Xavier Cold

Page 29


“Of course I do. I love wrestling. X is a badass in the ring.”
“That he is.” I sigh. “He scares the shit out of most men.”
“That’s why I never dragged up the courage to ask you out once I found out you were seeing him. I knew I would never have a shot.”
I stir my coffee as my mind drifts to when I saw Xavier earlier. “We’re kind of in a fight right now.”
I admitted that a little too easily, and then it hits me that Quinn is probably right about me being drunk. Typically, I wouldn’t have divulged that information.
Tyler braces his hands on the bar across from me. “What about?”
I shrug. “He allowed another woman to kiss him.”
Tyler raises his eyebrows and then shakes his head. “Man, if he’s messing around on you, he’s an idiot.”
The corner of my mouth lifts into a small smile. “Thank you. That’s sweet.”
“It’s true. Any man who has you would be an idiot to mess things up. Not only are you really nice, but you’re also the prettiest woman I’ve ever seen.” He sighs and then lays my bill down. “I hate to give you this, but you know Andy would shit a brick if I didn’t make you pay.”
“It’s okay. I don’t mind paying.” I reach for the small white paper lying on the bar, but someone reaches over my shoulder and takes it before I can get my fingers on it.
Standing next to me is a broad-shouldered man with brown hair who is covered in tattoos from the neck down. He’s wearing a smile that causes his dark eyes to twinkle. “I got this one.”
“Oh, um...” I hesitate, knowing that situations like this make X to freak out. “Thank you, but I really should pay for that on my own.”
The man slides onto the stool next to me, still holding my bill. “Consider this a welcome-to-the-neighborhood present.”
I raise my eyebrows. “What makes you think I’m new?”
His eyes search my face, like he’s trying to think of an answer to my question. “I’ve never seen you in here before.”
My lips twist. “That’s funny because I used to work here. Surely, you would’ve seen me then if you were a regular.”
He nods and then runs his hand through his mussed hair. The blue shirt he’s wearing catches my eye. On the sleeve of his shirt, there’s some sort of weird symbol that has a scythe, a dollar symbol, and a square on it. The interesting pattern is definitely custom because I can’t imagine anything like that being sold in a store.
“You caught me,” the man admits. “I was looking for an excuse to talk to a pretty lady.”
Heat floods my face, surely making me blush, and I can’t tell if all the liquor or his simple compliment caused it. “That’s very kind of you, but I can’t accept you paying for my stuff. I have a boyfriend.”
“A really big, scary one,” Tyler chimes in from across the bar. “And he’s right behind you.”
My head whips around, and I spot Xavier standing just inside the door. His long hair is damp from a shower, and he’s changed into a fitted T-shirt, a pair of jeans, and boots. He’s no doubt here to find me since I haven’t been back to his house since we fought.
Suddenly, I fear for the man sitting next to me because Xavier gets crazy jealous when it comes to other men speaking to me. I don’t want him to go nutso on this guy who is trying to be nice.
The man, on the other hand, doesn’t appear to be the least bit worried. Matter of fact, he doesn’t even make an attempt to turn around and check out the man whom Tyler has warned him about. Instead, he fishes out his wallet from his back pocket and lays down a one hundred dollar bill.
My pulse pounds beneath my skin as Xavier’s eyes meet mine, and then his gaze flits over to the man next to me. Even from across the room, it’s easy to tell that his body has instantly stiffened. Then, he squares his shoulders and marches in my direction.
“Oh, shit,” Tyler says from behind me. “Mister, you should leave.”
The man shrugs. “I’ll leave when I’m ready, and no one will make me do so otherwise.”
“Your funeral,” Tyler mumbles as he walks to the opposite end of the bar.
Xavier stands in front of me, but his eyes are fixated on the guy while he flexes his fingers in and out. “Let’s go, Anna.”
It’s not a request but a command. After how he treated me today, I’m not ready to let his bossiness slide.
I fold my arms across my chest. “No. Maybe I’m not ready to leave. I told you before, I can handle myself.”
“Yeah, X. She said she’s got it under control,” the man taunts.
I know this isn’t going to go over well.
Xavier’s eyes narrow and his jaw muscle works beneath the skin. “Shut your fucking mouth before I shut it for you.”
“Xavier!” I scold him, trying to grab his attention before he does something crazy and ends up in trouble yet again.
“Anna...” he growls my name in a sexy way.
At the moment, I refuse to admit how my body to reacts to him because I’m still mad at him.
“Let’s go. Now,” he adds.
The man turns around on the stool, wearing a shit-eating grin, and I want to order him to turn back around if he doesn’t have a death wish, but the man seems to be amused by Xavier’s obvious anger.
“What the fuck are you smiling at?” Xavier barks to the man.
I’m instantly on my wobbly feet to try to stop this argument from getting out of control.
“I will fucking end you right here, right now for fucking with what’s mine.”
I place my hand on Xavier’s chest. “Don’t. Nothing is going on. Let it go.”
“The hell it’s not. I see exactly what’s happening here.”
“Stop,” I plead.
His gaze fixes on me.
“Let. It. Go,” I say my words slowly so that, even in my drunken state, they come out with enough clarity, so he knows that I’m not joking around.
“Anna, this guy...” He trails off, like he’s stopping himself from saying something that he really wants to say. “This fucker needs to be taught a fucking lesson.”
I shake my head. “He doesn’t. You need to control your temper.”
He narrows his eyes, and I can see the tension is not going to go away until I remove him from the situation. That means I need to give in and leave with him.