On The Set Part.4- Breaking The News

WAIT! HAVE YOU READ PART.3?

“Fried? You got fired and you didn’t think to tell me, your brother? You’re twin? YOU’RE FUCKING CO-STAR!” He yells, every vein in his neck now visible.

“Hunter clam down!” Morgan says.

“No! Don’t tell me to fucking calm down.” He shouts.

“Four years! For fucking years we gave that fucking studio, and now they’re just gonna cast you aside? No. I won’t hear of it.”

“Hunter!” Huston says, trying to get his attention.

But it’s no use. Amped up, Hunter begins pacing back and forth.

Huston had expected this, Hunter’s never been one to take bad new well. As a kid, when he found out that his favorite cartoon, Six Speed, had gotten canceled he trashed his entire room and didn’t eat for about a day and a half. He was going for two weeks, but when their mom made his favorite, baked macaroni n’ cheese, he caved.

“No! Fuck that. How could they-“

“Hunter, fucking listen to me!” Huston shouts, causing him to stop dead in his tracks.

“Maybe this isn’t such a bad thing.” Huston says, shrugging.

Cash and Hunter look at Huston as if they’ve grown another head.

Since they were kids, Huston’s alway been obsessed with movies and TV shows. Everyday they’d spend hour upon hours in front of the TV watching the behind the scenes for all their favorite movies. Then, after getting a camcorder for their teeth birthday, Huston became even more obsessed. Everyday they would round up Cash and Hunter as well as any and all of the neighbors kids, that would cooperate, and they’d reenact all of their favorite films and TV scenes.

“Not a bad thing! Not a bad thing?! Okay, who are you and what the fuck have you done with my twin?” Hunter asks, pointing a finger at them.

Huston scratches the back of their neck.

“I…”

Sighing, Huston sinks down, into the couch. They hadn’t wanted it to come out like this. First getting fired, then the whole Stephanie situation, and now this. But it has to be said.

“What if I don’t wanna act anymore?” Huston asks slowly, looking from one sibling to the next.

The words hang in the as Cash, Hunter, and Morgan look at one another before turning their attention back to Huston.

“What do you mean?” Cash asks, confusion in his voice.

“I mean, what if I don’t wanna be in front of the camera anymore? I’ve been thinking about it a lot lately and playing Detective Marshall was starting to feel like a job. I loved being on set, but for the past few months there’s been this dread that washes over me every time the director yells action.” Huston confesses.

Saying it out like is like a bolder being lifted off their chest. For so many nights Huston would lie awake, mulling the idea of quitting over in their head; But every time they’d always talk themself out of it. But now, the executives have done their job for them. They’re free.

“So what now?” Cash ask after a moment of silence.

Turning to their right, Huston looks out at the Mountains.

“I need a break. Maybe I’ll pay mom and dad a little visit.” Huston answers, heading towards their bedroom.

Hunter nods, silently convinced his approval.

“Shit! Now I wish I’d gotten fired too. I miss them” Cash says.

A moment later, Huston returns, their laptop in hand.

“Wait, you’re booking your flight now?” Morgan and the guys ask simultaneously.

“Yeah. Why not?” Huston shrugs, plopping down between their brother’s.

Gathering around them, Morgan, Cash, and Hunter all gather around Huston.

“Wait, wait, wait. You’re booking a one-way?!” Hunter asks.

“Yeah. I’m not sure how long I wanna stay for. This way I don’t have an expiration date.” Huston answers.

Hunter eyes his twin skeptically.

“Are you just visiting or running away?” He asks with a knowing look.

Huston pauses for a moment, mulling it over.

After graduating high school, Huston, Hunter, Cash, and Morgan had moved to LA to pursue their dreams. For Morgan that was modeling and acting, for the trio. But in the back of their mind, Huston had always planned on leaving LA after making it big. But that never happened. Instead, they’re entire career has become a struggle of either being paid well and playing an LGBT character that’ll eventually get killed off or acting in mediocre LGBT films that won’t even make it to the big screens.

“A little big of both.” Huston admits sheepishly.

Morgan open her mouth to speak when the buzzing of her phone interrupts. Looking down at the device, she sighs.

“Shit! I totally forgot, Thomas and I are going out for dinner. I’ve gotta go.” She says.

Then, after kissing all three of her siblings’ cheeks, she rushes out the door.

With Morgan’s departure, Hunter and Cash decide to forget their questions about Huston’d choices. They know their sibling, and even if Huston’s acting purely on emotion right now, the men know that Huston would never let things get out of hand. So, Hunter and Cash sit back and watch old movies and shoot the shit with Huston until eventually passing out.

On The Set Part.3- Bad Things Come In Twos

WAIT! HAVE YOU READ Part.2?

Standing in the doorway of their and Stephanie’s bedroom, Huston’s blood runs cold. Unable to move, nor look away, Huston watches as Stephanie and Rick leap out of bed and scramble to cover themselves.

