One thing about getting an MRI, it gives you time to think. Ginny Baker wasn't claustrophobic, but having to lie perfectly still in a coffin-like tube was uncomfortable even for her. The physical sensation was bad enough, but Ginny didn't want to think about how screwed up her life was.

Why did everyone Ginny met want to use her life for their own purposes? She was living her father's dream, of course, and her mother never stopped trying to get back at him through her and her brother. She thought Will was the one she could trust, but now he just straight out stole money from her then lied about it. That was worse than what her parents had done. At least they were both acting out of a twisted kind of love. For Will to break her trust over something as meaningless as a few dollars hurt her in a way she didn't even know was possible.

Blip and Evelyn were her best friends, but they manipulated each other through her also. Blip encouraged Ginny to spend time with Evelyn to keep her placated. He wanted a stay-at-home wife and mother, and living vicariously through Ginny helped keep Evelyn happy in her role. As for Ev, she hadn't hesitated at all to go in with Will to capitalize on Ginny's fame. It was a chance for her to be her own person instead of somebody's daughter or somebody's wife or somebody's mother. She trusted Will because Ginny had trusted him, and he burned them both. Now Blip and Evelyn were fighting and it was Ginny's fault.

Amelia had been part of it also. Ginny warned her not to intervene in her family business. Amelia claimed she was looking out for Ginny, but in reality she was only concerned with "Ginny Baker" as a brand and not with Ginny as a person. Amelia had done well for Ginny. The Nike deal was a lot of money and she'd helped put out several PR fires. She wasn't the first agent to approach her and Will back in the minors, but she was the one who made them both realize she needed professional representation. Now, three years later, Ginny wanted no more of being treated like a child. Amelia worked with actors and musicians, people who had a different kind of relationship with agents than ballplayers have. Ginny didn't feel bad about firing her. It was time for both of them to move on.

Oscar and Charlie were very up front about viewing Ginny as a commodity. That was fine. It was refreshing, actually. At least she didn't wonder about their motivations. Her teammates were mostly the same way. They had accepted her as a ballplayer much more quickly than she had expected, but that was as far as it went. The exception was Mike. She looked at him as a mentor, someone she could learn from. She had hit it off with him right away. She considered him a close friend. Then they had a weird moment when it looked like he was going to the Cubs. She'd been a little drunk, after wine at dinner and beers at the bar. They had been doing their usual banter. Then when she was leaving he called her by her first name, the first time he'd done so, and when she turned he had a familiar gleam in his eyes. A hungry look she'd seen in dozens of other guys who wanted bed her. And in that instant of alcohol enhanced weakness, she felt OK with it. His ringing phone broke the spell, and she was glad. Neither of them needed drama in the locker room. Plus she knew he wasn't over Rachel. Nothing good could come from spending the night with Mike.

Ginny's thoughts next turned to Noah. Before the other night with him she hadn't been with a man in almost a year. The encounter with Mike, and her reaction, made her realize she needed something she couldn't get from her vibrator. It was a strange thing to use a billionaire for sex, she supposed, but he was nice and he was one of the few people who treated her as an attractive woman instead of "baseball star Ginny Baker". On the other hand, his awkward technique and the disappointing quickness with which it was over made Ginny think he'd gone even longer without it than she had. His reaction the next morning frightened her. He wanted to take her away to a remote island, where she felt he would surely propose. She couldn't really say anything about moving too fast when she had picked him up and taken him to bed after half a date, but this was too much. She wasn't sure she really liked him, let alone being in love and ready for marriage. She got the sense he would be the smothering type, and she had worked way too hard to get where she was to throw it away and become his trophy wife. Maybe there was some potential there. Right now it was nothing.

Ginny felt a tear streak down her cheek, then another. She was in a hospital with a serious injury. Most people would have friends and loved ones waiting for them in a situation like this. After the procedure, Ginny would walk out and no one would be there. She had never felt so alone in her life.

After coming out of the tube, a nurse led Ginny to an examination room. Being free of the machine allowed her to compose herself. She dressed, then the doctor came in, saying the results wouldn't be known for a few days. The one thing she wasn't worried about was her arm. The swelling had gone down quickly and the pain had almost completely subsided. There would be rehab, of course. No problems there. Hard work was what Ginny thrived on.

She stepped out and sure enough, she knew no one in the waiting room. She walked through the automatic doors into a beautiful, sunny southern California day. She closed her eyes, faced the sun, and took a deep breath. It felt good. She needed a way home, so she reached for her phone. Before she could activate it, she heard a familiar voice.


She turned to see Eliot with a concerned look on his face. He had his phone in his hand after stepping out to make a call.

"Are you alright? What did the doctor say?"

"We won't know anything for a couple of days. What are you doing here?"

"I haven't been able to get hold of Amelia. I left her voicemail and texted her, but she hasn't responded. I felt like someone should be here when you came out."

Of course Amelia had left her poor assistant in the dark. " I kinda fired her."

Eliot's eyes widened, but he continued looking after Ginny. "I got you a ride. Do you need anything else?" He pointed towards a black sedan.

Here was the one person who cared about her as a person and "Ginny Baker" as a brand and prioritized them correctly. Eliot wasn't after her money or her body. He liked her and wanted to help. She needed someone like that in her life. "Ride with me and we'll talk about your future".