Thief among us

"Come on Arina, it's no big deal."

"Yeah we do it all the time, just go in there, grab something, and
bring it out here to prove yourself."

Arina looked back and forth between the two girls and sighed, she
desperately wanted to have some friends outside of the mansion, and
these two were generally well liked and had a great reputation for
knowing all of the part spots. But then there was the whole issue
that if she got caught or if Logan found out, as he always seemed to,
it would not bode well for her bottom. In fact, her bottom tingled
just thinking about it.

"Arina?" The taller girl Carrie called, snapping her out of her
doomed thoughts.

"Yeah?" she asked.

"You gonna do it or not?"

"Yeah." Arina took a deep breath and walked into the department
store, turning the brim of her baseball cap low around her eyes. She
walked through, heart pumping in her chest, looking at various items.
She fingered pieces of jewlery on display, pretending to try them on
to see if they fit and secretly she pulled down her sleeve and
wandered out of the store.

She ran down to the alley where her new best friends were waiting.

"Didja get it?"

"Yeah," she said slightly out of breath mainly due to her
nerves, "here." She took of the watch and handed it to Jenna.

"Not bad Arina, not bad. We could definitly use you in our group, if
ya still wanna."

"Sure I do!" She said confidently.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~
2 weeks later:

"Hey Kidlet!" Logan called coming into Arina's room causing her to
jump three feet.

"Umm h-hh-hi Lo-ogan"

Logan riased an eyebrow and looked at his young charge, "what's up
kidlet, you seem jumpy."

"You just scared me is all."

Logan nodded, still disbelieving that nothing was up, he filed it
away for later.

"Didja want something Logan?" Arina asked as calmly as she could
manage.

"I just wanted to make sure that yer homework was done before ya
left."

"Umm yeah, it's right there on the desk."

Logan walked over and read her assignments, "ok have fun kidlet, be
home for supper."

She nodded and waited for him to leave before sighing in relief. She
stuffed some stuff in her bag and tossed it into the back of her
closet. Ever since she met Carrie and Jenna, she was invited to
parties, dances, socials... she was now considered 'popular' and
spent a lot of time outside of home, well that is when Logan would
allow her.

The other part of their 'friendship' was that Arina was still
stealing things to 'prove herself' and each item was kept at her
place, which was difficult to manage without Logan finding out. And
it wasn't just cheap items either. In the past two weeks she had
managed to collect over 500 dollars woth of goods ($657.63 to be
exact).

~~~~~~~
"Hey Arina" Jenna called form their alley.

"Hey."

"Why the long face? you don't wanna play with us anymore?" Carrie
joked.

"Yeah I do, it's just that my guardian almost caught me this
afternoon with the stuff."

"Oh that's too bad, lucky for you he didn't find out."

"no kidding" she mumbled.
~~~~~~


In the early evening someone at the front gate buzzed the mansion.

"Hello?" a female voice answered the page.

"Good evening ma'am, my name is Brian Sheridan, I am from the local
police department, may we come in."

"Certainly," Ororo agreed, opening the gate to allow the two police
crusiers in. Logan came up behind her, "what do you suppose they
want?" she shrugged and opened the front door.

"Good evening ma'am, sir," the pfficer greeting to Ororo and Logan.

"What can we do for you officer?" Ororo asked politely.

"Is there a young lady by the name of.." he paused to check his
sheet, "Arina that lives here."

"Well yes there is. Is there a problem officer?" Ororo asked.

"Yes, I'm afraid there is, is she a student here?"

"Yes."

"Good, then may I speak with the headmaster?" he asked politely.

"Certainly, follow me please gentlemen." Ororo led the four police
officers to Professor Xavier's office. Logan, of course, followed.

"Um, would you please excuse us, this is official police business."
One of the officers said to Logan.

"Look, I am responsible for the kid, so I'll just stay and find out
what shit she's gotten herself into." he replied bluntly.

"What my collegue means to say is that he is Arina's guardian,
therefore it is his right to be present." Charles explained.

"Yes, of course, please mr...ummm"

"Logan."

"Mr. Logan, please have a seat."