“My bed.” Huston says slowly, their voice a ghost whisper.

“Baby it’s-“

“Don’t! Don’t say a word.” Huston says, surprised at how clam their voice is.

Crossing the threshold, Huston makes their way into the bedroom, taking in Rick’s shirt haphazardly thrown by the door, Stephanie’s tank top just inches away. As they walk further into the room, Huston finds Stephanie’s thong and matching bra lying next to Rick’s, red and white polka bot, boxers.

Huston says nothing as they squat down and reach into the breast pocket of their shirt. Pulling out a pen, they scoop up both the thong and the bra and examine them.

“Wait. Didn’t I buy you this?” They ask, holding the underwear up for Stephanie to see.

With the covers pulled up to her chest, all Stephanie can do is nod.

“Un-fucking-believable.” Huston laughs humorlessly.

Dropping the pen, Huston stands up.

“Get the fuck out.” They say, their voice void of any emotion.

“Hue! Wait I-“

“I said get the fuck out of my house! Now!” Huston shouts.

Scrambling up from the bed, Stephanie and Rick punch their limbs through sleeves and pant legs before hurrying out the door.

Now alone, Huston stands in the middle of the room, the stench of sex clinging to the air.

“My house. She brought fucking RICK to MY FUCKING HOUSE!” Huston says staring at their bed.

Unable to look at the mattress anymore, Huston grabs a corner of the bed and rips the entire mattress off the box frame. Then, dragging the mattress out onto the balcony, they toss it over. The bed lands with a loud SMACK as Huston makes their way back inside. A few minutes later, Huston sits in their backyard, in their favorite lawn chair, gripping the neck of a Jack Daniels bottle, a box of photos in their lap. One by one, they feed the photos to the flame, only stopping every now and again to take small sips from the bottle.

“What the fuck? Are you burning your bed?” Yells a voice from behind them.

Turning around, Huston comes face to face with Cash and Hunter.

Standing in the doorway, both men look from Huston to the fire then back at Huston, horrified by the sight before them.

“Yeah. I was gonna scrub it with some soap and hot water, but I didn’t wanna touch it. So I put some gas on it and dropped a match and WHOOSH!” Huston replies, throwing their hands in the air mimicking an explosion.

“You peed the bed again didn’t you?” Cash jokes as he and Hunter pull up lawn chairs and sit beside them.

“Nope. Stephanie and Rick had sex on it.” Huston says before taking another swig of the alcohol.

The playful grin that once played at Cash’s lips falls as a look of horror takes over both men’s faces.

“She did what?!” The men shout, practically jumping out of their seats.

“Yep. Ain’t that some shit? While I’m out busting my ass all day to make the money that she loves to spend, she’s here. Fucking Rick. In MY BED.” Huston says.

Cash and Hunter stare at one another with disbelief before looking back at Huston.

“You caught her?!” Hunter asks.

“Yep. I came home and her moans were the first thing I heard as I walked through the door.” Huston says.

Cash and Hunter sigh before shaking their heads. Rick and Robert are the pure definition of ‘like father, like son’.

With a glorified, overpaid errand boy for a daddy, Rick’s never had to learn the meaning of hard work. Instead, he visits the studio, grabbing selfies with the hottest actors and actresses and posts them on his Instagram, helping him to get laid. It’s quite genius actually, had it not been in their own house, Huston might have actually applauded the man.

“Yep. Ain’t that some shit? She cheated on me under my own fucking roof, in my own fucking bed. I just brought that mattress too.” Huston says.

Shaking his head, Hunter lets out a deep sigh.

“Fuuuck man.” He says, shaking his head as he reclines into his seat.

“Yep.” Is all Huston can manage to say, as they stare into flames shaking their head.

Getting fired and them come home to discover that your girlfriend of four and a half years has been cheating on you, for only God know how long, is a lot. But in the back of their mind, Huston saw it coming. Things had been stale for a long time. At work their scene were getting shorter and shorter, and things with Stephanie has been fading for quite some time. But Huston was still trying to make it work with her, and they’d thought she was trying too.

Thinking about it now, Huston has fallen into this state of complacency. Having gotten their dream job at only eighteen, and then making more money then they knew what to do with at only twenty one, Huston was at the eight of it all. But what comes after that? They hadn’t really thought that far ahead. But now, here they are.

“Hue, you gonna be okay?” Cash asks carefully.

The worrisome look in his eyes reminds Huston that they’ve yet to tell Hunter about their firing. So, taking a deep breath, Huston sits up a little straighter, mentally preparing themself.

“Hey Hunt I have to-“

“This is horrible for the environment!” Calls out a voice.

Snapping their heads in the direction of the sound, the trio turn around just as their older sister, Morgan, is standing by the gate. With her hands on her hips, Morgan shakes her head at the three.

“Shut up Morgan! Hue just went through a break up!” He yells before taking another swig of his beer.

Walking over to the trio, Morgan takes a seat on the arm of Cash’s lawn chair before looking over at Huston.

