Matthew was beginning to wonder why he had ever agreed to this in the first place, but he was well aware of the fact there was no going back; it wasn’t like he could catch the hourly bus from random-boat-in-the-middle-of-the-North-Sea down to London. Regrets or no regrets, he was here for the next few days. It sucked, but it was reality.
He took another swig of beer, hoping for anything that would make the following experience as painless as possible. All he could see of Mr Michael Campbell anymore was his back, and the swirling patterns embroidered into the dark, worn tones of his velvet jacket. His fashion sense was as outlandish as his personality - it would have to have been, since the reason Matthew was stood behind him like that in the first place was because Michael wanted to give him a ‘dramatic unveiling’ when his niece, whoever she was, eventually turned up.
“Terribly sorry about this, Mr Dufort,” he apologized after another minute of silence. “Jenna isn’t always the most punctual.”
“It’s, er- it’s a silent T,” Matthew said awkwardly, itching his nose out of habit. The comment about Jenna was ignored entirely, if only to keep Matthew’s mind off of his nerves. “Dufort. It- it’s French.”
Michael’s lips quirked into a bemused smile as he turned away from Matthew again, but it was another couple of moments before he replied. “My apologies.”
Matthew was struggling with how to come up with a response, before the distant clanging of feet against metal stairs filled the gap, and he almost dropped his beer. “Shit, I, er- ha, shit,” he began, suddenly feeling like he should be panicking though he had no reason to be. Michael laughed.
“Relax. I swear to God, you’re as nervous as a sinner in church.”
Matthew just cleared his throat and nodded meekly.
“Jenna. This,” said Michael, stepping to the side, “is Matthew.”