Cross swung his head left and coughed up blood. Then he gazed upon me with a wolfish smile. “It’s my time.” He coughed hard, cringing in pain. “Those bastards got me.”
“This is my fault. I’m why this happened,” I said, somehow physically incapable of shedding tears, but not feeling such agonizing pain since the death of Trinity.
“We should have never left you here,” Cross replied. He coughed again into his fist. “I want you to take care of my brother. Promise me.”
“Stop, Cross. You are going to be fine.” I screamed at Pike who was busy flying the ship to safety. “Pike! I need you!”
Cross coughed again, gagging on the bubbling blood filling his airway. “He’ll need you. Do not let him push you away. Do not. There is love there. There is good inside of him. My lifeblood just stole it all. But I’ll soon be gone. I won’t be able to steal all the virtue any longer. He will be able to have it all. Pike may just need your help to find it.” He coughed again, and his eyes began to fade. “Promise me, Truth. Promise me you will help Pike find my gold light.”
“He was the one, Truth. He was the one who said we had to come back and get you. It was he who didn’t want to live without you.”
I nodded with my eyes clenched shut.
Now Pike would have to live without his Lifeblood Twin.
I opened my eyes when I heard Cross gasp for air as his body slowly died. Gold. The color of life. Of beauty. Of warmth. A color that faded away completely as Cross took his last breath.
Cross! Cross! Cross!
I swam my fingers in the pool of his blood, taking in the last of his warmth. Cross! Cross was dead. Dead! My head spun, and all I could hear was a high, blood-curdling scream. Someone was screaming. I was screaming. It was me.
Cross! No! No, please! Don’t leave me!
I screamed over and over until there was nothing. Darkness. My body finally decided it was time to shut down. Nothing but darkness as I collapsed upon Cross’s blood.
I woke up in my old bed, my old room, alone. I was clean, bandaged, and in fresh clothes. Pike must have done it because…Cross was dead. Gone.
Fresh tears filled my eyes at the thought. I had lost Trinity. I had lost Cross. How much pain could one person endure in a lifetime?
I sat up having no sense of time. I wondered how long I had been unconscious. Hours? Days? Where was Pike? Standing up and grimacing when my feet hit the floor, it dawned on me that I had run at full speed barefoot. Looking down at the bandages, and feeling the throbbing pain let me know I must have shredded the soles of my feet. Limping over to the intercom, I hit the button.
“Pike? Are you there?”
I waited. Silence.
The door to my room slid open before I could call him again. There before me was Pike. Colorless. Void of any red that once illuminated through his large frame. All that remained was a pallid silhouette such as myself. His opaque figure was a painful reminder that his Lifeblood Twin was dead.
I burst into tears. “Oh, Pike,” I cried. “I’m so sorry. So sorry.”
To my surprise, Pike took me in his arms and held me close. He held me while I sobbed, stroked my back while my body shook with my misery. He kissed the top of my head as I apologized over and over again. Never once did he speak. Never once did he stop showing me love, kindness, and comfort. Pike. It was Pike who blanketed me in his white when the black wanted to blanket me completely.
I’m not sure how long I cried against his chest, but eventually Pike pulled me back so he could look me in the eyes. He didn’t say anything. He didn’t need to. I could see his pain. I could see that his entire soul crumbling to pieces inside.
Stroking his pale face with my pale palms, I whispered, “Are you all right?” My white on his white, my pain touching his. Two Lifeblood Twins without the other half.
He nodded. “I will be.” Taking me by the hand, he led me back to the bed. “You need to rest. You’ve been through an awful ordeal.”
I shook my head. “No. I want to stay with you.” The thought of being alone for another second sent a panic through me. I never wanted to be alone again.
“I won’t leave you,” he reassured. He laid me down and crawled in bed beside me. “I made the biggest mistake of my life leaving you once before. I will never leave you again. Never.”
I curled up next to him and pressed my cheek to his chest as he hugged me tight. “I can’t believe he’s gone.”