"Just Logan, and I'll stand thanks."

The officer nodded and looked at Professor Xavier "We have been
informed that the young lady under your care has been responsible for
the large amount of stolen goods in the area over the last three
weeks. Now, our source was anonymous but it's the best lead we have.
Is Arian home?"

Logan shook his head, "look I think ya got it wrong, Arina wouldn't
steal."

"That may be so sir, but we have to follow up on any lead we get. We
have a search warrant issued by the state," Officer Sheridan said
placing the paper on professor Xavier's desk.

"By all means you have our complete co-operation." Charles stated.

"I appreciate that, it makes our job run a lot smoother, can someone
direct us to the young lady's room?"

Xavier looked at Logan who sighed. "Yeah follow me."

Logan, accompanied by the small group of policemen, headed down the
hall and into Arina's room, where they did a thourough search.

After fifteen minutes Logan was getting agitated, "look, obviously
you got the wrong kid so if you don't mind-"

"Sheridan, looks like we found what we've been looking for," the
young rookie officer pointed out while hauling a napsack of stolen
merchandise from within the closet.

Logan stood there dumbfounded as the police officers dumped the
contents on Arina's bed.

"Looks like everything is accountable, is the young lady home?"

Logan stood in shock and shook his head, absolutely speechless.

~~~~~~~~
Downstairs the police officers stood by the door talking with Ororo
and the professor, Logan wasn't listening anyway, when Arina walked
in the door.

Her eyes grew wide when she noticed the police officers standing
there, holding the napsack that she had hidden in her closet.

The tall officer known as Sheridan looked at the young girl, "Are you
Arina?" she nodded silently.

"Well young lady I'm afraid you are under arrest for thieft." She
looked over to where Logan stood grim faced, looked at the officers,
then back at Logan. She couldn't remember ever seeing him that angry.

"I'll go with you, it's ok." She said quickly, temporarily relieved
to not be in the presence of a very angry Wolverine.

Her relief was short lived though, "Because she is a minor, it is
customary for a parent or guardian to accompany her if the so
desire." Logan nodded and grabbed the keys to the jeep. Arina sighed
and followed the officers outside.

~~~~~~~~
At the station Arina and Logan sat in the captain's office, neither
saying a word to eachother.

"Well young lady, since this is your first offence, we're going to
cut you a break. I've spoken to the store owners and seeing how
nothing is damaged they are not goign to press charges. you are
however not allowed to enter their stores without a parent
accompanying you, understood?"

"yessir."

"Also, you are to complete 150 hours of community service at the
local soup kitchen, all we need now is a parent to sign your release
and you can go."

Logan looked at the officer then at his teenage daughter, "I'll sign
it tomorrow."

"Sir, if you do not sign it now, she WILL spend the evening in one of
our cells."

Logan sighed and nodded, then left the room.

