Rachel doesn't know for how long she sleeps that morning, but when she finally feels like opening her eyes the sun is shining right at her, warming up her body. She pulls the covers higher up her body and just snuggles into the pillow. That's when she realizes that the bed she's in isn't supposed to feel empty. Reluctantly, she opens her eyes, and finds herself all alone in the bed.
Suddenly she's aware of a small humming noise, and she turns her gaze to see the naked back of Finn painting something new. Rachel giggles a little as he sways his hips to the music in his headphones, and he only paints one long, red streak before he turns around, obviously aware of the fact that she's looking at him. He grins as he removes the headphones. "Good morning. I didn't know you were awake." he says cheerily.
"I just woke up." Rachel replies, sitting up in the bed. "It felt empty in this bed without you."
"Sorry about that." Finn smiles back at her. "I woke up a couple of hours ago, and I just had this huge burst of inspiration, so I had to get up and paint." She giggles at his enthusiasm, as well as the fact that his body has a few new streaks of paint on it now. He obviously notices that she's eyeing his body, and she sees the corners of his mouth curling into a grin. "I'm glad you don't think this is rude."
Rachel shakes her head slowly, grinning as well. "Quite the opposite."
He winks at her before putting down his palette and brush. "I take it you're a morning cuddler?" he says, removing his headphones and putting them aside as well. "I better get you those morning cuddles."
Before Rachel has time to say anything, Finn has joined her in bed and wrapped his arms around her body. He kisses her lips softly and sighs when they part. They both lay still, watching each other in the light of the morning sun. Rachel lets him run his fingers through her hair and smooth it behind her ear.
"You have really pretty eyes." she whispers all of a sudden, and he stops playing with her hair and looks at her instead, smiling. "I've never seen anyone with eyes in that shade of brown. It's really pretty."
Finn smiles back at her and looks her closely in the eyes as she runs her thumb over his cheek, as if to get a better look at his eyes. "You're really pretty." he whispers. "All of you is pretty."
Rachel blushes at his words, hiding her face in the crook of his neck. "You're just saying that."
"No." he replies, shaking his head slowly. "That's why I asked if I could paint you sometime."
She didn't even think it was possible to blush as much as she's blushing right now, when she thinks about how he looked at her the night before, wanting to paint her. "I'm not the model type, though." Rachel whispers shyly. "Did you know I hate going swimming because that means I'd have to show off my body in some tiny bathing suit?"
Finn smiles even wider at that, and she doesn't know if it's her imagination, but the way his fingers dance over her waist after that feels like some kind of encouragement for her. "The only thing you should worry about is all the horny guys who probably drool over your body." he whispers, lifting his hand up to cup her cheek and pull her face closer to his own. "I swear, I've never seen anyone as beautiful as you." With that, he leans in and kisses her lips soundly.
After trying to leave three times (and each time ending up naked in his bed again), Finn finally lets Rachel go back to her hotel, but he does make sure to kiss her hard enough for it to last the entire way back. She doesn't check her phone until she's halfway there, and she sees the fifteen missed phone calls from Tina, making her consider going back to Finn's. The last thing she wants is to experience Tina's rage after a good night (and morning) like this.
Rachel doesn't even have time to open the door to their hotel room before she gets to experience just that.
"Rachel Barbra Berry!"
She turns her head and looks at Tina with wide eyes. Her hair is messy, as if she hasn't been sleeping at all (which she probably hasn't) but Rachel is pretty sure Tina's eyes are red from anger, not from lack of sleep. "Where the hell have you been all night?! Do you know how worried I was after that call?! You and some strange, Frenchman in… God knows where! Do you know how angry Mike got last night when I didn't do anything else but worry about you?! You better have a good explanation for this, or else I will-"
"Don't get started on me, Berry! I told you to answer my calls and texts, and you answered one call, telling me you were with someone! Someone who could as well have been a rapist or some other kind of molester!"
Rachel groans loudly before she puts both her hands on either of Tina's shoulders. Tina is obviously taken aback by her sudden action, and just before she opens her mouth to give Rachel another speak, Rachel puts her finger up. "Let me talk." she says sternly, frowning at her friend. When Tina finally steps back, shooting Rachel a mean scowl right back at her, Rachel sighs and relaxes. "Okay… so, I met this guy yesterday-"
"Let me talk!"
Tina takes a deep breath and crosses her arms. That's probably the only thing that's preventing her from strangling Rachel in that moment, Rachel thinks.
"I was at the Eiffel Tower, and this guy sat down on a bench beside me. We talked for a little while, and he said that being kissed under the Eiffel Tower is some kind of tradition when you come to Paris. So, since I didn't have anyone… he kissed me." Rachel says, her voice growing more and more silent with every word. Tina doesn't seem very convinced, but Rachel still continues, "Last night when you two went out for dinner I went to his apartment and… yeah."
