Trademarked / Copyrighted / All Rights Reserved. 2206 I had to perform this task for an agent, and figured I'd post it here for the benefit of those readers who might be interested in what they missed.
The chapter opens with a hook: an introduction to the main characters - Nate, Ana, Jules, Cass - as they stand on a cliff and the apotheosis of Nate, the Christ figure in the book.
After this short prologue, the narration returns to a previous era in the characters' lives as the next scene opens with a conversation between Jules, the bisexual, spoiled scion of the Vercini fashion family empire, and Ana, his beautiful friend and oftentimes escort to various social soirees. They are conferring on the evening's fete, a rave hosted at a castle on the outskirts of High Point. Ever the romantic flirt and seducer, Jules is making sexual intimations even as they are discussing the logistics of the event. Finally the two agree to meet at Ana's apartment around ten with Jules promising to bring wine, although he is aware that Ana does not drink.
(Chapter closes with background on Jules position in society.)
Ana is anxiously awaiting Jules' arrival at her apartment when finally there is a knock on her door. It is Jules, dressed as a pirate and carrying a bottle of wine. He is somewhat inebriated, and the two banter back and forth before he finally requests that Ana do his eyeliner. She agrees.
After Ana performs said service, the two depart for the event and arrive in time for its climax. Jules greets the DJs, whom he knows personally, while Ana feels awkward and alienated, for they are strangers to her. Jules and Josh (a DJ) exchange witticisms concerning two attractive men and finally consult Ana, whom they allow to cast the deciding vote. She favors Jules' selection, a choice which ingratiates her with her friend but serves to further alienate her from Josh.
Jules and Ana eventually quit the tent and after some entreating, Jules convinces Ana to take a sudden and spontaneous road trip to the beach. Having persuaded her to have some wine (so that she is now tipsy), Jules talks her into taking nude pictures with him, promising her that the photos are merely for a school project and not for release to the press.
A week later Ana discovers that the prints have been published and she and Jules are now appearing naked on the cover of a number of magazines. Although the photos are tasteful, she is nevertheless furious about the betrayal, and also fearful that her boyfriend, Nate, will see them and develop a false impression as to their nature.
(Chapter opens with background on Ana and Nate's relationship.)
Ana calls Nate and they discuss the photos. Ever the optimistic saint, Nate (a musician) chooses to believe Ana, and then summarizes his experiences while on tour in Detroit. He tells her he will be home soon.
Jules is lying on his couch, having spent the past three days in a quagmire of drunken self-pity. He is considering his death at the hands of Ana's boyfriend and the terrible possibility that he might be buried in a polyester suit. He decides to intercede on his own behalf and pre-empt the murder by visiting Nate unannounced and swaying him to spare his life.
Much to his surprise, Nate is not only amiable, but amenable as well, and wishes to ameliorate the current schism between Jules and Ana. Jules agrees to Nate's plan for a camping trip, and departs.
Nate and Ana, Jules and Cass sojourn to the mountains, as Ana reminisces on Jules' family background, on meeting his mother for the first time and on the mystery that surrounded the identity of his father.
Once they arrive the couples begin setting up their tents, and Ana takes time to visit Jules and break the ice by speaking briefly with him. Jules pulls Ana into the words and, after some sophisticated flirtation, kisses her. Ana returns to her own camp site feeling guilty, and while helping Nate with the tent poles, inquires as to why he trusts her. His answers cause her to think and consider how, despite his tragic and horrible childhood, Nate had turned out to be so noble.
Ana provides her general impression on the current situation, and marvels how Nate and Jules have become so close while she and Cass remain irreconcilable to one another. After some campsite conversation, the friends are driven into their tents by rain.
In the middle of the night, Ana rises and uses the restroom outside in the woods. On her return to her tent, she runs into Julian who seduces her and they make-love under the tempestuous sky.
Driven to abandon their trip prematurely by an unexpected hurricane, Jules and Cass are forced to join Nate and Ana in their truck after a tree lands on Jules' vehicle. As they race to escape the onslaught of the storm, they get lost in the Blue Ridge Mountains and stop at a redneck restaurant to eat and ask for directions. Believing the two couples to be gay, some mountain men follow them out of the restaurant and brutally assault them. In the ensuing fight, Ana is raped and eventually she and Jules massacre the men, the attack having unleashed the primal albeit pent-up aggression in both.
Horrified by the act and afraid for his friends, Nate devises a cover-up and gets rid of the weapons while ensuring Ana receives proper medical attention under another pretense.
Cass immediately breaks off relations with Jules. Unable to confront his crime, Jules throws himself into drugs and promiscuous homosexual society while Ana falls apart inside. Nate attempts to rescue Ana and Jules from their pain but with little success.
The police eventually catch Nate, Ana and Jules and they are prosecuted for the murders. The state attorney claims the trio surpassed the self-defense statute, citing the brutality and the number of stabs in the back as evidence that the men were chased down and killed. He also attempts to turn Nate state's witness, having figured out that the murders were only committed by Ana / Jules, but Nate refuses. When, on the last day, the prosecutor proves that Ana had been unfaithful with Jules the night before (semen DNA), Nate defies all expectations and takes complete responsibility for the murders. He is convicted by his confession and sent to the state penitentiary, where he is eventually murdered by some fellow inmates.
Scene opens with Jules sitting in his office chair, staring out at the panoramic view around him. He is recalling events that occurred ten years ago, remembering his love for Ana, Nate's untimely death, his subsequent hedonistic indulgences and attempted suicide, and his resurrection from his near-death experience as a new individual.
His secretary calls him and informs him Chris McCormack is in the foyer and would like to visit with him. Although Chris is Jules' ex-boyfriend and represents his longest romantic relationship, he is from Jules past and is considered part of the traumatic experiences Jules has put behind him. Consequently, he does not want to visit with Chris, but unable to be rude, he instructs his secretary to send Chris into his office. He manages to shock Chris into leaving, and then receives the person he has been expecting: his mentor, Stephen.
While driving to the baseball field, Jules informs Stephen about his latest business idea: hosting a reality show for writers with the winner being selected to write a screenplay as well as receiving a financial reward. The subject of both the book and the movie would be Jules life, with the focus being on how Nate's death affected and transformed him. Jules is feeling terribly guilty about Nate taking the blame for his crime and for the murder of his friend, and hopes that such a tribute will serve as a form of restitution and absolve him of his guilt. Stephen questions the validity and soundness of Jules idea but does not dissuade him.
While Jules dealt with Nate's death by languishing in unscrupulous pleasures, Ana fell into a great depression and slit her wrists. She recovered and moved in with her nurse and best friend, Kristy Munroe. Picking up a magazine at the grocery store one day, she discovers Jules photo on the front and reads about his contest. Sure of her chances at winning, she vows to enter the contest and rushes home to tell her roommate.
Jules meets his mentor and some friends for lunch and informs them that the executives at his targeted broadcasting station have rejected his idea as a "high risk" item. The producer (Jules) is furious, as he is personally responsible for several successful shows on the network and is known for his Midas Touch. His acquaintances attempt first to console him, then steer the course of conversation to his love life, or lack thereof. In a fit of self-pity and sadness Jules confesses his love for Ana and how he had wrongly seduced her, tying the event in with Nate's death and his own sense of guilt.
Kristy attempts to discourage Ana from pursuing the writing contest, but is unsuccessful. At Ana's request, she then endeavors to help her roommate break her writer's block by asking her questions about Jules. She is successful and at last Ana proclaims she is ready to write.