Kyson never thought he’d end up in a compound for the soulless. He knew he had a soul-mate, had felt the emotions on and off during his life. But no one believed him when he turned twenty, and his soul-mate couldn’t be found.
It was the law that every human must bond with their soul-mate by the age of twenty, and Kyson had failed. But he couldn’t find his soul-mate locked up in the compound. And if he escaped, he would be a fugitive, a hunted man.
What he stumbled into when he was free was a nightmare, or so he thought. Whole communities of soulless, living without the bond and apparently happy. How could that be? It was a known fact that a human needed their soul-mate to be happy, to be fulfilled, to be complete—wasn’t it?
What was even more astonishing was finding his soul-mate among the many lawless. He was thrilled, until he realized Zechariah was in no way interested in bonding with him. Without Zech, Kyson would be forever a criminal, living below the law. How was he to survive like that? And how come Zech didn’t realize his refusal to bond was slowly killing Kyson?
Zechariah grew up with parents and entire community that didn’t believe in the religious zealot’s doctrine that every human needed a soul-mate to live. His father remembered the days before the law, when humans were allowed to be free and not relegated to compounds if their soul-mate wasn’t found by twenty.
When Kyson showed up, Zech was confused at the pull in his mind, and the overwhelming emotions he could feel from the other man. He hid his discovery, afraid his father would drive Kyson away.
When Kyson called them soul-mates, Zech refused to believe him, refused to bond. He didn’t want to be tied to another, it wasn’t right. He didn’t care that if he bonded with Kyson, they would be free to live anywhere instead of hidden away, dredging an existence where life was dangerous and unpredictable.
He didn’t have a choice when their refuge was raided, but despite completing the bond, they were still ripped apart. That was when Zech learned just how important having a soul-mate was, and how far he was willing to go to have Kyson back.