There was a quick beat of silence. “That’s quite all right. See you soon.”
The line went dead before I could even say goodbye. I knew he was upset with me, Ian too, but what was I supposed to do? This child didn’t ask to be brought into the world and I couldn’t make its life worse because I wanted to continue my poly-relationship with my best friends and the most incredible woman I’ve ever known.
We got to the office and Alia made me fight for it just to get up to the office. She stopped to pee twice, and kept holding me back on complaints of her back hurting and having weird pains. I knew she was just causing problems because she was annoyed I was delaying our trip to the courthouse, but I just went along with her games. It was in my best interest to get used to her immaturity now, I was signing up for it for at least the next 18 years. We finally entered Ryland’s office, and to my grave concern, Sascha and Ian were there as well. I told him that Alia was with me, what were they thinking?
“What’s going on?” I asked. “Do we need all these people here to talk money?”
If Ian’s eyes could shoot lasers, I’d be a pile of ash on the floor. “Since when are we just ‘these people?’” he scoffed.
Sascha stepped forward and slammed a piece of paper down on Ryland’s desk. I took a step forward and saw that it was a piece of paper much like the one Alia had given me, but it claimed that I was not the father of her child.
I turned to look at her. “What is this?”
Alia snatched it from my hand and looked it over. “It’s obviously a fake,” she said.
Sascha walked around from behind Ryland’s desk where she was standing, to stand near where I was.
“Those are the real results of the test,” Sascha explained. “I had a friend check into the validity of the results she gave you, and he determined that she paid an intern at the hospital to create a fake test result. She’s pregnant, but the baby is not yours.”
Alia ripped the paper into pieces and blew them into my face. “There are your real results.”
“Yeah,” Ian said. “Because we brought the only original and let him give it to you because we’re that dumb.”
“I know you’re a little dense, so I’ll explain,” Sascha said. “We are actually not that dumb.”
Ryland lifted a manilla folder, holding it open for me to see the dozens of copies of the real test inside. “We’ve got plenty more where that came from.”
“That doesn’t mean anything,” Alia sneered. “How do I know you didn’t pay someone to make that one saying mine is a lie?”
Ryland held up another manilla folder. He opened it and I could see in it dozens of stapled together papers. “Copies of the police report the hospital filed against the intern who forged the fakes.” He held the folder out to me. “Would you like to take a look?”
I reached for the folder, but Alia grabbed my hand. “Carson, let’s just go. They’re obviously trying to tear us apart.”
I turned and looked at her, knowing that what they were telling me was true. “I’m not going anywhere with you.”
“You can see yourself out,” Sascha added quickly.
Alia’s face got redder and redder until she looked like a tomato being squeezed to bursting. She turned her back to us and made it like she was heading for the exit, and then turned suddenly, swinging her hand out towards Sascha.
“Alia!” I yelled.
But Sascha was far from being a woman who couldn’t handle herself. With cat-like reflexes, she grabbed Alia’s hand and whipped it around, pinning it behind her back in a policeman hold. She held her tight in place, despite Alia’s wriggling, pulling her other wrist behind to hold them both in place. Ian let out a shallow whistle in response.
“I don’t want to do any more than this because I do actually feel bad for your baby, considering it’ll probably never know who its actual father is, but I’ll protect mine if I have to.” She shoved Alia a bit closer to the door. “You can leave peacefully, or you can regret not leaving peacefully.”
“Lakehouse, gents?” Ryland said quickly.
“Now it’s me who’s telling you, never come near Carson again, or next time, I won’t be so merciful.”
I had to kindly ask all the blood rushing to my groin to relax, now was not the time. Alia looked at me, Ian, Ryland and finally Sascha.
“Fuck all of you,” she hissed and then finally stormed out.
I stood in silence for a while as Ian, Ryland and Sascha cheered around me. Finally, Sascha walked up to me and touched my cheek. It snatched me back to reality as I looked down at her.