Kings and Queens


Bridgette was off jet setting the continental United States for her movie and I was left at home to sit and dwell on my impending date with Dustin. She had literally laid out my clothes for me before she left and told me to text her a picture of myself before I left so she could make sure I didn’t fuck it up, which I could do very easily.

“What’s he look like again?” Danny asked.

“Google him,” I sighed from the depths of my bathroom.

After a minute my stylist walked in and took the curling iron out of my hands, “He looks like he likes the insanely sexy type, let’s get those curls bigger.”

“If he asked me out when my hair was straight,” I slapped his hand away, “Then I don’t want to try too hard.”

Danny took a step away from me, “You like him,” he gasped, “Langley Washington finally likes a guy! Can I Tweet this?”

“I will snap all of your appendages off of your body!”

He laughed, “His ex-wife is gorgeous.”

“I know,” I had Googled her too and she was a knock out. Long, dark brown hair, super skinny, big boobs, taller than me; she was an actress too, well an aspiring one. I had no clue what he saw in me after being with her and that made me nervous.

“You’re better,” Danny whispered as he turned me away from the mirror and started doing his magic on my hair, “You’re a natural beauty, you’re caring, you’re funny,” he gave me a sweet smile, “Lang, you’ve gotten this far on all of that and you’re here, right now, doing this . if he doesn’t see how great you are, fuck him. I mean literally fuck him and then get the fuck out and tell everyone how awful he was in bed.”

I shoved his arm back, “Stop it.”

“I’m serious Lang,” he finished my last curl and turned me around, “If he doesn’t see what everyone else does, he’s not worth it.”

I smiled at my reflection and perfectly curled hair. They were just beachy waves with a little more bounce to them. Danny picked up some of my makeup and began doing that. When he was finished he smiled, “It’s seven, you’ve got a half hour. I set your outfit on the bed, it’s basically what Bridgie picked out with a different pair of shoes and some accessories I’m going to need back,” he leaned in and kissed my cheek, “You’re a star Lang, he’s obviously seen something in you already so just keep showing him who you are. Call me tomorrow.”

“Thanks Danny,” I turned and looked in the mirror again.

I put on my black leggings and then just stared at the rest of my outfit. It wasn’t a sexy outfit, it was actually very conservative, but something just felt wrong about it. The shirt was a long, white tank top and light tan leather jacket. Danny had switched out the black heels for a pair of leopard print ones and threw a pair of big diamond stud earrings. Bridgette had set out a leopard print scarf, but Danny had taken that away because he knew I could go overboard with the animal print if given the opportunity.

The doorbell rang and I hurried to finish getting dressed, leaving my shoes off and the accessories. I opened the door to find Dustin turned around and looking at his feet. He whipped around quickly with another bouquet of flowers in his hands, this time it was tulips and roses. He gave me a shy smile, “Hey.”

“Hey,” I felt like my prom date was picking me up, I was so nervous.

“This time,” he held the flowers out, “These are for you.”

“Thank you,” I took them and went to hug him.

He hugged me back, “I missed you,” he told me in a gentle voice.

I didn't want to tell him that I missed him too because he might just be saying that, but I had missed him. We had talked three times and texted back and forth most days and the conversation was so easy and funny. We had talked about our first cars, prom dates, TV shows, and anything else irrelevant. I hoped tonight would go as well.

“Let me go put these in water and grab a couple things from my room,” I pulled back and smiled at him.

Dustin followed me, “I’m glad you went casual instead of that red carpet dress you wore on Friday.”

I laughed, “It did land me on the best dressed list.”

“I bet it did,” he chuckled, “That was definitely…” his voice trailed off.

“Definitely what?”

“Hot,” he smiled, “You looked incredible Langley.”

“Thank you,” I dried my hands and started for my bedroom.

Dustin followed me in there too, “You look pretty great tonight too,” he said from my doorway as I put on my shoes.

“You clean up nicely too Penner,” I turned to him as I put my earrings in.

He wore a black, button down shirt and dark jeans. He looked like I did, dressy casual.

When I was finished we walked to his car and he opened the door for me, like a gentleman. The drive to the restaurant was filled with talk about the games the Kings had played against the Stars and the Avalanche. Both were won by the team, but Dustin hadn’t seen much ice time.

I could tell he was down about that by the conversations we had during their trip. He tried to mask it with jokes or changed the subject, but now when I looked at him it was obvious he was hurting. Maybe it wasn’t about the lack of ice time, maybe it was about the nasty divorce he was still dealing with or the guilt he had about cheating; something we had discussed over the phone during our first conversation:

“You sound sad,” I commented.

“My ex texted me again,” Dustin sighed, “She’s still trying to bring me down.”

“You shouldn’t let her.”

“I know, it’s just shitty. She blames me for everything, and I’m not saying that cheating on her was justified or anything, but she pushed me away. she put me down all the time, told me I wasn’t good enough, for God’s sake she convinced me to get married in the middle of my season, January 30th!”

I tried to stifle a laugh because that was kind of funny, outrageous, but funny….and then it sunk in that he cheated on her, “You cheated?”

“And I dropped a bomb,” he groaned, “Yes, I cheated on her like two months after we got married and I’m not proud. It was with some dumb slut too who just complicated things and fucked with me,” he sighed, “I was the worst husband. I don’t feel bad that we didn’t work, but I feel bad that I cheated, that I sunk to her level too.”

