He pressed his mouth to mine in what I thought would be a kiss, but instead, he pulled my bottom lip in between his teeth and bit hard.
“Do not make me teach you another lesson,” he warned as he turned and walked out of the room, leaving me with the taste of blood in my mouth.
I didn’t even bother getting dressed again. It didn’t matter. I had no dignity left. It had literally been choked and beaten out of me. The worse part wasn’t the pain. It was the fact that I laid there in bed feeling remorse. Sadness that Pike had left me. I wanted his touch. I wanted him to claim what I would willingly give. Rejection hurt far worse than the welts on my ass.
“Please go away,” I whispered as I heard Cross enter the room. I knew it wasn’t Pike, and the knowledge that he hadn’t returned to offer any form of comfort, or even more discipline stabbed at my heart.
“Truth?” Cross walked to where I laid completely nude. “Are you all right?”
He sat down on the edge of the bed and reached for my hand. Even though I was completely naked, he didn’t seem to notice. He only stared into my eyes. “What did Pike do?”
“Why do you care?”
I held my stare with his and allowed the tears to fall. “Why didn’t you stop him? If you care, why did you let him come in here and do what he did?” I swiped at my tears and turned to my side, facing my back to him. “You didn’t hear me cry out?”
“I heard you.” His voice was so quiet. So sad.
“And yet you did nothing.”
Cross sighed loudly. “There are things about my brother and me that you don’t understand. We are Lifeblood Twins.”
“I too was a Lifeblood Twin. Don’t act like I know nothing about it.”
“Then you understand the yin and yang of our bond. If he is bad, then I am good. If he is mean, then I am nice. If he is stronger, then I am weaker. It is the way.”
I rolled back on my back to look at him and hissed when my punished flesh made contact with the bed. “Yes. I understand that one twin is stronger in one trait than the other twin. But not to that extreme.”
Cross reached out and rubbed his fingertips along my neck. Tracing the sore areas on my skin the belt had caused. “It is to that extreme with Pike and me. It always has been. We don’t share traits. Either he has it, or I do.”
“That’s not possible,” I argued.
“It is. No matter how hard I try to be strong, Pike is always stronger. And I don’t think it is possible for Pike to feel anything in his heart but darkness. I carry all the light, while he is blanketed in black.”
I studied Cross’s expression and took in how sad his confession made him. “So he is evil, and you are good? Is that what you are telling me?”
“Yes. I believe so. I am gentle; he is rough. I love; he hates.”
“Is he never kind?”
“Never. But he is my twin and together we will always be.”
That much I understood. The bond between a Lifeblood Twin could never be broken, no matter what. Even though Trinity was dead, I could still feel her presence strongly inside of me, although it faded a little bit more every single day that passed.
Cross stood up and walked toward the door. “I will be right back.”
He left me there, naked on my back staring up at the ceiling. I continued to cry. I felt such pity for myself, something I had never felt before. I had nothing. I had no one. I had no reason to go on. My life was on a time clock ticking away as it was.
Every tick brought me closer to the moment that I would arrive at Canary, and it was just a matter of time until I mutated and died in the mines. So why go on? Why wait? Why sit back and make the journey to death? Maybe it was time to join my sister now. On my own terms.
Looking around the room, I noticed the chain that had been tossed to the floor. I could strangle myself. I looked up for some way to hook the chain to the ceiling. I could try to hang to my death. Would Pike feel anything at all if he walked in and found me dead by my own hand? Probably not. He would only feel anger for losing his bounty. No pay for dead merchandise.
The door to my room slid open again when Cross reentered. He came to my bedside with a metal jar in his hand. “Roll over. Let me rub this on you so won’t have any marks. It burns like hell, but within the hour, you will be good as new.”