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Chapter 9

see disclaimer chapter 1


Sonja couldn't understand why a place so beautiful and obviously well kept seemed so barren of people.  Also, the man was behaving awfully calm for being taken hostage.  Sonja's skin began to crawl as she started to wonder if she had been blindly been led into a trap.  But how could that be?  There was no way they could have known she was coming.

He led her past the huge room and immediately turned left.  Sonja looked around the corner, keeping her distance, only to see that the man was standing in front of a large wooden door with the same style of X engraved on it.  From somewhere inside Sonja heard another man's voice.

"Come in Logan, and bring your friend."

Sonja's heart jumped. How could whoever was behind the door possibly know she was there?  There weren't any cameras in the place as far as she could tell, and they hadn't seen a soul on the premises.  Sonja was becoming more convinced that she had stupidly fallen for an ambush and contemplated making a run for it. She rethought it as she looked back at the man; there wasn't much of a chance of her beating him in a foot race, no matter how fit Sonja was.

Logan knew she was becoming more scared and could feel that she was on the verge of making a break for it.  Quickly, he pushed open the door and stepped inside a huge office, which was also richly furnished.  Sonja refused to move out of the hall, not willing to give up her all her defenses by moving into the confines of the room.

A very affluent and aristocratic looking man sat behind the desk that was facing the door.  Sonja still had her gun up at the ready.

"My dear girl," he said calmly, "there's no need for those sorts of things in here."

Sonja looked all around, her eyes coming back to focus on the man that had led her there.  Her skin was seriously crawling now and she couldn't fight back the mounting anxiety.

"Yeah, well, maybe for you" she said, lowering the gun slightly, still keeping it at the ready.  She was stuck now, ambush or not so she took a few steps into the room.  "But I still don't know where I am or who you people are."  The older man gave a short, hearty laugh.

"My dear, you've ridden into Xavier's School for Gifted Youngsters."  He tipped his head to her in a welcoming gesture.  "I am Professor Charles Xavier, welcome."

Sonja looked at him critically, still not sure what to make of the whole situation.

"What kind of school lets freaks like him creep up on innocent people?" she asked.

Logan was quick to his own defense.  "I was just out for a run, you were trespassing, missy" he growled, "and besides, I'd hardly call you innocent with that thing," he said, pointing at her gun.  She took a step closer to him, her finger itching, and her eyes boring into his.  Sonja's senses were tripping all over the place and she knew that if she didn't make a stand for herself these men could very well mean the end of her.  Besides, Sonja was tired of taking this man's lip. The day's events had her hanging off her last nerve and she was just yearning for retribution.

Logan noticed how her green eyes were flashing with anger and fear.  There was something very odd about her eyes, they seemed to be like liquid emeralds, not solid but with the irises seemingly in a constant state of movement.  He had never felt someone's gaze tear into him the way hers did, and the intensity of it made him catch his breath for a moment.  She had an overpowering smell of earth, leather, and horse; yet it couldn't hide the distinct scent of the fear of an animal being cornered.  The two mutants stood that way for a several tense moments before the Professor broke the silence.

"Enough, Logan.  Why did you lead her on so?" he said evenly.  "Give her a little time to adjust."

Sonja looked back and forth between the two men. Logan could sense her anxiety growing and was slightly wary of the fact that he could very well take a bullet in the face right here in the Professors office.

"Adjust to what?" she asked frustratingly "and how did you know that I brought my horse here?"

The Professor looked at her sympathetically.  You're in a school for mutants. Sonja heard it in her head even though the man hadn't said anything.  I can control Maverick's mind, exactly like you can.  I brought you here.  Sonja snapped the gun back up, startled by the intrusion into her thoughts and not feeling at all easy with anything that was going on.  She felt her heart starting to race and her mind was whirling.  She had never considered herself as belonging with the mutant race and as far as she was concerned, these people were just manipulating her.

"Stop that.  Stop it now!  I'm leaving this place and nobody is going to do anything about it.  Let Maverick go or fuzzy boy here gets it," she demanded frantically, feeling her self-control slipping by the second.  She swung the gun over to Logan again, not having the heart to put the old man in her sights.

Fuzzy boy?! Who the hell does she think she is! Logan's mind screamed.  He was about to grab the woman and break her arm, but the Professor knew that Logan was going to move and mentally forced him to stand still.

"You're not a prisoner here, Sonja.  You can go whenever you please," the Professor said.  "No one will stop you or harm you on these premises, I promise."

Don't be so sure about that, Logan thought but couldn't say because the Professor had frozen his mouth also.

Sonja glared at the two men.  A small part of her mind told her that it might be okay to let her guard down a little, but she was still not convinced that it was all right to trust either of the men.

"How do I know youre telling me the truth?" she demanded.  "How do I know you aren't in cahoots with that nasty, hairy guy that tried to kill me this morning?  That guy was probably a mutant too."

Sonja saw Logan's face twitch with a look of hatred when she mentioned her attacker.  Again she glared straight into his eyes, trying to determine anything at all from his gaze.

Suddenly, Sonja was hit with a series of powerful flashes from Logan's memory. She saw a young girl being taken and Logan fighting against the beast that had been chasing her.  Her reaction to him was so strong that Sonja's strength started to drain out of her and she slumped against the wall, almost falling to the floor. Her grip on the gun went a little slack and the end of the barrel drooped down.

