To prevent their imminent murder, Bethanie Clark flees New York City with her eleven-year-old son, Ethan. Her destination— a remote cabin isolated high in the Smoky Mountains. A city dweller her entire life, she never realized there was more threatening their lives than the enemies of her son’s father. In winter, in the high elevations of the Great Smoky Mountains, surviving the elements is a challenge. During one innocent foray into the forest, she and Ethan become lost. With night descending rapidly, poorly dressed for a sudden blizzard and lacking any shelter, Bethanie realizes she has unwittingly sentenced herself and her son to death. Mother Nature would accomplish what her human enemies could not.
For twenty-five years, the Guardian Shadow known as Lycos has rid the earth of the embodiments of evil, individuals so dark they no longer deserved to be called human. Continually, he absorbs their evil to blend in, to get close to his targets, and over time, he acknowledges the difference between him and his prey has grown impossibly fine. For Lycos, an off-the-grid, self-sustaining home bored into the side of a granite mountain provides blessed sanctuary. His quiet retreat from humanity is shattered with an unexpected call from Guardian that tasks him with protecting a woman and her son.
A hardened killer, Lycos balances on the fine line of damnation. When he saves a mother and her son from freezing to death, this one act has the power to redeem him, for the pair will offer him the fulfillment of an impossible dream—unconditional love and an exit from the world of the Shadows. To his sorrow, leaving his former life won’t be so easy, for the evil Bethanie fled has found them, and they have Ethan.