The world of men’s professional tennis has been ruled by the same six men for more than a decade. There have been a handful of shock upsets and victories snatched by underdogs, but they’re few and far between. Now, the next generation are done being denied and have come knocking.
When the time comes, Soren Norgaard knows that the world expects him to lead the charge and take his place at the top of his sport. He’s focused and lethal on the court, until he isn’t. Sometimes the past, no matter how comfortable and familiar, doesn’t fit anymore and needs to be left behind. Soren’s past doesn’t want to let him go, but his future is coming fast whether he’s ready or not.
Elias Engström has been in love with Soren for as long as he has known him. The race for titles, for glory and their day in the spotlight has always been less all-consuming because he knows that there is an entire life stretching out when he leaves the court for the last time. A life that, for the first time, might include Soren in the way Elias wants him. Everything he wants is within reach, if Elias is willing to fight for it.
Order of Play, Book 1
Packing up to leave another place, another tournament finished without finding something of Matisse’s in with his things… it feels less like a loss than a new beginning.
Soren hasn’t missed the glances from Theó and Angeline, watching him like he is as fragile as the glass trophy he won four years ago in Florida at the Delray Beach 250.
Soren still isn’t entirely sure what the glass trophy is supposed to resemble, but he’s never felt less breakable.
His grandmother had been fond of a story about a young palm tree and an old oak tree. He had heard it many times over the years, no two retellings exactly the same, and her ever-changing mix of Danish and English garbling any recount he might give. But the meaning had stayed with him.
It doesn’t matter how strong the mighty oak stands or how deep his roots may go—there will always be a storm with winds that can bring him down. The palm who is built to bend? Now, he will survive the storm that felled the oak.
“Bøje, elskede,” she had whispered, like it was the deepest, darkest secret she had ever kept. “Bend so you do not break.”
Soren had always tried to live by it, but he understands it now like he hadn’t ever before. It had felt like he’d broken for a moment there, bent so far that it seemed impossible to ever stand upright again beneath the weight of the wind and the darkness. When the wind had eased and the clouds had cleared, he had stayed bent for a moment longer, not believing it was gone.
Now, upright and basking in the sun again, the next storm does not seem half as frightening.
The sun is always there just behind the clouds, after all.
Today the sun is filtering through the curtains of his hotel room, and Paris awaits.
Brooke Edwards is an Australian LGBTQ+ author and dreamer who got her start in fanfiction, and then started listening to the people in her head and writing up the incident reports afterwards. She’s a disaster masquerading as a functional adult, addicted to coffee and hopelessly obsessed with her dog.
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