“Huey? You and Stephanie broke up?” She asks, a little shocked.

Morgan was never a big fan of Stephanie, but she seemed to make Huston so happy.

‘Might as well get it all out now.’ Huston thinks to themself.

“Yep. Oh, and I also got fired today too.” Huston adds on.

“What?!” Hunter and Morgan yell simultaneously.

On The Set Part.2- Did Me A Favor

WAIT! Have you read Part.1?

Huston steps out of the conference room, pulling the door behind them. Then, tucking their hands into the pockets of their jeans, they make their way down the hall; the squeaking of their shoes now miles away. In silence, Huston hops onto the elevators. In no time, they’re back in the metal box, headed for the ground floor. Without Robert there, chatting away, the ride is twice as long; the moments between floors seeming to stretch on for days. By the time Huston makes it to the first floor, they’re calm, as if their entire world hasn’t just been obliterated. Stumbling out onto the streets of LA, Huston’s numb; Even the pressure of their own steps, now lost to them. Making their way back towards the studio, they head for the parking lot. Then, arriving at their car, they reach for the door handle when their phone begins buzzing, causing them to fish the device from their pocket. It’s Cash. At first Huston considers simply not answering the phone; But, knowing Cash, that’ll probably result in the deployment of a search party. So, with no other option, Huston accepts the call.

“Hey bro!” They say, doing their best to sound okay.

“Hue! Where the fuck are you? The fucking director wants to have an impromptu meeting. Apparently the fucking exces wanna change the whole got damn script!” Cash says, very much annoyed.

Huston swallows hard. They definitely don’t want to deliver the news over the phone. But they can’t lie to Cash either; He can sniff out bullshit better than a bloodhound.

“I’m not gonna be in today’s scenes.” Huston says, cringing.

It’s the best they can offer; they’ve never been good at lying.

“What?! What the hell are you talking about? You’re one of the main characters! You’re like in every other fucking scene!” He says.

Huston sighs; an internal war happening.

“Look, I don’t want you to overreact, but just know that I got fired. They’re killing off my character. Something about having a non-binary cop ‘doesn’t make sense for the show anymore’.” Huston explains.

“What?! They can’t fucking do that! You’re one of the main fucking characters!” Cash shouts into the phone.

Huston pauses for a moment. When they, Hunter, and Cash got pitched the show, the producers made a big deal about having a non-binary detective and LGBTQ+ themes within the show. In fact it was quite a huge part of the selling point during the marketing campaigning. But when the time to deliver on those promises finally came, the show runners gave every excuse under the sun as to why it ‘just isn’t the right time’. The show runners wrote episodes discussing everything from immigration laws to abortion and everything else, but whenever Huston tried to talk to them about furthering the LGBTQ+ plot, they were met with all the same lame excuses. So Huston simply thank their lucky stars that they even got to play a non-binary character in the first place, and decided to let go of the rest. Because at the end of the day, acting was their job, a very fun one, but a job nonetheless.

“Actually they can. It’s their show Cash.” Huston reminds him.

Sighing, Cash goes silent for a moment.

“Hunter’s gonna go ape shit when he finds out.” Cash says.

“Oh trust me, I know. That’s why I’ve convinced the exces to let me be the one to tell him. So I need you to run interference today. He can’t hear it from anyone else.” Huston says.

Cash can’t help but laugh.

“Are you fucking kidding me? The exces fuck you over and now you’re doing them favors? Seriously?!”

“Cash, come on. This isn’t about the exces,this is about making sure that you and Hunt keep you’re jobs. I don’t need either of you losing you’re careers by trying to stand by me.” Huston explains.

Cash sighs. They’re right; getting fired along side them would do nothing for anyone.

“Alright fine, whatever you say. So when are you gonna tell him?” Cash asks.

“The sooner the better, so just swing by mine with him after you guys get off.” Huston says.

Cash gives a final sigh, shaking his head before saying;

“This is a fucking mess.”

Then, after hearing someone call his name, he says goodbye before ending the call.

Huston hangs up the phone before dropping it in their cup holder. Then, after sitting in traffic for almost half an hour, Huston finally makes it back to their Beverly Hills home. Exhausted, they pull into their driveway, their mood instantly lifted upon spotting their girlfriend’s, Barbie pink, Audi sitting in the driveway. So, after parking their car next to hers, they exit the car, a pep in their step. Making their way up the long, winding staircase, Huston finally reaches the door, unlocking it. Then, pushing the door open, Huston’s greeted by the sound of loud moans and grunting. At first Huston thinks the sounds are from a porn. After all, it isn’t uncommon for either them or their girlfriend, Stephanie, to be in the theater room, the surround sound blaring and a porn on the screen. So, picking up their pace, Huston takes the stairs two at a time, planning to burst into the theater room and scare her. After arriving at the top of the stairs, Huston makes their way down the hall only to realize the sounds aren’t coming from the theater. No, their coming from their bedroom. The sound of a male’s voice, calling Stephanie by name, causes Huston to stop dead in their tracts. The deep voice is thunder, rolling it’s way through the house, shaking the walls, rattling all their framed memories, and testing the foundation of the home Huston and Stephanie had built. Spoiler alert; the foundation is no good. Kicking the door in, Huston is shocked to find Stephanie, in the middle of their bed, on all fours, Robert’s son Rick behind her.

