Chapter 9

I'm in the bathroom. I have another nose bleed. I'm wiping my nose. This time the nosebleed comes with a bit of a headache and a sickening feeling in my stomach. It's the feeling that lets me know that maybe I didn't belong in this world. I was being rejected somehow. The monthly confessions are over. Knowing that Nick was captured changes everything. My heart is in my throat. I feel this heaviness at that moment that I can't put my finger on.

A second later, Ronin walks in.

It's awkward as fuck.

"What do we do?" I ask him.

Ronin isn't the type to look weak. I can see him struggling with this. Right now he's afraid. He's just as nervous as I am.

"They'll find another way to get with us," Ronin states.

"What about Nick?"

"We can't do anything for him," Ronin states.

"The longer that he's incarcerated the worse it's going to be for us," I explain, "What if he talks?"

Nick knew everything. He knew we were involved with his group. This world didn't forgive. They would kill us. They would kill us both if they knew what we were and who we were. My heart is getting heavy. It's getting so heavy.

"You're right," Ronin states, "We have two options. The first option is to stay here and wait for the Blind to contact us and hope they have a way to get the Parallel Heart back. The second option is to hide out and go to Taured. There we will at least be safe."

"You're forgetting Ronin," I state, "I may not have that much more time."

Ronin shakes his head, "I'm going to get the Parallel Heart back, myself."


"It has to be close," Ronin states.

I didn't like the idea of this. I didn't like it at all. It was almost clear that Ronin was about to do something crazy. I can see it all in his eyes. There is a desperation there. It's this intense desperation that I haven't seen before.

"Ronin, no..."

"Go back to the house. Wait for me," he says, "I'll be back with the Parallel Heart, somehow. I promise."

I'm feeling terrified for him. I lean over though and put my lips to his lips. We kiss. We kiss hard. Our tongues lock up against one another. I wrap my arms around him giving him all the strength that I can manage to give him. It's clear Ronin is doing this because he really cares about me. It's clear now that he was going to risk his life so that I could have the chance at life.

And I knew at that moment that this was real.

I was falling for Ronin.


It's later that day. I look at the time. Three hours have passed. Still no sign of Ronin. I want to pull him up on the tablet but I'm way too nervous. What if I saw a dead body? What would I do? How would I react? I hated the way this world worked. I was beyond against it. Still, I'm in the kitchen looking at the tablet and the only thing that comes to mind is what if he needs my help? What if Ronin needs me to come where he is.

I lift the tablet. I start typing in Ronin. Right when I do it, Adrian walks into the kitchen.

"You're cooking?" Adrian asks.

I drop the tablet immediately and resume cooking.

"Making some pasta," I state, "Figured you were going to be a little hungry this evening."

"That's new for you," he states.

"Trying my best."

"Is that basil?" he asks.

"Yeah, adds additional flavor. It's great you'll love it," I promise him.

I'm trying to keep busy. I want to keep busy doing anything. The fear of Ronin going out there and risking everything to get the Parallel Heart is sending shivers down my spine. I need to keep busy.

"You're making three plates?" he realizes.

"Just in case Ronin comes in."

I set the table. It's kind of weird how Adrian is watching me. He sits at the dining room table and just seems to be watching everything I do like a hawk. His eyes won't let up. I feel uncomfortable as hell.

"Oh of course," Adrian smiles at that a moment out of nowhere, "You two really been getting along huh?"

I sit at the table. We both start eating. The spare plate is there for Ronin and I'm praying that any moment now he'd walk through the door.

"Your brother is cool."

"Just cool?" he asks.

There it was again. The Weirdness.

"What makes you ask that?"

There is a silence at that moment. He knew something. I didn't know what it was but he knew something and it was all making me a bit uncomfortable.

He takes out his tablet at that moment. He puts it on the table. I grab the tablet out of his hand to see what he's trying to show me. It's a video of Ronin. It's not current. It happened some time ago. One of the nights that Ronin was out with Nick. They are at a bar. They are talking. Ronin is clearly drunk. I can tell by how his body sways in the stool. Nick doesn't seem too far from it either.

