Chapter 11

"Yah twisted son of a...wait. Nothing...nothing happened. Ah touched yah and ah didn't feel a thing."
"Makes one of us..." ~

Rogue and Gambit, after she hits him - Ultimate X-Men #52

Remy woke up the next day with a pain in his face. He had split his lip, gotten a black eye, taken a beating, and for what? He grinned, he knew exactly what for and he'd do it all over again. The girl beside him rolled over to face him, she had woken. The night had been a good one on the whole, except for the unnecessary beating.

"Matin." /morning\ Gambit smiled. Unnecessary beating? Well, maybe he had deserved it, but he was only collecting his winnings. After he sent Henri away, he went back to his table. Rex had smashed a bottle over his head and landed a few punches. None of the other men said or did anything, not even Derik, the barman.

Kimmy, the girl that he'd won, had been screaming at Rex to stop. When he finally did, he immediately left. Remy assumed that Kimmy was short for Kimberly, but he never asked her, names weren't important to him.

"I better get going." Kimmy yawned.

Remy was never one to drive the women he slept with home, but he would always pay for the cab and make some breakfast.

"Non, stay 'till noon, den I can call y' cab." He insisted, already out of bed. "Y' welcome t' use de shower while I make somet'in' t' eat."

Kimmy smiled. She had never met anyone like Gambit before. Usually, she woke up next to someone, then left, getting a bus or train back to her house. No one had offered her to use the shower, to call her a cab, or to make her breakfast. Although Kimmy liked Gambit, she knew that it was just another one night stand, that nothing would ever come of them.

Remy hadn't been in a relationship since his wife, well, if you could even call that a relationship. He had one rule for women: never trust them. They were sneaky, manipulative, and insanely jealous. Remy realized this after getting engaged to Belladonna, although, to be fair, he might have brought on her jealous streak. Doing business with men always went so much smoother. He hated being in business with Emma. White Queen, yeah right, more like Bitch Queen. And the fact that she barely wore anything didn't help either. She would sometimes catch him looking at her chest and then she would find a way to increase her good qualities, so that he would do as she wished.

He went to counselling once in New Orleans. It wasn't his idea, he didn't even want to go, but Bella had insisted on it. The councillor came to the conclusion that he had commitment issues, which was ironic since he'd been forced into it in the first place. When she found out the verdict, she had forced him out of the house by hitting him with a tea spoon.

Remy rummaged through his cupboard, trying to find something that Kimmy would like. He didn't know her, but he knew her type. She was the kind of woman that didn't expect much from a relationship, his favourite type of woman. He'd been with many types before and there was only one type that didn't suite him. The ones who expected too much. Remy didn't know many of these women, but from what he had observed, Rogue was definitely one of those expectant ones.


Belladonna Boudreaux stood in an apartment that overlooked many others. She gaped at the window that took up the length of the wall. There he was.

She had spent weeks looking for him, almost blew her cover by being frustrated at the fact that she had no leads. He was a difficult person to find, but she was an Assassin, and the best at that. She was the only living heir of Marius Boudreaux, patriot of The Guild of Assassins, which she could thank Remy LeBeau for. New York, how had she found her way to The Big Apple? It was so much different to New Orleans that she wondered how Remy coped. The first day she had arrived, a man had knocked her to the floor. He didn't even help her up. Did they know who she was? What she was?

Bella drew her curtains, afraid that Remy might see her. She had only found him because of his brother. After she went to the diner, he had been in a dark car. She had followed him around for days, until finally she found him at a bar, gambling of course. People never changed, they were so predictable. She followed him to his apartment, careful to remain unseen.

"He der, why ain't we doin' anyt'in'." LeRoy asked.

Marius had insisted that Bella take some of his men.

"New York is a dangerous place, Bella. Y' won't go alone." Marius told his daughter.

"Dangerous? New Orleans et dangerous, an' I manage 'ere, do I not?" Bella argued. She was an independent woman, she didn't need looking after, she could take care of herself.

"Non. Dis is not up f' discusstion. Y' go wid LeRoy, an' Claude, or y' don' go at all. I 'ave lost one child t' LeBeau, I won' loose anot'er." Marius's words were final.

Bella sighed. There had been no point arguing, once her father made up his mind about something, there was no changing it. She subtly wiped an unshed tear from her eye, careful to make sure that no one noticed. Ever since her brother's murder, her father had become a stranger to Belladonna. He sat in his office, tracking down Remy LeBeau or taking out members of The Thieves Guild.

All of her life she had remained second best to the perfect killing machine, as her father once said. Julien had been emotionless, never getting close to anyone. He feared nothing except his father.

"Y' will leave in seven days. I don' want y' back 'till da job is done, y' understand?" Marius instructed coldly.

