Love or Tradition

Chapter 8

I am back in my room in Abnegation, packing my bag for the three days I will be spending in Dauntless. I got back home yesterday from Candor and there was a lot of drama between Christina and me about Peter.

FLASHBACK

"He did WHAT?!" Christina exclaims.

"He slapped me across the face and called me a bitch," I say.

"Oh my god, I can't believe he did that! So what happened after that?"

"His parents saw what happened and his father made him apologize to me."

"Really?"

"Yup. Then he told Peter to go to his room and that they were going to talk about his punishment later."

Christina starts laughing. "That's so funny! I can't believe Peter got busted by his parents. Did you start fake crying as well?"

"I did, and it made John even more pissed off at Peter."

"Wow, I knew John was a light-hearted man but I had never seen him mad before. He is usually very calm and doesn't cause a scene. His son must have really pissed him off with you getting slapped."

We continue to talk about the date until it was time for me to leave to go back to Abnegation.

END FLASHBACK

I wished that Peter would have gotten a worse punishment. Dad was able to convince Jack Kang to let Peter off easy so Peter has to serve fifteen days in jail and fifty hours of community service. Usually, if someone hurts a royal, depending on how serious it was, they would be put away for years in jail. However, Jack Kang basically gave Peter a warning and, after he gets out of jail, his parents are grounding him for two months. I wish Peter got more time in jail or a worse punishment but Dad reminded me that it is not in our nature. We are supposed to forgive and forget. One of the many perks about marrying a man outside the kingdom is that I don't have to abide to the rules anymore.

A knock startles me out of my thoughts. "Come in." The door opens and Mom walks in, a smile on her face. "Are you ready, Beatrice?"

"Yes." I grab my suitcase and follow my mother out of my room, outside, and towards the carriage. I hand my suitcase to the driver and he puts it with Mom's bag.

"Have a safe travel, you two," Dad says, giving us a reassuring smile.

"We'll see you in three days," says Mom, then gives Dad a quick peck on the lips. Dad turns to me and places a kiss on my forehead. "I love you."

"I love you too, Dad."

"See you in a few days, sis," Caleb says, giving me a quick hug.

"Don't have too much fun with Cara now," I lightly tease him, making Caleb blush bright red. I chuckle then get in the carriage with Mom. The driver cracks the whip and the carriage starts towards the Dauntless kingdom.


We arrive at the kingdom a little bit past noon. Since we can't stay at the palace, we will have to stay at one of the council members' homes. However, we can't stay at the homes where my candidates live so we only have two options. The one that is in charge of the council members, Max, will let us stay at his home. Each kingdom has a right hand man in case something goes wrong. Max was the right hand man of the late King Amar so after the murder happened, Max took over the council and he has been in charge ever since. Max was single when that happened but I've heard that he had gotten married and now has two sons. However, the wife was a widow and had two boys before marrying Max. I have never met the sons but I've heard from Christina that both of the sons are taken. One had recently gotten engaged while the other one was dating.

We walk up to a house and Mom knocks on the door. The door opens and a man in about his late thirties, early forties opens the door. He has dark colored skin with black hair and brown eyes, with a small beard growing. He is wearing a black shirt, pants, and combat boots. "Ah, Queen Natalie and Princess Beatrice, we have been waiting for you. Come in, my name is Max." He steps aside and we walk into the house. A young woman with tan skin, shoulder length brown hair and brown eyes stands in the entrance of the living room. She is wearing a knee length black dress with black yoga pants and black sandals. The woman smiles warmly at us. "Hello, your majesties, it is nice to have you in our home. My name is Hana. I hope you two don't mind sleeping in my sons' bedrooms."

"You kicking us out already, mom?" a voice asks.

I turn to the kitchen entrance to see two guys walk into the room. One of them has bronze skin with dark brown hair and black eyes. I could see a tattoo of what seems like a tail of a snake curling around his earlobe. He is wearing a black T-shirt with a black leather jacket over it along with black pants and combat boots. The other guy is wearing a black shirt with black pants and combat boots. He has the same skin, hair, and eye color as the first but he looks older and stronger.

"Introduce yourselves, boys," Hana gently orders.

