Boulder (Riders of Apollo #5)

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Ford Wilson

“Could I talk to you?” Riley’s soft hand holds my forearm and my heart jumps. Fuck, is this gonna be good or bad? I nod and lead her upstairs to my room, the same way as last time. I stand in front of the closed door and she leans against my bed.

I can see the scars littering her body and my heart breaks even more. “I’m sorry.” I start as she nervously twists her fingers in front of her. “I was horrible to you and I left you for some other woman... I thought that would be the last time I’d ever talk to you and I couldn’t take it.”

“Did you sleep with her?” Her eyes are tired as she looks up at me and I melt even further.

“No, I didn’t. I intended to which is just as bad but I couldn’t stop thinking about you, so I didn’t go through with it. I just stayed at a hotel that night.”

“I’m sorry too, for not calling. I was scared, I guess.” She explains the reasons behind her lack of contact and I find myself admiring her more. “I just didn’t want you to think less of me especially after...”

“Especially after what?” I reach for her hands and tug her closer to me so I can see her better.

“When I was in the coma... I remembered you. Just you. What you looked like, what you sounded like, what you smelled like. But I didn’t know who you were until a month or so later, I-I just wanted you to be there...” She refuses to look me in the eye so I gently push her head back to press my forehead against hers.

“I wanted to be there, too.” We stand there for a few minutes, not saying a thing, just breathing. “I have something to show you.” I pull away first to coax her to my bike so I can take her to the house I renovated.

“What is this place?” She asks as she turns around in the lounge to see all of it. The place is unfurnished at the moment because I don’t have a clue what I’m doing and everything is just white with wood flooring and carpet upstairs.

“I bought it when you left and fixed it up. I was going to sell it, at least I thought I was going to but I couldn’t. I wanted to keep it... for us. If you ever came back.” She freezes in her spot, staring up at me with wide eyes and shaking hands.

“This... this is for us?”

“If you want that. I know what I said last time we spoke, that you couldn’t give me everything but Riley, you are everything. I don’t need every night and I don’t need every morning, I just need you. Whether that be for only half the year, fine. As long as you come home to me.”

She hugs me tightly, her hand clamped on the back of my head and her face buried in my neck. “I want that too.” I lift her up and sit down on the window seat with her in my lap. “I can’t get the club tattoo but I can get your name tattooed on me.”

“Which one do you want? My road name or my real name?”

“I’ll get the road name tattooed on me, as dictated by tradition but I would like to know your real name.” She gently touches her fingertips to my face as she stares down at me. God, she’s so goddamn beautiful.

“Ford Wilson.”

“Riley Wilson sounds good, don’t you think?” Ah fuck, sign my soul away now because I am in this forever.

“Yeah, that sounds fucking perfect.” I bring her closer to me and she wraps her legs around my back.

“How many bedrooms does this house have anyway?”

“Three, enough for children in our future.”

“Children? How many do you want?”

“Three.”

“Nope! I am a middle child, it’s dreadful.”

“Four then?”

“You want me to carry four babies? Are you kidding? You get two, maximum.” I pout up at her and she grins. “Five years, Mr Wilson.”

“Five years until what?”

“Five years until we can start trying for babies. That gives me enough time to build up my pension and hopefully get a placement here, plus that’s when my IUD runs out so.”

“Five years it is.”

-------

The ride back to the compound is peaceful and I feel three hundred pounds lighter. Nobody really questions us as we set up on one of the couches, Riley led in my lap on her phone while I listen to everyone talk. It’s the basic bullshit really, nothing exciting since we’re in peace time.

It’s fun for the first few months but not doing anything gets boring after awhile. The last few years have been full of action and it’s weird how quickly that all just disappeared in the last year. Normally, we only have a few months between conflicts so we’re counting down the minutes for something else to happen.

A loud knock sounds on the door and we all look to each other in confusion. We don’t exactly get guests and the guests we do get, just let themselves in. We don’t lock the door. Reign opens it and we wait in suspense until he walks in with two people wearing suits. One of them is a man with sunglasses on inside and a tacky suit and the woman has her hair pulled back in a severe bun, wearing a black pantsuit.

Feds.

“We believe that you have an MI6 agent here, Miss Everett?” I look down at the woman in my lap, her unimpressed look on her face. The female agent notices my movement and she steps around people on the floor to look down at Riley too, something she doesn’t appreciate.

Riley unfurls from her position and stands in front of the agent, looking sexy and intimidating. “What can I do for you Agent...?”

“Hannover. And we need your help.”

“Sorry, I’m off duty.”

“Horatio Davies.”

“The Turkish arms dealer? What on Earth do you need my help for?”

“Maybe we could talk privately...” The male agent prompts and Riley laughs.

“They have cameras in every room, darling. The minute we leave, Romeo over there will set up the feed and they’ll hear everything. There’s no point.”

“Fine.” The male agent takes his sunglasses off and tightens his tie. “Davies has set up a trading post by the docks, he is calling in a few of his contacts and auctioning off a large collection of AK47s stolen from a van heading to the melting centre. We need your help to apprehend him, you come highly recommended.”

“He’s not a difficult collar. He travels with eight security guards, all of them learned to fight in the Turkish army so they all fight the same. Easy to overwhelm with two SWAT teams. Three of the guards will be by the door, two on either side and the other will have a sniper rifle focused on the point of entry. Three will flank Horatio, they will take bullets easily and will try to overpower you, aim for the knees or the head because they wear armour. The others will roam the building itself monitoring guests.

The guests I’d assume are Raymond Lamond, he is a low level arms dealer running out of Chicago, it’s likely he made the trip himself with two for protection. He’s stupid that way and believes everyone is a potential partner not killer. Kei will be another, he’s mid level Yakuza and brings between five and seven guards with him, they are trained killers and will beat your ass easily so good luck with that one. Finally, David Lewis will have come in from New Hampshire and will travel with his basic package of three guards, normally American veterans who can’t find jobs elsewhere. You know how to fight your own.

Other than that, the guns Horatio will be pushing will likely have been tampered with. He’s a crook so I wouldn’t be surprised if his own enemies turn up to do your job for you. Oh and make sure he doesn’t get to his car because it’s heavily armoured, his escape route will lead him back through the city here to get to his private plane at the airport. Once he’s on that, you ain’t catching him. Okay, bye now.”

Riley sits back down on me and the agents look at her in surprise. “Aren’t you coming with us?” The male agent stalks over with his hands on his hips and an angry look on his face.

“I just told you everything you need to know, why would I go with you?”

“Because you’re a very capable fighter and we need you.” Hannover explains and Riley rolls her eyes.

“I’m not going anywhere, I’m on holiday. Have fun on your mission.” They stalk out all pissed off and Riley laughs. “I hate feds.”

You and me both.

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