Should old acquaintance be forgot
and never brought to mind?
Should old acquaintance be forgot
and auld lang syne?
We two have run about the slopes
and picked the daisies fine
But we’ve wandered many a weary foot
since auld lang syne
We two have paddled in the stream
from morning sun till dine
But seas between us broad have roared
since auld lang syne
And there’s a hand my trusty friend
And give us a hand o’ thine
And we’ll take a right good-will draught
for auld lang syne
For auld lang syne, my dear
for auld lang syne
we’ll take a cup of kindness yet
for auld lang syne
And surely you’ll buy your pint cup
and surely I’ll buy mine
And we’ll take a cup o’ kindness yet
for auld lang syne
~ Auld Lang Syne (Robert Burns, 1788)
“Do you really think it is weakness that yields to temptation? I tell you that there are terrible temptations which it requires strength, strength and courage, to yield to.”
~ Oscar Wilde
One brave drunk soul in the crowd, androgynous and smelling like butterscotch, reached up and clicked a glow stick ring around his neck. Trembling fingers wrapped around the back of his neck under the ponytail and tried to pull him down into a kiss.
With a sharp grin, Victor lunged and bent the body nearly double to go for a classic war-is-over smacker. He got his dick groped for the duration, which was just fine with him. When he straightened up, he let the sweet thing go with a deft spin into the dancing and shouting human sea.
Bold as brass, I like it. If’n this don’t pan out, might hafta go back t’ that one; he could be tasty other places, too.
People always assumed a huge city like New York would blow his fuses in a hyper-senses overload. What they didn’t understand was that he spent a lot of time in the wilderness to recharge and getting blitzed by Times Square on New Year’s Eve could be called a treat. It was certainly the closest he’d ever come to feeling drunk, besides hunting in Rio during Carnival.
This had been a business trip elsewhere in Manhattan but with that over, he now had some time to kill instead and couldn’t miss the midnight ball drop – just in case.
He didn’t hang about on the edges of the madness – he waded right into the crowd, towering over most of it. Phoenix might see him before he caught her scent, but he knew she couldn’t sense him telepathically.
If she’s even here. Gotta be tha most obvious spot fer a rematch, though.
The odds were high he could run afoul of her former teammates, of course, so he kept sharp and on his toes. It wasn’t long before midnight.
For a moment, he thought he spotted her – but the scent didn’t match. Growling, irritated at his eagerness making him jump the gun, he scanned the writhing mob with his nose more than his eyes.
He looked up at the famous ball and thoughts of fucking Jean Grey in a snowbound cabin in Nepal over a year ago crept into his head and stiffened his cock worse than before.
C’mon, Jeannie – ya didn’t leave me yer li’l quote message just t’ stand me up.
The TV host guy at the front with the microphone was yakking non-stop. Then, mid-sentence about the size of the crowd, he said, “Hello, Creed.” Neither the man nor his audience seemed to notice what he’d said.
Victor’s head snapped up to spot him and sniffed. To his left, he caught it – and his grin stretched Cheshire wide. He found her in an instant and towered behind her in a heartbeat.
Scenting her up close, he chuckled and leaned down to let his breath move her hair.
“Hiya, Jeannie. Ya like t’ keep me waitin’, huh? How was yer flight?”
She didn’t even turn her head but her body bent forward slightly, displaying a short skirt over tights.
“I don’t want to talk. Do it fast before I change my mind.”
Victor didn’t even hesitate long enough to draw in a breath. One claw opened the tights. He freed his aching cock in seconds and pressed it to her wet heat.
“Ask nice, Red.”
Grinning, he shoved in. The force of it bucked her off-balance but one arm wrapped around her waist as his other hand lightly gripped her throat. The rest of the claws slid out, glinting in the flash of lights all around them. She gasped at the brutal force he used but then began to moan.
He thrust hard, relentless, holding her in a grip that might force her to take him with her if she tried to fly away.
“Gonna need t’ hear ya scream fer me one o’ these nights.”
She ignored him as she started to tremble, her body wracked with pleasure as he made her come. He could have tried to hide their frantic copulation inside his huge long coat, but no one around them noticed what they were doing. It was a shame she was making them miss out.
“Enough,” she ordered, starting to twist in his grasp.
Victor snarled. “Fuck that shit, I ain’t done with ya yet. Go ahead, darlin’, make a scene – see all tha cameras? All tha cell phones? Ya wanna land on tha news an’ get seen by all yer X-chums? Alive – an’ gettin’ plowed by me like a cheap li’l hussy?”
“Yup – that’s right, fuck me; ya ain’t done ‘til I am, bitch.”
Around them, the crowd started to yell and cheer, most of them beginning the countdown.
“That’s mighty sweet o’ ‘em t’ cheer me on, but I plan t’ blow before they hit tha one count.”
Jean was silent until the five mark. “Harder,” she whispered, knowing he could hear it.
They got to three when his pleasure hit and filled her, his thrusts hard enough to bruise. On two, she shot them both into the air, her telekinesis surrounding them so fast he could barely tense for it in time.
Victor growled when he was dropped onto the roof of a building one street away, his cock torn from her body.
Her power struck him with an ear-ringing punch. He crashed into a steel roof access door, the dent bending it sharply inward as hinges popped, the screws flying like bullets.
He stayed down and watched her come at him, ears pinning when the crowd screamed, “One! Happy New Year!” He startled as she grabbed his face and kissed him.
Without a thought or care a second after, he wound her in his arms again and responded with a hungry growl. Always expecting another punch, he was stunned when it never landed. She was sitting on his half-hard spent cock, their combined juices making a mess of her tights and his jeans.
Miss Thing broke the kiss and sat up, glaring down at him and panting.
“Don’t ever threaten me like that again.”
“Or what? This game’s gonna end real fuckin’ quick if’n ya think yer gettin’ off an’ I ain’t.”
“I’ve always wondered if I could kill you; you’re lucky I’m not like you.”
“Ya could try – with just tha TK? I ain’t got high hopes fer yer chances. ‘Specially with all that morality weighin’ ya down.” He lifted a clawed finger and used it to brush her hair behind her ear. “Or, ya could wait three minutes an’ go again.” He winked at her and smirked.
“I almost didn’t come here at all – but I knew you would.”
“Message-by-Seacrest was cute. Nice touch.”
“Why are you wearing a glow stick necklace?”
“It was a gift – from my substitute snack if ya didn’t show.”
Jean set her hands on his chest over the t-shirt he wore and leaned in close enough to kiss again. “I have a hotel room over by Central Park.”
“That an invitation?”
“If you don’t mind being carried by a woman?”
“Fer ‘nother dive in that snatch? I’d even let ya grab me by tha scruff.”
~ ~ ~
Jean landed them on a balcony that overlooked the park. Victor knew the area quite well, all things considered.
Glancing over at the monstrous skyscraper next door, Phoenix frowned. “I love the Park Lane – but its classy quaint appeal has been tarnished by that brute of a bank setting up shop.”
“Art Deco tragedy – a downright shame,” he responded, poker face perfectly straight.
Sliding the glass door open, she left him there and stripped on the way to the shower.
Victor followed, after quickly looking around at the two room open floor plan suite. It wasn’t as big as he preferred, but the quality of the naked company made it worth it.
Jean was in the shower, using her telekinesis to keep her hair dry. With a smirk, he used a claw to lift the toilet seat and took a piss.
“Heh, yeah – ya carted tha likes o’ me here t’ fuck some more cuz ya gotta yearnin’ fer classy gents.”
He flushed it and chuckled when she cried out and cursed at her water going cold. Heading out, he began to snoop and sniff around the suite. No smells lingered of recent occupants besides Jean and cleaning staff types, so odds were she hadn’t had prior company of the vertical sort, either.
