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Collision Course

Collision Course

4.2 92
by K. A. Mitchell

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Immovable object? Meet the irresistible force.

Paramedic Aaron Chase doesn’t have anything against love. It just comes with a lot of responsibility, like when he had to raise his sister and brothers after their drug-addicted mom took off for good. Now that the last one is off to college, Aaron’s anticipating enjoying life on his own


Immovable object? Meet the irresistible force.

Paramedic Aaron Chase doesn’t have anything against love. It just comes with a lot of responsibility, like when he had to raise his sister and brothers after their drug-addicted mom took off for good. Now that the last one is off to college, Aaron’s anticipating enjoying life on his own terms. He certainly wasn’t expecting Joey Miller to accidentally drop into his life.

Joey’s sexy, funny and annoyingly optimistic, and his tendency to get into trouble keeps sending him Aaron’s way. Even the fact that Joey works for the hated social work system isn’t reason enough to keep him out of Aaron’s bed.

Joey knows all about love. He’s fallen in it ten times—he thinks. It’s not that he can’t tell the difference between sex and love. All that experience has to count for something, right? With Aaron it’s different. Maybe because there’s something to fight for.

This time Joey’s fallen for good. He’s not going to let number eleven get away.

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Samhain Publishing, Ltd.
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Eighties dance music blasted through the Yaris's speakers as Joey Miller flew down the passing lane of I-10, dancing in his car. A quick glance at the clock on the dashboard put a little hitch in his rhythm, so he cranked the volume up even higher as if the vibrating beats per minute could make up for lost time.

Car-dancing kept him focused, the thump of the bass bouncing his gaze from mirror to mirror to windshield, so he was able to react quickly when it happened.

The cars in front of him slowed. The truck flying up behind him didn't.

A split second to react, and with the gift of clarity from the blast of adrenaline, Joey was able to squeeze his Yaris into the right lane, just as the truck barreled into the dark blue minivan that had been in front of him.

The brown pickup lifted the minivan, flinging it into the guardrail and over. Joey swung back, grinding to a halt on the left shoulder as the minivan flew across the opposite lanes, a final clip on the driver's side sending it rolling over the far edge, down an embankment.

He didn't think. Didn't wait for his heart to stop hammering all the way up to the base of his skull. He rode the adrenaline wave right into rescue mode.

Even as he started to sprint across the road, Joey had his cell out and was dialing 911. The driver of the pickup seemed conscious, and other people were stopping. But Joey knew he'd seen a kid in a car seat in that minivan, and he had to get there now.

He spat out the information to the dispatcher. "Three car accident. I-10." He even knew what exit, since he'd been clocking them to try to make up time. "I don't know how many injuries. There's a child involved."

He reachedthe minivan, which was now back up on its wheels, windshield gone, driver's window gone, back and front ends crumpled like paper. The driver's door wouldn't open, and the side curtain airbags were blocking his view so he leaned in the window.

The kid was about two or three, not even screaming, just making weird gasping sounds. The woman--mother?--was in bad shape. Unconscious, unresponsive. She had a pulse and was breathing, which he reported to the dispatcher still on the line as he checked.

"Hey, little dude, how're you doing back there?"

The kid took a shuddering breath. "Mommy?"

"Mommy's going to be fine."

"Mommy?" The voice got a little shriller.

"Hey listen, dude, Mommy's asleep because she doesn't feel too good right now. We don't want to get too loud, okay?"

The kid stopped mid-whine. "Oh, okay. Like when she has a headache?"

"Just like that." Joey hoped he wasn't lying too much to the kid. Part of the car's front end had become part of her right leg. On the left one, a huge gash through her jeans was pouring blood. Not arterial bleeding, he was pretty sure. The first-aid videos were kind of graphic on that subject. Feet lifting off the grass as he leaned in, he reached over and grabbed a fistful of napkins from the center console. He slapped the wad over the gash and applied pressure.

With his hands full, the phone was slipping out from under his cheek. He warned the dispatcher, not wanting to add too much about the bleeding in front of the kid. "I'm applying pressure but at this angle, I'm going to end up dropping the phone."