On The Set Part.1- The Men Upstairs

Huston Boyd pulls into their assigned parking spot, their twin brother, Hunter, pulling into the spot to the right of them. After shutting off the engine, Huston removes their sunglasses, putting them back it their case. Then, after dropping the case into the center console, Huston exits their car.

“Today’s the big day!” Hunter yells over the top of his car.

Huston laughs.

“I can’t believe it, Hunter Boyd kept a secret for two weeks, a whole fourteen fucking days.” Huston says, shutting their door.

Hunter plays Grayson Channing, a detective who travels both to the future and the past, trying to prevent crimes from happening rather than solving them after the fact.

This particular day on set is quite a special one; not only is this the hundredth episode, but it’s also the episode in which the identity of Channing’s parents, a long running mystery throughout the show, is finally going to be revealed. Other than the showrunners, the actors who have been casted to play Channing’s parents, and Hunter, no one else knows a thing. Even outside of work, Hunter has remained tight lipped about the whole thing; refusing to even bring the script him.

Ducking back down into his car, Hunter grabs four boxes of donuts, setting them on the roof.

“They made me sign an NDA. Otherwise you would’ve been the first person I told.” He explains, closing the door.

Huston shrugs, pocketing their keys as they make their way over to his car.

“Can’t have good television without a few secrets.” They say, taking two of the four boxes.

After locking his car, Hunter grabs the other two boxes before following Huston into the building. Once inside, the duo make their way into the studio, dishing out good mornings as they offer their co-stars as well as the crew members donuts. When they finally make it to set, Huston and Hunter are greeted by Maggie, a short, raven haired woman.

“You two are due in hair and makeup, like now.” She says, swiping the last donut.

The twin chorus an ‘okay’ as they chuck their now empty boxes into the recycling bin. Then, turning around, the duo make their way across a dark stage before exiting the building once again, this time on the other side. Outside, the duo make their way through a sea of frantic costume designers and assistants, on their way to their trailers. Then, about half to their destination, Huston and Hunter hear someone calling their names. So, turning around, they spot an older man, with hair white as snow, jogging towards them.

“Aw shit, what does he want?” Hunter groans.

Robert Marshall, the excess’ little weasel. Whenever they need to fire someone, deliver script notes they know the director’s not gonna like, or do anything else that’s sure to piss the creatives off, Robert’s their guy. So, one can only imagine why no one’s ever happy to see him.

“Hue, Hunt, how’s it goin’?” He asks, lowering his sunglasses to look at the two.

It take everything within Huston not to roll their eyes.

Ever since he landed that little ‘promotion’ that put him in the same building as the exces; Robert walks around like he owns the joint. ‘Do this’ ‘Get me that’, any chance he gets to bark orders, Roberts all over it. But when it comes to doing this ACTUAL job; communicating the creatives’ needs to the big money men, Robert’s clueless. He doesn’t even know the first thing about negotiating, let alone money. But, nevertheless, he’s had the job or six months now, so he must be doing something (or someone) right.

The big bosses need to speak with you. Robert says, looking directly at Huston.

Huston frowns, their eyebrows bunching together.

“Right now? Hunt and I were just on our way to hair and makeup.”

“Yeah, they said they need you ASAP.” He says.

“Alrighty then.” Huston says before turning to Hunter.

“I’ll text you.” Huston says.

Then, turning back around, Huston follows Robert, the pair making their way past fictitious storefronts, and down a fake brick road. Exiting the film lot, Huston and Robert hitch a ride on a golf cart, taking them to the entrance of the lot. Then, on foot, the two head across the street, exiting one world and entering an entirely new one. Car horns blare as the occupants of Studio city navigate their way through traffic.

Then, after crossing the street, Huston and Robert head into a tall, air-conditioned building. Inside, their shoes squeak, loudly, against the freshly polished floors. The sound is loud, taking up all the space around them, leaving no room to breathe; reminding Huston why they despise corporate jobs and nine to fives so much. It’s like being in prison; confined to a small box society calls a ‘steady job’.

After making it through the lobby, Huston and Robert squeeze on the elevator along with a bunch of men in stiff business suits. With their phones to their ears, the stuffy money men angrily bark numbers into their phones. Then, after what feels like a lifetime, Robert and Huston finally make it to the top floor. After stepping off the elevator, Huston follows Robert, the two making their way down a mile long hall. Then, when they finally make it to the end of the hall, Robert opens the conference room door and behind it awaits a bunch of men in fancier versions of the same stiff suits that the men in the elevator wore. Sitting around the conference table, the men grumble and bark at one another until Micheal, a large man who seems to be missing his neck, looks up and looks eyes with Huston.

