Riley tried his best to act somber in the situation . But he
was secretly ecstatic that he had been chosen for the team
with which Madden was charged . He figured this meant he
was good at his job, that they needed him .
Riley smiled to himself as he walked down the hall to go
check on Will . Madden had gone to plan more details with
Kieran , she had said before taking off . Riley knew he would
be able to cooperate easily with the other team members .
He was acquainted with all of them , and friendly with most
of them .
When Riley arrived at Will ’ s door however , his tiny smile
quickly vanished . He knew full well that seeing Will was
going to piss him off . He reached for the door handle , and
noticed his hand was shaking . Riley quickly drew his hand
back , and shook it out . Before helost all courage , Riley
burst through the door , and closed it quietly upon seeing
Murphy sitting next to Will. For some strange reason , it
seemed to Riley that Will ’ s condition was hardest on
Murphy , not Kieran . Murphy had always looked up to Will as
a role model . When Riley entered , Murphy stood up and left
to give him privacy . Riley walked up and sat next to Will ’ s
bed . Will had a huge , fresh scab on his lip , a black eye ,
various bruises , and his already hurt wrist was bandaged
and lying on top of a pillow. Riley ’ s blood boiled .
“I swear , ” Riley said out loud . “I ’ m going to get revenge on
whoever did this to you . You just say the name , and I ’ ll do
it .” Riley needed Will to say who it was for sure.
And then Riley heard a muffled , sharp pop .
And he was also distinctly aware that the ringing “ pop ”
sounded like a gunshot. After he was silent for a minute
while the wheels in his brain turned, Riley ran . He took off
out the door and down the hallway . Riley ran toward the
direction he guessed the shot came from . He eventually
bumped into a few people heading in the same direction ,
but they had been closer when it happened. So Riley
followed the others , (to his dismay ) right towards Kieran ’ s
room . They ran through the already opened door. Riley saw
a few people crowded around Kieran ’ s chair , frantically
trying to help while Madden put pressure on a wound in
Kieran ’ s arm, which was staining the white rag red . Riley
heard Kieran weakly whisper , his face getting pale as he
“Lia , ” he said . “Get Lia .” As he repeated it , Riley realized
someone was probably already getting Lia . His thoughts
were confirmed when Lia rushed in a minute later . Her face
was white , and the look of pure terror on her face told Riley
that she was completely in love with Kieran . She ran over
and bumped Madden aside like she didn ’ t even exist . Riley
saw the rejected look on Madden’ s, followed by pure
jealousy when Kieran looked at Lia and smiled . Lia was now
holding the cloth to Kieran ’ s arm, kneeling in front of him .
“My arm, ” Kieran said looking down at his arm. He was
referring to the fact he was going to be needy in the next
few weeks . Losing an arm for him was losing his only means
of transportation , self – sufficient freedom . Riley watched
fondly as Lia didn ’ t hesitate.
“I ’ ll take care of you , ” Lia whispered . He smiled .
“Lia , ” Kieran whispered , and Riley watched Kieran ’ s eyes roll
back into the deep sockets in his pale face . He had passed
out just as the ambulance sirens could be heard .
And take care of him , Lia did . Riley watched Lia take care of
Kieran every moment of her Spring Break . She eventually
moved into the small pool house in the back yard . While
Kieran was being carted to the hospital , Dan Reedus came
rushing into the house , looking concerned , and asking about
his brother . Riley and Dan retreated to Will ’ s room , and Riley
left a few minutes later to follow Kieran to the hospital with
Lia in his car . Riley assisted Lia often, when Kieran was first
stable enough to go home . And after he regained his
strength a few days later , he was ready to talk business .
Some of the employees at the mansion gossiped about
what was happening behind closed doors with Lia and
Kieran . Kieran ’ s men patiently waited for instruction . They
didn ’ t know if this new wound was priority now . Perhaps
payback for this would be the biggest priority . Riley attended
a meeting in which Kieran called, on the fourth day after the
attack. Will was still slowly recovering , waking up more often
for longer periods of time. But talk of Kieran ’ s injury was
forbidden in Will ’ s chambers , on Kieran ’ s order himself.
By now , Lia was undisputedly Kieran ’ s caretaker . She
pushed his wheelchair into the room . Riley noticed how
Kieran still managed to look badass . He was wearing a red
dress shirt – sleeves rolled up , unbuttoned at the top , black
dress pants , dress shoes , and a black arm sling . His arm
bandages came out from under his shirt sleeve, which was
rolled up to the elbow . The white bandages continued
halfway down his arm and stopped . The shot had gone
straight through his arm, without hitting the bone .
Riley felt bad that Kieran had now lost his only means of
transportation, but he knew Lia and Kieran were becoming
closer . And now there was a growing concern about the
shooter who had shot Kieran .
They were all sitting in the conference room , and Riley had
Winchester with him as well . His personnel operation was
doing well , so Riley was thankful he could focus on his
duties as a commander to his boss . Brennan, on the other
hand , was having issues getting anyone to sell to him ,
considering the fact that his last delivery ended in an
ambush and returned absolutely no gains to the supplier.
Riley looked at Brennan, who had seemed to age
considerably over the last few weeks . Nolan looked bad too ,
his PR skills pushed to the limit with the imminent gang war .
Madden sat, stone faced , and Murphy sat , looking like a
zombie . Will ’ s condition had taken its toll on them – but
especially Murphy .
