Fox sighed deep as he watched the wing of his Arwing completely fall apart. The entire ship would follow suit if he didn't buy new parts but new parts required money and money required a job whether it was legal or not. Jobs were mighty scarce ever since Andross' fleets, armadas and legions faded away like his Arwing wing. What really irritated him was that he just spent an hour trying to make sure that it wouldn't fall apart. Now look at it!
"You piece of shit!" Fox shouted at the top of his lungs. He kicked a flap that would have been part of the brakes and it almost shattered. Fox rested his head in his hands. This was unacceptable. Even if he got a job from the Cornerian military there was no way he would be able to do it with absolute junk. He had to get money somewhere but how?
As if by synchronization Slippy contacted Fox's comm. link "Fox we're getting an offer! We need you back on the bridge!"
Fox lit up at the good news Slippy just told him. An offer that required him often meant an actual job. He abandoned the obsolete wing and booked it as fast as he could to the bridge. He got there just as Slippy cut the feed.
"Wow that was… fast!" Slippy said finger still on the button.
"Yeah, yeah what's up?" Fox asked. He was breathing a little fast now, his bare, rugged chest followed the air entering and leaving his body at his will.
"Ooh aren't you are a man?" Fox heard a feminine voice say. Immediately he froze up and went red. That voice sounded like it belonged to a real looker and when he saw her he had heard right. Her clothes were definitely that of someone who made one number backed up by six zeros, her body looked like she lived in the gym or on strict diets and was blessed by god himself (or a very good surgeon), and her face made his face go all the more redder. She was a rather charming vixen and something about her told Fox she was used to getting her way and her way only.
"Uh hello ma'am what can I do for you?" Fox asked remembering his manners and forgetting the mystification he was feeling by being in her presence.
"Well I was talking to your charming friend here" she said referring to Peppy who didn't seem happy about her being here or existing one bit "that I would like you to come work for me."
"A job?" Fox asked excitedly, perhaps too excitedly because the woman saw it and by the look of her face began to connive.
"Yes a job, a… special… job." She said taking in his stature and body. Fox felt her eyes run up and down him and eventually stop on a particular area for a long period of time.
Fox blushed then asked "What kind of job?"
"One that you would not be interested." Peppy scowled. "I was telling her that but she insisted she see you in person."
"That still doesn't answer my question." Fox said.
The woman began to walk towards Fox with dancer's grace. "I'm going to make you an offer Mr. McCloud. I know you have been out of work for a few years but I can see that it hasn't affected you physically. Some men lose absolute control when they lose their jobs, I've seen it before."
she was right in front of him when Fox realized this he decided to say something about her invasion of personal space but "What kind of offer?" Was all Fox could ask after he was swallowed up by the dark eyeliner around the brown eyes full of even darker sin.
"Mr. McCloud I have become a rather big fan of yours… you interest me more than any other man has ever done before…."
Fox suppressed a shiver "I uhh-"
"In fact you interest me more than most men because of three things. One is that body that I can see you keep rather good care of."
Now Fox wished he was wearing a shirt. It was flattering of her to say that but the way she said it with those eyes made him quiver. They were powerful eyes like the eyes of a monarch or a ruthless tyrant. Who knows maybe she was?
"The second is you are the Hero of Lylat and only a small few can say that especially since very few of them are still here unfortunately." She said referring to his father. Fox knew full well who she meant and that only added to the stock he held with her. She hadn't trashed his father in fact she respected him so she was alright mentioning him in his presence.
"And finally those eyes. I've seen those eyes in my dreams Fox, long before you fought for us all and became paraded around like a idol." She said gazing at the green gems she couldn't acquire even with all her wishes. She had her dark brown ones while Fox had those green eyes she longed for since she was a child.
"An idol?" Fox asked never hearing himself called that. Hero maybe but not an idol.
"Oh you know, your posters in the rooms of nearly every woman in Lylat, people wanting you to endorse in them, the incomparable adoration from everyone and the fact that your posters rally men and women everywhere to fight. You are the Uncle Sam of our time Fox."
She was rather close to him now and he could see the malicious intent in her eyes but had no idea what it was or meant.
"What do you want from me?" Fox asked.
"I want you to come work for me as… a dancer to say."
"A dancer? But I don't dance." Fox said.
"No I mean… a dancer." She repeated adding more emphasis to dancer.
"And I told you I can't dance." Fox said not catching the drift which only agitated Peppy.
"She means a stripper Fox!" He snapped.