“Huey! Just the actor we wanted to see! Have a seat.” He says, gesturing to the chair at the opposite end of the runway like table.

Wanting to get this little meeting over with, Huston does as they’re told and sits down across from Micheal. Micheal smiles, his smile almost predatorial. Then, like a robot, missing its neck, he slowly turns his entire body, stopping once he’s facing Robert.

“Thank you so much Robert. You can go now.” Micheal says.

Robert frowns.

“But-“

“I said you’re dismissed. Thank you.” Micheal repeats, his tone a warning.

Robert lowers his head, giving a low; ‘Yes sir’ before turning on his heels and making his way out the door. After his departure, the door clicks, leaving Huston alone in a room full of sharks.

Hitting Play

Hello there; Ladies, gentlemen, and they/them’s.

If you’re reading this post then that means we did it! We’ve made it through the madness of 2020. Now, I’m not the one for New Year’s resolutions or the whole ‘new year, new me’ thing, but what better time for a fresh start? With the return of The Royal Blue Network comes some new and exciting things. This year The Royal Blue Network will be focused more on telling better, longer, multilayered, LGBTQIA+ stories. I want to tell the kinds of stories that I wish I had read when I first discovered that I myself was a part of the community.

I plan to do this by breaking these stories down into smaller, episodes like, stories. With these longer stories, I’ll be posting on more of a fixed schedule like a TV show, on the same day, at the same time, every week.

In between posts, I will be on Twitter @TheRoyalBlueNet, Wattpad @TheRoyalBlueNetwork and Facebook @TheRoyalBlueNetwork.

So if you’re new, welcome and if you’re returning, welcome back, and thank you so much for being here.

Thank you so much,

Ninise Modestin.

Hitting Pause

Hey everybody,

I’ve decided to take a little break from posting. I’m working on longer, episodic stories and I really want to take my time and make sure that I’m always putting out my best work. So in order to do that I need a little bit of time. For the remainder of 2020 I will not be posting anymore stories. I will be back in 2021 with a bang and maintaining the same Tuesday and Friday schedule. Until then, If you’d like to keep update with all things Royal Blue, make sure you follow the blog @TheRoyalBlueNet on Twitter. Until next year. ✌🏾

Ninise Modestin.

Almost

Josh Wellings dropped his power drill on the carpet beside him before hopping up onto his feet.

“Fuck yeah, I did it!” He said victoriously as he fist pumped.

Meanwhile, in the kitchen, his fiancé , Kay chuckled to herself as she shook her head, setting down the vegetables she had been washing. Shaking her hands, she rid them of the access water, before drying her hand on a new cloth. She then made her way to the living room where she found her boyfriend dancing around like a small child.

“What did you do?” She asked, causing him to whip around.

Smiling from ear to ear, Josh twisted his hips to the old timey music as he spoke;

“The stereo is now Bluetooth baby!” He laughed.

Skeptical of her charming but childish fiancée, Kay shook her head.

“You’re lying!” She said as she watched him dance around.

Josh laughed. Pulling out his phone, he flipped it around to reveal that he had Spotify opened on the device. Then, scrolling through the endless list of songs, he selected one at random. A moment later, The Penguins’ ‘Earth Angel’ poured through the stereo speakers, causing a smile to spill across Kay’s face. She loved that song and he knew it.

After slipping his phone into his back pocket, Josh extended his hand out to his love, causing her to laugh before placing her hand in his. Pulling her flush against him, the lovers fell into place like puzzle pieces; Her hands around his neck and his around her waist. As they swayed back and forth, slow and easy, Kay tangled her fingers into black locks. One song melted into the next, each just as slow as the last, as the lovers danced around boxes that still needed to be unpacked. But as they swayed back and forth, in that moment the only thing that mattered was them, and how they made each other feel.

Hours had past, and neither one of them planned on being the first to pull away, so they simply continued to sway back and forth, looking into one another’s eyes.

“I can’t wait to marry you.” She said, nuzzling his nose.

Dropping her hands from his shoulders, Kay whined her arms around Josh before rising up on the tips of her toes to kiss him. The kiss was soft and easy, making Josh’s head spin a bit. She tasted of red wine and vanilla chapstick, a flavor Josh had come to associate with only her.

“What if we just eloped?” She whispered against his lips.

Pulling back, he looked at her as if she’d grown a second head.

“Eloped? Girl are you crazy? Your daddy would have my head if I took away his ‘God given right’ to give you away.” He said, doing his best impression of her father.

And he was right, her father would unleash all hell if Josh took away that right.

Chuckling, Kay rose to the tip of her toes, kissing him yet again. Unable to get enough of her, Josh kissed her back with all the passion he could muster.

“But I still can’t wait to marry you” He whispered against her lips.

