Blade’s Edge Deleted Scene

Blade’s Edge is, in part the story of twins. Talyn, the bad twin, is the heir to the Matriarchy of Zona; her sister Taryn (“l” for eviL, “r” for Righteous) is a soldier in the elite cadre that guards the matriarch and the palace.

Even though they’re genetically identical, it’s easy to tell the two apart, because Taryn has a scar under her left eye where her sister attacked her with a knife just before their 16th birthday.

Talyn gets better, but not until after this book ends.

This is the scene where Sharif Mustafa Tanaka IV (alpha of iteration 6) kidnaps Zonan Crown Prince Talyn Penthes. First my editor made me write it during revisions, and then she cut it from the final manuscript (and then she left the company three weeks before the book went on sale, but that’s another story).

This was the only full scene she cut, so here it is:

Varakis was gaining on her, from the sound of footsteps. Talyn dashed around a corner and opened a door without really looking at the other side, then leaned back against it with her eyes closed to try to catch her breath.

“Hello, Little Prince.”

She opened her eyes and realized she had found her way back to the audience chamber with Varakis practically on her heels, and the offworlder was two feet away from her.

“Hello, Tanaka. Sorry, I don’t have time to chat.” She pushed away from the door and tried to step around him.
He caught her by the wrist, digging his talons through her sleeve into her skin.

“Actually, you do.” The door opened behind her, knocking into his arm. He didn’t let go.

Talyn knew who was coming through the door; she tried to run, but Tanaka’s hold kept her where she was.

“I’ve waited fifteen years for this, you royal bi—” Varakis broke off and made a noise like a surprised grunt, which was followed by a clatter that could have been a knife dropping to the floor.

Talyn risked a glance over her shoulder; Varakis had slumped to the floor and Tanaka was holding a strange contraption like a weapon. And the knife had been a large one.

“Did you kill her?” She was amazed that her voice sounded almost normal.

“No. You and I need to have a conversation too personal to shout it across an empty room.” He let go of her arm long enough to move Varakis off his foot.

“I won’t go quietly,” she warned, even as she was backing away.

“I didn’t think you would, so I brought some insurance.” Tanaka smiled and lifted the weapon. “It’s a tranquilizer.”

Too late, she realized he was crowding her into the corner next to the door. “The entire planet knows Taryn is better than I am, now. She’s stronger, faster, more talented.” She felt a wall at her back and knew she couldn’t run from her fate any longer. “Just kill me. I don’t need to be humiliated any more.”

“I have no interest in killing you,” he said.

“There she is!” was followed by running footsteps, but Talyn had no way to move.

He frowned, then pulled up her chin. “My apologies, but I refuse to put up with continual interruptions.”

“You, offworlder! Hand over the imposter.” It was practically a growl. Talyn peeked around Tanaka and recognized one of the men who had accompanied the Barian Crown Heir on his trip into Zona.

He sighed. “You see what I mean?”

“I’m talking to you, blue-head.”

Tanaka twisted his torso, his weapon shot out almost faster than her eyes could follow, and there was another surprised grunt. “And now, Little Prince, it’s your turn.”

Something touched her neck, there was a tingling, and then the world went away.

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