Boulder (Riders of Apollo #5)

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Riley Everett

I spent the whole of yesterday getting my hair and nails done. It didn’t actually take as long as I was out for, I just wanted to give them ample time to go through my shit. I knew it was coming when Saviour saw the envelope so I hid away everything they don’t need to see and left out everything else.

I’ll admit she’s good at making it look like she hasn’t done a thing. Everything is back in it’s place perfectly but now I have three bugs here so can no longer take phone calls from my boss in my own fucking flat. I have to text him everything and the tech department told me that they’ve tried hacking both of my phones.

I wish I could’ve seen their faces when the malware exploded their computers, thinking about it is good enough for now. I’ve spent today going through all my files, I need to know where to strike first. I know I’m going to be the date of an underboss, don’t know what he looks like, what his name is or what he does but hopefully tonight I’ll be able to figure out some sort of hierarchy.

I slip into my dress and my heels before tucking my phones into uncomfortable places along with my blades. My gun will set off metal detectors but my blades are ceramic so no one will know I have them until they’re in someone’s neck.

I did my makeup earlier when I had the energy and I’ve straightened my hair to frame my face better. I hide away all of my important stuff before leaving the apartment and locking the door, even though locks don’t really mean much in this town.

The Impala is back this time, both Saviour and her husband Reign are in it. I’m kind of sad that Boulder’s gone. Don’t get me wrong, Saviour is extremely attractive and so is Reign, like if they offered I wouldn’t say no but Boulder is just... whatever, irrelevant.

When I get to the gorgeous house, two hours later, a valet comes out and takes the car. I manage to find Monsieur Pontiac rather quickly and he greets me enthusiastically. His large hand landing on my ass. The annoying thing is this guy isn’t particularly unattractive. Tall, board, harsh bone structure, dark eyes and well trimmed facial hair, he also always wears a suit which just gets a woman going.

“This is your date tonight, Mr Barbeau.” Monsieur Pontiac hands me off to an older, rounder guy with a cool moustache and three piece suit.

"Bonjour, mon cherie.” (hello, my dear) I smile shyly and accept his hand, he begins parading me around as expected and he talks the entire time in French. Now, Miss Ivan - the alias I am currently operating under - doesn’t speak a word of French but Miss Everett - the well trained, international operative - knows French very well.

I catch the names, most of them being relatively low on the totem pole but I keep a memory of everyone he introduces me to. After hours of boring ass conversations - yes hours - and a few glasses of champagne on my behalf and an entire bottle of scotch on his, he sequesters me away up the stairs to one of the bedrooms.

Just as he’s about to get hot and heavy with me, the idiot passes out from the alcohol. I laugh softly and throw him onto the bed with practiced ease. My dad was a drunk and weighed a lot, I’ve been lifting men this size since I was twelve. I start digging around his things, my mask still in place as I wrap my hands around a large, leather bound book.

I swear every single freaking criminal group uses leather bound books to store important information. They should keep it in one of those pink plastic diary things that little girls have when they’re kids, no one would think to look in there. Nothing important jumps out at me except large transfers from an account under a Monsieur Durand, I gather that he’s the next step up from whoever this dickhead is.

I watch the big guy sleep for a few minutes before ruffling my appearance a little bit and tucking the book away where it came from and head back down to the ball to find Monsieur Pontiac. “How did it go, darling?”

“He’s passed out, Monsieur, from the scotch.”

“Well you’ve been noticed and requested by a Monsieur Moulin.” He points at another older man and I smile, recognising his name from the ledger as well. While he isn’t high up in the company, he shares his last name with another underboss and I’m sure I can get him talking with enough alcohol and big eyes.

--------

I laugh gleefully as I get back in my car. These people are fucking idiots I swear. Give them one glass of alcohol, a fake accent and a pretty face and they tell you everything. I send all of the new information off to tech so that they can look into it, searching for faces to put to the names and find the bank accounts so they can be watched from now on.

I think it’s time to rope the Bikers in now because these idiots are gonna be caught in the crossfire if I don’t explain anything. Especially if they’re riding my ass like they are now. I just roll my eyes and head to the clubhouse instead of my flat, both of them look really confused by my actions and I just spark up a cigarette when I pull up outside.

I finish my cigarette just as they pull up. “You’re Riley, right? I remember you from the apartment building, everything okay?”

“You can stop lying, darling. Let’s talk.” I tell her before walking inside, not caring that I’m basically the enemy to them. “Hello Bear, I believe it’s time we talked.” All guns are immediately pointed at me, including Bear’s, which makes me roll my eyes. “Look, love, if I was going after you, you’d know. Put the fucking guns down before you piss me off.”

“Who the fuck are you?” Bear demands, pushing his wife behind him as the parents do the same with their children.

“My name is Riley Everett, though I figure you already know that. You put cameras in my lobby, bugs in my flat, trackers in my car and still had people following me from the minute I landed here. You needn’t do all that anymore, it was ineffective. I let you do all those things because I figured you deserved to know whatever I figured out.”

“You may have given me your name but I still don’t know who the fuck you are.”

“I am an MI6 operative, sent out to dismantle the French underground. You are irrelevant to my mission, though you are inadvertently affected by it. If you continue to allow your people to follow me, they will follow me somewhere they won’t survive.”

“Why does MI6 care about the French?”

“Why does any government care about a vicious, well-organised crime ring that operates out of many different countries?”

“Why are you here?”

“That’s classified.”

“Well declassify it or I’ll shoot you right here, right now.”

“I do encourage you to try but you better put one between my eyes because anywhere else and I will still find the strength to kill you. I am an operative of the Crown with a license to kill anyone I see fit to finish my investigation. Stay out of my way and your problems will be solved, the French will be gone. Your Mexican, Italian and Russian allies will be able to relax and everything will return to normal.”

“You already know too much of our inner workings, there’s no way we can let you go.” I step closer to the gun so it’s pressed between my eyes. I continue to stare him down unflinchingly as he looks a little wary of my behaviour.

“Do what you think you need to do, Mr President, because believe me, you do this and the entire British government will fall upon your head. You won’t need to worry about the French when you’re in a super max for killing a high-ranking operative.”

He groans and throws his head back before lowering his gun, the rest following suit. “I want insider knowledge, I want to know where the French are and who they are, who they’re working with and why.”

“You are not entitled to that information just because you own the area, Bear. I’m not from here, I don’t answer to you.”

“Look, okay, I’ve got children here, a wife. A family. The French are fucking lethal and my allies are scared so won’t help. I’ve had a run in with them-”

“Wait, what? You’ve been involved with them before?”

“Yes, they killed twenty two of my members.” My mind immediately starts spinning three hundred different scenarios. “Oh, you clever bastard.” I stare down at the floor, pacing slightly in the small amount of space I’ve been allowed.

“What?” Bear demands, obviously pissed that I haven’t told him a thing.

“Have you ever heard of a Monsieur Pontiac?”

“No, is he in charge of this?”

“No, but he’s from here. He was here years ago, running his own little crew out of some shitty garage up the road.”

“The attack was twenty six years ago, we acquired the garage after we won.”

“Oh, the cheeky cunt. I’ve gotta go.” I turn on my heel and Saviour grabs me to stop me. I don’t even think, I spin violently, twist her arm behind her and hold her in a lock with a blade against her throat. “Learn now, darling, you are well trained but you lack experience. Touch me again and I’ll open you from top to tail and let you see your intestines before you die.”

I shove her away and head out to my car, this time no one stops me.

I’ve got shit to do and I don’t have time to deal with Bikers and diplomacy.

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