The Red Queen Chronicles: The Phoenix
Chapter 1: The Shard
AN: This story is based off of my ongoing “The New Red Queen” series. Mary Jane Watson is still the Red Queen and acting manager of the Hellfire Club. It also takes place after my previous tie-in “The Red Queen Chronicles: The Weapon” in which she met Wolverine. Beyond that, I’m not going to try and fit this into one particular era of the comics. It’s just easier that way.
‘These mean character thoughts.’
Disclaimer: I don’t own Spider-Man, Mary Jane, the Avengers, the X-men, or Marvel and I am making no money off this. They are the property of Stan Lee, Marvel, and Disney. Please don’t sue.
This fic contains explicit sexual content. If that offends you, please don’t read this story. As always, I urge everyone to review this story. Send me your feedback via email at MarvelMaster616@hotmail.com or post a review on the adultfanfiction website. Thank you and enjoy!
The Hellfire Club – Three Days Ago
‘This better be important. The Red Queen knows damn well that I don’t like to be pulled away on my off-day, especially when I planned to spend it at my favorite spa. Somebody better be dying, dead, or eager to sign a check for a billion dollars…or several.’
Emma Frost walked through the special VIP entrance to the Hellfire Club in a restless, irritated mood. She had just canceled her reservation at the best spa in Manhattan. It was the kind of spa that required a waiting list, a non-refundable deposit, and a line of credit usually reserved for Wall Street tycoons. She’d been looking forward to being pampered today. She’d even told Charles Xavier that she was not to be disturbed unless Apocalypse was about to split the entire planet in half.
Then, she got an urgent call from Mary Jane Watson on her private line, the one nobody was supposed to call unless it was absolutely necessary. She hadn’t given much detail over the phone, only that it was important she had to get to the Hellfire Club immediately. Had she not done such a great job turning that club into the most profitable sex club on the east coast, she would’ve told her to piss off.
‘You’re better than most at respecting etiquette, Mary Jane. It’s why you were a successful whore before you became the Red Queen. You’ve already shown yourself to be quite ambitious in your role. It’s not enough to have a job that pays a king’s ransom to indulge your various appetites. You just HAVE to go the extra mile. There are times I admire that and then there are times it costs me a goddamn spa day.’
The White Queen muttered a few more curses under her breath as she entered the private elevator, accessed the biometrics scanner, and rode it to the level of the main office, which was where Mary Jane had told her to meet. Since it was morning, the club was empty. The only major activity involved light security, scheduled shipments, and a sizable cleaning crew that had the unenviable task of sterilizing this den of decadence.
Such limited activity made Mary Jane’s urgent call all the more infuriating. Emma didn’t like to be bothered with trivial matters unless they were truly pressing. That was why she had delegated the responsibilities of managing the Hellfire Club to Mary Jane in the first place. What could possibly be so urgent that it disrupted a quiet Sunday morning?
As soon as she stepped out, she made her way to the secure doors and stormed inside where the Red Queen was already waiting for her.
“Emma Frost,” she greeted from behind her desk, “you’re looking less rosy than I expected.”
“No thanks to you,” said Emma grumpily. “You pulled me away from a day of overpriced pampering. So for my sake, and yours, this better be important. The entire reason I chose you for this position was because I knew you could handle it without me holding your hand.”
“Take it easy, Emma. I know what my role is as the Red Queen,” said Mary Jane, who remained annoyingly calm. “Based on the last invoice I sent you, I think you’ll agree that I carry out that role pretty damn well.”
“Yes, I concede you’ve padded my budget for imported lingerie from Milan,” said Emma, rolling her eyes. “This opulent penthouse – along with unlimited access to well-hung servants – should be sufficient in terms of gratitude. I’d also hoped that it would give you plenty of incentive to deal with urgent matters on your own.”
“I like to think I don’t need that much incentive. I take too much pride in doing my job and doing it responsibly…all while looking damn good in a thong, that is.”
“Enough with the sass, Mary Jane. You’re not on stage shaking your ass. You’re not getting ready to blow the mayor to write off a parking ticket. You’re dealing with me. Now tell me what trouble you’ve gotten yourself into and how much will it cost me to fix?”
Emma gazed across the desk with folded arms and growing impatience, knowing this was time she should’ve been spending in a salon. However, Mary Jane was not fazed by her attitude. She just leaned back casually in her chair, carrying herself as though she had just won the Super Bowl.
“Emma, my friend and fellow ex-stripper, you wound me,” said the Red Queen coyly. “You think I’d only call you on a Sunday morning if there were a problem?”
“When I made it damn clear that Sunday was my spa day, I assumed as such. If I assumed wrong, then why the hell am I here and not getting a facial?” said Emma, still very much annoyed.
“Because I know you well enough to bring you in when there’s a huge opportunity in front of us,” Mary Jane responded, “and if there’s one thing I know you love more than a good spa day…it’s an opportunity.”
Emma’s frustration quickly faded and she cast the Red Queen a raised eyebrow. There weren’t many people she took seriously when they made bold claims. She had been burned by such people one too many times in the past. Mary Jane Watson, however, had distinguished herself as someone who didn’t make lofty promises she couldn’t keep. She was just too responsible to do anything less.
“Okay. I feel less inclined to strangle you now,” said Emma in a less hostile tone. “Tell me more.”
“Well, it has a less to do with the present and more to do with the future,” said Mary Jane, speaking with a confidence that would’ve made Magneto jealous. “I think the Hellfire Club has done a lot of good. Sure, it does that good by being exceedingly naughty, but it’s still objectively good.”
“I’ve seen those Trask files you gave Wolverine. I know first-hand how much good can come from this arrangement…figuratively speaking.”
“And literal, when possible,” joked Mary Jane, “but I still feel like we can do more. The Hellfire Club is in such a unique position, residing in that morally ambiguous area where heroes and villains alike navigate. I’ve done what I can to make the most of that position. I’m starting to realize that one woman – even a responsible woman, who’s willing to work naked – can only do so much.”
She sounded entirely sincere. It was usually one of Mary Jane’s strengths. Despite thriving in such a seedy business, her heart was always in the right place. However, sometimes it functioned as a liability.
“You know, there is such a thing trying too much,” Emma pointed out. “Surely you’ve had your share of lap dances where you’re a bit too ambitious.”
“I definitely have,” she conceded, “but the stakes are higher than an embarrassing instances of premature ejaculation. The Hellfire Club has so much potential. I want to realize as much of that potential as possible. To do so, we may need to take a few chances, so to speak…the kind that’ll give this place the extra firepower it needs.”
“I’m now getting the sense this opportunity you mentioned comes with caveats. You wouldn’t resort to this brand of foreplay unless you knew I’d be reluctant.”
A mischievous grin formed on Mary Jane’s face. It was one Emma had seen in this woman before, but only when she had something incredibly tantalizing to offer.
“Emma, you know damn well there are some forms of foreplay that even I don’t care for,” said the Red Queen. “There are just some times when you have to skip the romance and get down to business.”
“Is this the kind of business that’s uncharted territory for the Hellfire Club?” asked Emma.
“Actually, it involves business that the Hellfire Club started, but never finished,” she said, “and given our recent shift in policy, I think this is the perfect time to realize what our predecessors were too irresponsible to understand.”
