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Chapter 24: Strange Behaviours

clubhouse24

It was the least expected thing. Zach never saw it coming. He was about to hit the gas pedal when Guinevere slipped into the passenger seat. Confused at her actions, Zach simply stared at her.

“I’m coming along,” Guinevere stated.

“I’m working.”

“I’ll accompany you.”

Zach narrowed his eyes at her, completely baffled. He wanted to talk her into getting out of the car, but somehow he knew she would not budge. Hesitating on whether he should forcefully remove her, he ended up stepping on the gas instead.

“I don’t know much about Jodie’s case, so you’re wasting your time,” Zach said.

Matthias urgently needed him to meet with a few informants to collect documents. His last meet went on a little too long and he was already late for his next.

“Where are you going?” Guinevere asked.

“Places. Here’s your chance to get off,” Zach replied, as the car stopped at a traffic light.

“Who are you meeting?” Guinevere asked instead, just as the light turned green.

“People.”

“Who?”

“You don’t know them.”

“Maybe I do. I know a lot of people,” Guinevere said with a smile.

If she was playing a game, Zach was not in the mood. Matthias stressed on the importance of the documents and how it would be able to help Jodie. No, Zach did not lie about knowing little about Jodie’s case. He really knew close to nothing except that Matthias could help.

“You don’t. What is it do you want, Guinevere?” Zach asked, taking a sharp turn, which he almost missed.

“Whoa, slow down there.”

“I’m late and you’re distracting me,” Zach honestly said.

“I know you know something about Jodie’s case. I have an inkling, and my inklings are almost always right.”

“Like I said, I don’t know anything,” Zach said. The ride was a rather short one as they finally pulled up at a plaza. When the car came to an abrupt stop, Zach immediately got out, took quick strides over to Guinevere’s side, and opened the door for her. “I’m sorry, but I can’t leave you with the car.”

“I’m not going to steal it,” Guinevere stated.

Zach shrugged and gestured for her to exit. When she did, he shut the door, locked the car, and walked toward the adjacent building. He did not ask Guinevere to follow, nor did he turn around to see if she was. He was hoping she would disappear when he returned.

Just like the previous man he met, the female informant handed him a brown envelope too. She was not very happy that he was late, but she made no complaints about it. When Zach thanked her, she said, “Tell Matthias we’re even now.”

“Sure,” was the only reply he had.

Matthias had contacts everywhere and it amazed Zach that these people were doing him favours. The questionable part of it all was how they gathered information Matthias needed. Were they part of some secret underground society of justice? Zach was starting to let his imagination run wild.

When Zach finally returned to the car, he heaved a sigh of relief. Guinevere was not in sight and he did not stick around to look for her. He hoped she found her way back to the café safely, but other than that, he was glad she was gone.

After making three more stops, the sun began to set and Zach could finally call it a day. He headed to Matthias’ office to pick him up, before driving them to the train station where Zach always got off.

“Thanks, for doing this,” Matthias said.

“It’s my job. Plus, it’ll help Jodie, right?” Zach asked.

Zach could not do anything to help her. So running errands for the man that could was the least he could do. Getting paid at that point didn’t matter. He knew Jodie was innocent and he wanted to help prove it.

“I hope so. The reports should be enough to drop the murder charge. It’s ridiculous how they even tried to play that card.”

“Murder?” That was something Zach didn’t know. The news reports did not state of any murder. All they did mention was the family of Jodie’s deceased partner claiming to own majority of the shares in her company.

“Murder, yes,” Matthias replied. His face showed he regretted having spilled the beans.

“How do you know about this? Who told you?” Zach had to ask.

“Someone. I can’t say. It’s pretty complicated.”

Zach nodded. He knew Matthias was not going to reveal anything else. If only he did, Zach might be able to help.

Just as he wished for an opportunity, Matthias said, “I need you to do one more thing for me.”

“What?”

“I need you to convince Jodie to hire me as her lawyer.”

It never dawned on him until then, that they were on the hunt for information without Jodie knowing. Matthias was digging on his own, unrequested. What was his motive? Jodie once told him to be careful around Matthias, so he was finally putting her advice to use.

“Why are you doing this?” Zach immediately asked.

“What do you mean?”

“What will you gain from helping Jodie?” Zach no longer held back his suspicions.

