SLIDING HOME | 11/3/20 -sports romance -second chance at love -opposites attract -limo shenanigans
Second chance romance where total opposites attract in the best way... Michelle Benning is determined to pursue her dreams and escape her past. This means working two jobs and going to school, which leaves no time for relationships. So when the one guy she never got over shows up two years after their fling, she’ll avoid him at all costs. No problem.
Famous baseball player Brooks Madsen knows there’s more than just attraction between him and Michelle, no matter how much she tries to fight it. But for every step closer he gets to her heart, she forces him two steps back…and Brooks intends to find out why.
Brooks finds her stubborn and she finds him difficult, yet the sparks between them burst into red-hot flames. But when a figure from her past returns, Michelle’s forced to make a tough decision, one that threatens any second chance at love she and Brooks might have…
DELETED SCEEN BETWEEN MICHELLE & BROOKS
He took off toward the bar and I decided to let that comment go. It was definitely not Michelle he was talking about and I wasn’t sure if it was the alcohol talking or not. Either way, it made me smile and Michelle looked up and her gaze warmed when she found me. She said something to the girls and made her way out to the balcony, her hips swaying with each step and her long black hair gliding past her shoulder. She’s perfect. “I should feel bad that you’re standing out here all alone.” “I sense a but coming…” I said, laughing when she shrugged without denying it. “But you did con your way into coming with me.” “Being alone doesn’t bother me.” I admired how she seemed to ooze confidence without being obnoxious. It was a fine line. “In fact, I was just thinking how beautiful it was here.” She scrunched her nose and faced the mountains. “Huh. You’re right.” “I spent some time in the Midwest when I was in the farm system and our surroundings were corn, corn, soybeans, and more corn. Playing on the west coast and now living here are worlds away when it comes to landscape.” “Never took for someone to appreciate nature.” “That’s your own fault then, Mitch.” I chose to look at the evening sky but I felt her gaze on me. “Are you having a nice time?” “Yes. Thank you.” Is it me or is her voice warming up to me? I glanced down at her and she still stared up at me. “You’re quite the talk, you know. Everyone wants to know how I ended up bringing Bummy.” “Well shit. What are you telling them? I told three people we fucked at a casino and lost all your cash on slots so…” I teased, getting a playful punch in the arm. “Why Bummy?” “My middle name is Ulysses.” I waited for a snicker but none came. She just stared at me with wide eyes. “Why?” I wasn’t expecting that question and I laughed. “It was my dad’s name and my mom thought it’d be wonderful to keep it in the family. In PE, the back of our shirts were our initials and I refused to put BM on it because hello, junior high would’ve been torture. They would’ve called me Bowl Movement so I added the U and ever since, Bummy became my name.” She giggled an adorable sound that made me telling her the story worth it. “Brooks Ulysses Madsen. Quite a mouthful.” “I can give you a mouthful,” I said, without thinking, and she threw her head back in a very loud laugh. “Well done,” she said in the same warm tone that had me questioning my friend plan. “I don’t remember you being this funny.” “We didn’t talk a lot. My mouth tended to be on you, in you…” She gulped at my response and ran her fingers over her collarbone before clearing her throat. “True.” “It’s your turn,” I demanded. “You know something a little goofy about me. I want to learn something goofy about you, Mitch.” “Hm.” She pressed her tongue to one of her cheeks and I forced myself to stare at her eyes and not her teasing mouth. It was tough, but I managed. “In elementary school, I wanted to be a gymnast.” “I already love where this is going,” I added. “You are bendy.” “Shut up.” She hit my arm again and continued. “I would work on routines for hours on end and one time, I made score cards like they do in the Olympics and made everyone in my neighborhood watch my routine and rate me.” “That’s not goofy,” I said, already picturing her doing cartwheels with her long hair going everywhere. “Or embarrassing.” “Not done yet. My outfit ripped and I mooned everyone who lived on our street. My nickname was Moony Michelle for at least a year.” “Now that is better.” I laughed and held my drink to hers. “Cheers to our embarrassing moments of youth.”
Today marks seven years since my husband and I got married in a courthouse in our hometown, surrounded by our parents, siblings, and my grandparents. We've been together almost twelve years (woah...) but this date marks the legal date we became married. We've gone through so much together--distance across a state, distance across an ocean, finding out who we were alone while discovering who we were as a couple.
