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Chapter 9: An Unexpected Offer

clubhouse9

He had long learnt that ego was not a friend. Having abandoned it as he left the apartment that morning, Zach had found himself walking into job interviews no degree holder would apply for. The last one was the one he was most overqualified for, but with no reason to back away, he confidently strode into the coffee house.

Honestly, Zach was not sure what job he could get in the popular joint. He had no experience as a barista, but he could work the cash register. It was a major step down from his previous job in pay and position, but he was willing to take what he was given.

“I’ll get the manager,” the cashier said, and Zach quickly stepped out of the line.

After waiting for a few minutes, a man casually dressed greeted him with a handshake. He was then ushered to a quiet corner away from the crowd.

“Would you like to see my resume?” Zach asked, just as they sat down.

It never dawned on Zach at that moment, but it became a habit of his to insist on showing his resume. When he realized how useless it had become moments later, he wished he had never brought it up.

“Er, sure,” the manager replied.

The manager briefly flipped through the file as courtesy, before going straight to the point.

“We’re basically looking for a cleaner. Someone to mop the floors, wipe the windows, and clean up after the messy customers. If you want the job, I’ll give it to you.”

Zach was genuinely surprised at how quick it was for the manager to decide on taking him. Compared with the other interviews he had attended earlier that day, none of them made up their minds immediately. Then again, none of them were looking for a cleaner.

“The pay is five an hour, and the working hours is eight to eleven.”

“Weekends too?” Zach asked. He did not want his job to affect his chances of ‘winning’ Skypeak.

“Weekends too, but you get a day off in the week. Sounds good?” the manager asked, eager to get it over with.

Zach looked at the manager and hesitated. And then as though the world had quieted down for him, he began to hear his own thoughts; thoughts about how young the manager looked and how he was probably still in university. Thoughts on whether the job was worth taking for someone who had studied so hard in hopes to earn a good pay. Thoughts on why it seemed almost impossible to be hired in the area he was good at. Was it his face? Did it have ‘loser’ stamped on it?

“If it’s taking you this long to decide, I-”

“No. It’s just that I have something to do on the weekends. But only for the next few months,” Zach quickly responded.

“Well, we don’t want to have to hire a weekend cleaner. So…” the manager trailed off.

There was an awkward moment of silence after that. Zach questioned if his livelihood was more important than the clubhouse. If he didn’t get a job soon, he was not sure if he would survive. He was behind on rent and his savings would be hitting double digits soon. Perhaps he could continue on his job search, but was he willing to take a gamble? Zach loved playing it safe and he was no risk taker. Then again, he didn’t play it safe during the first task at Skypeak.

For the first time in his life, Zach actually decided to take a risk. But that was also because Jodie seemed convinced it would work. Handing back the envelope to Ms Leona without even attempting to do the task sounded insane. Yet to his surprise, Ms Leona accepted their reasoning with a smile.

“Sometimes, you just have to jump,” Zach recalled what Jodie said.

“And what if you fall?”

“If the fall doesn’t break your legs, you won’t have to see the doctor.”

“If it does?”

“You still have your hands.”

“And if you die?”

“You’re stupid to have jumped.”

“I don’t get your logic.”

“You don’t jump unless you know how far you’d fall. It’s a calculated risk.”

“You could have just said that.”

“I like to sound clever.”

Zach chuckled to himself, and then he made a decision.

“I’ll pass on the job,” Zach confidently said.

“Took you long enough,” the manager replied with a short laugh, before giving him a friendly pat on the shoulder and returning to his job.

Did he make the right decision? Zach was not sure, but he did calculate the risk, and the worst that could happen is him pounding on his brother’s door unwelcome. He no longer had his ego, so there was nothing to bruise.

Deciding he had enough of that long day, he got to his feet ready to leave. That was when he heard someone say, “Good call.”

Turning around to see who it was, he found himself tongue tied as he responded with a nod. Even without his pride, he could not help but feel embarrassed that Matthias had heard it all.

“If you really need a job, I can give you one,” Matthias offered.

