see disclaimer chapter 1
The sun was already starting to set when Maverick finally came to a halt. Sonja was jolted out of her quasi-unconscious state when the gentle swaying of the horse's walk had stopped. All day Maverick had been traveling in the same direction, not pausing for anything except the occasional drink from the streams that ran across his path. And now he had brought her to another wall.
Sonja looked up at the imposing fence. It had to be at least 8 feet high and seemed to be not only made of brick but also strongly reinforced with razor wire across the top. Maverick had stopped just short of it, almost pressing his nose against it. Sonja dismounted and stepped up to the fence. She examined it closely, not seeing anything at all that might be of interest.
"Great, a big old dead-end. Way to go, Mav," she said, planting her hands in her hips.
She turned back to Maverick. This time, when she reached into his mind, there was a definite message. She shook her head and absentmindedly scratched his ear.
"You're tired and you're just convinced that home is on the other side of this fence, aren't you? What a weird thing for you to be thinking."
Maverick looked deep into her eyes, his lids drooping from exhaustion. Sonja couldn't understand where in the world Maverick had gotten the crazy idea. As far as she knew, he had never left the state of Pennsylvania before, but here they were in New York and Maverick was acting like he was heading home.
"So how do you propose I get through this fence, huh?" she asked him, not really expecting any sort of answer.
Almost as if he had understood her, Maverick nosed the fence again, pushing some of the material loose. Sonja squinted, looking closer and was very surprised to find a small metal flap. Out of pure curiosity she pushed it aside, thinking it was just some loose brick and was startled at what she found. There was a switch so well concealed that she could have looked at the fence for days and not seen it. S onja only hesitated for a second before pushing it, and immediately something inside the fence began to hum.
Sonja looked at it warily and jumped back when a section of the fence seemed to fall away, revealing an opening just big enough for Maverick to fit through. The horse started to walk through when Sonja grabbed his reins in an attempt to physically hold him back.
"No way, Mav! This is way too creepy. Someone built this fence for a purpose, and we are not traipsing all over this property. God knows who lives here or what they do to trespassers," Sonja said forcibly. Maverick looked at her placidly then tried to tug her through the opening again.
"No! I don't care what you think is on the other side of this fence, we're not going in!" she said to him. Maverick was becoming agitated and threw his head, pulling with all his weight against the reins. Sonja tried to pull back, but the animal far out-powered her. Maverick charged through the fence as Sonja was forced to let go of the reins.
"Maverick!" she yelled one more time. Suddenly, the gate closed, cutting her off from her horse. "Damn it!" she said, pacing outside the fence frantically, trying to find the switch again. She might not be able to explain why he was acting that way, but everything she needed to live was strapped to his back. Besides that, he had never led her into danger before, and she trusted his instincts. She finally found the switch again and punched it. The gate slid back once more. Maverick had continued walking away from her in the same direction as before and she could see his swaying backside a few yards ahead. She laughed a bit at his stubbornness then whistled to get his attention. Maverick stopped, turning to look at her.
"You better wait right there!" she yelled as she ran towards her horse. She caught up to him and once more cradled his face in her arms, looking him square in the eye. The blankness was gone and his message was clear as he could make it. There was safety and food ahead, and that's where he was going, with or without her.
Despite knowing that they were trespassing and that they'd never reach the town going that direction, Sonja's instincts said that Maverick was right. Nothing could be worse than what they had already run into that morning
"Fine, fine, you win" she said resignedly. "I'll go wherever you take me, but if some whacko kills us both, it's your own fault."
Sonja swung back up into the saddle and once more settled in to the rhythmic sway of Maverick's walk.
It was long after dark when Sonja and Maverick crossed over a jogging path that snaked its way along the edge of the forest. The moon was full and cast long gray shadows across every tree and rock. Sonja could barely make out the outlying trees, so she briefly put her hands to her eyes and used her powers to make her eyesight sharper in the darkness. There, that was better, now she could distinctly make out the branches of the trees outlining the end of the forest and the field that lay beyond. The closeness that the canopy of trees created and the shifting shadows from the moonlight made her feel uneasy and she was happy to see open ground again. Just as this thought crossed her mind she felt Maverick jerk to a halt, something had triggered his anxiety again and he stood statue still, nostrils flared and ears flicking this way and that. No! Please, no more nasty surprises! she thought as she quickly pulled the pistol back out of her bag.
