One hour later, we’re in Brooklyn, at Finn’s painting-filled loft, butt-naked on his one piece of furniture— a micro-suede futon that’s sprawled out on the butcher-block floor. Our bodies are entwined, a mad tangle of arms, legs, and tongues that can’t get enough of one another. Touching, sucking, licking, tasting. Exploring each other as if we’re two conquerors discovering new lands. Springsteen’s “She’s the One” plays on his sound system.
So in the moment, my very skilled, generous, rough around the edges lover brings me to places I’ve never known before. In positions I’ve only read about. Giving me one outrageous orgasm after another. Each one more mind-blowing than the one before. Making me forget about what happened at Christie’s. And my now expired V-Card.
We spend the entire night fucking our brains out. Opening our hearts. Bearing our souls. We’re bathed in each other’s scents, twined in each other’s limbs, wrapped in each other’s dreams. I tell him about my nomadic, magical childhood, traveling across the globe while my parents filmed award-winning documentaries. And then about their untimely, tragic death. The Cliff Notes version of my education. Followed by my dreams and aspirations.
My past seems happily ever after Finn shares his. I learn he’s a product of the system. The son of a crack whore mother who abandoned him at birth, leaving him alone to drift from one foster family to another. A talented artist from an early age, he turned to painting as a means to both escape his hardships and express himself. It was the only constant in his ever changing, challenging life. His passion when love was nowhere to be had. Two years older than me—twenty-five— he tells me he won a full scholarship to the prestigious Pratt Institute, from which he graduated.
“What were you doing at Christie’s?” I ask, during a reprieve from our reckless sex, my head resting on his chiseled chest, his arm wrapped round me.
“Networking with collectors and dealers, hoping to jumpstart my painting career. What about you?”
“After my depressing job interview at NBC, I impulsively went inside just to warm up and get a drink.”
A chance encounter.
He affectionately flicks my nose. “They should have hired you.”
“One of your paintings should have been hanging at Christie’s.” We exchange a laugh before…
We fuck again and again. Everywhere. Every which way. In his bed… on the kitchen counter…against the walls…in the shower. No part of his loft is left unmarked.
Last night, it was lust.
By morning, it’s love.
One day later, I get a life-changing phone call. A job offer from Conquest Broadcasting in Los Angeles to become an associate producer in their news department.
That night after a celebratory session of delicious lovemaking, my naked, beautiful Finn rolls off the futon and stands up.
“Now, I’m gonna make you an offer you can’t refuse.”
I laugh at him, appreciating his valiant attempt to sound like Marlon Brando in The Godfather. “What?”
“It’s a surprise. Close your eyes.”
I do as he asks. A few moments later, a ticklish, wet sensation brushes across my abdomen.
I squirm. “What are you doing, Finn?” It lasts less than thirty seconds.
“Baby, sit up and open your eyes. I hoist myself up to an upright position. Finn’s sitting cross-legged next to me, holding a paintbrush, the bristles coated in a shimmer of red.
He flashes a cocky smile.
I look down. My eyes grow wide as I silently read the two words he’s painted on my torso.
Two weeks later, we exchange our forever vows at a chapel in Las Vegas en route to Los Angeles.
The city of angels.
The city of dreams.