The Gray Ghost of Fear

By Nova Zion

Summary: Second in a series of five stories dealing with Lucca's past and present life and her connection with Victor Creed.
All characters belong to Marvel except for Lucca. Lucca is mine, so please ask for permission to use her. The storyline is mine also, but I am making no money off of this. If you'd like to archive the series, please e-mail [email protected] Likewise, if you'd like to send me some feedback, much appreciated by the way, please do.

Alexia St. Pierre curled up on the small couch across from the fireplace in the small cabin. The main light's were off, only the small living room lamp beside her flicked on, and she read through the mail, holding up the assorted magazine ads under the light. Picking up her cup of hot chocolate that sat on the table beside her, she took a sip, glancing at the clock. It's not normal for Victor to be this late getting home, she thought.

Being the stubborn ass that he was, Victor Creed had been determined to go out into the blizzard that had added two feet of snow to the door. He'd needed to hunt or do something after being trapped in here for so long and so he left early that morning, telling her he'd be back by nightfall. Sunset had come and gone, staining the white snow with bright oranges and reds as she shoveled out the small walkway and the path to the river, and still he hadn't come home.

Sighing, Lex went to the window to check if he was at least visible. Which he wasn't. This home reminded her much of the shacks she'd grown up in, but only in a few ways. Her and Victor had set this one up on a river and they were still in Canada, but it was so much nicer in here. Growing up, she'd slept on a pillow in a corner and washed in a bin with heated water. She'd been beaten regularly by her father and left alone for long periods of time without eating. It was better here, even though she still physically fought with Victor and was left alone sometimes. Here she had a bed, and food and a shower. And here, someone at least said they loved her too.

The door blew open with a swirl of snow and Lex turned quickly, hurrying to shut the door as Victor stripped off his parka and insulated winter hiking boots. He tossed them onto the mat between the door and the fireplace and hung his jacket up, shaking snow from his hair. Lex leaned against the kitchen counter as he shuddered and then wrapped her arms around him, kissing him deeply. Victor returned the kiss and grabbed her cup of hot chocolate, taking a swig before he handed it back.

"It's damn cold outside." he muttered, sinking into his favorite recliner next to the couch. Lex sat down on the couch again, stretching her feet out to hang over the armrest. Rubbing her foot lightly with one hand, Victor sighed and closed his eyes, letting his high-powered healing factor purge his system of hypothermia, over worked as it already was.

Lex studied her lover carefully, trying to find what was wrong with how he looked. Turning a bit, she looked at his arms as he pulled his shirt sleeves up and saw deep furrows that nothing but a bear or a person with claws could do. They weren't healing very quickly either because his factor was busy getting rid of sickness from the cold. Lex averted her eyes as he stood to go and change into some sweats in their bedroom. Pulling his shirt off over his head, she saw the same marking's on his back, deep and raw, the red shining because of the cold. Sitting up, she started after him into the bedroom.

"What the hell happened to you?" she cried, shaking a finger at his wounds.

"Nothin'." Victor sat down on the edge of the bed, rubbing his neck. His eyes glared at her, almost daring her to ask again, but she ignored it. Sitting down beside him, Lex prodded the cuts as he hissed, shredding a corner of their bedding.

"Shit, Victor. This isn't nothing. Your system isn't healing it! Where did you get these?" Lex looked at the three grooves in his chest and the marks on his arms.

"I told ya it's nothin'!" he growled, standing up. One quick hand struck out and smashed across her jaw. Lex sat still on the bed and let the blood well up in her mouth as her own healing factor fixed the damage. Spitting the blood out on the already ruined bedspread, she stood, not even coming to his shoulders, and looked up to face him.

"That's it Vic! You wanted me here to fix your wounds and now I get hit for it. Well I'm not going to take it. I'm leaving!" Victor chuckled at her and gripped her hair in one of his hands. Tears pricked her eyes and she closed them, feeling the wet trails start down her cheek.

"Go ahead, frail. You'll be back or I'll find ya eventually. I don't need you." Victor lied. He twisted his wrist back, hearing it pop as he yanked her down to her knees. "And when I do find ya, I'm gonna kill you. Slowly."

Victor threw Lex to the floor, chuckling again as she scrambled to her feet and grabbed her jacket. He went back to sitting on the bed, being in no shape to run after her at the moment, watching her shove her feet into her snow boots and zipping her heavy parka, grabbing the left-over money from the wallet on the table. "Better run girl, 'cause I'll come looking."

