The wait was the hardest part.
As we sat in our assigned room, I found my knees bouncing uncontrollably and my heart slamming in my chest. I knew that our case was amazing compared to theirs but as minutes ticked by, I became more and more worried. What was taking them so long? Shouldn't it be obvious?
But I had to keep myself together for the boy I held in my arms. As soon as we walked in, his brave facade crumbled away piece by piece until he was crying in my arms. I knew it would be hard for him, hard for both of us, but to see him fade from calm and collected to a crying mess...it hurt me and made me even more nervous, especially because they'd been deliberating for almost two hours. Probably over Trey's BS of "oh we were just playing a bit rough" and "boys will be boys". My jaw clenched.
"Calmati. Sono qui. Giusto qui. (Take it easy. I'm here. Right here.)" I comforted as I held him a bit tighter. He'd retired from crying, but his breathing was uneven. He hadn't said a word since we walked in, though I couldn't blame him. Yeah, I was going against boys on my team that I'd known since I was little but was probably going to forget about in less than four years, but Madison was going against his father. Really the only family he had left. My chest was tight as I kissed his forehead. He buried his head further into my chest.
"What if we don't win, Noah?" Madison asked so softly that I almost missed it. "I don't think I could handle that. I'm so scared and..." he choked on a sob but tried to silence it by biting down on his bottom lip.
"Baby, baby, baby..." I softly cooed as I readjusted him so that he was straddling my waist and eye level with me. "We're going to win, okay? You saw them out there, didn't you? Their defense was held together by gum and spit and our defense was rock solid."
I was trying to reaffirm everything to myself.
"But what if they all think the same, eh? That we're abominations o-or we deserve everything that happened? And if my dad gets out, good God, he might finish what he started or hurt you or-"
I kissed him gently, stopping him the only way I knew how in order to keep him from falling into a hysteric fit. He pulled away and pressed his forehead to mine. "I'm scared, Noah, and I don't know what to do."
"Me too," I admitted. "But here's what I do know, we have each other. And Connor. And Nona. But most importantly, each other. We will protect each other and love each other and do whatever we need. You said it'll be hard right? But it's all worth it. I won't let any of those bastard hurt you alright? Never again."
"Alright," he nodded before he closed his eyes and breathed. "Alright."
I hugged him and held him for the longest time until there was a low knock on the door before Mr. Daye walked in. "They've reached their verdict, boys," he said, causing my heart to race. But I kept my cool. I looked at Madison, asking him the silent question and he nodded before he climbed off of me and wiped his face, though his eyes were still red. I got up too and wrapped my arm around his waist before we got up and followed Mr. Daye our. No matter what we were united. No matter what, I loved him.
We walked down the aisle and returned to our designated place. I tried to read the jury as I walked but they were like statues, emotionless and cold. My blood boiled when I saw Madison's father and my team mates sitting there looking like they'd won.
Lord please don't let them win.
Once we sat the judge looked at the jury. "Jury, have you reached your verdict?"
"Yes your honor," a man said as he stood up as a representative. Madison and I slid our hands together. This decision could determine what we have to go through from here on out. I took a deep breath. "Your honor, we the jury find the defendants in this case...guilty of all charges."
I stood there frozen and though I could hear commotion around us, all I could focus on was one thing: Madison. "We did it?" He whispered, more of a question than a statement.
I smiled. "Yeah, baby. I think we did."
Tears of joy instantly filled his eyes and before I knew it, his lips were on mine in a passionate, joyful kiss. I smiled against his lips before he wrapped his arms around me and hugged me. "We did it! Oh my God, I can't believe we did it..." he trailed, his smile falling once his eyes landed on his father and the team. "I...I thought this would feel sweeter," he admitted.
I turned him around so he couldn't see his father any more. "It's okay. We're okay. They'll be okay. Let's just celebrate that, alright?"
He nodded before I turned to Mr. Daye and extended my hand to him. "Thank you so much."
