A/N Here it is, my friends. The final chapter. Thank you for your support and constant encouragement. Your reviews and favorites and alerts and PMs. As well as your messages on tumblr. Thank you thank you! Enjoy xx
That is how long it had been since Tris had returned back to her apartment. How old Christina's new baby boy was. How long it had been since she felt whole again. And those four weeks had been the most excruciating she'd ever been through.
She'd left the morning after Will told her of the news; her door was fixed so she had no other excuse to stay. Except for Tobias of course. She was well aware of his feelings towards her and now he most likely knew she reciprocated them, yet something was pulling at her. Fear. Tobias had done nothing more than encourage her of her strength but she had to convince herself of that first. However, this fear surrounded him. The man who had saved her time and time again. The man who had opened himself up to her. She was scared that if anything did ever happen between them she was undeserving.
All her life she'd been dating men whom she thought matched her. Matched her social style, matched her lifestyle, but she'd had no luck with that. She'd dated Albert because of his status and decidedly ignored the fact that he only dated her for the same reason. Not realizing it until it was too late. And then there was Tobias.
All she could think about was him. The way he touched her. How he looked at her. His laugh. His smile. Him. Him. Him. She had never felt this way about Albert before; about anyone before. There was something building between them. An unforeseen pressure feeding on every stolen glance, every unsaid word, every laugh and smile.
There were nights she'd spent tossing and turning in bed, unable to sleep, clutching her cellphone in her hand wanting to call and deciding against it at the last moment. She'd left him in such a weird position. They weren't friends, and then they were. They weren't more than friends but they had almost kissed. No, they had kissed. He'd taken care of her when no one else would and what else would explain that other than him having feelings for her?
She'd confronted him about it that evening on the deck and his lack of response either confirmed the fact or dissuaded it. But again, his actions said otherwise. He was still so confusing; still so secretive. It irked her, bothered her, intrigued her. She wanted so much more than a piece of him.
She wanted the whole puzzle.
"Hello, handsome," Tris cooed at the baby in her arms. She was at Christina's house. It was one of those nights again and it was as if her best friend had known about her troubles because she called her right up and Tris was more than happy to oblige. This was the second time she'd seen the newborn, but that didn't make the sight anything short of amazing.
Baby Levi. He looked just like his sisters except with even more hair than they'd had at his age; his wide green eyes had not faltered from his aunt's. His lips smacked adamantly as he tried speaking in the only way infants could.
"Oh yes?" Tris played along raising and furrowing her eyebrows. It earned her a smile. "Such a ladies man, huh?"
Christina laughed at that, reaching out for her son when he started to whine and placing him gently in his bassinet. "Don't encourage him, Wiley and Marlowe have insisted that they're the ones marrying him."
Tris raised an eyebrow. "And how long is that phase going to last?"
Her friend snorted. "Do you want be the one to explain to them what incest is?" And when the blond shook her head, Chris continued. "Exactly. We'll just ride it out."
"You know what I find funny?" Christina suddenly blurted and crossed her arms. "I'm the one who just gave birth and you look like Hell."
Tris sighed, running a hand through her hair. She knew her friend wasn't talking about her lacerations; they'd all healed; if anything, Tris only had a few pink stripes on her head and cheek. Chris was talking about her friend's state of being now. She wasn't sleeping so of course there were bags in her eyes, and she'd somehow gotten skinnier even though she'd been eating; all in all, she wasn't doing well.
Christina crossed over to the other side of the nursery and sat next to her in the rocking chair. Her hands brushed back a few blond strays before turning to really look at her. "What is up?"
Tris looked back at her, held back the tears, and dumped everything that had happened onto her best friend. She told her details of the attack she hadn't mentioned before. She told her about the night at the club. She told her about the hospital visit. And then she spilled about her stay at Tobias' house. By the time she was done, Christina was holding her friend to her chest and Tris let a few tears slip through her eyes.
"I don't know what to do anymore," she brokenly stated and Christina gently pulled back to meet her friend face to face, wiping her tears away.
"You need to get away for awhile, sweetie."
Tris laughed bitterly. "The last thing that I need is to be surrounded by my demons." She sighed. "The last thing I need is to be alone."
Christina looped an arm around Tris' shoulder. "And you won't. Remember the brochure I gave you? About that cabin the woods and the hiking?"
Tris nodded slowly. "Go," Christina emphasized. "It's the perfect opportunity to get away from the city but there will still be people around. You need to heal. And as much as I want to take your pain away, you're the one who has the power to do that."
Tris looked troubled. "But how do I do that, Chris? How do I even begin to heal."
The taller woman gave her friend a sad smile and bit her lip; a look Tris was all too familiar with when Christina was going to say something she didn't think would fare well. "Do you know the book, Perks of Being A Wallflower?" Tris had a look on her face that Christina knew was coming but waved off. "Yeah, I know I'm being completely cliche but hear me out. There's a quote in it that says 'we accept the love we think we deserve'."
Tris let that sink in because that's exactly what she'd been doing. Accepting those whom she had thought would accept her. She never had a doubt in her mind that she wasn't wanted in the same way she wanted those men she'd dated in the past. But with Tobias, she couldn't see why he would want her. That was the issue: she thought too much into it. She just had to go with her feelings, go with his feelings, and let it lead her life. What else did she have to lose anyhow? He'd seen her at her lowest of lows, maybe it was time for him to see her in her high.
"And Tris," Christina smiled. "You are the most compassionate, loving, and strong person I have ever met. And all I want for you, is pure happiness. To experience love. True love." Tris squeezed her friend's hands. "Go to the trip. Realize your self worth. And who knows," Christina's eyes glinted, "you never know who you'll find."