Riley felt bad for Kieran , as Kieran looked over his sad
excuse for friends and employees . They must ’ ve looked like
a haggard bunch.
“Hello everyone , ” Kieran began. “As you know , I was shot , ”
“It was an assassination attempt!” Brennan cried . Riley
smacked his hands to his face , and rubbed vigorously.
“No , it was the Chinese!” Murphy said , suddenly animated .
The room became like a living organism , and now everyone
was yelling and pointing and shouting out their own thoughts
or the popular rumors .
And then the door swung open . Dan Reedus was in the
doorway. He had been with his brother all night .
“I would like to be Will ’ s temporary, ” he said quietly . Riley
watched Dan carefully . Dan had never been as outspoken or
outgoing as his charming little brother . But Dan and Kieran
had known each other for as long as Will and Kieran ’ s
infamous friendship . Kieran nodded , and Dan was accepted
into the meeting . As Dan was going to sit down , Riley spoke
up , directing his comments completely to Kieran .
“The shooter wasn ’ t trying to kill you , sir , ” Riley said . And
when the others began to protest , Kieran held up a hand ,
which silenced them .
“Go on Riley , ” Kieran assured him .
“I saw the hole in the window , the trajectory from the bullet
lands the shooter some 200 yards away in a tree. ” The
group looked impressed . “ I spoke with the forensic
scientists , ” Riley admitted . “ Anyways, the shooter was 200
yards away , in a tree, with bullets specifically designed for a
single- shot pistol . He managed to shoot Kieran in the arm.
That wasn’ t a mistake . ”
“It could have been coincidence , ” Dan suggested.
“No , ” Kieran said , suddenly tilting his head . “Riley ’ s right. If
the shooter wanted me dead , I would be dead right now .”
Riley saw Lia flinch .
“Your orders, sir ?” Dan asked , while the rest of them
listened carefully . Kieran was silent for a few moments.
Riley glanced at Lia , who sat against the wall , watching
Kieran intently as well . Concern was written all over her
“We ’ ll increase security, but our priority remains with the
tension that Ad Hoc and Trevor Dodson have created .”
Kieran said resolutely . “Let ’ s break for lunch , and return with
focus on external affairs . We ’ ll adjourn for an hour.” Riley
looked at Winchester as he handed his assistant the yellow
legal pad used for note- taking .
“Murphy , Madden, Nolan and Riley , ” Kieran commanded .
When they looked, he was motioning for them to approach.
Riley followed the order , dismissing Winchester by telling
the assistant to save him a seat in the dining room . Kieran
jumped into business quickly .
“Nolan, call Diesel , tell him that his presence is requested
for this afternoon ’ s meeting . ” Kieran turned to Madden. “Our
plans for the warehouse will no longer be in purgatory , take
Riley after you ’ re done eating and make a draft . ” Riley
nodded with Madden, and Kieran turned to Murphy, asking
about Will . Riley looked at Madden, who had finished
nodding vigorously and was stalking off to the dining room .
Riley was about to leave when he heard Kieran ’ s voice.
“Riley ! I ’ m not done with you yet .”
“Sir ?” Riley asked , turning around to face his boss . Murphy
brushed by Riley while Lia grabbed the handles on the back
of Kieran ’ s chair , pushing him over to Riley . Riley walked
alongside Kieran as they travelled out the door and down
the hallway .
“I want to burn our goods in the warehouse to make it seem
more realistic … or at least some of our products . Talk to
Fynn, and tell me if it can be done .” Kieran suddenly
grabbed Riley ’ s arm, making him jump a little . “I trust you , ”
Kieran said with a tiny smile for reassurance . Riley nodded ,
glowing in the confidence of one of the most powerful men
in the country .
“Thank you , sir , ” Riley said sincerely . “ I will try my hardest to
not disappoint you .”
* * *
Carol sat next to Will . She was extremely fond of the man ,
and she was angry beyond belief that she had allowed
herself to become distracted by one of the most beautiful
women in the world , therefore making them vulnerable to
mistakes like this . Carol berated herself for blindly following
orders, and not making certain that her beloved boss would
be okay. Shea was standing in the doorway, watching Carol
and Will .
Will opened his eyes slowly. When he saw Carol , he smiled
at her weakly .
“Hey , ” he said nonchalantly.
“Hello boss , how are you feeling ? Can I get you anything?”
she asked softly but eagerly . Will chuckled , then winced .
“Water maybe, ” he answered . Carol reached for the water
pitcher next to his bed . She poured him some water in a
glass , and put the straw to his lips . He drank carefully , only
taking a few sips . He exhaled as he put his head back down .
“Thank you .”
“The doctor said your injuries are looking better sir , ” Carol
said encouragingly. Will nodded .
“I think a war is about to begin , ” Shea interjected softly . “ We
tried to stop it sir , but …” she trailed off .
“Dodson really wants this war , ” Will said . “ That much is
clear . And despite the fact that Dodson is pushing for it like
hell , Kieran will still probably do everything he can to
prevent all the negative consequences we would incur from
starting the war Dodson is practically begging us to start .”
“Yes sir , ” Carol responded . She was amazed at how
coherent and eloquent Will was , even in his condition . She
smiled as she thought that her allegiance could not be
better spent than on him . “ Kieran wants us to burn one of
our properties to frame Dodson . Then our offensive in this
war would be justified. ”
Riley tried his best to act somber in the situation . But he