Apocalypse: a drastic change often brought on by some cataclysmic natural disaster.
The world of the Sentries series evolves because of an apocalypse. In this case I chose the Wyoming Super Volcano. The story of Todd and Nick Ruger begins three hundred years after its eruption changes not only the geography of North America, but the society, the people, and how they live and interact with the rest of the world.
Their world has electricity provided by solar panels, but no electronic devices. There is steam transportation, but most people use horses. From the ashes of an apocalypse rose a society different from the one before in many ways.
It’s a mix of the old and new. I try to drop in details they’d see or know about the world in the centuries before their time, just as we would today. Holdovers such as roads and books are sprinkled throughout the stories. Archeological evidence of what went before.
Together Bound is second in the Sentries series and picks up about eighteen months after the beginning of the first book, Marked Yours. In the first book they face the challenges of a new relationship, men getting to know one another and forging a life together.
While I was writing Together Bound I had definite goals in mind for the story, plot and characters. Their story is one that will, hopefully, be told over the course of six books, so lots of gradual character development and exciting situations for them to experience.
In Together Bound they face, separately and together, inner and outer forces that threaten who they are as individuals and as a couple. Todd learns about some aspects of his personality he’d rather stay buried and never see the light of day. For Nick, he’s faced—for the first time in his life—with having to function on his own and make his own choices.
This story is about change, choices and staying the same while growing. All people, all couples go through ups and downs in life, an owner and slave would be no different. I wanted to move the characters forward in their lives. They needed to face obstacles neither would expect, ones that would ensure they’d mature as individuals and a couple.
Nick’s change is particularly significant. He starts the book still on the precipice between boy and man, sheltered and protected by Todd. By the time the book ends he’s very much a man and Todd’s true partner in all aspects of their life together. He’s given the chance to make choices, ones that affect him, Todd and him as a couple, and other people.
Todd has plenty of decision making to do as well. He’s Nick’s owner, his protector, responsible for every part of Nick’s life. More than anything Todd wants a mate. He wants Nick and him to be a family. Todd needs to learn letting go is sometimes the way to hang on tight.
Just as an apocalypse sets in motion creation of the society Todd and Nick live in, one changes their lives. Each man must make decisions on his own that affect them both as a couple, creating their own personal apocalypse and changing the course of their lives forever.