The blond grinned and kissed her best friend's cheek. "What would I do without you?" She wondered aloud and Christina shrugged good-naturedly.
That night, she stared at her ceiling, wide awake. She decided that if she was going to be a better person for herself, she had to make some changes. Eying the electric clock on her nightstand and ignoring the few rays of sunlight peering through her shades, she tossed her sheets aside and grabbed her phone.
It took Tris about an hour and a half to drive to the site. The place was in a mountainous terrain of the state and as she made her trek, she cranked her heat higher. It was significantly colder in this region. When she got there, she was more or less surprised to find three lonesome cabins, very far apart from each other with conjoining trails. There weren't any outhouses because the layout of the cabin, via the brochure, included one bathroom and a bedroom. Old Barbeque stations and benches were scattered among the field in front of the woods but it was much too cold for that.
Tris got out of the car and began lugging her suitcase and gear to Cabin # 1; the cabin deeper into the woods. She was grateful she hadn't brought as much as she made her way down the trail. Looking around, she couldn't see anyone else on the perimeter; the dark windows of the rest of the Cabins confirmed it, but that was to be expected. When Tris had called to schedule her stay, the man on the phone had told her there was only going to be one other person at the same site which was fine with her.
Leaving her things at the bottom of the rickety stairs, she fumbled around her purse to fish out the key she had been given, only to be met with a slightly opened door.
Her heart began to race and she checked her cell again making sure she was at the right Cabin; she was. Shaking a little, she slowly pushed the door open and was met with a heavily spiced aroma. Peering over the corner wall, she was pleasantly surprised at whom she saw.
Tris smiled so widely, her cheeks immediately began to hurt and she fully made her way around the corner. "That better not be spaghetti."
Tobias stilled his movements and turned around. His momentarily confused face contorting into one of happy incredulity. "It's pasta."
"Same difference," she folded her arms approaching him slowly.
Tobias snorted. "What are you doing here?"
"I booked this cabin," she laughed.
"So did I," Tobias turned off the stove. "The guy must have thought we were together or something."
At this, there was a pang at Tris' heart. "Well I'm okay with this if you are. There's no point in trying to figure it out now."
Tobias licked his lips and nodded. "Yeah, I'm good with it."
It was in the evening after a dinner of ravioli surprisingly not from a can. And Tris wondered why anybody would think of making ravioli of all meals in the barren wilderness. She'd voiced this and Tobias blushed for the first time telling her to just eat. She smiled around a forkful.
They talked about the new baby and new shipment finally arriving at his store and the absence of Mia.
"She's with Tammy," Tobias made a face.
Tris snickered and did absolutely nothing to hide her pleasure.
Tobias hadn't unpacked yet so after they finished their meal and cleaned up, they both retired back into the one room and brought their suitcases in to unpack.
And they saw the one bed in the middle of it. Neither of the two brought it up, folding their clothes and putting them in the respective drawers.
It was a tiny room with green walls and one painting on the side but it was a small cabin, they didn't expect anything more.
"I would suggest a hike," Tris said eyeing her equipment. "But it's getting pretty late."
Tobias shut his drawer, pushing aside his duffel and nodded at the receding skyline. "Yeah." He turned to her. "I heard we were supposed to get some snow tonight but nothing too bad."
It made sense, the snow. It was way colder up here in the mountains then below where the two lived. But if it was just a dusting, it wouldn't effect them.
They went to bed early that night; looking forward to the activities of the day ahead. Tris usually slept in her underwear but she obviously couldn't now so she foraged for some shorts in her side of the dresser to wear. She didn't give up wearing a big t shirt with no bra, however.
When Tobias came into the room, clad in his own sleepwear, he gathered a pillow and bid her a goodnight, leaving the room.
Tris furrowed her eyebrows. "Where are you going?" She called after him. He stopped in his tracks turning to face her. "The living room…"
Tris crossed her arms. "To sleep? No, stay here." There was a hint of desperation rising in her tone but she wanted him to hear it. She wanted him to stay.
Tobias stood with his mouth slightly agape. "Tris it's not a big deal-"
"Then stay here," she emphasized. When he didn't move she dropped her arms. "Please, Tobias," she quietly begged.
Tobias ran a hand through his hair before briskly walking towards the right side of the bed. "I'm going to take up the whole thing."
The blond girl smiled to herself, strangely not feeling the slightest bit uncomfortable and climbed into the left side, pulling the sheets over her. Well, actually, there wasn't really a left side or a right. Tobias was correct, he did take up 80 percent of room and the two had to awkwardly position themselves so that they weren't skin to skin touching, however, she could still feel the heat radiating off of his body. She was small though, so it wasn't such an issue.
He lied there on his side, right arm out and stretched over Tris' pillow; legs fanned out - the tips of his feet poked out at the end of the bed, he was so tall - and Tris curled up with her arms and hands tucked under her cheek and legs curled up into her stomach.
"You look like a fetus," Tobias mumbled and Tris almost choked in between her bursts of unrelented laughter.
"Hey," she finally got out when her laughter subsided. "At least I can fit the bed."
He narrowed his eyes. "I told you I wouldn't."
"Well it's better than the even smaller couch," she sympathized. There was a chill up her spine so she arched her back to scratch it, causing the tips of her covered breasts to brush against Tobias' chest. Her face flamed and but she was grateful that it was dark.
There was silence for a couple of minutes after that, so different from the city nightlife. Instead of drunken screams, obscenely loud honks, police sirens, and lights from far off into the distance, there were crickets and owls and black; the wind hitting the foggy lone window and slow and steady breaths and moonlight. She loved it.
