Love or Tradition

By Sara Hajduk

Romance / Drama

Chapter 16

Tobias takes me to the training room and opens one of the cabinets. I look around the training room, observing the various target practices and punching bags around the room.

"Ok, let's start with guns," Tobias says, walking over to me. He hands me the gun and I wrap my fingers around the cold weapon. Tobias leads me over to one of the targets, positioning me a few feet away from it. "First off, make sure your stance is good." He spreads his feet shoulder length apart and holds the gun arms-length away from him. I try to copy his, holding the gun away from me. "Then, focus on the target in front of you." I turn my attention to the target, focusing in on it. "Now breathe in…" Tobias takes a deep breath then lets it out. "Then shoot." He pulls the trigger and the guns fires, the bullet piercing the center of the target. I stare at the target, amazed that Tobias is able to get the center on the first try. He's had years of experience, I tell myself. I look at my target, taking a deep breath and letting it out. I pull the trigger but when the gun fires, the reconcile pushes me back and the butt of the gun hits me in the face. I shake my head, handing him the gun. "No, I don't think I'm ready."

"You can't be afraid of the gun," Tobias tells me. "Nor the reconcile. Also, you didn't see where the bullet hit." He gestures for me to look at the target so I do. My eyes widen when I see that the bullet hit the edge of the target but then I turn away. "I didn't hit the center though."

"It's better than nothing." Tobias holds the gun out to me. "Try again, I'll help you." I take the gun again, turning to the target and taking my stance again. "All right, you are a little too tense." Tobias places a hand on my lower back, making my heart race. "Now, keep your feet firmly planted on the ground." Tobias' breathe tickles my ear and I find it hard to catch my breath. "Now, take a deep breathe…and shoot." I do as Tobias says and pull the trigger, this time though, I'm ready for the reconcile. The bullet hits closer to the center this time and I feel a little bit better. I turn to Tobias, giving him a small smile. "Thanks."

"No problem. Do you want to continue with guns or go on to knives?"

"I would like to try the knives."

Tobias nods then takes the gun out of my hands. He places the guns back in the cabinet then grabs some throwing knives. Tobias hands me three knives while he holds on to three of his own. "These should be a lot easier for you." He holds one knife in his hand while the other two are in his other hand. I watch as Tobias pulls the knife back, takes a deep breath, then throws the knife at the target, landing right in the center. "Now you try." I nod, turning towards the target. I practice the motion of throwing the knife before taking a deep breath and letting it out. I then throw the knife and it sticks at the center. "Wow, that's pretty good for your first try." I throw the other two knives and they stick at the center. "You're good at knife throwing."'

"I've had a good teacher."

Tobias smirks at me then leans down, placing a kiss on my lips. I'm about to wrap my arms around his neck when I hear voices getting closer to the training room. We separate just in time for Uriah, Marlene, Lynn, Zeke, and Shauna to enter the room. They stop talking when they see us in the room. "Tris?" Uriah asks.

"Hey, guys," I greet, waving my hand.

Uriah runs up to me, picking me up in his arms, and squeezing me tight. "It's been so long since I've last seen you!"

"Uriah…air."

"Oh, sorry." He puts me down as the others come over. "What are you doing here?" Shauna asks.

"Well, I wanted to learn more about Dauntless so I asked my parents if I could come over and learn more about it," I answer.

"So what are you doing with Four?" Uriah asks.

"I'm teaching her what a Dauntless would learn," Tobias growls. I look over at him, noticing that he's glaring at Uriah. Is Tobias…jealous?

"Sorry I asked," mumbles Uriah.

"So what have you learned?" Marlene asks.

"I learned to shoot a gun and throw a knife," I answer.

"Have you learned fighting yet?" asks Lynn.

I shake my head.

"Well, now is a great time to learn," Uriah says, taking my arm and pulling me towards the ring.

"I haven't taught her anything about fighting yet," Tobias says.

"Don't worry; I'll go easy on her."

Uriah pulls me into the ring then gets into a fighting stance. "Copy my fighting stance." I hold my arms in front of my body, ready to fight, and place my feet firmly planted on the ground. "Good, now try to hit me." I throw a punch at him but Uriah easily catches it. He shakes his head at me. "You need to throw some force into that punch. That was also the easiest punch I have ever caught in my life."

"Sorry if I was originally Abnegation," I state.

"Oh…right, sorry; I forgot." Uriah lets go out my hand. "Well…you can…"

"You should just let Four teach her," says Zeke. "You can't teach anyone how to fight to save your life."

"Yes I can!"

"Who's the one that couldn't teach his own cousin how to fight and his older brother had to teach him?"

"I froze up, that's all."

"Yeah right, Pansycake."

"Hey! Even though I can't teach anyone how to fight, I can beat anybody's ass."

"No you can't."

"Yes I can!"

"If we fought each other, I would totally kick your ass!"