He managed to turn his head and lock eyes with the kid. The boy was a lot calmer than Joey felt.

A giggle escaped the boy's exaggeratedly pursed-shut lips. "Cotton candy."

"How's that, dude?" The blood had soaked through all of the napkins. Joey pressed harder, reaching up to check the pulse.

"Your hair. Yellow cotton candy."

Yeah. The kid had a point. When he'd changed jobs and towns, he'd tried to get the purple bleached out of it. He'd had to cut most of it off, and it did kind of look like fluffy cotton candy. Blue or pink would have been much more fun.

"How do you think it tastes?" he asked.

The kid giggled again. "Yech. Like hair. Is the car okay?" A little worry in the voice. "'Cause Mommy says we can't have a new one. I wanned one with a DVD."

"It's going to be fine. Don't worry about it. What's your name, dude?"

"Seth." Of course, it came out like Sef. But Joey could speak lisp.

"Where were you guys headed?"


"Do you know Gramma's other name?"

Seth thought about it and then shook his head. "Just Gramma."

"Okay. Do you know your other name?"

"Seth Nathan Thatcher."

Sef Nafan Fatcher. That was just cruel. With a name like that, he'd be in speech therapy for life.

"How old are you, Seth Nathan Thatcher?"


Joey should have guessed. He wondered if he lived on Thirty-Third Street.

"Do you know Mommy's names?"

The little brow squinched up. Not even a cut on him. Thank God for child seats and side curtain airbags.

"She's Emily. That's what Gramma calls her."


Joey had never been so happy to hear sirens in his life. He could feel the blood soaking into his hand, even as he pressed.

"So, Seth--"

"I want to be dude again."

"Okay. So, dude, you ready to meet some firemen and policemen?"

* * * *

Flashing lights, sirens and caffeine were near the top of Aaron Chase's very short favorites list. All three gave him a rush that was almost as good as sex--which took up at least the top five on that list.

He'd just finished his fourth coffee of the day, and the sights and sounds of the accident on I-10 sent a buzz through his veins. He swung the ambulance off onto the shoulder in the spot the firemen and cops had left. As he scanned the scene, he could see that the first responders were divided into three separate clumps.

"Remember the bet," his partner Hennie said as she climbed to the back.

"One shift. No f-words," Aaron said. He could do it. Probably.

"Not even in your head."

"And how the f--how will you know?"

"Because I will." She gave him that I-was-a-teacher-for-twenty-years-and-I-have-eyes-in-the-back-of-my-head look.

A cop stepped away from the nearest bunch and came toward Aaron and Hennie as they unloaded their gear and a stretcher.

"Truck driver's got minor cuts and bruises. He's coming with us. His blood alcohol's point one eight. Lady in the Lexus is fine. Seat belt, air bag. A little shocky, firemen are handling it."

Hennie set up the tank and back-boarding gear as they lifted the stretcher down. "And the minivan?" She jerked her chin at the mangled pile of scrap.

"Can't tell 'til we cut her out. Firemen wanted to wait for you guys in case she flatlined. She's still out. Shallow pulse."

As they started down the side of the grassy slope, Aaron saw a distinctly civilian and--hey, being at the scene of an accident didn't mean he didn't still have eyes and a working dick--distinctly f--Christ--doable round ass sticking out of the driver's window.

Bonus. All his favorite things rolled into one.

"What the hell's going on?" he asked the cop.

"Witness. Said he's trained as a first responder. Been keeping pressure on a bad bleeder."

"F-friggin' amateur."

The cop shrugged. "He's doin' okay. Calm. Keepin' the kid calm too."

"Kid?" Hennie's reaction echoed Aaron's. Dispatch hadn't said anything about a kid. Hennie scrambled back up the slope for a smaller collar and board. The cop lifted the stretcher end she'd abandoned.

"He's three. Not even a scratch as far as we can see. Witness says the kid's coherent. I can't understand him."

"We'll still take him," Hennie said as she ran back. "They'll want to check him over."

