Xavier Cold

Page 36


I tilt my head to the side. “How do you know about that?”
“Everyone does. This is Tension, Anna. Everyone knows everyone’s business here.” He sighs. “It doesn’t help that Rex has been bragging about having you on his arm to everyone either.”
“Great,” I mutter. “I suppose he’s already in there?”
Freddie nods. “He is. If he gives you shit, come find me.”
“Thank you. I appreciate that.”
“Not a problem,” he replies coolly. “X is a good guy, and I know he only did what he did because he had been pushed, so I’d like to help him out as much as I can.”
“You’re a good guy, Freddie.” I pat the smooth brown skin on his forearm.
He smiles. “I try. Now, let’s get you back there before you’re late.”
He presses a button on the walkie-talkie hanging over his shoulder. “Security needed at the back entrance. I’m escorting talent into the building.”
The radio squawks to life. “Copy that.”
Freddie nods toward the door and then heads inside with me on his heels.
Backstage is the same as every other time I’ve been back here. Men and women of all shapes and sizes, wearing T-shirts with the word Tension on them, are buzzing around, pushing equipment in every direction.
Freddie stops at a set of open blue doors. “Catering is in here. I’ll radio the writers and tell them where you are. I’m sure they’ll send someone for you shortly.”
“Thanks, again, Freddie.”
“No problem, Anna Sweets. Take care of yourself.”
When he leaves me standing there, I wrap my arms around myself and head into what Xavier loves to refer to as the Snake Pit. As always, several women dressed to kill are gathered around one of the tables, no doubt plotting on how to get their hooks into a professional wrestler.
Not one friendly face is to be seen in the place, so I make my way over to an empty tables and sit down. I drag my phone out and dial Xavier’s number, but the line simply rings a few times before going straight to voice mail.
I wonder where he could be?
When the tone sounds, I leave a quick message. “Hey, it’s me. I’m at the show and really missing you. I’ll try to call you again later. Love you.”
My heart sinks a little. It would have been nice to hear his voice and find a little encouragement or last-minute pointers from a guy who’s been through this hundreds of times.
I sigh and then quickly dial Quinn’s number, desperately needing the sound of a friendly voice to help me not feel so alone right now.
Quinn answers on the second ring. “Hey, chica! Nice to see you’re taking my threat of calling me every day a little more seriously now.”
I smile but roll my eyes. “When have I missed a day of talking to you?”
She clears her throat. “I can think of a few when you were with Mr. Sexy all the time. Speaking of, how did it go with him dropping you off at the airport?”
I nibble on the corner of my bottom lip as I fight back some tears. “It was rough. I hate fighting with him all the time. It’s been extra hard, being here and knowing that there’s this weird tension between us.”
“When you get home, I’m sure he’ll finally come to his senses and figure out how to be more open with you.”
“I hope so,” I mumble.
“He’s not an idiot, Anna. He knows you mean business now because you set your foot down. You’re demanding respect from him. He’ll come to his senses. He’s a man, and sometimes, men are a little slow at figuring things out. Hell, look at how many times Brock and I fought over when we should get married before he came around and compromised with me.”
My eyes widen as she lets me see a glimpse of something they fought over. She was always so secretive about it before, so it takes me aback that she blurted it out like that.
“Wait a minute,” I say as things click. “Are you telling me that all the fighting between you and Brock that I witnessed at Larry’s was over setting a wedding date? Quinn, I didn’t even know you were engaged then.”
“We weren’t engaged until recently. Our fights were about that very thing though. I left him there for a while to pound it into his head that if he wanted to keep me around, he would need to really commit to me. That’s when we got back together, when you first got here. I give you props, Anna, for standing up to X and sticking to your guns. We women need to stand up to our men and make them understand what we need in order to be happy.”
The mention of Xavier causes me to wonder again where he might be. We haven’t spoken, except through our texts, since he dropped me off at the airport. I miss him terribly, but if he needs some space from me, I have no choice right now but to give it to him, seeing as I’m on the other side of the country.
I shake my head, trying to rid myself of thoughts of Xavier before I break down into a puddle of tears with Quinn on the other end of the line.
I need to change the subject. “I got an interesting text last night.”
“Oh?” Quinn says. I can tell her interest is piqued. “From whom?”
“Jorge,” I reply simply.
“What? Oh my God. What did he want?”
“He somehow knew I was in Seattle and asked to meet while I’m close to home. He says we have things we need to discuss.”
“Are you serious? You’re not going to see him, are you? X will shit a brick if you’re out with your ex-fiancé.”
I run my fingers through my hair, pushing it back from my face. “I know, but I feel like I owe it to Jorge to hear out whatever he wants to say to me. He was my friend, one I was promised to marry, and then I ran out on him without any explanation. He has a right to be upset with me.”
Quinn sighs into the phone, and it’s not hard to tell that she doesn’t exactly agree with me. “You’re a better woman than me, cuz. The best I would’ve agreed to would’ve been a phone call. I don’t think I could bear to see an old boyfriend face-to-face, but your situation is different. Jorge wasn’t just some guy you dated for a while who cheated on you or something.”
“He’s actually a great guy. He’s just not the man I’m meant to be with, and I should’ve had the guts to tell him that before I left, but I didn’t. I need to make things right between us. I need that closure.”