The Change Up Page 1

Author: Meghan Quinn

Series: The Brentwood Boys #5

Genres: Romance



Have you ever said something you regret?

Something you haven’t forgotten about an hour later?

Something that sits with you, stews deep in your belly, and then seeps into your bones, burying itself so far into your marrow that all you can think about is the one thing you said . . . and how you wished you could take it back the minute it slipped past your lips?

That’s where I am.

Full of regret.

People always say, “Don’t regret anything. It’s what makes you who you are.” That was said in a whiney, nasally voice. Did you hear it?

Well, those people, the ones trying to spew rainbows and sunshine up your ass about blatant mistakes . . . yeah, they’re only saying that because they fuck up on a daily basis.

Think about it, what REAL person is okay with all their regrets? No one. There is always that one thing you did, that one time, that you will always, always, always think . . . “What if I’d done that differently?”

It keeps you up at night.

You wonder, what transformed, what took over my brain, to utter such words. To alter your life completely and send it down an entirely different course.

Yeah, my life has been fucking altered all right.

Everything was fine.

I was pitching one hell of a fucking season for the Rebels, my ride or die team. I was getting along with my teammates, even the infamous Cory Potter, who made a splash after last season. I’ll hand it to the man, he really is the boss. I was getting laid whenever I wanted, which is always a plus for a guy who has massive amounts of adrenaline pumping through him daily, especially on a pitching day. And there were no strings attached.


Yeah, I might have a rotation of women I call, but any single player in the major leagues does. You need the outlet. Even the prestigious Cory Potter had some booty call numbers before he found Natalie.

I was living a great life, and then it all changed. And it changed fucking fast.

Before I knew it, I was staring into my fridge at dairy products not made from a cow, but rather from oat. What the fuck is that? Oat milk? Explain to me where an oat has a goddamn nipple.

My toothbrush is made from bamboo, which gives off a very woody, splintery taste, and I’ve been using toothpaste tablets instead of paste from a tube . . . because apparently, tubes suck up life in the landfill.

The eco-friendly toilet paper in my apartment disintegrates in my hand and is worthless, making bathroom breaks a fucking nightmare.

And there’s a goddamn three-legged dog in a suit and tie sitting on my couch that goes by the name Herman.

I don’t have any privacy, I barely remember what meat tastes like anymore, and Herman has a goddamn staring problem. And the three-legged motherfucker, yeah, he’s stealthy. I find him waiting for me outside the shower . . . staring.

When I wake up . . . staring.

When I’m trying to make a goddamn tempeh sandwich . . . staring.

Every time I tell him to “get a life” or to “fuck off” or for the love of Christ “get a new hobby”, he doesn’t even bat an eyelash.

He just stares!

I can’t fucking take it anymore.

I’m losing my goddamn mind and I don’t know . . . maybe it’s because I haven’t had sex in what feels like forever, or because my burgers are now made of imposter “meat”, or maybe because I’m forced to do things I don’t want to do. Either way, something needs to give, because I’m pretty sure from all the vegan shit I’ve been eating, my armpits are just about ready to spring their own mung beans.


One phone call.

That’s all it took.

One fucking phone call from a person I cannot say no to, a person who will forever and always be . . . my insanely beautiful and free-spirited best friend.

Chapter One


“What are you doing tonight?” Lincoln asks, my best friend who was traded a couple seasons ago to the Rebels, thank fuck.

I lean back in my locker and let out a long breath. It was one hell of a game tonight. Came all the way to the ninth inning where Cory clocked one to the right, bringing in Marcus, our third baseman, for the win. Defending our World Series title from last year hasn’t been easy, but we’re holding strong as we’re nearing the second half of the season.

“Probably going to grab a steak on the way home, call up Tess. Why?”

Lincoln shakes his head. “I have a date.”

“Really?” I ask, sitting taller. “Like a real one?”

“What other kind of dates are there?” Lincoln laughs.

