Chapter 13: Three Little Birdies
I jerk awake after having a nightmare. I try to sit up, but I feel Eric’s arms tighten around me. I’ve spent the last week and a half sleeping in his room. I thought that I’d gotten used to sleeping next to Eric before, but now I can’t sleep without him. I feel safe when I sleep in his arms.
I listen to his breathing. Normally, it is able to lull me back to sleep, but it’s not working tonight. I stretch to look at the alarm clock. It’s only one in the morning. Normal college students are still partying at this hour, but Eric and I are asleep. Christina had invited me to go out tonight, but I passed. I spent time with the girls while they were getting ready, but I don’t want to go out with them for a while.
Over the last week, Christina’s been less pushy. I’m a bit surprised to be honest. Maybe she feels responsible for me getting attacked by Peter and Drew. She’s stopped pushing Four on me. So I’m just gonna call it a win, win.
Eric’s snore brings me out of my thinking. I turn around so I’m facing him. The only time Eric looks his age is when he’s sleeping. Eric snores again making me laugh. Eric jerks wake.
“Hey what are you doing up?” He smiles, pulling me closer.
“You were snoring.” I laugh. “You’re lucky you’re cute.” I stretch and kiss Eric. My tongue licks his lips demanding entrance. He does what I want and immediately I deepen our kiss. I maneuver myself so I’m straddling his waist. I pull back and kiss his neck. I bite harder than I meant to and Eric moans. He flips us so I’m underneath him. My legs have wrapped around his waist. My hands go under his shirt, I can feel all of his muscle contract when my fingers touch them. God, he’s built like a rock and it is so sexy. My nails scrape down his back. Eric grinds himself in to me and it feels amazing. Eric moans before pulling back.
“First of all I’m irresistible. Second, I don’t snore. And third, you can pounce on me like that any time you want.” Eric kisses my forehead, before he rolls off of me. “We should go back to bed though, I thought you wanted to go running in the morning?”
“I do. I just woke up and couldn’t go back to sleep. I’ve only been up for fifteen minutes.”
“Nightmare?” He asks simply. He’s the only person that I’ve told about them. He’s woken me up from them a few times as well. I nod. “Do you want to talk about it?”
“I’m okay, it wasn’t as bad this time.”
“Okay.” He smiles at me. “Let’s go back to bed.” Eric shifts and pulls me to his chest. “Listen to my breathing or heartbeat to put you back to sleep.”
I do as he says, and within minutes I’m back to sleep. The next time I wake up it’s to an alarm. “Turn it off.” I bury my face in Eric’s chest.
He moves and the alarm goes off. “Let’s go running. You haven’t been running in a week.” His hand rubs up and down my back.
“Okay.” I sigh defeated. I really wish we would go running in the afternoons. I sit up and look down at Eric. “Can we ever sleep late on a Saturday?”
“Get dressed.” Eric laughs. “Tomorrow we sleep late. You can sleep until three if you want.”
“Fine.” I frown. I really hate Eric’s running schedule. It’s absolute torture. Sure I normally go back to sleep after running on Saturday’s, but I just wanna sleep late at the same time.
“Come on Tris.” Eric sits up and kisses my shoulder.
I follow behind him. I grab my keys and go back to my room. I quietly open the door. I look at Christina’s bed. She is the only one in it. Thank god. I’ve already had one awkward encounter with Will in the morning this week. I don’t need another one. I quickly change. I grab my toiletries and head to the bathroom. I quickly brush my teeth and throw my hair in to a braid.
I let myself back in to Eric’s room. He’s standing at the sink brushing his teeth… Shirtless. It’s like Eric doesn’t want us to go running if he’s shirtless. I walk to the bathroom door and lean against it. I look at his chest; specifically the tattoo that he has on it. It’s a watercolor raven. Instead of it being all black there’s a mix of colors instead. It goes across the top part of his chest, down his ribs, and down half of his arm. It’s beautiful.
“I know you’re starring.” He says after spitting.
“You’re the one who’s shirtless. You obviously wanted me to stare at you.” I smirk.
Eric smirks. He steps in front of me. His hands ghost up my sides. “You look way too sexy just to go for a run.” Eric pulls me to him and kisses me. This kiss is hungry, like the one from last night. He picks me up and pins me against the door. I wrap my legs around him. Eric kisses my neck. I can feel him leaving a mark, this time I don’t stop him. He pulls back and smirks at me.
“No complaints?” He asks. He has a huge smile on his face.
“Just one.” I smile.
“What’s that?” His hand moves to my ass to keep me in place.
“Do we have to go running right now?” I laugh. “I’m sure we could do something more productive with our time.” My hand plays with the hair at the base of his neck.
“Yes, we have to go running.” Eric laughs. He puts me down with a smile. “I miss having you next to me when I run. It’s not the same without you.”
A huge smile appears on my face. I pull Eric’s lips to mine for a brief kiss. “Okay I’m ready to run.”
I follow Eric out of the building. We start off with the normal route; around the main part of campus, before jogging around the walkway around the campus. Eric then veers off course; we jog back around the main part of campus before going back to the dorm. We stand in front of the building catching our breath.
“So I’ve been thinking.” Eric says after a few minutes of silence.
“Thinking’s good.” I stick my tongue out at him.
“I was thinking that we should go on a date.”
“A date?” I question. “Aren’t we already dating?”
“Yes, but we haven’t gone out on a date yet. And I’d like to take you out.” Eric smiles at me. “What’d ya think?”
“I’d like that.”
“Great, how about tonight?”
“I thought we were gonna chill out and just watch Netflix?” I ask.
“We did that last night Tris. Let’s do something different.” He smiles.
I smile when I see a text from Tris: What should I wear tonight?
Hm… I’m not exactly sure if she’s going to want to get a tattoo, but if she does then she doesn’t have to expose too much of herself. I reply: Wear something loose. I’ll knock on your door in twenty minutes.
I quickly throw on shorts and a tank, I grab my keys and I head to Tori’s room. Earlier this week I asked her to draw a new tattoo for me. I knock on her door.
She opens it with a smile. “Hey, I’ve been waiting for you to drop by.” She motions for me to come inside. “I think you’ll like this.” She hands me a piece of paper with a clockwork design on it.
“This is fantastic.” I smile at her. “Thank you.”
“No problem.” She smiles. “I think that is one of my best drawings yet. Where are you gonna put it?”
“My ribcage most likely.”
“That’ll hurt like a bitch-”
“But it’ll be worth it.” I smile finishing her sentence.
She closes her sketch book. “So how’s Tris doing?” She asks tentatively. “I haven’t seen her around the last week.”
“She’s alright. I think she’s doing better. I finally got her to go running with me this morning. I’m taking her on a date tonight. I’m hoping getting away from the school for a few hours will help.”
“You guys are finally dating?” She smiles. I nod. “Good for you. She’s hot. I’ve heard a few of the guys around the building talking about her. You’re gonna be the most hated guy around here… Well more than you already are.” She laughs.
I roll my eyes. “Hey for once I can say that I am the second most hated guy here.”
“True, Four is on everyone’s shit list. Max told me he’s trying to figure out a way to get him removed as an RA.”
Hm, I didn’t hear that. I guess Max is keeping me out of that. I shrug. I glance at my watch. “I gotta get Tris for our date. Thanks for doing this for me.”
“No problem. