Thank you so much for reading The One For Me. Let me just tell you that Sean is my favorite hero I’ve ever written. You may not agree, and that’s fine, but I just loved him. He was so special to me. So perfect and pretty much my catnip. I don’t know why I waited so long to write this scene, but I was reluctant, and then I missed him too much and came back to this. The last book of the series is available now. Stay for Me is a beautiful story with one of my favorite plots!
Without further adieu is my special scene with my love.
“Just a hit, just a hit, just a hit,” I say with my fingers crossed, eyes closed, and heart in my stomach as I sit in the box that we rented to watch game seven of the World Series. It’s two outs, bottom of the ninth, and Sean has two balls and one strike.
“You’re not watching?” My sister-in-law, Ellie, asks as she slaps my arm.
I glare at her, and then go back to my position. I do this each time he’s up, and I can’t break the spell now. You know, because it’s all about the mojo I’m sending.
“Mom?” Austin calls my name, and I make a low growl. This kid knows not to disturb me when I’m in my zone.
“Austin, keep it up, and I’ll call the nanny to come get you.”
He groans, knowing I’ll do it. Our nanny is amazing, but he thinks he’s too old for her and fights anytime I leave him with her.
“What are you doing anyway?” he asks.
“She’s chanting,” Connor says from the back. “Because she’s a crazy person.”
I tune out my stupid family and focus on listening to the crowd. We’re in Tampa for the last game and praying the home field gives us the advantage.
So far, it hasn’t.
We’ve been up and then down and then up and now we’re back down again.
I need to not be down.
I need for him to win.
“That was a ball!” Connor screams, and I want to cry. This is it.
I can’t handle an off season with him somehow making this solely his fault.
“Devney, seriously?” Maren, my college best friend, nudges me.
“Does no one understand superstitions?” I ask aloud, clearly irritated.
“She’s crazy when Dad is at bat. I mean, she’s crazy when he’s not at bat, but it’s worse now,” my soon-to-be-grounded son says.
I open one eye and look at him. “I can hear you.”
“We know,” Connor laughs.
“Shit!” I hear Declan scream. “Okay, it’s okay. We’re still alive. Come on, Sean!”
“What happened?” I ask.
Austin answers first. “If you watched, you wouldn’t have to ask.”
“If you keep it up, you’re going to find yourself cleaning horse shit in the barn for a month.”
Everyone laughs, and I force my eyes open. The television in our box is muted because I can’t stand the commentary when he’s at bat. Let alone right now when it’ll be nonstop about how if he doesn’t get a hit, we’re done and will lose the series.
Come on, baby. I know you can do this.
I send it out in my heart, praying he can feel my faith in him. Okay, maybe I am a crazy person.
Maren answers. “He hit the ball on the wrong side of the goal posts.”
I roll my eyes. “It’s a foul ball post, goal posts are football.”
“They’re yellow and stick up in the air. I care zero percent about sports. I’m here for moral support.”
“And because you’re avoiding wedding plans.”
“What is going on now? Pitching change maybe?” Declan asks.
Connor scoffs. “Not a chance. Not with two strikes.”
“Dad looks like he’s going to puke,” Austin notes.
That one sentence has me on my feet. I move to the railing outside the box and lean over as he swings the bat a few times.
There’s a runner on first, who would tie the game, and I know my husband is stressed. Sean has handled this shit for years, but the last year has been different for him, he had his injury, then the fear that he would be the same after, and maybe he should quit.
I stand there, waiting for his eyes to find mine.
I’m right here, Sean.
Like a moth to the flame, his head lifts, scanning the crowd. I hold my hand up, hoping he’ll find me.
And when he does, I sigh. In a crowd of fifty-two thousand people, right now, Sean and I are the only ones that exist.
I smile, hoping he can see it, not really sure if he can, and he moves the tip of the bat towards me.
He sees it.
“I love you. I believe in you and no matter what, I will be here,” I tell him, knowing there’s not a shot in hell he could hear it, but I said it anyway.
I do what we always do and show him the sign for I love you and then blow him a kiss. He cracks his neck to the side, which is what he does to tell me he loves me too, and the coaches leave the mound, Chisholm still in.
He’s got this.
Maren hands me a soda. “I am—”
“Shh! He’s back in the box.” My hands are together in front of my mouth as I start the chant again. “Just a hit, just a hit, just a . . .”
The sound of the ball hitting the bat echoes in the stadium, and I swear all of the air is sucked out of the room, and I burst out in tears.
