THE first person Grant notices as he walks into Spirit advertising agency is a tall guy wearing what is clearly a designer suit. Just what Grant needs to see when he’s wearing one from M&S, a little tight around the shoulder blades because he had to take the nearest fit. The guy glances his way, makes a last comment, too low for Grant to hear, in a voice that has the effortlessly posh accent that Grant's wouldn’t get in a million years, even if he wanted it to, and strolls across to him.
“You’ll be Grant McDowell, the new recruit.” Grant wonders whether he’s imagining the superior curl of the lip from the other man. “I’m Tristan Wetherby-Hyde. You’ll be working alongside me.”
Tristan Wetherby-Hyde, eh? No wonder his accent comes out of the top drawer. This’ll be some relative of the boss, CEO Sidney Wetherby-Hyde. Grant looks Tristan up and down. A son, best guess. Just Grant’s luck to get stuck with a tosser who’s here because of who he is, not what he can do. Probably takes all the credit, too, at the end of a project.
“Yeah. I’m Grant.” Short and not so sweet. Grant does his best to smile politely. For God’s sake, he’s in advertising, he’s got to be able to bluff his way through anything.
“Come and meet the team, have a look round.”
That’s how their acquaintance starts, and it doesn’t improve from there.
TRISTAN doesn’t like Grant, but he can’t help finding him intriguing. Maybe it’s the attitude—Tristan got the message on the first day that he wasn’t going to be Grant’s new best friend, which makes a change. Usually people are too concerned for their jobs to alienate the boss’s son. Maybe, though, it’s the fact that while Grant’s ideas are generally off-the-wall, slightly left field for this previously traditional advertising agency… there’s a strangely seductive element to them. Tristan suspects he’d buy something after seeing one of Grant’s ad campaigns.
Trouble is, Tristan’s father doesn’t feel the same way. Sidney Wetherby-Hyde was away when Grant was appointed, and he’s managed to give the impression ever since that he’d have employed pretty much anyone else. It’s not a total surprise to Tristan: Grant isn’t, in his father’s terms, of the right “class” of employee—in other words, he grew up on a rough estate, probably went to a comprehensive school and followed it up by getting a degree at one of the universities that had still been a polytechnic, and therefore third class, in Sidney’s day. Not to mention, Grant’s still got enough of his Glaswegian accent to make Tristan’s father wince every time he speaks. At the meeting about the new advertisements for aftershave, however, Tristan’s father manages to show his prejudices on different grounds altogether. Grant’s been in control of the projected campaign, and his team has put together several new cutting-edge ideas. Usually, the CEO’s role is simply to nod through the plans, but Sidney Wetherby-Hyde isn’t having it when it comes to this particular campaign.
“It won’t do,” he says gruffly.
Grant, politely, waits for more feedback. Tristan gives his father a bemused look. This isn’t in the usual script.
“Why not?” Tristan asks.
Sidney Wetherby-Hyde takes a breath that puffs up his chest to twice its usual size. “It’s unworkable. Anyone seeing this will think…. It will hardly encourage men to buy the product, as it stands.”
Grant leans forward on the table, apparently unperturbed by the fact that he’s challenging the Lord and Master of them all. “Why do you say that?”
Sidney looks at him as if there’s something unpleasant under his nose. “It’s unmanly.”
“How?” asks Grant.
Tristan wishes Grant hadn’t asked. Now that his father has mentioned it, he has a sinking feeling why he’s objecting. And this is not going to go well.
“It seems to target them,” Sidney says. “Homos. Queers. No proper man is going to buy a product that suggests to him that it might make him attractive to other men. It’s obscene.”
“I disagree,” Grant says quietly, his Scottish accent more pronounced than usual.
Sidney ignores this, standing up and ripping his copies of the campaign in half. He flings them on the table. “A new campaign, gentlemen… and ladies,” he adds belatedly, looking at the two female members of staff present. “One which targets a real audience—the one we want to be courting.”
Tristan winces internally but manages not to show his feelings on the surface. His father is his father, after all—and also Tristan’s boss as well as everyone else’s. And if the boss doesn’t like the campaign, it doesn’t get used. That’s all there is to it.
“Well,” says Grant, picking up the torn copies of the advertisement. “Sorry, guys. It looks like we’re back to work.”
Tristan says nothing.
OF COURSE, after the debacle at the meeting, the rumors about Grant start. It doesn’t bother him much; he’s always been out about his sexuality. Yeah, his boss turned out to be a raging gay-hater, but it’s not like that’s never happened before, either. But when Tristan fucking Wetherby-Hyde comes over for a word when the office empties that evening, it takes a bit of effort for Grant not just to shrug straight past him. Like father, like son. That’s what they say, isn’t it? On the other hand, at least it gives him a good reason for disliking Tristan; to his annoyance, he’s had to acknowledge to himself that the guy does a decent job in general, and isn’t just there because of who Daddy is.
“I’m sorry about the campaign,” Tristan says, his voice so cut-glass that it sounds almost fake—certainly so posh that Grant wonders whether Tristan is actually trying to accentuate the class difference between them. “I thought it would’ve worked.”
“Aye, so did I,” Grant says shortly.
“I’ve… um… I’ve heard you’re gay.”
Grant raises an eyebrow. “Yeah? Well spotted. Any particular reason for sharing this little gem with me, or is it your idea of small talk?”
Tristan runs a hand through his hair, and shrugs. “Just interested.”
“Oh? Are you?” Grant grins suddenly. “I wouldn’t’ve thought I was your type, but it just goes to show.”
“Not ‘interested’, interested,” Tristan snaps back.
