“I’m so sorry about the way you were treated yesterday.” Victor reached for Michelle’s hand as soon as they were alone in the limo. His grip was firm and reassuring, like a comfortable leather glove.
“I won’t let yesterday damper our mood today.” Michelle gave his hand a light squeeze. “You’re going to love where we’re going.” She scooted closer on the seat. There were a lot of reasons why she’d chosen Victor for the At-First-Sight date. He really had captured her attention, and his sultry brown eyes made her melt.
“Where are we going?” He squeezed her hand back and leaned closer until their shoulders were touching. He smelled so good. It was more than just his cologne. He smelled good.
Michelle welcomed the warmth that spread through her core. She shook off the impulse to lean over and kiss him. First date, hello! Get a grip. “I might as well tell you since you’ll probably figure it out as we get closer and closer.”
Victor glanced out the window as if he’d be able to guess already, then chuckled and smiled down at her.
“I arranged for you to give me a private tour of Dodgers Stadium.” She bit her lower lip.
“I like your emphasis on the word ‘private’ in that statement.” Victor’s eyes were smoldering.
“Oh, my heck.” Michelle gulped. “Your eyes… I like the way you… private?”
Victor’s face closed the distance and he spoke near her ear. “Yes, private.”
“Okay…” She could hardly breathe.
“What part of the stadium would you like to see first?” His whisper tickled her neck and she shivered.
“What?” Her eyes closed involuntarily, and Victor chuckled, sultry, deep. Michelle whipped her eyes open and pulled back slightly. “Stadium. Right. We’re going to see the stadium.”
“Unless there’s something else you’d like to do…” Victor raised one eyebrow.
“No, yes, I mean, no, there’s nothing else I want to do, and yes, I want to go see the stadium.”
“How about if I show you the dugout first?” Victor squeezed her hand lightly. “Not many people get a chance to have a major league player take them on a tour of the dugout.”
“Well aren’t I the luckiest girl in the world, then?” Michelle teased.
“Did you just batt your eyelashes at me?” Victor laughed.
“We’re going to have some fun today,” he said.
“What else are you going to show me?” Michelle scooted closer again, but not in a seductive way. More that she was excited to spend time with him.
“We could bypass the more cliché attractions like getting your picture taken with the statue of Jackie Robinson or viewing the World Series trophies.”
“Have you ever won a World Series?” Michelle felt like a fan girl asking for his autograph.
“Not yet.” Victor’s eyes danced.
“Are you good enough?”
“It doesn’t matter.” Victor shook his head. “The whole team has to be good in order for us to make it to the World Series. It takes more than a decent first baseman.”
“That is a very humble way to look at it.” Michelle raised her chin in approval.
Their conversation paused as the limo pulled into the nearly-empty parking lot of Dodgers Stadium. They drove past the main gate where fans would enter and drove around back to a private VIP entrance. Victor waited while the driver came around to open the door for him and Michelle snickered.
“Used to the royal treatment, are you?”
“No, I’m used to the Dodger’s treatment.” Victor winked then stepped from the car and turned to offer Michelle his hand.
“Very funny.” Michelle found herself giggling at his joke.
Victor made her feel like no other man had ever before. Ashton’s shaggy blond curls briefly appeared in her mind, but she pushed away the vision. Today was about Victor and she was determined open her heart.
“Sometimes people get emotional as they come through this tunnel and up into the stadium.” Already the tour guide, Victor had Michelle’s hand tucked in his arm as he led her up the concrete tunnel.
“I don’t understand,” Michelle said. “It’s just a baseball stadium, right?”
“Just a stadium?” Victor held his hand over his heart as if she’d stabbed him. “You can feel the history just walking into this iconic majesty.”
“I must confess, I’m not a huge baseball fan.”
Victor let go of her arm and stepped away, startling her with his mock hurt. “I’m sorry, but we can no longer date one another.”
He turned as if to walk away, then turned back around, laughing, and pulled Michelle back into his arms.
“You’re such a tease.” She leaned her head back to laugh but caught sight of the blue sky above and glanced down at the perfectly-manicured turf.
She pulled away from Victor but held firm to his hand as they stepped out onto the field. She was almost afraid to walk, fearing she’d spoil the diamond that was perfectly drawn with white lines, never having been tainted by a base runner.
“It’s incredible,” she whispered and looked up at him.
“Told you.” His smoldering eyes accentuated the husky tone of his voice.
Michelle cleared her throat and glanced side to side. “Which dugout is yours?”
“Over here.” He led her to their right and down a few steps.
“I think I expected the dugout to be, I don’t know, dirtier.” Michelle turned all the way around. “Considering how much spitting baseball players do.”
“We have people for that.” Victor nodded.
“People for what?”
“To clean up after us.” So matter-of-fact. Michelle almost imagined him dismissing the question with a slight wave of his hand.
“You should just keep it clean and save them the trouble,” she joked.
“I’ll be sure to let the other guys know,” he said. “Then again, I wouldn’t want to put some poor janitor out of a job.”
“Maybe you should pay your janitors more.” She had fun teasing him. “Then they wouldn’t be poor.”
“Very funny, you playful little thing.” Victor pulled her back into his arms and his face lowered, pausing just inches from hers.
I will not kiss him on the first date. I will not kiss him on the first date.
Yet the next second, she was kissing him.
Oops. Well, she had promised herself to open her heart. She pulled away quickly, embarrassed.
“Guess we’d better finish our tour.” She cleared her throat.
“We can save the rest of this conversation for later…” Victor said.