Saving Maverick

By: Debra Elise



Her thoughts turned to team owner Thomas Scott. He didn’t do things halfway. He’d spent millions to bring his boyhood dream to reality. Some of that money had gone to bring a star pitcher to his team . . . a star who was now ignoring all offers of help. Even when they were kids, Thomas had never settled for less than the best. T.S., as he was known to family and friends, had been her childhood crush at the ripe old age of ten for all of five minutes. When all they did was giggle when they experimented with first base, a close bond soon formed between the lonely rich boy and the girl from the wrong side of the tracks.

But she was only here today as a favor to T.S., and he was running late.

T.S.’s secretary answered yet another phone call. This time instead of the “No he’s unavailable at this time” reply Kelsey had heard at least a dozen times in the last half hour, she heard “Yes, she’s still here.”

Before the secretary hung up, the massive mahogany door opened and in strode the uber-successful, uber-rich and sometimes uber-obnoxious Thomas Scott. Good thing she loved him or she’d rip him a new one for keeping her waiting.

Tall and imposing at six three, he towered over her petite frame and most everyone who dared to duel with him in the boardroom. Before she took two steps, she was enveloped in a huge bear hug.

Laughing, Kelsey pinched his side and exclaimed, “T.S. I can’t breathe.”

He took a step back and gave her one of his dimpled smiles followed by a squint-eyed once-over. Aw, the lethal look she remembered well. “Yup, you’re still gorgeous. Anyone I need to keep in line for you? A new boyfriend? Some guy who isn’t treating you like the princess you are?” That was T.S. in a nutshell. Always looking out for her even if they hadn’t seen each other in ages.

“No, T.S. There’s no one at the moment. But thanks for the offer.”

“Thanks for coming on such short notice.” He gave her another quick hug. To the outside world he was as tough as they came, but with her, he showed a softer side and was the big brother she never had.

“T.S., you don’t have to thank me. You call, I’m there.”

“And I really appreciate it, Kels. Now, are you ready to go?” Just like that, he was back in business mode.

Confused by the question, she noticed his expectant look as if she were the one keeping him waiting. “Um, you mean into your office? Yes, I’m ready any—”

“No, I mean to attend the party with me?” he said.

“Party? Um, I think you’re confusing me with one of your many girlfriends. I wasn’t aware this was a date,” Kelsey teased.

“I’m sure I told you on the phone that my schedule was tight and we’d be attending the reception the city council set up. It’s a fund-raiser for a local charity, the Children’s Club.”

Kelsey looked down at her business suit and sighed. “If you had told me, would I be wearing a button-down jacket and matching skirt? Dang it, T.S., I don’t have time to change into cocktail attire.”

“Hey, you look great to me. Besides, you always outshine the other women in any room.”

“Flattery will get you nowhere, buster.” Damn. Why hadn’t she thought to pack more than business clothes? Men rarely gave a woman’s need for appropriate attire a thought when it came to attending parties. I wonder if I have time to . . .

“Look, I’m sorry, Kels. With everything going on and the stadium’s construction, the relocation of the team, and now this viral video . . .”

“Right, the infamous Bad Boy of Baseball himself has gotten into yet another tight spot. I’ve checked out the video. He definitely isn’t doing you or the team any favors. Maybe you should just cut your losses, let him out of his contract? I mean from the little bit of research I did on him during the plane ride, he’s injured and lost his edge.”

“You know how I hate to disagree with you, Kelsey, but I will anyway. Maverick Jansen may currently be a thorn in my ass, but he has talent, lots of it. He’s coming off a rough end to the season and the death of his kid brother. I’m willing to ride this out, for now, but I need your super PR powers to help him. And me. What do you say?”

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