Grant didn't wake up to his phone ringing; in retrospect, he really wished that he had. Well….. either woken up, or at least gone to bed wearing something other than just his boxers.
As it was, Grant happened to be happily ensconced in the land of dreams and rainbows when something wrapped around his arm like the jaws of an agitated, toothless crocodile and began to shake him in firm tugs.
"Grant. Wake the fuck up," someone snarled angrily, shaking him again. Actually, that someone sounded a lot like Clayton-which would just be silly because that would mean that Clayton was in his house.
"Grant. I swear to God, I will drag your ass out of bed."
Grant instantly snapped his eyes open, halfway curled into a fetal position with his quilt cuddled and wrapped intricately around his body like some sort of bondage porno. Grant, being the eloquent, controlled man that he was, released an undignified shriek, jerking so hard in Clayton's grasp that the upper half of his body completely slid off of the bed. His head thudded onto the toe of Clayton's boot, feet trapped in an elaborate boy-scout style tangle of sheets with his good-morning-you-have-no-sex-life boner standing half mast inside of his boxers.
"Clayton?!" Grant struggled to comprehend the situation, staring up the length of Clayton's sinfully long body (mother of god) and finding himself the subject of a bemused stare.
"Your dad let me in, which, by the way, you're going to be late for work because I sat outside for fifteen minutes trying to get you to answer your phone."
"Oh my god." Grant then took that exact moment to realize that he was literally lying at Clayton's feet with a half-woodie, and glanced down.
Yeah, it was actually pretty hard not to notice.
Which meant Clayton could pretty much see- "… OH MY GOD." Grant flopped around like a dying fish to try and get off of the bed, half-rolling, half-falling until he was on the ground completely. He grabbed his sheets, wrapping them around his hips and breathing out another mortified, "oh my god," before hightailing it out of his room lest he die of complete and utter humiliation.
He could hear Clayton's laughter even after he shut the bathroom door.
By the time Grant was out of the bathroom, Clayton was no longer upstairs. He hurried to get dressed, grabbing his laptop bag that served as more of a Marry Poppins satchel of things-to-keep-him-entertained, and jogging down the stairs. Clayton wasn't in the living room, probably in his truck, and Grant rushed for the door.
"Grant!" his dad called from the kitchen. Grant looked up just in time to shriek and barely catch the flying projectile of a Tupperware container, shooting his smirking father a dirty look and wave before he ducked out of the house.
He resisted the urge to yell back at his father that the man could seriously hurt someone like that. Grant knew of at least three cases consisting of death-via-Tupperware that had all ended miserably. The internet had told him so.
Clayton was hanging up the CB radio mic when Grant climbed into the truck, face instantly burning hot when he remembered that Clayton had totally seen him popping a halfie when he'd woken up. Which, by the way, was probably ranking higher on his list of 'moments that Grant wished could be forgotten due to their traumatizing aspects' than the time his dad had walked in on Grant making out with David back during their senior year of high school.
In Grant's defense, he had been trying to convince David that Grant was totally his type.
It hadn't worked.
Buckling in, he looked over to see Clayton watching him with a raised eyebrow. They were nice eyebrows, even if they had these little tufts on each end that went in the opposite direction-like they'd been forced in that position after years of scowling like an irritated gorilla at anyone who bothered to exist.
Grant sunk down into his seat and, turning even redder, muttered, "Shut up and drive, Kato," under his breath. Clayton snorted, pulling the truck out of park and doing exactly that.
The first few hours of work were relatively uneventful once Grant had clocked in and started dispatching runs. His morning crawled by at an agonizing pace, making Grant somewhat twitchy by the time noon rolled around.
Clayton had come into the garage only once that morning, spending a few minutes tinkering around in the engine of Grant's jeep before he was sent out again. Before he'd left, Clayton had slipped into the office to let Grant know that his jeep was going to be out of commission for a good few days if he wanted it fixed for free. Either way, Grant was completely cool with it.
Out of everything that had happened so far that day, the newest development was a text from Clayton around the middle of the afternoon.
Grabbing food. Want anything?
Thank baby Jesus, the man knew how to use the English language. It was something that made Grant want to climb onto the roof and sing his praises. In actuality, if he climbed onto the roof to do anything, the chances were high that one of the other businesses in their lot would think that Grant had finally cracked and was going to throw his body off of the one-story in a mad attempt at ending his life. Grant wouldn't be surprised if they would have assumed that he legitimately thought the hypothetical jumping would kill him and not just break every bone in his body.
