I had raised myself to be leery of guys named Nick. The fact that either a Joey or a Nick could be the undoing of me wasn’t always my main focus.
I had zoned in on the name Nick with my gut telling me, this would be the name of my would-be killer.
At birth, a Caramori is blessed with two markings etched on our skin of the names of a person destined to be our soulmate, the other our assassin. Mine both happen to be located on the bottom of my feet.
Being on the soles of my feet brought forth both teasing as well as jealousy from my fellow Caramori. I wasn’t constantly reminded of my possible fates at any given moment of my life. I could somehow ignore them if I wanted to. It was ridiculous but in part true.
My name, Edict, happened to be emblazoned on the forearm of a member two years my senior. Not a common name I grant you. But the notion that another Caramori would be your possible murderer had never been known before. We are the protectors of our people. If we are forced to take a life it is only in the act of saving another.
One thing for certain was I couldn’t help but be relieved his name was not on me. There was no way I could ever love someone like him. It was a good thing that they not only kept us mostly apart but continually stressed that I could not possibly be the only Edict in our realm.
But I digress, this isn’t really about him and me. It is about the names emblazoned on my own skin. Those are the names I had to focus on. And it wasn’t until she walked into our training facility with the white lines etching over what could only be every inch of her torso that I saw my name once again lasered on someone else’s skin.
“I heard an Edict trained here.” She struck up a pose almost menacingly in the middle of the gym floor.
Those who I had trained my entire life with, stood taller in her presence. Their statures were always protective of my smaller one. The possibility of another Caramori having my name emblazoned on them could only be a cruel twist of fate.
I found myself pushing through them to come within a foot of her. Our eyes locked before I watched hers rove down my petite frame, sizing me up.
But none of it mattered unless she answered the question on everyone’s mind. My voice coughed slightly as if the query could somehow go unasked and then finally tumbled from my mouth, “What’s your name?”