Boulder (Riders of Apollo #5)

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Ford Wilson

I have decided that lockdown is quite possibly the worst thing in the world. Granted, I haven’t exactly been listening to the rules since I’ve spent the last three nights at Riley’s but I figure that doesn’t count because Riley is more of a threat than the French.

Still, I’m surprised Bear hasn’t beat my ass for doing it. Although, I have been beckoned to his office though and Lexie isn’t here to witness my death so I’m likely to get in the neck now. “Who have you been fucking, Boulder? I need to know where she lives if you’re so adamant to sneak out.” He starts and I just give him a look that tells him all he needs to know. “Thought so, can’t you and Riley just stay here for fuck’s sake?”

“Don’t ask me, I do as I’m told.” He laughs heavily and pours me a glass of scotch before pouring his own. His brows are furrowed and he looks sadder than usual, sure he’s always stressed but this is different. “What’s going on, man?”

“You remember a few years into our marriage Lex and I went to a fertility clinic?” That was horrible, it was a dark time when they did that. Lexie was so sad and wouldn’t come out their bedroom, devastating Bear and Gears. Thankfully, Saviour came a year or so after that and gave Lexie something to look forward to again.

“Yeah, I remember.” I say solemnly and look at him, he’s heavy and depressed really. I think he needs a vacation but he will never take one, Lexie won’t either, they’re tied so closely to this club that we probably wouldn’t do so well without them.

“She wanted to go back, she thought that she would have changed since then. You know I can’t deny her, even though I knew we’d come back just as bad as last time... she’s still infertile and I had to watch it happen all over again. The overwhelming hope and then the bitter fucking fall.” He shots back the scotch and rubs his face angrily.

“I’m sorry man... There’s always adoption. As a club, we’re really good at that.” I try and reassure him, I know that nothing I can say will make him feel any better. Especially since his pain derives from Lexie’s and she will always feel empty because of this. He laughs and I can see him relax slightly.

“Yeah, I know. Lexie needs to settle back into this news before we can venture into that, for now we take each day at a time.” We chat for another hour or so before we hear an uproar from the main family room. Within seconds we’re there only to find Riley stood in the doorway with blood on her and everyone demanding what it is and where it's from.

“Would you guys chill? I had a little scrap with some blokes down the road. They were grabbing at a lass in an alleyway so I beat the crap out of them. The blood isn’t mine.” She goes to wipe the blood off her face only to see her hands covered in it.

“You’re fucking covered in it, how many were there?” Runner grabs Riley’s hands and turns them to see the battered knuckles.

“Like eight, maybe.” She tugs her hands back and looks at Bear with a smile. “I found this for ya!” She throws him a USB stick covered in blood and Bear looks at it unamused. “Oh right, explanation. I remember someone saying that the Viccas attacked you a little while ago and I figured you’d wanna know why, it’s all on there. I need to freshen up.” She steps up to me with her palm open and I don’t even think about it before passing her the keys to my room.

She disappears upstairs seconds later.

That starts another uproar with everyone asking me questions this time, all of which I decline to answer but everyone knows that Riley is the one I’ve been sleeping with. They won’t leave her alone on that now, especially not the women.

“I can’t believe you didn’t tell me, even better I can’t believe I didn’t figure it out!” Romeo is the most offended, I told him I threw his bugs out the window and he punched me.

Oops?

“Shouldn’t have bugged my flat in the first place, rugrat.”

“Prez’s orders!” Romeo immediately dobs that off and Riley laughs.

“You would not survive torture, you little snitch.” Romeo pounces forward to tackle her and she lets him, laughing loudly on the way down. “Ooh so scary.” She rolls around and gets him in a headlock to then viciously ruffle his hair. They stop at Bear’s request and Riley cheers her success. “You’re lucky I’ve got things to do, little man. Next time it’s gonna be a proper fight.”

“I’ll lose.” Romeo concludes as Riley walks into the pink room.

“Then prepare yourself for failure, my dear friend.” The girls head in there with her and Romeo turns to me.

“Call her off.”

“Ha no, I think it’ll be funny.” I respond and his face drops before he goes crying to Runner, who then blames it all on Romeo anyway. “So, when is this lockdown gonna be lifted?” I ask Bear once we’ve all settled in the lounge, nothing else to do obviously.

“Why do you care? It’s not like you listen.” I agree with that statement so I concede, “Probably as soon as Riley leaves. She will have finished off all this bullshit so we won’t have to worry anymore.” There it is again, Riley leaving. I really need to be careful with how much I’m putting into this because she is leaving in less than a month.

A loud scream comes from the pink room and we’re all on our feet in seconds, last time that happened it wasn’t good. Thankfully, Riley comes flying out with a massive smile on her face, one that knocks the breath out of my chest.

“It’s coming home, you ungrateful wankers!” I don’t know what that means but Breaker seems to, as he high fives her before she dives behind the bar to neck some tequila.

She’s dancing and staring down at her phone gleefully as we all watch her suspiciously. “Adrian, look at this fucking replay! Absolutely fucking gorgeous. Rubble, you have to come take his shot because he doesn’t drink and I need someone to celebrate with.” Rubble takes the shot glass with a smile as they both knock them back.

“Can someone explain what the fuck is going on?” Bear asks, looking confusedly between Breaker and Riley.

“England won the semi-finals, that’s what’s going on.” Breaker explains because Riley is still off dancing, this time twirling under Rubble’s arm with her mouth attached to the tequila bottle. “Don’t worry about her, she takes football very seriously. Her and Rolo used to bet on it.”

“Rolo used to lose!” Riley shouts across the room before bounding over to me, the bottle still in her hand. “Hi!” She greets and I just laugh softly. “I used to beat him at football too. I always made sure he was on the other team.” She leans back against my chest as she talks to Breaker and I can feel myself making a dangerous attachment to the woman in my hold.

“Only so you could kick him in the shins all the time, you guys never played by the rules.”

“Don’t call me out like that because I distinctly remember you sneaking into Bossman’s tent and leaving a snake in there.”

“It wasn’t venomous!” He defends while Cassidy laughs in his lap.

“No, that wasn’t the problem! It was the fact that you were the golden boy and somehow your pranks got stuck on me.”

“Not my fault you got caught duct taping Maury to his bed when he was supposed to be on guard duty.”

“But I didn’t get caught when I did it to you, Rolo and Brendon.”

“We shared a tent, dickhead.”

“That does not make it any easier to duct tape three grown soldiers to a cot without waking them. If anything, that shows bad planning on your behalf, should’ve been prepared.”

“You did it two days after meeting us.”

“Yeah, yeah I did.” She cheers proudly and I kidnap the bottle of tequila so she doesn’t drop it. She doesn’t seem to mind, still cuddled into my chest and arguing playfully with my brothers.

I’m an idiot because I really don’t want her to go home.

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