“So she cheated too?”

“With her ex husband.”

“Do you two live in an episode of Jerry Springer?”

“Yes, yes we do,” he laughed.

When we got to the restaurant he stood in front of his car and waited for me to walk to him, “You know that things will get better, right? Eventually, you might be able to prove to your coach that you’re worth a little more ice time.”

He took my hand, lifted it to his lips, and gave it a small kiss. He held it there with a smile, “Thanks Langley.”

We walked into La Bella and were seated right away. we were directed toward the back of the restaurant, after the hostess noticed who I was, she sat us at a table with no one around us. Dustin thanked her and a second later the waiter walked over with a bottle of wine. He poured our drinks and then gave us a minute to look over the menu.

A few minutes later our order was taken and we were sipping our wine and laughing. I was telling him some story about a pageant my mom stuck me in when I was nine and he was cracking up. We hadn’t sat on opposite sides of the table like a normal date, we had sat side by side instead. He was within touching distance, but I forced myself to keep my hands off, at least until he touched me first.

At the end of my story I set my hand on the table and two seconds later I felt his fingers intertwine with mine. I looked down at our hands and felt the blush creep onto my cheeks. Dustin must have noticed because he gave my hand a reassuring squeeze before moving onto the next topic that was his first NHL game.

Dinner had been served and eaten a while ago, but we were still sitting and talking about anything and everything. I noticed Dustin’s gaze shift away from me and follow someone as they walked. I glanced over and saw the reason for his distraction: his ex-wife.

“Ready to go?” I asked.

He shook his head, still looking her way, “That’s my ex, she hates this place.”

“So we can go,” I put my hand on his forearm.

He turned back to me with a smile, “We’re having a good time,” he poured some more wine into his glass, “We have to finish this anyway.”

I wondered if he was really okay that his ex was there or if he was just trying to prove to her that he can move on. I looked over at her table and noticed she was with a couple girls, “Her sister and best friend.”

“Oh Lord,” I rolled my eyes, ‘Reinforcements.”

He just smiled at me and took a drink from his glass. It seemed like he was planning something, but like hell if I knew what it was.

“I’m going to use the bathroom,” I told him, “I’ll be back in a minute.”

He nodded with a smile, “Okay.”

I really did have to tinkle and the restroom was in the opposite direction of Jessica so it was harmless. However, when I walked out of the bathroom and toward our table, she was standing there talking to Dustin. I would have gasped if there were any air going to my lungs to begin with, but everything had been sucked away. the air was thick and it was clear that there was a lot of tension between the two.

I slowly made my way back to the table and watched as Dustin stood, “Jessica, this is Langley Washington, you know her, don’t you?”

I stared at him for a second, not knowing what to do or say. Jessica cleared her throat, “Yeah, we worked together once, nice to see you again,” her tone was fake as fuck.

“We did?” I did not remember her at all, “When?”

Dustin slid his arm around me and squeezed my side. I didn’t know if he wanted me to stop or to keep talking, so I waited for her answer.

“Oh, well…it was a photo shoot, probably three years ago,” she shook her head, “I hardly remember it too, so much work.”

“Oh, sorry, I really don’t remember you, but if you say we worked together then I’m sure we did,” I mocked her fake tone, “I’m terrible with names…and faces…”

I was pressed against Dustin’s side at that point and felt his body vibrate with a silent laugh and knew this was what he had wanted me to do. I looked up at him, wanting to end this because it was awkward and I felt slightly used, “We were meeting Jarett and Angela in about a half hour, we should head out.”

“She may be bad with names and faces, but she sure is good with everything else,” he said to Jessica, “It was great seeing you Jess, take care.”

When we walked out of the restaurant he started cracking up, “She would always tell me how she worked with you and your sister and I wanted to call her out, I’m sorry, I couldn't resist babe.”

“Yeah, well…”I was going to say some smartass comment but stopped when it registered that he called me babe. It was just a dumb nickname that I heard all the time and it meant nothing, but it meant more coming from him, “Glad I could help,” was all that came out.

He pulled me into a hug, “I really am sorry, that was a weird situation and I should have just ended it rather than egging it on,” he moved so he was a couple inches away from me, “You okay?”

“You deal with stalkers, I deal with ex-wives and ex-flings; it’s kind of fair.”

Dustin tilted his head back and laughed, “Okay, okay,” he put his hands on my shoulders, “Good point, but I could go to jail if I ever see that guy again.”

I shrugged, “If she rubs me the wrong way, I might go to jail too.”

He brushed his thumb against my cheek, “I won’t let it come to that, Lala.”

I tilted my head and gave him a funny look, “You just called me Lala, didn’t you?”

He nodded, “Is that okay?”

No one had ever come up with that with my name, not even my gay stylist! It might not be my favorite right now, but I could definitely get used to how cute it sounded coming from a big, tough hockey player like him.

I nodded, “Okay Dusty.”
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K, so here's an update. I think the next chapter is mine too...I'm needy, I need more chapters hahaha. Actually, Idk why I got 2 chapters in a row lol... but the next chapter is get excited!

K, comments would be fantastic!