Boulder (Riders of Apollo #5)

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Riley Everett

“Wait, so you want me to go into this club, pretend to be a member of your mafia, attract the guards and then beat the shit out of them?” I ask, staring down at the two leaders who are drinking champagne and showing me a map of the club.

“It’s staffed by the French and I could do with questioning a few of them... nicely and legally of course.” I think about it. Surely, there will have to be a computer somewhere in that building, if I take one of those dongle things that Johnson gave me, he may be able to dig through everything to find out who the English enemy are.

Also, I get to beat the shit out of people so really it’s a win-win for me.

“Sounds fun, you’ll have to make me look to the part.” I say to Lucia and she claps excitedly. She drags me off of her velvet sofa and up the marble staircase, into a room the size of a small house filled with clothes, shoes, makeup and handbags.

Damn, this is like a shopping centre in one room. Except it’s all branded things like Gucci and Ralph Lauren.

Who the fuck has this kinda money?

I decide to forgo taking weapons as I can always use the guards’ against them. It also means I can dress however I want to without worrying about it. Good thing I learned how to fight in stilettos because Lucia is not budging on those.

Lucia sticks me in high waisted, wide leg trousers in a wine red with a matching lingerie top - yes, I said lingerie, it’s basically all lace and only just covers up my nipples - and black Louboutin’s.

She then cakes my face with more makeup than I’ve ever worn in my life, literally changing the shape of my face and eyes. For the final touch, she slicks my hair back into a high ponytail and adds extensions so the fucking thing reaches my midback.

You can tell she’s never been in a fight before because this is a hazard. There’s no convincing her otherwise so I just concede and allow her to perp march me out into the car she chose. The driver is in his mid-twenties, married with brown hair and brown eyes. The average Joe really and he drives me straight to the club.

I don’t even know if they’ll think I’m part of the Mexican mafia, I’m hoping the car is enough to tip them off but I suppose we’ll have to see. I head inside to the loud pumping music and grinding bodies, good thing I put in my ear piece before this because I’m almost positive I’d lose it in the middle of this.

Johnson is on the other end, waiting on me to plug the dongle into any computer system in the building which will allow him to access any computer on the server. Meaning he can access a laptop even if it’s in Australia as long as it logs into to the main server. He had to explain that a few times because I’m stupid but it’s fine, I just do the punching, he does the smart stuff.

I start with a shot of tequila because the ones I had earlier have worn off before letting myself be pulling onto the dancefloor by some guy. He looks like his name could be Chad or Brody, you know the type?

I just dance for awhile, losing myself in the music and feeling bodies all around me. I can feel the crowd parting slightly and the eyes on me.

As expected, the guards slowly move to surround me, in an almost perfect circle and I smile.

Cute. They think they’re subtle.

I pretend I haven’t noticed them and let them advance further but when they’re within a metre of me, I lash out. Big guy - at least 6′5 - is the first to get it. I punch him in the stomach and spin under his grip that was going straight for my hair. I slam my elbow down on the back of his neck and he falls onto his friend in front of him.

While both of them struggle, I turn to dumb and dumber who have the stupid bowl cuts and cliché weapons. I hate the batons, I really don’t see the point but each to their own. Dumb comes first, arching upwards and I dodge to the side before slamming my heel into his knee and twirling to aim a high kick at dumber’s face.

They fall simultaneously.

Big guy manages to stand back up again, leaving the other guy crushed against the floor and I almost laugh. I shouldn’t find this funny but I do.

He grabs my neck and I grab his wrist to keep the pressure off, “Are we fighting or flirting?” I ask playfully, making him growl. I lift myself up and wrap around his arm to then yank him onto the floor.

I roll away to avoid being crushed. The next guy has a tie and I just grab that and spin him behind me to then roll him over my shoulder and onto the floor with a loud thud. “That’s it, bitch!” A guy with buck teeth shouts and fires his gun. I avoid the bullet and turn to look at him.

“What’s it?” I drawl sarcastically and watch as it revs him up. I roll my eyes and rush him, dismantling the top half of the gun before he can fire it and using the weight of it to punch him square across the face. I drop it and turn to another guy.

Where the fuck are they all coming from?

“Stop right there.” His voice is shaky as is his gun hand. I imagine he’s never shot anyone before and I doubt he wants to start now. I spot another guy trying to escape through the door and I groan.

“One sec, I’ll be right with you.” I tell the guy with the gun before picking up a knife and launching it into the back of the runner’s head. Granted, the handle hit him not the blade but Matias told me to knock them out, not kill them. “Okay, do your speech. I’m ready.”

“I-I.”

“Yeah, didn’t think so.” I snatch the gun and smack him round the face with it before heading into the backrooms to dig through all their shit. I take some pictures of documents and shit, a few pictures to run facial recognition software on before heading upstairs into what I’d say is a study. “Hey Johnson, I found the computer.”

“Great, hook me up.” I decide to forgo the dirty joke and plug the dongle in before rummaging through everything in the room. I’m not surprised to have found nothing in here, I doubt they’d want people just stumbling into whatever they have. Unlike the other places I’ve been, their are no ledgers, no cheque books, no passwords so I just wait to get the all clear from Johnson before I unplug the dongle and head back downstairs. “I’ll crunch the data and get back to you.”

I click off comms and stroll into the main part of the club again where Matias’ men are throwing the unconscious guards into a van. I don’t think they know very much but I suppose this will send a message to the French that says the Mexican’s aren’t worried about getting their hands dirty. Even though, you know, they didn’t.

I steal a bottle of high-end tequila and leave, I need to sleep and get all this fucking makeup off because it’s itching me.

I really need to stop giving criminals favours, it’s gonna bite me in the ass one day.

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