Twenty-two-year-old Penny accepts a passionate proposal from shipping tycoon Zarek Michaelis and marries him. But feeling like he's married her only for an heir and not for love, she secretly takes birth control. When Zarek finds out, he's furious. He then leaves on one of his ships, saying they need time to cool their heads. But the ship is attacked by pirates and Zarek goes missing. Penny waits a long two years, nearly overwhelmed by anxiety and regret. Finally she can take it no longer and has Zarek declared dead at the urging of her mother-in-law. That's when Zarek returns!