Arina looked up in shock, Logan had left her there, to sit in a jail
cell, she was too young to go to jail (even if it was for just one
night). She started crying as the Captain led her to her cell.

~~~~~
Logan walked into the chilly night, fighting back the emotion inside
him, as tough as it was, this was a lesson she had to learn.

The burly guard handed Arina a t-shirt and pair of pants to change into,
once changed she was put in a communal cell with your basic prositutes,
theifs, and vandalizers (the not so hard core stuff.). She did notice
however that she was by far the youngest woman in that cell.

"Hey darlin, whatcha in here fer?" The tall butch woman, with the black
bandana on asked, approaching the small blonde teenager.

"I..i was caught stealing, s..ss..so no..ow I'm here."Arina mumbled, biting
her lower lip.

"Whatcha wanna go stealing for, a young thing like you, do you got a
family?"

Arina nodded, "but they dont care about me." the older woman sighed and took
a seat on one of the cots, "come sit beside Neli"

Arina studied the woman closely. "Aint nothin goina happen to ya here as
long as im around, now come on an sit down." Neli urged.

Arina reluctantly walked over, avoiding the gaze of onlookers.

"Now, what make ye think dat dey dont care bout ya?" The woman asked with a
small sense of kindness in her rough voice.

"He left me here."

"Who did?"

"My guardian, he was so angry that he didn't want me."

Neli was silent for a long time, then she sighed. "Darlin, do ya know why
I'm here?" Arina shook her head.

"I'm a long time thief, I steal everyhting and anything I can get my hands
on, and I caint control myself. At first it was outta need, now its outta
want, and you know where that's gettin me?"

Arina again shook her head.

"Tomorrow evening i'm being sent to a women's jail facility, 15 years
sentance, so now I have nothing. Do you wanna be like me?"

Arina bit her lip not sure of what to say, until Neli finished for her "Of
course not, because being here no one will want you, you'd be forgotten, a
menace to society. In here you wouldn't see your loved ones for a long time.
now I don't know what caused you to steal in the first place-"

"I wanted to be in the popular group."

Neli and a few other women shook their heads, "Was it worth it?"

Arina stared at the floor for a long time, going over the scenerio in her
head, the cops at the mansion, the look on Logan's face, and then it dawned
on her, "tomorrow" she said out loud accidentaly.

"Tomorrow?"

Arina sighed "My guardian, Logan, he's signing the release papers tomorrow."

"Then obviously he intended to teach you a lesson in here."

Neli regarded the young girl closely, she reminded her so much of herself at
that age.

"you know something, it wasn't" Arian said suddenly.

"Huh?"

"You asked me if it was worth it, I hurt my family, myself, I ended up here
for an evening, I got nothing out of it but trouble, and I'm definitly in a
lot of trouble tomorrow."

After endless hours Arina finally managed to get a little sleep, it
took her a long time because the women that shared the holding cell
were giving her frightening looks that sent shivers up her spine. She
was, in all honesty, feeling very sorry for herself.

She must have fallen asleep, although she doubted it was very long.
She woke up to a foul smelling woman standing over her.

"You girl!" she yelled, obviously very intoxicated. Arina looked up
at her wide eyed. The woman grabbed Arina's shirt collar and pulled
her up against the wall. For a small woman she was relatively strong
Arina observed.

Arina looked at the woman, who was staring her down and talking shit
to her, as though Arina was a piece of trash. She looked around but
none of the women were offering any help or support. The friend that
she had encountered the previous night had already been taken away.

The women in the cell began creating a circle around Arina and the
foul woman holding her collar still. Until the guard came by.

"Arina?" Arian looked up.

"Come on kid, you're being bailed."

Arina sighed in temporary relief, the woman let her go and Arina
scrambled out of the cell and followed the guard to the front offices.

True to his word, Logan stood there, obviously still angry but not as
much as the previous night.

Without second thinking Arina ran and gave him a hug, Logan looked
surprised for a second but quickly returned the gesture. In reality
it had hurt Logan as much as it had Arina to have to leave her there.

Logan grabbed her chin and made her look into his eyes. she saw hurt
and a loss of trust.

The experience in jail had actually scared her quite a bit "Logan I
promise you I will never ever steal anything ever again, I promise"

Logan looked into her moist eyes, "I wish I could beleive ya kidlet,
but ya broke that trust." he responded simply.

Arina nodded. "We'll talk at home" he said. He thanked the officer
and headed outside to the car, Arina followed with a sullen
expression.

The officer watched the two leave and smiled to himself. Some lessons
had to be learned the tough way.

The drive home was a quiet one, Arina sat staring out the window in
relative silence. She thought hard about the previous night, what she
had been told, the look on Logan's face when he walked out on her,
the scary intoxicated woman, The hurt in Logan's voice when he told
her that he didn't trust her. All these thoughts and memories flooded
back to her like a whirlwind of sadness and disappointment.

She snuck a peak over to Logan whose eyes were fixed straight on the
road ahead. She knew that her spending the evening in jail was most
likely not her only punishment from Logan, and as much as it hurt him
too, he knew it aswell.

On the opposite side of the car, Logan's mind too was racing with
thoughts. Leaving her there, forcing his legs to walk out and leave
her there, the restless night of worry and little sleep, how he never
believed she could do something like this. Logan gave her everything
she needed, he couldn't process the reasoning behind her stealing.
The worst part was that he didn't feel that she was trustworthy.

He glanced over at the blonde girl who was now looking out the window
once again. He didn't knwo why but he really cared about this young
teenager, he felt as though she was his real child. But that didn't
make it any easier for him.

They pulled into the driveway and Logan parked that car. Both sat for
a few minutes in silence, neither knowing which step to take next.

"Go to your room kidlet. I'll be up in a minute."

Arina nodded, not trusting herself to speak, then ran into the house
and up to her room, crying all the way. She noticed that it had been
messed up a great deal, she decided it was from the officer's
searching the previous night.

She flopped down onto her bed and without trying she fell asleep.
Logan came up a few mintues later and sighed, he ran a thumb along
her tear streaked face and tcuked the blankets around her.

