Chapter 11 - Even if
My mom clasped her hands together and my dad sat his whiskey glass down.
"I sure hope you've considered a DNA test, son."
They were total opposites and it was hard for me to understand how they could possibly still be married. But then again, maybe that was exactly why they were still married.
"I know she's mine."
I sighed as I sat back onto the embossed dining room chair.
"A girl? Oh, my stars. We're getting a granddaughter, Callum."
My mom reached her hand over to my father and he squeezed it affectionately.
"Lila I presume?"
I nodded toward my father then carefully watched my mother.
She wanted me to get married so bad she was probably already mentally planning the wedding.
And I almost had.
I waited for some false hope to pass across her face, but it never came. That was the main reason I had chickened out of telling my parents that Lila was pregnant. I couldn't stand the thought of them assuming that I would marry her based on that fact alone.
"I'm gonna be a grandpa."
My dad mumbled and I looked over at him. He was sitting back in his chair too, he had unbuttoned the top button of his white shirt and was tugging at the next one.
I said as I stood up and rounded the table to my mom's seat. She was barely hanging on when I made it to her and wrapped her in a hug. She sniffled a little then pulled away and looked up at me.
"I'm so excited Brady. I can't wait to see you be a dad."
"I'm sorry it happened all backward."
I told her as I pushed a tear off of her cheek.
"That doesn't matter, sweetheart. Babies are a blessing no matter how they get here."
My dad slapped me on my back and I turned around to face him.
"You always make me proud, Brady. I can only assume you'll handle fatherhood the same way."
I stuck my hand out between us but he pulled me into a hug instead.
I laughed and he squeezed harder.
We ate dessert together as my mom bombarded me with questions that I mostly didn't have the answers too but I promised her I would find out. Questions about hospitals and birth plans made my head spin.
I made my way out of my parent's house and to my car then did everything in my power to distract myself from thinking about what exit that I'd be passing to make it back home.
Eliza had become like a drug to me. No matter what I did I couldn't stop my mind from tracking her down. Which was insane.
I tapped my fingers on my steering wheel and turned the radio up but it did little to help me out.
I could just stop by, I'd done it before. But some part of me needed to justify why. I could come up with some dumb reason to see her which would end with us naked in bed together. That's how it always happened. Like an amped-up version of a booty call but I hated associating Eliza with something like that. But I was also aware that neither one of us was looking for anything serious.
The real problem was that I enjoyed her company too much. She was smart and so damn beautiful. I could only assume she was very picky about who she dated, as she should be. I was about to be a single father and not only did I need to direct all of my attention to the baby, but I didn't need to put that off on anyone else. Except I was afraid that I already had. I'd roped the woman into picking out a crib just so I could have an excuse to spend time with her.
I had just passed her exit, giving myself a mental pat on the back for my restraint when my phone rang. Eliza's name flashed across the screen and I sighed as I stared at it. The universe was against me in every possible way it seemed.
She said and it made my heart race. It drove me nuts when she did that and she knew it.
I heard something in the background that sounded a little like music mixed with people yelling.
"Where are you, Eliza?"
"Oh, we're bowling. I was calling to tell you to get down here. It's so much fun."
She giggled then giggled some more.
"Are you drunk? And who is we?"
I had no right to be agitated but I still found myself there.
"Nah. I'm with Evie and some guys who are playing on the lane beside ours."
She hiccuped then laughed and if I'm not mistaken I heard a snort.
"Where is Penelope?"
"Babysitter. Want me to give you the address to the bowling alley?"
"Send me a pin."
I told her before hanging up. My phone dinged, I clicked the pin Eliza sent and got off of the next exit. Ten minutes passed before I pulled into the parking lot and I decided that too many things could happen in ten minutes that made my blood boil. How was that even possible?
When I walked into the building everything glowed. White shirts, teeth, and those ugly shoes were all lit up.
I went further in and spotted Eliza and Evie on the lane on the end with a handful of college-aged boys hovering around them. The closer I got the more I wanted to pinch all of their heads off. Eliza must have felt me staring at her because she turned around before I made it to her.
"Brady! You came!"
She said and I ignored the urge to say something dirty. Instead, I focused all my attention on the outfit she was wearing which was way too sexy for this shit hole bowling alley.
"I did. Who are your friends?"
I asked as I nodded my head toward the three guys who looked like they were more than likely buying all the pitchers of beers they had sitting on their table with their daddy's credit cards. The little one with the pink polo on was the first to introduce himself.
He stuck his hand out and I seriously considered not shaking it. But that would be rude.
I told him as I shook his hand.
"Brady Bolthouse as in-."
"Yep, that's one."
Evie said as she stood beside Eliza.
"Good to see you, Evie."
I told her as she smiled my way.
She nodded. I knew Evie had a soft spot for me and it had a lot to do with Penelope. She liked me so by default, so did her mom.
Patrick introduced me to his friends and they ended up actually being college kids. And harmless ones at that. They grilled me about the internships that I offer and I gave them my personal email address to apply.
After they left, Evie took it upon herself to called an Uber and made it clear that she was heading home alone. Eliza and I both watched from the window in the arcade area as Evie got into the car and drove away. Eliza had sobered up some but was still a little tipsy.
"I need to pee."
She said as we started back down the hall.
"Want to come?"
She asked as she wiggled her brows and all the dirty thoughts from before came flooding my mind again.
"Yes, I do."
I told her as I followed her into the bathroom, checking behind us to make sure no one was around. I checked all the stalls before pulling her into one.
"Brady I know this was my idea but I really don't want to touch these walls."
She said as she scrunched her nose.
No way she was chickening out now.
"You won't," I told her and I tugged her skirt up and lifted her so that she could wrap her legs around me, "at first I was a little confused by this outfit, but I have to say this skirt was a great idea."
She giggled as she wrapped her arms around my neck. I reached down and moved her underwear to the side before I eased into her body.
Eliza and I had extensive conversations about unprotected sex. She was on birth control and had never slept with anyone without a condom while I on the other hand obviously had. We both were tested and were clean. And just the idea of having sex with her without a condom turned me on. And the fact that I was the first man to feel her around me without any sort of barrier, well, that was a whole other level.
"God, just when I think you can't feel any better, you prove me wrong."
She hummed and while I loved the sound, I needed more.
"Come on Eliza, I need real words."
I palmed her ass in my hands and squeezed until she squealed.
"You're gonna drive me nuts, Mr. Bolthouse."
She whispered in my ear causing chill bumps to cover my skin.
I relentlessly rammed into her over and over again against the wall, her back never once touching it. I felt her throb against me, her back arched, and I lost all train of thought. There was no thinking when I was like this with Eliza. And if there was a thought, it began and ended with her.
"That was dirty."
She whispered as a pulled out of her and carefully set her on her feet. She wobbled a bit, and I kept my hands on her hips to steady her.
"Just how I like it."
I smiled and I watched her pull her skirt back down where it belonged. I left the stall and waited by the sink while she cleaned up.
Eliza asked and she looked up at me after she washed her hands.
"What now? I'm gonna beat your ass in a game of bowling, that's what."
I smacked said ass as we snuck out of the bathroom and down the hall toward the lanes.
The questions that I had about what type of relationship Eliza and I were in had been swirling in my mind but with her shooting gutter balls and trying to feed me stale pizza I couldn't bring myself to care.
I walked into the place pissed at the thought of someone else spending time with her and ended up fucking her against the bathroom wall before leaving with her by my side.
I wasn't exactly sure what to make of it or what anyone else would make of it.
All I knew for sure was that I wanted it.