Authors: Bailey Bradford
Tags: #erotic MM, #Romance MM
A Total-E-Bound Publication
ISBN # 978-1-78184-032-0
©Copyright Bailey Bradford 2012
Cover Art by Posh Gosh ©Copyright June 2012
Edited by Claire Siemaszkiewicz
This is a work of fiction. All characters, places and events are from the author’s imagination and should not be confused with fact. Any resemblance to persons, living or dead, events or places is purely coincidental.
All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced in any material form, whether by printing, photocopying, scanning or otherwise without the written permission of the publisher, Total-E-Bound Publishing.
Applications should be addressed in the first instance, in writing, to Total-E-Bound Publishing. Unauthorised or restricted acts in relation to this publication may result in civil proceedings and/or criminal prosecution.
The author and illustrator have asserted their respective rights under the Copyright Designs and Patents Acts 1988 (as amended) to be identified as the author of this book and illustrator of the artwork.
Published in 2012 by Total-E-Bound Publishing, Think Tank, Ruston Way, Lincoln, LN6 7FL, United Kingdom.
This book contains sexually explicit content which is only suitable for mature readers. This story has a
This story contains 138 pages, additionally there is also a
at the end of the book containing 5 pages.
Book four in the Leopard’s Spots Series
Snow leopard shifter Isaiah Trujillo isn’t a doctor like his brother Tim, but he’s a good guy and when
he meets Bae Allen Warren, he knows he’s found the one man to make his life complete.
Snow leopard shifter Isaiah Trujillo wasn’t the brightest guy. His brother was a doctor with more letters after his name than in it, and Isaiah was just a mechanic. But, he strived to be a good person, and that included accepting the offer to volunteer at a GLBTQ youth centre.
He’s nervous as hell, but Isaiah’s determined to do what he can to help.
Bae Allen Warren is a veterinarian with a mobile practice. It allows him more freedom than having an actual building he had to work out of. He had more baggage than any man should, thanks to his messed up shifter family. His lepe, or clan, was a source of constant stress and guilt. But the leader, his grandfather, makes demands on Bae he can’t ever fulfil for moral and other reasons.
When Bae and Isaiah meet, it’s instant attraction. They know they’re mates, but there are so many obstacles in their way, not the least of which are the stalkers who seem determined to kidnap Bae.
For everyone who has ever doubted their worth—don’t. You are amazing.
The author acknowledges the trademarked status and trademark owners of the following wordmarks mentioned in this work of fiction:
Camaro: General Motors
Grindr: Grindr LLC
Yamaha: Yamaha Motor Corporation USA
Ducati: Ducati Motor Holding S.p.A.
Nissan Leaf: Nissan Motor Co. Ltd.
Expedition: Ford Motor Co.
Taco Bell: Taco Bell Corporation
iPhone: Apple Inc.
Chevy: General Motors
Google: Google Inc.
Taser: Taser International Inc.
“There ya go, Mr Brinkman, she’s all fixed and ready for the road.” Isaiah Trujillo winked at the old man and handed him his keys. Mr Brinkman was cool, a sweet lonely widower who’s partner of thirty-seven years had passed away almost eight months ago.
Mr Brinkman took the keys and caught Isaiah’s hand in both of his, patting it affectionately. “I think you can call me Cliff, Isaiah. Especially after all the work you put into restoring this beauty.”
“Thank you, Cliff.” Isaiah fought against manners drilled into him by his mother and grandma to call Cliff by his first name. He knew it was good manners to do as he was asked by the man, too, but it just felt a little weird. He withdrew his hand after Cliff patted him one last time then Isaiah turned and gestured at the bright red ’69 Camaro he’d spent all his spare time working on over the past few months. “So, are you planning on racing her?” he teased.
Cliff tittered and walked over to run a couple of fingertips over the hood of the Camaro.
The thick white racing stripes down the car really made the red pop. The paint job had been an utter pain in the ass, and Isaiah had lived in fear of fucking it up, but he’d been driven to do his best on the opportunity he’d been handed. Isaiah’s auto shop usually handled day-today repairs, and he seldom took paint jobs, but his true love lay in restoring old cars—he just wasn’t sure he could make a living doing it yet. Maybe, once he built a rep for himself.
“I might just. Relive some of my youth.” Cliff didn’t sound like he was joking, and Isaiah became aware of the melancholy look in the older man’s eyes. What was it like to have loved someone for so long, to have found your soul mate? Isaiah had seen his brother, Timothy, and his mate, Otto. Like Isaiah, they were snow leopard shifters. They were also very much in love. Would he ever find someone like that? It sure didn’t seem possible. All the clubs he went to were just meat markets, places to fuck or find someone to take home for a night. Perhaps he should try somewhere else, but where?