I don’t think I’ve ever felt so fucking nervous. Normally, the nerves actually settle me, which I know is a crazy thing, but it’s true. The more pressure, the better I perform.
However, this moment. This isn’t just pressure. It’s a goddamn tractor trailer of bricks, inside a train car, on a plane, that has landed on my chest.
No one will remember the hit I had in the second inning. They won’t care that Decker struck out before me, and before him, Diaz went down.
If we lose, it’ll be all on me.
Well, it is what it is, and I can’t do a thing about this. Chisholm shifts his body, steps back, lifts his leg, and the ball is coming.
I force myself to hold off when I see it low.
Two balls, two strikes, two years off my life.
“Let’s go, Arrowood!” The chant grows louder, so loud I can’t drown it out.
“Time!” the ump calls as the pitching coach is walking to the mound.
I step out of the box, using this moment to practice my swing. I regret not having Devney and Austin sit in the family area close to the field. I wish I could see her, watch her do her insane chant thing, but my brothers rented a box, and I thought it might be better than having her too close. Fans can be vicious.
I look up where the press box is and go a little to the right, and my fucking heart stops.
There, against the railing on the third base side, is my whole damn world. She’s going to fall over the damn railing if she leans any further, so I move the bat so she knows I found her.
It’s really annoying having to do these things because I am always on camera.
But just seeing her, I settle down.
My pulse slows a bit, breathing returning to normal. Then I see our sign, and I don’t know what to say other than . . . I’ve got this.
I just need to focus my mind, and no matter what happens, I know what I value the most in life will never change—not over a game.
What’s one truth about an arrow? I hear my mother’s voice in my head.
That every shot counts, Mom. And this one counts more than most.
“Ready to blow the biggest moment in your career, Arrowood?” Ossorio, the catcher, asks.
“Dick,” I reply, and he laughs.
“May the best man win.”
“I plan to.”
I take my stance in the batter’s box, lift my bat, and breathe. The crowd is going nuts, but it’s so loud that it almost is a hum that I can’t focus on.
The ball comes, and I can’t tell if it’s going to curve, but if it doesn’t, I know I have to swing. I wait, the world almost feeling as though it’s slowing for me, and I focus on dropping my weight to use the power in my legs.
Just a hit.
Just get on base.
The sound that is every batter’s dream echoes, and I’m moving toward first, then the most deafening sound I’ve ever heard fills the stadium as I see the word HOMERUN across the screen in centerfield. I leap in the air, arms raised, and I just had the ultimate baseball moment. The things that I dreamed of as a kid and thought I’d never see in my years of playing.
People are jumping up and down, hugging each other, and crying. My first base coach slaps my ass as I move past him, and I move around the bases as my teammates pile out and crowd around home plate.
The pile on is amazing. I soak it all up and know I’ll never forget a moment of this.
We celebrate. This team that clawed its way here. The underdogs who were always counted out.
But we did it.
I’m pulled all over for interviews, and all I want is to find my wife and son. That’s who I want to hug.
Devney is probably in the process of being brought down, and I keep checking the dugout to see if she’s the next to emerge.
Finally, I see her. She’s running toward me, blonde hair swaying back and forth as she moves, Austin behind her.
She crashes into me, face buried in my neck as she clings to me.
“We did it,” I say in her hair, hiding my face in case I get too emotional.
“You did it. You did this, my love.”
Her watery gaze meets mine. “You calmed me.”
“Fine, I did that,” she jokes, and I kiss her perfect lips for much less than I would like to.
Austin stands there, and I open my arm, taking them both in my embrace. “I’m so proud of you, Dad.”
I rub the top of his head. “This will be you one day, Aus. This will be you.”
He’s incredibly talented and a much better player than I was at his age.
“For now, it’s your moment.”
The three of us laugh.
Two of the press team come over. “The ceremony is beginning, Mr. Arrowood, and you’ll definitely be called upon to speak to the crowd.”
Everyone is still here, clapping and waving, celebrating in their own way.
Devney takes a step back from me, her hand patting my chest. “Well, you go be the hero that I’ve always known you are.”
“I’m your hero, baby.”
She smiles, leans up on her toes, and kisses my cheek. “You’re the one for me.”
“And I am a lucky man, Devney Arrowood. Because there’s no one in this world who loves you more than I do.”
Thank you again for reading this book! I hope you’re ready for the final book in this series! Jacob is going to own your heart! You can read Free in Kindle Unlimited now!