This was previously published. Re-edited and with new cover art.
Paramedic Jamie Llewelyn moves to Ellery to start a new life away from the City. Attached to the hospital and working for his friend Liam Wolfe he's happy—even if he has to keep coming up with excuses to miss the Friday meet ups. He had peace and he could finally make a difference in a community that needed him.
When he and Max rescue John Doe from a crashed car balanced on the edge of a ravine Jamie didn’t know but his life would never be the same again. John opens his startlingly violet eyes and suddenly Jamie is falling hard. If only John didn’t have a gun and could remember why he’d shot the passenger in the car. Then maybe passion could change into something else. Love.
About the Author
RJ Scott is the author of the best selling Male/Male romances The Christmas Throwaway, The Heart Of Texas and the Sanctuary Series of books. She writes romances between two strong men and always gives them the happy ever after they deserve.
Read an Excerpt
Jamie Llewellyn didnâ€™t do early mornings. He had never quite got used to waking up at the ass-crack of dawn for any reason, not even emergencies or early shifts.
Unlike Daniel and Max, who thrived on the early mornings and were chatting about a TV room and exchanging sarcastic remarks while stretching, ready to go for a run.
â€œI hate early mornings,â€ Jamie muttered. He narrowed his eyes suspiciously when he caught Max grinning and Daniel reaching into his shorts pocket and handing over a five-dollar bill.
â€œYou should have known it was the first thing heâ€™d say,â€ Max said. He placed the note in his pocket and zipped it. â€œYouâ€™ll never win.â€
â€œI thought he would at least say good morning,â€ Daniel groused.
â€œWhen has he ever done that?â€ Max crowed.
â€œGuys. Iâ€™m right here,â€ Jamie reminded them. â€œAnd given both of you fell asleep in your drinks last night at the planning meeting in The Alibi, then you canâ€™t talk. Some of us work well in the morning, some of us normal people at night.â€
Daniel glanced at Max and the two of them began laughing in earnest. Jamie turned his back on them so they didnâ€™t see him smiling along with them. Instead he used the advantage to begin the run and get ahead. Max and Daniel were both really competitiveâ€”it didnâ€™t take them long to realise heâ€™d gone and within a minute they had caught up. The three men fell into a companionable rhythm. The direction took them out of the cabins where they had met and into the forest behind. Jamie didnâ€™t need to think about the directionâ€”it was so familiar to him now. Through to the road, over the road, across the bridge, down into Ellery, then back to the cabins with a punishing uphill finish.
The time in the forest was more steeplechase than runâ€”jumping fallen trees and small stream bedsâ€”and by the time the road was in sight, Jamie was feeling the warmth in his muscles. They crossed the road and made their way to the narrow bridge over the canyon between the two levels of Mercury Peak. Jostling for position, Jamie decided heâ€™d let the other two go first and it was lucky he did. In holding back for those few seconds he glanced over the side of the bridge and saw the car.
â€œMax! Daniel!â€ He slid to a stop as he shouted. Peering over the edge, he tried to make out what the hell had happened. But it was Max with the experience and Max who suddenly was on point with this.
â€œHell,â€ he said with an added curse. â€œCar, off the road.â€ He indicated back to the barrier on the corner. They hadnâ€™t even seen the bent and buckled metal. Max leaned over the bridge and Daniel passed him his cell phone.
â€œCar off the road under the bridge at Mercury Peak,â€ he relayed to emergency services. â€œThrough the barrier. Weâ€™ll need shoring... Itâ€™s right on the edge. No sign of passengersâ€”â€
â€œWait,â€ Jamie said. He concentrated on the driver side where he thought heâ€™d just seen movement. Then he saw it again. A hand gripping the open window covered in the scarlet of way too much blood. â€œThereâ€™s someone in there.â€ Without conscious thought he was up and over the rail and scrambling down as far as he could get. He was about six feet away when the car slid from him. Only a few inches but it was enough to have him stop absolutely still.
â€œMax, the carâ€™s sliding!â€ he yelled up.
â€œStay where you are!â€ Max shouted. â€œIâ€™m coming down.â€
Jamie opened his mouth to protest. If the car had moved because of him, then adding Max to the equation was going to have the car falling over the edge. But Max knew what he was doing. Not everyone was like his ex-boyfriend, Zach.
Not everyone wanted to put their life at risk, whatever the cost.
He watched as Max carefully made his way towards the car. Instead of taking the direct route, as Jamie had, he moved slowly and tested the ground before each inch.
â€œHelp...â€ The word was faint but Jamie was attuned to small voices in difficult situations.
â€œWeâ€™re here,â€ he called to the driver. â€œHelp is coming to you. Stay very still.â€
There was no answer. He hoped to hell that meant the guy was still, and not unconscious. He concentrated on locating ingress. The driverâ€™s door looked intact but the entire windshield was gone. Jamieâ€™s inspection tracked the outside of the vehicle, a grey sedan, of which make Jamie couldnâ€™t see. This close it was easy to see somaeone under the car. Little more than three or four feet away from where he was, Jamie found himself staring into sightless eyes and so much blood and damage that it was clear this guy was dead. His face was a mess, carved and bloody, and his neck looked broken from the unnatural angle of his head.
