This Chapter is rated T. Please be advised that if you've read Insurgent, I've taken this a "tiny" bit further. I feel as if the majority of my readers are in the teen range, so I'll assume that going forward.
Chapter 11: All of You
"Tris! It's me. I'm so sorry I scared you."
"Oh my God!" she says, shoving me with so much force she actually causes me to stumble back a step. I'm a bit proud of that for some reason.
"I could have had a heart attack! You could have been stabbed with a pair of scissors!"
She is pissed. But she closes her hand around the scissors and puts her arms around me. Tris buries her face in my chest as I hug her back tightly. Her skin is slightly damp, and her hair smells like roses. She's wearing a long black t-shirt. "I'm so glad to see you, Tris." She nods and then stands on her tip-toes to give me a soft kiss.
She backs away from me then and punches my arm.
"I can't believe you scared me like that! Ugh! My heart was in my stomach!"
I put my hands up in self-defense. "I'm sorry, but you should really lock your door. It's not safe, leaving it open like that. Anyone could just walk right in…"
"What?" she says, looking at me like I was speaking another language.
"I saw Tori, and she told me that you were back in your apartment. I knocked, but I guess you didn't hear since you were in the shower; then I just tried the knob, and it was open."
I stare back at her all of a sudden, noticing that her hair is shorter. "You cut your hair?"
"Um, yes, but that's not the point!"
It was my turn to be confused. "What?"
"I locked the door! I came inside the apartment and everything was tossed around. I picked everything up, then went to shower. I know I locked the door."
Immediately, what comes to mind is that someone was in the apartment when Tris came in and when she went to shower, they took that opportunity to leave. I don't tell her that because that is the most frightening thing that could have happened. The theory I want to go with is that Tris was so upset with her items scattered around that she just thought she had locked the door. I don't tell her that either; I'd probably get another shove.
Instead of telling her my theories, I tell her about that day we were both taken in for questioning. I tell her that I went back to my apartment to gather my things and saw that my apartment was torn apart too. I say it must have been for the hard drive. We launch into stories about our encounters. I get so angry at how she was taken and drugged like she was guilty before even getting her story. She tells me she doesn't know what she did with the hard drive and I tell her that I hid it while she slept. We go to her couch and hidden inside a hole I made in the stuffing, it remains. She seems relieved. I tell her that it's probably best to destroy it; there is no point in keeping it, and it will be easy to duplicate anyway. She agrees. We stomp on it and throw some pieces in the trash, and the others I will dump in the chasm.
After catching up, I say something that surprises even me.
"Maybe I, uh, should stay with you tonight," I say. "I don't want any other late night awakenings where some stupid person comes to drag you away. They'll probably be looking for us both at the same time, anyway."
It doesn't take her long to respond.
"Yes," she says. "Please stay. I've got this feeling that someone could just jump out and abduct me."
Earlier that morning, Alexandre had called for me. I'd spent hours with the guards on duty, but they didn't let me do anything so all I did was accompany one of the guards around as they made their rounds. They were letting Tris and I back into our own apartments, but they'd be calling for us again soon; I was to relay the message to her. They have decided to go with a majority ruling among the leaders regarding what, if any, punishment will be given. I tell this to Tris, and she seems to be in good spirits. She told me what by Tori said about letting us walk about, and I agree. They wouldn't have let us go yet if they were unsure. We had to be safe. I could feel that it would be better soon.
We spent the rest of the afternoon organizing her apartment, putting things where they should be. We also made a trip to get a few essentials that she had been missing and hadn't had a chance to get. I don't question her decision to by hair dye. I know it was silly to follow her around and not go and do my own errands, but I didn't want her out of my sight, at least for the time being.
"I can sleep out here on the couch, that way if I hear anything suspicious, I can let you know."
"Oh, right…" I say. "Well, goodnight."
I give him a kiss on the lips and he holds me tight. "Have sweet dreams," he says.
I spend the next hour tossing and turning. Except this time my mind is on Tobias.
