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Chapter 1


Written by Lucia de’Medici
Last updated: 04/25/2007 12:32:46 AM

Chapter 1


“Husha, husha, we all fall down.”

We go down. Underground, the cave floors are a compacted mix of striated rock, and gritty, hard-packed earth layered over ice. Outside, the cold is a glacial fist whose fingers have wormed their way into the mountainside.

This is a mountain, he thinks, though he’s no longer sure. Certainty is conferred only to the heavy drag of chains, weighted though they are, and the collar biting into his collarbone. The strongest metals are feather light compared to the burden of understanding; of knowledge.

Hands fisted on her knees to keep from picking at her gloves, Rogue looks at him intently – eyes wide and fearful in the gloom. It’s funny, Remy thinks, that the first time she propositions him, as eloquent as it may sound, as warm and promising and hesitant, it’s the first and only time he should know enough to turn a woman down.

Doesn’t matter who she is; it doesn’t matter that he –

“Remy.” The plea is a soft opiate. It dulls the sensation of the chains, the sharp, stinging lacerations from where the skin’s been rubbed raw. He frowns at his hands; rough, dirty palms with stains so deep even the grime from their shared Antarctic prison isn’t enough to cover them up.

He can’t cover it up.

Hands pressed together, Shi’ar material shearing with the strain, he takes in the stretching fabric at her knees where Rogue kneels, the awkward twist of her ankles in the large boots, the matted sheen of sweat above her upper lip, and he can feel the tug of familiarity all too keenly once again. It’s an earthen prison in the middle of nowhere, and the gravel below him is as dry and barren as any other wasteland, and yet Rogue unknowingly offers him the chance to drown without consequence.

One gulp of air, and his muscles react despite his grim reserve. It’s the familiarity of oblivion that lulls him, drawing him forward across the uneven floor; that allows his mind to wander to some safer place than here even as he unhooks the bonds that keep her uniform fastened. It blots out the sound of her sigh, dampens the feel of her quickening breath, moist against his bare chest, and the gentle brush of that deadly, soft skin yet untouched by any other man.

She’s his, and for the brief lapse of time before Remy lowers her to the filthy ground to accept the offer of temporary companionship, a consummation of his debts to her and the whole of his legacy of sin, he knows that this is wrong.

Chére –” Mouth pressed to the crook of her neck as she shrugs a shoulder out of the tight cloth, his lips trace the strangled apology in the supple juncture nearest her pulse.

“Hush, now, Cajun.”

The chains slide from between his shoulder blades, pooling on the ground with a rough clatter near his splayed fingers. Remy barely hears them, barely feels the gentle thread of Rogue’s fingers around his neck as she pulls him down, raising her head halfway to press her mouth to his.

He doesn’t taste her, but merely closes his eyes as the impact of reaching the bottom breaks him with one simple kiss.



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