"No way! Four, if Zeke and I fight, who would-"

"Zeke," Tobias answers.

Uriah looks shocked then turns to the girls. "Ladies, who would-"

"Zeke," they answer.

"Even you, Marlene?"

"Sorry, I've seen you and Zeke fight, twice, and Zeke won both fights," states Marlene.

"Well, let's change that." Uriah cracks his knuckles. "You and me, bro."

Zeke shrugs. "Don't cry when I beat you again." He takes my place in the ring and he and Uriah start to circle each other.

"Does this always happen?" I ask.

"Sadly, yes," Lynn answers.

I nod then look over at Tobias. He has his arms crossed over his chest, observing the fight between Uriah and Zeke. I walk over to him and stand beside him, also watching the fight. "So what was that between you and Uriah?"

"What do you mean?" Tobias asks, not taking his eyes off the fight.

"Four, you know you can tell me anything."

Tobias looks at me. "Fine, I was just a little upset that Uriah was able to hug you in public but I'm not."

"Were you jealous?" A smirk plays on my lips. Tobias looks away and I can see the tips of his ears turn red. "No."

"I can tell you're lying, and you don't have to worry about Uriah. I don't know if you know, but he and Marlene are dating; Uriah was just being friendly."

"Yeah, you're right."

"Don't worry, you're the only guy for me."

Tobias turns to me, a smile on his face. He then leans down and whispers, "If we were alone, I would kiss you right now."

"Well, not on the lips." I place a kiss on his cheek and he smiles. We suddenly hear a shout and we turn to the ring to see Zeke pinning Uriah to the ground. "Now tell me, who is the best?"

"You are!" Uriah exclaims, his limbs flying about. Zeke smirks then lets go of Uriah. "Don't you forget it."

"Yeah, yeah." Zeke helps Uriah up then ruffles his hair. Uriah pushes him away, fixing his hair before walking over to us. Marlene walks up to him, giving him a small smile. "Even though you lost, I still love you." Uriah smiles then kisses her on the lips.

"Hey, let's go into the city," suggests Shauna. "We can show Tris around and show her what city life is like."

"That's a great idea!" exclaims Zeke.

"But we have to take the train and I don't think Tris has ever jumped on and off a train before," states Marlene.

"Well she can learn now," Lynn says.

"Yeah, let's go!" Uriah exclaims, walking out of the training room. The others start to follow him and so do I when I feel a hand on my shoulder. I turn around to meet the concerned eyes of Tobias. "I don't know how I feel about this."

"Relax, I'll be fine."

"If you say so."

I grab Tobias' hand. "Come on, let's go see what the city looks like."

"I've already seen the city."

"Well I haven't." We catch up with the group and continue to walk out of the building and down a gravel road towards some train tracks.

"Ok, so crash course on train jumping," says Zeke. "When the train comes, start running; it won't stop. Just run until you are side-by-side with one of the train doors. Then grab onto the handle and jump in."

I'm already lost in Zeke's explanation and I'm about to ask a question when Lynn says, "It's easier than it sounds." I just nod. Soon, I hear the train horn and everyone looks down the track. I see the train coming from a distance. When the train is a few feet away, I notice that everyone is running so I follow suit. The train is suddenly beside me and up ahead, I see Zeke grabbing ahold of the handle then jump up onto the foot rest. He pushes a button which opens the door then gets in. Uriah then jumps in, followed by Marlene, and so on. I keep on running, my legs burning from all of the running I'm doing, until I'm close to the handle. I grab hold of it then jump in, sitting by the door. I try to catch my breath as I sit there, panting like a dog.

"See? It wasn't that hard," Lynn says.

I shake my head. "You guys are crazy."

"We are Dauntless, after all," says Uriah.

"Anyway, when we hit the city, Shauna, Lynn, and I are taking Tris shopping so you boys have to go somewhere else," Marlene states.

"Why can't we go with you?" Zeke asks.

"You want to go clothes shopping?" asks Shauna, an eyebrow raised.

"We'll probably go to a bar and have some guy time," Tobias says.

"Good, then we can meet up in the center of town in…two hours?"

The guys nod, agreeing with this plan. I, however, am not looking forward to shopping. I feel like I'm with Christina again only this time, there's three of them.


We arrive in the city and jump out of the train. Well, more like me jumping then losing my balance and falling on my face. I follow Marlene, Lynn, and Shauna while Tobias, Zeke, and Uriah head in another direction. "So why are we going shopping?" I ask after a few minutes of walking.

"Well, I'm positive that you don't have any Dauntless clothing and you probably got that outfit from someone," says Marlene. "So we are going to buy you some clothes in case you want to visit again, so you'll have some clothes to wear."