Now this woman really had Emma’s attention. She was effectively done lamenting about her lost spa day and focused intently on what kind of opportunity Mary Jane had uncovered.
She watched intently as Mary Jane casually unlocked one of the secure drawers from her desk – the same drawer Shanobi Shaw once kept his personal safe, no less – and retrieved a small black box. It did not look like the kind of box that contained imported France. Emma had seen enough of those. If anything, it resembled one of those secure containment units that SHIELD used to transport highly volatile relics, such as the Infinity Gems.
The grin on Mary Jane’s face widened as she set the box down on her desk, casually unlocked it with her fingerprint, and opened it for Emma to see. Almost immediately, the former White Queen’s jaw dropped with awe upon seeing the contents. It radiated with a unique glow that filled the office…one she had felt before, but not for a long time.
“No fucking way!” was Emma’s instinctive reaction. “Is that really…”
“It is,” assured Mary Jane, stopping her before she could get too far. “It’s not a fake. It’s not a knock-off. It’s the real deal.”
“But…but how?” the White Queen exclaimed. “Who the hell did you have to fuck and how much did you have to fuck them to even know about this? That’s not a rhetorical question, by the way.”
“I’ll be happy to share all the dirty details with you later. Believe it or not, it’s not as kinky as you think.”
“Sorry, but I don’t believe it.”
“Then let’s skip to the part where we make a plan to use it,” said Mary Jane, getting up from the desk and closing the containment unit. “You know what this is. You know what the implications are for the past, present, and future for the Hellfire Club. Most importantly, you know who we’ll have to involve to make it work.”
Emma knew Mary Jane well enough to sense the kind of plan she had in mind. She also knew, all too well, the history of the Hellfire Club and why such a plan was risky. However, the potential reward for that risk was just too tantalizing.
Unfortunately, unlocking that reward required Emma to revisit a very unpleasant part of her tenure with the Inner Circle. It was sure to be tense. Given her current situation with certain individuals, some of which she called allies, the timing wasn’t optimal to say the least. That had never stopped Emma before and it certainly hadn’t stopped Mary Jane before. If there was one thing that woman did better than anyone, it was turn a difficult situation into a uniquely satisfying experience for everyone.
“Mary Jane Watson, you amazing…uncanny…omega-level whore, you,” said Emma, shaking her head in astonishment.
“I take it that’s your colorful way of saying you’re in,” said Mary Jane in a humored tone.
“For the record, it’s that last part of your pitch that stops me from kissing you in a way that would make every straight man’s dick explode,” said Emma.
“I appreciate that and not just for the sake of dicks. I get that this is personal for you. It’s something you never got to resolve while you were with the Hellfire Club.”
“And there’s a damn good reason for that,” she said. “I never even had the opportunity.”
“That’s why I called you,” said the Red Queen, “and that’s why I need your help and to make this work. You and I both know that if we do this right, then we’ll do more than just fix one of the Hellfire Club’s greatest mistakes. We’ll it stronger than it’s ever been and have a damn good time while doing it!”
The Hellfire Club – Now
“Here we are,” said a distant and anxious Jean Grey. “I never thought I’d come here again…not willingly, anyways.”
“That makes two of us,” said Scott Summers, who’d been at her side since they left the Xavier Institute.
In the hectic life of the X-men, it was quite common to venture into hostile, unwelcoming places. It came with the territory. Professor Charles Xavier, the X-men’s mentor and visionary, trained them to handle these situations. However, no amount of training could prepare Jean Grey for entering this fateful place again.
“The Hellfire Club,” she found herself saying as she and Scott stood in front of an ominous building, “the place that turned me into a monster…the place that created Dark Phoenix.”
“Are you sure you’re ready for this, Jean?” asked Scott, doing his part as a concerned husband. “If we go back now, I’m sure we can convince the Professor to bomb this place from above.”
“We’ve already had that discussion multiple times. The Professor still believes that the Hellfire Club has changed…that we can trust it and Emma Frost.”
“I want to believe it too. I really do. Even Logan seems convinced.”
“That’s as clear a sign as any. I can’t…no, I shouldn’t avoid this,” said Jean strongly. “I know what Xavier, Logan, and everyone else in the X-men says about this place. I need to see for myself.”
Her words were stronger than her will. It showed in the way she clung to her husband’s hand as they stood in the shadow of the Hellfire Club, a place that held many dark and painful memories. It was here where Jean Grey had been corrupted, becoming the monster that was Dark Phoenix. That corruption had led to her death, so to speak. Even now as she stood alive, beside the man who’d fought so hard to save her, it conjured many mixed feelings.
Jean had been content to lock away her memories of the Hellfire Club and the torment she’d endured. Even after her return from death, she’d avoided the topic to the greatest extent possible. It reflected an overwhelming, painful struggle that had torn her away from those she loved. That made this current situation all the more distressing.
It had begun a couple days ago when she experienced a series of strange psychic power surges. They’d been short, sudden, and targeted, as if someone or something were calling out to her. Even Scott had felt it through their psychic link. A quick scan from Cerebro confirmed that there’d been some unusual psychic signatures in the Manhattan area, but they weren’t targeting other psychics.
Jean had experienced these feelings before. They were consistent with the power signatures of the Phoenix Force, the same immense cosmic power that had killed her. Ever since she returned from the dead, she’d known she was still connected to it. She had learned to manage the immense power for the most part, thanks to extensive training from Professor Xavier and the support of her friends and loved ones. However, it was still an open scar that had never fully healed.
After the visions, Beast and Professor Xavier gave her a full physical and mental checkup. By all accounts, nothing was amiss. They said she was physically, mentally, and psychically healthy. While the Professor had shown some concern about the surges, he seemed unusually dismissive. It was as if he knew more than he was telling her.
“I sense nothing in you that hasn’t always been there, Jean. Whatever it is that’s causing this, I’m confident you’ll deal with it.”
His prognosis hadn’t been reassuring. Then, out of nowhere, she and Scott received a invite to the Hellfire Club. It had come in the form of an encrypted email and from someone calling herself the Red Queen.
That alone raised suspicions, but she happened to be the same Red Queen that Logan had encountered when he investigated the Hellfire Club. Surprisingly, he vouched for. He didn’t give his reasons, although if rumors about what happened during his visit were remotely true, Jean had a pretty good idea why.
Nobody else seemed that concerned. For reasons that still baffled her, an invitation from the Hellfire Club didn’t generate any major panic. It was as if the rest of the X-men were in a joke and neither she nor Scott had figured it out. It was annoying and it only got more annoying when the Professor didn’t see fit to send a team in to investigate.
“The invitation was addressed to you and Scott. As such, only you and Scott should go. The Hellfire Club is an ally now. We should treat it as such.”
Jean remembered a fairly heated argument after that, one that evoked more profanity from Scott than she’d heard since their last clash with Deadpool. It didn’t help that he had been more irritable than usual lately, especially since Wolverine gave him a glowing report of the new Hellfire Club. This just heightened his suspicions, as well as her own.
After they’d settled down, she and Scott met privately in their bedroom, talked it out, and decided to respond to the invitation. Even if this were a trap, it felt like something she had to confront, if only to lay this dark period of her life to rest.
“Let’s go,” said Jean with as much confidence as she could muster. “Let’s get this over with.”
“I’ll be beside you every step of the way, Jean,” said Scott.
