Trigger Warning: Do not read if you are prone to triggers from suicide, sexual assault, gun violence, or mass shootings
The Perfect Grayson is co-written by two separate authors: Alexis and Alice (ChemistryOfLife)
Throughout the story Alexis and I will rarely leave authors notes at the end of chapters. This will be our only time to ask you to consider following and reviewing as you read or following ChemistryOfLife if you are eager for more updates. There are a total of 50 chapters for The Perfect Grayson already prewritten on a document, and I anticipate posting every other day. If I forget, just shoot me a message!
The two authors went back and forth in writing a new chapter in their designated character's perspective. Alice wrote in the point of view of Emma Carrol-Todd and Alexis from the point of view of Grayson Todd.
Aside from the basic facts about the characters and plot determined by the coauthors at the beginning of the story, nothing was planned, mapped, or laid out in explicit detail ahead of time.
This is the story that the characters gave us to tell.
It was like any other morning for Grayson and Emma. From day one, it had been somewhat of a routine of theirs to have breakfast at Brew Crew every morning.
Day one being, the first day Emma had spent at Gray's apartment after escaping a fifteen-month abduction.
Long story, you should read it.
And even though now it wasn't as important to Emma's mental health to let her choose what to do and where to go, it felt weird, wrong even, to spend a morning during the week anywhere but Brew Crew. It might've had something to do with the cashier girl's consistently so-bad-it's-good coffee puns.
However, perhaps claiming that it was a normal morning was a little misleading. Technically it was; at the moment. And Emma certainly had no reason to think otherwise. But unbeknownst to her, Gray had a little something up his sleeve. Or rather, in his pocket. This wasn't the first time he'd carried something like this, or the first time he planned to use it in this manner. Thinking about the first time still tended to hurt, considering that woman was no longer among the living.
But it was thanks to Emma that Gray was even able to move past the death of his first wife. As well as thanks to Gray that Emma was able to move past having been kidnapped three years ago. They both meant a lot to each other. Which made what he intended to do somewhat easier, giving him a vote of confidence. Not a huge one, but still.
"...convicted serial murderer Aaron Matthews, known as the 'Ghost Killer', was officially executed earlier this morning."
Hearing that on a television not too far away, both Emma and Grayson sighed. Three years, and it was like they still couldn't get away from that. "Great," Emma muttered. "Time to reset the calendar. Days since last horrible memories resurfaced: zero."
Gray chuckled and reached for her hand across the table. "At least he's finally gotten what he deserved?"
"Took long enough."
Yeah well, that's the thing about death row, it moves really slowly. "Believe me, honey, I tried." Which was true; but Gray didn't exactly have the authority he would like in order to expedite an execution. He was a detective, not the DA.
Though, if McFee weren't so by-the-book, he probably would've done what he could too.
"I know," Emma responded, shrugging slightly. "I'm just tired of hearing about it. I'm glad it's he's gone."
No one could agree more adamantly than Gray. Aforementioned serial murderer Aaron Matthews was not only the one to abduct Emma and mentally and physically scar her for life, but he'd also betrayed the entirety of the LAPD, and at the time his partner, Grayson himself, in the process. Not to mention Gray's first wife had been Aaron's first victim.
Yeah, not exactly a great guy.
Gray ran a thumb over Emma's knuckles softly. "Me too," he replied, a small smile on his face. She smiled back at him.
There was a brief lull in conversation, and while normally that wasn't anything to scoff at, the lack of mental occupation made him think about what he would like to get done today, thank you. Emma must've noticed he seemed different suddenly, and tilted her head. "You okay?"
"Huh? Uh—" Gray shook his head quickly. "Yeah. I'm fine. Why?"
She furrowed her brows slightly. "I dunno. You seem...off. Something bothering you about a case?"
He couldn't help but snort at that. It wasn't exactly a great leap of logic, and to be quite honest he was glad that she'd handed him an excuse like that. But it was difficult to find a case he wasn't bothered by to some degree. Grayson was a detective in the Homicide Unit; the day he stopped being bothered by seeing bodies and catching killers all day, would be the day he resigned from police work. "Always," he admitted, and it wasn't even a lie.
"Can you talk about it?" she asked, leaning forward attentively. It hadn't taken very long into their relationship for Emma to learn that there were a lot of thing about a lot of cases that Gray wasn't allowed to talk about outside of the police department, and especially outside of officers themselves. So instead of asking if he wanted to talk about work things, she tended to ask if he could instead.
But now he had to pick one of the many things that bothered him.
"Well," he started, taking his hand back and clasping it with the other. "We found a teenager the other day."
Emma brought a hand to her mouth. "Oh god. I heard about that, you're on that case?"
Gray nodded. "Nothing's pointing in any direction more than another, but Sabrina has a hunch it has to do with bullying."
She frowned, looking more than a little angry about that. "Why are kids so mean to each other?" she muttered, crossing her arms.
"I couldn't tell you," he replied, shaking his head. "But as of right now, it's my job to know, so you'll know as soon as I do."
Considering that Emma was an elementary school teacher, the inner workings of children were kind of her forte. She loved her job and she loved working with kids, if anything she ever said to Gray about work was any evidence. This was one of the few things about kids she didn't get, as far as Gray had seen.
She was a lot better with kids than he was, at least.
Having a glance at a clock nearby, Gray was annoyed to find that he was running out of time. Emma looked at her phone and noticed as much as well. "We should probably head out soon," she commented, though she didn't look entirely pleased with the fact.
"We've got a few minutes," he responded, shrugging.
Also known as, you have a few minutes, you idiot, just do it already.
Gray blew out his breath slightly, realizing that it was now or never. He would like to say he didn't know where the nerves were coming from; but he'd be lying. Toss him into a fist-fight with a cold-blooded murderer and he's cool as a cucumber. But asking Emma to marry him?
Let's just say it hadn't been much easier the first go around either.
Point of no return.
Emma looked up from replacing her phone into her bag, brows raised. "Hmm?" It suddenly occurred to Gray that she'd also been married once—twice, but I don't think enslavement actually counts—before, and that he wasn't actually entirely positive what she would think. But there was no going back now.
Gray reached into his own pocket and slowly pulled out the small velvet box as he started to speak. "So I've been thinking….We've been through a lot together. And...I know that I saved your life, pretty obviously, but….You've saved mine a good bit too, and I love you...so much. So, uh…."
The look of surprise and confusion on Emma's face as Gray slid the box across the table and opened it up was priceless.
"Will you marry me?"