Xavier Cold

Page 34


“Very well.” The lady finishes checking me in and then hands me a room key along with my other two cards. “Enjoy your stay.”
I make my way over to the elevator, and when the door slides open, a familiar face comes into view.
“Oh, good. Just who I am looking for,” Jimmy says as he steps off the elevator. “I’ve got something for you.” He opens the manila folder in his hands. “Here’s your itinerary.”
I take the paper, and there’s a list of times and places written on it. “Mine?”
He nods and adjusts the white plastic sunglasses sitting on top of his mullet. “X texted me and asked that I show you the ropes while he’s not here.”
“That’s kind of you, Jimmy.”
He shrugs. “He’s paying me, so don’t think too highly of me.” He glances down at my bag. “Well, I’ll let you get settled in. As usual, dinner in the hotel restaurant is on Tension. Come down when you’re ready.”
Jimmy begins to walk away.
I throw out another, “Thank you,” which only results in him raising his hand into the air in a weird wave while his back is still to me.
I sigh as I get on the next open elevator. This experience is so different from when I travel with Xavier. I can’t wait for him to get back on the road with me.
Chapter 18
After dinner, the next thing on the agenda was a meeting with the wardrobe department. I knock on room 507, and a little black lady with short-cropped hair and glasses answers the door.
She smiles, making her appear warm and inviting. “Anna Sweets, it’s lovely to finally meet you. I’m Pearl, the entire wardrobe department. Come on in.”
“A one woman show?”
“Exactly,” she says.
I laugh as I step into the hotel room and notice that her it’s packed with suitcases full of fabric. A compact sewing machine sits on the desk with a wrestler’s costume.
“You weren’t kidding. You really are a one-man band. You make everyone’s costumes by hand?”
She nods. “I do. Every outfit you’ve ever seen on Tension over the last fifteen years has been one of my designs. That brings me to you. I can’t have you out there, on the air, wearing just a plain old T-shirt and jeans.”
I grimace. “You can’t? I really don’t plan on being in the ring much.”
She lifts one eyebrow. “That’s not the word that has been passed down from the top of the Tension chain. From what I hear, you’ll be making an appearance on every show for the next three months, maybe longer, on Rex’s arm.”
I rub my forehead and squeeze my eyes shut. “Oh no.”
She pats my shoulder. “X is gonna have to get over it, honey. If he wants you to keep this job, he knows better than anyone that you’ll have to play along with whatever the big boss wants. Mr. Silverman has really been pushing the idea of a huge rivalry over you between X and Rex.”
“Any idea what they want me to do when I’m out in the ring?”
“You’re asking the wrong person for that. I only make the clothes for the storyline. They don’t divulge more than minor information to me when it comes to the plot so I can make sure the outfits are correct. I’ve been asked to prepare a costume for you that goes along with Rex’s.”
The idea of matching Rex makes my stomach turn a bit. “This is going to end so badly.”
“Maybe it won’t. X is a smart guy. He’ll get over it if he wants to keep you.”
“Thank you.” I sigh. “I guess we’d better get to work then.”
Pearl takes a few minutes to measure every inch of my body, and then she sits on the side of her bed and begins sketching on a pad. Within a few moments, the vision she sees in her head for the outfit she wants to make for me comes to fruition on paper. It’s basically the same as jeans and a T-shirt I usually wear. This time though, the outfit consists of tight pink leather pants and a white blouse with bright pink sequins that say Anna Sweets on top of a frosted cupcake.
I laugh. “Cute.”
“Thanks.” She smiles widely at her own artwork. “I think it plays up the whole sweet thing pretty well.” She hands me the pad, so I can take a closer inspection. “You like it?”
I nod. “It’s really great.”
She smiles. “Good. Then, I’ll get to work and have this ready for your appearance tomorrow night.”
“Tomorrow?” My stomach flips again. The idea of being out in front of that crowd without Xavier terrifies me. “That soon?”
“You’ll be great,” Pearl encourages. She glances down at her watch. “Okay, it’s almost time for my next appointment. I’ll find you backstage to give you this outfit before you go live.”
“Sounds good.”
We exchange cell phone numbers, so she can text me when the costume is ready, and then I head back to my room.
While I wait on the elevator, I check my cell. I haven’t had a chance to read messages since I texted Quinn and Xavier to tell them I’d safely landed in Seattle and got checked into my room. I have four missed texts.
I click on the message icon and chuckle. Quinn was the last person to text me, and without even clicking on the full message, I can see she’s waiting on me to call her.
Quinn: Hello?
Quinn: Call me every day while you’re on the road. Does this ring a bell?
I shake my head as I type my reply.
Anna: Sorry. Busy schedule since I landed. Heading to bed now. Will call in the morning.
Even though it’s only eight in the evening here on the West Coast, I’m still on Detroit time. I yawn as I click the next message. It causes me to bite my lip with anticipation since Xavier and I didn’t exactly part on a happy note.
Xavier: Glad you’re safe. Hope Liv found you okay.
Xavier: Going to bed. Totally beat. I know the time change sucks for you, but if you need to talk, call anytime. Love you.
His words make me smile. Even when we fight, he’s still sweet, making me miss him even more. If I were back in Detroit, I would have him cornered by now, forcing him to spill whatever it is that he’s been hiding from me, the thing that’s caused this weird rift between us. Once whatever it is comes to light, I know we’ll be able to fix it together.
I shoot a reply to him, wanting to let him know I’m thinking about him.