During a frigid winter storm in the rural South, Nancy Barnett is rescued from her husband's sinking car when it plunges off a bridge. Her rescuer, 20-year-old Wayne Crocker, carries her back to his trailer where ice-broken telephone lines prevent him from calling for help. Wayne's fantasies of holding a beautiful woman in his arms now become reality. Captivated by her beauty, he yearns to keep and care for her. He saved her life; maybe now she will be his.
However, Nancy revives nude and in the company of her rescuer - a stranger. But in her half-conscious state, and with no memory of the accident, she mistakenly presumes he's a sex-crazed kidnapper. Unable to convince Nancy otherwise, Wayne ties her up and keeps her in his trailer, fearing that her story, when told to the police, will land him in prison. Nancy's plunge into Kelley Creek twists Wayne's life of quiet desperation into a nightmare of desire and longing.