Yellowshoes gave a boisterous chuckle in the background while TheBigSix protested, “I’m not up to anything. This is slander.”
“All I’m saying is, none of us can see you. You could be going to town on yourself, and nobody would be any the wiser,” I continued to tease.
“I am not … Ugh. Just kill the troll, will you? I’ve got a frozen pizza in the oven, and it’s going to be ready in five minutes.”
“Fine. But you need to learn how to take a joke.”
The troll peeked his head out from behind a boulder, and I grinned as I muttered to myself, “I’ve got you now, my pretty.” I pulled out my truncheon and swung it high in the air before bringing it down on the troll’s head.
“If we ever meet in person, remind me never to get on your bad side,” Yellowshoes said with a low whistle, her husky American accent in my ears.
I gave an evil laugh. “Only the wise know never to cross me.”
There was a knock on my bedroom door and my flatmate, Sarita, poked her head in. “There’s a man at the door for you. He said his name is Neil.”
“Oh!” I exclaimed in excitement. “Send him in.” Sarita nodded and disappeared.
“Who’s Neil?” Yellowshoes asked.
“Yeah, who’s Neil?” TheBigSix added, sounding a little disgruntled. I suspected he had a crush on me. It wasn’t something he’d ever expressed in words, but we’d been online friends for years, and I just got a certain vibe from him. Like whenever I mentioned going out to find a hook up, he’d get all quiet and grumpy about it.
“Never you mind,” I said before I turned my attention to the camera. “That’ll have to be all for today, everyone. I hope you enjoyed my murderous antics. See you all tomorrow!”
I switched off my stream, shut down my computer, and turned to face the door just as it opened. Neil ran a hand through his dark brown hair and cautiously stepped inside like he was entering a radioactive zone. We really needed to work on his demeanour, loosen him up a little. The man was stiff as a board.
“Hi, your flatmate said to come in.”
“Yes, yes, step inside my lair,” I replied, motioning him farther into the room. “I’m so glad you came.”
I stood and led him to my desk, where several haphazard piles of bank statements and receipts were stacked. I liked to think of it as organised chaos, though really, it was just chaos. He eyed them in a weirdly eager way like he was actually excited by how messy everything was. Oh, yeah, Neil was a neat freak. Evidently, he got a thrill out of organising messes, which was probably a good thing considering his job.
“So, this is what we’re working with,” I said, noticing he still hadn’t looked at me, his eyes on the unruly stacks. “Do you need me to explain anything, or do you want to just get stuck in?”
He began to roll up his shirtsleeves as he pulled out my gaming chair and sat down. Okay, so he had really nice forearms. I filed the information away for later ponderance.
“I’ll get started and will let you know if I have any questions,” Neil replied as he picked up one of my bank statements and scanned it.
“Okay, good. Do you want a cup of tea or coffee? I have a fancy Nespresso machine and a milk frother that makes a mean cappuccino.”
“It’s too late in the day for coffee,” Neil answered. “I’ll take a cup of tea, though.”
“Coming right up,” I said, saluting him as I went out into the combined kitchen slash living area.
Sarita and her girlfriend, Mabel, both sat on the couch watching RuPaul’s Drag Race.
“You bitches! I told you to call me when Drag Race started,” I complained as I went to turn on the kettle.
“It literally just started,” Sarita shot back. “And anyway, you have a guest. Isn’t that the same Neil Michaela works with?”
“Yes. He’s helping me with my accounts.”
“Thank God. I thought you were gonna try to do them yourself again.”
“Hey! I’m not that bad.”
“You wouldn’t be getting audited if you were good, Afric.”
I chewed my lip as I placed a tea bag in a mug then poured in hot water. “Make me feel good about myself, why don’t you,” I said glumly.
Mabel elbowed Sarita in the side, and my flatmate rolled her eyes. “I’m sorry. All I’m saying is, I’m glad he’s helping you. From what Michaela says, the bloke is great at pretty much everything.”
“Here’s hoping,” I said as I went to bring Neil his tea. When I entered the room, I found he’d already started re-organising my bank statements into neat, orderly piles and was going through them one by one. He’d brought his laptop and had it open in front of him as he entered numbers into columns in an excel sheet.