Gambling with Fate

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Gambling with Fate

Postby Esynthia » Sat Jul 03, 2010 9:10 pm

Author's Note: This is a fic that Paws and I have written. There are 18 chapters and it is a Remy/Rogue pairing. We might pick up later on, but as of now, with real life getting in the way, we're having to give it an undetermined amount of time for a hiatus. I hope you enjoy what we have done. There are some naughty bits that have been edited out and there will be a note at the top of the chapters that have been edited. Please comment! They make us happy and keep us slimmer than chocolate.

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CHAPTER ONE

The humid summer heat had the girl’s hair sticking to her as she watched the people on the busy street from her perch in a small alley in between two shops. She brought a gloved hand up to push a strand of it carelessly off of her jaw, continuing the movement to her neck, scooping the sticky wet mass off her skin and pulling it all up in a loose ponytail. She had been in New Orleans for a few days now; living mainly off of the money she was able to pickpocket. It wasn’t her favorite past time, but it was a living; and living sounded so much better to her than starving. A rare breeze blew past her and she turned her face to it, smiling softly. The breeze slowed and finally died, pulling a strand of her silver hair across her face. She grimaced and tucked it back behind her ear as she continued to watch the people.

It had been fairly easy to fit in here with no questions - after all, weirdness abounds in a town like this. A scowl covered her face in an ugly expression, not suiting her soft features at all - even if she did happen to like it here, the reason she was here - for a time at least - was enough to make her sick. The nerve of that woman! Wanting to use her just for her powers, just like she was using all those other teenagers for their powers! And obviously, they had no pride at all, because they let her do it. They were willing. Well, she wasn’t. Not in the slightest. So, she ran. Again. So far, that insane woman hadn’t come this way, and that was just fine by her.

She peered back out along the street, noticing that dusk was falling along the river. It was easier to snatch and run that way; easier to keep hidden. Her emerald eyes searched the groups of people, checking off people as prospective targets. She grinned as she saw a man lean against a light post, marking him as the target she was after. She slid out of the alleyway and onto the sidewalk to lean against the side of the building, nonchalantly. His back was to her and she watched his movements carefully for a few moments, trying to find the perfect time to strike.

He turned his head to the side, casually, watching a woman walk by. As soon as she saw this, she sank to a crouch by the wall, pretending to tie her shoe. Looking up at him through some of her hair that had fallen loose, she saw he was wearing sunglasses. Great. That always made it a bit difficult; could never tell where the eyes were going. His attention was pulled back to the front of him by something - or someone - she couldn’t see around him; and, truth be told, she didn’t much care. He pulled a pack of cigarettes from his pocket and tapped one out. She readied herself, muscles tense, knowing the second he lit it would be the perfect time, since he would be the most distracted. She watched his moves more deliberately now, like a tiger on the hunt, waiting for the prey to be in the optimal position. The cigarette disappeared from his hand, the pack was pushed back in his pocket, and she was moving the instant she saw his hands start to move back to his face.

Keeping his hands up a moment longer than strictly necessary, he protected the flame lighting his cigarette from a non-existent breeze. He waited patiently for the slight brush of the fingers, twisting the moment he felt them delicate as a wing touch to his back pocket, his hand striking out like a snake to trap one of her wrists. Dragging her close like she was someone he was well familiar with he kept his hold on her wrist, resting it against his chest as his thumb dug into a pressure point in warning for her to keep still. His free arm he wrapped around her waist, hand resting on her lower back, tips of his fingers just meeting the waistband.

The crowds continued to push on around them, ignoring the couple in their midst, eyes locked on each other as they greeted one another. A smile slid onto his face as he took in her wide green eyes, lush lower lip open just slightly. He'd caught her totally unaware - of that he had no doubt. She hid most of her shock fairly well, considering.

She froze in his grasp, knowing all too well that his fingers were too close to her skin. She didn’t blink as she watched his face, though. Drawing a crowd would not be a pleasant thing, as it would most likely force her to have to leave this town also. She debated on a few different things she could do to make him let go of her, immediately crossing off the one most dangerous for her: kissing him. Her free arm at her side came up slowly under his arm to rest her open palm at his collarbone, fingers gently caressing his shirt, hoping to distract him before making her next move.

Her full lower lip caught in between her teeth and she pressed closer to him just as slowly as her hand had come up. She didn’t want to alert him to anything - and normally the slower you moved with someone who could harm you, the less likely they were to think you would try to harm them. But when it came to this girl, most of the time they were sadly mistaken. Her leg quickly shifted in between his and rose swiftly up, aiming for his crotch.

A slight flicker of interest had passed through him as she pressed close to him, but his face maintained its pleasant neutrality. He would be laughed out of his father’s house though if he didn't see the slight shift of her body, the flicker in her eyes that belayed her next move. A pretty face she had, for sure, but he was well familiar with another that would have had his guts on his toes by now if he'd pulled this with her. So he’d kept his guard up and when she brought her leg up sharply he neatly sidestepped it and pushed her back a slight bit so that she was off balance, having to rely on him for balance or let go to fall. He tsked slightly. "Now chére, attemptin’ robbery an' den assault? Y're workin' up quite d' record here."

A snarl came to her lips as she clutched at his shirt, resisting the urge to fly. She didn’t want anyone to know she had any powers at all. Even with the variety of people in this city, she doubted they were all friendly towards her kind. She regained her footing and let go of his shirt roughly. He still had her wrist though - which normally would not cause a problem for her, but she wanted him to think he still had the upper hand. “Swamp rat.” She spit on his feet and feigned trying to pull away from him, only to have his grip grow a bit tighter. Some people were starting to stare so she reluctantly took a step towards him, nearly closing the gap again.

Laughing, he tapped her nerve just a bit harder in warning, watching as she paled and let out a small gasp. "Y're pretty feisty for a little t'ief." He gave her a long look, taking in her thin face and threadbare clothes - the small smear of dirt on one cheek, though she was relatively clean. "Y're not from around here, neh?"

The girl clamped her jaw shut and just stared at him. He didn’t need to know anything about her; he was her target - ’was’ being the key word. She had to figure out a way to get away from him without drawing attention to the situation or to her. All she wanted was a bit of money to buy something to eat, and he wasn’t going to be the person to get it from obviously, so she needed to move on to someone else. She didn’t fight against him though, hoping that maybe if she just relented to his grip, he’d let her go and she could go back to picking her next mark. It wasn't like she was complaining about staring at him for however long he decided to hold her there though, what she could see of his face was rather nice to look at.

His brow went up, mouth quirking to one side. "What? Cat got y're tongue? Or y' just learned t' mind y're manners?" He let her arm drop but kept his hand on her point, starting to walk with the crowd so they wouldn't attract attention. "So...no point in askin' y' d' same question twice...seemin' as I already know y're answer anyways. If y're accent didn't give y' away bad enough, y're know-how of N'awleans isn't enough t' feed a flea on." He gave her a wry glance. "Or y' I'd expect. So what are y'? Runaway?"

A frown spread across her face as he started leading her through the crowd. Out of reflex, she pulled her shoulders up close to her, trying to keep away from any accidental touching, even if she was fully clothed. Her heart rate sped up from not knowing where this stranger was taking her and from being so close to skin contact; this could not end well. Her eyes scanned the crowd warily as they moved, making sure to steer her free arm clear of people by wrapping it around her stomach. "Let go," she said, softly but firmly, her stubborn will and pride evident, "Ah'll leave ya 'lone. Won't bother y'all 'gain. Promise."

"Really?" Easing her to the edge of the busy crowd he ducked them down a side street and twisted her into the doorway of a closed shop before she could even so much as squeak in protest. He did release her then, leaning casually against the one free wall, her way blocked by him. "So...I've let y' go. Ain' meanin' y' a lick of harm, so no need to panic or have ..." He flipped his hand, grinning even wider. "...hysterics." Folding his arms across his chest he gave her a nod. "So. Y' do know somethin' of pickpocketin'. But y' have shit skills in markin' who t' steal from." He studied her a bit longer, coming to a decision. "Y' hungry?"

She gave him a disgusted look. "Do Ah strike ya as one that'd panic or have," she mimicked his hand gesture, "hysterics?" She put her arms down at her sides and looked over his shoulder, trying to find a new target already. "Thanks. 'Preciate tha compliment," her tone dripped with sarcasm and she shot him a glare as she moved to step around him. "'Scuse me. Gonna keep mah promise an' not bother y'all 'gain. Got shit ta do." Her stomach growled in protest and she winced, catching herself quickly and schooling her expression back to her standard blank face.

"Seemin' as I just met y', chére, an' d' only words y've said are t' insult me pretty much, I don’t really have much t' base it on." He stepped to block her and was met by a green glare that would suit a tiger. No lack of guts on this one, that was for sure. "Ah, butcha already bothered me. Now, as I see it, y' owe me somethin'. Either dat or we can go take a little wander an' see if we can find a black an' white."

Her eyes widened a bit at his words before going back into a glare worse than the last. "Ah ain't owin' ya anythin'. Ah'm gettin' outta ya hair, an' ya ain't got any proof Ah done anythin', so ain't nothin' ya could tell a cop." Her hands fisted and un-fisted multiple times as she tried to calm down. Owe him something?! Oh, she owed him something, all right. Her fist in his jaw. But that was beside the point. Even if she wanted to give him what he thought she owed him, she couldn’t. She snorted; and she most certainly did not want to! He was right though, she needed to pick better targets; this guy was a piece of work.

"We gonna keep dancin' around dis?" He made a show of looking at his watch. "I've not got any appointments t' keep myself right at dis very moment. Still, I expect dis isn't gonna be all dat entertainin'. An' I am a man who likes his entertainment." He drawled the last few words out, smirking. "Of course, if y' do go with me y'll get a meal out of it an' y' can go on y're own way after just fine. Y' were lookin' for a meal outta me anyways. D' only difference dis way is y'll be havin' it with me as well as on me."

Shrugging he turned to walk away. "Of course, y' can go an' pick someone else's pocket. An' hope it ain't someone worse." He took a few steps and looked over his shoulder. "Oh...an' y'll want t' watch for Fagan an' his bunch. Dey don' like people on dere turf." He nodded to the cracked pavement at her feet. "An' y're standin' on it."

Her arms crossed under her chest, her emerald eyes narrowed at him. Her stubborn pride was telling her to stay put, but her stomach was about ready to cave in on itself if it didn't get something in it soon. She mentally weighed her options, either she could go have a meal with him or pick pocket someone else - which would prolong her getting food. Pride be damned, she was hungry. "Don't know who Fagan is. Don't much care. Could take him." She started walking and went past him, throwing him a look over her shoulder. "Y'all comin'?" A smirk crossed her face after she turned around and started walking again. One meal with this man wouldn't hurt her any, in fact, it would probably be better than she'd had in a long time.

With her back to him, he didn't bother suppressing the look of satisfaction of having won that small battle of wills. She was flouncing ahead at a fairly good place, so he hurried to catch up. "I take it y're pickin' den? An' y've got it wrong, chére. Ain't Fagan himself y' got t' worry about so much - he might actually try an' find a place for y'."

He eyed the view afforded. More than likely he'd have different areas of employment than thieving for this one. Fagan had boys so innocent looking, light fingered and experienced they'd bring in more in an hour than this girl could in a day. "More d' rest of dem. D' mob. Dey don' like competition, an' dey don't like splittin' d' spoils at all."

"Could take 'em. Ain't worried 'bout it." She slowed her stride and fell into step next to him, looking straight ahead, not willing to look at him. A small gust of wind blew by them and she huffed when she had to tuck her silver hair back behind her ear. "An' Ah don't care if ya want 'payment' f' tha food. Ain't 'bout ta give it ta ya. So, if that's ya plan, just tell me now an' Ah'll deck ya one an' walk away."

"Girl y' weigh all of what? Hundred an' twenty? If dat even soakin' wet right about now. Y're nothin' but skin an' bones. It's amazin' y' don't rattle." Still, she looked nice enough, hips swaying with sass. She toyed with that silver dyed hair of hers. Probably thought it made her look older. Very pretty though, despite all that, if she kept her mouth closed long enough. "Y' implyin' some improper behavior on my part dere?" He inquired in a teasing tone. "In d' way you use dat word. ‘Paymahnt’,” he repeated, over accentuating her southern mud drawl.

"An' what if Ah do?" She turned her head to him, eyes blazing with anger, "Ya think Ah couldn't hold mah own just 'cause Ah'm not a big gal? Is that it? Well, lemme tell y'all somethin', Swamp rat, y'all don't ever wanna get in a real honest ta goodness fight with me. Y'all'll be sorely mistaken 'bout ya assumption." She grit her teeth as she turned to watch where she was going again. "Y'all are tha one said Ah owed ya. Ah ain't implyin' nothin' 'sides what ya already done yaself." She crossed her arms again and let her voice get slightly softer, "Where we goin' anyhow?"

"Oh I know girls about your size that could give me a new smile." He flicked a finger across his throat in demonstration. "You aren't one of dem though." Sass she had, but no brains. Or not brains precisely – just no knowledge. And that was often fatal. A lot of older runaways were like this. Thought they had it so rough at home, so lit out to try life on their own; spending their time groping blindly about until real life gave them the spanking they so richly needed. Then they'd go ki-yayin' home. This one though? She'd been out on the street a while, that was for certain - long enough to get this skinny.

He'd rather not have a pissed off alley cat for a dining companion so he held a hand out in consolation, words gliding smooth off his tongue, not matching his train of thought. "Meant dinner only. Jus' a friendly meal. Nothin' else. Nothin' too touristy or fancy so y' stick out.” He nodded across the way. "An' y' can't beat d' cookin' from dere no ways." Leading the way across the street he held the door to the diner open. "Aprés vous, mademoiselle."

Slowly, she lowered her arms from under her chest and walked through the door, reaching back to hold it open for him out of habit. "Thanks," she was shocked to find she meant it, even if he was still a jerk. He didn't know anything about her, it was rude of him to jump to the conclusion that she couldn't do him harm. She refused to look up to where normally she would meet his eyes; if he hadn't been wearing his sunglasses. Taking a look around the small diner, she smiled a bit; it looked really nice and homey. More than that, it was comfortable. It had been a long time since she’d felt anything near comfortable, and it was nice.

"Not a problem." She slid into a booth and he took the bench opposite, watching as she fiddled with the menu of specials that was in a cheap cracked plastic holder on the table. "How long y' been in town?" Easing himself back he relaxed outwardly without letting his guard down, as always scanning the crowd in the diner behind his glasses, completely aware of how many people were there and where they were. It was a matter of habit now - and one that you needed to have if you wanted to stay alive. Well...for him and a select few at least. Regular folk didn’t much have to bother with it he supposed. Things were currently fairly complicated, but then he was supposed to help 'un-complicate' things, wasn't he? His doubts in the matter didn't mean a thing - the rituals and prophecies that wound through the guild structure like veins through a body had spoken very clearly of him. And that was enough for all of them. It had to be enough for him as well, he thought with a wry snort.

"Don't see why that should matter." She chewed on her lower lip and let her eyes scan over the specials again before searching the restaurant for any potential danger. At any moment, that woman could find her; and that woman could look like anyone. That was what worried her the most, she might never realize until it was too late. "How long y'all been feedin' pickpockets?" She set the menu down on the table and pulled her hands to her lap, picking at the seam of one of her gloves.

Watching as she fidgeted he shrugged. "Just makin' chit chat. Y' don't have t' get worked up over every question I ask y'." The harried middle aged waitress came bustling up to their table with a couple of menus. He waved her off with a request for a couple of sweet teas, not bothering to check if that's what the girl wanted. She was southern. It'd do.

"An' I suppose y' could say I've been doin' it on an' off for a while. Depends on how y' judge it." He studied her for a while, taking in her rag tag appearance with a practiced eye. "Y're about my age, oui? Maybe a titch younger. Y' take good care of y'rself an' y' don't have sores or things, so I'm guessin' y' ain't on drugs or drinkin'. Y're way too covered up t' be tryin' t' attract any eyes t' ply another trade.” He cocked his head at her. "An' y' don't quite suck at it, but y' ain't a practiced pick pocket. So dat says t' me y' been doin' it a while, but not y're whole life. So why y' here den, chére?"

Bristling inwardly at his casual mocking assessment of her she arched an annoyed eyebrow. "Sorry, but that don't seem like just chit-chat ta me." She reached up and took her hair out of its ponytail, pulling the elastic back around her wrist as the other hand fluffed her hair out. "Ah'm seventeen." It couldn't hurt to tell him at least that could it? He was trying to be friendly; the least she could do was not be a complete bitch, even if she was still irritated. "Won't touch drugs or anythin' like that an' no one touches me," she looked at his face then with a hard stare.

After a moment, her emerald eyes rolled upward and she shook her head slightly, "Been at it f' a few years. How do ya know so much 'bout that, anyhow? Got stuff ya can teach me?" Her eyebrows went up in mocking question as she watched him.

"Oh I could teach you more than a few things." He gave her a wide assed grin, more than a hint of exactly what he was implying he could teach her in it. "But think dat'd be against y're rules. An' at seventeen, y're nearly home free - social services should leave y' alone pretty much unless y' make y'reself a target. Y're parents can't do shit in another year if y' keep y're head down. So I think y'll do jus' fine if y' can keep y're ass outta trouble." Shaking his head he spread his hands out. "As far as teachin' y'...well, I don' think y've seen a place like N'awleans. It's a bit different here. Dis city has a lotta layers under all d' beads an' partyin' y' see on d' surface." A faint line appeared on his brow as he thought about what to tell her. "I tell y' what I can do. Maybe I can put a word in wit' Fagan t' tell his lot t' leave y' alone. In d' big picture of things y're jus' scratchin' up a few crumbs. Won't really affect dem dat much."

After a moment, he leaned forward on his elbows. "Of course, y' could jus' go honest, an' get a job at a place like dis. Settle down in a place. Y' jus' have t' give any diner or hotel manager a sad look from dem big green eyes of y'rs an' dey'll give y' a chance."

Her nostrils flared slightly at the mention of her parents and she averted her eyes back to the specials menu. "Been doin' just fine 'till Ah made tha mistake of markin' y'all. Don't need ya charity - can deal with Fagan's bunch just fine on mah own if Ah should run inta 'em." The waitress came back and set down their teas; the girl gave her a sweet smile, "Thanks, sugah." The smile disappeared before she turned back to the man in front of her. "Don't tend ta stay in one place f' too long. Ain't no need ta settle down."

Ah, so some sort of trouble then rather than just a dissatisfied teen, if she was still running. Probably involving with her folks the way she reacted, gone all tense at mention of them. Figuring he'd go for a change of topic, rather than prod her any further, he picked his glass up and drank long from it, making a big production out of scanning the menu. For one, it didn't really make a difference; she'd do what she would, and she wasn't his problem. Just a pretty face that caught his eye for a moment.

Setting his own menu down he pulled hers away from her, stacking it neatly at the edge of the table for the waitress to retrieve. "Y' don't wanna eat some crap like a burger or a salad. Dis is N'awleans. If y're a drifter, y' might as well enjoy it while y' can." The waitress chose that moment to come up, collecting the menus. He ordered for the two of them, making sure to include a number of the touristy 'must do's' as far as food items. Of course, they also happened to be things he enjoyed, but then he never claimed to be a philanthropist.

She waited till they were alone again before leaning towards him in irritation. "Ya keep orderin' f' me like Ah'm some brainless bimbo. Stop it. Ah do just fine on mah own." She crossed her arms under her chest again and fixed him with a glare that wasn't any different from the others she had given him. Crossing her legs under the table she 'accidentally' stretched her leg over a bit too far so the toe of her shoe connected solidly with his shin."Oops."

He gave her an amused smirk. "Y' know, y're pretty pissy for someone who jus' tried t' rob me, knee me in d' balls and in return got a free meal outta d' whole deal. Y're momma not teach y' anythin' about manners?" He returned to his iced tea and took another swallow, ice clinking merrily in the well etched glass. Damn but it was hot and sticky today. Like most days, really, but it still meant that a cold drink felt great going down.

"Mama taught me not ta talk ta strangers, too, an' look where that's got me." She watched him take another drink and looked down at her own glass still on the table. She picked it up and took a small sip, licking her lips afterward. It took a lot of self control to not down the entire glass. Her throat was dry and the small sip she took only teased it, so she took another sip. It also took a lot of self control to not let him see how good it felt to get something cool and sweet on her tongue. "Y'all didn't have ta buy me food. Was ya own choice."

He sighed and shook his head. "Yeah, it was my decision. An' no, y' didn't ask. Wasn't expectin' y' t' lick my boots, chére. Just not beat on me." She took another of those tentative sips of the drink like a child nibbling carefully at a sweet to make it last longer. "Y’ can have whatever y' want though. Just try what I ordered. If y' don't like it y' can have anythin' on d' menu - but think of me a little like a tour guide. Y' might as well try somethin' different, oui? Never know what y'll like." He wheeled.

"Didn't say Ah wouldn't eat it. Just said ta stop treatin' me like a brainless bimbo. Coulda just as easily suggested it ta me an' asked me if Ah'd like ta have it. 'Sides, ya never know if a girl could be allergic ta somethin'!" She ran a gloved finger down her glass, creating a line through the condensation. "Glad ya didn't expect me ta lick ya boots. Never know who's shit ya coulda stepped in," she grinned a bit, but kept her eyes on her tea glass.

A surprised laugh came from him and he shook his head again. "Y're full of sass girl. That's for sure. As far as bimbo's dey show a lot more dan y' do.” He drew a line on his own chest, marking a low cut cleavage. “So I wouldn't worry about anyone expectin' y' t' be one." He couldn’t help the slight frown at her assessment of his background - she wasn't that far off the mark really either, depending how you looked at it. He'd been wading through unsavory and often highly illegal things his whole life. Still, she demanded his respect with the authority of a woman of worth rather than the rag tag urchin she was. Mouth quirking once more, he gave her a deep nod. "My apologies mademoiselle."