"You're out of your mind." Tina scoffs. "I'm going to tell Mike that we're going home tomorrow morning. We can't be here if some sex freak is going after my friend." She turns around to walk back into the other hotel room where Mike is waiting for her.
"No!" Rachel exclaims, reaching out to grab Tina's shoulder and stop her. "Finn is not a sex freak."
"Finn? That's not even a French name, I tell you he's definitely lying to you!"
"That's because he's not a Frenchman." Rachel sighs, rolling her eyes. "He's American too. He's a painter."
Tina wrinkles her nose and shakes her head. "Has 'shady' written all over it." she says shortly before turning her back to Rachel.
"Whatever. You two can go home if you're scared of sexual molesters, but I'm staying." Rachel scoffs, turning around to go back to her own hotel room.
"You're a grown woman. I never thought I'd have to tell you to stay away from suspicious men. I can't believe you let him get into your pants!"
Rachel turns to Tina with a hard scowl on her face. "You don't even know him."
"And you do?"
Neither of them can take any more after that, so Rachel just leaves and goes inside the hotel room, falling down on the bed as soon as she has closed the door behind her. She can't believe she just let Tina ruin her good mood by letting her say such terrible things about Finn. Tina didn't even know him!
Rachel decides to call Finn. That's the only kind of comfort she could get at a time like this. He doesn't answer, but she's determined to speak to him, so she tries several times. After the third call, Finn finally answers, sounding out of breath. "Hey, Rachel!"
"Hi, Finn…" Rachel mumbles, biting her fingernail nervously. She doesn't even know what to say. "I just wanted to hear your voice."
"Oh, yeah? Is everything okay?"
She can't believe Finn hears her sadness in her voice. It's as if he has known her forever. Even Tina has trouble recognizing Rachel's sadness sometimes, and all Finn needs is a phone call to know that something is wrong with her. "Not really." Rachel says truthfully.
"Your friends, I'm guessing?" Finn's voice says, sounding so warm and gentle that Rachel just wants to be back at his apartment, having his bare body pressed up to hers in a tight, comforting hug.
"Yeah. My friend thinks you're a rapist."
He chuckles. It's the same chuckle as yesterday. There is nothing creepy or scary about it, but it's warm and real. Rachel thinks that's what made her so sure with him from the beginning. His chuckle. That's the only thing she has to hear to understand that he is not in fact some kind of rapist liar or whatever Tina thinks he is. Rachel feels a bit better hearing his warm, familiar chuckle, and she almost wants to be there to feel his breath tickle her ear when he chuckles.
"What else did she say?" Finn asks, obviously smiling, judging by his cheery voice.
"She said we're leaving tomorrow morning, because she thinks I can't be in Paris if I have creepy guys following me."
"You think I'm creepy?"
"No." Rachel replies, giggling because he's still joking, although she was deadly serious about the fact that they might have to leave. "Quite the opposite."
"Good. I don't find you creepy either."
She can't help but laugh at that.
Since Tina doesn't bother to wake Rachel up the next morning, she figures Tina must've changed her mind about going straight home. They didn't talk at all for the rest of the night before, but Rachel stayed locked up in her room watching French TV when she wasn't talking to Finn. Rachel knew how much Finn probably ached to go back to his canvas and paint, so she tried to not hold him up so much every time she talked to him on the phone. Still, she had to admit that as soon as she had ended the call, she just wanted to call him up again.
After taking a long shower and getting dressed, Rachel goes over to Tina and Mike's room. She knocks the door, but there's no answer. They've probably gone out for breakfast without her. She shrugs to herself and decides to go out for breakfast on her own. It's not like she wanted to deal with Tina's cold attitude anyway.
Rachel ends up at a café right by the Eiffel Tower, giving her the greatest view ever from the table she manages to get to herself. She remains sitting there for a long time after finishing her breakfast, ordering fill-up after fill-up on her coffee. The sun is shining, so Rachel takes the opportunity to enjoy that as well, finally daring to smile genuinely because of something that isn't Finn.
When Rachel has decided that she's done drinking coffee after coffee, she decides to take a walk around the Eiffel Tower again. This time she feels a bit better, knowing that she has been kissed under it as well, and it was far greater than any of the people that are there kissing like there's no tomorrow right now.
Suddenly she sees him. He's sitting at the same bench where they met yesterday, looking troubled by something. The same suitcase is at his feet, and he's wearing the same, stained suit. Rachel smiles and slowly walks up to him. She sits down beside him without a word, and he doesn't even look up.
"Bonjour, Monsieur Hudson." Rachel says in French, catching his attention.
"Rachel!" Finn exclaims, obviously surprised. "I didn't see you!"
