Linden Van Doren is in a strange position. He’s an emancipated omega holding down two jobs, so he should be out from under anyone’s thumb but in reality, there are still weird lupine rules to follow. For instance, if an alpha wants to court him, he’s not allowed to say no. If that same alpha asks for his hand in bonding, however, as there’s no contract that anyone holds but him, he can certainly say no to that. And would. He trusts no alpha to keep their word even though they’re the only ones who could make his dreams come true. It’s all very confusing and a bit ridiculous but until all omegas are free to do whatever they want with their lives, his odd circumstances are the norm. He’s also doing his very small part to help others—and that just became a problem.
Wade Massey is a homicide detective with the Chicago PD. He’s partners with Avery Davenport, which puts him in close, continual contact with Avery’s friend, Linden Van Doren. Wade isn’t sure what it is about Linden that drives him nuts. And annoying the hell out of the stunning omega should make Wade want to stay away from him. The problem is, he can’t seem to do that. Besides, Linden needs a keeper. Wade has never actually met anyone who needs someone looking out for them more and really, no one but Wade can be trusted to do it and keep their hands off the tantalizing man.
When the FBI comes knocking because omegas have gone missing, Wade finds out that Linden has been far more active in the fight to help other omegas than he imagined. When both men are drafted to help, they are suddenly thrown together in a situation where, for once, neither of them can walk away. Wade’s been great at making excuses and Linny’s been fantastic about hiding his feelings. None of that works anymore.
Linden knows he wants Wade—he knew the night the possessive human carried him out of hell—but loving someone who can never return his feelings is stupid and Linden’s finished with that. Wade’s never been attracted to a man before and perhaps it’s not desire or lust, but simply his protective instincts gone wild. If neither of them can be brave, there’s no hope for the future. But perhaps just winnowing through the mist of confusion down to the marrow where the truth lies will set them both free.
Trigger Warning: Discussion of repeated sexual abuse of a main character, including when he was a minor. No abuse occurs on page.