I hadn’t slept very well tossing and turning all night with doubt suffocating me. How does a secretive and illegal marriage work out after a fight? Only the promising words hold our ties together and I wondered if Ezekiel would break those too if he thought this was too much. Was I worth fight for or would it be easier to just give up?
Pressing the pillow harder over my head I tried to block out the creeping thought in the back of my mind. Did I want to give up?
Swinging my legs over the bed, I couldn’t sleep anymore and my head shot up confused toward the door. I suddenly heard voices talking, no maybe arguing, in the living room. How didn’t I hear this before?
I pulled the blanket off and wrapped it around my shoulders in comfort. Taking a deep breath, I opened the door slightly to find a whole gang of dauntless in my living room.
On the couch was Uriah sitting very close to a blond hair girl that swung her legs like a little kid does. Which was a huge contrast to the other girl with the shaved head growing back; she seemed bitter. Next to them, Tobias stood watching Tris pacing the floor. And my eyes follow Tris to another unknown girl with her arms tightly crossed. She looked pissed as she stared at the back of Ezekiel’s head, who was in the chair slouching.
“But we don’t have special divergent brains!” The girl practical in Uriah lap said toward Tris, “Come on, do your magic.”
What they hell where they talking about?
“There’s no such thing as divergent magic, Mar,” the girl next to her countered and suddenly the anger girl in the corner hissed, “And if there is, we shouldn’t be consulting it.”
Ezekiel sat up with his a crinkle in his forehead and responded, “Shauna-”
“Don’t Shauna me, Zeke!” Her eyes were burning into flames as she directed them at Ezekiel, “Don’t you think a person tested positive for many factions would have a loyalty problem? I know I got dauntless and that’s where my loyalty lies. But what about her? If she’s has so much erudite in her, what makes you think she won’t sympathize with the enemy?”
She pointed at Four, “And you! How are we supposed to know where you loyalty lies?”
“How daft could you be?”
Everyone’s attention turned to me suddenly and I regretted opening my mouth. But what done was done so I continued to say, “What faction you’re from shouldn’t matter. The side everyone should be worried about being on,” I gave a long hard stare, “is the one stopping innocent PEOPLE from dying.”
I turned to Tobias, “Everyone is afraid of them, for what? Because they don’t fit in?” I glanced at Uriah and said, “I’m glad they don’t. Because they aren’t narrow headed as the people told where they belong. Divergents don’t see faction before blood. They see just good and bad people.”
The angered girl seemed to hesitate at first, but then scuffled. “Who cares what a true erudite has to say. If anything you’re probably the one we should mostly worry about?”
She stepped forward at me and in the corner of my eye Ezekiel was getting up to help defend me. Towering over me, her dagger of eyes glared at me, “She’s probably spying on us right now ready to tell her poor mommy everything.”
I didn’t back down as I said, “That would be stupid Shauna.”
Her jaw locked together and could see in my peripheral vision Marlene getting fidgety, but Uriah was holding her back. “Enlighten me then?” She gave me a push into the door I closed and the knob jabbed into my back. In my effort I contained a hiss from the sharp pain.
Pushing her back with a little more force, I said more angered than before, “Because I’m divergent bitch.” Hopefully she wasn’t stupid enough to understand. My mother+ divergent= death. And being her daughter made no exception.
Shauna’s mouth held surprise as I turned my hawk eyes onto Tobias. “Now what is going on?”
Tobias gave a small smirk and responded, “Jack Kang is having a peace gathering with Jeanine’s representative tomorrow morning at seven.” Obviously I wasn’t surprised Jeanine was setting her cards up right by sending a replaceable pond. But really Kang…God he was so stupid? I thought and I guess my expression demonstrated that as Four nodded his head. “We’re deciding if we should go spy on them or just leave for factionless now.”
“Factionless?” I asked confused. I couldn’t imagine all the sick and unarmed people helping us. It would be a massacre.
Four responded to my uneasiness, “Don’t worry. I don’t mean that part of factionless.” Okay, I really didn’t understand him now, but I trusted Four.
“Is he at least bringing a few body guards?” I asked and Ezekiel answered, “Yes, some of the older members of dauntless volunteered.” I nodded my head afraid to look back at him.
“Put it to vote then?” I started to my bedroom door feeling my back throbbing and Four said, “All in favor of spying, raise your hand.”