"I didn't peg you for the tattoo type," Tobias voice seemed loud and Tris turned her eyes to him and then to her collarbone. In the new position she was unaware that the scoop neck shirt revealed the three black birds above her breast bone.
She grinned up at him, using his ever so popular phrase. "You never asked."
His teeth shone white in the darkness.
"Why birds," he asked and Tris bit her lip. "I got it as soon as I turned 18, and to be completely honest, I just did it so I could piss off my parents," she admitted ruefully.
"But what's the story behind it."
Tris picked a particle from her tangled lashes and shrugged. "I don't really have one."
She could feel Tobias rolling his eyes at her. "Liars go to Hell," he quipped and Tris raised an annoyed eyebrow. "Fine." Pulling at the bottom of her shirt which rested just below the slight swell of her backside.
"I used to have," she began. "This recurring dream about crows, a whole swarm of them, attacking me. It freaked me out so much that when I walked home after school and I saw one, I would walk the entire way back and around just to avoid it.
"Anyway," she sighed. "I thought that maybe it was," she cringed, "a sign or something - I don't know, I was really into that zodiac stuff at the time."
Tobias snorted and disguised it as a cough; Tris glared at him. "When's your birthday?"
"March 25th," Tobias didn't miss a beat.
"Aries. I fucking knew it," Tris breathed. "Anyways I researched them and found out that they were pretty cool animals," she dug her side more into the bed. "Like, they mate for life and display emotions. The dreams stopped after that and that's when my crow obsession began."
Tris shook her head in embarrassment. "Long story short, I liked crows and I had three other family members besides me. Bam," she flicked her fingers. "Hence the tattoo. It's so stupid."
"It's not stupid," Tobias yawned.
Tris gave him a look of utter disbelief. "It's stupid." She peered up at him. "Do you have any?"
He suddenly looked so uncomfortable that it answered her question.
"I'll take that as a yes," she slowly smiled, sitting up and using her arm for leverage. "Let's see it."
Tobias shut his eyes. "I don't think so."
Tris rolled hers. "Oh come on, I showed you mine."
"It was unintentional," he said with his still closed. "And I am intentionally telling you no."
Tris wasn't one to take no for an answer, obviously, and she sat up fully in bed, crossing her arms. "If you don't tell me then I'll just have to guess, which trust me, is worse."
Tobias stayed in his mute state and Tris clucked her tongue. "Is it on your dick?"
He opened his eyes. "Excuse me," he sputtered.
Tris didn't look at him instead brushing off imaginary dust mites from her arms and legs. "You're not telling me what it is or where it is so I'm guessing you're embarrassed. It has to be on your dick."
Tobias sat up and mirrored her - towering over her even in his sitting position - scratching at his stubbly jaw and running his hands over his face.
Tris raised an eyebrow. "Or maybe it's a tramp stamp-"
"It's on my back," Tobias vehemently cut in. "Okay?"
Tris dropped her hands and turned to him fully. "Your entire back?" She wondered earnestly, and when he painfully nodded, she whistled. "Shit."
He seemed more embarrassed than she was just a moment ago and she almost felt bad pushing so much. Almost.
She crawled closer towards him. "Can I see it?"
He cut his eyes to her; they looked black in the dark. His hair looked black too. Giving Tris a wary look he willingly nodded and paused, his fingers at the edge of his sleep shirt, before pulling it over his head and tossing it to the side.
The only sounds she was aware of at that moment was the blood rushing to her head, her heart thumping faster than it feasibly should have, and her breaths coming out in uneven bursts. Tobias was...glorious. His skin instead of being paler underneath his clothing was tanner, golden almost and Jesus almighty was he built. His stocky and broad chest gave way to an even more toned stomach leading down to a trail of thick, bushy brunette hairs…
She forced herself to look away and he turned around causing the bed to creak and groan.
Tris ever so carefully knee-walked a little ways over to where she was directly behind him and let out a small gasp, ghosting her porcelain fingers over his back. It was absolutely magnificent; Tris hadn't seen anything like it. It was a masterpiece.
On the outside, there were thick, bulky lines eventually splitting up into thinner branches as she looked onward, near his shoulders. In the middle, narrow portion between his shoulder blades, were five circular pictures- no, symbols.
Tris was so close to his back, her breath bounced back resonating around her mouth before dissipating in the air. She lightly trailed her fingertips down the line of images, spread them to skirt along the edges of the lines.
"What does it mean," she found her voice.
"When I was a kid," Tobias started slowly. "I used to make a list of things that my dad didn't do. Things I hated about him other than his fists."
Tris rubbed her thumb against the undersides of his shoulders, silently edging him to go on. Silently reminding him his father was gone.
Tobias clenched his teeth but leaned back into her touch. "I swore to myself that I wouldn't be like that when I was older, if I had a family, I wouldn't treat them like that."
"That'd I'd be," he reached behind him and grazed his lower back where his first tattoo was. "Wise." Tris looked to where his fingers were and saw a tree with fanned out branches and leaves. "Truthful." An eye stared back at her and she trailed her gaze up to a scale of some sort. "Selfless," he went on. "Peaceful." Tris retracted her fingers from the last symbol right at the base of his neck as if the flames were real. "Brave."
Tobias rubbed at his face harshly and Tris could feel the pull of his muscles."You got your tat out of spite? Mine's a reminder."
Tris bit her lip. She wanted to tell him that he was all of these things and more. Her ministrations on his back didn't cease. "Wouldn't it just be easier to let go?" Her timid voice rang out. She was walking on eggshells here. Sure he talked to her about his past, his personal life. He invited her into it, really, but that didn't mean she wanted to bring back the pain associated with it.
