Jodie had met Zach at the gym a couple of times. The last time they spoke while running on the treadmill, he told her he was ending his membership. Without a job, he could not afford to pay for it any longer. When she saw him walking in that Wednesday evening, it was both expected and unexpected. After all, he was now working for Matthias.
“I thought you said…” Jodie trailed off.
“Yea. I decided not to terminate my membership,” Zach answered.
“That’s good. Not a lot of work today?”
Zach always came in after dinner. He was early that day.
“I took half the day off. I had to collect my new Skypeak card.”
Zach nodded and folded his lips. He looked like he had something else to say, but he seemed to be contemplating his words. Jodie wanted to prompt him, but before she could, he made up his mind.
Leaning in, he said, “I need to tell you something.”
“What is it?”
He gestured to a booth by the juice bar and took the lead. Once they were both seated, Zach whispered, “I overheard a conversation at the clubhouse.”
“What about the conversation?”
“I didn’t get a look at the ladies that were conversing, but I heard them loud and clear.”
“OK. What were they saying?”
Jodie knew where he was going, and her guess was right. Zach told her everything he heard by the poolside. But by the end of the storytelling session, she didn’t know what to say. Learning that the entire challenge was rigged did not bother her as much as discovering that she’d been set up. It was worrying to think of the scheme that affected Zach, but it was infuriating to know someone got her into her current state.
“They said Guinevere’s family is a part of this?” Jodie asked for confirmation.
“Yes. I’m not sure if she knows though.”
Whether Guinevere knew about it or not, Jodie wanted to find out. She wanted to suggest adding Guinevere into the loop, but Zach had read her mind this time.
“We cannot tell Guinevere,” Zach stated.
“Why not? She might know something.”
“If she does know something, then whoever is behind the plan would know that we know. We can’t risk that.”
Zach made a good point. Jodie didn’t want to admit it, but she was thinking of herself that entire time. The lawsuit could ruin her and it was only natural to solve her problems first. But her conscience pricked her. Shifting gears, she turned to the possibility that Zach might be in hotter water.
“How about Matthias? He has contacts. If he knows we’re being set up, he might be able to help us.”
“Though, I still think Guinevere could help,” Jodie said, this time from the view point of Zach’s predicament. “I don’t think she knows about the challenge being rigged.”
“Quite sure. If she did, why would she bother putting up with each task? She wouldn’t play a game if she knew she was going to lose.”
“I don’t know,” Zach simply replied with a shrug.
“Let me find out.”
Zach did not say anything. She wanted to assure him that they’ll work things out, but she knew it would be a lie. When playing with the big boys, you lose more than you win. It was a good thing Zach discovered about it when they still had another month to go. It should be enough time to find a trump card. And if there weren’t any, they could use that time to play defense. But whatever the plan was, it would be better to concoct with more brains.
After they parted ways, Jodie returned home to find Matthias and Piper still in conversation. She had left them discussing about Piper’s testimony in court, but now found them chatting about something completely different. Deciding to let them be, she headed to her room. The silence helped her think better.
Jodie first thought about Guinevere. In the past month, she had grown to tolerate her. She still thought Guinevere was after Wayne’s money, but she could not help but wonder if Guinevere was also a pawn. There was a high probability that she was. From what she had heard, it seemed like all of them were. Coming from an upper class society did not automatically make Guinevere the queen of the chessboard.
Then she thought about Matthias. All along, he believed that the challenge was a game. And someone was watching and enjoying the show. He was right, except that he didn’t suspect that they were being used. If Jodie shared the information with him, Matthias might be able to pull all he knew together and come up with a solution.
The more heads the better, but too many cooks will spoil the broth. Jodie had two plans but she only had time for one. Either she dug a little deeper to find out if Guinevere knew something, or she told Matthias everything and used his brain to come up with a good plan. Jodie had to choose.
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.