“Nothing. I just want to help,” Matthias replied, giving Zach a strange look.

“Why? You don’t know her well, you’re not her friend, you-”

“I know injustice when I see it,” Matthias interrupted.

Zach knew he was challenging his boss and could very well lose his job, but did he get the reply he needed? Was it enough to convince him to act on Matthias’ request? If he manages to convince Jodie to hire Matthias, will it help her or ruin her? Zach had to choose.

Next Chapter >
(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 April 16, 2015 in Original Works

 

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Chapter 23: News Worthy

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Some days, Guinevere wished she could stay home and idle – hours spent by herself, catching up on her favourite shows and books. It would be a dream come true. Unfortunately, she lived a life constantly surrounded by people. Even though Guinevere didn’t have a job, she still had to clock in hours at malls and tea parties. Socializing was what she was told to do and the richer her friends, the better it was for her family. That Monday, her schedule was packed like a stuffed up suitcase.

Guinevere started the day by visiting Wayne’s office. Her mother gave her something to drop off and she obediently acted on it. She briefly bumped into Wayne while running the errand and simply gave him a kiss. There was no need to linger any longer as she had promised to meet up a friend for brunch. Having made sure she timed her plans properly, she least expected to be delayed by a fellow Skypeak member.

As she exited the elevator on the ground floor, Guinevere spotted Richard by the front desk speaking to the receptionist. He seemed to be asking something and the receptionist was adamant about giving in. Curious as to what was going on, she called, “Richard? What are you doing here?”

When Richard saw Guinevere, he quickly jogged up to her.

“Hey! I’m trying to arrange a meeting with your fiancée, Wayne,” Richard said.

“When do you want to see him?”

“Today.”

“I’m sorry, he’s very busy. You can schedule for next week?” Guinevere suggested.

“This is kind of important. My father asked me to check with Wayne about his investment. There’s something he wants me to do.”

Guinevere recalled Wayne’s late night meeting with Richard’s father, and when she put two and two together, she knew Richard was lying.

“Wayne’s not going to buy that, Richard,” Guinevere stated.

“Huh?”

“I know you’re lying. Wayne has been working with Mr Lee for a long time, and I don’t think he would fall for that.”

Richard remained silent for a while. He simply stared at Guinevere, as though thinking of something convincing to say next.

“Maybe… I can help,” Guinevere offered. “I can’t go treasure hunting, but I’ll keep my ears open.”

She knew that there was something fishy going on in that family and Richard seemed to be pitifully oblivious. If she could spare him the family drama, she didn’t mind listening more. After all, it was something she did on a daily basis. She always used her ears to collect dirt on those who wronged her.

“Thanks, that would help,” Richard replied. He gave her a small smile and a nod before walking off.

Guinevere watched him leave before heading to her brunch meeting. After which she went shopping, followed by a gossipy tea session, before a free spa treatment from one of her silver spoon friends. By the time the day ended, she rarely had a moment to think about Richard. Putting up with the daughters of millionaires took a lot of brainpower. Thankfully, the next day was less eventful.

Sometimes, Guinevere would decline an invite from a fellow socialite, but there were two she could never say no to. They were her mother and younger sister. Her mother called their Tuesday tea ‘Mother-Daughter bonding’. But in reality, it felt more like mother-daughter shaming. Her mother and her sister would gossip about their friends before questioning what Guinevere was doing with her life. No Tuesday tea was ever different, and no Tuesday tea would change.

“How dare she say that? How dare she say my daughter isn’t good enough?” her mother huffed.

“Forget her, mother. Her son looks like a pig anyway,” her sister, Genevieve, said.

“I thought you said you liked him?” Guinevere asked.

“You must be deaf. I never said such a thing,” Genevieve snapped.

“Why would Genevieve say that? He really does look like a pig,” her mother defended her sister, once again.

He didn’t look like a pig, Guinevere knew that. In fact, the young man her mother was trying to match her sister with was rather handsome.

“Anyway, I’ll be catching up with Jared when he gets back. Who knows, something might happen,” Genevieve said in a cheeky tone.

“I’ll speak with his mother then.”

Guinevere rolled her eyes. She had enough of the conversation and decided to turn to her phone instead. Randomly scrolling through her social media feed, she stumbled upon shocking news.

“Oh my god, Jodie is being sued,” Guinevere announced.