“I know you will. You always are,” said Jean, giving her husband’s hand another squeeze.
“And if this goes bad – and it probably will – you can be the first to say I told you so.”
She gave her husband a light smile, which was the most she could manage. Not knowing what to expect, she figured she’d need a lot more as they made their way through the pouring rain that had been falling since late that afternoon and approached the building.
“I appreciate that, Scott,” said Jean, “but I really hope I don’t have to.”
“This is the Hellfire Club. They’re entire foundation is built around things going bad,” said Scott. “I don’t care what Logan reported on his last mission here. I don’t trust this place.”
“Does a part of you wish they could be an ally, like Emma claims?”
“No,” he said without hesitation. “Emma can claim whatever she wants. I can’t see how any good can ever come out of the Hellfire Club.”
Scott had clearly made up his mind. He was going into the Hellfire Club expecting a fight. Jean prepared herself as well, but tried not to assume too much. That was one thing about her husband that often got under her skin. He often went into a situation believing that conflict was inevitable, sometimes creating it in the process. Ironically, Logan had this same issue and they still annoyed each other because of it. If only that were their only point of disagreement.
“You still don’t trust her, do you?” said Jean.
“Emma? Well, she’s an ongoing issue,” said Scott distantly. “I want to trust her. After her work with Gen X, I think she’s earned that chance…even if she hasn’t gotten along with the team.”
“Is that what we’re calling it now? Not getting along?” said Jean dryly. “Other than talking down to everyone, including the Professor, she goes out of her way to flirt with you and annoy me.”
“Is that much different than what happens with Logan?” quipped Scott.
“That’s not fair, Scott.”
“I know it isn’t,” he said with simmering frustration, “and I know I’m an ass for making that comparison. It’s just…”
He paused before he could continue. Jean saw that subtle twinge in his expression whenever he confronted something he couldn’t put into words. It happened a lot, especially when issues like this came up.
From Logan’s never-ending flirtations with her to the interest Psylocke once showed in him, such feelings were difficult to confront. For the sake of their love and their marriage, they had made it a point to avoid them. However, there were some days when that was frustratingly hard.
Hard or not, Scott fell silent, opting to drop the issue of Emma and others who tried to come between them. He focused back on the mission at hand, which was what she needed from him right now. She needed both Scott Summers, her supportive husband, and Cyclops, leader of the X-men.
‘Hope for the best, but assume the worst. I already get the sense we’ll have to settle with half of that at most.’
There were a lot of conflicts plaguing Jean at the moment. Now was not the time to address them. Jean remained focused on the task at hand, namely confronting the Hellfire Club and whatever devious agenda they had planned.
With her husband at her side, looking ready to fire an optic blast at a moment’s notice, they entered the main building that housed this secret den of decadence. The invitation told them to go right through the front door. No elaborate infiltration plan was necessary. She’d even told them to leave their X-men uniforms at home and dress casually. While they did opt wear their less flashy X-men attire, which meant a black shirt and black denim pants for her, she still kept her communicator handy. Scott did the same.
“This doesn’t feel right,” Scott commented, looking around for any and all threats.
“Which part? The utter lack of security or the situation in general?” asked Jean.
“Both,” he replied.
“Even so, try not to shoot anything unless you have to. Even if this goes bad, I’d rather not throw the first punch.”
“You know I never make you a promise I can’t keep, Jean,” said Scott, keeping his hand on his ruby-quartz glasses.
“You didn’t make me one.”
“Exactly,” he quipped.
Jean groaned to herself. Her husband wasn’t making things easier, not that she could blame him though. Their history with the Hellfire Club was just that bad.
Despite their precautions, getting in was as easy as the invitation had promised. The door was unlocked. The lobby that concealed the operation of the Hellfire Club was empty. There were no security guards, masked or otherwise. There were no elaborate barriers in place either. That said a lot in and of itself, given how hard it had been to break into this place when they took down the Inner Circle.
“It looks the same, but it’s not quite as hostile,” Jean commented. “The last time we were here, we fought through an army of Hellfire guards and several black-market energy shields.”
“I know. I remember blasting every one of them,” replied Scott, still scanning every angle.
“Looks like they’ve been removed. It seems most of the old systems have been removed,” said Jean. “There’s still some psychic shielding, but it’s all pretty standard.”
“Can you sense anything?”
“Not yet. Nothing that warrants blasting, anyways,” replied Jean as she put her hands on her temples. “I’m am sensing something strange, but it’s not hostile. It’s…”
Her words trailed off. Then, she stopped in the area just in front of the main elevators. Scott stopped as well and showed immediate concern.
“What is it, Jean? Should we pull back?” asked Scott, sounding all too eager to start shooting optic blasts.
Jean closed her eyes and concentrated a bit harder. She felt it again. That strange psychic vision from before came over her like a splash of cold water to the face. This time, however, it was much clearer because she was closer. It was so close, in fact, that a voice came with it.
“Just a bit further, Jean,” it told her. “You want this more than you think you do.”
In hearing that voice, another strange feeling came over her. It started as an intense heat, surrounding her in a way that reminded her of the power of the Phoenix Force. However, the effect was very different in that it was concentrated between her legs.
‘Whoa! Am I going crazy again? Or is this making me horny?’
She really hoped Scott hadn’t heard that through their psychic connection. It was an odd thought to have in the middle of a tense situation, but her body didn’t lie. That power – the mysterious psychic signature that had led her here – was making her sexually aroused.
It was hardly the feeling she expected when she entered this building. However, it gave her renewed motivation to move forward…albeit for very different reasons.
“Jean?” asked Scott, grasping her shoulder.
“Let’s keep moving,” she said intently.
“Maybe we should…” he began, only for Jean to cut him off.
“No! That power I sensed…it’s close. We need to find it!”
She didn’t wait for her husband to ask questions. She just charged ahead, walking with more urgency than she intended. Scott caught up, understandably confused by her sudden shift.
“Wait!” Scott called out as she barged through a secure door. “Jean, what if it’s…”
“It’s not,” said Jean, cutting him off again before he could complete his thought.
“How do you know?”
“Do you trust me, Scott?” she asked, walking even faster.
“Of course I do,” he replied instinctively.
“Then trust me when I say I know. I can’t explain it, but there’s something up ahead…something important that I need to find.”
It didn’t make sense. Even Jean wasn’t entirely sure, but Scott still trusted her. He still followed her closely, keeping an eye out for any possible threat. With every step they took, Jean sensed that no fighting would be necessary. It might require something else…something she wasn’t quite ready to describe to her husband.
As they neared the source of the reading, Jean felt the arousal her escalate. She even started walking awkwardly as her inner thighs became exceedingly moist. She hadn’t been this sexually aroused since her wedding night. It was as if this power had been targeting a specific feeling within her…a feeling that had been building up in her for a very long time.
“Hurry, Jean!” the same voice from earlier told her. “You feel it, don’t you? You don’t know what it is, but you know it’s there. Scott knows too, but he won’t admit it. He’s too disciplined and dense. You’re the one who has to embrace this feeling!”
That voice sounded so devious and coy, every word laced with temptation. Jean heard that kind of voice all the time with women like Emma Frost. She was usually content to filter it out, but this voice struck her because it didn’t sound like Emma. It sounded like…her.