She couldn't help the smirk at his laugh, it was a nice rich sound and it was nearly contagious. She looked up to him and tried hard to pull the smirk back in, angry with herself that it took a moment to do so. "Apology accepted, Swamp Rat." She tilted her head to the side then frowned and looked around the diner again, trying to figure out something that had been puzzling her - it wasn't bright in there. "Why don't ya take off ya sunglasses?"

"What? An' ruin my image?" He struck a casual pose. "Why don' y' take off y're gloves? Can't say I've seen people walk around wit' dem, expecially in dis heat, unless dere goin' t' a weddin' or whatnot." Or working a job - but then, that was generally leather - not worn fabric ones she had on. It was like how she wore sleeves down to her wrists and long pants. Maybe she had some sort of odd skin condition that she kept hidden, or scars.

His eyes hooded slightly in thought. Scars would maybe explain why she ran. She seemed very bent on people not touching her. Wouldn't be the first girl on the streets running cause they'd been raped or abused. Sure as hell wouldn't be the last. Pulling a deck of cards out of his pocket, he started to shuffle them. "Y' wanna play a game before d' food comes?"

She laughed a bit at his pose then bit her lower lip roughly to get herself to stop. Frowning at his question about her gloves, she fiddled with her glass again, not wanting to answer him directly since Mystique could be lurking around any corner. If he knew anything about her, he could use it against her if that woman ever found him. "Touché." One of her eyebrows arched as she watched him shuffle the cards. "What kind of game, an' what are tha stakes? Ah ain't got any money ta bet, obviously."

One thing was for sure - she was pretty when she smiled, however obviously reluctant to do so. There were some definite walls around this one. Not as high as others – say him for starters. The difference was mainly in how they dealt with things. She snapped and glared while he just smiled and smoothly evaded. Probably some similar issues between them though for all that.

"Don't have t' be for money." He grabbed a few sugar packets, the pink and white paper crinkling between his fingers, placing half on her side of the table and the remaining half on his. "Y' know poker, right?" He flicked his thumb along the stiff new card, enjoying the familiar and reassuring feel of it in his hands.

"'Course Ah know poker. Was taught how ta play when Ah was little." She scooped the sugar packets into a small pile and watched him toy with the card. "Ok, then, Dealer, what’re tha rules of tha game? Any wilds?" She took another sip of her tea and watched him tentatively over the rim of the glass. "Ya a gamblin' man, then? Carry cards with ya everywhere in tha chance ya might run inta someone willin' ta bet somethin'?"

"Nah. Only really play for fun. And figure straight up keeps things simple." He shuffled the deck with only a slight bit of flare - he couldn't resist the urge to show off just a bit, but didn't need to make an ass out of himself by overdoing it. "Let's just say d' cards treat me well." He returned the smile with a full grin of his own. Catching the harried waitress’s attention again he asked for a full jug of sweet tea so that the girl wouldn't feel the need to horde her glassful. He knew what it felt like to do without. She could at least have one meal without worrying about making the little bit she had last.

The girl tucked her hair behind her ear as she watched him work the cards, not letting her interest show on her face. “Quite practiced at that.” She looked up at the waitress then back to him with a confused frown, but didn’t say anything about it. She wouldn’t refuse more tea. “Tell me, Swamp Rat, why tha hell do ya care if Ah got any food or not? Ya coulda just let me go an’ walked away. Ya already know Ah ain’t gonna repay ya f’ this, so there’s nothin’ in it f’ y’all.”

"Get t' spend time with a pretty lady. Dere’s lotsa men that do dat with no further promises, neh? Pay for a meal just for the pleasure of a ladies company?" Dealing the cards with quick efficient flicks of his fingers he raised one brow over the edge of his dark glasses. "Guess y' could kinda call dis a 'date'.”

The girl fixed him with a blank stare at that, "Don't flatter yaself. Ya head might explode if it gets any bigger." She carefully scooped up her cards and looked them over, making sure to keep her blank face on as she looked at them, seeing if she wanted to trade any. "No, lotsa men don’t do that. Lotsa men have angles or ulterior motives." She looked at him over her cards, "An' Ah'd rather not think of this as a date. Prefer mah first date ta not be with a Swamp Rat who feels sorry f' me, thanks." She grimaced as soon as she had said it, but couldn't take it back now. She was getting too comfortable here, her guard was slipping.

Eyes jerking up from studying his own cards he gave her an incredulous look. "First date? Y' must be pullin' my leg. A pretty thing like y' - even down on y're luck like y' are - has had t' have boys pantin' after y'." Tapping the deck with a finger he lowered his cards a bit. "An' can't say dat I don't have ulterior motives at times...but after dis, don't expect t' see y' again. Y're free t' go on y're way.” Going back to his hand he tapped the deck between the two of them “Y' want any cards?"

"Didn't say Ah didn't have boys pantin' after me. Said Ah'd never had a date before..." She swallowed hard and lay down two cards. "Two. F'get Ah said anythin'. Ain't important anyhow." Her mind shifted back to her first kiss and she shifted in her seat some, switching her legs that were crossed. She slid the two cards he laid in front of her into her palm, pulling them up to the fan of cards in her other hand. Not a bad hand - could be worse.

He passed them over and just took a single one himself, waiting for her to make her bet. "So...y' not d' datin' type den? Not one for romance?" She may have warned him off the topic, but he was curious now. And no one had ever claimed him overly smart about these sorts of things. It was fun, he realized, sitting and making idle chatter with this girl, even if he didn't expect he'd get anything beyond a biting comeback. Life on the streets hadn't beaten her down and he found it refreshing somehow, perhaps in the promise that it offered for the lucky few to escape the horrors that lurked in wait for the majority.

She arched an eyebrow at him and threw two sugar packets to the center of the table. “Y’all don’t get ta ask me ‘bout mah romantic life. That’s just rude. Didn’t y’all’s mama teach ya better than that? Ain’t polite ta ask ‘bout somethin’ so personal when ya don’t even know a gal’s name.” She looked back at her cards, “An’, no, Ah ain’t gonna tell ya, don’t bother askin’.” Her mouth curled into a small smirk as she picked up her tea and took another sip.

"I don't got one, so actually, no." He matched her two sugar packets, surprised at his admission. Normally he didn't talk about his motherless status...or about anything to do with his background at all. It felt odd realizing he'd told her just as casual as that. "But y’ have a good point. Should at least exchange names if I’m goin’ t’ be courteous. I can go first if y' want…I’m known as Remy LeBeau when I ain’t bein’ called other names." He held his free hand out across the table.

She felt herself flush some, feeling slightly embarrassed about her crack on his mother, "Oh. Sorry, sugah." Looking over her cards, she decided she wanted to raise him. Picking up three sugar packets, she paused when she realized she'd just used her standard term of affection for him. Screwing up her face she looked at his hand for a moment, then back up at his face. She tossed the packets to the center and carefully took the offered hand. "Other names like ‘Swamp Rat’? ‘Cause that’s what Ah’m gonna stick ta callin’ ya." She didn't bother telling him her name, not caring if it wasn’t what he expected. She had already told him not to ask.

He gently twisted her hand within his and pressed a quick kiss to the back of it. "So...I should call y' ‘sugar’ den? Sweet enough for y’. Suits." He went back to his cards and after a moment of reflection tossed in four packets. "Ah, dem cute little pet names. Swamp rat ain't d' worst I've been called t' be sure."

Resisting the urge to smile at the small gentlemanly gesture, she pulled her hand away and sneered at him. "No, don't call me sugah. ‘Suits.' Ha, yeah right. Ah ain't been nothin' but snarky; 'sugah' don't suit at all." She roughly tossed in her packets without even looking at her cards. "An' Swamp Rat ain't a pet name." She looked over her cards again and nodded about her raise of his packets.

“Not yet.” He muttered under his breath, before speaking loud enough for his voice to carry to her. "So what do y' propose I call y' den? An' y' are sweet - just with a big dose of spice.” Grin returning full bore, he smirked. “An' I like my food spicy." He laid his cards down on the table. She was fun to rib. The pink in her cheeks and the flame in her eyes was a reaction he was beginning to enjoy eliciting.

"Well, Ah ain't ya food, so it shouldn't matter." She shrugged and picked up her tea again. "Why should ya have ta call me anythin'? Ya ain't never gonna see me 'gain soon as Ah walk out tha door of this place, remember?" The girl took a longer drink than she had before and set the glass down as she let out a barely audible sigh.

"Fair enough. I'll just call y' 'hey you' for d' rest of dis meal." With impeccable timing the waitress descended upon them, bearing her burden of plates. He'd ordered a lot of partial orders so that ‘hey you’ or whoever she was could sample a fair amount of things. "Time t' dig in then.” He picked a shrimp out of the jambalaya and popped it in his mouth.

She shrugged one shoulder at his response then her attention was pulled to the food. She licked her lips and swallowed hard, trying to decide which to taste first. "Well, ya seem ta be callin' me 'chére' often enough. So why not just stick with that?" She picked up her spoon and took a bite of the gumbo first, letting her eyes close when she got it in her mouth, not burning her despite the obvious heat of the dish. She swallowed and opened her eyes to look at him. "Thanks f' this..." Obviously the last shred of dignity she held on to had gone down her throat with the gumbo.

"Y're welcome." He returned simply; knowing what it cost her. It was hard to accept help. He had pride aplenty too. "We'll get dessert too...but eat on up. We can box up any leftovers for y' if y' want." He ate in silence for a minute, watching her unobtrusively as she worked her way through the food, quickly at first before slowing down to enjoy the meal once the worst of her hunger was blunted.

"Ah don't..." She took another bite and swallowed before speaking again. "Ah don't wanna put ya out any." The food was so delicious and she wouldn't say no to more of it, if he really wanted to. She put her cards face up on the table, not caring about the game anymore. She started to move another bite to her mouth and stopped, not able to hide a slight blush and laughed softly. "Ah must look like a right pig. Sorry."

"Hard t' not shovel it in when y're belly is pinched dat much. Don't worry about table manners with me. I'm a teen-aged boy - since when do we have a sense of decorum?" He took a large mouthful himself in illustration, chewing and swallowing. "An' after all, it ain't a proper dinner without dessert."

She laughed a bit at his demonstration, relaxing some into the seat. "Too bad Ah cain't pickpocket people like y'all every day." She stabbed a shrimp and tore into half of it playfully, not realizing that she had gotten more comfortable by the minute with this Remy person. "It's Rogue, by tha way." She finished off the shrimp and poured herself some more tea, holding the pitcher over his glass in question.

He smiled at her small confession, nodding to her unspoken question about more tea. "Just Rogue? Like 'Cher' or 'Pink'?" He speared a bit of spicy sausage. "And see? I ain't dat bad. Maybe a bit annoyin' at times, but generally worth y're time."

She poured the tea and set it down on the side of the table. "Jus' Rogue. Oui," she mocked his accent and stuck her tongue out at him. "Ah can be annoyin', too. An' not generally worth ya time." Rogue speared a bit of the same sausage he had and fought a grin. He really was turning out to be a nice guy and it was odd that he'd been able to poke a hole in her wall without even trying.

Laughing again he put his fork down, content to sit and watch her eat for a while, sipping his tea. "Well, y' appear t' be worth at least a couple of hours of my time, neh?" He got a little more serious and leaned forward. "Look, Rogue - I don' know where y're from and what d' rules are dere...but here, things are different. N'awleans is a tough city. Pretty, but hard as nails underneath. I appreciate y've been on y're own for a while an' y've been able t' watch y'rself up t' dis point.” He shrugged. “It's different here though. Different streets - different rules. Y' need t' keep dat in mind an' keep y're eyes open."

"Ah know that,” she shot back defensively, “Ah've been here f' nearly a week, an' Ah've been on mah own f' nearly five years. Ah can handle mahself." She took a gulp of her tea, not understanding why she told him about her past so openly. It wasn't really a secret, but she had made a promise to herself not to tell him anything about her. As it was now, he knew more things than she wanted him to. Her alias; her age; how long she'd been on the run. She bit her lip and took another bite of the food to prevent herself from saying anything more.

He filed away the little things she let slip, knowing that he’d get nothing easy from her as he wiped his hands on the cheap paper napkin. He'd done the best he could do to warn her, and he just had to leave it at that. There were so many that came to this city...and so many born in it that suffered varied fates that went unnoticed by the majority of the populace. If he worried on the people who scraped what they could off of the streets he'd be grey by now. "Y' ready for some dessert? Can have her box up what's left."

"Ah'm sure Ah can find some room somewhere ta fit tha dessert in... Ah really do 'preciate this." She looked at the table at all of the leftover food, "An' Ah wouldn't say no ta takin' this with me." Rogue leaned over to peer at her cards that lay nearly forgotten. "What hand did y'all have?"

For a homeless kid, she somehow still had a certain innocent bloom to her that showed only rarely through chinks of her armor – like the honest smile that had filled her face when he’d mentioned ‘dessert’. "Full house. Kings high." He gave her a cocky smile. "An' as I said – dessert or anythin’ else y’ want is y'rs, with my compliments. Y' gonna choose what y’ want dis time, since I was ‘makin' y' out t' be a twit’ by orderin' for d' two of us before?"

She made a face when he said his hand, looking over hers again. "Damn. Ah only had a pair of aces." Rogue scooped the cards up and handed them over to him. "Thinkin' some chocolate cake or maybe some peach cobbler..." Her mouth was watering at all of the desserts she wanted. "Thanks f’ lettin’ me choose this time."

He stuck them quickly in his pack, returning them in the pocket where they sat reassuringly with solid familiarity. Poking at the menu he looked at her carefully. "Now...don't make it like I'm tryin' t' tell y' what t' do again, but y' know y' can get dat anywhere, oui?" Her eyes flashed up to meet his again and he gave her a cheeky grin.

Rogue playfully rolled her eyes and gave an over-exaggerated sigh, “Alright, Cajun. What is it? What is gonna be so wonderful that Ah gotta have it?” She looked back at his face and for some reason desperately wanted to see what his eyes looked like, but she wasn’t going to push the issue; especially since he might return the favor about her gloves and that could result in harm to him. She may have wanted to hurt him earlier, but now? Now was different, even if she still didn’t understand why. He’s a charmer, nothin’ more. Don’t let him get under ya skin, gal.

"If y're gonna be in N'awleans only for a bit, I'm gonna count y' as a tourist. So y' gotta try d' banana's foster. Though if y're really stuck on dat chocolate cake, get dat too. Dey make it from scratch here and it's damn good." She'd lost a bit of her snappish way of saying things, he was pleased to see. Not that he had any intentions of tumbling this one – after all he had to be at work in a little better than an hour. But it may have been interesting to try, street kid or no. There was a certain edge to her that begged to be smoothed.

“Banana’s foster?” Rogue sat up a bit straighter in her booth. “An’, that’s alright. Don’t wanna gorge mahself, ya know?” She gave him a small grin and picked at the paper napkin in her lap, rebuilding the piece of her wall that he had broken through. It was dangerous and stupid to have let him do that. She knew she needed to carefully think through her thoughts before she let them spill out of her mouth, especially the ones forced out by her strong sense of pride. However, she didn’t want to go back to being rude either, not after he’d bought this meal for her. Rogue cleared her throat and looked back up. “So… How old are y’all, then?” Small talk was good. Small talk was safe.

"Oui – it’s banana’s heated up in sugar an' rum basically. Very sweet, but very good. Y' won't forget it, I'll tell y' dat much." As the waitress cleared the plates to box them, he traced his fingers around one small stain left behind by the pitcher of iced tea, never quite putting his finger in it, always skirting it delicately. A bit of silence drug out between her question and his response before he finally looked up at her. "Seventeen. Nearly eighteen; so a year older an' wiser dan y'." He finally replied, turning it into a tease before his voice sobered. "So y'll remember what I said about the streets?"

“The dessert sounds good,” she said very plainly, trying not to show that she was excited about getting something so sweet. Rogue watched him as he carefully traced the ring left behind by the pitcher, wondering why he would take so long to answer her. Meeting his eyes, or where she suspected they would be, she arched an eyebrow at his playful tone. “Huh. Sure ya are. Age ain’t got nothin’ ta do with wisdom, Swamp Rat. Why’d it take ya so long ta answer me?” Purposefully asking him another question, avoiding the one he had asked her. Besides, she was curious; he didn’t have any problems asking her questions and expecting answers, why would he take so long to answer one of hers? He’d completely avoided her question about his sunglasses, as well. Blew it off as some joke. He’d at least given her an answer on his age, but she couldn’t shake the feeling that it seemed to have some deeper meaning in it.

"Jus' got lost in thought for a second is all. Why? Y' think I've got somethin' nefarious about answerin’ that I’m seventeen?" His poppa has always said that it was best to hide behind the truth. He’d noticed that she evaded answering him yet again in the mutual verbal spar that they seemed to be locked in. It was doubtful he'd be able to drag much more out of her as far as promises or things went about being careful – she seemed to think she was bomb proof.

Besides which...what was she to him other than any of the others? He charmed them, spent an enjoyable night and then left after wishing them well. He wasn't spending any time sleepless over the present circumstances of any of the girls he’d slept with in the past – and he’d done considerably less with her – so no sense to think this would be any different.

Leant back in the seat, relaxed and calm, he smiled at the two dishes of ice cream and the sweet liquor filled dessert that was placed in front of them. "Enjoy it chére. Dis flavor’ll stick in y're mouth for a while. Guarantee y'll remember dis food longer dan y' will me."

She looked down as the dessert was placed in front of her and she barely resisted the urge to lick her lips before thanking the waitress again. Frowning as a thought crossed her mind she looked at him suspiciously. “Y’all didn’t order this yet. ‘Less ya ordered it with tha main food.” Rogue crossed her arms under her chest and arched an irritated eyebrow, waiting for his answer for this one. “An’ Ah got a damned good memory. Ain’t likely ta f’get things.” Just likely ta jumble ‘em up with other people’s memories, she added silently.

"Let's just say dey know me pretty well in here." He cocked his head at her. "Unless dis is a problem. Still can get dat cake easy as snappin' my fingers." The point was moot as she'd already started to dig into hers and had closed her eyes in bliss, which had pretty much answered that question. Dieu, but the way she looked was giving him ideas of her screwing her face up in pleasure at other things he could offer her. He gave Henri and his need for punctuality a faint mental curse, even if it was probably for the best. This girl was way too interested in pursuing trains of thought rather than just letting it wash away in the tide of pleasant conversation…or other pursuits.

Rogue finally let herself lick her lips, only to get some ice cream off of them, not to show how much she was enjoying it. Right? Of course that was right, hadn’t there been ice cream on her lip? Sure there had been… Looking up at him, she felt her cheeks flush slightly when she noticed that he had been watching her intently, barely touching his own dessert. Swallowing a spoonful, she shoved the blush down and mimicked his cocking of the head. “Come here often then, Swamp Rat? Shouldn’ta told me that.” She grinned, “Now Ah know where ta find ya if Ah’m growin’ a bit too hungry.” The sad truth was she would make a point of avoiding this place now; she couldn’t get used to the charity he was showing her.

She took another bite and turned the spoon over in her mouth, pulling it out slowly so she got every drop of the taste, closing her eyes again. Damn, but that was good. She couldn’t bring herself to be mad at him for ordering this small piece of heaven.

His eyes remained glued to the spoon, his own keeping company with the ice cream melting in the bowl. His lips quirked to the side and he shook his head. "I wouldn't be bettin' on dat. But if y' get into trouble...den yeah. Y’ can leave a message here and dey'll find a way t' get a hold of me." Again, why had he done that? He wasn't unaccustomed to giving small random acts of kindness like he'd done for this girl - though normally he didn’t engage with them like he had her. And it wasn’t completely unrewarded at that - watching her suck on that spoon was near payment enough for it. He simply chose to keep his life very removed from others. It was better that way – hell who could explain his ‘powers’ never mind the guilds.

She smirked at him as she went to take another scoop, noticing it was nearly gone. “Thanks, ‘preciate it, but Ah probably won’t, ta be honest. Ain’t one ta ask f’ help.” She took the bite and gestured at the bowl with her spoon as she was swallowing, “An’ this? This is one of tha best things Ah’ve ever put on mah tongue. So, Ah thank ya, Swamp Rat, f’ a lil taste of true N’awleans culture.” Resisting the urge to lick her bowl, she scooped up the last of the melted goo and swallowed it as she dropped her spoon in the now empty bowl. “Ah should get goin’. Thanks ‘gain.” She put her napkin on the table and stood, taking the boxes from the waitress with a smile.

He stood and went to help her but thought better of it. She liked her individuality and he could understand that. "Thank y' for d' pleasant evenin', Rogue. Everyone should have a little taste of d' Cajun." He offered the double entendre with only a slight twitch to his lips. "Bon nuit."

“Ah’ll tell ya ‘gain: Don’t flatter yaself.” She grinned despite her words and the fact that she meant them. Mostly. “An’, it ain’t good night, Swam- Remy. This would be good bye.” She leaned over the table and took a last sip of her watered down tea, gave him a nod then headed for the door. Rogue glanced over her shoulder at him, not expecting him to be watching her, but smiled at him when she found him doing just that, finally turning to walk out, cradling the food boxes to her. Maybe she could find someone who needed this more than she did.

Looking back at his melted desert he thought better of it, as nice as it would still taste. Better to keep a fairly empty stomach, given the job that he had to do tonight. He gave her plenty of time to duck around whichever corner and disappear before tossing down a few bills, making his own way out of the diner. The moist heat surrounded him the minute he stepped out of the feebly air-conditioned place. Looking over his glasses at the shine of lights down the street from him he smiled at his beloved city. "Well ma belle. What do y' hold for Gambit tonight?"