"I should go back," Ronin is telling Nick, "I should go back to the house."

Nick has a smile on his face when he says, "What you plan on doing?"

"Telling Adrian that he doesn't deserve to be with someone like Ontario."

I look up at Adrian as I watch the video. He's studying my expression as I watch it. He's seeing how I react. I don't have any reaction at all. I keep my face blank. I look back down on the screen nervously.

"You're drunk," Nick states.

"Drunk in love," Ronin responds.

"You barely know him," Nick states.

"It's Lockland's law..."

"Ok. Enough talking to you for the night. Let's get you to bed," Nick states, literally gagging a drunk Ronin.

I drop the tablet. Fuck. Fuck. Fuck. Fuck.

This was bad. This was really bad.

"Lockland's law. Everyone learned about that in like physics. Sometimes there an unnatural dimensional tear can be caused when two soulmates are drawn together."

"I know what Lockland's law is," I states and force a laugh, "It sounds like bullshit though."

"I didn't take what Ronin was saying as bullshit," Adrian states, "It sounds like he really seems to have feelings for you. Did you not get that from what he was saying?"

"He was drunk."

"Drunk minds speak sober hearts," Adrian retorts.

Adrian has a response for everything. He was on it. It's scary how fast he can retort. It's scary how fast he can just spit something out.

My heart is beating faster and faster. The more I'm around Adrian alone the worse I feel.

"You're threatened by Ronin," I ask with a raised eyebrow, "He's a guy with a crush. Big deal."

Adrian laughs. His laugh is forced. It sounds dry as hell. He's pushing it out awkwardly as though I made some joke we both knew was not funny.

"It's ridiculous right?" Adrian asks, "Ridiculous to think that my husband would be entertaining a guy from Taured. I think the problem is that my husband would never really do that. That seems like the problem that we have here huh?"

I pause. This was bad. Real bad.

Just at that moment, the door opens. Someone walks into the house. When the person walks in it's clear who it is. It's Ronin. Ronin is bleeding! His lip is bleeding. His forehead is bleeding. He looks like he just got into a huge fight. I look at the blood on his sleeve. The way he barges into the house is reckless. He's desperate. I can see it all over his face. He didn't have a bag with him. Did he fail to get the Parallel Heart?

I get up at that moment. I get up and look at Ronin. I want to run over to him. I want to hug him so bad. I feel like I'm giving myself away but I can't help it. I stop short of running to him though. I just stare at him.

He stares back at me.

Adrian surveys us from the table.

"Well, well," Adrian says, "We were just discussing you."

"About what?" Ronin asks

"Ronin we were just having dinner, " I state smiling, "Did you want to join us?"

Ronin sits at the table. He looks over at Adrian. Adrian is holding his tablet like it's the holy grail or something. I watch how strong he holds onto the thing.

"I'm itching to know what you've been up to," Adrian tells Ronin.

He looks like he's about to go on his tablet but Ronin interrupts him, "You can just ask."

I'm surprised when Adrian doesn't look on his tablet. Instead, he lifts his eyes at Ronin.

"What have you been up to?" he asks, "Besides being in love with my husband."

Ronin looks at me. He had to feel this was just as awkward as ever.

"I don't know what you're talking about man. I've had a long day and I don't want any of the drama right now," Ronin replies.

"Drama?" Adrian asks, "You were at a bar saying you were in love with Ontario. I saw the fucking video."

"Well the cat's out of the bag," Ronin states, "So what?"

Hearing Ronin stand up to Adrian like this makes me look at him in a different way. He's so unafraid to confront him.

"I bring you in my house..."

"We've never been close," Ronin states, "Let's stop pretending like we ever will be. I've never really been a brother to you. You always looked at me as a man from Taured. You always looked at me as a stain on society."

"That's exactly what you are."