A black duffel bag lay unzipped on the bed and he sat next to it and rifled through it. Finding nothing entertaining, he got up, yanked his boots off, stripped, and flopped onto her neat bed.
When Jean appeared holding a towel around her and frowning at him, she sighed. “I must be crazy.”
Victor unsnapped the glow stick from his neck, reconnected it and ring-tossed it over one of his boots. “It ain’t catchin’, ya know; so’s ya didn’t get it from me.”
“You’d probably be just as happy to slice me in two halves.”
“Not so long as yer postin’ away on my dick. I got nothin’ against dead gals, not a picky fella; gotta do all tha work myself that way, though. ‘Sides, ya never stay dead any more’n I do – feels like a lotta wasted effort t’ me.”
Jean ignored his crass taunt. “Why do you want to play this ‘game’?”
“Ya mean why am I willin’ t’ put up with yer shit? Cuz yer Miss Untouchable – an’ tha runt wants ya as ‘is very own. Think I ain’t gonna tap that? Wouldn’t miss it fer all tha cunty princess shit in China.” Sneering at her, he added, “Yer playin’ cuz ya think I’m like ‘im ‘nuff t’ get yer feral groupie rocks off while ya can’t let ‘im know ya ain’t dead.”
“Try to rise above your native stupidity; I know you aren’t Logan. It’s night and day.”
“Coulda fooled me. I ain’t interested in playin’ fireplug, lady. If’n ya wanna tear offa piece, I don’t care, suits me fine – but yer ‘surrogate Logan’ shit ain’t gonna fly.”
She moved into range as he sat up, leaned in, and got the tucked corner of her towel in his fangs. His low growl vibrated against her chest and she sucked in her breath.
“Tear it off.”
It tore in two places and fell away, and his hands were on her, stroking and squeezing before it could hit the carpet. “Ya gonna slip away in tha mornin’ again without sayin’ bye?”
Jean worked her hands into his hair and removed the band that held it in a ponytail at the nape of his neck. With a flick of her slender wrist, it landed on the nightstand.
“No, you are. I want you gone before the sun is up – like a good little monster.”
“Hmm… That mean I get t’ fuck an’ suck ya ‘til then? None o’ that one-round tap-out shit?”
Jean gripped his cock and squeezed it – hard. He hissed against her breasts. “Yes, it does – although this will technically be round two.”
“Technically? Ya wasted yer life playin’ school marm. Bet yer one o’ ‘em obnoxious grammar police twats, too, ain’t ya, Miss Thing? Mmm, mmm … at least ya gotta quality o’ naked that’s worth it.”
“I can’t imagine why proper speech critique would annoy you. I’m also surprised you didn’t use the more offensive term, ‘Grammar Nazi’.”
“Fightin’ real Nazis cures ya o’ misusin’ tha word.”
Jean arched an eyebrow at him. “I was under the impression you fought for them.”
“Yeah? I was under tha impression Cueball’s dungeon was a day spa.”
“Interesting. However, I don’t care if you speak like a cattle drover – I only want this.” Squeezing his dick roughly again, one of her fingernails flicked across the frenelum.
With a growl, he grabbed her bodily and pulled her up under him on the bed. He didn’t care if she walloped him again or not. He kissed her until she responded and then slipped down her body. He began to purr when he sniffed at her slick opening.
“Free wet cunt that smells like my dick already – I must be livin’ right.”
“I sincerely doubt it. Are you planning on servicing me at some point or are you worried about your ability to perform well?”
Victor snorted. “I can understand tha concern, seein’ as yer used t’ substandard dick – all two o’ ‘em. Count yer lucky stars I like makin’ ya cream fer me. Noticed yer panties were ringin’ wet when ya landed. It’s good fer a woman t’ know what she’s best used fer.”
“You are disgusting.”
“Thanks, nice o’ ya t’ notice.” He grinned up at her and winked.
“Lick it or lose the privilege.”
“Don’t mind at all … such a delicious fuckin’ cunt…”
The muscles of her taut and flat abdomen fluttered as he dragged his chin down her skin, allowing the long shafts of his bottom fangs to press into it. Her legs spread for him and he wrapped his arms around them, pulling her hips up to get his mouth on her.
Working her into a shuddering frazzle within minutes, he let his tongue wander and licked at her anus.
“Don’t make me break the hotel with your head.”
“What ya got against ass-play, darlin’? Relax … I can make ya forget yer name.”
“I’m not interested in playing ‘just the tip’, Creed.”
“Just tha tongue, then.”
He didn’t wait for her response but when his tongue tapped and wriggled in, her hips bucked. Keeping the claws sheathed, he pushed three fingers into her pussy as his tongue worked her ass open.
“Oh … God…”
Chuckling, he let his tongue slip out. “Asked ya t’ call me Victor but that works, too.” When he eased a thick finger into her anus, every hair on that arm stood up, his skin buzzing. “Is that a no? Cuz … seems t’ me ya like it just fine.”
“Stop stalling and fuck me, damn you.”
“Which hole?” He pulled his fingers out and gave the whole works more licks. Flattening his tongue, the tiny barbs struck her pussy and she bucked again.
“What the hell?”
“Welcome t’ my tongue, Red – yer runt ain’t got one like mine. Those li’l kitty barbs can draw blood if I keep at it but like I told ya, I can be house trained when I wanna be.”
“I don’t think I want that in some places.”
“Sure ‘bout that?” Victor moved up again and brushed his tongue wide over a nipple. “Yea or nay?” he asked, smirking down at her.
Her body had nearly drowned him in pheromones when he did it, and she lay panting beneath him.
“Yea.” She reached up, held his head, and pulled his mouth back down to her breasts.
He reared back up, his hands picking her legs up under the knees to lift her hips again. With a tug that moved her whole body, he pulled her to his cock and stuffed her full. He sat back on his haunches and began to rock his hips, thrusting into her shallow and quick.
Pushing her body back, he stretched out, got on his knees and leaned in to drive deep. His mouth went to her breasts and raked them with the flat of his strong tongue. When she came the first time, he claimed her mouth again, working to keep his many sharp teeth from breaking skin.
Her hair was spread out wild under her, burying the pillow. His hung everywhere, almost a curtain around her. When her hands lifted to stroke and touch his chest and arms, his hungry growl turned softer.
“Don’t smell like ya had nobody in between Red – that true? A whole year, huh? Savin’ yerself fer this?”
“I am not an amoral hedonist like you.”
“Too bad, darlin’. Still, if’n I get tha benefit, not gonna lose sleep over yer chastity kick between romps.”
“Be quiet, don’t ruin it.”
Victor chuckled. “Aww, thought ya liked hearin’ me talk.”
Her telekinesis grabbed them both and flipped them. He snarled into her face in surprise as she ended the move with her on top.
“Shit… Ya got faster with that…”
Jean didn’t answer but took over control and had him purring before long. He sat up and wrapped his arms around her as she worked herself on his cock. She came again and he began to push up deeper and faster to chase his own climax.
Victor felt her fingers toying with his ears and then her fingernails pinched the sensitive pointed tip of one. Both of them pinned down instantly but the unexpected pain fired his blood and almost made him come before he planned to. He let his mouth hover at her throat, the growl vibrating the air between his lips and her skin.
“Pleasure is achieved through pain – you marked that in your quotes book.”
“Can be a dicey game, Jeannie.”
She turned her head and brought her lips to his ear. “I want to feel you come inside me again… Do it now.” The lips took his earlobe in them, her blunt little teeth biting it.
“Fuck!” A shiver of lust shot down his tingling spine.
The seeking fingernails found his nipples and pinched them hard. His heat washed through him and he blew, throwing his head back to let out a ringing roar that rattled the glass in the suite.
Forcing his head up, he rested his forehead on her shoulder as her tight pussy nearly strangled his cock from tip to root.
“Fuck me runnin’…” he whispered into her hair.