"I figured." Rachel giggles, scooting closer to him. "So, why are you sitting here again?"
Finn bites his lip and looks around himself absently. "I'm on my way to a museum… just like I was ysterday." he says, shrugging.
"You don't have a watch on you, huh?"
"No." he smiles a little.
Rachel pulls out her phone, giggling again. "It's ten twenty-five." she says, smiling at him.
He nods. "Thanks. At least I won't be late this time."
"Are your paintings in some museum?" Rachel asks, sneaking her arm around his so that she can hold his hand.
Finn nods again. "Yeah." he says. "It's a small museum right outside town, and I have to go there every day to check my exhibition for the day. It's not the Louvre or anything, but I guess it's okay. Not many people go to that museum because there are so many museums here to visit."
"I'd like to visit that museum."
He looks down at her and smiles, squeezing her hand in his own. "Maybe some other day. Things are not going so well out there right now."
Finn shrugs and grimaces. "I'm supposed to be in Paris for another few weeks, but they're already thinking about replacing my exhibition with something 'more interesting', by someone 'more experienced'." he mumbles bitterly. "I don't know what to do anymore. If my paintings aren't interesting enough to be in a small museum like this, how will I ever make it to the big leagues?"
"Judging by what you painted yesterday, I don't think there's anything to worry about!" Rachel says excitedly, shaking his hand a little. "I'd pay tons to see art like that, and I bet that painting would put many of the paintings in the Louvre to shame!"
Although Rachel expects Finn to light up by her words, he only smiles weakly. "It's only that paintings like that don't happen very often." he mumbles. Rachel doesn't quite understand what he means, and he seems to notice this because he looks up at her and smiles the same smile again. "That painting was because of you. Do you really think I kiss every lonely girl under the Eiffel Tower? If you do, then you're wrong. I knew from the second I saw you that there's something about you. You intrigued me. I never ask people for the time, but since I wanted to get to know you… I did."
Rachel swallows hard, listening to Finn speaking. When he finishes, there's the same sad smile on his face. She smiles sadly as well before leaning in to slowly kiss his lips. "Did you know that I don't kiss just anyone?" she whispers quietly as their lips part. "But I didn't have a choice with you, and I'm glad."
Finn smiles a bit wider this time, pressing his lips against hers again. "You inspire me."
After talking things out with Tina (and convincing her that Finn isn't in fact a rapist) and apologizing, Rachel says her goodbyes to Tina and Mike before she runs the five blocks to Finn's apartment, intending to spend the night at his place again. This time he's not painting when she knocks the door, so he opens it almost immediately, pulling her in for a hard kiss before she even has time to say hi.
"Hi." she giggles as their lips disconnect.
"Hey." Finn says softly, smiling at her as he pulls the door close behind her.
Rachel immediately steps inside the apartment, not bothering to wait for him as she goes over to his easel to look at the painting he's working on. It's the same painting he started the day before, she recognizes the red paint on it. However, the big, black splatter in the middle of it is new. She tilts her head to the side, looking at it in confusion as Finn enters the room.
"I got mad."
She looks up at him, raising her eyebrow. "What?"
"Yeah… after you left. It didn't really work out the way I wanted to so I threw a bucket of black on it. Look." Finn explains, pointing to the splatter of black on the floor. The paint is obviously dry now, but Rachel knows it wasn't there earlier. She looks up at him with wide eyes, but he just shrugs. "It happens sometimes. Frustration is a big problem for me."
Rachel pouts and walks over to him, reaching her hands up to rest on either side of his face. She looks him closely in the eyes and runs her thumbs over his cheeks gently. "Do you want me to help you?" she whispers.
"How?" Finn asks, putting his own hand over Rachel's and smiling weakly at her.
"I told you you could paint me, didn't I?" Rachel says shyly, letting her hands fall down to her sides as she takes a few steps back. "If you get frustrated while doing that… I'll just help you get over that frustration, hm?"
She can literally see his face light up at her suggestion, and she doesn't object when he wraps his arms around her and kisses her deeply on the lips. Although she's literally craving the taste of him, she gently pushes at his chest, making him end the kiss. "No kissing your model." she says teasingly, taking a few steps back as she starts unbuttoning her shirt.
Finn doesn't know what to do with himself, so he ends up just staring at Rachel as she slowly peels off her clothing. She sends him an amused glance as she pulls her top over her head and zips down her skirt. It's not until Rachel is in just her underwear that Finn is reminded that he's going to paint her. He almost stumbles over as he hurries to get a clean canvas, a brush and his paint.
"Where do you want me?" Rachel asks shyly while pulling down the straps of her bra, and Finn has to gulp down a moan before he replies to that.
"The bed." he replies hoarsely.
