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What kind of jerk didn’t give back a person’s dog?
The PR man said he had personally given Corbett the message only a couple of hours after she’d called. As the days continued to pass with no word, Maggie grew increasingly frustrated and even angry.
Finally, she decided to take matters into her own hands. Kirby belonged with her and damned if she was going to let some immoral, spoiled, self-centered jerk who only pretended to be a nice guy for the public, get away with keeping her dog, even if he was an NHL player.
After making the decision to hunt down the dog-napper herself, she had watched the video segment again, this time watching for clues as to where he lived. They mentioned Hillsborough. Of course. Very high-class neighborhood. That narrowed it down quite a bit. He dropped the name of an Italian restaurant he frequented that was “within easy walking distance” of his house. That narrowed it even further. She printed a map of the area and marked a three-block radius out from that restaurant. They showed a few seconds of him walking away from his house with the dogs on a leash and she froze the video and took a picture of the view.
Then because he mentioned a team party he was hosting to watch the All-Star game, she decided to go to his house and accuse him of dog-napping in front of all his friends. With any luck, peer pressure would make him give up Kirby. Was it going to be horrid, shaming a Dragons player when for more than ten years she’d rooted for the team with all her heart as a hockey fan? Yes. Could she have gone to the media and exposed him the way Jade had suggested? Yes.
But what it all came down to was she thought he was morally despicable and she wanted to tell him so to his face. She wanted the satisfaction of taking her dog away from him personally.
It took her about fifteen minutes of search-cruising before she found his place. Looking toward downtown San Francisco, the view matched the photo.
As she parked her car, the realization hit her that she was about to barge in on what might be the entire Dragons hockey team. Before she’d arrived, all she’d focused on was getting Kirby back. She’d imagined herself going in and righteously claiming her dog. Her main emotion had been indignation. Now, a case of the jitters undermined her determination.
Maybe this wasn’t such a good idea after all.
She looked up at the spectacular two-story house. The sprawling property looked as if Arts and Crafts architecture and Japanese landscaping had a baby. Lush mature trees cast shade over mossy rocks and boulders. The wooden bridge leading to the front door crossed an actual pond, complete with brightly colored koi fish. As she looked around and the luxuriousness of the neighborhood sunk in, the jitters progressed into near-panic. She’d passed the Sierra Point friggin’ Yacht Club on her way, for Pete’s sake.
No. She would do this. Kirby was hers. Even if she couldn’t offer him posh digs like these, they belonged together. She’d had him since puppyhood. They had a bond that couldn’t and wouldn’t ever be broken. Even now, he was probably wishing he were home with her, cuddling on her old sofa watching reruns of Friends and eating microwave popcorn. She told herself the players were only people, like her. People with unusual, high-profile jobs and bodies like gods.
She went up to the front door where a sign said, “Come on in. Hope you brought beer.”
Gathering her courage, she knocked anyway.
No one answered. And it was kind of quiet. Maybe the party hadn’t started yet.
She tried the door and found it unlocked. Before entering, she took a picture of the sign, because if this devolved and the police were called, she wanted evidence that, technically, she was invited in.
“Hello?” she called hesitantly, crossing the threshold into the foyer.
The house was just as gorgeous on the inside as it was on the outside. She’d seen it on the video, but in person, it felt richer and more personal. A San Francisco Dragons player actually lived here. Spencer Corbett occasionally sat on that couch. He walked on this plush rug.
He—gulp—was standing right there, staring at her.
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