"Easier for who, Tris?" He turned his body around and leaned back against the headboard, leaving Tris' hands to lamely sit in her lap. "If I let go I give him the peace of mind that he never gave me."
"If you let go," Tris corrected. "You set yourself free."
"Were you scared?" She whispered and met his eyes. "Did you feel like if you didn't have this with you you'd forget and be like him?"
Tris had known Tobias for a few months, and in that time, in this time, she had never seen him the slightest bit worried, the slightest bit scared. But now, sitting in near darkness with his dark past sitting on his sleeve, the fear that was on his face was more than unsettling to Tris. It stirred up a deep sadness in the pit of her stomach; a hatred for a man she had never met who made Tobias feel like he was less than who he was. And she never wanted to see that look again.
Crawling and bouncing a bit over to him, she rose to her knees and tented her body over him. "Hey," she laid a gentle hand on his neck. "Last month, out on your deck, when I said we were the same?" He raised his gaze to her own. "I was right. We are. But not in the way you think. We've both been hurt Tobias, and we've both been scarred." He didn't move. "But if anything, especially what I've learned from you, is that we cannot let that bring us down."
"You helped me to be stronger, you know." She added quietly as a forethought.
He shook his head, tilting it up to her. "No, you've always been that."
"Well you helped me realize it. And it's a process that begins with forgiveness."
"So," she sighed, falling next to him. "I forgave, Albert. I do, I forgive him." She repeated to convince herself. "And it doesn't mean I have to forget what he did to me. It means that I'm moving on and I'm not letting it hinder me."
Tobias frowned deeply. "You can't expect me to do that so quickly."
"And I'm not," she shook her head. "I'm not. It takes time. And when you're ready." She took his hand. "I'll be there. Hopefully," she smiled.
"You'll be there," he squeezed.
It happened so fast; she went around him to get back to her spot and tried to maneuver her way on what was left of the bed that they hadn't taken over yet and he turned at the same time. She tipped off the edge but Tobias automatically caught her, bringing her back up again. Their fronts were crushed against each other; her thinly shielded breasts squashed against his bare chest and his arms still wrapped around her like a vise and her small hands behind his neck.
He had that same look on his face; the one he had at his home when they were sitting around the fireplace. It was one of intense unfinished business; and Tris supposed it was because they didn't talk about what didn't conspire between them that night. But she wasn't about to bring it up; he didn't look like he was either. It didn't matter, she ultimately decided, leaning back and gently out of his grip.
"It's late," her voice sounded hollow as she returned under the sheets.
Tobias licked his lips and nodded once, laying himself down onto his pillow.
"Goodnight Tris," he sighed.
"Sleep tight Tobias."
They didn't sleep until an hour after.
Tris awoke to the sound of whipping winds hitting the windowpane. She turned around, grumbling and looking for someone to blame for the incessant noise when she gasped at what she saw. Standing up from the bed, she groggily wiped aside the condensation that had collected blocking the view and cursed.
The cabin was small, yes, but it was tall; however, the snow seemed to match its height, reaching up halfway to the window. They were completely snowed in.
"So much for that hike," Tris turned around to see Tobias smirking at her, his hoarse voice evident; she smiled back.
"Good morning to you too," she crossed over to fix her sheets and readjust her pillow as he stood up and groaned, cracking his neck and arms. She ignored the pang that went straight to her center.
"Fuck," he muttered, clutching his side in pain. He shot her a dark look. "I should have never listened to you and gotten into that bed."
She raised her hands in mock surrender. "Hey, you slept didn't you?"
It was a couple of hours later and Tris and Tobias had a quick brunch before he tried to go out and chop some more wood for the fire. He only got two steps out before he returned soaking wet and Tris made the point that there was no way he could see in this blizzard, plus there was a lot of extra wood next to the fireplace anyway.
Tobias was smart in his packing; he sat across from her at the table completely transfixed on some forms for the store and charts corresponding. His glasses - that Tris hadn't even known he'd worn - kept sliding down his nose and without breaking his studying he'd just push them back to place. However, Tris didn't bring anything. She'd left her laptop, books, she'd even programmed her cell phone to lock certain applications because she had assumed she would be so busy out in nature, she wouldn't need her electronics. And now she paid for it dearly. She was bored.
With a mischievous smile, she drummed her fingers onto the table in a sporadic pattern then transitioned to her palms. She eyed Tobias the whole time seeing how much it would take for him to finally acknowledge her and as it turned out, she had to kick her feet against her chair legs for him to look up from his papers to stare at her wearily.
He raised an eyebrow and she stifled a giggle. "I'm bored," she sighed. The look Tobias gave her that moment was picture perfect as he went back to his papers. "Sounds like a personal problem, Tris."
She slumped and rolled her eyes. "Oh come on, Tobias." She gently pawed at his knuckles. "There has to be something to do."
Tobias side smiled at her incredulously. "Yeah, you should go find it."
She scowled and stood from her seat, dropping where her hand was on his. Walking around unceremoniously. There was a television on the stand at the end of the rug but when Tris tried getting the remote to work, all she got was static and a channel that gave way to a DVD screen. They'd obviously not brought any movies but when she checked through the drawers anyways, she'd laughed at what she'd found.
"What?" Tobias called out.
She stood and shook the case in her hand. "It's fucking Frozen!"
Tobias furrowed his eyebrows and clicked his pen. "That doesn't make any sense, it's inside."
Tris raised a confused eyebrow and stalked closer towards him. "Tobias, the movie. Frozen." And when he shook his head she dropped her jaw. "Are you kidding me? You haven't watched it?"
"I don't even know what it is," he grunted disinterestedly.
Tris found that very hard to believe. The first time she had watched the film was in theaters when it came out - sans any children, or anyone for that matter. The hype was great and she had succumbed to the whirlwind that was the Frozen fanbase.
