Weekend Excerpt–RUNNING ROGUE

Michael Rannigan is running rogue.

At the end of RESISTING RISK, Book 1 of Rannigan’s Redemption, Maggie Flynn abruptly left the law firm she joined right out of law school. Since Maggie’s abrupt departure from the law firm of Murphy, Rannigan, & Metheny, Michael has been in a tailspin. As he limps along in the new normal, he misses her more than he ever imagined.

Maggie misses Michael as well. But she makes the best of her new job at the District Attorney’s office. Occasionally they cross paths in court, each assessing the other. Like Michael, she finds herself making questionable personal choices.

When opportunity knocks for Michael he leaps at it, maybe as much to avoid Maggie’s absence as anything else. The fact that his decision impacts everyone else at the firm doesn’t slow him down at all.

Then comes news that shakes him to his core. Now that he’s burned all his bridges, who will be there to help him pick up the pieces?

In this scene, Maggie gets a better glimpse into the character of her new love interest, retired MLB pitcher turned sports broadcaster Bobby “Beau” Beaulieu.

Bobby pulled away from the curb in front of Maggie’s apartment. He’d donned a pair of mirrored aviators when they’d gotten in the car. He glanced at her and, seeing her watching him, he winked. “We’ll just get this taken care of and be on our way.”

“Is this a work thing you have to do?” Maggie asked.

Bobby pursed his lips. “Sort of, I guess. There’s a family from Dallas, and they have a son with leukemia. They’ve been flown into town for the weekend to see all the sights and stuff. I believe they’re going to tonight’s exhibition game. Anyway, this is a kind of ‘meet and greet’ out at the stadium. I’ll hang out with the kid for a while, toss a ball around. It probably won’t take too long, I wouldn’t want to drag you to something that would take all day.”

Maggie frowned thoughtfully. “Is this a ‘Make-A-Wish’ kind of thing?”

Bobby nodded. “Um-hmm. The foundation made all the arrangements, sent me the letter from the dad. The boy’s name is Tyler, and apparently, he’s a big fan.”

Maggie smiled slowly, turning towards him. “You mean, out of all the things this boy could ask for, he wanted to meet you?”

He shrugged uncomfortably. “It’s a hell of a thing, isn’t it?”

“I think that’s pretty special,” Maggie said. “Have you ever done this before?”

Again, he tilted his head uncomfortably, eyes straight ahead, and he sighed. “I think this is my twelfth one.”

Maggie straightened back in her seat, smiling out the front window. “Pretty amazing.”

The guard at the stadium gate directed Bobby to the players’ parking area where they were met by a pretty young woman wearing a headset and carrying a clipboard.

“Hi, Beau, welcome. I’m Natalie, we’ve been chatting back and forth all week. I’ll be working to make today’s event smooth.”

“Thanks, Natalie,” he said, blasting her with his high-wattage grin, “This is Maggie. She’s kindly consented to tag along with me today.”

Maggie smiled and said hello. Bobby stepped closer to Natalie. “That thing we talked about? Did that stuff get delivered?”

Natalie smiled. “It did indeed. We’ve got you set up in the locker room.” She checked her watch. “Okay, now the family is supposed to arrive in about fifteen minutes. Do you want to go get changed?”

Bobby nodded. “Yeah, we’ll head in that direction. Thanks, Natalie.”

He led Maggie through a series of doors and passages and finally into a huge locker room. The first thing Maggie noticed was the navy carpet sprinkled with the white NY logo with a huge white NY in the center of the carpet. All around the perimeter of the room were stations comprised of honey oak cabinets, a low counter, and a clothing rack. In front of each station was a white cushioned folding chair, again featuring the NY logo.

At the far end of the room, Maggie saw a seating area made up of a large tan leather sofa flanked by a pair of matching leather armchairs. A low coffee table completed the seating group but it was draped in a navy blue cloth covering something on its top.

Maggie followed Bobby to the only station that seemed occupied. On the clothing rack hung a single uniform. “Here we go,” Bobby said. “I’ll just get changed.” He gripped the bottom of his sweater and pulled it over his head. Maggie stood clasping her hands, uncertain of what to do. Bobby grinned and unbuckled his belt and unbuttoned the fly of his jeans.

“Oh, hey now,” Maggie exclaimed, turning away from him. “I’ll just wander over here.” She heard Bobby’s low chuckle and felt her cheeks flush.

“Hey, what’s over here?” she asked, lifting the corner of the blue drape on the coffee table.

“What it should be,” replied Bobby as he pulled on his uniform pants, “is a bunch of Little League uniforms. Why don’t you take off the cloth so we can make sure?”

Maggie carefully lifted the drape from the table to reveal stacks of red child-sized jerseys and white baseball pants. There were also red socks and boxes of cleats. She noticed some cartons on the floor between the table and the sofa. “There are some boxes over here, too.”

Bobby came over, tucking in his blue jersey as he walked. “They look good,” he nodded approvingly. “And these,” he said, opening one of the cartons, “should be balls, bats, and gloves.” He frowned slightly, checking the other box. “Oh, and caps. Good, it’s all here.”

Maggie looked up to ask about the uniforms but found herself distracted. She was unable to stop what she knew was a goofy smile spreading across her face. Bobby grinned wryly. “What?” he asked.

She shook her head. “I’ve never seen you in a uniform before. It’s…” she stopped, blushing furiously. Bobby waited, eyes twinkling with amusement. “Well, I suddenly find myself strangely drawn to baseball,” she said, chewing absently on her thumbnail.

Bobby laughed. “We’ll make a convert of you yet.”

Maggie remembered her question. “What is all this for?”

“When I read the information about this kid, Tyler? The dad is the coach for his Little League team. He mentioned that most of the kids on the team come from single-parent families, the kind that don’t have the money for uniforms and stuff. I ordered a bunch of things for them. Figure we’ll have to ship it all back to Texas but I wanted to be able to give it to them today.”

Maggie gazed up at him in wonder. “You bought all this equipment and stuff?”

Bobby shrugged. “You can’t play baseball without the essentials. And uniforms mean a lot. I know they did when I was a kid. It was a small thing to do.”

“You are a good man,” she said simply, leaning up on her tiptoes to place a kiss on his cheek. He blushed uncomfortably and she laughed softly.

RUNNING ROGUE by Pandora Spocks

RUNNING ROGUE,
Book 2 of Rannigan’s Redemption,
is available at your favorite online bookseller.
books2read.com/RunningRogue

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