Kings and Queens


I skipped the last two steps and landed on my feet with a soft thud before making my way into the kitchen. Dustin and Lang had looked quiet cozy in her room and I hoped things really were patched up.

“You didn’t stay to watch?” Mike teased as I walked up to him and slung my arms around his neck.

“Well, Mr. Richards,” I gasped in my accent. “I’m not that kind of girl.”

He smiled and pecked my lips, to which Jeff gagged.

“I’m just sorry to hear your girl’s not a freak in the sheets.”

“Well he wouldn’t know that yet, would he?” I stole a piece of bacon from a plate Jeff was holding. “Flip your pancakes, Cartsy. Don’t smoke up my kitchen.”

“Oh it’s just ‘cuz I’m so smoking hot,” Dustin’s voice joked as he and Lang rounded the corner, hand in hand. “I’ll let myself out, then.”

“Shut up and eat your pancakes,” I laughed and he grimaced.

We all pulled up stools to the kitchen island, not bothering to move from the food. Mike pulled me down onto his lap and Lang sat as close to Dustin as possible, leaving Jeff as the odd man out.

“Looks like you need a girl,” Langley wiggled her eyebrows. “Find anyone out here yet?”

Jeff shrugged. “Not anyone worth settling down with.”

“No one said anything about settling down,” I pointed out. “Just someone you wouldn’t mind having around longer than one night.”

“We’ll see,” Jeff obviously wanted to drop the subject. But Langley and I exchanged a knowing look.

“Whoa,” Mike put a hand up. “Don’t do that. It’s weird.”

“Don’t do what?” I asked as I stole a bite of his blueberry pancakes.

“Have some silent conversation just by looking at each other,” he waved me away from his fork.

“Isn’t that supposed to be twins?” Dustin wandered.

“Do you actually know any twins?” Langley gave him a look.

He shook his head no and in unison, we replied, “Exactly.”

“Stop,” Mike whined. “It’s freaking me out.”

“Fine,” I took back the bite of chocolate chip pancakes I was about to give him. “Lang, you want to go shopping to celebrate your first hosting gig?”

“You’re hosting something?” Dustin’s eyes went wide.

She blushed and tugged at her hair. “Yeah. I’m, uh, hosting Chelsea Lately in a few weeks. She’s going away.”

“That’s fantastic!” He grinned. “You’ve got to be so excited.”

Langley nodded. “It’s kind of insane how it came about, but I’m so happy.”

“You’ll have to come up with some raunchy jokes,” Jeff said. “I can help you in that department, if you want. I’m sure I have a few I can spare.”

Langley laughed. “I’ll bet you do. But I think I’ve got it covered.”

“So are we shopping today or what?” I asked again. “Jeff, you need new clothes. I’ve seen you in those same cargo shorts too much.”

He made a face and whined. “Can you do it?” I ignored him.

“Sure we can go,” she shrugged. “I need to pick a few things up for this weekend and then we can all meet for dinner.”

“Wait,” I put a hand up. “What’s this weekend?” We didn’t have anything on the books.

“Oh, um,” she shied away from the question.

Dustin squeezed her hand before answering for her. “We’re thinking about going away. Just Disney or Malibu. Maybe Vegas.”

“Gettin’ hitched!” Jeff guffawed.

Langley rolled her eyes. “The guys have a lot of time off.”

“You do?” I asked Mike. He hadn’t mentioned it. “How long?”

“Today through Monday,” he said quietly. “I assumed you had something going on.”

“I’m free up through Monday night when I have an appearance at a party,” I reached for my iPhone. “Langley was supposed to be my plus one, but then she scored her own invite.”

“Oh, Bridge,” Jeff fawned. “I thought you’d never ask. Of course I’ll go with you.”

I rolled my eyes. “I’ll see if I can score you your own invite, Carts.”

“Does that mean I’m in, Coach?” Mike teased. “Put me in, put me in!”

We all laughed before Jeff got ready to speak, but Dustin beat him to it.

“That’s what he’ll be screaming for sure, Bridgette.”

I gasped at him, but everyone seemed unfazed. Maybe I was just a little out of the loop.

@therealbridge87- Breakfast with @M_Richie10 @langleywashofficial and Mr. Pancakes himself, @DustinPenner25 #pancakes #twitterlessCartsy

“Did you two post anything about your date last night?” Jeff wiggled his eyebrows.

I was sure Mike had filled him in on how I had totally cock blocked him at the house after dinner. Sure I felt bad and a part of me wished I hadn’t stopped him, but I didn’t want this to be rushed into. I wanted this to work out.

“Come to think of it,” Mike looked at me. “We didn’t. I meant to get a picture at dinner.”

“Yeah of us polishing off a bottle of red,” I snorted.

“I’ll get you, don’t worry,” he winked.

I eyed him suspiciously before hopping off his lap for more coffee. Pouring myself a second mug and stirring in some cream and sugar, I leaned against the counter opposite them all. I watched the cream blend in with the caffeine I craved and soon heard snickers from the group.

Glancing up, I saw Mike tapping on his phone, Lang with her head on Dustin’s shoulder, Jeff just looking suspicious. But he always looked like that.

