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  Book One of the Annwn Ryu Cycle
   Chapter VI

Daddy, Daddy
    Please don't cry
    Don't be scared
    I still belive that men can fly.

     I see your tears,
    But you don't see mine
    Oh believe, don't you see?
    I need you so much to love me.
                                    -  Rhiannon Emrys

Cayanne found herself less wary around Miss Munroe, and also found that sometimes studying was sometimes a grand distraction. She lay sprawled on the carpet in the library, munching on an apple. After three lectures on metabolizing sugar, she had finally agreed to eat more, though her tastes ran more to fruit than candy.
 Surrounded by books, luxuriating in the delightful not-quite-musty smell of their pages, she was happily ensconced in a wide-ranging tale of myth and legend. Occasionally she would absently sketch in the brand-new sketchpad that had been waiting for her in the classroom, enjoying the scrape of her new pencil against the grain of the page, just for the idle fun of it.
  Students occasionally wandered in to get a book for class or for a paper, but mostly she was left alone.
  Until she felt a presence. Near the door outside, it left an almost metallic tang in her mouth, and she sat up sharply, aware of movement, a low voice. Poking her head out the door, she saw a man half-encased in metal, his face turned away from her.
  "You new?" she asked.
  The newcomer had drawn a gun - a rather large thing for the quiet of the mansion - and Cayanne had dropped to a crouch.
  He regarded her a moment with unreadable, icy eyes then said, "No. I live here. Occasionally."
  "Nice to know. Better watch dat trigger finger, you hurt someone slow. Non?"
  He stared at her as though trying to analyze her, and she grinned ferally.
  "You gotta name, or ya jus' stompin' through?" the girl asked, watching him carefully.
  "Dat not a name. Dat where you get HBO. Let try dis again." she suggested, eyes on his. "My name's Cayanne LeBeau. Yer's?"
  "Nathan." he grunted, obviously expecting her to fade back into the woodwork. Grudgingly, he continued, "Nathan Summers."
  "Oh. Must be Scott's kid." she nodded, as though seeing someone old enough to be their father's father was an everyday occurrence.
   He stared at her, and she stared back.
   "Well, it obvious, isn't it?" the young Cajun asked, grinning.

   When Scott came down the stairs, he almost did a double take when he found Nathan and Cayanne deeply engrossed in a game of Stratego.
  "WHAM! No more China, look like you in for a hard time." chuckled Cayanne, leaning back in the chair as her opponent examined the board.
  Jean almost ran into her husband, who raised a finger to his lips, pointing wildly at their son.
  Cable drummed his fingers against the hardwood, and Cayanne grinned as she waited.
  "You just lost Cuba." he growled.
  "Yay. Got China and de whole Russia! Bring 't on!" she challenged, receiving one of Cable's piercing gazes in answer.
  Cayanne grinned, meeting that icy regard with great good humor. "Don' get yer boxers inna knot, dis a game." She reached over, rested a hand on his, sensed his startlement. "Games supp'sed be fun, Nathan - dis de point. You play a good game. I sneak up on ya 'cause you take it too serious." The girl grinned, cocking her head to stare up at him. "Appelez ceci une aspiration, mieux deux sur trois?"
  He regarded her and lifted one eyebrow questioningly.
  She smiled again. "Dis one a freebie. Two outta three?"
  Despite himself, Cable returned the grin. "You have yourself a deal."
  Althea was fond of working out. Not due to any sense of discipline or self-betterment, but due to the fact that her enhanced strength  and extraordinary body made her male fellow students watch her with undisguised intrest.
  Denise was already in the fitness center, running on one of the myriad machines, but the young woman saw movement in the gymnasium. With a quick nod to her friend, she made her way down the hallway and to the open stairwell above the main gym, and froze, watching with fascination.
  On the floor, a lone figure clad in what appeared to be a floor-length black skirt and white shirt moved with blinding speed. Every movement controlled, every step chosen, it was almost too fast to be fully perceived.
  The man appeared to be totally focused, an outward appearance of calm, yet moved with the speed and grace of a pouncing cat.
  Unconsciously, her tounge drew across her lips.
  In the moments she saw him moving, she decided he would her's.

  Cayanne ignored television for the most part, since the huge proportion of it was, in her opinion, drivel. However, the sheer fun of cartoons charmed her and occasionally she woke up at four or five in the morning, jiggling the mansion's satellite controls to get a channel worth watching.
  Sprawled on the couch, legs over the side, she watched with amusement as the three little pigs made short work of the dim-witted, if stubborn, wolf. A half-filled bowl of peanuts and spices was at her elbow, and occasionally she popped one of the treats into her mouth. When the cartoon ended, the girl rose, rolled over, and got to her feet.
  Stretching, she glanced around carefully, listened for any movement. Finally satisfied, she reached inside her pocket and withdrew an audio tape. Popping it into the stereo's cassette player, she let the music wash over her.
  Cayanne let her body move to the sound, her feet to the rhythm. To her, there was nothing else in the world as she moved with fluid grace and unfettered passion around the room, letting the emotion take her.
  Her voice was soft and hypnotic, rich with history, for that was the song she sang. New Orleans, from the streetwalker with aching hands and broken heart that stood with empty eyes at the end of the Quarter to the rich boy who came to visit her, from the passion of the voudoun and their primal wisdom, to the passions to the hidden lonlinesses, the song defined and focused New Orleans.
  When the music stopped, she heard a soft voice. "Beautiful."
  The girl spun around, defensively, snatching the cassette from the player.
  Professor Xavier was in the doorway, his expression gentle, even a little awed. "That was truly amazing, Cayanne."
  "Dey mine." she growled, watching him with narrowed eyes. "My music, my dance." Unconsciously, the girl had straightened, feeling a sense of disquiet. This was her own, deeply private and special secret. Only her Papa knew. She was hesitant to share it.
   "You wrote the music?" Xavier folded his hands, eyes warm and kind.
  A little less defensive, Cayanne nodded slowly. "Dat not somethin' I want t' tell ever'one." She managed a grin. "Gotta a reputation, ya see. Only've shown Papa - he love music too."
  "I assure you, I shall tell no-one." Xavier's smile was almost paternal.
  Cayanne shrugged, but in her mind, the Professor inched up a notch in her estimation.

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