It was a miracle that George was successful. He mused on this thoughtfully as he filled a glass with water, marvelling for a moment that this was both his glass and his water. He couldn’t quite leave behind the awkward teenager he had been.
“Is everything okay?” asked a voice behind him.
Gray, of course. George turned, bracing himself to be berated, distantly aware that he should hardly be afraid of being scolded by his own staff. He froze when he saw that Gray was bundled in a thick black robe, his strong legs and bare feet revealed. A lot of his chest was uncovered, too, the skin glowing silver in the moonlight and covered in dense black hair.
“I couldn’t sleep- sorry. Did I disturb you?” George asked.
Gray shook his head. In the half-light, his eyes gleamed in a way which was almost predatory, but he didn’t move towards George. “No. This is a big house, Mr Wall. I was actually about to go out.”
“It’s- but it’s the middle of the night.”
Gray smiled. His incisors glittered, fang-like. “I am aware of that, Mr Wall, but last I checked there is no condition in my contract that forbids me from leaving the house. As far as I knew, you were asleep and had no need of me.”
George raised his hands. God, he was making a mess of this. “That’s not- I mean, feel free to go whenever you want. I don’t want to be- I don’t- I’m not good at being a boss.”
The words hung in the air between them.
“Is that so?” Gray asked, lightly.
George was blushing now, and he wasn’t quite sure why. “I- I’m just not very-” He threw his hands up in defeat. “I’m sorry. You must think I’m an idiot.”
Gray did not reply for a long, long moment, his dark eyes focused fully on George in a considering fashion. “No,” he said. “I don’t think you’re an idiot, Mr Wall.”
The Butler is available for preorder now.