[Edited on 7/3/2010 by Esynthia]

[Edited on 7/14/2010 by Esynthia]
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Remy: he feels lust for everyone

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Esynthia
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CHAPTER TWO

Postby Esynthia » Wed Jul 14, 2010 3:58 am

He ran along the edge of a roof, feeling the utter freedom of it – the crowds on the street completely unaware of him. It was rather like being a deity in a way, overseeing the movements of people below. He could feel the slight weight in a pocket of his coat as well, very aware of any slight change in the balance of things, the touch of it as it brushed his body. It'd been a successful pinch, not that he expected anything less.

He'd have given a laugh in the delight of it...the heady feeling of adrenaline in his veins, the result of his nights work. Papa'd be very pleased with him as well – he’d ended up with the title of master in so few years for good reason. It would only take a few minutes of hopping the rooftops to get to a place where he could slow his pace and look for a way to the street below, to slip eel like with his coat drawn close to him through the crowds until he could get to his car.

The back of his neck was wringing wet with sweat from his jaunt and the heat of the Louisiana night. Grimacing a bit he swiped at it with his glove, feeling the sticky cling and slide of his armor against him, lubricated with more of the same. Figuring he deserved a few minutes of rest - he'd got away completely clean of course so didn’t have to worry about pursuit – he sat on the edge of the building he was on, his legs dangling off of it as he sucked in deep breaths of air you could almost drink.

He returned his gaze to the crowds below, enjoying the view. He’d kept his feet over an alley so as not to attract attention, but he was still near enough to the main street to see the scantily clad women giggling and carousing together, men of all sorts peppered amongst them vying for their favours. Which...it wasn't much of a trick really to get a lady’s company. Another great thing about this city.

A slight movement from the corner of his eye caught his attention. A flash of white in a mass of dark brown hair that framed the face of the girl below, her own attention fixed on the milling crowds. Snorting at the irony, he watched her for a minute. No doubt she was at work again, trying to make a score. Covered up like that she stuck out - especially with that hair of hers. She'd do better to dress and mingle with the crowds if she wanted a good pinch.

A drunkard further down the alley from him moved up towards the mouth of the alley where Rogue was sat, his clothes tattered and coated in substances he didn't even want to contemplate. Something about the way that he moved caught his attention. Intentness perhaps. It would be ironic if the thief became the thieved from, as much as she protested that she could handle herself.

The man in rags still looked fairly brawny, and no matter how quick she was with that knee, he doubted she could overcome someone twice her weight. Still...it was none of his business. She'd gone her way, and he his. So...why exactly was he making his way swiftly down the wall, towards the pair?

Rogue climbed up to sit on a dumpster, trying to get a better angle to see prospective marks from. Unfortunately, it also gave her a good view of the common 'street walkers', causing her to snort in disgust. That was a vile trade and one she would never be caught dead at – even if she could control her accursed power. She sighed and climbed down from her perch, not wanting to see any more of the men fawning over them - she would just have to make do with the ground. Unless... Maybe if she flew up just a little bit? No. That wasn't safe.

Her hand brushed her hair back from her sweating forehead, stopping mid-motion as she heard a rustle behind her. Oh what now? Someone trying to pickpocket her? Ha! That would be a real riot. Pretending as if she hadn't heard a thing, she finished the fluid motion of her hand as she took a couple of steps towards the crowd.

Her eyes searched the people, looking for any reflective surface to use to see behind her - if only for a brief moment. She couldn't find anything, much to her chagrin, so she waited for the first move to be made on her, so the person couldn't claim assault and get her put in prison. Her heart was thumping in her chest as the adrenaline started coursing through her and she moved her hands in front of her in order to peel off her right glove. She carefully shoved it into her pocket, trying not to draw too much attention to it as she heard another step directly behind her.

A pair of arms covered in ratty clothes moved swiftly around her, pinning her own to her side and reaching up to cover her mouth with a gloved hand. She frowned and struggled some, grunting a bit with the effort. Gloves. That Swamp Rat had said the only people who wore gloves were people going to a wedding or something of the like. This didn't appear to be someone going to a wedding and she hadn't seen other homeless people wearing gloves in this heat. Fantastic. Fan-fucking-tastic.

He hit the gritty alley running, slipping his staff out from a hidden pocket and extending it with a flick. She was held tight so cards would never work without possibly injuring her. It would draw the kind of attention that he was trying to avoid as well.

Rogue felt her head get pushed back to meet the strong shoulder and the arm around her grew tighter. She rolled her eyes and brought her arms up, easily pulling away from the man's grasp, sending him stumbling backwards. She immediately took on a fighting stance as he started running towards her again, tackling her to the ground. His hat flew off, causing his long white hair to tumble free.

"Burner?!" Rogue squirmed under him, "Get offa me ya jerk!" She brought her knee up to his crotch, forcing him to roll off of her in pain. She quickly got up and started running towards the street, a wall of flame coming up in front of her. "Shit!" Rogue stopped in her tracks and watched the fire with an angry frown. She could get through it and make it out without a scratch, but her clothes wouldn’t make it past one step inside of it. Burner had been counting on her to not be as careless as that and she knew it.

Shocked, he stopped short as the flames shot up. He'd not expected that the drunk was someone like him. Reaching in his pocket he freed a few cards, charging them. He'd have to take his chances or the petite would be barbequed.

The man slowly came up behind her, laughing at her obvious irritation. The wall doused when he reached within one foot of the flames. "She wants you home, Rogue."

"No!" Rogue whirled and smacked her right hand to the side of his face, holding it there until he slowly crumpled to the pavement, her eyes locked on his as they slowly started to droop closed. "No," she repeated in a low growl. "Won't go back. Idiot."

He froze again, poised to throw his cards, but hesitating as the man's knees suddenly unhinged. The distraction cost him well as a high inhuman shriek sounded to his left, a heavy body smacking into his back, sharp blade or...something…cutting through his coat and hitting a vulnerable side panel in his armor that had a bit of give and no shielding, scoring a light line along his ribs. His cards scattered around him, and it was all he could do to flip himself backwards and out of the way before they exploded.

Rogue jerked her head up at the screech to see some…thing attacking someone. Oh, now what? She ran towards them, her eyes widening once she realized who was getting attacked, forcing her feet to move faster. Not caring why he was here, just knowing he needed help. No flyin'. No flyin'. He dropped something and did some sort of acrobatics. As she was busy watching him, she was caught off guard and thrown back by an explosion. "What tha-?!" She caught herself mid-air and landed gracefully on her feet as the cat...thing... ran for the swamp rat, its arm dripping blood.

Not good. Not good. What is that thing? Rogue ran full force at it and watched as its arm healed. Ok, then. Healing factor - good, that meant she could do major damage and not kill it...him... her...?

As he came up against the brick wall of the building he swung his staff out, catching the thing in the shoulder as it leapt at him, deflecting it barely. His brain had finally come out of its shock at seeing other mutants and settled into the routine work of watching the opponent, awareness reaching out to encompass everything in the alley; the still unconscious form in the mouth of it, the slight shrieks of terror from the passersby on the streets from the explosions and fuss. He didn't have long.

As the thing staggered back to ready itself for another attack on Remy, Rogue called up Burner's powers and set a wall of flame up around it, laughing as she made a small flame start on its arm, dousing it as soon as she heard it shriek in terror and pain. She came a bit closer, making sure to stay a good five feet away from the flames, not wanting them to go out from getting too close. It was a good thing she knew his powers.

"Rogue, I presume?" It purred to her. "You're much better than I would have imagined. She wants you back, and she won't let us leave without you."

Rogue shivered at the voice and kept her eyes on it, but spoke to Remy. "Ya alright, Swamp Rat?"

"Mais oui." He gave her a mighty suspicious glance. "What d' hell is dat?" He pointed his staff at the wall of fire and the cat person, meaning both. Arching his brow he kept the staff halfway up, ready for action. Who knew...he was half waiting for the sky to fall right about now. "Y' wanna explain what d' hell is goin' on?"

"Not really..." She pulled the wall down some to be able to look the cat thing in the face. "Who are you? Fresh meat f' her?"

"Call me Thornn. Fresh meat. Ha! You'll be mince meat as soon as this wall comes down." Thornn glared at Rogue, meeting her intense eyes for the briefest of moments, then shifted her gaze to the one she had attacked from behind. "Swamp Rat is it? You're nice and pretty. I think she would like you as well."

Rogue felt herself heat up as Thornn called him pretty, her temper flaring more out of control at the suggestion that Mystique would want Remy to be in her Brotherhood. Rogue started a flame on her head and was rewarded by another high pitched screech of agony. "Shut up already!"

"What d' hell are y' playin' at?" He said to Rogue, miffed that he was in the middle of something that he had not the faintest notion about. "Y' an assassin?" His staff was still leveled at the cat thing, but he eyed her uncertain if he shouldn't be turning it in another direction.

Rogue put out the fire on Thornn’s head and snapped her glare to Remy. "Ah ain't no such thing! Ah ain't never killed anybody in mah life!" She turned back to the newer recruit and felt the powers starting to weaken. "Swamp Rat, how's tha goon in tha back holdin'? An' make those people shut up!" Her head was already throbbing from Burner's memories and Thornn's screams, she didn't need anything adding to it.

"He's out. Which is another question I've got for y'." He was racking up quite a few. "How the hell do y' knock a guy out like dat? Got some sorta gas up y're sleeve or somethin'?" The fires flickered down lower and the feline’s eyes glittered in them, her spine rippling as she tensed for a leap. A forward step and a hard swing of his staff to the back of her ear had her slumping within the blaze. He made a face at the soot stain on his staff and walked over to the unconscious man, wiping it off on his ratty shirt. Doing a double take, he put a finger to the pulse in the thick neck. "Dis one…he's really out. Breathin' though." He amended.

"Y'all got a bomb up y'all's sleeve?" She countered, debating whether or not to drop the flames. After a minute, she doused them, falling to her knees with the effort she had put out. She looked over her shoulder at him and saw a cut in his side, her eyes growing wide then narrowing again."Ya ain't ok! Ya liar."

"Y're one t' talk girl. Y're d' one on y're knees shakin' - not me." He stopped a little ways away from her, not sure what to think, leaning on his bo. The two bodies bracketed them, one on either side. "Won't be long till d' cops get here. With all dat noise we're bound to have gotten a bit of notice, neh?"

Rogue pushed herself to stand, fisting her hands at her sides to force herself to stay up. As soon as she knew she wouldn't stumble, the glove was tugged from her pocket and quickly pulled back on. "Fine. Ya got questions, y'all can follow. Ah don't need ta get caught by anybody else taday." With that, she heaved a breath and flew up to land on the rooftop of one of the buildings that closed in the alley, sliding down to slump against the small wall that bordered it. "Too close."

Freezing again for a few seconds when he saw her fly so casually, he rolled his eyes before spinning the staff once then collapsing it and sliding it into its space on his uniform. "Oui...glad y' thought of dat. Thought it might be fun t’ spend some time gettin’ grilled by d’ police." he muttered. Her name was beginning to make more sense now - who she was may be a mystery but it was readily apparent that she was in deep trouble.

Rogue felt like passing out right then and there - her head was throbbing, her muscles ached, and damn it, she still hadn't had any supper. She stayed very still for a few moments before pulling up the energy to move again, going to the other side of the rooftop and sitting back down to wait and see if the swamp rat would follow her.

Damn but using someone's drained energy always took a toll on her own. And she now had to explain to Remy that she was a mutant. That all three of them down there had been mutants. Great. She was fairly sure he would have figured that out, but it wouldn’t be the first time someone’s been in shock and hasn’t had registered things very clearly. Hopefully he wasn't affiliated with any anti-mutant groups. But then, he had somehow caused an explosion of some sort. Or maybe that had been Thornn and it just looked like he had been the one who dropped something?

Scrambling up he paused on the rooftop, looking at the weary set of her shoulders. While he still had scores of unanswered questions, he couldn't help but see the vulnerable girl under all the bluster that she'd given him. Mind you that, how much of that was an act within an act? Truth was those two had been after her and it wasn’t to play patty-cake. "So where y' shackin' up? Y’ got a safe place? Or y' plannin' on headin' to a little cardboard box somewhere?"

"Ah dunno." Rogue hadn't even thought that far yet and it hit her with sudden realization that those two would not leave town soon and her usual alleyway wouldn't be safe. She shook her head and laughed a bit, bemused by the whole situation. "Don't even know," she repeated slowly, more for her own benefit than his. Rogue tucked her hair behind both ears before standing and looking at him, "Why do ya care?"

Her mouth drew into a thin line as she looked down at his side, the slash in the material dark at the edges. "How deep is it?" she asked him, her voice softer than before, worried about him. Why was she worried? It was his own fault it had happened, she had told him she could take care of herself! But, no, he had to come try and play hero. Idiot boy.

All the same, she was worried - whether she liked it or not.

"Just skin." He waved her off and knelt, considering what he was contemplating doing. While it wouldn't expose the guild to danger, per say, he couldn't see them very happy that their resources were being 'wasted' on some little street kid. Then again... "Humor me for a minute - explain what happened down dere with y' knockin' dat guy out and all d' flames and everythin'."

Rogue sank back down to sit on the rooftop and chewed on the inside of her lip. "Got a curse. He'll be fine. Ain't got tha flames any more though, if that's why ya askin'. Told ya Ah'd be fine." She drew her knees up to her chest and wrapped her arms around them, shrugging a bit. "Just another day in mah life."

"Curse." He said the word questioningly, but he couldn’t help hearing the words again through the haze of old memories. Diable! Cursed one! Devil's get! Lips thinning in irritation at the old pain the words brought he turned away from her, leaning over the edge of the roof to check things out. The cops had arrived and he watched them swarm over the two figures down below, two of them stopping short in puzzlement at the cat-lady. He snorted in amusement. That should keep them wondering if to call an ambulance, the vet clinic, or the pound. "So...if d' flames aren't y'rs den dere his...how did y' get dem? Part of y're curse? Y' a vampire?" He grinned outright at that and lifted a brow.

Rogue snorted as well and rolled her eyes. "Believe it or not, Ah ain't heard that one." She licked her lips and refused to look over and see what was going on. It was better to not look back at those two - considering why they wanted her it would only make her even more antsy. "But yeah, gettin' 'em from 'im is part of mah curse. How many questions y'all got Swamp Rat? Ah gotta get movin' soon if Ah don't wanna get caught."

"One more if y' would humor me dat much." She was fidgeting, restless with nerves. "And trust me. Dey'll be so caught up with tryin' t' figure out what they got down there they won't think of it." Walking close enough to her to be able to see her face better in the light from the moon and street lights he watched for her reaction. "Y' can take powers from people dat have dem? Nothin' happens with regular people den?"

Taking a deep breath, she rolled her shoulders. Regular people. Cody's image flashed in her mind and she closed her eyes, biting hard on her lip. "Don't Ah wish. If Ah touched y'all, ya'd go down same as Burner, only, Ah wouldn't have no powers from it." She looked up at him, a bit suspicious. "Do y'all always carry bombs 'round with ya? Or was that a firecracker, tha way it was colored?"

To his credit his lips didn't twitch, though they itched to. "Y' could say it was a firecracker, oui." He began to walk away from the alley, along the flat roof. "So, your touch just knocks regular people out?" His brow twitched as he suddenly remembered an odd thing that she had said in the alley and leapt on it. "Y' said somethin' about shuttin' people up? Who were y' meanin'? Surely y' didn't expect me to shush the whole crowd on d' street, hien?"

Rogue shrugged a shoulder, "Not always. Takes a bit sometimes. Been told it's called 'absorption' or somethin'...” She avoided telling him the other aspects of her power and pushed herself to stand back up as she felt a bit of her energy return. "Ah was surely hopin' ya might know how ta shush 'em. Y'all're tha N'awleans expert, remember?” Shit. That would work – it wasn’t a lie. Although, it wasn’t the exact truth either.

Rogue walked towards him, a bit interested in what he had in his coat now. "Ya know, fourth of July's gone by, Swamp Rat. Why ya keepin' some in ya coat? An' why ya wearin' a coat in this heat anyhow?" Now it was her turn to be curious.

He took the little hints and clues that she'd given him and slipped it together to form a whole. One that would make her a damned handy ally. And that meant he had his justification. "Ah, dey never called dis boy a smart one. Wouldn't get outta d' rain either." He looked back at her. "Y' want a place t' stay, gotta little place y' can. It's safe...d' people after y' won't find y' dere." He left out the fact that it would be guarded to a degree as well.

"How can Ah trust y'all? How do Ah know this ain't some sort of trap or trick?" She narrowed her eyes at him. "Why did Thornn say she would want y'all?" Rogue took a step back from him, a bit wary. "What're ya hidin', Cajun? How'd ya make that explosion happen?"

He frowned, folding his arms across his chest. "Beat's me. Y're d' one dere after. Dis woman like 'pretty boys'?" Shaking his head he shrugged. "If y' want to wait out on d' streets for d' rest of her posse...or her, whoever ‘her’ is - den be my guest. I'm just tryin' t' help y'. No skin off my knuckles if y'd rather be caught." He added, when her lips started to form into a thin line. This one really didn’t like charity.

"Ah just wanna be sure ya ain't gonna lead me somewhere where they're gonna try an' skin me alive or somethin'..." Rogue crossed her own arms and glared at him. "Can ya blame me f' bein' careful?"

“An’,” Rogue didn’t want to say it, but knew she had to. “She likes… mutants. Don’t matter what ya look like, so long as ya powerful.”

"Can understand dat. Smart t' be careful. But sometimes y' need a hand - can't do everythin' on y're own. So, be careful as y' want. I don't mind sittin' around while y' sniff d' place out." He scratched his chin. "An' mutants? What d' hell she want t' do dat for? Or dis some sort of fetish for her?"

"It's a long story, Swamp Rat." Rogue turned away from him and started pacing the rooftop, making sure to avoid getting too close to the edge where the police were. "Where is this place an' why would they agree ta keep me?" Maybe this wasn't the best idea she'd had, but it was better than being on the streets when those two got loose - or when Mystique sent more of her goons down this way.

"Y'd have it t' y'reself." He may be able to secret her in a safehouse, but there was no damn way he'd get away with taking her into somewhere that was main guild property. "Dere's a small little apartment up dat way. Ain't in a fancy neighbourhood, but nothin' too crappy either. Just blends with all the other places. And that's the idea, neh?"

“Ta mahself?” She turned to face him again, questioning expression on her face. “Ah don’t have any money ta pay f’ an apartment, Cajun. How would that work?”

"My family owns it - but it's vacant right now." Easiest way to explain that really. "Ain't nothin' more than a one room place, but it's furnished so y' have a bed an' things. Keep y' safe for a bit." Now it came to the more delicate wording. "And...if y' can see y're way to it, maybe y' can lend me a hand with some work t' help out a bit. I rub y're back..."

Rogue stopped her pacing and just watched him with a wary eye for a moment. Why did he keep wanting to help her? Why did she keep accepting that help? She peered over the rooftop carefully - now was not a time to question. Get away from this mess and question later. "Promise ta answer mah questions 'fore Ah say deal. But, can we get away from this place, please?"

He bowed, not quite mockingly. "Be my pleasure, mademoiselle." The network he'd need to take to get to the apartment was already in his mind and he walked purposefully to the edge of the building. "We'll go a bit of a windy route. Partly cause we don' want dem t' track us." A nod towards where the sky and sides of the building opposite them were painted with garish flashing blue and red. "And partly cause I'm stuck with jumpin', unlike y'." Point made, he did a quick check to make sure that no one was about and did just that, running a few brisk strides before launching him with practiced grace, landing easily and quietly on the next roof. "Y' comin'? Shake a leg girl."

Rogue grinned and she took off running after him, pushing off of the edge of the roof to fly over the gap and him as well. She pulled to a stop in the air hovering a few feet above him and looked down at him with a broad grin. "Where to now, Swamp Rat? Don't worry 'bout me, Ah'll be right on ya tail. Can promise ya that."

"Oui. Well not all of us are lucky enough t' be little ‘Tinkerbelles’, chére. Some of us gotta actually work." Looking at her he wondered how she'd take his teasing. Little fire spark - either she'd laugh with him or get spitting mad. Either way she wasn't boring, that was for certain.

Rogue arched her eyebrow at him and landed on the roof in front of him. "Flyin' is work. Just a bit easier than walkin'. Can give ya a lift if ya want. Ya already know Ah'm a mutant, no sense in hidin' other things." Part of her hoped he would say no, she wasn't sure why she was offering to carry him. That meant touching him and even protected that worried her.

"Nah. Ain't one t' fly. Happy enough with my own two feet." Sides, better to keep it low so they weren't noticed. She gave him a brief nod of agreement at that and he led the way up and over roofs till he could find the fire escape he wanted. A short jaunt down a back alley, feet squishing through the refuse from an overflowing dumpster and they fetched up against a building. He glanced at his watch, wondering how long he could push it till he had to call his Papa or show back at home. He'd be expecting the documents that were still safely tucked up against his side - thankfully not on the side that the kitty had gashed. He’d rather sacrifice a bit of skin than wreck those.

"Well. Dis is it. Home sweet home." Leaping up, he caught the bottom ladder of the fire escape that was loosely joined to the building he'd led her to. It was probably the thick layers of paint that held it on more than the rusted screws and it screeched dreadfully in protest at each step they took up it, but that was part of the attraction. While it didn't allow for quiet entries and exits this way, it wouldn't allow others to sneak up on her either. Unless they could fly. Which...who knew. He'd seen some pretty crazy things tonight.

Rogue cringed at the noise, but followed him up anyway; blowing out a breath once they got to the landing. “Well that was interestin’. Wasn’t sure if it was gonna collapse’r not. Why does ya family own a place like this? Why not sell it an’ use tha money on somethin’nicer?” She frowned at him and looked down at the alley below them. “What part of town is this anyway? Don’t think Ah’ve ever been over here.”

