Rookie Move(5)

By: Sarina Bowen


After tossing the folder on her desk, she gathered up her bags and shook off her coat. She sat down in her office chair, her back to the Brooklyn Navy Yard out the window behind her. Usually she stopped for a moment just to appreciate the view, but now her phone was buzzing again. It was DJ calling once more, and now she understood why—her old friend DJ just happened to be Leo Trevi’s little brother.

The phone stopped ringing before she could answer it, but a text appeared next. Call me? I need to tell you something, so you won’t be shocked later.

Georgia’s answering text was only two words: too late.

The phone rang in her hand again, and she answered it this time. “Hi,” she said. “How are you?”

“Pretty damn good,” he said. “I’m on winter break in Aspen with Lianne.”

“Nice. I sort of remember what vacations are like. Though the details are fuzzy.”

He chuckled in her ear. DJ and his older brother sounded nothing alike, which was one reason she found it easy to stay close to him. Their friendship was totally separate from the past she had with his brother. “Gigi, are you okay?” he asked.

“Um, sure?” she said, convincing nobody.

“I mean . . .” He was quiet for a moment. “You never talk about him. Like, never. And whenever I mention him in passing, you always change the subject.”

That was entirely true. “Why can’t you be like other men, who don’t notice things?”

“Sorry, girl.” He snickered. “Have you seen him yet?”

“No,” she said quickly. Because she was sure DJ was asking whether she’d spoken to Leo, and not whether she’d spied on him through a two-inch crack in the door. “All right, then. Since I never ask, give me the 411 on your brother.”

“Well, the big news is that he’s the newest rookie forward for the Brooklyn Bruisers.”

“You’re hysterical.” Some warning would have been nice. But trades happened swiftly and secretly. That was the nature of the beast.

“He just got the call yesterday, Gi. I heard late last night when I finally turned on my phone and found a voice mail from my mom.”

“Huh,” she said. Her boss had been a busy man yesterday. Why had he bothered acquiring a new player the day before her father showed up? Even if he’d made it too loudly, her dad did have a point.

“Leo’s been busting his ass on that AHL team for a season and a half. He’d been hoping to get called up to Detroit, but a trade gets the job done just the same.”

“What else?” Georgia asked, wincing at the vagueness of her own question. The things she really wanted to know were the things she did not have a right to ask. Did Leo ever talk about her? Did he have a girlfriend? Or worse—was he engaged to be married?

God. That idea made her shudder. If there was a fiancée in his life, she needed to know now so she could work on her game face.

“I dunno what he’s been up to this season. I haven’t seen him since Christmas. But I guess I’ll be coming to a Bruisers game pretty soon. If they’re really going to play him in the big house.”

“Come anytime,” she said. “Can’t wait to see you.”

“Let me guess—that’s not what you would have said to Leo.”

Busted. “Well . . .” She cleared her throat. “It’s hard.”

He went quiet again. “Maybe it doesn’t have to be. It’s been more than five years, you know? He’ll probably be really happy to see you.”

She doubted that very much. The last time they’d spoken was the day she dumped him. “We’ll get through somehow,” she said, praying it was true.

“Hang in there,” DJ said. “Call me, okay? Lianne and I aren’t skiing today. We’re too sore from yesterday.”

“How will you fill the time, then? Just the two of you in a hotel room . . .” She giggled into the phone.

“No comment,” he said, laughing. “Bye.”

“Bye!” She hung up the phone with a smile, but it faded quickly. Talking to DJ was easy. Talking to his brother would not be.

And she had a press conference to throw. Pushing Leo’s file folder away from her on the desk, she tried to get to work.





TWO




For Leo Trevi, the last twenty-four hours had been a wild ride in the best possible way. He could hardly believe he was standing just outside Nate Kattenberger’s inner sanctum.

On the taxi ride over from the hotel, he’d wondered what to expect from the great Kattenberger hockey headquarters. Leo had pictured the Internet billionaire as the sort of guy to command the entire penthouse floor of a Manhattan skyscraper, with his desk in the center of a grand, rink-sized room. And maybe that’s the setup he had at his corporate headquarters in Manhattan. But this space felt more like a sound stage on an old movie set. Leo kept expecting guys to step out of the shadows in bowler hats and sporting handlebar mustaches. Instead, there was the friendly female office manager with purple hair and Dr. Martens.

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