She bumped him with her shoulder to move him and then dismounted to lie down.
Victor turned onto his hip to face her but she only stared up away from him, her expression impassive, aloof, and cold. Pleasure taken and now over with, she lay quietly. Ignoring him would have at least involved being aware of him. He hadn’t expected a cuddle, but she behaved as if he wasn’t even there. Stifling a sigh, he flopped down onto his back beside her.
“I already know you can outlast me. If I pass out, keep in mind I can zap you within a heartbeat.”
Ears pinned, he growled. “Ya dunno me at all, darlin’, ya know that? Just think ya do, cuz ya got tha runt’s opinion o’ me in yer head an’ cuz ya used t’ be able t’ peek int’ my brain. As I recall, even when I tried t’ invite ya t’ really look deep, ya refused outright – called me garbage, too.” He turned his head to look at her, but she was still staring at the ceiling.
“Considering your choice of employment and your glee in it, I stand by my statement. What I should do is drop you in a volcano. I don’t need to ‘know you’, Creed. I just want sex and like it or not – you have a certain amount of talent.”
Stung, he sneered, “Am I tha best there is at what I do?”
Jean glared at him. “Round three depends on not talking about him – unless you want to role-play again. I could close my eyes and call you Logan; it would improve my night.”
Glaring back, he rolled to stand. Picking up the coat he’d tossed over an armchair, he pulled out his battered pack of cigarettes with the Zippo stuffed in it.
“This is a non-smoking room.”
“Don’t worry, bitch – I’m after some distance.”
Victor walked off to yank at the balcony door roughly and stepped out, leaving it open to let in the freezing January wind. He clicked the Zippo, cupping his large hands around the cig to light it. Holding the pack and lighter in one hand, he leaned on the rail on his forearms and let the wind blow his hair into a tangled mass.
After a while, he heard her moving in the room. She came out wrapped in a thick bathrobe, her small bare feet and the skin of her hands, neck, and face flushed pink with the cold. Standing at the rail beside him, she used her power to keep her hair in order.
As good as it gets t’ show what’s diff’rent between us: I let tha world in, she just controls an’ changes it, asked t’ or not. Wonder if’n a damn one o’ Chuck’s flyin’ monkeys ever bothered t’ find out if tha world wanted their fuckin’ help?
“I could wish to be able to read your mind – but I know you’re happier that I can’t.”
“Mostly cuz ya could make me wanna jump in a fuckin’ volcano.”
“I don’t kill, Creed, you know that. I am willing to ask – how did I manage to offend you? You’re usually amused by a spar of cut-downs and give as good as you get; we have been sparring since we started tonight. I, at least, have actually enjoyed it – most of it.”
He couldn’t help the growl that thrummed in his chest. “Dunno. Don’t matter none – not important.”
“Do you want to go?”
He turned his head to watch her as she shivered in the robe. “Maybe. Hell, I don’t fuckin’ know. Get back inside before ya freeze t’ death.”
“You are different. For one thing, you’re able to act somewhat sane – more than merely a man-beast ruled by an out-of-control blood rage.”
“That was a helluva long time ago.”
“You don’t need the ‘glow’ anymore; I assume the injury to your brain stopped that as well. At the time, however, you insisted you would never be capable of controlling your berserker urges – and yes, I refused your invitation to look deeper to discover why. I dismissed you and what you were trying to communicate. I was appalled by you – and forgot that if we truly intended to help you, listening to you was a critical first step that we all ignored.”
“Not sure ya coulda done much t’ reach me then, Jeannie – not with tha bloodlust an’ tha crazy cranked t’ eleven like they were. That fucker Cueball’s ways o’ shovin’ ‘is ‘help’ down my throat was drownin’ out any other efforts, anyhow.” He took a drag on the cig and blew the smoke away from her. “Forget all that, huh? Blood under tha bridge.”
“I would like to discuss it sometime.”
“Sweet o’ ya t’ make nice an’ all, but like ya told me then, I got my bootstraps t’ pull up same as tha next man. I’m a big boy, darlin’.”
“God I miss that.” She shot his frown an apologetic look and sighed. “I’m sorry, but … I miss him.”
Victor looked down at the park below and took a deeper drag on the cig. “I ain’t no stand-in fer that drama queen pup – no matter how I talk.”
“I know. I apologize. I have to go in, but – when you’ve finished your cigarette, I’d like it if you came back inside and stayed a while longer. I could call room service?”
“If’n ya want t’, don’t matter t’ me none.”
Jean approached and her trembling hand tried to capture some of his hair. “This is going to be a mess. Come back inside when you’re ready, Victor.”
He watched her go, surprised she’d called him by his given name. She shut the sliding door. He finished the cigarette and flicked the butt out into the void to be caught by the wind.
For a moment, he was tempted to just grab his shit and go. Leaping next door to climb the bank building he co-owned wouldn’t be prudent, but he had options.
The night and the smells and sounds in the park were a lure that he barely managed to shake off.
Out there, ain’t no confusin’ bullshit or holier-than-thou bitches danglin’ carrots not meant fer tha likes o’ me. Could find somethin’ with a pussy, fuck it, an’ then gut it – but it wouldn’t make tha need stop: t’ sink balls-deep int’ that woman’s cunt an’ feel again … what I had.
He snarled, his fist barely stopping before it crushed the pack and the lighter.
Take or leave what’s on tha menu, ya stupid fuck. She ain’t offerin’ tha sweet stuff an’ even if ya could force ‘er, can’t force that.
Tossing the pack on his coat when he went in, he shut the glass door. Jean was on the phone under the covers, still shivering in the robe.
“Yes, I’m fine, that was my guest; I apologize for the noise. We’re celebrating the New Year. Yes, I would. The steaks, three, two of them ridiculously rare, the other medium; we don’t need anything with them. Champagne? Why not. Send up a bottle of whiskey, too.” She looked at him expectantly.
“Glenfiddich, oldest bottle they got.”
“You heard him? Excellent, thank you. No, the wait is fine.” She put the phone down and studied him. “I think they heard that roar in the kitchens.”
“They’re just jealous.” Watching her shudder, her teeth starting to chatter, he sighed. The craving for that soft touch was too strong. “Want comp’ny over there? I’m told I’m warm.”
Jean pulled the covers open and scooted over. Victor leaned on the headboard after making a pile of her pillows and pulled her close, dragging the covers back up over her.
“As I recall, you like to have a chat. Talk to me, please. Just … to chat.”
“Wouldn’t know what t’ say. Not like ya wanna hear how my day at work went.”
“I can’t begin to understand you and to be honest, I’m not sure I want to try. You’ve done a lot to hurt people I care about, maliciously, for years. Yet here I am, for the second time. I’d hoped that Nepal was a fleeting insanity.”
“Not a crime t’ wanna get yer itch scratched. ‘Course, there’s lotsa males in tha world that ain’t yer mortal enemy that ya coulda decided t’ bone.”
“You told me ‘Be safe’; do you remember that? That’s what made me follow you.”
“That was sarcasm, ya know.”
“It doesn’t matter. It … resonated with me.”
Huffing out a breath, Victor tipped his head back against the pile of pillows.
“How is your snow leopard?”
He smiled in spite of himself. “She’s doin’ great, busy makin’ more snow leopards. I paneled Granny’s john an’ got ‘er a propane heater. She fussed ‘til she tried it out – so much fer not likin’ Western do-dads.”
“That bathroom may have been the lowest point of my life, even with the toilet paper.”
“I’d think fuckin’ me would rank higher on tha list than Granny’s frozen john.”
“Well, you are warmer … and more comfortable.”
Victor smirked but then raised an eyebrow when she snuggled in closer. Holding her felt … good. If he thought too hard about who and what she was, he wouldn’t be able to relax, so he closed his eyes and allowed himself to remember the girl he wished she was.
