Negotiating the relentless pull of the mate bond is tough.
Especially when one is still traumatized by memories of childhood sexual abuse and the other point blank refuses to acknowledge (out loud at least) that there is a mate bond at all.
While Pierce tries to deal with the aftereffects of her new and "unpierced" self, Lucas relives the week leading up to that fateful night when he was forced into doing the one thing he vowed he never would - inflict his disease on another human being.
As if he didn't hate himself enough already.
As she attempts to come to terms with the new her - the Pierce that is stronger, faster and less reliant on her former "dependencies" - she begins to settle into an unfamiliar, yet longed for, "normal" life with her newfound circle of family and friends. Pierce is finally able to do what her maker never could - embrace, accept and thrive from what she has become.
With Pierce's not-so-subtle help, Lucas comes face to face with the fact that maybe it's time for him to start coming to terms with this "affliction" too.
But it is not going to be easy.
Especially when they come into contact with another pack for the first time.