I know that love isn't a word that I wanted to ever take lightly. In fact, love isn't a word I'd have as part of my vocabulary. I always knew that my parents loved each other, but looking at them interacting was not anything extraordinary. Their love never made me think that I couldn't wait to find that special person. I never longed to find this spark of romance with a boy; it was far off of my radar. I never imagined what it would be like for me. I always knew that I would get married one day, and I'd get to hold someone's hand and kiss, and that person would be my best friend through life's up and downs, but that seemed like such a grown up thing, somewhere that was so long down the line for me, that I never even considered it.
But no one prepared me for what the feeling of love was like, because I never truly saw it until it hit me.
I never imagined that at sixteen years old, I'd look into someone's eyes and feel like my heart was singing. That the fluttering inside me only got stronger when I was near him. I never saw myself craving a person so much that when he wasn't near me, my body felt way too heavy and wrong. And maybe, in another time or world, sixteen was not a time that someone could say "I love you," and truly mean it. But, the thought of losing Tobias is too much to bear. We've been through a lot together and maybe that was why it made it so easy to say that I loved him, once. I felt it more than once. What I'm feeling now is too good for this not to be love.
I sneak over to the couch and see that Tobias is already asleep. Him being here means so much, and I'm glad it was him that suggested it. I hate to wake him up, but I just want to be near him.
He shoots up and looks at me and then around the room as if expecting to see chaos somewhere.
"I guess it is my time to scare you," I say with a nervous laugh.
"Did you hear something?"
"No, No. I'm just… do you want to come sleep with me in my bed? I know this sofa is not the most comfortable thing."
"I'm perfectly fine," he says carefully. "You don't have to worry about me. It's not so bad." He swallows and I see his Adam's apple move in the darkness. I also clearly see that he is missing a shirt.
What am I doing!
"God, Tobias! You are making this so difficult for me," I say with a laugh. "Please come stay with me in my bed, because I want to be next to you."
He gets up and probably forgets that he's wearing little clothing. Black boxer shorts and no shirt, it's not helping that my heart is hammering so loudly in my chest. I look at the floor to avoid his gaze.
"Okay," he says, like it's no big deal. "I should put some clothes on."
"No," I say a little too loud. He chuckles. "I don't want you to be uncomfortable by sleeping in your clothes."
I lay on the bed first, on my back and he does the same. I consider putting on some sleep shorts, but I'm already laying down and don't want to make things any more awkward by jumping up and rushing to the bathroom to change. We couldn't be further from each other on the bed anyway, still it feels good enough. He falls asleep within ten minutes, while I am so incredibly still to the point of discomfort. In his sleep, he turns to face me and I take that opportunity to get comfortable and turn to face him. I watch him for a few seconds before closing my eyes, but I still can't sleep. My mind is full and will not shut up.
Approximately an hour later, I open my eyes again and Tobias' breathing has become thicker, not quite snoring, but heavy. Tobias smells like a mix of trees and soap which is oddly comforting. I move my head slightly and he pushes forward a bit, inching closer to me and seemingly unaware that we're sharing a bed. I try to go to sleep, to let my body give in to dreams, but having him so near has me on edge. Even though my body is exhausted, I can't make myself find sleep. My body stiffens when his hand accidentally brushes my leg. I wonder if I'll ever relax when we are this close to each other.
"Tris," he mumbles. I instinctively freeze but quickly realize that he is not awake. I smile because he must be dreaming of me. I back up a bit, but his hand comes up to my side. I study his facial features in the dark. He is so handsome with his eyes closed, his mouth slightly open, and his hair sticking out all over. I start to bring my hand forward to tuck his hair back a bit and then stop myself.
Later, I must have finally found sleep because I wake up suddenly and it is uncomfortably hot. I am sweaty and my hair is stuck to my forehead. Then I realize why. My back is toward him but Tobias is so close to me now, his body heat has warmed me up. When I look over I see that he has kicked off his side of the blanket and only one foot remains covered. I am partially uncovered because of this. I hear him breathing deeply behind me. I start to ease away from him, but I only manage a little room because I'm already dangerously close to the edge of the bed.
Then his arms guide me back, his arms pull me back by my waist and I feel the warmness of his chest.
