Erik paused again. Yeah, he was f**ked.
When the door opened and Phillip appeared, Erik couldn’t thank God enough. “Oh, let me call you back. Phillip just walked in. I need to talk to him.”
“Oh, okay, later,” Jakob said, and Erik threw the phone down onto the couch next to him like it had a disease. That conversation did not support the decision he wanted to make, because if he decided to do what he wanted to do, Jakob would be very disappointed in him. And probably would beat the shit out of him, too.
“What’s up with you?” Phillip asked as he threw his keys onto the counter and sat down across from him on the gray love seat. Erik hated that piece of furniture, he thought it was dog ugly, but this was Phillip’s house so he could decorate it as nasty as he wanted. Phillip apparently liked the color gray, because most of the house was done in gray and purple, with a bunch of Assassins memorabilia all over the place.
Looking up at his friend, he saw that Phillip was grinning. “Nothing, what’s up with you? How’d the meeting with Elli go?”
“Great,” he said with a clap of his hand. “It’s official and unfortunate, but Welch is out till next year, so you’re looking at the new alternate captain!”
Erik could not f**king believe it. Elli knew Erik wanted that job—he’d been very vocal about it. Well, that is, up until this last encounter with her. I mean what the hell could he say after she chastised him for his behavior? But there his best friend sat, happy as a fat kid with cake while he was feeling like shit.
“Yup, isn’t it great? I know you wanted it, man, but you know I did, too, and at least one of us got it, so that’s good, right? I won’t beat you up too bad.” Phillip replied with a little teasing.
Erik nodded with his lips pressed tightly together while disappointment ate at him. That was the position he had been waiting for since he’d joined the Nashville Assassins. He wanted that recognition to prove that he was just as badass as he thought he was, and because he would have made a great captain. But because he had f**ked up, he was overlooked. Maybe even purposefully overlooked. This all started and ended with Piper Allen. She was also the reason he had been with every woman in Nashville … he was trying to forget her! She poisoned him and now she was pregnant with his child. If she had never come along he would have been fine. He would have been the damn captain, but instead it was Phillip! Erik wanted to yell out in anger, tell Phillip that no, it wasn’t great, because that was his position. But instead, with a bitter smile, he said, “Yeah.”
“I expected you to be a little happier for me,” Phillip said with a laugh.
Erik looked up and shrugged his shoulders. “Sorry, dude, I’m having a bad time right now.”
Phillip leaned back against the couch and asked, “Does it have to do with Piper?”
Erik only nodded, looking away and petting Stanley on his head.
“Wanna talk about it?”
Erik sighed. “She’s pregnant. With my kid.”
Looking up, he saw Phillip’s expression, and it was one of complete shock. He wanted to laugh at how he looked—Phillip’s eyes were wide and his mouth basically hanging to the ground—but nothing seemed funny right now. There was nothing to laugh about.
“No f**king way, you slept with Piper?!”
Erik nodded. “Six months ago.”
“She’s six months?”
“Holy shit, dude! That’s insane. She just told you?”
“Yeah, and she told Elli, too.”
Phillip released his breath in a low whistle. “You are in deep shit, bro.”
“Yup, and you know if I was some regular Joe off the street this wouldn’t matter. I could get away with being a deadbeat dad, give the kid a chance to be someone else’s kid and be happy, but since I am a famous hockey player with the public up my ass and a boss that is dictating my life, I am screwed into being a parent when that is the last thing I want to do. I’m not father material! I had a shitty childhood; my life didn’t even start till I was thirteen! How the hell am I supposed to be a father?” Erik was just being honest; even if he wanted a child there was no way he’d be good at being a dad—blood is blood and all that and he was damned sure he’d be as miserable a father as his dad was.
Phillip was shaking his head. “Dude, Elli is gonna trade you off the team if you don’t do right by that kid. Now I’m even wondering if her decision to make me ‘A’ was to show you who’s boss and all that, you know? Wow, man, this is serious shit, serious shit.”
“You think I don’t know that!” Erik yelled as he stood, sending Stanley scrambling to the floor, and went to the kitchen for a beer. “What am I supposed to do?”
“What did Piper say?”
“She wanted to know what I wanted to do. I told her that I don’t know what I want to do because I f**king don’t know what the hell to do! She f**ked me over, dude, in more ways than just being pregnant, because our families are intertwined and they are going to freak. She also said she told Elli, which I haven’t heard from Elli, and she didn’t mention it at my meeting so I’m not really sure what that means. Is she drawing up my release papers or is she waiting to see what my next move will be? I know that Piper must have talked to her family because my brother says they are freaking out about her being pregnant. Then just now my brother tells me that he thinks that any man that doesn’t want his kid is a deadbeat! What the f**k?! What will he think when he finds out it’s me? He will think I’m shit if I don’t support this kid! My own brother!”