Maverick was looking around confusedly, smelling something but Sonja knew he wasn't sure where it was coming from. Sonja urged him forward a few more steps, then caught a flash of an image. She could see her own back and Maverick's backside and knew that someone was standing behind her. With lightening speed she wheeled Maverick around and aimed the gun at where she was sure her unwelcome visitor stood.
"Whoa!! Hey, hey!! Easy there!" Logan shouted, lithely leaping to the side while throwing his hands up into the air. Sonja leveled the gun at his head and only barely noticed a growling noise that he emitted.
"Youv'e got one second to get back or I pump your brain full of lead," she threatened, her gaze unwavering.
"Fine, fine...just take it easy there missy," Logan said as he backed away, hands still up in the air. Sonja didn't take her concentration off him for one second. He had on a pair of running shorts and sweat was rolling off his face; he had obviously been out exercising. Sonja instantly did a head to toe inspection of him, gauging with her mind how strong or smart the man was. He looked incredibly strong and had a more instinctive, fierce look than particularly intelligent. Sonja's instincts told her he couldn't be trusted and she wasn't about to give him any opportunity to get the upper hand.
"I'm back, now...just calm down," Logan said to her, dipping his head down in a consenting gesture. Maverick jigged nervously in his presence, but Sonja just deftly reigned him back in, the sights of her gun never moving from the intruder's face. Under normal circumstance, Sonja probably could have ordered the man's body to do whatever she wanted, but the day had been long and hard and she knew she didn't have the strength to boss around the big man, at least, not for very long, he was too strong. Though, the thought tempted her. Despite the angered scowl on his face, he was very handsome with roughly sculpted features and an appealing set of muttonchops. The flimsy shorts didnt leave much to the imagination as to how well shaped his body was. Logan glared at her and she could feel some sort of unnatural power emanating from him. And she was never one to trust anybody that was prowling around and sneaking up on people at night, she had seen one to many cases of violence to let the man have even one inch of leeway even if she was on someone else's property. If he had seemed like a simple security guard or something of that nature than there was no way she would have reacted like that. But this man...there was definitely something dangerous about him.
"You haven't got a goddamn clue where you are, do you missy?" he bit out sarcastically.
"Well, why don't you fill me in?" Sonja said, refusing to be irritated by his arrogant tone.
"This is too good," Logan said, laughing lightly and shaking his head. He liked the look of the young fiery woman and would have fun teasing her. Logan knew her gun could do him no real damage and he wanted to toy with her for a while like a cat with a mouse. There was no way she could have gotten in here by herself. Logan was too wary of the Professor's tactics not to know a set up when he saw it.
Sonja didn't like the look that passed his face, like he wasn't going to take her seriously. He's laughing at me! Sonja pulled the trigger and let a bullet whiz a solid yard to the left of the man's ear. Logan recoiled from the noise and clutched the side of his head.
"Why don't you watch what the fuck youre doing!" he yelled.
"Like I said, why don't you tell me where I am," she repeated, menacingly jabbing the end of the gun in his direction for emphasis. He better understand who he's dealing with, she thought. She knew that she would do him absolutely no harm unless she was positive of it, her aim was too sure and her nerves were smooth.
"Isn't it obvious, you're at Disneyland" Logan spit back at her. Sonja was getting tired of this game. She pulled the trigger again aimed another bullet just between his legs into the ground, knowing that she wouldn't hurt him, just spook him a little more. She was not going to let this man get the better of her.
Logan growled loudly then started to lunge towards her. She cocked the hammer back again and the man obviously heard it, stopping in his tracks.
"Unless you want to lose the parts vital to being a man, I suggest you keep your distance, buddy." Sonja glared at him, not giving him any chance to even get close to her. He might be handsome, but he was a threat all the same. Logan backed away again.