“No?” Grant looks Tristan up and down, and is amused to see the uncomfortable expression on his face. “I’m not so sure that’s true, Tristan Wetherby-Hyde.” He puts emphasis on Tristan’s surname, Sidney Wetherby-Hyde’s negative attitude towards homosexuality still rankling somewhat. “What would your father say? Still, I’m not one to refuse a request like that.” He steps forward and kisses Tristan plumb on the mouth.
Tristan hasn’t kissed him back, precisely, but he’s not exactly sprinting in the other direction. And… Grant looks down. Tristan’s cock is showing an undeniable interest in Grant.
“Not interested at all,” Grant says, making the direction of his eyes evident.
“And you?” Tristan drawls. “You don’t exactly seem to be backward about coming forward.”
“If you’re so desperate for me, it would be cruel to deny you.” Grant moves close, puts his mouth by Tristan’s ear. “Have you been thinking about this for weeks, Tristan? Do you lie in bed with your hand on your cock, pretending it’s mine? Do you want to know what it feels like to have a real man fuck you, rather than just a fantasy? I think you do.”
“No.” But Tristan’s lie is so hasty and unconvincing that Grant just laughs.
“Of course not,” mocks Grant, moving closer still until Tristan’s erect cock bumps against his leg. “You don’t want this in the slightest.”
“Grant.” Tristan’s voice has even lost something of its usual confident tone, and Grant rather likes that.
“Shit,” says Tristan fervently, and kisses him.
The kiss is deep and long, and unbelievably unsatisfying. Grant wants more—he wants everything Tristan has to offer, which he’s beginning to think is quite a lot. Tristan’s hands are all over him, as if Tristan can’t bear to miss touching a single part of him. Grant thrusts one of his legs between Tristan’s and rocks him on it until Tristan is murmuring incoherently against his shoulder.
“You like that, don’t you?” Grant says, biting gently on Tristan’s earlobe. “You want me to keep doing this.”
Grant doesn’t think Tristan even wants him to believe the denial. It’s a face-saver, allowing Tristan to get himself thoroughly fucked without losing all his pride in the exchange. Whatever. Grant doesn’t much care, as long as he gets to have Tristan. The son of homophobic Sidney Wetherby-Hyde getting hot and sweaty over him, Grant McDowell. And looking, incidentally, bloody sexy as he does so. Tristan’s hair is sticking around his face; his eyes have that slightly fuzzy look of someone who doesn’t quite know how he’s managed to get where he is now, but would do anything to stay there.
“No,” Grant agrees, dropping his hands to Tristan’s belt buckle and unfastening it. The fly follows, and Grant slips a hand around Tristan’s oh-so-not-protesting cock. “Shall I stop?” Grant whispers, and when he doesn’t answer, knows that Tristan has chosen not to hear the question.
Tristan grabs Grant’s shoulders as if they’re the only thing keeping him from falling down—which Grant has a suspicion is the actual truth. Tristan’s desk is close by, and the idea of fucking Tristan over his own desk is making Grant too hard to think about anything else.
“Bend over for me, Tristan,” he says, maneuvering the pair of them back toward the desk. “You know you want to.”
Tristan doesn’t even deny it this time. Instead, he shrugs his trousers down as he turns to lean across the broad expanse of wood next to his computer. Fuck, Tristan’s got a good ass. Grant wishes he has some lube, but how was he to know he was going to need it right now? It’s bloody fortunate he’s carrying a condom. Still, given what he’s seen so far of him, Tristan could probably pull any guy he wanted; it’s unlikely that he’s going to be over-tight. Grant wouldn’t mind hurting him—but only if that was what Tristan wanted. And for now, he’s just going to do him as safely and painlessly as he can. He moistens his fingers in his mouth, then presses one gently against, then through the ring of muscle protecting Tristan’s anus. Then two. Tristan makes a small noise, whether of pleasure or protest Grant isn’t too sure; but Tristan isn’t making any attempt to move away, so he’s hoping it was the former. Pushing his own trousers down impatiently, Grant slides the condom on himself. Then slowly—but not too slowly—Grant exchanges fingers for a spit-dampened cock, and as he presses deeper, Tristan arches his back with a sound that is very definitely pleasure.
“Yeah, precisely that,” Grant agrees, finding it difficult to converse just now.
He moves his hand around to grasp Tristan’s cock again, and Tristan is thrusting back against him, pulling Grant deeper still inside him. Grant laughs and starts to move faster, his hand working in time on Tristan’s dick. Tristan’s ass gives under Grant’s pressure, letting—almost welcoming—him in. Tristan’s certainly not giving the impression of someone who would rather be elsewhere, which makes Grant feel pretty damn good. Tristan Wetherby-Hyde, showing off his pretty ass for Grant’s pleasure. Who’d’ve thought? Who’d have thought Tristan would be this damn hot, come to that? Grant thrusts harder still, that thought in mind. There is a sudden rigidity in Tristan’s body, and then Grant can feel the warm come trickling over his fingers, which is such a fucking turn-on that it takes only a few more strokes before he’s coming, too, out of control, caring nothing about where he is, what he’s doing, and with whom.
There is a minute or so when all Grant can hear is the sound of his heart pumping, of his breath heaving through his lungs. By the time he’s pulled himself together, mentally speaking, Tristan has moved away and is pulling up his trousers. He doesn’t look at Grant, doesn’t speak, just brushes past him on the way out.
Grant feels cheap. Wonders whether Tristan set the whole thing up in order to make Grant prove what a common scumbag he is. That Grant’d fuck anyone, no matter who he was, no matter whether Grant even liked him. He makes a token effort at cleaning up, shrugs his leather jacket on, and walks home in the rain, wishing he’d never touched the bastard.