Zach only saw Jodie in the gym and at Skypeak. They rarely met or spent time outside of those two places. Which wasn’t expected of gym buddies to begin with. So, when Jodie asked him out for lunch on Tuesday, it was a rather pleasant surprise.
As they’d both agreed to make that Tuesday their cheat day, they met at a fast food joint in town. After having their trays filled with their high calorie-d meal, they settled at a booth by the glass panels.
“Are you sure we should be eating these?” Zach asked.
“I won’t be eating anything else for the day,” Jodie joked.
Zach chuckled along before confessing, “Honestly, I didn’t expect to be called out like this. You want something, don’t you?”
His question was more of a tease, but when Jodie pulled her hand back from the fries, he uncovered her ulterior motive. He could not help but feel disappointed. Yet at the same time, he knew he shouldn’t be feeling that way. At least she took him out for a request, instead of doing so over the phone.
“I know this seems-”
“I get it,” Zach interrupted. “What can I do to help?”
He saw her hesitate as she held the burger in her hands. When she placed it back on the tray, the hesitation left and she went straight to the point.
“Has Matthias gotten you to do anything strange?”
Zach recalled the day Matthias asked him to deliver an envelope to the secluded cabin. Before recalling the memory out loud, he asked, “Why do you ask?”
“I found it odd that my case flipped from good to bad. And I can’t help but suspect Matthias for the sudden turn around. He seems to be out of it too, as though he has given up.”
What Jodie said made sense. Zach had asked Matthias about Jodie’s case the day before and Matthias showed little to no interest in trying to do anything about it. He did look apologetic though, if that made any difference.
“Well, he did sent me on a errand last Saturday morning,” Zach said, and he told her about the delivery of the documents.
“I see. And you didn’t open the envelope?” Jodie asked.
“No. I wanted to, but I didn’t.”
“This was before he actually told me that we were losing. He’s definitely up to something.”
“Perhaps you should change lawyers.”
“I wonder if that would make any difference. If Matthias handed everything about my case to the prosecution, what can a new lawyer do?”
His natural instinct was to shrug, but he held his shoulders down that afternoon. “I’ll try to snoop around when I’m with him.”
“Thanks,” Jodie replied with a thin smile.
The rest of the meal went on as though they hadn’t just learnt about Matthias’ possible betrayal. Zach knew it was all an act, and by the time lunch was over, Jodie excused herself before he did. He promised her he would help before they bade goodbye.
Having nothing to do that day itself, as Matthias had not tasked him with anything, Zach took a stroll around the city park. He thought about what Jodie had said about his boss, and found it more believable the longer he dwelled on it. Everyone knew Matthias was cunning, and it wouldn’t be a surprise if he played Jodie. Whatever his intentions were, Zach wanted to find out.
Just as he decided to get on with playing detective, Zach heard two familiar voices. When he found the source, he stood listening as they ended their conversation. Guinevere seemed sorry for not being able to help Richard, and Richard looked as though he had completely given up. Zach thought of leaving them to their problems when Richard turned and saw him standing a few feet away.
“Ah, come join us in the loser club,” Richard said cheerfully.
“No thanks,” Zach replied.
“We’re all helpless. You’ll fit right in.”
“I’m not helpless,” Guinevere was quick to respond.
“Well, then it’s just me and Zach.”
“I… I have to go,” Guinevere said. “I’m sorry Richard.”
“Where do you have to go?” Richard asked.
“I’m going to do some Skypeak investigation today,” Guinevere stated what sounded like an excuse to get away.
“I guess you’re really not that helpless after all,” Richard said with a chuckle.
“Thanks? I’ll see you boys around,” Guinevere replied before she stalked off.
Zach was about to turn on his heel too, when Matthias called out, “Want to grab a drink?”
“I just had lunch,” Zach said.
“An extra drink won’t hurt. Come on, I’ll share with you some secrets. That would be a great first agenda of the loser club.”
Secrets was the only word that caught Zach’s attention. Richard and Matthias knew each other before the Skypeak challenge. If anyone knew Matthias’ character the best, it would be Richard. Then again, Richard did not have the best personality either – the Richard that had seemingly given up on life could be worse.
Zach wondered if he should agree to a drink with Richard. Perhaps his time would be better spent with Guinevere and her investigation on the clubhouse. At least with Guinevere, the chances of getting anything done – the chances of finding something new – was higher. She was still in sight and Zach could catch her if he wanted to.
“You turned me down on a drink once, don’t turn me down again,” Richard prompted. “What do you say?”
Zach 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.