Too bad he never got to…

Shaking his head, Josh wiped away his tears. Then, after putting on his Ray Bands, he brushed his fingers over the etched letters of the tombs stone Here lies Kimberly Amber Johnson. He never ever got the chance to give her his last name. But she was his woman, and he was her man and everyone knew that.

Leaning forward, he pressed a kiss to the tombstone.

“Love you, forever and always.” He said.

Then, standing up, he dusted off his jeans before turning around and hiking back down the hill. Then, hopping into his car, he cranked it to life, laughing as ‘Earth Angle’ By The Penguins poured out from the speaker. After rolling down the windows and cranking up the volume, he put the car in drive and took off. As tears fell from his eyes, he belted the lyrics, hoping that somehow they’d make it up to the heavens and his baby would know that he was singing just for her.

Letting It Out

Travis Miles sat on the bed of his best friend, Dustin Marshall, watching as Dustin paced back and forth. Dustin had walked over the same spots so many times, his feet were beginning to make imprints in the carpet.

As he reached the bedroom door, Dustin turned on his heels, making his way to the other end of the room. Dustin had called Travis, telling him that he had something important to tell the other boy, but after Dustin pulled his friend into the room, he lost all the nerve he’d built up. At first, he was going to just spit it out, but every time he attempted to do so, his saliva turned to glue, his tongue sticking to the roof of his mouth, making it impossible to say words.

“Dustin, is everything all right? Are you in some kind of trouble or something? Cause if you need to flee the country, I know a guy.” Travis joked, trying to relieve some of the tension pent up in his friend.

Dustin stopped in front of his closet door before turning around and looking at the other boy.

“What?! No! And what guy do you know?” He asked, throwing his hands in the air.

Travis sank down into the bed.

“Don’t worry about it.” He mumbled. “You don’t need him.”

Dustin continued to stare at the other boy for a moment longer before a small voice in the back of his head said ‘fuck it.’ Grabbing the swivel chair from his desk, he pulled it out, and set it across from the other boy. Then, sitting down, he hung his head, taking a few deep breaths and exhaling. After exhaling for the fifth time or so, he looked up coming face to face with the other boy.

“TravisImgay.” He said as quickly as possible.

The words flew out of Dustin’s mouth like a gibberish bullet hitting Travis right in the face. Confused, and a little disoriented, Travis quickly pulled back, shaking his head.

“Wait, what the fuck? How do you even talk that fast? Say that again?” He said, confused.

Dustin sighed heavily. He was really hoping the bandage method would work.

Tucking his bottom lip between his teeth, Dustin took a deep breath and said it again.

“I’m gay Travis… I like guys.” He said.

The room fell silent as Travis stared blankly. Time seemed to stop as Dustin held his breath waiting for Travis’ response. Then, after what felt like a lifetime but was only a minute or so, Travis stood up. Dustin expected him to walk out, ending their friendship, but much to his surprise, Travis grabbed Dustin by the arm, pulling him up from the chair. Before Dustin could react, he found himself wrapped up in the warmth of his best friend. Relief crashed into Dustin washing over him as he whined his arms around his friend the two melting together into the embrace. They stood like that for a moment, Dustin basking in the warmth and safety of his best friend.

“Hey Dustin?” Travis called after a moment of holding his friend.

“Yeah?” He answered.

His voice was soft and a bit slurred, almost like he was about to fall asleep in Travis’ arms. So, pulling back, Travis looked into his friend’s eyes.

“I knew.” He said, causing Dustin to pull back further, breaking contact.

“Wait, you knew? For how long?!” Dustin asked.

Travis chuckled.

“About a month now” Travis said, earning him a playful punch to the shoulder.

“You asshole! How come you never said anything?” Dustin asked.

Travis shrugged.

“I figured it wasn’t my place. I didn’t wanna ask you about it cause I knew if I did you would tell me and to me that felt like forcing you out. I figured I’d let you take your time and sort yourself out.” Travis stated.

Dustin’s eyes grew glossy. He used to wonder what he did to deserve such a great friend but after knowing Travis for so long he learned not to question it. Travis’ generosity and love for him was something Dustin would never fully comprehend, but he cherished the fuck out of Travis.

Far too grateful to put his appreciation into words, Dustin simply threw himself back into his friend’s arms.

“I love you so much Trav.” Dustin mumbled into his shirt.

Travis laughed, patting his friend on the back.

“I love you too buddy.”

Silent Movements

Prince Omar Fallon made his way through the large crowd of partygoers, swishing God awful white wine in his cup as he moved about the room. Like an old school maze runner game, he bobbed and weaved his way through the party goers, avoiding handsy women seeking a ‘private tour of the castle’. But, what many of them didn’t know was Omar was already spoken for; and even if he wasn’t, he had no interest in the female company outside of friendship anyways. Omar was gay. It wasn’t a secret. All closest to the prince knew of his sexuality; he was living, part time, with his boyfriend, Standley, after all. But Standley was what many called a ‘commer’. He drove a simple Toyota that he’d gotten with money he saved up to get and lived in the city with three other housemates. Granted, his apartment was quite luxurious for someone of his stature, but he was the prince’s boyfriend after all. Despite Standley’s protest at first, Omar managed to convince his boyfriend to get the more luxurious, high rise, just for it’s hidden location and parking garage.

