It’s time for Writing Prompt Wednesday. The two characters in this one are from a story that I’ve been kicking around (you would be surprised how many stories I kick around). Kenji and Clover have been hard to pin down, but hopefully, I’ll be able to make something out of their romance. Let me know what you think.
This week’s sentence: I remember because I can’t forget.
*****(c) Dawn Ibanez 2017 All right reserved*****
“I remember because I can’t forget,” she said softly. When Kenji looked at her, she swallowed. Her hands trembled as she brushed a hair away from her face. The Ferris wheel continued its climb as she looked at the landscape.
It was completely dark out. She and Kenji were enclosed in their own little cocoon as they slowly rose above the noise and crowds. She would have thought it romantic if she hadn’t decided to throw both of their worlds askew.
Kenji leaned closer to her. “Clover,” he said carefully. “That isn’t how your magic works.” His hands covered her gloved ones, and she could see a slight tremble in them.
“You see into the past when you touch something. When you release the item, you forget what you saw. You come back to yourself.”
Clover looked into his eyes and swallowed as the knot in her stomach strangely started to loosen. She knew Kenji kept secrets, even from her. But it was time she told him her most private secret. “When I was eighteen, I worked with my brothers and the police. There was a case where four men were in a warehouse slaughtered.” She looked at her gloved and rubbed her index finger and thumb together. “Blood covered everything. It was blood and guts and pieces that looked like chewing gum. It was the first time I had seen anything like it, so naturally, I panicked. Stupidly, I tried to run and slipped. I fell into a pool of blood and came into contact with a reciprocating saw.”
Kenji shook her head. “You don’t have to tell me this,” he said softly.
Tears filled her eyes as she reached out and touched his face. “I was pulled into the past. I was the man that captured two fox demons. I was going to get them to show all of their tails, cut them off and sell them. One was red and the other was snow white. The little part that was me remembered thinking that she was so beautiful. I was screaming in my mind as that nameless man started to hack at her. First, it was her eye. Then it was one of her paws. He was upset because no matter how much she howled and cried out, her tails didn’t come out.”
Kenji looked away from her as she saw tears falling from his eyes. “Stop,” he whispered.
“I was there when the red fox howled and was consumed with black fire,” she went on. “I was in that man’s head when the red demon broke his chains and killed everyone in that warehouse. I saw all of it.” She leaned back against the car and wiped at the tears falling from her eyes. “Even when the red fox jumped onto the man’s chest and clawed out his throat.”
She continued to watch Kenji as he absorbed her story. Over the past few weeks, he started to be more playful. Clover rubbed a hand over her heart as she waited for him to say something.
“Her name was Emi,” Kenji said softly. “She was my sister.”
Clover wiped her eyes again. “I thought she would have been your mate.”
He shook his head as he chuckled. “Gods no.” He looked at Clover for a long moment. “You knew I was the red one?”
She reached out and touched his face again. This time she brushed her thumb under his almond shaped eye. “When you thought Billy was going to hurt me, you had the same look. If I hadn’t stopped you, he would be dead.”
He was careful to touch her sleeve as he lowered her hand from his face. “He shouldn’t have pushed you against that wall.”
Clover smiled as he turned his attention to the ground below them. He was trying to deflect. “I did a little digging and found something interesting.” When his body shifted towards her slightly, she leaned forward. “A post-cog will remember visions of his or her mate.” She swallowed as he turned to her fully. “I also know a few shifters said they knew their mates on sight.” Her eyes held his as the first of the fireworks lit the darkness.
Kenji mirrored her position. “After we lost Emi, I was trapped in so much anger that I didn’t take my human form for years. My only family was ready to put me down. And then I sniffed out the apartment above ours.”
She nodded as she remembered. “I thought you were a cat in the shadows. It wasn’t until the day you fell asleep on the hammock outside that I realized exactly what was going on.”
He sighed as the light-show continued to paint him shades of blue green and red. “So, you knew who I was, nearly the entire time?” he asked.
Clover shook her head and held his hand with both of hers. She saw the way his eyes widened and swallowed. “I knew you were important. I didn’t know you. I didn’t know we were supposed to be together in any way. But the more I spent time with you, the less I remembered being that man in the warehouse.” When he was about to pull his hand away from her, she tightened her grip. “The more time I spent with you, the less I remembered the fox demon and the more I saw a protective kitsune I could spend the rest of my life with.”
His hand trembled in hers. “Be very careful of what you say,” he warned.
Clover saw the fear in his eyes. She smiled as she realized they were both terrified of the same thing.
Neither wanted their hearts broken.
Clover felt lightheaded at the realization. For months, she and Kenji danced around each other. They took care to make sure they didn’t touch, or that she didn’t touch any of his belongings. She had been terrified of his rejection, and he had been terrified of her loving him and then turning him away. She turned and looked at the fireworks. “Basil told me once that he used to get his dates to come up here so they could make out,” she confessed.
A smirk crossed his face. “It sounds like something he would do,” Kenji replied. His own eyes widened when Clover lunged forward and covered her mouth with his.
Clover whimpered as she felt herself falling. She didn’t want to become a slave to his memories. Her whole body shook as she tried to stay in the moment of her first kiss. She would not let her magic dictate her life to her. She needed to touch him. To have him touch her. Clover wanted what her father had with her mother.
Kenji’s hands on her arms grounded her. She could feel the terror that radiated from him as he pulled his mouth away from hers. “Have you lost your mind?” he snapped as he searched her face. “You could put yourself in a coma!” he scolded.
Her eyes filled with tears as he put more space between them. “I’m sorry,” she mumbled as she looked out at the crescendo of the fireworks show. “It won’t happen again.” She looked at the dying lights and smiled sadly. “Another memory, to never forget,” she whispered.
Kenji kept his face turned away from hers. “It would be best if you did,” he told her. “If you relive my memories, it could kill you.”
One final explosion went off. It was a red star burst that reminded her of his kitsune fur. “So, I’ll die slowly. Never knowing what it would be like to have the most basic of touches. To be perfectly honest with you, I would rather risk the coma.”
“My sister died in my arms. Forgive me if I refuse to watch my mate do the same.”
The lights of the fireworks show faded and the Ferris wheel started its descent. Clover swallowed as she looked at the parallels of the moment. The ride ending, the fireworks dying and her love life.
All ending and she couldn’t do a thing to stop any of it.
Hope you enjoyed this entry!!! Again, let me know what you think.
See you next time!!!