“If you could have a one time affair with someone you’ve never seen before and would never see again and there was no way that anyone could ever find out, would you?”
Jarvis Sloan was an Internet success story. He’d left a thriving private practice as a psychiatrist specializing in family and sexual medicine in San Diego to form LifeSolutions Seminars, an on-line counseling site for unhappy people looking for an alternative to classical counseling. He knew that he was targeting a need before he ever started the development for the site, but even he was surprised by how many unhappy people there were out there on the Internet.
Ironically, his own marriage is a hollow shell. He loves his wife Sharon, when he isn’t hating her, and he loves his sons unconditionally. The problem with his marriage is that sex with his wife has become a lot like planning to catching a ghost, easier to conceive than to put into action.
Jarvis decides that there’s only one way for him to deal with his growing frustration, affairs. But one affair leads to another, then another, then another. He quickly comes to the conclusion that while they may be an answer, they aren’t necessarily a good answer or a safe one. The affairs pose a risk to his family. A risk he’s not willing to take. So he tries to come up with a better answer. To do it he takes a step in an unexpected direction. A site devoted to pairing people to meet one another’s sexual needs on a one-time basis.
A new technology he stumbles on accidently in the course of a casual affair sets the stage for his new plan. It’s a technology that fits his idea perfectly, because there’s virtually no chance of being detected, no notes, no phone calls, no electronic footprints, nothing. It’s a direct connection to another person willing to donate their time to help meet your needs, just like you’re willing to donate your time to meet theirs.
Jarvis had already started an Internet sensation by trying to meet the needs of unhappy people. He helped some of them and made a lot of money along the way. If he could make money on LifeSolutions he could make money on this new idea as well, and maybe help meet some of his own needs in the process. So Jarvis with the help of Brooke Werner, a brilliant young computer engineer, establishes a registry inside LifeSolutions, which allows members to enter a high-security area, in which they can locate anonymous sexual partners for a single meeting, no commitments, no attachments, no threat to either party’s marriage. To ensure confidentiality, all information about both parties is erased from the embedded server every seventy-two hours. Making any connections made inside the server impossible to trace. What starts as a small idea for a limited number of people, is quickly magnified and transformed by the power of the Internet, generating $60 million in its first two years of operation.
Little did Jarvis suspect, when he created the TimeDonors sub-site, that at the height of its success, it would inextricably link his own life to seven others in a web of death and betrayal. Over a two-month period, all eight of them would have their worlds irreversibly changed. More than half of them wouldn’t survive, and one woman would be forced to find reserves of courage she never knew she had.