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He poked his sister. She looked down and saw the problem immediately.

“Oh my God, what a nightmare,” she said.

“We’ve got to save her,” he said.

“How do you propose to do that? Pun not intended.”

“Follow my lead.” He stood up and made his way out of their row, Angie right behind him.

He walked down the wide stadium stairs, his eyes on the field. When he got two rows down, he paused and glanced to the side. I hope this works, he thought, before he went in.

“Nicole? Nicole, it is you!” he said, loud enough that not only she and the entire camera crew heard but also the other rows around them all turned to look. “Angela, look, it’s Nicole! We haven’t seen you for . . . my God, how many years has it been?”

Angela took up his prompt as Carlos pushed the camera crew aside to get to Nicole.

“At least five years, Carlos, it’s got to be? Nicole, how are you?” His sister threw her arms around the grinning woman, and whispered something in her ear before the embrace ended.

“It’s so great to see you after all this time!” Angela said. She looked around with a huge smile on her face, and appeared to notice the camera crew for the first time. “Oh my goodness, are we interrupting something? I am so sorry, guys!” She smiled at the three men who had surrounded Nicole up until about thirty seconds before, with that wide-eyed look that had never failed to make men fall at her feet. “We haven’t seen each other for so long, imagine running into you here.”

“Oh wow, how do you know each—”

Carlos stepped in front of the guy with the camera. If the dude got aggressive, well, Carlos was pretty sure he had at least four inches and thirty pounds on him.

“We were just heading to get more beer and Dodger Dogs, want to come with?”

Want to come with? He sounded like one of his sixteen-year-old patients.

“Great idea, I’m starving.” Nicole wiggled past the cameraman. “Chat with you guys later!” she called back to them, as she, Carlos, and Angie raced up the stairs.

Hmmm, apparently, sounding like your sixteen-year-old patients was a way to not seem suspicious.

They kept up the pretense on their way up the stairs, all saying things like “Wow, it’s been so long!” and “Fancy meeting you here!” and “I couldn’t believe my eyes that it was you!” over and over. When they finally got all the way up the stairs and inside, the three of them all leaned against the nearest wall and erupted with laughter.

“Thank you guys SO MUCH for saving me,” Nicole said when she finally stopped laughing. “I was in the middle of trying to remember the martial arts moves I learned twenty years ago, but you rescued me without me having to knock someone down or, more likely, embarrass myself.”

“You’re not saved yet,” Carlos said. He put his hand on her back and grabbed his sister by the arm. “We’ve got to get you out of this stadium. They’ll find you again if you stick around.”

“Oh, I can find my own way out. I’m sure you want to get back to the game.” She stood up straight and smiled at them. “But thank you again, I really appreciate it.”

He was about to say good-bye when he thought of something.

“Did you drive here? Or was your . . . or did you get a ride?”

She shrugged.

“My ride seems to be long gone, but I’m sure there’s another way to get back to Silver Lake from here. Isn’t there a shuttle or something? Or I can get a ride. I have all of those apps.”

He and Angie exchanged glances. He envisioned her waiting in the parking lot at Dodger Stadium for a ride and getting ambushed again. He bet Angie did, too.

“Silver Lake is in our direction,” he said. “We can give you a ride back.” He could miss the rest of the game. It wasn’t like they were playing the Giants or anything.

She raised her eyebrows at him and turned to Angela to shake her head.

“No, seriously, that’s okay. You don’t have to give up the rest of the game for me; you don’t even know me. Plus, you two probably have better things to do than drive a stranger around Los Angeles.”

Angela looked confused and then laughed.

“Oh wait, did you think we were on a date? Ugh, no, he’s my brother. Trust me, I’d rather be driving you around L.A. than watching baseball with him.”

Nicole looked at Carlos.

“Are you sure? You really don’t have to.”

He grinned and threw his arm around both women.

“Call it my good deed for the week,” he said. “Come on, let’s go before those vultures follow you.”

Chapter Two

. . . . . . .

Nik walked across the parking lot with Carlos and Angela. She was grateful the exodus from the game hadn’t started yet, so they didn’t have to wade through crowds of people. The few they did see gave her dirty looks. That’s right, she was the bitch who broke the pretty blond boy’s heart, live on the JumboTron.

She shook her head. That really had happened. She had really been proposed to, and then abandoned, in front of the world.

She could not believe Fisher had done that to her. Just that he’d proposed to her in the first place was shocking—she would have been certain neither of them thought their relationship was heading toward marriage. She didn’t think either of them wanted their relationship to head toward marriage. But not only did he do it, he did it in public. At a baseball game? Good God, she was furious at him.

She also felt like a huge asshole. She’d just refused her boyfriend’s proposal in front of thousands of people. On his birthday. All of the people giving her dirty looks hated her for a good reason. She hadn’t meant to hurt Fisher! He was a perfectly nice, incredibly boring guy. She probably could have found a nicer way to respond to the proposal, but she was so stunned she couldn’t think straight. Plus, diplomacy had never been her strong point.

Thank God she’d gotten rescued by the Wonder Twins here. She should probably be wary of getting in a car with two strangers who had picked her up at a baseball stadium at a low moment in her life, but she didn’t have the energy. She should especially be wary of this guy, who seemed way too attractive for his own good, with his tousled dark brown hair, big brown eyes, and that slight Saturday scruff on his cheeks. Normal Nik wouldn’t have trusted this guy for a second. Dazed by the JumboTron, Nik had told him where she lived. But at this point, she didn’t have the strength to do anything but be relieved she was no longer inside the stadium.

“Thanks again for getting me out of there. I was just sitting there texting my girlfriends about this fiasco and trying to figure out how I was going to get home when the camera crew showed up. I still can’t believe any of this happened.”

Carlos unlocked his car, one of the fancy red sports cars she was used to seeing around L.A. Ah, yes, of course the kind of guy who would almost knock down the cameraman and smile while he did it would have a red sports car. He opened the front passenger door for her. She shook her head.

“Oh no, I can get in the back.”

Angela laughed and opened the back door.

“Don’t worry about it, Nikole. I think you deserve shotgun today.”

“Nik.” She needed to make this one thing clear, even though she was only going to know these people for the length of the car ride to Silver Lake. “Everyone calls me Nik. My first name is Nikole, yes, but it’s Nikole with a K.”

Angela looked at Nik for a long beat, her hand still on the open back door.

“But didn’t the screen spell it . . .”

“With a C? It sure did!”

She got into the passenger seat and put her seatbelt on, and Angela slid into the seat behind her.

“You do not mean to tell me he spelled your name wrong in his proposal?” Angela said.

“That’s exactly what I’m telling you. Only one of the many things that stunned me about this afternoon.” Her pocket buzzed. “Wait, hold that thought, I have to tell my friends my ride is taken care of.”

She had forty-three new text messages.


She clicked on her messages and let out a deep breath. Okay, thirty-three of the messages were from the group chat with her girlfriends, first their reactions to her initial texts about the proposal and then their increasingly agitated texts asking her where the hell she was when she stopped responding.


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