Lexi Cocker - Faleena Hopkins Page 0,2



“Then snap out of it! Ask me how I sprained this ankle! And where the hell are my clothes?!”

Samantha wrings the dishtowel like a security blanket. “Oh no. Where are my shoes? Are they in the car?”


“And…Zoe’s dress?”

“You borrowed my dress?”

I glance to our cousin. “Yes, I did.”

“Which one?”

“The green one with the wide skirt.”

“That looks so good with your red hair and bright green eyes!”

“Brad thought so. He also liked these shorts. He said they were cute once so I wore them again. You know why? Because I’m an idiot!”

Zoe tilts her head. “Where is my dress now?”

“On his floor.”



“Right now?”

“Yes, Zo, your dress got sacrificed in my hasty departure.”

She frowns, “Oh,” and whispers, “But you looked so good in that.”

Bless her.

Samantha groans, “Not my denim high heels!” covering her face with the maybe-dirty dishtowel.

“Yes, your shoes, too.” I nod, “I’m sorry. I am. I was going to keep them on but your feet are a little smaller and they were pinching. And they’re really hard to get back on. I didn’t have time before I shimmied down his drain pipe!!!”

Sam and Zoe ask, in unison, “Why did you shimmy down his drainpipe?”

“Because I broke up with him!”

I spin around, and speed-hobble to our more comfortable living room where I can sit down, wincing yet plowing forward anyway because this is way more important than a possible broken bone! “For real this time, you guys! Stop it! You’re hurting me!”

They run in, overlapping, “Oh, Lex, I’m sorry!” “Did you really break up?” “Are you okay?” “What can we do?”

I plop onto the couch and grin, “You didn’t really hurt me. Please, like I’m delicate?”

Samantha cries out, “How did I fall for that?!” plopping onto the blue chair opposite me.

“You know I don’t get hurt!”

“I know, Lex, I know. You’re impervious to pain. That’s why you’re so drawn to it.”

This gives me pause.

I almost point to my ankle.

But that’s not the type of pain she means. Hmm.

I shrug it off.

“Anyway, this is what happened…wait, do we have something to celebrate with?”

Zoe asks the purring Benz, “Do we have any wine, Ralphie, huh?” She grabs his fluffy paw, deepening her voice to say, “Yes we do, Zoe! We have Rosé. I’d love some, too, but you won’t give me any, will you?” As she disappears we hear her murmur with love in her own soft voice, “No, I won’t, Ralphie, because you’re a kitty and your little brain could go wonky and I like your brain just the way it is.”

Under my breath I tell Sam, “Wish we could say the same about…”

“Shh!!” she grins.

I reach over, touch the coffee table, bend toward my sister. “I know you’re bummed Logan is in Germany. I’m sorry. I didn’t mean to be impatient. But this is big for me!”

Grateful I acknowledged what she’s going through — losing her dance partner and the best guy friend she’s had ever since we were kids — Sammy tilts her head, “It’s huge, Lexi, really,” and points to her workout clothes. “I’m holding off showering to hear every detail.”

“Thank you!”

Zoe comes running in.

With a chilled bottle of Rosé.

No cat.

And one glass.

Sam and I stare at her.

Zoe explains, “You need this whole bottle if you really broke up with Brad. It’s a screw-cap. You wanna?”

I laugh, reach for the bottle and open it, holding the celebration high like it’s the best champagne France has to offer.

Sally Ashes, our other kitty, slinks into the living room, dark-grey fur beautiful as always and a perfect compliment to pale green eyes. Between her, Ralphie, Zoe and me, there are a lot of green-eyed creatures living at House Three.

Sam’s the only one with brown eyes, but since she’s a natural blonde, it’s way more beautiful and unique than she ever takes credit for, humble human that she is.

Me however, I’m not so humble. Like our brothers I’ve been called cocky more than once — a nickname our family has been saddled with since day one due to our Cocker surname.

I’m living up to it as I say, “I can do way better than Brad! He was lucky to be with me! There were tons of college girls who wanted to be with the hot professor, and he came after me. I wasn’t interested, but I caved, threw him a bone, and—”

Samantha smirks, “—Got hooked on his.”

“Sammy!” Zoe cries out, and heads to the kitchen. “I’ll get more glasses, I was just kidding.”

“Thank you!” Sam calls to her.

I whisper, “The thought of sex