“I…”

“Don’t be shy. If you were seriously considering mopping floors, my offer would be music to your ears.”

Matthias was right, but his proposal felt strange. Was Matthias being nice, did he pity him, or was he planning something?

“You don’t have to answer me now. Take my card and give me a call tomorrow,” Matthias said, as he handed Zach his business card.

“What job is it?”

“A good one,” Matthias simply answered before walking off.

Zach would have to sleep on such a random offer, but he ultimately had to make a decision. Zach had to choose.

(For the chapter list, visit here.)

____________________________________________________________________________________________

The Clubhouse © 2014 – 2015 by Jeyna Grace. 
All rights reserved. No part of the series may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording, or otherwise, without prior written permission from Jeyna Grace.
 
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Posted by on December 18, 2014 in Original Works

 

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A Case Too Ordinary

Jeyna Grace:

Are you missing my short stories? Here’s one!

Be sure to check out the other story I’m matched up against too, and then vote for your favourite HERE!

Originally posted on Write Club Fight Club:

“They brought her in. I’m ready when you are,” my partner said.

“Great, let’s do this,” I replied, as I reached for the case file.

This was my first ordinary case in a long time. Too ordinary it felt like fantasy. The day my captain handed me the case, I turned to him and asked, “Is this for real?” He simply nodded in reply and waved me to it.

Honestly, it took me awhile to believe what I was reading. Even when they finally brought the suspect in, I wondered if it was all a dream. “Are you sure there’s no magic involved?” a question I had asked my partner several times, a question I asked again that day.

“No magic. No murder. Just a child. I don’t even know why we’re handling it,” he said.

In my world, evil comes in the form of curses, dark magic, and death…

View original 1,252 more words

 
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Posted by on December 16, 2014 in Others

 

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Chapter 8: Coffee House Crime

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Day arrived without the sun. The clouds thundered as the rain poured outside the window. Richard did not want to get out of bed on such a gloomy day, so he lazed for an hour staring at his bedroom ceiling. When someone finally knocked on his door, it was when his father had left for work.

“Master Richard, your father has left,” a maidservant said.

Richard rolled out of bed and snatched for his phone before lazily pulling his bedroom door open. The young maidservant quickly dropped her head as she gestured towards the stairs.

“What’s for breakfast?” Richard asked.

“Eggs benedict.”

“Change that to pancakes.”

The maidservant nodded and went ahead. By the time Richard entered the large and empty dining room, a chair was pulled out for him and his glass was filled with juice. Taking a seat as he waited for the arrival of his pancakes, he checked his phone and found a text from Guinevere the night before.

“Nice,” he said to himself, and then he wondered why Jodie had not sent him a text too. He had hope she would, but before he could come up with an excuse to convince himself she did not hate him, his phone rang.

“What?” Richard answered.

“I wanted to remind you about the meeting today,” his assistant said; the assistant his father placed in his presence to spy on him.

“After lunch, I know.”

“Please don’t be late. Your father will be there.”

“Great. I can’t wait to see him. How has he been?” Richard asked sarcastically.

“Erm…”

“Tell him I said ‘hi’,” Richard replied before ending the call.

The day was pretty much uneventful after breakfast. Richard dragged himself to the bathroom before dragging himself to his car. Did he want to attend the meeting? Not at all. He had no choice. His father threatened to cut him off of his inheritance if he did not make an effort to take over the reigns of the law firm. As a matter of fact, he needed his inheritance. Richard was never given the chance to do what he loved, so his skillset was built upon the things he was talentless in. Truthfully, he would not be able to survive without his father’s money.

Knowing that he was useless in society aside from the wealth he was living in, Richard wanted to make something of himself. That was why he tried his luck and submitted his request for the clubhouse challenge. If he actually won the ownership of Skypeak, he would no longer need to conform to the blackmail his father had placed before him. Richard could finally be his own man and live his own life. But at that point of time, he still needed to do as he was told.