"My name is Uriah," greets the first guy.

"I'm his better looking, older brother, Zeke," says the second.

"You already have a fiancé, you don't need to flirt with the princess!"

"Says the guy who has a girlfriend."

"Please don't argue, you two," Hana pleads.

"Sorry, mom," they both mumble.

"We are sending them off to Zeke's fiancé's house," starts Max. "We don't want them to bother you while we stay."

"We're right here, you know!" they shout.

"Are you sure your son's fiancé won't mind?" Mom asks.

"She can handle the both of them for three days," reassures Hana.

"Here, let me take your bags," Zeke offers, picking up mine and Mom's bags.

"Thank you, Zeke," Mom says, giving him a smile. He nods in reply then walks away.

"Uriah, why don't you take Princess Beatrice to the place where she'll meet her candidates," suggests Hana.

"Sure," replies Uriah. "She can meet Marlene and Lynn while we wait."

Hana nods then Uriah offers me his arm. "Shall we go, my lady?"

I snicker at his terrible fake accent then take his arm. He leads me out of the house and we start walking towards a building just a few miles away from the house. "What is that building?" I ask when it gets closer in sight. The building is huge and it looks like there are people climbing the structure. There are some lines coming down the structure and I see some people flying down the lines.

"That is one of the many places where the people of Dauntless go to train," explains Uriah. "There are punching bags, target practices for knifing throwing and gun training, fighting lessons, etc. There are many different training buildings but this one was specifically built for the council members and their families as well as the royal family. It's a very exclusive training building and the only way you can get in is if you invite them to the building."

I nod. We continue walking until we get close to the entrance of the building. There were two girls standing in front of the building, talking to each other. One of the girls has long dark brown hair with brown eyes. She is wearing a black tank top, pants, and flats. The other girl has a slightly shaved head with brown eyes. She is wearing a black crop top with a black leather jacket over it along with black pants and combat boots. The girls turn when they see us coming closer and the brown-haired girl narrows her eyes at me. "Who's that on your arm, Uriah?" she spits.

"This is Princess Beatrice, Marlene," Uriah answers.

Marlene widens her eyes then looks away from me. "I'm sorry if I snapped at you, but your arm was wrapped around my boyfriend's arm and-"

"It's all right," I reassure her. "I would be upset too if another girl was on my boyfriend."

Marlene looks at me and smiles. She then gestures to the girl beside her. "This is Lynn, my best friend."

"And the third wheel around these two," says Lynn.

"How many times do we have to tell you that you are not a third wheel?"

"Until you two stop being all lovey-dovey and remember that I'm still with you."

"Stop whining you pansycake," says Uriah.

"Stop trying to bring that word back!" yells Lynn.

"Pansycake?" I ask.

"It's an old Dauntless slang," explains Marlene. "It's supposed to be a huge insult to the people of Dauntless but no one uses that word anymore…well, except Uriah."

"That's because it's so offensive!" states Uriah.

"So, what are you doing here?" Lynn asks, crossing her arms over her chest.

"I'm supposed to meet my candidates in this building," I answer.

"Cool, you get to see what the training building looks like," says Marlene.

"So if you ladies would let me get to the door, I would gladly let you in," Uriah says.

Lynn and Marlene step out of the way and Uriah walks over to the door. He takes out a card and swipes it across a key pad, which beeps then opens the door. Uriah holds the door so that it won't close then gestures for us to go in. "After you, my ladies."

We walk into the building with Uriah following close behind. We continue to walk down a dim-lit path until I could hear music playing that got louder the closer we got to it. At the end of the path, we stop and I take a chance to look at the place. We are standing on a cliff and down below, there is a little area where people are standing around, watching a fight. On the walls surrounding the area, there are rock formations that travel all the way to the top, where some people are actually climbing it.

