Sometimes Riley was amazed at how much idiocy could run in Kieran’s relatives.
“They won’t be expecting a surprise attack,” Brennan pushed.
Riley almost spit out his drink in laughter. This guy could not be for real. Since Riley’s mouth was full, he looked over to Will to handle the idiot. The head of the table was still empty.
“Think for a minute here, Brennan,” Will began. But he was cut off before he could reach his point.
“It would be unusual for Kieran to attack. It isn’t like him,” Brennan said over the attempts of the other men to stifle their laughter.
“Think!” Will yelled, slamming his fist on the table and standing up. The room immediately fell silent. “If they had information about our big buyer, a full scale attack would surely leak out.” Will sank back into his chair, rubbing the bridge of his nose. Riley thought Will looked like he was about to pass out onto the floor.
“Then how do weknow the traitor isn’t in this room right now?” Brennan asked. Riley rubbed his face vigorously. This guy literally could not get, any stupider.
“Maybe we should have a loyalty test,” Riley finally cut in, glaring at Brennan.
“…Maybe we should,” Brennan shot back at Riley, returning the dark look.
“Outside?” Riley pressed, standing up.
“Right now.” Brennan stood too.
“Enough,” Kieran’s voice sounded behind Riley. Kieran was pushing his chair into the room. Riley sat back down like a little kid who was caught trying to escape time-out. Brennan sat too. Riley caught Diesel shooting looks to his men of unknown meaning. “We’re not launching an attack,” Kieran said, looking purposefully at Brennan. “We’re going to give them a proverbial middle finger.”
“You’re an idiot Kieran!” Brennan blurted out. The room went eerily silent. Brennan clapped his hands over his big, dim-witted mouth. But it was too late. Riley looked over at Kieran, to try and gauge the degree of punishment. Kieran and Will made eye contact. Wordlessly, Kieran held up two fingers to Will.
“Maybe three,” Kieran said out loud to Will, talking in a weird language only they knew. Will understood exactly what Kieran wanted, nodding and standing up. Riley never ceased to be amazed at how well Will and Kieran worked. They were perfect friends, and even perfect work partners. Everyone strived to have friendships like theirs. They almost always had the same thoughts and the same strategies. Riley was jealous of their relationship.
“No…” Brennan said, backing away from the table. Will nodded at two men behind Brennan, who grabbed the scared man from behind. “No!” Brennan yelled, trying to pull away.
“Let’s go Brennan. Keep your dignity intact,” Will said tiredly, leading the way out of the room. Brennan was led, resisting like a baby, out of the room by the men who grabbed him. Will nodded at Carol, who followed them out of the room as well.
A man came out of the kitchen and gave Kieran his food, which the boss ate, as if nothing had ever happened. The room was silent as Kieran ate. When he finished, he looked up at everyone again.
“I apologize for making you all wait, I was just really famished. Anyways, as I was saying, we’re going to hit them where it hurts. I have a distant relative I called who is going to help us with this task. We’re going to capture and question Greg Dodson.”
Riley’s mouth dropped open. Trevor was very protective of his little brother. The shocked reaction echoed around all the members of the table.
“Your relative… he can do this?” Diesel asked. It was the question they all were thinking. Kieran turned to him.
“She can do this flawlessly.”
After Kieran was done with the food, they all went back to the conference room. Will slipped in a few minutes, later, wiping blood off his hands with a handkerchief. This gesture did not go unnoticed. Riley saw Diesel shoot his men a look that said, “…and you thoughtIwas strict.”
“We need to answer one question gentlemen,” Kieran said. “How are we going to avoid this act of retaliation from becoming grounds for declaring war?” Kieran looked around the room.
“And then,” he continued, “we need to begin making preparations for a war that might eventually befall us.”
The arguments lasted well over an hour to answer one simple question. Riley thought it would be at least atinybit easier to answer how they were going to avoid a war from their kidnapping. Diesel was trying his hardest to give input, since his gang would be drawn to war as well.
“…Maybe we should just announce it on the six o’clock news,” Fynn said harshly to Gilroy.
The family members were the ones fighting the most. Riley looked over at Kieran and Will, who had all but given up on the situation. All they could do now was listen to the debate raging around them. Kieran listened with his chin resting the arm he had leaning on an armrest of his chair. Will looked as if he was half-listening, jotting down something every few minutes on the legal pad sitting in front of him. Riley had engaged in debate with Nolan for at least half of an hour. Now Fynn and Gilroy had taken over as the main debaters. It was very tiring.
But Riley felt the most grief for Kieran. The poor guy had almost no executive power in this situation, since now another gang was involved. He had to try and please everyone. And the more Riley thought about it, the more he realized that Kieran usually tried to appease everyone regardless. They always had a mutiny to worry about. So Kieran picked the option that was best suited to his organization, even when sometimes that option was his personal least-favorite.
It was times like these that Riley tended to zone out of his surroundings. He began to think about meeting the perfect woman when something from the room tugged at his attention. The tension had doubled in the last thirty seconds. And now, Fynn and Gilroy were glaring at each other.
“At least I’m not a limp-d–k-“ Gilroy was cut off from his sentence by Fynn forcefully pushing the table into Gilroy’s gut, made possible by their seating on opposite sides. Riley was sitting on the same side as Gilroy, and processed everything too slow, due to his former state of daydreaming. Riley felt his breath forced from his diaphragm by the sharp edge of the table, which lodged itself into his body just below the ribs.