We aren't ones who do big things for anniversaries. It's no slight against those who do, but we tend to like a nice dinner and some drinks. But today is a weird one because things are scary outside of our home. The threat of COVD19 is very real and while Arizona is not one of the hardest hit states (yet) it could be if people don't take it seriously. And we are. While we are not considered 'high-risk,' we have a little guy and parents and relatives and friends who could be. So today we are going to order take out from one of our favorite local restaurants, take our dogs and baby for a long walk outside and watch a movie. (and probably drink margaritas)
But all this inside time has made me more reflective more than usual. I'm a planner and next steps type of person and that has had to take a back seat as the world is in a stand-still right now. I am so fortunate that I found a partner who is my better half who makes me laugh and is supportive and who I get to experience life with. So, I wanted to share seven of the best moments in our seven-year marriage.
1) When I met my (now husband) back in the day, I told him we couldn't get serious. because I was moving to Spain to work and go to school. He said, "Okay, but what if I go too?" And this is my favorite moment because we lived in a room the size of a closet for four months and our relationship was tested. It was after this time that we both knew this was it. We traveled all over Europe without worry and have memories to last a lifetime.
2) Our dogs. Full disclosure: I'm an impulsive person, my husband is not. Each of our dogs were total spur of the moment decisions and we have NO regrets for them. Our Black Lab found us when we were out of college, had no real jobs, were living in a basement and had no idea what life would throw at us. But, we got her and she is the best dog in the world. Our Chihuahua though.. he is a rescue that we got while at a Diamondbacks game. I had been wanting a second dog for a while and we each had "just" the right amount of beers where he agreed and not ten minutes later, we were at the rescue dog section in the ball park and I had our little guy in my arms. I more or less told him to do the paperwork and we left the game and walked over a mile holding the tiny scared little guy. Now, we have a big and little pairing who are totally best friends.
3) The proposal. Ugh. My husband nailed it. I was coaching softball and suffered a brutal loss (like, double digits loss) and I came home in a mood. Music boomed and I thought it was the neighbors and was so angry, I stomped inside to find rose petals scattered on the floor of our house. Our song was playing and pictures of us lined the surfaces with candles. Then, our black lab puppy walked up to me with a ring around her collar and it was the most amazing feeling. He had lobster prepared and on the table and he asked to marry me. The best and my most favorite part though, was we were both so nervous we put the ring on the wrong hand. I obviously said yes and it has been such a fun journey.
4) The every day routines. These might seem cheesy but they are some of my favorite moments of being married. Drinking coffee in the morning together, watching shows we both love at night, making sure we kiss three times if one of us is leaving, and always making sure we let the other know when we get to work. A new favorite that has started during this staying home and safe time is our walks. We each run on our own but then as a family, we go for a long walk with our dogs and baby. I will miss this when things go back to "normal."
5) We are from the midwest and after one brutal winter where as a teacher, there was something like five or six snow days where the temperatures got so cold you could throw boiling water outside and it would freeze instantly. We decided to move anywhere USA where it was warm. I had a childhood friend who relocated to Phoenix and bam, we applied, got jobs within two weeks, and decided to move across the country just knowing one person in the city. It was the best decision we've made for so many reasons, but mainly, it's where we found out who were as adults and where we started our own family.
6) Moving out of the city and into the 'burbs' was a hard choice, but we made it because we wanted a big back yard where our dogs could run free and somewhere where we could raise a family without the dangers of a busy downtown life city. We could'v made it work downtown but having a big backyard to hang out, grill, play with our dogs, or catch has been the best. We've learned it's tough and hard and expensive to have a house because if something breaks, we deal with it ourselves. There is no person to call to fix it for free. But, we're learning how to be "handy" and "fix things" on our own. Our backyard has four large fruit trees where we get lemons, grapefruits, oranges, and tangelos and that has been amazing to have fresh fruit.
7) The birth of our son and all the ups and downs that it brought. The actual 'birth' was terrifying and brutal but we are so blessed to have a kiddo who is happy and curious. He smiles more than he cries and while he can blow out a diaper like nobody's business, he is the best thing. We are learning the new roles of 'mom and dad' and that comes with challenges but we've smiled and laughed more than ever with our little guy.
Stay safe, friends. Wash your hands and do what you can to help flatten the curve. I've always thought nurses and healthcare workers were saints but they are risking their lives for all of us.