Book One of
the Annwn Ryu Cycle
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
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
"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.
"Nathan." he grunted, obviously expecting her to fade
back into the woodwork. Grudgingly, he continued, "Nathan
"Oh. Must be Scott's kid." she nodded, as though seeing
someone old enough to be their father's father was an everyday
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
"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
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
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 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.
The girl spun around, defensively, snatching the cassette from
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
"I assure you, I shall tell no-one." Xavier's smile was
Cayanne shrugged, but in her mind, the Professor inched up a
notch in her estimation.