Kings and Queens


Langley and I had been skirting around each other for the last few days that the guys were away. I knew she was a little pissed off and maybe a little confused about what I had told her, but it needed to be said.

By Thursday, I was itching to be around other people. Promos for the movie were done and I was taking a much needed break before delving into a new project. It was a godsend when I saw Mike’s car pull into his driveway.

I hesitated at the door and looked down at my appearance. It was a lazy and oddly warm day for early March LA and I’d been out on the beach to soak up some sun. My bikini straps were visible above the neckline of my tank top and my swim suit bottoms were a little uncomfortable under my denim cut offs.

Screw it. I threw my hair up into a ponytail and clambered down my porch steps with both Rhonda and our house guest, Arnold, on my heels.

He and Jeff were unloading their luggage and my appearance went unnoticed. I leaned against the side of the house and took out my phone to snap a picture. Opening a blank text, I went for cheeky rather than sweet and innocent.

That ass…

I watched as Mike fished in his pocket for his phone and his eyes darted up. He caught Arnold’s tail wagging and smirked before turning around and wiggling his hips awkwardly.

“Ya like that, Washington?”

I emerged from my hiding spot and smiled. “Oh, of course.” We met on his front lawn and he pulled me close. “But I like this better.”

His response was to kiss me roughly. “We’re going out tonight. I want to take you on a real date.”

“You sure you’re boyfriend’s okay with that?” I teased Jeff as he walked passed, ‘hiding’ his eyes from us. He flipped me the bird and went on his way into the house. “But seriously, aren’t you tired?”

Mike shook his head. “Slept on the plane. And it’s been two weeks since I’ve seen you,” he kissed my head. “Let’s go do something.” He continued talking a mile a minute. “I want to see that bikini.”

I laughed and pushed him away. “I was going to go grocery shopping. We have almost no food. And it’ll keep me away from Langley.”

“Fight?” he asked carefully, leading the way into his house so he could change.

I shrugged. “Not really. I gave her some tough love and I guess she’s just been thinking on it. She’ll get her head out of her ass eventually and see that I was right.”

He must have expected me to stop in the living room because he halted at the steps.

“Get hit on the head, Richards?” I teased as I slipped by. “Or is two weeks too long to be away?”

He guffawed. “Just didn’t think a Southern belle like you should be in a man’s room.”

“You should know by now I’m not your conventional Southern belle, my dear,” I drawled out. I flopped onto his bed. “Go change. I’ll wait here, Princess.”

Mike hurriedly grabbed a pair of shorts and t-shirt before ducking into the bathroom. Why he couldn’t have stayed, I didn’t know. I assumed he actually had boxers on. But hell, I didn’t know much.

“Put on swim trunks!” I yelled through the door and chucked a pair I saw laying on the ground at the en suite bathroom. “We’re going later.”

He grunted and reached a hand out to grab them from the floor. Mike emerged a few minutes later with his hair disarray, obviously fixed that way.

“Let’s be domestic,” he slung an arm over my shoulders and I laughed.

“Let’s,” I led the way to my condo so that I could grab my purse and let Rhonda in only to find Lang’s car gone.

Mike raised an eyebrow as I slammed the door a little forcefully but I shrugged it off. “Let’s just go.”

“I’ll drive!” he announced and waved to Jeff who was climbing into his own car. “Where to?”

I gave him directions to a local farmer’s market and after a wrong turn or two; he got us there in one piece.

“Easy-peasy,” he commented as he helped me from his SUV. “Are you here a lot?”

It was a valid question, seeing as I’d spouted the directions like a steady fountain.

“Once a week,” I pulled my hair down to hide more of my face and adjusted my sunglasses. “Sometimes more.”

I led him around to my favorite stalls and we filled up two big bags of fresh fruits and vegetables. As we waited at the final stand for a bunch of fresh strawberries, Mike snaked an arm around my waist and I felt my phone vibrate in my pocket.

Opening Twitter, I laughed at my most recent mention.

@M_Richie10- It’s too much healthy food! Buy me some fries? @therealbridge87 #missfit

I locked my phone and stood on my tiptoes to peck his lips, enjoying the warm feeling of his arm against me.

“We’ll go somewhere good for dinner,” I promised. “Just no clubs?”

“But I wanted to get you drunk and have my way with you,” he whined.

“Not on the first date,” I chastised with a smile. “You’ve got to wine and dine me a little bit first.” And that’s when it hit me. We hadn’t even had our first date.

Here we were- out in public where both of us could possibly be recognized- kissing and holding hands and being a possible PR fiasco. I was sounding like Langley. I wasn’t in any way Langley.

