Asher throws the last of his stuff in the trunk of his car and slams it shut. There’s not much. He’d sold a lot of his things when they lost the house and he wanted some extra cash. He’s tempted to do that again now, knowing he’ll probably need some money for gas and food.
This reminds him so much of the night he packed up and left after his dad kicked him out that he has to stop and take a deep breath. He’s not going to get upset over this. He’s made his choice.
He’s been trying so hard to make things right with everyone. With Olivia. With Layla. With the team. The first two are the only ones that haven’t been treating him like shit lately. Even after he one the game, the team have still been keeping him at a distance. They’re clearly not happy he’s back. He understands why, but it still hurts.
The worst one is Jordan. His best friend. Or ex best friend he supposes. They’ve been able to work together on the field, but off…
He’s fucked that up so bad he doubts there’s anything he can do to fix it.
Which is why he’s leaving.
He’s about to get in his car when a car comes peeling into the driveway. It parks sideways, blocking him in. It’s only then that he realizes it’s Jordan’s car.
Asher sighs and leans against his car. He crosses his arms and watches as Jordan jumps out of the car.
“What the fuck Asher?”
“Care to elaborate?” Asher asks him.
“I talked to my dad,” Jordan tells him. “He said you quit the team because you’re moving?”
Asher shrugs, “That’s true.”
“What the hell dude? You can’t just quit. You just got put back on the team!”
“I'm on the team again, but I’m not part of it. You know that.”
“Asher it’ll take time,” Jordan says. “You can’t just expect things to go back to the way they were right away.”
“I don’t, and I’m not sure if I want them to,” Asher admits. “I’ve been through a lot over the past year, Jordan. More than anyone ever cared to notice. And yeah, things got a little out of control. I made mistakes. But I was hurting. I still am. So yeah, I’m leaving. I’m going someplace where I can get a fresh start.”
“What about football?” Jordan asks him.
Asher laughs, “Seriously? That’s what you're asking me about?”
“It’s important to you,” Jordan says. “And you’re just going to give that up?”
“I’m giving up a lot more than football,” Asher tells him. “And football isn’t near as important as that.”
“Please don’t go,” Jordan says suddenly, his tone pleading. “Please. We need you here. I need you here.”
“I’m sorry,” Jordan says, his voice breaking around the words. “I am. I fucked up, okay? And yes, you did too. But that doesn’t make the way I treated you okay. You’re my best friend. I should have talked to you. I should have noticed something wasn’t right and helped you. But I’ve been so wrapped up in myself that I didn’t.”
“It’s okay,” Asher says. “You’re angry. I get it.”
“I really don’t think you do,” Jordan says. “I was angry about the Olivia thing. Partly because she’s my sister, and I love her. I don’t want to see her hurt. But…”
“I was jealous,” Jordan says. “I thought I’d lost my chance. I’d taken too long and…”
“And what?” Asher questions. He steps away from the car, and closer to Jordan. “What are you saying?”
“I’m saying that I love you, you asshole. You piss me off, and you drive me crazy. But I’m in love with you. So I was angry, but mostly at myself for being angry.”
“You’re an idiot.”
Jordan scoffs, “Yeah, thanks Ash. I know that.”
“No, I mean… You didn’t screw anything up.”
Asher shakes his head, “No. You didn’t. There isn’t going to be some magical fix for this. But I guess I could be persuaded to stick around and work things out.”
“Persuaded how?” Jordan asks him.
Asher trails his hand up Jordan’s chest and grins, “I think you can figure out a way.”
Asher rolls his eyes, “I love you too. Now shut up and kiss me.”
Jordan apparently doesn’t need to be told twice. He pulls Asher closer with a hand fisted in his shirt, while the other tangles in his hair. His lips are as soft as Asher always imagined they would be as they meet his.
They pull back when a horn honks from the end of the driveway. A moment later a car door slams, and then Layla appears. She looks between the two and gestures towards Jordan’s car.
“You do know you’re blocking the driveway.”
Jordan gives her an apologetic smile, “Sorry, but I had to make sure someone didn’t leave.”
“And did it work?”
Jordan turns to Asher, “I don’t know. Did it?”
He’s trying for casual, but Asher can see the nerves there. He smiles and rests his head against Jordan’s. “I’m staying.”
They still have a lot to work through, but for the first time in a while, Asher believes they can.