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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.
 
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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

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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.
 
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Posted by on March 5, 2015 in Original Works

 

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Chapter 17: Red Or Blue

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It was all business. From the moment they said ‘hello’, all the way to the end of the main course. Everything was strictly professional, until dessert arrived. That was when the topic of interest changed to a very unexpected one.

“So, out of curiosity, what’s up with you and Jodie?” Matthias asked, as he dug into his bowl of red bean soup.

“Nothing’s up. Our relationship is pretty much a downhill one,” Guinevere answered while she twiddled with her soup spoon. “Why? Is it obvious?”

“There’s noticeable tension. Is she friends with Mrs Dune?”

Guinevere chuckled. “How do you know I have a problem with Mrs Dune?”

“You pretended to be her, remember?”

The memory of posing as the politician’s wife during the ice-breaking session came to mind. Guinevere could not believe such a glorious event went forgotten so quickly. She briefly wondered if Mrs Dune had strange encounters due to her play pretend and decided to find out when she got the chance.

“Oh, yes. But no, Mrs Dune is probably the last person Jodie would befriend.”

“You seem to know her well.”

“Well enough, I guess,” Guinevere responded, as she finally sunk her spoon into the glistening beancurd pudding.

“She seems very serious to me, if you know what I mean.”

“She is, annoyingly so. She’s the girl in school who’s always elected as the class monitor.”

“I didn’t know that,” Matthias said with a hint of surprise.

“I’m assuming. I had lunch with her one time, not alone of course, it would have been awkward, but with a couple of friends in common. And when the change for the bill came back with a few cents extra, she insisted we return it. A few cents, nobody is going to miss a few cents.”

She was hoping Matthias would have found the story ridiculous, but instead, he looked impressed. Getting an inkling, she asked, “Are you… interested in Jodie?”

Choking at the question, Matthias quickly cleared his throat before answering, “No, no. I’m just curious, that’s all.”

Guinevere had a suspicion that Matthias was up to something, but she could not be bothered about it. If it had anything to do with Jodie, she wanted nothing to do with it. It was not that she hated Jodie, she just disliked her and her opposition. For them to actually be friends would be highly unlikely.

That night, as Guinevere lay in her bed thinking about how Jodie and her were like oil and water, she received a text message from Ms Leona. It simply read, ‘Red or blue.’ It wasn’t a question but a statement, which made Guinevere silently wonder, is that the dress code? Not wanting to take any chances, she hurried to her closet to pick out a bright red dress. There was no surprise with her choice of colour, as anyone who knew her briefly would have been able to expect that of her. After all, it is the colour of power. With that settled, she called it a night, hoping tomorrow would not have her scrubbing the floors again.

The following morning, Guinevere was happy to find that she was not the only one who came in red or blue. Matthias wore a black suit as usual, but it was accompanied with a blue tie, Zach wore a simple light blue shirt, Jodie had on a red blouse, and Richard stole the show with an oriental print, dark blue jacket, over a striking red graphic tee.

“What are you wearing?” was the first question Matthias asked when Richard entered Skypeak lobby.

They did not know where to gather, so they decided to lounge among the empty armchairs early that day.

“Better clothes than you,” Richard replied with a smirk, before greeting everyone, “Morning.”

Everyone responded before another voice replied, echoing through the almost empty lobby, with a good morning.

Guinevere recognised it and turned towards the direction of the voice. Without a doubt, she saw Ms Leona confidently striding in her Jimmy Choo’s. It was a pair she had once coveted, a special edition with a heart breaking price tag.

‘Either she’s loaded or she’s smart,’ Guinevere thought.

After her eyes tore away from the black heels, Guinevere noticed five files in Ms Leona’s arms. Two were red and the other three were blue. When she finally reached them, she laid the files on the glass coffee table and gestured for them to each take one.

Jodie reached for the red file almost immediately, but before any of the men could make their pick, Guinevere stopped them.

“Ladies first, gentlemen,” Guinevere said.

The three men gave in and Richard gestured for her to go ahead. But before she did, Guinevere turned to Ms Leona and asked, “This is not a team task, is it?”

Ms Leona gave her a smile before saying, “No, it isn’t.”

Nodding in reply, she heaved a silent sigh of relief. Guinevere disliked working in teams and she was more than happy to be able to fly solo again. Even if the task was dreadful, it was better to count on herself to complete it rather than count on someone else. Maybe that was the only thing that Jodie and her had in common.

Hearing the answer she wanted, Guinevere now had to make a decision. Red file or blue file? Power or stability? It had nothing to do with the dress code after all, but Guinevere 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.
 
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Posted by on February 26, 2015 in Original Works

 

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No Post Today!

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Technically, this is a post, but at the same time, this isn’t a normal post. What I’m trying to say is that this post is written and scheduled in advance to post today… because as you read these words, I’m most probably out doing family visitations in occasion with the first day of the Lunar New Year. Oh, and if you’re celebrating it too, 新年快乐! Happy Chinese New Year!

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Potterheads will get this reference.

Anyway, since there will be no The Clubhouse post today, the polls will be extended till this Sunday. For those who need time catching up, here’s your chance! But if you’re not into The Clubhouse and you want something to read, you can check out my short stories and fan fictions. And if short reads are not your cup of tea and you want something more solid, check out my bookshop. Also, consider making an investment, by pre-ordering my newest novel by Inkshares. Yes, today’s post is a shameless plugging post :P And I’m not done!

How indecent!

