Xavier Cold

Page 18


Kai laughs. “You’ve lost your touch, X. Seems you can’t even control your bitch.”
Without warning, X delivers a hard fist into Kai’s face, causing his head to whip to the side.
Kai traces his lips with his fingers and then spits a mouthful of blood onto the ground. “Is that how it is now?”
Xavier nods while his chest heaves. If looks could kill, Kai would already be in a body bag.
Kai steps around the front of the truck. “This isn’t over, X.”
Xavier allows the men to throw around their promises of retribution and doesn’t make a move to attack them. Rather, he stands firm in full-on protection mode until the men lock themselves inside the Escalade and drive away.
Chapter 9
Adrenaline is still flowing through every inch of my body. “What in the hell was that all about?”
Xavier swallows hard. “Old friends.”
I crinkle my eyebrows inward. “Those were your friends? My God, Xavier, I would hate to see your enemies.”
“This was a mistake, coming back here. We should leave.” He starts toward the back of the house.
“We can do that. Quinn and Aunt Dee will let us stay there,” I remind him as the loose sections of blacktop on the driveway crunch beneath the soles of my shoes.
He sighs as he walks over to his bike that’s parked next to the back porch. “We can’t do that either. We’ll go to a hotel.”
I’m still holding the Styrofoam containers from Nettie in my hands as he bends down to chain the bike to a post that’s sunk into the ground as part of the porch’s foundation. The material of his dark jeans stretches perfectly over his sexy ass, and I appreciate the view, but I refuse to allow his body to distract me. We’ve got a serious situation here.
“You said that we couldn’t afford to do that.”
“I’ll figure it out.”
“Well if you won’t stay at my aunts, then we’re staying here. It’s the logical thing to do.”
Xavier pushes himself up and rolls his shoulders back. The thin material of his black button-up shirt strains against his biceps. All of his clothes seem to fit extra tight, probably due to his sheer size, but it looks good on him because his body is so defined.
“Did you forget what just happened here?” he asks.
“No, of course not.”
He sets his eyes on me. “Then, you know why we need to go.”
No matter how badly he wants to leave this place, Xavier needs to realize that staying in a hotel for three straight months will hit his bank account hard, and we can’t do that—unless he thinks we won’t be safe.
“Will those guys hurt us if we stay here?”
Xavier’s blue eyes darken. “They’ll never touch you.”
I stare into his eyes, knowing he means that. He’s proven time and time again that he would never allow anyone to hurt me, so I’m not afraid for my own well-being, only his.
I take a step toward him to close the distance between us. “Will they hurt you?”
“No. I’m too valuable to them. They think I’m a walking ATM. They might threaten me, but they know, if something happens to me, the cops would be all over them.”
“Then, we should stay. I’m not afraid, as long as I have you to protect me.”
“I’ll always guard that beautiful body of yours.”
I smile at him. “There’s my bodyguard who’s always looking out for me in this city.”
“You know it.” He smiles back at me, clearly amused that I remembered his promise to be my personal bodyguard from all the pricks in Detroit.
My eyes drift to the cut above his eye where the blood has crusted over. “We should go in and look at that eye of yours. I might not have your bandaging ability, but I use a Band-Aid like no other.”
He chuckles as I’m sure he’s thinking about the time he cleaned up my knee at Larry’s. “I have to see this skill of yours.”
“Well, come on. Nettie sent home your food.” I start to take a step toward the house, but I pause when I notice that Xavier is still stuck in place.
He pushes his long hair back from his face as he stares up at the house in front of him. “I’m dreading tonight.”
He doesn’t have to say any more than that for me to understand that he’s talking about his nightmares.
I reach over and take his hand, causing his eyes to drift down to mine. I stare into the blue pools of his irises and say, “They always say, the first step is the hardest, and I can attest to that. I was always afraid to leave home even though I hated how overbearing Father was. Making the decision was the easy part, but taking that first step on the plane was tough. I don’t regret doing it though because it was the right decision. It led me here to you. Whether you realized it or not, you helped me through the roughest day of my life on that plane. You were kind to me. You saved me. Now, let me be here for you. If it becomes too much for you in there, lean on me, please, the way I’ve leaned on you.”
Xavier swallows hard and cups my face into his hand before he kissed my lips. “I’ll try, but this place absolutely brings out the beast in me, and I don’t want to accidentally unleash on you.”
“You won’t,” I whisper. “I trust you.”
He leans his forehead against mine. “You don’t know how badly I want to be a good guy for you, Anna, because that’s what you deserve. You shouldn’t have to live in this ghetto hell with me.”
I place my hands on his cheeks. “I don’t care where we live, as long as we’re together.”
He closes his eyes but doesn’t say anything else. I don’t push him either. If there’s one thing I’ve learned about Xavier Cold, it’s that he doesn’t do well when he’s ordered around. He operates on his own time.
We stand there for a while before Xavier releases a heavy sigh. “We should probably go in and figure out where we’re sleeping.” He grabs my hand and leads me up onto the back porch.
I tilt my head. “I just assumed we’d be sleeping in your old room.”
Xavier’s muscle twitches beneath the skin of his jaw. “We can’t do that.”
“Oh,” I say, deflated.
I was looking forward to seeing the room where Xavier had spent his time as a little boy. “Will you at least show me your old bedroom?”