"I love your hair this way," Justin says softly, nuzzling her neck.
"I hope so," Eleanor laughs, "You're the one who styled it." His teeth graze her ear as his hands move over her body, one up to her breasts, the other down, sliding beneath her panties.
"You can't seduce me," she says sternly, turning to face him.
"I can always seduce you," he says, his voice low, growling, as he presses her against the wall, holding her hand so she can't resist. Not that she'd ever put up any real resistance; it's all part of their game.
When she sighs her submission, he frees her hands so he can remove her underwear. Her skin is still damp from the shower. "You'll mess up my make up," she complains as his lips covers hers.
"You can do it again," he answers, lifting her up, holding her thigh as he thrusts inside her, "We can do this all night."
Justin's ploy ultimately failed. Eleanor would not be persuaded from getting her dress on and rushing them out to her gallery for the opening. His opening, as she chose to show his work for the gallery's debut. He didn't really expect the seduction to work beyond maybe making them late, but it was worth a try. And he put a glow on her face, so she'll she shines on her big night.
"You look radiant, Eleanor," Gavin says, arriving just after the gallery opens, "This is Regan Foster, my girlfriend." Regan throws him a wry glance as he trips over the introduction. Maybe announcing her as his partner was a little presumptuous, as he hadn't discussed it with her ahead of time. But he'd rather err onn that side of things than make the mistake of labeling her a 'friend'.
While Eleanor mingles, Justin stands off on his own, avoiding any contact and above all not looking at his prints on the wall. He reminds himself that he used to do fetish shows, that he'd worked as a dancer, that he's no stranger to public display. But those performances were different somehow, he never exposed like he does now, watching people looking at the pictures he made, his 'art' as Eleanor calls it, sizing it up and even buying it.
"I'm sorry about two art dates in a row," Gavin apologizes again. Regan had suggested their next date be completely unrelated to art or theater, but their schedules made it impossible to have a date before the gallery opening.
"Well, you couldn't miss the opening of your own gallery," Regan says with a light laugh, "Given the choice between an art date or staying home and letting you go by yourself, I'd rather be with you. And, besides, attending these sorts of events are what girlfriends are for, right?' she teases.
"I should have asked..." Gavin starts, but she shushes him with a light kiss.
"Don't apologize," she says, "As long as you understand that being my boyfriend means you have to be there for the opening night of any play I'm in, no matter how small my part."
"I would never miss any performance of yours," Gavin says.
"That's good," she laughs, "The toilet paper commercial I shot last month is premiering this week, and I expect you to stay glued to the TV any time it comes on."
Amongst the milling crowd, Justin spots Alison.
When she sees him, she approaches.
"Change your mind about wanting your money?" he asks. She's here for Gavin, of course, they work on the same movie, and Justin can't imagine any other reason for her to talk to him.
"No, I don't even have time to spend the money I make, I don't need yours," she says, her voice heavy.
"So, what do you want?" Justin asks bluntly, "Not the pleasure of my company, I'm sure."
"Actually, that is all I want," Alison says, "I know, it sounds crazy, given the fact that you stole my rent money and my car. But, you remind me of home."
"I wasn't in New York for more than a year," Justin points out.
"I know," she says, "But you were there during what, in retrospect, was the happiest time of my life."
"You aren't serious," Justin says, "You were a student, scrounging for every cent you had, just waiting for your chance to work in films. And now here you are, living your dream."
"Yeah, she says with a wry smile, "My dreams seemed a lot better when they were still just dreams."
"This work, it coms from a dark place," Carey Burden says, never quite meeting her eyes, "And yet, there is a light, isn't there? I'll take the whole series. My assistant will work out the details of purchase." And with that, the acclaimed director wanders off, leaving Eleanor slightly confused, but extremely pleased. Having someone like Burden buying his work will be a huge boost for Justin's career, and for her gallery as his representative.
"You're the artist," the redhead says, her voice deliberately low and whispery. She's got the sex dialed up to eleven, Justin thinks. "Your work is just fabulous. Amazing," she purrs, standing too close to him, "I'd love to get to know you better."
"No," Justin says simply.
"Do you know who I am?" she asks, her voice rising shrilly.
"No, and I don't want to," Justin growls, becoming annoyed by her invasion into his personal space, "Now, fuck off."
She stomps off in a huff, with a mumbled threat about him never working in this town again. Like he cares.
Eleanor returns to him as the party winds down and the gallery begins to empty. She starts to tell him how successful the night was, how many prints she's sold, but he stops her mid-sentence "The less I know about the business, the better," he says, trying not to think about his pictures decorating the walls of other people's homes. 'I'm happy for you," he whispers, kissing her ear, "That's enough."
"You really pissed off Marilyn Hennessey," Eleanor says with a smile.
"The pushy redhead?" Justin asks, "Was she someone important?" Not that it would have made a difference to him; Justin kisses no one's ass, no matter how high and mighty.
"Not as important as she thinks she is," Eleanor laughs, "And if she throws a public tantrum, it will only increase the interest in your work."
"I wish I understood why I'm falling so hard for you," Regan sighs.
"Do you really need to understand it?" Gavin asks, "You can't just let it happen?"
"I couldn't stop it from happening," she says, "I just have to wonder how I got here."
"Kiss me," he says, pulling her up into his lap. She leans forward, meeting her lips to his, taking his sweet tongue into her mouth.
He rises, takes her hand and leads her into his bedroom. "Will you stay with me?" he asks.
At this particular moment, Regan doesn't need a reason, doesn't need to think about where this came from or where it's going. "Yes," she whispers.
She'd fought against her attraction for him from the first, and now that she's let go of the fight, she's pulled in all the harder, drawn to be with him, to take him and make him her own.
"You have the softest skin," he murmurs as they fall into bed together, wrapped around each other.
She looks up into his eyes and sees herself reflected in them. "I think this is going to work," she whispers, "We're so different, but we fit."
Gavin smiles. "Like we were made for each other."