Authors Note: Thanks for reading my fic! I just had this idea in my head and wanted to give it a go. If you enjoy it, I encourage you to leave feedback because I would love to hear your suggestions and thoughts on this. It'll only make it better!
In a blink of an eye, Shaundi's palm met Boss's rugged cheek with sheer force. It stung like a bitch. The Boss raised his hand to massage his cheek as if it could numb the burning sensation of Shaundi's fury.
Shaundi scoffed and took a few steps back. Admittedly, she was afraid of what the Boss would do or react. Sometimes when she exerted her power, Boss would happily play along or put her in her place in a humiliating way. "Fuck," she thought to herself, but what's done is done. Apologizing now would be a form of weakness and that doesn't usually get a warm reception from Boss. That'll only infuriate him more. Shaundi isn't the type of person who would back down either. She stands her ground. Hopefully, the Boss won't sense the fear lurking beneath her tough facade.
"For a second there, I thought you were going to kiss me but I guess some rough foreplay will do for now." Boss responded in a mockingly playful tone. He had a big smile on his face, knowing that this would really push Shaundi's buttons. He was known for having a misplaced sense of humor no matter how serious or life-threatening the situation was. Shaundi knew this very well. After all, she was free falling thousands of feet from Morningstar's plane and the Boss still had time for jokes. Not to mention letting her go even if he was uncertain that he could catch her again. Normally, this was the type of behavior that'll alienate people but everyone knows that the Boss was far from normal.
"Are you done? Has your ego had its fill?" Shaundi crossed her arms and looked at him intently.
"Come on Shaundi, I'm just fucking with you." Boss coolly replied as he made his way across the bedroom. Shaundi's gaze followed him until he sat down on the edge of her bed. They all lived together in the penthouse. Well, Shaundi and Pierce did along with a handful of Saints who were there from the very beginning. He didn't ask them to and neither did they. Shaundi often threatened to move out because she couldn't handle Boss and Pierce's shenanigans but that was all talk. Like everyone else, the Saints is the only family and home she's ever really known.
"Whatever happened to the old Shaundi and 'good times'?" Boss added in a sentimental tone as he quickly glanced at a photograph standing on top of Shaundi's drawer. It was a photo of him, Gat, Shaundi, and Pierce chilling in Purgatory back in the early days.
"She grew up." Shaundi replied with pride. She was proud of who she is now. A woman who wasn't stoned all the time and who could take charge and stand her own guard. "So do you want to tell me why you're so determined to do this film?" She immediately asked him before he could joke around and change the subject.
"Let's see. My ego? Shitload of Money? Plus, sex with that saucy little minx Viola and the woman everyone wants to sleep with- that's you." Boss teased her as he enumerated these things while counting with his fingers.
"Bullshit." Shaundi responded to his claims swiftly. "You wouldn't need or wait for a movie deal just to try to sleep with me or Viola. You're more of the 'Hey Shaundi, let's fuck' type and you would have done that by now if you really wanted to." she added.
The Boss was impressed by how much Shaundi knew his personality. The only reaction he could muster up in time was a slow whistle as he nodded in agreement to her assessment. He was silent for a few seconds and the skin between his brows wrinkled. A smile escaped Shaundi's lips upon knowing she was spot-on.
"I knew that wasn't it. So why don't you tell-" Shaundi was cut off by the Boss before she could finish what she was trying to say.
"Lock the door and make sure no one's listening." Boss sternly ordered her. She was surprised by the sudden shift of his tone and complied without hesitation.
The Boss took a deep breath before he began to speak. "It's the money. We need it Shaundi." he finally admitted in a neutral tone. He was neither worried nor casual about it. He said it as it is.
"What? We own properties all over Stilwater and Steelport. That's not possible." Shaundi replied with concern as she sat down beside Boss.
"Yeah, well remember when S.T.A.G blew shit up all over the place? It'll take quite some time before we can get anything out of our assets." Boss paused to take a breath before continuing. "Getting it back to its prime and keeping the crew spread out in two big cities cost a lot of fucking dough."
"How do you know all of this?" Shaundi sighed as she asked Boss how he could possibly know something about their finances. He couldn't care any less about how much money they had as long as he could buy whatever he wanted.
