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Chapter 1
Chapter 2
Chapter 3
Chapter 4
Chapter 5
Chapter 6
Chapter 7
Chapter 8
Chapter 9
Chapter 10
Chapter 11
Chapter 12


Written by KazeRogue and Cat Smith
Last updated: 01/02/2007 02:01:11 AM

Chapter 10

The doctor had checked Xandra over and given her the okay. She had stood and was gathering her belongings when Logan stormed in. His face told her he was in a foul mood. She watched with interest as he stopped a few feet from her, his entire body tense.

"What the hell do you think yer playing at, gal?"

Xandra knew her look was innocent as she spoke. "Ah'm not playin' at anythin'. _He_ kissed _me_, Logan."

"An' you responded. I'm not dumb, Xandra. You knew who he was, didn't say anythin' to anyone, then let him get fresh with you. I-"

"I wanted him ta do it," she said in a small voice, then looked up as Logan stared at her. "Come on, lets go get a coffee. Ah'll explain what ah can on th' way."

The way down to the cafeteria had been interesting. Logan had stayed silent as Xandra explained that while she was attracted to the thief, it made no difference, Logan should know that. She wanted to catch him on her own terms, but she _would_ catch him. Sitting down in the relatively quiet cafeteria, she let Logan get her a cappuccino. He sat down, and looked at her, then spoke.

"He's clever. He went down ter the sewers where he musta known I couldn't follow him."

"He said he'd heard o' ya." Xandra glanced up at Logan. "But anyway. Ah think he's gonna strike again soon, an' this'll be a sort o' High Noon. Ah'll catch him this time, or ah won't." Logan looked at her, raising his eyebrows, but remained silent. "Ah've just gotta figure out where he's gonna strike. Ah thought it'd be the Mask of Ra, but that's gone, now." She pulled a newspaper to her and started flicking through it. "Ah gotta figure out where his next hit's gonna be."

"The Mask's still in New York, darlin'."

She looked up, startled. Logan's face was perfectly serious. "Ya... Ya're serious, ain't ya?" Logan nodded, and Xandra rested her head on the backs of her hands. "Do ya think... Do ya think he'll do this, or change his mahnd? He knows ah think he's after the Mask."

"I don't think our boy's the type to give up." Logan paused. "I got somethin', maybe somethin' that could tell us who he is." He watched Xandra look at him, startled, and, knowing he had her full attention, he continued. "One o' my contacts brought me this info. I don't know how true it is, if any o' it. Make yer own mind up. Apparently, one of the LeBeau boys down in the Thieves Guild," he watched Xandra's eyebrows shoot up, knowing full well she believed in the Guild, where most cops thought it was laughable, and continued. "They got kicked out about five years ago. Somethin' to do with him refusin' an arranged marriage. If it's him, he's supposed ter be a handsome charmer, a mutant, an' is supposed ter be real stubborn."

"Ah knew it," she whispered. "Ah knew he was Guild quality. An' he's from New Orleans."

Logan stretched, then looked at her. "Yer think its true?" She nodded, and clasped her hands together. Logan knew that look. She was formulating a plan. "Go get yer uniform on, an' get yer warrants," he told her. "Yer'll need 'em."

A few minutes later, she was climbing into her police uniform. She put her gun into its holster, and then fastened her jacket. Looking at herself in the mirror, she smiled. She looked good. She _felt_ good, she knew she could finally crack this case that no-one else could. She had information about the thief himself. She'd got Logan to try and find out first names. She hoped he'd manage it; that might give her the shock-factor she'd need to get an edge. There was a little niggling fear inside her, but she quelled it. She knew the thief wouldn't hurt her.

Putting her hands on her hips, she looked herself in the eye. As she did so, she promised herself that she'd do this. No matter what. Walking out of the restroom, she walked purposefully towards Forge's office. On her way, she was accosted by Logan. He gave her his usual rough smile.

"Yer in luck, girl. The boy's name is Remy Etienne LeBeau, and his wife-ter-be's name is Belle. That's all I could get. My contact wouldn't tell me if the thief's description fitted this LeBeau, but his reaction told me it was." He nodded at her. "Good luck with Forge." As he walked off, Xandra mused over this new information she had. So that was his name... Remy LeBeau. It was a nice name. It suited him - sounding charming, French and exotic. With a scowl, she pushed the kindly thought of him from her brain. She needed focus, and not to feel any emotion towards him. She ignored the little voice in her brain that whispered 'Too late'.

Getting to Forge's office, she paused for a moment outside the door. This would be difficult. She was asking for permission to get into a museum late at night, or early in the morning if you looked at it a different way, next to the most priceless item in the building. She was also putting herself in great danger. But he had to let her do this. He just had to.