The firemen standing near the driver's side had a couple of pieces of hydraulic equipment ready. Aaron walked up until he was standing next to that bubble butt. "Okay, Do-gooder. Whatcha got?"

"I've had steady pressure on it since I got here. It seems to be slowing. No change in breathing or pulse."

The cop was right. Do-gooder stayed calm. Matter-of-fact. Almost professional. And pretty--he bit his lip and swore he heard Hennie laugh--damned competent. "Why didn't you put on a pressure bandage?"

"Aside from having nothing but my shirt for it, I didn't think it was worth trying to lift her pinned leg to slide something underneath."

The little ... do-gooder was right. And Aaron was even more annoyed. Probably because as focused as his mind was on that woman and her possibly severed leg, his dick was all too aware of that ass a few inches away.

Do-gooder was singing some song with the kid, probably something Aaron's baby sister Sheree would know, especially if it was based on one of those damned Disney cartoons. Aaron had let her watch too many Disney videos at an impressionable age, all the singing animals encouraging a happily-ever-after mentality, even after the crap Sheree had seen growing up.

So maybe he'd screwed up there. Sue him. He'd kept her safe, alive and sane right on up to the age of eighteen. She'd have to learn there were no happy endings in this screwed-to-hell world on her own. Of course, swallowing all that someday-my-prince-will-come crap meant that she was always trying to fix him up with some guy she'd decided was gay. At least avoiding that crap was easier with her off to Tulane.

The firemen pried open the side door, and Hennie climbed in back to hold the woman's head in line. Aaron reached over the guy's back, a nice-looking back under a painted-on red T-shirt, to fasten the cervical collar around the woman's neck, while one of the firemen slid the board between the seat and her back. Aaron's dick twitched as his body made contact. As soon as this shift was over he was going to start looking for that ass in every bar in Jacksonville. Aaron glanced back at the little boy who was still lisping along with Mr. Hot Ass.

"Okay, Do-gooder, here's what going to happen. When I give the word, you're going to back away and leave those napkins there. Davey here"--Aaron nodded at the fireman--"is going to pry open the door and see if we can get her out. You can go wash up and disinfect at the truck."

The guy broke off his song to ask softly, "What about the kid?"

"What about him?"

"Don't you think you should take him out of here before..."

"Before what?"

"Before you cut his mom out of the car?" It was a husky whisper, completely different from the light singing voice he'd been using.

Aaron pursed his lips. "Fine." If this was the worst thing the kid ever saw in his life, he'd be doing a hell of a lot better than the rest of the world. He turned his head and spoke to one of the cops who climbed in around Hennie and started unbuckling the kid from his car seat. No point to a collar, the kid had been shifting his head side-to-side as he sang along.

As soon as the cop started to lift the kid out of the seat, the kid screeched like a siren. Finally, the kid added some words to the ear-bleeding noise. "No, no, no. Cotton-candy dude."

"Um. That's me."

Aaron lifted his head and looked. He could see where the kid had gotten the idea. A ridiculous pile of lemon yellow fluff floated around the guy's head. Lucky he had that ass.

"Okay. Go wash up and see if you can get the kid to stop screaming."

"C'mon, dude. I've gotta wash my hands. You get a ride with the policeman." When Hot-Ass-Unfortunate-Hair spoke to the kid, his screams stopped.

Sometime between the firemen getting the engine off her leg and Aaron and Hennie splinting the compound fracture, Aaron heard a song he recognized. Somehow the unoccupied police and firemen had been conned into singing "Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer" to entertain the kid. Which must have taken some doing, considering it was mid-March.

They carried her up the slope and popped her into the ambulance. Aaron turned to where the Emergency Workers' Choir was performing from the back of the fire truck and said, "Let's go. We'll take him in."

The toddler shook his head and clung to his cotton-candy dude. Despite the hair, candy was a good enough label for him. Eye candy. Freckles across his nose, big brown eyes, dark lashes, cheekbones in a perfect symmetry almost too pretty for a guy, but a broad, strong jaw. Face and an ass like that, Aaron bet Do-gooder didn't spend many nights alone. And then those lips. Yeah, the hair was a mess, but it would be fine for yanking on when--Damn, the rest of that sentence would definitely violate the terms of the bet.

