Chapter 14

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"Good steal tonight man. You still got it."

Josh nodded tiredly at the passing compliment and slumped over, braced on his thighs. He was bone-tired, and mentally wiped.

"Thanks, man." he said, not sure who had said it.

He was beating himself up for giving in, walking the ball over to her like a magnet pulling him, letting her know he knew she was there. What was he thinking? She was wearing ridiculous sunglasses, her friend's hat jammed over her head, her gorgeous firecracker hair all tucked up under it. She'd just sat immobile, her mouth open in surprise as he'd handed her the ball. It was obvious she did not want him to see her there. She'd been hiding, for Christ's sake.

He'd wanted her to take off her glasses so he could see her eyes, but the words stilled in his throat when she made a small sound of terror. He would have stood there like an idiot, and thankfully Sharla had diffused the situation as only she could. It had been his cue to get his ass back into the game.

He was not over her yet. Maybe he never would be.

When he'd stolen third, he'd looked back to her without even a thought, and she'd been sitting up in her seat, cheering for him, her sunglasses in her hand. She'd stilled the moment their eyes met, her teeth in her lower lip, but her eyes sparkling. The heat that had risen in him almost caused him to walk straight off the field to her and pull her to him, to connect that heat back to its source. But he couldn't, of course, and now, she was long gone. He had no idea where she lived in the city, or if she would even want to see him. Her reaction to him when he'd come over with the ball had spoken volumes anyways.

"Dammit." he swore to himself. He had drinks to go to with friends, and likely he'd be on the list to interview based on his steal. It had made the game reel on ESPN.

-----

"Drinks. Food." Sharla said. "Where should we go? You need something like a stiff scotch, at the very least."

"The One Eighty is really nice and has super views of the city. Its one of the restaurants I consult for so I'm sure we can get in. We could do late dinner."

"Sounds perfect." Sharla said, and hailed a cab. "Kevin, we're going for dinner. Coming?"

Kevin levelled a possessive gaze at Sharla, and strode to her, putting his hand on the small of her back as they hopped into the minivan that had pulled up to them. Gretchen remembered, as she stepped in, how Josh had put his hand just there when they were boarding the plane.

Tonight was going to be hard. She was a third wheel, and in a weird way it was dredging up memories of him.

"Where to, folks?" the cab driver asked cheerily.

"Bloor Street. Uhmm... 55." she stuttered as she sat, caught in a memory of Josh holding her as they banked into Vegas. It felt like just yesterday. Her hand went to her stomach, the sensation making her nerves tingle.

Kevin had put himself beside Sharla, and had an arm around her. Sharla was looking out the window, trying to ignore the arm. Gretchen got the feeling there was something going on between her best friend and her boss. She didn't want to pry, even though the curiosity was killing her.

They zoomed off, the lights and cacophony of downtown Toronto jumbling together. Kevin chatted about the game with them, and she relaxed a bit, zoning out, half-hearing the conversation. It would be ok. He would be long gone by now, back to his hotel. They were playing again tomorrow, but she was not going. No way.

"Earth to Gretchen." Sharla said, snapping her fingers in front of Gretchen's face.

"Sorry." Gretchen said, turning from the window. "What was that?"

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