"Nah. Dis place suits its purpose. We're in d' upper fourth ward...not so bad generally, but it flooded here bad when Katrina hit, so it's still recoverin' like d' rest of d' city. D' tourist places an' where d' rich folk live are d' only things that have been really restored." He flipped a hidden panel open and put in a quick code before opening the window as it released with a click. "Gonna reset it with a code for y' to use to get in and out - but y'll know if anyone's comin'. Good alarm system, dat."

He helped her in and then looked around at the plain but well furnished apartment. Everything looked right - and the code that he'd used had shown that no one was currently occupying it. Which was good seeming as he certainly didn’t know the entire goings on of the guild and had taken a small risk in bringing her here. This was his favorite duck and run spot though, and as such it was generally left more alone by other members. "Dere's food in d' cupboards. Tomorrow I can bring y' some fresh things t' put in the fridge."

Rogue looked around the room and started walking towards the kitchen to look around. She ran her fingers over the wall and smiled at the simplicity of the place. It was small and could use with a bit of a dusting, but it was a roof over her head. She hadn't had one of those in a very long time - not counting the short amount of time she lived with Mystique. Which brought her to another point; what she had to do to stay here.

After taking in the kitchen she walked back out to the living room, "What was it ya needed me ta do? Ah ain't gonna take any charity, so Ah'm glad ya askin' me ta do somethin', but Ah ain't gonna agree 'less Ah know what that somethin' is first." She bit her lip as she looked at the couch, hesitating, but sitting on it after a moment.

Staying where he was he was glad she settled in after her brief tour. Showed a bit of trust at least. "Thought y' maybe could help me out with some business. Been lookin' for somethin' that's been hidin' real well. Figure I could get it eventually, but it'd be easier with a partner." Spreading his hands he shrugged. "So no strings attached. And it'd probably be a cake walk for y'."

Rogue cleared her throat and looked around the room she was sitting in, her hands rubbing over her pant legs. "Is it dangerous?" Dangerous. Ha! Like she'd really have to worry, and who would care if she got hurt anyway. No family, Mystique only wanted to use her, Remy only wanted help. "F'get it. Sure, Ah'm in,” she nodded then looked to him with cautious eyes, “Ya gonna kick me outta here when we get whatever it is?"

"Y' really don't think high of me, do y'?" He tilted his head to her. "Or maybe y' just think everyone's an ass and I'm just one of d’ herd. Don't know which to prefer, myself." Crossing the room in a slow prowl, he sprawled on the other end of the sofa from her, shifting a bit as a piece of the Kevlar dug into his hip. "Y' want a more formal deal? So y' know where y' stand? How long are y' plannin' on stayin' here?"

"I just don't trust. Ain't been given a reason ta in a long time." Rogue watched him sprawl out, comfortable and lazy. Like he owned the place – well ok, maybe he did, but it was still making her feel a bit awkward. Why was he this comfortable around her? They barely knew each other. If he was that at ease around her, she could at least pretend to be as well. Rogue shifted where she sat and tried to get more comfortable. He made it look so easy! Why was it so difficult for her to even fake it?! She gave a forced smile and shifted again.

"Ah'm stayin' as long as Ah can without gettin' found. Ah'm tired of runnin', but Ah never let mahself get too at home any place since Ah know Ah'll just have ta get up an' go again." She looked him over, contemplating what kind of deal he would be talking about. No way to know but to ask, so she shrugged and asked him. "More formal?” Change the topic off of her and onto him… That might ease the weight on her chest a bit, “An' why don't y'all take off ya sunglasses, ain't a public place so ya don’t gotta worry ‘bout ya ‘image’ an' it ain't real bright in here. Y'all can barely see, Ah'd bet."

"Can see just fine." And that much was true. He'd long adjusted to making out things through the deeply tinted lenses. Plus he had a feeling that he had a slight leg up on the average Joe as far as seeing in the dark, not that they'd ever tested it. Right now he held all the cards and he liked it that way.

Still, any fool knew when to toss something down to gain something better. And the girl? She was ready to bolt at any time. If he confided in her a little, she'd be more likely to go for this. Accept the help she needed. And he'd get a helping hand in the bargain. All in all it wasn't like she could call him out without calling herself out anyways - what was that saying? Birds of a feather...

"Don't be silly, there's no lig-" She was cut off by him starting to reach up towards his face. Her head tilted to the side as his nimble fingers plucked the glasses from his nose, revealing his ruby and jet eyes. Rogue frowned as she looked at him, she wasn't exactly unaccustomed to seeing things like that, she had of course seen worse when she stayed with Mystique, but... "Wow," was all she could think to say. No wonder he didn't take them off at the diner.

One eyebrow quirked as he chuckled, both surprised and amused by her reaction. "Well dat beats 'holy shit' or d' other things people generally come up with.” He sat forward, deliberately folding the glasses up and putting them in a pocket for safekeeping. "Y' know, bet dere's a beer or maybe some bourbon here. Y' in d' mood?" Time may be pressing but at least the job was completed this time. And he could always just call to let his Papa know things were good. Though that'd be likely to get him a talking to later - job wasn't considered done till the take had been put in hand.

"Ah'd guess people wouldn't be so used ta seein' that kinda thing, huh?" She couldn't take her eyes off of his; she'd never seen anything like it. They were captivating - she felt almost hypnotized. After a moment, Rogue shook her head and forced herself to look away, "Ah'm sorry, what did y'all ask? Mah mind was somewhere else." Not a complete lie, but not the truth either.

Shrugging again, he repressed a chuckle as she turned away. While many turned from his eyes out of fear or disgust, the bright colour of her cheek that was still turned to him told another story. So she was a bit intrigued by him, neh? "Ah, dat's alright, chére. I'm used to havin' women's minds be in other places. Was askin' if you'd like a drink?"

"How many times am Ah gonna have ta tell ya not ta flatter yaself durin' our short lil engagement we got goin’?" She shrugged about his question. "Don't really drink. Guessin' Ah could try somethin' though." Rogue stood and looked back at him, trying to look at the bridge of his nose so it would look like she was meeting his eyes. Her reaction had been a little embarrassing and she wasn't looking for that to happen again.

"Ah'll see if Ah can find everythin’. Gotta learn mah way 'round, right? What do y'all want?" Rogue started to make her way back to the kitchen, taking a glance at him over her shoulder before she hit the open archway, waiting for his answer.

His smile tightened a bit once her back was to him. "Bourbon. Neat. An' engaged already, cherie? Y' do move fast."

"Cajun," she chided with a hint of teasing to her voice, "Y'all's head is surely gonna explode one day." Rogue grinned and walked into the kitchen, looking for the bourbon. She found the bottle and peeked out to look at him. "So, now that Ah've found this, Ah'm gonna take a wild guess an' say that 'neat' means no ice or nothin'? Or am Ah wrong?" She made a face at his grin, "Ah told y'all Ah don't drink, stop lookin' at me like Ah'm so damned amusin'."

"Better dan being boring at least." He stood to help her, easing into the small space beside her. "And you had it right. Neat means no ice, no water, no soda." Brushing close to her back, he reached for the glasses, thick cut and a lovely green colour, that were down on the counter. "As for drinkin', y' have to start somewhere, don't y'?"

Rogue froze as he got so close and - once she could breathe again - took a tiny step away from him to make sure no ‘accidents’ would happen. "Ah guess ya gotta start somewhere with everythin', huh?" She looked at the glass with a bit of admiration. "How come y'all's family ain't livin' here?"

She took the lid off of the dark colored bottle and picked up a glass, tilting it slightly towards the bottle as she poured the bourbon to fill it half way. "Are y'all sure Ah'm gonna like this?" Rogue screwed up her face slightly as she swirled the amber liquid, watching it as it made tiny waves up the side of the tumbler.

His grin widened. "In dis place?" His eyes swept the entire place - the whole three hundred something square feet of it. "Where y' think we'd all fit?" Placing his partially gloved hand over her own gloved one, he set it to her lips. "Only one way to find out."

Rogue's eyes went wide as he touched her and put the glass at her lips. She had to force herself not to squeeze her eyes shut and pinch her nose like a child taking a nasty medicine. She shot him a look when he gently pushed the glass up to tip some into her mouth. Rogue took a swallow and had to resist coughing as she pushed the glass away. It was smooth, but strong. "Not bad..."

Setting the glass down, she looked at him as she reached across him for another glass. "How am Ah supposed ta know how many people y'all got in ya family? An' ya said ya family owned it right? Doesn't that normally mean that they'd live here?"

He took his own swallow from the glass she'd drank from to hide his amusement at her cough. "Well unless we're sleepin' all in a double bed, it's gonna be tricky. It's more of a…rental."

"Oh..." She still couldn't quite understand why they would have a place like this, but figured it was none of her business so she didn't press the matter. As she poured some of the alcohol in the second glass she watched him out of the corner of her eye, thinking over what had happened in the alley. "That explosion... how'd y'all do that?"

"Same way y' touch people I imagine. I' just do." He drank the rest of the contents down in one long swallow. "So why y' got crazy mutant collector lady after y'? She wanna make a coat?"

Rogue watched him down the entire glass and quirked an eyebrow, "Ya want more, Swamp Rat? Heard alcohol don't work well f' dehydration, though. Thinkin' if ya that danged parched, should get some water, huh?" She shook her head and poured him more bourbon without waiting for a response. Rogue then picked up the bottle and her glass and turned to walk to the living room again, bumping a light switch with her elbow on her way to the couch.

"An' Remy, this ain't a freakin' Disney movie. She ain't makin' coats outta us like that evil woman with tha hair worse'n mine. Ain't important why she wants us, just so long as Ah don't get taken back ta her."

"Wouldn't say that I was thristy exactly." He watched the sway of her hips as she moved through the room. "Hungry, maybe…" Not for anything in the cupboards though. He managed to jerk his gaze upwards in time when she whirled to face him, mind latching onto what she’d been talking about. Right. The woman pursuing them. "True. So we'll make sure we don’ get caught." This time when he sank back beside her on the couch he made sure it was close enough to companionably bumping legs with her. He reached up to add a bit more to both of their glasses, the girl happily oblivious about how much he intended both of them to drink tonight. "So, tell me about her. I'll keep my eyes out.”

Rogue shifted on the couch, not extremely comfortable with his leg touching her, but trying to play it off as trying to get more comfortable where she sat. Her head tilted a bit as he added more to her glass as well, "Ah don't plan on drinkin' much, shu- Cajun. Don't need more'n what Ah had..." She took a slow drink of the bourbon and managed not to nearly choke this time.

"Cain't." She shook her head. "Cain't tell ya a damned thing 'bout her. 'Cept that she's a mutant too. Shapeshifter. Hell, Ah could be talkin' ta her right now an' not know it. 'Course, think Thorny-butt woulda not asked who ya were if y'all were her."

"Mmm. Well, y've had a hard day. Y' deserve it." Shifting into more of a professional stance he nodded slowly. "Well dat makes it hard for sure. Y' have a name? Alias? Y' know who's workin' for her or where dey center out from?"

"Thanks," she paused and looked at her glass with a frown, then back at him, "Ah think. Anyway, yeah, her name's Raven Darkholme, though she calls herself Mystique. But... she changes her name f' her appearance, ya know? So it ain't that easy. She's real smart 'bout it. Has a bunch of people workin' f' her, an' as y'all found out tonight, gettin' more all tha time. Ah'd never seen that cat thing before. She centrals outta Tennessee."

Rogue shuddered at the thought of the things Mystique had asked her to do and took a large gulp from her glass, having to clear her throat after. "She's trainin' powerful mutants ta serve under her. She calls ‘em the Brotherhood. Mostly teenagers - like me. An' she thought she could adopt me. Wanted me ta call her 'mama'. An’… Ah did f’ a bit. ‘Till Ah found all this out."

He frowned. "Sounds like she's got more dan a few screws loose. All dese kids call her 'mama'?"

"No. They call her Mystique or Miss Darkholme." Rogue swirled her bourbon and looked over at him. "Now do y'all get why Ah don't trust easy?" Damn, his eyes were alluring. She was able to pull her gaze away, but it took some effort. "Mah life ain't been real good ta begin with. Now Ah got all this shit ta contend with. It's one helluva ride though." A soft laugh was shortened by her cup moving to her mouth once again. It wasn't so bad once you got used to it.

"Y' shouldn't trust people anyways. Well...most people." He smiled at her over the rim of his glass, ignoring the fact that the amount of people that he trusted he could count on one hand. He was asking her to have a lot more faith than he ever could. "But oui, dat's just plain creepy. Why she after y' dis way? What makes y' so different? And what's she doin' gettin' all these mutants together anyways?"

"Ah don't know why tha hell Ah'm tellin' y'all all o' this." Rogue sighed some and leaned back into the couch, running a gloved finger over the rim of her glass. "'Cause Ah can use anybody's powers. An' Ah can get people down f' tha count quickly an' quietly. Mah powers are good f’ intel stuff. Ah learn quick. Thought f' a bit she actually cared f' me." She cut her eyes at him, "She never told me that what exactly her reason f’ getting’ us all tagether was though. Would assume somethin' not good. Mama, Ah mean, Mystique just always told me she was tryin' ta help us. Then Ah found out tha truth. An' Ah ran again. Ah was surprised it took her this long ta find me."

"Brave to run if she had such a hold on y' and if y' knew that she'd be settin’ everyone on your tail." He shifted, turning to face her more and putting his arm up around the back of the sofa behind her. "You're handy to have, hey?" The subject matter was serious, but his voice was low and rough with the bourbon. He took another casual swallow. "So what're y' gonna do? Can't run forever."

Rogue felt a chill run up her spine at his words that were laced with his rough, deep voice and she could almost taste honey as she listened to him. "Cain't stay with her. Won't kill her. Which, actually, brings up a question Ah had f' ya, Remy.” A small frown creased her brow. “Why'd ya ask if Ah was a killer? Wasn't killin' that cat creature. Nowhere near it." As soon as she’d said it she wondered why she cared if this man thought she was an assassin of some kind?

His brow didn't twitch but he took another swallow in order to avoid answering for a minute. "Just somethin' I needed to know. Good to know before y' invite someone t' stay, non?" He gave a small mocking grin.

"Kinda rude though. Ah didn't ask y'all that, an’ here Ah am, sittin’ in tha lion’s den so ta speak." She shifted against the back of the couch and gave a soft sigh as she felt herself sink a bit into it. Soft and comfortable were not things she was used to on the run. Rogue watched him over the rim of her glass as she drank the last bit, careful to not look directly at his eyes. "Do y'all ask every gal that question 'fore ya offer 'em a place ta sleep?" She gave her own version of his mocking grin.

"Maybe y' shoulda then." He shot right back at her, enjoying the banter and showing it. A stray lock of hair brushed his bare finger as she sunk down in the couch, and he idly twirled it around. "And non, I don’t ask girls dat. But usually d’ girls I meet don't have weird cat things leapin' out at dem. Usually I'm askin' dem somethin' else dan t’ jus’ sit an’ talk."

Rogue tensed when he started playing with her hair - she didn't want any accidental touching going on. Her eyes met his and she was suddenly very thirsty. "Could y'all, um...would ya mind pourin' me some more, please?" Maybe that would make him let go of her hair and break the eye contact for her. "Ok, Swamp Rat. Here's mah questions f' ya. Y'all a killer? Or... 'assassin' as y'all called it, don't see much difference though. What in tha hell were y'all doin' tryin' ta come down there an' 'save' me? Or whatever it was y'all got stopped doin'. Ah said Ah'd be fine."

She chewed on her lip and felt like a bit of an idiot, but she had to know. "An’… what exactly would y'all be askin' ‘em then?” Rogue felt her face flush a bit as the words left her mouth, but didn't back down from it. "An' those are mah questions f' y'all at tha current moment. Expect more when Ah ain't so tense."

He slid forward in the seat, letting her hair trickle slowly out of his fingers, pouring her a healthy slug and topping up his own before setting the bottle back down on the coffee table. "To answer y', no I'm not an assassin, I'm a thief. Though oui, I've killed. There is a difference."

He studied her reaction to that, tipping the fluid in his glass, watching as it clung for a second before trickling back to join the rest. "As for comin' to your rescue, let’s just say I've never been one to watch a pretty girl get hurt." That scored a hit as her eyes narrowed in irritation.

"Ain't no difference. Killin' is killin'." Her lower lip escaped between her teeth as she tried to work over him killing someone. He just didn’t seem like the type…though she didn’t seem like the type to put a boy into a coma with one kiss either. And a thief? That would explain how he was able to catch her trying to pick-pocket him. Still, she felt safer with him than she would Mystique or any of her brood.

She looked down at the amber liquid, watching as it settled from being poured and toyed with, trying to keep herself from smacking him upside the head for the pretty girl remark. "Y'all believe me now that Ah'd be fine?" Rogue cut her eyes up again in a quick glance, then took a drink as she fixed her gaze on the wall opposite them. "Didn't answer mah third question, Swamp Rat. 'Less ya don't wanna. Which," she shrugged, "guess ya don't have ta."

"Now dat's where you're wrong." He gave her a serious look. "Killin'...anyone can do dat. Just like anyone can steal. It’s different bein' a thief dan an assassin. All assassin’s know is killin’. Dere a different breed." Shoulders shrugging briefly he leaned back. "But then, y' likely have no interest in that."

"As for you bein' fine in a fight, sure you've got some gifts." An ironic nod to her gloved hands. "Dat can make you sloppy though, countin' on that. So time will see. At any route it don't matter. We fought together an’ beat dem, no point questionin' what would have been if not." He tossed the rest of his liquor back with a long sigh. "And as much as I'd like to continue this conversation, cherie, I'm afraid dat I'm much overdue. Though if I do run into dem people again, I'll be sure to let y' know what I ask dem. Ain't quite sure yet."

"Oh... Ah meant," Oh geez. Rogue's cheeks flushed again and she downed half of her glass. "Ah meant what ya'd ask a girl who ya were offerin' a place ta stay. 'Steada ‘are ya an assassin’. But, Ah 'preciate it." She set her half full glass on the coffee table next to the bottle and sat forward in her seat. "Guess now ya know where ta find me." Rogue cleared her throat and felt awkward now instead of comfortable. Vulnerable instead of safe.

"Ah..." He leaned into her yet again. "Well...now dat is a conversation dat I hope we can have another time. To be sure I'll pick dat up d' next time we see each other." Her eyes widened in surprise. What her mind may not know, her body surely realized at least on an instinctual level as she wavered between leaning back again and holding her ground. He took her hand, pressing a kiss to the back to it. "Bon soir."

Rogue froze as he took her hand, not sure whether to pull it away and hit him or give him more of her arm. This man confused her. "Said...said ya'd bring back more food. Will ya bring back some Lucky Charms? Ah like tha leprechaun. Got a soft spot f' guys with accents..." Wow, that was bad. Either the fact that he was able to make her weak in the knees made her tongue slip, or the alcohol did. It would be better not to drink ever again rather than never see him again – especially if she wanted free food and shelter.

"G'nite, Remy." Her hand stayed in his until he gently set it on her lap, sending a shock through her legs as he brushed them with the back of his hand. "Th-thanks again." Rogue's eyes had met his again and she didn't want to break the contact this time for some reason. Blame it on the bourbon, gal. "G'nite, sugah," she repeated softly.

His grin turned positively wicked. The way her cheeks were brightly coloured and her eyes were downturned made him regret that he had to cut this early - he was confident in his resourcefulness as far as her power went. "Certainly chére. Not a problem." He didn't allow her to regain her balance, getting up and sliding nimbly out the window before recoding the alarm. "D' code is 7399 for now. We can make it more difficult tommorrow, neh?" He slid the window shut, the system arming with a soft beep, winking once at her before disappearing into the night.

Rogue sat there for a moment, watching the space in the window where he had been, before forcing herself up and making her way to the kitchen for a pen and paper. No way would she remember that code in the morning with a night like she’d had. After all this, she needed to sleep – a week’s worth sounded about right.

[Edited on 7/14/2010 by Esynthia]
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Remy: he feels lust for everyone

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Esynthia
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CHAPTER THREE

Postby Esynthia » Sun Jul 18, 2010 5:35 am

“Remy!”

He turned at the voice, continuing to strip the cowl off, ruffling his hand through his hair to settle it. It was late, he was tired and wanted nothing more than to have a brief cool shower to strip the sweat off of him and then to collapse on his bed, but he couldn’t resist a small smile as his cousin beckoned to him. With a small internal shrug, he slipped out of the hall to join Lapin on the balcony, wordlessly hopping up to sit on the edge; his back to the two-story drop below him.

Lapin studied him for a long moment, sipping from a long necked bottle in his hand. “We thought we were gonna have to watch for y’ in the papers...what d’ hell took you so long? Wasn’t dat hard of a pinch.”

Mouth pinching up sourly he sighed, not really in the mood to go over this again – especially after the long lecture that he’d just gone through with his Papa over it. “Pinch took me no time at all. Just got distracted after it for a bit.”

Lapin’s eyes went wide. “Oooh. Jean-Luc musta liked that. I’m bettin’ it was somethin’ in a skirt?”

Sighing again, he recognised where this was going. He had a long reputation of getting ‘distracted’ by women. The rules plainly stated that business was business, and any thief was to complete their job before anything else was to be done. He finally shrugged. “Oui.”

“Y’ must be crazy! An’ I have to say I don’t find dis fair at all. How d’ hell do y’ find all these girls? I swear y’ just pluck them up like dey were daisies.”

The cut was really beginning to sting and his shrug had reopened a corner of it to trickle a bit of blood warmly down his side again. “If I have t’ listen t’ y’ yabberin’ on d’ least y’ could do is stitch up my side for me.” He’d prefer to have Tante do it, but waking her up to listen to the lectures she’d give him wasn’t appealing. His Papa’d been enough.