Nolan sprang into action, throwing his arms around Fynn, and using them to constrain Fynn from inflicting any further damage. Nolan pulled the man backwards, pulling Fynn right over his own chair, and back against the opposite wall.
Riley was too slow to force any action on Gilroy, who had stood up and allowed his chair to tumble backwards. Gilroy’s face was red and angry, the face of a man trying to restrain himself from inflicting physical damage on another. Riley gathered himself enough to put his hand on Gilroy’s shoulder, as an attempt to offer support. Gilroy shrugged it off in a manly way, sending Riley the message he was under control. And then Riley noticed a tiny, miniscule look pass between Will and Kieran. And suddenly Riley understood the intent of the look. This is what they had been waiting for. This was their opportunity.
“That’s enough,” Kieran said. His voice seemingly put a spell on Fynn, who stopped struggling against Nolan’s grip. It had the same effect on Gilroy, whose face returned to normal color, and picked up his chair to sit back down. The tension between the two vanished. It was as if nothing had ever happened. Riley was always astounded at his boss’s ability to elicit these sorts of reactions from people.
“Since there seems to be no consensus on the issue,” Will said, “Kieran will have to implement an executive decision.”
Riley smiled. There would be no more discussion on the issue. Game, set, match.
* * *
“This is going to have to be an in-and-out job,” Kieran said. Carol was still yawning and rubbing her eyes. It wasn’t that early, but they had all gone to bed late.
Carol had stood outside the door to their meeting, and listened to the arguments of her superiors for hours. The other guards outside had joked around at first with each other, making fun of the quarreling men in the room. But pretty soon, their fighting got very tiresome to hear. So Carol zoned out. She went to bed when they finished their meeting early that morning, but had been instructed to return in only a few short hours. So here she was.
“We have required the help of one of my distant relatives,” Kieran said, glancing at his watch. I called her last night, and she should be here any minute.
As if on cue, the door opened. And Carol’s mouth dropped open. The most beautiful woman she had ever seen stepped into the room. The overwhelming silence in the room told Carol that every other guard had dropped mouths as well. The woman looked like Kieran, but with a killer curvy body. Her hair was black, and her eyes were bright blue. Carol’s gaze fell on the woman’s dangerously red, full lips, and a mole in the same place as Marilyn Monroe. Her pale skin contrasted with her black, tight outfit. Her eyes swept over the room and fell on Carol for a moment. Carol’s realized she had stopped breathing, so she forced air into her lungs once again. She realized that everyone else in the room was speechless as well. This woman was a bombshell beauty.
“Shea, how are you?” Kieran addressed the woman.
“Nice to see you again, Kieran,” Shea responded. Kieran nodded in agreement.
“Everyone, this is Shea.” Kieran presented her with a sweeping of his hand. She slowly bowed her head to everyone in the room in acknowledgement. Carol was still staring with her mouth half open.This woman is intoxicating,she thought. Kieran continued speaking.
“Her specialty lies in the silent and fast acquisition of, humans.”
“The non-lethal kind,” Shea added, sharing a look with Kieran that only they understood. The rest of the people in the room were too busy goggling at Shea to notice the exchange. Everyone else but Carol. Carol managed to wrestle her attraction for Shea back into submission, allowing her senses to take control once again.
Will came bustling into the room, with Murphy close at his heels. They were both scrambling through documents and folders, fumbling with paper.
“Apologies, Kieran,” Will said, still preoccupied with leafing through papers.
“Go ahead Will,” Kieran responded, backing his chair away from the front of the room. Will took Kieran’s spot, still searching through papers, but talking to the group as well. Carol was impressed with Will’s multitasking skills, though she realized he probably needed to master multitasking in order to be good at his job- which he was.
“Sorry guys. Okay, I have assembled a team of five highly skilled and trusted fighters to escort Shea in order to assure the smooth operation of this mission. The rest of you have other assignments that are also very crucial to the success of this organization. I will assign those after Shea and her team leaves. Shea’s team will be Doug, Aiden, James, Carol and Oran. You five are to follow Shea’s instruction until on this property again,” Will said, looking up at them for the first time. “Understood?”
“Yes sir,” they chanted. Carol barely said yes sir, since she was still overcoming the shock of her name being called. She was so honored to be a part of the mission, she vowed to herself that she would put all of her effort into making this assignment a victory for the O’Meara mob family. Carol would not disappoint Will. Her resolve was so strong she surprised herself for a few seconds on her own eagerness to please her superiors.
“Okay,” Will continued. “Once the target has been apprehended, report to the west-side docks immediately. I will be waiting. You will receive further instruction presently. Beginning when the subject is detained, we have approximately half an hour to get him back in order to guarantee the overall success of this mission. This is not a job to get even men, this mission is about sending a warning. Give them no reason to start a war. Understood?”
“Yes sir,” Carol shouted with the rest of her team. Will nodded at them, his face expressionless.
“Okay, obtain your next orders from Shea McSweeny,” Will said, and turned to Murphy to ask for another document.
Sometimes Riley was amazed at how much idiocy could run in Kieran’s relatives.