engagement bling

That’s My Girl (Grayson)

Summary: You’re a famous author struggling to meet the deadline for your latest book, until your husband helps you recall a memory the two of you share, inspiring you to finish. 

Word Count: 2,675

Warnings: None; an occasional curse word.

Author’s Note: Anything written in italics involves a flashback the reader (Y/N) is having. Also, for the full effect of this one shot, listen to “Gracie’s Theme” by Paul Cardall while reading. It’s a beautiful song that I listened to on repeat while writing this. Please enjoy! Requests are open!

Tap, tap, tap, tap, tap…

Your fingers fly furiously across the keyboard of your laptop, working at lightning speed to finish the manuscript that’s due to your publisher by tomorrow afternoon. As an author with six novels to your name, deadlines weren’t unfamiliar to you, but you have never found yourself struggling to string together a book the way you have been with this one. Thrillers, mysteries, those were your forte, and those were the genres that got you nominated for a Pulitzer Prize last winter. However, when your publisher approached you with the idea of taking a break from fiction to produce a memoir for your readers, you were more than hesitant. Sure, you were placed in extraordinary circumstances after graduating college with a literature degree, but you didn’t find yourself to be extraordinary. Eventually, you caved, but you found that writing about yourself was a lot harder than it sounded. Why was it so much easier to make up stories about other people than it was to tell the truth about yourself?

A knock on the door of the master bedroom pulls you from your trance-like state, and you direct your attention to the sound, finding your husband peeking his head in the door frame and looking at you with curious eyes.

“Am I interrupting the artist’s work on her latest masterpiece?”

You giggle and motion for him to join you on the California king bed where you’re propped up against the headboard, a couple of fluffy pillows acting as a barrier between your backside and the cold wood. The mattress underneath you shifts as he throws one leg over onto the bed, and then the other, crawling on all fours until the right side of his body is butted up against your left. You sign heavily and lower the screen, throwing it off to the side before placing your cheek on his shoulder and softly stroking his forearm with your thumb.

“Some artist I am tonight, Gray. I’ve never cut a deadline this close before, and the crunch time is not motivating me whatsoever. Everything I type sounds like absolute shit when I read it back… It’s dry, it’s uneventful, and I’ve hit a lull after talking about the experience of getting my first novel published. I don’t want to submit this low-quality work tomorrow. I’m half-temped to call and ask for another extension.” The words make you cringe the moment they leave your lips; if you did such a thing, it would be the third extension you asked for on the manuscript.

A low chuckle escapes Grayson’s body, causing your head to move up and down with the jarring of his shoulders. “Well, there goes our mortgage payment for next month.”

You look up at him with narrow eyes, only to have his lips graze your forehead tenderly. “Sweetheart, relax. I’m the last person putting pressure on you. You know that.”

You did know that. The past couple of weeks, Grayson has kept his distance, letting you lose yourself in your work with minimal interruptions aside from the occasional reminder to eat (Your readers are probably not fond of how Y/N’s writing sounds when she’s hangry), sleep (The writer’s block will clear in the morning, love), and take a breath of fresh air (A walk will do you some good, come take one with me). Ever since the beginning of your relationship, his ability to gauge when you need him close and when you need him to disappear into the background has been impeccable, and you haven’t taken it for granted in the almost-five years you’ve been married.

Grayson’s fingertips touch the silver wedding band on your ring finger, and you hold your hand up in response, letting the low spotlighting in the bedroom refract off the small stones. Because you rarely wear jewelry (aside from the nose piercing you gifted yourself on your eighteenth birthday so many years ago), Grayson knew to pick a simple engagement ring, one with a single oval diamond in the center of the set. The band he chose to put on your finger the day of your ceremony, however, was more his taste: slightly more extravagant and covered in bling. The engagement ring and the band complimented each other well, though, and when the two of you went to get them welded together, you couldn’t help but notice how the rings mirrored your relationship; you were both opposites who seemed destined to always belong with each other.

Your voice drops just above a whisper. “It’s still beautiful after all this time, isn’t it?”

“God, it is… Every time I look at that thing, it brings me right back to the day I proposed. I was so nervous, I could barely walk in a straight line. The box was burning a hole in my coat pocket for hours.”