* * * *

The snow was deep, but Lex managed to make it down their small bush road to the dirt one leading to the highway. Trudging along in the almost knee deep snow, she made it steadily down the cold dirt road. Trees whistled around her and while she blinked spots away, urging the voices to stay quiet as she was exposed to her natural elements. Sighing, she finally made it to the main highway as the moon reached high in the sky and stars twinkled around the heavens.

Continuing along the highway, as close to the side as she could get, Lex waved and flapped her arms at several cars that were going by on the main road into the city. A transport sprayed her to her knees in slush that had mixed under tires and Lex screamed curses at him, shaking her feet. Early light was beginning to peek over the horizon as Lex made it into the city, going into a bar that was just opening.

"I need to use your phone." she mumbled, face frozen with the cold winds from outside. Even with her pale white skin, the rosy blush that regular folks got from the cold didn't appear, but she was cold. Dialing a bus company, she scheduled a ticket down across the international border, to New York. Her trust fund was set up there and she had to change it before something happened with it after being inactive for so long.

Hanging up, she thanked the bartender and headed back outside, beginning her walk across town to the bus station on the other side. She only had three hours before the next bus pulled out to the U.S.A. After that, she had to find another one to get her to New York. But right now, she had to think of a name to use to lose Victor.

* * * *

"Printing a search on all weekly mutant headlines we've been following within the New York state." A meek young man, his business being to bring up files for mutant capture, scanned the screen and distractedly picked up the phone as it rang beside him. Lifting it to his ear, he squinted at the listings of titles, clicking the print button with his right hand.

"Hello, Cargo." he answered. "Uh huh? Name..."

The man moved his fingers in a blur on the keyboard, scanning information almost faster than possible. Stopping on one, he brought the photo up into large and printed it, as well as the biography information and police record. Bringing up the FoH hot list of mutant targets, he scanned until he found the name and brought up the identical report, minus a few short notes made by his boss.

"Thank you, goodbye." the man hung up and picked up the last week's reports and pictures, carrying them to his boss, Graydon Creed's desk. The heavy-built man looked up from his work and motioned for the boy called Cargo to sit in a high-backed red leather chair across from him.

"Sir, that was the Alec Montgomery. He's been scanning international articles and 'moving' tickets during the week and has found that someone on our hot list is moving. It seems she bought a ticket to Detroit and then another to New York. She'll be arriving in a little over an hour."

"Who is she and why is she on our hot list?"

"Her name is Alexia St. Pierre and she's wanted by the FoH for being a mutant and being connected with the mutant known as Sabretooth."

Graydon winced at the name and then held out his hand for the papers Cargo carried. Handing them over, the other man ripped the top sheet off, searching the information and pictures. "So this is his new play-toy."

Throwing the papers to the side of his desk as Cargo flinched, Graydon picked up his phone and punched in a series of numbers. "Creed here. Get someone down to the bus depot to grab someone by the name of Alexia St. Pierre. I'm faxing a picture down right now..."

He paused as the fax machine beeped and began rolling the picture through. "Cargo says she'll be there in no less than three hours...grab her with no notice, take her to the base...I don't care what happens to her...just make sure she can talk."

* * * *

Lucca stepped off the bus and into the small parking space it occupied, heading for the bus station doors to find a bathroom. Lucca was her new identity, so now it was time to act like it. In Detroit she'd changed into a short black sweater and navy blue jeans, a black leather duster jacket over it with a single ponytail hanging down her back to her waist. Black ankle boots were on her feet and she'd done her makeup as best she could from what she remembered her female family members doing, namely her mother and grandmother.

The station in New York was big. The only building she'd ever been too had been a school when she was nine years old, and she'd thought it big at the time. This bus station was easily five sizes that of the school and it made Lucca stand and stare for a moment until someone jostled her from behind. Spinning, she opened her painted ruby lips in surprise to see a handsome man apologizing. She smiled and began to walk to the sign that read 'Ladies', pushing the door open with a backward glance.

Going to the sink, Lucca began to brush her hair out from the ponytail she'd kept it in for the long ride to the big apple. Swinging it over her shoulders, she shook it and then began to reapply her lipstick carefully, trying to remember how she'd seen her mother do it when she was little. Happy with the results, she turned to leave as the door opened and two men walked in.

"I think you're in the wrong room." she muttered, trying to get past them. "Let go of my arm."

