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Syndicate – Season 1 Episode 8

Riley was a good judge of character. He had to be. He wouldn’t have made it this far if he was a bad judge of character. He understood that he was a little rough around the edges, but it was also a characteristic that made him good at his job. He rarely got attached to the men he recruited. Riley had to stay objective in order to make the right decisions. But perhaps his roughness also had its downsides. Maybe that’s why he had trouble getting a girl. And if his mom didn’t stop complaining about his lifeless love life, he was going to snap and throw himself on a bridge yelling his mom’s name and sticking out his middle fingers.
He was going to bring one of the two men he was actually fond of in his work to the meeting; his assistant, Winchester. Riley doubted his name was actually Winchester, but he always felt weirdly uncomfortable whenever the subject was broached. Sohe just accepted Winchester. The meetings were always held in the O’Meara family mansion. He pulled his car into the driveway with Win in the front seat.
“For some reason, coming to this house always makes me uncomfortable,” Riley said, trying to navigate the driveway.
“I know what you mean. There are always workers around the house.”
“It’s like a d–n plantation.”
Win laughed. Riley parked the car next to rose bushes.
“Is this an acceptable parking spot?” Winchester asked.
“I’ve decided to make it one.”
The two men walked up to the door, which opened before they even reached it. Riley was slightly creeped out. A small, sturdy older woman led them to the meeting room. Riley had been in the room countless times for countless hours, but he still could spend hours wandering around the house and never find it. The woman led them to the door, and nodded to them. Riley entered, noting how it never changed. It had a conference sized table in the middle, with huge comfortable chairs all around it. Neither ends of the table had chairs, and only one end was ever occupied by Kieran. They all had their own spots to sit at too.
Brennan and Fynn were already present, and Fynn had brought along his right hand man. Riley said hello to the three men, shaking their hands firmly. Riley always felt like everything had to be a pissing contest with these guys.
Pretty soon, Nolan and his assistant, a blond haired woman joined them as well. Riley could tell the blond was a hard-hitting P.R. rep. Her handshake was even harder than Nolan’s. Murphy joined them. And finally Kieran joined them with a woman in tow.
Riley’s mouth fell open, as did everyone else’s mouth at the table. It was Madden. Madden was Kieran’s ex-girlfriend. She had dark red hair, green eyes, beautiful skin, and a full mouth. But the woman was a battle-ax. Riley shuddered.
“ Oh shit,” Riley groaned to Win.
He thought back to about a year ago, when they almost got into a war with one of their suppliers. During an emergency meeting, Madden was brought in. She got to business with hard negotiations and tempting offers. She played every card correctly in order to avoid the war and ease bad relations. And even after she was done, Madden ripped every person in the room to shreds with her sharp tongue. Every man in the room except Kieran left without his manhood intact.
“Does everyone remember Madden?” Kieran asked them, taking his place at the head of the table. Their groans made her laugh. Riley guessed Madden would be Will’s temp.
Episode 21
Kieran looked at Nolan’s assistant. “Who is joining you today Nolan?”
“My new assistant Debbie.”
“Hello,” Kieran said with a smile. “Okay then, getting down to business.” Kieran nodded at Madden. Riley shuddered again.
“I hope everyone is doing better at their jobs,” Madden said.
Riley felt like slapping her. And he never felt like hitting women. Other than his mother. But he supposed she counted as more of a terrible, happiness-eating demon than a woman. Maybe this Madden chick was taking private lessons from his mom.
“Okay then. This meeting is about state-of-affairs. As you all know, and as I have been briefed, Warehouse 7 had been confiscated by the police. Will and Mr. O’Meara here have obtained information from Carl Swindler concerning Mrs. Martha Flannery. A contact informed Mr. O’Meara that the tip about the warehouse was received in the form of a note.”
“Penmanship?” Riley asked.
“Magazine cutout.” Madden answered, her eyes focusing on Riley. “That’s the all the information known right now about the warehouse.”
Riley noticed Winchester was taking notes. When Riley gave Win a look, he just shrugged in response.
“So, now you are all updated about those activities. Now it’s everyone else’s turn to reciprocate.” Madden said. “Let’s start with Brennan.”
Riley smiled. He knew how this would go. They would all stick to the facts. Leave opinions out of it. Purely business… but had to be truthful business. Lying was out of the question.
Riley witnessed someone lie to Kieran once. He got a chill thinking about it. It was a man who had lied to Kieran about how he had spent money Kieran had loaned him. Kieran had only sighed and then gave Will a hand signal. The man was happy he got away with his life, even if he did have to reside at the hospital for a week.
“We got a new shipment in yesterday from the Russians,” Brennan said. Sticking to the facts. Staying objective. “It was a successful transaction- so a good day.”
“…Other than the fact Will was in an accident,” Kieran commented. Brennan opened his mouth, than closed it. Awkward silence filled the room.
Andthatis what happens when you speculate, you dumbass,Riley thought, rolling his eyes. Stick to the facts!
“Proceed,” Madden snapped at Brennan.
So Brennan proceeded. He told them all the figures for the goods they had in stock. Riley wasn’t listening. He had no care or knowledge with the goods the family brought in. Riley only worried about all the personnel and contacts he had to recruit. If someone that Riley recruited was unsatisfactory in Kieran’s eyes, it also reflected poorly back on Riley. So he was very selective. Carl Swindler received more punishment after his little talk with Kieran. Trying to withhold information was cowardly, so in response, Riley and his trusted few (including Win) paid Swindler a little visit.
