Scott was the one who warned me.
"Listen -- Logan--"
"Hmm?" I wasn't really listening. I was trying to figure out how to shove all the clothes they'd given me into the tiny travel bag. I should have just left them behind -- it's not like I'm the clotheshorse type. But they were nice -- and they were free -- and all the rest of my clothing got incinerated not so long ago in Canada.
"...not sleeping...distract her...took Rogue shopping ..."
That's when I started listening. I think I managed to hide the way my head snapped up when he started talking about Marie -- but Scott sees a lot for a guy hiding behind glasses.
Oh well. Everyone knew how I felt about the kid. I promised her I'd protect her, and I did. She's a sweet little thing...and she's gonna grow up and break some hearts. I guess I just wished that she'd stop looking at me with those eyes that were so old...she's just a kid. She should get to be a kid.
Well, great -- I'd just missed another few paragraphs of whatever it was Scotty was trying to tell me. "What did you just say?"
He sighed, and I'm sure he rolled his eyes too, for all the good it did him. "I said...Rogue was distraught the whole time you were unconscious. We could barely get her to leave your side...it took Ororo nearly an hour to convince her to go to sleep that night. So we had Jubilee and Kitty take her out shopping to distract her the next day."
"And you're telling me this because..." Scott doesn't even like me. I don't see why he felt the need to come up and give me a shopping bulletin.
"Because you haven't seen Rogue since she...uh -- changed her wardrobe." Scott looked distinctly uncomfortable.
"So?" I really didn't get the point of this.
"Get the hell out."
He huffed and snarled and threw up his arms. "Fine. Don't say I didn't warn you."
Of course, I was so busy thinking about how stupid he was, that it never occurred to me to wonder just what he was trying to warn me about.
I guess those eyes of his see more than mine do...because he must have seen before I did how my feelings towards Marie were tending. I mean -- yeah, I felt a little more strongly towards her than I have any woman I can remember...but that's because I was protecting her. Helping her. Saving her.
She was a fucking kid, for crying out loud. And despite all my other vices, I'm not really a pedophile.
At least, I wasn't until I walked down the stairs with my bag slung over my shoulder.
Damn. He warned me.
Jubilee and Kitty, whoever they are, are some seriously advanced young ladies with some questionable taste as to what is appropriate.
For example -- the fact that I am getting an eyeful of Marie's cleavage is not appropriate.
It's even less appropriate that I'm enjoying it so much.
I freeze at the bottom of the stairs and just stare at Marie, who is oblivious as she stands next to Bobby at the little foosball table they all seem to like so much.
I stare. God do I stare. I don't think I'm ever going to stop staring.
She's got this tight black dress on that hugs all the right places -- and I didn't even know she had the right places. I've mostly only seen her all wrapped up in that cloak of hers, and that's enough to hide anyone.
It's not hugging her chest -- but that's because there's not much there. Not much dress, that is. There's plenty of other stuff...plenty of intriguing, well-developed stuff that a girl her age shouldn't be showing off to lechers like me.
They got her a scarf that wraps around that graceful neck -- and the gloves are just the finishing touch. They cling to her arms all the way up to above her elbows, where they cut off just in time to leave a tantalizing glimpse of flesh.
I think someone should have a talk with this Jubilee. I think she's been frequenting the wrong stores in whatever mall it is she took that poor girl into...or the right stores, I suppose, if she was planning on turning jeans-and-t-shirt-Marie into some kind of taunting sex vixen.
This is the point where I turn calmly away and walk towards the door, repeating one simple word in my head over and over.
Jailbait. Emphasis on the "bait." Damn, that girl could have the entire city locked up if they threw us away just for lecherous thoughts.
Scott warned me. Damn I should have listened -- I could have taken the back way out.
Now my only goal is to get outside before my pants get any tighter. Or before I start blushing.
She ambushes me just as I reach the door. I turn and she's running towards me -- running, damn it, and if there is anything more unfair in the world than having someone dressed like that running towards you and knowing you can't toss them to the ground and climb on top of them...
Stop. This is Marie. Ten demerits for lecherous, incestuous, illegal thoughts.
"You runnin' again?"
As fast as my not so steady legs can carry me, girl. Before I decide to chance touching you again. You're temptation and punishment all rolled up in one devastating little package -- and Scott warned me.
Damn his eyes anyway.
"Not really -- just got some things to take care of." Yeah, I certainly do. Starting with the itching under my skin that proximity to so much bared, deadly skin is having.
I try to distract myself by looking at her face. Just her face. Lifting one finger, I drag it down a lock of that bright white hair, quirking an eyebrow. I'd have thought she'd want to get rid of any evidence of her trauma as soon as she could.
She smiles, this sweet little smile that makes my heart lurch. "I kinda like 'em." A long pause, and she looks up at me from under her lashes. "I don't want you to leave." Her mouth opens in this incredibly sensual little pout, her face framed by the fall of those white streaks.
I don't know what to say. My whole reality has shifted in just a few moments, and all because two little teenage girls decided that Marie needed a new wardrobe.
Whoever Jubilee is -- I think they should yank her mall privileges for a while.
And I have to laugh at that. I've known her a few days and I'm already thinking, "My little Marie, all grown up."
But damn she is, and damn she's fine.
I think my fingers are shaking a little as I reach up and unhook the dog tags from around my neck. It's another way to distract myself...taking her gloved hand in mine and staring down at a part of her body that is entirely clothed.
I think it's a sign of my hopeless perversion that all I could do was think about how that gloved hand would feel against my skin.
I press the metal into her gloved palm and curl her fingers around it. "I'll be back for these," I say.
That's what I say. I don't know if she understands what I mean, but I do. Give me a year or two away, to get some things straightened out...to give her a chance to become legal...and then she'll understand what I was really saying when I pressed those dog tags into her hand.
I'll be back for you.
Friend: You know, that dress seems a little...advanced for a girl her age. I think Logan's eyes are actually bugging out.
Diebin: Temptation strikes.
Friend: You mean jailbait strikes.
Diebin: Same thing.
Friend: You know, I just really want to know what he's thinking when he gets a load of that.
Diebin: Ack! Back damn bunnies!
Friend: What the hell do bunnies have to do with it?
Diebin: Trust me. You don't want to know.