Saving Maverick

By: Debra Elise

“Not bad. But are you sure that’s the best course? Lulling your opponent and going for the quick and painless strike doesn’t always work.”

“Hey, it’s my go-to move. How do you think I convinced the USBL to grant me the right to move the team?”

“Yeah, whatever.” Kelsey smiled.

T.S. chuckled. “Kelsey, this is exactly why I need you. Why Maverick needs you. You don’t take any bullshit and I admire that. Always have.”

Glancing around the room again, she saw that the object of their conversation was now leaning up against the bar and chatting up a couple of his buddies and their dates. He was no longer looking her over, head to toe, but damn if that look’s after effects weren’t still affecting her.

Out of the corner of her eye she noticed T.S. looking at her as she stared at Maverick while trying to keep a straight face.

“Huh. I would have figured you would react a bit differently.”

Turning her attention back to him, she asked, “How so?”

“He’s a hotshot ballplayer. Good looks, money. Has a lot going for him despite his current challenges. I guess I would have thought you would have acted, I don’t know. More interested.”

“Really? How interested should I have acted? Especially since you want me to take him on as a client?” She leveled T.S. with her best boardroom glare. He wasn’t the only one who had well-honed tactics. “I wouldn’t be able to do my job if I threw myself at the feet of your star player, my new client, now would I?” she answered.

“Guess I stepped into it, huh?”

“You could say so. Wouldn’t have expected it from you though. Even though we haven’t seen each other in a while, you know me better than that. Assuming I’m going to act like a fawning ball girl, a groupie no less, just because a handsome, mega-star athlete walks into the room is not going to win you my agreement to your job offer.”

“Okay. Then what will?”

Kelsey thought about it and looked over to where Maverick Jansen, the Bad Boy of Baseball, was now standing next to the buffet. Plate in hand, listening to the mayor and another member of the city council argue about something baseball related, no doubt.

Even though she was across the room from him, she once again noticed a warmth travel down to her belly and lower. Damn, her instant reaction to Maverick was not a good sign.

At that moment he looked her way, and instead of a smile, he gave her a slight nod and turned back to the men arguing next to him. Double damn. He caught her looking. So not good, and neither were the naughty thoughts his intense stare stirred in her. She needed some fresh air and quick.

She turned to T.S and named an astronomical figure. One even a billionaire would laugh at.

“No problem.”

Choking on her wine, she blurted out, “Are you insane?”

T.S. reached out and patted her on the back. “Are you all right?”

She nodded and tried to swat his hand away. People didn’t often catch her off guard. Not in her line of work. She took a long, hard look into T.S.’s eyes and saw how stone cold sane and serious he was. “You’re crazy, my friend. No one is worth that, even me.”

“Never say that again, Kelsey. You’re worth every penny and I’m getting a bargain here, especially if we come to a deal and you take on the VP job. I’m not sure why I didn’t consider you for it before now, but that’ll be our little secret.” T.S. grinned.

Even with the crazy figure she’d just named, Kelsey wasn’t letting T.S. get his way so easily. There was one more thing she required.

“All right, I accept. But with two caveats. One, if he is totally against this and refuses to do the work needed in the next two weeks, I still receive twenty percent of the figure I quoted.”

“He won’t, but done. And what’s two?”

“Season tickets,” Kelsey said.

“Okay, but that was going to be part of the deal anyway . . .”

“For life.” She set down her wine glass and walked toward the hallway leading to the ladies’ room. She looked over her shoulder, grinned, and said, “To the Seattle Authority. They’re my favorite team.”

“Hey, Mav. Glad to see you made it. Wasn’t sure—” Brock Cameron, the freshly signed rookie shortstop spoke to Maverick as he walked up to his teammates already at the charity event.

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