Sébastien is fifteen years old and already versed in the medicinal arts when he meets the young nobleman Balthazar de Créon, whose life he saves after the latter is thrown from a horse. De Créon, struck by the boy’s beauty as much by his talents as a healer, orders Sébastien to his manor some months later so he can instruct him in the ways of the court, hoping thus to install him as Louis XV’s surgeon. His motives, however, are clouded by his lust for Sébastien, and after a brief period of restraint Balthazar and Sébastien loose both their passion and their imaginations. But it is 1749 and their affair scandalizes the French court, bringing the king’s wrath down upon them. Balthazar is eventually presented with an ultimatum: repudiate Sébastien and live, or do not, and die.