Bassanio, a young Venetian of noble rank, wishes to woo the beautiful and wealthy heiress Portia of Belmont. Having squandered his estate, Bassanio approaches his friend Antonio, a wealthy merchant of Venice who has previously and repeatedly bailed him out, for 3,000 ducats needed to subsidise his expenditures as a suitor. Antonio agrees, but since he is cash-poor - his ships and merchandise are busy at sea - he promises to cover a bond if Bassanio can find a lender, so Bassanio turns to the Jewish moneylender Shylock and names Antonio as the loan's guarantor.
Bloodchild by Octavia Butler is a great mix of horror, dystopia, literary criticism, and writing advice from one of the most thoughful and powerfully creative writers of all time. The titular story involves love affairs with human-sized centipedes, grub crawling under men's skin, and a desperate co-dependency. Perfect!