Mike Dufrane fled a traumatic youth, hard years haunted by an abusive biker father, poverty and degradation, by escaping into the military. There he found only more savage violence. Then a chance encounter with an animal rescue group showed him another way. On an Indian reservation in the southwest, he finds a place to make a difference. Rez Dogs Rescue Shelter will be his route to build a positive life. Then a handsome Native American rides up on a Harley and throws Mike’s plans for a loop.
Adam was not there when his kid brother needed guidance and a firm hand. Back from two tours with Special Forces, he starts a youth center on the Rez to try to atone for his error but he cannot give up his Harley or his image as one bad ass biker. When an outsider starts a shelter for abused and neglected dogs, Adam initially finds it ludicrous but then recognizes a purpose similar to his own. However, the stranger seems to fear or hate bikers and is reluctant to begin a friendship. When crime and danger threaten both their projects, they have to join forces to prevail and suppressed attraction bursts into flame.
Adam awoke the minute he sensed someone in the hallway. Not sure for a few seconds who it was, he lay still, not speaking or moving at all. After a short time he realized it was Mike, no invader or revenge-bent gang member. Still he waited, although the idea the other man might need help crossed his mind. The shuffling steps grew surer and then came toward him. He could hear the intake of Mike’s breath when he paused in the doorway. Then the soft steps and the whispers of air came closer.
What’s Mike doing? He had not spoken either, so Adam waited, pretending to be asleep. He felt a slight jolt when Mike dropped to his knees, so close his legs nearly brushed Adam’s back. He heard a hitch in the other man’s breath and felt the subtle warmth of his body, just short of touching.
The commando training kicked in. He moved like a striking snake, whipping a coil around a hapless mouse. Rolling, he grabbed Mike’s arms and pulled hard enough to tip him forward. He fell with a grunt, angled across Adam’s body.
“Sssssso, what were you planning to do, Dog Man?”
For a breath or two, Mike lay as if stunned. “I -- I -- I don’t know, really. You just looked so different, lying here asleep. I saw the cage pads and almost laughed but then I realized it was a good, practical solution. You had to be tired but still, you fed the dogs. That surprised me. All at once the bad biker didn’t feel dangerous anymore.”
“Why not? As for the dogs, they were hungry. I knew you normally got up early to take care of them. You wouldn’t be sleeping if you didn’t need to. It helps the body heal. I wasn’t going to leave until you woke up, though, so I figured I could grab a nap.”
Mike still didn’t move, at least not much. Finally Adam decided maybe the other man couldn’t. Had he hurt his bruised ribs again? Some other unknown wound or injury? Shit. I forgot about him being beat to hell. Prob’ly made it all feel worse. Think next time, ya dumb Indian ...
“Hey, I didn’t mean to startle you, especially not to make your banged up carcass feel any worse. I’m sorry. I didn’t think, just acted.”
“I’m okay,” Mike responded. “Actually it feels pretty good. You’re so warm ...”
In a heartbeat everything changed. What had started out akin to a juvenile prank became serious, intense, charged with latent energies. Adam caught Mike’s shoulders to lift and turn him until they lay face to face, Mike still mostly on top, and Adam looked up into the other man’s face, mere inches from his own.