Gambit studies Rogue, watching the way she turns the ice
cube in her fingertips, mezmerized. Something cold and hard
glints in her eyes. His jaw tightens. It's the same look he's
seen on Belle. Determination, yes, but shadowed with the intimate
knowledge of murder. Ice. It's one of the oldest weapons of
Belle's clan. The mark of her guild. The Guild of Assassins.
He remembers the first time he stumbled across one of the
victims. Bruising on the neck, indicating a struggle, but
not enough to kill. No. That wasn't "the way." "The
way," as Belle told him later, was to hold the victim,
force an ice cube into his throat, and then leave him to choke
to death. After death, there were only a few bruises and some
water in the throat. He remembers whispered jokes among the
guild about him and Belle: fire and ice.
"You an' Stormy get squared?"
"Ah don't know why ya let y'self get worked up over
her. Honestly, Remy, you jus' can't be treatin' these
people like they were one a us! Ya got t'be firm, let
them know their place, jus' like talkin' to a chile."
Several weeks ago, Remy LeBeau returned to the Big Easy,
drawn by rumors that his wife, Belladonna, was still alive.
Rogue went with him. While he searched for a cure to bring
her out of her coma, Rogue volunteered to watch over Belle.
And while Remy suspected something happened between
the two, he had no proof--until now.
The slips in Rogue's accent. Her comments about Storm. Even
the way her fingers brush across his chest. All mannerisms
that Rogue could only have gotten from absorbing Belladonna.
Rogue slips the partially melted cube into the back of his
shirt, causing him to gasp, suddenly startled. Her burst of
laughter is warm, genuine. He catches her gaze again. Her
green eyes sparkle impishly. Confusion clouds Remy's face.
A moment ago he was certain that he was talking to Belladonna.
Now, although he is certain this is not Belle, something about
this young woman doesn't quite seem to be Rogue, either.
Continued in Chapter
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