I was looking for something else in my Google Drive files this morning, and came across this piece. I don’t even remember when I wrote it! It doesn’t fit into any of the upcoming stories, and it’s not long – so I figured, why not publish it here?
The setting: a baseball game, LAPD Centurions vs. LA County Sheriff’s Department. The date: July 2007.
“Batting next, Kevin Brodie, West LA.”
I nudged Pete Ferguson in the ribs with an elbow. “Kevin’s batting.”
“Hm?” Pete looked up from the book he was reading and gave me a weak smile. “Sorry.”
Pete was Kevin’s partner, but only for another two months. In September he’d leave LAPD and begin full-time study for a Ph.D. in criminal psychology at UCLA. He seemed to be getting a head start by reading every scholarly tome ever published on the subject. Pete himself had played for the LAPD Centurions for several years, but he’d left the team after last season.
The pitcher threw a curveball, low and outside. It didn’t fool Kevin. Ball one. On the other side of me my boyfriend, Nick Taggart, applauded and whistled. “Way to watch, Brodie!”
I grinned. Nick had just finished his MFA in cinematography. I hadn’t expected him to be a sports fan when I met him, but I’d been pleasantly surprised.
The pitcher wound up and threw a fastball, which Kevin smacked into deep left field. The two players on second and third scored, and Kevin ended up on second base with a stand up double.
The crowd went wild.
After the game we loitered around the stadium exit, waiting for Kevin. He walked out with a second player, a guy I recognized as being a K-9 officer from Pacific Division. There were a couple of girls waiting closer to the gate, and Kevin and K-9 stopped to talk to them. One of the girls wrapped an arm around K-9’s waist. The other was being introduced to Kevin. She shook his hand, and I saw Kevin grin.
I elbowed Pete again. “Kevin’s getting introduced to a girl.”
“Yeah?” Pete glanced up. “She’s cute.”
Nick squinted at the girl. “She looks familiar.”
I said, “Where do you know her from?”
“I’m not sure. Maybe work.”
The girl was cute. She was tall, at least 5’10”, and had auburn hair pulled into a French braid. She was wearing jeans and a sweater, but it looked like she had a nice shape.
Kevin could use a girlfriend. He’d been divorced for a year now and hadn’t dated much. He was getting snarly. A girlfriend might un-snarl him.
Abby Glenn had not wanted to come to this game. There was an armoire that needed an application of tung oil waiting for her at her sister’s house. But Carrie had insisted. “You need a girl’s night out, Abby. And there are lots of hot guys on the LAPD team. I bet Joe will introduce you to one.”
Carrie had been dating Joe, an LAPD K-9 officer, for about three months. Abby didn’t know about cops. All the ones she’d dealt with in the past, when she was married to Sean, had been assholes. But then Sean had been a scumbag coke head in their eyes. No wonder they’d been assholes.
So Abby had reluctantly agreed to come with Carrie. It hadn’t been bad. Abby liked baseball. Her dad had taken her and her sisters to Dodgers games faithfully when they were kids. And there were hot guys. The game wasn’t very good – LAPD beat the sheriff’s team 8-2. But Carrie had been right. It was nice to have a night out.
After the game Carrie stood. “Come on. We’ll meet up with Joe at the stadium exit.”
Abby followed Carrie out of the stadium. It took about twenty minutes, but finally two guys approached them from the stadium tunnel. Abby didn’t know which was Carrie’s boyfriend. One of them was sort of a stereotypical cop, with the bulked-up shoulders and the buzz cut. The other was a big blond guy with slightly longer hair that Abby recognized as having been the Centurions’ catcher. Abby didn’t remember his name, but she didn’t think it had been Joe.
The guys stopped, and the buzz cut wrapped an arm around Carrie. “Hey, babe.”
Abby cringed a little. She hated the word “babe.” But Carrie preened like an egret. “Hi, sweetie. Good game.”
Abby stifled a snort. Joe hadn’t had a good game – an error in the field, and 0 for 3 at the plate. She thought she was maintaining a pleasantly neutral facial expression, but the big blond guy was looking at her with a twinkle in his eye. Hm. She cleared her throat, and Carrie said, “Oh, honey, this is my friend Abby.”
Joe gave Abby a near-leer. Ugh. She said, “Hi, Joe.”
The big blond guy held out his hand. “Hi, Abby. I’m Kevin Brodie.”
Abby shook his hand. “Abby Glenn.”
Kevin’s smile blossomed into a brilliant grin. “I’m glad to meet you, Abby.”
Abby grinned back. “Likewise.”