He knew Zach had a reason to accept his offer. Richard was not as naïve as he’d like to be. So when Zach asked him about Matthias, he told him everything he knew. It was a price he was willing to pay for company, as pathetic as that sounded. He did, however, grew curious as to why Zach was suddenly so interested in Matthias. But that curiosity had no room to grow with all that had happened.
“If you ask me, I wouldn’t completely trust Matthias. He’s his own God with his own set of morals. Not that I’m any different,” Richard admitted.
Zach nodded and took a sip from the glass of beer he bought him. Richard downed half his glass and ordered another one.
“So, what’s your plan?” Zach asked.
“Oh, we’re talking about me now?” Richard asked with a smirk. “Well, honestly, I don’t know.”
“Did you speak to your brother?”
“Yes. But he’s not my brother.”
“Did it help?”
“I guess. But I’m still pretty lost.”
Richard thought about what Gabriel had told him, and it was barely the surface of what was going on. He still had no idea who he was and why the Lee family took him in in the first place.
“Maybe you should talk to someone else?” Zach suggested.
He raised an eyebrow and Zach added, “Maybe talk to your mother?”
“She isn’t my mother. But that’s a good suggestion. I didn’t know you’re a man of good advices,” Richard praised, though sounding more sarcastic than he’d intended to.
Zach simply shrugged and took another sip from his glass. Richard was already onto his second. About three more orders later, Zach excused himself and Richard let him go – he was no longer listening to what Zach was saying by that time. When he finally decided to give up on his attempt at drowning his sorrow, he got up from his seat by the bar and set his sights on the exit. But when he took one step forward, somebody stood in his way.
Richard was intoxicated to the brink of a giggling fit, but his mind was still clear and so was his sight. Seeing who it was, he chuckled and pushed himself past.
“Let’s talk, Richard,” she said.
“Why?” he asked, as he continued to the exit.
She stalked toward him and grabbed his wrist. Annoyed, he pulled his hand free and turned to face her.
“Why, mother? Oh, sorry, I forgot. What should I call you?”
Removing the bug-eye shades from her eyes, she gestured to a booth at a corner.
“I’ll answer all your questions,” she said.
Hearing her offer, he headed straight to the booth and waited as she took off her mink coat and opened her leather handbag. When she took out an envelope and placed it on the table, Richard knew what she was going to say next.
“Take this and start over. It’ll be more than enough.” She pushed the envelope toward him.
“Who are my parents?” Richard asked in reply.
“You don’t have to work if you don’t want to. I’ve made sure of that,” she added, giving the envelope a tap.
“You said you would answer my questions,” Richard stated.
She sighed and nodded. “Very well. Your father was our family’s chauffeur, and your mother was, I believe, a housewife.”
“Where are they now?”
“Your mother died during childbirth and your father left with the money we gave him,” she answered, without a hint of emotion.
“You bought me from my father?”
“He had a lot of debts and was more than interested in what we had to offer.”
“Why did you want me? Why did you take me in then, only to throw me out now?”
“That, I cannot answer.”
“Hmm, I wonder if the press will have good theories, once they learn who I am.”
Richard did not intend to blackmail, but those words slipped from his mouth without any thought. With his ‘mother’ attempting to pay him off, it was only natural for him to play the appropriate role.
“Take the money, Richard,” she replied.
“What are people saying about my disownment?”
“My husband has told them you’ve disappointed him enough.”
“It works for both you and us. And we have no intentions to leave you stranded.”
“Fine, I’ll take the money. But you need to tell me what you used me for?”
He had every intention to take the envelope from the start, but he wanted to fish out more from her.
She hesitated for a while and then decided to spare him with the gist of the 27-year long story.
“My father owns Wilhelm Group, as you know.”
No, Richard did not know. And she had no idea she spilled the beans on something her husband had kept secret for years.
“He wanted to hand Wilhelm to a male heir. Being the only child, I needed a son. So, we took you in and told him you were ours.”
“But then Gabriel came along and he was made heir,” Richard finished.
“Yes. My dear father passed a few months ago, so Gabriel now owns Wilhelm Group,” she said proudly.
Wilhelm Group was the source of everyone’s problems and he’d just learned crucial information that could help crack the clubhouse case.
“I see. Well, I’ll be on my way then.” Richard casually got to his feet and snatched the envelope from the table. Waving it, he said, “Thanks. I’ll use it well.”
Richard caught a glimpse of her mixed expression, but did not stick around for more. Exiting the pub, he waved a taxi before whipping out his phone for a call.
He knew that calling everyone regarding the new information was a waste of time. Wanting to find out more before informing the group, he needed a partner-in-crime. The two people that knew the most about his situation were Jodie and Matthias. They both had great ideas, except one was more trustworthy while the other had contacts. So, Richard 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.