Xavier Cold

Page 35


Anna: I’ll call you tomorrow. Get some rest. You looked beat today. Miss you like crazy and love you.
I stuff my phone into my back pocket as the elevator stops on my floor. I’m exhausted myself and can’t wait to lay down. I fish my room card out of pocket, and when my eyes snap up to read the numbers on the doors, they lock on Rex’s dark eyes.
My back stiffens when I see the one man I’ve been dreading to face ever since I discovered I would have to come on the road without Xavier. Rex’s long dark hair is pulled back into a low ponytail. A yellow hue tints the underside of his eyes, a remnant of Xavier breaking his nose, and several small bruises are on his chin and arms. Other than that, he appears to be in pretty good shape. Rex should be thankful Tension’s bouncer, Freddie, was there to pull Xavier off of him before Xavier could inflict a lot more damage.
His eyes twinkle as an evil smile dances across his lips. “There’s my girl.”
“Stop it,” I order. “I’m not your girl.”
His smile widens. “Of course you are. For the next three months while Xavier is gone, you’ll be on my arm while on camera...and off camera, too, if you play your cards right.”
I roll my eyes as I attempt to step around him in the hall. “You disgust me.”
“That’s interesting.” He smirks. “Xavier can fuck half the women in this company, yet I’m the disgusting one. I find that a little hypocritical coming from you.”
Even though I know it’s probably true, the mention of Xavier being with a lot of women turns my stomach. I don’t enjoy that thought being thrown in my face. In some ways, I’m just as bad as Xavier in some ways when it comes to the jealousy department.
The thing about this conversation though is that I know Rex is trying to mess with me in a lame attempt at pushing Xavier’s buttons even though he’s on the other side of the country.
I try one more time to step around Rex, wanting nothing more than to get away from him. “Would you please stop getting in front of me?”
Rex defensively throws his hands up. “All you have to do is say please. I like it when beautiful women beg. It’s my weakness.”
I shove past him and don’t even bother to engage in an argument.
I swipe my key in the door and then shove down the handle.
“Oh, Anna,” Rex calls in a singsong voice, “I’ll be right next door if you want to work on that kiss of ours that’s happening tomorrow night.”
“Fuck you, Rex.” I square my shoulders and march into my room, cutting off my contact with the man that can get under my skin quicker than any other man I’ve ever met.
I waste no time in getting ready for bed. Tomorrow will be a busy day, and I know I’ll need all the sleep I can get if I’m going to survive it.
I set my alarm on my phone for eight in the morning, and just before I place the phone on the nightstand, I notice a new text has arrived. I click on the phone and gasp.
It’s been a long time since that name has shown up on my phone. My hand trembles a bit as I pull the screen up for a closer inspection. After I left him without so much as a word, Jorge is the last person I ever expected to hear from again.
Out of everything I left behind in Portland, the one thing I regret is the way I left Jorge. Even though it was obvious we didn’t love each other the way we should have in such an involved relationship, I did care for him, and he deserved at least an explanation from me. I wouldn’t blame him if he hated me.
As I click on his name, I take a deep breath and prepare myself for the scathing message.
Jorge: I heard you’re in Seattle. If I drive up there, will you see me?
My heart does a double thump against my ribs as I read over his words more than a dozen times. I’m not sure what he’ll say to me, but whatever it is, I need to woman up and hear him out. I owe him that much.
Anna: I’ll be here until Wednesday morning. I have shows tonight and Sunday, but I have downtime on Monday until I do Tuesday’s show.
I chew my bottom lip as I hit Send and wait on his response. The phone chimes again, alerting me to a new message before I’ve even had the chance to set the phone down.
Jorge: Dinner on Monday night? We have many things to discuss.
Anna: We do. Monday sounds great. I’ll text you my hotel information, so you can pick me up.
I send the information and lay the phone down on the nightstand. A sliver of light from the evening sun creeps through the crack in the curtains and streaks across the ceiling as I stare at it. So many things roll through my mind all at once. I find it difficult to focus. It almost feels as though everything is coming down on me at once—being on my own at the show, being away from Xavier, dealing with Rex, and now facing the messy past with Jorge.
I hope I can handle all the pressure because now is not the time for me to crack.
Chapter 19
The driver pulls through the gated section of the arena and stops near a back door where I recognize Freddie, the Tension bouncer who pulled Xavier off of Rex.
I push open the back door and slip out of the SUV.
I head toward the door. Freddie is standing there with his eyes are trained on me as I near him.
Immediately, his gaze checks behind me. “I see X took the suspension seriously since he’s not with you.”
I step up next to him, and his nearly seven-foot frame towers over me. “He did. He’s still back in Detroit.”
Freddie raises his dark eyebrows and writes something down on his clipboard. “I have to say, I’m a bit surprised that X didn’t attempt to bend the rules, like he typically does, and show up with you here anyway. I expected that actually.”
I shrug. “He knows this is only temporary. Hopefully he trusts me. There’s no need for him to violate the terms of his suspension.”
“X might trust you, but I know he sure as hell doesn’t trust Rex. I don’t care what line of bullshit the public relations department fed the press about the fight between them onstage being a part of the show. I’ve gotten between the two of them too many times for me to believe it wasn’t real. Rex has been taunting X for far too long. It was all bound to come to a head at some point.”
My lips pull into a tight line. “You’re right, but if the story keeps X out of jail, I’ll go along with it any day.”
Freddie gives me a pointed look. “Is that why you agreed to the whole love-triangle thing with Rex?”