“I have a job for you.”
It was the weekend. Didn’t Matthias promise not to bother him on the weekends – let alone this important weekend?
“Sorry, I don’t mean a job. More of like a task for today,” Matthias corrected himself.
“Like a task for today’s challenge or a task for work?”
“For today’s challenge.”
“Right. What do you need me to do?”
They’d met at the Japanese garden again. The sky was in an evening shade of orange, and the bustling for the shareholder’s dinner could be heard over the trickling stream. Whatever task it was, Zach didn’t have much time. In a couple of hours, guests would be rolling in in their fancy cars and suits, and he had to be sure the ballroom was ready for them.
“I need you to slip this…” Matthias paused, passing a small, black listening device to Zach. “Into this man’s jacket,” Matthias continued, showing Zach a picture as he did.
“He looks familiar.”
“He’s Mr Lee’s assistant. He might be leaving Skypeak soon, so you’ve got to hurry. I’ll tell you where he is once I get back to the van.”
Zach knew why he was chosen for the side mission. He was unimportant, and perfect to go unnoticed. However, why it needed to be done was a mystery – if the assistant was leaving Skypeak, there really was no need to bug him.
“You’re not telling me something,” Zach said.
“What do you mean?”
Matthias was a natural liar. Everything about him, at that moment, portrayed genuine confusion. But after having worked for him, Zach had developed a sixth sense for when things smelled a little fishy.
“The assistant is leaving Skypeak, so why do we need to bug him unless something else is happening outside of Skypeak.”
“Ah, well, it has something to do with Jodie’s case.”
“You’re off her case.”
“Well, yea. But Richard overheard something that might be Jodie’s get out of jail card. Where the assistant is heading might confirm our suspicion.”
“And what suspicion is that?”
“We really don’t have time. Plant the bug first and I’ll tell you later.”
Matthias gave Zach a hasty pat on the shoulder before jogging off. Grunting to himself, Zach returned to the clubhouse foyer. He wondered if he should do as he was told. After all, that was what he was good at. When he heard Matthias over his earpiece, he decided to just go with it.
“You’re in a great location. The assistant will be down shortly. A little bump will do the trick.”
“Easy for you to say.”
“His lift is arriving.”
There was a click in his earpiece. Then, the lift went ding. Zach turned and strode in its direction. Once the assistant was in sight, he stopped and pretended to reach for his phone. A millisecond after the man brushed past him, Zach jerked his hand out of his pocket, elbowing the assistant in the arm.
The intentional jab sent the assistant stumbling off course. Zach reached for him, dropped the hearing device into the man’s jacket, and asked, “I’m sorry. Are you alright?”
“Yes, I’m fine,” the assistant replied. He gave Zach a look, as though he’d recognised him, before excusing himself.
Zach watched as the assistant exited the foyer and hopped into a tinted, black sedan. Why he was leaving without Mr Lee made Zach all the more curious.
“Did you do it?” Matthias asked.
“Great. Come to the van and I’ll fill you in.”
Trying to look like he wasn’t just talking to himself, Zach casually slipped down a hallway. Then wondering if the information was worth the hurry, he took a shortcut and ran right into Jodie.
“What was that?” Jodie asked.
“Sorry, I really didn’t see you.”
“No, I mean, you elbowed that man on purpose,” Jodie stated, so confidently as though she was the mastermind behind it.
“I… well… it was that obvious?” Zach asked. He wasn’t sure if he should say anything. He wasn’t sure if he should even mention he was doing it for her.
“From where I’m standing, yes,” Jodie replied. “What are you up to?”
“I’m not sure…”
“We have enough secrets as it is. If it concerns any one of us, I should know.”
Jodie was right. Secrets, lies, and deception made the foundation of this game. Setting up more secrets in the attempts of revealing the truth didn’t seem logical. Zach was about to tell Jodie everything, when he heard his name being hollered down the hallway. The familiar sing-song voice and clicking of the heels made both him and Jodie sigh in unison.
“I need your help, Zach. Can you lend me a hand?” Guinevere asked, as she joined them.
“I’ll be with you shortly, I just-”
“Matthias is by the kitchen too,” Guinevere interrupted. “He said he has something to tell you?”
Guinevere gave him an overly friendly, never-before-seen grin, which only meant she was there to rescue him.
“Tell him what?” Jodie asked.
Guinevere simply shrugged in response.
Zach had a choice then: he could either follow Guinevere and learn of the secret first, or he could tell Jodie what he was up to. Either way, the clock was ticking and time was of the essence. Zach 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.