Title: Cry the Moon
Disclaimer: Still not mine, bub. Dammit.
Feedback: Yes, please! With a mojito on top? The good. The bad. The ugly, welcome…
Summary: Logan meets a Cree girl at a bar in Mexico. She wants to make a memory. He wants to forget. (A Run outtake.) W/OC, W/R
Author's notes: Okay. Brace yourself. This one is a Logan/OC. (Mostly) Now you all know that I'm a (shameless) Wolverine/Rogue shipper at heart, but variety is the spice of life, right? This one slots into the Run universe. Logan and Marie spent a lot of years apart before they'd put on enough miles to be what each other needed. This is just a simple little story from one of those nights that Logan spent south of the border. If you can't take Logan with anyone else, this story isn't the one for you. Don't let the door hitcha in the butt on the way out. (Though I think you might be pleasantly surprised if you stick around! I really like how this one turned out. It's one of my favorites!) Snarky emails will be lit on fire and slingshot out the window. Heh. My LoganMuse was adamant. He wasn't about to be celibate for a decade while Marie got her crap together. You have been warned! Also, it's me, so this one will be adult in theme and content. (Duh!) You have been warned (again)! Last but not least, a special thank you to doctorg for the beta. You rock, lady. :)
[Mexico. Sundance Bar & Grill. Happy Hour.]
It was the way he held his drink that caught my eye. Familiar. Careless. Sensual. It was also how his lazy sprawl seemed to stamp the space around him, as if his ownership was so absolute he couldn't even be bothered to be territorial about it. Like it wasn't even a blip on his radar, even though the other men clearly respected it and young, beautiful women seemed to go out of their way to bask in that unmistakably lupine presence.
My People would say he had a strong totem.
I wonder what his People say?
I would say he's a hunter. And playful, too, like most predators are. The petite redhead he was with tossed her hair and giggled. Over her head, our eyes met for a moment. His bored, indulgent look was replaced by a slight, sardonic half-smile. It was the way a wolf looks when you catch one of the adults playing with a pup; half amused, jaws open with its tongue lolling out and tail wagging— and half embarrassed at being caught roughhousing with the babies.
The girl he was with flipped her hair again and touched his arm suggestively. His eyes dropped back to her but even across the bar, I could tell something in his bearing had shifted. He was still playing with the easy catch but the focus of his attention seemed to be elsewhere. At this end of the bar. I suppose it's only natural. Good hunters always keep all their options open.
Until they move in for the kill, anyway.
It made me feel attractive. And uncomfortable. In a good way. But I wasn't sure that was a game I was up for playing tonight, so I left him to his flirting and ordered a mojito, trying not to think about how his thick fingers had looked stroking through the condensation on the dark brown glass. Seeing a wet glisten on his fingers as he swallowed with hedonistic relish made me uncomfortable too— in a much more intimate way.
I squirmed a little in my chair and turned away from him slightly. I was here to unwind. So were a few of my colleagues. For a group of presenters straight out of a three-day symposium on Feminism and Tradition in Modern Indigenous Matriarchies, the Sundance seemed like the perfect place for us ladies to unwind, tongue-in-cheek style. Like we would have had it any other way? We'd been laboring under our professional masks for days. Now it was time to let our hair down; to gossip about our husbands, lovers, and children, to exchange stories and recipes and commiserate with each other on everything from tribal politics to the headaches associated with trying to get an academic grant. It was a time to network and scratch notes on bar napkins— not to pick up sensual, attractive men.
Especially not men who looked like they liked sex.
I shook the image away and sipped my drink slowly. I make no excuses. It was hard not to notice a man like that on a night like this. Heat waves were still rising up from the cracking black asphalt outside. The tang of the sea air and the sharp hulk-hulk-hulk cry of the seabirds could be heard over the gloomy din when the heavy door opened. It also let in the tangerine glow of the setting sun. I had the urge, however impolite, to ditch my colleagues and go take a walk. This place had a different beauty than the wild grandeur of the Reserve where I grew up, but I don't think ethnicity has any bearing at all on a person's desire to feel soft warm sand under their bare feet.