Grant brushed off that train of thought and gleefully responded with, yeah. Get me some curly fries. I'll pay you back.
Momentarily, he wondered if it was a bit too soon to feel giddy over the fact that the guy was picking him up food when it was completely unnecessary. He then remembered how Clayton was ridiculously gorgeous and had a heart somewhere underneath of his cold, emotionless exterior, and dismissed his worries with a pointless wave of his hand.
They got slammed not long after Grant had gotten a text back of, 'ok,' from Clayton, which had Grant frantically trying to get calls sent out on time. When it finally died down, Clayton showed up with a bag of significantly cooled food, sheepishly handing Grant's fries over.
Grant bit down the urge to comment that Clayton looked like a puppy that had gotten caught peeing on the carpet, and took his fries. "Dude, we've got a microwave." Grinning, he held a hand out for Clayton to give over his own food. "I'll heat your stuff up, too."
"Thanks," Clayton grunted, nodding and taking a seat while Grant fiddled with the microwave. While the food was heating up, Grant tugged his wallet out of his pocket, grabbing $5 and handing it to Clayton. When Clayton didn't take the money right away, Grant started waving it in his face, moving closer and closer until Clayton rolled his eyes and snatched it away. Satisfied, Grant returned to the microwave to watch the food cook. Someone once told him that a person could get cancer from watching food in a microwave, but he was pretty sure if that were true, his eyes would have rotted out years ago-but not after he would have gone blind from compulsive teenage masturbation.
Once the food was done, he took a seat with his reheated fries and handed Clayton's lunch over. Clayton shoved the phone over on the desk, making himself a corner-table opposite to Grant and digging in with the appetite of a man starved.
Good Lord, Clayton even had his own designated space in Grant office. That could only mean that they had some sort of destiny together, right? The next step had to be that Grant would get his own drawer in Clayton's room for spare clothes after rigorous activities that involved lots of sweat, grunting, and bodily fluids.
Realizing he was being utterly lewd again, Grant didn't waste a second shoving fries into his mouth with one hand, using the other to fill out paperwork. Clayton ate in silence, not even commenting when Grant muttered to himself under his breath and moved to click around on the computer to pull up the times he'd forgotten to write down.
Grant didn't mind the quiet, for once. Normally any lack of sound would make him feel uncomfortable; with the television on mute (captions on) and the phones completely dead, Clayton's presence was, surprisingly, more of a calming balm than anything. It was like Clayton was an all-natural brand of metaphorical THC.
Except when he was actually looking at Grant, or thinking in Grant's general direction. When that happened, Grant had an insatiable urge to climb Clayton like a tree-or climb an actual tree and stay far, far out of sight.
The two conflicting desires were at a constant battle, which made Grant feel like his brain and libido were having their own version of a Red Alert II scrimmage battle. Personally, Grant considered his heart as the creepy Soviet spider droid thing that attacked people's faces and murdered them. Well… his heart murdered with kindness and lots of ridiculous compliments that only served to make Grant sound like the crazy old hobo on the corner of Metro and Lexington with the sign reading 'Need beer money, God Bless.'
When he finished eating, Clayton tossed his trash and sat back down, lighting a cigarette. Technically, it broke the rules, but the owner was a smoker and they had ash trays set up for some of the dispatchers and drivers. Grant-himself-didn't smoke, but he'd gotten used to suffocation-via-cancerous fumes, and was completely unbothered by it.
Having thrown away his own trash and catching up on his paperwork, Grant pulled out his Nintendo DS to play Animal Crossing in order to pass the time.
"Nobody cares, Nook. Just give me my godamn money." He hissed after a few minutes, tapping angrily at the screen to try and skip past the ridiculous amount of pointless, garbled chatter that the character on the game insisted on having. He peeked up, seeing Clayton watching the muted television absently, and then went back to his game with the decision that he would go fishing to earn some extra money.
The third time a fish swam away just as he approached the shore, Grant cursed loudly and then jerked his head up upon remembering that there was someone actually in the office with him. He locked eyes with Clayton, face going from room temperature to burning hot in the second of a heartbeat. It was like walking into the fires of Mordor, sans the creepy eye staring him down.
Suffocated by his own mortification, Grant ducked his head back down with a shrug and murmur of, "Sorry, I talk to games."
"You talk to everything." Clayton pointed out quietly, flicking ash from his cigarette into the tray near his elbow.
Grant paused, pursing his lips and nodding. "… truth." He had to give Clayton mental props for the lack of mocking in his tone, secretly pleased that he-who-had-to-be-forced-to-talk hadn't even bothered to tease Grant when given the perfect opportunity.