I smile, I might actually like this trip. We get to the clothing stores and they drag me into them, making me try on at least twenty different outfits of various styles. Two hours seem to come and go and when we are done shopping, each of us are carrying bags from the ten stores we went into. Most of the clothes are for me but the girls also got their far share of clothing. I got five tank tops, T-shirts, pants, dresses, and workout clothes each, two leather jackets, and one pair of combat boots, flats, and heels each. We are now heading over to the center of the city, where we're supposed to meet the guys. Suddenly, Shauna turns around and gives me a serious look. "I should warn you before we turn this corner not to look at anyone in the eye."

I give her a confused look. "Why?"

"There are people that fight to entertain the crowd. However, these people will challenge anyone who looks directly into their eyes, for it's sort of like challenging the other person. If that fighter notices you staring, he'll call you out to fight him. Once that happens, you can't back down."

"Why not?"

"Because it's a sign of weakness," explains Lynn. "You will be called a coward and so will everyone that is around. We are fighters and those who don't accept a fighting challenge are not considered to be fighters."

"So if I don't look at any of the fighters, I should be good?"

"Yeah," Marlene answers. "Not looking at the fighters means that you are not ready to fight and that you still need practice. These fighters have had years of experience and they will not go easy on beginners, especially people who have not learned how to fight yet. So just stare straight ahead and don't look at anyone who asks to fight them."

I nod and we continue on our way. Once we turn a corner, my eyes widen in surprise and wonder. There are mini fighting rings all over the place and some of the fights are going on now. During the matches, there are people gathering around the ring, placing bets on who is going to win the fight. I follow the advice the girls have told me and look straight ahead, not looking at any of the rings. So far, most of the rings I have passed are people fighting so I don't have to worry about taking a quick peak before moving along. Right before we are clear of all of the mini rings, I hear a man shout out, "Who challenges the unbeatable fighter, Snake?" Curiosity gets the best of me and, before I could comprehend what I'm doing, I turn to get a look at Snake. He has spiked green hair and brown eyes, with a nose, lip, and eyebrow piercing. He is wearing a black tank top, pants, and combat boots and on both of his arms, there is a tattoo of a snake curling around his arm. As I'm about to look away, I see Snake staring at me and all I can think of is, shit. "You there," Snake calls, pointing at me, "You dare to challenge me?!"

Curse my curious mind! I think to myself. I see Shauna, Marlene, and Lynn staring at me, with wide eyes filled with horror. Before I can think of a response, Snake says, "What's wrong, little girl? Are you too scared to fight me? Are you a coward?" Anger fills my body and I drop the bags I'm holding then start walking over to him.

"Tris, don't," Shauna says, walking beside me. "No one has ever beaten Snake before and you have yet to learn how to fight. He'll beat you to a pulp!"

"I thought you told me that I couldn't back down from a challenge for I would be a coward," I tell her. "I'm not backing down from this fight." I get in the ring then get into a fighting stance. It is then I realize what I have gotten myself into and I know there is no turning back now.

Suddenly, Snake's fist comes flying towards me and hits me in the face, knocking me off balance. I rub my cheek before throwing a punch but Snake easily grabs it and twists my arm behind my back. I let out a yelp of pain as Snake repeatedly knees my in the gut. I shot my leg out, kicking his legs out from under him, and we both tumble to the ground. I get out of Snake's grasp then stand up, wiping my mouth. I suddenly taste blood and I look at my hand, seeing a spot of blood. I look back up to see Snake grinning at me. "Well, well, well, looks like someone doesn't know how to fight." He cracks his knuckles. "Let me teach you a lesson about learning to fight before trying to be a show off." I try to think of what to do when Snake punches me in the face again. This punch has more force than the last one which knocks me to the ground. Snake stands over me, fist raised to hit me, when someone grabs his wrist, preventing him from hitting me. I look to see who stopped Snake when I see none other than Tobias, looking pissed.

"F...F...Four?" Snake asks, his voice quivering a bit.

"Tris," Tobias starts, holding out his hand, "tag me in." I tag his hand then I feel someone grab ahold of me and carry me away from the ring. I'm placed on the ground by the group and they ask me if I'm ok but I'm only focused on Tobias. What happens next shocks me beyond belief.

Tobias twists Snake's wrist until a snap is heard and Snake cries out in pain. Snake wrenches his arm away from Tobias and holds his wrist. He lets out a war cry then charges at Tobias, who easily dodges his attack, grabs his other arm, and flips him over onto his back. Tobias gets on top of Snake and starts beating the crap out of him, not stopping until Snake is out cold. Once that happens, Tobias stares at Snake, breathing heavily, before standing up and walking out of the ring. Tobias starts to walk towards us but he stops in his tracks. His eyes land on me, staring at me for a few minutes, before turning around and walking away from us. Hurt and confusion fills me as I wonder what I could have done to make Tobias walk away from me. I stand, even though my body is screaming at me not to move, and run after him, ignoring my friends yelling at me to come back.

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