“Y’ cut yourself? Jeeze Remy, y’ musta really fumble footed dis one tonight.” Lapin had followed him back into the light though, and helped him with the fastenings of his body armor before jerking his shirt up. “Wow. Well dis ain’t so bad. How d’ hell did you do dis just pickin’ up a few papers?”

“Wasn’t d’ pinch – it was d’ girl. She had some folks after her. One of dem tagged me a bit.”

Lapin looked a bit more worried at that. “Someone managed t’ cut y’? How many of dem were dere?” He knew that Remy was one of the best fighters in the guild. Tante’d watched him and said he had liquid muscles or something; the point being was that it wasn’t only his eyes that were different.

Sighing he pinched a bit of brow between his fingers. “Emil, I’m really not in d’ mood for dis, so try not t’ yap on like a three year old with y’r ‘why’s’ alright?” His cousin shot him a dirty look at that, and Remy figured maybe he had better amend that seeming as Lapin would be holding the needle in a few moments. “Dere was just two, ok? But dey were mutants. One got dropped early on in d’ fight – but d’ other was some sorta...cat-lady, alright? She’s d’ one dat cut me.”

Lapin gave him a wide eyed look and opened his mouth, but subsided with ill grace, remembering what he’d said. As predicted the swabs of his wound weren’t overly gentle. His grunt of protest was ignored, as he knew it would be. The cut needed to get cleaned out good and it wasn’t like that wouldn’t hurt. He’d pressed his forehead into the cradle of his arm and leaned against the wall, bearing the stitches themselves without a noise, his skin twitching as the needle bit in each time.

He sighed gratefully when it was done, a simple bandage being taped on. He was less grateful when Lapin gave him a grin. He knew that grin. It didn’t bode well. He tugged a new shirt on and sighed.

“So y’ got clawed by cat woman? She wear dat tight shiny latex outfit too? Rrrow!” Lapin made a clawing motion with his hand. “Honestly, d’ whole reason I watched dat damn movie was dat I was hopin’ dere’d be one of dem ‘wardrobe malfunctions’. I mean wit’ all dat fightin’...”

“Y’ have a one track mind.” He cuffed Lapin lightly upside the head.

“I do? Look who’s speakin’! Dat’s more dan a bit of pot n’ kettle, ain’t it?”

“Oh can it, Lapin. Least I don’ have t’ watch a movie t’ see some action. Get it jus’ fine on my own.”

Lapin made a sad face at him. “See? Dis is what I was sayin’. Y’ have a different girl under y’ every night, Remy. Can pick one up without a thought. Y’ got one tonight while fightin’ an’ stealin’ for Christ sakes. How can anyone compete against dat?” Lapin picked up his beer and broodily cradled it again. “Mind y’...guess y’re days are numbered. I’d be workin’ in as much as I could get too.”

“Don’ bring dat up again.” He sighed tiredly and went back out to the patio, finding Lapin’s spare stash of beer in a cooler that was tucked under the chair he’d been sitting on. “I jus’...not tonight Lapin. Have t’ be faced with it every time I turn around lately.”

“Yeah, yeah. Well it’s hardly a death sentence Remy.” Lapin subsided with a roll of his eyes when he caught the glare aimed at him. “So...what was d’ girl like?”

He shrugged again. “Pretty. Feisty. Brunette wit’ d’ brightest green eyes y’ll ever see.”

“Feisty...” Lapin made eyes at him. “Sure she didn’t put dat scratch in y’ an’ all dis ‘cat woman’ stuff is jus’ nonsense?”

“Oh stop it y’ dumbass.” He took another long swallow of beer and looked out over the grounds, the stone of the balcony rail cool under his hand, soothing. He knew that to Lapin it would appear mostly dark, little islands of vision pooled here and there with the scattered lights that were on. For him it was a scene of low greys where there was usually colour. He could see the big oaks that bordered the grassy area in the back, the willow where he’d caught Henri and his girlfriend at the time necking. Could see the edge of the bayou way out back as well as catch the smell of it, wet and full of green life. Better than the smell of the swamp which you could catch on really breezy days.

“Remy?” He turned back to face Lapin, realizing he’d been quiet for a while. “Y’ ok? Y’ve been...more distracted lately. Quieter.”

“I have t’ be ok, oui? D’ whole guild is ridin’ on me.” The answer was bitter, he knew. It was a side he didn’t show Papa, knowing that there was nothing any of them could do about it and not wanting to hurt the man who’d taken him in and raised him as his own. Still, parts of him rankled at the fact that he didn’t have a choice. Given one, well, he may have well chosen this path. But it was the lack of that choice that was the pincher.

Emil was quiet for a long while. “Remy...”

“Bah...don’ start.” He cut him off, hating the slightly sympathetic tone. “It’s all fine. Bella an’ I get along jus’ fine, right? An’ once things are settled...” He shrugged and settled. “Not dat big a deal, right?” A small motion caught his eye and he quieted, a grin spreading back across his face. Nothing like shoving thoughts of the future aside by having fun in the now. Lapin had caught his intent stare and stood partially so he could see what he was seeing as well.

A light, low chuckle showed that Lapin also recognised the person slipping out between the low bushes in the back of the house. Laughing and taunting his brother would be one thing...but this was an opportunity not to be missed. Lapin didn’t manage more than a half grab towards him before he was up and over the rail, dropping to land lightly on the ground below, giving a small wince as the move pulled at his newly stitched cut. He gave a last wink to the half surprised, half resigned face that was looking down at him before slipping after the quickly moving figure.

As trained as she was, she hadn’t been trained a LeBeau. Henri had done a good job of making up for things though. The knife that she tossed at him cut a lock of his hair free when he swung like a gibbon out of a tree in front of her.

“Damnit Remy! What the hell are you thinkin’ doin’ that? I barely managed t’ change d’ way I threw dat.” She put a hand to her hip and waited for him to retrieve the knife which had lodged deep into the bark of the tree. With a put upon sigh he did so, tipping it up on one end to balance it carefully on the tip of his finger as he walked back. She rolled her eyes at him. “Y’re such a show off t’ boot.”

“Oui, but y’ still love me.” She snatched her knife and put it back in the hidden sheath she had.

“Love you, my ass. Jus’ cause I ain’t killin’ y’, don’t make the mistake that I’m lovin’ you.” She was busy pulling her hair back in a ponytail, the fine blonde strands silvery in the moonlight, constantly slipping through her fingers causing her to hiss in annoyance.

“Aww chére. “ He gave her a wounded look . “An’ here I thought I had a chance wit’ y’ out in d’ moonlight here.”

“Scamp.” She shook her head and walked along the path a few feet to sit on a bench. “Remy LeBeau, y’ think y’ could manage t’ avoid hittin’ on y’re sister in law at least. Y’re worse dan a ruttin’ tom cat.”

He found a scrap of stump opposite her. “If I’m d’ tom cat roamin’ around at midnight...what does dat make y’ for being out and alone?”

Mercy fixed him a direct look for an instant and then her eyes unexpectedly dropped. She was nothing if not to the point though, leaving the fencing of words up to him and Henri and their papa. “I was gonna go see Tante Mattie for a juju. So I can keep a child.”

He looked away, feeling bad about intruding her and his brother’s personal life, though the whole guild knew on some level about the difficulties. The heir to the thieves’ guild had no heir, despite Henri and Mercy’s seven years of marriage. To the fact that Mercy was leaving in the cover of night to procure an item that she held as mostly superstition spoke of her desperation. It was just another reason that he himself and his upcoming marriage were increasingly important. But he could feel no resentment to Mercy for this. She bore it with strength and dignity, but he knew that inside she was deeply hurt.

His problems faded into the background a bit. Mercy had always been good to him, even if that meant she was cuffing him for things she’d caught him at that he shouldn’t be. Finding a spot beside her on the bench he sat quietly, letting his simple solid presence say what he couldn’t put into words.

“What about you, scoundrel? Dare I ask what y’re up t’...is dat blood?” Mercy caught at the edge of his shirt before he could do anything about it and yanked it up. “Remy, what did y’ do dis time?”

He fingered the wet bandage and screwed up his face. “Probably popped a stitch.”

“I wasn’t talkin’ about dat, idiot. Meant how did y’ get dis new cut.” She sat back. “Too dark to look at it anyways, but y’re not bleedin’ dat much, so y’ should be fine t’ haul y’re own ass back up t’ d’ house.”

“Oui, Maman.” He ducked her cuff and laughed before giving her an odd smile, unsure as to what to say. “Mercy...how did y’ and Henri meet?”

She gave him an odd look. “Through d’ guild. How else?”

“Well, I knew dat. Mean more like...how did y’ end up likin’ him?”

Laughing, she shook her head. “Despite of what pigs y’ men all are around each other, he can be actually quite charmin’. Maybe not as much as y’, with dat pied piper way y’ have with d’ girls...but he’s got his own charm, Remy.”

Ok, this wasn’t coming out like he wanted. “But why him? How did y’ know y’ wanted to marry him?”

Mercy was never slow, and she gave a look up at him like a hound first taking the scent. “What’s dis about, Remy?”

He was an idiot for certain, for even bringing this up. “Nothin’. I should go up an’ get dis bandaged up again. Bon nuit.”

She looked like she was about to take him by the ear and wrestle it out of him for a minute, but a look to the trees betrayed her concern about her errand. “Alright. I’ll talk t’ y’ later then, Remy.”

***

Mercy crept up to the door of Tante’s small house and looked around before rapping lightly with the back of her knuckles in the pattern she had been taught to let Tante know which guild she should be expecting when she opened the door. She waited for a few moments, hands playing at each other in a familiar nervous gesture. Tante would be able to help her. Of course she would. No reason to be upset.

The door opened a crack and a sigh of relief came from Mercy, followed by a smile. “Bon nuit, Tante. May I come in?”

Tante smiled back at her but gave her an unspoken warning with her eyes, causing Mercy to frown and wonder what was going on. “Sure y’ can, chil’.”

Mercy climbed up the steps slowly, keeping a watchful eye on Tante’s face, looking for any other sign. When her eyes flitted to the inside of the small room, she couldn’t see anything at first. A moment passed before a shape emerged from the shadows of the dim kitchen. Mercy took in a sharp breath and her eyes narrowed when she saw who it was. A split second after, her body was calm and still, not giving anything away as she looked the man in the eye. “Gris-Gris.” She greeted him with a curt nod.

He cracked a grin that made Mercy’s eyes narrow a touch again. “Mercy. How’re y’ dis evenin’?”

“Fine. Thank y’. An’ y’rself?”

“Doin’ wonderful. Jus’ stopped by f’ a visit t’ Tante Mattie. Ain’t come by in a while. Figured now’s as good a time as any, oui?”

“Oui,” she looked over her shoulder at Tante, covering the look with a smile to say that she agreed with Gris-Gris, but her eyes held worry for the old woman. What did he want with her? Especially now. He could do all sorts of alchemy if he was injured...

She felt the slight shift in air currents and she whipped her head back to him to find he was only about a foot and a half from her now. Mercy’s shoulders straightened more and she arched an unamused eyebrow at him. “Sorry, but it’s gonna take a lot more dan dat t’ impress one o’ us. Keep workin’ at it an’ maybe one day it’ll happen f’ ya.” A slight smirk crossed her face before it was schooled again. “If y’d excuse us, I’d like t’ speak wit’ Tante alone.”

“Would love t’, Mrs. LeBeau, but dat ain’t gonna be happenin’. Not yet noways.” He tilted his head causing the beads at the end of his braids to clack together. “See, I t’ink mebbe y’ oughta know why I’m here as well. Y’ petit frère is makin’ a fool o’ himself wit’ all o’ dis. He ain’t fit t’ be d’ leader o’ both d’ guilds, Mercy. D’ prophecy lies. Only, I can’t prove it, so I come t’ Tante f’ her services. Remy don’ deserve t’ marry Bella an’ reign over what is rightfully hers.” An’ mine. “He’s young an’ he’s foolish. He trots off wit’ women he barely knows. An’ now I seen him wit’ d’ same woman twice. An’ it ain’t Belle.” He narrowed his eyes and Mercy narrowed hers back. “D’ y’ see where I’m comin’ from den?”

“No, Gris-Gris. I don’. An’ it ain’t dat Remy ain’t fit t’ lead dat y’ seein’. It’s dat he’s tryin’ t’ take d’ place dat y’ think belongs t’ y’. But d’ prophecies don’ speak o’ a selfish man wit’ obnoxious hair, do dey?” She crossed her arms under her chest and raised her chin a tiny bit. “So d’ fact dat y’ delusional is d’ only place I see y’ comin’ from.”

Gris-Gris snapped a hand out to grab one of the tiny wrists, holding it in a tight grip as his face got dangerously close to hers. “Woman, y’ need t’ know y’ place.”

Tante thwapped him hard on the head with a metal ladle and he gave one last snarl in Mercy’s face, her own defiant one still mere inches from him. “T’ink y’ need t’ learn y’rs, chil’. I ain’ gonna be helpin’ y’ none, y’ keep treatin’ d’ others like dis. Don’ y’ dare do it again, Gris-Gris. Y’ hear me? Ain’t yo’ place t’ decide where hers is. Now, I know I’m neutral between bot’ d’ guilds, but I won’t stand f’ y’ grabbin’ anybody in my kitchen. Comprends?”

Gris-Gris tossed Mercy’s wrist away with a small growl. “Oui,” he ground out before turning to face the woman. “Je sais, Tante. Won’ happen again.”

“Yo’ damn right it won’. Now git.” She shoved the ladle in the direction of the door. “I won’ be helpin’ y’ take down d’ prophecy jus’ so y’ can lead dem. Learn t’ control y’ temper.”

Gris-Gris gave an ugly look to Mercy before crossing to the door, slamming it behind him. Mercy let out an audible breath that she hadn’t known she had been holding. “Jesu Christe, Tante. Dat man ain’ nothin’ but trouble, y’ know it?”

“I know it, chil’. Know it well, but can’t turn him outta my house, now can I?” She gave a fond smile to the girl and gestured at the lumpy old couch. “Now den. Come an’ sit. Tell Tante what’cha came t’ see her f’, oui?”

Mercy couldn’t help but smile back, “Merci, Tante.” She sat down and chewed her lip again, putting her hand over her flat stomach. “Tante... Was wonderin’ if’n y’ had somet’in’ dat could help me an’ Henri conceive a child o’ our own...”

Tante gave a knowing nod and went away to a hidden cabinet in the corner of the room before coming back to her, “Here, chil’. Take one o’ dese ‘fore y’ go t’ bed at night. Don’ question what’s in it, y’ don’ wanna know.” She grinned again and passed the bottle to her along with a small lumpy bag about the size of her palm. “An’ dis ain’t nuttin’ more’n a good charm f’ d’ bedroom, so jus’ slip it under y’ pillow.”

Mercy took them gratefully and stood up to hug Tante, “Merci, Tante. Merci beaucoup. Y’ have no idea how much dis means t’ us.”

“Now, now, chil’. Tante ain’t promisin’ dis’ll work, but it’s wort’ a shot, oui?”

Mercy pulled back to nod at her, “Oui. Thank y’, again, Tante.” She gave her another smile and slipped out the door to head home, more wary now that she knew Gris-Gris had been out and about. The animosity between the guilds was always bad, and now with the wedding coming up it should be getting less and less... Instead, it just seemed to be growing worse.
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Remy: he feels lust for everyone

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Esynthia
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CHAPTER FOUR

Postby Esynthia » Mon Jul 26, 2010 4:10 am

Remy slipped through the doorway, carrying several assorted bags. He didn't bother knocking - mostly because he didn't want a half paranoid girl trying to knife him. Last night had been a long night for her - he hoped that she didn't have a hangover on top of everything.

He looked around the room, wondering if she was in the washroom before he spotted her curled up on the sofa. Clucking he shook his head. "A perfectly good bed an' y' choose dat. Got more t' teach y' dan I thought, chére." He kept the words very quiet, little more than a whisper, not really wanting to wake her right away.

Instead he set the bags down carefully and settled his hip against a windowsill, waiting for her to wake with her own time. Her white streak of hair ran down, half obscuring her face, gently moving with each gentle exhalation. There was a peace to her that she normally did not have – not that he'd seen from her at least. She was unguarded and looked even younger than she was. It made him wonder idly if he looked that way when he slept.

Anna Marie sat with her mother in the garden outside her house, watching her as she cared for their flowers, her small hands wrapped around the handle of a watering can, ready to spring up at a simple nod from her mother. Priscilla smiled over her shoulder at her daughter and she smiled back at her.

The corner's of Rogue's mouth turned up slightly and she shifted a tiny bit on the couch as her dream self got up to peek over her mother's shoulder.

A small sprout had started to grow up from the soil, bright green shining in the sun. Her mother pat the ground around it and Anna Marie started pouring, letting all of the water out of the can. Her mother chuckled and gently pulled the can away as the dirt started to swim. Anna's high childish laugh echoed in her dream and Priscilla scooped her up in a hug, holding her four year old daughter easily as she stood and twirled them around the yard.

A smile tugged at her mouth, small but definitely present. He found himself echoing that smile, crossing his arms over his chest as he watched her. She gave a faint sigh and rolled over a bit, her arm sliding off her chest leaving her fingers dangling over the edge of the sofa. They jerked as if she was grasping something, and he watched as a questioning frown formed on her face, the relaxation that she'd had in sleep slowly melting away as awareness seeped in.

Rogue groaned a bit as her dream faded, her frown deepening in slight disappointment. She took a deep breath and slowly rolled onto her back, stretching her legs out, still in her half-asleep state. The blanket fell off of her legs and she groaned again, a yawn following as her eyes blinked open, trying to remember where she was. Her sub-conscious state was telling her she should be in an alley way, but when she opened her heavy lidded eyes she found that she was staring up at a ceiling. She groggily pushed herself to sit up, leaning on her hands, trying to blink away the fuzzy half remembered dream. Her eyes slipped closed again as she took another deep breath, trying to wake up fully.

"Mornin' cherie. Or should I say afternoon?" He chuckled as she grasped at the blanket in sudden panic, looking at him wide eyed. "No worries, y're decent." Pushing off the windowsill he sauntered by the couch. "Much as dat's a shame." He added in an undertone, but loud enough for her to still catch it.

Hearing Remy's voice reminded her of where she was and why. She brought her hands up to rub at her eyes, sucking in a sharp breath when she realized she didn't have her gloves on and she couldn’t remember taking them off. She tossed the blanket up and looked around quickly before spotting a finger sticking out from under the couch. Breathing a sigh of relief, she gripped them and pulled them on, rubbing her wrists where the ends of the gloves hit. "Afternoon? What time is it?" Her voice was rough and harsh so she cleared it and lay back down on the couch with a yawn, turning her head to him lazily.

"Jus' turned quarter after one, so you're not dat much of a lush." He teased. "Y' need any aspirin? I brought y' some, along wit' some other things." He nodded to the bags that he'd set on the floor. "Got dem toaster waffles too, or y’ can have cereal or bread - really y' got y're pick. Don't know how much of what I chose is healthy stuff, but dat's what happens when I shop." He grinned back at her over his shoulder as he started putting things away.

Rogue shrugged and shook her head, "No, why would Ah need aspirin?" She frowned and sat up again, taking a moment before pushing herself up to stand, grabbing the blanket to fold. After a quick glance over her shoulder at him, she continued folding. "How long ya been in here?" Her tone was slightly wary and only a bit accusatory.

"Cause of d' drink." Picking up a sticky rimmed glass he held it up in illustration. "But evidently y're one of d' lucky ones dat can wake up bright eyed an' bushy tailed an' pretty without a worry for what y' did d' night before." His smile took on a decided twist as he gave her an eye over. "Y're hair looks good all tousled like dat too. Women would kill t’ look dat good wit’ bed head, chére." He took a seat, setting the last bag at her feet. "I’ve been here for a bit. Don't worry, I can behave myself just fine. Y’ll have a change of clothes an' some other things in dere - shampoo an' toothpaste - all d' little things."

She gave a scoffing laugh, "Bright eyed an' bushy tailed Ah am not. Pretty, Ah cain't say since Ah ain't looked in a mirror yet, though Ah'd probably disagree there as well." Rogue put the blanket over the arm of the couch and picked up the bag at her feet and started to walk to the bedroom, smoothing her hand over her hair despite his compliment. "Ah 'preciate this. An' Ah'm extremely grateful f' tha toiletries. Could use a nice hot shower." She pulled the clothes and things out and started setting them on the bed, taking a peek at the tags on the clothes. "Good guesser?"

He got up to follow her. "Got experience in d' matter y' might say." He gave her another sly smile. "I can wash y're back for y' if y'd like..."

"Huh?" Rogue turned to him with a confused frown, her head at a slight tilt. Her eyes slowly widened as she realized what he was talking about and she looked down at the shampoo and soap in her hand. A sharp gasp came from her and she straightened, tossing the items on the bed. He was definitely charming as he stood there so casually in the doorframe, his eyes glowing in the soft light and his grin so smug and sure of itself. She couldn't deny that he was attractive. Rather than put her at ease, it made her stand a bit more erect and hold her chin a bit higher, hiding behind her wall again. "Think ya'd like it more'n Ah ever would," she returned with an arrogantly cocked eyebrow. Until ya went unconscious that is… she added silently, not letting the sigh out that was tugging at her. "An' Ah can reach mah own back just fine, thanks all tha same."

The innocent way that she looked at him, completely befuddled, was an interesting contrast with the trampy sort of woman that he usually pulled these lines with. They wouldn't have hesitated to take him up on the offer rather than turning him down cold like this one did. The change of pace intrigued him, made him more curious about her. "Y' say dat now, but y've never had Remy LeBeau wash y're back. Y' can trust y'd be enjoyin' it just fine, chére."

