Feminine Secrets

Day Four, 11th Hour, 13th Minute

Rogue slammed her back into her bedroom door, breathing hard after her mad dash from Remy's room. He had just pulled off his shirt in front of her without so much as batting an eye, revealing way too appealing lean, hard muscles and...

Stop thinking about it, she told herself firmly and then blushed again. He had gone for his pants—his pants!—while she was in the room.

She did not like Remy. Not at all. Not even a little bit. No, she most certainly did not.

Someone tingled through her and Rogue shrieked as she scrambled away from the door.

Kitty looked at her oddly. "You okay?"

"Yeah," Rogue replied. Too quickly. She plopped down onto her bed. "I'm fine." Her breath was normalizing. She was definitely not thinking about any hot guys that she had almost married. A hot flush worked its way up her cheeks. Then, she frowned. Her hand felt the pillow carefully.

"Sure." Kitty looked thoroughly amused. Then she thrust a squirming cloth bag with several holes in it into Rogue's hands, catching her entire attention again. "Take the cat, please."

"Scratch!" Rogue glared at Kitty and let the grey kitten roll out onto her bedspread to sprawl with all four paws up in the air, mewing helplessly. "It's all right. I'm here." She cuddled her pet with gloved hands.

Kitty cast an irritated glance in their direction. "If you knew the things I went through for that cat," she muttered darkly. "Well, anyway. On a brighter note, Scratch is potty-trained."

Rogue's head popped up from the kitten. "Excuse me?" She did continue tickling Scratch's tummy while he batted at her fingers.

Kitty grinned with positive triumph. "I trained him to use the toilet."

Rogue blinked. She sat up. Scratch meowed plaintively at the abandonment, but she ignored him. "You what?"

"I trained him to use the toilet so he'd be less conspicuous," Kitty said as she gathered up some things from the closet. Gloves. Broom. Bucket.

"What are you doing?"

Kitty glared at Scratch again. "I'm going to clean up the boathouse." She sniffed disdainfully. "That cat is a threat to decent society."

"He's mine." Rogue reached for him defiantly.

"I know, I know." Kitty waved her off absently, then vanished through the floor with her supplies.

"You're mine," Rogue whispered to the purring kitten in her hand. Curiously, her gaze fell to her pillow. With her free hand, she lifted it cautiously and set it aside, then stared at the heart-shaped box of chocolate caramels.

Her brain refused to compute.



Her favorite indulgence.

She stared at Scratch. "Well, would you look at that?"

Scratch meowed plaintively, unimpressed. That is, until he was dumped unceremoniously back on the spread, paws flailing, while his mistress opened the box of treats, searching furiously for any sign of who the gift was from. After a few minutes, Rogue gave up. There was no tag or label, just twenty-four luxurious sweets.

Her gaze wandered over to the long-stemmed, red roses blushing on her dresser, then back to Scratch, who was grooming himself with an injured expression, then back to the chocolate caramels again. If she didn't know any better...

No. It couldn't be.

Day Four, 11th Hour, 33rd Minute

Rogue forgot what a nightmare preparing for Kitty's birthday party was going to be. She was the designated party room decorator, and Storm, Emma, and Jubilee had all locked themselves in an out of the way conference room to transform it into the perfect concoction for Wednesday night's celebration.

"I think pink is the perfect color," Emma said, laying out roll after roll of disgustingly pink streamers.

Rogue poked doubtfully at the decorations as Emma started on laying out balloons. "I think we need a little variety."

"Pish posh. This is Kitty's party," Emma said.

Storm interjected, "But we put Rogue in charge as best friend and roommate."

"Variety is the spice of life!" Jubilee grinned in perfect agreement as she dumped bag after bag of blindingly bright balloons in a zillion colors on top of the pink streamers and reached into yet another shopping bag for ribbon and streamers of her own.

"What are those?" Rogue demanded.

"I think we'll be permanently blinded," Emma remarked dryly.

Storm shot her a quick glare, then said gently to Jubilee, "Those are just a little...bright."

"Disgusting!" Rogue corrected her. "No. None of this will do," she continued emphatically and started toward the door. "I'll just be a minute."

Don't you dare go get Remy to run any errands for you, Emma's mental voice sounded off in Rogue's head, stopping her cold. You lent him to me, remember?

Rogue crossed her arms and glared. This is an atrocity! I need more materials.

"I think I might have some things in storage," Storm said doubtfully. "If you want them, that is." An aplogetic smile at Rogue.

Jubilee muttered something about taste and no one appreciating her sense of style.

Rogue sighed. "Lead on."

Day Four, 12th Hour, 47th Minute

It took over an hour for Storm and Rogue to go through the heaps and piles of decorative materials the school kept on hand for various celebrations. Rogue snorted in some surprise at the retro colors that Storm blushingly admitted were from her own school days.

"Didn't even know these were still down here." The weather goddess shook her head at the mess and stuffed crepe paper back into boxes. She pulled forward another and opened the top. "Ah. Here's something."

Rogue peered between the flaps. "Now, that just might work."

The women shared a grin.

They carried their prize between them through the kitchen, only to run smack dab into a highly irritated Cajun wearing little more than jeans and an apron.

"You mind, chère?" he demanded harshly, carrying a pot that looked very heavy.

"Uh, no." Rogue scooted backward a step, flustered.

Storm gave her a funny look.

Remy merely poured off the excess water from his noodles into the colander in the sink.

Storm glanced appreciatively over Remy's impeccable upper body. Rogue tried desperately to ignore it.

"Let's get these back to the conference room."

"Certainly," Storm agreed.

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