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Father Figure
Chapter 11

Logan's keen eyes scanned both sides of the road as he sped toward the mansion. In his mind, he tried to estimate how far the kid could get in the time he was gone. Couldn't have been more than 30 minutes, 40 at most, that the kid had been gone. The professor said he was on the highway, but Logan didn't think to ask him just where. He could feel his shoulders cramp once more. He was going to hang this kid out to dry when he finally got his hands on him. Wring the little fuckers neck for him..........

Up ahead, he spied headlights approaching. He slowed his bike a bit, and pulled off the side of the road. Maybe whoever this was had seen he boy. However, disappointment and anger flowed over he when he noticed that it was one of the vans from the institute. The van slowed and stopped, and Storm leaned out of the driver's side window.

"Logan! Did the-"

Logan cut her off. "Yes, he did. You didn't see him?"

"No. We've been up and down this stretch of road twice now. He can't have gotten much farther."

Logan was ready to do more than wring the little fucker's neck now. "Don't fuckin' bet on it." He spun the bike around, and sped back in the direction he had come.

Storm raised the window of the van and turned to Jean. "How could he have gotten this far? He hasn't been gone that long."

Jean closed her eyes, and tried to contact the professor, while Storm followed the path that Logan had taken.

"I'm afraid if Logan finds Francis in the mood he's in now......."

Jean only nodded her head slowly, deep in concentration.

Logan again scanned the sides of the road, and sniffed at the air. How the hell did that kid get this far? he wondered. Where the fuck was he? He decided that he had to calm down a bit. He wasn't thinking clearly, he needed to focus his senses: his sight, his hearing, his ability to pick up........THERE. There it was. He had been this way. Heading toward the bar. He picked up his speed, following the kid's scent.

The blonde had spent the last few minutes pulling herself together. She replaced her panties, and adjusted her skirt. She repeatedly cursed under her breath at the sudden departure of her conquest. She looked into her vanity mirror, and touched up her make-up, ready for another try. She decided that she was presentable, and reached for her door handle, only to be startled by a set of eyes peering in. She let out a scream, and the owner of the eyes cowered. It was only after she screamed that she realized that it had been a child peering in her window.

She opened her door, and looked around, finding the child near the front of her van. He appeared terrified. He was dressed only in a t-shirt and cargo pants. No jacket. She tried to near him, but he continually backed away from her.

"Hey, what'sa matter? You lost?" The boy only shook his head, and took several more steps backward. "Where do you live? What are you doing out so late?"

He looked as if he were trying to speak, but was just too scared to do so. He swallowed hard, and managed to form a couple of words. "I-I'm looking f-for......." He was unable to finish his sentence.

"Looking for your mommy and daddy? Are they inside?"

He was only able to shrug weakly. His eyes darted around the parking lot. He trembled uncontrollably, both from the chill in the air, and his fear.

"Come on, sweetie. Let's go inside and see if your parents are there." She reached out her hand, but the child backed away again, his head shaking rapidly, his eyes growing wide. He turned and began running, into the woods behind the bar. The woman called after him, and tried to follow him, but she could not, as he had disappeared from sight. She turned, in a slight panic, and ran into the bar.

Logan could see the bar ahead of him. He sped into the parking lot, sliding to a stop, just as a group of patrons was exiting.

"Anyone of you see a kid around here?" He growled at the people as they dodged the cloud of dust he kicked up.

The blonde walked up to him, sneering at him. "You're a sick bastard, letting your son roam around this late at night. You oughta be locked-"

He spat out a response to her. "It ain't my kid. Did you see him?"

She looked a little shocked at the tone of his voice. "Yeah. He ran into the woods, over there." She pointed in the direction of her van. "He took off about 3 or 4 minutes ago."

Logan was already off his bike, looking in the direction she indicated. "There will be two women coming in a black van. Tell them where I went, and to wait here. Got it?" He glared at the woman. She only nodded.

The three college boys trotted down the steps, and blocked Logan's path. One of them, dressed in a Harvard sweatshirt, offered help. "Can we help you find your son, sir?"

"He's NOT my kid."

"Well we can help you look for him. Four sets of eyes are far better than one. It is dark. We'd really hate for anything-"

Logan cut him of with a bark. "I don't need any help! Get the fuck outta my way!" He barreled passed the young man, and headed of into the woods at a dead run.

