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