I glanced around to watch Uriah, Marlene, girl I still didn’t know her name, Tobias, Tris, Zeke raised their hands. I smiled a bit. The vote was numinous. “Alright, we’ll pack up our gear after dinner tonight.” Everyone was starting to shuffle out now.
Closing the wooden door, I walked over to the mirror and lifted my shirt. It was a pretty big sized bruise. Damn it.
My head tilted back hearing Ezekiel say, “Why did you do that?”
“Do what?” Shauna venous tone said.
“You pushed her in the door on purpose?” Ezekiel tone was equally as threatening.
“What has gotten into you? You’re acting like, like,” she paused. “You like her.”
“No Shauna I love her,” Ezekiel responded and my heart fluttered. He still loved me.
“You love this mutant? Why? She’s not even dauntless Zeke. She’s, she’s not even like us. Like me.”
“I know.” The front door shuttered the walls and I knew I was alone with Ezekiel. My husband. The one I swore to love not matter what.
A small knock rattle the door and he softly said, “Kinder?”
Pulling my shirt down, my heart seemed to pound into my stomach. Breathe, I commanded myself. Swinging the door back, Ezekiel almost filled the empty door frame space and he held an ice pack in his nervous hands. His eyes shot up possibly dazed I had appeared to see him so quickly. He fumbled with his words, “I, uh, I, here. Ice pack for you.”
Taking the ice pack from his hand, I replied, “Thank you.” Man this was painful. I missed him and yet I wasn’t sure if I could take any more hits, especially from Ezekiel.
He asked to break the silence, “How bad is it?”
Raising my shirt a little, I answered, “Just a bruise.”
The brown captivating eyes glided down my body until I heard a slight gasp. “Here,” he took back the ice pack and gingerly laid it on top of the sore. It felt good to numb it.
“Do you want to get some food?” Again my body is turned away from seeing his features and I nodded my head.
Instantly the two sides of my mind started to fight over what to do. The abnegation scolded me to forgive him. Be selfless because you’re causing him pain. He obviously didn’t mean to hurt you, he was protecting you and had asked for forgiveness. While the erudite pointed out he’ll only hurt you again if you don’t let him learn this lesson. You’re already broken enough. How much more could you take?
But my heart, that was a different part itself. I just wanted his beautiful soul to be by my side again…
As we stepped into the dining hall, I could hear whispers of coward directed to the only person hunch at a table. Tobias. Another dauntless kid went by saying, “Your daddy’s here. Are you going to coward and cry when he comes?”
My teeth clench and I was particularly hoping Tobias would punch the kid out. But instead he left the room with Tris following behind. I turned to Ezekiel and whispered, “Maybe I shouldn’t eat here. Can you get us food and meet me back in my room? I want to make sure Four is okay.”
His eyes hesitated at my suggestion, but like the argument I was preparing for, instead just turned to a nod. “I’ll see you there,” Ezekiel said with a small smile and walked away.
Heading toward the direction I watch them leave, I followed them like a blood hound and wound up colliding into a very annoyed Tris. “Sorry,” we both said quickly and smiled. I guess we couldn’t escape our abnegation manners.
“Is he okay?” I asked and Tris shrugged her tense shoulders to her chin. “I don’t know. He’s so frustrating….” I hated to see her struggle, but this was a domain she would never understand.
“Do you mind if I try?” Tris glanced away from her distracting thoughts and said sarcastically, “If you can find him, go knock yourself out.” I nodded my head at the challenge and started to go down the hallway more. If I was correct, this was the same way I went to my secret hiding spot. I wonder?
Quickly tracing my steps I enter up onto the roof top and stride over to my corner. As I pull my head over the top, I notice too feet and smile.
There Tobias had his eyes shut tight as if he is trying to block out the world. Gently I lie next to him and stare at the stars blinking so brightly. “I don’t know what it is about the night, but it always makes me feel peaceful and not alone.”
Tobias muscles were still tense, but his eyes opened to the night sky above us. He barely mumbled, “And what would make you think that?”
I smiled a little embarrassed as gave a quick glance over, “Because I just think there probably someone out there like me staring out at the same stars.” I remember I used to escape onto my roof top in erudite in hopes Ezekiel would be doing the same. Just so I could feel close to him every night.
I sat up and said, “I know that sound dumb. But it helps me.”
“Their calling me a coward,” the clipped edge of his voice caught my attention.
“So what? They don’t understand what it’s like to have your worst fear alive.”
