Liza looked at me and smiled. “So sir, what’s up with you and Sir Tom?”
I almost choke on the coffee I was drinking at her sudden action. “Huh?!”
She cocked her eyebrows. “Oh come on, it’s not like I can’t see it. Something happened, right?”
I laughed sheepishly and fixed the papers on the table. “O-of course nothing happened! We’re doing fine!”
She only narrowed her eyes and puckered her pink lips. “You’re bad in lying, Earl. I can see something’s not fine with the two of you.”
“How could you even tell that?” I asked her.
She crossed her legs and leaned across my table to look at my face. “Just call it a women’s intuition.”
I gave her a dead stare. “You remind me of my mum.” I leaned on my chair and sighed. “It’s just that…I don’t think I can keep up with our relationship anymore.”
Liza slammed her fist on the table. “I knew it!” She laughed and I glared at her.
“Why’re you here again?” I asked and she shrugged her shoulders.
“Taking a break.” She took the cookies from the jar and ate it. “I don’t really want to be with the others. I can’t even understand what they’re saying.”
“Yeah, I know how that feels.” I mumbled.
“So, what makes you think you can’t keep up with your relationship?” She asked and I sighed again.
“It doesn’t feel right. Something’s not right.” I said and she puffed her cheeks.
“For one year you only noticed that now?” She asked and I nodded.
“Is it because of Sir Matthias?” My eyes widened and I can only see her grinning.
“What are you? A spy?” I asked and she laughed.
“I can be.” She looked at her nails. “I can see there’s something between you and Sir Matthias. The day he arrived here, you suddenly changed.”
“I changed?” I asked and fidgeted.
“Yeah, in a good way of course.” Liza grinned.
Thank God for Liza not being a homophobe. “Maybe.”
“Are you gonna break up with Tom then?” She asked and I shrugged.
“I don’t know. I’m not even sure if what I’m doing is right. You know how much Tom means to me. If it wasn’t for him, I won’t be even here.”
“Geez, gay love is really something.” She giggled. “That’s why I love it!”
She pouted. “Whatever. But personally, I would pick Sir Matthias over Tom. Seriously, that man is a piece of meat.” She blushed.
I glared at her and she waved her hands. “Don’t worry. I won’t steal him from you. Just do the right thing, ’kay?”
I smiled and nodded. “Sometimes, you can be a good adviser.”
Liza stood up and winked at me. “I know right.”
I opened the door of the terrace and some of the people greeted me. I smiled at them and went to the railings to admire the view. Being cooped up in the office was tiring and a little bit of fresh air won’t hurt.
I took out the cigarette from my pocket and lighted it up.
I’m so tired I just wanna sleep all day.
Tom arrived and stood beside me. “Hey there.”
I almost drop my cig when I saw him. “H-hey!”
Tom stared at me. “What’s wrong?” He asked and I shook my head.
“N-nothing.” I blew the smoke and looked at the sky. Looks like it’s gonna rain. Did I bring my umbrella?
“So, wanna have some dinner with me?” Tom asked and I looked at him.
This might be the good time for me to tell him that I want to break up. “Sure.”
Tom smiled and kissed my forehead. “Cool. I’ll see you later then.” He slapped my ass and chuckled while walking away. The people around us looked awkward and I just sighed.
Well, I guess it’s time to get back to work.
“So, what’re you going to tell me?” Tom asked as he put the cup of coffee down on the table.
I stared at him and cleared my throat. “Ah well. I know this is a little sudden and…” I tapped my fingers on the coffee mug I was holding and sighed.
“I – I don’t think I can keep up with this anymore.” I said and looked up at him.
He was smiling but his eyes weren’t. “What? What do you mean?”
“Let’s break up, Tom.” I finally said and I felt a gush of relief washed through my body.
His eyes widened. “W-what? Why? Did something happen? Am I not good enough for you?”
I bit my lips. “No. No, that’s not the reason Tom.” I shook my head and held his hand that was shaking. “I liked you, I do. But it was never enough. I’m sorry.”
Tom looked at me like he was about to cry. “Earl. I don’t think I can…do that. I love you.” He kissed my hand and at that moment, I felt I was gonna cry.
“Sorry. I’m so sorry. But I can’t continue our relationship anymore out of…selfishness and pity.” I held his hand and gave him a sad smile. “I can’t do that to you. You’re important to me that’s why I’m letting you go.”
“Is it him? Y-your ex-boyfriend? After all this time…you still love him?” He asked and looked to see my answer. I slowly nodded.
“Yes. I do. I still love him. So much.”
Tom lowered his head and covered his eyes. “Shit.”
“Tom. Tom, look at me.”
He looked up. “I love you Earl.”
“Thank you. Thank you, Tom.”