"This is the Pit," I hear Uriah say. "It's the center of life in all of the training buildings. Most of the fights are held here. Do you see each of the entrances around the Pit?" I notice that there is a spiral path going around the pit. The path starts from the bottom and makes it way up in a full circle, stopping above the same place where the path starts. There are some openings along the path like the one we just came out of. "Each path leads to a different room. The training room, weapons room, the zip line you saw coming here, and many other rooms. If I remember correctly, I think my mom said that the men will be waiting in the training room; follow me." We follow Uriah up the path to another opening. We walk into another tunnel and start walking down the path, making light conversation as we walk. We come out of the tunnel and find ourselves in a room filled with punching bags, targets, weight-lifting machines, and mats, which are in the corner of the room and I'm pretty sure that's for the fighting they do in here.

"Is that them?" Marlene asks, gesturing to the two guys in the corner.

"I think so," says Uriah, then starts walking closer to them. The guys turn around when they notice us and Uriah starts talking to them. I see them nod which makes Uriah run over to us. "They are here for you, Princess."

I nod and start walking over towards them. I could hear Uriah talking to Marlene and Lynn in the background but I ignore what he was saying. When I got closer to the men, I was able to get a good glimpse of what they look like. One of the men has greasy black hair and black eyes. He has too many piercings to count on his face and he has rings in his ears. He also has tattoos on his biceps and neck and he is wearing a black tank top along with black pants and combat boots. The other man is very striking and handsome. He has short dark brown hair with dark blue, almost black, eyes with long eyelashes. He has a square upper lip with a full lower lip and he is very tall; maybe around six feet. He is wearing a black T-shirt with black pants and combat boots. I can see a tattoo curling around his neck but what strikes me the most about this guy is his eyes. His eyes are such a lovely shade of blue that I feel like I could get lost in them. I didn't realize I was staring until the other guy clears his throat; I turn to him. "My name is Eric, your highness," he says, giving me a smile. "It's a pleasure to meet you."

"I'm Four," is all that the brown-haired guy says.

"Four?" I ask. "Like the number?"

"Exactly like the number."

"Who names their kid after a number?"

Four doesn't reply but instead just glares at me. I figure that I wasn't going to get an answer so I just drop it. "Anyway, I just wanted to let you two know that I will be coming to each of your houses for dinner. I will get to know your family as well as yourself so it should do you well to try to impress me," I explain.

"That won't be hard," Eric mutters.

I turn to him. "What did you say?"

"Nothing."

"Really? Because it sounds to me that you don't think it won't be hard to impress me. Well, I got news for you, buddy; the candidates in Candor didn't do so well so I would step up my game if I were you. Even though I am from Abnegation, I'm not one of those girls that is easily impressed with flowers or romantic gestures. You both need to try really hard to impress me for if your dinner date goes bad, don't expect to hear anything from me." I glare at Eric. "I'm not the kind of girl you should piss off."

"I can tell," Four suddenly says.

I turn to him. "What?"

"I said I can tell. I can see that you're not one of those Abnegation girls. Most of the girls from Abnegation fawn over those romantic gestures but I know that you are going to be harder to please. Also, I never really here people from Abnegation swear so I know you mean business. You are basically saying that we should treat you how you want to be treated and not think about what people from Abnegation will do."

I just stare at him with wide eyes and an open mouth. "That's…right."

Four nods then turns to Eric. "You can have the first dinner date."

"Fine by me," Eric replies.

"If that is all, then I shall take my leave." Four bows before me. "It was a pleasure to meet you, Princess Beatrice." He starts to walk away. I don't hear Eric say his goodbye for I am just focusing on Four. Before I know what my body is doing, I'm running up to Four and grabbing his arm. He turns to look at me, his blue eyes staring into mine. "What?"

"No need to get snappy with me but I just want to know how you knew that."

"I didn't, but your body language was very clear as well as the tone in your voice."

"That sounded very Erudite. Were one of your parents born there and you required some of their traits?"

Something flashes in Four's eyes, hurt maybe? But it's quickly replaced with a hard glare. "What makes you think you can talk to me?"

"Well one, because I'm a princess and two, maybe because you're so approachable, like a bed of nails."

A smirk plays on Four's lips as he leans in closer and whispers, "Careful, princess." He then walks away, leaving me standing in the middle of the room, watching his back. I can feel my cheeks heating up from the close contact with Four and I can feel a smile slowly spreading on my lips. One thing is for sure; I can't wait for the dinner date with Four.

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