A coming-of-age love story with high school, hockey rivalry, friendship, family, and coming out.
Soren’s life changes in an instant when he and his younger brother are adopted by hockey royalty. Making sense of his new life is hard enough, but when he’s enrolled in a private school it means facing a whole new set of problems. Navigating friendship, family, and hockey is one thing, but being attracted to the boy who vexes him is a whole new thing..
Felix has a reputation to protect. He's the kid who seems to have everything but looks can be deceiving. Spinning lies about his perfect life, he’s created a fantasy world that even he has started to believe. Only, it’s not long before everything crumbles, all of his pretty lies are revealed, and only his closest rival sees through his pain and stands by him.
Fighting is easy, friendship is hard, but love is everything.
- Off The Ice – http://www.rjscott.co.uk/read-offtheice
- On Thin Ice – Fall 2023
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Just as I was thinking of Felix’s face meeting a fist, he shot to his feet, gave Tyler a shove, and jumped on the smaller guy when Tyler fell off the bench to the floor. I reacted instantly, and was into the fray in a second, rolling Felix off Tyler with a body check that would have cleared any of the Railers off their skates. Not really, but it sounded boss. Tyler was smaller than most, a speed demon on ice, but we protected him—I protected him.
“Get the fuck off me!” Felix snarled, swinging at me as we grappled for control. He was strong, about my height and weight, but I had the advantage. Or I thought I did. He swung back in a flash, clocking me in the mouth. My front teeth dug into my lower lip, and I tasted blood, which kind of pissed me off. We wrestled around amid shouts from our teammates until I managed to get him under control. Mostly.
He was splayed out on the floor, his face pressed into a pair of wet sneakers lying in front of a locker. I put my knee into his back while the other guys scrambled to get Tyler on his feet.
“What the hell, Sinclair?” I barked down at Felix. We never used our full last names, not since he’d decided that having gay days meant I didn’t deserve to inherit both last names. Whatever. He hated that I responded in kind and that was just one more point against the freaking idiot.
“Get off my back, Rowe!” he snarled, adding something else to the comment, which was hard to make out since his face was jammed into a skanky, soggy grey and black Nike belonging to one of the guys who had run here across the sodden field hockey field. Caleb had kicked them off to wring out his socks but had yet to dress his smelly feet yet. Caleb liked to hear us complain about his foot stink for some reason. Dude was weird.
It sounded like Felix might have used a queer slur, but I couldn’t be sure it was the F-word although I’d heard him use it before. He’d should think twice about using that in front of me. My new family was all kinds of queer, as was I and a few other players. Coach also did not put up with any racist, sexist, or queer slurs. I’d already hit him once, way back, when he started shit about my dads, but that had ended up with me in an office with my new dads and wondering if they were going to send me back in the system.
Of course they hadn’t—they loved me and Milo and wanted us as their sons, along side their daughter. We were family and it was all official and everything. Still the thought that I’d disappoint my dads meant I genuinely tried not to rise to Felix and hit him again.
But he’d jumped Tyler, and that wasn’t right.
“That was way cooler than I thought it would be,” I said.
“Yeah, it was.” He smiled so hard and right then I wanted to tug him closer and taste the smile—kiss him until he kissed me back.
Stop with thinking about kissing Soren.
I changed the subject as Felix stared at me curiously. God I hope he couldn’t read minds. “I should talk to my grandfather about his time in the war. He rarely talks about serving but I know he did. What about your family?”
He seemed to stiffen then, the smiling and relaxed Felix melting away to reveal the snippy one I knew far too well. And that made me sad because the smiling Felix was so much nicer to be around.
“What do you care about my family? Why are you always so damned nosy?” His voice was loud, echoing in the small lobby.
“Dude, chill the hell out. You’re like this freaking Jekyll and Hyde. I think I see the real you but then some other monster rears up and snaps off my head. I’m not sure who the real Felix is but you really need to learn to be better. I’m doing my best to be a friend but—”
Tyler walked out of the side entrance to the library, his arms filled with books. Felix ran off after him, leaving me to stew alone. Whatever. I was so over the drama with him.