“Geez, Callum, you aren’t walking to your death,” Grayson said with a roll of his eyes.
“That’s what you think,” Callum muttered in reply.
Grayson exhaled loudly in exasperation and walked behind Callum, placing his hands on Callum’s shoulders and forcefully shoving him to the door. People who were already queuing up outside Haggard gave them funny looks.
“Grayson! Quit it!” Callum exclaimed, digging his feet into the ground. He was stronger than Grayson, and the human knew it, but the human was also stubborn. Callum seemed to be surrounded by those types of men.
“Get in there already, you’re going to make us late on our first day!” Grayson proceeded to lean his shoulder against Callum’s back and push all his weight forward to try and get Callum to move. Callum was sorely tempted to step to the side and watch Grayson go face first into the concrete.
Callum grimaced but relented, “Fine. Now ease up or you’ll crash into me or the floor when I move.”
The pressure on his back disappeared but Grayson didn’t move from behind him. Callum sighed and walked up to the club door. He hesitated before knocking, the people waiting in line were asking him what he was doing and if he were retarded. Callum ignored them, Grayson made faces.
It didn’t take long for a tall man who was liberal with the use of his gym membership to open up the door and stare down at the two.
“Club don’t open until seven, kids,” the man stated.
“Uh, yeah, sorry but we’re Grayson and Callum,” Callum replied meekly, deciding to keep quiet about being twenty-five and therefore not a child since he valued his life, vampiric healing or not. “The, uh, new…um, Mason hired us?”
The man stared down at them blankly and Callum was getting nervous. He should have just called or texted Mason when they had arrived.
Grayson looked uncomfortable as well which was odd, not much fazed him. Callum swallowed and shifted on his feet, biting his lip as the silence stretched on.
And then the other man cracked a smile before bursting into laughter.
Callum and Grayson looked to each other in confusion.
“Sorry, but you’re both adorable and I couldn’t help myself. Come on in, oh, and name’s Brian by the way,” Brian grinned and held the door open for them, yelling at the people in line to quit their complaining as Callum and Grayson were staff members.
“Nice to meet you,” Callum and Grayson replied warily. The club was empty, a welcomed change since Callum’s last visit. However, he knew that the illusion would be shattered in less than an hour when the doors opened for the night even if the next day was a workday.
Brian led the two of them behind the bar on the first floor and they entered a rather posh staffroom. It looked a lot like the living room of a middle class apartment. This room wasn’t so empty.
“They’re here!” Brian called out, gathering everyone’s attention.
Everyone was comprised of eight other people; four women, three men, and one that looked androgynous with the barest hint of feminine features. Mason was nowhere to be seen.
Like bears to honey, Callum was surrounded immediately.
“—ready know y—”
“—memorized your face.”
Callum didn’t know whom to look at nor could he quite differentiate the barrage of voices coming at him. He managed to catch Grayson’s eyes and silently pleaded for help. The asshole just laughed and hung back to watch with his hands tucked into his trouser pockets.
“Guys, chill, I’d really like if you didn’t scare him away while I’m still in the process of wooing him.”
Thankfully, the chatter stopped and Callum sagged in relief, exhaling a soft, “Holy shit,” under his breath. He was still heard however by a few of the people in the room.
“Yo, Mason,” Grayson greeted with a wave.
“Hey, Grayson,” Mason returned, nodding to the college boy even as he made a beeline to Callum. He stopped short, just a foot away and smiled goofily, “Hey, Callum.”
Callum could feel the smug and teasing smirks.
“Hi,” he replied, unable to maintain eye contact.
Mason continued to stare at Callum for a few seconds longer before announcing, “Introductions. Let’s get those out of the way and then we can give our newbies a quick tour.”
Brian went up first, “Well, we’ve already met. I’m Brian, halfie lion. Head of security. If you’re ever in trouble don’t hesitate to call for me.”
The rest went on with similar introductions. Of the women, there was Viola, a human, who was the manager of the second floor; Celeste, a fae, one of the waitresses; Anna, another human, one of the bartenders; and Ingrid, a raven shifter, another of the waitresses. From the men there was Vance, a vampire, and the manager of the first floor; Bennett, a fox shifter, another bartender; and Francis, a halfie merman, a waiter. The androgynous person was Alex, human, and the DJ. They were born female and asked that Callum and Grayson refer to them with they/them pronouns.
“Nice to meet you guys. I’m Grayson, human and available,” Grayson grinned, wiggling his eyebrows and shaking his hands that he held out as loose, pretend guns.
He got the laughter he wanted although Callum rolled his eyes at his friend.
As Callum was about to introduce himself, Bennett stopped him, “We already know who you are, Callum. Mason hasn’t stopped talking about you since you guys met again.”