The tall man before her tightened his grip and Lucca yelped in pain before trying again to wrench her arm away. The shorter man's hand circled her nose and mouth, a rag of some kind covering her lower face. Struggling, her claws changed as she cried out and scratched one of the man's jackets, tearing the fabric as black spots danced in front of her eyes. Growing weaker, she sagged in her first assailants arms and dropped weakly to her knees on the ground. The taller man picked her up, and they prepared for their run to escape any staring eyes. Pushing open the door, they began to work their way through the crowd at a jog, carrying Lucca in their arms.

"Out of our way! She's having an allergic reaction to something!" One of the men flashed their faked hospital badges while the others shoved aside the crowds and continued on until they reached a black van and climbed inside, sitting her in the back and closing the caged portion of the back. The tall man got in the cage with her, pulling her hair back enough to tightened and secure a golden collar around her neck. The green light came on, indicating it was in use, and a small click sounded as the bolts slid home and her powers were turned off. Happy with the results, the tall man kept a watch over her while the other man drove quickly, hoping to escape any prying eyes.

* * * *

Lucca opened her eyes slowly, a thin film making her sight blurry and white. Shaking her head slightly, she tried to focus in on the noises around her and found she couldn't, at least not in the way she'd come to be used to. The sounds were small, light and...airy almost as she listened. What had happened to her senses?

Blinking a few times, she found that she was handcuffed to a chair and a heavily-built man was next to her talking to a tall man. Leaning her head forward slightly, Lucca found her ankles were tied to the chair legs to and well as her waist. Something was shoved in her mouth, and a thick collar was around her throat, tightly secured with a green light blipping.

"Well, well, well. I see you've come to." the tall man walked over to where Lucca sat and stared at her, watching her squirm under his gaze. "I bet you're wondering who we are and why you're here."

Lucca nodded slightly and bit down on the gag in pain as the heavy man smashed a fist across her jaw. She felt something pop and waited for it to heal, surprised greatly when it didn't. Pulling the gag from her mouth, the tall man shook his head at the guard and her resumed his position.

"That will make you think about choosing your words carefully, because now it will hurt to talk." the tall man picked up a drink he'd been nursing when she came to and sipped at it before placing it back on the table. Fear rose in her gut and the pain in her jaw throbbed in a steady rhythm with her pulse, quick and fast. "My name is Graydon Creed."

Lucca's eyes widened at his name and she opened her mouth to speak, but Graydon glared at her and she shut it again, fresh pain shooting up her face. "I usually don't talk to scum like you on my own time, but you interest me. You have some information I need. You are going to tell me where Sabretooth is, because I need him to be brought in. It would look good on my record."

Smiling at her, Graydon walked back up. "Now will you tell me?"

"No." she winced as the blood flowed into her mouth from the wound in her jaw. Swallowing it, she felt her stomach turn and tried to calm down. "Please let me go..."

"Mutants like you don't deserve to walk on the same ground as us. You deserve to go to hell and burn forever." Graydon spat at her feet and an angry sneer graced his face. Lucca had seen those eyes before. They were Victor's eyes; baby blue and angry, with orange tints around the edges. Closing her eyes in fear, a tear streaked down her face and Graydon's hand closed around her throat.

"TELL ME WHERE THE WORTHLESS ASS IS!" he screamed in her face. For once, Lucca was glad her enhanced senses were gone. A punch rained down on her jaw again and she cried out as the pain renewed itself and doubled.

* * * *

"Put her in here. It's the only empty space in the cells." a man's deep voice rang out against the thick concrete wall, echoing back to meet the pair as they dragged a woman down the hallway of holding cells. Tapping in a few number codes on a keypad, the light above them changed to green and metallic doors slid open to reveal an empty chamber.

"I thought this room wasn't to be used until Mr. Creed gave orders to get rid of all evidence?"

"Yeah, so? We actually aren't supposed to be using this, 'cause it's a gas chamber that was built in, but there's absolutely no other space. He'd get made if she was put in with the other women and got hurt..."

Dumping a very bruised and battered Lucca onto the floor in the center of the chamber, the heavy-set man backed out of the room after making sure her inhibitor collar still worked. The heavy doors slammed shut on the unconscious girl and the two men left her there alone, locked into the small room with rows of holes and piping throughout the top few inches.

* * * *

The voices urged her along, pushed her to go and hunt, to kill. Once again, her parent's had left her alone in the newest of their cabins. This time there had been no food left for her to survive on. She'd become a financial burden as well as an unwanted and terrifying specter in the night. The anger inside of her had grown and, at fourteen, she hurt so badly when she couldn't hunt and kill. That was what the voices wanted, was for her to go out and free herself from the pain, to hunt as she should and kill.

