be there on the sidelines laughing. “Ha,” he chuckled.

The car door opened and Mark stepped out. Tucking his jersey back into his pants, he turned and flashed his million dollar smile at the sophomore brunette in the back seat. “Thanks, Kelly.” He slammed the door shut.

“It’s Casey.” Rich shoved Mark and laughed. “Not Kelly. Casey.”

“Kelly, Casey, same thing.” Mark stretched his pitching arm.

“It is not even close to the same thing. You really are a pig. I’m not sure I understand how you do it. Are these women dumb?” Rich threw him the baseball.

Mark stopped for a minute. He shook his head and smiled. “Dumb? Hardly. I am a good investment. Besides, every one of them thinks they can change me. That’s never going to happen. But I thoroughly enjoy their attempts.”

Mark threw the baseball to Rich. This was the last game of their senior season. Hard to believe they would be graduating in a week. He had heard that the high school years were some of the best. They had been good to him. But soon, he would pack up his life and move into a tiny apartment outside the UCLA campus with Caleb and Ryan. Rich would go to his fancy, private school and Molly would be left behind to carry on the Moretti name.

He sighed. Molly. Sweet, beautiful, innocent Molly. Life had not been easy for them. The military demanded constant moving and Mario Moretti had not wanted his children torn away from what they knew. So he headed out on adventures all over the world, leaving his wife and two children behind to struggle to keep up with the socialites of Beverly Hills. Mark had worked as long as he could remember. He wanted Molly to be able to join clubs and have friends and not worry about how she would pay for things. At the age of ten, Mark had vowed to make enough money to care for everyone he loved. That list was short but significant.

Rich Dickerman, Caleb Allen and Mark Moretti were the bad boys of Beverly Hills. Or so they thought. Where one was seen, the other two were sure to follow. They were the three musketeers until Ryan West crash landed smack into the mix in middle school. Rich was level headed and the voice of reason while Caleb broke some hearts and even more rules. Ryan and Mark were the best of both. Both studious and rebellious, they spent their weekends chasing women, stealing beer from their parent’s refrigerator and studying. The four of them had been joined at the hip until Rich fell in love with Molly Moretti. Mark loved his sister more than anything in the world. He welcomed her into the fold with open arms. But there was nothing like a younger sister to ruin someone’s game.

Mark made his way to the pitching mound. The sun had set and the lights hummed above him as he took some calming breaths. His last varsity baseball game. He threw several pitches to the catcher to loosen his arm. He inventoried his friends, as he did the beginning of every game. Rich on first, Ryan at center field and Caleb in his soccer gear sitting in the stands next to Molls, his beautiful sister. All was right in the world.

“Play Ball”

Mark sat in the dugout at the end of the game. Molly sat on Rich’s lap and Mark shook his head. “That’s my sister, man. Cool it.”

“Marco, I take it those are yours?” Caleb laughed as he pointed to the row of women sitting in the stands.

Mark looked up as a few of them waved. He winked and waved back. It was good to be him. “None of them are mine C. But they all want to be.” He chuckled as he packed up his gear.

“Give me a break.” Molly smacked him on the leg. “There will come a day that some woman steals your heart, Markie. And I cannot wait until that happens. Pay back is a huge bitch.”

“I agree, Moretti. When that day comes, I am strapping myself in because