“That’s good news. Now you don’t have to worry about her, Gwen,” Genevieve casually stated.

Guinevere read the article again. It was pretty vague but it sounded serious. When she finally looked up, she spotted a familiar face outside the café. Zach was by the walkway, ending a conversation with a stranger as he was handed a brown envelope.

“Who’s that?” Genevieve asked when she saw Guinevere staring.

“I’ll be right back,” Guinevere said, before hurrying out of the café.

Everyone knew that Jodie and Zach were the only two among the five that became friends. He probably heard the news and might know more.

“Nice car!” Guinevere shouted, just ask Zach pulled open the car door.

“Oh hey, it’s not mine,” Zach stated.

“Did you hear about Jodie?” she quickly asked.

Zach stood by the driver seat in silence. He looked distracted and hesitant at the same time.

“You have, haven’t you?”

“I have to go,” Zach simply replied, as he entered the car.

Guinevere had an inkling Zach knew more than just the news. Maybe she could hijack the car to get the information she wanted? Or maybe, she could just ask Jodie herself. Guinevere did not know why she was so interested in the whole affair, but she did know she had to make a decision. Guinevere had to choose.

Next Chapter >
(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 April 9, 2015 in Original Works

 

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Chapter 22: Paternal Predicament

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Richard could not wait for his father to return. He wanted to rid himself of the temporary position as soon as possible. Nothing about the new responsibility thrilled him and having to attend meetings on the weekend did not make it any more appealing. Unfortunately, after the impromptu meeting on Sunday, his assistant informed him that his father was extending his stay. Until when, his assistant did not know.

Grunting at the news before bed, Richard wondered what his father was doing. He had no clue as to where he was and why he had left. What was so important? Richard drew blank on all his questions. When he finally decided he had enough, his phone made an unexpected ring.

“Did you dial the wrong number?” Richard answered, surprised that Matthias had called him.

“No. Are you free for breakfast tomorrow?”

“Why?”

“I have a couple of questions.”

“About?”

“We’ll talk tomorrow. How does the café near our university sound for you?”

“What makes you think I would agree?”

“I don’t think, I know. See you then,” Matthias ended the call confidently.

Out of sheer spite, Richard was tempted to not show up. But since it was the first time Matthias had called him, he decided to close an eye. He was also curious about the questions, and Richard never let his curiosity starve.

The following morning, Richard had his chauffeur drive him. Just as they arrived, Richard spotted Matthias entering the café. He waited for Matthias to settle down by the window, before heading in himself.

“Good morning,” Richard said, as he walked over.

“Hey,” Matthias greeted. “What do you want to eat?”

“Anything is fine. I’m not picky,” Richard lied.

Matthias waved a waitress over and ordered the breakfast of the day for the two of them.

“So, what questions do you have? I’m sure it’s urgent,” Richard said.

“It is.”

“Is it about Jodie? Cause I didn’t tell her.”

“Good thing you didn’t.”

“But you said-”

“I know what I said. I was wrong.”

“Oh, must hurt to be wrong,” Richard poked.

“It hurt a lot. Anyway, I have questions about the Wilhelm Group Scholarship Fund. You were a recipient, right?”

“I guess,” Richard replied. He wasn’t sure of it himself. There was an offer letter, but he never applied for it. They just handed it to him and his father accepted on his behalf.

“You guess?”

“Yea. Honestly, I don’t know much about it.”

“You bragged about it a lot, though.”

“I did? Well…” Richard trailed off. Despite his reply, he did remember bragging about it. It was the only accomplishment he had at that time.

“Do you know how they select candidates?”

“No. Why are you asking?”

“My sister was offered the scholarship.”

“Isn’t that good news?”

“No. Not when you found her information and mine in your father’s office. It feels like a set up,” Matthias said, lowering his voice.

“What does a law firm have to do with a scholarship fund?” Richard asked.

“Exactly.”

Richard did not know what to say. Even if it was a strange coincidence, there was nothing he knew that could help Matthias.

“Never mind,” Matthias added with a sigh.

“I can help find out. Snoop around a little,” Richard suggested.

“It’ll be too late then. I’ll just have to take a risk.”

Breakfast continued on silently. Matthias was distracted and Richard did not see the need to jab at his worries. When Richard was almost done with his waffles, he turned around to call a waitress over. Just as he did, he saw two men walk in. One was his father’s assistant and the other looked rather familiar.