Although Rachel feels incredibly awkward, she does as Finn asks her to and lies down on the bed once she's completely naked. He takes some time to stare at her again, before he walks over to her and tries to show her which position he wants her in, by gently running his hands over her skin, leaving a tingly feel to it afterwards.
Neither of them says much as Finn starts painting. Rachel watches him in silence, enjoying the sight of his focused eyes, going back and forth from her to the canvas in front of him. There's something different about the way he paints now. She's pretty sure it's because she's looking at him from another angle or because he's using a much smaller canvas, but it's something else.
His hand movements are small, but not quite as quick as they are when he paints a bigger picture. Finn is much more concentrated on the brush as he draws small curves with it. Rachel tries to think of what the painting looks like, and she's getting more and more curious with every single streak Finn paints.
"Can I see it?" she asks.
"What?" Finn says, looking her in the eyes as if he didn't hear her before. She smiles at him, because she has never met anyone who's so into their work that they can't even hear someone speak right in front of them.
"Can I see the painting?" Rachel repeats.
Finn shakes his head and smiles at her. "No, I want it to be a secret." he says, earning a pout from Rachel. "Come on, baby, there's not much left."
She giggles at the sudden nickname before she tries to stay as still as possible for him, wanting him to finish soon so that she can see the painting. Since he's seemed to be pretty patient with it so far, Rachel figures she doesn't need to help him get over some kind of frustration attack. He actually seems to be enjoying it, just like he was the morning before when she woke up to find him painting and humming along to a song. She likes seeing him like that.
Just as Rachel is about to fall asleep, Finn puts his brush down and sighs, looking proudly at the canvas in front of him. Rachel sits up in the bed and looks expectantly at him. "Let me see!" she says excitedly, but he shakes his head. "You promised I'd get to see it!"
"I want it to dry first." Finn says softly, taking the easel with the canvas and putting it aside, before he hurries over to Rachel on the bed. He wraps his arms around her as she tries to get up to see the painting. "You're so impatient! I'm surprised you even could stay still for that long!" Finn chuckles, kissing her all over her face.
Finally, Rachel gives up, and instead she's the one to pull him down into the bed, rolling around and tearing off his clothing as quickly as possible, while her lips leave hot kisses all over his skin.
Late at night, Rachel wakes up by the full moon shining in through the window. She's always had trouble sleeping with a full moon, but Finn seems untouched by it as she turns over to look at him. He's sleeping soundly, snoring a little with every breath. It brings a smile to her face, and she can't resist kissing his nose before gently wiggling out of his grip.
Never ever had Rachel thought that making love so many times during one night could be so great. Her body tingles as she sneaks out into the kitchen to get something to drink. She thinks of the many ways Finn touched her, and it's as if the tingling feeling on her skin somehow grows twenty temperatures higher. All she wants to do is go back to bed and wake him for another round.
Still, she doesn't. She stands in the doorway, watching him sleeping while she drinks her water slowly. Finn stirs in his sleep, letting out a disappointed groan as he obviously feels empty without her by his side. Rachel smiles at that, but she doesn't go back to bed quite yet.
Instead, Rachel starts walking around Finn's room, looking at all the unfinished paintings she never has had time to look at during daylight. She never noticed how many of them actually have huge paint blotches of some completely contrasting color. The only painting without a huge paint blotch is the one with the two silhouettes kissing under the Eiffel Tower. She smiles as she runs her fingers over the canvas of that one. It was the first painting she saw Finn paint.
As Rachel walks around the room, running her fingers over each painting, especially over the destroyed parts of them, she's suddenly reminded of the fact that Finn painted her earlier that night. She bites her lip before daring to go over to the easel to see the painting.
There she sees herself. In red paint on a white canvas, she's lying in the bed smiling at him. She's beautiful, pretty, sexy, even. All the things Rachel is not. She has to run her fingers over it, as if to make sure that it's really there, that it's really her on the painting.
That's when she notices it.
There's something really tiny in the left corner, and Rachel has to bend down to see it in the darkness. She has to squint to see what it is, and her breath hitches when she does. In tiny, red letters, there's a text that says, "You really do inspire me."
Rachel feels tears burning in her eyes as she looks at the tiny letters. She turns her head to look at the man, still sleeping soundly in the bed behind her. Maybe she didn't think she was a very good source of inspiration, just as much as she didn't believe that she was pretty, but for at least one night, Finn has made her believe that.
She wipes her eyes before she crawls back into bed with him. Immediately, Finn wraps his arms around her and sighs, revealing to her that he wasn't actually asleep. Rachel turns her head to him. "Finn?"
"Did you like it?" he asks.
"Y-yeah, I just…"
"I think it'll put the paintings in Louvre to shame."
Rachel smiles at that, before giving his nose a small peck.