Recently divorced Zack inherits a tidy sum that enables him to move to the country. Still recovering, his interest is piqued when he meets his gorgeous neighbour, Richard, who is well-loved throughout town. Despite this, Richard doesn’t have a partner, as his medical problems discouraged potential lovers in the past from entering into something more permanent with him.
As Zack is a city boy, he’s completely unprepared for winter in a small town in the country. When a severe snowstorm takes out the power at his house, Richard invites him over to a warm, welcoming home. Cut off from the rest of the world, will the two men become more than friends and neighbours? What will happen once the roads are cleared and they’re free to go their separate ways again?
"Yes, come on in. My book and whisky club had to cancel, so the company will be nice for a bit." Richard opens the door a little wider in offer.
Zack stamps snow off of his boots and steps inside. "Thank you. Book and whisky club?"
Richard closes the door behind them. "Pretty much how it sounds. A group of us have a book club. We read a book, meet up to talk about it, but when we do, we all chip in for some good whisky to drink while we talk."
"Okay to take my layers off? And that sounds really cool. Back in the city I used to go to poker nights. Those were fun. Gonna start one at my house, have my friends come up and stay, cook, drink too much." Zack smiles. He's been thinking about it a lot. He doesn't want to lose track of his friends now that he's moved.
"You can hang everything on that post. Poker, you any good?" Richard asks.
Zack starts stripping off layers. "I'm not bad. Do you play? You're more than welcome to come join us for a game."
"I do play. Been a while since I had a proper game. But I'm sure you and your friends don't want an old man hanging around and taking your money." Richard winks at the last part.
Zack laughs. "You make it sound like I'm eighteen and you're seventy. You're not old enough I'd feel bad about taking your money."
"Come warm up by the fire, and we can argue about who'd take whose money." Richard leads the way over to his sitting area, and gestures to one of the seats close to the open fire.
Zack sits down and looks at the photos on the mantel. There's one of a wedding, Richard in a suit kissing a beautiful plump woman in a white wedding dress.
"You're married?" Zack blurts.
"Not anymore. She wanted different things. Still good friends. Honestly, best friends and better than before, but I'm a bachelor. I, um, hear you got divorced before you moved here. Small town, people gossip. Your realtor is in my book group," Richard explains, and Zack has to hide that he's pleased that Richard isn't dating anyone. They might not have talked about their backgrounds, but they've had nice conversations out front of their houses, and Zack is definitely crushing on Richard. Not just because of his sexy silver beard and deep brown eyes. Those appeal to part of Zack, but not all of him. It's the humor and kindness he sees in Richard that has him feeling like he's back in high school.
"I did. We're not friends anymore. I didn't tell Greg, the house guy, why, but my wife left me. Divorce went through just before my grandfather passed and left me some money, so I guess timing could have been worse. She didn't get half." Zack sighs, feeling the familiar hurt and sorrow clawing up his chest. He wonders if this is how Richard feels all the time, the tightness, and it's on the tip of his tongue to ask, when Richard speaks.
"I'm sorry. Divorce can be rough. Do you want a whisky?" Richard offers.