Home > The Catch (The Player #2)

The Catch (The Player #2)
Author: K. Bromberg

What did I just do?

My hands tremble.

Not only to Easton, but to me too.

I clasp them to hide it from the men before me.

To the promise I made my dad.

Chills tighten my scalp. Pull on my hair. Twist my heart. My stomach churns and bile claws its way up my throat.

The clock. The hand keeps moving. Minutes pass by. But I feel like time stopped with my heart when I spoke those words. Easton isn’t one hundred percent ready to return and be reinstated to the lineup. He’s not going to meet your deadline.

The shocked expressions. The wide eyes. The sudden scooting out of Cory’s chair as he left the room, fingers dialing his cell, leaving me with nothing but hope that I did the right thing when every part within me riled against it. Told me I was wrong. That I misinterpreted what I saw.

And yet I knew what I saw.

Then the questions began.

Each minute that passes causing more doubt to break through and crack my certainty.

The damn unending questions.

The list of people I’m letting down growing with each passing moment.

Having to talk about Easton when all I want to do is get to him. See him. Explain to him. Touch him so I could soothe the discord.

Having to explain why I failed. Why Doc Dalton’s team failed.

The hands on the clock continue to tick. Seconds turns into minutes. Minutes I want to take back.

Minutes I can’t get back.

Cory, back in the room now, whispers with the man next to him while the others around the table stare at me. Waiting. Gauging. Wondering.

The door shoves open. The sound of it banging against the wall ricochets around the room but has nothing on the slamming of my heart against my rib cage.

He already knows.

For a split second our eyes meet. I see the hurt. The anger. The questions.

And he doesn’t even know I’m the one who caused this to happen.

“Easton.” His name is a shocked plea asking for forgiveness when my guilty conscience screams at him that it’s my fault, but just as soon as our eyes meet, he shakes his head.

“Don’t.” It’s all he says, the warning is as clear as the disgust in his expression.

I’m shell-shocked. From the events. From seeing him. From having to face what I just did. And before I can process what to say to him in front of these men, he speaks.

“A trade? A fucking trade?” His voice reverberates in the small space and commands the attention of the men sitting at the table. He’s standing there, his warm-up gear still on, and his expression a mask of disbelief. “I gave my career to this organization. I’ve turned down bigger deals, flashier contracts to go to other teams, and this is how you repay my loyalty?” His laugh holds anything but amusement. “Well, fuck you, Cory. Fuck you and whatever you’re trying to do here.”

“I’m just trying to run a team, Mr. Wylder.” Cory’s voice is calm and even but the hint of condescension in it scrapes over my skin.

“Run a team . . . or ruin a team?” Easton takes a step closer, shoulders square, posture threatening. His finger pounds on the desk with each word he speaks. “You think this is how you treat players and then expect them to win a World Series so you can collect your nice little bonus? Think again.”

“Good luck with your future team.” Cory gives him a dismissing nod.

Easton seethes. Understandably. His anger so palpable it suffocates the room.

I wait with blood on my hands and guilt in my heart.

“You’re a heartless son of a bitch, you know that?” Easton sneers as his hands fist at his sides.

“Then you’ll be happy you won’t have to work for me anymore. Good day, Mr. Wylder.”

No one in the room moves as the two men glare at each other. One a picture of calm arrogance and the other a ball of restrained fury.

Several tense seconds pass where I question whether Easton is going to unleash that fury on Cory. Just when I’m convinced he will, Easton shakes his head ever so slowly as he meets the eyes of everyone else in the room but mine, before he turns on his heel and stalks from the room.

My heart leaves with him.

My feet desperately want to as well. I fight the urge to do just that—get up, run after him, explain—but I can’t. I have to be a professional—one who is the face of a business and not a woman who fears she just screwed over the man she loves.

Loves?

Loves.

Holy shit. I really do love him.

“Sorry about the interruption, Ms. Dalton,” Cory says distracting me from my revelation and pulling my attention back to the matter at hand. In their eyes I didn’t fulfill my contract and therefore failed to achieve my father’s final wish.