I might have even been tempted to leave had it not been for my perfectly mixed mojito— and for Elsa Redbird's sly nudge to get my attention. Elsa was a beautiful (married) Hopi woman with a round face and dancing eyes. I was the tall, skinny (single) Cree girl with wild hair. Which, of course, meant that she considered it her moral duty to play matchmaker every time someone with something swinging between his legs caught her eye. She's worse than my meddlesome old aunties that way. Almost. At least there's only one of her.
She nudged me again. "He's looking at you."
I didn't have to ask who she meant. I knew who. She'd seen him too. I think we all had. I glanced over. He was looking at me. I looked back. And smiled.
Elsa nearly choked when I turned my attention back to her. Which put my back to him. It wasn't a snub. So we exchanged a look? It was hardly an invitation for anything more. And to be honest, I wasn't interested in being a member of his harem of simpering golden beauties. Nor did I imagine a single look from him meant he was interested enough to even feel the loss of my attention.
"What are you doing?" she hissed at me under the guise of sipping her drink. "Go over there... ask him to dance. You know you want to. You know he's good, too."
I knew. So did she. So did every other woman in the place who'd seen him on the floor earlier. He moved with a woman in his arms the same way he drank and smoked. With absolute abandon and utterly without reservation about enjoying something that obviously gave him a considerable amount of pleasure. But despite that, there was an odd physicality about him. An old-fashioned air that reminded me a bit of the way my grandfather held himself. A reserve.
But a girl could also imagine a man who enjoyed a beer like that might also enjoy a woman with the same unrestrained intensity. It wasn't too hard to imagine a man like him throwing a girl over his shoulder— before throwing her down on a pile of blankets and covering her with his body. He would leave a mark on her; body and soul. Teeth marks and a chain of bruises mapping his path south. Breasts. Thighs. Finger marks on her hips. Kiss-swollen lips. A sweet ache between her legs and a warm glow in her chest the morning after. I guess feminism in the matriarchy still takes a back seat to natural animal attraction if strong women are still fantasizing about stronger men.
Maybe the real question is what do strong men fantasize about? At that moment, the question I wanted an answer to was: 'What does that one man in particular fantasize about?'
It was a question I came back to again and again over the course of the evening. And twined with it were strands of my own fantasies. Elsa eventually gave up hope and moved on. Conversation flowed on around me. I sat quietly nursing my drink and let my mind wander. My body felt loose and slightly aroused from the alcohol, from my own thoughts, and from the bombardment of sexy images; attractive men and women with lots of golden moist skin on display, talking, laughing, flirting. Writhing together on the dance floor. Writhing together in a different way in the numerous dark shady alcoves. This wasn't a very classy place— there was even a metal cage in the back for fights; all of which suited me just fine. And we were a long way from the border. My border. It's funny how being in a strange place can somehow make you feel more like being the person you hide from everyone back home.
Back home I never would have entertained the idea of a casual sexual encounter. Though I'm easy about sex and have had a couple of lovers in the last few years— all of them meant something to me in one way or another. I'm not usually the sort of woman who'd even consider a one-night stand. At least, I thought I wasn't. I think deep down I knew I still wasn't. But for the first time in years, I was tempted.
I thought about my wrinkled old aunties and the stories they told about the young handsome lovers they'd had when their skin was soft and smooth and their hair was long, and shiny, and black as a crow's wing. I thought of how they cackled and held each other's gnarled hands as they remembered, cloudy eyes turning inward to see old memories that kept them warm when the prairie wind blew sharp and cold. For the first time I wondered about making such a memory for myself, for when I was old and gray and sitting on the porch with a blanket over my legs, teasing my little nieces about finding some lusty, virile man to keep them warm under the blankets like I'd had once long ago.
Images of slender brown limbs entwined with a man's larger, heavier— hairier body danced in my head. I closed my eyes to see them more clearly. I saw a man's hand on a woman's hip. They were both naked. His cock was thick and heavy, and his skin was pale against hers. His eyes were hazel and clear. He wasn't afraid to keep them open when he came. I felt my mouth curl into a private smile.
"This seat taken?"