"You're welcome," he said with a grin before he used his hand to motion for us to exit. We were about to go before Mr. William's said, "Madison!"
Madison turned and looked at him.
"It's okay. I forgive you. I know you'll straighten yourself back out and when you do that, you will be my son again."
I flipped him off before I pulled Madison along, ignoring the hateful things my ex-teammates were shouting at us as we walked toward my Nona and Connor and Emma who had smiles on their faces. "I'm so proud of you, Miele," she said as she hugged both of us. "You've finally got your justice."
"True that," Connor said as he wrapped his arms around us as well.
"Thank you," I said as I looked at them. "All of you."
Emma smiled. "No problem."
I looked at Madison and he still looked a bit down. I lifted myself on my toes and whispered in his ear, "We're going to do something very special when we get home." This causes him to raise an eyebrow and smile.
"Oh are we?"
I bit my bottom lip to constrict my smile and nodded.
We didn't stay much longer after that. After assuring Connor and Nona that we were okay and just needed some time together, we headed back to Madison's apartment, but not before Connor could kindly remind us to "wrap up" and "try glow in the dark lube". I blushed like a tomato the whole ride home. But once we made it into the apartment, you couldn't keep us off of each other. Through our kisses we conveyed exactly how much we loved each other, our joy, our pride, our everything.
"Noah," Madison breathed as I began kissing down his neck. His once neat hair was a mess from me running my hands through it and the classy clothes he wore were scattered throughout the apartment.
I hummed in response before I placed open-mouthed kisses on his neck. He sucked in a sharp breath and held me tighter. I felt him beneath me since I was straddling his waist. "Babe, babe, stop, I can't think straight," he said with a chuckle as he pulled away before he cupped my face. "I know you're probably tired of hearing this but, thank you for going through all this with me. I wouldn't have been able to get through it without you."
I smiled and put my hands on top of his. "Why are you thanking me? I'll always stand by your side Madison. You should know that by now."
He grinned. "I guess I should." He leaned in and kissed me, feverish and passionate. I found myself pushing him down so that he was trapped between me and the bed before I continued my endeavors kissing down his neck and toned body. "Noah," he softly said as I kissed down his stomach. His body was tense. I could tell he was struggling.
"Do you want me to stop?"
"God, no," he said as he looked down at me. "It's just...you make me feel so many things and I don't want to risk losing control with you before you're really ready."
I grinned as I repositioned myself so that I was straddling his waist once more and put my face a mere inch above his. "I want this," I whispered. "More than anything."
"Are you sure?" He cautiously asked. "I just don't want you to feel pressured."
I cupped his face and used my thumb to gently tug his bottom lip down revealing his tattoo. "Soffocami (choke me)," I whispered causing him to smile before every semblance of control crumbled away.
Covered in the darkness of night, we gave ourselves to each other in a way I'd never given myself before. We started slow, and semi-messy but as the night went on we lost every speck of fear or self-consciousness. Between the slow moments and the fast passion, the only thing that could be heard was our names spilling from one another's lips. And the feeling of Madison shaking and quivering beneath me with longing in his eyes and sweat covering his beautiful body was the best feeling in the world. And he gave me the best feeling in the world, touching me softly and filling me up. And what we did wasn't an act of desire or thirst. It was love in its purest, most intimate form. I loved it. I loved him.
By the time we were done, we were both breathing heavily and covered in sweat, but we didn't mind as he laid tangled in each other with drunken smiles on our faces as we continued gently kissing each other. "Te amo..." kiss. "Te amo..." kiss. "Te amo..." I whispered as often as I could between the kisses.
"I love you more," Madison chuckled, causing me to smile before I buried my head in his chest.
"Good night, my prince," I tiredly said as I closed my eyes.
"Good night, my king," he said before he kissed my forehead. "And I hope you know that neither of us are going to be doing much walking tomorrow."
I playfully hit his chest, causing him to laugh before he held me tighter and we both fell asleep.