“Truth…if I could. I promised myself on the day I first made love to you that I would protect you to the best of my ability. I would shield you from pain and danger. I wake every day with the one purpose to provide for you. But the harsh reality is I can’t give you the traditional. I can’t give you the normal. I can’t give you the type of love affair you deserve.” Cross kissed my forehead before continuing. “Pike is my brother and is not capable of giving that part of him. It is locked up. He is my twin and is a vital part of who I am. I can’t separate from him. Every part of my being won’t allow it. Pike and his aggression is not good for you. I don’t think you are safe around him and it worries me. But I can’t choose between you and him. It’s not physically possible for me to leave him.”
I knew what he spoke of. It was only death that could have separated me from Trinity. Nothing or no one would stand between us if she still lived. I understood completely that Cross could never be without, or go against, his twin brother. It was impossible.
“Pike would never hurt me. I know this.”
“How? Pike is not like you and I.”
“You are right on that, but I feel something from him. He wouldn’t hurt me. At least not really hurt me.”
“Do you hate me?” Cross blurted out with sadness in his voice. “Should I have done more to stop him? Should I have done more to fight for you?”
“I don’t hate you.”
“I hate myself.”
I reached up and lovingly stroked his face. “Don’t. Please know that I understand. I understand completely the pull of the Lifeblood Twin. I understand our situation and our future. I do not hate you at all. I will miss you so very much, Cross. Your gold light will always be a part of me.”
“If I could give you my lifeblood, I would. If I could save you from this fucked up universe, I would. I wish I were stronger. You deserve that. For the first time in my fucking life, I wish I were Pike.”
I looked into Cross’s eyes, wanting one last kiss, but was interrupted by Pike entering the room before I could say anything more.
“Enough. We cannot allow emotions to take over, Truth,” Pike said. “I will no longer allow you to continue this conversation. We have landed and it is time for you to leave.” Pike walked to where I stood embraced in Cross’s arms and tilted my chin so I was clearly staring into his eyes. “You need to accept what I say. You need to stop with the idea that you, my brother, and I can live this fairytale you paint in your head. Accept us for how we are and how we will stay. It is important for you to be strong. Do not, I repeat, do not allow emotion to take over. Do you understand?”
I nodded with the heavy feeling of defeat in my heart. “Yes. I understand.”
“Then it is time to go.” He grabbed me by the hand and led me to the cargo hold. The sound of our footsteps bounced off the metal walls, and I looked around one last time knowing I would never see this ship again.
“There have been reports of mutated canaries overpowering several mines on the planet.”
“Meaning?” I asked. Was he trying to scare me so I would get the spirit of fight to replace the sadness threatening to drown me?
“Meaning that mutated monsters that won’t hesitate for a moment in killing you are running free. Canary is more dangerous than ever before. They kill, they eat, they will tear your body into a million pieces. Do not, I repeat, do not let one near you. A canary will kill you without the slightest hesitation.”
“Serves the planet right. These miners are the cause of this to begin with. Hopefully, if I mutate, I will kill every miner who forced me to inhale the toxic gas to begin with. Vengeance.”
“Truth,” Pike said in a warning voice. “Do not focus on defeat. Focus on survival.”
I had nothing more to say and simply walked beside him, hearing the footsteps of Cross close behind us.
As the door slowly opened, he turned to me and said, “There will be two men waiting for you. Walk up to them, and right before you get there, make a hard left and run as fast as you can. Run toward the foothills of the east. They will have guns, but they won’t want to risk announcing to all the nearby canaries that they are here. And I seriously doubt they will want to waste any of their bullets. From what I have heard, it’s nasty out there. But if you have any chance of survival at all, it is on your own. Do you hear me?”