She rolled her eyes and gave him a skeptical look, even as her body told her he was right. "Keep tellin' yaself that, Swamp Rat." Rogue turned back to the bag and started pulling the rest of the items out, making it so he couldn't see her face. A man washing her back was just something that would never happen for her. There was no point in pretending she would like it, since it would only result in disappointment.

"Oh, I don't need to tell myself dat, petite. I have plenty to tell me." He twinged a bit at the way her back stiffened. Maybe mentioning that wasn't the most tactful thing he could have done. "Go have a good long one. Nice t' get dat grime off, neh? I'll whip y' up a bit of lunch in d' meantime."

Rogue cleared her throat and scooped up the items, leaving the clothes on the bed as she walked into the small bathroom to arrange the things and look for the towels. After she found one she stepped back out to look at him, trying to relax against the door jamb and failing a bit. "Thanks, Cajun. Shouldn't be too long," she said that despite his suggestion for her to take a long shower. Couldn't get too used to it and who knew what he would do - being a thief meant he could pick locks, right? She wouldn't be safe even with the door locked.

Giving her a slight nod, he went to setting the rest of the groceries away before pausing to think, fingers drumming on the counter. There were spices and non-perishables in the cupboards aplenty, but he didn't want anything too elaborate. Maybe just some good eggs...an omelette perhaps. Kinda breakfast, but nothing that you'd turn your nose up for lunch either. He set to gathering up the things he needed for it, and listened only with half an ear as the shower turned on. While watching her would be a helluva lot more fun than cooking, he realized that the frying pan was much better being used on the stove rather than caving in his head.

Rogue slipped out of her clothes and breathed deep as the steam started to fill the room, a small smile curving at her mouth that almost immediately disappeared as she realized she forgot to grab the clean clothes. Pulling the towel tight around her, she poked her head out the door and took a careful step out before quickly flying to the room to grab the clothes, trying not to catch his attention with any possible floor creaks.

On her way back to the bathroom, she paused at the sound of a tapping from the kitchen, then a sizzle. She grinned again and kept moving, shutting the door a bit louder than she would have liked. Rogue shrugged it off since she was safely in the room and set the clothes on the counter as she let the towel fall into her free arm.

A low relaxed moan escaped her as she stepped under the hot water, letting her head fall forward and her eyes close as the water beat over her. She stayed like that for a good five minutes before she leaned her head back under the flow of water to get her hair wet, soaking the warmth of the clean water into her skin and feeling it down to her bones.

Still half chuckling about her towel covered dash to the bedroom for her clothes, he set the ingredients in front of him. Which reminded him, he had to thank his papa for installing a glossy faced microwave in this kitchen - not as good as a mirror, but it did the job just fine.

He whistled as he worked, whisking the eggs and cutting up some sweet peppers and tomatoes, happily lost in the work until he caught the light muffled moan of enjoyment from the bathroom. He shook his head. "Petite, y' ain't felt nothin' yet if just d' shower’s doin' dat for y."

Rogue groped blindly for the shampoo bottle after a few more minutes of just enjoying the water, figuring it was time to get clean and go out to help Remy. She kept taking deep breaths as she scrubbed the shampoo into her scalp, lost in the pure relaxation of the water, forgetting all of the things outside of the apartment. As she started washing it out of her hair, she started to sing softly a song that she had heard a few nights ago as she went past a jazz club, losing herself to the pure joy of getting clean again.

He quit his whistling to listen to her sing. Her voice was clear...untutored but pleasant nonetheless. Pushing the pan back onto the cool burner he crossed the small apartment to listen for a moment, smile widening as he just enjoyed her slightly husky way of singing for a moment.

The eggs were cooling though, and rubbery eggs were nothing good. Rapping briefly on the door, he made a small face as the words cut off seconds before the shower did. He could imagine her scrambling for her towel. "Lunch is ready chére. Don't let it get cold on y'."

"Comin'," she called as she started to hurriedly dry herself off, shoving the curtain aside so she could step out of the tub. Rogue shook her head and took slow breaths, trying to slow her heart rate; she had gotten so lost in being relaxed that she forgot about lunch almost entirely. "Go 'head without me!"

"I've already eaten, merci. It's for you." On second thought though, he could use some coffee - he'd had less sleep than her, so he set back off for the kitchen, digging out the necessary items and setting the maker to happily bubble away on the counter, the sound of it pure domesticity. It was a noise you took for granted when you lived in a house...one that took some getting used to when you didn't. Being in a home was almost magic in its own way - being able to have access to what you wanted to eat when you wanted it. For that, he thanked his childhood. He'd never take even the simplest thing for granted like so many people did.

Rogue made a face at his words - she wouldn't have let him cook for just her if she had known that it wasn't for him as well. No point in him doing something more for her. He'd done so much as it was and he was still practically a stranger. She stilled as she pulled her shirt over her head - a stranger that was letting her stay in his home, shower with him in the apartment, cook for her, and buy her clothes. It would make her feel a lot better if he wasn't so much a stranger. Though, keeping him as such meant no ties for when she left again.

The smell of coffee wafted to her and she took in a deep breath with a blissful smile as she pulled on the rest of her clothes, including socks and gloves, before coming out of the bathroom, not taking time to do much besides towel dry her hair. As she turned the corner she smirked at the sight of him leaning on the kitchen counter sipping his coffee. "Well ain't y'all tha lil home maker."

"Dress me in a frilly apron and y' could call me Betty Crocker." Scooping the omelette onto a plate he set it in front of her. "Y' want juice or coffee?"

Rogue really wanted some of both, but she didn't want to deplete her resources too quickly. "Coffee smells divine. Take some of that if ya don't mind..." She slid into a chair at the small table and smiled at the food, "Ah might call ya Billy Crocker since Ah'm short one frilly apron. Though, might save that 'till after Ah decide if ya can cook'r not."

He got her a clean mug and filled it to the brim, setting it down with the sugar bowl. "Oh I can cook some things. Wouldn't really consider myself dat domestic." He grinned. "Well was gonna offer to wear dat frilly apron an' nothin' else, but if we don't have one, I can just skip dat an' go with d' nothin' else." He raised his brows at her over the rim of his mug as he took a long swallow.

Rogue felt her face flush and tried to cover it by picking up her coffee mug and taking a large drink of the steaming liquid. She averted her eyes from him to the black contents of the mug, trying desperately to get the mental image out of her mind - no matter how much she liked it, it was just a tease and downright embarrassing.

Oh she was an innocent, wasn't she? This was going to be fun. Pulling out the chair beside her he settled down in it, setting his coffee down. "So...whatcha got planned for d' day?" He tried to catch her eye, but she was still blushing and staring down. "Y' know - I ain't naked yet. No need for y' t' be dat tongue tied...yet." He added on with a smirk.

Yet?! Her heart felt like it was in her throat, but she refused to let him know he affected her anymore than he had already."Who said Ah was tongue tied? Cain't a girl enjoy her mornin' coffee?" She gave him a look and took another drink, slower this time as she met his eyes over the brim. If she had her way he'd never be naked around her - too many things could go wrong, not to mention all of the things that could go too right.

Rogue finally set down the coffee and had to force her eyes from his to pay attention to her lunch. It was almost like being hypnotized, no matter what she did, every time she met his eyes, she didn't want to look away. "Ain't sure what Ah'm gonna do taday... Was plannin' on sleepin' f' tha rest of tha week, but obviously that didn't work out."

Her long lashes hid those green eyes for the most part, other than when she peeped up at him through them. Quite coquettish really, if she was doing it to flirt, which he knew she wasn't. Oddly enough, it made it more alluring that way. "Well, if it's a warm bed y' want...dat ain't a problem either." He purred out in a low voice.

His low drawl filled her body and reverberated off her bones and she felt her back relax slightly before his actual words hit her, causing her back to stiffen back up again. "'Course it ain't, there's a bed in that room back there." She took a bite of her omelette and gave him a grin. "An' Ah still thank ya f' providin' it f' me."

"Ain't no skin off my back. It was empty after all." He shrugged. "May as well be used." Carefully casual to a fault he leaned back in his chair. "So was wonderin' if y'd mind helpin' me out with that thing I mentioned last night. No obligation as I said...just I'm tryin' to do a job an' I keep comin' up flat. Think of it as friendly favor."

"Surely. Y'all put a roof over mah head an' food in mah stomach twice now. Thinkin' Ah owe ya somethin'." She finished the omelette and pushed the plate a couple of inches from her then wrapped her hands around her mug, feeling the heat through her gloves. "What kind of job though?" Rogue found herself asking something entirely different than what she wanted to. What she wanted was to get to know this handsome man a bit better, which could get dangerous quickly.

"Well..." He pondered how to put this. "Let’s just say dat a member of d' family who went out on his own a few years back went a bit eccentric - he's got an heirloom dat he shouldn't have taken. So we need t' get it." He scratched his jaw idly, sagging just that much further into the chair, calmness oozing purposefully from him. "D' problem bein' is we don't know where it is. Tried t' find it...no luck dere. But for y' chére...just one little touch and you'd know it, oui?"

Rogue brought her eyes up to his quickly, a startled expression on her face. "One little touch? Thought y'all were better than her." She stood up and took the dishes to the sink turning on the water. As she waited for it to get hot she went into the living room and gathered the glasses from the previous night. After she put them in the sink she refilled his coffee, still staying silent. She couldn't very well turn him down after all of this hospitality, but she couldn't accept either... It made her sick to her stomach to think of someone else using her for her powers.

He frowned, stung at the suggestion that he was just whoring her out for her abilities. "I ain't a thing like her. You don't want t' do dis job, den it's fine. I ain't forcin' y're hand at all." His words were sharp. "Stay here as long as y' like." He got up suddenly and went to the sink, dumping the remnants of his coffee in it.

Rogue stopped in mid motion to put the coffee pot back as she saw him pour the coffee in the sink. She clenched her jaw and sighed a bit before finishing the movement and heading to the sink to wash the dishes, peeling off her gloves on the way. "It ain't just a l’il thing, Remy." She shoved her hands under the scalding water and started scrubbing at a cup.

"Non? My apologies den." His words were crisp and formal, but sincere. "I underestimated den how hard it is for y' t' do it...jus' assumed seein' d' way y' took dat guy down without a thought." He flipped his hand. "It don't matter. I'm one of d' best anyways. Jus' was lookin' for a little 'cheat' if y' will."

Rogue shook her head and clenched her jaw, taking what he said as a slight insult. "Ah can do it without even thinkin'. Cain't control it anyway... Which is tha problem. Get everythin'. But that's beside the point," the last of her words were sharp and irritated, and she let that tone carry into what she said next, "Ain't hard. Easier than ya could pick a lock." Her spine straightened a bit and she put a glass to the side to dry as she started working on the other dishes.

"Y're contridictin' y'reself." He retrieved a cloth and started to dry the dishes, the simple tasks making the conversation seem much more mundane than it really was. "Which is it? Hard or easy? If y' don't want to do it just say it. Don't make all dese excuses."

"It's both." She turned the water hotter as it started to run slightly cool. "Easy ta do. Hard ta control." She thought for a moment and corrected herself, “Impossible ta control.” Rogue paused and turned to look at him, "Do y'all even understand all of what Ah do? Or what Ah get?" All he knew was what he saw in the alley and the small amount of information she had told him.

She shook her head, "Ya cain't tell me what Ah'm sayin' are excuses unless ya understand it. An' Ah know ya most likely don't 'less y'all're a mind reader. So don't go makin' assumptions, Swamp Rat." Her blood was beginning to run hot with the fact that he thought she was just making excuses.

He gave her a look, but added a smile onto the end of it to ease the sting. "Well den fine...explain it."

She sighed and passed him a dish. "One touch, one l’il kiss, an’ Ah claim ya powers, Ah claim ya memories…." Rogue licked her lips and added in a soft murmur, "Some might say, Ah steal ya very soul.”

She cleared her throat, "If Ah touch someone too long, Ah suck away all their energy an’ there ain’t nothin’ left but a lifeless husk.” Rogue ducked a dish beneath the water and her eyes were unfocused as she was seeing something else entirely. “Psyches’re tha hard part mostly. ‘Sides controllin’ mah power any road.”

He mulled that over for a minute drying methodically as she washed each dish and set them before him. "How d' y' mean? Hard t' control d' energy and power dey give y'?"

"Ha. No, that's real easy actually. What's hard ta control is their psyche takin' over mah body. An'... they don't ever go away completely. Fade significantly, but don't leave f' good." She wouldn't look at him as she spoke.

He cocked his head at that. "Y' mean y're like...what is dat...schizo?"

Rogue jerked her head to him with a scowl, "No! Ah am not! Ah'm workin' on tha whole controllin' them part. It's easier sometimes than others... Especially if Ah've absorbed that person before. An' they cain't take over after they've faded a bit, which with a schizo, they could change personalities at any moment any time... Ah'm me. An' they're them... It's hard ta describe an' y'all probably think Ah'm crazy."

She slammed the lever down to shut off the flow of water and grabbed a spare towel to dry her hands. Rogue shook her head and yanked her gloves on as she walked out of the kitchen and back into the bedroom, throwing herself face down on the bed with a sigh.

Oh great. Girls sometimes just plain baffled him. Now what was he supposed to say? This wasn't his department...she may be on the bed, but he was pretty sure seduction was out of the question. "Well y' seem pretty damn normal - bar d' whole flyin' thing and all." He sat beside her, making sure to sit hard enough to bounce the bed a bit in what he hoped was a bit of a distraction. Silly, he could do. "What do y' think?"

Rogue scoffed at that and let herself bounce with the movement of the mattress. "Yeah, normal. How normal is never bein' able ta touch another livin' bein' without tha huge an' realistic possibility that they won't be livin' past a kiss? An' flyin' came with other stuff... They ain't mine." She turned her head to face him, eyes closed. "Ah think that y'all're just tryin' ta make me feel better an' don't believe yaself one bit. An' why should ya?"

He leaned down on his elbow. "I think y're sellin' things short." Reaching across he touched her shirt lightly, drawing a line across her shoulder blades. "You can touch with a bit of cloth or somethin' between y' just fine, right? So you just need to think outside the box."

Goosebumps spread over Rogue's skin and she arched her back a bit in a natural reaction to get away from the touch. "Yeah... Cloth." She kept her eyes closed and turned her head to the other side. "Ain't no thinkin' outside tha box. Ah live in a prison of mah own skin. How is there an outside o’ tha box f’ that?"

He stilled his hand as an idea came to him. Smiling he bounced the bed again. Really, he couldn't lose with this one "So, y' a bettin' girl? Like challenges?"

Rogue made a frustrated noise as she was bounced again. "Challenges, yeah. Bettin', depends." In all actuality, her pride wouldn't let her turn down a challenge unless she knew there was no way on God's green earth she could do it.

"I'll bet you dat I can show y' dat y' can have all d' touchin' y' want...an' if I do, you'll touch dat guy for me." She looked up at him with an odd expression that he couldn't quite read, her eyes looking darker with her being upset. "If I can't...what do y' want?"

Rogue frowned at his question. She didn't want anything besides what she couldn't have. And if he couldn't, then there was nothing for him to give her. "There's no way ya can anyway, wouldn't wanna put ya out anymore when ya fail."

He pushed against her shoulder gently. "Aw come on. Dis should be a shoe in for y' - an' y' could use things, hey? Maybe just feelin' like y' won stayin' here fair and square?" It felt like when he challenged one of his cousins for something - only she was definitely a far cry from Lapin or any of the others. Bustier for one.

"Fine. If ya cain't, this apartment becomes mine. Along with everythin' in it." She sat up and met his eyes with a level stare. "Ya can, Ah'll touch tha guy an' figure out where that thing is. Can't, all of this is mine," she gestured around her then held her hand out to him, "D' accord, Swamp Rat?"

Ooh, she played hard. His Papa'd thump him good if he had an idea of what was running through his head. None of that made him hesitate. "D' accord."

He got off the bed for a moment, and let his eye trail over her as he pulled new gloves out of his pocket, shrugging his jacket off as he did. Since he'd found out about her powers, he thought it practical to pack an unaltered pair with him today, and he was doubly glad he had. Draping the coat carefully over a chair he tipped his head at her. "Y' comfortable dere?"

Rogue grinned, nearly sure she'd have a permanent residence now. She watched him carefully and shifted to sit on her hip, feet tucked up next to her, as she arched an eyebrow. "What are y'all doin'?" Rogue looked down at herself at his question, then at the bed surrounding her, giving him a suspicious look. "Yeah... Why?"

He picked up the bag of clothes that he had gotten her and pulled out a very silky thin negligee that he'd found. Crooking his mouth to the side he held it lightly bunched under his arm while he drew his gloves on. "Cause dis'll be better den."

She stared at him, frozen for a minute, emerald eyes wide in shock and a bit of terror. "Wh-what'll be better?" Rogue slowly pushed herself back on the bed until her back was pressed against the old headboard. "An', why on earth did ya bring that?" And how on earth had she missed seeing it?! Stupid pride! It had probably gotten her into more trouble - trouble that wouldn't be easy to get out of without causing him harm. Of course, if he was going to try what she was thinking, he deserved any harm coming to him...

"You want to touch, right? Know what it's like t' be like other people." He kept his voice low and smooth, but he couldn't resist a bit of a smile at her wide eyed scared expression. "And while I'd rather do dis under other circumstances...I'm never one t' back down from a bet either."

Settling back down on the end of the bed he crooked his eyebrow again as she leaned back as if she could push herself through the headboard. "What are y' scared of chére?”

"Ain't scared," she said defensively and forced her back ramrod straight. "Just cautious..." Rogue cleared her throat and took a deep breath to steel her nerves. "What're ya talkin' 'bout, 'under other circumstances'?”

"Such as y' wantin' me rather dan dis bein' some sorta science experiment." He edged his way up to her, still keeping a bit of distance. "And y' don't need to worry. Got protection." He waggled his gloved fingers under her nose, and then trailed them over her cheekbone, feeling the firmness under her rapidly blushing skin.

Rogue's lip caught between her teeth and her hands grasped at each other, wringing at her palms and fingers as she forced herself to stay still under his touch. A small part of her did want him - there was no denying that - but that didn't stop the rest of her from keeping rational thoughts about it. "An' why on earth would y'all want that, Cajun? Ah ain't nothin' but a river rat that ya saved from drownin'..."

He laughed again, truly amused. "Y're pretty, an' tough as nails. Both qualities dat are admirable, ne c'est pas?" His fingers wandered down the side of her face, tickling along her jaw until he had her chin in his hand. He moved a bit closer to her, watching her eyes. "An' if you have to ask why a boy wants t' kiss a pretty girl..."

Her stomach did a flip as she heard the word 'kiss' and she immediately tried to scramble back further, only succeeding in imprinting her back with the design on the headboard. "Kiss?! Ya never said anythin' 'bout kissin'! Ah don't even know ya hardly at all!" Lame excuse, but hopefully it would work. Cody was not something she wanted to get into... Or the fact that that same kiss that failed miserably was the only one she’d ever had.

"You wanted to know if you could have what others do. Could conspire to do more if y' wanted...but figured dis would be enough to prove my point." He'd lost his gentle grip on her chin when she'd thrust herself back again, but it was little matter. Bet or no, he wanted to kiss this girl; and he had the feeling that she wanted it too. If she was truly not wanting to he'd leave her be without a second thought but he felt that this was more nerves than anything.

"Ah kn- More?" Her eyes went a bit wider. "More ain't even an option!" What the hell did he mean by 'more' anyway? Was he implying that she was some kind of tramp? Her eyes narrowed at the thought. "Ain't possible f' me ta have what others have. An' as much as Ah'd love ta own this place, Ah ain't willin' ta let y'all hurt yaself 'cause ya bein' stupid."

"Shh." He set his finger on her lips and then traced the fullness of the bottom of her lower lip with the thin leather of the glove. She was still stiff and nearly shaking, poor girl, but her breathing was ragged and her pupils had dilated. Whatever she'd said, her body knew what it wanted. "Shame to cover y're face as pretty as it is." She gave him a look of confusion at that, some of the stiffness easing as she opened her mouth to ask him just what he meant by that. Instead of facing more pointless questions he simply brought up the nightgown, draping a single layer of the fabric over her face like a veil and leaned in to press his lips to hers.

Rogue's eyes felt like they were going to bug out of her head when he came closer and she let out a small squeak of surprise when he kissed her through the soft silk. She didn't pull away however and as he continued to press into her with no ill effects, her eyes slid closed and she started to kiss him back. Rogue had never imagined anything like this could work. And yet, here she was kissing a gorgeous guy and he wasn't going into a coma. Sure, it wasn't actually kissing him because there was something between them, but... He flicked his tongue out against her lips and she completely forgot anything but the two of them, letting herself relax some as her mouth opened a bit to him, trying to do what she thought was natural.

He was pleasantly surprised that she didn't resist him. For all her shock she certainly wasn't shoving him away. In fact she was pushing closer in a totally subconscious way. There was a bit of fumbling at first, as she over-compensated, trying too hard before she just relinquished control to him, letting him lead the way, letting go with a slight sigh.

It was a gesture of trust that he took at its fullest, knowing that she certainly trusted very few if anyone even with the smallest things. She tasted sweet through the thin cloth when he darted his tongue in to taste her, a hand to the back of her neck, easing her to an angle that allowed him to delve deeper into her mouth. The thin silk slid between them like a tease, almost liquid in the way that it moved between them. He made some small noise in his throat, moving his other hand to her waist, kiss moving from light and testing to more of a serious one.

Rogue whimpered slightly at the hand on her waist and she felt a slight rush of panic as he pushed the kiss deeper. Her whole body felt hot with nerves and something she wasn't familiar with and she wasn't sure which she was more afraid of; him or that feeling in her stomach. Her hands lifted up to rest on his upper arms for a mere second before pushing him away with a bit more force than she meant as the feeling grew.