Fox's right eye twitched "A stripper? You want me to strip for you?" Fox scoffed. The idea was prosperous, ludicrous and down right dumb. He knew that he was handsome and that a lot of women wanted him but no one had ever wanted to hire him to dance around while taking some clothes off until bare essentials.
"Yes I think you'd make a darling addition to my collection." She said not caring he had taken a tone with her.
"I'm sorry lady what do you mean collection?"
"My collection of Star Fox merchandise." She said than blinked. The mascara on her eyelashes added to the effect.
"He's not some little toy you can just claim ownership of Miss Phoenix." Peppy grumbled darkly.
"Yeah no offense, I appreciate the offer but the fact of the matter is I'm no man or woman's toy and I don't dance for a quick buck."
"It would be more than a quick buck." She said before he could turn.
Fox made the mistake of making eye contact then said "The answer is still-"
"I'm prepared to offer you a million credits a dance." She said firmly.
That struck a nerve in Fox. A million credits? That was enough to refurbish the Great Fox, buy a new Arwing and three others just because! With that kind of money all his problems would be over.
"A million?" Fox gapped, his right eye still twitching.
"Yes Mr. McCloud, one million credits a score." She said just as seriously, just as firmly as the first completely assuring him that the deal was genuine.
"You don't have to accept now Mr. McCloud but I'm not the most patient vixen in Lylat. I will want an answer in one week. That should give you enough time to give me a damn good answer why you don't want to do it or some dance lessons if you do accept."
The vixen left and left only in her wake an exquisite aroma of her perfume. Peppy made sure she was gone before scowling.
"Can believe that woman? She thinks that just because she owns Phoenix Corp she can buy you? Well I'm glad you turned her down."
"I did? When?" Fox asked taking in the last whiff of what he imagined a perfect summer day would smell like.
"Now of course! It's idiotic to accept such an offer! It would destroy your credibility, your reputation and your image! I know we're strap for cash but we can't be that desperate!"
Slippy was looking over the books, his face was not that of joy but sheer disappointment "I'd say we are. Besides its one dance for one million dollars! If we accept we won't have to worry for years. We practically pissed through the reward we got from defeating Andross and we're living out of cardboard boxes in two months if we can't find something."
Fox shook his head, he wouldn't let his remaining team live on the streets. "Well how bad could it be? I mean all she wants me to do is just strip for her." Fox couldn't say without blushing, the idea of it was flattering, devious and felt dirty, made him feel a little dirty as well. "And I can take care of myself should she try something."
"Fox do you even know who that woman is?" Peppy asked. Fox only shook his so Peppy continued. "Her name is Fara Phoenix. She recently inherited Phoenix Corp after her father passed away to natural causes. Since she took over the company has never been so profitable but all the success has gone to the vixen's head. She thinks she owns everything now and I'm sure she is not someone you should tangle or strip for Fox."
"But Peppy we need the money and I can't think of any other ways." Fox said trailing off. "It's late I need to sleep on this." Fox said as he headed to his room.
Before he left Peppy called out to him "Fox I highly recommend you don't do this. This girl is not someone we should mess with."
"Right Peppy." Fox said barely hearing him. He was off in his own world greatly considering the offer. Fara, if that was her name certainly was a beguiling woman, one that had affected him more than most women. Around women he was a klutz and more the beauty the worse he became. She was one that given five minutes alone Fox would be under spell, unable to resist. Fox shuddered and wondered if he would like that.
'Of Course I wouldn't like that! But what if…? No it's stupid! I don't want to be someone's lap dog, barking when they say so or jumping as high as they want through teeny tiny hoops. No I became a mercenary for the freedom and for other reasons…. Who knows maybe a good night sleep will provide me with an answer?' Fox thought as he made his way through the ship to his bedroom and then plopped down on the aging bed. The bed was so old and the springs were giving way more and more each night that the bed looked like it ate him whenever he laid down. It felt good and he never slept better but one day he'd wake up with a spring in his back.
Slowly he let the days events wash over him and that woman Fara Phoenix kept running through his mind. She was beautiful but defiantly way out of his league. For one she was rich, for two she could get any guy she wanted alive or even dead Fox was sure. But something bothered him. If she could have anything she wanted why would she pay him a million credits a dance? Desperate maybe, but then, maybe not.
Fox shook his head and hoped his night would provide an answer for him.
AUTHROR'S NOTE~~~ Hey all! Hope you enjoyed! I feel down right oh what's the word? Dirty! Maybe not becasue of this chapter but you'll see . anyways tell me what you think more on the way!