Finn had thought that coming to New York was going to be the trip that made all of his dreams come true, in more ways than one. But so far, it had been an emotional shitstorm, and he was ready to cut anchor and head back home. As he sat on the end of his hotel bed, pulling on his shoes and listening to Edie on the other end of the phone in LA talk about her latest purchase for her boutique, he looked up to the statue of the steampunk heart and thought of Logan sitting alone somewhere in a jail cell.
“Are you even listening to me?” Edie’s tone sharpened, bringing his full attention back to her ramblings.
“Yes, of course, I am. I’m trying to get my shoes on so I can get down to Bay’s office. There’s a lot going on here.”
“Like what? You never tell me what’s going on, and you know I’m dying to know if I’m going to be your fashion coordinator for the movie.”
“Yes, trust me, you’re a shoe-in, but if I don’t get time to work these investors, which you know I hate, there won’t be any fucking movie.”
“You’re such a grumpy puppy,” she said in her sweetest voice, which he also hated. It always reminded Finn of the way people talked to small children and babies, and he was neither. “I talked to Mother, and she said that if you still want to use the garden for a few scenes, you can, but she is going to have you pay the gardening fees for the month, plus a bonus so that Pedro isn’t upset.”
“Of course, she wants me to pay. The point is, I need someone to trust that I won’t destroy their fucking garden and let me do it for free, but that’s fine. I’ll think about it. I might just change the scene to a fucking park.”
“Don’t stress over it, sweetie. I’ll talk to Mother, and I’m sure she’ll waive the fee.”
“Trust me, that’s the least of my worries.” He had bigger shit to stress over in life, like making it through the fucking week. There was someone out there targeting Zodiacs, and since he was next in line after Logan Miller, who had already lost two of his girlfriends, both of which he was being accused of killing, things were starting to make him nervous. There was only one person in the world who could give him reassurance, and that was who he was about to go meet up with. “Look, I’ve got to go, baby. I’m in a bad mood, and I’m afraid I’m not good company.”
“It’s not a problem, you’re a hardworking, creative genius, and I’m really proud of you for finally chasing your dream.” He knew what she meant to say was that she was proud of him for finally getting out of his fucking apartment and living life.
Before he’d decided to devote his full attention to making this dream movie a reality, he’d spent the past year of his life holed up in their beach house, growing his hair out and writing the perfect screenplay. His blood, sweat, and tears had gone into it. Edie had been great to encourage him, and while he always wanted his life to be normal for the most part, he couldn’t get over feeling like their life together was a lie.
Still, she stood through it all with him, even the long hours of him retreating to hotel rooms where he was “writing” and all the late nights in the sex clubs where he was getting the kind of encouragement that really kept him going.
He often felt like he should cut her loose, but she was like his curtain, his façade, and he was afraid if he lost her, then everyone would see him for what he really was: bisexual.
He pushed the thoughts from his mind. Nope, not him. Just because he was attracted to one man, in love with one man, even, did not a bisexual make. He’d reminded himself of that logic many times, and a few times, it had even convinced him. He tried not to beat himself up about it. He still enjoyed the company of women and lived his life as a heterosexual man. Most of his trysts never even included men, and when they did, he had never really done more than touch. So, what if he was saving himself for someone in particular? It didn’t mean that he was going to get him.
After Finn ended the call, he went down to find his red muscle car had made it through another night in the parking garage, and as he walked around it to make sure it was still pristine, footsteps across the lot brought his head up. He hurried and got into his car, and once he had it started, he saw a woman in his rearview fishing out her keys.
He headed across town, and when he got to Bay’s office, he walked in and found a smiling receptionist. Bay never had anyone ugly working for him, and as Finn looked at the woman’s perfect mouth, he couldn’t help but wonder if it had ever been wrapped around Bay’s huge cock.
“I’m here to see Bay Collins,” he said.
“He’s not in yet, but he’s on his way. You can head up to his office if you like. There’s a small bench outside his door. He’ll be right up.”
Bay’s office was designed for privacy, and he wondered if there would be anyone else waiting on the bench for him this morning. “Thank you.”
He went into the elevator and heard Bay’s voice behind him. “Hold that, please.”
Finn turned around in the elevator to see Bay’s receptionist get up and rush to the elevator doors. Finn held it open, but she clamped her hand over the door, too.
Bay strode over and smiled at the woman. “Thank you, sweetheart.” His words were like praise to the woman, and she blushed as she turned and walked away. Bay climbed in the elevator beside Finn, and the doors shut.
“Sweetheart?” Finn asked. “Let me guess. You’re fucking her, too?” Finn tried not to sound so jaded, but it didn’t work. He leaned against the wall as the elevator moved.
“Careful, Finn. Someone might think you’re jealous.” Bay turned his head and gave him a devilish grin. Of every man in the world, why did Finn have to want him? Someone who was completely and utterly unattainable.
Finn couldn’t even dignify him with a response. “Is it true that you’re defending Logan?”
Bay nodded. “Yes, it is. Along with Katherine Fallwell. She’s going to be on his defense team in the trial. I just came from seeing him, actually.”
“How’s he doing?”
The elevator stopped, and when the door opened, he allowed Bay to go first, not only so he could stare at his perfect ass and the confident way he moved, but because the man needed to unlock the office door.
Bay took out his key and worked the lock, and this time, when the door opened, he stepped aside and held the door for Finn. “He’s doing well. Already institutionalized.”
Bay walked around and offered Finn a seat. Then he went to the other side of his desk and sat in his big, black leather chair that was more like a throne. Finn knew the man was in control of his world and ruled it like no one else he knew.
“I hope he’s okay,” Finn said. “Do you think he’ll make it?”
