Xavier Cold

Page 59


There’s only one way to handle this—the only way people like Kai and Bishop handle problems—with brut force and take what’s mine back.
The wheels on the little white car damn near fall off as it screams through the streets of Detroit to find its way to Nettie’s. I rush the door and at first Nettie smiles at me, ready to greet me, until she takes in the expression on my face.
“Xavier?” I don’t answer her.
I rush to the stock room and lift the twin mattress I slept on for years and find an old shoe box. Inside I find the Beretta I used to carry when I worked for Bishop. I pick up the gun, double check the clip has bullets, and then load it into the gun.
Nettie walks in just in time to see me shove the gun into the waistband of my jeans. “What the hell are you doing?”
I frown, hating I’m disappointing her, but know this is the only way to handle the situation. “Bishop has Anna.”
Nettie’s eyes widen. “No, Xavier. Don’t go there alone.”
“I have to, Nettie. They’ll kill her if I don’t.”
Nettie swallows hard and tears fill her eyes. She knows better than anyone there’s truth to what I’m saying. She’s seen the violence created by Bishop and his gang, The Block, and knows the body count racked up by them means they aren’t afraid to kill.
I hug Nettie and kiss the top of her head, and rush out the back door of the restaurant to get my bike.
I fire up the engine and it roars through the streets until I pull up to the building Kai took me to when all of this began. The bike is loud and I’m sure it’s signaled my arrival, but I don’t give a shit. Nothing will stop me from getting to Anna.
I go in the same way Kai took me through, only this time I don’t make it to the bar Bishop built inside. When I round the corner, sitting in the middle of the empty warehouse, tied to a chair, is my Anna.
I rush over to her, and immediately drop to my knees and untie her ropes. “Where are they, Anna?”
“I don’t know,” she whimpers. “They brought me here and I haven’t seen them much since then. I think they went into some room behind me.”
I glance over her shoulder and spot the door to the club. Could getting her out of here really be this easy? It’s unlike Bishop to leave bait unattended like this when he really wants to get to someone.
“You okay? Did they hurt you?”
“I’m fine. Just get me out of here.”
Relief floods me and I work faster to untie last knot. When it’s finished I grab Anna’s hand, and kiss her lips. “Come on.”
Before Anna makes it out of the chair, a slow clap sounds from behind me. “We were beginning to wonder if the boys really did kill you. It took you a while to get here.”
I turn slowly to find Bishop, Kai and two other men with them. “I don’t want any trouble. I just want to take Anna and go.”
Bishop rubs the scruff on his chin. “Well that’s the problem now, isn’t it? People always tend to want what they can’t have. You haven’t agreed to what I want from you, and yet you expect me to hand over what you want, just like that. You and I both know the world doesn’t work like that, X.”
“I told you the truth before. I don’t have any money to start a business with you.”
Bishop shakes his finger at me. “It’s not nice to lie to an old friend. I read your tax statements. You make nearly four hundred thousand dollars last year. You’re good for it.”
“Did you also read that half of that goes toward my travel and business expenses, and the other half went back to Tension in fines?”
“So you have nothing?”
“Like I told you . . . I. Don’t. Fucking. Have. It.”
Bishop sighs. “That’s a shame, because now I can’t let you go. I can’t have you pinning a kidnapping charge on me and my boys, so you’ll have to go.” He pushes the glasses on his face back up the tip of his nose as he turns to Kai. “Kill him—kill them both.”
Hearing his order, I reach for my gun, yank Anna behind me. I point my weapon directly at Bishop. “If he pulls that trigger, I will kill you. Hell, I should anyhow for trying to take away the thing I love most in this world.”
Bishop grins. “There’s the old X again. I have to tell you I like him much better than this new let’s-talk-everything-out-X. Old X knew how to get shit done.”
“Old X was a hot-headed idiot that fucked up his life all the time because he couldn’t control his temper.”
Bishop chuckles. “You really believe you’ve changed that much?”
“Yes,” I say with the sternest tone I can muster.
“Prove it. Walk out of here without throwing one single punch.”
I lift my eyebrows. “What?”
“I don’t buy this whole non-violence bullshit act, so prove me wrong. If I’m convinced, I might let you go.”
“Just like that?”
He nods and confirms, “Just like that. I want to see this new X in action, because the X I knew would’ve ripped my head off and spit down my throat for less. I don’t believe you’re any different from the man I once knew—from the hungry, angry kid I met all those years ago.”
I clutch Anna’s hand tighter, but still keep my gun drawn as I pull her toward the men. I tiptoe around the men, and he’s right, I would love to tear into these motherfuckers, but know getting Anna out of here in one piece is more important.
Once we’ve made it all around them and my back is toward the exit I keep walking backwards. “This ends here, Bishop.”
This is the first time in my life I’ve ever walked away from a fight, which is baffling even to me considering this is the one time I’ve ever had a good reason to go berserk and rip someone’s head off.
“I still don’t believe you,” Bishop says but I chose to ignore him.
As I turn away from him, Anna releases a blood curdling scream. “He’s got a gun!”
My eyes widen, knowing this could be the moment when it all ends. This could be the moment when my world turns black.
I point the gun at Bishop, waiting to see if he’s going to force me to pull the trigger.
The sound of my pulse thudding inside my head is the only sound I hear as everything around me seems to move in slow motion as Bishop and I stare one another down.