What We Do for Love

8 Years Later

I follow my father's motions, doing my best to mimic his actions. He is teaching me how to do a side block. Mom and Dad were from Dauntless, so they think it is important for me to know self defense.

My dad was the main Dauntless leader eight years ago. That was until he was beaten up by Mom's bestfriend, Four. Mom freaked out and revealed their love for each other. They ran off shortly after to the factionless sector.

Mom is crouching in front of the fire pit cooking a rabbit Dad caught earlier today. I don't have any clue how she can make something so revolting taste like actual food. It is like making a donkey turn into a Pegasus with three simple words.

Her cooking is surprisingly one of the best here in our sector. We are one of the few families that provide for ourselves. We still take the necessities from the Abnegation, due to the unavailability of resources out in the dump.

The smell here is gruesome. The smell is a combination of dog fart and road kill. My parents tell me that it took them a good few months to get accustomed to the stench of the "outback".

As Dad starts to correct my stance, I hear screams coming from out of our collapsing house. Mom stops what she is doing and pears through our drapes hanging at the door, securing us from the outside world.

"Eric, grab the gun from the floorboards. I'll hide with Bexley. Dauntless soldiers are outside sweeping the buildings," Mom instructs Dad.

Dad grunts in response and pulls a floorboard out of place, sending dust flying through the unsterile air. He grasps onto the gun, racking the slide.

Mom runs over to me, pulling me toward the vent at the side of the room. She pries it open with a crowbar she stole from the Abnegation during one of the raids. She ushers me in first, then she follows.

The silence is eerie, almost deafening. My body jumps to the sound of the knocks rapping against the door. Mom holds my shaking body.

"Mommy, I'm scared. Is Daddy going to be okay?" I whimper.

"Yes, honey. He knows how to handle these guys. He'll be fine," she coos, calming my anxious nerves.

I hear boots stomping against the grimy concrete floor. Before they can get far, Dad yells for them to put their hands up.

A deep voice remarks, "Eric, just the one I was looking for. You and Tris are welcomed back into Dauntless."

I am walking beside Dad, my hand trapped in his. His muscles are tense beneath his skin. Mom is walking in front of us beside a Dauntless soldier. She looks anxious. Is what the Dauntless man said true; are they accepted back into Dauntless? Do I get to stay, too?

I see ahead of us a woman walking toward us. She has a tattoo on her neck that matches Dad's. The smile on her face revealing her excitement to see them.

"Eric, Tris! So good to see you!" the woman emphasizes.

"Tori, what is going on?” Dad grunts.

"Four was tried and found guilty of aggravated battery and assault of a leader. He was executed five years ago. It was an ongoing argument if you should be let back into the faction, let alone not executed. Tris included." Tori explains.

Mom looks like she is on the verge of tears. I can't imagine losing my best friend. I can only guess it would feel like being pulled apart by a rabid dog. It must be terrible for her.

"Last week, we came to an agreement that you were allowed back. We are also offering you your position as leader, Eric."

"I'm sorry, Tori. I want to spend time with Tris and my daughter, Bexley. I will never lead Dauntless again," my father answers.

Tori nods her head toward me and starts up a conversation with Mom, while we are walking down this never ending hallway. I feel like I will die before we get to the end.

I pull on Dad's arm, signaling that I want him to carry me. He rolls his eyes, and hoists me over his shoulder like a sack of potatoes. He starts tickling me, and I squeal in laughter.

"Stop it, Daddy! Stop...," I beg.

"Now, now, Bexley. You asked for this. Your mother is nowhere near close to save you, so don't even think about it."

Dad starts running, catching up to Mom and Tori who are already in the room at the end of enormous hall. We barge through the huge steel doors, entering a huge cavern full of people. He lowers me into his arms and I burrow my head into his neck.

I hear Tori climb up on a table. She claps her hands together gaining the attention of the cafeteria.

"Dauntless, we are all gathered here today to welcome some honorable people back into our faction. Let’s raise our glasses in the return of Eric Coulter, Tris Prior, and their daughter, Bexley Coulter!"

35 Years Later

"...and their daughter, Bexley Coulter. That was quite a day for me. I was thrusted into a new environment without a clue of what to do. Grandma and Grandad were a huge help. Grandad would always play Barbies with me, tickling me with his Ken doll. Grandma would hold me before bed. She would rock me while telling stories of her time here in Dauntless. It was amazing," I declared.

"So, let me set this straight. You, Grandma, and Grandad were factionless for eight years. How did you survive, Mom? It had to be horrible," my 16 year old daughter complains.

"It wasn't that bad, Adley. Anyway, that is how your Grandparents got to stay in Dauntless. Get some sleep, your Choosing Ceremony is tomorrow."

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