THE POLICEMAN TIGHTENED HIS GRIP on Jalen’s arm.
Jalen just grinned.
Up they went in a fancy elevator reserved for the Yankee Stadium VIPs. Down a hallway lined with team offices, all lit up. People bustling by gave them curious glances. Jalen supposed the offices stayed busy into the night when there was a game, and there had been a game, another victory for the Yankees.
Jalen’s grin was born from something bigger than a win, even though the Yankees were his team. His was the grin of someone whose life was about to change. Someone who’d won the lottery or unexpectedly inherited a fortune
from a long-lost relative. It was the smile of the kid who’d gotten the lead role in a play, or the MVP trophy at the team banquet. He wanted to share his joy, and he wished the policeman would ease up on his arm.
“Everyone looks happy about the game.” Jalen smiled up at him, but the massive officer remained stone-faced. Of course, how could the policeman have known that Jalen’s ability to predict the next pitch in an MLB game—or any game, for that matter—had helped the Yankees win this one?
They stopped outside a pair of dark, tall wooden doors. Jalen thought the officer was reaching for one of the heavy chrome handles, but instead he knocked. After a moment, he knocked again and a stern voice ordered them inside. The Yankees GM, Jeffrey Foxx, sat behind a mahogany desk which was as broad as a boat. A telephone was pressed against his ear. Foxx pointed, not to the chairs, but to an empty space on the thick rug in front of the desk as he finished his call.
“You never were good at poker, Don,” Foxx said. “You’re bluffing, and I’m going to double down. Good luck.”
The GM hung up the phone with anger in his eyes. Even though Foxx was sitting behind a desk, Jalen felt his power.
The policeman finally let Jalen loose. He flashed a
smile up at the officer while rubbing the blood back into his arm.
“Thanks, Jimmy,” the GM said to the cop. “You can wait outside.”
Suddenly Jalen hated to see the enormous policeman go.
“How about you take those sunglasses off so I can see you?” Foxx hadn’t blinked.
Jalen had forgotten about his glasses. He removed his hat and pushed them up onto his dark, curly hair. His eyes adjusted to the brightly lit office. In the window behind the desk, the stadium lights burned white and the empty field glowed emerald-green, a rare bit of color in the concrete city.
“Those were so no one could see what you were up to, right?” The GM’s frown deepened.
Jalen adjusted the glasses. “I guess.”
“You guess.” Without warning, the GM smacked his hand down on the top of the desk with a noise like the crack of an ax.
Foxx leaned forward, planting his hands on the desk as if he was preparing to pounce. His voice was a low, nasty growl. “Son, I have no idea why you’re standing there smiling. You are in a world of trouble.”