Scarred by an abusive stepfather who destroyed his confidence and faith, Rob is adrift. Trying to live on the street, he falls under the domination of an older man who is only marginally kinder to him. This man, self-proclaimed leader of a Wiccan coven, is very arrogant and self-centered. Through this association, though, Rob obtains a job in a book store. He also serves as an assistant to Daniel in rites and ceremonies, albeit living in fear of making mistakes. At a sabbat gathering, he meets Sean.
Sean grew up in a Wiccan home and only left following his parents’ death in an accident. He has floundered along alone and now works as a nurse. Seeing a notice of a coven in his new home town, he attends a sabbat gathering. There he meets and is instantly drawn to Rob, seeing the gentle, truly good soul behind his shyness. Sean recognized he must woo the other man carefully and win his trust before they can begin a real relationship. Daniel stands in the way.
When Daniel’s overbearing ways finally create a rebellion in the group, Sean sees a chance to step in. Will he manage to show Rob that sex can be about caring, trust and love instead of domination and harsh control?
After that first evening, Sean often dropped into the bookstore. Rob welcomed him warmly each visit although he refused to go out afterwards. It didn’t take Sean long to catch on.
“It’s Daniel, isn’t it? He’s very possessive, and he can be mean when he thinks he’s losing control. I don’t think you really love him, though. Do you?”
Rob shook his head with only the slightest hesitation. “I thought I did and I felt like I owed him so much. I really was on the street when I met him. Things weren’t quite as dire as he likes to paint them but he did take me in. He gave me a home, food, shelter and someone caring about me, or at least seeming to. I needed that. I felt like a worthless piece of shit, a loser and useless. But now it’s just like with my stepfather, except the sex part. You could say the old man abused me, but never that way. I finally see how Daniel’s using me, a lot more than I’ve used him ...”
He paused for a few seconds. “That’s not love; it’s possession, control, maybe power. And I don’t have to love back when that’s all there is.”
“No, you don’t! And you’re not worthless, not a loser. Much less a piece of shit. You can’t let yourself believe that. I -- I won’t let you.”
At the moment, no one else was in the shop. Acting on an impulse too strong to resist, Sean wrapped both arms around Rob and pulled him close. He truly believed it was only a friendly, comforting hug but within seconds it became much more. Rob lifted his head, starting to push back but all Sean saw was his face, so close, lips parted as if he was about to speak.
He didn’t want to hear any protests so he silenced Rob the only way he could, with a kiss. Sean tried to keep the kiss gentle but a flare of heat seemed to weld their lips together. He heard Rob’s gasp as if from a great distance.