Bonnie… Didn’t hardly get t’ just talk t’ ya. Shoulda asked ya ‘bout … well, dunno what – somethin’ – anythin’. He frowned at the thought of Tabitha. Talked t’ ‘er a ton – but still dunno ‘er too good. I suck at this shit…
They were both silent for a long while. Eventually, she stopped shivering. A sound at a distance made his eyes crack open into wary slits before he realized what it was.
“If you want to tell me what is bothering you, I’m willing to listen. Quiet brooding reflection is hardly your usual frame of mind.”
The truth was not an option and never would be, not to this one. “I got lousy luck with skirts. Not gonna elaborate much. Yer cart’s on tha way. Want me t’ hide in tha john?”
“No. Stay in bed.”
Victor let her up and watched her rummage in her coat for a wallet before going to the door. She didn’t invite the man in, pulling the cart through and tipping him where he stood in the hall. Victor didn’t need to see him to know that her beauty shocked and tangled him up inside.
Yeah, that’s tha trick, ain’t it – tha brightest colors in nature are often tha most deadly. Run, ya poor sonovabitch – like I shoulda.
Closing the door, she locked it and looked back at him. “Bed picnic or table?”
For an answer, he got up and started setting the trays and bottles on the table himself.
“What happened to change you so much?”
“A bit o’ New Year’s funk don’t mean I changed ‘so much’. Fer instance, ya can pull out yer own damn chair.”
Jean laughed when he sat. “I may be a sucker for that gruff backwoods ‘charm’. To be honest, you’re now the most feminist male I’ve talked to in over a month. If you also let me open my own doors, you’ll win a medal.”
With a snort at her teasing, he shot back, “No call t’ insult me. I’m proud o’ my knuckle-draggin’ ways.”
She was still smiling as she pulled out her chair and sat, ignoring his growing frown. “Admit it, this is so insane of both of us; if I don’t laugh, I may start frothing at the mouth or something.”
Victor smirked at that despite his irritation and reached for the champagne bottle. “Leave tha frothin’ t’ me, huh – wouldn’t be too ladylike.”
Aiming the cork at the ceiling over the bed, he popped it with ease with one twist of his fingers and without much of a spill. He poured until both flute glasses were full up to the rims.
“I’ve become far less ladylike.” Jean picked up a glass. “For auld lang syne.”
“Ditto.” He downed it all in one gulp and popped claws to get into the meat.
Jean ate with proper table manners but didn’t comment on his messy unorthodox habits.
“Perhaps I should apologize for punching you into a door.”
Victor let out a low chuckle. “Yer pussy already made it up t’ me.” He ignored her silent intent gaze as he turned his head slightly to shear the meat into chunks.
“May I ask, for the sake of our floundering chat – do you follow politics or mutant civil rights issues at all?”
“Not unless it crosses my screen in rare moments in front o’ CNN.”
Jean smiled at him but he looked away.
“I see. It is so strange to imagine you watching television – let alone reading a novel. All I’ve ever seen you do is attack, pace, behave like a rabid creature in general or taunt people into a fight.”
“Shoulda stuck ‘round fer my daily brain scrub with Chuckles, then. Woulda been good fer a laugh, maybe.”
“I doubt it. I’m not normally squeamish, but I make an exception for hearing about your misdeeds. So … no interest in mutant rights at all? Formidable as you are, it could still effect your life.”
He ate quickly, more to stock up on protein than to satisfy any need. When the plate was empty, he opened the single malt and drank from the bottle.
“Got my own agenda an’ no time fer marchin’ fer no civil rights from tha government. Shit, most times I got my rights violated, it was those fuckin’ suits that did it t’ me – unless it was yer X-chumps. My new rule: work hard, play hard, keep my head down.”
“Why are you keeping your head down?”
“T’ avoid yer former X-pals, freaks like Sinister or any G-men that wanna snap a zap collar ‘round my neck an’ force me t’ play organ grinder monkey.”
Victor got up and carried the whiskey with him. Feeling restless, he began to pace and drink as she finished eating.
“Ya know, tha mess with X-Factor, when that bitch Dr. Valerie Cooper had t’ put me on their team? They were all pissed, can’t say I blamed ‘em. Yer government arranged that. All o’ us, me an’ those X-idiots, found out later that Cooper’s boss ran my brain through a wringer, washed it but good, an’ put me there as a sleeper agent.”
“I remember that – vividly. They eventually decided X-Factor was a threat and pulled your trigger on the team. Oddly enough, it was due to your Mystique standing up to you that any of them lived to see a hospital.”
“She’s odd, awright, but she ain’t mine. Def got guts, though. Mostly cuz she’s quick an’ I missed.”
“I always suspected they merely wanted them dead because they were mutants; yet they used a mutant to try to kill them. It was a very different team – and a different government – when I was a member.”
“‘Used’ is tha key word, there. People like that end up in power all tha fuckin’ time. I’m sick o’ ‘em jackin’ with me, so I keep in tha wind an’ stay outta that shit.”
Victor felt his hackles rise, sparked by an old and festering hate. His skin tightened around them, the fur fanning up as all of his claws slid out. He took a deep breath to smother the growl. If she really was willing to listen, he did have things he wanted to say – even if none of it mattered anymore.
Facing her, he pointed at her with one claw while the bottle dangled from his hand. “When Chuckles failed miserably t’ ‘cure me’, tha arrogant asswipe remanded me int’ Cooper’s custody. So if’n ya wanna knock it down t’ brass tacks, it’s ‘is fuckin’ fault X-Factor got diced but good. He gave me t’ those brain butchers with a bloody bow on my head, assumed they’d just lock me up an’ washed ‘is do-gooder hands.”
He went back to the bed and set the bottle by the phone with a clunk. His fingers flicked the champagne cork across the room, and then he laid back into the pillows, eyes on the ceiling. If he let the rage take over, he’d never get it said.
Not that it’ll matter t’ ‘er. This bitch danced with Chuck at ‘er weddin’ after she married tha Boy Scout that kisses ‘is ass. “Still think he was just pissed off that I fooled ‘im int’ thinkin’ he was gettin’ somewhere with ‘is ‘cure’. Had t’ do somethin’ t’ slow down tha fuckin’ mind-reamin’ he was doin’ t’ me. Fuckin’ Saint Xavier… Bastard may as well o’ wiped ‘is dick off on my occipital lobe. When Cooper got me, tha rest o’ ya X-chumps acted like yer great an’ wise prof had finally sent ‘round fer tha garbage t’ get picked up offa yer stoop.”
“We had to hunt you, to contain you again after you attacked Psylocke. We thought that hunt ended with your death. I was … horrified … that it came to that. However, since you were heading to the school to kill the students, it can’t be hard for you to see, now, that we couldn’t give up.”
“Told ya I stay dead ‘bout as much as ya do. ‘Sides, ‘suicide by cops’ ain’t gonna be what punches my ticket, Red. As fer me aimin’ at tha widdle kiddies, try pullin’ tha tail offa cat an’ see if he don’t try t’ shred ya fer it, huh?” He growled low. “Never punched yer mini firecrackers’ tickets, did I? All tha chances they gave me? Probly woulda just scared ‘em, made ‘em crap their diapers. Sometimes a threat’s just ‘nother form o’ motivation.”
“We couldn’t take that chance. We thought we were trying to help you, as well as save more lives. Intentions should count for something.”
“Not t’ me. After I lost Birdie, I came t’ yer doorstep t’ ask fer help t’ control tha blood rages. I grasp that ya might could have some doubts on my intentions, but any o’ ya mind-fuckers coulda sussed out that I was tellin’ tha truth. Insteada gettin’ help, I got pitched int’ a basement cell an’ only let out t’ get poked by McCoy fer science or t’ be locked in a chair, muzzled, manacled, an’ tortured every fuckin’ day by tha fascist king o’ tha freaks.”
