Kip is a young, out college grad slinging health drinks while trying to find a job using his history degree. One day, uber-sexy Scott Hunter drops in to Kip’s smoothie shop for a recovery drink after a long run. Scott is a pro hockey player for the New York Admirals. He’s young, fit, and closeted—and having a terrible season on the ice. The same night after Kip and Scott meet, Scott gets a hat trick (three goals) and is the star of the game. So, he returns for another smoothie, couching his activity as “superstition.”
Kip is enamored with the sexy athlete and happy to help him any way he can. After the second time Scott’s game performance improves following smoothie time, Kip swaps shifts to ensure he’s working the mornings of future Admirals home games. And, Kip’s flirtations lead to Scott offering him tickets to a game for Kip and a friend. Kip’s getting more than a little infatuated, and not even realizing that Scott’s feelings are growing too.
Scott, being closeted, never dated any men in season—and always kept his sexual activity confined to anonymous hook-ups in far off destinations where he wouldn’t be recognized. For the first time in a while, though, he’s intrigued by a guy close to home: Kip.
Unexpectedly meeting at a social event, where Scott was helping to raise money for a worthy cause and Kip was hired waitstaff, brings these men back together following an Admirals road trip. It’s the right moment for Scott to dare—and Kip accepts the invitation Scott lays out. They talk and get to know one another and then the night gets steamy… and their second night together gets even steamier.
But, Scott isn’t willing to come out. Kip, on the other hand, is prepared to date Scott on the super down-low. They manage to keep it going for a few months, actually, getting closer and closer while life gets more and more complicated. Kip’s pals want him to go out and be the wild and free “single” guy they believe him to be, and Scott, well, he’s dealing with team nonsense and fear of discovery. It’s a tense situation that only gets more difficult to manage. I liked how real that felt, the disappointment and frustration of living a half-life with the person who completes you.
Professionally, both Scott and Kip are doing great—Scott’s team is rolling through the playoffs, and Kip’s considering a museum educator job, or even grad school, but they can’t share their personal joy and it’s stifling. Too stifling.
I really got pulled into the feels of this one. Scott and Kip are such sweet characters. They have so much private joy and the juxtaposition in their public lives is all the more cutting, in return. Their mutual loneliness, amidst the people they know and love, is crushing—and more than Kip can take after a while. After he’s already fallen hard and sure for the superstar athlete who can’t live his truth.
It’s a happy ending, though, as Scott realizes that he’s more than the commodity others have made him, and his personal happiness has value, too. I liked the quiet personal coming out, and the more spectacular professional coming out was just as emotionally rewarding. Also, lots and lots of steamy sexytimes. These guys are borderline insatiable. The ending leaves open another window back into this world, with different closeted player in the hockey league finding love.