Xavier Cold

Page 51


“I’m sorry, Xavier, I can’t—“
Before she has a chance to finish that sentence I drop to my knees by her side. “Whatever you’re going to say, don’t. Please, don’t. Anna, look at me.” She reluctantly shifts her eyes in my direction. “Don’t end this. Don’t end us. I’ll do whatever you want to make you stay with me. I can’t live my life without you, Anna.”
Her lips twist as she stares into my eyes. “Then tell me the truth, Xavier. Tell me everything that you’re hiding from me. Help me understand you and why you keep pushing me away.”
I lock my fingers together on the bed in front of me, and then drop my head onto my arms. Telling her everything, it might change the way she sees me. I don’t want her pity—never wanted that—but if exposing the demons of my past to her is what makes her stay, then she’s about to get an earful.
I raise my head and take a deep breath. “Where do you want me to start?”
“At the beginning,” she whispers. “Talk to me instead of getting angry all the time.”
And so it begins. I launch into my earliest childhood memories of all the good times I spent with my mother, and then how things got really hard when she figured out my father, whoever he was, was never coming back. I tell her about all the drugs, living with Grandmother—the beatings she inflicted on me, and lastly about the times I lived on the streets, doing things for money that made me a monster.
By the end of it, I’m laying next to her on the bed, facing her, pouring my heart out, telling her things I’ve never told anyone else before, and she listens—to everything.
She never makes a move to judge me, she just listens, and it feels good to get all this off my chest.
The last thing I tell her, is the one thing I was trying hard to keep from her. Nothing is held back this time as I tell her about the day Kai took me to see Bishop. “That’s why I was with Angie that day. Bishop threatened to hurt you unless I did as he asked. I’m not getting back into business with him, so the only way I could keep you safe, was to keep you away.”
Anna pushes my hair back off my face. “So that’s why you were trying to break things off with me—to keep me safe?”
“Yes. I knew I had to because the night you went to Larry’s and drank, one of Bishop’s flunkies was the guy next to you trying to pay your bill. They were showing me they can get to you any time they want. I couldn’t handle it if they hurt you. You’re my reason for living. The only problem is, I can’t make it without you.
“When you told me you were pregnant today, I lost it, believing I would drag a kid down and make it a monster like me—believing you were better off without me—both of you.”
She stares into my eyes. “I’m better when I’m with you, and I know our kid will be too. You’re good, Xavier. It’s time you start believing in yourself—see yourself the way I do. You deserve to be happy. You deserve to have a family, and I’m willing to give you that chance again, but you can’t check out on me again no matter what happens.”
“I’ll never leave your side again. I will control my temper—that I promise—it’s cost me too much in my life, and I have more to lose now that I ever have.” My hand covers her entire stomach as I cradle my unborn child. “I’ll love both of you with every inch of my soul until my very last breath on this earth. I swear to you from here on out, no more secrets. I’ll tell you everything—nothing gets between us again. I love you, Anna.”
Tears fill her eyes. “And I love you. Forever.”
I crash my lips to hers, while relief floods me and I’ve finally found my heart again.
Chapter 29
Walking back into Tension with Anna on my arm feels damn good. For a while I doubted if this would ever happen again, but now after everything we’re stronger than ever.
Freddy lifts his chin when he spots us, knowing this is a big change from the last time he saw us together. “Sup, X?”
I throw my hand up to him.
Walking toward us is Brian with his hair pulled up in a ponytail while holding Kami on his hip and Liv nestled up to his other side. “The two of you back together?”
I nod. “We are. I couldn’t stay away.”
I kiss the top of Anna’s head and she smiles when she looks up at me.
“You two look good together,” Liv chimes in. “Happy.”
“So you back for good?” Brian asks.
“Not yet. The suspension is lifted, but I’m not allowed to have any matches.”
Brian squints a bit as his mouth twists. “Don’t get me wrong when I ask this, because I’m happy as hell to have you back around, but why are you back then?”
As if on clockwork, I spot Corey coming around the corner, brightly displaying the backstage pass Freddy game him yesterday.
I nod behind Brian. “I found a kid I think would be a good fit for the Tension Training Program. I met him back at my old gym in Detroit. The kid’s fast, has flare, and that ‘it’ thing that makes a good wrestler.”
“So, Silverman lifted the suspension because you brought the kid?”
“No. Chip took care of it, but he couldn’t do anything about the matches.”
“That’s a damn shame. I hated handing my belt over to Rex. It should’ve been you.”
I sigh. “Maybe I can change that soon.”
“Wow,” Corey says as he steps up next to me with wide eyes. “You’re Brian ‘Razor’ Rollins.”
“I am,” Brian confirms. “You must be the kid X was telling me about. He says you’re good.”
A question lingers in Anna’s eyes, so I fill in the gap for her. “Anna, this is Corey, the kid I’ve been training. Corey, this is my beautiful Anna.”
“Nice to meet you.” Corey reaches out and shakes her hand. “X, here, has been showing me some of his moves.”
“That’s awesome.” Anna snuggles into my side. “I’m proud of you for helping others.”
I shrug. “It’s not a big deal. Besides, bringing the kid here is the reason Tension took me back.”
“You’re not back, yet. The kid still needs to prove he’s worth the shot he’s been given.” Mr. Silverman’s voice cuts between all of us.