With growing urgency – in addition to the arousal between her legs that kept escalating – she burst through several more security doors, at one point using her telekinesis to open them. Jean recognized them as the security barriers that separated the main floor of the Hellfire Club from the rest of the seemingly-ordinary office building. Just like the front door, each barrier had been unlocked. It was as though someone had laid out a clear, unobstructed path for her and Scott. Whoever sent that invitation wanted them to find the source of this power.
Finally, they reached the last door. Jean practically blew it up open with her telekinesis, revealing the main area of the Hellfire Club. This was the area usually populated with dozens of cheering, semi-sober men gawking at the sight of beautiful women stripping naked on stage. The area was active tonight, but with a different kind of spectacle.
“Jean…I still trust you and all, but I’m a little confused now,” said Scott.
“That makes two of us,” said Jean as she took in the sight.
They had arrived in the middle of what appeared to be a private show. On the main stage, a woman was dancing around a stripper pole. She had long red hair, a voluptuous figure, and large breasts that she didn’t mind showing off. She also bore attire that was entirely befitting of the Hellfire Club, consisting of thigh-high stiletto boots, a G-string thong, a matching garter, and an undersized corset that barely contained her breasts.
With acrobatics and flexibility that would’ve qualified her for any Danger Room scenario, she climbed up the pole, twirled around it, and swayed her body to the rhythm of hard music. If the elaborate nature of her dance were any indication, she had done this before.
“Yeah! Show us why you’re the queen, Mary Jane!” a voice rang out from the club.
Jean had barely noticed, but there were other spectators to this show. Sitting in a row of seats in front of the main stage, she saw about a half-dozen masked Hellfire Guards watching the performance. They looked similar to the guards the X-men fought when they took down the Inner Circle, but they weren’t armed and didn’t seem inclined to fight. They just sat there and watched the spectacle before them, projecting little in terms of mental activity.
There was also one masked figure in particular – the one who had called out to the woman on stage – sitting in the center seat. He wore different attire, consisting of a red mask and red pants. They matched the color of the woman’s revealing attire. While the rest of the guards looked like indifferent observers, he cheered her on. From what Jean could sense, his mind had not been wiped, conditioned, or twisted like every other Hellfire Guard.
“Is this what I was sensing?” asked Jean in a haze of confusion.
She got no answer. She barely heard herself over the music playing on stage. Scott was too shocked to respond…that and seeing a beautiful woman dancing on stage proved quite distracting. Had Jean not been so overwhelmed, she would’ve scolded him.
She and Scott remained frozen, standing in the doorway and watching the show play out. The woman the masked man called Mary Jane did a few more moves on stage, climbing up the pole again and hanging upside down, blatantly showing off her breasts in the process. This earned her an especially loud cheer from the man in the red mask. She then slid down to the floor of the stage, got on all fours, and shook her ass in a way that showed off her G-string in the most blatant way possible. Jean was no expert, but she knew a professional when she saw one.
“Now that’s the ass of a queen!” the man called out.
“And don’t you forget it, Tiger,” the woman responded.
It was quite a show, one that was overtly sexual and exceedingly theatrical. Having already been aroused by the mysterious psychic signature, Jean felt even more tension building up inside her. This time, however, she was in good company.
Through their psychic link, Jean sensed her husband getting aroused as well. He tried to hide it. Had she not been a powerful telepath, she never would’ve known for sure. She turned to him, seeing him shift in ways that no leader of the X-men had ever dared. It added even more tension.
“Scott…” she said, getting his attention.
“I know! I…I’m sorry,” said Scott, putting his hand over his eyes and turning way. “I uh…shouldn’t have stared.”
“Don’t apologize. I’m not mad,” Jean assured him. “I’m too confused to be mad. Believe me when I say I really did sense something in here…something powerful.”
“I believe you, Jean. Are you still sensing it?” said Scott, trying to hide his reaction.
“Yes…more so than I expected,” she replied.
This wasn’t supposed to happen. X-men were supposed to be ready for anything. They weren’t supposed to this thrown off and by a sex show of all things. Something strange was going on here and for once, neither she nor Scott were prepared for it.
As she and Scott struggled to make sense of the scene before them, the music on the stage abruptly stopped. Jean then looked to the stage. The woman dancing around the pole stopped and just before she could remove her corset, no less. She had finally noticed their presence and that had been the only thing that kept her from exposing her breasts.
“Aww no fair!” the masked man in the audience complained. “Why’d you stop? That’s just cruel!”
“Be patient, handsome. I’ll finish the show later,” Mary Jane told him. “It looks like our guests have finally arrived.”
“Well I’m all for being a good host, but their timing sucks.”
“They’re still here and they look stressed,” she said. “You know I can’t let that stand. This is the Hellfire Club! This is where people come to relieve stress.”
“And watch beautiful women get naked,” he pointed out, still somewhat bitter.
“That too, but these are special guests. They’re here for a reason and since I’m the Red Queen, I’m going to be the best possible host.”
This woman, still wearing the overly sexual attire that could only be appropriate in the Hellfire Club, casually walked off the stage and approached her and Scott. She carried herself with a charisma that reminded her of Emma Frost, minus the arrogant smugness.
As she walked up to them, Jean sensed Scott shifting awkwardly again. She could tell the image of her dancing on stage, showing off her sexy body, was still playing out in his mind. His ruby-quartz glasses might have hidden his reaction from everyone else, but not from Jean. It might end up leading to an awkward conversation later. For now, though, she remained focused on the strange situation at hand.
“Scott Summers and Jean Grey-Summers,” said Mary Jane with a welcoming gesture. “I’m so glad you responded to my invite. I gave the main staff the night off so I could reserve the entire club for this little meeting.”
“And that little show you put on…was that part of the meeting?” said Scott with folded arms.
“We were just passing the time,” she said with a casual shrug. “I wasn’t sure you two would come. So I figured if you didn’t, I might as well have a little fun.”
“That’s your idea of fun?” said Jean with a raised eyebrow.
“Are you kidding? I used to strip on that stage every night and have the time of my life. It’s even more fun than it looks. You should try it sometimes. You’d probably be really good at it.”
“What’s that supposed to mean?” asked Jean, not sure whether she should be offended.
“Exactly what you think it does, but in a way you’re not ready to appreciate. Hopefully, assuming this meeting goes well, I can change that.”
Now Jean was confused, but curious. She exchanged glances with Scott. Even if he was trying to hide how much he enjoyed this woman’s performance, she sensed he shared her concerns. Neither of them had any idea what this was about. This woman, who talked with an overtly lurid undertone, did not come off as threatening. She was definitely different from the Inner Circle that the X-men had fought in the past. That still didn’t mean they trusted her.
“But where are my manners? Allow me to formerly introduce myself,” said the attractive redhead. “My name is Mary Jane Watson. As you’ve probably surmised by now, I’m the Red Queen of the Hellfire Club.”
“Well, I would say it’s nice to meet you, but given the situation…” said Jean, her words trailing off, not knowing if this woman was aware of this places’ history.
“Oh I don’t blame you for being cautious. I wasn’t expecting a friendly hug or something,” said Mary Jane, “although I wouldn’t mind a hug from your handsome hubby here.”