“I’m sorry to have to meet you like this. Mr Lee is in a hurry to settle things,” his father’s assistant said.

“Don’t worry about it. Once he and his wife sign the papers, I’ll personally see to it that his request is met,” the other man replied,

Richard was not sure if his ears had heard right. Straining them, Richard needed to make sure he wasn’t imagining the conversation.

“Great! I’ll let Mr Lee know so he can fly back with his family immediately.”

“Good. I’ll need Gabriel when we transfer the investment to him.”

Were they talking about his father? Who was Gabriel? Did his father have another family somewhere else? Question after question filled his head. Richard was in a daze until Matthias asked, “Isn’t that Wayne?”

Matthias pointed at the pair that had just exited the café, before adding, “Guinevere’s fiancé?”

“Yea, it looks like him,” Richard managed a reply.

Richard needed to gather his thoughts in order to piece together what he had just heard, but it seemed like no one wanted to give him the space he needed. When Matthias headed to pay the bill, Richard received a call from his own assistant.

“You don’t have to attend the meeting today,” his assistant informed.

“The meeting regarding the publishing house? Why not?” Richard asked. As much as he did not want to be a part of it, it was the only way to find out more.

“Your father says you can sit out on this one.”

“Why?”

“I don’t know. I thought you would be happy.”

“I’m not. I need to attend the meeting.”

“Your father says you don’t have to. Best to obey his wishes.”

Richard wanted to give a snapping remark about the way his father worked, but quickly held his tongue. Being pulled out of Jodie’s case meant he would not be able to help her. Richard did not know what to do.

A part of him wanted to rush to the firm and force his unwanted presence into the boardroom, but another part of him wanted to meet up with Wayne to find out more about his father. One was certainly more pressing than the other, and Richard had to choose.

 

Next Chapter >
(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 April 2, 2015 in Original Works

 

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Chapter 21: Scholarship Scepticism

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When his phone beeped, Matthias found the least expected reply. There was a possibility that he gave the wrong impression, so he was genuinely surprised when Jodie’s message read, ‘Ok. Time and place?’

‘7pm, you pick,’ Matthias replied.

‘La Petite Café.’

‘Nice choice! See you then :)

After he had hit sent, he wondered why Jodie agreed to dine with him. He hoped she did not take his messages the wrong way. The only reason why Matthias wanted to meet up with her was because he was curious. Richard did not update him on what happened after the meeting and not wanting to seem like a busybody, he decided to find out by himself. Part of him also knew that he did not give Richard the right advice, and he hoped that Jodie was still oblivious to it. If she wasn’t, the best he could do was offer his services.

The following morning, Matthias woke up to a series of doorbells. He rarely had visitors and it took him a while to realise he wasn’t dreaming. When he finally greeted the guest at his door, he was more than happy to find his younger sister smiling widely at him.

“Miss me?” she asked.

“Nah,” Matthias jokingly replied as he began to shut the door.

His sister immediately pushed her way into his home and plopped onto the couch.

“Good morning to you too,” she said, placing a doughnut box on the coffee table.

“So, how are classes? Did you push up your CGPA?” Matthias habitually asked. He knew it annoyed her, but he could not help it. Since he was paying for her education, he had to act like an overbearing parent.

“Classes are ok. And the semester isn’t even over yet.”

“No problems then?”

“Nope. Can you make me coffee?” she asked, as she opened the box of doughnuts. “I bought your favourites, so you better eat them.”

“How nice of you, bringing breakfast for your big brother,” Matthias replied sarcastically. “You’re not going to make me pay for it, are you?”

“Aw, come on. Of course not!” she said with grin.

Maddie was the person Matthias loved the most in the world. When she was born, he decided he would give up everything for her. Growing up, he looked out for the two of them without the help of his parents. They had disappointed him one too many times, that he stopped expecting anything from them since the age of twelve.

As Matthias filled up two cups of coffee, he asked, “What’s with the surprise visit?”

“Well…” Maddie trailed off.

“I hope you’re not asking me for money.”

“When was the last time I asked you for money?”

Matthias thought for a while, and then said, “Hmm, I can’t remember.”

“Exactly. I’m here because I’ve got good news,” Maddie said with excitement.

“What good news?”

“I’ve been offered a scholarship!”

