Chapter 16 - Patrol
“Couldn’t Mark just go alone to get acquainted as a representative of the whole team?” Henry let his black-hearted desire slip. He had murmured almost to himself, but his voice was loud enough for everyone to hear.
Unfortunately, the notion was immediately rejected by Mark. “Only Josh stays back. Everyone else is coming with me. We gotta do what we gotta do.”
Henry’s face immediately turned sour, but he didn’t say anything else. Thanks to them, Josh could go back to his room first and rest.
‘Thank God,’ Josh sighed when he finally managed to pull himself onto his bed. His head continued to throb, but it wasn’t unbearable. He would rather have it be so painful, enough to wipe all thoughts from his head. Ironically, however, his injury wasn’t that bad. What made his heart even more heavy was the fact that it had only been a day since they had arrived. He would have to last as much as six more months…
…under the employment of that mad dog, Chase Miller.
- Breakfast must be taken up to Chase Miller’s room after calling each morning to check if he has woken up. Other meals shall also be provided upon request.
- Other than for the purpose of article 1, do not enter Chase Miller’s room. If needed, permission is required via call.
- Do not talk to Chase Miller first. Even upon being asked a question, do not answer.
- Other than for emergencies that involve bodyguarding, do not go within a five-yard radius of Chase Miller.
- Do not walk behind Chase Miller.
- Do not walk in front of Chase Miller.
- Refer to the appendix for more details.
Josh held his fork in one hand and inattentively flipped through the papers with the other. The appendix was almost five full pages long. He had been told to read it over and memorize it whenever he had time, but even Mark, their boss, couldn’t have memorized all of this.
“I’d be f*cking insane to do this. I didn’t even go to college because I didn’t want to read,” Henry had gritted his teeth and flung away the document that had been distributed. Nobody had said anything to him. The next day, however, he had been hit by a cell phone that Chase had thrown out of nowhere, which had ripped his forehead. Overnight, he had memorized the entire precautions by heart. Now, none of the members knew about the contents of the contract better than Henry. The article that he had breached was “Do not walk in front of Chase Miller.”
“I was just walking!” Henry had burst out in frustration, but he was also within the “five-yard radius” when he had crossed Chase’s path. Everyone had to stay on edge under immense stress. The articles in the contract were truly absurd.
“What are we, housekeepers? Why should we be taking his meals up to him every mealtime?” Isaac had exploded.
Mark had replied with a grave expression, “It’s not like we can leave him to starve. Just take a look around this place. There are no maids, no nothin’. I heard that they all quit because they couldn’t deal with his temper. You really think he could hire someone new? Even we’re only here because there’s nobody else to take over.”
As frustrating as it was, nobody could refute it. As everyone on the team kept their mouths closed, Mark added, “At least we weren’t told to cook his meals. Apparently, there’s delivery coming every other day, so we can just give it to him when it’s mealtime. This isn’t too much trouble now, is it?”
The article on meals was pretty ridiculous, but it was still pretty cute in comparison to some other articles. The very existence of Chase Miller was a calamity to them. In just one week, Seth complained of hair loss, Isaac lost seven whole pounds of body weight, and Henry had to get his forehead stitched up.
Josh had tried his very hardest to avoid running into Chase. Thanks to this, there was no particular incident, but he never knew where and when trouble could arise. After all, Josh was the first to get beaten up. He frequently revisited the document and diligently memorized the precautions.
‘Had it always been this bad?’ wondered Josh as he knitted his brows. It felt as if more articles had been added compared to a few years ago. He didn’t remember exactly, but there hadn’t been this many pages of tightly woven warnings.
‘He must be getting fussier and fussier, being a worldwide celebrity and getting spoiled by everyone around him,’ Josh scorned internally. In any case, he just wanted the gig to be over soon. In reality, however, it hadn’t even been one month.
“Ugh…” Josh groaned and flopped onto the table. He suddenly started to miss Pete. Perhaps he was napping right now. What if Josh asked to wake him up? He shouldn’t, should he?
Feeling anxious already, Josh pressed the call button on his phone. When the connection ringtone ended and Pete’s voice came out of the speakers, Josh ended up loudly calling out the boy’s name. “Pete!”
“Daddy?” the boy yelled back, having quickly recognized the voice.
Desperately holding back the temptation to return home at once and embrace his son, Josh quickly continued, “Yes, Pete. Have you been well?”
“Daddy… Yes, Daddy!” Unable to hide his excitement, the boy stuttered, “W-When are you gonna come?”
After hearing Pete’s frantic question, Josh had to repeatedly roll his hand into a fist and open it back up in an attempt to hold back his surging emotions. “I’m not sure… How’s Grandma doing?” asked Josh, changing the subject.
The boy’s voice sank as if he was deeply disappointed. “Yeah… I ate… I ate scrambled eggs for breakfast, and Grandma put in peas.”
“Oh my,” chimed Josh empathetically as he comforted the boy. “Good boys aren’t picky eaters. If you eat well, you’ll be able to grow really tall.”
“Taller than Daddy.”
“Whoa,” exclaimed the boy, “will I be taller than Uncle Mark?”
“Whoa!” exclaimed the boy yet again, before quickly withering down. “I no like peas.”
“Daddy will go defeat them all.”
“All of them, promise?”
“Of course. All of them.”
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