“You do know that you’ve already made a copy of that already.” I snapped out of my thoughts and saw Liza beside me. I stared at the copy machine and snatched the paper.
“Really? Haha, I must be hungry.” I clumsily gathered the papers on top of the machine and was about to walk away only to trip on the chair beside me.
Liza watched me in horror. “Damn it, Earl?! Are you alright?”
I rubbed my head and laughed sheepishly. “Yeah, I’m fine! Don’t worry about it!”
Liza helped me to get the scattered papers on the wall and we made our way back together in my office.
Tomorrow morning, I arrived early at work. Liza was still not there so I decided to do her job since I already finished mine yesterday.
I don’t know why, but I just wanted to let things off of my mind for a while by immersing myself more at my work.
Matthias was obviously occupying my mind half of the day. No, more than half. He’s been in my mind the whole time.
What he said back then – I can’t stop myself from thinking something really bad might happen to him.
I gasped when I woke up from my trance after hearing my phone ringing. I quickly answered it since I knew who it was (because of the assigned ringtone). I felt relief for a moment after hearing Matthias’ voice.
“Doing anything?” He asked.
“Uh, none in particular. Why?” I rotated the chair I was sitting on so now I was facing the right wall.
“Wanna get some coffee?”
My heart thumped for a moment after hearing his request. I immediately stood up, grabbed my wallet and went outside my office.
“I’m about to leave the office now.” I said and I just heard him scoff.
“Okay, I’m here at the lobby. See you later.” He hanged up the phone and so did I. I felt a grin forming across my face and I fasten my walk.
A few minutes later, I finally arrived at the lobby. I figured I’d buy the coffee first before heading out to meet Matthias. After getting the beverages, I went to the lobby to search for him. People were not usually buzzing in since it’s the time where workloads were crucial but since I finished mine already, I don’t think I have to push myself anymore to do the paper works. A break once in a while isn’t bad after all.
Scanning the room, I saw familiar faces over the smoking area and a few people drinking coffee on the mini tables laid down for people to rest. When I found Matthias sitting on one of the tables, I hurried towards him, securely holding the cups of coffee.
I blinked when I saw him spaced out. He was just staring into nothingness. His eyes were filled with blankness and it feels like he’s not there at all.
I clutched the cups I was holding before sitting down. I stared into him and sighed.
“Are you okay? You’re not sick again, are you?” I asked while handing down his coffee. He looked up to me and gave me his usual smirk.
“No, I’m fine.” He arranged the pile of papers on the table and put it on his side. Seems like he brought his work over break. That’s unusual since he usually doesn’t do anything work-related every time he’s with me.
I just stared at him, more intently and watched him drink his coffee with ease. I creased my brows when I noticed he’s getting a little pale.
“Matthias, are you eating well?” I asked and he just closed his eyes. I’m worried that he might get sick again. It’s been a few days since he got ill and it might return again anytime. I don’t want him to suffer anymore.
I noticed his face became rigid in seriousness. Shit, he looks pissed off right now. Did I do something wrong? One moment he’ll be hostile and then the other one, he’ll be irritated. I really can’t read much of his emotions these days.
“Shut up.” He snapped and that made me gasped a little. When he looked up to me, he probably knew that I got a little taken aback from what he said nevertheless, he didn’t apologize and just shook his head.
“Okay, I’m just making sure.” I traced my fingers on the edge of the cup while my eyes were looking down. I thought that being with me will make him calm down but I guess it just did the opposite. Maybe, he’s being irritated because of what happened with Bella. Were they still forcing him to do this thing?
I guess, even after saying that I’ll always be there for him, I really can’t do anything in this situation.
I’m just useless after all. Even if I came from the same world as he was, I’m still nothing. I don’t know anything.
Matthias was still…a far more different person than I am.
I thought I was reaching him, but in the end, I still can’t.
Even after all that happened.
“I’m fine. Seriously.” He broke the silence and I looked at him. He gave me a reassuring smile and I sighed in relief.
“Do you want to eat dinner with me?” I asked. Even if I can’t do anything about his job, I still can do something to make him happy.
I’ll do anything to support Matthias.
“Yeah. Sure. My place.” It’s more of a command rather than a request but I just nodded.
Yeah, I’ll do anything to support Matthias.
Even if I die doing it.
That night, I went back to Matthias’ place alone. When I asked him if it’s alright for me to go there alone, he actually said yes. That’s weird. Oh well, it doesn’t matter. At least that means he trusts me now.
I arrived at his condominium and went to the elevator. After reaching up to his floor, I excitedly walked to his unit. To tell the truth, I’m actually really happy that I’ve got to spend another night with Matthias. Work has been hectic and we can only see each other when we’ve got extra time. Our meeting this afternoon was totally one of the fewest ones.
I stopped in front of his door and smiled. I held the plastic of ingredients I just bought. Eating with Matthias became a habit because I usually eat alone when I arrived here at Italy. It’s just good to be with someone again.
