Title: About Damn Time
Author: Elizabeth Jewell
Length: 14 pages, 3700 words.
Publisher: Torquere Press
Genre: M/M, contemporary, erotica
Blurb: Troy and Jason have been best friends forever — or at least since first grade. Lately, though, Troy wants more. A drunken make-out session makes him think Jason might want more, too, but Troy is afraid to push things for fear of ruining their friendship.
When a vintage Mustang enters the picture, though, Troy makes a hasty bet with Jason that will change their relationship forever. Are they ready to take the leap from friends to lovers?
Review: This sassy little short is a real treat, assuming you take to the main characters’ voices, like I did :).
The reader is thrown straight into the partnership, best friends since school, fiercely protective of each other, completely relaxed in each other’s company. They’re both happily and comfortably gay: Troy… liked the way men looked, the way they smelled, the way they felt when they were sweaty and a little gritty from a good day’s work.
Troy and Jason are close in their social life and their habits and even their dating likes. There’s no particular angst or conflict, but there’s an obvious sparkle to their companionship that’s a real pleasure to observe. You can feel it’s more than friendship, you know it’s more :). Despite the title, there isn’t the common trope of anguished, unrelieved sexual tension between them. It’s just sexy, tantalising tension instead, waiting for something to change in its own good time. Or in this particular case, for Troy to make a move!
They have a young man’s casual attitude to sex with other partners, though the references in this story are brief, establishing the fact they’re sexually active, not dating elsewhere. The central core is the friendship.
The author’s style is a delight, with some vivid analogies: the paint job was a vivid, brilliant blue, like a Rocky Mountain sky on a cloudless summer day. She does well to trade heavily on the dialogue, as that’s how the characters shine through. There are other descriptions of the car and the garage and Jason’s art work, but only as background. Their banter is witty and easy and realistic. It even makes “Dude” feel familiar to my non-Dude background! They don’t talk about their feelings, but it’s not in a Big Misunderstanding way, but in the fact that they understand so much about each other already: “You should sell that sculpture. The one you made at Christmas, with the chariot-thing.” Troy normally would have been hesitant to say it, but he was tired and the grease on Jason’s hands made him sad.
Jason shrugged, didn’t meet Troy’s eyes. “Don’t have it anymore. Took it apart.”
Troy wasn’t sure what to say to that, so he said nothing.
When it arrives, the sex is very hot and totally in keeping with the characters. He stroked Jason’s tongue with his, then ripped Jason’s shirt open. Buttons pinged against the bright blue metal of the car. I had a smile on my face :).
The details and description of Jason’s art work are very sketchy, hinting at his lack of confidence in that side of his life. And I confess I did wonder why they hadn’t made a move on each other before now. Many close friendships come up against that at some stage or other. But these weren’t serious niggles.
It was a pleasure to read, too short for my liking, and I’m looking forward to the follow up. I rate it A.
by pettyprose…my opinion alone.