Chapter 14

The first thing that Marie saw when she opened her eyes were a pair of haunted brown eyes staring at her from across the expanse of the pillow. At first her hazy mind didn’t comprehend what she was seeing, but by the time she had blinked once it all came flooding back.

“Mornin’, Logan,” Marie whispered, giving him a lazy smile.

“G’morning,” Logan muttered sleepily. “I didn’t have any more bad dreams.”

Marie reached out and smoothed the hair away from his face. “I’m glad ta hear it. Yer nightmares can be a real doozy. I know from experience.”

“You’ve had my dreams?” Logan inquired, staring intently at her.

Marie cursed in her head, not wanting to have this conversation so soon. She wasn’t entirely sure how Logan would react to finding out that she had a part of him in her mind. Then there was the fact that he had almost killed her with one of his nightmares. That was something she definitely couldn’t tell him. He had tried to rip his claws out with his bare hands because of a simple scratch.

“You’ve been havin’ nightmares longer than Ah’ve known ya,” Marie told him. “Ya tried ta explain them t’ me once and it scared the life outta me.”

“How long have we known each other?” Logan asked, obviously trying to figure out how long he’d been having the horrifying nightmares.

Marie hesitated a moment before answering. “Ah met ya over five years ago in Laughlin City which is up in northern Alberta. We spent over a week t’gether-- you spent most o’ that time in a coma, mind ya --then ya left. Ah haven’t seen ya since.”

This seemed to worry Logan who swallowed deeply, furrowing his brows. “How long did we actually spend together?”

“Ah’d say ‘bout a day and a half,” Marie told him honestly. “It would have been longer ‘cept Ah was kidnapped by a homicidal maniac and ya’ll but got herself killed tryin’ ta rescue me.”

“I did?” Logan asked, a surprised look appearing on his face.

“That ya did,’ Marie confirmed. “Yer mah knight in shinin’ adamantium.”

“What’s adamantium?”

Marie reached down and lightly picked up Logan’s left hand which was the least damaged of the pair. “Adamantium would be the metal yer claws are made from. Some government sickos gave ya a whole skeleton of it. Makes ya pretty much indestructible. Yer quite fond o’ showin’ that fact off, too. When Ah met ya up north, you were fightin’ fer money in a big metal cage. They called ya “The King of the Cage.’ Set mah heart all a flutter, Ah’ll tell ya that.”

Logan looked her over critically. Her face, anyway, since neither of them were inclined to move so that Logan could conduct a more thorough examination. “How old were you then?”

“Seventeen,” Marie admitted, blushing slightly.

“How old was I?”

Marie knew that she should have suspected such a question, but was entirely unprepared to answer it. It’s not like you met someone everyday who didn’t know how old they were and only had memories of the past fifteen years. “Well, Logan, Ah don’t know how old ya were. You didn’t even know how old ya were back then.”

“How is that possible?” Logan asked, his voice barely above a whisper.

Unsure of how he would react, but still knowing that she had to answer him, Marie began to run her fingers through his hair. It always seemed to soothe him so far. “It’s possible because ‘bout twenty years ago somethin’ just like this happened ta ya. You had no memories, no idea who ya were and ended up tearin’ round up north, fightin’ people in cages.”

Logan reached up and linked his fingers with Marie’s then turned her hand over so that he could trace patterns on her palm with his index finger. “If I was such an awful person, how did we meet?”

Marie jerked her head back, staring at Logan’s downcast face. Wrapping her fingers around Logan’s, Marie called his name softly, begging him to meet her eyes. “You were never an awful person, Logan. It was a way o’ life fer ya. Ya had no memory, no way o’ makin’ money and this was the only way ya knew how. Ya did it t’ survive, Logan. That’s all. Yer not an awful person. Ah wouldn’t be here if ya were.”