â€œPassenger through the windshield and wedged under the car,â€ he summarised for Max. The fireman wouldnâ€™t be able to see the body from the side he was approaching the wreck. â€œHeâ€™s dead,â€ he added. Max nodded and carried on to the trunk of a tree that grew at a crazy angle from the side of the peak. It had probably been that which had saved the car from going the whole distance into the ravine itself down the sharp drop. Max finally disappeared from sight and Jamie imagined the large man checking to see how unstable the car was.
â€œHelp...â€ The word was fainter.
God, Jamie wanted to move. Every fibre of him needed to check the driver out, but he couldnâ€™tâ€”years of training and he was still like a statue until he got the all-clear. Finally, Max crawled back up.
â€œWeâ€™re okay. Itâ€™s steady for now," he said, â€œbut wait. Iâ€™m coming to you. I need to counter some of the weight.â€
Max steadied himself by digging his feet into the mud and pushing back, then he gripped the underside of the car hard. He looked over at Jamie and nodded. They didnâ€™t discuss what they were doing. Max was doing his thing, and Jamie hadnâ€™t hesitated to climb down to help with injuries. It was what they did.
â€œHelpâ€™s coming,â€ Max said. In the distannedce Jamie could hear sirens. There would be lifting equipment, but who knew how hurt the guy in the car was? Time was a luxury they couldnâ€™t afford. He slowly slid forward until finally he was right by the car. The driverâ€™s door opened easily and Jamie got a clear look at the driver. One hell of a lot of blood, but he was still in his seatbelt.
â€œCan you tell me your name?â€ Jamie asked as a matter of habit. Asking a name gave a first responder a level to work with. Was the patient aware?
The man muttered something that sounded like â€˜noâ€™, but Jamie couldnâ€™t make it out.
â€œWhere does it hurt, sir?â€ he asked quickly. He needed to get a feel for whether the guy was able to talk coherently.
â€œO-o-over...â€ the man stuttered. â€œAll...â€
Jamie got himself a better foothold and leaned in to check his pulse. He couldnâ€™t see the main wound that had caused all this blood and considered that maybe it was from the dead passenger. Then when the driver shifted it became obviousâ€”a slice out of his thigh, and he was losing too much of the red stuff.
â€œHeâ€™s bleeding,â€ Jamie called urgently. As he said it, the car shifted another inch and the metal groaned.
Max cursed. â€œPull him out.â€
Jamie reached in and checked that there was nothing trapping the manâ€™s legs. â€œWhatâ€™s your name, sir? Can you hear me? We need to get you out of here.â€ Jamie could smell petrol and knew that they had to get away.
â€œJusâ€™...leg...â€ the victim said. He opened his eyes and stared right at Jamie with a gaze so deep blue it was near violet. Shakily, the injured man reached for the belt. â€œHelp...â€ he said. His voice was raw. "Out.â€ His hand slipped and Jamie caught it and instead assisted him to release the belt. Under his own steam, the driver moved towardss Jamie who cautiously helped him free. The car shifted a little and he could hear Max cursing up a storm. With a final tug the victim was clear and lying half on Jamie. Something hard was between them and when Jamie shifted a little he could see a gun gripped in the driverâ€™s hand.
â€œClear,â€ Jamie called. Max must have let go as a ton of Toyota teetered for a second then crashed in three loud bangs down to the river at the bottom of the two-hundred-foot ravine. Jamie pulled the gun out of a loose grip and tossed it to where Max was, then held his patient tight. He realised immediately that they were sliding as the car had torn away mud and grass. Max grabbed them both and dug into the mud to stop the slide. Jamie cast a grateful look his way then focused entirely on John Doe. He rolled him off as soon as it was safe and realised he had an unconscious survivor in his hands.
â€œHeâ€™s still bleeding,â€ Jamie summarised. He ripped off his running top and pressed it on the open wound.
â€œTake his weight, theyâ€™re sending down a gurney,â€ Max said quickly. Jamie nodded and did as he was instructed.
Max assisted the guys at the top with getting John Doe on the lifting apparatus and suddenly it was just Jamie and Max left alone.
Jamie knew the guy would be whisked away. St Martinâ€™s Hospital in Ellery could probably handle it.
â€œYour turn,â€ Max instructed. Jamie blanched as he saw the rope and the harness. He hated the feeling of those things. Stoically he allowed Max to truss him up and winced as the harness dug into him. Then before he knew it he was dangling from the bridge with the ground out from under him. Donâ€™t look down. He looked down. The base of the ravine seemed way further than two hundred feet and he could see the mangled heap of carâ€”he couldnâ€™t see the body of the dead man, though. Max and the rest of the crew would have to take the old road that wound its way to the base to retrieve both man and car.
Jamie gave a situation report as soon as he had his feet on the ground. They unbuckled him and he saw Finn and Daniel waiting to one side.
â€œHeâ€™s fine,â€ Jamie reported to Finn who immediately relaxed. It had to be hard having a boyfriend who was a first responder when you were one yourself and knew exactly what could happen. â€œHeâ€™s bringing up a gun that the driver was holding onto. Freaking Hercules held the car on the tree. Just to warn you, though, heâ€™s cut his hands up.â€
Finn frowned. Jamie could see the indecision in Finnâ€™s face. As a lover he wanted to run over and see what injuries Max had. As a cop on scene, and with the chief also being here, he had to show restraint.
â€œTalk to me,â€ Chief Mayfield said to Jamie brusquely.