"Wanna go wif him."

"But your mommy's in here, honey," Hennie called from the back of the ambulance.

"She's sleeping 'cause she hurts. Want cotton-candy dude."

One of the cops offered to take him. Then a fireman. Aaron would have thought the lure of riding in a fire truck would be irresistible to a boy that age, but the kid kept shaking his head. Aaron was pretty immune to tantrums from either adults or kids. He was about to grab the kid when Eye-candy shifted the kid to his other hip and dug out his wallet.

"Here." He handed an ID to one of the cops. "I work for the Department of Families and Children."

Disgust coiled like a rat snake in Aaron's gut, followed by the familiar crush of panic and guilt. The panic and guilt were stupid, a reaction from fourteen years of conditioned response. The twins and Sheree were adults now--free to screw up their own lives without the system's "help". All Aaron needed to do these days was drop some occasional cash in their bank accounts until they made it through college.

The DFC couldn't touch them now, but it was all Aaron could do not to sneer at the social worker, f--hot ass or not. "Really?"

Do-gooder looked over at the cop. "I work with Carmen Hernandez a lot. You can check in with her, or dispatch."

The cops were only too glad to have someone on hand to spare them the paperwork and the blown eardrums if that kid started screaming again.

"I'll bring him to the hospital and work on finding some family members."

The cop handed back the ID with a smile. "Thanks, Joey."

Davey the fireman went so far as to clap Joey on the back. "We'll put the car seat in your car."

"That would be great. Thanks a lot."

"His mother's stabilized." Aaron didn't know why he felt like he should tell Joey that.

Joey smiled. It almost made Aaron want to smile back, and then he remembered. DFC.

"Great work."

Like Joey was Aaron's supervisor. Like he needed the validation. Friggin' social workers.

That fugly hair barely moved as Joey turned to the kid on his hip. "See, dude? Your mommy's going to be fine." He looked back at Aaron. "I guess I'll see you at the hospital."

"Maybe." It was only a second, but as Aaron locked eyes with--Christ, what grown man called himself Joey?--he could see everything. Awareness, recognition, want, heat. All laid out right there. Joey's eyes told Aaron that ass was his if he wanted it, and despite Joey's so-called profession, Aaron still did.

As Aaron swung up into the driver's seat, he glanced into the mirror. His pants shrank around his dick at the sight of that ass swinging as Joey walked back to the car. Though Aaron could admit the swagger was probably due more to the fact that Joey was walking with a hefty three-year-old on his hip than an effort to show off.

Meet the Author

K.A. Mitchell is a lifelong resident of upstate New York.