I moved the last box inside the apartment and smiled. Liza came in with another smaller cargo. “Finished?” She asked putting the box down on the floor before fixing her messy hair.
I crossed my arms and counted the box. “Yep, we’re good.” I smiled at her. “Tea?”
“I prefer juice.” She took off her gloves and sat on the sofa. “Well this place is nice.”
“Yep, the rent is pretty cheap too.” I pulled out the juice from the fridge that I already arranged earlier and searched for the cups. I poured the juice and brought it to Liza who was relaxing on the sofa.
“Here.” I handed the glass to her and she thanked me.
“Thanks for helping me move my things.” I said and she shrugged.
“For someone who’s going to be here for months, you found a really good place to settle in.” She commented and I grinned.
“Must be my luck.”
“So how was the break-up?” She asked and I paled at her question.
“I don’t know. He didn’t talk to me after that…” I answered.
“Of course he won’t. You just broke his heart.” She said and I glared at her.
“It’s for the best. Trust me.”
I flipped the folders of the executive office salaries and saw their monthly payment. Okay, huge money was not surprising for this people so whatever. I automatically studied the Executive President’s salary and it was normal. I sighed and put the folders down.
So they money he has been corrupting couldn’t be seen in the records. That means he’s either taking it out manually or sabotaging the numbers.
The phone rang and I immediately answered it.
“Altrees Company, how can I help you?” I asked in my all business-matter sound of voice.
“So, have you seen the anomalies yet?” Matthias’ voice asked and I sighed.
“No not yet. I’m checking your salaries right now. Everyone’s pretty much normal, including the exec. Pres.” I said and leaned on my chair. “There’s no trace that he’s stealing the money.”
“Fuck. I just checked the monthly deposits of every customers and it said that 30 % of the money was gone.”
“What should we do?”
“No choice. I have to release money outside to compensate from the loss. Fucking bastard. I can’t let him out until I find solid evidence against him.” Matthias spat.
“There must be a way to catch him in act.” I said.
“Already did that. I literally watched him all day from the security room and I feel like I’m a stalker it’s disgusting. He’s not doing it. There’s someone else doing it for him.”
“Someone else. That means he got people working here for him?”
“Something like that. Shit, I’ll break their necks when I catch them.”
“Basically there’s a mole in the company and you have to find out who it is.” I summarized it and he hummed a yes.
“Fuck, the line’s not secure.”
I paled. “S-seriously?!”
“I was just joking. I secured it before calling you.” He sneered at the other line and I huffed.
“Idiot.” I blared out and he laughed sadistically.
“Anyway, I’ll call you if something happens. Be safe. The person working for the old fart might be close you.”
I opened the door of my apartment and saw Matthias in front of me. He was still wearing his suit so that means he went straight here after finishing his work.
“What’re you doing here?” I asked him while watching him enters my house. He pulled his tie and dropped it on the floor.
“Nothing much. Just wanna see you.” He sighed and threw himself on the sofa.
“Wanna eat? I just made dinner.” I went to the kitchen to turn of the stove.
“Sure.” I heard his tired voice and felt sorry for him. He’s working so hard in being an employee and finding evidence against the exec. Pres.
I put down the two plates on the table and arranged the spoon and fork. I grabbed the two pieces of grilled steak and laid it on each plate. I poured the sauce on top of the steak and went out of the kitchen.
“Dinner’s ready.” I announced and I watched Matthias stood up from the sofa. He walked towards me and we both came inside the kitchen.
He whistled when he saw the food on the table. “You cooked this?”
I pouted at him. “I know how to cook, not like someone living alone who doesn’t even know how to keep his room clean.” I mumbled.
“A house-keeper usually comes around to clean my mess.” He answered while sitting down on the chair. He poked the steak and sighed.
I looked at him worriedly. “Is everything alright?”
Matthias nodded. He cut his piece of steak and ate it. “Just having some trouble doing undercover jobs for the company.”
I gave him a sad smile. I know how that feels. Good thing my dad didn’t forced me to join the Mafia. He said that Edward alone can handle the works of the underground society. But I do feel guilty about that because it’s like I’m kind of pushing my responsibilities to my brother. But, I guess I won’t be any of help since I don’t know much about that kind of work.
Killing people and doing shady business weren’t my thing.
After finishing dinner and washing the plates, I came back to the living room only to find Matthias watching a soccer game. He was lying comfortably on the sofa and his eyes were fixated at the television.
When he saw me, he sat up and patted the seat next to him. I smiled and sat beside him. He lied down on my lap and continued to watch the soccer game.
“Sorry I’m not much of a help.” I muttered but he only shook his head.
“It doesn’t matter.” He said and I smiled. “It’s our fault for even involving you.”
“Why’re you being nice?” I asked him while caressing his hair.
