My next LGBTQ hockey romance, Shutdown Pair, will release on May 6th. To get everyone in the mood for Heath and Wyatt's novella, let's have a blog exclusive excerpt and teaser!
I needed to work on ways to build a lasting impression.
Sitting in a sports bar, still reeking of onions, while cheering on our pro hockey team is great. It’s super fun. Good-times buddy moments, male bonding and yadda yadda. It doesn’t help whittle away at a huge brick wall that stands between you and the object of your obsession. I mean devotion. And there were no ifs, ands or buts, Wyatt was rapidly becoming an obsession. When a man lies awake at night to watch another man sleep, that’s insane crazy. It’s wrong. It’s “teenage girl being scoped out by ancient yet eternally young and overly combed glittery vampire while she snoozes” sick. I’d done it two nights in a row. I was worse than an emo bloodsucker. For fuck’s sake, I embarrassed myself.
Yet I just kept watching him sleep while lurid, sexual fantasies spun madly inside my head. Around and around they went, dirty images in the washing machine of my mind. The only problem was that despite all the agitation, my thoughts were never clean. They were just as filthy as they were when the cycle started—sometimes even dirtier. I wondered if the Maytag repairman could fix that?
A roar went up from the crowd. We were playing Boston away. One of our wingers had taken a swing at the Boston captain. I raised my beer to our determined yet tiny player.
“Bless you, my son,” I murmured into my mug as the Boston captain pounced on our man.
Everyone inside the Pickled Puss was on his or her feet. Wyatt was seated beside me—the table we were at was packed with Fishers. We gathered there whenever we could during the week to watch hockey, drink beer and try to keep team spirit from flagging. When you only see each other on Saturdays, it’s tough to keep the right mentality. Wyatt was quietly eating salted cashews. He had nursed that one beer for over two hours. I was on my third. Fourth. Fifth, maybe? Hmm. Hard to recall. The man never truly relaxed. Not even at home. The only time he wasn’t guarded was when he slept. Then his features fell to reveal something that Donatello could easily have sculpted. And there I went again, getting weird.
“You want a fresh one?” I shouted to be heard. Wyatt shook his head and pushed to his feet.
“I’m going to go piss,” Wyatt yelled, then disappeared into the incensed crowd.
The five other guys at our table sat down. I reached for a pretzel. Don reached for the pitcher in the middle of the sticky table. I nodded when he held the pitcher over my mug.
“Got to give the man points for sheer courage,” Don said. I looked at the nearest wall-mounted set. Yep. Our man had gotten pounded but he did manage to bloody the nose of the Boston captain. Not a small feat. I raised my mug in respect. “I’d walk away from that dude. Where’d he go?” Don asked, waving his mug at Wyatt’s empty chair.
“Had to take a leak.” I grabbed a handful of nuts and dumped them into my mouth.
“What do you think about him?” Don asked, leaning his thick forearms on the table.
I chewed as I thought. It wouldn’t do to let something stupid slip out. Like that I thought I wanted to trade places with the sleeping bag that covered him nightly.
“I went through his wallet.”
Oh wow, that was so much better a thing to admit. I should have just confessed I wanted to try shaving my armpits to see if the smell after a hockey game would lessen. Really. That’s the only reason I think about it. It has nothing to do with admiring how women, and gay men who manscape, look. Nope. Not one thing. The team looked at me as if I’d just admitted I’d been the one to cancel Friends.
Slinging burgers in Minnesota in the dead of winter isn’t exactly the Hemingway lifestyle aspiring writer Heath has dreamed of. About the only thing the quick-witted wordsmith has going for him is his pick-up hockey league games every Saturday. Now it looks like even that’s gone south, along with the team’s AWOL goalie.
That is until mysterious Wyatt Dickenson skates into town and announces that he can tend net. Heath isn’t the type to turn down such a generous offer from a Greek god with impressive equipment and all the right moves.
Heath offers to share his rented room with the enigmatic drifter, and soon begins to suspect that Wyatt is harboring a secret. Can Heath get Wyatt to open up about his dark past? Is there a dark past? Or is Heath’s writer’s mind just spinning sexy, shadowy scenarios about the mystery man who has him so infatuated?