With his life torn apart by tragedy, Garrett finds a true lifesaver in the Golden Retriever pup, Mandy, that he rescues from a local shelter. Inspired by the heroic search and rescue teams he sees on television, he and Mandy become a trained SAR team. Their first big challenge comes when a series of violent storms with vicious tornadoes rip through the high plains.
Dan has come home from Iraq shattered by the horrors he witnessed. Like his father and grandfather before him, he takes off on an old motorcycle to try to find peace and outrun his nightmares. Instead he finds a storm that almost takes his life.
Lucky for him, a special SAR team comes to his rescue. In Mandy and Garrett he just might find the unconditional love he needs to become whole again.
Dan tossed and flailed around, in danger of hurting himself with the heavy cast on his arm. He mumbled and moaned, clearly caught in the throes of a bad dream.
Garrett leaned down over the bed and caught the smaller man firmly by the shoulders, leaning his weight into holding him still. “Hey, man, it’s okay. You’re all right. Nobody’s going to hurt you anymore.”
Still Dan heaved and struggled, crying out a desperate plea. “No, no, merci, no! Oh my God, No!” Whatever scene he was embroiled in must be horrific indeed. For a tense minute, Garrett wasn’t sure he could restrain the other man’s frantic movements but finally Dan relaxed slightly. The next moment his eyes opened. For an instant he stared around wildly. Then awareness returned as he seemed to remember where he was.
He shook his head, tears welling in his dark eyes. “Sorry, Garrett. I haven’t done that in a while. I was back in Iraq, the day my outfit walked into a roadside cluster bomb.” He shut his eyes a moment, his face drawn into a grimace of agony. “I wish to God I’d quit seeing that, over and over.”
Garrett didn’t know what to say. He could feel the other man’s anguish, knew it as a relative to yet not the same as his own pain. How could he help? He did the only thing he could, gathered Dan into his arms and simply held him. What could he offer but the comfort of another warm body, a gentle touch? He murmured vague words of comfort, much as he might speak to Mandy when she got nervous during a thunderstorm. “It’s okay.”
After a while, Dan’s breathing slowed and evened. Garrett started to slip free and lower him back onto the pillows. At that moment, Dan’s eyes opened again.
“I wasn’t asleep, just trying to do like you said, let go of it, back off and get free. I think I’m all right now. Sorry about that, but thanks. It helped; you helped.”
For a long moment they looked at each other, black eyes and hazel, probing the depths of each other’s souls. All at once Garrett realized he was only wearing his jockeys and Dan had on only a pair of baggy boxers and his casts. Although the casts made it an awkward embrace, an embrace it was, warm skin to warm skin, two muscled masculine bodies intimately close. This was not a kid he held, not a brother or sister, but another adult male. Shock and a surprising sizzle of desire zinged along his nerves.
Dan’s mobile lips, only a few inches from his, drew him like a magnet. He bent, closing that small distance. Garrett’s nose grazed Dan’s and slid past. His lips brushed a stubbled cheek and then found Dan’s mouth, warm and amazingly welcoming. Dan’s uninjured arm lifted until he could weave his fingers into the thick hair at the back of Garrett’s neck. Garrett rested on one elbow but his other hand curled around Dan’s bare shoulder, kneading the solid muscle, feeling the subtle shivers of excitement beneath the hot skin, excitement that mirrored his own. When he shifted closer, his cock bumped against the fiberglass covering Dan’s thigh. That jolted him back to awareness.
“Whoa. What the hell are we doing? I hadn’t planned to come on to you, Dan. If this isn’t something you want, tell me now and it won’t go any farther, tonight or ever.”
“Do I look like I’m trying to fight you off? It’s okay, Garrett. There’s something here, a need that’s pulling on both of us. I’m not in any position to do this right, but whatever we can do, I’m more than willing.”
A quick glance revealed the pale blue sheet was tented over Dan’s erection. At least the cast didn’t offer a barrier there. Garrett reached down, brushed the sheet back, and clasped his hand around Dan’s cock which had already found its way up through the open fly of his shorts. For a breath or two, Garrett simply held it while he took in the male beauty of the organ, dark with blood and throbbing with the same urgency he felt in himself.
“I’d like to taste you, suck you.” His voice came thick and hesitant.
“Tres bon,” Dan murmured. “I’d like that, too.”