Charlie: Hello, all! Thank you for joining us! Today we have some special guests. Please welcome Mason Cooper, Colton Connolly, Leopold de Loughrey, and Lazarus Galanos! Thank you so much for indulging us, fellas.
Mason: No problem.
Colton: *smiles mischievously* An opportunity to dish on the guys? I wouldn’t miss it.
Leo: *waves a pack of Goldfish Crackers* It really didn’t take much. Just these.
Laz: I’m with Colton. *narrows his eyes* Turnabout is fair play, Anston.
Charlie: Our first two questions are for Mason. Question one, how do you calm Lucky when he’s in the middle of one of his infamous hissy fits? And question two, tell us that one time Lucky took you (read: forced you) to go shopping with him.
Mason: Well, first of all. Lucky doesn’t have hissy fits.
Colton: *pats Mason’s leg* Aw, I love how you’ve become an expert on not ending up sleeping on the couch.
Charlie: The guys won’t be seeing this.
Mason: I love that man to death, but he does throw some rather impressive fits. Sometimes he’s just in a horn-tossing mood. Most of the time, I let him go at it ‘til he gets it out of his system. We’ve gotten to know each other real well by now. So, whenever his tail’s up, I gauge whether I make myself scarce or approach him. He’s worked out that if I stay quiet it’s ‘cause I don’t agree with him, so he calms down enough to ask me my opinion. I give it, he thinks it over, and most of the time he comes around. We’ve worked out a system. Communication is important in any relationship and we’re getting better at it. Depending on what he’s throwing a fit over, sometimes all it takes is me wrappin’ my arms around him or giving him a kiss. Distraction works wonders with Lucky. As for the shopping, I’m brave, but I ain’t that brave.
Charlie: This question is for Colton. What’s the most outrageous thing you have had to stop Ace doing?
Colton: *peers at Charlie* You have met my fiancé, haven’t you? No one stops Ace from doing anything he sets his mind to. I might be able to persuade him not to execute whatever outrageous idea has popped into that beautiful and terrifying head of his. Mostly, I just say no. He gets this look on his face, reminds me of a cat when he sees something suddenly and goes into predator mode. Like they’re about to pounce. You know, blown pupils, intense stare. He gets a look on his face that is his version of that, and I just say no. Sometimes he tries to argue his case, and there have been occasions where he does it anyway because it’s Ace and he lives to torment his poor brothers in arms.
Charlie: Mason, here’s another question for you. Have you learned any more Spanish to impress Lucky?
Mason: My learning Spanish is less to impress him now, and more to understand what the hell he’s grumbling under his breath and whether I should be worried. *he laughs* Actually, I’m learning because it’s a part of his culture and who he is. I also want to be able to communicate with several of his family members who don’t speak English. I’m learning more and more each day, but it’s tough, not gonna lie.
Charlie: Leo, this question is for you. Do you and Ace join forces to annoy King?
Leo: *laughs* Oh my God, the guys are insane. Depending on what the prank is, I might help them catch King off guard because he’s super good at finding out their shenanigans before they get a chance to pull it off, so I’m like the bate, which I don’t mind at all because it means I get to distract King for a while. You have no idea the length the guys will go to. One Christmas, they wrapped everything in King’s office. Like, everything. The best part is that the wrapping paper was custom made, so it was covered in a repeated pattern of Ace wearing a Santa hat. Just his head and the hat. Nothing else. They individually wrapped his paperclips. It was epic.
Charlie: Laz, have you taken any naughty photos for yourself of Red?
Laz: *blushes* No, I haven’t. The guys have agreed to do a shoot though, for a charity event they’re hosting to support veterans suffering from PTSD. It’s going to be emotional for everyone, I think. The aim is to show the reality of what they live with, especially for Red, but also the hope, love, and joy they’ve found as they heal. It was Red’s idea. He’s got such a big heart, and he’s always trying to find ways to help people. *he shakes his head and laughs* Ace has asked about “suggestive” photos of himself for Colton a bunch of times.
