Home | Forum | Mailing List | Repository | Links | Gallery
Chapter 1
Chapter 2
Chapter 3
Chapter 4
Chapter 5
Chapter 6

Seals of Power - REVIEW THIS STORY

Written by Michi-chan and KazeRogue
Last updated: 01/02/2007 02:01:11 AM

Chapter 2

Jacqueline opened the door of the carriage with numb fingers, but not as numb as she felt inside. Though the corpse of her father laid next to her, she couldn't yet believe that he was gone forever. She left the carriage and looked at her birthplace with tired eyes, the mansion had never seemed so empty before. Jacqueline saw Mme Corbeau standing at the front door and froze. She saw compassion in the elder woman's eyes, compassion and love. Tears welled up in her eyes and she threw herself in Irene's arms.

"He's dead Irene!" Jacqueline sobbed. "My father is dead. Dead! And it's all my fault!"

Irene stroked her hair soothingly.

"No, dear, it's not your fault. Don't you ever think that what happened is your fault. It's this damned thief's fault. And he will pay for it!" These last words she spoke with narrowed eyes and a coldness in her voice that mirrored Jacqueline's soul.

Remy LeBeau stomped angrily through the thieves' hideout, a little hut in the forest in which he and his followers had waylaid rich travelers recently. The redheaded girl, that slouched in a chair next to him, looked up grinning.

"Do you want me to show him who's in command here?" She said while stroking over the blade of her knife.

The leader of the thieves seized her. She was loyal, ready to kill or die for him in an instant. And barely 15 years old. He smiled sadly.

"Don't cross him, do ya hear me? Chatton is out of your league, don't get yourself killed. I can deal with him myself."

The young criminal left the hut, jaw firmly set, to let actions follow his words. The giant thief he was searching sat on a treestump, grinding his saber. He looked up, a vicious glow in his narrow eyes, when he heard the other one approaching.

"Now, now, look who's there! Came to punish me fer savin' yer hide, LeBeau?"

"Non, to punish ya for not following m'orders. I said 'no dead', 'member?" LeBeau glared at the elder man.

"What shall I say, he freaked out." Chatton didn't even try to hide his contended smile.

"I could 'ave easily dealt wit' 'im m'self. I don' need anybody ta babysit me, compris?"

"'kay, I'm sorry. Won't happen again." Chatton held out his hand and after a moment of hesitation, the young thief took it. He was going to play nice. Fer now.

The rain splatted in her face but she couldn't care less. The other attendants of the Comte's funeral might think that it was a mixture of the rain and her own tears that wetted her face, but it wasn't. Jacqueline hadn't cried since her conversation with Irene. A cold determination had overcome her and she would cry only after she had revenged her father. And then, she would cry of joy. Her grip tightened around the long curved dagger, that has been in her family for decades. With this dagger, she would rip the thief's worthless heart out. Literally.

She felt Irene's hand on her shoulder and looked up. The elder woman smiled reassuringly. She knew what the young woman was thinking of and couldn't approve more. She had looked after her since she had been a little girl, had taught her to have her own will and, if necessary, fight for it.

The priest, pere Wagner, had finished his sermon. Jacqueline, though having learnt Latin despite her being a woman, had no clue what it has been about. The empty phrases about a soul returning to the Lord could offer no solace to her tortured heart. They were spoken at every funeral, nobody would see that her father had been someone special. And now his memory was sullied by a cowardly murder. But she would wash it clean. With blood.

With dignity, she strode to her fathers tomb to lay down the bouquet she was holding. With cold eyes she looked at the words inscribed on the marble stone: Requiescat in pace. Her lips trembled in determination. There was still something left to do before they both would be able to find peace.

Jacqueline had been raised as a noblewoman, to keep perfect manners in every situation - though she'd never been good in that department -, and she knew she should accept the attendants' condolences, but she couldn't. They imagined to see a young mourning girl and wouldn't expect her to tear their cold, hypocritical eyes out of their sockets. They weren't here to pay their last respects to the Comte. Most of them were certainly wondering how to appropriate the dead man's land even now, while the ceremony. Jacqueline would surely receive a few 'interesting' proposals of young men soon. She knew that she would never be allowed to keep the country on her own. But for the time being, her uncle would conduct her possessions as her guardian, until she found a worthy husband. First, she could thus attend to the task at hand, anything that happened later didn't matter to her at all. She lived for the revenge.