When Richard arrived at the glassy skyscraper in the heart of the city, he confidently strode into the building with a wide smile on his face. Smiling was his forte that one found difficult to tell if he was faking. But if he was being honest, all his smiles were fake. It was a show to perhaps gain favour from his subordinates, even though it gave those higher up a wrong impression.

“Good afternoon sir,” the young lady at the front desk greeted.

“Good afternoon to you too,” Richard replied. He wanted to carry on and ask about her day, but he was interrupted.

“You’re here! Finally!” his assistant called out, as the man jogged to his side.

“Yes, finally! Aren’t you happy to see me?” Richard asked with a smile.

His assistant, unable to decipher sarcasm, gave a forced smile in return.

“So where is this meeting? I should be the first to have arrived,” Richard said.

“Not quite. Everyone’s waiting for you.”

“Don’t you people eat lunch?”

This time, his assistant gave a shot with sarcasm as he shook his head with a grin. Richard could only laugh at his horrible attempt. That was the only time that day he found humour, as the meeting was as depressing as a funeral. By the time it was over, Richard wanted to bounce out of there as quickly as he could. Unfortunately, his father asked him to look into a case with one of their attorneys. Forced to obey his father, Richard was only able to leave the building way past dinnertime. He concluded that lawyers did not need food.

No longer having the appetite, Richard decided to head straight home. But on his way back, he made a stop at his favourite coffee house. He could really use a big cup of Frappuccino to end his day on a happier note. It was there in the coffee scented café that he stumbled across two unlikely individuals. Richard never thought that he would have seen those two on a normal day, but after having met them at Skypeak, it was as though the world had shrunk.

As Richard waited for his name to be called, he saw Zach entering the coffee house. Zach made his way to the counter and instead of making an order, he said, “I’m here for a job interview.” Richard was a little curious and wanted to continue eavesdropping, but a barista managed to drown Zach’s voice by calling, “Matthias!”

The world had shrunk alright. When Richard took a quick look around, he spotted his favourite rival on the phone by the window. He had the most childish desire to snatch his order, but at the same time, he wanted to know if Zach would get the job. Which was more important? Richard had to choose.

(For the chapter list, visit here.)

____________________________________________________________________________________________

The Clubhouse © 2014 – 2015 by Jeyna Grace. 
All rights reserved. No part of the series may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording, or otherwise, without prior written permission from Jeyna Grace.
 
2 Comments

Posted by on December 11, 2014 in Original Works

 

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Chapter 7: Exchanging Numbers

clubhouse7

Waiting was not Guinevere’s favourite past time. In fact, she hated waiting more than anything else. Having grown accustomed to the upper class lifestyle, she outgrew her patience. However, she did put on a show for her fiancé. It was indeed an act, but in all honesty, she really wanted to see him that night.

After being told of the assignment that stood before her, Guinevere needed someone to vent to. As brat-ful as that sounded, she just wanted the company of the man that loved her. It was not as though he was the only one, but Wayne always made her feel better. Guinevere did thought of going to her mother and sister about it, but she knew they would tell her to suck it up. After all, they’ve been doing it for years. Her family did not dine with silver spoons, but they made sure to be in a healthy wealthy range. Sucking up was how they managed to keep their status.

As Guinevere waited for Wayne in his minimalist themed office, she could not help but stare at the clock on the wall. He told her five minutes ago that he would be back, but ten minutes had passed and he had yet to return. She thought of giving him a call, and then was reminded that he always left his personal phone on his desk. There was no point giving him a ring… but she was the only one that knew that.

Wayne was a simple man, so his phone rang with its default tone. Guinevere hesitated for a moment before heading to his desk. If his parents were calling, it was not good to make them worry, or so she told herself. Unfortunately, when she saw the caller’s name she could not help but sigh.

Sliding the green icon across the screen, she answered, “What do you want?”

The voice on the other line chuckled before replying, “I’ll call back when he answers.”

Guinevere wanted to demand an explanation, but Jodie hung up immediately after. Rolling her eyes, she roughly placed the phone on the desk and just as she did, Wayne walked in.

“Did someone call?” he asked.

“Nope,” Guinevere replied.