A deep sigh released from his lips, “I know, but it doesn’t change their image of me.”
I pivot my head over and asked, “Does it really matter? The people that know you and love you would not for a second think that of you at all.” I could feel his resentment building up, “But….”
His cold hard eyes inched over to me, “But.”
“You can at least face your demon right now and put him in his place. I know it’s not the right choice, but without a doubt you not only show your peers, but your monster of a father you’re not terrified no more. That he has no control over you.”
I glanced down surprise that he took my hand and then a slight smirk enveloped his once serious expression. “You’re hurting your hands again, Kinder.”
Releasing my tight grip of digging my nails into my palms, I replied, “Sorry.”
Shaking his head, Tobias added, “I don’t understand you abnegation girls. Always apologizing when there's nothing to apologize about.”
I opened my mouth, but stopped. “No,” he said with a small chuckle. It was nice to hear the man I met last time on the roof top before.
“Are you going to be okay Tobias?” I asked using his real name again.
He didn’t flinch this time and responded, “I will. Are you?”
“What do you ever mean?” I joked sarcastically.
He rolled his blue eyes and chortled out, “Zeke and you were practically meant for each other.”
My humor suddenly vanished as I looked away from him. Tobias must have sensed he hit a nerve of mine when he sat up and rubbed my back, “I’m sorry I didn’t mean too….”
“It’s okay,” I glanced over to him not looking convinced at all, “Really? We are sort of talking. It’s just,” I tried piece a word to fit this mess, “complicated.” I flipped Tobias arm to look at his watch, “Which I have to meet Mr. complicate now.”
In the corner of my eye, I watched Tobias mouth to himself. Mr. Complicated. His once pondering face disappeared and turned toward me.
“Yes?” He seemed unsure to say something, but he made up his mind when searching my expression.
“Go easy on Zeke,” Tobias asked and I responded breathlessly, “I’ll try. No guarantees though.”
He smiled and responded, “Yes?”
I stood up and turned around and said, “If it makes you feel any better, you’re definitely no pansycake in my books.”
I held out my offered hand and Tobias grasped it.
With a bigger smile, he responded sarcastically, “Now I’m not so sure if that makes me feel any better now.”
Once he was on his feet, I bumped his side and then gave him a hug. Instantly he stiffed from the surprise contact, but I held him tight. I whispered, “You’re going to be alright.” Pulling back I added, “Especially if we have each other’s backs.”
Getting ready to go back down, Tobias stared into my eyes that were looking up at him. He bent down and placed a kiss on my forehead. With smiling blue eyes, he responded, “Thank you.”
Letting the door close behind me gently, I noticed Ezekiel had a few plates filled with food on the coffee table and he sat on the couch with his knee bouncing. Taking a few steps closer I said, “You didn’t have to wait to eat. You must be starving.”
Ezekiel shrugged his shoulders, “I wanted to wait.” Sitting on the couch by him, Ezekiel asked, “How is he?”
I stared at the grapes on the one plate and gave a small smile, “I think he’ll be alright.”
Plucking a grape off the vine, I observed Ezekiel now started to eat. “If you don’t mind me asking, but why did you have to see if he was alright?”
My head shifted over searching his face that seemed to become so much older. A crinkle laid between his eyebrows and his lips held firm.
What was he thinking?
Finally the eyes that always seemed to open up to his soul, lifted up at me. He was nervous. No possibly afraid. His eyes flickered away, but it was too late, I saw it. “Are you jealous?”
His shoulders tensed a bit before he released a breath. “Look I understand if you don’t feel the same way. Four is a good,” he was struggling to say these words, “guy.”
“Zeke.” His head pivot up to me like child that lost his puppy. “I still love you.”
It was in those words, his once dull eyes began to show a spark. A spark of hope. “Then why?”
I was so sure the rumors flying around here would have found his ears, but by his lack of confusion I say not. He really had no clue about my hard past. A tweak of smirk played on my lips, grabbing Ezekiel’s attention. “I have an idea.”
“What do you have in mind?”
“Let’s start over. There’s just so much we don’t know about each other. We need to get more acquainted and establish some boundaries.”
“Boundaries,” Ezekiel let my last word roll off his tongue softly. He seemed uncertain, but willing to follow this idea. And that I was happy with. After all this was one of the bigger steps we had taken since our fight.
“Now to answer about Four, I need to tell you about what happened before I met you in erudite….”