She took his work, stuffed it in a folder and met his annoyed eyes with light hearted ones. "Please come watch with me," she pleaded. "It's a sweet movie and we have all the time in the world."
Tobias sighed. "It's for kids."
"Not solely," she rolled her eyes and gave him a smile.
He looked at her and grumbled under his breath, not waiting for her to plop down onto the couch.
Tris was sure her bottom lip would be bruised for the times she had bit it in order to keep herself from laughing at Tobias. After the first fifteen minutes, he'd been more into the film than she had, and that was saying something. He smiled at Anna's mannerisms, frowned at Elsa's lack of presence, and shook his head after Love Is An Open Door.
"There's something up with that guy," he mumbled and Tris shrugged looking up.
Tobias had slowly gravitated towards her through the movie to the point where her head almost fell on his shoulder but it wasn't anything like the way they were touching last night. Tris should have felt mortified but she didn't; she felt comfortable.
Tris had expected some bitterness from him that morning as a result of what he spilled last night; some regret for digging up negative memories he'd buried long ago. But he greeted her with a small smile, a Tobias smile, and she knew she'd done something good. That they both had.
The scene moment when Hans locked the door Tris smiled into his shoulder and then jerked away when he spun to face her after Hans had lied to Anna.
"I fucking knew it!" Tobias roared.
Tris ended up on the floor in her laughter.
She closed her eyes as the hot water rained down over her and the steam engulfed her in a heated haze. It was the evening now but they'd already eaten. And surprisingly, when Tobias put his work away, he did so for good. They'd made do with each other's company and honestly that was all they needed. Tris smiled the entire time.
She reached out to turn off the water when she heard a noise. Something other than the sloshing of her wet feet and water droplets falling from ringlets of her hair. The noise surfaced again and she raised her head to see the source...a giant hairball perched on the upper rink of the wall.
Heavy footsteps barrelled down the hall immediately. "What?" His muffled shout reached her.
"There's a POSSUM IN THE SHOWER!" She screeched.
"Get out of the shower, Tris!" He yelled as it was the easiest concept in the world.
She searched desperately, above the curtain and around her before cursing. "I don't have a towel!" It hissed at her "Fuck, Fuck, fucking SHIT!"
He threw in his shirt. "Put it on and get out!"
She threw it over her and in haste slipped inside the tub and banged her head, making the creature jump out from the corner and closer to her.
She rubbed at where it throbbed and managed to crawl out of the room and behind Tobias.
"It's in the corner, it's in the corner!" She screamed.
Tobias took a broom from the hallway and cautiously poked the shower curtain followed by an even more severe hiss.
Tris screamed again shutting her eyes tightly, and slightly holding onto Tobias.
He poked one more time, pushing the curtain to one side as the rodent jumped out of the tub to Tris' horror and crawled towards them.
The blonde squealed, holding onto Tobias for dear life. "This is it, this is it," she muttered in a shaky voice. "This is how we die."
"I will be damned if a fucking rat out of everything you've gone through is going to kill you, Tris," Tobias responded.
Tris stared at him from behind even though she couldn't see him. Grateful for everything he's done. She placed her head in the crook of his neck. Tobias stayed in that position for a moment before sighing and swinging the broom at the ground with all his might in hopes of scaring the rodent. Instead, the animal with newfound anger screeched so loudly, even Tobias shook a bit.
"Fuck," the pair said in unison.
Then Tris had an idea.
"Wait, Tobias," she tapped him. "Take off your pants."
He craned his neck to look at her. "What?"
"It'll work as a makeshift net," she whispered eyeing the increasingly irritated animal. "Look, I would, but this shirt is the only thing I have on."
Tobias cursed and slowly lowered the broom to strip. Tris pretended not to notice how his ass filled out the undergarment to a T. Pretended not to notice the paleness of where his olive skin disappeared underneath it.
He took the pants and raised them once they were off. "When I count to three, run to the other room and shut the door," he said lowly.
"I'm not leaving you here!" Tris hissed back as the pants were above both of their heads.
"I'm not asking you, Tris, I'm telling you."
Tris shook her head. "No-"
She was interrupted by the Possum baring it's teeth and pawing the ground; ready to charge.
"Okay," she finished dismally.
"Okay," Tobias sighed. "One...two..."
Everything happened in a blur. Tobias threw the pants on the animal as it blindly ran around the bathroom. Tris, screaming the entire time, ran to the front of the Cabin and opened the door as Tobias ushered the rodent out with the broom. Their plan worked as it stumbled back into the woods, pants on its head and all.
Tris slammed the door shut, locked it, and backed up against it, sliding down to the floor completely jaw-slacked. And Tobias leaned back against the couch undeniably in a weird awe about what random chaos had just ensued.
Their eyes met; blue to blue, and they burst out in incredulous, simultaneous laughter.
"Oh my God," Tris cackled in between gasps of air.
Then she was fully aware of her state. She was soaking wet and she didn't have to look down to know how her breasts strained against the white, very see through material.
She stood close to Tobias, leaning up on her tippy toes to plant a soft one on his cheek. When she returned to his eyes, she stilled her hand there for a moment. "Thank you." A slight smile playing at her lips as she retired back but he tugged her hand to a stop.
"Stop, Tris. I can't do this anymore," he said, his voice strangled.
Tris couldn't meet his eyes. Wouldn't meet his eyes, so she turned away from him, her hand still in a firm grasp.
"Do what?" she played dumb.
"Exactly. What are we doing?"
He was playing mind games again and Tris was growing agitated. She tried to free her hand but he just held it harder, drew her in closer.
