Xavier Cold

Page 45


He sighs. “Simon can be hotheaded, but he really does love you, Anna.”
My eyes burn at the thought of my parents, and how if we keep fighting like this, they’ll never know their grandchild. None of that matters, though, because Father will never accept me, especially after getting pregnant outside of wedlock.
“Don’t cry, Anna.” Jorge hands me the cloth napkin he unfolded. “If you miss them so much, go see them—fix things before they get too out of control to be made right again.”
I sniff as the fear of facing Father again races through me. “I’ll think about it.”
Jorge smiles. “Let me know if you want to see them. I’ll be happy to chauffeur you around.”
“I’ll have to think about it.”
“Please do. With Tension staying so close, it may just make more sense to go stay in the Pacific Northwest for a while. Use the next couple of weeks to spend time here with your family.”
What he says makes sense. With no word from Xavier, what would be the point in rushing back and forth for only a couple of days in Detroit, unless it was to check on him and make sure he’s all right?
My mind instantly begins to turn at the thought. What if Kai hurt him? What if he’s not answering because he can’t?
Panic shoots through me, and I pop up from the table in such a quick manner that it startles Jorge and causes heads to turn in my direction.
“You all right?”
“Yes. Fine. I need to make a phone call. I’ll be right back.”
“Okay . . .” The confusion on Jorge’s face morphs into concern, but I don’t explain the situation any further before I turn and rush away from him.
My fingers fly over the buttons on my phone as I search for the number for Nettie’s Diner and then quickly hit call as I pace back and forth in the hallway leading to the restrooms.
The phone rings three times before it’s picked up. “Nettie’s.”
“Hey, Nettie. It’s Anna. I know this may sound strange, but have you seen Xavier lately?”
My heart pounds as I await her answer. If she’s seen him, it means he’s fine and is truly ignoring me, but if she hasn’t, another type of panic will set in.
The chatter of the people in the restaurant sound in the background as she answers. “I sure did. He stayed here last night.”
My heart drops as I receive my answer. Guess it was silly of me to worry about his safety when he’s clearly able to take care of himself. This information really tells me where we stand.
I grip the phone tighter in my hand and lift my chin. “Can you please deliver a message to him for me?”
“Sure, honey.”
“Tell him I got his message loud and clear and I won’t bother him ever again.”
“I swear, that boy . . .” Nettie tsks, and I’m about to tell her good-bye when she says, “Don’t give up on him, Anna, even if you want to.”
I sigh, understanding what she’s asking, but I won’t allow my heart to keep going through this. “I can’t do that, Nettie. Not anymore.” I lip quivers and I can feel the tears coming on, and I don’t want to cry on the phone to her. “I’ve got to go.”
“No, Anna. Wait—”
I don’t give her time to finish her sentence before I end the call and lean back against the wall, shutting my eyes to hold in the tears.
This is the last sign I need to give up on Xavier. You don’t treat someone you love like this. I need to find the strength down deep to move on with my life.
Somehow, I manage to make it through dinner without completely breaking down. Jorge knew there was something was bothering me, but in typical Jorge fashion, he didn’t pry into my business for fear of being rude.
We don’t say much on the way back to the hotel, so when the car comes to a stop in front of the door, I fully prepare to end our evening, but Jorge opts to have the attendant park his car.
I give him a curious look as he opens my door. “What are you doing?”
He extends his hand to me and helps me out. “You look like you need a friend.”
That’s so like him, always giving. It’s in his nature. “It’s not necessary. I’ll be okay.”
He gives me a pointed look. “Anna, I know you. You’re hurting and even though we are no longer together, I still consider you one of my best friends. Talk to me if it will make you feel better.”
I bite my lower lip, unwilling to part with what’s truly bothering me. I don’t want my parents to find out I’m pregnant from someone other than me. Talking things out with Jorge is dangerous. I need to keep this to myself a bit longer, no matter how badly I want some advice on what to do in this situation.
My lips pull back into a tight line. “I’m sorry, Jorge. I can’t tell you about this.”
He swallows while his eyes search my face. “I’ve really lost you, haven’t I?”
I nod as a tear rolls down my cheek. Loving Jorge would be so simple—a natural fit in the life I used to lead—but I’m a different person now, and I can no longer settle for lukewarm love. I want full-on passion or nothing at all.
He swipes away my tear with his thumb. “It’s okay, Anna. I always knew I would someday. You have more zest for life than anyone I’ve ever known, and I’m not the right guy for you to find adventure with, but I’ll always be your friend.”
His sweet words cause a sob to rip out of my throat, and I throw my arms around his neck, hugging him as I cry. It’s then I finally realize how much I’ve changed. No matter what happens from this point on, I can no longer go back to the perfect church girl Father always groomed me to be—not with a baby on the way. I have to figure out how to stand in this world on my own two feet.
Chapter 24
My cell chimes with a new text, and I motion to Corey to continue practicing the drills I gave him while I check my phone.
I swipe the screen and Deena’s name pops up with an attachment symbol next to it. I roll my eyes and click on the button.
This bitch doesn’t fucking give up.
I probably shouldn’t even look at whatever she’s sent because it’s most likely going to piss me off.
Curiosity wins out, and I open the attachment. It’s a photo, and when it loads, my heart nearly stops dead in my chest.
There, plain as day, is Anna hugging another man, and it’s not just a polite hug. She’s clinging to him while her face is buried into his chest. I shake my head as if to clear my vision and then lean in for a closer look.