“Help me understand this. Can you express what he did, clearly minus crude embellishment, so that someone without a feral nature can know what you experienced?”
“He didn’t fix, heal, or help shit; he snooped an’ ransacked my memories, knocked old bad stuff loose that I still ain’t able t’ cope with – without so much as a by yer leave! Bastard used me t’ track an’ fight monsters, holdin’ that skinny carrot over my head between times he was beatin’ me with tha stick he was danglin’ it from. Didn’t know where else t’ turn when I got there an’ tha rages were tearin’ me apart. I was afraid I wouldn’t never claw my way back t’ bein’ me…”
Victor stopped short and sucked in a breath. The terror of Xavier cutting through his mind and callously uprooting buried horrors had never left him, nor had the unearthed memories of a sickening desperate need for help that seemed to be layered through his psyche. Yet he refused to show her anything but his anger.
His fear rose with it, though, and forced him to retreat. Jean Grey was no trusted friend to confide in; she was Xavier’s loyal pet.
Jean had remained quiet after her request for clarity – maybe she was even listening – but letting him fuck her didn’t mean she wouldn’t use what he told her against him.
Finally, she asked a second question in an even and neutral tone. It made him itch – she sounded just like the slew of psychiatrists over the years who had tried, with deceptive passivity, to tinker with his brains. Every one of them had had their own agenda and what he needed hadn’t been the goal.
“Since you have gotten back to being yourself, as you seem to claim, what do you credit your progress to?”
“Logan’s claw stabbin’ straight through my brain. Didn’t fix or cure tha mess but solved tha prob I arrived with, plus one more. Shoulda just found ‘im in tha first place but had no idea that would work.” He shot her a leering smirk. “See, we agree – he is good fer somethin’, now an’ then.”
“I would have preferred it if Professor Xavier had actually helped you – I know Psylocke would have, too.”
“Yer gonna hafta ask ‘im why he tried t’ make me ‘is ass puppet ‘steada fixin’ me.”
Discomfort twisted in his stomach but he needed to make her understand what her mentor and leader had done to so many others, too – through letting their crooked government control and use him.
“In tha end, when he failed t’ control me, all ya rubes did was get me drafted int’ yer government’s brandy-new Hound Program. ‘Course, Cueball didn’t pay fer ‘is clusterfuck mistake – X-Factor did, plus a whole shit-ton o’ regular folks those G-men wanted dead. Mob members, political rivals – even down t’ their kids. Suits in fancy offices in D.C. gave tha orders, where they all love t’ say ‘no witnesses’, never gettin’ their own hands dirty. I’m guess’n they thought it was just dandy – havin’ a critter like me on a string. I bet Chuck never knew they managed tha old fashioned way what he failed at – but it don’t never stick. Nothin’ an’ nobody can control me fer long.”
“In the past, I might have pointed out that you rarely seem to take responsibility for your own actions – yet now I can see the truth in some of your claims. However … you have killed children while you had free will.”
“If’n ya call a berserker rage ‘free will’, then ya ain’t been listenin’ right t’ yer fireplug’s tales. I don’t kill cubs fer tha fuck o’ it when I got my brains on straight. Don’t do lotsa stuff my rep implies. Try livin’ with tha ghosts o’ dead cubs some asswipe made ya kill an’ tell me then how yer gonna sneer at me.”
“I wouldn’t sneer at you for that either way. Charles told me he found remorse in you for those children. He took it as hope that you could change.”
“Hope. I bet. Hope he could control me, use me.” Victor sighed, feeling defeated. “Don’t expect ya t’ swallow yer precious mentor bein’ a creeper on my say so but bein’ good t’ ya don’t mean that’s all he is. I ain’t all ya think I am – surprise, surprise. Why not ‘im?”
He snatched the bottle, drank, and smacked it down again. Wiping his lips with the fur on his forearm, he ignored it when a fang tip punctured the back of his wrist. It healed before even a drop of blood could well up.
“So if you don’t care what’s happening in the world, why tune in at all?”
“Said I don’t bother with politics – didn’t say I don’t care at all ‘bout nothin’. I use CNN as a distraction – I can yell at Blitzer, mostly agree with Anderson Cooper, an’ see what tha world’s doin’ from a safe distance. Hearin’ tha jabber also helps make my battered an’ picked-over brain shut tha fuck up.”
Jean rose and dropped the robe over her chair. Walking across to him, she sat on the edge of the bed and placed her hands on his thighs.
“I can help with that.”
“By usin’ yer snatch? Had my fill o’ tha Brain Brigade’s idea o’ help a lotta years ago.”
“Yes, and about that – I usually support the professor’s goals and treatment ideas, but I’ve since come to the conclusion that he was wrong in how to handle you and in how to help you.”
“Well, ya don’t say – an’ here I thought none o’ ya could clean yer own asses without Cueball tellin’ ya tha best angle t’ wipe.”
“Are you going to listen … or fall back on old habits and try to pick a fight?”
Victor snorted. “Listenin’.”
“I agree none of us truly acted like we wanted to help, so I can see why you never believed it when we claimed we tried. Both sides spoke their own language and we were the ones who didn’t make the effort to translate yours when you did try to communicate.”
“Some tried more’n others.”
“As to that, we all certainly should have been more careful in who had access to you. I had no idea until years later that Gambit had taken it upon himself to torment and badger you, let alone hit, choke, and abuse you. Then there was what Caliban did… As for Meltdown, she never should have been allowed access at all.”
“Fuckin’ right ‘bout that shit.”
“I know you hurt her, severely. While I was still at Xavier’s School, ah … he-who-shall-not-be-named told me a few things about it on one of his rare trips home.”
Victor smirked. “Voldemort?”
“No. There was a theme about carving you up, however. I assumed it got rough.”
“Naw, that’s just how me an’ tha runt get on – like flatscans askin’ ‘how’s tha weather’. What did … Tabitha say ‘bout it?”
“Not one word, that I know of. Care to shed some light on it?”
“Nothin’ t’ tell; she traipsed int’ my territory, I didn’t hunt ‘er down. She’s just one o’ tha skirts I ain’t had nothin’ but rotten luck with.” Glaring under her stare, he growled. “We worked out our diff’rences an’ I offered t’ play friends. She said no.”
“Oh. Not what I expected to hear.”
“Surprised we had us a parley?”
“Amazed you managed to respect her ‘no’ – if indeed you did.”
Victor glared at her as his upper lip curled up from his teeth. “Bite me.”
“Yet she’s still alive after that decision with, considering your track record, only a moderately long hospital stay. I’m impressed at your restraint.”
When the growl rose at her twist of sarcasm, she sighed. Victor reined it in with a bit of effort.
“Every-fuckin’-body’s got their own spin on crap I do an’ why I do it – even fer shit I never did. With a rep like mine, it’s a waste o’ my time tryin’ t’ defend myself. None o’ my biz what some goody twats think o’ me – got better’n that t’ occupy my time.”
“I am confident that you aren’t telling the whole truth where Tabitha is concerned and likely putting more spin on it than an entire Russian ballet company performing Swan Lake. However, since she has been equally tight-lipped, vague, and unwilling to sell you out, I’m at a loss to know what to think. For now, I’ll allow you this: I’m not sure I can muster saying I’m sorry that she refused, whatever Faustian bargain you offered, but if you’re still feeling upset about the ‘rejection’, I’m sorry for that.”
“Gee, thanks. I’m all cured now, Doc. All due respect, Red: kiss my Canadian ass.”
“I don’t really want to know the details. If you both insist it’s no one else’s business, then I shall respect that.”
“Ya didn’t just dig it outta ‘er skull by force or trick? Cueball taught ya all he knows – ain’t that right?”
“He taught me not to pry without an invitation – unless lives were at stake.”
