by Cheyanne Young
Publication date: June 4th 2013
When Hana Fisher moves to the small town of Mixon, Texas to live with her dad, she dreads having to work at the boring pile of dirt he fondly calls a motocross track. But when she gets there, she finds the rinky-dink dirt bike track from her childhood has grown into the most respected racing track in the state.
Now popular by association, Hana endures the pain and sweat of working in the summer heat in order to fit in with a sport she’s growing to love. She gets a real family, a best friend and not just one, but two of the fastest racers trying to win her heart.
When Hana abuses her status as the track owner’s daughter to help the gorgeous Ryan Russo cheat in the biggest race of the year, she risks more than just losing her job. Every good thing in her life is at stake now- her friends, her dad’s trust, and Ash Carter- the kind-hearted racer who may not be as alluring as Ryan, but is proof that nice guys don’t always finish last.
My black Chucks are drenched from trudging through the dew-covered grass on the walk to the tower. A pair of rhinestone encrusted sandals would’ve made my outfit perfect, but I know I chose the correct shoes for a day of work.
The people who camped out last night are parked so far away, I can only make out a black blob of what I think is Ryan’s truck. The white RV-shaped blob next to it has the lights on. That means not only is he awake – he’s probably shirtless. Today will be an amazing day. I look amazing. I know Ryan will look amazing. Laughing to myself, I climb the stairs. I don’t notice how the metal steps are slick with dew just like the grass until it’s too late.
My foot slips on the third step and I stumble forward, falling hard on the stairs in front of me. The basket of burritos tumbles over the arm rail and crashes in the dirt below. Tears come fast and I stop trying to scramble back up to my feet because every part of me hurts. My knees, my shins, my elbows. My face hurts the worst. The tears sting as they roll down my cheek. The door swings open.
“What the hell was that?” Dad scans the horizon before looking down and seeing me. “Oh god, Hana.” He rushes to pull me up. “Are you okay? Did you break anything? You’re not bleeding, are you?” His voice cracks. His eyes dart from my arms to my head and then to my legs that are now visibly beginning to bruise. He lifts my left arm and then my right, as if checking to see that they are still attached. I want to laugh at him for being so ridiculous, but unfortunately I keep sobbing.
“Dad, I’m fine,” I groan, rubbing my knees. “Actually, I hurt everywhere, but I’m okay. Sorry about breakfast.” I look down at the scattered rolls of aluminum foil now covered in dirt. My stomach growls, cursing my clumsiness.
“Don’t worry about that. We need to let you rest.” He helps me walk up the remaining stairs and makes me sit on the futon while he fetches Molly. I am not bleeding and nothing is broken, but he refuses to let me leave the stupid futon until Molly appraises my head injury.
The pain in my face pulses along with my heartbeat. After a few agonizing moments, the sharp pain recedes and I dare to touch my face. The area between my right eye and cheekbone is swollen. A mirror would help me survey the damage, but I don’t see one in the room. I try to compare the swelling by touching the other side of my face. My heart sinks. It’s a noticeable difference. I probably look like a freak. Even this short and now dirty skirt will be no help with Ryan today.
The door opens and Marty walks in eating a burrito, the basket in his hand.
“Wow, what happened to you?” he asks. Always the sensitive one.
“I fell.” I point out the obvious. “I can’t believe you’re eating those, aren’t they covered in dirt?”
Mom always said men would eat anything, and I suppose she was right. He pours a cup of coffee from the tower’s new coffee maker and drinks it black.
“Nah, just the foil was dirty, they’re fine inside.” He holds up the burrito to show me. It smells so good. “You want one?”
I take the one he offers. He’s right – the burrito itself is perfect thanks to Molly’s amazing foil-wrapping ability. At least I didn’t ruin breakfast for everyone after all.
Molly finds no reason to send me to the hospital. She does try to persuade me to go home and rest, but I insist on staying under the guise of being excited to see how the races work. I know if I had told her the real reason I wanted to stay, to confirm my suspicions that Ryan had washboard abs under his jersey, she wouldn’t have been so thrilled.
When I feel better, she puts me on sign in duty. I stand at the entrance to the track and hand the clipboard to each car that enters, just like Molly did yesterday. I find it weird that no one bothers to read the waiver they sign. I read it, though. I lose count of how many times the word death is mentioned in the fine print.
It isn’t long until the driveway and half a mile of the entrance road is lined with cars. I can’t believe this many people come to race at my dad’s track. When I was a kid, the track didn’t have races, only practice. Now as I stare at the line of at least fifty vehicles waiting to get in, my heart swells with pride for my dear old dad. He’s made a name for himself with what used to be a rinky-dink hang out for punk kids on dirt bikes.
Everyone is friendly in the motocross world, but I get tired of explaining to them what happened to my face and confirming that yes, I’m Jim’s daughter. I abandon my ice pack when it melts into a bag of water. As long as I don’t squint my eyes or smile very wide, it doesn’t hurt. That’s easier said than done when the sun is shining and everyone keeps saying hello.
An hour later my sign-in sheet has all fifty spaces filled, and I flip to a new page. According to the race schedule, there is still one more hour of this left. I count down the minutes until I’m free to roam around and scope out Ryan.
The next truck pulls up and I ready my clipboard. It’s an older Mazda with faded red paint and a blue dirt bike in the back. Shiny decals on the bike’s number plate read 336. The guy driving is about my age. He would fit in perfectly with the hot motocross guys if his hair wasn’t a foot long and dread-locked. It makes him look wild, like someone who frequently breaks the rules and doesn’t care. A white grease-stained shirt and board shorts complete his look. It is the exact opposite of Ryan’s clean-cut, designer label, you-can-bring-me-home-to-mom style. He takes the clipboard and signs it in two places.
“Good morning.” He hands it back along with money. “Hana Fisher, right?” His teeth are remarkably white when he smiles. Maybe it’s not a bleach thing. Maybe there’s something in the water that gives Mixon boys great smiles.
“Yeah, something like that,” I say, bored with small talk. I’d spent the entire morning confirming my name to people and talking about my black eye and stupid things like the weather, or how exciting it is being at the races. All he needs to do is sign, pay and leave me alone so I can discuss the same thing all over again with the next person in line.
“I’m paying for me and the girl in the car behind us,” he says.
“That’s nice.” I glance toward the blonde he’s referring to. “Girlfriend?”
“Sister actually, but she costs as much as one.” He laughs as he leans forward and shoves his wallet back in his pocket. “I’m Ash, by the way.”
“Nice to meet you.” He shakes my hand and flashes me another smile so wholesome, it makes all my visions of him robbing a convenient store seem unrealistic. He drives forward and I wave the girl through, wondering why dreadlocks have such a stigma about them anyway.
~About the Author~
Cheyanne is a native Texan with a fear of cold weather and a coffee addiction that probably needs an intervention. She loves books, sarcasm, nail polish and paid holidays. She lives near the beach with her family, one spoiled rotten puppy and a cat that is plotting to take over the world, one scratched up welcome mat at a time.
She’s a cubicle dweller and all around sarcastic weirdo by day. But at night, Cheyanne can be found furiously typing on her computer, probably complaining on Twitter about how she should be writing. When she’s not honing her procrastination skills, she’s writing books for teenagers. She is the author of several books for teens and recently turned her love of superheroes and writing for teens into books about teenage superheroes. POWERED is her first superhero book but it won’t be her last. Because POWERED is a trilogy. Duh.
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