Xavier Cold

Page 21


I nod but then direct my attention back to Cole.
“I have a pretty good home, but I’m a rebel, and I like to break the rules.”
Kai shoves Cole’s shoulder. “You’re trippin’. You’re spoiled.”
Cole doesn’t argue. He only laughs in response. He shoves his hands deep into his front pockets. “You really don’t have any other place to go?”
I frown and shake my head. “No.”
“Is your family searching for you?”
“Definitely not.” I sigh. “The only person I’ve got is me.”
Cole whips his head in Kai’s direction and says, “You should take him to Bishop.”
Kai raises his dark eyebrows but turns his attention to me. “Slingin’ ain’t for everybody, but I know a guy who is looking to expand his crew. Once you’re in, you won’t be sleeping under bridges anymore.”
I glance up at the concrete pillars holding up the freeway where cars have been zooming over me all night long. While selling dope has never been on the top of my priority list, a warm place to stay is something I would be willing to sell my soul for right now.
“I’m in. How soon can I meet this Bishop guy?”
“Shit. I can take you to him right now,” Kai says with a smile. “Bishop is my older cousin.”
I shove myself up from the ground, and my cold, stiff legs take a minute to stretch out. Once the blood is flowing through them and I feel like I can walk without falling over, I stuff my blanket into my backpack. “Let’s go.”
I might be jumping into fire, but at this point, I really don’t give a fuck.
My eyes snap open, and I gasp. It takes a moment for me to figure out that it was just a dream because it’d felt so real. While reliving one of the lowest points in my life wasn’t exactly a nightmare, it’s not something I like to dream about.
I haven’t dreamed about that night in so long, and I have no idea what brought it on tonight, but I’ll take those dreams over the nightmares any day.
Anna’s head is resting on my shoulder as she lies on top of me on the floor of the living room. There wasn’t anywhere I could bear to sleep in this place but in the spot in the corner where I always slept when I was a kid.
She stirs and lifts her head. “You all right?”
My hand strokes her hair. “Yeah, I’m good. Go back to sleep.”
Anna’s breathing evens out, and I fight the urge to hop up and begin doing push-ups to stop myself from thinking about the times that haunt me.
Chapter 11
I stand outside Quinn’s car, hesitant to leave Xavier alone. “Are you sure you don’t want to come with me? Designing a wedding invitation shouldn’t take too long.”
“That’s totally a chick thing. Go have fun,” he says.
“What are you going to do all afternoon?” There’s no way I can hide the worry in my voice.
Xavier slides his index finger under my chin. “No frowning. I’ll be fine. Besides, I’m going to go check out Cole’s gym.”
I smile and poke at his chiseled abs beneath his tight T-shirt. “Don’t want these to get all soft, huh?”
A wicked grin spreads across his face. “Hell no. My girl seems to like them, so I need to keep her happy.”
I bite my lower lip. “They are pretty damn sexy, but I would love you with or without them.”
That earns me a genuine smile.
“You’d better go before I stop you from leaving.”
A familiar tingle erupts in my belly, and I can’t help myself from asking, “How would you plan on doing that?”
He leans in and presses his warm lips to the sensitive flesh below my ear. “I have my ways.”
I inhale deeply, attempting to keep my body from going into overdrive. The spiciness of his cologne mixed with a scent that is one hundred percent all Xavier flow through my senses, making my mouth water.
He pulls back, takes in my face, and then chuckles. “See?”
I shake my head at his amusement of his ability to turn me on so quickly. “On that note, I’m leaving.” I open the car door. “I’ll see you when I get back.”
He kisses me. “Be careful, beautiful. You have any problems, call me.”
“I will.”
Warmth spreads over me as I buckle in, and Quinn backs the Honda out of the driveway. I love how protective he is over me. It’s a complete turn-on, even during the times when he takes it too far and I explode at him for being so reckless. It’s a good feeling to know he cares so much about me.
“Damn, Anna.” Quinn’s voice pulls me out of my thoughts. “He’s got it so bad for you.”
My cheeks tingle as my mouth spreads into a smile. “The feeling is mutual. I can’t seem to get enough of him.”
She laughs. “And to think, it wasn’t that long ago when I had to threaten you to get a pair of lady nuggets when it came to X.”
“I can’t believe it was ever so hard to come out with how I really felt about him.”
She shrugs. “You didn’t want to get hurt. On top of that, you’d never been around someone like Xavier. Uncle Simon made sure to keep guys like that far away from you.”
I tense at the mention of Father’s name, and while I don’t agree with how he treated me or the way my family back home expected me to live my life, I do miss them.
“Has Aunt Dee heard from Father?”
“Oh, yeah. She’s been on the receiving end of his wrath ever since he came to Atlanta. He’s so pissed at X. He blames X for your rebellion and not coming back home.”
“That’s absurd. Xavier isn’t the only reason I don’t plan on going back.”
She nods as she stops at a red light. “I know that, but you know Uncle Simon needs someone to blame for why you aren’t going back home.”
“Nothing is ever his fault. He doesn’t see a thing wrong with how he treated me. I mean, who in their right mind tries to force their daughter into marrying a man she doesn’t love just because it fits their plan for how they want the world to perceive their family?”
She presses on the gas pedal, and the car moves again. “The whole Jorge thing was completely fucked up. It never seemed like you ever really liked him.”
The relationship I had with Jorge is nothing like the one I have with Xavier. Jorge felt more like a friend, someone I enjoyed being around. I didn’t long for him with every inch of my being when I was away from him. It’s the complete opposite of how I feel about Xavier. When I’m not with him, he’s always on my mind. They’re two totally different feelings.