Neil looked at Kevin and paused, holding his gaze with genuine intensity.  His face was beaded with sweat, but he wasn’t blowing, which meant he was probably fitter than Aaron and Nicky.  All that running had to be good for something.

“This is going to be a long season,” Kevin commented.  He was looking back at Neil like he wasn’t enthused by what he saw.

“I told you I wasn’t ready,” Neil reminded him.

“You also said you wouldn’t play with me, but here you are.”

Neil didn’t reply to that.  Andrew watched with vague interest as Kevin stepped close and wound his fingers into the netting of Neil’s racquet, tugging like he would take it.  He had nearly a foot on Neil and could have easily wrenched it from his hands, but Neil held his ground.  Obsessive, meet the walking definition of the term ‘death grip’.

They were a matched pair, and there was an intensity between them that Kevin always wore but that Andrew had never seen answered like this.  Kevin said, “If you won’t play with me, you’ll play for me.  You’re never going to get there on your own, so give your game to me.”

a freedom sound (do not cherish memory) - chapter three

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