Karma's Smoothie

Synopsis Karma's Slow Burn.
Rafael Henley cannot ignore the chemistry between him and Karma. He decides a one-night stand is in order. Karma agrees. Just to get that itch off. But once they get into each other’s pants, things get complicated.

Karma Deepika Huntington learned to fight the hard way: in the bleachers in a baseball stadium where a fan did not like what she’d written about his team. With his arm on her neck, her back had been pressed so tight against the hard bench behind her, she could feel her back about to split. If she hadn’t rammed her fist in his disgusting groin, something even more terrible would have happened. Then the second the fan’s hold had relaxed, she pumped her knee into said disgusting spot again. She had learned to hit first and hard and then to walk away without looking back.
The revenge she had planned for Rafael Henley was going to take time and lots of patience. But it would be sweet. Then Rafael Henley, star pitcher for the Riverdale Sliders, would pay for what she’d lost: her husband and her future. Too bad he was her BFF’s big brother. She hadn’t told Kim about her plans, of course. What sister would want what she was planning to happen to her brother? But Kim lived in a city on the other side of the country doing what she loved best: chef in a two-star restaurant on its way to getting the third star. She wouldn’t have to know a thing.
Karma could not forgive Rafael Henley’s transgression. He was the driver of the car that killed her husband. And what better way to go about it than to take away the one thing he loved most in the world? Make him suffer just like she had?
Now Karma grabbed her bag and her keys, jumped in her little electric car and drove to the Sliders stadium to meet with the team for a spread-out in a women’s magazine, getting top dollar to do what she loved best. Make humans out of these godly hunks.
When she got to the stadium, the team publicist, Elsa Watts was waiting for her. The Sliders had just lost to Baltimore and she wondered what the mood was like in the locker room. The second she stepped into the seating area outside the locker room, she knew. Soft thumps interrupted the unnatural quiet. A deep voice, familiar from the recordings she’d watched over and over again, rumbled from the other side of the door.
Rafael Henley. Team captain. Leader of gods.
Then the door opened and he stepped out followed by the rest of the team. He was in shorts and T-shirt, dark hair still damp. He had a pitcher’s body: long and muscular, with spectacular biceps and broad shoulders tapering to a slim waist, the shorts held up by a black belt. She was a sucker for that belted look in a man. There was something about his flat stomach and slender hips that got her juices flowing. His features were equally spectacular. Longish dark-colored hair with copper streaks topped eyes of the warmest gray, which sat above the straight planes of his cheeks. A strong chin and a mouth enhanced by a beautifully trimmed beard.
 “Rafe, this is Karma Huntington. I told you she’d be stopping by.” Elsa Watts smoothed her wavy, blonde hair and moved toward Henley. She laid her hand on his arm and squeezed it before releasing.
Karma closed her eyes at the sight of Elsa’s bleached-wood skin against his tanned one. The long fingernails matched the color of her lipstick. Then a thought occurred to her. Was Elsa Watts staking her claim? Henley did not acknowledge it. He took a step to the side.
“Karma. A pleasure to meet you.” Smiling, he held out his hand.
“Mr. Henley. Likewise.” Damn! Why was her throat dry?
His smile made her weak-kneed. She held on to the strap of her handbag hoping it would hold her steady.
“Name is Rafael.” He grasped her hand in his, his skin rough against her palm. Which disappeared from view. How could his hands be so big? How could hers be so small?
Crap! It sapped her confidence somewhat. He introduced her around. She knew them all, some from previous years when the Sliders had not been so hot. The playoffs were way in the future but whispers surrounding them fanned the embers of hope and determination. Nobody wanted to jinx them by saying out loud what lay deep in the hearts of everyone who loved baseball.
She tried to match her smaller strides to Henley’s longer ones, but failed to keep pace with him. Instead, she settled for the scent he left in his wake. It lingered in her nose as she trotted behind him trying not to stare at his butt for too long, moving her focus to the dark hairs dusting his arms and legs.
Oh yeah! She didn’t mind it one bit, which was contrary to her usual state of mind. She was always the leader and rarely the follower. It was the primary reason why she was so successful as a freelancer.
 “I believe you know my sister Kim?”
She almost bumped into his broad back when he stopped and threw the question at her. She’d been hoping he might just have forgotten that bit.
Right. “My BFF. Went to school together. Same as you.”
“You don’t remember, do you? Kim and I met in our last year.”
He turned his gorgeous gray eyes to her, a smile briefly flashing on his lips. “I regret to say, no.”
 “No worries. You left soon after Kim and I became besties. And you were quite obsessed with baseball. You hung out with that friend of yours, the musician, Linus Radisson.”
“Indeed. So I was. So I did.”
The man had a succinct manner of conversing. She looked up at him and nudged his thoughts away from the sensitive topic. “So you got an MBA from Yale or Harvard?” She was good at deflecting. It got her some of her best leads.
“I’d like to know more about that later. Right now, I’m going to snap a few shots right here.” Karma smoothed her hand over her hair, adjusted her glasses and got to work, relieved when he did not mention Kim again.
She ran her finger along the barely discernible scar on her arm. Just like it was there yet not there, the memory of that day in the bleachers stayed with her not requiring much to be pulled to the front. All the years of hard work, of chipping away at the glass ceiling as a female sports writer in a male-dominated industry, all the snickers she’d endured when she walked into a post-game players area, was now coming to fruition.
“I’d like you all here.” She indicated the wall with the giant Sliders logo.  

Recipe from Karma’s Slow Burn.                
Karma’s Axle Grease Smoothie.

-1 ripe banana

-1 ball frozen spinach

-handful blueberries

-10 raw cashews

-2 dates

-1/2” piece of ginger root, peeled

-1 tsp each of hemp flour, nutritional yeast and flax seed powder
-upto 2 cups liquid (water, almond or soy milk) for desired consistency
Buzz in a high speed blender. Pour into tall glasses and enjoy. 
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  1. Methinks the name Karma has dual significance in this story.

  2. That smoothie sounds like something I'd really enjoy. - Anne kane

    1. Just make sure to actually put a banana in and not a chipotle sausage.


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