Perry Sinclair is blissfully happy living in Italy with his lover, Jack Fitzwarren. He finds as much happiness in the peace of Jack's vineyard as he does in the decadent delights of Venice in full Carnevale, where everyone is masked and nothing is forbidden. Jack is a fugitive from English justice, wanted for a crime he did not commit. When Perry's ex-lover, Gilbert, arrives in Venice, Perry realizes that the safety they thought Jack had found in Venice is nothing more than an illusion. Perry attempts to assuage Gilbert's desire to experience Venice and Carnevale, as well as his seemingly endless curiosity about just why Perry has remained in Venice. He must do all of this without giving rise to any suspicion of Jack's presence, because if Jack is discovered, he will face the noose. Meanwhile, Gilbert has an agenda of his own, and Perry is faced with an agonizing choice.