Dylan Rhodes is an unemployed college graduate without a place to live. Desperate for an escape, he ventures into the gay nightlife of Los Angeles, where he’s swept off his feet by handsome Hollywood mogul Roderick Night.
Mr. Night is appalled to learn Dylan has no place to stay and offers him room in his luxurious Hollywood Hills home. Things get even better when Mr. Night uses his connections to get Dylan modeling work. Photo shoots, glamorous parties, and the privileges of wealth follow. Mr. Night surprises Dylan with lavish gifts that grow progressively more extravagant.
But all is not well. Dylan struggles to keep up with Mr. Night’s sexual appetites which, while exciting, can be frightening at times. Strangely, Mr. Night has never been in a long-term relationship. Ever. His friends are stunned by his unusual behavior. You must be something special, they tell Dylan.
Dylan must reconcile his growing feelings for Mr. Night with the intense sexual proclivities that often leave him feeling like a sex toy. Still, nothing can prepare him for Mr. Night’s ultimate surprise, a shocking secret that will change everything and reveal exactly what it is about Dylan that has captivated him so powerfully.
A sudden whirring noise to my left makes me jump. Dark blue curtains, which are so subtle that I had taken them to be a darkly painted wall, are slowly parting to reveal a large window. No, not window. Wall. It’s an entire wall made of glass. I gasp as the distant lights of Los Angeles come into view, laid out under the night sky like a bunch of glittering jewelry that’s been dropped on the earth. I feel like I’ve flown up to another world. In a way, I have. I squint down at the lights. Somewhere down there is my soon-to-be former apartment, my battered old suitcase waiting for me in my room.
“It’s great, isn’t it?” Mr. Night’s deep voice sounds in my ear, making me jump. “Sorry,” he grins. “Didn’t mean to scare you.” He holds out one of two fresh scotches. I accept the drink and clink it against his.
“To you, Dylan Rhodes.” He watches me over the top of his glass as he drinks. The scotch is rich and sweet, and burns exquisitely. I’m no scotch connoisseur but I know it has to be expensive. “Do you like it?” he asks, watching me closely. “It’s twenty-two years old.”
As old as me, I think, but I’m sure he knows that.
“It’s amazing,” I say. “And this --” I turn back to the incredible view, sighing in admiration. “To be able to see this every single day ...”
“It’s more fun when you have someone to see it with,” he says.
He’s gazing at me with a look that I recognize. A look every gay man knows. I see my own urges reflected back at me. A man hungering for another man. His desire radiates off him like the strong scent of the drink in my hands. His lips, wet with scotch, move slowly toward me. He brushes his stubble lightly against my chin, grazing my nose softly with his, inhaling slowly, like he’s testing the scent of a glass of wine before tasting.
Then he’s kissing me, hard, tongue searching ravenously in my mouth, tasting of scotch and sweetness and musk. I kiss him back, desperately, as if I’ve never been with a man and will never be with one again. His stubble scratches my lips but it’s a delicious feeling. He pulls me close, one hand still holding his scotch glass, while I barely manage to keep a grip on mine. I feel the power in his embrace, the strength of his body.
It could be a minute later, or ten, but Mr. Night finally releases me and I gasp for breath, my lips wet with the taste of him.
“Let’s go outside,” he says, stunningly casual as I’m still hovering back to the ground.
He takes my hand and leads me out of the living room, past a gleaming kitchen where I glimpse various liquor bottles and a big bowl of fresh fruit, then to a glass door. We step onto a wide terrace, a combination of cement and neatly trimmed grass, surrounded by thick stone balustrades. At the center of it is a large swimming pool, lit from within by a soft blue light.
Mr. Night leads me to the balustrades and I can’t help but gasp again at the sparkling view. The hill falls away in a steep drop that’s thick with trees and brush. The lights from other houses glimmer in the surrounding hills. The cool night air plays softly on my face, and I’m blissfully drunk.
“It’s otherworldly,” I say, looking around at the hills. “Like there could be magical creatures hidden out there.”
“Mostly you’ll just find overpriced art and cocaine,” says Mr. Night.
I laugh, then look up at the sky. “Wow, you can actually see the stars from up here!” I set my scotch on the balustrade and raise both arms up toward the tiny twinkling lights, imagining I can fly up and reach them.
Mr. Night strokes my face. “It’s nice to see you happy,” he says. “It looks good on you.” Even in my drunken state, I can hear the tenderness in his voice. He really means what he says. “Who knew all it took to put that smile on your face was to give you the sky?”
“Well,” I say, picking up my glass, “that and a lot of booze.” He laughs, and it’s a beautiful sound. I love that I can make him laugh.
“Let’s go for a swim,” he says.
“Now?” I ask incredulously, as though swimming at night were unthinkable.
“Sure. The water’s warm. Come on, you’ll love it.”