Xavier Cold

Page 13


I slide my bottom lip between my teeth as I contemplate carrying through on my threat. “You’re right, but that’s only because the thought of any other man seeing you naked drives me out of my fucking mind.”
“You don’t have to worry about that because this belongs only to you.”
“Mmm . . . I like it when you say that,” I admit.
“What?” She blinks slowly as she gazes up at me.
“You saying that you’re mine.”
“I’ll always be yours.”
When I hear those words willingly come out of her mouth, my heart does a double thump. I didn’t have to bring her to the edge of orgasm and force her to admit she was mine seconds before I made her come.
My cock jerks in my jeans, and if we don’t change this conversation, I’ll throw her sweet little ass back on this bike and find a place where we can be alone.
I sigh and then reach down and grab her hand, pulling my brain out of the sex daze it entered. “Food. We came here for food.”
“Right.” She giggles. “I nearly forgot.”
I lead her into the diner. Nettie is busy wiping down the counter, and Carl is throwing food around on the grill.
Nettie glances up at me and smiles. “I’ll be right there, sugar.”
“Take your time,” I call to her as I guide Anna to my favorite corner booth. “Hey, Carl,” I toss over my shoulder before I slide into the booth.
“What up, X?” he replies as he flips a steaks onto a plate.
Anna slips into the booth, and then I slide in across from her. I study her face as she reads over the menu. Her dark hair is down and a little wild from the ride here, but she looks as beautiful as ever. Her green eyes move around from one page to the next as she reads. Those eyes of hers are the first things that caught my attention on the plane. They stand out so much against her tan complexion that it’s impossible not to notice them. When she looks at you with them, you know how sincere she is. You can read it in her eyes.
“I think I’m going to have—” Her eyes flick to mine, and she pauses. “Why are you looking at me like that?”
“How am I looking at you?” Is it possible to tell that I’m thinking about her by the expression on my face? I’m typically pretty damn good at hiding my emotions.
“I don’t know,” she says. “You look like you’re lost in thought.”
I stretch my hand across the table and take her hand in mine. “I’m glad you’re here.”
That makes her smile and seems to appease her curious mind.
It doesn’t take long for Nettie to make it over to our table. She focuses on me when she asks, “Did you get settled in?”
The real question she wants to ask is, Were you able to handle going back into that house?
I kept my shit together when we were there, mostly to make Anna feel safe. There was no way in hell I wanted to peel back the curtain on my whole fucked-up psyche in front of her.
Her seeing my nightmare freak-outs is bad enough.
I don’t deserve a good girl like Anna to stick by my side, but I’m glad she’s here, and I plan on keeping her forever.
I lean back and throw my arm over the top of the booth. “We did. Things are going to be fine.”
I hope my actions are enough to reassure Nettie so that she won’t worry, but I can tell by the pointed look she’s giving me that understands it was harder for me than I led on.
She sighs and then moves to change the subject because she knows me well enough to expect that I’m not going to elaborate any further on the situation. “You still on that protein diet, honey?”
“No. Seeing as how I don’t even have a gym to work out at right now, my training is on hold until I can get back to it.”
“So, you gonna have a cheat meal then? Your favorite?”
I lift one shoulder in a noncommittal shrug. “Sure. Why not?”
“Carl!” Nettie yells over her shoulder. “Pancakes for our boy.”
“Damn it, woman. Can’t you write the stuff down and then come over and give me the letter about what to cook?” Carl complains as he works at pouring out batter onto the griddle in the kitchen that’s visible to all the customers.
“You know it works better when I tell you what to cook as we go,” Nettie fires back. Then, she quickly repeats the same scenario with Anna’s order. “You know, Xavier, Cole took over his daddy’s gym. You ought to go check it out. He’d be glad to see you.”
Damn. I’ve only been here a few hours, and already, Nettie has dragged me down memory lane more today than she has in the past few years.
Cole Parker is one person from the old neighborhood I wouldn’t mind seeing. We were tight back in the day because we’d broken out of the street life at the same time. It bonded us because we’d pissed off the crew that ran The Block.
Nettie and Carl had made it clear that if I wanted to stay here with them, I was to have nothing to do with the people I used to hang with. And Cole—well, his father was in his life, and when he’d gotten word that Cole was getting mixed up with the wrong crowd, he’d intervened.
It’s good to hear that he’s doing all right for himself.
“Thanks for the heads-up, Nettie. I’ll check it out.”
The sound of Anna’s cell ringing catches my attention. She fishes it from her back pocket, and her eyes widen as she glances down at the caller ID. Her hand flips the phone around for me to see the words Tension Writers illuminate the screen.
“Should I answer it?” she asks in a voice that’s only a few octaves above a whisper.
More than anything, I want her to answer that phone and tell whoever is on the other end of the line to fuck off and that she’s not coming back to the show without me, but we both know that wouldn’t be a wise move.
“Answer it,” I advise her. “There’s no way around talking to them.”
She sighs and then hits the green phone button on the screen. “Hello?” There’s a pause as she listens to person talking. “Okay. I understand that, but—well, no, but—”
I curl my fingers and then flex them back out, trying to stop myself from making fists and pounding on the table. Whoever is speaking to her is being rude as fuck. They keep interrupting her, and it’s pissing me off. They have about two seconds to change their attitude with Anna, or I will jerk that phone away and make the person on the end of that line wish they’d never rung her number.