Wayne nodded before adding, “I’m sorry for making you wait.”

“Can we go now?”

“Yes, we can,” Wayne said with a smile.

Wayne was a tall and handsome catch. All men looked good in a suit, but Wayne looked great in one. The way he carried himself, full of confidence and charm, gave Guinevere a hard time in reeling him in. There were so many fishing for him, it was like hitting a jackpot when he responded to her. Now the only thing she had to deal with was Jodie. Guinevere often wondered why Wayne and Jodie never got together instead.

“I lied,” Guinevere said, just as they entered the car.

“Huh?” Wayne simply responded.

“Jodie called.”

“Oh, did you answer?”

Guinevere nodded. “She’ll call back later.”

“It’s quite a coincidence how both of you were chosen. I mean, what are the odds?” Wayne said with a short laugh.

“God is playing a horrible trick on me,” Guinevere replied.

“No, God is doing me a favour. Now you two can be best friends.”

Guinevere rolled her eyes again. It was not as though she did not try to befriend Jodie. There was a time where she thought they could actually get along, but after exchanging a couple of words, she knew it was not going to work. Jodie clearly did not like her, and she did not bother trying to be liked.

“Ha, ha,” Guinevere said.

“I don’t understand you two. In the future, we might have to babysit each other’s children,” Wayne replied jokingly.

“Ha! Not going to happen.”

“You never know.”

After a short drive, they pulled up in front of a restaurant. Guinevere usually did not eat that late, but for the sake of Wayne she closed an eye. Even so, she ordered a salad just to be safe. She already tried on her wedding dress and she did not want to have to make any alterations.

“So, I heard about the horror of the upcoming task,” Wayne brought up, just as their wine glasses were being filled.

“Jodie told you?” Guinevere asked.

Wayne shrugged and Guinevere nodded. She was prepared to tell him more about it when his phone rang again. Guinevere did not have to be psychic to guess who was calling.

“I’ll take it outside,” Wayne said.

“You can take it here.”

“I don’t want you glaring at me,” Wayne said with a smile.

Sighing, Guinevere watched as he strode out of the restaurant. Wayne was right though, she would be glaring at him. What was so urgent about the call anyway? Deciding that she was not going to wait for him looking like an abandoned puppy, she reached into her bag and pulled out her compact powder case. But just as she did, a couple of cards fell out together; the ace of spades and two business cards.

The first business card belonged to Richard. He had handed it to her on their way to the lounge that evening. The second business card belonged to Matthias. He met Guinevere at the car park and offered services if she needed any. Guinevere accepted both cards happily because she did not want to miss an opportunity to network. Who knows, they could be useful later on in the ‘game’.

At that very point of time, Guinevere whipped out her phone and decided to drop them a message, since she did not have a business card to trade. But when she looked up at Wayne, he seemed to be done with his call. So, she decided to give one of them a text, while the other would just have to wait. Who should she connect with first? Guinevere had to choose.

(For the chapter list, visit here.)

____________________________________________________________________________________________

The Clubhouse © 2014 – 2015 by Jeyna Grace. 
All rights reserved. No part of the series may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording, or otherwise, without prior written permission from Jeyna Grace.
 
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Posted by on December 4, 2014 in Original Works

 

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Writing & Milestones

writingandmilestones

I’ve recently been posting ‘thank you’ posts at very random milestones, but I’ll be setting it straight soon.

Anyway, since we’re on this topic, I just want to say thank you to all 5,690 subscribers! It’s nice to know that even though I’ve completely moved out of fan fiction and started my own blog series, new readers are still coming on board. Thank you for that! I really appreciate the support. I’m not a great writer, but I certainly have great readers :)

Now, on to random updates…

#1 The Battle For Oz Project

Exitium CoverThe crowd-funding project is currently at the 58% mark and I have 37 days left to complete the funding. Do you think I can do it? Could this finally be my big break? For one, I surely can’t do it without you!

So if you feel like spreading the cheer this season by giving a passionate dreamer an early Christmas gift (or birthday gift cause my birthday is just around the corner, tee hee), do head to the project page and pre-order a copy of the novel. Your support will leave a ripple in my life and I would greatly appreciate it.