Which made it no problem to be left alone with no food now. It meant she had to hunt, almost as if she now had a true reason to be out here in the chilly fall air, stalking the rabbit that had hopped across her path on her outings. If she wanted to survive, she had to kill. Dragging the rabbit back to the cabin, she proceeded to skin it outside in the bush, where her parents wouldn't find the blood, and took it inside to cook. She'd be eating tonight.

* * * *

Alexia opened her eyes, staring at the wall beside her. Her forehead was pressed against her cool pillow and she sat up groggily, pain shooting through her limbs. Rolling over, she tugged the blankets from her parent's bed with her and closed her eyes. Her fingers ached at every movement and her feet hurt. In her jaw, she felt the pulse-beat measuring every painful throb across her gums. Growing pains and new teeth growing in, she thought as she went back to sleep.

Waking again, Alexia ignored the pain and stood from the bed, moving the curtain aside. Walking over to the cold-box, where she stuffed the cooked hare, Alexia lifted the lid and then dropped it in surprise when she saw her fingers. Overnight, claws seemed to have sprouted from her fingernails and hung jagged and sharp over her fingers, looking more like claws she'd read about on vampires or werewolves. Looking down, she saw her toes had done the same, and racing to the broken bathroom mirror, saw she had a new set of sharp eye teeth. Emotions mixing in her stomach, Alexia wiped tears that streaked down her face away and studied her fingers and teeth with interest, wondering what was going on. The pain was receding in her limbs and she saw the flesh around the new openings was healing quickly, stitching itself back together with eases as the nails and teeth set.

Sinking down against the wash-bin, she tucked her knees up to her chin and leaned her forehead against her legs gently, hugging them to her. What was happening to her?

* * * *

"Let's go X-Men! We only have limited time before the police will arrive!" Cyclops, field co-leader of the X-Men, shouted his command as the team poured out of the Blackbird. Crying out, the FoH guards leveled their weapons at the three who were speeding across the sky towards the main base where the hostage fugitive mutants were held. "Watch your backs!"

Storm swung her arms through the air, creating a driving pelt of rain that stung as it hit. A cry came from a woman down below as a lightening bolt ripped down from the heavens to strike only twenty feet from the troops. She felt Jean slipping into her mind with her power of telepathy, establishing a mind-link throughout them all to feel each other's actions.

Down below, small cards wielding large amounts of bio-kinetic energy flew at the opposition. They let loose their energy with a flaring burst of light and an explosion upon hitting the targets and five men and women fell to the ground, dazed or unconscious. Gambit smiled and raced through to the next level of fighting, his bo-staff held at the ready for hand-to-hand combat. Flashing a cocky grin at his teammate up above, he smashed the extended end of the glowing stick into an enemy's face mask, feeling the energy flow from the staff with a powerful explosion. It wouldn't kill him in this armor, but maybe it would put him out of the game for a while.

The short Canadian beast was barreling through defenses almost as quickly as Gambit. Adamantium claws outstretched, he jumped onto one of the guards backs and covered his eyes, letting him swing around until he fell down and smacked his head on the ground. Sucking the metal claws back into his forearm, he felt the skin heal over immediately and punched another man in the face, knocking him out.

Cyclops's optic beams sprayed through the armored guards on low, knocking them backwards. He had a problem in a fight like this. If he used his beams to take people out, they would die, and X-Men didn't kill. It was a code the Professor drilled into them every day. But, he wasn't very useful any other way. Using low beams, the best he could do was clear away the crowds for the others to fight with, leading the way again when they were done.

The guards were all taken out thanks to the team effort. Wolverine had pried open the door to the inside, ripping the metal off of it's hinges like paper from a notebook. Entering first, he stopped and allowed Cyclops in to take the lead. More guards could be heard above them, coming down the stairs in front and behind them. Luckily, a few doors with access codes were the only way into the small tunnel. When one door had opened, Cyclops raked his beams throughout the next tunnel, hearing the men and women fall unconscious.

"Cyke! Half the Gold Team's goin' ahead to look for the girl!" Wolverine's voice rang out in front of him as he took the lead with his super-enhanced nose. Storm followed behind as leader for the Gold Team, Jean Grey-Summers behind her as telepathic backup to register where everyone was. Nightcrawler had been added to the Gold Team due to his being a teleporter. If they had to get people out in a hurry, he was their best bet at making it out alive.