Clayton snorted, leaning back in his chair and turning to watch the television.
Dicking around on his game, Grant glanced up at Clayton after a prolonged moment. "… do you ever talk to yourself? 'Cause I gotta day, dude, I don't even know how you can't. Actually, I don't know how anyone can stand silence. Silences is suffocating. It's like drowning in a pool, except it's your brain and not a massive body of water filled with chlorine that burns your eyes."
To be honest, both options sounded equally unpleasant.
Giving Grant a quirked eyebrow, Clayton took a drag from his cigarette and exhaled the smoke slowly, making it billow in thick, gray clouds that drifted upwards. Grant decided that smoking should be outlawed for the fact that it was cancerous and illegally attractive on men like Clayton. It made Grant want to pick up the habit just to see if they could make him look as debonair. If that worked out, he might actually succeed in seducing Clayton with his wit and exuberant charm.
Clayton tapped some of his ash out, leaning back again and shrugging. "I'm used to it."
"Aw, that's… so sad." Grant replied faintly, giving Clayton a big, fake pout.
Rolling his eyes, Clayton twisted his chair around so that his back was facing Grant and muttered, "smartass," under his breath.
"I heard that!" Grant felt it pertinent to mention that pride was instantly wounded like an arrow to the knee. He would have, if he didn't already know that the obscure Skyrim reference would go completely over Clayton's head. Clayton glanced at Grant over his shoulder, offering him a smirk to end all smirks.
"You like it."
Sweet Jesus, he did not just go there.
"Oh my god," Grant groaned, because Clayton calling him out on things like that was utterly horrifying. It could only mean that he was completely aware that he was dragging Grant around by the dick, and enjoyed it immensely.
Clayton's laugh was a sharp, sudden bark that eased all of Grant's fears-he wasn't being a tool, he was just attempting to lightheartedly tease and failing miserably in every aspect except that he made Grant want to lock himself in the bathroom for the rest of eternity.
The phone rang not long after, which was really the prelude to more runs coming in, and Grant spent a good few minutes dispatching Boyd and Mike for some in-city tows and sending Isaac on a jumpstart.
He filled out the paperwork, glancing up at the computer when it honked at him for another tow call. Grant had to resist the urge to smother a coil of disappointment, because he was totally enjoying forcing Clayton to endure his presence in hopes that he would start to find Grant's company pleasurable through sheer exposure.
Not exposure like Grant taking his pants off and flashing Clayton his dangly bits, exposure like 'hey, I'm here, I'm awesome. Love me.'
"Got one for you," Grant said to Clayton, grabbing the dispatch paper meant for drivers and starting to scribble down everything Clayton needed. Clayton stood, stubbing out his cigarette and walking around until he was standing behind Grant to look at the computer screen.
He bent down, chest pressing against Grant's back and shoulder and squinting his eyes. Grant's heart felt like the stampede from Jumanji, hiccupping and thundering in his chest when he caught a whiff of cologne that made him want to do unspeakable things that would probably cost him his job if the owner ever reviewed the security tapes.
"Where is it at?"
"Uh," Grant said intelligently, lifting his pen and tapping the screen as he read the address out loud. Clayton bent in further, eyes narrowing while he followed the movement of Grant's pen. Grant took it as incentive to also show Clayton where everything else was, the customer's information, the car's year, color, make and model, and the comment box that had details on the type of call. The words left him in a rush, awkwardly explaining everything in excessive detail because he possibly, maybe, wanted an excuse to keep Clayton all up in his business like Snookie at a house party.
Clayton didn't move right away, skimming his eyes over the screen before he reached a hand up and settled it on the back of Grant's neck. Grant's body felt like a livewire, barely able to stop himself from sucking in a sharp breath when Clayton's fingers squeezed his neck gently before he stood. If Grant were a cat, or a lesser man, he would have happily gone limp in Clayton's hands, leaving the man free to do whatever he wished with Grant.
"Okay, do you have the paper?"
Brain melted into a pile of goo, Grant absently tore the info sheet from the pad and handed it to Derek. "Here," he choked, clearing his throat. Clayton took it, other hand landing on Grant's head and rubbing it (Grant assumed that, if he actually had more than an inch of hair, Clayton would have been ruffling it) with a tiny smirk. Grant squawked in protest, shoving at Clayton's hand and getting an amused snort in return as Clayton slipped out of the office.