A few women managed to catch the prince, tugging on his arms, begging for a dance, but Omar slipped through their fingers like butter, claiming to be needed elsewhere. After repeating this process at least ten times, the prince finally made it over to the refreshments. Sighing in relief, he attempted to reach for a cookie when a camera was shoved in his face as a small, blonde appeared in front of him.

“Prince Omar, so good to see you!”

Her high pitched voice was that of nails dragging across a blackboard, but Omar still smiled his best, fakest smile as he turned around.

“Oh Amy, so glad to see you.” That was a lie.

The prince didn’t do interviews. Reporters were too invasive for his taste, wanting to know the who’s what’s and the when’s and the why’s of his every move. Even his own mother wasn’t that invested in him.

“Your highness. I couldn’t help but notice you’re drinking alone. With all these beautiful women here-”

She paused for a moment, allowing her cameraman a second to pan around the room, highlighting the many partygoers, before continuing.

“How could you possibly be drinking alone?”

Omar had to actively resist the urge to roll his eyes. He’d been asked this question so many times, in so many different ways.

“What, no girlfriend?” One would ask.

“When are we going to get a future Queen” Another would wonder.

In all his interviews no matter the length or topic of discussion, he seemed to always be asked the same question. He wasn’t ashamed of being gay by even the slightest. But Standley liked being able to go outside without being bombarded with ‘fans’ and reporters and Omar respected that. Oftentimes, causing Omar to envy his boyfriend’s right to privacy.

“Sometimes a moment of solitude, even in the most crowded of rooms, is nice. It leaves room for thinking.” He replied with a smile.

“Thinking? Of potential queens perhaps?” The reporter suggested with a grin.

The cameraman paned the room for a moment, highlighting all the women as Omar did his best not to scream. He didn’t even want to be at the ball in the first place. But nevertheless, he remained calm as they swung back around to him.

“Something like that.” He said, winking at the camera.

With the reporter too busy blushing at his response, Omar abandoned the snack table and made his way into the crowd of partygoers. As he waved his way around dancing bodies, he dodge handsy women and a few more reporters before finally making it to his desired destination.

Tucked away in a makeshift, VIP corner, his mother and two of his sisters stood in a circle sipping wine as they conversated amongst one another. When they finally noticed him, the women smiled, his mother welcoming him with open arms.

“My love, are you headed out?” She asked.

Knowing her son all too well, she knew he was way over being at the gathering.

Melting into her, he hugged her tightly as she pressed a kiss to his cheek.

“Yes. You and father asked for an appearance, I appeared, and now, for my last trick, I will disappear.” He said, causing his sisters to laugh.

After embracing them as well, He straightened his suit, mentally preparing himself for another game of ‘duck and dodge.’ Fortunately, he was able to make it all the way to the exit, this time only being stopped by friends and family simply wishing him farewell and safe travels.

Upon arriving outside, he was bombarded with more reporters, these ones out for blood. As cameras flashed, they shoved microphones in his face asking far too personal questions, but the prince paid them no mind. With his head down, he slipped into the back of his limo and was off. Then, leaning back in his seat,he tugged at his bow tie as the driver took off. After getting it undone, he threw the tie down beside him, his phone buzzing.

‘Bring wine’ read the text displayed on his lock screen.

Shaking his head, he responded with a ‘Will do’ before tucking the device back into his pocket. In no time, he was back at his penthouse, his driver dropping him off out front. Then, hopping on the elevator, he ran into his favorite elderly neighbor, who he helped with their groceries before heading up to his penthouse. In a hurry, he slipped into the apartment, stripping down to his underwear before pulling on black sweats and a matching hoodie. Then, after throwing some clothes and a few toiletries into a backpack, he headed to the kitchen where he grabbed the wine and some cheese puffs. After tossing the bottle into the bag as well, he slipped out the back door, making his way down the hidden staircase. When he got to the bottom, he threw open the garage door. Walking down the line of cars, he passed his Ferri, his McLaren, and his Lamborghini, going instead for his Toyota Carmy. Then, after tossing his bag in the back, he slipped behind the wheel and cranked the car to life. In no time, he was cruising through traffic, making his way to the other side of town.

After about an hour and a half. The prince pulled up to an apartment much like the one he had in the city.

After swiping his keycard, he waited for the gates of the apartment to open before pulling into the parking lot and parking in his usual spot towards the back. Then, after hopping out of his car, the prince crossed the street and made his way to the side of a skyscraper of an apartment building. Once inside, he hopped onto the elevator, riding it all the way to the top. Upon arrival, he stepped off, making his way down the hall. When he got to the end, he stopped at apartment 1571. Balling up his fist, he was about to knock, when the door swung open.