*If you don’t know what this project is about, the project page will fill you in. Just spare me an extra 5 minutes and give it a read.

#2 The Clubhouse

How has it been for you? It gets better, I promise. The beginning is a little slow as I myself have very little control over how the story evolves, but I do hope to include some interesting twists along the way. Honestly, it has not been easy writing those chapters but I’m glad you still read them and vote every week.

I can only gauge the number of readers based on the votes, and though it may only be a few, I’ll still keep it up. The goal of The Clubhouse is for me to practice character development and I’m just happy you’re tagging along :) Besides, once I start something I make sure to finish it. No one likes it when a TV series gets cancelled halfway, am I right?

If you have any suggestion for the series, do let me know. The comments on those chapters are scarce and I could really use some feedback.

#3 New Books In 2015

Or at least I hope it will be :)

I have plans to release a bunch of new books next year. If The Battle For Oz project is a success, I might have the chance to use the profit from that book to publish my other books in paperback too!

Currently, I have a few books just waiting to hit the market. How far these books can go really boils down to the success of The Battle For Oz. So echoing what I’ve said earlier, please check out the crowd-funding project.

Books I plan to publish in 2015:
– The Slave Prince (Novel)
– Dr Slubgob’s Letters (Novella)
– Love Tank (Novelette)
– AND of course, The Battle For Oz (Novel)

#4 Thank You Again

To end, I just want to say thank you once again. I’ve come a long way as a writer and perhaps I still have a long journey ahead, but your support has helped me push forward. I honestly do not know if I would make it one day, but having readers like you remind me that I can. Thank you for simply being here. I hope you will continue to stick around, even if the only success I have as a writer is this blog :)

Thanks for being awesome and have a good weekend!

 
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Posted by on November 30, 2014 in Others

 

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Chapter 6: Come In Uniform

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Jodie watched as Richard picked the joker confidently. Did he have a reason for choosing one type of card over the other? Perhaps. Did she? Yes. It was a straightforward reason that had nothing to do with the hierarchy of a deck of cards. Maybe she should have been wiser with her pick, but her reasoning left her no regrets.

When Matthias reached for the last card, Ms Leona picked up five plain paper bags from the side of her chair and placed it on the coffee table. There was a card stapled to each bag and Ms Leona waved for them to take theirs.

“Inside, you will find your uniforms; some more unsightly than others. I would like all of you to come dressed in them next week.”

Curious as to what her uniform was, Jodie took a peek. They seemed rather ordinary and nothing too unsightly. Then looking up at the rest, she held back a grin when she saw Guinevere questioning what she was holding in her hands.

“Is this… a jumpsuit? Am I supposed to wear this? This isn’t even my size.”

“Size doesn’t matter. You’re not wearing it for a fashion show. It’s just to keep you clean when you’re scrubbing the toilets,” Ms Leona replied with a smile, obviously enjoying the reaction she was getting.

“What?!”

Jodie quickly took another look at the clothes inside her paper bag before sighing in relief. It was not a hideous grey jumpsuit, but a grey and green shirt and pants.

“How about us?” Richard asked as he pulled out the shirt.

“The aces will be assigned to the indoor cleaning team, while the jokers will work outdoors.”

“So, this isn’t a joke?” Matthias attempted to clarify.

“Unless you think owning Skypeak is a joke, then it isn’t. Everyone has to start at the bottom, including the aces.”

Deciding there was no point at hiding her joy of having avoided the worst, Jodie smiled. Her choice of card might have been to separate herself from a particular individual, but it proved to have been the cleverer pick after all.

“It looks like us jokers won’t be getting our hands too dirty,” Richard said as he turned to Jodie.

“That, you’re right. The golf course is relatively litter free,” Ms Leona agreed, and the shock on Matthias’ and Guinevere’ faces were priceless. Zach on the other hand, did not seem to mind.

“That’s not fair,” Guinevere stated.

“Life isn’t,” Zach spoke up and Ms Leona nodded in agreement.

