Hello, friends! As I already said, this was written in early 2018 and as such I deeply apologise for pretty much everything about this.

Disclaimer: I ain't Lynette

Without further ado...

"Alex. Stop. I need you to focus on me. Just look at my face Alex, that's it…Now, I need you to listen to me because what I am about to say is very important, okay? You are asking me to skip dinner. I don't know how you can even think of doing that to me. Please, Alex. The only thing that could make me not go to the food court right now is if they suddenly had room service. I'm, me, Alex. Jordan Sparker. I. Need. Food!" Jordan grabbed her by the shoulders and looked into her eyes in a way that Alex knew meant that he was only half joking.

"Would you like to meet my parents?" Alex blurted, now utterly sure that this was going to go just as badly as it did with Kaiden. With Dix busy being the Royal Princess, there was nobody to keep Jordan in check. But, based on how often Alex and Bear had found notes on their dorm rooms telling them not to go in and two missing friends, the Princess wouldn't have done that great a job anyway. Taken aback, Jordan and Bear blinked.

"You have parents?" Alex tried not to roll her eyes at Bear's surprised outburst.

"Yes, I have parents. So does everyone." "Mostly," She added, cringing in apology at Jordan's flinch.

"Where –?"

"Are they in Fre - ?"

"Why didn't you tell us -?"

Alex suddenly found herself assaulted on all sides by a seemingly endless barrage of questions, the majority of which she would have answered by now if she had been allowed to talk. Raising her hands in surrender did nothing. Nor did asking them to shut up. Repeatedly. Beginning to turn around, resolving to take them to see her parents when D.C. was here and Jordan and Bear were not talking her ear off, Alex ran into something. Or rather, someone.

Bear and Jordan promptly stopped talking.

Alex promptly started blushing.

Ice blue eyes promptly started twinkling with mirth.

Kaiden James burst out laughing.

Promptly.

"So, your parents, Alex? I wondered when they would start asking to meet some more of your, ahem, Protectors." Alex felt the blush creep up the back of her neck and groaned in humiliation. "Ok, you do know that none of that was ever meant to be spoken of again? And anyway, it wasn't my fault my Dad just doesn't seem to understand fact that you an I are just friends."

"Alex? Plan to clue us in? What's he talking about? He's met your parents?" Jordan spluttered, but did not actually look that surprised.

Kaiden answered for her, saving her from further humiliation. "Yes, and before you ask, I do know where Alex are from; her parents aren't in Freya, anyway. You'll find out soon enough. As for what we were talking about, I don't think Alex would want you to know."

"The very fact that you said that makes me want to know," Bear said, trying not to smile as he most likely recalled all the embarrassing things he and Jordan had been able to weasel her in into admitting, or, quite often, doing.

Alex groaned long and low. She had known this was a bad idea from the moment the words had come out of her mouth, but even her worst nightmares would have recoiled from the scene in front of her. He parents, Jordan, Bear and Kaiden – who had somehow ended up inviting himself along – all sat together in the bowels of the pyramid her parents were currently inhabiting.

Talking about her.

As a little girl.

In combat.

When she had apparently had an overdose of dillyberry juice on her first day at the Academy.

In other words, anything and everything that could possibly embarrass her.

They weren't doing it to be mean, not really. But it had all started when Sir Camden walked through the walls of the library, right as a very regretful Alex had been about to lead her friends to meet her parents, and had stated in very few words that, 'my dearest Lady Alexandra, would you please humble yourself to help my loyal self Sir Camden with a tad conundrum? I appear to have lost my sword, which I shall need in the coming years to protect you honorable self Lady Alexandra and her Retainers in her quest for safety. Would you be so kind as to help me search for it?' Which had lead to a 20-minute search that eventually led them to the pyramids anyway, where Alex's parents were eagerly examining Sir Camden's well-oiled sword.

Alex didn't even want to think about all the assumptions her Conniving Matchmakers of Parents were making right now. Especially when it came to Jordan.

Alex didn't want to think about that either.

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