Mason Thompson hates motorbike racing. It’s stupid, pointless, and dangerous. The glorified man-children who partake in this idiocy are even worse. None more so than Liam Ryan.
Liam Ryan is cocky, and he has every reason to be. There’s not a person on the track—or off it—who can get the better of him. He’ll be damned if drop-dead gorgeous paramedic Mason Thompson is the first.
But when events and overzealous bloggers seek to force them even further apart, will they risk everything to be together?
Will they break ground and realise sometimes the greatest risk results in the ultimate reward?
As I double-check the supplies in the medical centre, I tell myself for what has to be at least the ninety-seventh time in the past two hours that this will be good experience and look impressive on my résumé. At twenty-one, I’m in my last year as a paramedical science student; then there’s just two years on-the-job training. If I will indeed be a paramedic, I need to get used to thinking on my feet, working in unfamiliar places and in situations I may not know a lot about. Volunteering at the National Racing Series ticks all of those boxes, even if I think the event is nothing more than an excuse for man-children to strut around and try to figure out who has the biggest… engine.
Motorbike racing is dangerous and frankly unnecessary. All racing is. What does it prove? That the winner can go round a track the fastest? Whoop de doo.
It’s good experience, Mase, I remind myself.
It might be, I reply, but it’s still idiotic.
Great, now I’m talking to myself.
“I told you, Pop, I’m fine,” someone says just outside the doors.
“And Reed is fine trying to take on that nutcase Hunter David,” someone—Pop, I presume—replies. “Just get your arse in there.”
A second later, a guy—he can’t be over eighteen—struts through the door. I say strut because that’s what he does. He has the build all the riders do. Not tall, I’m going for about five nine-ish, slim but strong, solid but not overly so, slightly bow-legged, with longish dark brown hair, deep brown eyes, and a smirk on his face. If I’d seen him on the street, he’s definitely someone I’d give a second glance to. That face…. But meeting him here, knowing what he does? No, thank you.
“Can I help you?” I ask.
“Yeah, my pop wants me to get checked out even though I told him I’m fine,” he says. He’s cradling his right hand, and although he clearly doesn’t want to show it, the edges of his smirk pull slightly.
“Are you in pain?” I ask, stepping forward and grabbing his gloved hand.
I give him my best no-nonsense look. “If you’re in pain, I need you to tell me. Check all that macho he-man shit at the door, all right? Pain is the body’s way of letting us know something isn’t right.”
He hisses as I gently pull off his glove.
“Yeah, not so tough now, are we?” I know I shouldn’t have said that, but I can’t help myself. These guys, they act like they’re doing the world a favour, going round on their bikes at frankly ridiculous speeds.
“Screw you, man,” he says, pulling his hand out of mine. “I came here for help, even though I didn’t want it and I certainly don’t need it.”
“Is that right?”
“Yeah, it is.” He hitches his chin.
“Bend that finger, then.” I motion to his clearly broken index finger. “You can’t, can you?” I ask as he struggles to do it. “That’s because it’s broken. It’s going to need surgery and a pin inserted to stabilise it.”
“Look, buttercup,” he says, “I don’t have time for this. Give me a jab for the pain and strap my fingers together. I’ve got a bike to ride.”
I shake my head and cross my arms. “I don’t think so. There’s no way I’m declaring you fit to race, not with an injury like that.”
I glare at him, and he at me, neither of us willing to back down.
“Ah, excuse me?”
Although it kills me to, I break the staring competition and turn my attention to the guy who came in with arseface here.