Boulder (Riders of Apollo #5)

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Ford Wilson

1 Year Later

I finished the house. For what, I’m not sure. It’s just kinda there. I could sell it but for some reason I’m very attached to this hunk of brick. It could be all the time and money I’ve put into the shithole but really I know it’s my brain maintaining hope for Riley’s return.

It’s been a year since we’ve heard a word from her. Rubble has tried contacting her. Romeo has searched everything he could get his hands on but the last mention of her was the three people in the park. There was an article about a terrorist organisation inside MI6 being rooted out and destroyed but other than that, nothing.

To be honest, everyone else has mourned her because they know that if she was alive she would’ve told us by now. Or done anything to let us know that she was. I hate the idea of leaving that in the past, we didn’t get to fix anything or figure anything out. The last conversation we had was not enough and I can’t move on from that.

After I shower, I head into the lounge where everyone else is. It’s been pretty subdued around here recently because no one knows what’s going on. It’s been very peaceful for the last year, no fights, no enemies just day to day life and it’s not something we’re used to. We’re making a lot of money, we’re gaining more land and we’re getting more of a reputation around here.

Hell, some of us have even taken up bounty hunting with Saviour so even law enforcement loves us. Still, we can’t find any energy. We haven’t lost anybody in years, I can’t even remember the last funeral I attended.

Rubble still calls her sometimes, even if it’s just to her voicemail and I know it’s because she’s like a sister to him. She gave him comfort in a time when he felt really alone, which was our fault.

I watch as he tries again, the phone pressed against his ear with a sad look on his face. “Hello?” Rubble sits up in excitement and smacks Romeo to make him attach the phone to the system. “Hello?” He asks again and we all wait with baited excitement.

“You must be Rubble.” The voice sounds familiar, I’d say it’s probably Riley’s mother.

“Yeah, I am. I’ve been calling for a year, what’s going on?”

“The phone was taken for evidence, we only just got it back.”

“We, as in, Riley’s alive?” Lexie drops onto the floor next to the phone which is resting on the coffee table.

“Oh god, I forget that no one else knows what happened...” My heart stops in my chest, please no. Lexie sobs softly and Riley’s mother immediately jumps in. “No darling, she’s not dead.”

“Wait, what? Where has she been?” Lexie is more confused now.

“She’s been in the hospital. Her last mission... she went into a warehouse where the head of the terrorist organisation was and there were kids there. He threatened to blow them up and when she killed him, the bomb was triggered. She had to make sure the kids got out and she took a large hit from the bomb. She broke dozens of bones and hit her head so hard, her left leg was half severed from the debris.

She also had previous injuries that were exacerbated by the explosion. The paramedics had to revive her and she went through four surgeries, she was in a coma for two months and she’s been in physical therapy since. She hasn’t been able to contact you because of it, she’s finishing PT sometime next week and then retaking the qualifying test for MI6 so she can be an agent again. I’m sure she’ll visit when she can, I’ll make sure she gets her phone and that she calls you. I have to go, I wish you the best.”

She hangs up the phone and we sit in stunned silence.

How the fuck did she survive?

Any normal person wouldn’t have made it out of that alive, let alone able to re-join an agency like MI6. “Damn, that woman is unkillable.” Rubble states and everyone agrees on something for once.

Now I have the opportunity to fix things or at least try to fix things.

---------

“Riley’s passport got scanned four hours ago!” Romeo shouts as he sprints into the room. It’s unexpected as it’s only been a few days since we heard from her mother about her condition. “I’m tracking her now.”

“Why isn’t she here? The drive from the airport to here is only an hour and a half with her driving.” Lexie says with a frown. I hope she’s not worried about a car wreck because I don’t think my heart could handle the strain.

“It looks like she drove straight into Mexican territory.” Romeo explains, looking extremely perplexed. “Hold on, let me run a trace.” We wait for a few minutes on the edge of our seats and he just rolls his eyes. “She’s at the club with Lucia and Matias, look.” He puts the camera feed from one of the Mexican clubs and Riley is at the bar asking for tequila.

“I am offended.” Marielle declares with Gem sat in her lap, nodding her head in agreement with whatever her mother says even though she doesn’t understand. I watch as she shouts along to the lyrics and dances in the middle of the floor, twirling Lucia under her arm and moving her hips in a way that has me drooling.

I can’t hold myself together.

“Call her!” Lexie demands and Romeo searches for her number, leaving it to Rubble to actually call her since he’s her favourite.

“Rubble! You gorgeous bastard, how’ve you been?”

“Better than you apparently, I saw you’re in town, you didn’t come visit.”

“I’m coming over tomorrow, Lucia sent a car for me at the airport and I wasn’t about to turn it down. Hey! Matias, can Rubble come hang out?”

“Only Rubble, I’ll tell my men to let him through.”

“Thank you! Come on, big man, come get absolutely trollied with me and dance until God knows what time.”

“You’re a nutcase, I swear you just got out of the hospital.”

“All the more reason, do you know how hard it is to eat jelly every day without wanting to cry? Yeah, didn’t think so, arse here now.”

“I’m on my way.” He shrugs, picks up his phone and heads out.

“Okay, I’m changing that, I’m pissed.” Marielle exclaims and the rest of us agree.

We haven’t seen her in over a year and she’s just gonna ignore us and go straight to the club?

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