Hearing the floor creak quietly, I grasped the recent knife I swiped from my dinner tray. I never want to be caught off guard when my life was endangered. The bed slowly sunk under someone’s weight and quickly I raised the knife up. But the man blocked my arm and flicked a lighter on.
There Ezekiel sat next to me with his exploring concerned eyes. His hand gently pushed the knife away and he lit the candle.
Turning his attention back to me, Ezekiel’s warm hand guided up to my bruised cheek. He was real. Not just another dream, my mind announced feeling his touch.
Quickly I hugged him tight to me. I never wanted to let him go again.
Breaking apart from the hug I was about to speak, but Ezekiel placed a finger to my lips and then pointed to the window. Nodding my head in understanding, he guided me out of the building and down to the stables.
As we enter the stables, Ezekiel kissed my lips with gust. I didn’t mind. I missed our physical aspect.
“Zeke you came back,” I whispered during his kisses.
His head rested on mine and said, “I told you nothing is keeping me away from you." Ezekiel’s hand touched my face upset and he demanded, “Who did this to you?”
“Don’t you know people aren’t fond of Erudite here,” I said quietly.
Studying me, Ezekiel asked, “Who’s after you?”
I sighed in frustration, “I can’t tell you. I want to Zeke, but I can’t with the situation I’m in.”
Shaking his head, Ezekiel blurted out, “Why did you choice this faction? You told me you didn’t want it.” Again I wanted to tell Ezekiel, but I held it in again.
“I not Dauntless material-”
My lips pursed as I observed Ezekiel slowly unraveling and showing me how worried he had been since the choosing ceremony. “Don’t give me that bull. You could have been Dauntless easily.” He started to pace around the room and said wounded, “Is it me? Am I the reason, be honest, Kinder.”
“No, lord no. It could never be you baby. You know me better than myself sometimes.” My eyes welled up at him thinking I would never want him. “I love you. Always…”
“Zeke, where are we going?” I asked holding onto his hand tight. He smirked over to me when opening a door up for me.
“I’m showing another cool thing Dauntless can do.” Entering the building, I noticed many Dauntless kids walking around displays upon displays of black designs.
I whispered over to Ezekiel, “Are we at a tattoo shop?”
His hand was grasping a design template, “I thought since you are into tattoos, you could help me pick one out.” He placed the temp plate back and said mischievously, “Then maybe you can see if you want something more permanent than the blob you had on your arm a few days ago.”
“So what do you like,” I asked while picking up a template of an interesting tribal tattoo. I glanced over to Ezekiel smiling at me and I turned my bright red face back to the display.
I didn’t even need to ask because that face said everything. He liked me.
Walking around the display, I grasped a template feeling self-conscious as I handed it to Ezekiel. He read it, “No fear.” Ezekiel smoky eye’s glanced up to me, “Interesting.”
I laughed, “I thought it be fitting for a Dauntless.” Ezekiel nodded his head and asked, “Do you see anything you like?”
“Yes, actually. But I don’t think I’m technically allowed to spend my credits here.”
Ezekiel pulled me to the back room as I held my templates. “Don’t worry, I’m paying.” No one was in the back room yet and Ezekiel kissed my lips for the first time and it took my breath away. Pulling apart, Ezekiel said, “After all what kind of gentlemen would I be if I didn’t pay on our date.”
Date! My mind screamed thrilled.
A young woman walked into the room, with many tattoos and piercings, and asked, “Who’s first?”
I glanced over to Ezekiel and he shrugged his shoulders, “I am.” Ripping off his shirt, Ezekiel took a seat on the chair. I gently sat on a bar stool and soaked in his bare muscular chest with a very unique tattoo. It was a paw print, but in the palm of the print was a bear. It’s was really cool.
“Where do you want this?” The tattoo artist asked and Ezekiel pointed to his upper arm smiling at me. The woman nodded her head and placed a patch onto Ezekiel’s skin and hit a button charging it up.
Before a couple seconds, the tattoo artist pulled it off and there the black ink words remained.