"I've been getting jerked around all day and I am not willing to take it any more," Sonja said. "If you're not going to cooperate and tell me where we are, then you are going to take me to someone who will. I'm not here to rob or pillage, I just want to know where I am." The man shot her a glare that would have melted lesser people.
"Fine," he said. Logan started to move towards her, heading down the path, back into the forest. Sonja's voice stopped him.
"No way, buddy. We're going through that field over there, and you're staying at least 15 feet ahead of me, understood?" Distance was the only real sort of safety Sonja could give herself if the man decided to attack her, and he looked like he could do quite a bit of damage. Logan looked at her quizzically.
"It'll take longer going through the field," he said matter-of-factly.
"I don't care," Sonja replied, "you'll not be sneaking up on me again."
Logan shook his head. Man, this woman might have a pretty face, Logan thought, but she sure does have an attitude that'll curl your toes.
"Have it your way," he said, making a wide circle around her and heading out into the field. As an afterthought, Sonja spoke to him again.
"Hands on your head" she commanded. Logan gave her an incredulous look.
"You've got to be kid-" he stopped as she leveled the gun right below his waist.
"Do it," she said deliberately. Again he shot her a glare full of daggers and hate just radiated off of him as he rested his hands on top of his head. He turned and started heading west, the woman and horse following slightly behind. Sonja could see his powerful muscles gliding smoothly in the full moonlight and she could sense an awesome strength beneath the hard physique. If he hadn't been so rude and aggressive, she would have found the bearded face very attractive. Maybe I shouldn't have been so defensive. Do I really have to treat him like a prisoner?Sonja quickly squashed the thought. He had sneaked up behind her in the dark, how was she to know he was trust worthy? Just because he had a certain roguish sex appeal didn't mean it was okay to trust him with her life. Gazing at his slightly hairy back and arms and animalistic appearance, Sonja was reminded of the other beast that had attacked her that morning.
"What is it with hairy guys trying to kill me today?" Sonja muttered under her breath.
Logan glanced back over his shoulder as his blood ran cold. Hairy guys? Who else was she talking about? "What did you say?" he asked even though he had heard every word.
"Face forward and keep moving, creep" Sonja yelled back at him.
She saw the muscles in his back go tense with resentment and heard a feral growl of dissatisfaction at her tone. Sonja felt not just a little bit of satisfaction at being in control of the situation for once that day. Don't let him out of your sights, she reminded herself.
They continued walking along in silence for a few minutes before Logan spoke up again. He didn't think she was a real threat, but he'd rather take a bullet then put any of the children in danger by leading this crazy chick right to the school. He decided to try to provoke her a bit more, maybe she would get close enough that he could do something about this and not have to take a bullet in the gut.
"What kind of woman goes riding around in the darkness taking hostages? You running from the law or something?" he asked over his shoulder. He couldn't see her face and puzzled over why it took the woman so long to answer
"What kind of man goes running around the forest half-naked, sneaking up on people in the middle of the night?" she shot back sardonically. "Doing something you shouldn't?" Again Logan shot a look of hatred at her.
"Face forward and shut up." Sonja barked at him.
Just wait until we get to the mansion you pushy brat, Logan thought. The children were asleep and he knew that there was no way she could have gotten onto the property by chance. The Professor must have something to do with this, he thought again. Just as he thought it, another more pressing voice entered his head. Just bring her to my office, she won't hurt anybody. Professor Xavier's voice came through loud and clear.
"You better be damn sure about that Chuck!" Logan said aloud, knowing the Professor could hear him. "Shes got a gun aimed at my head, you know."
Sonja scanned the landscape around them, looking for cameras or anything that the man could have been talking to but saw nothing. Great, this guy wasnt' only aggressive, but crazy too. He was talking to thin air!
"I told you to be quite, nut case!" Sonja shouted again, reminding Logan that she was still following him. Logan was on the verge of turning and charging the overly offensive woman when the Professor spoke to his mind again.
Just bring her here Logan, don't do anything rash.
Fine, fine, but its your fault if she puts a hole in me, Logan thought with all his power. Logan knew that a threatened animal was the most dangerous kind, and even though he wouldn't have any permanent damage from a few bullet wounds, he didn't want the hassle all the same.