Matthias quickly walked over, and just as he placed the cups on the table, Maddie handed him a letter. Reading it through, one name stood out.

“Wilhelm Group?” Matthias thought out loud.

“Yup! They’ll be covering all my fees and they’ll even return the money you paid for the first two semesters! How cool is that?” Maddie answered for him.

“Pretty cool,” Matthias replied. “Let me hold on to this. It seems they want you to work for them after you graduate.”

“I don’t mind. Sounds like a good deal to me.”

“Did you respond to them already?”

“Yup! I mean, it’s a no brainer, right?” Maddie paused before adding, “you’re not against it, are you?”

“No, of course not,” Matthias said with a chuckle.

Matthias wanted to celebrate wholeheartedly, but the company behind it and Richard’s recent find in their subsidiary law firm rested a strange uneasiness upon him; the kind that stubbornly lingered. When night arrived, he unintentionally brought it up during his dinner with Jodie.

“So my sister told me she got a scholarship today,” Matthias randomly stated.

“That’s great news. From where?”

“Wilhelm Group.”

“Oh. Their name keeps popping up everywhere these days.”

“Tell me about it.”

“Don’t you work for their subsidiary?”

“I do, but I don’t know much about them. Wish I did, you know.”

“If I’m not mistaken, Zach was a recipient of the Wilhelm Group Scholarship Fund.”

“He was?”

“Yea, and wasn’t Richard too? I heard him mention he was on scholarship. As though it’s something to boast about when he doesn’t actually need it. But I think, you would know better?”

Matthias thought about his few years with Richard and his memory brought him back to a conversation they had as freshmen. Richard told him he was offered a scholarship without having to apply for it, because his family had connections. Obviously they did, but it was strange to offer scholarship to someone like Richard, whose family had no financial problems.

“You’re right. He did tell me about it.”

And then seeing the opportunity to slip in the question he had been dying to ask all night, he said, “Speaking of Richard, you have not spoken to him since the task briefing, right?”

“I did, but it wasn’t a conversation.”

“What do you mean?” Matthias asked.

“It was like a ‘hi’ and ‘bye’ thing. Why?”

“Oh, nothing.”

It was a good thing Richard did not spill the beans. Matthias did not know how serious it was but revealing information prematurely could have made things worse for Jodie. Silently sighing in relief, his mind went back to his sister and the scholarship.

Matthias wanted to ask both Zach and Richard about it, but it was either one or the other. The offer letter stated that any decision changes should be notified by Monday noon, hence there was not much time left. Matthias had to choose.

Next Chapter >
(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 March 26, 2015 in Original Works

 

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Chapter 20: Dinner For Two… Or More

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It was noon and Jodie was done for the day. She spent the first half of her Saturday terminating two staff members and breaking sweat at the clubhouse gym. After lunch, she was ready to head home to catch up on some reading. As she made her way through the lobby, she found Zach standing by the entrance.

“Hey! Whom you waiting for?” Jodie asked.

“Oh, hey. I’m waiting for Richard. He said he would be back.”

“What for?”

“I’m doing the interviews with him.”

Jodie did not hold back her look of surprise and Zach caught it immediately. Responding, Zach sighed and shook his head. “I believe I made a mistake.”

“Yea, you might have. Or maybe Richard might just show up, who knows?” Jodie said with a chuckle.

Zach gave a half-hearted laugh.

“All hope is not lost. I’ll help you if Richard doesn’t show up. How about that?” Jodie offered.

Reading Zach’s reaction, Jodie knew he was hesitant. She could not help but wonder if she crossed the line. Zach was not a child, and even though she wanted to help him out of good faith, he probably did not like being spoon-fed. Hoping to save the situation from getting awkward, Jodie quickly said, “You know, it’s not that hard. You can actually do it without me or Richard.”

“I’m just a little worried, that’s all. The performance of the person I hire might reflect on me. Why else would they give us such a task?”

“I don’t know. If that is the case, there should only be blue files and not red. I think they’re just throwing challenges at us for fun. Since it’s just a game, according to Matthias.”

Zach shrugged before saying, “Maybe. Matthias theorises a lot.”

“Oh yea, how’s it like working for him?” Jodie asked. She was definitely curious as to the kind of boss Matthias was.

“He’s alright. I run errands for him whenever he calls. He lets me use his car too, surprisingly.”

