One group of Slayers stands between the Rancor Order and the irregulars. Their most trusted Slayer must decide between releasing his wicked darkness or losing the woman he loves. When the tides shift in the war against the Rancor Order, the Slayers are put to the test as the first Strain emerges. Bellum—the bringer of war—returns to Van City, hunting for the Slayers. She wants a piece of the pie. The most trusted of the Slayers, Riam—of unknown origin—is faced with an adversary so great it is all-consuming. Riam, who has perfect control of every emotion he possesses, is overcome by one he doesn’t feel he’s worthy of—love. His formidable opponent? A woman held captive by the Genesys, Sasha Grant. Sasha isn’t like any other woman he’s met before. She is like him to the wicked core. In order to save her life, he must call on his people. Reaching out to those he’d shut the door on hundreds of years ago sends Riam into a head-on collision with the world that opened the door for The Genesys. Breaking all the rules, Riam lets out the wicked warrior locked deep within his soul and hunts for the woman he’d die for. The war has only just begun.