"The accountant told me while I was fucking her two days ago. Easiest way to lose a hardon"
Shaundi was about to speak, but she couldn't help but laugh at the Boss' candidness. She knew he was being serious, but sometimes he would say the most random things without intending to be funny.
"What's so funny?" Boss asked her, completely clueless on why Shaundi let out a laugh.
"Nothing." Shaundi tried to hide the smile creeping at the edge of her lips. Sometimes she found his true charm in subtle moments like this when he doesn't even try. Conversely, Boss was amused by her unexpected reaction and he responded with a grin of his own. They held each other's gaze for a few seconds before breaking away.
"Why didn't you say anything?" Shaundi was first to break the silence.
"I'm telling you now. Besides, I didn't want anyone to worry." he replied in a reassuring tone.
Shaundi was tempted to give the Boss an earful about his plan to keep the Saints' financial trouble a secret. She paused for a moment to think of what to say. Her fingertips slowly caressing the temple of her forehead. "At least you told me." she sighed. "Pierce doesn't need to know about this. He would just bitch about it." she added with slight humor in her voice.
"My thoughts exactly." Boss was initially hesitant to tell Shaundi. He hated showing her and the crew that he wasn't in control of the Saints. He was the patriarch who would take care of his family. However, he did feel a lot better telling Shaundi about their problems. Not only did it lift some of the burden off his shoulders, he also knew she was capable and intelligent to handle it. No one else had to know right now. It would only stress the others out and their enemies might eventually find out their weakness.
"So, what's the plan Boss?" Shaundi went straight to business. She hoped that the Boss had other plans to get them out of their troubles besides this ridiculous movie. She was still uneasy about the whole idea of sleeping with the Boss.
Boss raised one brow at her. She knew what the plan was and it was obvious to him that she was just trying to avoid it.
"Seriously?" Shaundi stood up from the bed. "Why can't we just rob a bank? Or extort some protection money?" she asked as she paced back and forth, trying to come up with alternatives.
"And what? Lose some men and waste our resources when a cost free solution is right in front of us?" The Boss shot back as he leaned back a bit. "All we need to do is talk shit and fuck in front of the camera" he added nonchalantly.
His plan made a lot of sense and Shaundi knew it. She was impressed and annoyed at the same time. Impressed because she knew the Boss was the type of guy who would charge first and think later. He may be a spontaneous brute, but he can be intelligent when he wants to be. Annoyed because somehow she knew that this was a plan she would have thought of herself without the 'high art' fucking involved. It was like they traded places. She was suggesting the brash method, while the Boss thought of the prudent alternative. He was always in the mood for violence. She wondered why he decided to forgo his impulsions, but that was a thought for another time. "Fair enough" she finally said after a few seconds contemplating on it.
"So, you'll do it?" Boss asked her as he stood up to walk towards her.
"I will, but you're wrong about one thing you know." Shaundi looked up to meet his eyes. "There is a cost to this." she added.
The Boss was waiting for her to say something, but it looked like she was hesitant to speak. Without thinking, he gently squeezed her arm. "What is it? You know you can tell me." he asked with sincerity.
Shaundi was surprised by his comforting gesture, but she didn't think anything more of it. It was something friends would do. Her loyalty wasn't out of obligation but out of trust and confidence in him. She squeezed his hand softly to return the affection before they both released one another from their touch.
"I don't want to have sex with you because I don't want you to lose your respect for me." Shaundi added as she looked away.
"Lose respect? The fuck does that mean?" the Boss asked with an incredulous expression on his face. He wouldn't expect Shaundi to say something like this especially since she's been with countless of men. "Shaundi? Really? Did you think about this when you were with…" He was about to list some names before she proceeded to interrupt him.
"No, that's because I didn't care jack shit about what they thought of me." Shaundi admitted to him. She didn't care if her past lovers or those protestors thought she was a slut. There were only a few people whose opinion meant a lot to her. One was dead and the other was standing right in front of her. "I worked hard for the Saints so that you could take me seriously," she added and was about to say more. However, she wanted to gauge Boss's reaction before saying more.