“Well then, I’ll see you guys next week,” Matthias said as he got up and strode out of the lounge.

Ms Leona waved for them to leave after Matthias had disappeared behind the door, and Jodie took it as her cue to not stay any longer. As she made her way into the hallway, she only had one thought in mind: grab dinner, hit the gym, and call it a day. Not once did she consider entertaining the thought of the ‘cleaning challenge’. It did not surprise her that they were given such a task, nor did she have any complaints. After all, no one said it was going to be fun and games.

Just as Jodie arrived at the clubhouse foyer, she heard someone calling her name.

“Jodie! It’s Jodie, right?” Richard asked when he finally caught up with her.

“Why?” Jodie asked in return.

“Why?” Richard wore a confused look for a brief moment before continuing, “I just thought I should at least say ‘hi’. You know, since we’re a team now.”

“We’re not a team. I doubt they’ll put us together.”

“But we’re both jokers, so…”

Jodie raised an eyebrow.

“Maybe we should exchange numbers?”

“Why?” Jodie asked again. She had no idea why Richard wanted to be friends and she certainly had no intentions of befriending him either.

“I could help you out. Give you a call when I’m done cleaning on my side. We have the same goal after all, we want to beat the aces, right?”

No, not really, Jodie thought. Matthias might be right that the whole ploy of selling the clubhouse was for show, but Jodie saw no need for competition when it was a single player game.

“Fine. I’ll give you my number then. You can call me if you need help,” Richard said as he handed Jodie his business card.

“Wow. I thought you were jobless,” Jodie said sarcastically.

“I wish,” Richard responded with a smile before hurrying to the Mercedes waiting for him.

Staring at the business card, Jodie wondered if Richard could really be of use. He was the heir to his father’s law firm and she wouldn’t mind a discount from time to time. Stuffing the card into her pocket, she carefully placed that thought at the back of her mind, reminding herself to get back to it later.

As planned, Jodie grabbed a quick meal in town before heading to the gym. She attended a Pilates class just like she did everyday, but that evening was slightly different. Right after class, she came across two individuals. One individual was standing not too far away, breaking sweat as he ran on a treadmill. When he saw her, he gave her a smile and a wave. Jodie thought it was quite a coincidence that she and Zach were actually members of the same gym.

The other individual that required her attention came in a missed call on her phone. The caller ID read ‘Wayne Whack Head’. Wayne was a long time friend, who had his name changed in her phone several times following the different seasons of their friendship. He was her best friend and was soon to be married to the janitress, Guinevere.

Jodie wondered which was more important; greeting Zach who seemed eager to question coincidences or calling Wayne to find out what he wanted. Jodie had to choose.

(For the chapter list, visit here.)

____________________________________________________________________________________________

The Clubhouse © 2014 – 2015 by Jeyna Grace. 
All rights reserved. No part of the series may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording, or otherwise, without prior written permission from Jeyna Grace.
 
2 Comments

Posted by on November 27, 2014 in Original Works

 

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Chapter 5: Aces & Jokers

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Richard stood at the door, wondering if he should say another word. Matthias gave him a glare of annoyance and he could not help but smirk. No, Richard and Matthias weren’t friend. In fact, they hated each other. They enrolled for the same course at the same university in the same year, but they were polar opposites. Both Richard and Matthias were popular but for very different reasons.

Ever since Richard learned Matthias’ name, he found countless opportunities to annoy him. The only reason university was memorable was because he made an enemy out of the teacher’s pet. It was the only time where he received the attention he wanted, and Matthias never failed to give it to him.

“Richard here, knows what I’m talking about,” Guinevere announced.

As Richard looked at her confused, Matthias got up from behind the counter and casually strode out of the building.

“I’ll be right back. I need to speak to my friend,” Guinevere said to the man with a smile. Without waiting for a response, she gracefully took Richard by the arm and led him outside.

“I do not know what you’re talking about,” Richard said with a chuckle.

“Of course you don’t. You know nothing,” Matthias retorted.

