Portia Gaughran is an Army brat, which means trying to maintain her sanity and spot as head cheerleader while worrying about her father in Afghanistan. So for Portia, boarding at a school near the U.S. Army base in Esperanza is nothing out of the ordinary. But when the U.S. territory falls under the threat of rebels, being a military kid in Esperanza turns into more for Portia and her friends than living in a place that most people associate with dream vacations; it becomes about fearing for their safety and being leery of every civilian they meet. Especially, Javier Perón, a mysterious and potentially dangerous young Esperanzan artist who paints a dark past that seems well on its way to repeating itself. And as Portia escapes deeper into his mystery, she can't help but wonder if, by trying to free him from his demons, she will become his sanctuary or his next victim.