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It has been a pins-and-needles interlude for Sam since returning from Palo Alto. If the psyche has a funny bone, his has been tormented—repeatedly—every time his thoughts so much as gravitate toward "Jo," her pregnancy making an impact that paralyzes reason, his brain, alongside libido, going powerlessly numb, with jealousy, unexpectedly, applying an almost constant pressure, compelling him to entertain a host of unrealistic plots, in which he (illogically) manages to "get the girl."

Vainglorious enough to suppose himself superior while insecure enough to keep from acting on any of his 'heroic' impulses, Sam debates the wisdom of pursuing a hopeless cause, acknowledging it is futile to covet another’s fiancée and conceding it is foolhardy to crave another’s unborn child. So why is Jo’s condition as enticing as her sexuality? Are expectant mothers more desirable, their mates to be disregarded? Could the very fact that Sam is not the father fan his enthusiasm? Does conception outside of wedlock render a woman more alluringly, more vulnerable, therefore susceptible to being rescued, redeemed, reinstated, her compromised honor—should a white knight intercede—chivalrously restored? For such are Sam’s pretensions when he hatches sundry scenarios, casts himself as Lancelot, Jo as a puffed-up Guinevere, her illegitimate baby a test of his pure benevolence...

... her flamingo-pink Mercedes the hallmark of his hopes, upon spotting it parked on Page Street one block from his apartment.

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