Redemption. Self-redemption of a crime only he knew he committed – Matthias saw it as that.
“What do you mean?” Matthias asked. He needed to be sure he wasn’t assuming wrongly.
“I mean he’s not dead. That is if we’re talking about the same Cortezs, which I have a gut feeling we are.”
“Let’s not go with gut feelings.”
Matthias pulled out his phone and did a quick Internet search. It wasn’t difficult finding the faces involved in the most gossiped about case. In fact, it only took Google 0.95 seconds to compile about 108,000,000 results, with the first one being a family picture of the Cortezs themselves.
It was a fairly recent picture, dating right before Neal Cortez supposedly died. The dashing young man stood between his father and mother with a wide smile on his face. His mother – whom he got most of his features from – beamed at him, while his father proudly wrapped his arm around his shoulder. They were a seemingly happy family, and perhaps they truly were. After all the research Matthias did for Jodie’s case, the Cortezs were low-key people and barely made the news. He was genuinely surprised when their accusations caused such a buzz, but now it all made sense.
Turning the screen toward Richard, Matthias said, “Confirm your gut feeling.”
“I didn’t see them. How am I…” Richard started off. But then he leaned in for a closer look and his eyes widened again. “They were just here. They were having a luncheon with my parents and Guinevere’s parents a while ago.”
“They weren’t on the guest list for tonight though.”
“I think we should tell Jodie.”
“No. Not yet. Let’s try to find out more. You could have heard your father wrong.”
“Of course, my ears are always deceiving me.” Richard’s sarcasm came with a false grin.
“No offense, but I’m just playing it safe. I’ll try to find out more and keep you updated.”
“We can all trust Matthias to get the job done.”
“Hey, you told me, remember? I didn’t force it out of you.”
Richard shrugged and waved him off. “Have fun playing detective.”
Playing detective wasn’t fun. But having done it one too many times, Matthias was good at it. It was part of his day job to begin with. Aside from it being his forte, he also wanted to atone for his sin of secretly betraying Jodie. He hated being puppet-ed by Wilhelm Group and for once, he wasn’t going to be the devil’s advocate. The only problem now was not being able to be on the field itself.
His company was part of Wilhelm Group. Wilhelm Group threatened him. And then Wilhelm Group offered him a job. Matthias hated to admit it, but Wilhelm Group probably knew everything about him and was keeping an eye on his next move. It was impossible for him to snoop around under such tight surveillance, no matter how careful he was. He needed somebody else to do the job for him and he only had two options. But before he even considered them, he needed to make a quick check.
Matthias made a beeline to the delivery truck, interiorly remodeled as a surveillance room. He got the hired men to rewind the footage captured by their planted bugs to see if the Cortezs had left the clubhouse. As he’d expected, they exited the building right after lunch. Then scanning the cameras for Mr Lee, Matthias found the man on the golf course. He hadn’t left Skypeak yet. However, his assistant seemed to be bustling about and Matthias had an inkling he wouldn’t be hanging around for much longer.
“Watch this man. If it looks as though he’s about to leave, let me know.”
He then excused himself from the humid truck to gather his thoughts. The fact that Matthias didn’t have much time to concoct a plan made it harder to think of one. There was so much to consider, so much room for error, so much…
“So much for gathering information.”
“Huh?” The growing colossal mess in his head crumbled under the intrusion.
“Aren’t you supposed to be our eyes and ears?” Guinevere asked with brows narrowed.
“It’s hot in there,” Matthias replied. “I just came out for a breather.”
Guinevere chuckled. “Relax, I’m not chastising you. I haven’t managed to get any information either. There was this couple though.”
“You know who I’m talking about?”
“Yea. Do you think you can get your parents to talk about them?”
Suddenly, he had an idea.
“I don’t know. They’ve been secretive about a lot of things. Who are the Cortezs anyway?”
Matthias decided to fill Guinevere in on what Richard had discovered. Perhaps it wasn’t the best idea, but Guinevere wasn’t going to do anything without knowing.
“Well, it’ll be a first – sticking my neck out for Jodie,” Guinevere said. “But I have a better idea. And I’m not saying this because I don’t want to help her.”
“Send Zach to follow Mr Lee’s assistant. If Neal Cortez is alive and awake, they’ll be checking up on him soon.”
“I thought about that. But following someone while we’re all being watched is too risky.”
“Then bug him.”
Suddenly, there was more than one idea. But neither him nor Guinevere, neither Richard nor Jodie, would be suitable candidates to approach the assistant without raising suspicion. Zach was the only option. Zach could plant the bug, or Guinevere could source information from her parents. Which plan would most likely succeed? Matthias had to choose.
The Clubhouse © 2014 – 2016 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.