Epilogue ★ Hall of Fame

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"Ladies and gentlemen, tonight is a special night," the first commentator said, looking at the camera. The stadium was behind him, packed to the brim with people and covered with the home team's colors.

The man next to him nodded. "That's right, Tim. Tonight will go down in history. We have the first female coach of a professional baseball team helming a team that's had the hottest streak of the season."

The first presenter added, "It's worth noting also that the rival team, and last year's champion, won't let her achieve victory that easy. Unless tonight's strategy is to continually walk him."

I laughed, one of those laughs that come deep from your belly, and it feels as satisfying as a hearty meal. I remembered I was hungry after commuting from work, and stuffed my mouth with popcorn. I briefly glanced to the side and said, "This part's good, wait for it."

The second guy picked right up as he talked to the camera. "And that may have something to do with her husband, who has the league's highest RBI record just this year. I tell you, these two are bound for the Hall of Fame."

"Oh, man, what a family!" the first guy gushed. They went on to rattle stats on both teams and what they'd accomplished during the season so far. My so called husband threw popcorn at me.

"Stop, when are we gonna watch something else?" he asked, rolling his eyes.

Sabrina was sitting at the base of the sofa with our dog. She turned to me with the same green, pleading eyes as her father. "Seriously, mama. I wanna watch a Disney princess movie, can we?"

She took after me more than she cared to admit. She was as obsessed with any Disney classic from my time as I was watching the first time my team played her dad's. Meanwhile Sebastian bounced on his seat and asked us all to let him hear.

"They're gonna introduce dad!" he exclaimed, pointing as Santi's stats appeared on the screen. He ooh'ed and aah'ed at the appropriate times as though he hadn't watched this a thousand times already, and I turned to Santi with a smugness that I could tell irritated him. This was my favorite thing in the world to do, brag about him. And a little about myself, why not.

Santiago poked me on the cheek. "I can see your ego growing from here."

I chuckled and went back to eating popcorn as the game started. Eventually the dog was the first one to give up and leave, which was fine. I wasn't expecting him to understand what an achievement he was watching. But I hoped, maybe with a bit too heavy a hand, that our kids did. That they understood that they, too, could grasp their dreams in their hands.

Sabrina eventually fell asleep. Her dad picked her up and put her in bed. As soon as he came back he found little Seb dozing off as well, so he had to pick him up and retrace his steps. I paused the game and waited for him to come back. When he did, I patted the couch next to me and cuddled against him once he'd sat down. Santi put his arm around me and kissed my forehead.

"So," his chest rumbled as he spoke. "Just how many times are you going to be replaying the hall of fame induction ceremony to them after tomorrow?"

I smiled against his chest, with the steady beat of his heart against my cheek. "About a million times, but only if I look good in that stupid red dress that mom bought me."

He laughed. "Your dad's going to flip when he sees you."

"Well, too late. A guy already stole me off from him."

I felt him shake his head. "No, I bet he's relieved."

I smacked his flat stomach. I lifted my head to look up at him, not quite believing how I'd got so lucky. We'd thought being far away form each other at college had been hard, but that had been nothing compared to when he got drafted in the pros and started traveling around the country. We had to claw our way through living close enough to his home team and my first job before we were able to get married. And then we lucked out, each of us getting contracts in the Tristate area. We were far from both of our parents, but they came to visit us often.

"I'm relieved," I said. "That this worked out."

He kissed my nose. "Knowing you, I'm not surprised. You're amazing, my little honey bunny."

I smacked him so hard this time that he hissed out a curse. "Don't you dare say that in your speech tomorrow."

He rubbed his sore spot but offered me a wide, toothy grin. "And what if I do?"

I tossed the blanket I'd wrapped around me aside and jumped on him, straddling his thighs. I combed back his hair and grabbed fistfuls of it between my fingers. His green eyes heated up as his hands traveled up my thighs. I felt the touch in every fibre of my being.

"I'm going to have to punish you," I said. And then to make him understand what that meant, I stood up and left him cold. "Well, that's only if you're a bad boy."

He growled as he stood up, all wall of muscles and strength, and picked me right up from the floor. I squeaked as he balanced me in his arms. "Oh, but I am a bad boy."

I looped an arm around his shoulders and sighed. "My bad boy."

He climbed up the stairs and tossed me on the bed, closing the door softly not to wake up the kids or the dog. And he showed me just how much of a bad boy he was. All night long. Next day as we were both being inducted into the MLB hall of fame, the cameras probably picked up the dark bags under our eyes. Ellen gave me a special wink from the reporters' corner.

And so it was official. My dream had come true.

 My dream had come true

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you guys i have so many feels but i wanna read yours, please send them my way

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you guys i have so many feels but i wanna read yours, please send them my way.

i wish i could wrap myself in fluffy blankets and cry myself to sleep right now thank you for reading kthxbai.

(but there's actually one more update i'll share with y'all so please stay tuned!)

Oops! This image does not follow our content guidelines. To continue publishing, please remove it or upload a different image.

(but there's actually one more update i'll share with y'all so please stay tuned!)

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