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Author's Notes
Chapter 1
Chapter 2
Chapter 3
Chapter 4
Chapter 5
Chapter 6
Chapter 7
Chapter 8
Chapter 9
Chapter 10
Chapter 11
Chapter 12
Chapter 13
Chapter 14
Chapter 15
Chapter 16
Chapter 17
Chapter 18
Chapter 19
Chapter 20


Gregory Buchanan, sickly and alone, stirs from ancient dreams to present reality. African sunlight gives way to harsh flourescence. The clank of metal on metal overpowers the fading comfort of remembered drums. Baoule voices harden into sharp orders and muttered ramblings.

It is time, my pretty.

Across the miles, Gregory Buchanan reaches for Rogue's mind, stirring memories and psyches that he can manipulate at will.

Hmph! Don' know what you be seein' in dis one, Remy.

Belladonna studies the green eyes reflected in the mirror. She runs a hand through the long, auburn hair. Her palms smooth the nightshirt across Rogue's breasts, then move to her hips. Grudgingly, she acknowledges that there is a strength to this body she enjoys.

Eyes de color a bayou scum. Hair lookin' like somet'in' Papa La Bas conjured t'scare de chillen. Time was, Remy, when y'eyes would only light up when I walked into de room. Can' be sayin' dat anymore, n'est-ce pas?

She glances back down to the open drawer of Remy's bureau. Rogue's photo smiles back. Belladonna scowls. Her hand shoves the photos aside in irritation, finally finding the one she seeks buried beneath the others and all the way to the back. Her and Remy on their wedding day. Belladonna rubs a thumb across the the third finger of Rogue's left hand. Strange not to feel the familiar gold wedding ring. She's never removed it.


She turns suddenly, startled. A quick glance around Remy's bedroom reveals nothing unusual.

"Who's dere?!"

Soft chuckling answers her. Yet, the sound doesn't seem to be coming from the room as much as from inside her own head. It's a new experience for her to have someone else's voice intrude on her thoughts. An experience she's quickly learning to hate. A strong, persistent voice coaxes her into accepting its presence in her mind. The words are flattering, intriguing, and Belladonna finds herself drawn to this entity's proposal.

Has it not been said, 'the enemy of my enemy is my friend'? We have much to offer each other. Will you lend your spirit to me?

Why should I?

Revenge. You, I think, understand this very well. Did this one whose body you inhabit not violate you? Did she not come to you as one falsely concerned for your well-being, and in your time of weakness attack you?

Can y'send me back to my own body?

I do not have the power.

Den what's in it for me?

You will have the use of this body, to do with as you will.

A chill smile crosses her lips.

What of de other one? I got no argument wit' de chile.

Rochelle will not be your concern. Are we agreed?

Assassins seal de agreement wit' blood.


The kitten used to belong to Jubilee. Not that she would ever admit it, of course. If anyone had questioned her about the dish of milk faithfully place outside every evening, likely as not she would have said it was to keep the slugs out of the garden. Wolverine crouches by the lifeless feline. Doesn't take more than a glance to see the snapped neck. He sniffs. The scents are off, wrong somehow. He growls softly. He catches Rogue's scent mingled with the sour smell of death. She was here when the kitten died. Wolverine feels the hairs on the back of his neck crackle.


Continued in Chapter 10


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