Giving the motorcycle its head, Mercy roared down the private road that led to the Westchester mansion. Trees and bushes rushed past her in a green blur. Clouds of dust rose around her, hiding her from view, and small stones ricocheted off her bike's bodywork. Her long, blonde hair whipped across her face, flying behind her like a defiant flag. More than one traffic cop had stopped her in her career, and let her off with a mumbled "your face is too pretty to waste in an accident, miss, so wear a helmet" at a single smile from her.
"Dieu, I love my Harley," she yelled, words swallowed up by her speed.
Her love of motorcycles had begun the first morning that she had sneaked out Remy's baby and had ridden it straight into Lake Pontchartrain. She had been fine - apart from water-stains all over her favourite, silk blouse - but the bike had been decidedly worse for wear. It had been covered with weeds and had spluttered sadly and almost apologetically when she had tried to start it. Her brother-in-law had been furious with her, alternating between yelling about her almost being killed and her wrecking his beloved bike. Which he washed and waxed every day and never drove at above 20 mph, he had added with a tragic expression. Remy was a dear, she thought, but he was anal about so many things.
Anyway, the result of her scrape was that he had taken her to buy a bike of her own that afternoon. The salesman - a small, thin man dressed in a polyester suit with a rodent cast to his sparse moustache - had tried to persuade her a light scooter was better for her purposes. He had looked so horrified when she had said that, like all sensible women, she preferred something with a bit more power between her legs. He had not argued about giving her this baby after that, she thought with a smirk and a pat to the bike.
The mansion loomed large and white around the corner and she slammed on the brakes, stopping in a spray of gravel before the doorway. The X-Men's hideout was even fancier than Remy had described it. It had been built in the days when elegance and refinement had meant something - usually, inbreeding, bloodsports and gin and tonics in the parlour - and had not lost any of its indefinable charm in the passing centuries.
"Daddy Warbucks has fancy digs," she said approvingly, as she dismounted gracefully and made her way up to the steps.
Continued in Chapter 3
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