The servant that held her umbrella sneezed and Jacqueline pulled her out of her thoughts. She turned around to find herself alone aside from the servant. She hadn't noticed anyone else leaving, her uncle and Irene had been so courteous as to take care of the guests and not let them disturb her. With a sigh Jacqueline turned around to leave the cemetery and drive home. In her carriage, her uncle waited for her.

"Gavroche, I'm glad you're coming. I was afraid you would freeze to death. How do you feel?" Her uncle smiled at her warmly despite the sadness in his normally twinkling eyes. He had used his old nickname for her, gavroche - little girl, brat - a piece of normality in the insanity her life had become. Jaqueline managed to smile back and sat down opposite to him.

"I feel good, oncle. Under the circumstances." Henry looked at her sympathetically.

"I know, it's hard for me, too. But we will pull through. I'll do my best to help you, but you know you can't live on your own."

Her smile became sardonic.

"Yes, I know, oncle. But I think I can survive being no man's puppet for a little while longer."

Henry was surprised to see his niece so angry. He hadn't meant to offend her in any way. He surely was sorry for her losing the only parent she had ever known, but he was responsible for her future. And he wouldn't decide behind her back.

Do you want to return to the convent?" He asked instead.

Jacqueline seemed to ponder over that for a few seconds. Then, she shook her head.

"Non. It's time I take my life in my own hands and not hide anymore..." her gaze got lost in the distance and Henry decided to leave her to her thoughts.

Irene Corbeau carefully went upstairs trying not to let hot wax from the candle she carried spill over her hands. She headed towards her protegee's room, being worried about the young girl. Since the girl's mother had died at her birth, she had taken over that role, coming to love Jacqueline like her own child. And she wanted her to find happiness in a world that wasn't too nice to young women. So she had taught her to be free. And now she had to watch her heart's only joy risking her young life in order to find her freedom again. Her freedom from the bounds of honor that made her thrive for revenge. But her heart sang when she thought about the girls willpower to get through with this task. She had taught her well.

The elder woman opened the door of her foster-daughter's room and was surprised to see her not only awake but fully dressed in tight deerskin trousers, a white blouse and a leather waistcoat. She was putting on knee-high riding boots when she noticed Irene's presence.

"'Rene", the young girl started, using her old nickname for Mme Corbeau, but the elder woman cut her off.

"Where to?" she simply asked.

Jacqueline's expression turned deadly serious.

"The woods." She put on the other boot.

"They will kill you."

"Not before I got my revenge."

"I understand you, but don't throw your life away like this. Please, I thought I had taught you to prepare your actions. Without a plan you will get yourself killed."

"I don't care." Jacqueline stared at her boots, not able to meet Irene's shocked eyes. Suddenly she felt firm hands on her shoulders, forcing her to look at the woman that has been a mother to her.

"Are you stupid? Do you think your father would want that? You want revenge? Fine, you have my support, absolutely. But I won't watch you die. You are too young and have your whole life ahead of you to throw it away just to take some dirty thief's life. Understood?"

"Yes..." the young girls voice was barely audible.

Mme Corbeau sighed and let go of her. She regained her composure and straightened her skirts. She stroked over her protegee's hair kissed her forehead.

"Good night, Jacqueline."

"Good night, Rene."

When Irene had left the room, Jacqueline looked at the dagger on her table. She took it in her hand, tracing it's curves with her index finger. Suddenly she clenched her fist around the blade and watched the dark blood run from her palm.

"Sorry, Rene." She whispered as she climbed out of her bedroom window.


GambitGuild is neither an official fansite of nor affiliated with Marvel Enterprises, Inc.
Nonetheless, we do acknowledge our debt to them for creating such a wonderful character and would not dream of making any profit from him other than the enrichment of our imaginations.
X-Men and associated characters and Marvel images are © Marvel Enterprises, Inc.
The GambitGuild site itself is © 2006 - 2007; other elements may have copyrights held by their respective owners.