Daughter of the leader of the New Orleans Assassins’ Guild, Bella Donna Boudreaux was born while the Guild was involved in an ages-old conflict with the similarly-structured Thieves’ Guild. Bella first met Remy LeBeauGambit when they were children. Although she and LeBeau came from very different backgrounds, they nevertheless became fast friends. After LeBeau was accepted into the Thieves’ Guild, Bella’s friendship with him was seen as a chance for an alliance between the Guilds, and the two were betrothed by their respective parents. Immediately after the wedding, Bella’s brother Julien refused accept their marriage and challenged LeBeau to a duel. LeBeau won, and as punishment for killing an Assassin he was excommunicated from the Thieves’ Guild and exiled from New Orleans.
Over the ensuing years, Bella’s own mutant powers manifested, and she grew bitter toward LeBeau for abandoning her. The External Candra was a driving force behind the Assassins’ Guild, and she too held a grudge against LeBeau. Candra perpetuated Bella’s hatred for him, and even assisted her in developing her mutant powers. Subsequently, at a time when the Guilds were being infiltrated by the insectoid alien Brood, Bella sought LeBeau, now Gambit of the X-Men, to help in opposing them and allied with them and the Spirit of Vengeance Ghost Rider (Daniel Ketch) against the Brood. Bella was instrumental in defeating the Brood Queen, but nearly died from the strain and fell into a coma. Gambit was able to obtain the Elixir of Life from Candra to heal Bella; however, during the process, Gambit’s lover and X-Men teammate Rogue accidentally touched Bella, thus unwittingly absorbing some of her memories. As a result, Bella awoke without any knowledge of who she was or her past with Gambit.
Eventually Bella’s memories returned and, following her father’s death, she assumed leadership of the Assassins’ Guild. Seeking revenge, Bella kidnapped Rogue’s childhood friend Cody, luring Rogue into a fight. Bella had Candra strip both Bella’s and Rogue’s powers, but Rogue was still able to defeat her. Later, Bella took advantage of several contracts taken out on Gambit’s life by the New Son, the Gambit of an alternate reality. Gambit had since become patriarch of the Thieves’ Guild, and Bella confronted him after he defeated the mercenaries hired to kill him. They became trapped in a collapsed building, wherein they reconciled their differences after Bella confessed that she still loved him. They agreed to work together in uniting the Guilds, and though Gambit was initially voted in as leader, he eventually stepped down and Bella took up the position.
Bella later met and romanced Bandit, who was secretly using her to gain control of the Unified Guild. Gambit was able to provide her with proof of his scheme, and after teaming with him and Gambit against mutinous Guild members, she rejected Bandit.