Sometimes love needs a rewrite.
Life as a waiter, struggling paycheck-to-paycheck, doesn't leave much room for excitement. Artist Finn Phelps finds his in Hot Blood, a prime time cop drama, and the actor who stars in it, Ethan Teller: beautiful, talented, and shrouded in mystery.
Then, like something out of a dream, an act of kindness results in Ethan falling right into his lap, and Finn can barely believe his luck. More than that, Finn manages to land a gig on the set of Hot Blood itself as the head makeup artist's assistant. Between his new job and his new friendship with his idol, Finn's fantasies are starting to become reality. But as he comes to know the real Ethan, the layers peel away, and what is left beneath the surface is nothing how Finn imagined it.
“Please!” the stranger said frantically. “You've got to hide me! This could be my only chance! They're coming, and I don't know where to go!”
Fear suddenly ran through him. “Who? Who's after you?” Gangsters? Mafia thugs? The IRS? Oh God, how frightening! Finn took his arm. “Are you in danger?”
“There's no time to explain, I just need help!”
“Where did he go? That way?”
“I think so! He'll get away if we don't go now!”
The voices floated down the alley, practically turning the stranger pure white with fear. He looked on the verge of tears, in fact. Finn just couldn't leave him there! What kind of person would he be? With no other choice, Finn took his hand and stood, tugging the stranger to his feet. “Come on!” Quick as a flash, the two tore off down the street, zig-zagging around corners and down sidewalks. Finally, Finn landed them right in front of his apartment complex. Before the pursuing footsteps could catch up, Finn yanked the man inside and up three flights of stairs to his apartment door. Now out of breath, but not out of danger, Finn had only a moment to fumble with his key before getting the door open and the two of them inside. Once there, they nearly collapsed.
Now, Finn was not an unhealthy man. In fact, he rather prided himself on how he looked in a pair of skinny jeans. But running six blocks at top speed and three flights of stairs was no easy task. It left Finn's already pained body all the more worse for the weare, his mind complete mush after such a run. His new house guest didn't seem any different.
After managing to speak, the man nodded in thanks. “That was ... so close ...” he gasped. “I ... owe you ...”
“No ... no problem ...” Finn managed his best smile under the circumstances. They took a second more to catch their breath before Finn was able to stand.
“Whew ... well ... that'll be a cool story later on.” He laughed to himself and limped towards the kitchen. First thing's first. He needed his take-out menu. “I was going to order some food. Did you want some?” He flipped on the light, shedding a little more onto his run-away. Sunglasses and ball cap aside, the man also wore a battered old sweat jacket and dirty jeans. They probably hadn't been washed in a while, but he smelled far too good to be homeless. What a weird guy.
At the prospect of food, he stood, smiling kindly. “Oh sure. I'm starving. I barely ate anything all night.” Without a second thought, he tossed him a menu. After all, Finn knew it by heart.
“Pick out what you want. So long as we can split the tab, anyway. I need to be watching my spending.”
“Nah, it's fine.” He nodded at the paper menu labeled Cho's Kitchen. “I can cover it. You did save me, after all. Does this place even stay open this late?”
“Sure does. Twenty-four hour delivery, can you believe that?” Tossing his shoes and coat aside, Finn let out a big, loud yawn, deciding to flop himself on the couch. “I guess since your stalkers are still out there, you can spend the night.” He flipped on the living room light. “The couch is comfy.”
“Thanks so much ...” He continued to nod, still looking at the menu. Blindly, he inched his way into the living room. “This looks good. Hey, how's the orange ...” Just as he was about to finish his question, he looked up. Just like back in the alley, he froze over completely. Finn, confused, followed his eyes to a very out in the open Hot Blood poster across from them.
“Oh, you like that show, too?” Suddenly bursting with energy, Finn sat on his knees, grinning from ear to ear. “I didn't like it at first, but after a few episodes, I just got so hooked, you know? Ethan Teller is just a genius. Not to mention a complete hottie. Oh.” A bit of embarrassment washed over him. “I'm um ... well it doesn't matter much, but I'm gay. Not that I'm gonna jump you in your sleep or anything, but is that gonna bother you at all? I'll be in the other room all night.” Slowly, the stranger shook his head. “Good. A lot of guys are still so weird about that. Even nowadays. Though I guess Hollywood's better at it. I don't know, I can't help it. I was around a lot of people who are really freaked by that stuff growing up, so I always thought it was best to warn guys early on. Glad you're cool with it, though. So, have you figured out what you want?”