Her eyes shot open and she found herself breathing hard and ragged and despite the heat coursing through her, the lack of him making her feel a bit chilled. Subconsciously, her tongue came out to lick at her lips and taste where he had been as she pulled her knees up to her chest, wrapping her arms around them, not moving to help him from where she had pushed him backwards. Anymore touching and she might go insane from need.

He watched her under lowered eyelids, sitting where she'd pushed him, not pressing closer but not backing off either. The nightgown was puddled between them, a darker spot on it showing where they'd kissed through it. Giving her a small smile, he tipped his head to the side. "Penny for y're thoughts chére?"

Rogue couldn't take her eyes off of him and not for the usual reason of his eyes feeling like they were a warmth she'd never known... It was his mouth this time that had her captivated. Her head barely moved as she shook it, speechless. Thoughts she had plenty of, how to put them together to form a coherent sentence was a different story.

A piece of her brain wanted to give him a biting comeback, but she couldn't bring herself to open her mouth and form the words. She watched him as he sat there watching her and all she could think of was how he wasn't lying in a coma, wasn't dead, wasn't anything... Her eyes flicked down to the nightgown then back up at him. Why hadn't she thought of that before? She pulled her lips under and let her tongue run along them on the inside of her mouth, trying to keep the warm and heavy taste of his mouth.

Grin widening he reached out to touch her cheek again. "Never woulda thought dis is all it would take t' still y're tongue, chére. Y' usually have been pretty snappy with y're comebacks up till now." There was something utterly charming about her all flustered and pushed off base like this - as much as he'd been enjoying the acid sharp wit and banter of her normal side.

She swallowed hard as he touched her cheek, vaguely remembering he was wearing gloves, and not able to fully keep the flinch from her face. When she opened her mouth to speak, she couldn't make her voice work so she closed it again, resting her chin on her knees for a small moment, eyes trained on his, face as blank as she could manage at the moment.

Alarms started to go off in her mind as she realized he got through a small piece of her wall and her brain caught up to her as she stood and shot him with a glare, "Did ya ever think it was 'cause Ah couldn't believe how awful ya are at kissin'? An' maybe ya should try poppin' breath mints."

He couldn't help it. He laughed. No, not laughed, absolutely howled. Laughed until tears were streaming from his eyes and she was standing there, simmering like a kettle on high, glaring at him as he flopped to his back, and held his ribs. "Oh chére...dat was about d' worst lie dis cajun's ever heard. Y' couldn't be more creative dan dat?"

Rogue's lips were set in a thin line as she watched him, his laughter not as contagious this time around. "Who said it was a lie? Ah didn't make a statement. Just said 'did ya think 'bout it'?" She slid her arms to cross under her chest and straightened her back.

She glared at the lines of tears coming from his eyes and her glare got more intense, "Ya leakin', dick." Sure, that was a bit crude, but her temper was flaring and there was only so much control she had and if she didn't let something out, she'd make him mad enough to not let her stay here. And she needed to stay here. And there was the logic. Damn it. Rogue sighed and walked to the bathroom, leaving the door open and sliding down the wall behind it.

Nearly managing to get the laughter under control, that just about set him off again. He raised his voice enough so that she could still hear him. “Nearly, cherie, but it didn't go quite dat far." He casually reached down to cup his groin to rearrange himself before sitting back up. "And...I hate t' sound like I'm overly smug, but I've kissed enough girls t' know when one enjoys it an' doesn't. Y' didn't belt me one, now did y'?"

Rogue just shook her head from where she sat in the bathroom. Maybe she should have slammed the door when she walked in so she wouldn't have had to hear that. "Just bet ya have, Cajun," she muttered under her breath. "No wonder ya ego's bigger'n tha Mardi Gras parade," she spoke up enough for him to hear that. "Too many girls fallin' inta that fire in ya eyes. Ain't no way f' y'all ta get burned so long as ya hold tha fire." Damn it! That sounded too much like a compliment. "Maybe Ah didn't sock ya 'cause Ah don't wanna lose a roof over mah head."

"Oh, I'm not quite d' devil Rogue. Though, given enough opportunity, I can make y' burn for sure." His voice was low and full of promise. "Though, I guess dis does settle dat bet quite nicely, ne c'est pas?"

She leaned her head back against the wall and closed her eyes. What she wanted more than anything at the moment was to have him say that again while she could see his face. Then his question caught up with her and her eyes opened slowly, not wanting to answer that, but knowing she had to meet her end of the bargain. Maybe there was a way around it… "Y'all cheated. Didn't touch me. Touched tha silk, not me."

"Don't matter. D' question wasn't if I could touch y' skin t' skin, but if y' could have what others do. Y' can. Y' just have t' be creative." He'd padded up on silent feet and popped his head around the doorjamb, leaning against it again. He lost a little of his smile, seeing how distressed she was.

"Ah shouldn't have ta be creative. Ah should just be able ta do it." She glanced up at him. "Fine. Who is this guy, what do ya want from him, an' where can Ah find him?" Rogue didn't like this, but she had lost and she wasn't about to go back on her word. Her only hope now was that the guy wasn't a complete horror.

Surprised at the quick turnaround, he took a second to answer, pulling out a deck of cards to shuffle through them. "I can show y' where he stays, an' where he goes out to. You'd probably be best tryin' t' touch him while he's out and about - which ain't often, mind. He's got servants t' do d' shoppin' and whatnot for him. He's pretty habitual though - goes t' church every Sunday." His face shifted. "Not dat it's gonna save him from hell, but he does." Shrugging, he pasted the smile back on. "Jus' a little touch - I've got good descriptions and a drawin' of what we need, but not a picture - it's a very old heirloom."

Rogue chewed her lips as she thought over her options and pushed herself up and brushed past him to go back into the bedroom, standing at the small window and watching the alleyway as if it were the Mississippi River itself. "Ah gotta know 'bout this guy... He like us? Tell me what ya know so Ah don't get taken off guard by it..." She took a breath, "Please?" He didn't have to tell her anything, then again, she didn't have to do this, but she lost the bet fair and square. "Ah wanna know what Ah'm about ta put in mah head..." Rogue didn't want to admit it, but she was scared. She crossed her arms and rubbed her hands up and down her upper arms.

"Non, he ain't a mutant if dat's what y' mean." He turned to watch her, not infringing on her personal space as she looked uncomfortable. "He's old...but he's still got some moves. He's trained - skilled. He'll see y' comin' a mile away, so y' have t' make it casual as hell, or he'll wonder if y're tryin' t' pick his pocket - an' he won't take as kindly to dat as I did." Letting a breath out he thought about it. "Might be best to just go in obvious at dat - like y're a prostitute - don't worry he won't pick y' up. But dat way y' could be obvious as hell goin' into him and just touch him and go."

"As for what's in his head..." At this he did feel more than a little guilty. "Well, expect a lot of it is just plain dust - he's old chére. But..." He cut off, not able to really explain it. "Imagine y've touched worse on d' streets. Hell even dat guy y' dropped."

"Remy, when are ya gonna believe me that Ah can handle mahself? Ah already figured he wouldn't be as nice as y'all, though, also already figured since Ah'd be usin' one power on him, could use another just fine. Fact that he’s got moves don’t bother me none." She reached up to rub at the back of her neck, feeling him watching her. "So guessin' sittin' next ta him at church an' 'accidentally' touchin' his hand when tha offerin' plate comes by ain't tha best idea..."

After a minute Rogue turned back to the room and only glanced at Remy before moving to sit on the edge of the bed. "Burner ain't all that bad... He's just a class-A jerk. But tha thing is... Ah've touched him before. So Ah kinda knew what Ah'd be gettin' mahself inta, an' on top of that, Ah wouldn't let him take me, so Ah did whatever Ah had ta do..."

"Ya lucky Ah stick by mah word, Swamp Rat," she muttered as she cut her eyes to him.

"Oui." He didn't like the slight feeling of guilt and stamped on it mercilessly. On the streets he wouldn't have thought twice about using her like this. Hell, in his line of work now he shouldn't. There was just something about her that caught him though. Maybe it was just plain pity for her situation. "Well, I'm more dan happy t' continue holdin' up my end of d' deal."

"Ya won, sugah. Ain't nothin' on this deal ya need ta keep up with. 'Less ya talkin' 'bout lettin' me stay here 'till tha heirloom is back with y'all or whatever." Rogue sighed and flopped backwards onto the bed, arms stretched out to either side of her, toes barely brushing the floor. She kept her eyes on the same blade of the ceiling fan as it lazily turned. "When do Ah get ta see these drawin's? Gonna need ta know what Ah'm lookin' f' so Ah can make it stick out an' not fade."

Fixing her with a look he shook his head. "Told y' - stayin' here wasn't ever part of dat deal. Y' are welcome to it." His smile turned more open toothed as he watched her sprawl out. Crossing the room slowly he watched her as she studiously ignored him. "I'll get dem t' y'. Figure tomorrow for plannin' so y' can hit him dis Sunday?"

"Sounds fine ta me. Ain't got much choice in tha matter, do Ah?" She reached up to scratch at her nose, then let her arm fall back out to the side with a rebounding soft thud on the mattress. "Didn't answer mah other question ‘bout believin’ me.... Which makes me remember that one last night that ya wouldn't answer, though thinkin' Ah know tha answer ta it now.” Rogue didn't like the feeling of being watched like prey so she closed her eyes against it rather than giving in and moving from where she was rather comfortable.

Her eyes were moving restlessly beneath her lids, even though she was supposed to look 'relaxed'. Padding closer on silent feet he stood over her, looking down at her and the way that her hair fanned over the bed, at her curves and full lower lip. She was a treat. "Well...dat's all up to y', cherie. Just how much of dis touchin' were y' wonderin' about?"

Rogue felt the slight shift in the air as he got closer to her, using Carol's 'seventh sense' to determine if it was him or the air vent. She managed to hold back a startled jerk as his husky baritone was closer to her than she thought it would have been, but she couldn't keep her eyes closed when he talked about touching. "Ah wasn't." Lie, but at least she didn't falter as she looked at him with an arrogantly cocked eyebrow.

To an untrained eye, she'd be faultless. He could see the slight tug as she looked upwards, the slight flush to her cheeks that marked her lie. "Mmm? Seemed t' be somethin' that was weighin' heavy on y're mind before." She had nearly lain on the discarded nightgown when she’d sprawled out, and his eyes flicked upwards, drawn to her lips with the memory that it triggered. "Or y' still believin' y' can't have what others do?"

With a roll of the eyes and a slight shake of her head, she rolled onto her stomach, closing her eyes as she turned her head to face the foot of the bed, "'Course there was somethin' weighin' on mah mind. Ah lost a bet. Ah don't lose bets, ain't somethin' Ah'm used ta." Rogue didn't even care to dignify his other question with a response. She knew she couldn't have it - no matter what happened through material, it wasn't the same.

A non answer at that. Enough for him. Putting one knee up on the bed he let his fingers of his left hand skim up her back, massaging at a muscle that suddenly jumped up tight under his hand. "You're a bit tense, chére. Y' ever had a massage?"

Her chest was suddenly very tight and she felt as if it were a chore to just breathe, so she held her breath for as long as she could and took a tiny breath in when she needed it. No matter what answer she gave him, she had the feeling he was going to try to give her a massage anyway. Unless maybe she could avoid it completely... "Remy, now ain't tha time ta be talkin' 'bout massages..." She felt a slight shift in her muscles as he continued to knead softly and she subconsciously relaxed a bit. "N-now's tha time f' us ta be discussin' other things..." Exactly what those things were though were slipping her mind at the moment.

"Psssh. Y' can talk just fine durin' a massage. Plan all y' want. It's the other things dat might be a bit hard t' talk through." His voice was filled with both tease and promise. He didn't press the issue though and simply straddled her back, bringing his other hand into play, simply stroking her for a second to get a feel for where her knots were before he went to work. While he wouldn't mind touching other parts of her than her back, he was content with this. It was touch. He didn't look at it or examine it too much, but he'd always enjoyed touching and being touched. Of course he'd found more effective ways to do that, but he couldn't push her that quick.

Rogue let out a soft moan before she could stop herself and her forehead creased in a frown as she mentally cursed her inability to keep control. "Talk, sure... It’s tha thinkin’ Ah’m havin’ issues with..." She felt as if she were about to sink all the way through the mattress as his strong fingers worked at the ever present knots in her back. “'Sides, don't hurt ever, so there ain't a point in yall expendin' ya ener-mmm." Her lips twitched, threatening to smile and she didn't care. It felt better than anything she'd felt in a long time and it was contact with another human being... Good contact.

He didn't bother hiding his wide smile at the small noises she made, never pausing in his ministrations. The squirms and sighs were having a predictable effect on him though, so he lifted himself up on his knees, gathering her hair in his gloved hands, laying it to one side of her face and starting work on her shoulders. "So...y' were sayin' petite? Or was it all 'mmm'?"

Rogue cracked her eyes to glare at him, "Watch it Cajun. Ah could throw y’all outta here so fast it'd make ya head spin." She squirmed uncomfortably as he shifted off of her then moved her hair away. "Literally," she mumbled, barely audible. "How's ya cut doin'? Could find somethin' ta treat it in tha bathroom Ah'm sure..." She was trying for anything to keep her mind focused on something other than how good his hands felt so close to her skin - even though he was covered it was a danger that slightly thrilled her.

"M' cousin stitched it up. It's doin' just fine. I'll have a bit of a line, but it's jus' gonna blend in with d' others, so no matter. As for d' rest, y've not done it yet, so I'm not dat worried." His hand wandered down, low on her back but not quite on the round curve of her buttock. "Think I'm makin' y' feel a bit too good. And I'm behavin'."

"He a doctor then?" She lazily shifted so her arms went down to her sides, jerking back up slightly when her fingertips brushed his legs on accident. "Yet bein' tha key word, Cajun," her words had a bit more drawl to them, accent getting thicker as she got lazy with speaking. "Behavin' is relative ta ya point o' view. May be behavin' f' y'all... Sure ain't f' me."

"If dis is horrible and naughty for y', I've got a lot t' teach y'." Dragging the hem of his shirt up he showed her the neat row of stitches in his side. "He's not quite a doctor, but we all know basic first aid - how t' stitch up wounds and things. I've put enough of my own into his hide. Accidents happen in my line of work, y' know?"

"Ain't got nothin' ta teach me. Wouldn't let ya anyhow," despite her words, Rogue pouted slightly as his hands left her but turned to look at what he was showing her. "Ouch, sugah. Bet that didn't feel too good." She laid her head back down and a thoughtful frown crossed her face, "Is that what bein' a thief is f' y'all? Ya line of work?" Her frown got deeper, "Ya enjoy it?"

He simply gave her a very long lingering look that took in her curves and arched his brow when he met her face again, amused to see her answering blush. Nothing to teach her indeed. "Well, we all got t' do what we're good at, oui? And I'm good at dis. Real good." There was a line of smugness for certain in there. He was a master thief after all - and under the age of eighteen. The youngest for generations. It wasn't something he could really share with her, being that she wasn't a part of it - but he was proud nonetheless. "And yeah, I guess I do. I'm glad of it. Lotta people don't have a thing t' do...but I guess you'd be knowin' dat."

The creases in her forehead got deeper as he talked about it, "Just 'cause ya good at somethin' don't mean ya gotta do it f' a livin'. If ya were good at killin', would ya become a hit man? Ain't right, Remy." Her frown turned into a scowl that darkened her eyes and she refused to look up at him, "Yeah, guess Ah would be knowin' that. Ya done?" Her stubborn pride was rearing its ugly head again and she was going to let it go ahead and do it. So what if it was a 'deadly sin', she wasn't dead yet and it kept her safe.

He sensed the way that she stuck that wall up between them again, and was unaccountably irritated by it. It didn't matter if this prickly little Mississippi mud rat understood him or gave two shits really - all he had to do was tickle any of the throngs of tourists under the chin and he'd have them in his bed within an hour. The whole mention of assassins made him itchy too. He'd been raised to look at the assassins as enemies. Now he was to unite the guilds and embrace them as family. Rogue was simply bringing up things that he'd been pointedly ignoring. "Y' don't know what y're talkin' about. An' y're a thief too, even if not dat good of one, so dat’s a bit of a pot callin’ d’ kettle." He snapped out, fingers still firm on her skin.

"But Ah don't like doin' it," she snarled back. "Ah do it ta survive. As a means ta an end. An' now Ah've offered ta help ya with this new job only 'cause ya promised me a roof over mah head an' safety from those monsters Raven sent." Rogue stilled under him, forcing all of her muscles to tense in preparation for throwing him off if he didn't back down. "So tha fact that Ah ain't good at it is 'cause Ah don't enjoy it. Ah hate it nearly as much as Ah hate mah skin."

"Well y're really high and mighty, aren't y'? Maybe y' should get a job tellin' peop..." He trailed off purposefully. "Oh wait. I suggested y' get one an' y' refused. So y're really stuck den aren't y'? I could help y' get a job at any of d' little diners or things around here. Y' could go honest." He swung his leg off her and stood in one fluid motion, looking down his nose at her. "At least I know who I am, chére, and don't mince words about it. I don't pretend."

Rogue pushed herself off the bed and stood toe to toe with him, hands in fists at her sides as she gave him a glare, green eyes flashing. "Ah refused 'cause Ah have ta keep movin'," her voice was calm and still as the eye of a tornado. "Ya know that, Ah said it, an' ya've seen it with ya own eyes. Do not f' one damned second think that y'all got any right in tellin' me 'bout how Ah live mah life."

He made a disgusted noise and tossed his hands up. "You know you could do somethin' else. Hell, you'd be a great travellin' salesman, wouldn't y'?" He knew he was being unfair, but he was nettled and her temper was just fueling his at the moment. "And I've been d' nice one here. Fed y'. Offered y' a place. Unconditionally. Though y' keep makin' it sound like I've bribed y' in here for it."

Red eyes snapping he shook his head. "And I wasn't d' one who said y' were doin' d' wrong thing. It was y' who tossed dat snippet out. Insultin' me and mine without a thought to it. You see all dem people out dere dat have dem white collar jobs?" He thrust an arm at the window. "Dey'd turn dere nose up at you and not give you a second look if you were dyin' in d' gutter. So what makes a person, Rogue?"

Rogue clenched her jaw, eyes lit with a green fire as she fought not to slam the man through the wall. "Ah didn't ask ya ta be nice, Swamp Rat. That was ya own stupid mistake obviously. An' Ah never said ya bribed me, though Ah'm beginnin' ta wonder 'bout ya motives, Mr. Ah-wanna-touch-ya." Her fingers flexed out of the fists then went straight back into tight balls.

"An' so what if all them people'd pass me by if Ah was dyin'?! Ah'd deserve it! They're workin' hard f' their money f' themselves an' their family! An' all Ah'm doin' is takin' it from 'em! Ah ain't nothin' but a no good River Rat anyway!" She hid the pain at calling herself that and forced her anger to him. "What makes a person surely ain't what Ah've got. Or what Mama has. Or hell even what y'all have if ya gonna waste it like ya do," her voice had dropped softer, though her tone was just as sharp. She wasn't even sure what she meant by the last comment, but she knew if her saying him thieving wasn't right angered him, that might sting him as well.

"I don't know who raised you up girl, but they did one shit of a job, if y' ask me." He crossed his arms. "Sit y're stubborn ass down. Ain't wrong t' be kind. Ain't wrong t' do right by others. An' y' and everyone else in d' universe deserves just a bit of kindness."

She'd just kind of withdrawn into herself at the end of the conversation and now he wasn't sure how he was supposed to calm down. He ran a hand through his hair tugging at it and turned to pace. He could see in his mind’s eye the way that Jean-Luc had cared for him - the way that everyone else had turned and ignored him when he sat dirty and hungry on the streets. It was because of that attitude that he was safe – the attitude of a thief. It wasn’t just a matter of what you did or where you lived that made you who you were.

Rogue crossed her arms and held her place, "Do not talk 'bout mah parents that way. An' nobody did ask y'all." Her parents were a sore issue for her especially because she had no idea where her mother had gone to. She watched Remy pace for a minute before walking out of the room to go to the kitchen. Rogue returned a few seconds later with a glass full of bourbon. Neat, as he said he'd liked the previous night. "Drink this an' calm down 'fore ya give yaself an aneurysm."

He gave her another narrow eyed look, and exhaled strongly through his nostrils, but took the glass, tossing it back in one go. It was a couple of good slugs worth, and something he'd generally take slower, but right now he wasn't in the mood. "So."

"’So’ what?" Rogue had crossed her arms again and watched him throw the liquor back like it was water. There wasn't much she wanted to say to this man right now, not after the things he'd said to her. And the things she'd said to him. She was still extremely irritated with him, though not as completely fiery angry as before.

"Dat was my point." He turned the glass around in his hand, looking at it. "Y' can think what y' want of me. Ain't d' first person t' think things of me. Jus' dunno where y' wanna go from here." His eyes were flat as he raised them to her again. "Your call, Rogue."

Rogue met his eyes and for the first time those uniquely gorgeous eyes chilled her to the bone. All she could do was stare at him for a moment then turned to walk out of the room, heading straight for the window access that she had been brought through. She flew up in the sky until the air was starting to get too thin to breathe and just hovered there, trying to shake the feeling his eyes had given her and wondering why in the world she cared so much that they affected her that way.

He gave a faint curse. Why the hell he even tried was beyond him. Stupid fille. Stubborn little...he cut off the harangue as he spotted the silk negligee. Rubbing his face vigorously he set to rinsing the glass out. He didn't have the energy to empty out the fridge right now - he'd come back and deal with it later. No doubt he'd have to spend a ton of time explaining this all to his father as well.