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Collision Course 4.2 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 92 reviews.
LASR_Reviews More than 1 year ago
Mix one social worker who moves to the beat of his own band with one paramedic in complete control of life. Add a healthy dose of heat and a lot of heart. What have you got? Collision Course by K.A. Mitchell. I knew when I opened this book, I was in for a good time. I'd read other works by Ms. Mitchell and fell in love with the characters. Her writing style is nicely paced and I really felt like I was there in Florida with Joey and Aaron, watching my best friends figure out life and love. The supporting cast in this book is fantastic as well. I got to catch up with prior characters and was glad to. What really made this book memorable for me was Joey. I'd met him before in Diving In Deep and I wasn't sure I'd like him, but I'm glad I got this book, because in just over two hundred pages, he really grew on me. I loved the description of him. Cotton candy hair. I'd never thought of describing someone's hair like cotton floss, but from the moment he grabbed Seth from the mashed van, I was sold. I also loved the heart he displayed. Yes, he's in social services and works with kids, but there were times when he could've turned up his nose and didn't. His ability to make everyone feel important imprinted itself on me. Oh, and did I mention his klutzy tendency? I didn't want to see him hurt, but the fact that he could trip over his own feet endeared him to me. Yeah, once I closed this book, I sighed happily. Aaron...where to start with him...he's a good guy. Really, he is. What he's also is a bit misunderstood, and by his own hand. The poor guy has a lot on his broad shoulders. Yes, at first he wasn't my favorite character because he came off callous, but when I knew why, I felt awful for not liking him. As I said, he's a good guy, and totally in love with Joey (even when he doesn't want to admit it) and it came off as rather cute. He's the master of control, whereas Joey is aloof. The combination couldn't have been better. If you want a book that is guaranteed to rivet you, grab a box of tissues, prepare to laugh, and nab a copy of Collision Course. You'll be glad you did. I was. Totally worth 5 cherries. Originally posted at Whipped Cream Reviews
Jeski More than 1 year ago
Aaron is sort of a dick in that whole my-past-sucks sort of way. He's raised his brothers and sister from an early age due to runaway lousy parent and now, as an adult, does not want the responsibility of anyone else. Sure, he's a gay man who loves to have sex with guys but is not crazy enough to mix sex and love. Meet Joey, a somewhat twink-ish surfer boy with a penchant for manipulation. He thinks life is a script and if things don't follow his self-made script then they don't belong in his life. He covers his feeling with psycho-babble and thinks every one is 'the one'. They meet, they have mad good sex where fate intervenes and has them spending just a few more minutes together. Fate enters quite a bit in bringing these guys together with adorable banter and realistically useless arguments that remind you of the kind you have with your lover - pointless. Family and friends pop up making the book feel even more like the story could actually happen because nothing is ever truly planned and anyone who had a family of more than one knows that family always shows up or does something terribly inconvenient at just the wrong time. This book is cute, somewhat dramatic and very sex filled. It's a modern lover-story that doesn't get too mushy and doesn't get too melodramatic. It was just. pleasant. And a great change from the too melancholy or the too sugary sweet as most gay romance novels you read nowadays have an overabundance of one or the other. This book had a nice balance that this reader certainly appreciates. I would definitely recommend this book to anyone who just wants a nice read with few emotional bearings.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Well written, but I would have preferred more plot and less of the sex. I found my self skipping through it to get to the story.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This is the 2nd book in the Florida series and it is definitely worth reading them all in order. These characters are sexy, engaging and appealing and it's easy to get absorbed into their story.
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Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Great sequel to "Diving Deep" with Noah and Cam making short appearances. The way Joey and Aaron fell in love was slow, sweet and almost unnoticed by Aaron until it was too late. Joey's personality was so great you couldn't help but want him to find his HEA. 600+ pgs.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This was a very passionate and hot story. Lots of drama as well. Love Joey and Aaron's story. This book was well worth it!
Under_The_Covers_BookBlog More than 1 year ago
~Reviewed by ANN & posted at Under the Covers Book Blog K.A. Mitchell is at the top of her game! ~ Under the Covers COLLISION COURSE is my first full length novel by K.A. Mitchell and also one of my first ventures into her work as well. Though this is the second book in the Florida books series, I didn’t feel lost at all. Though I do still wish I started with book one, DIVING IN DEEP because the characters in that book do make some regular appearances. No biggie though because I plan on going back and reading it anyways (and continue the series!) The first thing I loved about this book is the dirty sex. You will not find me complaining AT ALL in that regard. Mitchell definitely knows what she is doing and she really excels at creating a believable romance between Aaron Chase and Joey Miller. Second thing I loved is the way the relationship bloomed. Much of the character development and plot was key to exploring this relationship and I think it really tied everything together to make for a well-rounded, well- written romance between two men. Third thing I loved? The great dialogue. I think I could have read this book strictly for its dialogue and still have given it a high rating. So entertaining and fun, this book definitely has me hooked on Mitchell’s writing. Make no mistake, K.A. Mitchell is at the top of her game!
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Joey aloof? I think Aaron was a total p---k. I don't know what Joey saw in him! I don't think Aarons' character improved even after knowing his history . Joey could have done better. The sex was hot, but Joey's character saved the book from being totally unlikable. Who could not like Joey?? As always K A Mitchell can't write a totally bad book. This book is still a keeper.
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