"You know what I'm talking about," Tobias swallowed hard. "Tell me what you did in the four weeks you weren't with me," he sounded desperate.
He'd been counting.
"I didn't eat," her voice sounded so small. "I didn't sleep."
"Why?" He clenched his jaw.
Why? Because every moment that I wasn't with you was time wasted. Because your eyes take me to a place that I didn't know I was longing for. Because you have my heart.
Her mind spoke but her mouth was still.
Tobias cursed and spun Tris around to face him, and threw up his hands. "You want to know why I haven't been sleeping?"
"It's because you infuriate me like no one else can," he spit. "It's because every time you open your annoying, beautiful mouth I never know what to expect. It's everytime you bombard me with questions and roll your eyes at me and laugh and smile, and Goddammit, Tris! You are so amazing without even doing anything."
The blond woman stood with her mouth agape, absolutely dumbfounded by words she'd never heard before. Words she'd never imagined Tobias saying. Words that warmed her very being and confused her and delighted her.
He licked his lips and raised a finger to trace the underside of her jaw; she closed her eyes, inhaling his scent. "You have," he whispered. "Intoxicated me."
"I can't pretend anymore."
"I am falling hard, and I'm falling fast."
Fuck fuck fuck.
She knew she had to say something. Anything. She needed to move her lips.
"Two truths and a lie," she blurted.
Tobias faltered. "Wha-"
"Two truths and a lie. My name is Beatrice Prior. I'm a brunette." She opened her eyes to meet his expectant ones. Sucking her in once again. "And I am in so in love with you-"
And they closed the gap.
Their lips crashed in a hunger they'd been stirring in since the moment they had met. He was all taking, his lips sucking greedily at her and probing his tongue for an entrance and she readily succumbed to him. Fire. All she felt was fire. It was all consuming gnawing at the bottom of her damp toes traveling up through the apex of her thighs and spiraling up over her neck to her lips. He was all consuming. All the longing and anger and joy reverberated through his lips and into her, fueling the passion
His arms pawing at her shoulders, her neck, her waist, and hissing as she moaned, holding onto his back for dear life. It was so sweet, so delicious feeling him in this way. Being with him in this way, she wondered why she hadn't said anything sooner.
Without breaking contact, Tobias hoisted Tris up and hastily made his way into the bedroom, kicking the door shut behind him - even though it was just them in the cabin - and released her onto the bed. She bounced slightly and whined for him until he landed on top of her kissing her even deeper. She wrapped her legs around him and unconsciously pulled his waist down to meet her aching center. They gasped.
"Tobias," she panted. "Please, now." She wanted him now, now, now. It had all been building to this point, she now knew. He now knew.
He looked at her, eyes clouded in a passion that Tris had seen before. She just hadn't known it was passion. She couldn't decipher it until now. On the couch, at Christina's, it was passion all along.
He ignored her and instead of ridding himself his boxers, he played with the only article of clothing Tris had on. His shirt.
In one swift motion, Tobias lifted up the damp shirt and flung it in the corner of the room, before returning his eyes on her. He groaned and swept his eyes over the red of her neck and the pert nipples of her small breasts. The concavity of her pale stomach and the fine, sparse hairs of her center.
His tongue dipped in between the valley of her breasts, underneath the swell of them and up and over, purposely avoiding where she wanted him the most . Tris squirmed as more heat collected in her body, moaning, urging him to give her some sort of release and he latched on the nipple of her left breast, palming the other.
"Mm," Tris whimpered, bucking her hips into air as the moisture increased. Jesus, she was so wet and she wanted him fucking now. To show him just how much, she arched her back to graze the bulge of his boxers earning a mangled groan. He paused his ministrations and she used this as an opportunity to push him down and roll on top of him.
His eyes widened at the new position and she squeezed him, daring him to move away from where they were right now. There would be times other than right now where he could pleasure her with his mouth, his nimble and strong fingers, but at that moment, all she needed was him.
"Tris, you have to let me show-"
"You have shown me, Tobias," she said, peppering kisses all over his face. "You've shown me in everything." She gyrated her hips and he cursed. "Now let me show you."
Biting her lip, she quickly pulled down his boxers until they caught onto his ankles. He kicked them away and just like that they were both the most vulnerable they'd ever been to one another. Actually, that was a lie. Tris has been vulnerable when she was drunk at that club, she was vulnerable when she cried into his chest in the hospital, when he tended to her bruises. Now, she wasn't. She was glorified. Radiant. Brave, strong. There was no fear in this.
"Wait," Tobias suddenly stopped. "Do you have…?"
"I'm on the pill," she said distractedly. "Kiss me."
And he did.
"You're incredible," he muttered, lying back down again. His hands rubbing where she sat on top of him. She was in complete control of this. "So beautiful."
With a deep breath, she took him in between her slick folds and sank deep, deep and fully encasing him inside of her.
And she was in his universe.
Placing her hands on either side of him, she raised her arse and planted it back down again, slowly at first. And Tobias sat up abruptly and enveloped her in his arms, bringing his knees up closer so she was on his lap and returned his mouth to hers.
As she bobbed up and down, he was everywhere. Inside of her and around her and in her head and in her mouth and in her ears. It was all him, all him. And she had never felt fuller, never felt a bliss, a sweeter sting than this. He rose his hips so that she could meet his thrusts causing such a friction.
"It's always been you," she moaned into his mouth. She was in a delirious state of pleasure and the words came tumbling out. "I just didn't know it, and then I didn't want to admit it because of so many reasons and I - I just-"
Tobias swiveled his hips, hitting her at another angle and picked up the pace, pinching and pulling her nipples. She screamed into his neck.
"I know," he grunted. "Now shut up and feel."