A tobacco voice, rich and sweet, interrupted the erotic flow of my thoughts. I knew it was going to be him before I even opened my eyes. Of course a man like him would have a voice like that. It made me think of jars of amber honey on my grandfather's sunny windowsill and of the way a horse's breathing sounds when he gallops hard over the prairie or blows out a greeting on a frosty morning as he lips your fingers looking for a lump of sweet sugar.
I shivered and opened my eyes, extending my foot just enough to push out the opposite chair in invitation. A pretty bold move for a girl with a Musquash totem... but even the industrious little muskrat isn't immune to the desire to mate. I hadn't yet made up my mind either way... but making a memory with a man like that was worth consideration.
He pulled the chair around next to me and sat down, sprawling into my space with the same easy familiarity that he'd stamped on the space around him at the bar. He was direct... but in an attractive sort of way that spoke of arrogance and of humor. He was cocky, too— but not oily or insincere. I liked him already. I also liked the flash of uncertainty in his eyes in those long moments before I pushed out the chair. I liked that he'd waited until Elsa was gone to approach me. He might have a strong totem, but he still didn't want to be shot down in front of another woman. That touch of vulnerability was as attractive as his rough charm and cocky swagger. And it tempered that predatory sex appeal that seemed to ooze from him.
I raised an eyebrow as he dropped an arm over the back of my chair. He wasn't touching me but he was close enough for me to smell his warm skin. "You always this forward?"
His smile was warm and crooked. And pointed. "Only when I'm after somethin' I really want." He was not at all apologetic for how that sounded. Coming from another man, I might have bristled at that sort of comment— but for all the innuendo in his words, he also sounded genuine.
How long had it been since I'd met someone who wasn't afraid to be a man or to speak his mind? He exuded an unapologetic masculinity that was hard to ignore. No wonder he had a small harem vying for his attention back at the bar.
I smiled in spite of myself. "Something you 'really want'? And in this case, what you want would be...?" I wondered if he'd have guts to say it. And if he did, was that a good thing? Or a bad one?
His smile changed. "To know whatcha were thinkin' of before that put such smile on your face."
That was not at all what I'd been expecting him to say. I was shocked. And pleased. And embarrassed. I'd been thinking of his cock... thinking of his big hands on my hips and what it would be like to watch his face as he came inside me. I think he knew it too. I blushed hotly and he smiled with a touch of amusement - and triumph - when he saw my color rise. But he didn't press me or even acknowledge it beyond a slow nod. He could have used it to his advantage and he didn't, which was another point in his favor.
Maybe I'd misjudged him a little. He was clearly looking for a girl to warm his blankets, but the fact that he didn't use everything at his disposal to get me there told me he might be a passionate man who liked sex, but that he was also a pretty decent guy. Or at least a guy with a deeper interest than just sex.
He used the neck of his bottle to push the brim of his beat-up cowboy hat up a little before he extended his hand. "I'm Logan."
His hand was big. And warm. And rough.
I felt swallowed in his sure grip and that feeling of uncomfortable excitement grew as he let his fingertips stroke softly against my palm when he withdrew his hand. Something crackled between us, like the charge in a furred hide when you run your fingers over it on a cold dry day.
My breath caught.
Before either of us could say anything more, the tipsy young redhead from the bar giggled her way over and tried to press a tall shot glass into his hand.
"There you are, Wolverine..."
Wolverine? I thought his name was Logan?
"I got us some drinks... tequila!" she pronounced with a flip of her hair, ignoring me and making a rather public display of ownership as she wrapped a very proprietary arm around his neck and pressed her perky breasts against him.
"Thanks but no thanks, honey." He pressed both glasses back into her hand and deftly extricated himself from her grip and her company. It was smooth. He looked like he'd had a lot of practice at it. She pouted for moment and then flounced off to join her friends when she realized he wasn't going to get up from the table. He looked— not embarrassed exactly— but slightly bashful. Just for a moment before his expression changed. The predatory gleam was back.
"Tequila not your thing, Wolverine?" I couldn't help teasing him.
His lip curled in amusement. "No. Redheads ain't either." He took a long sip off his beer and picked at the edge of the label with his fingernail. He had good hands. Strong. Capable.
