Erik rolled his eyes. “All of them were proven wrong through DNA tests, and that last girl got Phillip and me confused. On top of it all, Phillip said he wore a condom, so I don’t know if that claim is sound, either. What other girl said I got her pregnant? Not that it matters, because I always wrap my stuff up.”
Well, not always, but that had been almost six months ago. It wasn’t his greatest decision, but that night with his brother’s sister-in-law was one for the books and thankfully nothing came from that, either. Too much happened in that room, and he was glad to bury his face between the legs of the many females who followed, just to forget her. Not that it worked all that well, as he still thought about her way more than he should.
Redirecting his thoughts from his brother’s hot sister-in-law and back to his boss, he saw that she was not too pleased with him as she shook her head saying, “Don’t you get it? That’s one too many! The media and NHL are accusing me of not doing my job because I’m letting you do what you please, but no more! This has gotten way out of hand. I thought you’d correct this yourself after time but you’ve not slowed down your behavior one bit, and I can’t wait any longer to address this.”
She moved away from him and walked toward the front of the table. Erik watched as she picked up a file before sliding it down the center of the table. “You are on probation.”
“Probation?” Erik said, shocked, as he reached for the file and looked down at it. Surely he’d heard her wrong.
“Yes, for the rest of the summer. You are a free agent, Erik. I can either let you go or keep you. There are loads of reasons why I shouldn’t keep you.”
“What?” he asked incredulously.
When he looked up to meet her sad green eyes, his gut fell. She didn’t want to let him go as much as he didn’t want to leave. This was her team, her image, and if he was honest with himself, he had been careless the last couple of months. What she didn’t understand was that he was trying to forget, trying to cloud his mind. He didn’t like the feeling he got when he thought of her, Piper.
“What does this entail, Mrs. Adler?” Koey asked as he reached for the file and started reading.
“It means that if he messes up one more time, he is gone.”
Her gaze held his as his brain tried to comprehend her words. Surely this wasn’t happening.
“You’re bluffing,” Erik said with scorn. “You wouldn’t get rid of me. I’m one of the best on the team. Come on, Elli, you can’t be serious.”
“The best or not, Mr. Titov, you are tainting the image of the Assassins,” Michael Fisher said. Erik’s eyes cut from Elli’s to the primary owner of the team. Michael Fisher was older now, and looked every one of his sixty-nine years. His green eyes were still sharp, and Erik knew from the anger shown on his face that he was in deep shit. “I didn’t start this team with talent. I started this team with hardworking, good men. If we don’t feel you fall into that category, you’re gone.”
Erik inhaled a ragged breath before looking over at Koey. “What the hell, man? I mean, is this fair?”
Koey laid the file down before looking up at Elli, Mr. Fisher, and Coach Bacter. “Excuse us for a moment. I need to have a word with my client.”
For f**k sakes!
Erik followed his agent out of the office and shut the door behind them. Koey quickly turned around with a worried look on his face. “I told you to calm it down.”
“What? I’m not that bad! Phillip is worse!”
Koey took a step closer, moving his hands in conjunction with every word that came out of his mouth. “No! He has kept a low profile. He doesn’t do anything to provoke the paparazzi. You, on the other hand, do anything you can to get their attention!”
Erik shook his head in denial.
“I do not. I’m only having a good time. This is stupid. Fine, if she wants me off the team, move me to New York. I’ll be closer to my parents, at least.”
Koey looked up at the ceiling before letting out a long breath. When his blue eyes met Erik’s, he knew something was terribly wrong. “I hate to tell you this, but no one wants you, Erik. You’ve tarnished your reputation to the point that no one wants to deal with your shenanigans.”
The air rushed out of Erik as he braced himself against the wall. How could he be so out of touch with all that was going on? “What?”
“Elli’s been at me for the past six months regarding your behavior. I’ve told you to cool it and you’ve just continued with the drinking and females. She is pissed, and has apparently been talking to the other teams about your performance. Hell, they can pick up a tabloid and see for themselves!”
“My performance has not been affected by my partying.”
“Not yet, but it will be. But what has been affected is your reputation, and that I can’t fix. I don’t know what you want me to do.”
Erik threw his hands up in the air, exasperated. “Fix it! Make this probation shit go away!”
“I can’t,” Koey said with a shake of his head. “You either sign it, or she’ll let you go and more than likely you’ll get picked up by some crap-ass minor team somewhere far from your family.”
Erik covered his face with his hands, his heart banging against his chest as he took in long breaths to calm himself down. This couldn’t be happening. Why would Elli do this? So what if he had been in and out of the media a lot lately? If he remembered correctly, Shea and Jakob used to be just as bad. Plus, what about Phillip? He may have calmed it down a bit but there were still women leaving their house at all hours of the night.