Jodie nodded. A few interactions with Matthias were enough to tell her he wasn’t a bad person. Smart and cunning perhaps, but not someone who schemed evil plans.

“He offered to cover for my meals too. Which I declined of course,” Zach added.

“Well, he seems like a good boss. Maybe I was wrong when I said you shouldn’t work for him,” Jodie admitted.

“Still too early to tell,” Zach replied as he turned away from the entrance.

“It’s always too early. Some people just love the eleventh hour.”

“What?”

Jodie nodded in the direction of the entrance, just as Richard dashed up the flight of stairs.

“They’re not here yet, right?” Richard asked Zach.

“Er, no, you made it,” Zach simply said.

Jodie took a quick glance at her watch before giving Richard a disappointed look.

“Hey, I’m on time,” Richard said. He looked as though he wanted to add to his defense, but then decided to bite his tongue. When Jodie waited, Richard averted his eyes and awkwardly walked past her.

“Let’s go, we have to set up,” Richard said to Zach without stopping in his tracks.

Turning to Jodie, Zach gave her a thin smile and said, “I’ll get going. See you around?”

“Yea, see ya,” Jodie replied.

She watched as the two of them disappeared into the nearby lift, before continuing her journey to the car park.

When Jodie finally crashed onto her favourite armchair in her penthouse, she was ready to escape into the world of Detective Frigate and his theory on who murdered Lady Gloria. But just as she entered the detective’s office, she found her phone pulling her back to reality.

First her phone beeped. It was a message from Matthias.

“How did he get my number?” Jodie thought out loud.

His message read, ‘Hey Jodie, want to have dinner tomorrow?’

It caught her off guard, so she hesitated for a while before responding with a, ‘Are you asking me out on a date?’

‘No. Just dinner. Thought of getting to know you better, since I know the rest pretty decently,’ his reply read.

“Matthias knows Guinevere pretty decently?” Jodie asked herself. She often vocalised her monologues when no one was around.

‘Let me think about it,’ Jodie sent back, feeling suspicious at his sudden approach. He seemed to be up to something.

‘Don’t keep me waiting for too long ;)

“A wink. Really? Is he flirting now?”

Jodie shook her head before setting her phone down. She decided to make up her mind after Detective Frigate’s theory proved true, but then she found herself interrupted again. This time, by the ringing of her phone.

“Hello?” Jodie answered.

“Hey, it’s me. I thought of having a little dinner party tomorrow night. You free?” Wayne asked.

“Why so sudden?”

“Guinevere wanted to have a get together before the wedding. Like a pre-wedding party.”

“Ha, I don’t think she would want me there. And aren’t bachelorette parties only for bridesmaids, not the fiancée and his friends?”

“It’s just a random dinner party. She said I could invite you, and you know I want you there.”

“Let me think about it. I might have plans,” Jodie found herself saying.

“Might? Just say yes or no,” Wayne replied.

Jodie knew Wayne would want her at the dinner party, even though she would not enjoy it all too much. But if she really wanted to decline without lying, she could just agree to have dinner with Matthias instead. It was a rather simple decision but Jodie still had to choose.

Next Chapter >
(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 March 19, 2015 in Original Works

 

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Chapter 19: Case Opened

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“Ok.”

“Ok?” Richard thought he had heard wrong.

“Ok. Let’s set up the interviews.”

“Awesome. How about after lunch?” Richard suggested.

“Sounds good to me,” Zach replied, before taking out his phone.

Richard still could not believe Zach agreed to his offer. When people said ‘no’ to him, they rarely changed their minds. Maybe things were starting to turn around for him? Richard could only hope.

As Zach walked away to make his calls, Richard made his too. Both applicants were excited when they heard why he was calling, and neither of them had a problem with the appointed time. When Zach confirmed his side as well, they were ready to ace the task.

“I guess it’s not going to be a long weekend after all,” Richard stated.

“I guess so.”

“Want to grab a drink at the pool?” Richard asked.

He wanted to relax after a week of running the firm. Sitting in meetings, reading case files, and having long and arduous discussions with the partners were more tiring than running a marathon. He did not have the stamina to keep up with the professionals. So that weekend, he could not be happier with the easy task. Unfortunately, just before Zach could give his answer, Richard’s phone rang.

When Richard saw who was calling, he groaned.