I entered the password and the door opened. I closed it after entering and walked to the kitchen to put the plastic down. Then, moving to the bedrooms, I knocked on Matthias’ room. I rubbed my head when he didn’t answer. Maybe he’s sleeping? I carefully opened the door and blinked when I saw that no one was inside.
“Earl?” I gasped and suddenly turned around to see Matthias behind me with a towel dangling on his head. He was half-naked, only wearing sweatpants while looking at me with confused eyes.
I didn’t even hear him walk behind me! Seriously, this guy was the stealthiest guy I’ve ever met!
Well of course not, even though he’s not an assassin anymore, old habits are hard to kill.
He dried his hair off while walking past me to go inside his room. “What’re you doing standing there?”
“Uh, I thought you were sleeping.” I answered. He just smiled at me and went to his bed to get the shirt that was hanging on the chair.
He put it on and glanced back at me. “What’re we eating tonight?”
“Oh, yeah, well I figured that we can have some Italian food for dinner.” I researched the recipe but I’m still not sure if I can do it.
“Cool.” We walked to the kitchen. I went to the stove while Matthias wend behind me and sat on the tall stool behind the counter.
“I’m so freaking tired.” He mumbled. I pitied him for a moment. By the looks of it, he really looks like he’s drained.
After finishing dinner, I laid down the food on the table. I looked back at Matthias who was staring at the wall again with blank eyes.
I sighed and called him. “Matthias.”
He remained motionless he looks like a freaking statue. I puffed my cheeks and tried again.
“Matthias…Matthias!” He finally snapped out of his thoughts and looked at me, life returning to his eyes.
“What?” He asked while moving on his chair and stretching. I just glared at him but he shrugged it off.
“I’ve been calling your for how many times.” I said and he just rubbed his face with his hands.
“Shit. I’m just tired.” He reasoned out. I looked at him sternly but I guess he might regain his energy after eating dinner. I sat on the other side of the table and served the soup I cooked.
I began eating dinner while he just idly poked his food. Matthias really was acting weird. I watched him and gasped when I saw that he was unconsciously bending the spoon with so much force.
What the – ?
He woke up from whatever he was thinking and dropped the spoon. “Shit.”
I bit my lips. I hate seeing him like this. I know he doesn’t want me to get involved with this kind of things but I just can’t stand here doing nothing. “Matthias. Please, don’t try to hide things from me anymore.” He looked at me with wide eyes.
He shook his head. “It’s nothing.”
“You always say it’s nothing when it’s something.”
Matthias, I don’t want you acting alone in this. You’re not, because I’m always here for you.
“I’m telling you it’s nothing.”
I hate it when you do this.
“Matthias, geez. Why’re you so stubborn even at a time like this? It’s obvious that you’re being bothered with something.”
I want to help you.
“I know I don’t have the right to butt in into your business but I can’t just stand here and watch you look like shit. You’re not yourself anymore. Every time we’re together, you always look so distant – like you’re not here at all.”
Please, let me help you.
“Matthias please just – ”
“Shut up!!” I stopped talking and widened my eyes when he snapped at me.
Shit, I made him angry.
“Even if I tell you everything, you can’t do shit about it. Seriously, what can you do?! If you get involve with this again, do you think you can protect yourself?!”
I felt my heart sting at the very moment he said that.
I’m aware of that. I’m not an idiot. I can’t even protect myself from all this shit. I know I don’t have the right to interfere with what he’s doing but I don’t want him to face this alone.
I just thought that maybe, by telling me what was happening, I can at least take off the load he was carrying.
But I guess…I’m still not enough.
I’m still not enough, right?
I closed my fist and bit my lips in anger. No, not at him – but to myself.
“You know, for once, I thought everything’s fine already. I know I’m not any of use. I’m just the same lame Earl you know, right? Even if I change everything in me, you can’t see me other than that anymore. To you, I’ll always be weak, stupid.”
After all these years, Matthias still sees me as the old Earl.
The old, stupid and weak Earl.
I grabbed my bag on the floor and rushed out of his condo, not even bothering to look behind me. I want to get out of this place because if I do –
I might end up hurting both ourselves.
It’s been two days since Matthias and I fought.
It’s getting hard for me to do anything anymore.
Being depressed like this makes me feel like I wanna die or something.
The day was over and it was finally time for us to go home. I bid goodbye to my co-workers and went downstairs to go back home.
I exited the building and called a cab when suddenly, a black Volvo car parked in front of me. I blinked at it and tried to ignore but when men in black came out of the vehicle and forced me to go inside, reality hit me hard on the face again.
I’m going to be kidnapped again?!
And right in front of my office?!
I tried to struggle out of their holds but they were too strong. I seriously need to get some lessons from Matthias on how to defend myself.
“We got him, boss.”
I saw the man riding the sit next to the drivers said to the phone. The guys beside me were still holding me tight and I can’t even move a muscle.
“Where the hell are you taking me?!” I demanded but they just kept their usual blank face. “I swear I’m gonna kick the door open!!”
