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Literary Criticism

First Page: Kitsune

First Page: Kitsune

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Sombra Alara wasn’t who I was, she was who I was supposed to be. The name meant either “ruler of all shadows” or “shadow ruler of all.” Take your pick; it was just a name. As Scorpio, I changed names and appearances as easily as I changed clothes. The only constant was the stylized butterfly I painted on my face before hiding it behind an illusion. After all, Sombra Alara, my cover identity for this assignment, wasn’t Scorpio.

I stepped out of the bathroom and into the entryway where the cool night breeze rustled my damp hair and tickled my nose with the smell of ozone and this rich masculine scent. Whoever else was in my hotel room with me had to be good. I hadn’t even heard him come in.

Instinctively, I reached for the silkwire bands that should’ve been around my fingers, but I had taken them off before my shower. Of course I wasn’t defenseless; I was Scorpio. I listened to the intruder’s steady breathing to pinpoint his location.

Hiding amongst the shadows, I slipped into the darkened bedroom and came up behind him. As I slid my hand under his black hair and reached around for his chin to snap his neck, he elbowed me in the gut. 

I lurched forward, right into his awaiting fist. Turning my head at the last second deflected most of his power. Still, it was a good hit. I’d say I could feel the bruise forming around my left eye and down that side of my face, but I had too much adrenaline pumping through my system for that.

So, that’s how you’re gonna be, huh? I grinned. This should be fun.

The intruder spun to face me. His breath caught, as did mine. Our eyes met, assessing the opposition. A black mask covered the lower half of his face. What the hell was another Scorpio doing here? Was he here to terminate me?

For a Scorpio sneaking about in other people’s rooms, he was not what I expected. Instead of the form-fitting black Scorpio suit, he wore black cargo pants and a button up white shirt with the top two buttons undone and the sleeves rolled up. Still, he had to be hot. I was, and I was wearing shorts and a camisole. His spiky black hair proofed out in an attractive way. And I was quite certain it rose another degree or two in there.

Scorpio or not, I wasn’t going down without a fight.

Without breaking eye contact, I punched. He blocked. Punched. I blocked, grabbed his forearm, and pulled him into a roundkick. Followed by the edge of my hand to the back of his neck. He wasn’t out yet, but neither did her break out of my hold.

I was about to smash my knee I into his face when he shifted his weight forward and tripped us. He might be strong for a human, but I was a Fox. That gave me just enough strength to overpower him. I rolled over, straddled him. As I pulled my fist back to punch again, he lowered his mask.

He’s not Scorpio? Then who the hell does he work for? How the hell did he find me?

No one even knew where I was, except Scorpio. But there was no getting around the subcutaneous microchip between my shoulder blades, compliments of the Scorpio school system. Not unless I wanted to jam its signal, causing them to be more suspicious of my behavior, or cut the chip out, which was a personal fuck you to the Scorpio Lord himself. When we were trained to disguise ourselves so well, not even our families or loved ones could identify us, Scorpio needed a way to keep track of us.

Yet somehow this masked non-Scorpio had found me. Which meant he was skilled enough to hack the Scorpio database. Or knew someone that was.


First Page: Paranormal Romance Untitled

First Page: Paranormal Romance Untitled

Welcome to First Page Saturday. Individual authors anonymously send a first page read and critiqued by the Dear Author community of authors, readers and industry others. Anyone is welcome to comment. You may comment anonymously. You can submit your own First Page using this form.

“Katrina, you worthless piece of fucking white-trash bitch.”

The door opened with an echoing bang. The man walking in was as ominous as the black clothes he wore. Tall, dark and extremely handsome, he brought with him an air of fear laced with danger. Anger and rage preceded his words spoken with a sharp piercing accent on his displeasure. Throwing the tabloid he gripped in his hand at the woman standing at the counter cutting vegetables, her wide, violet eyes betrayed her fear. Slender and statuesque, she raised her body to her full height. Long, dark, silky hair flowed over her shoulders, covering her breasts. Keeping her poise, she did not speak to the man’s insults.

Her right hand gripped the large kitchen knife as her left hand picked up her cell phone. Hitting “1” on her speed dial, she sent the call as she backed away from the man.

“So, I read in the rag paper that you have accepted a modeling assignment in Paris, after hearing it from a ‘friend’ that couldn’t wait to rub it in.” The very tone of his voice made her jerk with fear.

“Tomas…” She was still on the move to get as far away from him as she could. “…it just happened this afternoon. I was preparing a fine meal for us to celebrate.” Waving the knife towards the chopped food.

Her first instinct to come home, pack and escape was now looking like the better choice.

Her back hit the wall as he reduced the space between them. With one swift move he backhanded her. The knife and the cell phone flew from her hands as she slid down the wall to the soft white carpet.

The explosion in her head put flashes of light in front of her eyes. The cell phone was within in her reach, the knife was not. Snaking her hand out she tucked the cell phone next to her, careful not to hang up.

Tomas picked up the knife and slammed it on the counter. “I hope I have made my point. Now call that vamp agent of yours and tell her the deal is off. Now.” His command was like another slap across her face.

Lifting herself up slowly, the sting of his abuse still radiating on her skin. “But it’s my job, it’s what I do.” Standing wobbly against the wall trying to clear her head of the pain. “It’s a rich paying job.” Her hand with the phone hung at the side she turned towards the wall.

His sinister laugh told her it was the wrong thing to say. “You have a job. Pleasing me. And you don’t need money. I meet your needs.”

His advancement towards her again made her move away from the wall. “Okay, I’ll call Stella.” She turned towards the bedroom, walking unsteadily.

In the room her bags were packed and ready to go. With the caller still on the phone, she picked up her bag and purse. She had to escape. To get away from this madness.

Wheeling her suitcase behind her, she shook her head again to clear it and went out to face Tomas.

Still behind the counter, his eyes flashed with a more intense fury as he watched her come out of the bedroom with her luggage.
“I see you are not taking me seriously. Do I need to make my point clearer?”

Karina stopped, raised her head and squared her shoulders. “No, you made yourself perfectly clear. I am leaving. You and this toxic relationship. Good bye Tomas.”