Logan didn't know what was happening, all of a sudden he saw the woman's body sag and he quickly reached out to support her, the Professor dropping his hold on Logan's body.  Sonja's head rolled back and her eyelids fluttered rapidly as he gathered her into her arms to keep her from falling on the floor.

When he touched her Sonja got even more powerful rushes of his memory.  Her head snapped back with the violence of it.  The battle was harsh and the more she saw, the more obvious it became to her that these people would be on her side.  She could see that the man who had attacked her that morning was the mortal enemy of Logan.  Her absorbtion of his memories went beyond the fight to when Logan first came to the school.  She also saw how the man she had held at gunpoint would easily be able to heal himself of any wound she might have inflicted.  Just as suddenly as it started, the flashes stopped.

Still dazed and incoherent, Sonja opened her eyes again and struggled to stand upright.  She looked up into Logan's face, smiling at him dazedly.  His arms were strong around her and she felt safe tucked against his bare chest.  For just one second, she wondered about the very subtle and well-camouflaged look of anxiety in his clear hazel eyes before realizing where she was.

The thought jolted her and she regained complete strength very quickly then realized that Logan had her in a tight embrace.  She was embarrassed enough to have lost control so easily and matters were complicated even more to find herself in the arms of the man she had been threatening for the last hour.  Sonja hastily averted her eyes and jumped back, roughly pushing his arms away from her.  I cant believe I was so weak! She screamed at herself.  How could she have possibly let herself get caught up in his arms?

"Are you alright?" the Professor asked.  He had had a fair idea of what her abilities would be, but he had no clue what had just transpired.

Once she had moved far enough away from Logan, Sonja forced herself to take a deep breath and closed her eyes.  When she opened them she looked back at the Professor.

"I'm not sure, that's never happened without my wanting it to," she said.  The Professor looked at her quizzically, hoping for more of an explanation.

Logan knew that she had just read his mind, though it didn't feel the same as when the Professor or Jean had, and the woman didn't seem to have any control over when and what she saw.  Though it was obvious by her body language that she now understood that she was safe here.

"So, I assume you're the good guys?" she asked complacently.  She had seen enough of Logan's memory to know that these were good people; people she could trust.

The Professor just nodded calmly.  Sonja deftly cleared the chamber of her gun and put on the safety.

"Guess I won't be needing this," she said, sticking the pistol into the waist of her blue jeans at the small of her back.  The Professor smiled at her while Logan's face became stony.

It felt so good relaxing all the tension in her hand and arm that had been holding the gun.  It was hard to let go of her wariness, to let her guard down even that little bit.  Yet it was a huge relief at the same time.  Thank God I didn't do any real damage, she thought.  Her shoulders were finally able to relax and she felt her body go limp from the exhaustion of the day.

"Well, this has been really embarrassing and I'd like to go take care of my horse now," she said wearily as she took a few steps towards the door.

"Go right ahead, there is a space all ready for him in the stables," the Professor said jovially.  In the back of his mind he was wishing she would want to talk to him, to let him understand and explain.  But he knew more than anything that she wasn't going to run for the moment and pushing would only make things worse.

"I don't even get an apology?"  Logan threw the question at the woman, arching his eyebrow, daring her to admit that she had been wrong.  Logan wasn't at all happy with the thought that this woman could saunter in here, waving her gun at him, and the Professor was okay with letting her just walk away like nothing had happened.  But the Professor seemed to know she wasn't a danger and was letting her go and Logan understood enough to know that he had to accept the Professor's decision.  Sonja had already started into the hallway but for a moment she hesitated, turning to Logan.

"You can't blame a girl for protecting herself," she said flatly.

Their gazes clashed again, his face showed a mixture of anger, annoyance and, though it was only barely visible, a hint of worry too.  Sonja stepped closer to him.

"I know what you've got in there, buddy," she said, pointing to his fists.

Logan arched his eyebrow, an amused look on his face.  So she had read my mind, I hope thats all she knows, he thought.  He lowered his head, gazing at her from under his lids, daring her to say any more.  Sonja matched him look for look.

"I also know that no bullet could ever hurt you.  I don't understand it, but I know you can fix yourself.  I can't command you to do anything you don't want to do, gun or no gun."  In a moment of courage, she moved in even closer, coming to stand right next to him, her mouth barely reaching the side of his face as she whispered menacingly into his ear.  "Fool me once, shame on you."

Logan lips curled into a self-satisfied smile.  "And what if I fool you again?" he said gruffly in an insinuating tone.

Sonja's gaze bore right into his hazel eyes.  "Won't happen," her words were clipped and tight.

With that statement she turned on her heels and swiftly moved down the hallway. Logan looked after her for a few moments, then turned back to the Professor and sniffed slightly.

"Tough case, huh?" he asked the older man.  The Professor just nodded again, knowing that nothing he could say would change Logan's mind about the woman.

"Wouldn't even come in and sit down," Logan said disdainfully.  The Professor gave Logan an annoyed look.

"It's not like you were any better, or made it any easier on her."

Logan glared at the Professor for a second then headed for the door.  "Not my job to make it easier on anybody, Chuck," he mumbled as he went into the hallway, slamming the door behind him.

Chapter 10

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