“Because I told you to give me a second chance to prove myself, right?” He looked straight to my eyes and I tensed. “I may be a bastard, but I can change for you.”
His eyes were so sincere I can’t help but to feel happy for what he’s telling me. I lowered my head to meet his lips. “You don’t have to change yourself. I like you the way you are.”
Matthias smiled around my lips and so did I. “Fuck. When did you become so sexy?”
I laughed silently. “Five years a long time.”
“I prefer you being a nerd.”
I smiled and he laughed. “I can be if you want me to.”
We kissed again and this time, I know that I can finally open up to him again.
“WOAH, wait a minute. You mean you want to have a relationship with sir Matthias?!” Liza half-screamed and I immediately covered her mouth. We’re at the cafeteria and 50% of the people here can understand English pretty well.
“Sssh! Keep it down Liza!” She pulled my hand away. Her eyes were wide in disbelief.
“I can’t believe you broke up with Tom just to have a relationship with sir Matthias.” She whispered and pursed my lips.
“Well, I know it’s not…I mean. Shit. You’re making me feel like I’m a bad guy here.”
Liza crossed her arms. “I’m not saying that you are but can’t you wait for like…two to three months before you go and enter another relationship?” She looked around the room and spotted Tom who was eating with some of his colleagues. “Can’t you tell the man is broken?!”
I looked at Tom and indeed he looked a bit…parched. It’s been three days since we broke up and I guess Liza does have a point.
“You’re right. I shouldn’t do that to Tom.” I said and she smiled.
“Good. At least you’re not a slut who waves your ass to every man you see.” I glared at her.
“I do not do that.” I said and she chuckled.
“It’s a joke, Earl. But wow. I still can’t believe sir Matthias’…gay.” She whispered. “He gives off this manly vibe and everyone in the company wants him for breakfast, lunch and dinner plus there’s a midnight snack!”
I felt conscious about what she said. It’s true that everyone likes Matthias. Heck, even in high school he was freaking popular. It’s no doubt he’ll be popular here as well.
“Tell me all about Matthias and you. When did you become acquainted?” She asked while chewing her chicken lollipops.
“Well, it started when we’re still in high school – ”
“HOLY SHIT SERIOUSLY?!”
Everyone looked at us with curious faces and I resisted the urge to slap my hand on Liza’s mouth.
She leaned towards me with narrowed eyes. “I thought you two met in a party and had a one night stand.”
I paled. “No, Matthias won’t do that to a guy. I mean, he’ll do that to a girl but…” I mumbled my words and Liza laughed.
“Okay, two things I get, you met Matthias long way back before and you fell in love with him.” I nodded. “So what happened then?”
“Things were pretty complicated that time.” Not going to mention about the mafia, the murders, the assassins, the gang wars and stuffs.
“Matthias and I lives in different worlds that time and…I guess in a way, we weren’t meant to be.” Liza listened closely.
“I – Matthias left me twice with unknown reasons. For five years, we didn’t see each other.” I looked at her. “Matthias’ leaving was the trigger for me to change myself. I continued living without him even though it was the hardest thing for me to do. He became a part of my life, so big, that I can’t even imagine how I get through without him. But a lot of people helped me, my family, friends and of course, Tom.”
I glanced over at Tom and saw him eating without even talking to his friends. “I thought that Matthias won’t show up again and that I can finally move on.” I smiled bitterly and looked at Liza. “But I guess I was wrong. He found a way and came crawling back to my life. And the funny thing is…even after all that resolution about not forgiving him, it was all gone the moment I saw him again.”
I blinked when I saw Liza’s scrunched up face. She was close to tears and was gripping her handkerchief. “That was the most, interesting and romantic story I’ve ever heard.” I blushed at what she said.
“So that’s the story. Looks like you’ve been through a lot.” Liza said and I raised my brows at her.
“Tell me about it.” I exhaled and leaned on my chair.
“From where I can see it, it looks like Matthias and you are bound to be together. It must be fate, ha. I mean, seriously, for five years you didn’t see each other and BAM! You see him again, right here! In Italy! Definitely fate.” Liza confirmed and I nodded.
“You think so? S-should I…trust him again?” I know I did say I can open up to him again. But trusting him into a relationship?
Liza winked. “You’re the only who can answer that, Earl.”
I blinked. “You’re right.” Matthias was the kind of person who says things that can hurt you, or even make you miserable. But he’s also the kind of person that once he said it, he’ll do everything just to do it.
“Treat me to some pizza.”
I looked at the sky and sensed that it was going to rain. I was about to cross the road when Matthias’ car parked in front of me. The windows rolled down and saw Matthias looking at me.
“Let’s go.” He ordered and I just stayed standing.
“I’ll bring you home.”