And did she ever.
After a moment, when their moans grew louder and more frequent and the thrusts were sloppier and sporadic, Tobias flipped her over, hitched her leg over his shoulder and pounded into her.
"Fuck!" She shouted in blinding, all consuming ecstasy. She reached out blindly pulling his face towards her own and he swallowed the noise. She was so close, so close. He sensed that and trailed his hand down to where they were conjoined, grazing the bundle of nerves before fully circling it with his fingertips.
"Oh god oh god oh god," she whimpered as she felt herself begin to unravel. As she felt the first wave approach and retreat and she was almost there when-
She screamed and arched her back off the mattress as white hot electricity shot through her body rendering her completely at the mercy of her feelings. It lasted a long moment and she rode it out with short bursts guttural sounds she'd never made before. The orgasm shattered every bone in her body but she wanted him to finish. Needed him to finish, and he was close. Gyrating her hips closer to him, and fondling him underneath, he let out a string of obscenities before spilling inside of her.
They stayed connected for a long while after that. His face in the crook of her shoulder and her hand gently massaging his hair. They were both weightless and heavy and happy and there were no words to describe that feeling. The moment. But they didn't need words. Everything they'd done showed what they felt. And that was enough.
It was hours later and they hadn't moved from where they lied underneath the sheets.
Tobias was on his side, tracing patterns onto Tris' back. "What are you thinking," he asked. These were the first words spoken since.
Tris slowly smiled, ear to ear. She reached out a hand to trace the stubble of his jaw and he caught it and kissed her knuckles. "About you."
He snorted. "Well I'd hope so after that."
Tris rolled her eyes and tried to move back into the sheets when Tobias grabbed her wrists and pinned them back into the pillows; he used his legs to gently push down hers and positioned himself above her. He kissed her once, twice and leaned back into his pillows. And she grazed her hand along his sharp face and pulled him in for another kiss. Unlike the others, this one was soft, tender, and she sucked on his bottom lip before she let him go.
She wasn't just thinking about him. There was something else she had to say. Something that she felt she needed to tell him.
"I didn't sign my lease for my apartment," she averted her eyes and pretended to be busy with the loose hems of the blanket. "I didn't - I don't need it. The isolation, it was- it was too much," she stammered.
"So you're basically homeless," he said.
"That's a way to put it." She blushed. "I'm crashing at Christina and Will's for a bit until I find a house that I actually like, I was thinking somewhere in the suburbs-"
"Live with me," he desperately blurted out. She whipped her head back to meet his eyes. "W-what?" He gathered her in his arms and held her to his chest; they were still naked and her breasts pressed against him. "It makes sense. Stay with me."
"Tobias…" she was hesitant. "Won't you get sick of me?"
He sighed. "I'm already delirious with you." She smiled, that was cute. "And," gnawed on his lip. "I want you with me, all the time, in every way. Tell me you don't want the same thing."
She couldn't. She yearned for him. So she brushed his hair back and nodded. "Okay."
The joy on his face was immeasurable. "Okay?"
Two Years Later
Tris checked her watch for the seventh time in the past five minutes.
She had everything set up for tonight and she'd like to think she'd done a pretty nice job. The ordinary kitchen table was decked out in red cloth, doilies sat underneath the two silver plates and cutlery and napkins facing each seat. She even put two lit candles and dimmed the lights in the house. He'd probably laugh at her efforts to be so romantic in such a corny way but tonight was important.
She took a deep breath and shakily finished dishing out the rest of the meal she had cooked onto the plates, rinsing out the pots and wiping down the countertops when she was finished. Mia barked behind her, pawing at something small on the floor.
Tris cursed, picking up her ring and putting it back onto her left hand. "Thanks, girl," she rubbed Mia's snout. Sometimes when she was cleaning up, she took it off and more times than she would like to admit, she's misplaced it. Her faithful canine companion was always there to help her find it though. She smiled to herself as she took to the stairs, Tobias never took his off.
He'd proposed not six months after she'd moved in with him. At first, she could have sworn it wouldn't work. They were both very practical people, they did things that made sense. Moving in together after knowing one another less than a few months wasn't the norm. And there were days where she would slam the front door, get into her car, raging out of her mind because sometimes he was just so damned stubborn. But she never left the driveway because she loved that fool. And he loved her. But she would wait until he'd come out and tap on her window in an apology before going back in because she herself was stubborn as well.
He'd taken her to an Italian restaurant one evening, and yes she had almost slapped him for the irony - but she enjoyed it and it was nice doing things like this every once in awhile. After, they walked the bridge behind the place that oversaw a small pond and he pretended to tie his shoe - he planned on taking out the ring then - but Tris had pointed out he was wearing slip ons. Embarrassed and annoyed he popped the question and Tris had cried and all was well.
At first, she suggested eloping but when Christina heard of this, she about lost it, so they had a wedding. Small, but sure, and she didn't care much for the attention but her father walked her down the aisle, her mother cried, and her brother patted Tobias' back and told him to take care of his baby sister. It was a good day.
As was this one.
Tris flung off apron and baggy clothes, opting for a fitter, sexier dress, she knew he would appreciate. Ripping her blond mane from her pony, she fluffed the bob that settled just above her shoulders. She'd cut it a few weeks ago - it was something she'd never done before - and she liked it. The cut finalized a new era for her. A new beginning.
Through the bedroom window, she could see the white flash of his car lights pulling into the driveway and she giggled, grabbing the little red box with a bow that sat on the vanity and bounding down the steps and into the foyer.