You lean forward and grab the pillows behind your back, laying them flat against the mattress to rest your head on. Grayson shimmies down next you, reaching to take a fistful of comforter bunched up at the foot of the bed and drapes it gently over the both of you as you shift to face each other. His forehead meets yours and he takes both of your hands in his, holding them close to his chest. This was the position you both took each time you reminisced about your relationship, and you urged him to tell the story again. A huge smile breaks out onto his face and he complies, because this is a story he never grows tired of telling.

“I took you back to where it all began, remember? It was in the vast, breathtaking, dense woods where I fell in love with you. It was when were there the first time that I knew one day, I was going to ask you to be mine forever.”

You close your eyes, recalling that place with ease:

Grayson took you camping on your first date together, but instead of opting to rent out a plot of land on a campsite for the weekend, he wanted to take you far away from the bright lights and the constant buzzing that was always surrounding your lives. The both of you were younger, more naïve, and your first novel had just sold over one million copies. Before the date, you were instructed to layer up, lace on some hiking books, bring a warm sleeping bag, and leave the rest up to him. He showed up at your apartment in a pick-up truck on a Friday afternoon, the bed already packed full of supplies and gear you would need for the weekend and told you to relax as he drove for hours, each mile taking you farther and farther way from civilization.

 You looked over at Grayson, taking in his profile for a moment before crossing your legs underneath yourself. “Do you mind telling me where we’re going?”

Grayson smirked and turned his head to meet your eyes. “Don’t worry, our destination still has cell service, so you can call someone to come and pick you up if you get tired of me.”

“I’m not concerned about getting tired of you. I’m concerned about coming home from this date in a body bag, or bags, depending on if you like your victims in tact or not.”

Your response elicited a loud cackle from him; he glanced over his shoulder before clicking on his turn signal and changing highway lanes while the sound radiated from his body. You closed your eyes. That beautiful sound would never be something you’d get used to.

“Are writers always this imaginative? The thought of something that horrific never even crossed my mind.”

“Comes with the territory,” you shrugged. “But to be sure, you have actually read my book, right?”

“Why do you think I kept bugging you on social media until you’d talk to me?”

“Well, I’m sure you’ll be glad to know I’ve started working on my second one.”

Grayson let out a small squeal. “Wow, I am glad. Let me know when you’re done with your first copy. I want to be the first one to read it before it’s even submitted for editing.”

“I wanted everyone to witness it. My family, your family, everyone.” Grayson’s voice brings you back to the present, forcing you to open your eyes. “They were there for hours before us, adjusting cameras, building the fire, even meticulously laying down the path of white orchids.”

“My favorite flowers,” you mutter.

“I know. Now they’re my favorite, too.”

“I can’t believe it went off without a hitch.”

“Yeah, me neither.”

The scene for the proposal looked like something only from your wildest dreams. It took Grayson weeks to plan it all, you would find out later, and he was able to finesse your two younger sisters and parents to help set it all up in tandem with his brother, sister, and parents. You hadn’t been to the camping spot since your first date, and it was his suggestion to make another weekend trip to the woods in celebration of three years of dating. Night just began to fall, but it wasn’t the sunset that made you gasp as Grayson turned the car off the highway and onto the dirt path that led to your spot. Rather, it was the paper lanterns strung far along the branches of tall pine trees and the white orchids laid out, concealing the brown dust on the ground.

“What is all of this?” You inquire, climbing out of the car, Grayson following close behind.

Soft, melodic music began to play out from speakers tucked somewhere among the thick brush. A crisp breeze danced around your body, rustled the trees, and caused you to shiver; you pulled your wool trench coat closer to your body and buttoned it up to your collar to prevent anymore wind from climbing down the front of your body. Grayson, clad in jeans, Doc Martens, a thick black scarf, and a trench coat of his own, reached for your hand and slowly intertwined his fingers with yours. You reached across the front of your body to grab his bicep with your other hand and the two of you set forward on the path, lightly marching to the tempo of the music, careful to not destroy any of the flowers underneath your feet.

“This is all for you, my love. I wanted to find an unforgettable way of celebrating the last three years of our lives together.”

“So naturally, you brought us back to the place we fell in love…”

“…But I spruced it up a bit,” he finished your thought for you. “You’ll see what I mean.”

