Kort swallowed hard, but could not force the lump in his throat to go down and so he tried to speak around it. With a deep breath, and mustering up all the courage he could, he looked Ellie in the eyes and told her the truth.
“You’re right. I’m different, but not for the reason you think. I’m not Kai.”
“What? Of course, you’re Kai. Who else would you be?” She looked perplexed, and flat out offended that he would think she would fall for such a thing.
“I’m Kort. You remember, his identical twin brother.”
“If this is your way of dumping me, Kai…” Ellie began to get furious.
“No, I can prove it. Look!”
Kort dug his ID card out of his pants pocket and it showed his full name and listed his address as quadrant 1. Ellie couldn’t believe her eyes. She wanted to argue with him, to accuse him of further lies, but it was right there in her face.
Ellie began to shake her head to and fro, her eyes widening and fingers going to her lips as she realized what she had done. She had allowed this man to kiss her, to sleep next to her and hold her, and he wasn’t Kai. She felt like vomiting, but instead, she did the next thing that came to mind.
She slapped him hard across the face, leaving behind a bright pink handprint on his cheek.
“How fucking dare you! What kind of evil, disgusting person do you have to be to pull something like this?! To convince me that you are your brother? The man I love! It’s truly despicable!”
Ellie’s emotions were all over the place, and all she wanted was to hear from Kai. To know he was okay because all of that relief that she’d had when he’d rescued her was gone. The Kai that was in front of her was an imposter, and she didn’t know if her Kai was okay, nor did she know if he felt the same about her as she did about him.
“Why?” Her voice was almost a whisper. “Why would you do such a thing? Do you know how cruel all of this is?”
Ellie held her hand up and shook her head no.
“Ellie, I have loved you since the moment I laid eyes on you.”
“You know, I’ve had several people say that shit, but nobody seems to act like they love me at all! If you love someone you don’t rape them, you don’t abuse them, lie to them and you certainly don’t fucking pretend to be someone you aren’t even if you look exactly like them!” Another smack landed across his cheek and Kort didn’t even try to avoid it. He saw it coming and took the blow because he deserved it, and he knew it.
“You’re right. You’re exactly right. I was desperate for you to love me and not Kai, but that was selfish. I didn’t think…”
“That’s the problem isn’t it, Romeo? You didn’t think! Ronin thinks too much, you never think apparently, and Kai, well he does his best! Has anybody stopped to think that’s why I care so much for him and now I don’t even know if he’s alive!?”
“He hasn’t been confirmed dead, Ellie. We haven’t found him, that is, Ronin hasn’t found him and from what I understand … there’s hope he’s still alive unless Ronin gets to him.”
“Gets to him, what do you mean gets to him?”
Her hand moved to cover her mouth.
“He wants him dead doesn’t he?”
Kort’s silence spoke volumes.
Ellie began rushing around the room, trying to gather anything she could to help her.
“What are you doing?” Kort asked her hurriedly as she went to push past him.
“I’m going topside to find Kai.”
She left Kort staring after her, shaking his head in awe. He really didn’t know her like he thought he did.