Ezekiel got off the chair and I made my way over to the chair. Without thought, I took off my shirt and in just my bra I sat in the chair. Pointing to my back-shoulder area, I said, “Here.”
Ezekiel was too preoccupied with covering his flabbergasted emotions to ask what I was getting. Instead Ezekiel wanted to look at my body with lust and yet the gentlemen side, he mentioned earlier, kept him from staring longer than five seconds. “Done,” the tattoo artist said and placed her hand out. “Cards.”
As I placed my shirt back over my body, Ezekiel passed his card over and responded, “I got hers.”
Walking out of the small tattoo room, I had a huge smile on my face. Ezekiel held the door for me and he said, “I think you like Dauntless more than you let on.”
I bumped his hip and whispered in his ear, “Maybe I just like you.” I took off running down the sidewalk and Ezekiel chased after me. And before I rounded the corner, he caught me and twirled me around. He said out of breath, “I want to show you something.”
I nodded my head and followed him climbing up to the train tracks. As the train started to fly by, we both ran alongside it. Ezekiel swiftly jumped into the cart and held his hand out for me. Grabbing his solid hand, I was pulled up into his arms. “We aren’t going to Dauntless are we?”
Ezekiel held onto the pole and replied, “No, I’m taking you somewhere better.”
After a half-hour, Ezekiel popped open the door revealing the abandon out skirts of the city and a river cross-sectioning the train track. The moonlight danced across his face and his laid his hand out to me. “Do you trust me?”
My erudite up bringing should have told me this was a bad and illogical idea. He was a stranger I met only a few days ago. And yet, my subconscious seemed instead to encourage me. I could feel deep down he was trust worthy.
Placing my hand into his, I said, “Always.”
Jumping off the train, we plummeted down to where the river engulfed us. Breaking the surface, Ezekiel and I swam to the one side of the river. With my clothes heavy with water, Ezekiel began to ring out his shirt. I asked, “Why did you get that tattoo of the bear paw print?”
Ezekiel peeked over at me squeezing the water out of my hair. “It reminds me what I want in life.”
I stared at him puzzled, “And what do you want?” A pet bear, I laughed internally.
He walked closer to me letting me see his tattoo more. “I want to be free; free to choice to be strong and gentle, brave and yet cautious, canny, but honest. Hopefully, I can be that better person to help my family and friends.”
My mind seemed blank from not expecting such a deeper answer. Freedom would be nice. Away from my mother’s controlling ways. “I wish I could be free too,” I said grazing my hand over his tattoo.
“Come with me,” Ezekiel whispered and we both walked through the tall grass and made our way to a tall three story building I could barely make out in the dark.
Climbing up the stairwell, we entered the top of the roof. “Wow,” I gasped as I stared I awe at the many stars brightly shining back at us.
Ezekiel laid down on the roof, “It’s amazing how the city lights cover up the true beauty.”
Lying next to Ezekiel, “You’re very smooth Zeke. Do you take all the ladies up here?”
Ezekiel’s light brown eyes blinked confused as he said, “What ladies? You’re the first person I ever brought here.” He shifted onto his arm to support his head, “Why do you always insinuate I’ve been hoarding girls as a past time?”
Because you so freaking good looking. Charming. Sweet. Did I have to say more?
Turning red at my shallow thoughts now, I responded, “I just heard that most Dauntless men don’t like having strings attached.”
He challenged me by saying, “And do all Erudite know everything?”
I glanced down with a smirk, “They like to think that, but no.”
Looking up at the stars Ezekiel explained, “That’s one flaw of the factions. Our world has gotten so fixated on where we belong and where our loyalty should lie to theses factions, that we forget what’s really important.” I was soaking in his in depth thought.
He looked over to see if I was interested in his topic and I said, “You’re talking about faction before blood.”
“Yes.” He nodded his head and asked seriously, “Do you believe in that?”
Playing with the ends of my hair I responded, “No. I don’t. For one, I think Dauntless defy that statement. Do you really protect and do your job trusting these other people you work with because their Dauntless? No. You do it because you’ve built a trust with those people.”
Ezekiel seemed just as intrigued by our conversation. He stated, “Without the faction what are we?”
