The music was loud. Lights danced crazily all around her. Sapphire clutched the beer mug tightly between her palms. It was her fourth mug and she was starting to feel dizzy. She swirled the golden liquid around in the mug and lost herself in the memories that rose to the surface of her mind. Memories of her past. She downed the remaining beer in the mug and asked for another.
Genny had been almost like a sister to her. She could not understand why Genny said the things she did that afternoon. The scene replayed itself in her mind, over and over and over again... Genny using emotional blackmail to make Sapphire do her bidding. Could she have been wrong about Genny all the while? Did Genny rescue her from the 'Lost Horizon' just so she could acquire help to exact revenge on the X-man, Gambit? Salt tears mingled with the beer in the mug which she so carefully cupped in her hands.
Outwardly, Remy was having the time of his life flirting with the social escorts in the pub. Deep down inside, he was worried. If Genevieve was alive, why didn't she contact him a few years earlier? Why wait till now? This did not bode well. He was extremely tensed up and his spatial awareness was running on high. He could feel the beat of the music vibrating through the floor, hear every step, every breath, sense every movement around him.
Someone was crying. Remy pushed all other sounds and movements to the back of his mind and concentrated on the source. It was a female. He could hear her ragged breath now. He soon spied her, sitting alone at the bar counter and crying into a mug of beer. Her silky black hair fell in lush waves around her small pale Asian-looking face. Excusing himself, he went over to her, oblivious to the protests of his escorts.
It was the girl he met back at Harry's Hideaway. The Sappy-girl. He wondered what could be upsetting her. She had seemed so sure of herself when he last met her. So cold, aloof and untouchable. Yet he could sense an underlying yearning within her. She wanted to be protected, cared for and loved but she was afraid to commit herself. She was lonely, scared and feeling extremely vulnerable. Her hard unyielding exterior was but a facade, to protect the fragile child within. Remy could sense this and much more.
Remy slid into the bar stool next to hers. If she noticed him, she made no indication of it. She continued clasping the mug tightly in her hands and dripping tears into it.
"Somethin' botherin' you, chere?"
Her voice was tight with emotion. "I don't need you, her or anyone else interfering with my life. So, just butt out before I..."
"'Fore you wat?"
She spun round to face him, wiping her tears away angrily with her sleeve.
"You! What do you want?"
"Pleased to meet you too, chere."
"Get lost! I don't need you or your kind right about now."
"Well, excuse me for livin'." Remy retorted. "Look, you're obviously hurtin' an' I wan' to help."
"You? Help? Save it! Yes, I'm hurting and there ain't a thing you can do about it." She spat. "What are you going to do to help? Sweet-talk me? Make me fall in love with you? Then dump me for a new conquest?"
"Ouch!" thought Remy. He watched quietly as she put away 2 more mugs of beer.
"I t'ink dat's quite enough." Remy pried the newly filled mug of beer from her.
"I WANT IT!" she shrieked. "GIVE IT BACK!"
"Look chere, you're drunk, I'll take you home. Where do you live?"
"Me? Drunk?" she giggled. "No way, Sapphire Lee NEVER gets drunk! My home is where YOUR home is! We're going home...yipee! We can do naughty things at home."
Remy paid the bartender. "Keep de change, homme." He struggled with Sapphire and as good as dragged her out. "Are you goin' to stand on your own 2 feet, or do I 'ave to carry you home."
"You carry me. I have a headache." She frowned and started banging her head with her palm. She looked up, disoriented. "Y-you have 2 heads...wow!"
Remy sighed. "Where is your home, chere?"
Sapphire looked confused. "Where is my home? My home is lost. Bad people took it away." She started wailing and laughing hysterically at the same time.
"Let me warn you, chere...you're goin' to 'ave a mother-of-all-hangovers tomorrow mornin'. You'd feel better all nice and cozy back at home tucked up in bed. Believe me, I've been dere."
"BAD BAD PEOPLE! You'll protect me from them won't you? Please? Don't let them hurt me anymore! I don't want them. Please don't let them touch me... please...I don't want to go home with them...they are BAD PEOPLE." Her crystal blue eyes filled up with tears, she looked at him with such desperation, such fear. It made Remy's heart ache to think of what could have happened to instill such terror in her.
"Don't worry, cherie. I won' let anyone hurt you." He said soothingly. He decided to take her back to the hotel. All else would have to wait till morning when she sobered up.
20 minutes later, back at the hotel...
There was a note on Remy's bed:
Hey Gumbo, Out for a while. Be back soon. Jubilee.Remy frowned and decided to let it pass...for now. He went over to the bed to check on his 'guest'. She was looking around, terrified.
"You okay, chere?"
"I have a headache. I don't want to sleep tonight." Sapphire pursed up her lips stubbornly.
Remy reached over to her. She shrank back, like a frightened little child. "Don't hit me, sir! Please, I'll be good. I promise."
"Don' worry. I won' hurt you," Remy assured her, reaching out to take her hands in his.
"You not going to hurt me?" she asked, her lips quivering, her eyes big and wide. Remy nodded. "YOU LIE! YOU ALWAYS LIE! I DON'T LIKE YOU!"
"Shush now, cherie. Others are sleepin', you might wake dem up."
"You didn't hit me." She stared at him, disbelieving. In a flurry of movement, Sapphire threw herself at Remy and hugged him. "I LIKE YOU!" After hugging him for what seemed like an eternity to him, she finally released him. She sat quietly for a while, then started sniffing.
In a broken voice, she related the story of her life to him.
End of Part 6