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Royals

Royals

Page 2

Lucky for me, I am now immune to the Hot Lean (trademark pending).

Sliding my sunglasses onto my face, I hold up a hand at my ex-boyfriend.

“Nope.”

Michael’s face curls into a scowl. He has these really soft features, all round cheeks and pretty brown eyes, and I swear he’s taught his hair to do that thing where it falls juuuuust right over his forehead. A month ago, I would’ve been a puddle of melted Daisy at that face, would’ve reached out to push his hair back from his forehead. Michael Dorset had been my crush since ninth grade. He’d always hung out with a way more popular crowd than I had (I know, shocking that my glasses and Adventure Time T-shirts didn’t make me a bigger draw), and then last year—finally—I’d gotten him.

“I screwed up,” he says now, shoving his hands in his pockets. He’s wearing the skinniest jeans known to man, jeggings if I’m being honest, and he’s got one of my ponytail holders around his wrist. The green one.

Fighting the kindergarten urge to rip it off, I shift my bag to my other shoulder. “That’s an understatement.”

It’s hot in the parking lot, and I suddenly realize I’m still wearing the little green Sur-N-Sav apron that goes over my clothes. Michael is all in black, as per usual, but doesn’t seem to be sweating, possibly because he’s like 0.06% body fat. This is the last place I want to have this discussion, so I move past him and toward my car.

“C’mon,” he wheedles, following. “We need to at least talk about it.”

The asphalt grits under my sneakers as I keep walking. Even though we’re not that close to a beach, sand magically appears here, pooling in cracks and potholes in the parking lot.

“We did talk about it,” I say. “It’s just that there wasn’t much to say. You tried to sell our prom pictures.”

Fun part of having a famous sibling—you yourself somehow become kind of famous.

But it seems like you just get the annoying parts of fame, like, you know, your boyfriend selling private stuff to a tabloid.

Or trying to.

Apparently the royal family had people on the lookout for that kind of thing and shut it down pretty quickly, which, honestly, just made the whole thing ever weirder.

“Babe,” he starts, and I wave him off. I’d liked those stupid pictures. Thought we looked cute. And now every time I look at them, they’re just another thing that got weird because of Ellie.

I think that’s what pissed me off most of all.

“I was doing it for us,” Michael continues, and that actually makes me stop and whirl around.

“You did it to buy a ‘super-sweet’ guitar,” I say, my voice flat. “The kind you’d talked about forever.”

Michael actually does look a little sheepish at that. He shoves his hands in his pockets, shrugging his shoulders up and rocking back on his heels. “But music was our thing,” he says, and I roll my eyes.

“You never liked the bands I liked, you would never let me play my music in the car, you—”

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