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“Back off, I’m fine. Let me see Wendy. She’s gotta be freaked the fuck out after seeing that.” The irritated growl from the deep voice I knew so well made me feel a hell of a lot better. Plus, I figured if he was already worrying about my reaction more than whatever pain he was feeling, then his injuries couldn’t be too bad.

“I’m here.” I peeked over one of the paramedic’s shoulders so he could see me.

He squinted through the blood dripping into his eyes and asked, “You okay, baby?”

“I think I’m the one who should be asking that.” I shook my head and sighed.

“Actually, that’s our job,” the other paramedic muttered. “Please keep still while we finish our assessment.”

“You heard the man.” Maverick pointed at Aiden. “I’m keeping an eye on your woman to make sure she’s okay. Unless you want that to become a permanent thing because you’re not around, do what the paramedics say.”

The death glare Aiden leveled at his friend would’ve scared most men, but Maverick just chuckled. I didn’t find anything about the current situation funny, but I was relieved to see Aiden’s reaction to his friend’s teasing. But when the paramedic placed a brace around his neck and grabbed a back board while talking about transporting him to the hospital, I was back to freaking out. “Do you think he broke something?”

“We’re just following protocol, ma’am. They’ll probably want to do some imaging when he gets to the emergency room.”

Peter followed us all the way to the ambulance, wringing his hands together. As they loaded Aiden into the back, he whispered, “I’m so fucking sorry, man. I don’t know what the hell happened. I’ve come out of that chicane before with no problem.”

Aiden waved off his apology, mumbling something about how he wasn’t to blame, but I missed it because the paramedic stretched his arm out to stop me from climbing in back with them. “I’m coming with him.”

“I’m sorry, ma’am. You’ll need to follow us.”

“The only way you’re transporting me to the hospital is if she’s back here with me,” Aiden growled, putting a stop to the argument.

The other paramedic stretched his arm out to help me up. “It’s no use arguing with him. You know how stubborn he can be.”

Before they slammed the door shut, Maverick called out, “Don’t worry about your stuff, Aiden. I’ll make sure it all gets loaded up and the truck is waiting for you at the hospital when you’re ready to leave. Gordon’s already loading up your bike.”

The next twenty minutes were a bit of a blur, with me holding Aiden’s hand during the entire drive. Two nurses were waiting for us when we arrived at the emergency room, and they rolled Aiden straight to a small exam room and transferred him onto a bed. It took another three hours before all the tests were done and the doctor gave us the good news. “You’re a lucky man, Mr. Brand. No broken bones, and only a mild concussion.”

I heaved a deep sigh of relief as I typed the doctor’s instructions into the notes app on my phone. When he left, I collapsed against Aiden’s chest and cried like a baby. He pressed his lips against my temple and whispered, “No way in hell can I put you through this again. This was my last race.”

“But you love racing,” I mumbled, tilting my head back to look at him.

He wiped the tears from my cheeks with his thumbs. “I do, but I love you more.”

It would be so easy to let him retire from racing so I’d never have to watch him in such a dangerous situation again, but that didn’t make it right. “Racing is a part of what made you the man you are today, and I love all of you. I don’t want you to make that sacrifice for me. Just maybe wait a while before attempting Dune’s Point again. Like a decade or so.”

“You got it,” he laughed before cupping my neck to bring our mouths together for a deep kiss.



“Never gonna ride Dune’s Point again,” I vowed as my eyes followed the nurse, Cammie, who carried our newborn over to a little station where they’d clean him up.

“What?” Wendy chuckled; her gaze also glued to our baby boy. “That’s an odd thing to bring up right now.”

I shook my head. “Perfect time,” I disagreed as I finally tore my eyes away from Ajax to stare down at my wife. “If you felt even half of what I was feeling while watching you give birth, there’s no fucking way I’d ever put you through that again.”

She looked at me with an amused smile. “I won’t hold you to that when you change your mind.”

I was dead fucking serious, but our boy chose that moment to open his mouth and bellow, drawing our attention. “Somebody is hungry,” Cammie said with a chuckle as she carried Ajax over to Wendy. “Quite a set of lungs, too.”

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