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 Bloom For You

Episode 36

“I can’t help it, this is so exciting!”

The Miami Museum of Contemporary Art had contacted Dex about putting one of his paintings on display not long after we got back from California. The bastard refused to tell me what piece they chose, stating that he wanted it to be a surprise. I had no idea what he was up to, but I was proud as hell of him.

MMCA was one of the most prestigious art museums in the country and the fact that one of Dex’s pieces had been chosen seemed almost surreal. He was in the studio for countless hours perfecting it, shooing me away or making me promise not to sneak any peeks from my perch in the office.

I agreed, of course, and while it had been hard as hell not to look when I was left alone in the studio, I refrained somehow. Waiting eagerly for the day when I could lay eyes on the thing he had been working so hard on.

“Some champagne for the two most beautiful ladies in the room.” Cam returned to our sides, carrying two flute glasses filled with bubbly.

“I don’t know.” I chuckled. “She’s pretty hot.” I pointed over to a large sculpture of a naked woman standing a few feet away from us.

“Not as hot as my Nora though.” He wrapped his arms around Nora’s trim waist for a second before she pushed him off.

“Ugh!” She rolled her eyes. “Don’t be obnoxious, Cameron.”

“Don’t be such a snob, baby girl.”

I smiled as the two of them exchanged sly grins. They had barely spent a night apart since the first time I caught him at Nora’s apartment. Their banter was as legendary as their fights, but they seemed to suit each other well. I couldn’t have been happier for them. Plus, I had so much fun rubbing their relationship in Dex’s face.

“That smile on your face better be because you’re thinking of me.” My boyfriend’s deep voice startled me out of my thoughts.

“I was actually reminiscing about the good time my lover, James, and I had last night,” I replied, looking him up and down and thinking about how delicious he looked in his tuxedo. “Before you interrupted me, of course.”

Dex flicked my nose before leaning close. “You’re pushing it, kid. Don’t go too far and wind up on my bad side.”

I gave him a peck on the lips. “You know I love your bad side, baby.”

He chuckled, wrapping an arm around my waist before the museum curator took the podium in front of the painting.

“It gives me great pleasure to have you all here for the unveiling of Dexter Quinn’s newest painting.” The audience clapped. “The piece will be housed here at the Miami Museum of Contemporary Art for the indefinite future.” Another round of applause before the curator cleared his throat again. “I present to you…” He motioned towards the assistant, signaling him to remove the white cloth. “Rose in Bloom.”

My eyes watered immediately as I laid eyes on the painting; it was the one Dex had shown me all those months ago. The not-so abstract portrait of me covered in beautiful colors and half hidden by brushstrokes. It was still the most beautiful thing I had ever seen, next to Dex of course.

“I can’t believe you did this,” I whispered over to him. “I can’t believe you did this for me.”

“This is the least of what I would do for you, sweetheart. This is the least of what you deserve.”

I had gone from being a nameless Miami newcomer, begging for a chance at a new start, and desperate to forget where I came from to being immortalized in a beautiful museum, surrounded by other works of amazing art.

I wasn’t done growing yet, I knew that. I still had things to figure out and plans to make. I wasn’t sure if I would ever be finished growing. All I knew was that I was happy. For the first time in my life, I was unabashedly, deliriously happy. Not just with my life, but with myself as well.

Being with Dex Quinn opened my eyes to what life could be: full of love and all the passion in the world. He could deny it all he wanted but he had changed me. From the first moment I laid eyes on him, I was changed. And while I knew the road ahead of me was long and filled with unknowns, I knew I had him. Forever by my side. Immortalized in the very beat of my heart.


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