“Now, now boys. Let’s not fight. Sharing is caring, right?” Guinevere said.

Matthias laughed and shook his head.

“You don’t have a choice, Matty. I’ll tell on you,” Richard said.

“Oh, that’s mature.”

“Correction. That’s blackmail.”

“It looks like you learned a thing or two in school after all.”

Richard smiled. He had long discovered that it annoyed Matthias every time he bounced back from a snide comment.

“Let’s not waste time arguing. Did you manage to get the information?” Guinevere stepped between the two of them.

“Do you actually want to share with this freeloader?” Matthias asked in return.

“Does it matter? As long as we’re faster than the other team.”

That was a reason to smile wider. When someone chose his side over Matthias’, it was the perfect opportunity to rub it in his face.

“Fine. Let’s just get the information out,” Matthias gave in, and began leading the way through a connecting path towards the clubhouse lobby.

As the two followed after him, Guinevere seemed pleased at how she managed to stop them from bickering. Unfortunately, Richard was not going give in so easily. Since the sun rose that morning, no one had spoken to him. Breakfast was in an empty dining room, his driver said nothing on their way to Skypeak, and the other four contestants chose to ignore him the moment he stepped into the lounge. Honestly, he thought he deserved some attention.

“How did you do it? I didn’t know you’re a hacker,” Guinevere said.

“He’s not. He has lackeys helping him,” Richard stated.

“They’re called friends. A word I’m sure you’ve never heard of,” Matthias replied as he rolled his eyes.

Richard tried to think of a clever comeback but somehow nothing good came to mind, so he smiled again. That was the best he could do; the only response he knew that protected his true emotions and pride. Ever since he was a child, it was his go-to reaction. When his mother told him she was leaving the family, he smiled instead of begging her to stay. When his father yelled at him for failing the bar exam, he smiled instead of saying he had no passion for it. When Matthias outsmarted Richard in school, he smiled instead of proving him wrong. Since nobody understood Richard and nobody seemed to try, he found himself doing it too often than he should.

As the moment of silence between them started to feel awkward, their phones began beeping. Whipping his out, Richard read the message out loud, “I’ll be waiting in the lounge.”

“How convenient,” Matthias stated.

“She’ll be waiting for a while,” Guinevere added.

“Let’s save her some time then. Instead of copying everything down, let’s just print the list,” Richard said.

“Will that be accepted?” Guinevere asked.

“You did the worst already,” Richard pointed out.

“We. We did it together. If you want in, you better share the weight,” Matthias said.

“Great! We’re a team now,” Richard chimed in sarcasm, as he gave Matthias a smack on the back.

No one argued with Richard on his plan, so the three did as he had suggested, but when they reached the lounge an hour later, they were in for a surprise. Thinking they had succeeded in completing the task first, they stood shocked at the doorway when they saw Jodie, Zach and Ms Leona sitting around a coffee table.

“Finally,” Ms Leona said as she waved them over.

“How?” Matthias asked.

Jodie shrugged and Zach gave no response. When they handed Ms Leona their envelopes, she put them aside and gestured for them to take a seat. Richard did as he was told.

“It’s nice to know you have all managed to complete the task, but that’s not the end of it. In the coming weeks, you will be given assignments to complete. They will not be easy, but the one that performs the best will receive the deed to this empire,” Ms Leona paused as she placed five cards on the table; three aces, two jokers, “your first assignment starts next week. Please pick a card before I tell you what it is.”

Zach reached first and went for an ace, then Guinevere picked an ace after him, followed by Jodie who did not hesitate as she went for a joker. In less than a minute there were two cards left, but instead of snatching for one, Matthias leaned towards Richard and whispered, “You first. Here’s your chance.”

Richard nodded with a smile. “How nice of you.” Accepting Matthias’ offer, he now had to choose.

(For the chapter list, visit here.)

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The Clubhouse © 2014 – 2015 by Jeyna Grace. 
All rights reserved. No part of the series may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording, or otherwise, without prior written permission from Jeyna Grace.
 
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Posted by on November 20, 2014 in Original Works

 

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