She gave Scott a flirtatious leer, earning an awkward reaction from Scott and an annoyed glance from Jean. This woman was already pushing it. At least Psylocke and Emma Frost were subtle with their flirtation. This woman was giving Scott the I-just-want-to-fuck-you-because-you’re-cute look that she usually saw in Gambit’s ex-girlfriends.
“I guess I’ll have to earn that,” Mary Jane continued upon seeing their reaction. “Don’t worry though. I’m good at earning affections. I’m sure your teammate, Wolverine, can attest to that.”
“Yeah, he was unusually assured of your integrity,” said Jean with folded arms.
“And keep in mind, this is a man who puts virbranium locks on his mini-fridge to protect his liquor stash,” added Scott.
“I hope that’s enough to earn me a chance. I find the fact that you replied to my invitation and didn’t crash your X-jet through the roof very encouraging.”
“Don’t let it go to your head,” Jean warned her. “If it had just been the invitation, there’s no way I’d come here without a full strike force. But then I sensed something in this place…something powerful that I’ve been trying to make sense of.”
“Seeing as how the invitation came less than an hour after that, I’m guessing you know something,” said Scott with equal apprehension in his tone.
“Maybe I do. Maybe I know more about whatever you sensed than you can possibly uncover on your own. I might have even organized some elaborate plan to get you here so I can see it through,” Mary Jane replied coyly.
“Are you going to tell us or are you just going to stand there, hoping your cleavage will distract us?” asked Jean.
“While that may disappoint your husband, this plan I may or may not have doesn’t rely on my breasts. Follow me and I’ll explain.”
She shot another look towards Scott, who couldn’t help but stare at the mention of Mary Jane’s breasts. Again, he shifted uncomfortably. This time, Jean didn’t bother scolding him. The way that woman dressed, wearing a corset that barely contained her breasts, it was hard not to stare. She imagined Scott would do plenty of apologizing later. That would have to wait though. For now, she and Scott had to see what this plan of hers entailed.
The scantily-dressed woman turned around and walked back towards the stage, purposefully showing off her G-string thong in the process. Again, Jean sensed Scott staring and she resisted the urge to chide him. She just rolled her eyes and followed the voluptuous redhead back towards the main stage. In doing so, the feelings she sensed earlier returned.
“Why are you so reluctant? Why do you repress what you know to be true? You can’t keep doing this to yourself. Neither you nor Scott deserve such torment.”
That strange voice kept getting louder and clearer. It wasn’t just a whisper anymore. It was like her reflection in the mirror talking back to her, triggering a fresh wave of arousal.
With every step she took, the heat between her legs intensified. Her palms grew sweaty and her face grew flushed. Jean looked over at her husband, who was still trying to avoid the sight of Mary Jane’s thong-covered ass. He was clearly distracted, but she couldn’t hide this feeling from her husband much longer. She and Scott were usually so good at avoiding uncomfortable situations. This might be one instance where that wasn’t possible.
As they neared the stage, the masked Hellfire servants stood up and bowed at her presence. The only one who didn’t was the man in the red mask. Instead, he just cast Jean a knowing grin, hinting that he knew what she was in for.
‘Wolverine was right. Jean Grey has a fiery presence, so to speak. Not sure if he was just referring to her ass, but we’ll find out soon enough. Can’t wait to see just how right he was!’
Those thoughts slipped through a mind that had otherwise been well-guarded. He probably wanted her to sense that, if only to reveal that he had spoken to Logan. Who knew what kind of conversations those two had shared? Jean ended up diverting her gaze, but a part of her was intrigued…that or her growing heat between her legs kept her from feeling too concerned.
“Make no mistake. I know all about the Hellfire Club’s history with the X-men,” said Mary Jane upon reaching the main stage. “The mind-control, the kidnapping, the Phoenix Force…I’m aware of every horrible detail.”
“Then you know why we’re being so cautious here,” said Scott.
“I’d expect nothing less. What the Inner Circle did to you…hell, I won’t even pretend to understand how awful it must have been. They used you. They exploited you. They tried to warp your mind, body, and soul into their own image.”
“That’s what they do. That’s what they’ve always done,” said the X-leader.
“That may have been the case when Shaw and his asshole son were running the show, but they’re gone now. The X-men made sure of that.”
“I remember. It was a satisfying moment,” said Jean somewhat proudly.
“Then believe me when I say I have no intention of following in their footsteps. I have a different vision for the Hellfire Club…one that doesn’t involve being enemies with the X-men. I’ve already made that clear with Wolverine. I even made it official in my own special way.”
“I’m sure you did,” said Scott, rolling his eyes.
“But my vision for the Hellfire Club goes beyond that,” the Red Queen continued. “It even goes beyond just being a successful sex club in the heart of a big city. I believe the Hellfire Club can do a lot of good.”
“Concepts like doing good and the Hellfire Club don’t usually go together,” said Scott skeptically.
“I understand that,” Mary Jane conceded, “but I don’t see why it has to be that way. I don’t see why good and a little decadent indulgence can’t complement one another.”
“Then I’m not entirely sure what you’re seeing here,” said Jean.
“Oh don’t worry. I intend to make that abundantly clear soon enough!” she said confidently.
With an excitement that reminded her of Jubilee on her first mission, Mary Jane got back up on the stage and gestured for them to join her. She and Scott exchanged glances again. Jean’s face was still flushed from this growing arousal within her, but she wasn’t as apprehensive as before. This didn’t keep Scott from worrying though.
‘Are you okay, Jean? You little a little…tense,’ he said to her through their link. ‘If you want to pull back, it’s not too late.’
‘I’m fine, Scott. I promise,’ she told him, ‘and no, I don’t want to pull back. I…want to see where she’s going with this.’
‘Are you sure?’
She replied with more certainty than she expected. Had she been in a more lucid state, she might have backed down. At this point, however, her arousal obscured her judgment. Instead, Jean found herself climbing up on the stage.
Scott followed her and stayed close. Jean ended up standing a bit closer to her husband, the sensual heat inside her drawing her towards him. Something about that triggered more feelings inside her…the kind hinted that she was very close to whatever she’d been sensing.
“What you see around you is reflection of a world that I’ve come to know well,” said Mary Jane in a more serious tone. “That world has two sides. On one, you have the kind of debauchery that the Sebastian Shaws of the world champion. Most people know about that world. It’s basically the plot of ever bad gangster movie ever made.”
“I was always more of a sci-fi fan, but I see what you mean,” said Scott, sounding less apprehensive, but still plenty suspicious.
“It’s the other side of that world – the lesser-known side – that gives me a more complete perspective,” said the attractive redhead. “You see, before I became the Red Queen, I was a prostitute…one who got her start here on this stage, no less.”
“The way you were dancing earlier, I’m not surprised,” commented Jean.
“Most wouldn’t be,” she continued, “but my experiences as a prostitute gave me insight that most people never get…not even those who can read other peoples’ minds. Some were unpleasant. A lot of them were entirely forgettable. However, there were a select few were amazing for all the right reasons.”
As she said this, Jean noticed her glancing over towards the man in the red mask, who still sat in the audience off the stage. She suspected there was a connection between them. Whatever it was must have been pretty strong because the Red Queen shot him a telling grin…one that even a skilled telepath couldn’t hope to decipher.
