Arthur shook his head. “I don’t want unrest. I want reform.”
Samson shrugged. “You can’t have reform without unsettling them first. We need to make them think. Use their brains for once. Show them alternatives. Promise better solutions. Only then can they be open to new suggestions.”
Arthur grunted in agreement, his mind taken hostage with whatever complications and issues he might foresee.
“Once we launch and offer transparent data on what we propose, then it’s up to the public. We can only do so much before it’s all up to them.” Throwing me a glance, Samson pursed his lips. “The law can’t be changed overnight.”
“No, but it does need to be changed,” Arthur grumbled. “And fast. I’m sick of living with the level of corruption. It’s fucking insulting to think we don’t see the level of cover-ups and bullshit they spread.”
I swallowed, dying to ask questions but unwilling to interrupt. Am I even privy to ask?
Technically, I was in the private meeting at Arthur’s request. Surely, I could ask—otherwise, what was I doing here?
Opening my mouth, I tried to formulate an intelligent question. But what could I say? What were the television campaigns on? What transparent data would they reveal?
However, just like so many times in the past, Arthur sensed my curiosity and twisted to face me. The simple act of turning his body to mine welcomed me into the conversation. “Cleo, I need you to understand what is about to happen. I need you to be on board because this rests on you, too.”
I gripped my nearly dry glass. “I would like to understand.” What rests on me? “I want to know.”
Samson steepled his fingers, looking from Arthur to me. “What you’re about to hear is top secret. I don’t need to ask if you can be trusted.” Pointing at Arthur, he smiled fondly. “He’s proved himself time and time again. So I know you will as well. But until this begins you can’t say a word, understand?”
I nodded. It wasn’t a hard promise to make. My mind was a vault—even a master at hiding my own secrets from myself. Keeping them from others wouldn’t be hard at all. “I give you my word.”
“Perfect.” His face was open and eager. The feathering lines around his eyes spoke of stress but also laughter and happiness. He looked stern but kind—the same type of look in Wallstreet’s eyes and Arthur’s. Wallstreet and Samson had taken a biker rapscallion and turned him into a precise weapon. I just hoped it was for good and not for wrong.
Samson settled into the comforting leather of his chair. “I’ll just start from the biggest point and answer any questions you might have.”
Cocking his head at Arthur, he smiled. “Kill here approached me a few years ago with a proposal to reinvent the United States government.”
“What?” I blurted, my head whipping to face Arthur.
What the hell does that mean?
Arthur snorted, throwing back the rest of his drink and disposing the empty glass onto the coffee table. “That’s not quite how it happened.”
Samson laughed. “Fine. You want the complete story? I’ll tell ya. About three years ago, Kill broke into my house with two of his biker buddies. Scared the living shit out of me and my wife.”
My eyes narrowed.
He did what?
“Logistics,” Arthur said, linking his fingers. “I did it for a reason.”
Samson stole me away with his tale. “Instead of holding us at gunpoint and demanding money or favors or anything else you’d expect from a damn biker at three in the morning, he dumped copious amounts of paperwork at the end of my bed and made himself comfortable in a chair. He said something along the lines of—”
“ ‘Excuse the intrusion; it’s not my intention to scare you—only for you to take me seriously. Something drastic has to be done and someone has to have the fucking balls to do it,’ ” Arthur interrupted. His eyes danced with mirth. “Poor guy almost had a fucking heart attack, especially when faced with a night of paperwork in the form of every cover-up, scandal, and wrongdoing committed by the government since 1995. I could’ve gone further back, brought more evidence to light, but what would be the point? There was more than enough information to prove insane levels of corruption and put together a viable case for a revolution.”
My eyes widened. The intrigue in this single room consumed me. “But how can you hope to take on the largest power in the world?”
Arthur sat back, his long legs spread before him. “Easy. We inform the people who gave them the power in the first place.” Clearing his throat, his passion rose until the air vibrated with injustice.
This was what Arthur believed in. This was what he’d been working on. Not just revenge or thirsting for death of those who wronged him. This. He’d become a vigilante, trying to bring down a crooked government—the same government that’d sent him to jail for a crime he didn’t truly commit, all the while letting the real sinners walk free. He’d been a victim—just as much as me.
I … I get it now.
It all suddenly made a lot more sense.
I trembled in my chair. “This … it’s incredible. You’re taking on something huge.”
“Somebody has to,” Samson said. “Why not us?”
“Why not people who made the government what it is? Don’t they hold some responsibility?”