Boulder (Riders of Apollo #5)

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Ford Wilson

“Romeo, pull up all the cams in that house. I want eyes on her at all times, if I can’t talk to her I want to make sure she’s okay.” Bear shouts as soon as we get back inside. I think Riley may have won our paranoid Prez which means we’ll protect her at all costs.

That’s what happens whenever someone is basically inducted into the club, they become family. “There aren’t as many as there were in the other house, what is Riley planning?”

“Not a clue, she said something about a boat and a ball while screaming at her boss so I’m going off of that.” Bear responds to a disgruntled Romeo, who has a sick Ollie on his lap since Runner is training the prospects. “Boulder, I need you to actually talk to her, get to know her or something.”

I give him an unimpressed look and he just smiles. “Why don’t the girls take her to the fucking spa or something today since she’s gotta go to that ball thing? They get ready together usually, right?”

“That’s a fucking brilliant idea!” Saviour shouts and places her hand out for Bear’s phone. She disappears into the pink room with the other girls and I sit down on the couch with a groan. I haven’t even done much today and I’m exhausted.

“I feel hungover.” Riley groans as she falls through the front door in sweats with sunglasses on. Her dress bag is slung over her shoulder and a bottle of tequila is in her hand.

“Yay! You’re here!” Lexie shouts and Riley takes her glasses off to glare at her properly.

“You guys are so perky, like are you born that way or are you on crack? If you’re on crack, you better share.”

“I’m not on crack, I’m just happy to see you. Let’s get you ready to go out.”

“It’s like eight am, the party is literally twelve hours from now.” Riley looks baffled and almost decks Leo as he brushes passed her. “Jesus, kid. You move so quietly.”

“Yeah, foster system does that to you.”

“No shit! I did a stint in care too, dad punched me in the face and broke my nose. Apparently that’s not good parenting.” She winks and nudges his shoulder with hers.

“How’d you get out?”

“Mum won me and my younger sister back, dumped my dad then he swallowed a pack of pills in a car park. So winning all round.” It’s amazing how she can brush all that off with a few jokes here and there but you can tell she’s extremely sensitive despite that.

-----

So, turns out Riley likes music. Riley likes her music loud, explicit and incredibly dirty. “Why is your music taste so naughty?” A red faced Cassidy asks as she dashes out of the room and into Breaker’s lap.

“Don’t come at Cardi B like that Cass, this is the best song of 2020 and you can’t tell me otherwise!” Riley follows her out with her hair in rollers and half of her makeup done. “I need a beer.”

“You’ve been taking shots of tequila?” Lexie looks confused as Riley literally downs a bottle of beer and grabs another one.

“Meh, it barely touches the sides. Plus you guys are basically torturing me so just let me listen to my music and drink until I’m tipsy.”

“We’re not torturing you, we’re making you pretty.” Marielle reassures, touching Riley’s hair to fix it up or whatever. Riley’s jaw drops.

“Fuck off, I was hot as shit before you even touched me.”

“Yes! Thank you!” Saviour replies and we laugh. Besides Breaker, those two are the only ones with English accents so it’s amusing to watch them team up. “Lexie did this shit to me, day two.”

“With the waxing and the cuticle pushing and the weird rolling tool thing?”

“All of it, every fucking second.”

“Lexie, you could qualify for MI6 level torture.”

“Aww, thank you.” Bear looks scandalised at the suggestion but on some level he has to agree. Lexie has left him high and dry for an entire month before because he looked at a woman funny in public. That was in the early stages of their relationship though and both of them have done a lot of growing since then.

“You have a budding MI6 agent on your hands, Bear and I’m definitely gonna take advantage of that. Hey Lex, what do you say to a little bit of training?”

“You mean guns and knives and fists and everything?” Lexie looks way to excited at the idea and I cringe at the look on Bear’s face. He obviously wants to Lexie to be safe at all times, especially with the threat against her, but I doubt he wants her to be more dangerous than she already is.

“Uh hell yeah, I’ll even teach you how to use my new rocket launcher.”

“Nope! I draw the line at the rocket launcher!” Bear looks enraged at the idea and Riley pouts adorably.

“That’s just cos you’ve never seen it, trust me it is a thing of beauty. Just like your wife.”

“Hey! We all know you’re after our wives.”

“I mean all of them are gorgeous but unfortunately I don’t go for married people, especially not straight ones.” Riley reassures Bear with a gentle tap on his shoulder before she’s viciously dragged back into the pink room to finish whatever the girls have planned for her.

The music is turned back up and we all find ourselves enjoying quite a few of the songs. We can hear Riley screaming along to the lyrics in there and I can easily assume she’s doing it to piss of the women but even her jokey voice is beautiful. She could probably pass as a professional singer if she was actually trying.

“So, whatcha gonna do big man?” Romeo, being the nosey little bastard he is, drops into the seat next to me with his shit eating grin on his face.

“What are you talking about?”

“Well you two obviously have a hard-on for each other so are you gonna do anything about it?” I punch him in the dick for that comment and he howls in pain. Riley comes flying out to find out where the noise came from and she looks gorgeous in her dress with her hair in perfect curls.

“What happened?” Lexie demands, coming to the rescue of her baby brother, glaring at me all the while.

“He pissed me off, I punched him in the dick.” I shrug and Riley high fives me.

“Don’t encourage him.” Lexie obviously scolds Riley, who doesn’t seem to care.

“I respond to things with violence too, it’s an effective deterrent. Besides, from the look of Boulder’s face I’d say he was talking about me.”

How the fuck did she know that?

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