"One too many worms in your past, eh?"
He laughed aloud at that. "Somethin' like that, darlin'." Flicking away the little curl of paper he'd ripped off the bottle, he grinned. "Let's just say both have left me with a bit of a bitter taste in my mouth these days." For a moment I thought I saw something there under his swaggering smile. Something that looked an awful lot like hurt. Or maybe it was just what I wanted to see? I liked him. I wanted him to be a nice guy. A man on the prowl to scratch an itch is one thing. A man looking for something casual because he's had his heart stepped on is something else entirely. Which one was he? The former? The latter? Some of both?
I took a slow sip of my drink, savoring the flavor of the crushed mint as I tried to work that one out.
"My name really is Logan," he said softly into the silence.
I considered that for a moment. "Who's 'Wolverine' then?" Names are important in my culture. I listened carefully to his answer.
"Me." He paused, shrugging. "S'the name I use when I fight."
He inclined his head toward the ring in the back of the bar.
"I see." I knew it was silly, but there was a small part of me that felt warmed by that confession. He'd given me a more intimate name than he'd given to the others. Why had he done that?
His piercing gaze missed nothing. "And before you ask— I dunno why I toldya my first name. I don't usually do that."
"How did you know I was thinking that?" So much for native stoicism! He laughed at my look of surprise.
"S'my job to notice things." He plucked the sprig of mint from my empty glass and twirled it in his fingers. "Like this for instance." He ordered me another mojito and a beer for himself and we settled back into one of the cozy booths. The light was better there; an orangey glow cast by a flickering candle in cheap red glass. We talked about work and travel and politics. A little about our pasts here and there between the flirting and the more serious conversation. He was irreverent and sharp and outrageously playful in a quaint sort of way.
He talked with his hands. And smoked good tobacco. But it was his clothes that caught my attention. I think they were a part of what gave him that old-time feel. Old jeans. Cocky buckle. Heavy boots. White tank. A blue button down shirt, worn soft with age, but the flannel was tucked in. His boots were scuffed but clean. He was rough, but he cared about how he looked. He might not have a lot, but he was a proud man.
It reminded me of home and the meticulous care that the proud struggling people I knew would take with their ribbon shirts and 'good' jeans. By the time we'd finished our drinks, I knew there was much more to Logan than met the eye.
He smiled at me across the table and stroked my arm lightly as he nodded at my glass. "Get you another?"
I shook my head. "I don't think so." His eyes went up. "Three's my limit." I don't hold my alcohol well. Blame it on my genes. It's not like we've had a few millennia to work up a tolerance, now have we? Alcohol makes my face flush red. It also makes me forward. I gave his skin a good, long, appreciative look. "Besides, you look good without teeth marks."
He laughed then; a low rumbling chuckle that fit with the rest of him. "In that case, darlin', I absolutely think you need another." His eyes danced. "And I might need two... gotta have somethin' to put these flames out. S'gettin' a little warm over here." He pretended to pull at his collar. I laughed, but all his gesture really did was make me even more aware of the velvety skin of his throat. There was a light sheen of sweat on it. The only air conditioning in this place was the windows. I fought the urge to lean in and lick him. What would the drag of his heavy stubble feel like on my tongue?
Our drinks came. I wasn't really sure I wanted mine. I felt too out of control already. I like a good, strong buzz but I wasn't sure it was smart to be that lubricated here. A strange city. Alone. With someone I didn't know. It was different back on the Reserve surrounded by all my relations... where there was no shortage of familiar couches to crash on.
Logan leaned in and brushed my hair away from my neck before speaking soft and low into my ear. "Go ahead. You're safe with me, honey. I'll make sure you get home okay." His voice dropped, becoming darker, huskier. "You can trust me. I'll still stop if you tell me 'no'."
His words made me shiver. How someone could sound so nice (and so dirty!) at the same time was confusing. "I wasn't aware I'd said 'yes' yet."
He said nothing. I gave him a look. Thought it over. And reached for my glass.
He smiled wolfishly.
And damned if I didn't smile back.
Up next: The Sea. With a few drinks in them, they decide to ditch the bar for somewhere a little more private...