Saving Maverick

By: Debra Elise

“Maybe. But I believe there’s no one better than you to get my star player back in the good graces of the league and the locals. More importantly, the ticket buyers,” T.S. said.

“Thanks for the confidence, but until I can spend more time following every lead on his past, I won’t know if it’s possible to fix his reputation. Don’t let our friendship overrule your good business sense.” Kelsey knew he wouldn’t, but this was a negotiation and she rocked at negotiations.

He continued to stare her down. Like when they argued over who was better, Superman or Batman. Superman, of course.

“T.S., I’m concerned that he fired his agent and hasn’t taken any steps to respond on social media to the video. It’s been ten hours since this thing exploded. And there’re a dozen other questions I have that I don’t think you can answer right now. More importantly, I need to figure out if your ballplayer is worth my talents and my time. So, let’s get to this party you didn’t tell me about. I need a drink.”

T.S. flashed her a crooked smile. “I dare you,” he challenged.

Dammit, he knew her too well. She never could turn down a dare. Secretly though, she wasn’t so sure she was up to dealing with the Bad Boy of Baseball. She liked the sport, but not always the men who played it.

Kelsey ignored his dare and followed him toward the waiting limo. “So, where’s the party being held?” she asked.

“At the Lakeside Resort in Coeur d’Alene. It’s a short drive and after we arrive and get some drinks, we’ll talk more about what I have in mind. I’ll introduce you to some of the city leaders. Maybe you could field some of their concerns with Maverick blasting the city and its inhabitants?” T.S. settled back in the rich leather seat of the late model SUV. He was definitely a man used to getting his way.

Within ten minutes they’d arrived at the resort. “Thank you, Henry. I’ll call you when we’re ready to return to the stadium.” T.S. walked over to her side of the car and placed his hand lightly on her elbow. They began walking toward the revolving glass doors leading into the lobby of the luxury hotel.

“You know this is plain weird, right? We’ve never worked together. What if it ruins our friendship?”

“We won’t let it. Short of posting childhood pictures of me on Twitter, there’s nothing you could do to end our friendship,” T.S. assured her.

They skirted the tiered fountain in the lobby. Kelsey noticed others on their way to the charity event in cocktail attire. She tugged at her suit jacket and wished again she’d been able to change into her favorite armor—her little black dress from Chanel.

“Well, the evening’s just begun. You shouldn’t have planted the idea,” Kelsey teased. “I’ll help you with the locals tonight, as a friend, but that doesn’t mean I’ve agreed to anything.”

“This isn’t a job interview, Kels. As far as I’m concerned, the job’s yours. I need to get you to agree to take it, friendship notwithstanding.”

“Are you sure he even wants to change? From what I’ve read, he quite enjoys ticking off the league and providing plenty of talking points for the news media. Not to mention his revolving stable of women.”

T.S. chuckled and placed an arm around her shoulder.

“Glad I amuse you.” Kelsey sidestepped his hug and punched him. Not as hard as she wanted, but enough to let him know she was serious.

“You know, I expected you to be equally upset with Maverick. After all, he went after you in the video too. Yet, not once have you said anything derogatory about him. Why is that?”

“Because that’s what everyone would have expected. Don’t worry, he’ll hear about it, in private. I’m not interested in airing the team’s dirty laundry tonight. Plus, I know if he hadn’t still been reeling from the loss of the division championship, he most likely wouldn’t have had such an ugly reaction.”

“Smart. Tell me why you gambled so much on a boyhood dream? Owning a USBL team and moving it to Pineville means that much to you, does it?” Kelsey asked.

“Life’s a gamble, Kelsey. Nothing is achieved if you tell yourself it can’t be done. Plenty of people did that to me in my life. I still run into that type of person from time to time, especially since I bought the team. Maverick just got caught talking about what a lot of people are still thinking about this ball club. And yes, bringing the organization to Pineville means everything to me. I’m not naïve enough to think it’s going to be a piece of cake, but it’s going to be worth it. And I have every belief that I will succeed and ‘Scott’s Folly’ will not be a failure.”

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