Boulder (Riders of Apollo #5)

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Ford Wilson

I bought a house.

Just a shitty little place close to the club so I have something do to in my free time besides drink. Which is all I’ve done for the last month and I really don’t want to be an alcoholic at the tender age of thirty, at least not because I’m a raging idiot who chased a woman away.

I used to help my older brother renovate the houses in the local area so I remember what I’m doing. I didn’t enjoy it but it kept me occupied for hours and it helped me to not think. Just me and a hammer.

It’s a three bedroom place but everything is really closed off and dark, which I hate. Good thing is I get to do a lot of demolition - my favourite part of any reno - so I grab my sledgehammer and slam it into the closest wall. Sighing in relief as I bring the hammer back down, having left a gaping hole in the brick.

After an hour or so of ripping through plasterboard and ripping up mouldy carpet, Prez calls Church. I rush back to my room so I can shower and change before heading into the room and taking my seat.

At first, this table only sat eight people so that the high ranking members would have a seat and the rest of us would stand around but Lexie changed that. Now we all have a seat... except the prospects but that’s irrelevant.

“Hey boys.”

“Still? I have been here for two years and you still say boys?” Saviour grumbles in anger. At this point, I think it has become a sort of joke for the two of them because Bear definitely enjoys winding her up. She has a temper but she’s malicious with it and I’m grateful I’ve never been on the receiving end of it. Just watching her rage at someone else is enough to chase me off, Reign is braver than any man here.

“I’m fucking with you. Anyway, we have another chapter coming to stay in our town. President Razor is visiting with his top seven members and they’ll be staying at the motel up the road. They’ve requested this after seeing our recent events and they want to get in on it, they’ll be here in a few hours. I have notified the Mafias but that does mean we can’t contact them until the chapter has left, that was part of the agreement.”

“So, what? They want in on our runs or?” Reign asks, bouncing Miracle on his lap as she grabs at his fingers.

“They haven’t explained anything fully but I will ask everyone to be on alert. Last time we got involved with a chapter it was not to our benefit. Even though it’s one of ours, I can’t rule out the fact we have a lot that they desire.”

“It’s not like the treaties will stay if you’re gone, Bear. Especially if Sav doesn’t endorse them.” Runner explains and we all agree. The treaties are heavily based on Bear’s leadership, they know he’s a strong, loyal man who will give everything he agreed and won’t break the contract. He’s reliable and from what I’ve heard of Razor, he definitely isn’t.

He’s from Miami. Bear and I met him a few months into Bear’s presidency and he wasn’t a nice guy. Cocky and bold, very rash and a little stupid. I didn’t like him but Bear begrudgingly accepted him since we were the weakest chapter at that point. Now we’re the strongest, so we control everything.

Weirdly, we’re not even the head chapter despite our influence, power and money. We were until Bear’s father obliterated the club and left us on the side lines, leaving Bear to build us back up again. “Is he still a dick?” I ask, twisting my phone between my fingers.

“Yeah.” Bear replies and I groan. Great. Me and my anger issues, alone once again. “No punching one of his men this time, please.”

“If they fuck me off, I ain’t holding back. Besides that guy would not stop and I only broke his nose, could’ve been worse.” Bear glares at me and points his finger like he normally does so I raise my hands in false surrender.

“Right, behave yourselves guys. I really can’t deal with another domestic after last time, it’s a little bit embarrassing.” Everyone agrees but I doubt it’ll last long. We have a lot of things that these bikers won’t appreciate. Saviour, for one, when she was sworn in everyone kicked off because she’s a woman. And two, Romeo and Runner, we have nothing against them but there are some people with a more conservative idea of relationships and they won’t appreciate it.

The problem with both of those is that it’ll piss of Saviour. If she catches wind of anyone chatting shit about Runner, she beats the crap out of them. She even punched Romeo, when he called his own boyfriend out for being a dick. She’s protective like that. Then Reign will get pissed off because Saviour is pissed off and everything will go downhill from there.

I perch up at the bar while everyone else heads to the lounge or the rec room. I spin a bottle of beer in my hands, nursing it instead of downing it like I’ve been doing recently. Leo - the baby prospect - cleans glasses in the awkward silence and I almost feel bad for him but I remember being a prospect, being behind the bar ain’t as bad as some of the other shit you have to do.

Granted, he’s got an advantage. The rest of the prospects are from other clubs and are older than him, they’re being run ragged because Bear still doesn’t trust them but Leo is under the care of Saviour and Reign. They adopted him when they realised that the state would come for him so he can’t get kicked out, he’ll just be sworn in whenever we feel like he’s ready.

“Hey kid, could I get a whiskey please?” Reign sits down next to me and asks if the kid is alright and Leo says he’s fine. “Keep an eye out for the guys coming here, yeah? They’re really fucking sketchy so Peyton wants me to give you this.” He hands over a handgun with a hesitant look. “I know you can shoot this thing but for God’s sake, try not to. If you think something’s weird just come tell me, yeah?”

“Yeah, of course.”

“And always stand behind Peyton if something goes down.”

“I can handle myself.” He pouts and Reign goes around the bar to put his hands on Leo’s shoulders.

“We know that, I just don’t want you getting hurt. You’re still a kid so when I tell you to stand behind your mother, just do it.”

“Okay.” Leo agrees and Reign nods, releasing the gun into Leo’s hand and walking off with his whiskey. He gets back into the lounge just before the intercom starts going off, meaning the guys are at the gates. Bear lets them in with Romeo’s help - he still can’t work the tech which is still very amusing - and he greets them at the door with Reign and Sav either side of him.

“Alright, Bear?” Razor shoves passed and into the main part of the building with his group behind him. They look relatively harmless and I mean that in the nicest way considering normal people would probably find them intimidating but after the fights we’ve been in, they look like marshmallows.

“Glad you made it here, alright. No cops?”

“No, I assume you stopped them from intercepting us.”

“My liaison did, yes.”

“I never saw the need for one of those, money is enough.” I roll my eyes and finish off my beer so I don’t punch this dick in the face. “Maybe you should demote him.”

“I don’t see the need.”

“Doesn’t he have a bitch and a kid now though? Not very useful, I find they’re a lot less loyal when they have them.” Hunter walks out of the lounge with a look that would terrify normal people. Thing is, he is one of the calmest of the club but when it comes to his wife and daughter, he rivals Reign which is no small feat.

“Keep talking.” Hunter dares and Bear rubs his face in agitation. I did warn him there would be a domestic, it happens every time we babysit another chapter.

This is gonna be fun.

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