The Boss nudged his head forward, urging Shaundi to continue what she was saying. He was intrigued by all of this. He didn't know that she had placed such a high regard for his opinion. She wasn't afraid to challenge the Boss and call him out. Sometimes he'd let his temper get the best of him and meet her halfway but he'd gotten used to it and started to respond playfully as time goes by.
"Back when I always stoned, nobody took me seriously. Hell, I didn't take myself seriously." Shaundi continued.
"That's not true. Pierce was always jealous I brought you with me and gave you more stuff to do." Boss countered her claim.
"Yeah, you respected me as someone who could do your dirty work but not as an equal then," she shot back at him without restraint. He wanted the truth, so she spared no expense dishing it out. "It was only until I decided to get my act together and change myself completely did you and Johnny treat me as an equal. You guys brought me along the big gigs and eventually let me have a say on how things ran."
The Boss didn't know how to react to what she said. Gat had always been his right hand man from the very beginning. It was true that they gave Shaundi more responsibility and footing as she began to assert herself more. They never really spoke about it or made it anything official. It was more of an unspoken vibe that echoed within the Saints. Same thing for his leadership. He and Gat never had to tell the crew that they were in charge because it was something that didn't need to be said.
"What I'm trying to say is, I don't want to be treated as some hoe who bends over just because you say so." Shaundi demanded of Boss as she looked at him dead in the eye. She was well aware of how he behaved sexually. Not that she knew firsthand, but he made no secret of it either. She was afraid that once she lets him take control of her during sex, he would take it away from her completely and she would be that girl in dreadlocks once more.
"Are you some gullible whore with daddy issues?" The Boss couldn't help but laugh as he covered his mouth with a closed fist.
Shaundi was infuriated that he would laugh about this after she had put herself out there like that. She was about to vehemently respond 'no' before Boss continued on.
"No, you're not. You're Shaundi. You're my girl." The Boss exclaimed as he pushed back strands of hair that was covering her face. "The Saints respect you and I do too. You've earned it and you deserve it. Sex or anything else won't change that." He rarely showed appreciation towards people, but when he does, he would absolutely mean it. That's what made it so endearing to others. "Hell, I'll probably respect you even more given your reputation," he added with a mischievous grin on his face.
Shaundi briefly blushed a little when Boss emphasized the word 'my.' He obviously didn't mean girlfriend or anything like it but she was flattered by how he finally verbally acknowledged that she was his main girl for the Saints. He did say it while they were free falling, but that doesn't really count.
"I promise that I'll let you punish and fuck me up during sex," he teased her.
"Let you? I'm not going to need your permission to do anything." Shaundi went along playfully to Boss' suggestion.
"Atta' girl. I don't go down without a fight."
It would be a lie to say that they weren't aroused by their banter even by a little bit. It didn't help that they were both attractive either. They enjoyed going back and forth like this ever since. However, neither of them tried to take it to the next level. They were satisfied with what they had.
"Thanks, this means a lot to me," Shaundi expressed gratitude towards him for praising and comforting her.
"Don't mention it." Boss responded with a quick gentle pat on the shoulder. "Like really don't, because I have a 'badass' reputation to maintain," he jokingly added.
"Whatever you say Boss." Shaundi rolled her eyes at him.
"Alright, get some sleep. We had one hell of a party and I wasn't expecting to have such a lengthy talk. I'm going to crash." Boss proceeded to walk towards the door. "Wait, we won't have a problem with you and Viola right?" He suddenly remembered to ask before touching the door knob.
"If it's a love triangle, then I'm guessing we'll be fighting the entire time. Doesn't seem to be any different now." Shaundi shrugged as he responded to his question.
"Don't be too hard on her. She lost someone too." The Boss gave her a quick nod before heading out the door.
"I know," Shaundi whispered to herself even if she knew the Boss was long gone to hear it. However, it was easier said than done. She sighed and took off her clothes until nothing but her underwear was left on. She put on an Ultor t-shirt that was lying on top of her drawer and dimmed the lights before heading to bed. Her final thoughts lingered on the conversation she had with Boss a few moments ago. It was still odd how the Boss chose the more passive route instead of their usual methods. "Perhaps he didn't want to see any more of the Saints die under his watch after what happened with Johnny?" She thought to herself. There were a lot of thoughts running in her head, but she fell asleep before she could get to them.