Rogue knew she shouldn’t have run away from Xavier’s school. Knew it the same way you knew the coffee you just drank was too hot, with that wonder of whether or not that delicious sip was worth the burning tongue. Right now she wasn’t so sure. Catching the first bus she’d found, Rogue had ridden it all the way to the end of the line, ending up deep in New Orleans, Louisiana. Now she was sitting on a stool at a small bar/grill with about twenty bucks left in her pocket, a rumbling hunger in her stomach and nowhere to sleep. She could get some nice hot food for about $7. Maybe she could get lucky enough to find a real cheap motel room. A wire dish with red paper holding a few steaming fried chicken strips and a small side of double fried fries were slid over to her. “If you want a drink, I’ll need to see some ID,” the bartender told her.
“Just water please,” Rogue replied, her ID was in her wallet, but she had turned eighteen just that morning and was still three years from being able to legally order the drink she wanted. A tall glass with ice water was set before her, condensation dripping down the side, quickly forming a ring on the bar. She slipped off one of her gloves and tasted one of the spicy, crispy fries. The dip was just a little sweet and smoothed the kick of the Cajun seasoning so she could eat without having to down her water between bites. She liked the little tingling the seasoning left on her tongue. The chicken was salty and oily in the way only fried and fast food could get away with. Its crispy shell crunched deliciously in her mouth, the meat inside was soft and moist. As she ate, Rogue’s eyes roved the bar, she took in the couple whispering sweetly in the corner to her right, to her left was a few men. One of them was older with graying hair, another was younger, wearing shaded sunglasses, despite the dimness of the bar. She watched the men chat for a short minute before she turned back to her food and watched idly out one of the windows.
Rogue didn’t know that the man in the sunglasses had noticed her just as she noticed him. Didn’t know that behind his dark shades he was watching her as he talked to the men he was sitting with. Didn’t know that as soon as he left the bar he’d be working on finding out everything about her. Didn’t know that by tomorrow he’d be following her as she wandered the streets of New Orleans trying to figure out what to do next. Didn’t know that by the following night she’d be drugged and bound in his basement.