It's a fast paced novel spiced with humor and takes place during the first decade of the twenty-first century.
After a research scientist accidently creates a powerful sexual control chemical, an industrialist steals the product and dispenses it to wealthy clients. For those with big bucks, and some unscrupulous others, a fantasy world of love and sex unfolds, drawing in young and beautiful people who would otherwise remain unreachable.
Nicholas Isenborg, the research scientist, is separated from his lover early in the vole. Isenborg is kept alive by Clu Rolfe, an ex-con whose wife ash become one of the sex slaves. The novel is not excessively explicit sexually.
The wail of a siren died in the Russian Hill District. Nick Isenborg stared down the Embarcadero and beyond. Nothing and no one out of place. He unclenched his fists. "Paranoia," he mumbled. People moved forward. Nick stepped into the cross- walk, his hair brushing the collar of his Albert Einstein sweatshirt.
Corina Lavin clasped Nick's hand. "Nicky, you're shutting me out. Do I have to inject you with that repulsive pheromone to get you to notice me?"
Powerful hands wrenched Nick's arms. Words choked in his throat, and he stumbled. Two men in jogging suits dragged him off. The tips of his high-top sneakers scraped the ground. Corina shrieked. A stump of a man whirled her about-face. "What are you doing?" Nick shouted. "Let her go!" The short man snugged down his leather cap and snared Corina by an arm and her pants loops. Her feet danced puppetlike in her flight across the intersection.
Heads turned. None of the pedestrians tried to interfere amid the racket of cars and buses. The men in the jogging suits heaved Nick over the curb and quick-stepped around the corner. Nick grabbed at a black sleeve. "Who are you people?"
"Shut it, lsenborg, or we snuff you here. Walk." Something hard poked Nick's ribs through his sweatshirt. He stepped forward, wedged between the two men.
"Almost there," the biggest man said. "Wish every daisy plucked so easy."
A body in a Levi's jacket turned the corner and rammed the two man-handlers into the side of a brick building.
"Rolfe, you wacko," the buzz-cut in the jogging suit blurted. "You ain't on the payroll no more!"
The biggest man, hunched over in a hooded sweatshirt, pushed back from the wall, his face a bloody smear.
Nick, sickened by the sight, stumbled over to the parking meters. The man in the ratty jacket crammed a handgun into the buzz-cut's belly. A muffled roar rippled through Nick's body.
The gun butt smacked the head of the huge man with the cut-up face.
Rolfe grabbed a fistful of Albert Einstein. He yanked Nick toward him. "You keep up with me, you might just see tomorrow. Move out!"
Rolfe jabbed Nick with the gun barrel and shoved him into a crosswalk. "Faster, walk faster." Two drivers blared their horns. An electric vehicle swerved to miss them.
Rolfe tucked the weapon into his belt and threw open the passenger door of a rusty Fleetwood sedan. "In."
Wet with perspiration, Nick clutched at the roof of the Cadillac. "I'm not getting in the car! They've got Corina."
Rolfe's boxlike jaw swelled. "Shit, we'll be lucky to get our own asses out of here."
Nick felt his hip and shoulder give. His sweatshirt tore. Rolfe slid him headlong across the front seat and slammed the door.
The driver pulled his own door shut. A scowl dented his face. He clutched the black pistol. "Tell me why I saved your life." The Fleetwood coughed, jerked from the curb and swerved into the far lane, against traffic. Rattling loudly, the old car screamed through the intersection. "Make it real, or I shove you out between here an' that next corner."
"I don't know who you are or what the hell's happening here, I swear to God! I just have to get back to Corina. I've got to make sure she's okay."
"What does the name R. S. Pearle do for ya?"
Nick's fingers clawed the door. Tires squealed around a corner. "I've heard of him, sure. Everybody's heard of him."
"Not every fuckin' asshole's got his personal army after him, my man. You do. I gotta know why."
"I, I could only guess about that."
"You better be a son-of-a-bitchin' psychic real quick. Who are ya?"
