The darkness was complete. Marie strained her eyes to make out anything familiar but the more she pushed, the more the darkness consumed her.
You are my conduit, Anna Marie.
The tendrils of Erik's smooth voice wound their way around her; echoing from all directions. She turned to her left and to her right, hands outstretched, hoping against hope that she would find her way out.
Embrace it, child.
As if he'd spoken a command, Marie felt her body grow warm. It was then she noticed the light. Dim at first, then growing brighter and more intense. She looked outward for the source and then caught sight of her hands – they glowed more luminously than the sun and yet the warmth was not uncomfortable. Marie looked up and saw that there were people gathered around her. Some she knew – Raven, Victor, Domino – others were strangers.
Their blank stares brought a chill up her back. This was wrong. It was all wrong.
Marie turned her head to the left and saw Logan making his way toward her. Suddenly, she was gripped with panic.
The words wouldn't come forth from her mouth. Her hands outstretched in front of her, telling Logan with her actions what she couldn't say with words. He had to go. Get back. Run.
The light began to pulsate and grow brighter. Her audience moved a few steps closer.
Please, no. Please Logan.
Marie caught the face of Erik Lensherr in the back of the crowd, grinning, laughing and beaming with almost maniacal joy.
The luminescence flowed over everyone in the room, looking like something that would beam down from the heavenly gates. But that angelic light turned into something from the bowels of hell. The people in front of her began to disintegrate as the brightness intensified and burst forth from Marie's body.
Logan's eyebrows knitted together in a combination of confusion and worry. And then he was gone.
She awoke to the feel of Logan's strong hands rubbing her back and the soothing tone of his deep voice close in her ear.
"Darlin', wake up. Marie, you're safe."
Marie turned on her back and looked up to see Logan's face dimly outlined in the soft light of morning. She was alright, Logan was alright. It was all a dream. She hadn't had one in years – maybe it was part of her ability to shut out her victims' thoughts and memories that suppressed any nightmares. But this seemed almost like a scene of things to come. That thought made her shudder.
She pressed her hands to her eyes and felt Logan's hand move to stroke her hair. They'd been driving for two days and she was still very attuned to every change in Logan's emotions. Right now, his heartbeat, perspiration and breathing told her that he was immensely concerned for her…even protective.
Marie normally brushed aside her feelings with a smart ass or bitchy comment but, in this moment, it just wasn't in her to try and gloss over what had happened. She knew that Logan wouldn't buy it anyway.
"That fucking sucked."
Honesty, ain't it grand.
"Was it one of my memories?"
"No, this was a Marie specific mind fuck."
She put her hands back down and looked up at Logan's face. Even in the semi-darkness, she could see his striking features. His scent assaulted her. Logan had insisted on sharing one motel room and they'd managed to secure the last one with two double beds. When they'd gone to bed the previous night, Logan was lying on top of the covers fully clothed but now, he was next to her clad only in boxers. It was difficult enough to tune out the smell of him when he was a few feet away. With him practically on top of her, the desire she felt for him overwhelmed her and she was in no mood to play coy any longer.
Marie brought her hand up and caressed his face. Logan's stubble was thick after days without shaving. She ran her hand down his neck and across his arm, his skin surprisingly soft for a man with such a violent past and habit of skewering his enemies.
He growled low in his chest and she felt him tense as her fingers trailed across his chest, feeling the soft hair on his taught body. Logan's breath hitched as Marie paused, caressing one of his nipples. Turning her head, she found that her lips met easily with the crook of his neck and when she snaked her tongue out to taste his flesh, Logan shuddered.
"Marie, I'm trying real hard to hang on to the last shred of that hero and nobility complex you talked about. But if you keep touchin' me, it's gonna disappear real fast."
"Logan, we both want each other so could you shut up and fuck me already?"
The speed at which he moved across her body was amazing. Before she knew what happened, Logan shifted himself and covered her with his torso, his legs scissored between her thighs. His lips hovered so close above hers that she could almost taste him.
"This ain't just a fuck to me, Marie."
It wasn't roses and poetry, but it was what she wanted to hear. By way of an answer, she pushed her neck forward and pressed her lips to his, gently but firmly delving her tongue into his mouth, seeking, exploring and tasting.
Logan wanted to rush it, to unsheathe his claws and cut her clothes from her body so he could take her every which way from Sunday. But her response to him since the encounter in his cabin had been reserved and wary. He knew her world had been shifted on its axis and he hadn't wanted to complicate things by saying something stupid like how in only two days, he'd found that he'd grown to care deeply about her. That she was amazing and strong and…oh goddamn her hands were moving under his boxers and grabbing his ass.
