Welcome to week 5 of Writing Prompt Wednesday!
Remember a couple of posts back, we were introduced to a couple named Kenji and Clover? Yeah, well, here’s another snippet of their story. As a matter of fact, the next few prompts may be with them since I’m going to start working their story.
Hope you enjoy!
Now, on with the show!
This week’s sentence: “When you see a stranger, follow him.”
*****(c) Dawn Ibanez 2017 All right reserved*****
When you see a stranger, follow him.
It was one of the first lessons Kitsune teach their kits.
As he walked down the busy city streets, Kenji decided to amend the lesson. When you see your mate, become a stranger.
Kenji changed his shape to that of an older woman wearing a professional suit. It fit in well with this section of the city. Most tourists stayed away from the less popular business sectors of the city. They didn’t hold the same pulse as the Marketplace. That was just as well. Kenji didn’t want to be around a slew of mortals anyway.
He did want to be near his mate. It didn’t matter that she didn’t know she was his mate. At least not yet. He would give her some time to get used to the idea of being with him. Being the mate of a Kitsune was not for the faint of heart. But Kenji had the feeling that she would accept him. Fate wouldn’t be that cruel. Not when it owed him.
She stopped at a street corner and pressed the signal button for the crosswalk. Kenji slowed his gait and examined her clothes and demeanor. She wore a fitted black suit with white pinstripes. On her feet were stylish black boots with sharp heels. They would be fine as a weapon should she need to kick someone. The purse she had over her shoulder was nothing but a hindrance. Anyone could use the straps against her. But what caught his attention was the pair of leather gloves she wore. Kenji frowned as he thought about the night he snuck into her apartment. She had dozens of pairs of gloves.
When she was with him, he wouldn’t let her wear gloves.
Kenji froze in place as she turned and looked over her shoulder. He nodded at her. The daylight highlighted her regal features making her even more beautiful to him. Once the light changed, she turned and walked across the street.
He continued after her at a slower pace. When she glanced over her shoulder again, he pressed his lips together. She couldn’t know who he was. He wouldn’t have a chance to learn about her if she knew he followed her. So, like any respectful Kitsune, he did what came naturally.
He shifted his shape again.
Mortals were so preoccupied with their own lives they never noticed what was in front of them. Now, instead of a 40-something white business woman, he resembled a Hispanic man in his early 20s. His clothing also shifted to a plan button-down shirt and blue jeans. He wanted to appear as harmless as possible. Scaring his mate was against the rules.
She turned another corner and Kenji could hear a soft cell phone chime. She paused and reached into her purse. Kenji was forced to walk past her. She was so wrapped up in finding that damned device that she hadn’t even realized she made herself a target. A growl escaped him as he passed another building and quickly enters its shadow. He watched her from the side of the building.
His mate lifted her phone up to her ear and sighed. “Hi Bae,” she said into her phone.
Kenji’s eyes narrowed and a growl escaped him. He knew what a bae was. Someone called their significant other “before and after everything.”
His mate would not be calling anyone Bae. Except him.
After he made her love him.
She looked around before continuing her walk. “I’m making my way there now. Keep your pants on.”
Kenji stepped deeper into the shadows as she walked past him. He leaned against one of the two buildings he hid between and scratched his nails down the metal and concrete. Her scent seemed to wrap around him and tease him. Kenji stayed between the buildings for a moment. He had to overcome the urge to capture his mate and steal her away. He knew that would scare her.
He stepped out of the shadows and changed his shape once more. Now he looked like a tall black man. A few of the mortals around him made sure to move out of his way. He didn’t want to concern himself with what mortals thought they saw. No one would believe them anyway. Not when they now lived in an age of computers and videos.
His mate continued her phone call as she made her way to one of the city parks. Kenji smiled to himself as he followed her. If she liked nature, then maybe she would like to visit his home in the Ainodake Mountains.
As she disconnected her call, Kenji looked at the area around them. His mate was out in the open and completely oblivious to the world around her. Everyone seemed to be going about their business, but something about the park smelled off to him. Kenji frowned as he stepped past the gates of the park. The familiar feeling of magic danced across his skin and Kenji felt his shape return to his normal shape. He couldn’t fight his curse.
