In which the boys blow off steam with a friendly game of basketball:
He rolled the basketball in his hands, thinking. It was years back, but Redford could still remember the way the kids used it. Experimentally, he threw it at the ground, intending to catch it when it came back up. Unfortunately, it bounced off at an angle and away from him, leaving Redford watching in confusion as it rolled into a corner. He chased after it, picked it up, and tried again, with the same result.
Basketball was a lot harder than it looked.
“You’ll have to teach me how to play,” Redford admitted. When he turned back to Jed, he found the man standing there where he’d left him, a strange smile on his face. It wasn’t the usual one, the charm and the confidence and the wink-nudge of a man hiding behind them. This was softer. Tender, almost.
Without a word, Jed reached out to him, drawing him in, so gently, almost like he was afraid. With his fingers hooked behind Redford’s jaw, he brought him closer, until their lips touched in the barest breath of connection. Redford had never seen fireworks, but he’d heard them described once. The description seemed strangely similar to the burst of sensation low in his stomach, the excitement that tripped his heart an extra beat. Jed was kissing him again, and it might have been the most amazing experience Redford had ever known.
“I’m pretty sure that’s not involved in basketball,” Redford said quietly.