At least Brennan was speaking objectively now. He offered no more speculation.
And neither did Fynn, when Fynn was asked to update the group about the monetary state of affairs. Once again, Riley didn’t pay attention to Fynn’s presentation. Riley was already trying to gather his thoughts about the personnel in the mob. He had to make an effort not to use words like “gangsters” or mob, or even the different rank names for that matter. Kieran liked to view them like employees. Riley looked at Win and used his head to gesture towards Win’s briefcase. Win understood the command and pulled out all the numerical facts and figures, and though they were all Win’s notes, none of the assistants were granted any authority during the meetings.
So Riley looked over Win’s notes for a few minutes. When he got bored of reviewing, he looked up and glanced around the room. Brennan was looking at his right hand intensely. Fynn’s assistant was looking over notes while Fynn spoke.
Madden was scowling at Fynn, which Riley guessed was probably just her normal facial expression. Nolan was watching Fynn with a stare that told Riley the older man probably wasn’t listening at all. Although, Nolan’s blond assistant was taking notes.
Murphy was taking notes as well, probably for Kieran. Murphy would always compile facts and figures at the end of the meeting for Kieran. And Kieran was listening to Fynn politely.
Things seemed to be going normally until after Fynn was done, when Madden told them it was time for a break. And Kieran looked over at Riley.
Episode 22
“Everyone head over to the dining room for lunch. Except you, Riley. If it’s okay, I would like a word in private,” Kieran said.
* * *
Lia was surprised and slightly concerned when Kieran asked to speak with her after his meeting. It had been a long day for him.
She had arrived at the house in the afternoon, and the men had been in their meeting. She had been told they arrived in the morning. So, when they left at eleven pm, they naturally looked exhausted. Lia had no idea what they talked about, but the redhead intimidated her. All the men left with dark circles under their eyes, dragging their feet; while the redhead left, walking at a brisk pace, her eyes gleaming.
Lia knocked on Kieran’s door lightly.
“Come in,” was the response. She entered timidly.
“Sir? You wanted to see me?” Lia asked.
“Oh yes. Lia.” Kieran was sitting in his chair over in front of a couch he had in his room. Will was sitting on the couch across from Kieran, smoking a cigarette slowly. Lia was shocked at Will’s appearance. The left side of Will’s face was cut and bruised badly, and on the same side, his arm was in a sling. He also had a black eye, and when he looked at Lia, he winked. She tried to hide her concern by redirecting her attention to the floor.
“Give us a minute Will,” Kieran said to his friend. Lia looked up again. Will smothered his cigarette and pushed himself off the couch. He limped across the room and smiled at Lia before closing the door behind him. The man always smelled like liquor and cologne.
“I was wondering if you could look after Lilly on the weekends. Ginger has to cut back her hours, and you’re the one I trust most around here,” Kieran said. Lia was taken aback.
“Yes, sure, I’m available,” she said with a smile.
“I was also wondering…” Was that bashfulness Lia was sensing? “…if you could help me get to bed some nights. Alice used to do it. But I figured you’re here later than a lot of the others, and you could help. But if not that’s okay.”
“I can do that too, Sir,” Lia nodded. Kieran smiled.
“Okay, thank you. You can go home. I have Will to help me tonight.”
“Yes, sir.”
“See you tomorrow Lia.”
“Yes sir.”
Lia wondered why her heart was beating so fast after she left the room. Will was in the hallway, leaning against the wall when she exited Kieran’s room. She made shy eye contact with Will, who smiled warmly at her as she passed.
Lia heard the door close behind her.
* * *
Will had spent the night looking over the notes from the meeting he obtained from Murphy after helping Kieran go to bed. After he had been discharged from the hospital around three pm, Will had gone back to the O’Meara mansion to rest for a while. He woke up a little after eight that night, and spent the rest of the evening talking to Kieran about the meeting. Kieran wasn’t very specific about the details, but Kieran was always ambiguous. Will knew he would get all the little details from Murphy.
Will was also ecstatic that Kieran was now willing to meet his potential recruit, the woman from the alley. Kieran had requested an audience with Riley, Winchester, Murphy and Will in order to assess this woman. If she was recruited, she would be an important part of their plans.
Will knew this would be tricky though. He was sure they would have a very long conversation about gender. The gender topic always was a tricky one.
He had fallen asleep at around two in the morning. And now he woke up, thankful that it was Friday. At least they never had heavy workloads during the weekend unless it was a necessity. Will sat up in bed. It was nine thirty am. At least he had an extra room in Kieran’s house. It was the same room he had been staying in (off and on) for almost fourteen years. Their meeting was at ten.
At least Will had a car sent over to pick Carol up so she wouldn’t be late. He had signed up for it, so he got out of bed convincing himself nothing could go wrong. He was consistently nervous when introducing people he recommended to Kieran.
Will took twenty minutes to get himself as ready and presentable as possible. He always kept extra clothing in the room he would frequently inhabit. So he showered, and got changed. Will didn’t look at himself too much in the mirror though, since his wounds would always feel worse whenever he looked at them for longer than a few minutes. He had to un-wrap his wrist bandages to take a shower, but it didn’t take much time. Will didn’t want to wear the sling either, but every time he let his wrist hang normally, it would begin to throb and hurt. So he caved, put on the sling and went out into the foyer ten minutes early to wait with Kieran for their guests.

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