Colton: *bursts out laughing* Oh dear God. I’ve already told Laz he can’t let Ace convince him. I won’t have a repeat of my last birthday present. He surprised me with a huge painting of himself dressed as a half-naked lumberjack, fake mustache and beard as well. It was the most ridiculous thing I’d ever seen.
Charlie: I bet he still looked sexy.
Colton: *shrugs* I’m not going to kick him out of bed over it.
*The guys laugh.*
Charlie: Which brings us to our next question, Colton. How have you managed to not strangle Ace yet?
Colton: *laughs* Considering King hasn’t strangled him yet after all these years, I think we’ll survive. Oh, there are days when I ask myself that very question, but no matter how much he drives me up the wall at times, I adore him. I love how full of life he is. There’s never a dull moment when he’s around, and he seems to know when you need to laugh. He really does bring so much joy into my life. I wouldn’t be marrying him otherwise.
Charlie: This one is for Leo. What does King like to do to unwind? Apart from the obvious.
Leo: *blushes* Um, yeah, there’s that. We’ve sort of gotten into this routine. When work is really stressful for him, he just wants to come home and veg out on the couch with me. We put on a movie and he wraps himself around me and just sort of zones out. With me, if he sees that I need to get out of my head, he makes me leave the house. Sometimes it’s just to the pool out back, or we go for a walk. I tend to be grumpy about it at first because I just want to keep working, but then I’m super grateful. When I’m having a really bad day, he invites the guys over. It’s hard to stay in a funk when Ace and Lucky are being dorks. *laughs*
Charlie: This question is for Colton. What’s the one thing that you’ve said that you never thought you’d have to say to Ace?
Colton: *smirks* Unfortunately, there’s more than one thing. So many things. Like, don’t stick that up your nose. Don’t put your tongue on that. Stop poking it. You are no stealing those puppies. No, if it follows you home you can’t keep it. This was all yesterday by the way.
Mason: *lets out a bark of laughter*
Laz: *smiles* I love going to Colton’s house. It’s always so much fun. *his eyes widen* But I’m happy I get to go home to Red at the end of the day.
Charlie: Leo, do you ever just watch Ace messing with King to see how long it takes for King to go stern?
Leo: King is always stern. Or at least that’s how he comes off. The thing is, his expression doesn’t change, but his eyes do. We all know when he’s humoring the guys, when he’s happy about something, or when he’s mad. No one messes with King when he’s mad. The guys know better. If he’s actually pissed, like really pissed, they make themselves scarce. Something happened during a job where one of the vendors messed up. We were all at the office when the call came in. Jay is really awesome at sounding the alarm. His favorite band is Panic! At the Disco, so he has this little LED disco ball on his desk that he’s turned into a panic button. So, Jay turns on the disco ball and all these colors appear on the white walls of the office. Everyone goes into alert mode and I swear I have never seen the guys move that fast. Ace, Lucky, Jack, and Joker got gone. Like, there one second, gone the next. Red’s okay. He’s sent into the trenches. If it’s really bad, they send me in. The Kings are all about preparedness.
Charlie: This one is for Laz. What’s the one thing that reminds you of Red?
Laz: What doesn’t remind me of Red? The smell of good food always makes me think of Red because he loves cooking so much. If I had to think of one thing, disco music. He’s such a lovable dork, and you’d never think a guy like Red would love seventies music or disco, but he does.
Charlie: Leo, folks would like to know, how fondly is King really speaking about Ace when he knows Ace can’t hear him?
Leo: *laughs* King doesn’t speak fondly of anyone. Ace and Lucky have no trouble telling everyone they love that they love them. Red and King tend to show it in the little things they do. Sure, when someone tells King they love him, he’ll tell them he loves them too, but unless it’s me, he rarely says it first. With King and Ace, it’s their arguing where you can see how much King loves Ace. If King didn’t love the guy so damned much, he wouldn’t bother. He’s like the big brother, so he’s going to push, prod, nag, argue, whatever it takes to make sure his family is okay.
Charlie: We’ve got another question for you, Leo. Were you sad that you didn’t get to go to the wedding with the rest of the guys?
