A first shot at love and a last chance at living.
Ever since the Loveborne virus wiped out half of humanity decades ago, people steer clear of each other. Twenty-four-year-old Alias Novar is no exception. He lives alone in a windowless apartment with a robot he fixed himself, working two remote jobs and barely earning enough to eat, let alone take care of his sick mother. He’s a great runner, but he can’t outrun the half-life he leads, enslaved to fear.
He also can’t keep paying hospital bills on his meager salary. When a lucrative but risky job opportunity presents itself, he’s desperate enough to apply—even if his prospective employer is none other than Deon Dehive. Everyone knows Mr. Dehive. He’s the business mogul whose mysterious offices lie in the woods outside of New York. And unlike most, he encourages social interactions, claiming that people have gained security with antivirals but haven’t regained what they need most: each other.
Miraculously, Alias gets hired as Mr. Dehive’s personal assistant. From a technical standpoint, the job’s easy enough. It’s the constant interactions that keep him on edge. Deon’s teasing smiles and challenging questions reveal kindness and a keen interest that Alias shouldn’t return but is helpless to deny. And therein lies danger. Medicine may have come a long way, but love still kills.