His mate wandered onto neutral ground. The majority of his magic would be nullified while in the park. Only his truest form would be able to work in the area. Kenji growled as he looked at the various trees along the path. There were too many places for people to hide. And he hated the thought of his mate in danger.
A heavy breeze passed him and Kenji reacted before he realized what he was doing. He ran after his mate and tackled her to the ground. He turned and took the brunt of the impact, only to roll her under him. Before she could ask what he was doing, the garbage pail directly behind them exploded.
His mate’s scent changed from intoxicating to petrified. He pushed himself off her enough to look at her. “Are you okay?” he asked.
She blinked at him. “Matt?” she asked.
He frowned. The first name he wanted to hear from his mate’s lips was not his brother’s. “Kenji,” he corrected. “Matt’s older brother.” He stood and helped her to her feet. Her hands were shaking and one of her gloves were torn. “You live in his building?” he asked, knowing the answer.
She nodded as she tucked her hands into her pockets. “Yes. Thank you,” she turned and reached down to grab her purse when he beat her to it. “I’m Clover. Clover Ramsey.”
Kenji nodded as he scanned the area. People were screaming and checking on their own loved ones as the garbage pail continued to burn. “We need to get you out of here,” he said. As she looked at him, he gently took her arm and guided her further down the trail.
“You’re bleeding,” she said before reaching for his collar.
Kenji grabbed her gloved hands and looked into her eyes. “I’ll heal,” he said softly. A glint of metal caught his attention. Shots rang out in the air and more garbage cans started to explode. Kenji hissed before wrapping an arm around her. One of the bullets struck the pavement next to her foot. He pulled her close, knowing that she was even more terrified of him now. “Trust me,” he ordered before rushing forward and lifting her into his arms.
He growled as her body trembled. He could feel his own changing and gaining more power.
“Tails,” she whispered in his ear.
Kenji smirked as he opened a portal. Normally, he didn’t any of his tails to open a portal that could take him anywhere in the world. Because of the damned spells of the park, he only needed two. A growl escaped him as he tightened his grip on her. “You’re going to feel a little sick,” he said before running through the dark cloud that started to form in front of them.
She kept her face turned from him as he stepped out of the portal and into his home. Kenji would have like to keep her in his arms longer, but her damned phone started to ring again.
“I have to answer that,” she whispered.
He lowered her legs and helped her over to the sofa. When he helped her sit, he noticed how stiff she was. “Do you want anything to drink? I can find something.”
She looked around and felt tears coming to her eyes. “I need to go home,” she said as she continued to tremble. When he reached out to touch her face, she quickly slapped his hand away and stood. “Don’t touch me. Just, please. Take me home.”
Kenji looked at the woman in front of him and straightened. She was his mate, but she also seemed as if she couldn’t stand his touch.
The phone started ringing again. Clover reached into her purse and pulled out her phone. “I’m fine Basil,” she cried into the phone. “I just need to go home.”
Kenji blinked as she nearly collapsed onto the sofa again. Her body shook with sobs as she dropped her phone. Kenji went to her side and picked up the device. “She’s safe. I’ll protect her,” he said to the person his mate called Basil.
“Where do you have my sister?” a man’s voice nearly growled.
Kenji frowned as he watched Clover. She covered her face with her hands as she seemed to cower away from him. “We’ll be in her apartment in less than five minutes,” he said before disconnecting the call. He dropped the phone back into her purse and gently touched her gloved fingers. The leather that covered her fingers was butter soft. He would have to reevaluate his thoughts on her gloves, as soon as he found out why she wore them. “I’ll take you home,” he said in a whisper. When she looked at him sharply, something in his chest pained him. “I have to hold your hand though.”
“No skin,” she told him. “Please, just… no contact with bare skin.” She wiped her face and stood, making sure to leave space between them.
Kenji could remember tales of mystics and mages that could see into the future if they touch a person or object. “You have precognition,” he said with a nod. “I will be more careful.” He stood his full height and held out his hand.
Clover looked around before looking at him. “You’ll take me home?” she asked.
He nodded. “I can take you to Matt’s apartment. Then I will walk with you upstairs to your home.”
Her eyes stayed on his for a long moment. “I’m not sure if I trust you.” She still slid a trembling hand into his.
He grinned and tightened his hand around hers. “You can trust me,” he confessed. “I don’t think anyone else will though.”
I think I had way too much fun with these two. See you next week!