Leo: I was disappointed for sure. I heard some craziness went down, which considering the guys were there I’d have been more surprised if something didn’t happen. But my dad needed me for something important, and I couldn’t say no. Hopefully, I’ll get to spend some time with Spencer and Quinn soon. They’re fun to hang out with.
Charlie: This question is for Mason. Cats, dogs, or horses?
Mason: D. All of the above. I love animals. I guess if I had to list them in order, I’d say horses, dogs, and then cats.
Charlie: Here’s a great question for all of you. Do you guys ever get together as a group apart from the Kings? Kind of like a support group?
Colton: *eyes wide* Oh my God, all the time.
Mason: *nods* At least once a week when we can.
Leo: *smiles wide* I don’t know what I’d do without these guys. I mean, King isn’t as… excitable as Ace—
Mason: Is that what we’re calling it?
Colton: *elbows Mason playfully* Like your boyfriend isn’t just as excitable.
*The guys laugh*
Leo: What I mean is, I’m fine when King is home, but his schedule is unpredictable, which can be hard for me at times, so having the guys there means a lot. When King’s going to be gone for more than a few days, I either work out of Four Kings Security HQ, or one of the guys comes over in the evening to have dinner with me and hang out, check on me to see how I’m doing.
Laz: *nods* The Kings are like brothers, and like brothers, sometimes they drive everyone crazy. These guys are always in each other’s hair, and on top of that, they work together. They’re a package deal, which is amazing, and I love that, but sometimes you need to spend time with people who understand what it’s like.
Colton: *smiles* Never a dull moment, that’s for sure.
Charlie: Mason, have you ridden the death trap (motorcycle)?
Mason: *laughs* Hell no. Not for his lack of trying.
Charlie: Colton, does Ace still do self-defense lessons with you? Did you get a new pen to carry after the ordeal?
Colton: *looks unimpressed* Honey, I got more than a new tactical pen. Ace converted the home gym into a gym and self-defense studio. Every week he drags me in there to practice or learn some new move. *smiles wickedly* At least I get to try the moves out on him, so if he’s being particularly excitable, I take great joy in dropping his fine butt to the mat.
Charlie: Leo, is there anything special King does for you when you have a bad anxiety day, besides goldfish?
Leo: *sighs dreamily* King is amazing. He never assumes anything, always asks. Most of the time, he just knows. King is scary good at figuring out what someone needs. If he’s at work, he calls in throughout the day to check on me. On particularly bad days if he can work from home, he does, or he sends Ace over. For all his quirks, Ace is good for me. I don’t know how he does what he does, but like King, he’s scary good at figuring out what I need, whether it’s a distraction or to just cocoon myself on the couch with some superhero movies and snacks.
Charlie: Mason, did you forbid Lucky to ride his motorcycle?
Mason: I would never forbid Lucky to do anything. Can you imagine how that would go down?
Colton: *eyes widen as he pats Mason’s arm* Please, Mason. You’ve come to mean so much to me. I would hate to see you meet your demise in such a fashion.
Mason: *barks out a laugh* Yeah, that about sums it up. Despite how much I hate the damned thing, Lucky’s a grown man. What’s more, he’s a former Green Beret. He’s faced a hell of a lot worse. Yeah, drivers in Florida can’t drive for shit, but Lucky knows that, and I know he’s being as safe as he can be.
Charlie: Okay, last question. Leo, what’s one thing that King does you find cute or adorable that he will probably kill you for telling us.
Leo: I don’t think he’d kill me for telling you anything, but he does plenty of really sweet things. He loves leaving notes for me. They’re often sarcastic and hilarious. When he leaves for work early in the morning, I’m usually asleep from having gone to bed late working, so when I get up, I find Post-It notes he’s left for me. They’re everywhere. On his pillow, on the mirror in the bathroom, on the fridge, on my favorite coffee mug, my computer screen. Sometimes it’s a ridiculous fact, sometimes it just says, “I love you”. It’s really adorable.
Charlie: Thank you so much for joining us today, and thank you to all our readers for supplying questions. I’m sure the guys will be back for more soon!