Matthias wasn’t expecting any more guests. So, you can probably guess his surprise when he saw Richard at his doorstep.
“What are you doing here?” Matthias asked.
“Came to visit,” Richard replied as he ushered himself in.
“I doubt that. What do you want? How do you even know where I live?”
Shutting the front door, Matthias quickly followed after him.
“The file I found in my father’s safe, remember?” Richard said with a smile, before he plopped onto the sofa.
Matthias grunted at the memory. He hated his information being out there, and he hated it more that Richard had a copy of it.
“It’s late. What do you want, Richard?” Matthias asked.
“Aw, come on, can’t you show me some hospitality?”
An unquestionable ‘no’ was at the tip of Matthias’ tongue, but before he could say it, his bedroom door opened. Richard immediately jumped on the opportunity and asked, “Oh, am I intruding?”
Maddie stood at his bedroom doorway, with a look on her face he knew all too well. It was the look of curiosity before the cat got killed.
“Yes, you are,” Matthias answered.
“Who is this?” Maddie asked.
“Nobody,” Matthias replied. Then turning to Richard, he said, “Time for you to leave.”
“Sorry, didn’t know you had a lady friend over,” Richard responded and got up from his seat.
Matthias was about to silently celebrate Richard leaving, but unfortunately, Maddie decided to clear the misunderstanding. “I’m not a lady friend. I’m his sister.”
Immediately stopping in his tracks, Richard turned to Maddie and gave her a smile. “Sister? I didn’t know Matthias has a sister. And a stunning one too.”
“Go flatter yourself, Richard,” Matthias said.
“Hey, I thought we were buddies. Why didn’t you tell me you have a sister?” he asked instead.
“We’re not buddies.”
“After all we’ve been through?”
Matthias narrowed his eyes at Richard, daring him to say another word. But Richard took it as a challenge and strode to Maddie instead.
“Name’s Richard. What’s yours?”
Ready to answer on his sister’s behalf again, he found himself being interrupted by the ringing of his phone. Seeing who it was, he gave Richard a glare before walking aside to answer the call.
“Is there a problem?” Matthias asked.
“I just want to check if Richard’s with you,” Jodie said over the line.
“Er, yes, he is. You didn’t send him here, did you?” Matthias asked with a chuckle.
“No. I saw him at the airport when I went to pick up Piper. Something happened there between him and his family. I’m just… concerned. A little. So, yea.”
“Don’t worry, he’s fine,” Matthias said with false cheerfulness, as he watched Richard and Maddie engage in what seemed like an interesting conversation.
“Do you have beer? I could use some,” Richard called to Matthias.
“Excuse me,” Matthias said to Jodie, before replying Richard, “No. Go get your own.”
“OK, wanna come along?” Richard turned to Maddie.
“No, she doesn’t want to come along,” Matthias replied. But Richard pretended not to hear as Maddie agreed.
“Sorry Jodie, I need to go,” Matthias quickly said, as he watched Richard and Maddie walk out the door. “I’ll see you tomorrow, as planned.”
When he ended the call, Matthias hurried after the pair. By the time he locked the house door, the two were already entering the elevator.
“You have class tomorrow, Maddie!” Matthias shouted, chasing after them.
“Nope, not tomorrow!” Maddie replied. And just as he had expected, she closed the elevator doors before he could even reach them.
Grunting in annoyance, Matthias contemplated between going after them and waiting for them. When he gave his sister a call, she briskly told him they would be back soon. Knowing the character of Maddie and Richard, he dragged himself back to his home. And not long after, they returned with not just a dozen beer cans, but with two boxes of fried chicken too.
“Bought some for you,” Richard casually said as he placed the convenient stall haul on the coffee table.
“No thank you,” Matthias responded.
He usually did not admit defeat so quickly, but he was too tired to continue fighting that night. So, he sat on an armchair and watched his sister and Richard chomp down their late night snack. A few hours later, the two of them were finally done. Maddie had passed out on the sofa, and Richard was mumbling to himself with a beer can in his hand.
“This mess,” Matthias muttered.
Heading over to Maddie, he piggybacked her to his bedroom. When he re-entered the living room, he heaved a heavy sigh. Matthias was really tired but he forced himself to clean the untidy state. After he was done, he stared at Richard briefly and wondered what he was going to do with him.
There was no way he could send Richard home at that hour, in such a condition. From Jodie’s call, he knew something was up. And as much as he hated to think so, he might be all that Richard had. Shaking his head, he left the unwanted guest on the sofa and retreated to his room.
Matthias decided to make up his mind when morning came. He was either going to ask Richard was what going on or he would get Zach to handle him. There weren’t many other options. Matthias had to choose.