Making their way steadily down to the holding cells for the hostage mutants, Wolverine waved his hand at an adamantium door at the end of the hall, straining to break through it with his claws. The strong metal against strong metal created not even a scratch as he pounded away at it.

"Hey Fuzzy!" Nightcrawler came up on his left side as Storm came up on his right. He could see Jean concentrating out of the corner of his eye, focusing on shielding them and alerting others to when the guards would be coming and from where.

"She's in there!" she cried out, knees buckling under the strain of extending herself too far.

"Can ya go through adamantium?" he asked Nightcrawler.

"No, Herr Wolverine. The metal is too dense to permit travel. There cannot possibly be anyone in there, can there be? It appears to be a gas chamber..."

"It is. I heard the gas turn on a second ago. I can't smell it, the door's too thick, so I don't know how many people are in there with her..." Wolverine turned to Storm as Nightcrawler teleported Jean to the safety of her husband outside. Storm took out the computer picks Gambit had given her in the Blackbird and began to take the pieces apart, pressing keys and fiddling with wires as he'd taught her in her age-reduced state.

"We must go!" Nightcrawler cried out upon his return, motioning to Wolverine and Storm.

"If the girl we came to get is in there, I ain't leaving without her!" Wolverine studied Storm as she punched in a few final codes. "Let me grab the girl and then you can teleport us!" Nightcrawler looked behind them in the hallway, placing a hand on Storm's shoulder.

"We are alone in here?" Storm asked, finger poised above the last button.

"Yes!" Nightcrawler exclaimed, ready to grab each of the people to teleport. Storm punched the button and scooped up Gambit's picks as the doors slid open, a green-yellow gas filling the hallway with a sweet smell. Wolverine ran inside blindly, tears streaming down his face as he breathed in one breath of the foul air. Grabbing the woman on the floor, he picked her up in a fireman's hold, and ran back into the rapidly filling hallway, trying to dodge the gas that invaded his senses.

"Let's go!" he cried, feeling Kurt grab the back of his uniform. Storm held onto her longtime friend and they vanished with a screeching sound and a flash of brimstone and sulphur. Dropping down just outside the Blackbird upstairs and outside, Kurt wheezed with overuse of his powers and Wolverine dropped Lucca inside the ramp for care, picking him up to help him onboard. Storm swung herself aboard quickly and found the teams either ready for take-off or strapping themselves in.

Wolverine finished pulling the torso cross-straps around Lucca's arm and buckled them, pulling them tightly so she sat straight up and was supported by the black strapping. Sitting in the seat beside her, Wolverine began to buckle his own restraints and then sat back, waiting for his healing factor to purge the gas from his body. As Cyclops started up the jet, others who didn't have seats and could support themselves at the moment moved to inspect the girl next to him.

Beast lifted her white face and brushed the long white hair from her eyes and around her neck, inspecting the golden collar around her neck. Tapping her right cheek, and opening her eyelids, he turned to the cockpit. "Is it safe to take the collar off?"

Storm grabbed the pile of papers she'd pulled out of Cerebro only just earlier in the afternoon. Reading through them, she bit her crimson bottom lip and shook her head, glancing back at Beast with a tint of sadness in her eyes.

"She has a healing factor that would come back on when the collar is taken off, but she apparently has the same powers as Victor Creed and has been trained by him in their usage. The past three years of her life have been with him, under his care." she glanced at Wolverine quickly as his eyes shifted to the young girl beside him. "I would not recommend the removal of the collar until we can restrain her if need be."

Beast cursed under his breath and moved to check her vital signs with the transportable table of equipment aboard the jet. Taking her blood pressure and checking her heartbeat, he shook his head and looked at Wolverine to strap her back in. "Pray we hurry. The young woman's vital signs are dropping rapidly from several injuries as well as the deadly gas she inhaled."

* * * *

Lucca opened her eyes slowly, feeling the fading pain of many injuries throughout her body with one breath. Turning her head the slightest fraction of an inch, she parted her parched lips and struggled to emit a sound, any sound. A furry blue man across the room turned at her squeak in the silent room and she raised a finger to beckon him over.

"So, our young visitor has come to." he smiled and Lucca tried to return the smile. Raising her hand, she closed her eyes at the pain and opened her mouth again. "Do not try and speak. I must know some things about you, but first, I will tell you where you are, what is wrong with you and why you are here." The Beast patted her cheek and Lucca stared intently at him, wishing to help in any way.

