Boulder (Riders of Apollo #5)

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Ford Wilson

(A/N: guys, I almost just deleted this entire chapter by accident because I’m an idiot and I think I gave myself a coronary. So yay, there’s that. Also, hope you guys are doing okay! Love ya, Ellie)

“Really? We talk about how you feel about Riley and within twenty-four hours you’re balls deep in another woman?” Bear steams, pacing on the other side of his desk as I watch. He had to convince Lexie not to start the firing squad, especially after Riley conceded and left gracefully.

“I didn’t sleep with her!”

“The hickey on your neck says different!” He shouts back, the red face and pointed finger included. Jeez, I feel like a toddler being scolded. I don’t know why everyone is so involved in my sex life but it’s creepy.

“I was going to but I didn’t! I just stayed at some shitty hotel because I didn’t want to see Riley before she left.”

“You’re a fucking coward! She was willing to move here for you, she has proved her loyalty over and over again, to this club and to you and you give her that in return? Are you kidding me?”

“Look, man. I get it but also she would hardly ever be here, she still has missions and everything that would take her all over the world.”

“So? She’s still be coming home to YOU! God knows why. Looking at you right now, I can’t see why she’d want to. You’re a coward and until you get your shit together I agree with my wife, she deserves better than what you were gonna give her.”

“You’ve never had to worry about it, Prez. Riley would be gone for a large portion of the year, you wake up to Lexie everyday and you don’t have to worry if she’s gonna get murdered in some other country without you there to protect her.”

“Riley doesn’t need protection! She needs to be loved! Stop putting your insecurities and your bullshit on her back, she’s already got enough stacked on top of her. She was willing to sacrifice a lot for you and you stuck your tongue in some other woman’s mouth while she was sat here waiting for you to come back. Now, she’s back in a country where a lot of people want to kill her so you better be fucking happy with your last words because there’s a chance we’ll never see her again.”

He then storms out to leave me in my weird phase where I’m thinking way too hard. He’s not wrong though, I did fuck up monumentally but there’s nothing I can do. She won’t answer anyone’s phone calls nor emails so we don’t have a clue what’s going on with her. She’s likely on radio silence because of the sensitivity of what she’s dealing with and I have to respect that.

The girls haven’t been the same, not that they’ll admit it and I have to try and avoid them at all costs. Rubble glares daggers my way whenever he gets the chance and I know that’s because of how close him and Riley got in the short time she was here. We all got attached to her in different ways and we’re all suffering in her absence.

Even Lucia seems more docile than usual and I know she misses her dancing partner as they went to the club whenever they got the chance. Still, there’s nothing we can do with thousands of miles between us.

------

(I apologise in advance for the long time jumps, it’s needed though so suck it up)

It’s been almost a month since Riley left and everything is basically back to normal. The girls aren’t freezing me out anymore and Rubble’s glares have turned into momentary looks. But we’re all rightfully on edge since no one has heard from her in the entire time she’s been gone.

“Romeo, have you been able to find anything? News coverage?” Bear is equally as stressed as he would be for any of us, especially with Lexie harking in his ear all the time about it. Lucia and Matias have been doing the same, just from their mansion with their team of tech guys while Romeo only has Sav.

“She’s been busy, it looks like a solitary female has amassed a reputation for stopping transports of explosives, guns and other contraband. She even stopped a shipment of women who were trafficked from Mexico. No one’s seen her face but Riley is the only person capable of it and I think the leader knows that, no wonder she’s laying so low.”

“She could at least send an email.” Lexie grouches and Bear rubs her shoulders to comfort her.

“If that got intercepted, she’d put everyone in danger, including us.” Saviour explains as she lifts Miracle off the floor. She’s learned to walk now and we often find her in random places so we had to baby proof the entire compound just so she doesn’t get hurt. “If those guys figure out she’s got friends, they’ll come in heavy. At the moment, it looks like she’s working on her own even her friends Johnson and Chief haven’t come out of the woodwork.”

“Legit, they’ve put out stories of her mother and both of them, saying that they went missing. I assume they haven’t left the safe house since they got there, leaving Riley to do all the hard graft.” Breaker seems pissed at the idea. “They did it a lot when we were younger, Riley was always sent in first, no matter the mission. It’s like she’s always been a human shield for everyone else, she said she didn’t mind but Rolo did. He kicked off all the time that she was always the one to get shot first, if he knew she’d gone undercover... It wouldn’t have been pretty.”

“It’s even worse now, she’s considered a fugitive, look.” Romeo pulls it up on the projector screen and her picture is there with ‘WANTED’ under it. “She did say that someone in MI6 was after her, they have the power to do this and she’s in a lot more trouble than she ever told us about.”

Fuck. Fuck. Fuck.

“Rubble, did she give you a way to contact her?” Runner asks him and Rubble looks away, which is his tell.

“Rubble, spill.” Bear clenches his hands and glares down at the blond-haired idiot who is face deep in a bowl of popcorn.

“She gave me a way to contact her but I’m only allowed to use it if there’s an emergency and that means someone’s bleeding out or there’s an attack kind of emergency. Not ‘she hasn’t responded to my texts in a month so I have to annoy her’ kind of emergency.”

“Give it!” Lexie demands and Rubble’s jaw drops.

“No, she told me not to. I ain’t giving it up.” Lexie moves to pounce on him but Bear holds her down. “Look, if there’s an emergency I’ll use it. She also told me that she’ll use it if she has an emergency, which means she’s perfectly fine right now. So can everyone turn it down a notch... or twelve? Damn.”

I am so fucked. I am definitely not happy with how our last interaction went and I’d give anything for a do-over.

If she dies, I won’t be able to live with myself.

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