Shaundi kept her pistol aimed at Josh Birk’s head. She hoped he’d give her the excuse to shoot him. He would be better off dead. She crossed her legs. Her purple polyester pants made a noise protesting the movement against the black suede couch she sat on. It gave Josh an excuse to look at the woman yet again. She was exotic, like a leopard. She wore her auburn hair in a high ponytail, allowing a stray strand to tease the side of her face. She was slender with tanned skin, like a model. She looked Italian or Spanish. Josh had a thing for models. He was also masochistic.
A few feet away from them sat Pierce and Oleg, who was playing chess. Pierce looked like a typical black posh gangster, and Oleg looked like a typical huge bodyguard on steroids. Pierce slid a small chess piece across the board and looked at Oleg, who didn’t take his eyes off the board.
“Put the gun down.” Josh broke the silence. “I won’t run.”
Shaundi scoffed, her gun hand not moving an inch off of its target. “Yeah, I’m good.”
Josh grinned wide, completely misunderstanding her. “I felt that the moment we met. That connection.”
Shaundi stilled. “What?” That one word dripped disbelief and disgust.
The man leaned towards her, his coffee-colored strands of hair catching the sun. He gave her his best smoldering look, willing her to fall for his charm. “Forbidden love.”
“Oh my God, can I just shoot this guy?” Shaundi looked at Pierce and Oleg.
“Play nice, now.” All four heads turned towards the stairway to see their leader descending the stairs. Jamien’s eyes gave Shaundi a clear warning, but his smile was playful. “You got the stuff, Pierce?”
Oleg and Pierce both reached down for a dark green duffel bag that sat at their feet, but Oleg got to it first. “Allow me, friend.” He dropped the bag on the chessboard, scattering pieces everywhere.
“You did that on purpose.” Pierce frowned. Oleg gave an innocent shrug.
"Alright, let’s go STAG hunting,” Jamien said as he picked up the bag.
Downstairs, there were two Saints cars parked at the curb, both painted harlequin purple, one a two-door Sovereign and the other a four-door Infuego. “Think you can pick a fight with STAG by yourself?”
Jamien tossed a surprised look to Pierce, who was moving towards the sports car. “Oh, you’re not coming?” He approached his Infuego.
Pierce shook his head. “Going to pick up a surprise for STAG. You know how to use a Molotov?”
Jamien cut his eyes at his new second-in-command. “Yes, Pierce.” He said dryly, “I know how to throw a fucking bottle.” He got in the car and slammed the door hard enough to shake the car.
“Jesus, I was just askin’.” Pierce watched the car pull away.
Jamien never had much patience to be a responsible driver, and as he drove to the STAG PR Center, he had just enough patience not to hit anyone. Driving on the correct side of the street was another matter. As he expected, STAG officers surrounded the building either standing around with their guns out and ready or sitting in their mini-tanks, N-Forcers, waiting to shoot. And it had started out as a pretty day.
Jamien noted the STAG recruit advertisement stretched across the building, split into two banners. He smiled. “Oh, these banners have to go on principal. A few Molotovs should do it.” As soon as the first Molotov left his hand, bullets flew. Jamien heard metal hitting metal, but paid little attention to it. His first throw missed the banner and instead broke over a STAG officer’s head, who went up in flames. “Shit.” He sighed, ran closer, and tried again. His second attempt torched one-half of the banner. A bullet connected with his shoulder and he staggered but caught himself. As the senior-most member of the Saints, he’d built up a phenomenal tolerance for pain. It sucks to be them. Another flaming bottle connected with the second half of the banner and Jamien’. He smiled, proud of himself. Now all he had to do was go back to the penthouse. He took out his phone and hit one button, speed dialing Oleg, the big Russian brute. “Oleg, they’re on the way. We ready?”
“Yes, be careful not to set off the bombs when you get close. I’ll be monitoring STAG’s approach from our security room.” The line disconnected. Jamien made a mental note to hang up on the next person he called or who called him. Rude bastards.
He turned around to find his getaway car surrounded by his armor-clad enemies. “Ah. Fuck.” Instinct drove him to reach into his jacket and throw a hand grenade at them. Good news? That promptly killed all of those troublesome STAGs. Bad news? That also killed his shiny gang car. “FUCK!” Once again, Jamien would have to make his escape on foot. He contemplated stealing an N-Forcer, but there were too many STAG officers to take out to successfully get into one. “Oh, come the fuck on! Gimme a break here!” The wind picked up, causing him to shield his eyes from the dirt it carried, bringing his attention to the street behind the flaming wreckage that had been a perfectly good car. “Oh, yeah...” He immediately made a run for it. He darted past and around the remaining (and shooting) STAGs to the busy intersection. He narrowly missed being run over by an elderly lady driving a Churchill, who seemed to be more interested in what station she would listen to rather than the pedestrians she could kill. The second car showed more promise. It was going in the opposite direction he needed to go, but it was newer and faster all-black Neuron. “Eh, it’ll do, I guess.” Jamien shrugged and dashed across the street, coming to a stop in the car's path.
The driver slammed on her brakes and honked angrily. He ran to the driver's side, broke the window with his elbow, opened the door and yanked the woman out. “Oh, how sweet. You kept it running for me.” The young woman sitting in the passenger seat screamed, but Jamien ignored her. “Thanks!” He jumped over her and into the car which had rolled down the street. He gave the car a little gas, to move the car safely away from the woman, then floored it, tires screeching.