A/N: You don't even know how many days went by with the document open without me even taking a look at it. Honestly, I'm irritated that it took me this long to write something. I'm irritated that Writer's Block is a real thing that I have in spades.
Anyway, please review!
Grant spotted his target as soon as he walked through the door. Josie was by herself, focused on the papers and open laptop in front of her. She had earbuds in, listening to music, and was therefore unaware of his presence. Even if she knew he was there, she didn't think anything of it, and was simply nonreactive. He grinned devilishly; now was the perfect time to strike.
He was about six feet tall which made stealthy hiding harder, but he curled into himself as much as he could, and slipped around the furniture, moving slowly until-
"Hi babe!" he yelled in her ear, collapsing next to her on the couch and wrapping his limbs around her. She yelped immediately, freezing and gripping her laptop harder to make sure it didn't fall in the midst of the surprise attack. He leaned in and kissed her noisily and sloppily on the cheek, happy to have gotten this reaction out of her. He laughed, because it was funny, and he didn't unwrap himself from her as she made sure no mess was made of the papers around her.
"Grant! You can't do that, what if I dropped my laptop?" she whined, but there was a hint of a smile on her face that let him know that she thought it was funny too. He laughed and kissed her again, this time a little gentler, with more affection.
"But you didn't so it's fine," he reasoned, still with a silly smile on his face.
"Ugh. But you need to un-koala yourself from me because I have a project to work on and the sooner I get it done the better I get paid," she explained, half pushing him away from her. He pouted; he knew she had work to do and it was technically the work that paid a few of their bills, but he wanted to cuddle.
"But I wanna cuddle," he mumbled, resting her chin on his shoulder. She scoffed.
"Give me a couple of hours, you know I can't just jump from work to affection," she explained. And he knew that, she could be very affectionate, but when she was focused on something, someone would have to die before she paid any attention to them.
"But cuddles!" he insisted, because he was intentionally being difficult. Then she really laughed, because she adored him, obviously.
"Grant, I'm sorry, but I still have a lot of editing before I can send in a finished product. If you'd like I can hide in my office so I'm not in your space. I just can't have any distractions until I get this done. Okay?" She was being sweet, but he was already formulating a plan.
"Okay, Josie. No distractions."
The next time he found her surrounded by work, she was on their bed and it was impossible not to mess with her. She looked too cute, too sweet, too nice not to mess with. The only problem was that he couldn't just go in there and start talking; he needed a game plan and he needed one before Josie looked up and saw him standing there in the hallway. Within a few seconds he came up with the easiest and most obvious method: it was sexy time.
He quietly backed away, racing to the kitchen where there was a vase with fake roses in it. He took one out, put it between his teeth, and stepped toward the bedroom in the goofiest way. He stopped and posed in the doorway, definitely not looking sexy as he took his time doing so. After he decided he was in the most unprovocative-provocative position he could be in, he adjusted the fake plant in his mouth and grinned.
"Hey there baby," he said, his voice sultry and low. Her head snapped up, causing the hair she had trapped in a loose bun to bounce a little.
"Grant," she said with a little amusement. He sauntered into the bedroom and climbed on the bed. On hands and knees he moved towards her, the fake rose wobbling with every movement. Josie was giggling quietly, and soon enough he was close enough to kiss the tip of her noise.
"Hey there beautiful, you busy? Or do I need to… distract you?" He wagged his eyebrows suggestively and she bust out laughing. Of course even while being completely unsexy, he could still kiss her neck and rub his hands up and down her sides to turn everything around, actually be sexy. With a little chuckle he started doing just that, and kissed her neck while he gently placed his hands on her abdomen, getting her to lean back on the pillows behind her.
"Oh would you- knock it off you silly boy!" With a laugh Josie pushed him backwards with a little more force than necessary.
"But babe," he whined. She rolled her eyes and sighed exasperatedly.
"I have a deadline tonight, Grant. Maybe tomorrow we can do something," she said while patting his shoulder. He frowned.
"I have to work extra tomorrow, I'll be exhausted," he said. She pursed her lips in though.
"I'm sorry, babe. Don't worry, I'll think of something. I just have to get this done tonight." When she finished speaking, she kissed his cheek and then went right back to work.
Damn, this time didn't work. One of these days he would be able to distract her from her work, he would prove to be more attention-worthy than whatever project he was working on.
Their landlord relayed a message to all of the tenants in the building that small pets- pit bull-sized dogs and smaller- were now allowed, provided you let the him know so he can pull up the proper paperwork. Josie's immediate reaction was to figure out which animal they should get because yesyesyes let's get a pet! As soon as she finished her paid project she immediately went back into research mode. Within two days she settled on a surprising choice- she wanted rats. Grant blinked when she said it.