“In being a prostitute, I encounter men like Sebastian Shaw…men who are rich, arrogant, and treat sex as an exercise in power,” the Red Queen continued. “I also encounter men – and even a few women – who are just exceedingly reserved with sex. They see it as this dangerous, corruptive force that only the powerfully arrogant can seize. They don’t realize how empowering, passionate, and useful it can be.”
“I…think most would agree,” said Jean, such discussions about sex adding to her inner tension.
“Some more than others,” said Scott under his breath.
“Sex isn’t inherently bad,” added Jean, “although the old Hellfire Club definitely favored the bad parts.”
“And I want to flip the script, so to speak. I want to favor the good, the positive, and above all…the responsible,” said Mary Jane, making it a point to emphasize that last part. “I believe that all the sex and decadence that the Hellfire Club celebrates can be channeled. I believe it can turn this club’s devious legacy into something positive…something that can do a lot of good for this city, the X-men, and many others.”
She came off as both serious and sincere. Jean sensed nothing in her thoughts that would indicate the kind of deception that had defined the Hellfire Club for so many years. While that was reassuring, it also raised a new host of questions.
“And how do you intend to do that?” asked Scott.
“That, Mr. Summers, is why I invited you and your wife here,” said Mary Jane proudly. “As the old Hellfire Club’s most famous victims, I figure if I’m going to forge this new path, I might as take the time to mend its deepest scars.”
“I can appreciate your ambition, but I’m not sure if that’s possible,” said Jean.
“Are you saying that because you’re cynical? Or are you saying that to hide that you’ve been all ‘hot and bothered’ since you arrived?”
As soon as she mentioned this, Jean blushed profusely. She immediately went from serious to embarrassed. It was worse than that time she walked in on her old roommate, Misty Knight, when she was engaged in some very heated foreplay with her boyfriend.
‘Whoa! Was I really THAT obvious?’ she wondered to herself. ‘What I wouldn’t give for a Sentinel attack right now.’
She felt Scott’s confused gaze on her. She sensed his embarrassment as well, his usual stern demeanor shaken by this revelation. It usually took a lot to catch a couple of veteran X-men off-guard. Mary Jane Watson accomplished that and didn’t even need killer robots.
“Uh…Jean?” said Scott, at a rare loss for words.
“Oh don’t start busting her chops,” said Mary Jane with humored grin. “I can tell you were checking out my tits and ass. Those shades of yours can only hide so much.”
“What?!” the X-leader exclaimed. “Now you’re being…”
He didn’t get to finish though. With uncanny bravado, Mary Jane stepped forward and stood over them with an authority befitting of a queen.
“I know exactly what I am and what I’m doing,” she told them. “I’m making a point and you’re helping me prove it. You see, Wolverine told me a lot about you two…some of which were probably lies, but I surmised plenty of truth. And based on what I’ve seen so far, I imagine there are some unspoken truths as well…namely the sexy kind.”
“Lady, I don’t know what you think you know, but you’re crossing a lot of lines here!” said Scott, looking more anxious than Jean had seen since their first date.
“You’re in the Hellfire Club, Mr. Summers,” she said coyly, “and I’m a proud, self-professed whore. Crossing lines is what we do here. The difference between me and the old Inner Circle is that I cross lines that should be crossed. For some people, though, they need to be crossed.”
Then, in a bold move that even Emma Frost would never dare, Mary Jane grabbed Scott by the shoulders and crashed her lips against his in a hard, intimate kiss. It caught her husband completely off-guard. All those the hardened instincts that had been honed from years of Danger Room training utterly failed him. If that weren’t bad enough, Jean swore that he actually kissed back.
Almost immediately, the jealous wife in Jean Grey erupted. In a fiery outburst that overrode any embarrassment she felt earlier took over and she used her telekinesis to push them apart.
“Hey! What the hell do you think you’re doing?” Jean demanded.
“Jean, I…” stammered Scott, still in a state of shock.
“Quiet, Scott!” she barked. “This woman better have a damn good explanation!”
“I do,” said Mary Jane, still with a curt grin, “but first, allow me to further prove my point.”
The Red Queen made another sudden move. This time, she set her sights on Jean, who was still annoyed by what she just did. That annoyance quickly turned into something else entirely when the attractive redhead reached over, grabbed her by the shoulders, and kissed her with the same intensity that she had with Scott.
Just like her husband, Jean had been caught completely off-guard. Also like her husband – which had far greater implications – she didn’t immediately pull away. She actually kissed back. Seeing as how she was a married, heterosexual woman who had never felt any sexual inclinations towards other women, it really struck her. All those strange feelings from earlier transformed into something more confusing and chaotic.
They were so overwhelming that she barely noticed the look Scott gave her. His mouth hung open in utter shock. It took a moment – too long a moment, in her opinion – to shake off the shock and intervene.
“That’s enough!” he shouted, forcing his hand between them to push her and Mary Jane apart. “Whatever you’re trying to prove, it stops now.”
“Too late. I already proved it,” said Mary Jane, grinning mischievously after being forced back.
“Proved what?” said a still-overwhelmed Jean as she wiped off the taste of the other woman’s lips. “What does kissing my husband and kissing me prove?”
“The kiss itself proves nothing…other than I’m as flexible as any straight woman can be when she’s horny. It’s your reaction that’s really telling.”
Scott had that look in his eye again, despite being obscured by his glasses. He was prepared to attack. Jean had to reach out and stop him.
While he was understandably annoyed by this woman’s stunt, she remained curious. As annoyed as she’d been, the way she responded to that kiss – on top of the unexpected arousal she’d felt earlier, as well – led her to wonder where Mary Jane was going with this. This being the Hellfire Club, there was always an agenda.
“Take it easy, Scott. I want to hear this,” said Jean, coaxing her husband as only she could.
“Hear what?” he asked, still plenty apprehensive.
“The unpleasant, but sexy truth you both seem to be avoiding,” answered Mary Jane. “You hesitated.”
“We hesitated?” said Scott in a skeptical tone.
“Don’t deny it. Don’t brush it off either. When I kissed you and your wife…you didn’t immediately pull back. Before you roll your eyes again, I’ll answer the other question you’re about to bark. Yes, it matters. It matters a lot and implies even more.”
She spoke with the commanding presence of the Red Queen again, which dissuaded Scott from getting more hostile. However, it was the blunt nature of her words that struck Jean even harder. Mary Jane said what neither she nor Scott dared put into words.
That chaotic, overwhelming feeling from earlier quickly faded. Scott no longer seemed inclined to attack either. If anything, he looked just as nervous as she was about these implications.
“When you’re an experienced prostitute and a promiscuous woman, you tend to pick up on certain quirks in some people…namely the sexy ones,” Mary Jane continued. “I’m a very sexual person by nature. I always have been and I’m not ashamed of it. It’s part of what makes me good at my job.”
“Among other things, I’m sure,” said Scott under his breath.
“I’m also aware that there are plenty of people out there who just aren’t that sexual. They don’t care for three-ways, gangbangs, blowjobs, and anal. They’re more than happy to find just one person to spend their life with and have sex with only that person until they’re old and gray. I know plenty of people like this. They’re good, honest, decent people. I would never pretend that my decadent ways are better than theirs.”
“That’s real nice of you and all, but what does that have to do with us?” asked Scott impatiently.
