Thanks to Lisa for letting me drop by to talk about the re-release of my short story Rivals. I’m excited to be here discussing a story that’s set in the holiday season, starting at Thanksgiving and ending for Christmas. In the spirit of the season I’d like to give away a free copy of the ebook to some lucky commenter on this post.
THIS CONTEST IS CLOSED
For Mitchell and Alex, reconnected at the holidays is the opportunity to explore something they’d ignored years before. Of course it’s not easy to admit the feelings you’ve got while in high school. Regardless of the type of relationship you’re trying to have—girl/boy, boy/boy, girl/girl—even in the most accepting and safe environment it can be difficult as a teenager to admit you’ve got a crush on someone. These two had the deck stacked against them, not only was neither of them out during high school, but they played hockey for opposing schools.
When they meet again as college graduates, most of the rivalry’s gone, but for Mitchell there’s the years of lust he felt for the guy he stared at over the face-off dot every time they met up for a game. Finally they can start to make up for not talking during high school, or even connecting during their college years.
It’s one of those instances where people just don’t take the chance to talk to someone they’re interested in. Your mind can concoct a million reasons not to do something. Even Alex admits during their catch up that he’d thought about reaching out to Mitchell during college because he was covering the team Mitchell played for. Alex just never had the courage to go for it. So, in this case, fate brought the two guys together Thanksgiving morning. Now that fate’s done its work, it’s up to the guys to sort out the way forward.
Below is an excerpt, showing how they spent a little of that Thanksgiving Morning. Not surpassingly it happens at an ice rink where Mitchell and his younger brother Trevor are catching up with each other with a little one-on-one competition. Alex walks in for an early skate and Mitchell’s old feelings are quickly rekindled.
EXCERPT: I took the puck off Trevor’s stick and started skating around in random patterns. “Come on, Trev, “ I said tauntingly, “get the puck.”
As soon as he started to skate, I turned on the backwards speed and put some distance between us. We kept at it for a couple minutes before he finally faked me out and claimed the puck.
“And Mitchell Turner has the puck stripped off his stick by his persistent younger brother, Trevor.” A man stood on the first level of bleachers, applauding.
“Holy shit, Alex Goodman,” I said, louder than I’d intended.
I hadn’t seen Alex since my senior year of high school hockey ended. We were cross-county rivals then. I had a wicked crush on him, too. He’d gotten even better looking during the past four years—a red goatee now accentuated his blazing red hair. The tight, long-sleeved workout shirt showed off his chest in eye-popping detail. I sprinted to the boards where we bumped fists and shook hands. “I didn’t think we’d run into anyone else this morning. What’re you up to?”
“Came down to get a skate in before spending the day with the family,” he said. His deep voice was incredibly sexy. I didn’t remember him sounding like this. “Man, it’s been forever. I don’t think we’ve seen each other since you guys knocked us out of the race for the state championship our senior year.”
I thought about that for a moment. “I think you’re right.”
Alex was built—all I wanted to do right now was feel up his biceps. His green eyes were as mesmerizing as ever. I’d had a hard time concentrating on face-offs against him because all I wanted to do was stare into his eyes and get to know him.
The one time I’d seen him away from a rink was during the summer between our junior and senior years. I ran into him at the mall. I don’t remember what we talked about, but seeing him in shorts, which exposed his muscular, lightly hairy legs, and how his t-shirt clung to his chest made that day perfect. It was jack-off material for months as I imagined what was under those clothes and what I’d like to do to him if I could get him naked.
“What’re you up to these days?” I asked, keeping the conversation appropriate as Trevor skated around behind me.
“I cover sports for the Free Press—Michigan and Red Wings hockey during the season and then whatever they assign me to in the off. What about you?”
“Working in sports marketing out in San Francisco.”
“Nice. Sounds like a sweet gig.”
“It’s pretty good. We do a fair bit with the Sharks, so I like that part a lot.”
“I wrote about you quite a bit while I was interning during school. You certainly earned your keep with the Wolverines.”
My face got hot. I must have turned several shades of red. His eyes were working on me just like they used to, making it hard to focus.
BLURB: Mitchell Turner and Alex Goodman squared off over a face-off dot throughout high school. Their schools were cross-country rivals. Those face-offs were tough on Mitchell because he harbored a huge crush on Alex. High school, and college, are behind the guys and they meet unexpectedly on Thanksgiving Day, once again on the ice. Mitchell is home for the holidays and is thrilled to see his crush all grown up.
Alex asks Mitchell out for coffee to catch up. Could this be the start of something magical for the holidays … and beyond?
BIO: Jeff Adams caught the writing bug in middle school and finally became a novelist with the Hat Trick series, which will conclude in 2015. He’s also written a number of m/m romance shorts. Jeff and his husband, Will, left the hustle and bustle of New York City to return to the more peaceful lifestyle of Humboldt County, California, during the summer of 2014, which allows more time for him to write. Extending his love of hockey beyond novels, Jeff covers the Detroit Red Wings, as well reviews books that feature LGBT hockey players, for PuckBuddys.com. To learn more about Jeff, visit jeffadamswrites.com and follow him on Twitter at @hockeyguynyc.