He broke the kiss and the words rumbled in his chest.
Yeah, he sounded like a neanderthal but so the fuck what. He balanced himself on his wrists and watched as her arms moved down and grasped the end of her shirt. Slowly, Marie moved the fabric over her head and Logan grabbed it from her and threw it across the room. The morning light was brighter now and it streamed through the curtain and illuminated her skin. He caressed her nipples and watched as they puckered with his touch. The smell of her arousal flooded his nose. Logan trailed his tongue down the valley in between her breasts before stopping just below her belly button. Marie gasped when she felt him lick the area just above her panties.
His fingers pulled on the edges of the rich cotton and pulled them down her legs as his tongue resumed its work on her inner thighs. Marie spread her legs wide to grant him access and he at once accepted her invitation. She lost herself in the rhythmic massaging of her clit. He knew just how and where to move his tongue to bring her complete and utter ecstasy. She was so close to the edge that when she felt his finger enter her, the orgasm rushed over her more explosively than she'd ever felt before.
Logan wanted to let Marie revel in the afterglow but there was no way he could hold off any longer. He kissed his way back up her torso and when he aligned with her entrance, he thrust inside, growling with the way she enveloped him completely. He started slowly moving back and forth, listening to Marie's appreciative moans. She felt so fucking amazing.
He watched her face as he increased his pace and began pounding her more aggressively. Marie's eyes flew open and she locked her eyes onto his. In that moment, Logan had a familiar realization…she was his; and he was hers. He brought his face to Marie's and kissed her deeply. The taste of her tongue, the feel of her body and the completeness of the moment made him come so hard he stopped breathing for a full minute.
Logan collapsed on top of her, bringing his face into the crook of her neck, smelling her sweat and arousal. Marie. They lie together for several minutes before Logan shifted to the side and gathered her into his arms.
Marie nuzzled against his chest, feeling for the first time in her life that she was safe and secure. This wasn't just sex. It wasn't just a fuck. It was Logan and Marie solidifying their connection. And with both of them fully content and sated, they fell asleep in each other's' arms.
Marie slipped out of the room a few hours later. Logan was still asleep and she was damn hungry as she was sure he would when he woke up. Their early morning activity was fairly strenuous and they both needed some well-deserved sustenance before they got back on the road. She looked both ways across the lonely two-lane highway and ran across the street to the small diner. Just under fifteen minutes later, Marie emerged with a bag containing more food than both she and Logan could probably eat in two days.
Once again, she looked down the road and prepared to run across when she felt a sting in her back. No. Oh no. Panicking, she ran forward and felt the effects of the tranquilizer make its way quickly through her system. Logan's healing factor would help slow it down but even he wasn't immune to drugs.
Marie made it halfway across the blacktop when, out of the corner of her eye, she saw Victor emerge from the trees. A young boy with strange eyes and green colored skin followed close behind him. She began to call for Logan. Her voice sounded far away and weak. She wasn't quite sure if she was actually making any noise at all.
As she fell to her knees just before reaching the motel parking lot, she heard the roar of a plane's engines directly above her. Victor and the boy appeared at her side and, suddenly, she felt herself being taken by the fog.
The last thing she heard before slipping into unconsciousness was Logan's voice yelling her name.
Logan awoke and turned on his side, expecting to wind his arm around Marie's very naked and very warm body. His eyes flew open when he realized she wasn't in bed. He inhaled deeply and found her scent. It was slightly faded. She was either in the bathroom or not in the room at all. Logan's stomach churned at the thought. He got out of bed and stood outside the bathroom door, praying she would be inside. But when he turned the knob and pushed the door inward, she was nowhere to be found.
He wanted to be pissed off at her but the emotion flooding him at the moment was terror. Pure terror at the thought that she'd gone out alone and she would never come back. Logan put on his jeans and as he reached for his shirt, the roar of plane engines echoed outside. Just as he made it to the door, he heard Marie's voice call his name. Logan's gut twisted at the pain in her voice. He threw the door open just in time to see Victor Creed pitch Marie over his shoulder like a rag doll.
Victor's head turned slightly and Logan saw Creed's mouth rise up in a sadistic grin. A young kid followed Victor and the three of them approached a huge black jet hovering just above the ground.
Logan ran as fast as he could but he knew that even his advanced speed wouldn't get him to Marie in time. He watched helplessly as her lifeless form disappeared inside the massive jet. As the vehicle lifted off, Logan collapsed onto the ground and watched as it escaped into the clear blue sky.
She was gone.