Author's Chapter Notes:
Ahh, the Vieux Carre. There was no other place in the world quite like this one, a grand old lady who’s seen better days. The perfect place to disappear in the crowds that wander down in the cobblestone streets, carrying containers filled with big ass beers and boozy green concoctions. She felt a certain sadness settle in her chest as the sun sank lower and the sky painted crimson, haloing the historic buildings in fire as the class of people below began to change.

There was an innocence that the day held that called to a deep dark part of her, in the recesses of her soul, reminding her of a time long past. Of a girl she once knew... The lack of light just reminded her that only a darkness remained now. Fireflies took the place of stars and heat lightning patch worked the sky. The breeze ruffling the gauzy curtains to the wrought iron balcony sent shivers down her spine as the bluesy harmony and cacophony of jazz bands began to play amongst the steady clip clop of the carriages. As she tilted her head to take in the last of the rays, a tiny glow cheered her, flashing as it met her eyes.

The antique silver plated hand held mirror laying on her vanity shone, a small baggy filled with white powder lay on top. A beacon in the night. Calling to the darkness within her… Promising a way out. The light at the end of the tunnel.

She sat on her velvet tufted stool, her slender hands unconsciously twisting in her lap. She became more uncomfortable by the minute as her anxiety grew and the darkness crept ever nearer, casting shadows, dancing with the crystal teardrops dripping from the chandelier. She couldn’t accept this dull ache of foreboding. Who was the girl staring back at her? She no longer knew. Or cared to.

She flattened her palms against the hem of her almost too short leather skirt as they began to sweat, eyes fluttering shut, and a breath she hadn’t realized she’d been holding escaped from her lips before hesitantly, she reached out. She dropped her hand as if she’d been burned, releasing a choked, desperate laugh. She pressed her trembling hand over her face convulsively. Swallowing the sob that rose in her throat, she looked up, covering her mouth to keep from crying out as tears stung her eyes.

What reason did she have to stop?

…to hell with it.

Everything took on a clean brightness and a rush of pink stained her cheeks, feeling the blood coursing through her veins like an awakened river as she inhaled in sharp quick bursts. The tense lines in her face relaxed. Rogue bit her lip to stifle her cry of delight. For a long moment she felt as if she were floating, as she hastily swiped the evidence away.

Her breast tingled against the silky fabric of her cami as she pulled it over her head, flicking the long hair cascading down her back out from where it was held captive by her blouse.

With a giddy sense of pleasure she let her happiness show as a smile parted her lips, though it didn’t reach her eyes. They twinkled for another reason entirely.

This girl she recognized.

She slid on her boots and checked her lipstick one more time before descending the downward spiral of her loft’s stairs.

It was just another day in paradise.
Chapter End Notes:
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