"First off, you have many very serious injuries that are causing you much pain. I need to know if you will try to harm us if I take the collar off."

Lucca's eyes grew wide and she gave a mock sad face, shaking her head slightly. Beast looked over her papers and then back at her. "Are you not partially raised and connected with Victor Creed? And he taught you about your powers?"

Lucca diverted her eyes and tears welled up in them, spilling down her cheeks. "Well, if you do not mind my restraining you while your healing factor purges your system of injuries, let me get Wolverine."

Beast walked to the door and waved his hand to someone outside. Turning her head with great difficulty, Lucca growled as she saw a short hairy man walk in, someone she knew very well from stories Victor had told her while she was with him. Wolverine ignored her scratches on his arms as he picked her up carefully, cradling her almost. Lucca quieted as they headed out in the hallway. Others stared at her with interest and she grimaced, looking at the ground as they walked by.

"Computer, open Danger Room. Setup Containment Center 1039488A." Beast stepped inside the sliding doors as they sped open with a hydraulic hiss. They snapped shut just as easily and Wolverine sat her down in a throne-like chair, shoving her arms firmly into hand restraints. Beast strapped a muzzle over her face and she felt her legs jerking into foot restraints at the same moment a harness was snapped around her chest. Setting the controls on a panel in the side of the box-like contraption, Lucca felt a few tugs and then the snap of the golden collar around her throat unlocking. Wolverine let it clatter to the floor of the room and studied her as she closed her eyes to begin the healing process. Sighing as her bones re-knitted and tissue restores itself, Lucca looked up from under her dark lashes and watched Wolverine, a snarl coming to her face.

"Thank you for all your kind efforts, but why am I here? And where exactly am I?" she asked, shaking her hair free from the locked harnesses.

"We are the X-Men and our counterpart, Gambit, saw you being kidnaped and we tracked you down to the Friends of Humanity's main base. My dear, you were very severely injured and put in a gas chamber to be killed. This lead us to believe you are some sort of a threat upon humanity."

"No, if they want mutants, it was because I was with Vic for a long time." she looked at Wolverine and she said this, judging his reaction. "They wanted to know where he was."

"I figured you smelled like him. You smelled like gas fer a bit, but underneath...underneath it was Vic." Wolverine lifted her head in his direction and looked into her eyes. "How old are ya?"

"Around nineteen. I don't really remember what my birthday is, but me and Vic used to celebrate it in the fall, so I'm guessing eighteen or nineteen." Lucca stared back at the man before her.

"How long ya been with Creed for?"

"Two years and a bit." Lucca let her head drop as he let go and stalked away. "Now, can I be let out of these restraints and go?"

Beast looked at Lucca and then Wolverine, fiddling with his chart in his hands. "Let her go."

Beast moved to action at Wolverine's words and Lucca let her arms and legs drop out of the restrains and muzzle, pulling her hair back off of her neck. Standing, she moved to walk out, but waited for one of the others to make a move first. Wolverine opened the doors, the quiet hiss filling the room, and waited on the other side as Beast stepped out after him, followed by Lucca.

"Ya know, kid. Ya can stay here. I can clear it with the Professor to get you a spot here if you have no where to go." Wolverine fell into step beside the tall girl, a lit cigar already smoking between his lips. Lucca glanced at him out of the corner of her eye, watching for a moment.

"Maybe I will. I only planned to come here to clear a bank problem out of the way, but maybe I'm safer from Vic here."

"Ya wanna talk about it?" Wolverine stopped at the door to the Professor's study and turned to face her, finishing off his Cuban cigar before knocking.

"Maybe later." Lucca turned to follow Beast into the living room down the hall, sitting on a couch to wait for the Professor and Wolverine to come to her from talking.

* * * *

"Whaddaya mean she's in New York? What does she want there?" Victor smashed his beer mug down on the counter near his phone. Scowling, he tried to commit everything to memory as his source spilled his information over the secured phone-line. "A different name? Lucca...where is she now?"

Victor Creed slammed the phone down after he'd made sure to get as much information as he could. Smiling, he picked up a photograph sticking out from the side of the mirror in his bedroom. "Well Lex, looks like I got ya. I was thinkin' it was time ta visit the X-geeks again anyway." Chuckling to himself, Victor began to undress for bed, sliding between the covers moments later. He smiled in his sleep. He'd fulfill his promise to gut his lover after all.