“Yeah,” I rolled my eyes. “And we’re the weird ones.” I checked the time and yawned. “What time do we want to be out of here?”

“Eh,” Lang considered. “After lunch?”

I nodded. “Then I’m going to crash on the couch because I’m not feeling the steps. Before we go, I’m headed grocery shopping.”

“Why?” she asked. “You picked up all that stuff at the farmer’s market.”

“We’ve got to start getting ready for our houseguests,” I said, not remembering Langley was still out of the loop.

“What houseguests?” her eyes were big and cautious.

I glanced at Mike who made a face, unsure of what to do himself.

Shit. Shit. Shit.

“Uh,” I cleared my throat. “Yesterday, I got a call… from Mom. I kind forgot they were coming next week.” Langley stood up abruptly like she was ready to kill me. “Don’t freak out! Okay? Just, calm down. They’re coming in Friday at noon and their flight homes leaves Sunday at noon. They’re even bringing Grandma.”

Dustin rubbed soothing circles on the small of her back and she settled into her seat, breathing deeply. “How could you not tell me?”

“I forgot!” I groaned. “Things have been a little crazy, I guess. They want to be here for your birthday okay? Just, don’t schedule anything for those days. The less of a reminder they have of what we do, the better.”

“Have you told them about us?” Dustin asked. “Any of us?”

I shook my head. “We kind of limit our communication with them. The only one we can really stand is Grandma Vi.” I walked over to Langley and pulled her up into a hug. “Just relax, okay? It won’t get out of hand, I promise. It won’t be like last time.”

No one wanted to ask about last time and soon, Jeff excused himself to do whatever it is that Jeff Carter does on an off day. Dustin offered to clean up and Langley hung back in the kitchen to help. Mike’s phone went off and he grumbled about his agent before taking the call on the front porch. I was left with my couch.

I settled onto the sectional with Rhonda at my feet and pulled a pillow under my head. Light streamed through the glass doors, so I kept my eyes shut and made a mental note to pick up thicker curtains.

“Room for me?” a voice asked.

I opened my eyes to see Mike hovering above me. I scooted over to the edge of the couch and he climbed over me before pulling me against his chest. Rhonda whined at him.

“Sorry, Rhonda,” he laughed. “I’m stealing your mommy from you.”

“And I am just fine with that,” I smiled as he pecked my cheek. “Everything okay?” I referred to his call.

“Yeah,” he shrugged. “The team is doing a charity event after we get back from our road trip. He wanted to make sure I was aware.”

“And were you?” I teased.

“I was, actually,” Mike rolled his eyes.

We laid in silence for a few minutes, the only sounds our breathing and small noises from the kitchen as Langley and Dustin cleaned up.

“You want to tell me what happened last time?” he asked quietly.

I sighed. “It was a shit show and I really hope you don’t have to meet them.”


“My parents… are assholes,” I shrugged. “They try to mean well, they really do. They’ve had big expectations for us all along and Langley was the first one to challenge them.”

“So you’re not going to tell me?”

“It was a shit show,” I repeated. “We all said things we didn’t mean. It was just bad.”

“Fair enough,” he agreed. “Have you checked Twitter this morning?”

I looked at him out of the corner of my eye as I slowly reached for my phone on the coffee table. “I posted something earlier. Should I be checking again?”

Mike didn’t say anything, so I cautiously opened up my twitter app, prepared for more of Dustin’s ex and her shit. But instead, I was greeted by something almost as bad.

@M_Richie10- @therealbridge87 looks fabulous this morning. Almost as good as she did for dinner last night. #firstdate

“Oh my God,” I gasped. Not only was the picture of me staring at me coffee awful, but it fully showed my shitty looking hair, no makeup, and the ugly terry cloth shorts and ripped up, DIY t-shirt-turned-tank top. And he had used that hashtag.

“Is that a good ‘oh my God’? Or a bad one?” he asked carefully.

I gaped at my phone a few minutes more. “I… don’t know. I’ll let you know when I find out.”

“Well that’s what last night was, right?” Mike referred to the tag. “A first date?”

“Yeah,” I nodded. “But I just didn’t think you’d be publicizing it, that’s all.”

“Did you not want me to? Is it going to cause problems with whoever manages you?” he seemed concerned.

“It might,” I shrugged. “But I don’t think I care.” I rolled onto my other side so that I was looking at him. Tracing a pattern on his neck, I looked him in the eye seriously. “I’m more upset about that awful picture!”

He laughed and rolled onto his back, taking me with him so that I was lying on his chest. “You’ll get over it, I’m sure. I could help you forget…” Mike let his voice trail off.

“I think you might,” I giggled as he pressed his lips to mine.

We must have gotten rather quiet because soon, I heard a happier voice belonging to Langley yelling at us.

“If you’re having sex on the couch, put a blanket down first! Some of us have class!”
♠ ♠ ♠
Yikes. So their parents are on the way.

I don't know if any of you read my story, Wasted, but if you have, the sequel, Change, is now up and running! I posted a short intro last night and hope to update again in the coming days.

Let us know what's on your minds, lovelies!