“Is everything OK?” Jess asked. The three people in the kitchen were all looking at me with wide eyes. The doorbell rang once again.
“Someone should get that,” Freddie said.
“No, I think we’d better not,” I said. I could hear my voice tremble a bit. “Martin said we shouldn’t.”
“What,” Freddie asked flatly.
“I dunno. I mean, we’re all seriously hungover, maybe we shouldn’t be talking to strangers in this state. Plus, he did say he mixed up the DVDs and those are definitely not crosswords.”
“So? What does that have to do with anything?” Freddie was getting increasingly irritated.
“Like, seriously, what the hell?” Brandi demanded.
“He said there’s something dangerous on this DVD and we should take it and get out of here. He said he’d meet us later.”
“I really doubt anyone would send the fucking cops to confiscate his blinged-out porn stash,” Freddie sighed. “Fine, let’s just wait for him, then.”
Just then we heard the front door open. We stood there motionless, hearing only bits and pieces of a conversation between a couple of men, one of whom was talking very slowly in his deep voice. It was Ian. After the conversation ended, the door closed and the chubby man approached us, ruffling his wavy brown hair with his hand.
“Hello,” he smiled at us, his beard miraculously clear of any leftover potato chips. “This is quite the welcoming you’ve prepared for me. Would you grace me with some coffee, my dear?”
With a look of complete bafflement, Jess poured him a mug of coffee. He thanked her and swallowed it down in a couple of gulps. Three, to be exact. Our collective gaze followed each and every one of them. Even when he finished, smacked his lips and fixed his blue-eyed gaze at each of us one by one with that silly grin of his, we continued to stare at him in disbelief.
“Um, Ian?” Freddie ultimately approached him and placed a hand on his shoulder. “Who was that?”
“Who was who?”
“You know who.”
“I don’t. Who?”
“You tell me, sweetie,” Freddie rubbed his temples, his voice growing impatient, his face once again became a bit redder.
“You’re not making any sense today,” Ian grumble as he adjusted his glasses.
“He means the people at the door,” Jess said in a calm tone. Ian looked at her in confusion.
“You know, the front door. You opened it, talked to some guys,” Brandi explained.
“I open- Oh, right. Those guys. Hell if I know. They just asked if Martin was here. I told them I had no idea. When they asked if they could come inside, I said I would have to ask Leo first. Oh, right. I forgot.”
“Well, that doesn’t matter anyway, ‘cause Martin said we can’t let them in,” I said. “I just hope they can take a hint and just us alone.”
“So now we wait for Martin to come?” Jess asked me as her fingers ran through the DVD.
“He was gonna call me and-” my sentence was interrupted with a loud bang coming from the living room. We all glanced at each other, frozen in shock for just a moment, and ran over to where we’d heard the sound.
“Well fuck me backwards,” Freddie whispered. That was pretty much the reaction I had in my head. How else do you react to a car crashing through your living room wall and landing on the sofa, cutting it in half in the process?
“Aw shit,” I grunted. “The landlady’s gonna kill me.”
Two men in black suits and sunglasses left the car and pointed guns at us. We all raised our hands, more out of disbelief than anything else.
“I’m sorry I forgot! I sincerely apologize! That was so rude of me!” Ian cried out.
“Just give us the disc and everyone’s free to go,” one of the men said.
“Don’t!” I heard Martin’s shout from behind. He had Mia with him, along with two other guys I didn’t know, all of them pointing guns at the men in black. Considering the cloud of dust surrounding them, I had a bad feeling about this.
“I think there’s a moral in all this, somewhere,” Brandi sighed.
“Drink responsibly?” Jess suggested.
“Keep your promises,” Ian sobbed.
“I need to print out some sort of house etiquette sheet over here, cause damn, you guys just don’t respect the money I have to pay that woman to rent this house.” I said through gritted teeth.
“Martin, your coffee is so disgusting it’s a fucking disgrace,” Freddie summed up.