Jonah and Christian were foster kid in the same home. Not really kid truth be told, more young men, at 14 and 16 years old. Maybe since they were similar in age, or maybe since she saw ahead of them, Marisol, the woman who took care of them, put them together in the same room and asked to Jonah, the older, to be as an older brother for Christian, to play as role model. That last part didn't work right, and Jonah made the bigger mistake of his life and went in a juvenile prison. But before he was taken by the cops, Christian shout out his love for Jonah to everyone who could hear him. That was the last time Jonah and Christian were together in the previous 15 years, even when Jonah came out of prison, he didn't come back to Christian, on the contrary he tried to cut off any bond he had with him other than Marisol. But now Marisol is dead and she asked him to help Christian to renovate her home and then sell it for raising money to donate to child care. Jonah can't deny this last wish to the only woman who showed him love, and so now he is again in front of Christian.
Jonah is the typical abused child. Having no one shows him love for the first 14 years of his life, doesn't teach him as to do it. The only person he thought was his only love bond, even if an abusive love, turned him to the system. And when Marisol entered his life, it was too late for him to learn how to love. What he felt for Christian is not exactly love, it's more a protective feeling: even if Christian had his problem with his own family, there are still hope for him to grown and become a good man, and so Jonah reflects in him what he knows he can't achieve. Christian becomes Jonah's hope for the future, he will have the good life he can't have. But Jonah doesn't achieve his goal becoming Christian's protector, on the contrary, he decides to leave him: Jonah considers himself not worthy of Christian's love since the man deserves someone better than him.
Years later Jonah is forced to face again Christian; in the last 15 years Jonah hasn't really had any relationship with another human soul, nor friendship or love. He is like an half man, like the single wing he has tattooed on the shoulder, he is not complete. Probably if Christian had a good life for his own, he would let him in peace, but Christian is alone. At first Jonah continues to deny what he and Christian himself really desire, but then he rushes to the center of it: from not wanting Christian to almost trying to hiding him to the world to have him all for himself. There is a rollercoast of emotion in the book, no half measure, and there is definitely a changing in the characters: at first Jonah appears to be the one in charge, he is the one who decides if starting or not the relationship, but for real, I believe that is Christian who sets the pace. Jonah is always on an edge, his feelings are raw and primitive, and Christian always soothes him. He did that in the past when they where teens, and he does it again now, both in their day-to-day life than during sex; Jonah bounces and Christian welcomes, and with his welcoming he is also dictating the relationship, and this evolution is reflected also in their lovemaking: at first Jonah is only able to take, to be the one in charge, but more their relationship evolves, and more Jonah becomes the one on the receiving side.
In Jonah's first attitude I really can see the foster kid, the one who has nothing and to whom all was stripped away; Jonah has the urge to take and hide (even the sperm of his lover!), and to do that in an hurry, since maybe someone else could arrive and take it from him. More the soothing presence of Christian arrives to him and more he starts to relaxe and to enjoy what the life has in reserve for him.
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Cover Art by Anne Cain