Crosses are empowered and rich. Class status and racial status are the same thing. A brutal hierachy exists, and none escape it. In the midst of this are Callum and Sephy, best friends who conceive the prospect of love after their very first kiss on the beach, the location for many of their realisations. Callum's mother, Meggie, used to be a nanny to Sephy before being fired for accidentally not being an alibi to Sephy's mother. Sephy's father is the Deputy Primeminister, a bigot and a racist. He wishes his daughters to grow up with as little contact with noughts as possible. Callum has just been accepted into a Cross school after pressure from a nought terrorist organisation, the Liberation Militia.
But the world is moving far too fast for the pair to grow closer peacefully. Lacking another means of self-expression, more and more noughts, including Callum's brother and father, are choosing terrorism. Society is making very few changes for the better, and he is one of the many victims of cruel tradition. Sephy gets no reward for her efforts to help the minority. Suicide and violence become themes for Callum's family. Alcoholism and neglect are the themes of Sephy's. When the bomb goes off and Callum's father is blamed, not even the pair of star-crossed lovers could have imagined what the consequences would be...
Callums father is saved from hanging by a very sucessfull lawyer. She is paid for by Jasmine Hadley. Ryan is saved from capital punishment but dies trying to escape prison. Jude has left home and is wanted by the police, he now works full time for the Liberation Militia. Sephy leaves home to go to a far away boarding school to get away from things at home. Callum is too late to stop her, he too joins the L.M. Many years later Callums L.M. cell are asked to kidnap Sephy, along with Jude. Callum asks to meet Sephy and she is captured, Sephy is forced to make a video asking her father to pay so that she is set free. However, while picking up the money the L.M. are betrayed by Andrew Dorn who works for Kamal Hadley. Pete, the cell leader is killed and Leila is captured. Meanwhile, Sephy and Callum who is gaurding her make love. Sephy then escapes. Later it is revealed that Sephy is pregnant with Callums child.
She asks to meet Callum and they chose what to name thier child, however, Callum is then arrested by the police and sentance to hang. Kamal Hadley offers to save Callum if Sephy gives up the child. Sephy refuses and Callum agrees. The book ends when Callum is hung, Sephy is in the crowd and she shouts that she loves him and that her child does too. Later Sephy gives birth to a girl who she names Callie Rose.