"I'm a researcher-a scientist. Nick lsenborg."
The car sped through a yellow light and went into a sharp turn at the Bay Bridge entrance.
"I worked at one of Stanford's medical labs. I used to head up one of the research projects there."
"Don't shut up, an' maybe you get across this bridge without takin' the plunge."
"This constitutes kidnapping. Thanks for pulling me away from the psychos, but I don't know what you want from me."
"I don't want bullshit!"
Nick stared at Rolfe's face and swallowed hard. The black weapon vibrated against the big man's thigh. Can I grab the gun? There'd be a safety to unlock. "Okay! An experiment I was working on at Stanford was stolen by a man named Harold Hall. He must have gone to R. S. Pearle with it."
The arm bulging under the faded denim sleeve slammed against the steering wheel. "You're the prick?" The car veered halfway into the next lane.
"Jesus!" Nick grabbed the dashboard and the liner overhead.
"That jerk-off Hall sold your fuckin' experiment to R. S. Pearle, twistedest cocksucker on planet Earth. I oughta know. I used to be his number-one boy."
Nick braced one arm over the back of the seat. "You know for certain Hall sold that information to Pearle?"
"You think that was the chamber of commerce back there come to show you Fisherman's Wharf? Any of this sinkin' into your freakin' brainpan yet, smart guy?"
Rolfe's jaw and teeth worked. Nick had to look away, out through the bug-spattered windshield.
"Shit!" Rolfe smacked the dashboard. "Pearle used that sex drug to take my wife Flarinda from me."
"It wasn't supposed to be a sex drug. I wouldn't be part of anything like that."
"I'm gonna tell you one thing more, lsenborg. Then I'm gonna need both you an' me to shut up quicklike." Nick's mouth puckered.
"I took out the punk ass had his hands on your woman back there. She got away clean. Now no more talkin'. Nothin' more, or I might lose it big time on this fuckin' bridge."
A thickset man yanked Corina sideways. His red leather cap slid back on his head and he snugged it down. His fingers hooked a loop of Corina's pants. His other hand clasped her elbow and propelled her across the intersection. Corina saw two men in black jogging outfits force Nicky toward the opposite corner. She stumbled, but powerful arms dragged her over the curb.
Corina collided with the man who dragged her. She gasped. Blood ran down his face. The pinch of his fingers fell away. Corina's legs tangled, and she toppled over him.
A man in a ratty jacket stared down at them on the concrete. His chin jutted. Instead of clubbing Corina with the handgun, the stranger reached out and yanked her toward him. "You wanna live?" Saliva sprayed from his mouth. "Run like hell, girl. Police won't help. Get outta San Francisco before Pearle sics his dogs on you again."
The hand that clutched the black weapon shoved her, and the stranger bolted across the intersection.
Corina gaped at the man sprawled on the cement. Blood covered his cheeks and neck. She shuddered and nervously adjusted her fanny pack. Some of his blood daubed her clothing. Nicky.
Where did they take Nicky? Lips rounded, she filled her lungs and elbowed into the crosswalk.
Corina bumped pedestrians along the street. Her fist crumpled a section of sweater. She hated the blood-soaked feel of the wool, but she feared people might see the scary redness. If more thugs prowled Fisherman's Wharf determined to abduct her, she didn't want to tip them off.
What had happened to Nicky? Her hair damp on her forehead, Corina stood on tiptoe and winced. She gazed over the heads of pedestrians. One ankle, twisted from her fall and aggravated by her frantic pace, forced her to stand and cling to a traffic pole. A bald man in a blue jogging suit stared at her. Had he seen the blood stain? How stupid to run back to where they grabbed Nicky and me.
A Muni bus rumbled to a stop. Corina hobbled closer and the doors sprang open. The face of the uniformed driver looked puzzled. Passengers glanced down through the dirty windows. Corina fumbled in her fanny pack for change. She boarded. One hand gripped the stain on her sweater.
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