Logan looked at her almost hesitantly, his eyes constantly darting about the room. This frightened, vulnerable Logan was something that Marie had never expected to see. She, more than anyone, knew that Logan had a softer side that he hid from most, but this was far beyond that. He was a completely different person. Different from all the facets of Logan’s personality that Marie had in her head. To think that Logan had been through this once before, without no one there to comfort him, made her heart bleed.

“Are you hungry?” Marie asked suddenly, catching Logan off guard.

Blinking rapidly, Logan met her eyes, frowning slightly. “Does it mean that we have to leave here?”

Pushing herself up on one elbow, Marie smiled down at him. “How ‘bout we wait a little while. In ‘bout half an hour everyone will be in class so we’ll have the kitchen all ta ourselves. We can get somethin’ to eat then maybe go fer a walk on the grounds. It snowed the other night and everythin’ is so beautiful. You’ll love it. Ya always were an outdoor person.”

“No one will be there?” Logan insisted.

“Not a soul,” Marie assured him. “Now why don’t ya go have a shower while Ah dig up some clothes for ya t’ wear.”

Instantly, Logan’s unease returned. His eyes went wide with fear and he clutched at Marie’s hand. “You’re not gonna leave, are you?”

Marie squeezed his fingers, smiling softly. “Ah’m not gonna leave. Ya left some clothes here when ya went away. Ah just gotta remember where Ah stuck ‘em.”

“So you’ll still be here?”

Marie nodded her head. “Ah’ll be right here in this room. Ah won’t go anywhere.”

Still, Logan seemed a bit ill at ease. With downcast eyes, he mumbled, “I don’t want you to go that far. Can’t you stay with me when I have a shower?”

This time it was Marie who was flustered. “Ya mean have a shower with ya? Logan, Ah’m not sure....”

“Please, Marie? I don’t want to be alone,” Logan begged, his fear filled eyes pleading with her silently.

As soon as Logan gave her the wounded puppy look, she was lost. There was no way that she could say no to him. And it wasn’t like she had never had fantasies about Logan involving the shower. She was a sensual woman, after all, with a very primal man poking around inside her head. It was only the morals her mother had taught her so long ago that had kept her a virgin this long. But Marie knew that now wasn’t the time to act out her fantasies. Logan was in a very fragile state of mind and needed to heal emotionally before she even considered introducing him to the purest demonstration of love.

As she turned on the shower, Marie came to a sudden realization. Since Logan had no memories of his past he was, in a sense, a virgin as well. If things advanced between them the way she’d always dreamed they would, they’d be deflowering each other.

“Ya’d better let me wash yer hair,” Marie declared as she pulled her sweats down over her narrow hips. “Ah don’t want ya hurtin’ yer hands anymore than they already are.”

Turning around, Marie came face to face with a very naked Logan. She knew that she shouldn’t have expected anything else from Logan. Marie knew from his memories in her head that Logan had no qualms about people seeing him naked. It was his more animalistic tendencies that gave him such ease. Of course, Marie had never thought to come face to face with all of Logan.

“Aren’t you going to take your clothes off?” Logan asked innocently.

Marie flushed bright red, unprepared for Logan’s bluntness. “Ah’m gettin’ there, sugah. It’s just that Ah’ve never let anyone see me without mah clothes. Womanly modesty an’ all that. And Ah certainly never thought you’d be the first one ta see me naked.”

Logan looked nervous, glancing down at his feet which were curled on the cold tiles. “Is that a bad thing?”

Sucking in her bottom lip, Marie grabbed hold of the hem of her tanktop and pulled it over her head. Dropping it on top of her sweats she then pulled her black panties off as well. Seeing Logan’s gaze still locked tight on the floor, Marie walked over to him. Stopping a few inches in front of him, Marie placed a finger under his chin and raising his head.

“It’s no’ a bad thing,” Marie told him, smiling softly.

Logan returned her smile, completely at ease again. “You’re very beautiful, Marie.”

“Yer just sayin’ that ‘cause you can’t remember seein’ any other women,” Marie teased, trying not to let his words get to her.