~~~~~~~~~~~
A few hours later, Arina opened her eyes, feeling somewhat refreshed.
She rolled over and noticed a familiar figure sitting acorss from her.

"hi." she said quietly.

"hi." Logan said, waiting for Arian to sit up. "Kidlet we need to
talk about this."

"I know."

"Why?" He asked quietly and in a very calm manner.

Arina shrugged.

"Not good enough kiddo. Do we not provide you with everything you
need here?"

"yessir."

"then, why?"

"You wouldn't understand." she mumbled quietly, but nevertheless
Logan's ears picked it up.

"Try me."

"Remember that group I was hanging out with so much?" she waited for
Logan to nod. "Well the only reason I got to hang out with them is
because I had to prove myself."

Logan nodded, "so that's where all that stuff came from? because you
wanted to fit in with a group that obviously isn't worth fitting in
with?"

Arina looked at her lap.

"Arina Marie." Her head snapped up.

"YOU are smarter than that. I know you are, you know you are. At
least I thought you were."

"I am."

"Are you?" he retorted, a little more harshly than he meant.

"yessir I am, and I'm sorry, it was stupid. I know that now, I knew
it then, I just...I dunno...I was so excited to have real friends
outside of the mansion, I've never had that before really. I didn't
think."

"Arina you lied to me."

"I know."

"I don't think I've ever been so embarassed, having those officers
come in here and me taking your side only to be proven a fool."

"I'm sorry." Arina said crying again.

There was a long silence between the two of them, then Logan stood
up, "pants down, bend over the bed kid."

Arina looked up at him, she had known that he was going to spank her,
but she really didn't want to be so distant and especially didn't
want what was coming next.

Logan pulled his leather belt from the loops on the jeans that he
always wore. Arina and lowered her pants, leaning over the bed as
instructed. She grabbed a pillow and buried her face in it to drown
out the screams she knew were going to come out.

With a swich Logan had the belt and folded it in his hands, then
without a second thought pulled Arina's underwear down to join her
pants at her knees.

Arina whimpered and let out a yelp as the belt made contact with the
unprotected bottom of hers. And so it continued.

Logna brought the belt down with a relatively sturdy amount of force,
intending on leaving a lasting impression on his young charge who was
no doubt sincerely regretting her shoplifteing escapade.

Arina bawled and screamed as her bottom quickly became lined with red
lines, each joining and overlaping to create on very hot and very
red, sore bottom.

When he was finished he brought his hand down across it a few times
for added measure, then stood her up and made her sit on her wodden
desk chair in the corner for a half hour.

Arina bawled the entire time, she felt very sorry for herself and for
stealing. It definitly wasn't worth it.

When the very uncomfortable half hour was over Logan told her that
she can pull up her pants and immediately she did so, then turned to
look apprehensively at Logan. She knew that he must hate her, and she
felt so bad being the cause for that.

Logna looked at his charge and held out his arms. Immediately she
smiled and ran into them.

"shh baby, that's over now, shhhhh, I still love ya kidlet."

Arina sobbed into the flannel shirt he wore while Logan rubbed her
back.

"Yer still goina be grounded for three months, no leaving the
mansion, no tv, no telephone, and early betime, got it?"

She nodded into his shirt and sighed, she didn't care she was just
happy to have him hold her, she needed it, but Logan needed it too.