Philip lives alone with his dog Barnabas, miles from the nearest mountain town. Late one evening, while he and Barnabas are out running, they are attacked by a very handsome male. Philip shoots him, immediately regrets it, and brings him home to deal with his wounds. Soon he realizes there is something very different about the man, beginning with the fact he is unable to speak or understand English.
Adam is different. Other than recalling his name, Ád-hamh, he has no memories, including why he ended up naked in a cave high in the mountains above Philip's house. He survived on the blood of animals he kills, until the night Philip finds him and brings him home.
Slowly, Philip teaches Adam about his new life. In the process, he discovers things about Adam that will change both their lives forever.
Barnabas growled loudly, tugging angrily at his leash as he lunged at the thing he could see and smell ahead of him, so close and yet out of reach of his jaws. Turning he snapped at Philip, wanting his freedom. Philip jumped in surprise and the leash unfurled from around his hand. With one final pull Barnabas was free. He leapt up, his jaws closing around flesh.
His victim snarled in pain, trying to shake the dog off. Doing so brought him forward into the moonlight outside the cave.
Philip gasped in shock, even as he raised his pistol to point it at the man wrestling with Barnabas. Of all the things he'd expected to find out they'd been following, a man was last on the list. A dead gorgeous man with ... He almost dropped his gun when he realized the man had claws and fangs that glinted white under the moon's light.
"Stay where you are or I'll shoot," Philip called out, pointing the pistol at the man's chest.
The man ignored him, digging his claws into Barnabas' shoulder until the dog yelped and released his grip on the man's arm. But Barnabas was tenacious. Whining softly he licked his wound and then attacked again, fastening his jaws on the man's calf.
The man reached down, his claws going for the dog's throat.
Philip fired, smiling with grim satisfaction when the man let out a guttural shout as he clutched his side in a vain attempt to staunch the flow of blood from the bullet wound. Going deathly pale the man fell against the rocks at the cave's opening and then sank slowly to the ground.
Barnabas sensed the battle was at an end and released his grip on the man. Limping a safe distance away, the dog dropped down on his stomach to lick the wound in his shoulder.
Philip inched forward, keeping his pistol ready as he knelt beside the man. "Please don't move," he told him. "I'm, well, sorry I guess. I didn't want to shoot you but you gave me no choice."
The man raised bewildered eyes to look at him, lifting one hand as if to fend him off and then lowering it.
Feeling that it was safe because the man's claws had vanished, Philip pocketed the pistol and gingerly reached to tug the man's hand away from the bullet wound. "Who are you?" he asked as he lifted the hem of the shirt, which he suddenly realized was one of the ones stolen from him.
The man watched silently, not answering the question. He moaned aloud when Philip touched his side.
"I have to see if the bullet's still in there," Philip told him, putting a hand on the man's shoulder to ease him forward. He was somewhat relieved to discover a second hole even though it was also bleeding. That meant the bullet had gone straight through. "Don't move," he warned again, standing to look down at the man. "I need to find something to bandage you with until I can get you to the hospital."
Without waiting for an answer Philip inched his way into the dark cave. He suspected that more of his stolen clothes were there. The question was could he find them. Moving slowly he worked his way forward until his shoe hit something soft. Praying it was the clothes and not some remains of a dead animal, he reached down, sighing in relief when he felt material. Picking up two pieces that felt like shirts, not jeans, he hurried back to the man.
The man watched him, his eyes now so glazed with pain there was no room for any other emotion. As gently as he could, Philip pulled the shirt the man was wearing up high enough that he could work. He tore one of the shirts from the cave in half, folding the pieces up into thick squares, setting them on the man's legs for the moment. Then he ripped the other one into several strips, glad that it was an older one that came apart easily. Picking up one of the folded pads he put it over the entrance wound and then took the man's hand, putting it against it, telling him to hold it there. A puzzled frown creased the man's brow but he left his hand where Philip had put it.
Tying the strips of shirt together, Philip then put the second pad over the exit wound and quickly wound the makeshift wrapping around both pads tightly, praying that would at least help slow the bleeding.
Once he was finished, he checked the two places where Barnabas had bitten the man, surprised at how minor the wounds seemed to be. Finally he got up again, looking down at the man. He resisted the strong temptation to brush his hands through the man's dark blonde hair, although he could have used the excuse that he needed to get it off his face so he could check ...