Grant sat there for a few seconds, and then slowly brought his hand down between his legs to readjust himself-because he'd apparently somehow gotten a bit of a chubby from just that single touch. Honestly, it was like he was back in high school and had nearly busted a nut just from brushing arms with David.
"Holy god," Grant breathed, so discombobulated that he nearly jerked out of his seat when the phone rang.
"John's Towing," Grant chirped into the phone, rubbing at his burning cheeks and glancing at the number. He realized that it was one of the insurance companies calling just as the man on the other line spoke.
"Hello, this is Steve with AAA. I'm calling about call number eight zero three."
Grant glanced up at the computer, staring at the run that he'd just sent Clayton on and realizing, with a bit of detached horror, that he'd never even clicked the button to acknowledge and dispatch the call. He had seriously been that distracted by Clayton that he'd completely forgotten one of the first steps required when receiving runs.
"Oh my gosh, I'm so sorry sir," he blurted, hurriedly grabbing the mouse and clicking it, "I thought I clicked it, but I didn't. It's already been dispatched, the ETA is thirty minutes."
The man on the other line must have thought that Grant was an incompetent loon when he made an amused sound of acknowledgement. "All right, thank you, sir." The line went dead a second later and Grant practically slammed the phone down to bury his face in his hands.
"I'm so screwed, and I'm not even getting laid."
Of course, after that, the rest of the evening was disappointing in the area of Grant attempting to woo Clayton with his incompetence. They got hit with runs that kept everyone busy for the last few hours until Grant was locking up at eight without ever having seen Clayton since lunch. Jessica was outside, waving from her car as he made his way over.
"Hey Jess, thanks for the ride," he grinned, buckling himself in, "One of the drivers is supposed to be fixing my car this week, so hopefully this won't happen that much."
Jessica, being her creepishly perceptive self, (seriously, why was Grant related to his father, and not her?) stared at him for a long moment before she started the car. "Sure is a nice guy, fixing your car and all."
"Oh my god, you don't even KNOW." Grant cried, throwing his arms out. "I swear this dude is like, inhuman. He's totally got this creepy 'hello, Clarise' stare and not-talk-to-you thing going on, but then he'll turn around and be all nice and shit. But he hates being nice so when he does it you have to act like you don't even realize he's being nice. This one time-"
"At band camp?"
"Shut the fuck up."
Jessica burst into laughter, reaching out to pat Grant on the leg sympathetically when he crossed his arms and slouched into his seat. "I'm sorry, Grant, you set yourself up for that. Continue?"
Grant huffed, but continued anyway, because all of these emotions were building up inside of him with more force than a mentos meeting a bottle of coke. "I don't even know, Jessica. He'll act all irritated at me when I'm sending him on some calls, but then he'll be super nice-but-not-really and do shit like bring me curly fries. He brought me curly fries, Jessica! I had to shove my money at him just to keep from feeling guilty!"
Smothering a grin, Jessica turned at the light and shook her head. "You really sound like you've got your hands full. I haven't heard you this worked up since that time Alyse said you were cute."
"Okay, dude, legitimate reason for a freakout. Nobody calls me cute, everyone calls me a spazz and-and a chipmunk! But never cute!"
"A chipmunk?" Jessica asked incredulously. Grant choked, his face doing that lets-start-our-own-internal-combustion thing again.
"Clayton said I look like a chipmunk when I'm eating." He breathed weakly. Jessica laughed, the sound filling her car and making Grant wish that he had a bucket of shame to put over his head.
They talked about classes for the rest of the ride, breaking only for Grant to rant more about Clayton and his ass that could rival Hercules', until they pulled up into his driveway. Grant gathered his things, slipping out of the car with a farewell to Jessica when she rolled her window down to call his name.
"Hey, Grant!" Grant turned, and Jessica gave him a wide, knowing grin. "Chipmunks are cute."
"Oh my god, get out of here!" Grant yelped, flipping her his middle finger and then practically stomping his way into the house.
His dad wasn't home, already out for the night shift, so Grant scribbled him a message that he needed a ride into work the next morning before hiking upstairs to shower and wind down before bed.
His lack of sleep from the night prior made it easy for Grant to climb into bed after a good online gaming sessiohn, jerk off, toss his soiled tissues in the trash, and pass out entirely.
The next morning was greeted with far less bed-intruders, until Grant's phone rang at a quarter to eight and he scrambled to answer it after seeing Clayton's name on the caller ID.
"Are you awake this time?" Clayton asked, his voice just shy of jesting. Grant fumbled to finish buttoning his pants, tripping over his backpack in his mad dash for the window.
