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25. Sept. 2016


The Ninth Inning series presents Memphis Angels’ left fielder, Roman Dailey.

Roman Dailey can’t stop thinking about the time he spent with Carissa at a party at the end of last season. When she moves to Memphis, he can’t help pursuing her. He knows who he wants, and he’s willing to go after her. Even if she is his teammate’s little sister.

Carissa Rodriguez is known as the little sister of first baseman Hector Rodriguez. In a mad dash to get away from her life in Florida, Carissa can’t seem to make up her mind on anything besides the fact that she wants more of Roman Dailey and she doesn’t know how to stop her growing feelings for him.

Roman and Carissa think their biggest hurdle is telling her brother, which could possibly mess with the team’s good streak by causing tension amongst teammates, but they weren’t prepared for the curveball life throws them.

25. Sept. 2016

Über den Autor

Lindsay Paige is the author of multiple Young Adult, New Adult, and Sports romances. She also enjoys writing books with characters who deal with anxiety and depression, issues which are close to her heart. Lindsay is a North Carolinian who loves watching hockey, sharing puns, having conversations with her miniature Schnauzer, rewatching episodes of M*A*S*H, and living her dream of writing books for a living.Lindsay has written the following books/series:Bending Under PressureBold as Love seriesBracing for Love seriesCarolina Rebels seriesDon’t PanicSanity seriesYou Before MeWithout a DoubtShe has cowritten the following series with Mary Smith:The Ninth Inning seriesOh Captain, My Captain seriesThe Penalty Kill trilogy

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Roman - Lindsay Paige

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Season 3 of

The Ninth Inning Series

Copyright © 2016 by Lindsay Paige and Mary Smith

Smashwords Edition

ISBN-13: 978-1310434068

All rights reserved.

Without limiting the rights under copyright reserved above, no part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in or introduced into a retrieval system, or transmitted, in any form, or by any means (electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording, or otherwise) without the prior written permission of both the copyright owner and the above publisher of this book.

This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places, brands, media, and incidents are either the product of the author’s imagination or are used fictitiously. The author acknowledges the trademarked status and trademark owners of various products, bands, and/or restaurants referenced in this work of fiction, which have been used without permission. The publication/use of these trademarks is not authorized, associated with, or sponsored by the trademark owners.

Smashwords Edition License Notes

This ebook is licensed for your personal enjoyment only. This ebook may not be re-sold or given away to other people. If you would like to share this book with another person, please purchase an additional copy for each recipient. If you’re reading this book and did not purchase it, or it was not purchased for your use only, then please return to your favorite ebook retailer and purchase your own copy. Thank you for respecting the hard work of this author.

Table of Contents

Title Page

Chapter One

Chapter Two

Chapter Three

Chapter Four

Chapter Five

Chapter Six

Chapter Seven

Chapter Eight

Chapter Nine

Chapter Ten

Chapter Eleven

Chapter Twelve

Chapter Thirteen

Chapter Fourteen

Chapter Fifteen

Chapter Sixteen

Chapter Seventeen

Chapter Eighteen

Chapter Nineteen

Chapter Twenty

Chapter Twenty-One

Chapter Twenty-Two

Chapter Twenty-Three

About the Authors

Coming Soon

I SIT THE last box on the bed and look over at my sister-in-law Zoey, who’s helping me hang my clothes. I hate that I’m crashing your place.

What? She looks over at me. Why would you say that? You’re family, and you can’t stay in a hotel anymore. It’s a waste of money; besides, Hector and I love having you here.

Translated, that means I’m a third wheel.

Zoey laughs and comes over to me. No, it means we love you, and we both know you’re having a hard time. For whatever reason, you showed up here in Memphis last season, and we want to be here for you.

I can’t tell them yet. It’s even hard to talk about it, and I’m not one to hold back my feelings. Well, I did get my Tennessee Teacher’s License, so hopefully, I’ll have a job soon.

See, things are already looking up. She pats my arm and heads back toward the closet. I watch her gorgeous long black hair and stunning tattooed body, which just makes feel like an over-sized sausage. Not to mention, she’s the most talented artist in the world. Her paintings have been selling like hot cakes this past year, and she’s about to have a big showing in New York.

Where is everyone? I hear my brother call out from downstairs.

Up here, Zoey yells.

They just bought this house during the off-season, because Zoey’s apartment had been become cramped. Now, I’ve moved in and added to their lives.

Hey, you’re all moved in. Hector, my big brother, who has always been there for me, gives me a big hug.