If you want to get in touch with me and stay updated, head on to Facebook! And Twitter! Follow and Like! I’ll probably tweet and post my outfit or the amount of ang pows (red packets filled with cash) I’ve collected today. Who knows? Maybe I’ll tweet/post about random stuff too, like a normal person. I’ll be more active on social media the next few days, because the holidays are the only time my life seems a little more exciting. Haha! So be sure to check out my pages :) I’ll appreciate any response to my shameless plugging. Oh yes, I would.

Well, that’s it. I guess that’s all for today. Happy ang pow collecting and have a great weekend ahead!

*Btw I saw a real owl last week and I posted the story on Facebook. See, you’re missing out! The owl perched on my windowsill while I was sleeping. Can’t help but wonder… perhaps it had a letter for me :)

 
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Posted by on February 19, 2015 in Others

 

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Chapter 16: To Understand Is To Know

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There were numbers in his phone that existed merely for him to ignore, and that list included his father, ex-girlfriend, and Richard. Matthias had Richard’s number saved when they were in university. After graduation, Matthias completely forgot the number was still in his phone. It was only when he received a call from him that he realised he had not erased it.

It was on a Monday afternoon when he saw Richard’s name as his phone vibrated during a meeting. Just as Matthias had previously intended, he ignored the call. That very same night, Richard called again. Once more, Matthias let it ring out. He did not know why Richard was calling him and he could only assume it had something to do with the reunion on Friday. Matthias had already given his answer and began feeling annoyed when the calls continued.

Tuesday, Richard called three more times. On Wednesday, he sent a text instead. It simply read, ‘Pick up your phone. This is important.’ When Richard called again and Matthias did not bother to answer, the calls stopped. It was as though Richard had gotten the message, and the silence on Thursday was a relief. But when the sun rose on Friday, Matthias found himself with a series of messages he could not ignore.

They came in the form of pictures, making his phone bleep like an alarm clock. When they finally stopped, Matthias groggily scrolled through them before being rudely awakened when it got too personal. The images sent to him were snapshots of his and his sister’s private information. Seeing whom it was from, he immediately returned the call.

“I can sue you for this! What do you want?” Matthias demanded, the moment he heard the line click.

“I told you it was important,” Richard replied.

“Why do you have my info? And why do you have my sister’s info?”

“I thought you would know. I mean-”

“I’m in no mood to play around with you, Richard.”

“Relax, ok? I found them. Let’s meet up and I’ll tell you about it.”

“You found them?” Matthias found that reason hard to believe.

“It’s a long story. Like I said, let’s-”

“I don’t want to meet up. I’m not playing your game.” Matthias had enough of Richard’s childish endeavours.

“I’m not playing a game, I’m serious. I tried to call you the whole week, but you wouldn’t pick up. I’m sorry I had to send you the pictures. It seemed to be the only way to get your attention.”

Matthias remained silent at the response. Richard did not sound as though he was joking around, and Matthias began to worry. It was one thing to deal with Richard if he was planning to exploit him, but it was another whole ballgame if it wasn’t him.

Calming himself down, Matthias took in a deep breath before saying, “Fine. Where did you find it?”

“Can’t we meet up?”

“I can’t. I have a full day. Why, is there more?”

“There’s more.”

“What do you mean there’s more?” Matthias felt his heart skipped in panic.

“More information, but not about you, about someone we know. I didn’t know who to tell and since you’re sort of involved, I thought…”

“Who?”

“Jodie.”

Matthias wasn’t expecting to hear Jodie’s name. He was tempted to ask what the information was, but quickly pulled himself back.

“Wait, let’s back up a little. Where, when, and whose, first.”

“I was in my father’s office the other day and I found his safe.”

“Naturally, you had to open it,” Matthias added.

“And it’s a good thing I did,” Richard snapped. “Anyway, I found your information inside an envelope, and Jodie’s inside another.”

“What info on Jodie in particular?”

“Hers is a case. I think my father is representing someone to sue her company. It’s none of our business but some of the claims seem stretched. It doesn’t feel like a clean case.”

“I don’t know Jodie well. I don’t think we should tell her either.”

“That’s why I told you. The things my father knows about you, it’s like he or someone he knows, is stalking you.”

“Thanks, for telling me. Sorry for, you know, not answering your calls,” Matthias said, feeling a little bad for assuming Richard was always up to no good. But he still didn’t trust him fully and was curious why he wanted to help.

“You’re… welcome?”

“Why me though? I know the information is about me, but why choose me over your father?”

“I guess, I like you more,” Richard replied with a chuckle. “Besides, it didn’t seem right.”

“Well, yea, it doesn’t seem right.” Matthias never knew Richard had a moral stand, and it came as quite a shock.

“So, what do we do with Jodie’s case?”

“Send it to me, I’ll have a look at it. Then we can decide later,” Matthias said.

“I don’t think that’s a good idea. I’m not even supposed to have it.”

“Trust me. If it’s really dirty, I’ll find out.”

Richard remained silent for a whole minute before agreeing. After they ended their call, another series of pictures were sent to Matthias’ phone. He briefly scanned through them before a strange feeling nudged him in the gut. What if, the person involved with Jodie is the same person who needed his information? Something told him that if he found the answer to one, he would find the answer to the other. Unfortunately, to understand Jodie’s case is to know Jodie.

Matthias did not know Jodie well. The only ones that knew her were Guinevere, who had issues with her, and Zach, who somehow befriended her easily at Skypeak. If Matthias wanted to know more about her, he needed to ask one of the two. He had to choose.

Next Chapter >
(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 February 12, 2015 in Original Works

 

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