Watchdogs is a collection of three short stories detailing the life and love of Ray and Jared — how they met, how they fell in love, and how they ended up discovering the truth about Ray and who (or rather what) he truly is. The three stories included are Cyclops, Remus, and Odd Man Out, with each story being roughly three chapters long, and each of them packing a fair bit of story and sex into their pages. Of them, I think my favorite has to be Cyclops.
In Cyclops, the first story, we learn that after his time in the military, Ray had a hard time fitting into the civilian world. With his missing eye and no longer being supported by the structure he’d come to rely on, he was falling into a world of rage and pain, only to be pulled out by Sarge, the man who he looked up to as a father figure. It was Sarge who introduced him to the world of paid killing, but it’s Jared who will help him out. Jared, who is a cop, who is as open and honest as Sarge is murky and hidden, and the relationship between Ray and Jared is one of trust and honest respect.
In Remus, Ray’s foster brother makes an appearance, revealing the truth about what Ray truly is. If it weren’t for Jared, Ray might have left with Remus then and there, but the bond between the two men is strong. Will it be strong enough, though, to survive what’s about to come next?
In Odd Man Out, Ray and Jared are dealing with the aftershocks of Remus’s bombshell. Ray hasn’t wanted to have sex with Jared for months, his mind caught up in the realization that he’s not human. So Jared makes a choice to take the two of them to Alaska and hunt down Remus. He wants Ray to be happy, needs him to be happy, and if that means sharing him … he can do that. So long as he doesn’t lose him.
The stories are brief, but enough character development is sketched out to add weight to Jared’s actions and emotion to Ray’s uncertainty. Because Ray is, in his heart, a follower. The army taught him to obey, and he’s happiest when someone else takes charge, takes the responsibility and the power away from him. Which is why, when Remus reaches for him, Ray yields, even though he’s still very much in a relationship with Jared at the time. Jared is fine with making decisions because he loves Ray. And, after watching his boyfriend fuck someone else, he’s strong enough to make the decision that must be made.
There’s not much subtlety in the writing, but there’s a lot of story. A lot of character building and a lightning fast pace. All in all, I enjoyed this omnibus, but take it for what it is: three bite-sized stories with a lot of action and a little sex as a treat.