Gideon McCade—weighed down by memories of his previous life as a Navy SEAL and a CIA agent—has blood on his hands. He turns to his BDSM club, Catharsis, and Dominating submissives to get him through the daily grind of civilian life. Knowing his past is too much to inflict on a life partner, he keeps his connections brief and superficial. When his former life comes back to haunt him, his desire for revenge pulls him back into the shadows, darkening his hopes for a future in the light.
Temporarily sidelining his career as a tattoo artist, Sebastian Phillips works as a composite artist for the local police department. To alleviate the inescapable burden of a congenital medical condition, he immerses himself in his art and seeks the catharsis of submission. But with life weighing heavily on his shoulders and darkness encroaching, he yearns for a contract with a Dominant that sees past the protective barriers he's erected to the vulnerable submissive within.
When happenstance brings Gideon and Sebastian together, their connection is undeniable. The knowledge that they are both too damaged to form permanent bonds of love causes them to rely on an impersonal contract to fulfil their physical needs. But staying emotionally detached becomes impossible, and breaking their contract seems the only option. Will Gideon's need for vengeance and Sebastian's declining health destroy what's grown between them, or will they help each other find their way back into the light?
Tags: BDSM, Illness/Medical, Hurt/Comfort, Age Gap, Military