In an alternate universe, where gender is less important than how dominant a person is, Jake Alric is the odd man out. While other subs spend their days trying to find their one true mate, Jake goes out of his way to avoid dominants. He’s seen the dark side of soul bonds, and all he wants is to be left alone to tend his small Montana cattle ranch in peace.
When an oil company starts buying up land all around town, Jake comes under increasing pressure to sell. A chance encounter brings him into contact with one of his potential mates, Henry Waterstone, son of the man trying to buy Jake’s ranch and a handsome dominant who pushes buttons Jake didn’t know he had.
For the first time Jake is tempted by the true pleasure of being a submissive. But as Jake and Henry grow closer, a new player in the oil company rises up and threatens to sever their fragile connection. Suddenly the person Jake was most afraid to find becomes the one he’s most terrified to lose.
Jake made a strangled sound and stared down at Henry with wide blue eyes. Henry almost wished he had a camera to capture the moment.
“What are you doing?” Jake rasped.
“This is our relationship,” Henry repeated. “We make our own rules.” Through his lashes, he saw Jake’s Adam’s apple bob. “Hasn’t anyone done this for you?”
Jake choked off as Henry ran a hand up his inner thigh, then leaned forward to press his lips against the obvious bulge in Jake’s jeans. Henry hid a smile. Whoever said this wasn’t a position of power wasn’t doing it right.
“Do you think,” Henry asked, “I’m the type to win an argument by force?” Another soft kiss, and with every motion slow and deliberate, he unclasped the top button of Jake’s jeans. “When there are so many other ways of persuasion?”
Jake shook his head. “I don’t know what to think about you.” But he didn’t tell Henry to stop. He thrust his hips forward in invitation, and when Henry glanced up again, he saw the memories of pain were fading from Jake’s eyes.
Good boy. “I’m your dom. I’m going to take care of you, however you need it.”
And when Jake was irrevocably his, he’d make sure Jake spoke to a professional. No childhood trauma was cured in an afternoon. Not even by one’s mate.
“I’m not seeing no head shrink,” Jake said, his eyes half-shut. His hands fluttered lightly on Henry’s shoulders as if he didn’t know what to do with them.
Henry hadn’t spoken his thought out loud, but there wasn’t need to alarm Jake if he didn’t realize it. Instead Henry ran a thumb along the cloth over Jake’s straining erection, feeling his mate tremble.
“You’re going to have to extend me a little trust,” Henry said.
“Trust you with my mind?” Jake’s laugh sounded breathless. “My sanity?”
“And your heart.” He gazed up at Jake. “You’ll have mine too. We’re in this together.”
Henry would have never imagined himself saying something like that a week ago, much less meaning it. He did now with all his heart.
Shooting Henry a startled look that then softened, Jake bit his lip. But he didn’t say no.