“I already do see what you mean,” you scoffed in amazement, motioning to the lanterns before placing your hand back on Grayson’s arm. “This is breathtaking.”

“I just wanted it to resemble you.”

You rolled your eyes before breaking out in a toothy grin. Cheesy compliments always made you cringe, but with the amount of work Grayson put into the presentation of this date, you let it side. He was always doing that, finding a way to work reminders of how beautiful he thought you were into every conversation you had with him, and even though you shrugged them off as they came in an attempt to remain modest, they truly touched you every time you heard one.

The two of you continued to walk along the path, hand in hand, your eyes constantly scanning your surroundings in awe, Grayson’s eyes on you, elated his plan was working. After a few minutes, he reached over with his free hand to brush away stray hairs that fell into your eyes as you began to hum the melody of the new song that began playing from the speakers. “This is one of my absolute favorites. I listen to this song on repeat when–“

“When you get a new idea for a book, I know,” he cut you off. “Actually, this is perfect timing, because I only want your favorite songs to be connected to your favorite memories, and here’s to hoping this is the best memory yet… Because we’re finally here…”

Grayson steps behind you to give you a complete view of the made over camping spot that was nestled behind a small bending of the thick trees, and a loud exhale escaped from your lungs. An enormous bonfire the size of a teepee burned in the center of the space, casting a red glow on your surroundings. Smaller candles were lit and placed around the perimeter, boulders rolled behind them to ensure the flame wouldn’t fall and catch the foliage on fire. More white orchids were placed on the ground, and the trees above twinkled with blinking lights, smaller and more vibrant than the paper lanterns on the trail behind you. Your favorite part of the view, however, was the cliff edge that sat over the river, giving way to the hues of pink, orange, and purple that swirled in the sky.

“Gray,” you muttered, releasing your hand from his and taking a step forward to pace around the fire. “You did all of this? When? How?”

The music from the speakers picked up and sounds of violins cascaded through the air, forcing you to choke back sobs. The atmosphere, the décor, the sunset, everything was picturesque, almost from out of a movie. You couldn’t believe someone cared about you enough to do this for you.

“Well, I don’t want to take all the credit. I enlisted the help of a few workers.” Your back was turned away from him at this point, hands in your coat pockets, staring out into the open abyss. “There’s no way I could have pulled something like this off all on my own.”

“Workers? What kind of workers?” The smell of the fire filled your nostrils and you took a deep breath, wanting to remember everything about this moment forever.

“Ones who love you almost as much as I do.” You could hear his voice getting closer with every word, but by the end of his phrase the sound suddenly fell to the ground, as if he had dropped it on accident. Befuddled, you turned around, lowering your eyes to the dirt before involuntarily throwing your palms over your mouth with a loud yelp.

“Y/N, every day I spend with you feels like something from a dream. I cannot believe that I was able to steal the heart of someone as magnificent and exquisite as you. Your intellect, creativity, and tenderness constantly amaze me. I don’t deserve you, I really don’t, but I’d love to spend the rest of my life trying to prove to you that I do… God, you’re so much better with words than I am, but I’ve been holding onto these four little ones since our first night out here: Will you marry me?”

“And just like that,” you breathe, “you were kneeling on the ground, holding the ring, waiting for me to stop sobbing long enough to give you a response.”

Grayson let go of your hands and placed his palm on your cheek, rubbing the high planes with his thumb. “Do you remember what you said to me?”

“I don’t even think I said ‘yes.’ I think I just looked at you and told you that I actually saw what you meant before grabbing the ring and putting on myself. And then our families startled me half to death, running out from behind the trees with cameras, hooting and hollering before swinging us around in glee.”

“Well, who could blame them? Marrying you was all they heard me talk about since the moment I met you.”

You smile, suddenly realizing that the best moments of your life actually took place after your first novel was published. Sitting up, you grab the laptop, opening up your latest word document before glancing back over at Grayson, who lay watching you.

“Hey, Gray, thanks. I might actually finish this thing tonight because of you.”

Grayson winks before reaching to scroll through his phone. “That’s my girl.”

And here she is! 5.00ct centre, 2.00cts on each side. Siting on my modern v-shaped floating head. The shank graduates with diamonds in a bead setting. The gallery I incorporated my vintage half moons. This ring definitely generated a buzz.