Josie wanted pet rats, as in, rodents with long tails and known for destroying houses. And Grant knew that this was true, because Josie had told him all about the pet rats she had when she was younger, and how she always had to come up with new plans to protect the house and her furniture from their ever-growing teeth and nails. Also, even while being sweet and affectionate they could still scratch up your skin. What a predicament to look forward to! (She also said that even the ones who claimed to never ever like a rat ended up falling in love with hers once they met them, and Josie doesn't use words like those lightly.)
The thing Grant was indignant about was that Josie said that when she was done with that project that she would pay attention to him. And now she was re-learning about rats and where good breeders were because apparently pet stores are terrible to small animals like rats.
She was in her office, type-type-typing away and scroll-scroll-scrolling down the laptop screen as she communicated with the closest "reliable" breeder, trying to set up a date where she could pick up two little girl rats from the latest litter. She was more enthusiastic about getting rodents as pets than he thought was possible, and she was just too adorably focused. Time for Operation Distraction Part II.
He knew what he was going to do this time before he even stumbled upon the opportunity. So Grant walked up behind her, gripped her chair, and started pulling it backward. Josie squeaked in surprise, and he grinned. He continued pulling back the chair as she leaned further and further forward, trying to continue typing her email to the rat-breeder lady.
"Grant no!" she laughed, making grabby hands at her laptop as he pulled her.
"Grant yes!" he laughed back.
"I'm trying to finalize the deal, babe, come on girls are always wanted more and I was the first to ask for them, I gotta hurry!"
"You said you would an Ocean's movie marathon with me this weekend!" he reminded her. She sighed, and stood up out of the chair, ruining his fun.
"I'll do it as soon as I finish with this babe, I promise," she said, and to Josie, a promise is a promise. Grant pouted, but returned her chair to behind her knees. She sat down and further tucked herself into her desk. She sent him a smile over her shoulder.
"I love you, Grant. I promise you'll love the ratties too," she said quietly. And he smiled back and nodded. (He stopped smiling when she ran into the living room to demand that they decide which cage to buy.)
Grant didn't hate that Josie was right, but the first time she caught him cooing at the rats she got a rather haughty smirk on her face. At least Grant wasn't the one that constantly called the rats his "babies" or "little furry children." However sometimes when he entered the room that their cage was in, they ran to the bars to greet him, and once or twice the words, "Oh I love my little girls!" were uttered from his mouth. He didn't think Josie heard him those times.
The one thing he had been afraid of was also true, though. As the little rats played and scurried around, used their new human parents as playgrounds, their nails lightly scratched at skin and pulled at lips as they tried to clean their humans' mouths. Simply put, it hurt. That was why he probably didn't spend as much time with them out of their cage as Josie did.
This was why the rats were the perfect items of distraction as Josie worked on a journalistic project, something having to do with an argumentative research article on sex education. He made sure she didn't have papers strewn everywhere on the floor or on her desk before he went to release the sneaky, sharp creatures.
"Come here ladies, we're going to see Mommy!" Grant whispered as he opened the cage door. The young female rats ran to the opening and climbed onto the door, and then onto his outstretched hand. Grant wasn't yet comfortable with them climbing around his neck like Josie was, but he let them roam around his arms and chest. They did just that as he walked towards Josie's office.
"You think you can ignore me by focusing on your work? And then challenge me to not distract you, like that wouldn't cause me to do the exact opposite? Oh, how wrong you are," Grant chuckled quietly to himself as he walked down the hall. Alexa, one of the rats, climbed up and tried to pull his lip down with her nails.
"No, no, wait a moment and do that to your mother, she'll appreciate it more," he whispered to her. In return to hearing his whisper, her sister Alana tried to do the same. He stretched his face away from them as he walked silently into the office, the door thankfully ajar. Josie was in her office chair, going back and forth between highlighting sentences on printed papers and her laptop screen.
"Surprise attack!" he shouted, and dropped (to the best of his ability) the energetic little rodents onto his girlfriend's shoulders, who- wait a minute.
There was no shriek of surprise (probably his fault for talking to the rats), no flinch at sudden contact with claws, no jump to see what new creatures had been dumped on her shoulder, nothing. Josie simply reached both of her hands up briefly to scratch behind the ears of Alexa and Alana, and then she went back to typing.
"Thanks for letting them out babe, I've been meaning to do it for an hour, but you know how I can be when I focus on something," she said. 'Yes, unfortunately I do,' Grant though sourly, as he watched his plan unfold. 'I've been trying to get you to pay attention to me for weeks and all you do is take on more and more projects.'