Logan shook his head. “I saw Jean and that white-haired lady last night. You’re much more beautiful than they are. You smile at me. You make me feel safe. They can’t do that. I don’t want them to. Just you.”

Once again, Marie felt tears pricking at the back of her eyes. She sniffed and rubbed at her eyes with the back of her hands, trying to rid herself of the tears before they fell.

“Did I say something wrong?” Logan asked, suddenly very worried.

Marie shook her head, smiling brightly. “It couldn’t o’ been more right, Logan.”

Instantly at ease, Logan nodded his head. “I don’t want to say anything that will make you not like me.” v“You couldn’t say anythin’ that would make me not like ya,” Marie assured him. “It’s just not possible.... Now how ‘bout we get in the shower? Mah feet are gettin’ cold and Ah know the water’s real warm. Ya’ll feel much better once ya have a shower.”

“I will?” Logan asked, cocked his head to the side and arching an eyebrow. It wasn’t until he did it that Marie realized how much she missed that expression of his.

Pulling aside the shower curtain and letting out a blast of steam, Marie nodded brightly. “Ya most certainly will, Logan. Ya most certainly will.”

Stepping into the tub and under the warm spray, Marie let out a contented moan and reached for Logan’s hand. He cautiously placed his hand in her palm and Marie wrapped her delicate fingers around his hand, pulling him in with her.

As soon as she had his body situated under the heated indoor waterfall, Logan hissed in appreciation, cracking his neck to relieve the kinks in it. He jumped slightly when Marie clasped onto his shoulders, massaging the warm water into his pores. He relaxed quickly, though, allowing her to tilt his head under the spray to get his hair wet. While he was distracted by the water, shaking his head slightly, Marie reached behind her and grabbed her bottle of shampoo. She grinned slightly, just imaging the look Logan would give her when he realized he was going to smell like exotic flowers.

“Yer gonna hafta lean over a bit,” Marie said as she poured some shampoo into her palm. “Yer a little too tall fer me to reach.”

To her surprise, Logan didn’t just lean over, he lowered himself onto his knees. Once she got over her shock, Marie rubbed her hands together a few times before sinking her fingers into his hair. Logan was practically purring as she massaged the shampoo into his scalp. His arms went around her waist, locking his wrists against her back and pulled her body flush against his. Marie knew that she should have been shocked to see Logan nuzzling her breasts, but he looked so innocent, eyes shut, that she was nearly brought to tears.

“Enjoyin’ yerself?” Marie whispered, not wanting to ruin the tranquil moment.

Logan nodded his head slightly, his lips trailing over her skin. “So soft. Very, very soft....”

Marie couldn’t contain a moan as his lips brushed over her left nipple. This seemed to catch his attention because he regarded the pinkish nubbin with heavy lidded eyes before closing his lips over them. Logan’s eyes fell shut again and he continued to suckle gently, content for the moment. Disregarding his soapy hair, Marie trailed her fingers down his neck to his shoulders and began to massage the tense muscles there. Logan groaned when she did that and, since he was holding her body so close to his, the vibrations of his sent tingles through her body.

When Logan pulled away from her breast, Marie sank to her knees in front of him, wrapping her arms around his waist. She nudged him backwards so that he was sitting on the backs of his shins and rinsed the suds from his hair and upper body. Logan moaned at the loss of contact and reached for her.

As soon as she was finished rinsing his hair, Marie found herself leaning against the back of the tub with Logan sprawled on his side between her legs, his head resting on her breast. He was purring softly, his fingers tracing the curves of her breast. Strangely enough, Marie wasn’t as aroused by the situation as she had thought she’d be. It was more of a healing thing. Both for her and Logan.

Running her fingers through his wet hair, Marie allowed herself to relax completely, her body molding itself to Logan’s. She pressed a kiss to the top of his head and sighed, her eyes falling shut.

They probably would have stayed like that all day had the water not started to cool off.