“You know, I was driving this car the night I met Quincy,” Cliff said, then he sighed and grimaced. “But I’m sure you don’t want to hear about that. Probably bore you, what with all the hustling men do now days.”
Isaiah frowned in return, trying to grasp what Cliff was talking about. He wasn’t confused over how Cliff knew he was gay, or gay-friendly. The rainbow flag in the shop window wasn’t small or possible to miss. “Hustling?” he asked.
“Screwing around,” Cliff clarified. “Seems like that’s the thing to do, see how many men you can have sex with. Maybe I’m just cynical, but I even hear it in my own age group, you know. Like no one actually cares about anyone, just…” Cliff huffed and flapped a hand in the air. “Just bodies slapping together. It saddens me to think so many people are missing out on a love like Quincy and I had. Still have, because I won’t stop loving him.” Cliff’s eyes sparkled with tears that soon leaked down his cheeks. He didn’t seem ashamed at all, not even swiping at them. “I don’t think it’s just gay men, but sometimes I wonder if love will be a thing of the past in another couple of generations.”
“That’s awful,” Isaiah said without thinking, but the very idea made him feel kind of queasy. Then it dawned on him what he’d just done and he blushed so hard even his feet felt hot. Isaiah tipped his cap back and rubbed his forehead as he looked at Cliff through his lashes. “Sorry, I don’t mean—” he stopped himself. He wasn’t a liar, but how did he say what he meant without being insulting?
Cliff just nodded and caressed the hood of his car, waiting patiently. “I’m not going to get mad, Isaiah. We’re talking, and I’d like to think of us as friends, if you can tolerate the ramblings of an old queen sometimes.”
It made Isaiah feel a little less insecure. He wasn’t the brightest guy—there was a reason his brother was a doctor and he was a mechanic—and talking wasn’t his best talent, either. In fact, he was so shy outside of work that sometimes he couldn’t bring himself to deal with people. Other times, he could manage a trip to a club, when he was desperately lonely, but he didn’t really have to talk much then, either. Which kind of proved Cliff’s point.
“Yes, sir,” Isaiah blurted out, then quickly corrected himself when Cliff started to speak.
“I mean, Cliff. I’d be happy to count you as a friend.” One of Isaiah’s very few friends, actually. Cliff nodded and waited. Isaiah hoped he got his words out in the manner he intended them to be heard. “All I meant was, it’s awful to think that’s the way we’re going to end up. I see what you mean. I’ve been to Cinders”—Cliff muttered his understanding of that being a gay club—“a few times. And yeah, all it is, is a place to hook up.” Blowjobs in the bathroom, sometimes even in the club itself, and the alley… Well. Isaiah wasn’t going to www.total-e-bound.com
tell Cliff what went on there. “The thing is, I don’t know that there’s lots of places to meet a nice man, you know? Like, how did you meet Quincy?”
Cliff beamed and his eyes twinkled with joy instead of sadness, and it warmed Isaiah’s heart. Stroking the hood gently, Cliff watched his fingers. “I was driving this beauty down A1A in Florida, believe it or not.” He cackled and shook his head. “Got the retirement down backwards, don’t I? But I was born in Merritt Island, Florida. Anyway, here I was driving down the highway, and you have to understand, times were different. Certain things weren’t talked about. I knew I was different, but there was no one I could turn to.”
Cliff stopped rubbing the hood and clenched his hand into a fist. He faced Isaiah and anger etched deeper lines around the old man’s mouth. His expression shifted, and he appeared to go off somewhere years back in his mind. “At the stop light in Cocoa Beach, I saw this beautiful young man being hassled by two big brutes. No one else gave a damn that he was being shoved or about to be seriously hurt. I saw him go down, pushed to his knees.
But he didn’t quail in fear or anything. Instead I could see his anger, see him struggle to get up against the hands holding him down. He was magnificent in his refusal to give up.”
“The light changed, but I couldn’t leave him. All of the sudden, just like that,” Cliff snapped his fingers, “everything clicked into place. I knew with a certainty who I was, what I was, and that the man shaking his fist at his attackers was the key to my happiness.” Cliff turned a sharp look on him. “People make fun of love at first sight, but it happens. In seconds, I knew Quincy and I would be together, no matter what I had to do to make it happen. If he wasn’t gay, then so be it. I’d be the best friend he ever had and pray he’d love me back. Cars behind me honked when the light changed but I didn’t care. I leaned over and pushed the passenger side door open just as Quincy fought to his feet. I’d have gotten out if I needed to, but Quincy was a fighter, yes he was. Little guy, and fierce…”
Isaiah understood that. His cousin Oscar wasn’t exactly tall or muscular, and he scared the shit out of Isaiah. Fierce was an understatement.
“Quincy looked up and our eyes met. He never looked away from me as he ran for the door. The second he dove in, I felt a peace like you wouldn’t believe, joy so encompassing I thought I’d burst from it.”