This picture made me shiver and reach for my furry boots. The thick drifts reminded me of Adam and Michael, stranded in Michigan's Upper Peninsula by the snowstorm of the century.
Excerpt from The Reason for the Season by Chrissy Munder
Adam collapsed on the motel bed. His back flopped onto the faded, blue plaid bedspread with boneless satisfaction, long legs dangling uselessly off the end. He knew he should take off his coat and boots, hang his wet pants to dry and see if Michael needed help with his hand. But right now he just wanted to lay back, bask in the heat produced by the rattling unit under the window, and do absolutely nothing. “We made it,” he said, staring up at the stained ceiling tiles.
“We sure did,” Michael replied as he picked up the remote control for the television and clicked through the stations to the weather channel. “I think those were the longest miles of my life.”
Adam nodded in agreement. His eyes closed as he remembered their slow journey to find an exit from the highway. The single wiper only worked a short distance before being overwhelmed by the volume of snow and needed repeated stops to be cleared off enough to continue. They had been lucky to find a development off the exit complete with services. Most of the off-ramps in this part of the state were miles away from any type of population center.
“I’m sorry about the motel room.” Michael sat down on the other bed and unlaced his boots, grimacing as he irritated his cut. “You sure this is okay?”
“It’s not like we have a choice.” Adam propped himself up on his elbows. “Besides, I live in a dorm. This is four times the size.” He tried to sound unflustered, but the truth was Adam was a little weirded out by the situation. Sheer luck had scored the last available room at the motel; with the roads being closed they weren’t the only ones seeking shelter. But no matter how comfortable he felt around him, Michael was someone he had just met today and didn’t know anything about. Sharing a motel room was a lot different than riding in a car for a few hours.
“Right. I forgot.”
Michael’s boots hit the floor with a thud, and Adam watched as he pulled his socks off as well and rubbed his feet. He didn’t want to be caught staring, but this was his first real chance to get a look at Michael. Adam was surprised at how much he liked what he saw. His initial impressions had been accurate, but not nearly enough to do Michael justice.
This guy was absolutely gorgeous, with high Slavic cheekbones and an amazingly shy smile. Adam had yet to get a chance to see the color of his eyes as Michael seemed uncomfortable meeting his gaze, and it eventually dawned on Adam that Michael was nervous.
Well, damn. Adam thought he knew what the problem was. “Look, Michael,” he said slowly, the words bitter on his tongue. “Yes, I’m gay, but that doesn’t mean you have anything to worry about, okay? I appreciate you footing the bill here. I’m not looking to jump you.”
“What?” Michael’s head jerked up and his eyes, a rich, espresso brown met Adam’s. “No, that’s not… I’m not….” He took a deep breath. “I don’t want you think I set this up, you know?”
“Right, like you’d conjure up the storm of the century just to get a chance with me,” Adam joked, more interested than he wanted to be in Michael’s unspoken acknowledgement. The monosyllabic hardass who had picked him up had been lost somewhere along the snow-covered miles.
The Reason for the Season available from Dreamspinner Press.
All college student Adam Everett is trying to do is get to his sister’s house for holiday break. First his car breaks down, then his ride takes off to Vegas with his gas money, forcing Adam to come up with a Plan C. His last hope is a campus ride exchange, where he ends up with the reluctant Michael Brennan. When a “snowpocalypse” forces them to share a motel room, they soon find out there's more than one reason for the chance happenings of the season.
Warm up your Winter with other stories by Chrissy Munder:
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Thank you, Chrissy! What horrid weather in your story and the pic! (And that's what it looks like outside right now.) Now I need to read the rest!