Diamond rolled her eyes. “Dodger needs to find a new place to live then. There’s no reason the two of us should have to pick up his slack. You’re a glorified bitch boy, I’m a teller at a bank, and he’s a fucking badass sports reporter who makes a shit load of money since he’s in such high demand right now. There’s no reason in the world he shouldn’t be paying his way. He only does it because you let him.”

I sighed. “Dodger is our brother. I can’t turn it off with him any more than I can with you. Love doesn’t work that way.”

Diamond had nothing to say to that.

“Anyway,” I said. “I get paid in two days. It’ll be okay.”

Maybe. Hopefully.

I did get paid in two days, but I also maxed out my credit card to pay for the Lumberjack game tickets. A game that I’d literally almost died at while attending.

I’d gotten back to Diamond in the third inning and had to leave in the eighth when Dodger had called to say that he was stranded on the side of the road because he’d blown a tire.

After arriving to pick him up, I’d called Triple-A and then had taken everybody home. Shortly after that, I’d passed out and didn’t wake up until about thirty minutes ago.

Then I’d gotten in the shower and had quickly gotten dressed before applying makeup. Which led me to now, sitting here trying to explain myself to my nineteen-year-old sister.

“Diamond…”

The front doorbell rang, and Diamond sighed. “You look fine, as usual.”

Then she was out of the room and racing toward the door.

I, however, hung back and surveyed myself in the mirror a few seconds longer before knowing this was as good as it was going to get.

My hair was long and limp, my eyes were dull, and I hated my body five days out of seven.

My lower lip was big, and my eyes sometimes felt like they were too wide.

Then, there were my ears.

I had Vulcan ears.

Well, not true Vulcan ears. Maybe more like fairy ears.

They were pointy at the top, and I despised them.

My ears were the funniest of topics in middle and high school, and everybody who was anybody made fun of me.

It’d been ten years since I’d graduated from high school, and still, to this day, I remembered that hell.

Then, to add insult to injury, I’d have to come home and deal with bullying all over again, thanks to an abusive father that hated me.

Then again, I shouldn’t feel special. He hated me, my mother, and Diamond equally.

Dodger, he could deal with, which I think was the hardest part.

Dodger was never quite there enough to stop the inevitable beatings.

He’d always conveniently disappear, and I chose to think that was due to the fact that it was a coincidence. Not because he saw us getting punished for something stupid by my father and stayed the hell away.

“Uhhh,” Diamond said, interrupting my morbid thoughts. “There’s someone at the door who wants to talk to you.”

I frowned and flipped my hair free from my face, coming to a stop just inside the living room.

What I saw there stunned me.

It wasn’t the man holding the massive bouquet of flowers, though. It was the flowers themselves. They were enormous, numerous, and my absolute favorites.

They weren’t roses. They were wildflowers. Tulips and daisies. Tiny little pink flowers that I had no clue what they were, and then a small little bear holding a baseball tucked somewhere in between.

“Ma’am?”

I looked over to the man that was holding the flowers and smiled. “Yes?”

“Are you Wrigley Field?”

I nodded.

“Yes,” I confirmed. “Can I help you?”

The man’s shirt read ‘Flowers by Powers’ on the breast pocket, and I couldn’t quite figure out why my heart was racing as badly as it was.

“No,” he paused. “I’m just here to entrust some tickets to you…this time behind the safety net.”

My mouth fell open.

“Really?”

The man nodded.

“Well,” I hesitated. “Thank you. My sister will love it.”

And that was when I realized that I’d been standing, leaning against my doorjamb daydreaming about the man.

I scowled.

“More baseball tickets?” Diamond whispered hopefully.

I sighed. There’d be no giving them back now.

“Yeah, from Furious George.”

Diamond’s mouth fell open in surprise. “You’re kidding, right?”

I shook my head. “No,” I held out the tickets. “Not even a little bit.”

Diamond snatched the tickets, then she shrieked so loud that my eardrum nearly busted. “Oh my God!”

I grinned, then waved her off. “I gotta go. I have a speech to give in twenty-eight minutes. Are you okay to get to work?”

Diamond snorted. “I’ve been doing this getting myself ready on my own thing for upward of eight years now, Wrigley. I’m pretty sure I can handle getting to work after you got this wonderful surprise, though. You will be taking me with you, won’t you?”


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