“Yeah – guess he forgot ‘bout that shit, cuz I had a diff’rent experience.”
“I understand that, if you would allow me to continue?”
Victor arched an eyebrow at her but remained silent.
“One thing I have learned is that we can’t effectively help someone until the recipient decides to allow us to try. Also, Tabitha actually defended you, so I fear the situation may be out of my depth, at least for helping her. As for Professor Xavier, I told you I don’t agree with how he handled you and I’m not alone in that – but I don’t know all the facts about it. Do you wish to discuss it further?”
He narrowed his eyes and growled at her. “No. Not so much night left, ya know. Places t’ go, people t’ murder.”
“So of course you try to be gruff, try to shock or repulse me. It won’t work.”
“That breaks my fuckin’ heart.”
Victor grunted when she picked up his half-awake cock and leaned down under it to tongue his golden furry sack.
“Huh. That’s an awesome way t’ make up fer bein’ a self-righteous bitch t’ me.” Watching her work, he smirked as the claws retracted.
Jean glanced up at him from around his dick – a guaranteed spank bank tableau in the making.
“I think we both need the distraction, Creed.”
His fingers slid into her hair and grabbed a bunch of it to stop her and make her look up again. With one sniff, he knew it made her hot.
“Uh-uh, Jeannie – ya went an’ called me by name before – I liked it.”
Her smile was nothing short of wicked as her heat spiked. “Would you like to be my cunt, Victor?”
Before the shock had quite receded, his sharp grin stretched wide. “Shit, yeah. Bring it, Red.”
She rose and then straddled his hips, pinning his dick between their bodies to lean in and kiss him. Her hand moved behind her, took his sack onto her palm, and began to squeeze.
Breaking the kiss, she whispered against his parting lips and dripping fangs, “If you want to be my bitch, no biting.”
Her hand tightened more and the pain shot his claws out and into the mattress on either side of him.
“Fuck… Use tha fuckin’ TK on me – make me.”
He snarled when it hit him, firing his blood and spiking his killer instinct for a few ragged breaths. She moved back a little as his body pitched against it, unable to not fight it in those first shocking moments of being pinned where he sprawled under her.
With a laugh, Jean released his balls and gripped the shaft of his cock. Her fingernails pinched the edge of the foreskin before it could start to retract.
“Any last safewords before we begin?”
“Long as I’m in tha wind by dawn,” he muttered with a growl chasing his words, “don’t figure I need one.”
The fingernails pinched harder. It hurt. She wasn’t a useless prude after all. A shudder of pure greedy lust skittered up his spine.
“Be a good little cunt and maybe I’ll allow you to come – but first, I’m going to use you as I like.”
“Hurt me,” he whispered, barely able to form the words out loud.
“Is that what you want?”
“Yeah…” he answered on an exhale.
“Then we shall see if you can earn it.”
~ ~ ~
Victor huffed out a breath and changed how his tongue pleasured her. If she got too hypersensitive, it would be tougher to make her come.
The woman was a stoic machine, her pretty face rendered almost hard by a focus he hadn’t known she possessed. Her tell was in her body: the breathing was not as controlled as the expression and the muscles of her thighs had started to shudder a good half hour ago.
Tasting her flushed pussy was torture. She had not allowed him to come, no matter that he could be ready for her again in minutes. The need to mate was blending with the desire to make her sorry for not giving him release – but down deep in his muddled thoughts he knew he was just as hungry for this exquisite torment and the delicious little moments of pain she gave him.
A wince was all he got from her as he succeeded once more, besides the delicious slick coating his tongue. She moved before he could finish licking it all up and he growled at her, glaring, wanting it – but he was helpless.
The growl was swallowed sharply at the increase of pain in his sack as she squeezed it brutally again, her nails buried in the skin, almost piercing it. They needed no lube with his cock a sticky glistening mess of smeared and still dripping pre-cum. The want inside him burned but he wouldn’t speak – wouldn’t beg – not to this bitch.
Jean smiled down at him – superior and condescending. Animal rage swelled in his heart, even as her domination over him vibrated pleasure in every fiber of his body. The want to have and the want to be denied were tangled and equal.
“I had no idea you were so useful – wasted opportunities…”
Victor’s mouth opened on a hiss that morphed into a growl as she moved and shoved his cock up inside her. That sweet tight cunt was a marvel and he yearned to obliterate it with all his strength. He wanted to thrust, he needed it … but her power held him still as she mercilessly played with him again like an inanimate dildo.
Staring up into her bright green eyes, he recognized the challenge there. If he came without permission, he would lose this game. He gasped when he felt a rare and slim freedom to thrust.
“Again,” she ordered, and smirked at his vicious snarl.
~ ~ ~
She kept the smirk on most of the remainder of the night, fucking him awhile and then stopping. His cock and mouth were used to make her come over and over while she edged him so hard that his body was dripping sweat – and trembling.
When dawn crept near, she finally began to fuck him hard again. Driven mad for it, his muscles strained vainly against her telekinesis as his abdomen shuddered with the need to thrust. The old fear of being pinned by her power, of not being released from it, was as much an aphrodisiac as the pain.
Just as she seemed about to threaten to stop again, he abruptly found out he could move. With a snarl, he rolled her under him. His claws scratched her back as he pushed his large hands under her armpits and curled them around her shoulders. Pinning her body and pulling her down onto his cock, his hips drove it into her rough and fast.
Jean urged him on, her face buried in his hair. “Do it, take it…”
Between one breath and the next, his mind canted away and the beast within dropped his jaw to bite. The fangs rushed in at her throat and snapped, unable to connect.
“Fuck me, Victor. When I tell you to come, you’d better do it or I’ll pin you for good and not allow you to.” With teeth snapping again, he snarled inches from her face. “Victor … I order you to come.”
His body bucked over her, the instant release stealing his ability to think or breathe. She let go of his head but only to move it to the side, and she watched as the fangs savaged the mattress, biting and slashing. His clawed fingers were barely held back, eight of the ten tips pricked in tiny drops of blood at her shoulders.
All at once, she pinned his upper body still again but allowed his hips to keep pumping his cock deep inside until he shuddered to a stop.
Slowly, carefully, he was moved. He barely registered it as she pulled his fangs from the destroyed mattress and disengaged the claws, backing him up until their bodies separated. Laying him down on his stomach, she turned his head to face her so he could breathe.
His mind and senses swirled as he came back to himself, remembering to breathe and then sucking air as if she’d drowned him only to pull him back to land.
Trembling, he felt the thrum of a growl roiling up from his chest as if it was happening to someone else. He couldn’t move. He couldn’t blame her one bit for keeping him down.
Jean’s hands touched his damp back, gathered his hair, and caressed him. Her fingers tried to smooth the raised hackles down his spine and along his forearms.
“Victor, are you with me now? You can speak … if you can.”
The growl stuttered out and he fell quiet and still in her hold. The red haze she’d sparked into a primal mess of lust and brutality slowly contracted and began to fade.
“I didn’t realize I still remembered some of that.” She shifted to reach all of his back, pressing against him as she started to comb her fingers through the tangles in his hair. “Victor, tell me you’re in there, and I’ll let you up. I don’t want to restrict you if you’re feeling recovered.”
He tried to speak, choked, coughed once and had to settle for a rasping whisper. “Cranked me good, Jeannie…”
“No hard feelings?” He watched her smile as she leaned over his shoulder to see his face.
“Not a one.”
She got off him and stood away from the bed before she removed her hold. With a groan, Victor pushed off with one hand, rolled himself to his back and lay there panting for breath.
“Well, I enjoyed that; I may need my head examined, but … I did.”
“Where tha hell did ya learn t’ act that way, Red? Sure as fuck wasn’t with that Boy Scout ya married an’ tha runt don’t like games like that one bit, I happen t’ know.”