Wandering around he flicked out lights and set things to rights, trying to get the picture of her wide green eyes out of his mind. The discarded silk negligee mocked him from its place on the bed. He plucked it up and was about to toss it in the bag with her old clothes that he intended to leave hanging off the fire escape just in case, but he found himself pocketing it.

It was himself he cursed as he slipped outside and pressed the buttons to activate the alarm as he left. Maybe Lapin was right - time to stop it with the damn women. He had his responsibilities. And Belle was no wallflower. It was just...well everything. It sat in a huge cold lump in his gut. But he had his responsibilities - and his sense of duty, and a sense of compassion. And it wasn't his fault if skunk striped femmes couldn't grasp those simple things.
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Remy: he feels lust for everyone

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Esynthia
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CHAPTER FIVE - PG13

Postby Esynthia » Tue Aug 10, 2010 4:59 am

Rogue had started making her way back down, trying for once to swallow her damned pride and apologize. She stopped short, about ten feet from the roof of the building and just watched for a moment. She shouldn't be shocked he was leaving. For all he knew, she could be out of town by now. And half of her had the mind to just let him think that, but then... Her chest felt tight at the thought of never seeing a warmth in those eyes again. Or never seeing them again at all.

She took a breath and scrubbed her face before fisting her hands and slamming her arms down at her sides to prepare herself for the big step she was about to take. "Remy, wait," she called to him as she flew down to stand on the fire escape next to him.

Startled, he nearly bit his tongue. He was used to listening for the stealth of a footstep, not the soundless flying approach. Or at least not one that wasn't the result of a jump. Hiding it, he turned to face her, holding the bag out for her. "Yeah?"

Rogue blinked at the duffle bag and chewed her lip as she took it. He probably wouldn't forgive her, since most people tended not to and she normally liked it that way, but she didn't want to part ways like that. Not with him. "Ah'm sorry..." She looked up, slightly afraid to meet his eyes, so she settled for his mouth. "Ah didn't mean half tha shit Ah said..."

She took a small step backwards on the small balcony and turned halfway away from him, slowly preparing to leave again. "Ah just... Ah didn't wanna never see ya 'gain an' have that hangin' over mah head..." Rogue swallowed past a hard lump in her throat and felt cold even in the July humidity. "G'bye, Remy. An' thanks..." She held her ground for a brief moment, hoping, most likely in vain, that he would say something.

“Rogue..." He let out a big sigh, full of frustration and confusion. "Look girl. People get huffy, alright? Y' wanna stay, dis place is y'rs for as long as y' need it." He looked at her tense body, arms wrapped around her duffle. "Just...we'll talk more tomorrow alright? I ain't mad. Irritated t' fuck maybe." He added the last in an undertone, but it was still more teasing than serious.

Rogue closed her eyes as he said her name, having been preparing to push off to the sky again. "Don't care 'bout tha place, Remy... Just don't want y'all ma- irritated at me f' when Ah do pick up an' leave 'gain." She turned to face him, having to take a moment before she could meet his eyes, glad that at least something was there now, and she tried to give him a small smile. "Wouldn't say no ta tha roof if ya are still offerin' it though."

"Y'all'll find out soon 'nough if ya haven't already, Ah'm more trouble than Ah'm worth..." The smile turned a bit shy and she chuckled a bit, "Wasn't kiddin' that day in tha diner."

Well out of his depth with the whole range of feminine insecurities and whatnot being displayed here, he fell back on the most simple way he'd ever dealt with anything remotely like this. He stepped close to her, so much so that her eyes widened in sudden surprise, a pucker of worry marring her brow.

"Jus' shut up an' take d' damn apartment." His fingers had already found and plucked the silk out, and he caught the back of her head with his other hand. She hadn't had a chance to make a peep before his mouth was on her, more demanding and hard than he'd made the first. He was still a bit sore around the edges for one. There was something about this girl that heated his blood on more than one level.

Rogue's eyes closed sooner than they had with the last kiss, though this one caught her much more off guard. She slowly let the bag slip from her hands and she slid her arms up to wrap around his neck, kissing him back with an intensity she didn't know she possessed. He held her tighter and she felt her stomach turning flips, causing her to mewl into his mouth and stand on tiptoe to try and meet him part way. He was amazing and infuriating all at once and she was drawn to him like a moth to a flame, not caring about getting burned.

Frustration was quickly burning away into a whole different emotion. He turned her, forgetting that she'd been un-kissed up until a short while ago, pressing her back firmly into the exposed brick of the building as his hand still cradled her head, keeping it from knocking against the wall. He ground firmly against her, losing his own noise of pleasure at the taste of her.

Rogue whimpered in surprise at the sudden change of positions, but didn't have much to complain about until he ground against her, causing her eyes to fly open and pull her head back a bit to try and break the kiss. "Re-" She lost his name in another kiss and she gasped at another firm press from him, her heart racing and her body wanting something she wasn't sure she understood.

Remembering himself a bit late into it, he backed off, leaving a bare centimeter between the two of them. The silk came down to lay trapped between their chests, fluttering in the faint breeze like a butterfly in a jar. It took a minute for him to think of anything, staring down at her, sharing her breath. "Y' stayin'?"

Rogue tried to speak, but had to stop and swallow before anything would come out. "Yeah," she said quietly with the barest nod of her head, holding his ruby gaze with her complementary emerald, both sets of gems on fire. She licked her lips like she had before, wanting to keep the sweet warmth of his lips on hers. A bit hesitantly, she slid a hand up to his hair, nervous fingers twining in it. "Don't go?"

His fingers tightened on her, still clenched in her hair. "Cherie, I don't know if y' meant to be as temptin' as you are right at d' minute."

"Remy, Ah wouldn't know how ta be temptin' if Ah took classes..." She gave a light laugh and worried her lower lip between her teeth. "Ah just know Ah don't want ya ta leave... Ah'll cook f' ya. Know how ta cook pretty well." Rogue was shocked that she was trying to persuade him to stay, but her face was slightly pleading in a way instead of showing the shock that she felt. "Just f' a little while..."

He let out a small sigh again. She certainly was innocent. "Wasn't d' kind of substance I was thinkin' of. I can stay for a bit though. No need t' bribe me. Jus' ask."

He brought his hand forward to lay on her cheek and felt a little odd thrill when she laid her face in it, eyes half closed and trusting. He wasn't sure if it was in warning or what it was. She went from ready to snap his neck to this. He may be able to bed women, but he'd never claim to understand them.

She smiled wide, happy he said he would stay. "Ah did ask. Ya didn't answer yes or no, so Ah bribed." Rogue took a breath and bit her lip again as she prepared herself for what she wanted to do. After a moment of steeling her nerves, she plucked the lingerie from their chests and brought it up to his mouth, tentatively pressing her lips to his through the silk.

Surprised at the rush of need he felt at the tentative brush, he nonetheless managed to keep his kiss more controlled and mild, letting her guide them this time rather than just taking it from her. He kept his one hand in her hair, and brought the other into play, stroking her back and waist.

He nearly lost that control when she licked at his lips, but instead he just parted his own, allowing her to dart between them and taste of him as she wished, feeling entirely more intoxicated than the slug of liquor she'd given him could account for.

Rogue's stomach fluttered with what felt like a million butterflies caught in a net meant for only ten. She closed the tiny gap between them, sighing at the feel of his hand at her back. Her hand in his hair gently tangled and tugged as her other slid up his arm to meet it.

She didn't know if she was kissing 'right' but he seemed to like it ok, so she just let her instincts guide her and brushed her tongue against his, shivering at the warmth and taste of him. Remy did things to her that she didn't know was possible.

Breaking the kiss he looked down at her again, and shifted his weight to make the fire escape creak beneath them again. "Not dat I'm complainin'...but if y' are gonna stay, can think of better places t' be doin' dis dan here, neh?"

Rogue felt her cheeks flush, a bit embarrassed for some reason, then let go of his hair and slid her hands to his upper arms to push him away lightly. "What're ya hungry f', sugah?" She wouldn't meet his eyes and stooped to pick her bag back up then moved to the number pad, pausing before typing anything, eyes still on the pad, "Did ya change tha code?"

"Non, I didn't change it. Figured I'd leave it as it is incase y' wanted to come back." His fingers flew over the keypad and he slid the window open, ushering her in ahead of him. Once inside she remained shy, head down as he shed his coat and draped it over the sofa. He grinned wolfishly at her and settled down on it himself, half sitting half sprawling. Patting his lap he watched her. "As for what I'm hungry for...think dat should be fairly obvious. C'mere cherie."

Rogue set the bag down and slowly went to him, her heart thundering in her chest as she fought the urge to throw up her wall again. She stayed standing slightly to the side of him, taking a breath and squaring her shoulders as she met his eyes, letting a bit of her wall come up. “Maybe Ah didn’t phrase mah question right… What food do ya want me ta cook?”

Laughing he shook his head. "Y'd go from clawin' my eyes out t' offerin' t' bake for me? Merci, Rogue, but I'm not wantin' anythin' t' eat at the moment." Words formal, his body language was hardly so, patented smirk curling up the one side of his mouth as he reached over and daintily drew a line from her knee to her hip with his fingertips. "Y' know...for all y' don' like thieves, dere is one thing t' say about it. Fantastic sense of touch."

Her breath caught in her chest, her whole body tensed, and her mouth went dry, wanting to watch his fingers, but she forced herself to keep her eyes locked on his. "Remy, y'all're careless. An' that's a very dangerous thing ta be." She was torn between going to him and backing away, so she stayed where she was until she could decide one way or the other. "Could make more coffee then if ya ain't hungry. Figure, might show ya tha same kindness ya showed me when ya came this mornin'..."

"Easy t' be careless wit' tempation like dis." He'd wiggled his fingers under her top and was tracing the top of her pants, making her back stiffen with a mixture of what he figured was fear, and maybe a bit of outrage. He knew no man had dared to push her like this at all - and he also figured it would be good for her in its own way. A woman ought to feel desired...desirable.

The only thing keeping Rogue from ripping Remy's hand off was the fact that he was wearing gloves still. But he was quickly making her rebuild her wall. This was not something she was used to feeling and she was definitely not used to someone else feeling this for her. "Don't push ya luck, Swamp Rat." Her muscles twitched as the soft leather barely brushed along her skin at her hip.

Feeling her mood shift he sighed and sat back with one last tug at a belt loop. "Is it my fault y're as pretty as y' are cherie? Dat y' taste as good as y' do?" That brought a fresh flush of color to her cheeks. "I'd never go somewhere I wasn't invited...but y' jus' lookin' like dat..." Giving her a once over, his gaze returned to her flushed face. "Je veux baiser-toi."

Rogue's eyes went wide and she gasped, her stomach tightening. She wasn't sure whether or not she should be glad she learned a few different languages from Mystique or not, one of them being French. "That'd be even more dangerous don't ya think?" She swallowed hard and tried to get her heart to slow down as she took a tiny step back.

His eyes widened just slightly in surprise as he realized she'd understood him, but it didn't set him back at all. "Well, can't say dat I've ever been put off of anythin' jus' cause it's dangerous, cherie. Adds its own spice really." Seeming as he couldn't reach her he ran a hand over his own stomach, lazily.

"Maybe ya should be put off by this danger..." She took another step back. "Could kill ya if ya touched me long enough..." Rogue was a huge bundle of nerves as she watched him, mainly because no one had ever said that to her before, whether they knew she could understand or not. And on the other side, part of her liked hearing it and wouldn't mind going just a bit further with him. "Thinkin' Ah like ya better alive, Remy..."

"Thinkin' I like bein' alive too." His mind sorted quickly through the possibilities, trying to figure out what would be the best to get her comfortable. "Y' want touch though, don' y' cherie? Crave it like a drug. Y're jus' worried about d' consequences, oui?"

"Try not ta think 'bout it too often. Just teases me ta do that." Rogue chewed her lip as her eyes shifted to his hand, remembering how it had felt against her back outside. "But... Yeah, though, there're more consequences than just hurtin' someone else or gettin' all their stuff in mah head..." She wouldn't admit to anyone that she still sometimes cried over Cody. There had been no change last time she called the hospital.

"An' what's dat?" He leaned forward a bit. "What are y' afraid of Rogue?"

Rogue's eyes narrowed slightly more in caution than anger. "Ain't nothin' f' y'all ta worry 'bout. Wouldn't affect ya any. Don't even know why Ah said it," she waved a hand trying to show it was nothing. "Why do ya care if Ah wanna touch? Ah'm sure ya could go out an' find any girl on tha street ta agree with ya dirty French."

"Sure I could." He didn't see any point in quibbling over that point. "Dat ain't what we're talkin' about here." He stood, and noticed that the half step she took in response to it that he had pissed her off. Her small chin jutted up in challenge, eyes starting to sparkle with a hint of anger again. Which wasn't the repeat he wanted to do. "Jus' calm yourself girl. Wasn't actually talkin' about me touchin' if y' want t' know."

Rogue tilted her head only slightly, keeping her body tense just in case. "So then exactly what is it ya were talkin' 'bout, Cajun? Ain't much more could come from a conversation 'bout touchin'..."

"Dere's two people here, ain't dere? If I'm not d' one touchin' y' who does dat leave?" Looping his thumb in his belt loop he gave her a very dirty grin.

Rogue's eyes went wide, that thought had not even crossed her mind. Her eyes quickly narrowed and she gave him a hard look, "In ya dreams, Swamp Rat." She inwardly cursed at herself for only being able to come up with that as a comeback. This man threw her completely off balance.

"Mmmm...y're right about dat." Leaning just a bit closer, being careful not to touch her directly with his body, but close enough that her hair prickled up on one arm, aware of just how close he was. "It's just natural t' need Rogue. Need touch. Need some sort of...relief."

"Cold showers normally work well f' that..." She felt herself lean back a bit as she met his eyes, "An' Ah ain't never needed relief like that..." It was a lot easier to ignore those feelings when you never had the relief before. Though, she had wanted it. Earlier on the fire escape for example.

"Never?" His eyebrows jerked up, voice filled with disbelief. "You can't tell me y've never done dat, cherie."

Rogue frowned, getting defensive, "What? It ain't like Ah'm a thirty year old spinster who's never done it... Ah'm only seventeen, Remy." She crossed her arms under her chest as she watched him.

"I'm not talkin' sex." He rolled an eye, seeing he'd have to be direct. "I'm talkin' about a little self gratification. Makin' y'reself come. Y' know. Mastrubate."

"Ah know that." Rogue sighed. "But like Ah said, Ah'm only seventeen. Not every seventeen year old gal does that kinda thing. We ain't wired like y'all."

Tsking, he shook his head. "Den y' are more dan overdue. Don't know what y're missin' chére. Y're way overdue." He took her hand in his, and drew a slow circle in her palm. "Y' haven't been curious at all?"

Rogue's nerves stood on end and she fought the urge to pull away from him, simply because it was a bigger tease than she thought it would be. "Ain't overdue..." Her eyes didn't leave his fingers. "Cain't be curious if ya don't know what ya missin'... An', figure that'd just be more of a tease than anythin'..."

"Tease for what? Y' gonna go t' your grave untouched even by y'reself cause y're scared?" Voice sliding right into a slight mocking tone he gave her a look. "Don' tell me y're not scared t' whoop whoever’s ass comes y're way but y're too frightened t' bring y'reself a bit of pleasure."

"Ain't scared! Nothin' scares me, Remy." She narrowed her eyes at him, "Just 'cause Ah don't wanna doesn't mean Ah'm scared." Rogue started to slide her hand out of his.

He tightened his grip on her, not hard enough to really hurt, but hard enough that her eyebrows drew downwards. He lifted their entwined hands up between the two of them. "Y're stubborn as d' day goes on. Everyone enjoys dat cherie." He slowly moved her hand to the side so that the back of her hand brushed her breast, nipple quickly tightening, enough so that he could see it plainly through bra and shirt both. He looked into her eyes, his own heavy lidded. "Y' ain't a martyr."

Rogue clenched her jaw and her chest rose and fell heavily. She wasn't sure whether she should be angry at him or just enjoy it. She knew she didn't like how much he threw her off. And every step he took threw her more so off balance. She couldn't even walk a small line with him. "Never said Ah was, Swamp Rat." She used her strength to keep her own arm still as he tried to move it again, small fire blazing in her eyes.

"Den why fight it?" He asked her simply, calmly. "Ain’t like y' get a limited amount of it in a lifetime gal. Squeeze every drop out y' can get."

"Why not fight it? Ain't like Ah can have it from a spouse one day, so there ain't no point in teasin' mahself with it. Cain't miss it if ya don't know what it feels like." She debated just yanking her hand from his for a moment before leaving it there.

He rolled his eyes. "Heaven help me girl. It’s two different things. Y' think dat one has t' replace d' other...like if y're dis prim proper married wife y'll never want t' indulge?" Seeing that he wasn't going to move her own hand he released it, watching her for a good long minute as she searched for something to say.

"It's not one or d' other, Rogue." He traced his stomach again, this time with his nails, glad to see that she followed the movement of his hand with her eyes, even as she feigned indifference to it. As he moved up he flattened his fingers, bringing two of them up to circle his own nipple, and he didn't bother hiding his own enjoyment at that touch, eyes sliding just a bit more closed as his breath hitched slightly.

Rogue felt herself growing a bit hot as she watched him and wondered if the air was on. She stayed silent for a moment, trying to swallow past her dry throat. "But don't doin' that make ya want tha real thing?" Her fingers twitched by her sides, subconsciously wanting to do that for him.

"Mmm?" He shook his head and looked at her like he had been distracted and had to really think on what he'd said.

"Myself? Non. I mean, it don't stop y' wantin' someone really...but neither does not touchin' if y' ask me. Y' want a lover’s touch already, neh? An' if y' aren't ready for dat - dere's still other ways. Ain't gonna make y' want things worse if y' ask me. It's just pure pleasure for d' sake of havin' it, cherie. An' why deny y'rself dat?" He gave his nipple a small pinch and gave a small moan.

Rogue's breath hitched in a slight gasp at his moan and didn't even realize she had taken a small step toward him until she tried to take another one. Her mind kept going back to how she had felt outside. The things she felt for him, the way her body reacted... All of it was new and shocking and... even though she wouldn't tell him, a bit scary. "Maybe Ah just don't wanna," her voice gave her away though and she mentally chided herself.

"Maybe Ah wanna wait an' feel that with someone Ah love first..."

He gave her a look. "For someone dat's livin' life so hard, y' seem t' have y're mind caught in a pretty good fairy tale."

She was jolted out of the memory of the fire escape and she gave him a glare, "What's that supposed ta mean?"

He let his hand drop and turned away from her. Merde, and here they were back to this. "Whatever y' think it does. Y' can tell y'rself whatever tale y' want, Rogue."

Rogue frowned and shook her head, a bit in disbelief. After a moment of just watching his back, she turned away and went into the kitchen without saying a word. Just because she knew it wasn't possible for her to have someone didn't stop her from wanting it. She stopped in the kitchen, not even sure why she had decided to come in here, but knowing she wouldn't go back out there.

Listening to her step away he snorted again to himself. Waiting for love. Yeah, right. Well she could just stay the princess up in her untouchable tower then for all the good that would do for her. Flinging on his coat again he went to the door and paused, torn.

Tossing caution to the wind, he headed after her, into the kitchen where she stood, back straight like someone had rammed a rod up her ass. Which, in his opinion, someone probably had for her to have such antiquated ideas. He stopped short of touching her, but again crept close enough for her to feel the heat from his body. "I hope dat y' loose enough of dem inhibitions girl t' enjoy y'reself some tonight. After dis day y' could use it. Know I'll be."

Rogue slid her eyes to try and see him over her shoulder, her breathing harsh again. "Sure ya won't have ta do it f' yaself." She swallowed hard. "How do ya know what Ah could use or not? Don't even know me," her voice was soft and calm, but she felt on the edge of crying she was so irritated.

Fingers light on the nape of her neck, he moved her hair off of it, looming just a bit closer so that his breath made a small warm spot on the side of her bare neck. "Cause what y're mouth says and what y're body says are two different things, chére. And I'm just listenin' to the one that I know speaks true." He wanted to set his lips to that clear skin so hard that he could feel it like a blow to the stomach.

Rogue closed her eyes as she felt him so close to her and tilted her head a bit on instinct. Why was he being so difficult! She would have been fine if he had never kissed her. She wouldn't want any of this that he was teasing her with, but Heaven help her, she was having a tough time keeping herself strong against him. Giving in would only hurt her in the end. Only make her lose someone else....

"Remy..." Her voice was slightly pleading and a bit scared. She couldn't explain why she was scared to lose him, too. Rogue liked him, sure, but he was just a Swamp Rat whom she would never see again once she ran anyway.

There was a note to her voice that pulled to him and made him gentle his own tone. "It's alright cherie. You just remember what I said. I'll see y' tomorrow...and I'll have d' diagrams and stuff for y' den."

Rogue licked her lips and gave a small nod, "Maybe Ah'll be awake when ya come back," she tried to joke, but she knew it wouldn't help her feel better. Though, him gentling some had helped. "Ah'm sorry... An' thanks."

"Don't worry. And get y'rself some good rest. And enjoyment." He added on in a less soothing voice. He gave her a parting kiss to the back of her head, briefly allowing himself to press up against her, and then was off, the scent of her hair tickling his nostrils every breath he took.

Rogue took a deep breath in when she felt him warm against her then felt chilled when he left, turning to try and catch another look at him, but he was already gone. The window was still open so she went to close it, already missing his presence. "Damn that Cajun!" She scooped up the bag and went to the bedroom, still feeling his warm breath on her neck.

***

(Naughty bits placed in a thread in the adult room)

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Je veux baiser-toi – I want to fuck you.
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Remy: he feels lust for everyone

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Esynthia
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