Elder Davan Solaris has secrets, the most important being the love he still harbors for Manuel Tejarda, the man he bonded with four years ago at the last Great Gathering. Some days, thoughts of Manuel are the only thing that keeps him going. Other days, the anguish of being abandoned brings him to his knees. Manuel will always hold his heart. When Manuel appears at this year's Great Gathering, Davan panics. He's given up too much to let Manuel rip his heart apart again. Besides, he has an even bigger secret to hide, and this one he needs to hide from Manuel. Manuel knows Davan betrayed him. He has the proof. But he can't help but seek Davan out when he attends the gathering. A cloud of rage fills him when he discovers the plans of the elder council, and he takes that anger out on Davan, claiming the man as his mate. When his mind clears, Manuel's only thought is to guard his heart from the one man that has the power to destroy it, even if that means not having Davan as his mate. Destroying the forces bent on keeping them apart might be easier than giving Davan up, especially when Manuel discovers the secrets Davan has been keeping from him.