"And I think you're nothing more than a government lapdog," Ronin responds harshly, "And you don't have any backbone to support someone like Ontario. Someone handsome, strong, positive, energetic, confident..."

Ronin looks over at me.

"You're really in love with him, aren't you?" Adrian asks, "You're really in love with my husband? Lockland's law right?"

"Yeah," Ronin states.

"Well, Lockland's law is in regards to the Parallel Heart. You know what's weird is that we found one on your ex-friend, I guess, because it was clear you and Nick weren't dating. Now, what're the chances that a legendary device is found in this group."

It's awkward.

Ronin looks pissed.

"Ask Nick," Ronin responds.

This is getting really bad. It's getting really heated between the two. I'm glad that Adrian doesn't intimidate Ronin as much as he intimidates me though.

I force the situation to breeze over at that moment, "Why don't we just enjoy dinner first? This conversation is getting really heated."

"I am enjoying it," he states with a half smile, "It's interesting that you are enjoying it as well though. I must say. Wasn't expecting that?"

"I made it."

"Interesting you used basil."


"You're allergic to basil," he responds.

I pause. I don't say anything. There is a camera in the dining room. Adrian calls me out with this curious smirk on his face. I feel sick to my stomach at that moment. I just drop the fork. I stare at the food. I don't know what to say. I'm speechless. He just continues to look at me. His eyes just glare at me as though trying to figure me out or something. The Ontario in this world was allergic to basil? What the fuck?

"It has to be some sort of confusion," I state.

"No. No confusion. Our first date you made a big deal about basil being added to your meal. You refused to eat it. You said that you were deathly allergic to basil," he states at that moment.

I get quiet. No response.

He keeps looking at me.

"Well?" he asks.

No response. My heart is beating faster and faster. This is horrible. This is really bad.

"You OK?" Ronin asks me, "Don't let this asshole make you sweat."

"I just want to know from my dear husband, where was our first date?" Adrian asks at that moment, "Do you remember at all?"


Ronin shakes his head, "You don't have to answer a damn thing."

"He does have to answer one thing," Adrian says before turning to me, "Who are you?"

The question is like a bombshell. It was over! We were discovered. Sweat is dripping down my forehead at that moment.

Adrian continues looking at me waiting for me to answer. Ronin is looking at me as well as though he's irritated by Adrain's questioning and wants to make sure that I don't have a panic attack right at that moment. I wasn't good with stress. I was the worst in stressful situations. I can feel my chest closing up almost immediately. I'm breathing heavy.

"Look at me," Ronin states, "It's going to be OK."

Just then Adrian's phone gets a message. He picks it up and reads the message. Ronin doesn't even seem to pay him any attention but I do. Everything was falling apart. Our cover was blown. It was over! It was all over.

"Someone broke into the evidence room. Stole the Parallel Heart..." Adrian states, "It was you, wasn't it? Wasn't..."

Just at that moment Ronin grabs Adrian's tablet out of his hand and smashes him straight across the face with it. I watch in shock as Adrian falls out of the chair. He hits the ground hard. He hits it hard as fuck. My heart was beating. Holy shit. Holy fucking shit.

"Come on," Ronin says offering me his hand.

I grab Ronin's hand at that moment. We were fugitives now. We were out. Everything was out in the open!

"We have to get your passport," Ronin states, "Where is it?"

I look around the house and find the passport.

"How long do we have?" I ask Ronin.

"I don't know but I did get our plane tickets for Taured."

"And the Parallel Heart?"

"It's safe," he says.


"Come on."

We start running outside. We head to the car. We don't make it far though. There are lights! The lights are everywhere! They start shining down on us like alien UFOs from every fucking direction.

"Fuck..." is all he can say.

We were caught. We'd be interrogated and killed. It was clear as day. Dozens of cars pull up and they are telling us to our hands up. I drown out all the noise at that moment. I look over at Ronin. He didn't have to do this. He didn't have to do any of this. I was scared that this might be the last time I see him alive. I'm scared that this might be the last time I get the chance to do it.

So I lean over and I kiss him.



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