Cory keeps talking but I don’t hear him.

I see the hurt in Easton’s eyes.

I hear his voice in my ears.

What. Would. You. Do. Scout?

The answer, Easton?

I’d sacrifice me to save you.

I just did.

I can only hope he sees it the same way.

The opening notes of Guns N’ Roses fill the stadium above me and the song’s introduction—the music I’ve heard every time I’ve hit this field during my career—are like salt in the wound.

Welcome to the jungle . . .

What the hell is happening?

I need to get the fuck out of here.

I can’t breathe.

I want to punch something.

I can’t think with the song reminding me where I should be right now—on the field—or of the team’s jersey I’ve worn since I was a kid that I won’t be wearing anymore.

I jog down the empty corridors desperate to be free of what suddenly feels like a concrete prison trying to hold me back and deny me the things I love.

“It’s true then.”

His words stop me in my tracks. “Did you know?” Accusation owns my voice and I don’t give a fuck, because every part of me is begging him to say no and for me to believe him.

“No.”

I got the answer I wanted. I stare at him, wanting to believe him. Needing to know that for once I was bigger than the game to him, and yet I ask him again. “No?”

“You don’t believe me?” The pitch of his voice escalates.

“Yes. No. Fuck.” I walk a few feet from him, lift my hat to run a hand through my hair, and exhale for what feels like the first time in the last hour. I turn around to face him, hands out, eyes pleading. “What the hell, Dad?”

It’s an open-ended question asking how this happened. I know it and yet I want him to answer it because I’m at a goddamn loss and haven’t even begun to process my new reality yet.

The national anthem begins to play and for the first time in my life while wearing a uniform, I don’t remove my hat and put my hand over my heart. I just don’t have it in me.

“What team?” His voice sounds as solemn as I feel.

“No clue. Finn’s on his way to get answers.” I chuckle but it sounds empty.

“Why wasn’t Finn in there?” His eyes narrow to match the confusion in his voice.

“Your guess is as good as mine.” I walk a few feet and then turn back around to face him. “They traded me, but we have no goddamn clue to what team yet . . . so what does that tell you?”

His brow narrows, and he continues to watch me, his mind running over the same shit mine has on an endless loop. “That Cory didn’t expect to initiate a trade.”

“Bingo,” I shout, smacking my hands together. “So what the fuck is going on, Dad?”

“It’s going to be okay, Easton.” His sounds less than convinced.

I glare at him with so much to say, but with a mind so messed up I can’t find the words to express it.

The crowd roars in my heaven above and echoes down to the hell I’m currently in. The wall looks so damn tempting to punch.

Even though it’s made of cinderblock.

I pace back and forth as the soundtrack to my life plays in the stadium around me. A place I no longer belong.

I’ve gotta get the fuck out of here before I do something I’ll regret.

Fuck this.

“I’m outta here.”

“We need time to consider where your contract falls into play after this unexpected turn of events. Let’s reconvene tomorrow morning at eight, after I’ve conferred with my colleagues.”

Hot Series
» Kate Daniels Series read online
» Black Dagger Brotherhood Series read online
» Cassandra Palmer Series read online
» Rosemary Beach Series read online
» Sea Breeze Series read online
» Too Far Series read online
» Shatter Me Series read online
» Thoughtless Series read online
» Marriage to a Billionaire Series read online
» The Iron Druid Chronicles read online
» A Shade of Vampire Series read online
» The Sullivans Series read online
Most Popular
» The Catch (The Player #2)
» After All
» After the Game (The Field Party #3)
» Sweet Little Thing (Sweet #1)
» Boys South of the Mason Dixon (South of the
» Because of Lila (Sea Breeze Meets Rosemary
» Wildfire (Hidden Legacy #3)
» White Hot (Hidden Legacy #2)
» The Chosen (Black Dagger Brotherhood #15)
» Devil's Cut (The Bourbon Kings #3)
» The Brightest Sunset (The Darkest Sunrise #
» The Darkest Sunrise (The Darkest Sunrise #1