Chapter Twenty-One

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TRISTAN

"Good game, twinkle toes," I yelled enthusiastically at Marvel. I bent down in front of her and opened my arms. She wrapped her small arms around my neck with a wide smile and squealed when I lifted her from the ground.

Today a miracle happened. Usually, it was Trinity or one of her other teammates scoring all the goals, but today, Marvel scored one. It was beautifully placed in the net and when she scored, she couldn't even believe it herself. She pinched herself before flailing her arms in the air. I thought Nya was going to bust a lung from screaming so hard and loud, while at the moment, I was completely speechless.

"How did it feel to get your first goal, soccer star," I asked her before kissing her forehead. She shyly giggled and rested her head on my shoulder. "Aw, come on, don't be shy. You made your first goal, baby girl. I'm so proud of you. There's plenty more to come."

"Thanks, daddy," Marvel said before kissing my cheek. I cringed at the "daddy" part, but I smiled before putting her back down on the ground.

Milo instantly wrapped his arms around his big sister and squeezed her tight. "Cool goal, Velly!"

Marvel barely got Milo off his two feet as she picked him up and hugged him tighter. "Thanks, Lolo! Whoa, you're getting heavy," she barely got out before she put him down. She wiped imaginary sweat from her forehead and I looked back at Nya to catch her laughing at the interaction. "Daddy, can we go get ice cream," she asked me with hopeful eyes.

"It's Papa, not Daddy," Milo corrected Marvel.


Marvel scrunched up her eyebrows but didn't question her little brother. Instead, she kept begging me and resorted to jumping up and down to make sure she kept my attention. "Can we get ice cream? Can we? Can we, please? Pretty, pretty please."


I bent down so I was eye level with Marvel. She put her hands on my shoulders and kept jumping. "Pretty please with a berry on top!"

I chuckled and slowly shook my head. "We had ice cream earlier, baby girl," I whispered to her so Nya wouldn't hear. She'd have a stroke if she knew I gave the kids ice cream before noon. "Plus, I think ice cream with a cherry on top sounds better. How about we go to Rocket's instead?"

"Rocket's," Milo screamed as he attempted to jump on my back. He was digging his feet into my back while obnoxiously trying to get on. I laughed as I looked back at his struggling face. Little idiot.

"Stop kicking your papa in the back, Milo. You know she's getting old," Nya said as she picked up Milo. "And Rocket's sounds fun. We should see if Trinity, Malcolm and Makayla want to come."

"Lani too," Milo added as he played with his curls.

"Lani too," Nya agreed with a nod.

"Fun! I'll ask," Marvel yelled before running over to the other family, who were having a conversation across the field.

I followed behind Marvel just to make sure she would relay over the plans correctly. Sometimes she got too excited when talking to people. Asking them if they wanted to go to Rocket's could quickly just turn to her going on a tangent about whether Spiderman could defeat a dragon or some other outlandish sh-t.

"Sick goal, Marvel! I'm so proud of you, friend," Trinity said as she hugged Marvel. The two girls began chatting and giggling and I think Marvel forgot the actual reason we walked over here.

I greeted Makayla with a hug and Malcolm with a handshake and nodded over at Leilani. "What are y'all planning on doing after the game?"

"We were thinking about heading to Rocket's. We were going to ask if you guys wanted to come," Malcolm said. He spoke to me, but he wasn't looking me in the eyes. He was normally an eye contact kind of person, but he found the blades of grass more interesting than me at the moment.

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