The three men stood and watched him disappear into the trees, as Storm pulled into the parking lot. She pulled up to the crowd of people, and stopped. As she and Jean exited the van, the blonde ran up to them.

"Excuse me, but have you-"

"That big guy, Logan is it? He took off after some kid into the woods. He told me to tell you to stay here."

Storm and Jean were relieved to hear those words. Jean approached the woman. "Was the boy alright? Was he hurt?"

"No, just scared shitless. He yours?"

"No. He's a student of ours though. He's new, homesick, first time away from home." Jean had told similar lies before. Give just enough information to satisfy the curious, no more.

The three college boys had been listening to this exchange. Mr. Harvard sweatshirt approached the women. "What school is that? There aren't any schools around here."

Storm looked at the young man suspiciously. He appeared to just be curious. Nothing more. "Xavier's Institute. It's a private school."

"Oh, that's that place up the road, isn't it? And you are teachers there?"

"Yes we are." Storm walked away from the guy, looking to end the conversation. The college boys followed her.

"Look, we can help that guy find the kid. It'll go faster with us helping out." This time, they did not wait for permission. They spun, and headed in the direction Logan had gone.

Storm watched them go, suddenly feeling very nervous. "I hope Logan finds Francis, and we can go home. I hope he doesn't meet up with those kids. In the mood he's in, those kids may get hurt."

Jean was in agreement. "I just hope Logan takes it easy on Francis. I haven't seen him like this in a long time."

The blonde had been listening to the two, confused, but interested. She wanted to add her two cents in. "That Logan, he sure is something, isn't he? Is he a teacher at this private school, too? How well do you know him? He sure is one fine looking man." She stood facing the two women, grinning from ear to ear, waiting for a response to her questions.

Storm and Jean just stared at her, unable to decide exactly how to respond.

Logan followed Francis' path deep into the woods. He stopped for a moment, and closed his eyes, scenting the air, and listening. He could hear very slight noises directly ahead of him. The kid had stopped, and had probably found a tree to hide behind. He would have to take it easy from here on out, he did not want to make the kid bolt again. He stood very still for a moment longer, slowing his breathing, easing his anger. He was just about to start walking again, when he heard someone crashing through the woods behind him. He spun, listening intently. It was those college boys. Thankfully, they were still some distance away, and they did not seem to be getting closer. Logan's anger resurfaced for a second. If these guys scare the kid off again, I'll slice them in two, he thought as he gritted his teeth. He turned, and headed to where he knew Francis was waiting.

The college boys crashed and stumbled deeper into the woods. The leader, Mr. Harvard, scanned the darkness for any signs of Logan or the kid. His two friends were already griping about the whole thing.

"Fuck this. Why the hell are we looking for this fucking kid anyway?"

"I don't know. Hey Brian? What the fuck are we doing?"

Brian stopped and looked at his friends. "Because we are being good citizens, that's why. Did you two happen to hear where these people are from? Xavier's institute? Have you seen that place, man? You saw the money that guy had on him, right?" He turned and continued on, diving under a low branch.

The shortest of the three, lagging behind, stopped, his hands resting on his thighs. "So, what? You think there'll be a reward?"

Brian stopped, trying to decide which direction to go. "No. No reward. I just think that guy might have a bit of an accident, way out here in the dark. Don't you think?"

The guy in the middle, dressed in his Land's End wind breaker, suddenly got a case of the chills. "Are you kidding me? Not again, Brian. Come on, man. Besides, that guy is big enough to rip us apart. Come on, let's go back. Those two chicks from that school saw us. They'll know it was us."

Brian spun, and faced his two friends, an eerie smile enveloping his lips. "He'll never know what hit him." He started using a sicklingly sweet, innocent, mocking voice. "I don't know what happened officer. We went into the woods to help him find a little boy. We found him at the bottom of the hill. It looks like he fell in the dark, and hit his head really bad." He chuckled to himself, and continued in that voice. "Jeez, officer, all that money he had must have fallen out of his pocket. We can go look for it if you like." He turned and continued his search, still chuckling to himself.

The two who remained looked at each other. "Aw shit, man. This ain't good. We gotta stop him."

"Do you really think we can? I say we just go back, and get the fuck outta Dodge. I ain't letting him get me deep in shit, not again."

They stared at each other, then looked in the direction Brian had gone. They slowly turned, and silently, cautiously, headed back to the bar.

Chapter 12

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