At his coming-of-age party, Matteo Alacr...n asks El Patr...n's bodyguard, "How old am I?...I know I don't have a birthday like humans, but I was born."
"You were harvested," Tam Lin reminds him. "You were grown in that poor cow for nine months and then you were cut out of her."
To most people around him, Matt is not a boy, but a beast. A room full of chicken litter with roaches for friends and old chicken bones for toys is considered good enough for him. But for El Patr...n, lord of a country called Opium -- a strip of poppy fields lying between the U.S. and what was once called Mexico -- Matt is a guarantee of eternal life. El Patr...n loves Matt as he loves himself for Matt is himself. They share identical DNA.