Xavier Cold

Page 50


I open the door and, at first, don’t see anyone until I drop my gaze about four feet. Standing there is a little dark-haired girl, wearing a pink dress and clutching a teddy bear to her chest.
“Da? Da?” is all she says. Clearly she’s still in the babbling phase of her communication skills.
I furrow my brow just as a woman from down the hallway scoops up the child into her arms.
The woman grimaces as she stares up at me, obviously intimidated by my towering frame. “I’m so sorry. No. No. Anna. Stay with Mommy.”
My mouth falls open, and for the first time in my life, I swear I’ve witnessed a miracle. I asked for a sign, and the man upstairs sure as hell provided me with one.
It’s clear to me at that moment what I’m supposed to do. I need to find a way to make things work with Anna, and say to hell with all the things that could happen because I’ll fight to keep her and my baby safe until my last dying breath.
Anxious to see Anna and begin groveling for her forgiveness, I sprint all the way back to the hotel where I know all the wrestlers are staying.
I burst through the doors and cut in front of the line at the concierge desk. “What room is Anna Cortez in?”
The woman, who is obviously put off by my behavior, looks at me with a resting bitch face. “We cannot give out that information. Now if you don’t mind step away from the counter.”
“Fine,” I say. “You don’t want to tell me, I’ll just go up and down every hallway searching for her. I think I’ll start here in the lobby. Anna! Anna?”
My voice commands the attention of the entire room and every head turns in my direction.
“Sir! Lower your voice. Please, sir!” The woman keeps trying, but I ignore her and begin walking toward the elevators when a man I vividly recognize from Atlanta steps in front of me. “What are you, crazy? You can’t go around yelling for my daughter like that.”
I stare down at Anna’s father. “What are you doing here? She doesn’t want to see you.”
He narrows his eyes at me. “I could say the same thing to you. I heard what you did. Got my daughter pregnant and then ran out on her. What happened to all that preaching you did to me, huh? The same rules not apply to Mr. Superstar?”
He’s right. I did give him the tenth fucking degree for not treating her right, and I haven’t been doing much better myself lately.
“You’re right. I’ve been screwing up. But I’m going to do my best to beg her forgiveness.”
Mr. Cortez sighs and rubs his chin. “My daughter will forgive you because she’s a good girl and knows the words of the Good Book. Forgive and you will be forgiven.”
“Luke, six, thirty-seven.” When he quotes the line of scripture, I remember reading that passage over and over as a kid, wishing Grandmother would apply that rule to herself every time she told me she hated me.
He lifts his eyebrows in surprise. “You know HIS word?”
I lift my chin. “I do. And I believe he put the two of us together for a reason. She’s my angel and has been saving my life since the day I met her.”
He smoothes back his dark hair as he contemplates what I say. “She’s in room four, thirty-two.”
We are far from friends, but it seems we have an understanding now when it comes to the type of relationship his daughter and I share.
My lips pull into a tight line and I nod my head. “Thank you.”
I turn and head for the elevators and jump into the first one that opens, pressing the button to the fourth floor.
I make it up to the room and take a deep breath before I raise my hand and knock on the door.
When the door opens, it’s not Anna who opens it, but the guy I was so ready to kill earlier, and he doesn’t look too pleased to see me.
I shove my hands deep into my pockets so he knows I’m not here to cause any problems. “Anna here?”
The man doesn’t make a move to clear out of my path, and I’m impressed that even after what I did to him, he’s willing to stand his ground. “I don’t think she wants to see you right now.”
I swallow hard. “I know I fucked up. At least let me come in and apologize to her.”
He shakes his head. “You hurt her enough. Why don’t you—“
“Jorge,” Anna calls from inside the room. “It’s okay. Let him in.”
Jorge? The same Jorge she was supposed to marry? I eyeball the guy, and it’s clear why her father would pick a guy like that for her. He’s the complete opposite of me in every way, and probably more deserving of her than me, but I refuse to allow him to have her.
Jorge steps back and I pass by him.
Anna’s sitting in the middle of the bed in her room. Her legs are curled underneath her, and her face is red and swollen where she’s been crying.
Jesus, I’m a piece of shit for doing that to her.
A woman with the same dark hair and green eyes as Anna pushes up from the bed and approaches me with her hand extended. “I’m Maria Cortez. Anna’s mother.”
I nod, easily seeing the example. “Xavier Cold.”
“I figured,” she replies. “My daughter is a good girl. Make this right with her.” She turns back to Anna. “Call me if you need me, mija. Our offer for you to come home always stands.”
Anna nods. “Okay.
Maria kisses the top of Anna’s head and heads toward the door. “Come on, Jorge.”
“You don’t think we should stay?” he questions as she passes by him.
She grabs the door handle. “No. They can handle things from here.”
Jorge sighs, and it’s easy to see that while Anna may be over him, he’s not over her and it kills him to leave her alone with me. But, he’s an obedient guy and does as he’s asked. “Goodbye, Anna.”
When we’re alone in the room, I clear my throat. “When did you find out about the baby?”
“After my very first show on Tension. I fell, and had to get checked out by the trainer. They drug tested me and gave me a pregnancy test.” She quiet for a moment. “I tried to call and tell you, but you never answered me.”
Things begin to click. Not only was she upset that she thought I was blowing her off, but she was going through some real shit and I wasn’t there for her.
“I’m sorry, Anna, for everything. I handled wrong. I wish I could go back and have a do-over.” She doesn’t even look at me and I know I’ve hurt her bad, but I need to see her eyes so I can tell what she’s thinking. “Anna . . .”