Bella nodded and, without another word, she left the room. Once in her own privacy, she let the tears drop freely. She had willingly volunteered to take the hit on LeBeau, desperate to prove to her father that she was as good as Julien, if not better.

Reaching under her bed, Belladonna pulled out a drawer full of weapons. Her fingertips brushed over the different guns and knifes, deciding which the best end was for Remy. Bella pulled the silencer from the box. She hated the sound of a gun, which was rather ironic really, an assassin afraid of a gunshot; it was like a baker afraid of bread.

"We waitin' f' an opportunity." Bella hissed, annoyed that her father would send his most inexperienced men. She knew Remy better than anyone else, as he knew her, and rushing straight into something would only lead to disaster.

"He right dere, what better opportunity y' goin' t' get?"

Bella turned from the window, finally facing the man who questioned her. LeRoy had just had his twentieth kill before going to New York, making him worthy of joining the Guild. Maurice wouldn't take anyone serious until they reached the number twenty; otherwise they were just men that could be spared.

"Dis ain't up t' y'! It ain't y' call t' make."

Claude watched as Bella swiped her hand across LeRoy's face. He knew better than to piss the boss's daughter off.

Logan stopped outside Rogue's room. She had been quieter than normal and it was really bothering him. He contemplated knocking the door, but decided against it, not wanting Rogue to feel like she had to talk to him.

When things got tough, he ran. That was the kind of person he was. Physical stuff he could handle, but not emotionally issues; he was incapable of dealing with such things, but since joining the X-Men, he was learning. He just wished that Rogue would too.

Regan Wyngarde sat conformably in The White Queen's chair. She had always liked Emma; after all, she wasn't much younger than the telepath, but if the price was right, she'd stab her in the back. It wasn't her fault really; she had been brought up like it. Regan's father, Jason, the original Mastermind, had been tough on both of his daughters while they grew up, determined that one of them would carry on his legacy.

At first, his daughters showed little hope of inheriting the X gene. But a few days after Regan's thirteenth birthday, it seemed she possessed the same gift that did, only stronger. Unlike him, both of his daughters knew just how to terrify his victims; they knew their inner most fears. Jason regularly took Regan to the Hellfire Club, showing off his little pride and joy. By the time he died, she was old enough to take his place in the elite club and she jumped at the offer. Her sister on the other hand wasn't as lucky as Regan.

He had treated both of his girls equally, but it was Regan who showed the most promise, so he spent most of his time helping her develop her gift. Martinique had always been jealous of her sister and father's relationship, not really understanding why he preferred Regan.

When he died, Martinique discovered that Regan had been chosen over her to join the Hellfire club, only further enraging her. They were both equals, one wasn't more powerful than the other, so she didn't get why she was always second best. They were both very similar in appearance and personality and their mutation was identical.

Regan opened the file on the table next to her. It was full of her sister's details, whom she hadn't seen since her father's funeral. Apparently Martinique had been living in Rome, but what really interested Regan was why Emma would have a file on her sister.

The door creaked open and a red head swayed into the room. Regan could remember his orders: She is not to leave your sight and, if she runs into any of the X-men, call me immediately. She must not remember Jean Grey, otherwise, everything is ruined. But Emma didn't call him. Regan couldn't believe she was socialising with an X-man without even a word to him.

All of her life, she had been the centre of attention, but all that changed when she came to the Hellfire club. It was Emma Frost who was the main attraction, his favourite. She wondered briefly what he would do if he found out, but quickly shook the thought from her head.

"How's your day been?" Regan smiled, removing herself from The White Queens throne.

"Sebastian and I went to visit Eric. It seems a breakout is necessary." Phoenix revealed.

"And I suppose you need my help?" Regan already knew the answer. Emma had told her what was going to happen. She would create an illusion so Eric could simply walk out. Sebastian would be waiting for him at the entrance of his prison, ensuring a safe passage to the limo.

"That would be preferred. Now, if you excuse me, I have a lot to do." Phoenix turned her back on Regan and walked out through the door, leaving Regan once again alone, but she didn't mind.

The file she had had came across had bothered her more than she would have admitted, especially after all the previous drama with her sister. She didn't have time to ponder as a stranger entered the room.

He was like no one she had ever seen before. Ghostly white with a red diamond shape in between his eyes. What looked like spider legs came from his back, but there were more than eight and he was in good shape.

"Lady Mastermind." He acknowledged.

"Mr. Essex, it's a pleasure to finally meet you." Regan held out her hand, not letting on that the man sent chills up her spine.

"Please, call me Sinister, Mr. Sinister." Sinister's eyes glowed an even redder colour, truly living up to his name.