Celeste grinned, “Oh my gosh, yes. Our love struck boss has spoken about you so much, we’ve all been dying to meet you. And I have to say, you’re just as adorable as he said.”
Vance shrugged, “He’s cute, but with Mason constantly talking about him my expectations skyrocketed.”
“Vance!” Alex chided. “Jeez, dull your tongue and get a grip on your standards. Callum’s adorably cute, completely out of Mason’s league.”
“Uh,” Callum didn’t know what to say. His face was exceedingly warm and he really wanted to sink into the floor and crawl away.
Mason’s arms went around his waist from behind and he squeaked lightly in surprise, bringing attention back to him along with coos and laughter.
“Now, guys, leave Callum alone. I’m the only one that gets to tease and embarrass him. And Vance, something’s wrong with your eyes, Callum is perfect,” Mason said without a speck of shame.
“This was a horrible idea,” Callum groaned. He should have known that he wouldn’t be able to work at Haggard without being constantly embarrassed. Hell, he hadn’t even started working and it was already happening. At least his worries of being ostracized due to Mason’s excessive affections for him weren’t going to come true. If anything, it seemed like his popularity with the Haggard staff was going to be pretty high up there.
“Nah, this was a great idea,” Grayson finally decided to speak. “We get to keep working together, you won’t get evicted – although you really should find a better place, Cal, your apartment is shitty – and Cason will finally get some traction.”
“Cason?” Callum frowned.
“That was a ship, wasn’t it?” Brian added. “Carried a bunch of explosives and then blew up?”
Grayson rolled his eyes as if he were surrounded by idiots. “Cason,” he said slowly, “Cason. It’s like Percabeth or SouRin or Shizaya or Destiel or Solangelo.”
“That’s genius! And I deem your ships acceptable,” Alex gushed while everyone else remained oblivious and increasingly confused.
Seeing as Mason was the nearest to him, having not let go of Callum and flush against his back, Callum tilted his head up and whispered, “What’s going on?”
Grayson was beaming and pulled Alex into a hug, “A wo-human after my own heart!” When he set them down his smile turned sheepish, “Sorry, I’ll probably slip up a couple times but it’s not on purpose.”
Alex waved him off, “So long as you try, I’m used to it.”
Mason chose then to reply just as quietly, “Not sure about the Cason thing but I think Grayson and Alex are on their way to either sex or dating or both.”
Callum couldn’t help but smile as he looked at Alex and Grayson again. Maybe Grayson was right about finding someone at Haggard for himself. The younger boy was a closet romantic at heart.
Mason’s arms left him, though Callum could detect the reluctance in the act, and gathered everyone’s attention. “Tour time. Grayson and Callum with me, the rest of you get ready for opening time.”
“Yes, boss!” the staff chorused, mock saluting.
Mason led Callum and Grayson out of the staff room and showed them around the first floor first. The first floor was for the public and was therefore usually the rowdiest part of the club. Grayson and Callum were going to start off working on the VIP floor above to get used to working at Haggard before being allowed to move between floors.
Grayson was visibly excited, even though he wasn’t going to be allowed to try out bartending as he was still underage. However, Mason had said that Grayson could help out Alex with DJ-ing if Grayson were interested. Callum had the suspicion that Mason was playing matchmaker in that aspect but didn’t say anything about it.
When the club was about to open for the night, Mason handed Callum and Grayson black aprons that matched the ones the rest of the staff were wearing over their clothes and put Viola in charge of making sure the two of them were getting adjusted.
“You two alright?” Mason asked after Anna gave Callum a quick rundown of the bar, as he would be spending part of his first shift learning how to make some simple drinks. Grayson was with Francis, who apparently went to the same university as Grayson but was in a completely different department, lived off campus, and was in his last year so they hadn’t seen each other before.
Grayson gave him a thumbs up and Callum nodded, “Yeah. And, uh, thanks, Mason.”
Mason smiled warmly, “No problem. After your shift, can you two stay back a bit? We can discuss shifts and salary and all that fun business stuff then.”
The two nodded and Mason headed downstairs.
Callum breathed out nervously and Anna gave him a reassuring pat on the back, “Don’t worry about it. You’ll get used to the crowd soon enough and you’ve got all of us to help out.”
Callum was about to thank her but she added teasingly, “Plus, you’ve got Mason at your beck and call. Boy is whipped.”
Callum sighed and prepared himself for numerous nights of quips about him and Mason. Although he found that he wasn’t exactly as opposed to the idea as he initially was.
A/N: Grayson is a fanboy. He ships Cason so hard it hurts. Also, this is a double update so be sure to read the next (super short) chapter and please do not kill me at the end. :)