“Must be someone important,” Zach casually stated.

Richard chuckled. “That obvious, huh?”

Zach shrugged and waved Richard to it. Wishing he didn’t have to answer the call, he muttered a series of choice words before giving in.

“What?”

“You’re needed at the firm. There’s an urgent meeting with a client,” his assistant said over the crystal clear line. There was no pretending he had not heard him.

“I’m busy. I told you.”

“Your father is going to be there.”

“He’s back?!” Richard asked, not containing his joy.

“No. Video call.”

The joy that erupted in his heart vanished almost immediately.

“Then why must I be there?”

“For show.”

Richard was not sure if his assistant finally learned sarcasm or if it was an honest answer. Either way, it did not look like he had a choice.

“Fine. I’ll be right there.”

After he hung up, Zach asked, “Will you be back in time? Should we reschedule the interview?”

“I’ll… be back,” Richard answered. He wasn’t sure if the meeting would end before then, but he could pray for it to end.

When Zach nodded in reply, Richard said goodbye and hurried to the firm. Richard was never in favour of working on the weekends, but it seemed like a norm these days. Hopefully, it would never have to be a norm for him.

Just as Richard pulled into his parking space, he found his assistant waiting for him at the entrance. The moment he got out of his car, his assistant quickly waved him over.

“Why is this so urgent?”

“It’s urgent because it’s important,” his assistant replied.

“Is our client minutes away from a death sentence?”

“No,” his assistant said, wearing a strange expression on his face.

“Then I don’t see why I have to be in a rush.”

“He’s a big client, and this is a big case. This client is finally ready to press charges,” his assistant explained, as they entered the lift.

“And he chooses the weekend to do so. How thoughtful,” Richard stated.

“Best not let your father or our client hear that.”

“Don’t worry, I’ll be fast asleep.”

His assistant gave him a disappointed look, which quickly wore off when Richard stared at him in response. They exchange no more words after that, as Richard was ushered to the boardroom where everyone had gathered.

At the head of the table was Richard’s father, who was on a laptop screen, and to his right was a row of chairs occupied by the partners. The first seat was empty and Richard quickly took it. Across from them were a few people Richard had not met before.

“Shall we begin?” his father asked.

The person seated directly across Richard nodded. He was a man well into his seventies and he did not look like the kind of grandfather anyone would want to have.

“Let’s start with the basics,” his father said.

Everyone responded by opening the file in front of them and Richard followed suit. When his brain registered what he was seeing, he felt a lump in his throat. He finally understood why it was important, at least to him that is. Richard never thought of being involved in it, but being in the room meant he was. What was he going to do? What was he going to say… to Jodie?

Four hours later, the meeting ended. Richard knew he had to get back to Skypeak, but the case was bugging him more than his assignment. Excusing himself before the whole party headed out for lunch, he quickly made a call to Matthias.

“What’s up?” Matthias answered, surprisingly friendly.

“I just met the client in Jodie’s case. Did you find out anything about her? She’s clean right?”

“I didn’t find out much, but we can assume she is. Why?”

“Did you read the case file I sent you?”

“I did, but it’s incomplete.”

“I can get you the complete one.”

“I don’t think you should. He’s your client.”

“Well if you’re up for him destroying someone’s life, and I mean obliterating it, then I won’t argue with you.”

There was a long moment of silence, and then Matthias said, “You should tell her.”

Richard did not know what to say. He had not grown to know Jodie any better since he last found out about the case, but she seemed genuine. Jodie did not come off as the kind of person who would be guilty of his client’s accusations. But did she have the right to know? Richard had to choose.

Next Chapter >
(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 March 12, 2015 in Original Works

 

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Chapter 18: Hire And Fire

clubhouse18

Zach watched as Guinevere hovered her hand over the red file before swiftly pulling back and reaching for the blue file instead. Seemingly happy with her choice, she gestured for the rest of them to go ahead. Oddly, with only one red file left, none of them made a move.

“You guys go ahead,” Richard said. “I’m not picky.”

Matthias turned to look at Zach and Richard before picking up the red file. Unexpectedly, he offered it to Zach and a moment of hesitation followed. The file was in such a glaring red that it felt dangerous. When he finally made up his mind, Zach shook his head and went for the blue file instead. After his decision was made, Matthias kept the red and Richard accepted the blue by default.

