Physician Remy Marshall has two loves: Emergency Medicine and running. Work doesn’t leave much time to meet guys, and most seem more interested in his bank account than him. With a week off to train for a marathon, Remy plans to make the most of his precious vacation. The last thing he needs is a distraction.
Jamie Sutton is new to the area. He hopes to make a fresh start after leaving an abusive relationship with an orthopedic surgeon. He’s got a new job as a massage therapist and wants to meet some nice guys. Against his better judgment, Jamie decides the best way to meet a cute rollerblader he’s seen in the park is on wheels.
With attention on his watch and not where he’s going, Remy crashes into Jamie and fractures the first-time rollerblader’s ankle. Jamie has no one to help him after the injury; Remy proposes Jamie stay with him. Jamie is reluctant, but it’s a better option than staying with the odd guy in the neighboring motel room. As the two get acquainted, Jamie’s past comes calling. Remy discovers the prize he really wants isn’t a medal in a marathon, but the man right in front of him.
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After the cut: an excerpt, and a character interview from Crash Pad!
Interview with Jamie from Crash Pad
So…rollerblading. You’re usually a runner. What possessed you to try wheels? **sighs** I’d just moved to the area, and there was this rollerblader with copper-colored hair…I wanted to meet him. Not one of my brighter ideas. On the other hand, I did meet Remy.
Remy’s job as an Emergency Medicine doctor must keep him busy at work for long hours. Does that bother you? Remy has more regular hours than a lot of doctors, but sometimes if he’s on nights we don’t see each other awake for a couple of days. I’m pretty independent, so it’s not a problem. We make the most of the time we have together.
What do you do when you’re on your own? I love superheroes and collect T-shirts and comic books featuring those characters. My two nephews share my obsession, and I like to take them off my sister’s hands sometimes and go out to comb the comic book stores or see a movie.
Isn’t it true your nephews also have a pet snake? Yeah. It’s a corn snake named Corny. Snakes and I don’t get along. There’s something creepy about the way they move without the benefit of legs. And that tongue…blech!
Winter is coming. Are you and Remy planning to go skiing or try other sports on snow or ice? That’s a loaded question, isn’t it? Ice skating is too much like rollerblades, so that’s out. I’d be up for skiing as long as we stick to the green slopes—the easy ones. No black diamonds for me! The best part about skiing is warming up in the lodge afterward…or maybe in a cozy condo with a fireplace.
Is Whitley Gray planning any further adventures for you and Remy? You never know. **winks** I hear there’s a mansion under restoration up in Crooked Creek Colorado. Maybe Whitley will have us check it out.
Two miles to go.
Remy’s running shoes slapped on the asphalt path through the park. As he passed the mile marker, he glanced at his watch. Seven minutes for the last mile. To be competitive in next month’s marathon, he’d need to get it down to six and a half. He hit the Reset button and picked up the pace. A little crowded on the path, but otherwise a perfect day to add a couple of miles onto his usual six. They’d had snow last year at this time. Old Man Winter had blessed them with one last blizzard on Memorial Day before going into hibernation.
This afternoon, people packed the recreation areas around the lake. Screeches and laughter came from the playground. The fragrance of grilled steak wafted over from the picnic area, and his stomach growled. Remy shook out his hands. On pace for six and a half minutes. Good.
By the time he got home, he’d need to rush through his shower to get ready for tonight. The guy Brett planned to introduce him to better be worth the trouble. A double date/blind date for dinner wasn’t Remy’s idea of a good time. Of course, alone at home wasn’t any better. If the guy turned out to be a dud, Remy could claim a headache and leave early. As he turned the corner, the sun flashed in his eyes. He ducked his head, squinted at his watch, and kept running.
Remy landed on his back in the grass; the impact knocked the wind out of him. For a moment, he stared up at the sky. What’d he hit? His side of the path had been clear a second ago, so where had the roadblock come from? A hand rested on his groin. A strange hand. A man’s hand.
What the hell? Remy scrambled backward.
Lying prone on the turf next to him, in a tangle of arms, legs, and rollerblades, was a helmeted man. Remy scowled. One of those damn skater boys, always clogging the path and expecting everyone to get out of their way. God, they were a hazard.
Remy’s face heated. Except his time, he’d been the hazard. The rollerblader groaned. The sound of hurt. Remy’s medical training kicked in, and he scrambled to his knees and bent over the man.
“Hey. You okay?”
“My…ankle.” Lips pulled back in a grimace, revealing enough teeth to suggest agony. The man’s helmet angled over both eyes as he tugged at the buckle. “Stupid thing.”
“Here.” Remy got the chinstrap unfastened. “Does your neck hurt?”
“No.” The skater took a deep breath and rolled to his back. “Sheezus.”
Remy pushed the headgear up far enough to reveal the skater’s eyes, but they remained shut. The brain bucket gave good protection, but a concussion wasn’t out of the question. “Can you open your eyes?”
Golden lashes lifted to reveal eyes the blue of a first-place ribbon. The guy reached up and yanked the helmet off, and for a moment Remy couldn’t move. The injured man had blond curls, plastered down into hat hair. A straight nose and full lips. Gorgeous. Wow. Just…wow.
“Argh,” moaned Gorgeous.
Nice doctor you are, ogling the injured patient. Shoving the improper thoughts away, Remy got back to work with his assessment. “Anything else hurt?”
“Knee,” the man muttered, lids closing over the world’s most gorgeous eyes. “Frickin’ ankle inside the skate.”
Fracture? With the skates, Remy couldn’t see a thing. Removing them would help, but the boot would keep a fracture splinted until they could get X-rays. The guy could move all four extremities. Other than a scrape on the left shin, everything seemed to be in working order. Remy pushed on the man’s hipbones, checking for pelvic fracture.
The man grabbed Remy’s wrists. “You should buy me dinner first, don’t you think?”
Remy winced. Nice move, dummy. This isn’t the ER. The sun had apparently addled his wits. “Sorry. What’s your name?”
“Jamie.” He bent his knee and another grimace twisted his features. “Hurts.”
“I’m Remy Marshall.” He gripped Jamie’s long-fingered hand. “Well, Jamie, I think an ER visit is in your future.”