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While traveling to the airport after visiting his close friend Julian, Manuel González meets an intriguing divorcée when his vehicle collides with a moose during a near-blizzard. Invited to take shelter from the dangerous storm by Alison Haldane, a self-reliant ranchwoman, Manuel, who for many years has led a brigade of mercenary soldiers, performs a service that his hostess regards as the saving of her life. Drawn to the woman whose courage and forthrightness he deeply admires, Manuel frankly admits that he is a member of the Order of the Black Lily, and explains the special nature of his tastes in sensual pleasure. When his hostess forthrightly apprises him that even though she possesses masochistic tendencies, she nonetheless fears that if he were to inflict too great a degree of pain, so that the agony exceeded the pleasure he conferred, she would suffer emotional damage, Manuel offers her assurances that persuade her to yield to him. The two mature sensualists enter a sexual relationship that soon grows deeply satisfying to both. They soon fall deeply in love, each with the other. Having accepted her lovers invitation to live with him at his headquarters while he and his partner do the work entailed in dismantling their business, Alison meets Manuels business partner, Hector MacFarlane. Unsure how this slim, sardonic athlete regards her, she grows further disconcerted when Manuel tells her that Hector will oversee a program of exercise for her, during the weeks to come. During the days that follow, Alison grows ever more fascinated by Hectors personality, even as Manuel conducts an abbreviated initiation of a most promising probationer, utilizing the erotic arts practiced by members of the Order. Needing both his partner, with whom he has long planned to collaborate on a home-based consulting business once he retires, and his new love, whom he regards as a treasure thrown into his possession by capricious Fate, Manuel devises a daring plan that he swiftly implements, so as to insure that his love for Alison does not fatally complicate his relationship with his friend, business partner and fellow master. A crisis looms, when three associates grow ever more deeply enmeshed in a triangular friendship. Sexual desire flares between Hector and Alison: desire that both deeply honorable friends regard as illicit. Well aware of this development, Manuel resolves the seemingly insoluble problem in a most unconventional manner.

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