Knocking on the door, she took a deep breath, then entered at his request to do so. He looked up, and smiled at her. "Detective Thorne! Sit down," he motioned to the chair in front of his desk. "I'm glad you're feeling better," he added, before getting down to business. "What can I do for you?"

Xandra explained her plan, not able to look up to see Forge's expression until she'd finished. When she finally dared to look up, Forge had controlled his expression. He seemed to be mulling over what she'd asked. He finally looked up at her.

"You think you can do this?" Was all he said.

Xandra's eyes widened. "Yes, suh! Ah do, ah know ah can get him - if ya just let me have the chance." She watched Forge, then her heart soared as he nodded.

"I'll get the paperwork sorted out. You go get ready. Make sure you have armour and weapons. Don't take any chances, Xandra. You're one of our best." Xandra looked at Forge in surprise, and smiled, a true, thankful smile. That had been a great compliment, and one she wasn't sure if she deserved. She nodded and left quickly. Leaning against the wall next to Forge's door, she let out a big breath of relief. She stood up, and noticed Cody had gotten up and now stood near her, looking at her. His eyes were dark, and his mouth was arranged in a tight, thin line.

"Logan tole me what y'are planning on doin'. Ya cain't do this, Xandy!"

Xandra flinched at the nickname, and was surprised at the anger she felt. She glared at Cody, and let her feelings show in her eyes. "This has nuthin' whatsoevah ta do with ya, Cody. Nuthin' in mah life has anthin' ta do with ya, understand? Don't presume ta tell me what ah can an can't do, 'cause ah'm gonna do whatever the hell ah lahk!" With that, she walked about, her footsteps hard on the tiled floor. She was still astonished at the vehemence she felt towads him. When had that happened? She slowly realized. It was when the thief had rescued her. When he'd saved her life when it would have benefited him to have her dead. When he'd felt his lips on her own. A shudder of pleasure ran down her back. Horrified at herself, she tried to push the image away, but it seemed determined to haunt her. The feel of him holding her, his tongue brushing hers. Was it the danger that made her feel this way, or was it him? She wished desperately that it was just the danger, but she glumly admitted to herself that she was attracted to him, that she felt warm, fuzzy feelings of some sort toward him. It made no difference, she told herself as she arrived at the armoury. She had a job to do; he had broken the law, and he'd have to pay for that. No matter what.

Cops made her uneasy - reminded her of what she could expect if she was caught. They even made her forget that she pretended to be the best in the business, that nobody could catch her. But Xandra was her friend and she owed her. She had felt miserable after betraying her like this, after sending her on the trail that Remy had ordered her. She would have never believed that Xandra could get hurt. She had always seemed... invulnerable.

When an obviously shaken Master Thief had appeared at her door in the early morning and told her what had happened, she had been shocked. She had told him to inform Xandra's partner, Logan, so that she would be looked after. Ever since Remy had left her place, she had been trying to keep track of Creed fervently. And with the data she had now, she could maybe make up for what she had done.

She finally found the desk of Xandra's partner and laid the pile of papers on it. Then, without anybody noticing the young woman, she disappeared out of the office like a shadow.

The stench tortured his enhanced senses a thousandfold, but Logan was used to it - for areas like this were in the most use of police work. Melting in the rest of the population of the Ghetto, he made his way to the ruin of a warehouse, careful to walk against the wind to keep his own scent undetectable as long as possible. This was the latest hideout of the maniac berserk, Victor Creed, concerning the anonymous information on his table. Normally, he would have checked the source first, but after what had happened to his partner, his rage made him go after her assailant first. He reminded himself to better stay cool and controlled before he entered the old building.

"Logan!" he heard the fake cheerful voice of the man he was searching. "What a ... pleasant surprise."

"Sure it is, bub."

"What do I owe the honor of your visit, old friend." The killer's eyes hid a dangerous glint, while his smile bore a tad too much of his fangs.

"Thorne, Alexandra, police officer. Ring a bell?" Logan stepped closer threateningly and they performed the strange dance of opponents before the first attack, circling each other, always aware of the other's slightest movements.

"Sorry, never heard o' her." Creed's smile became indubitably amused. "But I'll tell her yer said 'hi' when I see the frail."

"Yer won't, yer won't leave this hall, Creed."

"Yer gonna stop me?"

"The power dampening field around this hall will."

When Creed turned his attention from Logan to the walls for an instant, the Lieutenant striked. His claws cut through the other's throat like through butter and the gurgling moan brought a wry smile to his face.

"Don't worry... yer'll heal ... maybe..."


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