Thank you, brother. I really appreciate it more than you know, I whisper in his ear.

You’ll tell me someday, right?

I nod as he releases me and goes over to kiss Zoey. They really love each other, and even though they look completely different, those two belong together more than anyone I know.

Listen, Jordan and Heidi had their baby girl this morning. I want us to go over and see them. Jordan is the shortstop on the Memphis Angels, the team Hector plays with.

I can’t wait. She’s been so worried because know. Zoey can’t say it, but the team found out last season Jordan and Heidi had a daughter who was stillborn.

This little girl is perfect and, according to Jordan, cries very loudly, Hector chuckles.

Give me a few. Carissa, come with us. Zoey hangs up my shirt as I open my box.

No, it’s okay.

Carissa, come on. We’ll grab dinner afterward. Hector smiles and I know he wants me to go.

Sure. Great. I give him my best fake smile.

The three of us walk down the hospital corridor, and the whole Angels team are standing in the hallway. And of course, he’s there too.

Roman Dailey. Or, as I call him, Mr. One-Night Stand. His deep green eyes catch mine, and a small smile plays on his face. I do my best not to react to him, but that night is still etched deeply in my mind.

Jordan Johnson, who looks more like a surfer boy than a new father, is glowing with pride as we walk up. He even hugs Hector, Zoey, and me and he’s beaming, actually beaming.

How is mama and baby? Zoey asks.

Both as beautiful as ever. The smile is still plastered on his face. We named her Eve.

Zoey and I both aww, and Hector shakes his head.

We’ll peek in for a moment. Zoey takes my hand, and my eyes lock with Roman as I walk past him.

Heidi’s room is as full as the hallway. Sofia, Blake Foster’s girlfriend, is holding their son, Grant, who seems to be drooling all over the place. Next to Sofia is Scarlett, Trent’s girlfriend, and his daughter Kaelyn, who seems to have had a growth spurt since the last time I saw her. Not to mention, Abby, Felix’s fiancée, and Ariella, Colby’s girlfriend, with her growing belly, are all around her bed. It’s like a who’s who of the Angels and their loves are in the room. Heidi is stretched out on the hospital bed and holding onto her baby girl.

Zoey. Carissa. I’m so glad you two could make it. Heidi seems as overjoyed as Jordan.

She’s a stunner. Zoey leans over to see the newborn girl, and she’s right; the baby is beautiful.

Oh, she is. I coo.

For the next several minutes, we all talk about Heidi’s labor and her nervousness at giving birth. We all understood how hard it was for her considering her last pregnancy. She has happy tears in her eyes, and she holds her daughter close.

Carissa, Sofia gains my attention. Are you staying long? Or have you come back from Florida?

Actually, I never left. I’ve moved into Hector and Zoey’s for a while. Until I can find employment and I just got my teacher’s license.

We love having her, too, Zoey chimes in. I know she’s telling the truth, but I still feel like a third wheel.

That’s great. Sofia bounced Grant on her knee. I’m sure you’ll find something soon.

After a few more moments of talking, Hector pops in and sees the baby Eve too. Hector will be the world’s greatest father when he and Zoey begin having kids. He’s a big protector and a big kid all rolled into one. It’s the perfect combination.

I step out into the hall since the room is becoming more crowded, and I need a break for all the smiling faces. I’m not really in the mood to be the peppy one today. Although, being in the hall isn’t much better when my eyes land on Roman’s. I feel my cheeks flush.

Carissa. Colby comes over. Hector tells me you’ve moved in with him.

Roman’s eyes grow wide.

Yep, all moved in. Now, I’m looking for a job.

A job? So, you’re staying here permanently? No more Florida?

Sometimes you need a change of scenery. It’s not a complete lie, and Roman’s smile grows. Colby catches our glances at each other and shakes his head. He’s the only one who knows about Roman and me since it happened at his party.

I’m not the type of girl to pick up a guy and screw him. Actually, I’d never done it before. Roman and I were talking at the party about nothing really; I’d just come into town right after finding out about Dane. My self-esteem hadn’t been the greatest then. But, Roman had turned it around quickly.

I’m glad she’s staying. Hector appears next to me. I’ve missed my baby sister. I’m twenty-three years old, but still his baby sister. I don’t take offense because he means it as a term of endearment.

So, you’re in town? Roman got the nerve to jump into the conversation.

She’s at my place. Hector tells him. I’m glad he doesn’t know about Roman and me. I glance at Colby who rolls his eyes, as Roman’s are locked with mine.

