France, 1266. Will and his lover, Stephen, are safely ensconced at Montargis Abbey, a Dominican convent two days' ride south of Paris, where the widowed Lady Eleanor de Montfort has chosen to live out her days in peace and seclusion with her young daughter. Will and Stephen fall into a pleasant routine of chores, while Wilecok keeps the small household running with his work in the kitchen. It's in many ways an idyllic life, one that Will could not have predicted. And when they hear that Kenilworth Castle has fallen after a long siege, it seems that the rebellion against the English Crown that the Montforts spearheaded has well and truly ended.
But the reappearance of Simon brings a complexity to Will's life, for he is still passionately attracted. Even as he and Stephen grow closer and more deeply attached, the shadow of Simon periodically falls over their relationship. A sudden, horrific act of murder in the year 1271, Will's 25th year, shatters their calm. In the aftermath, Lady Eleanor commands a reluctant Will to journey to a castle in southern Tuscany to visit her mortally ill son. It's here that he will learn the devastating truth about Simon's misdeeds, a truth that Will has not wanted to face, and which changes everything.