“The answer to that question is the same reason I kissed you and your wife,” said Mary Jane. “This probably won’t shock you, but I’ve kissed a lot of people…including the kinds of people I just described. Most of the time, it’s a mistake on my part. I read the situation wrong, thinking they want something different. They always pull back immediately. Whether they’re a man or a woman, it’s practically a reflex. It reveals on a primal level, of sorts, that they’re not inclined to be too sexual. They’re either not that horny or they just prefer a simple, monogamous relationship.”
Mary Jane took a few steps closer, which was pretty bold of her after the hostility Scott showed earlier. She gave them a strong, penetrating gaze that would’ve stopped Juggernaut in his tracks. It was as if she was looking beyond every ruse, deception, and illusion that Jean had ever put up to hide her inner self. Looking over at Scott, she had never seen him this vulnerable since their first date. It made clear that neither of them could hide from whatever harsh truth she revealed.
“But you aren’t like that. Neither of you are,” said Mary Jane with inescapable certainty. “You both hesitated. It’s one thing for two people who just lack self-awareness. For a married couple thought – one I’m told has a history of wandering lips, eyes, and what not – that’s much more serious.”
“Logan told you about that too,” muttered Scott. “Remind me to blast him into the next time zone when we get back.”
“Don’t take it out on him. He didn’t tell me more than I needed to know,” said Mary Jane. “He also made it very clear that you two love each other. You love each other a lot and you don’t want that to change.”
“He really said that?” asked Jean, surprised that Logan would express such sentiment.
“He used those exact words,” Mary Jane affirmed. “However, the incidents he described to me – the stolen kisses, the longing gazes, and the constant bickering over who is attracted to who – that’s pretty telling.”
This was getting personal, so much so that Jean shifting awkwardly again and this time it wasn’t because of anything going on between her legs.
She thought back to those moments when she kissed Logan, however brief that might have been. She also thought back to the all the flirtatious glances Scott had shared with women like Psylocke and Emma Frosts. Even before that, when she had been involved with Angel and he had been involved with Lee Forester, those feelings were there. There was no escaping them.
“We don’t bicker about those things,” argued Scott. “They happened a long time ago. They’re behind us now.”
“I’m sure that’s what you believe, but I don’t think that’s what you feel,” argued Mary Jane. “I get that you want to be together. You want to keep loving each other with all your hearts. I don’t want to change that. However, I think there’s a part of you – a part that has always been there – that you’ve been repressing. And if you keep repressing it, then it won’t just undermine the love you have for each other. It will utterly break you.”
“You really think we’re that repressed?” questioned Jean.
“Prove me wrong,” said Mary Jane confidently, “or better yet, prove it to each other. Look one another in the eye and say with complete honesty that you don’t hold back. Convince one another that you don’t have greater desires…intense desires that always seem to be bubbling beneath the surface.”
It was a challenge Mary Jane had to know they would fail. Jean didn’t need telepathy to figure that out. The Red Queen had already been convinced. All that remained was for Jean and her husband to convince themselves, a task that seemed impossible, even for experienced X-men.
That didn’t keep her and Scott from trying. Under Mary Jane’s powerful gaze, she turned to her husband and he turned towards her. They gazed into each other’s eyes with an intensity they hadn’t had since their wedding day. Jean remembered that day and that look so vividly. In that moment, there was no way she could say anything other than the heartfelt truth. No amount of telepathy, illusion, or psychic manipulation could do otherwise.
Her silence, as well as Scott’s, told her everything she needed to know. There was nothing she could say to discount anything this woman had told them. It was a powerful and revealing moment, one that put her love for Scott and their marriage in a very different context.
“Jean, I…” began Scott, struggling to form coherent words.
“Please, Scott…don’t,” said Jean, already knowing what he was trying to say.
“I’m sorry,” he said with his head held low.
“No. Don’t apologize,” Jean told him. “You’re my husband. I love you too much to lie to your face…so I’ll just come out and say it.”
No longer able to hide it, Jean took a deep breath and prepared to put her deepest, dirtiest desires into words. She had been avoiding them long enough.
“It’s true. I’ve kissed other men before…namely Logan. But a part of me enjoyed it. Another part of me thinks about doing more than kissing. I’ve had thoughts, feelings, and fantasies about other men. I’ve thought about kissing them, touching them, and…having sex with them. There are even times when you’re away on missions where I lay alone in our bed and…well, you know.”
“You masturbate until you have an orgasm…or several,” said Mary Jane, helping to finish her lurid thought.
Now Jean was really blushing. She didn’t meant to be that overt, but it was too late now. She had to divert her gaze for a moment, but Scott didn’t let it get to that point. He reached over, cupped her chin, and kept gazing at her with those shrouded, yet powerful eyes of his.
“It’s true for me too. The other women in my life – Madelyne, Betsy, and Emma – even if I never kissed them, I think about it too,” Scott told her. “There are times I think about them…fantasize about them…often in very particular ways.”
“You can say it. You think about having sex with beautiful women,” said Mary Jane, rolling her eyes. “It’s okay. You just have that much more in common with most heterosexual men.”
“It’s not just them either,” Scott went on, as though he hadn’t even heard Mary Jane. “There are times I think about you too…sometimes in ways I’d rather not project.”
“I’m your wife, Scott. You don’t have to hide those thoughts from me,” said Jean, trying to make this less awkward.
“If you knew the contents of those thoughts…the things I want to do with you, to you, and sometimes with other women present…I’m not sure you could handle it.”
“Even after everything we’ve been through? After everything we’ve overcome to be together?”
Scott shifted awkwardly again. Just mentioning those thoughts was getting him worked up. Jean hadn’t sensed this kind of distress in him since their first date. The idea that he had all these lurid thoughts about her and other women – thoughts he hid from her, just as much as she hid hers from him – felt like a harsh splash of truth.
However, given all the issues they had faced and all the complications they had overcome – including clones, death, and resurrection – perhaps such harsh, unfiltered truth was overdue.
“Honestly…it’s because of all those things we overcame that I kept these things to myself,” he said. “Between being an X-man, being a leader, and being your husband…I just didn’t want to lose control of everything. I didn’t want to lose you.”
“Scott, you’re talking to someone who’s had to control a cosmic force…someone who literally came back from the dead for you,” said Jean, adding some deeper sincerity to her tone. “Do you really think I’d let a few kinky thoughts destroy all that?”
“Of course not, but…” said Scott, only to struggle once again to find the right words.
The mood remained tense. Jean sensed his mind going too fast, even for a skilled telepath to process. Thankfully, the Red Queen stepped in again.
“We’re not just talking about a few thoughts now, are we?” said Mary Jane. “It’s one thing to have a few naughty dreams every now and then. Even the best of us have them. What you two were thinking and feeling…hell, even a former prostitute couldn’t do it justice!”
“I’m…going to stop trying to prove you wrong, Ms. Watson,” said Scott sheepishly.
“Good,” she said, “because that’ll make this next part a lot easier. I didn’t invite you two here just to make you uncomfortable and horny.”
“A little late for that,” said Jean under her breath.
“I brought you here for two important reasons. The first should be obvious. The Hellfire Club needs more allies. If I want to keep doing good with this kinky club here, I want to make as many connections as I can. Wolverine was a good start. With you two – by far, my harshest critics – I think the all-new, all different Hellfire Club can get even more ambitious!”