“Where’s my wine?” Standley asked immediately.

Grinning, the prince reached into the bag and pulled out the bottle.

Smiling, the man pulled the prince in, kissing him softly before pulling back and swiping the wine. Stanley then turned around, heading back into the apartment.

“So what’s this I hear about you dating Princess Francesca? ” Standley said.

Throwing his head back, the prince laughed as he pushed the door shut; locking it.

Way Too Sober For This

“I am way too sober for this.” Francine said as she jumped up from the bed and rushed across the room.

Throwing open the bedroom doors she rushed out.

“Fran, Where are you going?!” Natalie asked, hot on her heels.

Francine didn’t respond. Practically falling down the staircase, Francine stumbled her way down. At the bottom she made a sharp right, nearly running into James, Natilie’s butler. After a half hearted apology from her, and a dirty look from him, Francine continued on into the kitchen.

Throwing the double doors of the stainless steel fridge open, she stood in front of it; scanning the contents within for something to eat.

“Franny, talk to me.” Natalie pleaded after making it into the kitchen.

“I don’t know what you want me to say, Nats. You fucked MY SISTER!” Francine said, her brunette hair whipping as she quickly turned around to look at her best friend.

If she could even call her that anymore.

Natalie ran a hand through her own hair, the fiery red strains gliding through her hands like silk.

“I don’t know what to say.” The ginger girl said, her voice low and timid.

“Sorry seems like a good place to start.” Francine mumbled turning back to the fridge.

“I can’t.” Natalie said looking down at her shoes.

Francine slammed the fridge close, turning around to the red head.

“And why the fuck not?” The brunette asked, her gaze burning holes into the red head.

Natalie sighed.

‘Here goes nothing.’ She thought to herself.

“Because I love her.” Natalie admitted.

The room fell silent as the duo stared at one another. Francine blinked a few times, before marching in Natalie’s direction. At first Natalie thought Francine would hit her; the red head wouldn’t blame her if she did. But when Francine pushed past her friend, making her way to the liquor cabinet, Natalie felt all the muscles in her body relax.

“Yeah, no. I’m DEFINITELY too sober for this.” Francine repeated grabbing a bottle of whiskey.

Natalie said nothing. She couldn’t.

Francine unscrewed the cap, letting it fall to the ground. Then, after a quick raise, as if to say ‘bottom’s up’ she pressed the bottle to her lips. Dropping her head back, she took a deep pull from the bottle, chugging the amber colored liquid. Natalie simply leaned against the counter, her arms crossed over her chest, watching her best friend. This was nothing new to her. She and Francine had been drinking since they were kids.

Natalie blinked a few times, bored with how long this all was taking. Then, when Francine finally released the bottle, wiping her mouth with the sleeves of her favorite Nickelback shirt, she fixed Natalie with a cold stare.

“If you hurt her-”

“You know I’d never.” Natalie responded.

“If you fucking hurt her Nat. I swear to God, I’ll fucking kill you.”

That wasn’t a threat. Francine didn’t make threats. Only promises.

“I love her, I would never do anything to mess this up.”

Then, as if on cue, Bella, Francine’s little sister, the reason for the spat between the friends, waltzed into the kitchen. Looking from her big sister to her girlfriend and then back to her sister, she raised an eyebrow.

“Are you okay with this?” She asked, gesturing between herself and Natalie.

Francine grunted, taking another swig from the bottle.

“I guess. But if I catch you two playing grab ass or doing anything weird in the living room…So help me God,Nats, I’ll kill you. Capeesh?” She said, waving her bottle back and forth between the couple.

“Got it.” They said.

“Alright. Now if you’ll excuse me. I’m gonna go throw up.” Francine said, pushing past the couple.

Bella chuckled as she watched her sister exit the kitchen. Turning to her girlfriend, the burnette threw her arms around the red head’s neck.

“See, that wasn’t so bad.” The small brunette smiled.

“Yeah, cause you weren’t the one who’s life was being threatened.” Natalie said, causing her girlfriend to laugh.

“I’d never let her kill you.” Bella said, her fingers making their way into Natalie’s hair.

“You promise?” The redhead asked, leaning into her lover.

“I promise.” Bella repeated.

Capturing the red head’s lips, Bella kissed Natalie slowly and easily. Caressing Natalie’s tongue with her own, Bella pulled the red head down a bit, making it easier for Bella to reach.

They stayed like that for a while before the sound of gagging broke them apart. Natalie grabbed some snacks from the pantry before the trio went into the living room. The couple sat down next to each other, prepared to snuggle up and watch a good movie when Francine stood up. Moving in front of the couple, Francine plopped back down, this time between them and looked from one to the other, daring them to complain; But they didn’t. Soon she would be fast asleep, leaving them to sneak off to Bella’s room and make out. But for the time being, they simply sat back and watched TV.