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Adventures of Rex, The
|I was just your everyday, overpaid, magazine cover idol professional
baseball player until Throckmorton made me a deal I couldn't refuse.
At 26, I'd been playing for the Atlanta Braves since graduating from Georgia Tech in 1992. I had plenty of money, an expensive condo in Midtown, and more celebrity than I knew what to do with. Some of that probably had to do with my being one of the best players on a World Series championship team. Part of it had to do with the fact that most people considered me drop dead gorgeous. At 6'1" tall, I weighed 230 lbs. of solid muscle (my bodyfat was well under 10 percent), with close cropped dark brown hair, soulful dark brown eyes, a sexy goatee, and gorgeous thick dark curls on my broad thick chest, rippling abs, powerful legs and brawny forearms.
Occasionally it would get too much and I would head down to my Aunt Jen's place in rural south Georgia. She and her partner, Sally, had a horse farm, with a big old house and well-kept modern stables surrounded by some fine grazing land and big stands of pine. When I got tired of horseback riding, there was an Olympic sized pool, and if I felt daring I'd let Sally challenge me to a tennis match. She won 2 out of 3 times but I gave her a good game, which she appreciated.
It was from one such visit I was returning home when I ran into Throckmorton--almost literally!
For whatever reason I'd been restless my last night there and before dawn I got up and on the road, casually tossing the gymbag I used for a suitcase on such visits into the back seat of my new Dodge Sebring convertible. From Aunt Jen's to I-75 stretched nearly 50 miles of two-lane blacktop, dark and deserted at this time of morning. I hadn't gone 10 miles before it started pouring down rain, not too surprising for that time of year but a pain in the butt even so.
Still, I decided to keep on; I was ready to be back in Atlanta.
A couple of miles short of the freeway the rain was beginning to clear and the sun was just beginning to peep up over the fringe of the neverending pines--that's when I spied Throckmorton.
He was a big man, so I could see him from a long way off, and he was standing smack dab in the middle of the road. I began slowing down, figuring he'd get out of the way, and then I realized he wasn't going to move. I came to a stop a few yards in front of him, rolled my eyes, and got out of the car.
"Uh, is there a problem?" I asked.
"Well, yes, there is," Throckmorton replied, in a rich, deep voice. "And you're just the man to fix it for me."
I cocked my head sideways, at that, and gave him another look. I realized then that he was about my height but *much larger, easily 300 lbs. And even though he appeared to be in his mid-50s or so, with longish silvery hair and a full, thick silver-tinted beard, it was obvious that he had done some heavy duty lifting at some point in his life--he was *very* solid.
"Is this some kinda come on?" Seemed like a damned odd one to me.
"A proposition, you mean?" His resonant chuckle answered his own question.
"Yes, it is, actually," he continued, "but not the kind you might expect. The fact is, young Mr. Rex Chastain, international baseball superstar, I have a job for you, one that you and only you can fill."
I wasn't surprised that he knew my name. Hell, just about *everybody* in Georgia knew my face and most of them knew my name.
"And just what the hell would that be?" I inquired, a bit tersely. I was ready to get home and chatting with some beefy old nutcase on a dark back road in Georgia wasn't getting me there any faster.
"Saving my world from certain destruction," he replied.
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