I drag my towel off my head and push my hand through my damp hair. “The fucking kind of dates.”

Lincoln laughs and shakes his head at me. “Dude, there is more than just fucking around with a girl. There’s intimacy. Getting to know someone. Finding a person who makes you happy. You should try it sometime.”

“Nah, I’m good,” I answer while slipping on a pair of jeans.

“You sure? Because look at Potter and Orson. They recently found love and they’re having one of the best seasons of their lives.”

I pause and face Lincoln. “Are you fucking saying I’m having a bad season? Because I have three losses under my belt.” I hold up three fingers. “Three. That’s a really good fucking season if you ask me.”

“Yeah, but two of those losses were a bloodbath where you were out in the third inning.”

“I’m allowed to have a bad fucking day. Christ. And no girl is going to change my game. You should know that by now. And why do you even care?”

“Because . . . you haven’t tried to be in a relationship since Jamie. Maybe it’s time, you know?”

Is Lincoln drunk? Where the hell is this coming from? Granted, he’s always been the guy who’s been open to finding the right person for him, even if it’s taking him fucking years and a painful process to figure out who his soul mate is—even though I could probably point it out within a second—but to toss his ideals on me? He doesn’t do that shit.

I punch my arms through my T-shirt and slip it over my head. “Why the hell are you trying to get me to date?”

Lincoln shrugs. “Might be nice to go on double dates.”

I pause amid swiping on some deodorant. “Are you fucking with me right now? You’re coming at me hard with dating someone because you want to go on double dates?”

He shrugs with a smirk. “Heard they were fun.”

“Fuck, man.” He laughs. “Ask Potter or Orson out. Leave me the hell out of it.” I cap my deodorant, toss it in my locker, and snag the keys to my ’69 Mustang Boss 429—kept the motorcycle back at my apartment today—and stuff my wallet in my back pocket.

“But it would be more fun to watch you squirm on a date.”

“You’re a really good friend,” I say sarcastically while finally checking my phone for messages. Only one, from Kinsley. I smile to myself. “I’ll catch you later.”

“That’s a no on the whole double date thing?”

From over my shoulder, I say, “That’s a fuck no.”

On my way out of the locker room, I give a few guys fist bumps and then run straight into Cory Potter, who’s already dressed and heading to his car as well.

Last season, fuck, I don’t even know how to explain last season. When Cory was traded midseason to the Rebels two years ago, I was pissed. Not even going to sugarcoat it. The front office took on his massive contract, which I knew would eat up a lot of the pot when it came to acquiring additional players. We were already sucking big time that season and everyone thought he was going to turn it around for us. Spoiler alert: he didn’t. And what was even worse was he was known as a Bobbies fan—our hometown rival—so I wanted nothing to do with the overpaid asswipe. It wasn’t until the offseason when I heard the guys talking about his work ethic and dedication that I started to ease up.

Now, we’re really good friends, and I’m one of the reasons he’s back with his girl and getting married this November. I tell him it’s all because of me that he’s with Natalie. I tend to rub it in his face whenever I get the chance. He just laughs it off but deep down, I see the gratefulness in his eyes.

“Heading out?” Cory asks.

“Yeah. You?”

He nods. “Natalie made some dessert she wants me to try.”

We start walking down the hallway toward the door that leads to the players’ parking lot. “Is it really dessert?”

Cory smirks. “I never know with her. Somedays it’s actual dessert like a giant pan of brownies topped with caramel and nuts, and sometimes it’s her naked on the counter.”

I let out a low laugh. “Talk about that particular dessert with her brother?” Jason Orson, our catcher and resident obnoxious but sensitive jokester, is Natalie’s brother. When Cory started dating Natalie, it was a dream come true for Jason because his obsession with Cory was and still is borderline Kathy Bates in Misery.

“Sometimes.” Cory laughs to himself and says, “Just to make him cry.”