Adult sisters Roy Kingsmill and Stanley Timberlake are the daughters of Asa and Lavinia Timberlake. Roy takes after her father's side of the family - compassionate and thoughtful if somewhat "soft" - whereas Stanley takes after her mother's side of the family - cutthroat and selfish. The differences between these two sides of the family can also be seen in the former business dealing between Asa and Lavinia's brother, William Fitzroy, who went onto wealth at the expense of Asa's side of the business. William dotes on his niece Stanley, who adds some excitement into his life. Stanley is about to get married to Craig Fleming, a lawyer without much professional aspiration. Roy is already married to surgeon Peter Kingsmill, the two who live in the Timberlake family home. Just before Stanley and Craig's wedding, Stanley and Peter run off together, the two who have been having an affair. Peter felt stifled in the marriage due to living in the Timberlake house and Roy allowing her family to control their lives. After Stanley and Peter run off, Roy and Craig try to get on with their respective lives. Just as Roy and Craig feel they have left this dark part of the lives behind them, Stanley re-enters their lives, bringing with her her selfish desires at the cost of anyone who gets in her way.