It was some time after midnight, when Sands left his room, locking the door and sliding the key into his pocket as he went.

But half way down the dark hall, he stopped, the total sensation that some one was behind him. Which was only proved correct, when he felt the muzzle of a gun in his back. "We can do this one of two ways, darling." A woman said in a British accent.

"And what would that be?" Sands asked calmly, leaving his hands loose.

"You're a smart boy. I think you can figure that out..." She purred.

"Well then, I think we're at a loss, cause I never do anything the easy way..." Sands replied, dropping down, sliding his leg between the woman's.

It didn't drop her like he hoped, because she literally back fliped, into a crouch, a few fet away, but it did give him a chance to pull his own guns, as he rolled into a crouch. Seconds ticked by. He could see her outline in the shadows a few feet infront of him, two 9 mms. trained on him.

"Your move handsome." She sneered.

But Sands stayed crouched. "You take me for a fool, sweetcheeks?" He sneered right back.

"Well, this should be interesting." She said, with a wicked grin. She pushed up from the crouch, into a run, opening fire on Sands, who rolled to the left, throwing his shoulder into the door of an empty room, rolling into it.

He was on his feet in seconds, running back into the hall, and opening fire at the woman as she dropped and rolled around to face him. But Sands was still advancing on her, and her only escape was the window behind her. Holstering her weapons, she threw herself into a back flip, using her feet to kick out the glass, and sprang through it, dropping the two stories to the court yard, to land on her feet.

But her pursuer didn't give up, he landed on his feet as well. "Well, it certainly has been a long time, since a man has showed such...interest in me..." She purred with a smile.

"I don't do this every night, sweetheart." Sands hissed in return, holding a fighters crouch, guns at ready.

"Indeed." She said with humor, and was about to move, when another woman's voice broke through the darkness. "Alex! Don't! He's on our side!" Yet another british woman came out. Her hair was dark dark red, and there was a black streak down the front.

The woman who'd been called Alex stood straight, but came to a stop as the woman and Logan appeared in the blackness. Alex sighed and gave the other woman a look. "Miranda, ya ruin a girl's fun." She said, holstering both guns.

Sands stood as well, glaring nastily at Logan. "What the fuck is this?" He demanded.

Logan chuckled. He'd had a arm on the waist of the woman with him, and he removed the cigar from his mouth, still chuckling. "I gotta admit, they surprised me as well. But cool it Slick. We can trust 'em."

"Fuck that shit, she just tried to fill me with lead!" Sands snarled.

"I was looking for Sands." Alex shot back in her defense. "You came out of his hotel room, armed, what do you expect."

"I AM Sands! Ya might have asked!"

Alex looked at Logan and the other woman. The other chuckled and moved to Alex's side. Logan moved to Sands. "We can trust 'em. This is Alexandra O'Connell and Miranda Marko." He jestured to the women. "Friends of mine."

"Actually, Miranda would be more then friends but..." Alex was cut off by the other woman's stern look and she smiled in reply to the woman's look. Then she sighed and turned to Sands. "We get a call, Miranda and I, from an old friend, a few days ago. Cerise Stone. It's a garbled and urgent message saying she needs help. So naturally, Miranda and I are on a plane for Mexico."

"Then I find out that Logan's here. Naturally, I look him up to find out why. Imagine our surprise and delight, when we find out he's looking for Cerise too. And he tells us, her partner and lover is looking for her and partnered up with him. So we came lookin' for you." Miranda added, sizing Sands up.

"Great, one big Brady Bunch." Sands snorted, rolling his eyes.

"They can be of some big help, Sport. And I've got two more friends on their way." Logan replied calmly. "I called them this afternoon."

"When were you going to tell me?!" Sands demanded.

"When I thought you were ready." Logan replied calmly.

Sands sighed, knowing NOW was not the time to start a fight with any of them. And Logan was probably right, they could use the help. Evans had more then enough men to outnumber them, working for him. Not to mention some control over the cartels. He turned to the two women. "You two...mutants?"

"She is, I'm not." Alex said.

Miranda smiled warmly. "You can call me Phoenix or Miranda. I'm quantem psionic."

"Meaning what, exactly?" Sands asked, arching an eyebrow.

"I can destory the world or create another, on just a whim. I'm a cosmic universal power, known as The Phoenix. But don't get your knickers in a twist, darlin', I'm not nearly as powerful as some other mutants I know...least not yet...I haven't discovered my full reach of powers."

"And what are you?" Sands asked Alex.

Alex shrugged. She was dressed in a pair of shorts, with a hip holster, her hair in a long braid. "I'm just a jack of all trades." She said simply.

"How do you know Cerise?" He questioned, eyeing them both.

Miranda smiled warmly again, placing a hand on his shoulder, and despite everything in him that told him to fight back, he felt himself getting calmer, and realized it must be a trait or her power. But some how, he was oddly thankful for the calm returning to him. "We went to school with Cerise, when we were girls. The same boarding school. We were close friends. When things...when Cerise's uncle..." Miranda trailed off, wonderign just how much of Cerise's past, Sands knew.

But he nodded, indicating they should continue. "When her Uncle would do things to her...Alex, Lara and I, we'd comfort her. We looked after her. And she's always known, that if she's ever needed anything, we'd be there for her."

"In the phone message, she begged us to find Sheldon Jeffrey Sands and help him look for her." Alex explained. "She was...worried about you, and afraid of who ever had her. Said he was playing terrible mind games with her and told her you were dead, which is why she begged us to find you." Alex said.

"But Evans doesn't play mindgames." Logan said gruffly from his spot, looking at Miranda.

"No, but I think Evans may have an illusionist with him...much like Mastermind..." She gave Logan a pointed look. "Which is where I'll come in. Who did you call for back up, darling?"

"The Cajun and Kurt." Logan answered.

Sands decided to stay silent on this, but rubbed his temple. "I need a drink." He shoved past the group, heading for the bar.

"What's his problem?" Alex asked.

"He's stressed, he's worried about Cerise...he wants her in his arms, knowing she safe and all this that's happened is starting to overload him AND he thinks he's lost command of it all..." Miranda said softly, watching Sands closely as he disappeared.

"Reading his mind, or just a psych evaluation?" Alex asked softly, looking at her friend.

"I read his mind." Miranda said with a grin, she turned to Logan ."Go talk to him...try to assure him everything will be alright...he needs to hear that from you...and you may want to assure him that he is still incharge of her rescue. He's a man that's at his best when he's leader..."

"Right." Logan answered gruffly, letting go of Miranda. "I'll go talk to him." He started after Sands, when Miranda stole a kiss. "I've missed you." She whispered, smiling at him.

Logan kissed her back. "Missed you too' Wait for us in my hotel room." Miranda and Alex nodded, watching Logan go after Sands.

"Bit of an odd couple, aren't they?" Alex asked, crossing her arms.

Miranda grinned. "To say the least."


Author's Note: Miranda is a long time played RP character for a series of X-Men RPGs, I've been playing her for six years. She and Logan have always had a thing going on.