"What? Oh my god, dude, are you here? Why are you here?" Grant shoved his fingers into the blinds, prying them open to see Clayton's truck idling in their driveway.
"… because you don't have a car and you're on my way to the shop?" Clayton said slowly, like he was attempting to talk to a man who had suffered a head injury and wanted to hop in his car and drive off into the sunset.
"Oh… have you been waiting for very long?"
"Oh. Okay. Be right out." Grant squeaked, scrambling off of his bed and shoving the rest of his things into his bag before he tripped his way downstairs. His dad was asleep on the couch, still in his uniform and apparently waiting for Grant to wake him up so that he could drive him to work. Grant felt painfully guilty - his dad had probably gotten off work less than two hours ago, which made Grant an awful son for wanting to rely on him for transportation when he probably could have taken the bus if he was really desperate.
Grant approached his father, gently shaking his shoulder until he groggily looked up at his son. "Hey dad, I got a ride. You can go to bed." Grant said softly. His dad grunted, yawning and rolling over.
"Okay. Cool. I approve of your new boyfriend." Grant's dad muttered tiredly, burying his face into the couch and waving Grant away.
"Why, father, why must you do this to me." Grant whined in mortification. His dad snorted, murmuring incoherently in a way that made Grant relatively certain that the man's main goal in life was to emotionally torture his son. It was to a point where Grant was sure he would be doomed to end up as the creepy old guy at the end of the block with forty cats and a collection of wind-chimes in his yard.
Sighing dramatically, Grant slipped out of the house and clambered into Clayton's truck. Clayton didn't even bother to greet him, shifting out of park and instead grunting, "we need to stop and do a lockout on the way in."
A perfect opportunity to sit in the truck and lech on Clayton, Grant decided. "Okie dokie."
It was, in fact, a perfect opportunity. Grant got to hunch down in the passenger seat and watch Clayton's utterly delectable bum shift back and forth while fighting with the window to get to the lock. However, he wasn't expecting Clayton to suddenly turn around and catch Grant staring unabashedly at his ass. Grant instantly jerked his head back down to stare at his DS, returning to his pokemon battle and refusing to ever look at Clayton again.
When Clayton got back in the truck, Grant thought he was going to have a heart attack from sheer anticipation.
Someone, please, call Life Alert.
Obsessively mashing keys on his DS while Clayton called the overnight service with his miles and sat back to fill out his paperwork, Grant might have glanced up, like the masochist he was. The corner of Clayton's mouth was just shy of being pulled back into the tiniest of smirks.
Not that Grant was looking, because he was totally playing pokemon without a care in the world.
"Hold this,' Clayton shoved his paperwork clipboard onto Grant's lap, knuckles dragging over Grant's thigh when he withdrew and making Grant fumble not to drop it in retaliation to the sudden fire of excitement that it brought.
"Ooohkay," Grant stammered, clutching the clipboard and setting his DS on top of it so he could keep playing. He didn't understand why Clayton made him feel this way, it couldn't have been the dark, brooding attitude-mostly because that's what Edward Cullen did, and Edward Cullen creeped Grant out more than the dude from Silence of the Lambs who wore other people's skin and tucked his junk.
Clayton shifted into drive, pulling out of the parking lot and onto the main road. Grant threw himself into his game, attention focused enough that he was able to keep from rambling like a fool, for the most part.
When a song came on the radio that made Grant cringe, he reached out to hurriedly change the station, hand wrenching back halfway to the button because Clayton had a tendency to smack his hand. Not that Grant minded when Clayton touched him, but the hand smacking was just shy of painful (though, Grant would be the first to admit that he wouldn't be opposed to a little bit of spanking, if Clayton was the one doing it) and completely unnecessary.
However, Clayton didn't even move. Instead, his face twitched and he reached out to change the station for Grant, switching it from oldies to classic rock. Grant grinned, scooching back in his seat and saying, "much better. Rock is good, but eight minute guitar ballads are hit and miss," with a wave of his hand.
"Agreed." Clayton muttered, nodding solemnly. Grant couldn't help but swell a little with pride. Not only had they made decent conversation, but Grant had actually controlled himself from going on a rant about the pros and cons of listening to Guns and Roses while drowning one's sorrows into a bottle of spiced rum.
We don't talk about that night, though.
Clayton dropped him off upon arrival, leaving right after to do another run that had come in during the trip to the office. Grant got himself settled in for the day, humming under his breath because today was completely awesome and there was nothing that could make him think otherwise.
Of course, that confidence must have been the exact reason that everything went to shit just a few hours later.