This kind of situation has become like a non-total shock for me and somehow, deep inside me, I’m not that scared anymore.
Because I’m confident that Matthias will come find me already.
Even after all those fight, I still believed at that one faint thought.
I glared at the man holding my arm and suddenly elbowed him on the face. He got knocked down and I tried to open the door even though I’m fully aware that it’s going fast enough to kill me if I jump out. I tried opening the handle but cursed when it didn’t budge.
Fuck, I’m really screwed.
The man suddenly pulled my hair and forced me down on the leather seat. I panicked when I saw a white cloth that they were holding and forced it on my nose. I tried not to inhale but seconds later, my sight got blurry and darkness consumed me.
“So, this is the famous, Earl Harrison.” I heard someone said from above me. I cracked my eyes open and gasped when I saw Bella, some guards behind her and a man inches away from me.
I backed my face away from him only to realize that I’m tied in a pole. “What?”
Bella waved a hand at me and I glared at her.
“Ohh, I love that glare. He’s so much like his mother.”
I froze at what the man just said. “What did you just say?”
The man disappeared from my sight and I assumed that he walked around me. “You do smell like her. So much.”
Okay, this was getting really weird.
Bella looked at the man behind me. “Si sa che Mattia sta probabilmente in cerca di lui. [You know that Matthias is probably looking for him.]”
“Dimenticare che il marmocchio. [Forget about that brat] This is much more interesting.” The man tipped my chin. “Though your eyes look like from your father. I hate your father.”
I gritted my teeth at him. “Why do you know my parents?”
The man laughed and Bella just rolled her eyes. “Because I was once the man whom your mother loved. Until that bastardo [Bastard] took beautiful Mary away from me.”
Woah, wait a minute. What the hell did he just said?
“Oh Mary. Why did she have to die in such a horrible way?” The man said in a dramatic tone.
Who was this man and why does he know so much about my mum and dad? Okay, he’s clearly in the same work as they do but there’s something about him that I can’t put my finger around.
“Let me explain to you, Earl.” Bella stepped in front of me and smiled. “You see, we really needed Matthias to do this particular job for us. But for some reason, he screwed up which is really rare for him to do. That’s why we thought that we have to do something about his fucked up job.”
I gave her a blank look. “By kidnapping me? Like that’s gonna work. He doesn’t give a shit.”
Bella giggled. “Really? Well then – ” She held up a pistol in her hand pointed it in my head. “Let’s see if Matthias really doesn’t give a shit, hmmm?”
The man watched us from behind, amused by what was happening. I stared at the gun silently praying for Matthias to come and save me.
Bella smiled. “Ciao.”
I shut my eyes and heard a gunshot making me twitch in my restraints. Seconds of silence and I finally opened my eyes expecting myself to hurt and bleed all over the place but gasped when I saw Bella’s hand was the one bleeding. Her face was scrunched up in pain but she was still smiling. The pistol she was holding was now lying down on the ground.
“What the…?” I asked and Bella and the man just laughed.
“He’s really here! I thought you were just bluffing, Bella dear!” The man exclaimed while looking around the tall windows. There was a window that has a bullet hole on it and it was directly pointing to Bella.
The men behind us quickly aided Bella’s hand while the others stood by the windows, holding their big guns like they’re expecting another attack.
“I told you he’ll come.” Bella grinned at me.
“You’re using me to get revenge?”
“Kind of? Isn’t it brilliant?”
The man walk towards me and smiled. “You see, it’s a very hard thing to threaten that brat especially because he comes from the Blaise family. Let’s just say that they’re not really good in handling things whenever their little boss is involved.”
“Why do you want him so bad? There’s a lot of other assassins and hitman you can get.” I asked but Bella and the man just smiled.
“Matthias is the best of the best.” He simply answered. “When he takes a contract, he’ll do it perfectly. Not living any witnesses. He’ll kill everyone who’s in his way. No matter who it is.” He explained and I gulped at the tone of his voice.
I know I’ve already seen Matthias being an assassin back when we were still in highschool. That one time we were trapped inside the school while dealing with the two killers that were hired to kill Ralph.
But I never really see him kill a person.
What was Matthias like when he kills a person?
Was he still the Matthias I know?
I bit my lips. No, I can’t be shaken off by resolve. I already decided to be with him whatever it costs.
Bella pushed the men that was taking care of her hand and looked at me.
“I’m just a good friend of Matthias. Even if he’s here, you can’t convince him to go back to work using me as the bait for your blackmail.” I said hoping that my bluff was real but the man smirked.
“I don’t think so.”
I creased my brows at him.
“You’re the one person in the world who can make Matthias do whatever you want him to do.”
The man walked away together with the men in black. “You’ll see Earl. You’ll see.”
Bella waved a hand at me and followed the man.
I sighed and lowered my head. Will they really use me to force Matthias do their dirty work? But he promised not to kill anymore, right?
Will he break that promise just to protect me?
Was he really saying the truth when he told me he’ll kill again just to make me safe?
Matthias. I’m so sorry.
I’m so sorry.