Jordie Thomas knew he was screwed.
There were two things that he didn’t want, ever, in his life.
Herpes, and to be called into Elli Adler’s office.
Everyone knew that it wasn’t good to be called into the office of the owner of the professional hockey team he played for, the Nashville Assassins. If it was something good, usually she just called to chitchat, as she called it, and dote on her players. But when she called them into her office, ten out of ten times, they were screwed.
And today, Jordie must be screwed.
As his good leg bounced from the nerves, Jordie waited for the door to open to Elli’s office. His shoulders were taut, his other knee ached, and his heart was pounding. Ever since he got the call that she wanted him to fly from Colorado to Nashville for a meeting, he had been replaying every single scenario in his head. He hadn’t been making the greatest decisions lately, and he was pretty damn sure this had to do with his spur-of-the-moment vacation to Louisiana.
He should have just stayed home.
That whole trip was a clusterfuck. That’s the only way he could describe it. He hadn’t acted like himself, he kept trying to forget a certain someone, and he really should have just stayed home and healed. Not only had it pushed him back a week in PT but now he was worried that something he did there may be back to haunt him. As he replayed the weekend, which consisted of a lot of alcohol, a lot of women, and a good long visit in the ER that resulted in even more great sex, he couldn’t find anything out of the ordinary that could have brought him here. Then again, Elli didn’t like when her players’ whore-like tendencies hung out, but still, she usually called and warned them to clean it up.
Hell, he had gotten that call plenty of times. Maybe that’s why he was here? She was done with his ways? Damn it. Hopefully, that wasn’t it though. He was on the road to recovery after a really nasty hit into the boards last year, and nothing was going to keep him off the ice.
Well, except Elli Adler, that is.
Maybe she didn’t want to wait for him to heal? The draft was coming up; maybe she had her eyes on someone to replace him. Shit. Did he want to go to another team? He had already been to so many, and he was convinced this was the team he was going to retire from. He loved the Assassins. They were his brothers, his friends, and he was invested in this team. He couldn’t leave…but then the nagging voice inside of him kept reminding him that his career could be over. Yeah, the doctors felt good and were optimistic about a full recovery from snapping his leg in two, but what if he didn’t play like he used to? Maybe Elli knew that and wanted to cut ties now? If she knew that, then that meant everyone must know.
Fuck. Was he in denial?
Slowly running his hand through his hair that he really needed to cut, he wondered what he would do if he didn’t play hockey? Hockey was his life. It’s all he’d ever wanted to do. It’s all he knew how to do. It was his saving grace, the one thing that kept him going when life seemed to be over. Which, growing up, was a lot of the time. He didn’t have it easy like some kids. While his mom always married guys for money, it didn’t mean that any money went to Jordie like it should have. While she was decked out in Gucci, Jordie rocked Goodwill, but he really didn’t mind. She made sure he had his hockey gear, and that was all he cared about.
Nothing mattered but hockey. Because of that, during school, all the girls did his homework for his attention and he was glad to provide it, so it wasn’t like he was book smart. Street smarts, sure, he could get by with no problem, but his math and his spelling were a little suspect, and he was pretty sure he would need those to do any job a normal person would do.
Stroking his beard to keep his hands from shaking from the nerves that were rapid-firing through his body, Jordie bit into his lip. He wasn’t good at anything but hockey. Oh, well, and sex. He was damn good at that. He loved it too. Come to think of it, he was hung like a horse too, so maybe he could become a porn star? Hey, that wasn’t a half-bad idea.
Before he could even entertain that idea, the door opened to Elli’s office and she filled the doorway, looking killer in a pair of green heels that should have been illegal. Her auburn hair flowed down her shoulders, curled to perfection, her green eyes piercing and her skirt tight, wrapping around her thick thighs. No one would ever assume that Mrs. Adler was a mommy of five; she was too hot for that. She may be his boss and even his captain’s wife, but Jordie had always had a soft spot for her. It was probably because she’d always been on the chunky side from having so many babies. Jordie loved kids, and he really loved her kids. But as he drank her in, he noticed that Mrs. Adler looked mighty fine and a little leaner.
Grinning at her, he slowly stood. “Have you lost weight, boss? Shea not feeding you?”
She giggled. “Oh hush, I’m watching what I eat.”
“Well, you can tell, and that Shea Adler is a lucky man, boss.”
As she smiled back at him, his heart slowed a bit. If she was smiling, that was a good thing. Maybe he’d overthought this? “Thanks, Jordie. Come on in,” she said in her thick accent that always made him feel like she was ten seconds away from serving him a big, buttered biscuit.
Hobbling over, he passed by her, her intoxicating mango scent making him dizzy as she asked, “How’s the leg?”
Regrouping, Jordie nodded his head. “Healing. I’ll be brand-spanking-new for next season,” he answered, holding her gaze. But when she shut the door, he looked up and saw that not only was his agent Charles Bolster sitting by Elli’s desk but so was the other owner of the Assassins, Bryan Fisher.