“Good, now that you each have a file, I would like you to open it,” Ms Leona said.

Flipping the file open, Zach found two profiles clipped onto two resumes. Taking a quick look, Zach noticed that both applicants were applying for the same job. Immediately, he had inkling on what his next task was.

“In your files, you will find two profiles. Those who took the blue file will find a resume attached to the profiles, and those who took the red file will find a termination letter. Simply put, this weekend, you’re tasked to hire and fire,” Ms Leona explained.

Zach heaved a silent sigh of relief.

“Ah, your lost,” Matthias said with a smile as he waved his file at Zach.

Quite the contrary to Matthias’ belief, Zach was actually happy he chose the blue file. He could not bear the responsibility of terminating anyone, having being terminated himself. In such an economy, losing a job could sometimes mean losing a life.

“Any questions?” Ms Leona asked.

When no one raised one, she excused herself and left them to their duties.

“I guess us reds will be enjoying this weekend,” Matthias stated.

“You’re mistaken to think you two are the only ones,” Guinevere replied.

Everyone immediately gave Guinevere a questioning look.

“Here’s a tip, boys,” Guinevere said as she turned to Zach and Richard. “Nobody said we have to interview them both. So, just pick one.”

“Good point. There are no rules,” Richard added.

Guinevere gave a wink in reply before waving goodbye.

“I guess I’ll get to it too,” Matthias said, shortly after Guinevere left, and he followed suit.

Zach was not sure if he wanted to do as Guinevere had suggested. There was a part of him that wanted to carry out his duty right. If he was given two profiles, he should give both profiles an equal shot. Picking a favourite did not seem ethical.

Turning to Jodie, Zach wanted to ask her what she thought about Guinevere’s plan. But Richard was still lurking around, making him feel a little uncomfortable. When Jodie finally got up from her seat, Richard asked, “Wanna grab a drink when you’re done?”

Without hesitation, Jodie replied, “No thanks.”

“I’ll buy?” Richard offered.

Jodie shook her head. Then turning to Zach, she said, “If you need any help, let me know.”

“Sure, thanks,” Zach responded, just as Richard said, “Great, I’ll give you a call.”

Not bothering to respond, Jodie headed off, leaving Zach with Richard.

Zach was still not fond of Richard and he was ready to excuse himself too. Unfortunately, before he could even utter a word, Richard rested his hand on Zach’s shoulder and said, “If you don’t mind me asking, how is it that you get all the ladies?”

“What?” The question sounded ridiculous in Zach’s ears. Zach had not dated in years, so where was Richard coming from?

“I mean, how are you friends with Jodie?”

“How?”

“Out of everyone in this group, you two seem to click in such a short time. I’m just curious on how you do it.”

I’m not you, that’s how, Zach thought to himself as he gave Richard a shrug in reply.

“I’m sure you have a secret,” Richard pressed on.

“None. I should be going,” Zach quickly said.

“Are you going with Guinevere’s plan or are you going to get Jodie to help?”

“I don’t know yet,” Zach answered as he turned on his heels and began walking. Somehow knowing it would happen, Richard followed along. It did not take Zach long to begin an internal debate on whether he should ask Richard to leave him alone.

“You don’t need Jodie’s help you know. You can do it yourself.”

“I know,” Zach said, hoping short answers would shoo Richard away.

“You know what, let’s do it together.”

At Richard’s offer, Zach stopped in his tracks. He was ready to give Richard a ‘No, thanks,’ too, but what Richard said next surprised him.

“I don’t think we should follow Guinevere. Both applicants should be given a chance, right? We should do the interviews together. I’ve not done it before, and I believe you have not either. So it would be a good experience for both of us, don’t you think?”

It was as though Richard had a split personality, and the more responsible version of him decided to show up.

Not knowing what to say, Zach simply stared at Richard. He was not going to deny that Richard did make a good point. The task was the perfect learning ground and the perfect platform to experience something new.

But despite it sounding like a good idea, Zach could not help but wonder if it was a smart one. If he had Richard with him, he would have less room to mess up the interviews. However, asking Jodie for help would make the task so much easier and quicker.

“What do you say?” Richard nudged.

Zach had to choose.

Next Chapter >
(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.
 
Leave a comment

Posted by on March 5, 2015 in Original Works

 

Tags: , , , , , , , , , ,

 
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