So instead of worrying anymore, I paid for my strawberries and handed the small crate to Mike and we headed towards the car.

We bad barely parked the car in Mike’s driveway when he was pulling me from the passenger seat.

“Come on! The beach is that way,” he was practically like a little kid.

I rolled my eyes and laughed. “I have to put these in my house and grab a towel. I’ll meet you there.”

He grumbled but watched me go anyway, helping me to my porch with the bags before retreating to his house to get his own beach things. It didn’t take me long to organize the kitchen and soon I was on my way towards the sandy shores only to swooped up by Mike.

“Put me down!” I batted his arms only to have him tighten his grip on me. “I’m in my clothes!”

Mike had stripped his t-shirt off already and had to fight to keep my eyes away from his chest and abs. He grinned wildly at me as we continued near the water.

“Mike Richards, I swear to God!” I complained. “I have a towel, my cell phone, a bag. This will not end well.” He ignored me and I sighed. “I need help with sunscreen!”

That got his attention and he plopped me down onto my feet, the surf brushing our ankles. “Yes, ma’am.”

I huffed. “Thank you. Now come and help.”

He didn’t need telling twice. As soon as my hair was swept up into a bun and my tank top and shorts were off, I handed the bottle of sunscreen and he went to work smearing it across my back and shoulders.

“Under the strap too, please,” I instructed, not wanting to get burned. “Watch yourself, Richards.” His hands hesitated at the strap, debating his next move.

“What would I do if I just, unhooked this?” he asked innocently.

“I would probably kick you in the crouch so hard you’d sing soprano and then never speak to you again.”

He nodded and went back to work carefully. “Duly noted.”

In a few minutes, after he’d gotten me to return the favor on his own back, we made our way towards the cool ocean water. We stood up to our knees as we adjusted to the temperature with our hands linked together.

“Definitely couldn’t do this in March if I was in Philly,” Mike said as he looked around at the near empty beach. “I like it.”

I took his distraction as a chance to get him back for scaring earlier. I let go of his hand and just as he turned around to look at me, I bent down and threw two cold handfuls of ocean spray at his torso. He jumped at the contact and I backed away as he got a playful look in his eyes.

“So that’s how we’re playing, eh?” he asked.

I giggled and did my best to run away through the water, but it’s was slow going and his legs were a good deal longer than mine. Soon, he had his arms wrapped around my waist so that my back was against his chest. He gasped a deep breath and in anticipation for what was to come, I did so too. And sure enough, he fell backwards into the water with me attached.

In the two hours that followed, not a lot of time was spent lying at the towels. We only retreated there when I decided that if I wanted to look nice for dinner, I needed some time to dry off before venturing inside the house.

“You could wear a towel and still look phenomenal,” he assured me and I rolled my eyes at him, despite the blush that was probably creeping up my face. “Actually, I wouldn’t mind seeing you in just the towel.”

I barked out a laugh and lay back on my striped towel while he propped himself up on his elbow next to me. I let my eyes close for a few minutes just to enjoy the feeling of the sun on my skin. But soon, I felt a tickling sensation against my upper chest. I ignored it for a little while, but it eventually began to irritate me.

I opened my eyes to see Mike’s hand poised a few inches above my skin with sand sprinkling out of it. The look on his face was pure deer-in-the-headlights.

“Mike!” I groaned. “Come on!” I sat up and dusted the sand out of my bikini top. “That’s it. I’m going inside. I’ll see you at six for dinner?”

He sighed, sorry he’d been caught. “Yeah, that’s fine.”

“And how fancy are we talking here?”

“You’ll look fine,” he promised. “Maybe no pants?”

I raised my eyebrows playfully before smiling. “See you.” I planted a soft kiss to his stubble filled cheek. “Oh, and great goals by the way.” He’d scored three times and had a few assists while they were away.


After a long shower, I emerged to find Langley’s room still empty, but I had a text waiting for me from her. It explained Jeff and Danny had convinced her out of the house and into a meeting with Dustin. She’d spent the last three plus hours biding her time around town before mustering up the courage to go and see him.

After shooting her a ‘go get ‘em, tiger’, I found a voicemail on my phone from someone I rarely thought of or spoke to.

I played it on speaker as I pulled on a pair of lace boy shorts and a matching bra and began applying makeup.

“Hey, darlin’. It’s your momma,” she drawled out as if I couldn’t read the missed call button. “I just wanted to call and remind you that me, your father, and grandma will be comin’ out to LA to see you and your sister at the end of next week. Lookin’ forward to seein’ you. Love to ‘ya.”

I set my eyelash curler down and gulped. I’d totally forgotten.

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