“During my mind-altered stay at the Hellfire Club, ages ago. That was the Dark Phoenix part of me, of course. The title of Black Queen came with a Dominatrix outfit and some lessons I never mentioned to the boys.”
Victor lifted his hands and sucked one bloody drop off a claw tip before covering his face with the palms. The flotsam of neurochemicals rushing through his brain was dizzying as the healing factor worked to stop all the swirling confusion, pleasure, aggression, and fear.
On cue, subdrop hit as he struggled to keep his poker face intact under his hands, feeling her watching him.
Oh, hellfire… Stiffen yer fuckin’ quiverin’ lip, dumbass. Keep yer shit wired tight, this ain’t tha time fer it!
He heard Jean moving across the room. When she returned, he tried to guess why he could smell boar bristles.
“Sit up. Let me at your hair.”
Lifting his hands to peer at her through narrowing eyes, he snorted when he saw her holding a wooden boar bristle brush.
“Seriously? We gonna braid each other’s hair, now? Ya coulda had that handy before – I like t’ be spanked.”
“I think I had you stimulated quite enough without that. Humor me.”
Jean moved to the nightstand and handed him the whiskey bottle. When he sat up to drink from it, she sat behind him and began to gently brush through his hair.
“It’s dawn, ya know – yer deadline. M’sposed t’ disappear like a good li’l monster.”
“Can you walk yet?”
“My turn t’ feel pretty fuckin’ surreal, darlin’.”
She didn’t reply, continuing to brush. Not surprisingly, with a wavy mane of her own, she had a superior skill in working painlessly through tangles.
Victor sifted through the grab bag of sensory input and emotions and slumped a little when he began to register that the brushing felt good. Her free hand kept smoothing over brushed sections as she added to them, and it could almost be called soothing pets. The soft purr was involuntary after that. He was still heading into a potentially bad drop, but her brushing was helping.
“Why ya bein’ all nice an’ shit? Ain’t ‘hardly yer usual frame o’ mind’.”
“I’m not – I’m brushing out your hair. Aftercare is a thing, Victor. It would be irresponsible of me to just shove you out the door into the unsuspecting world after turning you inside out. Brushing is calming – and I’m not about to cuddle.”
Victor smirked at that and drained down the bottle in a few pulls. “Ya got serious fuckin’ balls, Jeannie – straight-up iron gonads, playin’ with my inner beastie like that. Then ya stick ‘round an’ claim ya had fun doin’ it. Ain’t seen that before – not on anybody branded with an X, anyhow.” He turned his head to watch her. “Kiss me.”
“Not even t’ save tha poor unsuspectin’ world?”
She smiled. “Not even. Brushing. Be still.”
The scent of her power came up again and he tried not to flinch. Then he stared at the large plastic water bottle as it floated in front of him.
“Drink it all – you need it. I may have apple juice in the mini fridge.”
“Quit fussin’. I’m a tough guy, remember?”
“Humor me, tough guy.”
Letting out a short growl, he opened the bottle and drained it. Exhaustion was gearing up – so was a temperature drop, if it was the usual mix of bullshit. He would have to leave, and it was freezing outside.
Where or who can I get t’ fast? Bank’s next door – but nobody home that gives a rot damn.
Focusing on the brushstrokes, he curled his back a bit in an industrial slouch and let her finish. When she got up, he moved immediately and rolled to climb to his feet, leaving the empty whiskey and water bottles on the torn bed.
Once his balance kicked in, he finally noticed that there were feathers all over the covers and the floor.
“Huh. Did we kill a goose?”
“You killed one of the down pillows.”
Victor started to chuckle as he brushed tiny white feathers off his jeans. It was a shame he hadn’t seen her face when it happened.
“Want me t’ cover tha damage?” He grinned at her with the jeans in his hands.
“No, it doesn’t matter – it was my doing. Do you want to shower?”
He watched her move, took in her body language and how she kept a shoulder turned his way, not meeting his eyes.
Stifling a sigh as amusement leaked away, he muttered, “Just gonna get outta yer hair.” He turned his back to her and pulled the jeans on over his sticky lower half, staring down at his fingers as they fastened them. He paused when she approached on his left and touched his forearm. “What?”
“Thank you, Victor, for showing up. Maybe I’ll find you in another year.”
He looked up to meet those impassive green eyes. She was cold and distant again – a real Ice Queen.
A glutton for punishment, he asked, “We makin’ this a thing?”
“Probably not. I’m still hoping for my temporary insanity to clear up.”
With his mask in place at last, Victor smirked. “I like t’ keep my options open, darlin’.”
He got dressed and donned boots and coat, stuffing his smokes back in the coat pocket. Snagging his hair tie, he gathered up the gold curly mass and contained it again. He picked up the faded glow stick ring. The scent on it was slight but trackable. Considering it for a moment, he shook his head and tossed it around the nearest bedpost.
Ya luck out, butterscotch boy. This critter needs t’ go t’ ground fer a bit. “Where ya headin’?”
“Taiwan, maybe Greece – I don’t know.”
“By next time ‘round I might could be stateside again, West Coast – unless Morocco holds me up.”
“Care to leave me an address?”
“Have you ever been to Santorini?”
“Not since World War II. There’s a volcano there, ya know.”
“Only a little caldera.”
Victor headed to the door, unlocked and opened it. In the hall, the door open, he watched her take the brush to her red hair as she sat nude in the chair at the mirrored vanity. Her posture was perfect, disciplined, like a model. The swell of the breasts and toned waist, flare of hips and long perfect legs barely seemed real. He had seen women like her before – in frames in the Louvre Museum.
All that, at tha mercy o’ a mind as cold as those paintin’s, too. She was turned int’ a soldier by that bleedin’ bald goat Saint Xavier – just like Tabitha. That’s a crime against nature, ya sick fuck.
The abrupt memory of Bonnie’s soft warm beauty, naïve sweetness, and open hunger twisted pain into his chest. How those shining blue eyes had looked up at him, earnest and eager – not seeing the monster he was or if she did, only drawn to it.
This one, she sees tha monster awright – tha disgust comes offa ‘er in waves. I coulda been somethin’ more’n that with Bonnie … maybe.
Victor fought to swallow a growl that Jean would no doubt misinterpret. On the heels of it, he watched her lean forward slightly and gather her hair up off her back to brush the underside. The Edgar Degas vision held for only a moment – until he spotted the light scratches on her alabaster skin. He wanted to lick them. He wanted to curl up on the floor at her feet or hit his knees and ask to pleasure her again.
Falling down in a scarlet curling flood, the soft locks hid his marks and broke the spell.
Fuck. Get gone, ya great bloody idiot, before this bitch hails tha X-cavalry after all. It’s tha damn brain juice turnin’ ya int’ a fuckin’ useless mooncalf.
He fished out and lit a cigarette, watching Jean ignore the metallic clink of the Zippo just as she had been ignoring his silent stare.
Fer all tha frost in ‘er veins – damn if that body can’t make mine sweat an’ ache. Not a drop o’ self-conscious bullshit over bein’ watched in tha buff, neither – cuz t’ a woman like that, ‘er body’s just ‘nother tool t’ use t’ do what’s needed. Huh. Never noticed how much in common she’s got with Mystique. Bet she wouldn’t ‘preciate tha comparison.
Victor drew in a breath to scent her, aware that he was covered with her smell, as she was draped in his. She had tried to speak fairly to him, had listened, too – but they were on different sides in a conflict that might never end.
Damn ya t’ hell fer livin’ – dyin’ – an’ livin’ again, over an’ over when tha one woman who wanted t’ be with me from tha first she laid eyes on me slowly rots in tha ground.
He took a pull on the cigarette and blew the smoke over his head. Before thoughts of Bonnie could torment him further, he crushed it out on the back of his hand and dropped it. He had to clear his throat before he could speak.
“Be safe, Jeannie,” he whispered.