Hey, I’m about to grab coffee for everyone. Carissa, want to help me? Roman asks, and I know it means way more than a coffee run.

Here’s my card, Carissa. Hector hands it over without question. He has such a big heart and always takes care of everyone he can.

Sure. I see Colby shaking his head again as Roman and I head toward the elevator.

How has it been since you moved here? He starts off slow.

I stayed at a hotel when I got here, but I pretty much dropped my savings because of it, and Hector has been nice to me and let me move in until I find something. You know, considering I’m unemployed and pretty much homeless.

You’ll find something soon. You seem to be doing better since, um, last season, at least.

You mean, my eyes aren’t as puffy and bloodshot from all my crying, and my depressive state seems to be gone? Or do you mean we should be jumping each other’s bones again? I joke with him, but Roman being this close makes me a little nervous.

Is that an offer? He grins.

The heat pulses through me, and I blush deeply, even though I try not to. I think we’d get caught in the elevator, don’t you? Besides, don’t you have a girlfriend by now?

Nope. But don’t you think the possibility of getting caught is half of the fun?

Oh, Roman. I shake my head. "I think it’ll be best if we don’t do that again. I need to get my head on straight, and your green eyes aren’t helping me." The elevator dings, and I step off with Roman behind me.

Get your head on straight? You already seem a lot like yourself again. We stand in line.

I’m doing better, but I need to find a job. I can’t keep squatting at my brother’s house. Not to mention, Dane keeps asking me to come to Florida to get my stuff, which I don’t want. I’d much rather he leave me alone. If I told Hector what really happened, he would have a word with him, but I don’t want to add any stress on Hector since the season is starting soon. He wants to focus on the game and Zoey, not his little annoying sister with boy issues. If I could just get Dane to leave me alone then it would a bit easier. However, I still don’t want to stress out Hector.

Don’t fool yourself. If Hector didn’t want to have his annoying little sister around, he would’ve gotten you an apartment and helped you out until you were on your feet. People want you around, Carissa, even with your boy issues.

I smile. "Thanks Roman. You’re a great guy, and I’m a little sorry about that night. I don’t mean the sex part, but unloading all my issues on you. I blame it on the wine Colby served." I rattled so much the whole night, I’m sure I was nothing more than a drunken rambler.

Don’t be sorry about it. You can talk and unload on me anytime.

Aren’t you sorry about what happened? I mean, even a little bit. You told me you don’t do one-night stands either, right? I clearly remember him telling me that as his tongue was deep in my mouth.

I don’t regret it, if that’s what you’re asking me. You’re the exception to my no one-nighters rule.

I lean in and whisper. I don’t regret it either, and I’m glad to be the exception. I still remember the night. Often.

Me too. He grins. If you need anything or want someone other than Hector to show you around, you can call me. Or if you want to test out any theories you have about elevators that works too.

I laugh a bit louder than I should. "Deal. I might take you up on the showing me around town. Zoey has been stressing over her New York showing, and Hector, well, baseball seems to be the only thing on his mind, but you know how that is."

We step up and order enough coffee and a few waters for everyone upstairs. Of course, the cashier and workers don’t seem as pleased to make it all. However, once they're done, and Roman insists on paying, we head back to the elevator, loaded with carrying trays of drinks.

There’s a lot more than baseball on my mind. He grins and winks as he picks up the conversation where we left off.

Roman, are you trying to flirt with me?

Depends. Is it working?

Not with hot coffee trays in my hand, I tease him and step off the elevator.

Carissa, wait. I turn around and step back into the box that he hasn’t left. Before I can ask what he wants, he leans in over the coffee trays, and gives me a swift but hard kiss. Oh, I really like his lips. I’m glad you’re in Memphis.

I do my best to not to blush as he brushes past me and walks down the hall. Damn, I like his lips so much. Even though there wasn’t much time that night, it was still a lot of fun. I do my best to compose myself and follow Roman down the hall to the awaiting players. After the guys and a couple of the girls come out of the room and grabbed coffee, I handed the credit card to Hector. We stood around again, and chatted...well, the guys chatted, and I stood there and tried not to stare a hole in Roman.

Finally, Hector announces we are leaving, and I catch Roman’s eyes again. I give him a small smile and say my goodbyes to everyone else. As we reach the elevator, I hear my name being called.

Scarlett? She and I haven’t spoken a lot.

"Listen, I’m sorry to eavesdrop on your conversation earlier, but did you say you

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