When the Red Dragon returns to Earth carrying the newly-married Captain Alyn Evans and Company Rep Jarvez Kashari, Jarvez expects confrontation with his grandfather, but instead he learns a terrible old secret that will change his perceptions of his family forever. Coming to terms with what he learned at home, haunted by guilt for his unwitting part in it, Jarvez finds dark urges surfacing. He longs for punishment, domination, and pain – longings Alyn finds hard to satisfy.
The Red Dragon leaves Earth with a new mission and Jarvez has new ambitions. But his plans are threatened when a consignment of diamonds is stolen aboard the Dragon, leaving the ship stopped in space a few days short of Deneb, not allowed to go on until the case is solved. With only a short time left to make the future he dreams of happen, Jarvez must find those diamonds.