“That’s all well and good, Ms. Watson,” said Jean, “but I’m more interested in the less obvious reason.”
“I had a feeling you would be,” said Mary Jane with another grin. “After what we just discussed, I now know it’s more pressing than I thought.”
The Red Queen cast a mischievous glance to the man in the red mask still sitting in the audience, who remained silent during this entire awkward conversation. They must have had something elaborate planned because he nodded back and smiled, making it a point to guard his thoughts so that he wouldn’t leak the details. It was enough to make Jean both anxious and excited.
As the masked man went to work, Mary Jane walked towards the back wall of the stage, which looked fairly innocuous aside from a few strategically-placed mirrors. However, Jean had a feeling there was more to it than that and she didn’t need telepathy to figure it out.
“Like I said before, I know all about your history with the Hellfire Club,” the attractive redhead continued. “The old regime did a lot to hurt you. Well, for this new regime, I want to make up for it. And in my kinky experience, the best way to do that is to turn old pain into new pleasure!”
With a simple nod, the man in the red mask retrieved a remote control from his pocket and pressed a button. That triggered a mechanism on the stage that caused the back wall to retract, revealing an elaborate setup that clearly involved a lot of kinky thoughts.
The setup included a large, king-sized bed with white and red linin sheets, complete with an array of mirrors that had been arranged with an audience in mind. There was also a small sofa on the side, surrounded by a plush rug. However, the most defining feature of the setup wasn’t a piece of furniture. It was a person, specifically Emma Frost.
It looked like she had been waiting patiently for this, almost to the point of boredom. She was sitting at the foot of the bed, wearing her X-men uniform with her legs casually crossed. In her hand, she held an ominous-looking black box. As soon as Jean saw it, the strange signature she had sensed earlier came rushing back to her.
“There it is! That’s what you’ve been sensing!” the voice from earlier told her. “That’s what has been calling out to you since this whole thing began.”
For a moment, Jean remained frozen and so did Scott. He too was taken aback, probably worrying about whether Emma had been listening to their conversation. Jean had a feeling she knew just as much as Mary Jane at this point.
“Emma?” gasped Scott. “What are you doing here?”
“Besides memorizing the looks on your faces for the rest of my life?” said Emma with the curt grin that was so distinct. “Well, I am still the White Queen of the Hellfire Club last I checked. So when the Red Queen here pitched this wonderfully kinky idea of hers, I just had to participate.”
“Had to or wanted to?” questioned Jean, already fixated on the box she was holding.
“That should become obvious soon enough, darling.”
Then, her grin not fading in the slightest, Emma turned to Mary Jane.
“Shall I, my fellow queen?” she asked.
“Go ahead,” said Mary Jane. “I was going to be more careful before we got to this part, but these two have convinced me they need this. They need it a lot.”
“I couldn’t agree more!”
Getting up from the bed, her gaze narrowed on her and Scott. Not sure what to make of any of this, she remained frozen next to her husband. She could only watch as Emma stepped towards them, opened the ominous box, and revealed something Jean never thought she’d see again.
“Is that…” Jean began as she gasped in amazement.
“It is,” affirmed Emma Frost before she could even finish. “It’s a shard of the M’Krann Crystal. In fact, it’s the same shard Mastermind and Sebastian Shaw used to corrupt you during your first here.”
“And you’ve bought it here? To this place? To us?” exclaimed Scott. “Why? What the hell do you hope to accomplish with that thing?”
“It’s simple, really,” said Mary Jane. “With the power of the M’Krann shard, we’re going to help unleash all those pent-up desires in the best possible way!”
Mary Jane glanced over at Emma and casually nodded. Another mischievous grin formed on the attractive blonde’s face. That used to be a bad sign for the X-men. Scott was still somewhat defensive, looking ready to fight back at a moment’s notice. Jean, however, remained eerily calm. It was as though a part of her knew what was coming and wanted it to happen.
“Don’t bother bracing yourself. You know you want this,” said that voice from earlier.
Reaching into the box, Emma carefully grasped the glowing crystal shard in her hand. She then held it up and, as if sensing Jean’s presence, it lit up like a miniature star. Within seconds, it bathed the whole club in a reddish orange glow. It was not unlike the glow of the Phoenix Force, which Jean doubted was a coincidence. In fact, it felt very similar to the Phoenix Force. Except, this wasn’t filling her with overwhelming cosmic power. It was awakening a power that had always been here.
Jean’s heart raced. The air around her grew very hot. The sound of intense flames, coupled with the shuddering of walls and chairs, filled the room. Then, as this strange energy intensified, it began to coalesce around the shard, taking the shape of a fiery bird that she and Scott knew all too well.
“The Phoenix…” began Scott, remaining in a defensive stance.
“It’s okay, Scott,” she assured him, taking a step closer to the light. “Just…let it come to you.”
Her words kept her husband from doing anything rash. Then, as he stood by her side, the fiery energy from the crystal shot out in an intense burst, striking her and Scott in a way that momentarily bathed them in a fiery light.
From this light, the familiar halo of the Phoenix briefly formed around them. However, this wasn’t like the cosmic power that had once consumed her. She already had that. This was more like a missing piece…one that kept her from feeling complete.
As this fiery energy surged through her, Jean felt herself overwhelmed by another powerful feeling. However, unlike her previous experiences at the Hellfire Club, this feeling was welcome…if not overdue.
“Oohhhh!” she moaned out, as though she had just had an orgasm.
“Hnnn…Jean,” said Scott, his defensive poise shifting into something much more relaxed.
It was incredible. It was as though something had reached inside her, shattered all the walls and barriers she put up around her, and tapped into a world of potential that had always been there, but had never been realized. Jean hadn’t felt this kind of rush since she first tapped the power of the Phoenix. Unlike that experience, though, this was overwhelming in a very different way…a very sensual way.
If she thought she’d been horny before, then Jean had seriously underestimated her sex drive. Her inner thighs were on fire, causing her legs to shift awkwardly. Her skin was hot, as if it was going to burn right through her clothes. She wasn’t just horny. She felt like she wanted to fuck from now until next Sunday.
Looking over at Scott, she sensed in him the kind of intense desire she hadn’t felt since their honeymoon. The way he was looking at her, she could tell he was prepared to bend her over the nearest table and fuck her brains out. She picked up on all sorts of lurid thoughts about all the ways he wanted fuck her. Some of them didn’t even involve just her. This man – the same man who’d done such a masterful job controlling his passions, often to the point of being uptight – wanted to fuck her like he’d never fucked anyone before.
It was overwhelming in the best possible way, like this had to happen at some point and they waited way too long to let it. Even after the fiery halo around them faded, she was ready to embrace this feeling. However, even with all her husband’s lurid thoughts, satisfying this dire would require more…much more.
“Wow! That feels…wow!” said Jean, flushed with excitement and awe.
“I know,” said Scott, sounding like kid on Christmas. “I feel so…”
Neither of them could put it into words. Jean didn’t bother trying. That didn’t stop Emma from filling in the blanks.
“Energized? Liberated? Horny?” said Emma in a humored tone. “Don’t worry, darling. That’s normal.”
“It gets better!” said Mary Jane, now standing next to Emma. “I think it’s time we take this to the next level. So why don’t you take off those itchy clothes and we’ll get started!”
Up next: Overwhelmingly Overdue