Title: Ski Weekend
Author: F. Gorden Scott
Length: 11,381 words (34 pdf pages)
Publisher: JMS Books
Genre: m/m contemporary
TJ isn’t queer. Sure, he has sex with men now and again, but he’s usually drunk, so it doesn’t count. He isn’t a fag, and he has a girlfriend to prove it.
After yet another argument with her, though, this one about being stroked by another guy in a hot tub, TJ storms off from their vacation ski resort and takes a walk to try to calm down. As he tries to thumb a lift on the interstate, temperatures plummet and snow begins to fall. TJ realizes he needs help fast, but what little traffic is on the road isn’t stopping to offer it.
Ben Clayton is driving his van home one wintry night and sees something on the side of the interstate. Stopping, he finds a man collapsed by the roadside, close to death.
Rescued by Ben, TJ finds himself wrapped in a sleeping bag with a naked man to share body warmth, and is forced to ask himself some painful questions about his sexuality.
Does TJ have the courage to accept what Ben is offering, or will he retreat back into his straight and safe life? Either way, it will be a ski weekend to remember.
This story starts a bit differently, with TJ and Ben celebrating their one year anniversary, and then hops into how they got there. TJ was firmly in denial about his sexuality, and went to spend the weekend with his rich girlfriend and some friends at a mountain cabin. After drinking and everyone getting in the hot tub, his girlfriend freaks out when she realizes one of the gay guys is stroking her boyfriend. After another blazing row, he decides to have sex with the guys and when she throws him out, he’s determined to walk home. He ends up on the highway and someone picks him up, but when the guy makes a move, he freaks out and is put out on the side of the road in the snow. After walking and very nearly freezing to death, Ben picks him up in his van and warms him.
TJ was a bit of an ass. He refers to the gay guys as faggots, yet he half-flirts with Ben, then freaks out that Ben is going to molest him. Sort of typical closet activity, but it made it hard for me to like him. He’s nearing 30, he says he lives with his parents, he hangs out with rich people, fights with his girlfriend, gets drunk, not someone very admirable. However spending time with Ben when they finally reach his cabin makes him think. Ben is very open-minded, and you presume bi if not gay, and TJ starts asking questions, about being gay, gay sex, and how men feel in relationships.
Ben doesn’t really answer him outright, and waits for TJ to make the first move, when it’s revealed he’s not much more experienced than TJ is with men. The ending is a bit of a cliché, with him going back to confront the raging girlfriend, but refusing to engage, and then leaving her shocked with the existence of Ben. Still, it was rather satisfying.
You don’t know much about Ben, but TJ definitely grows during the story. He had the time to work out in his head what he really wanted, why he was hiding what he was, and finally was willing to open himself up. I just found his initial behaviour a little off-putting. Still, it was an interesting read and the weather scenes were well done, having grown up where it’s very cold, it rang true to me.