The rats controlled their slide down her chest and into her shirt, where they seemed to relax almost immediately, like sleeping on Josie's stomach was their favorite sleeping place. Despite the obvious use of their nails to move around, Josie didn't so much as flinch, probably because she was used to rats, something Grant had forgotten to take into account as he planned his next method of distraction.
He would do better next time.
At least this time she was in mid-break when she came home, but then he couldn't really tell. Over time he had learned that writers worked in weird ways, sometimes in ways you could argue they weren't even working. He was pretty sure she was taking a break, because she was on a blanket on the kitchen floor, two pillows around her, and on her lap sat a plate of blackberry pie a la mode. He knew better than to think the rats were out in the kitchen, because he had come to realize that if they could squeeze into whatever small space, they could cause damage to the small space.
"Hey babe," Grant said as he closed the door and worked on getting his shoes off. He got a muffled, "Hello sweetie," in return.
He walked over to the kitchen area and leaned against the counter. He saw a few papers with highlighted sections around her, and her laptop open. That was all being temporarily ignored as she took bites of pie with vanilla ice cream. She wiggled back and forth happily, as she tended to do when she was content and happy; it was one of her most endearing habits.
It was at this point that he realized that he could easily enact Distraction No. 5, and grinned. Her laptop wasn't even on the blanket.
"Let's play Aladdin," he said, startling her from her eating. She was confused until he grabbed at the corners of her plush-brown blanket and started dragging her around in circles. She laughed, and for a second he thought the plan was working until she turned her torso so she could grab her laptop and place it on her lap, and replace the plate of food. She started typing again, and then he let the blanket go, stood up, and sighed.
"Josie," he whined. She looked up, still smiling.
"Grant!" she exclaimed happily.
"Pay attention to me," he said, and she giggled.
"I'm almost done, I promise. One paragraph left and then you have me. Well, one paragraph and then I have to clean up this mess and I'll cook dinner, but really, once I'm done you'll have my attention, promise promise promise."
And he believed her, because even if it took a while, Josie kept her promises.
Grant hated his job. It was a stepping stone type of job, the kind where you got coffee for your employers and your employers laughed at your expense even when it wasn't too hard to tell that it was hurtful. But he wanted to be a businessman, an owner of a small diner, and he knew that he had to learn the ropes and work "up the corporate ladder" as people said. But sometimes days would go by and nobody said thank you and the hours got longer and just walking required emotional effort that he didn't know how to give.
He walked into the apartment he shared with his girlfriend, noted somewhere in his tired brain that she was still working on something on the couch, and so he let himself crash onto the loveseat on the opposite side of the living room rug. His limbs were spread out like he was a starfish, and he rested his head on the back of the purple piece of furniture. He closed his eyes as he knew he would as soon as he was off of his feet, because his eyelids weighed too many pounds for him to keep them open. He let himself take deep breaths, trying to relax because today sucked because even though he did something good the universe refused to let anyone acknowledge it.
He didn't know how long he let his muscles unwind and his chest move up and down with the deep breaths, but one moment he was trying to release the frustrated knot in his brain and the next there was a source of warmth beside and on top of him.
Grant lifted his head and opened one eye; to his right his beautiful girlfriend was cuddled up to his side, wrapping her limbs around her like had done to her a few weeks earlier. She kissed his shoulder softly and smiled at him.
"I'm sorry you had a bad day, babe, I'll make you your favorite dinner and then we can binge on cartoons the rest of the night, okay?" Josie asked. This time she kissed the corner of his mouth, and a small smile bloomed on his face.
"Yeah?" he mumbled. She nodded her head, and her eyes shone with committed happiness.
"Your favorites tonight, and you can tell me what happened. There's nowhere I'd rather be, or anything I'd rather do, because I love you the most, you know?"
And Grant did know that. Sometimes she was busy, because writers don't have the same work schedule that most humans had, but when it came down to it she spent any free moment that she had with him when she could, and she knew him better than anyone else. They loved each other.
"I love you too, Josie," he whispered. She smiled even bigger and then hopped away as she went to go make his favorite food, and he grabbed the remote to put on his favorite cartoons.
She would probably find a pretty great way to distract him from all of that, though.
A/N: To be honest, I think I wrote half of this just today, because yesterday I finished reading The Shining so today I decided to finish writing this story. Tomorrow I'll start reading And Then There Were None, and who knows what story I'll start on next.
Please review, and if you liked the little romance one-shot, vote on my profile so I know what kind of stories you also like to read. :)