Boulder (Riders of Apollo #5)

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Ford Wilson

“Holy shit.” Romeo is the first to speak after watching Riley beat the shit out of the guards at some random club downtown. I figure that was what Matias wanted her to do considering his men turned up with a van to haul off the guards.

Thing is, we don’t know what she was doing in the back because there aren’t any cameras so all we saw was the fight, the stealing of the tequila and the exit.

Bear wants to call her in and try and get her to fork over whatever she has but I think he knows that would just cause more problems than it’s worth. Besides, she isn’t obligated to help us at all, if anything she’s supposed to be reporting our inner workings to the task force built especially to take us down.

It took a bit but I managed to convince Bear to leave Riley alone for a bit so that we don’t lose her forever and he backs down. He knows his wife would kill him if he managed to chase Riley away, all of us want her to come back once she’s dealt with her problem in the UK and we’re not helping by pulling all this shit.

I think about going over to her place and show her how I felt watching her fight. She’s probably tired and fed up of bikers so I just go to bed to get my eight hours in. It’s already one am and Prez wants us for a mission early in the morning - us being Breaker and I - so if I want to function like a human tomorrow I need sleep.

------

“Fuck off, really?” I grumble, glaring up at the headquarters with anger. Turns out the mission was a gun run so Reign, Mac, Red and Forger came with us. We’re at the Niners’ headquarters and I distinctly remember requesting not to be involved with them anymore - not directly anyway - because their leader is a raging asshole.

Markus and I aren’t allowed within a foot of each other after we got into a massive scrap last time we were here. I can’t even remember what it was about, I was just suddenly engulfed in rage and Markus was at the centre of it. I do remember him mouthing off a lot but other than that it’s a red-tinged blur.

“Sorry, needed you.” Bear just shrugs and I consider tripping him up but we’re not allowed to embarrass the Prez in front of allies. I know that sounds like a stupid rule but strong leadership shows a strong front so people are less likely to attack us. He is a strong leader and he deserves that respect, especially in front of these fucking idiots.

I just grumble and stalk in next to Prez. Breaker and I always have to flank him so that we can take the bullets, knives, grenades, whatever. The others are the ones who have to clear the back so we work through the enemy to meet in the middle, all while protecting Bear.

That is always the prime objective. Unless Lexie is there, Bear would never let us protect him over her. “Welcome! We’re happy to have you back, done with your hiding?” Markus taunts and Bear glares at me when I move to smash his fucking face in.

“I was never in hiding, Markus. We were facing a large threat that has since been dismantled. We are here to drop off the shipments you’ve missed.” Bear is always good at hiding his anger and being diplomatic but I couldn’t imagine taking disrespect without reacting in fury.

See why I’m not the Prez?

Sounds like too much work if I’m honest.

“Brilliant, bring it in boys.” A few of his men leave the building to collect the guns we’ve shipped two hours up the road and Markus seems satisfied with it. “You brought your oaf with you then.” He looks me up and down with his cocky smirk and I try and keep myself under control.

Due to the repressed nature of my childhood, I have severe anger issues and Bear knows that. He moves to face me and I stare at him, he can see the simmering fury and he knows there’s really not much he can do. “Think about Riley.” Is all he whispers and the anger comes crashing down.

Fuck!

He smirks at me before retaking his place and now I’m overthinking about something else. That shouldn’t have worked as well as it did. I manage to ignore the rest of Markus’ stupid taunts, too busy in my head freaking the fuck out. This is not good at all, she’s leaving.

I keep repeating that as we head back to our bikes. Nobody else heard what Bear said but I can tell he’s gonna interrogate me on it as soon as we get back and I’m not sure I’ll be able to handle it.

I park up my bike and my eyes flick over the Aston Martin parked in the driveway. Unless Saviour’s bought another car, then Riley is here. Bear walks passed me and tells me to go to his office, I move through the building to find Riley led on the couch with her head in Rubble’s lap and chatting away like she normally does.

I find the strength in me to ignore her and drop into the seat opposite Bear’s desk. He comes in a few minutes later. He has to say hi to Lexie and all that as soon as he gets back, it’s basically tradition now. When Bear was the only mated Rider, we’d mock him on it but now everyone is doing it, having babies, building houses and bullshit like that.

Bullshit that I want now.

“I think this might be a problem.” Bear starts with a concerned look.

“Yeah, no shit.” I grumble and Bear chuckles, sliding a glass of scotch over to me before leaning back in his seat.

“I didn’t think it was that deep, I figured you were just fucking.”

“Then why did you say it?”

“Yesterday, you followed her out almost immediately. That’s not what fuck buddies do in my experience, especially not you.” I rub my face in irritation.

“There’s nothing I can do, she’s leaving.”

“Yeah but she’s coming back.”

“I don’t know what that’ll mean for us, she might have someone back in England. Sorry, I know you have bigger issues than my sex life.” He rolls his eyes and sips his scotch thoughtfully.

“I mean yeah but no. The French, no longer a problem. The Mafias, not a problem. Niners, not a problem. We are making a lot of money legitimately now and we are thriving as a club, bringing in more prospects than I ever expected. We’re fifty large now and better for it.”

“You know what I meant, Prez.”

“Lexie is doing better, she still has her quiet moments when we’re alone and I can hear her crying in the shower. Not that she’ll let me comfort her, claiming she doesn’t deserve it because she hurt me. I don’t think she understands that she could literally rip my heart out and dance on it and I’d still love her afterwards.”

“You tell her all the time, what else can you do?”

“I’m not sure but I’ll figure it out.”

Shame, I’ve got so much to fucking figure out but I have a time limit.

Two weeks.

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