It was actually Gaylord’s idea to start the Murder Club, but Jordan was the first one who blabbed.
She has anxiety issues. And trust issues. Her therapist got the details out of her pretty fast.
I always said we should eliminate her. No one listened.
Our main issue was being bored. If we hadn’t been bored, we probably would’ve never started the Club in the first place.
But it was a long, hot, dull summer, with nothing to do.
So we decided to kill someone.
Mind you, we our target was not an innocent victim. Grayson Hammelgärd was a pretty high-profile assassin himself, wanted in several countries for blowing up important buildings connected to the DR18 experiments and leaving behind a trail of dismembered bodies in the vaporous chemical ash.
But Hammelgärd was slick, and good at covering his tracks. For about six years, no one knew his name, or even if he was a real, single person, and not some hit team assembled by the IIS. So we only found out about him because Gaylord’s cousin was heading the investigation.
And Gaylord is awfully good at cracking computers.
“So,” Gaylord says, as we sat outside the coffee shop and listlessly picked at our pastries, “so.”
It was me, Jordan, KJ and Gay. We were in that section of London that’s posh and metro, but goes to a great deal of expense to look urban and Tolkienesque—Landor Avenue, I think it’s called. I sipped my orange espresso and rolled my eyes.
“I’m so frightfully bored,” I said. “I’m so terribly, ghastly, mortally bored.”
“Adding a lot of extra words,” KJ said in his cultivated lowland drawl, “doesn’t change the meaning. You’re bored. You’re dying of boredom. So?”
“So,” Gaylord said, “let’s form a Club.”
I don’t think, at the time, that any of us took him seriously. I mean, there we were, four bored teenagers, blowing money on expensive snacks to keep our brains from dying while we waited for school to start up again in two months. What interest had we in a club? Those were for the drama kids, the debate kids, the kids interested in tennis and violin.
“What sort of a club,” Jordan said, and she was clearly only talking to try and flirt with Gaylord.
It wasn’t working. Gaylord is a very private and mysterious person, above us in many ways. He flicked his honey-blonde eyelashes and tipped back his slick golden head.
“What sort of a club, Diamond?” Gaylord asked.
I shrugged. “Can’t say.”
Because I’m not interested, you *******.
A barista came out with another Earl Gray for KJ, flavored vanilla and with a sculpted cloud of whipped cream on top. When she left, KJ leaned forward and said:
“Talk to us, Gay.”
You always have to have a puppy, a follower, and KJ is definitely that one. Secretly, I think he’s also been in love with Gay a long time too, but as I said, Gaylord remains aloof.
“What about,” Gaylord said, “Cult of the Dead?”
Jordan shook her bare peachy shoulders in a fake shiver. “Ew, I’m not sure,” she said, and Gaylord just stared coldly at her.
KJ yawned. “Don’t know. Could be cool.”
Gaylord looked at me. “What about you?” he said.
I finished off a scone simply to feel the texture of the icing and nuts in my mouth. “Whatever,” I said.
“Your call,” he said. “Yes. Or no.”
There was a little tickle of a breeze. Cars zipped past us, fast, multi-colored and glossy like candies in a box. In the distance, the skyscrapers were flaming orange and red with the heat, and men and women in suits poured out of them, sweating and ready for their lunch break. An old-fashioned clock in the Imperial Palace courtyard chimed two bronze hiccups. The College stirred and foot traffic picked up.
It was a busy day in the city, and only we were not part of its life. Everything seemed small and superfluous.
“Sure,” I told Gaylord. “Fine. Whatever.”
His husky blue eyes were as wide and innocent as a rabbit’s. He stretched out his arms and cracked his knuckles, making a melodious little popping rhythm.
“Great,” he said. “As Chairman of the Cult of Death, I propose we find someone to kill.”
To be continued once more data becomes available.