Boulder (Riders of Apollo #5)

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Riley Everett

Okay, so he has expressed anger about the note I left yesterday morning. He is still asleep and today I actually have to train the guys or I will get lynched so do I wake him up or leave him a note?

It’s seven am and I’m dressed and ready to go but he is unconscious. Like I dropped a mug and then cracked my head on a cupboard so hard I think I got a concussion but he didn’t even stir.

How the fuck does this guy survive sneak attacks?

I decide waking him up might be the way to go so I try and wake him up my poking him and smacking him but that does nothing. I stare at the ceiling and groan in anger, for fuck’s sake. I viciously shove him off the bed and he hits the floor with a loud thud and a consequent groan.

“Jeez, you sleep like the fucking dead.” I complain and he glares at me from his place on the floor, all tangled in my sheets and bruised. “Morning, I’m leaving.” I turn on my heel and I hear him scurry to catch up with me. He looks at me angrily as I grab my stuff and move to leave. “What? You said you didn’t like notes so I woke you up.”

He rubs his face in agitation and opens his mouth to speak but nothing comes out, I tilt my head in confusion before giving up and walking out. He can close the door behind him, I don’t even care. I greet a few of my neighbours on the way to my car and hiss in pain as I sit down in my car. He definitely did not play gently last night and I’m feeling it now.

“Finally, you’re here!” Lexie cheers while I chug the tea I have in my mug.

“Seriously, I think you’re on crack.” I clap Rubble’s shoulder as I drop onto the couch next to him and he greets me happily. “You look better than yesterday.”

“I think your plan worked.” He winks at me and I smile. Good, I’m happy I was able to do something useful while I was here even if it meant reconnecting someone to his family.

“Can we train now? Everyone woke up to witness it.” Saviour asks, wearing a similar outfit of yoga pants and a sports bra with some running trainers. I down my tea and I lean up to the ceiling to stretch just as Boulder walks in the building. “Ooh looks like someone got some.” She mocks and I snigger. If only they knew.

I bounce down the stairs to the training room with literally everyone following me. This feels like one of those masterclasses my instructor wouldn’t let me go to after I decked him in the first thirty seconds. I squeal in surprise when my phone rings loud enough to burst eardrums. “Fuck me, Johnson, don’t do that shit!” I shout, stretching at the same time.

I put him on speaker so that I can multitask. “Riley, you need to be careful.” He speaks quietly and I sober up, immediately stopping all movement to listen to him properly. “There’s some really weird shit happening around here right now, just like you predicted. People that shouldn’t be getting promotions are getting promotions and Chief isn’t being told about high-rank meetings anymore.”

“Are you on your own?”

“Yeah...”

“Turn off your computers, put your gun on your desk and go out to the balcony. There are no cameras out there. Move as you normally would, greet the same people.”

“Okay...” I hear him greeting Debra, the receptionist and Steve, one of the analysts. “I’m here.”

“You remember what I told you when we first met. I built a safe house on the street we met, when I first started for MI6. When shit gets hairy, whenever it does, you need to go there. You understand, Johnson? Everything you need is there. Leave anything given to you by MI6 at your desk, make Chief do it do, leave the building and grab spare clothes from the market in the square. Change in the bathrooms two streets over, leave your old clothes there. I need you to get my mother, you know they’ll go straight for her because I’m the threat. Once you’re in the safe house, don’t open it again until I come and get you.”

“I understand.”

“For now, everything is fine. Keep going with everyday as you would, pretend you’ve noticed nothing and I’ll work the angle from my end. There’s a terrorist organisation on British soil and I imagine it has something to with MI6 but I need the French to lead me there, the idiots may have sent me to America so I wouldn’t figure them out but they forget that the French are slimy little bastards that will do anything to protect themselves. I will protect you, you know that right?”

“I remember once you told me that you would resort to savagery if you need to, that you’d kiss someone’s boots if it meant you get to stick a knife in their throat later.”

“I will do much worse if they hurt you, Johnson.”

“I know, I wish you were here though. Chief is losing his mind a little bit and to be honest so am I, I feel like I’ve lost a limb or something.”

“I’ll be home soon, once I’ve figured this out on my end just be careful and for God’s sake, don’t let Chief out of your sight. You know what he’s like.”

“I love you, Riley.”

“Yeah, I love you, too.” I hang up the phone and stare at the floor for a few seconds to bring myself back to the present before rolling my shoulders and turning to my audience. “So, who am I with first?”

“Well Lexie, Cassidy and Marielle need to be taught the basics and Runner and I really just wanna spar you.” Saviour states, knowing I don’t wanna talk about what just happened.

“Okay, Lex, Cass, Mari. Stand here.” I point them forward and they do as asked. I spent the next three hours teaching them the best ways to protect themselves. They’re tiny but pretty strong so I manage to get them to break out of holds and start moving on the offensive, tiny victories but victories all the same.

After that, I spar with Saviour and Runner. This time without the training sticks and they’re much more advanced without them. Granted, they still have they’re weak spots and I manage to overpower them more than enough times to make them hate me by the end of it. They probably would’ve had it easier if I wasn’t simmering with rage at the idea of them coming after Johnson, Chief and my mother. I put everything into that session and I find myself neck deep a bottle of whiskey within seconds after finishing it.

I feel Boulder come up behind me and, in my exhaustion, I fall back against his chest as he rumbles gently in my ear. He doesn’t say anything of importance but I appreciate him being there as I drink myself into a stupor. “I brought you doughnuts.” Rubble passes me the twelve pack of Krispy Kreme's and I tear up, I legit almost start crying because Johnson used to do the same thing.

“Thank you.” My voice cracks embarrassingly and Boulder tugs my chair closer to him while I gorge on the doughnuts. Rubble just ruffles my hair and disappears to wherever he came from while I basically cry into a dozen doughnuts.

Jeez, just let me melt into the Earth and never come back please.

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