A year ago Neil had been a scared nobody, hating himself for signing the Foxes’ contract and counting down days until he moved in with Wymack. Tonight he was the starting striker for the first-ranked team in the NCAA. In two years he’d be captain, and in four he’d graduate from Palmetto State. Neil would find a professional team first and then fight tooth and nail to make the cut for Court. Neil could already imagine the weight of an Olympics medal around his neck. He didn’t even care what color it was so long as it was his.
Better than that bright future was what he already had: a court that would always be home, a family who’d never give up on him, and Andrew, who for once hadn’t wasted their time denying that this thing between them might actually mean something to both of them. Neil hadn’t even noticed the silence at first, too distracted by his dizzying thoughts. Now he couldn’t help but smile and pull Andrew in.
This was everything he wanted, everything he needed, and Neil was never letting go.