“I’m sure he’ll manage, but probably not as good as you would since he’s not used to being on his knees like you are.”
Finn assumed it was a joke, but he just shifted in his seat, uncomfortable. “I guess you’d know?”
“Stop being so transparent. I’m sure you didn’t come down here to talk about Logan’s well-being.”
“I did, actually. But I also wanted to know if I’m safe.”
“I don’t know, are you?” Bay asked.
“Stop it. You know what I fucking mean.” He pulled down his V-neck to show the brand on his shoulder which looked like a strange H. “Do I have to fucking worry now that someone is coming after me? I’m next, right?”
“Relax, if they’re coming after anyone, it’s still Logan. He thinks he’s safe, but there are ways to get to people in the pen. Once he’s transferred down to County, he’ll see just how tough it really is. Then he’ll wish he was down here on his fucking knees for me.” He tapped his desk.
Finn crossed his arms and turned his head to look out the window. “Funny, but it doesn’t do a damned thing to comfort me. This entire trip has been a nightmare, and I’m still one investor short. I had hoped to secure enough to give me the green light on this new movie.”
“Ah, yes, that reminds me,” Bay said. “In light of Logan not being involved anymore, I am rethinking my offer.”
Finn’s heart sank. “Please, Bay. Don’t do this to me. You’re all I have. You know I need you.”
“Yeah, so much you spent six grand on a fucking heart statue.” Bay’s expression dared him to deny it.
“How do you even know about that?” He didn’t think Logan had told anyone about that.
“Eyes and ears everywhere.” Bay took out his phone and showed Finn surveillance from the inside of Logan’s studio.
“Do you have my hotel room bugged, too?” He knew Bay was crazy, but he had no idea the lengths he had gone to.
Bay grinned. “Yeah, I do, and if you could stop screaming my name when you masturbate, I’d really appreciate it.” There was a moment of awkward pause as Finn tried to remember what the fuck he was talking about, but Bay laughed. “I’m only kidding, but thanks for that. The look on your face told me all I needed to know.” He shook his head and put his phone back in his pocket.
“You’re really upset about me spending my own money? I didn’t cash your check for Logan. I sent it back. That was out of my personal account, not the movie account.”
“That’s just it. How much of your own money are you investing in this mockumentary you’re making?”
“It’s not a mockumentary. It’s a fantasy piece set up to be like a real documentary, but there’s nothing mocking about it. I’ve explained it to you, and believe it or not, I’m using a lot of my own money, and Edie’s, but I have bills to pay until this thing pays off. Look, are you on board or not?” He needed to know if he was wasting his time.
“I’ll think about it.” Bay’s nonchalant attitude was driving him crazy. “But I wouldn’t stop looking for investors.”
“Look, don’t leave me hanging, man. I have to get my shit together, and if I can’t, then I want to get the fuck out of here.” He wasn’t going to waste another minute of his time if Bay wasn’t on board.
“What’s wrong with New York?” Bay swiveled in his chair back and forth, like a cat twitching its tail.
“There’s a fucking killer out there.” Finn waved his hand to the window.
“And your point is?” Bay laughed. “Lighten up. And don’t worry. I’ll let you know.”
“I’m meeting Raven tonight, and we’re going down to Taunt. I was hoping you and your lady would come and join us.”
Bay kept up the swiveling, his eyes narrowing in a seductive way as he eyed Finn. “I don’t know. I’d like to, but I’m punishing Lila.”
“There’s no better punishment than to make her watch someone else serve you.” Finn licked his lips, but Bay laughed.
“I suppose you want that honor?” Bay could be a real bitch when he wanted to be.
Finn pegged him with a hard stare. “No, I didn’t say that. I’m bringing Raven.”
“Does Edie care if you’re hooking up in sex clubs while she’s back home being the princess to her mommy and daddy’s kingdom?”
“What she doesn’t know won’t hurt her. Besides, she’s so missionary it’s boring, and I get tired of tasting vanilla if you know what I mean.”
Bay gave him a smug grin. “I know better than anyone. I guess what I’m asking you is, does she know about your dark desires?”
“No. Hell no. She’s never understood that. Besides, I’m over it.” It had been years before, and even though he’d wanted it every day since, Bay didn’t need to know that.
Bay laughed. “Yeah, we’ll see.”
“So, do you want to go or not?” He knew that he and Bay would have a lot of fun with Raven.
“I don’t know. I guess you’ll find out if I show up.”
Finn could have kicked himself for even asking. He didn’t know why he continued to torture himself for Bay Collins. The guy had always had too much power over him from the very first day they met, and even though Finn knew that they were probably never going to have another special time together like they did when they were younger, he couldn’t help but want it to happen again.
“Fine, I’ll let you know what I find out about the other investor, and hopefully I’ll see you tonight. Either way, me and Raven will be there.” He got up and showed himself out. Then, as he entered the elevator, he called Raven.
“Hey, lover.” Her voice was thick and sexy, and Finn’s cock stiffened at the thought of the last time he’d had her.
“I just wanted to make sure you’re still on for tonight at Taunt.” He didn’t want to have to find another woman to go, but he would if need be. He was still holding out hope that Bay and his wife would show up.
“You know it. I’m counting the minutes. I even shined up my favorite pair of boots. You came all over them that one night.”
“I was giving them a high-shine waxing. I bet they sparkle.” He remembered how hot that night had been, and he’d wondered whatever happened to those boots.
She giggled and then gave a little moan. “I hope I make you do that again.”
“I’m sure you will. I’ll see you tonight, babe.” He ended the call and then took a deep breath as he headed out of the elevator and said a prayer. With any luck, the rest of his day would go smoothly.