"Tris? Are you awake?"
I almost jump out of the bed, not expecting him to be awake. I turn around to face him and he has a sleepy grin on his face.
"I'm sorry I woke you," he says. "I just… I'm just… I wanted to make sure you were real."
"I'm here, I'm real," I say leaning in to give him a chaste kiss on the lips. But when I pull back, I see his serious looking eyes.
"Are you okay with me being here? Do you need the bed to yourself? I don't mind sleeping on the floor. Or back on the couch. I can put some more clothes on..."
If it were light, my cheeks would be on fire. "No, No, it's fine. I can be an adult about this."
"Good, because I'm not used to sleeping with so much clothes on." His voice is thick with sleep.
"Does it bother you that I'm only in this shirt? Because I can change too…"
"No," he says. "I don't want you to change. It's way too hot for that. Maybe we should open a window?"
I jump up immediately and open the window. There's not much of a breeze outside, but I'm sure anything might help.
When I get back in bed, he pulls me into a hug and we start slowly kissing, our lips moving in perfect synchronization. Our mouths open and our tongues mingle together adding a new depth to a simple kiss. Our kissing has sparked something from within that travels from my toes to my heart. And my hands go into his soft hair as the easy sounds of kissing fill the previously quiet air. He grabs the sides of my head. Our lips move with a stronger urgency, our breathing becomes a bit heavier trying to keep up with each other. My foot rolls over his and the slight move makes both of us a bit frenzied. A tiny bit of contact. Tobias removes one hand from the side of my head to my knee that creeps up to my thigh. I feel goose bumps form at the back of my neck. He stops there when he feels me freeze.
"I'm sorry," he pants.
"No, it's okay," I say, answering him with a kiss. His hand rises to my waist, it tickles a bit and I giggle against his mouth. He smiles. He kisses me once on my mouth and then right below my ear. It feels really warm inside the room, my body, the warmth coming from him, like my entire body is blushing. Goosebumps continue to rise over my arms, I feel sweat form at the back of Tobias's neck. I feel the back of his head, my hands pulling a bit at the ends of his hair. My hands find his back, rough and muscular, pushing him closer to me than we've ever been. I imagine the tattoos that I've seen there.
And my mind tells me to stop. Or rather, it yells at me to stop.
I pull back, because all of a sudden I'm scared that I'll never want to stop kissing him, never want to stop holding him, touching him. "I've never done this before," I say, my voice trembling.
"I'd be surprised if you had, being Abnegation and all," he jokes.
"It's okay, I'm not rushing you. We don't have to," he answers. He pulls back, kissing me on my nose and giving me a bit of room. And I think that he must be disappointed that I've let him get this close to me, only to pull away, to crawl away into myself. I'm not ready to conquer this fear. It's the unknown of it all, falling into darkness, just like on choosing ceremony day. But when I see him in the darkness, I don't see disappointment across his face.
My body and mind tell me two different things. But I'm not ready to overcome my overwhelming fear. Is he ready? I realize where the fear is coming from, at least I think I do. Is this what it is like to be self-conscious? It's an odd feeling. What if he thinks I'm too childish? What if he does see my body and realizes just like Peter did, that I'm a disappointment to look at. But what if we don't have tomorrow? And if there is a tomorrow… will I always hit a point where I have to force myself to stop?
There's quietness in the room again. He's given me space, even though I'm not even sure I want it. He asks a question that makes me feel like he could read my mind.
"What do you think is going to happen to us?" he asks.
I wonder if he means "us" as in our relationship, or if he means our fates in the hands of the leaders.
"I wish I knew," I answer for both meanings.
What if we die tomorrow? Will there be regrets?
A/N Thank you so much to those of you who have continued to read and review! It means so much to see that I still have readers out there. Please, don't be shy, any and all feedback is helpful. Thanks to you, I've reached my 100 review milestone. :'')
Special thanks to my beta, Kuraun Kuraun.
I still have a few chapters to go before this story wraps up. Please stay with me. Although I can't promise another new chapter in a week, I still have a bit more story to tell. Don't forget to put my story on alert. See ya next chapter!