Home Run (The Boys of Summer 2) - Page 12

“And this is why you called?”

“Of course.”

“Hmm,” she says, pausing. “Well, I guess I owe you an apology. I’m sorry for jumping to conclusions and assuming you were calling to ask me out. It’s just…”

“No, I get it. I was sort of an ass the other day and shouldn’t have put you on the spot.”

She laughs lightly, sending a jolt through my system. Man, what I wouldn’t do to hear a full-on laugh from her because of something I’ve said, and now that I have her on the phone in a somewhat jovial mood, the last thing I want to do is hang up. “Listen, I’m really in the mood for some Italian, like the-best-food-you’ve-ever-had-in-your-life-never-eating-carbs-again-Italian. Do you know a place like that near the ballpark?”

“Well, that depends. Are you looking for casual or fancy, and do you want American Italian or legit Italian?”

Well, that question quickly backfired. I was hoping she’d tell me that she’d show me where to go, but no, she has more questions. The only thing I can do is play along, because the longer I keep her on the phone, the longer I have a chance to get to know her.

“Probably casual and American. I left my tuxedo back in Boston.” I laugh, hoping that she gets my sense of humor. When she does, I fist-pump and give myself one point for hearing a happy sound out of her.

“Right, so you want LaMotta’s. They have the best pizza, and the meatballs are giant.”

“You like big balls?” I realize the horror of my words the second they’re out of my mouth. “I’m sorry, that’s not what I meant. I spend my days around ball players, and we’re not exactly polishing china during the day.”

“It’s fine, but yes, I do enjoy a good meatball, and LaMotta’s is the best.”

“LaMotta’s, got it.”

“What else have you done since you arrived?”

Bingo, now we’re talking. I fill Ainsley in on my lackluster life, mostly due to training and not knowing anyone here. I’m hoping she takes pity on me, and if it’s not tonight, then maybe tomorrow when I call her back asking for directions to her favorite restaurant. As long as I’m talking to her, it’s a step in the right direction. She may have told me no tonight, but that could change in the next few days or weeks.

“Hey, Cooper?”

“Yes, Ainsley.” I know the way I answer her can probably be construed as seductive, but hearing her say my name does things to me that shouldn’t be happening in the parking lot of my apartment complex.

“I need to go. It’s getting late, and I have an early morning meeting.”

My heart drops, but she’s right. My alarm clock will be going off sooner rather than later. “Thanks for all the info on the area.”

“Yeah. If you check out LaMotta’s, let me know.”

“Will do. Good night, Ainsley.”

I hang up after she says goodbye, and fist-pump again in excitement. She left it open for me to call her again, and I plan to do just that. I’m up for the challenge of getting this woman to go out with me, even if it’s just one date.

Chapter 8


“TGIF,” Stella sings as she comes through the door. In her hand are a box of donuts and a bag of muffins, her usual “care package” for the staff on Fridays. I pay her no mind, still pissed at her for giving Cooper Bailey my number.

Well, I’m mad that she gave it to him because I’ve been up late for the past three nights, missed two of my favorite television shows, and am afraid we’ve run out of things to talk about on the phone. I have found that I rather enjoy talking to him, but dating or even dinner is out of the question.

Stella waves the open box of donuts under my face. I pretend to be busy and shake my head. She sits in my chair with a huff.

“What’s wrong? You’re usually good for at least one Boston creme.”

The irony isn’t lost on me that Boston creme is my favorite donut and the one guy who is interested in me plays for Boston.

“I haven’t been getting much s


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