It’s Chapter Three! When we last left off, Henry and Alex had just spent the weekend together for their first “pretend we’re best friends for the media” after Cake-Gate at the royal wedding. Let’s see what our boys are up to this week!
If you’ve missed anything, make sure you go back and catch up!
“Her response comes within seconds: 94% probability of your dick becoming a recurring personality on face the nation.”
MY FAVE NORA LINE
“As usual, the day guard at the Dirksen Building glares at him as he glides through security. She’s certain he was the one who vandalized the sign outside one particular senator’s office to read BITCH MCCONNELL, but she’ll never prove it.”
He’s not sorry and neither am I!
“His favorite senator is Rafael Luna, an Independent from Colorado.”
Raf is an independent because he resents most of the political establishments. He was a riot boy! He was at the Battle of Seattle! He just rebranded in college.
Rafael was originally named Anthony but I changed it when Anthony Scaramucci became a thing.
“Alex has always suspected the soulful brown eyes and perfectly groomed stubble and dramatic cheekbones won back any votes Luna lost by being both Latino and openly gay.”
Alex has always had a huge gay crush on Raf and will never ever admit it. Raf would be HORRIFIED.
“Alex does know–the same health care reform as last year, the one stalled out since they lost the Senate in midterms.”
Subtle hint at one big thing about this alternate timeline: the democrats never lost control of the senate in 2010.
“Luna laughs, leaning back and lacing his hands together behind his head. Alex feels his face flash hot for half a second.”
YOU ARE BI
“Stanley Connor, Delaware’s kooky and beloved old Independent”
I’m not saying this is basically dark side Bernie Sanders, but I’m not NOT saying that.
“Wow, I though I could trust you.” Alex gasps, mock-betrayed.
“Alex pulls a face. “Yeah, I mean, if you’re into, like, fairy-tale princes.”
Oh, you sweet idiot.
“I had a magazine with his face on it at my desk, once, because I was in it and he happened to be on the cover.”
“You stared at it for over an hour.”
“Alex, you need other friends,” Luna tells him.
Alex doesn’t think of himself as a lonely person, but really, really is until Henry.
“Hey, is Maxine in town?”
“Waters?” Luna asks, crooking his head. “Shit, you really have a death wish, huh?”
If I had written this book a year or so later, I think Alex would be bros with AOC.
“It’s always amusing to catch one of the burly suits speaking in code over their earpieces: Black Bear has requested extra banana peppers.”
Ellen’s code name
Leo Castalazzi, genius inventor, Italian. Played in my head by Stanley Tucci.
“Now, she’s the president, and he’s sold his companies to spend his time fulfilling First Gentlemen duties.”
His pet First Gentleman cause is getting young girls into STEM.
“One good thing, one bad thing,” she says. “Let’s do this.”
This is based on something my mom did when I was growing up.
“Don’t act like this isn’t all part of your extra-long game of abusing your position to murder Woody Allen and make it look like an accident,” Alex says.
I STILL cannot believe this joke made it through every round of edits AND through legal. The little sexual predator murder joke that could.
“Alex’s mother accepts a kiss on the side of her square jaw from Leo as she passes by.”
Any time I refer to Ellen’s square jaw I’m picturing Connie Britton.
Ellen has conflicting feelings about Alex’s career trajectory, I think–while she does wish he’d slow down and pace himself, she also sees his value to her and his eagerness to prove himself — and June is right, she does sometimes exploit that.
In another life, Alex is a Julian Castro campaign staffer and June is a beloved longform feature writer often seen in NY Mag & Vanity Fair.
“Bless her heart.”
This was one of the last lines I added because I realized I had a whole book with a southern mom and not one “bless your heart.”
“He’s honestly not planning to respond, but a week later he sees a headline on the cover of People–PRINCE HENRY FLIES SOUTH FOR THE WINTER–complete with a photo of Henry artistically posed on an Australian beach in a pair of sensible yet miniscule navy swim trunks, and he can’t help himself.
Alex keeps this magazine on his desk for weeks by “accident”.
“…or, once, begrudgingly and hilariously receiving a spray tan.”
I cherish this image.
“Alex hears more about the tedious details of operating a sailboat than he would ever care to know and sends back nothing but: cool. Eight hours later.”
He’s so terrible and poor Henry was definitely embarrassed.
“…showing up to lunch wearing a studded, hot-pink Gucci jacket”
This is a real Gucci woman’s jacket — Pez scoffs at the gender binary.
“If you don’t stop, I’m gonna call Taylor Swift and tell her you changed your mind and want to go to her Fourth of July party after all.”
Taylor Swift fans don’t hate me but I love to imagine Nora rebuffing her attempts at friendship.
HRH Prince Dickhead
This label will never change in Alex’s phone.
“oh, definitely worth it. even more worth it now. tell shaan I say hi and i miss that sweet sweet ass xoxoxo”
Alex…do you see what you are doing
That’s a wrap on all of chapter three, it was a short one this week! Chapter four encompasses Thanksgiving, Christmas, AND New Year’s Eve, which we already went through closer to the holidays. So next week we’re going to skip right over to chapter five, but if you missed any of chapter four, make sure you find them here because a lot happens!
See you guys next Wednesday, when we take a look into Alex’s brain after his first kiss with Henry!