Brodie was not expecting anyone when he heard the ping of the elevator. He didn’t order room service and he’d asked not to be disturbed as indicated. And his butler would have informed him if he had a visitor.

Knock. Knock.

He’d been trying to catch up on work but couldn’t concentrate because of the one person on his mind; Blu. He tried her number again for the umpteenth time and like the other times it did not go through. Madness. This is the definition of it; doing the same thing over and over and hoping for a different result.

Knock. Knock.

‘Ugh.’ He makes his way to the door. Whoever it is better have a damn good explanation for disturbing him.

‘Hello!’

‘Fuck.’ His friends are standing there, which is why they would have ignored the sign that expressly said DO NOT DISTURB.

‘Well fuck you too. Are you going to invite us in or should we do this at the doorway?’ Basil says, his coat already off.

‘Come on in.’ Brodie stands aside for them to walk in.

‘How are you?’ Roland asks, setting his coat on one of the hooks in the cloakroom.

‘How did you guys know I was in town?’

‘So you weren’t going to tell us you were back, you were just going to stay here hoping we wouldn’t find out?’ Seamus’ tone has a tsk to it.

‘Let me guess, Franny.’

‘Bingo.’ Adam says.

‘First, we are to have beers, then take you to a football game, then do men stuff and find out more stuff about what is going on. My wife instructs.’ Roland takes the arm chair closest to the door.

‘What’s up man? How are you?’

‘My fiancée dumped me at the altar how do you think I’m doing?’

‘Wanna talk about it?’ Basil asks.

‘Not particularly.’

‘So we’ll watch a game.’ Seamus flicks the TV on to Sky Sports where some division one game is on.

All five men sit in silence watching a game they have absolutely no interest. It lasted fifteen minutes.

‘Fine. Ask your fucking questions.’ Brodie knows this will simply carry on in that sinister manner.

‘We already asked one, how are you?’ Adam reiterates the earlier question.

‘And I told you, I feel like shit.’

‘What are your plans?’

‘I’m home for the holidays. After that I go back to my life.’

‘So you’re not here because you heard Blu is back in London for good.’

Brodie doesn’t answer that.

‘Have you spoken to her?’

‘If only she hadn’t changed her number.’ Sarcasm accompanied by anger, and no one could blame him.

‘Do you want us to give you her new number?’

‘No. She changed it so clearly she doesn’t want me to be in touch. I just wish I knew why she hates me so much.’

‘She doesn’t hate you Brodie.’

‘How do you figure that?’

‘Look,’ Roland gets up from the arm chair, ‘something set her off and we don’t know what. She hasn’t talked to any of us, us guys at least, so we don’t know what that could be. We were sent here on an errand and to be honest, to find out why you didn’t bother reaching out to any of us.’

‘Because I didn’t want to dump you in it with your wives, I know how that works. I was going to reach out after I spoke to my mother.’

‘She doesn’t know you’re back in town?’

‘She doesn’t, only my siblings do, and now you guys.’

‘How did you think you’d pull that off?’

‘I wasn’t trying to pull anything off I simply needed to lay low for a while and not be reminded of everything that happened-’

‘So you come back to London?’

‘It wasn’t the best laid plan I’ll admit.’

‘You came back for Blu didn’t you?’

‘No I didn’t…’ Brodie is skittish, ‘I simply needed to get out New York, everything about it reminds me of her and I got sick and tired of being reminded of her, London was the next best place I could think of. Maybe a part of me is here because she is, I need some answers, I need to know what the fuck happened. What I did that was so bad she would do that. If I’d sensed something I would never have gone through with it. I didn’t know anything was going on.’

‘No idea at all?’ Adam asks.

‘None at all. Everything was cool between us, we spoke night before and she was excited, so was I. The next morning was obviously a different story. What set me off though was that this morning, she paid money into my account for the honeymoon. What the fuck is that about?’

‘Damn. That’s cold and fucked up.’ Seamus says. No matter what happened between them, Blu should never have done that. Talk about nails to a coffin. But what happened?