Tarnished Saints Series – Book 12
Thad Taylor is the youngest of the 12 Taylor brothers. While he’s had some setbacks in life, he’s learned to overcome his weaknesses.
When he promises a dying man he’ll take care of his daughter, he doesn’t realize the girl is Zoe Fenton, a girl he dated in high school. Neither does he realize at first that Zoe is blind!
Will Thad’s inventions help Zoe or push her away? And is love really blind and able to overlook a physical disability?
Excerpt from Taming Thad:
Zoe bit her lip to keep from crying as the paramedics from Paw Paw loaded her aunt into the ambulance. Andrew had managed to keep the woman from dying by restarting her heart, plus she was breathing again. She heard the slam of the doors and the sound of the wheels on the pavement as the vehicle pulled away. The sirens blared, splitting the air with the eerie wailing noise.
How could this be happening? Just when Zoe thought her life was going to be turning around, this was thrown at her now. After ten years, she was finally going to confront her father, but now that would have to wait because her aunt had just dropped to the ground at her feet with what seemed to be a heart attack.
“Zoe?” Thad’s voice pulled her mind back to where she was. Alone now. That’s where she was. While she’d learned to be independent these past ten years, it was frustrating and frightening not to have eyesight. Estelle had been there for her in her time of need, and she only wanted to do the same for her now.
“Do they need more information on my aunt?” she asked, turning her face in the direction that she’d heard his voice.
“We should go to the hospital now.”
“Yes, of course.” She extended her cane and tapped the ground.
“Can I help you?”
“I’m fine, but thanks.” She was so distraught that she wasn’t paying attention, and probably would have tripped and fell on her face if Thad hadn’t grabbed her arm.
“We’ll just leave those suitcases and Simon will take care of them,” he said, letting her know there was a suitcase in her way. How careless of her. She had the cane, she should have known that. But she just couldn’t concentrate at a time like this.
“Maybe for now it would be good if I could hold on to your arm,” she admitted.
“My jeep’s this way.” His voice was lower than she remembered it in high school, but that was understandable. When they’d dated they were freshmen. They’d been young, careless, and wild. They were both ten years older now. She felt his arm beneath her fingers. He seemed slim but toned. “It won’t take long to get there,” he told her, sounding uncomfortable.
“You’re taller than I remember,” she surveyed, listening to where his voice was coming from. “And your voice is a lot lower.”
“I had a growth spurt sophomore year.”
“Did someone notify my father about my aunt? He never got along with his sister so I’m guessing he might not even show up at the hospital.”
“No. I don’t think he will.” They approached the car, and she felt his hands guiding her down the curb. “There’s a curb here. Let me open the door for you. Now watch your head. Go on and get in and I’ll close up the door.”
She sighed as she got into the jeep, folding up her walking cane in the process. Why did people always treat someone with a disability as if they were three years old? “I’ve got it,” she said, reaching out and closing the door before he could do it. He got in next to her and started up the motor.
“Do you want me to help you with your seatbelt?”
“Thad, I’m not a child. Now stop treating me like one.” She reached over and strapped herself in.
“Sorry.” He took off down the road and there was an awkward silence in the air. She heard him drumming his fingers on the steering wheel and then sensed him reaching out for the knob on the radio.
Thad’s hand stopped in midair and he looked over at Zoe. “Don’t . . . what?” Suddenly, he had the feeling that maybe she was just pretending to be blind to play a joke on him or something. There was no way she could have known he was going for the radio if she couldn’t see.
“The radio. We don’t need it. I’d rather talk.”
He pulled his hand back slowly and laid it on his lap. “Okay, let’s talk.” As long as he could keep the conversation away from her father, he’d be able to stall for time until he figured out how he was going to tell her.
“Is there anything you want to ask me?”
She could probably hear him swallow, his paranoid action was so loud. He did want to ask her lots of questions, but wasn’t sure what would be appropriate. “We haven’t seen each other in a long time and I –” He stopped in midsentence, ready to kick himself for saying seen. “Look – what I mean is – oh crap.” He did it again. He said look to a blind person. What was the matter with him? “I just want to know where you were all this time.”