Dagus Whitton is tired of being controlled. After his brother Drake moved in with his shifter mate, Dagus had felt a great sense of accomplishment from finally living on his own, especially considering his blindness. But that was before being kidnapped by scientists bent on using him as a bargaining chip against the shifters living in the area. Now he struggles being alone, but hates always having someone watching over him. He’d had his life neatly in hand and just wants to get that feeling of contentment back. Discovering a mate has its pros and cons, and Dagus isn’t certain he’s ready for more drama.
Brad Nadeau never thought he’d find a mate, since his homophobic father filled his head with the belief that Fate didn’t grant them to gay shifters. When his biker gang walks into a gay bar in Colin City for a night of fun, Brad’s world is turned upside-down. Not only does he find his mate, but he discovers that the guy is human, blind, and already knows about shifters. That should make claiming Dagus easy, right? Except accepting his mate means Brad will have to leave the only family he’s known for the last thirty-seven years, his motorcycle gang. When his leader tells him that the gang needs to move out in less than forty-eight hours to search for a missing member, Brad is faced with an important choice, and not much time to make it in. Learning that the local wolf pack is experiencing dangerous unrest due to several members not liking all the other shifter breeds in the area doesn’t make his choice any easier. Is Brad ready to face down shifters like his father to start a whole new life with a mate he isn’t certain wants his brand of care?
“So tell me how to make our date an enjoyable experience for you. I already told you I don’t have a car so I can’t take a dog, if you have one.”
“No dog,” he replied. “Molly passed away six months ago. She’d developed a tumor in her abdomen and was in terrible pain. Because of its position, it wasn’t operable, so…well, she had to be put down.” Dagus’s throat constricted as he thought of Molly. He still missed her terribly, and even before getting kidnapped, hadn’t gone out nearly as much as he once had. “I haven’t had the heart to ask for a replacement yet,” he admitted.
“I’m sorry, Dagus,” Brad whispered. Leaning close, he brushed a kiss across Dagus’s temple. “It’s hard losing a friend.”
Dagus smiled, amazed that Brad understood so easily. Some people didn’t consider their pets family, but Dagus did. “Thank you.” Then he cleared his throat, refocusing on what they should be discussing. “I hate people leading me by the elbow. It makes me feel like a naughty child,” he admitted. “If you’re comfortable, I’d prefer a hand on my back to guide me when needed, and instruction on number of feet in a particular direction.”
There was a moment of silence and then Brad said, “Shit, you can’t see me nod.” He grunted.
Dagus heard the telltale sign of a hand being run through thick hair.
“That will take some getting used to,” he added, chagrined. “What else?”
“I carry a cane to help me keep from running into things, but if you could warn me when we’re coming to steps or uneven ground of any kind, I’d appreciate it.”
“Right. I can do that.”
Dagus nodded. “At the table, I’ll need you to let me know the layout. Where the napkin is, my water glass, silverware, even where the food on my plate is.” He swallowed and grimaced. “I should warn you now that I’m kind of a messy eater. It’s best if I don’t have anything too saucy when out with others since I need to use my fingers to see where things are.”
Brad must have known how uncomfortable that admission made him, for he gave his hand a light squeeze. “That’s just fine. If other people have a problem with it, I’ll glare at them for you,” he teased. “I can be quite intimidating.”
That had Dagus smiling. “Lark described you as a huge biker dude. Is that true?”
“How about I get on my knees in front of you and let you learn for yourself?” he whispered in reply.
“Okay,” he replied, surprised at how breathless he sounded.
For a second, Brad released his hand, and Dagus couldn’t believe how much he missed the man’s touch. Then the warmth of the Brad’s hands returned as he settled one on each thigh. Brad applied slight pressure, silently asking Dagus to open his legs to him. After a second of hesitation, Dagus complied.
He heard fabric rubbing on carpet as Brad pressed forward, positioning himself between Dagus’s legs. Brad released Dagus’s thighs and gently gripped his hands, slowly lifting them.
Tentatively, Dagus settled his hands on the other man’s face and held them still for several seconds as Brad’s hands returned to his legs. He knew that many people found this to be an intimate experience, and to have Brad offer, showing that he trusted Dagus, filled him with a rush of pleasure.
He ran his hands slowly over Brad’s skin, feeling a smooth, square jaw. It told Dagus that Brad had shaved for him, even though he knew Dagus wouldn’t see. He slid his hands up and felt high cheekbones, a prominent brow ridge, broad forehead, and a slight widow’s peak.
Brad had pulled his hair back, and Dagus slowly petted the thick locks, finding a short curly tail at the base of Brad’s neck, complete with a few loose strands. “Curly hair, huh?” he whispered, smiling as he slid his hands down Brad’s neck. He ran into a soft cotton shirt as he continued to slide his hands over broad shoulders and well-muscled upper arms.
“A little bit, yeah,” Brad murmured back breathlessly.
Dagus paused where he roved his hands over the man’s chest, feeling firm pecs and tone abs. “Sorry,” he said, jerking his hands away.
“Don’t apologize,” Brad said. “I enjoyed your touch. Just a little too much. I’m trying to be a gentleman here, and I really want to take you out and get to know you, take things slow between us before anything happens. But if you’d gone any lower, that idea would have flown out the window in a hurry.”