Minutes of driving, we finally arrived in my apartment. Matthias parked the car on the lot and followed me upstairs. I stopped to open the door and let Matthias enter first. I closed it and put my bag on the table.
“You know you have a house.” I said sarcastically.
“I know but I like it better here.”
I flushed and quickly hid my embarrassment. “You wanna eat dinner here again?”
“Sure but I’m not hungry.” Matthias declared before dropping down on the couch. I was about to open the fridge when the sound of the thunder scared the hell out of me.
Matthias snorted and looked at me. “What? Afraid of a little thunder?” He taunted and I glared at him.
“N-no.” It did scare me a little bit. “Anyway, I’ll just prepare…”
I blinked when the lights of the house went off.
“W-what?!” I stumbled down on the floor and searched for the flashlight.
“Seems like there’s a black-out.” Matthias said from somewhere I can’t see. I finally saw him when he lit up his phone. “Where are you anyway?”
“I’m here!” I ran towards him and sat on the sofa. “Can you turn the lights here?” I asked and he neared me and put phone on top of me, lighting my bag. I searched for my phone and smiled when I finally saw it.
“Maybe one of the cable posts was struck by the lightning?” I asked while walking back to the kitchen, lighting my way with my phone.
“Maybe.” Matthias followed me.
“I still need to prepare dinner though.” I said to him and he nodded.
“How could you even cook?” He asked and I crossed my arms.
“Maybe we should just buy from the convenience store?”
“Don’t they have generators here?”
“Well, it’s an old apartment so I guess they don’t have it here.” I got my wallet from my bag and opened the door. He walked next to me and I locked the door before heading downstairs.
We went to the nearest store and bought some snacks. I put the things we bought on the counter.
The cashier checked it out while I waited patiently. Matthias was standing beside me and was texting someone.
I wonder who it was.
The door chimes suddenly rang and a person with a black coat and bonnet came in. I narrowed my eyes at him and sensed a bad vibe from him.
He went to one of the aisle while I continued to watch him. After getting a bottle of juice, he went to the cashier, stood next to us and waited.
The lady smiled at me. “59.13 euro, sir.” She said and I fished out my wallet. Matthias swiftly dropped a hundred euro bill. I glared at him and he glared back. I sighed and gave the money to the girl.
I took the bag when the guy waiting beside us suddenly pointed a gun to the lady. She shrieked in fear and I paled when I saw what was happening.
I knew it!
“Dammi tutti i tuoi soldi [ Give me all your money] !! ORA [ Now ]!!” He slammed his fist on the table and the lady quickly gathered the money whilst crying.
“You know – ” Matthias started and the man quickly pointed the gun at him. My eyes widened at the sight. “ –your way of stealing is really lame.”
The man’s hand was shaking and it was clear that he was also scared from what he was doing. Good thing that the only person inside the store was me and Matthias, the clerk and this man.
The woman already hid behind the counter.
“ZITTO [ Shut up ]!!” He screamed at us but Matthias remained calm.
“Pezzo di merda [ Piece of shit ].” In a blink of an eye, Matthias was suddenly in front of the man, took out his gun, disarmed it and threw it on the floor. The man fought back but Matthias was fast enough to disable him from further action he was gonna do.
The man hissed in pain as Matthias continued to dislocate his arm in the most painful way. In a moment, I felt sorry for him.
“Lasciare andare, bastardo [ Let go, bastard ]!!” Matthias tightened his hold and finally cracked his arm.
“AAAAAAAAAAAARGH!!!!!” He dropped on the floor and writhe in pain.
Matthias rolled his eyes, kicked the man on his already broken arm (he cried so much I thought he was gonna die) and took the paper bag.
Matthias continued walking down under the rain and I ran after him. “Woah, what’re you doing?!” I opened the umbrella and tippy-toed to reach his height.
“Will you slow down?! You’re getting wet!” I pulled his sleeves and gasped when I saw his hands shaking. “M-matthias?”
He stopped walking and we both looked at each other. “What’s wrong?”
“I – ” He stopped and lowered his head. He lifted his hand and caressed my face.
“Matthias?” My heart hurts when he sadly smiled at me.
“Nothing. Let’s go.” He pulled my hand and led me back to the apartment.
Upon arriving at the complex, I quickly grabbed the towels on the rack and tossed the other one to Matthias. He dried his hair and sat on the sofa.
“You sure you’re alright?” I asked and he nodded his head.
“I’m fine.” I looked at his hand and smiled that it stopped shaking already. He glanced up at me and I blushed.
He gently pulled my hand and kissed each knuckles. “I want to make love to you.”
I felt my face became hot from what he said. “Excuse me?”
Matthias looked up with a slight smirk. “Can I?”
I bit my lips and lowered my head. “B-bastard.”