“We’re all the same,” I responded and bit my lip. Glancing up to Ezekiel I added, “This is refreshing. I never had conversations like this before. In Erudite we don’t challenge this idea,” I rolled my eyes, “because this is the logical choice to run our lives.”
He laughed hard at my change of tone as I said the last part of my sentence. I asked self-conscious, “Do you think I’m funny?”
Moving closer to me, Ezekiel answered, “You’re the first Erudite I’ve met with a sense of humor.” He began to get closer to my face, “The first person I can have more meaningful discussion other than fighting or what tattoo to get next.” Only inches away from my lips he whispered, “And you are the most beautiful woman I have ever seen.”
Rapture into his kiss, his hand slowly guided behind my head and I wrapped my arms around his muscular body. I loved the way our synchronized lips match each other’s urgency. Breaking a part to catch our breath, his soft lips continued to leave a fiery trail down my neck. Shifting his head back up to face me he asked, “What did you get by the way?”
I smiled at Ezekiel and said playfully, “If you play your cards right, maybe later on you’ll find out.”
I pulled Ezekiel close to me and whispered his name, “Zeke. I-” I glanced down, “I’m scared. If anyone knew my secret, something could happen to me, to” I stared at Ezekiel terrified, “you.”
Ezekiel rubbed his confused face with his hand, “I’m not following. Secret, what secret Kinder? Has someone been threatening you because they know about,” his voiced dropped lower with concerned, “us.”
Shaking my head, I responded, “No. This has to do with me. That’s why I choose Abnegation.” I grasped Ezekiel’s warm hands an added, “It’s a place I can fade into.”
Ezekiel was glancing away in frustration, “If you choice Dauntless, you wouldn’t need to hid. I would have protected you from whoever is after you. But with you here, I’m helpless; not knowing if you’re alright or not. And look at what happened in two weeks. Someone already hit you.” His worry was combining with frustration and anger now as he growled, “I’m going to find who ever hurt you-”
“Zeke,” I pleaded softly and his light brown up glanced up at my tone in surprised. “This is what I wanted to avoid. If you intervene, your life will be forte and I can’t handle the idea of you dying for me.” I whispered, “Trust me, this was the only option.”
Ezekiel rested his hands on my shoulder and responded somberly, “Kinder, how can I do that when you won’t let me in. Trust goes both ways. Do you trust me?”
Always, echoed in my mind. My eyes were watering up as I replied, “Yes.” The idea of sharing this burden already seemed to ease my body, “I failed my aptitude test Zeke. It was inconclusive. Do you know what that means?”
His brown eyes widen and finally I could see all the gears in his mind click everything together. He hugged me tightly in his muscular arms, “They’ll never get you. I won’t let them Kinder.”
“I love you so much Zeke. So-”
Suddenly Ezekiel placed his hand over my mouth and tilted his head listening. He whispered, “Someone’s coming.” Pushed into the shadow with Ezekiel, I watched Aaron and some girl from Abnegation walk into the stables and began to fully making out.
I whispered as we exit out of the stables and into the woods, “Well they aren’t breaking any rules.”
Ezekiel smiled before saying, “Not like us.”
Reaching over I kiss his tempting lips again only this time I grazed my tongue over his bottom lips asking to enter. Ezekiel gladly accepted and we slowly and attentively explored each other’s mouth as if were our first again. Pulling back to see my hazel eyes Ezekiel whispered, “I missed this. I missed you.”
Lifting his shirt over his head, I analyzed the glory of his muscular toned body. He had changed so much from when we were younger. Gently, I kissed his shoulder and let my hand explore his rock hard abs. Ezekiel shuddered under my touch and slowly zippered down my clothing and said, “Are you sure, Kinder? I can wait longer if you’re not ready?”
My hand cupped his face as I said, “I want you. I want all of you.” Guiding his hand to push the dress off my shoulder, I revealed for the first time my tattoo to him. His eyes explored my tattoo and Ezekiel smiled at the feather exploring into birds. “No regrets,” his lips silently read beside my feather.
I shifted him over me and whispered in his ear, “No fear. No regrets. That’s who we are.”