Just as the door opened she skid a little in her socks and met him just as he entered with a very big kiss. She didn't disconnect her lips from his when she blindly reached for the door deciding to just kick it closed as his arms enclosed around her and they backed their way into the dining area. Her hands unzipped his light jacket and tossed it to the ground and she pawed at the hairs of the nape his neck and she swallowed his groan pulling back her swollen lips in a happy daze.
She gave him one more peck. "Happy Anniversary," she laughed into his neck. He kissed her forehead, a surprised but satisfied look on his face. "Happy Anniversary."
"So he just stormed out?" Tris laughed, cutting her green beans. And when Tobias nodded, she pointed her fork at him. "I told you to put up signs months ago."
He rolled his eyes. "If he didn't realize that we have a warehouse, he's an idiot."
"I didn't realize you had a warehouse."
"Oh, right," he cringed and Tris laughed it off. "I'll put signs up."
She quit her marketing job at her firm and supposed the idea one night at dinner that why didn't she use her skills to promote the store's revenue. She had babbled a mile a minute and he was silent; she had sunk in her chair. It sounded insulting, she knew, and she figured that was what Tobias was thinking when he slid out of his chair, scooped her up and pressed her on the kitchen table thanking her telling her it was a great idea. Actually, he thanked her three times.
And it worked. They had spruced it up immensely, more customer flow had been a result and it got to be successful, they'd even opened up a shop in a different location. But that's all Tobias allowed. He didn't want to be the next Dick's sporting goods, he just wanted to simply be.
And that's what they were doing, simply living. In the beginning, the money was an issue. Not so much the lack thereof but the abundance. When they were married, they joined accounts and Tobias was sour. He found it hard to accept the cash flow that belittled his own but she reminded him that this was theirs together and it wasn't princess and the pauper. He got over it.
"Oh, hey," he suddenly shot up from his seat and digging through the paper bag he brought back. "I bought some wine."
The bottle he held up was her favorite and he knew that. Proceeding to pop it open and pour some into her glass she shook her head. "Um no, I'm okay."
Tobias gave her a strange look. "You feeling alright?"
She nodded. "I'm just- water is fine."
He set down the bottle and didn't push the fact that she never passed down an invitation to down some chardonnay, especially tonight. She was grateful.
"This is really good," he swallowed. "Different."
She sipped. "Thanks, I used paprika this time to season...it." She stopped when a familiar twist in her side caused her to clench her teeth in pain. Tobias wasn't lost on this.
"What is it?" He rose to aid her but stopped when she gently put up a hand.
"It's nothing," she sucked at lying.
"Tris," he deadpanned. "What's wrong?
She sighed after the episode had passed looking away and reaching for the little box under her seat. She'd planned to give it to him later, but she didn't have a choice.
"I didn't get you anything," he sullenly stated when he saw the gift.
"That's because I didn't want anything," she confirmed. "I already have everything I could ever want."
"Then why did-"
"Open it Tobias," she said in a voice that left little room for discussion.
Carefully drawing the strings of the bow lose, her stomach was in knots and he lifted the top to two images.
And he stared.
And stared for what seemed like an eternity.
Then up at her.
Then back down again.
He gingerly lifted them and held them up to the light, blinking rapidly as if he was in disbelief at what he saw.
Tris was shaking. "Tobias, I need you to say something." Silence. "Anything."
"How...how far along are you," he asked at last, eyes still focused on the pictures.
"Ten weeks," she whispered. "I found out monday, but I wanted to surprise you." He was still silent which did nothing to calm her nerves. "Are you surprised?" She lamely laughed.
Tobias shifted his gaze to his wife and it was then that she saw the tears in his eyes. He licked his lips and nodded his head, a couple of tears falling into his mouth. Standing and moving over to her, he kneeled and took her hands. "Yeah," he kissed her knuckles. "Yes." His voice shook and he chuckled. "I never would of…" his voice caught. "Tris I-"
She smiled a watery smile gently brushing back his hair.
The baby wasn't planned of course. When were they ever. She hadn't been entirely faithful to taking the pill and it was once in a blue moon they used a condom so this was bound to happen. But they'd talked about children before and neither of them were opposed to it.
"I will never lay a hand on them," Tobias squeaked. Still so overwhelmed, still holding onto his wife.
"And I will never leave."
"And I swear to god, I will love them."
She kissed his hair. "I know," she whispered. "I know."
She knew this wholeheartedly, that Tobias would be the best father their children would ever know. The things that knocked him down made him stronger, made him capable of things he wished he had when he was a child.
Later, they went upstairs and made love by the candlelights. Slow and happy and sure, love. And they fell asleep to the promise of a new start once again. New obstacles they would go through. New bliss that would arise.
And in the near future, Tris won't know that when she is heavily pregnant, Tobias will drive for two hours to get her the little parfait's that she likes from Wegmans.
She won't know he'll dance with her in the hospital room when the aches in her back and stomach become too much.
She won't know that he'll measure their children's heights on the walls he was thrown at when he was young and sneak them candy in bed and hold them until they meet a slumber.
But for right then, right at that silent, beautiful moment, where he clutched the ultrasound picture right over his heart as he slept, another hand over his child, everything was perfect. A perfect neither of the could have ever known was possible. And anytime one of them would take a stumble back into the past, all they had to do was look at what they had gained. What they had now.
And who's to say that wasn't enough.
A/N *cries a little* And that's a wrap. Wow. You guys have had me staring at my laptop in such a grateful bliss on so many occasions. Every single one of you has touched me with your words and I am beyond thankful for your continued support both on this site and on tumblr. I hope this last chapter met to your satisfaction :)
I really like this universe so possibly expect outtakes but other than that, definitely look forward to other Divergent (and hunger game) fics in the future. I already have some WIPs ;)
Thank you Thank you from the bottom of my heart! xx