She looked up, surprised, as he closed the door and walked away.
~ ~ ~
The frigid wind struck him on the street. It shouldn’t have effected him so much but instead, he began to shudder.
It’s the fuckin’ subdrop, an’ ya know it’s just gettin’ started. That was stupid, doin’ that with ‘er. What’d Claudette tell ya? Be with a damn person ya can trust. Asshole.
He pulled up the collar of his coat against the wind, buttoned it up, and scented to get his bearings.
Where? Tha bank suite’s empty but still closest.
With a growl trailing behind his swirling coat, he stalked off.
The morning doorman at the Ryu Bank bowed and held the door open for him. He didn’t acknowledge him.
By the time he reached his suite and walked into it, how he had gotten there was a fog. The chill seemed to have sunk into his bones, bringing with it some of the most gruesome memories he had ever fought in nightmares. He didn’t dare try to sleep, even though it was one of the best ways to help the healing factor balance his system.
Grabbing the thick bedspread, he wrapped it around him over the coat and sank down to the floor in front of the panoramic window.
Come on, damn it – knock it off…
Fumbling for his phone, he bit the bullet and called one of the few people he trusted who would help and could arrive in a blink: Ryu Obinata.
He picked up on the second ring. “Creed-san – what do you need?”
“Comp’ny, New York bank suite.”
He turned his head to see the little jade figurine of a lion sitting on a bookshelf. Before he could put the phone back in his coat or drop the bedspread, the small Japanese banker teleported into the suite in that spot.
“My friend,” he whispered in English, and came up to stand beside him.
Victor hadn’t known how much he needed to be touched until warm hands pressed gently on the sides of his head. All at once, staring up at him, he dropped the half-hearted plan to claim he was fine.
“Who put you in this state?”
“Me.” He leaned his forehead against his friend’s thigh and dropped his gaze as Obinata embraced his head and stroked the hair. “A stupid impulse … but man, I still think it was worth it.”
“Have you eaten?”
“Last night, should be fine.”
“I will have something brought up. It is the best cure, along with sleep.”
“Don’t wanna sleep.”
“Protein and fruit juice, then – for a start. Come, sit on the couch.”
It was easier to just let go and sink into it, to allow his friend to help him. This man had seen him at his worst already and he understood him better than most.
He couldn’t have coped with seeing any servants or being seen, but Obinata handled everything as Victor sat wrapped in a bedspread, still buried in his giant coat.
After a tray was delivered, he slouched right beside the smaller man on the couch as he was coaxed into eating raw steaks and drinking two glasses of mango and pineapple juice from a pitcher.
The confusion, depression, shivers, and shakes of subdrop finally began to fade as the refueled healing factor cleared his brain of the mess Phoenix’s Domme play had made of it. Without a doubt, the company, comforting care and touch of someone who gave a damn for him had helped his abilities to fix it all.
Weird, though – ‘er li’l hair brushin’ trick was obvs an attempt t’ help, cuz natch, she knew I was fucked up. Bit creepy, considerin’ my brain’s gotta lock on it these days. Why’d she care? Takin’ tha ethics o’ play serious or just what she said – not wantin’ t’ inflict tha beast she teased outta me on some other poor fucker? A hairbrush ain’t gonna cut it, Red, with ya basically seein’ me as a dick attached t’ trash. Why don’t tha dumb bitch just travel with a vibrator like a normal person? Hell, I keep two or three toys in my duffel.
With a grunt of disgust, he slumped and then slid to lie down. Head on Obinata’s lap, he let his hands dangle off the huge couch as small clever hands covered his coat with some of the bedspread.
“Do you wish to talk about what happened?”
“Rather not. Just want tha crash t’ quit – it’s startin’ t’. Can let ya get back t’ whatever ya were doin’…”
“Nothing is more important than you; it can wait. Is there anything else you need – a woman, perhaps … or a man?”
“Don’t need nothin’ – just … this.”
Sleep was going to get him; it crept closer with every stroke of fingers on his hair. He was too tired – leftovers from subdrop – to even remind Obinata that his nightmares could be lethal for others, but the man already knew that. Able to teleport out of harm’s way in a flash, it wasn’t a real danger for him.
Red’s on ‘er own, though… Wonder if’n that tough marble mask goes straight through t’ tha bone? Does she never crack – never need … any damn thing or anybody? Said she missed tha runt but maybe she only misses ‘is dick. Fuck, Logan – yer an idiot fer fallin’ fer that cunt. Tha package is sweet, ain’t gonna lie – but Chuck poisoned ‘er. Damn fuckin’ shame.
~ ~ ~
Jean Grey haunted his nightmares, the cold statuesque Omega class Phoenix making him submit in the stone dungeon of the Xavier estate. He had wanted to kill her for it but even then, the impulse to fuck her had been strong. He tried to control it, use that impulse to alter the nightmare – but lucid dreaming had never been a talent he possessed. She hadn’t abused him as some of her teammates and mentor had, but the darkness that hid in her eyes when she allowed her anger to show still sparked a deep irrational fear in him.
The nightmare morphed as those eyes turned black and red, the smile curling into the thin and white cruel line of an old horror. Telekinesis used against him for sport darkened into a force that pinned him on a lab table as blades held in cold hands pierced deep. The smile split open when his flesh did, baring the defenseless white gleam of bones.
A scream woke him and when he sat bolt-upright, claws ready, he found himself staring at the small Japanese man who had popped away from him to stand by the window. They regarded each other in silence as the soft light of morning limned his friend in gold.
Swallowing hard, he retracted the claws. “Gotta stop playin’ with toys that ain’t good fer me t’ mess with,” he whispered, offering no explanation.
Obinata smiled at him with a compassionate understanding that managed not to cross over into pity. “You always do and probably always will, my friend.”
“Curiosity killed tha cat,” he quipped, frowning at his own cavalier stupidity of late in the fucking of white hats department.
“Ah, but you do have nine lives, Creed-san. Shall we order breakfast and eat together before I must return to Tokyo?”
Palming the back of his neck under the messy ponytail, he rubbed at the lingering tension there from the nightmare. “Yeah – sounds good.”
Victor traded places with him as his friend went to fetch his phone. Tossing off the bedspread and dropping the coat over it, he watched the sun fill his view of Central Park with light. Unbidden, he found himself thinking of Jean again – out there alone somewhere.
I ain’t garbage. Don’t matter none if’n ya never wanna see that. I ain’t alone, neither – not anymore.
“I’ve asked them to deliver in half an hour – to give you time for regular ablutions – hopefully.”
Victor smirked at that. A good portion of his fur was stiff with dried bodily fluids – his and hers. His smell was currently appalling but the newest notch on his belt was downright sublime.
Since I never learn, maybe I’ll hunt ‘er down fer a rematch. Probly gonna pass by Santorini a few times by then – she wouldn’t name drop it fer no reason, after all. Hell, I’m technically winnin’ tha game o’ screwin’ dangerous broads with a hankerin’ fer betrayal lately. Suck on that, Raven, ya nasty cunt.
He lifted a hand and pressed it against the glass for a moment, feeling the temperature change on it slightly. The day would be cold.
A run through tha park would be perfect – get my mojo back with a nice bit o’ blood t’ wash tha java down.
Soon enough, the ever-changing flood of work would help him push back the madness and mess within … at least for a time.
(Sabretooth will return in The Hunt: Ghost in the Darkness)
Author’s Note: “Voldemort” belongs to J.K. Rowling and her Harry Potter series. Ryan Seacrest, Wolf Blitzer, and Anderson Cooper belong to themselves. Bonnie Hale is from the limited series comic story Mary Shelley Overdrive and Raven, of course, refers to Mystique. I hope you are enjoying this series, and thanks for reading! – AnonGrimm (@MET_Fic) (anongrimm-blog.tumblr.com)