Jesse's story occurs in the future, a future in which women are legally allowed to contract with men for sexual favors, even for a no-holds-bared BDSM relationship. Jesse's transferable contract is held by a professional gambler, an unprincipled man who abuses her in public. Howard, a successful yuppie from a good family, observes this abuse firsthand, and despite a strong aversion to getting involved is pushed into a sucker bet, and to everyone's surprise he wins the girl's contract. He tries to do the right thing by the girl, treating her as an innocent victim of a shoddy social practice, but inexplicably his kind acts are frustrated at every turn. Slowly he begins to understand that Jesse is not motivated by money; there is something else driving her, something much more fundamental and primitive, and he is determined to find out what it is no matter how much pain is involved.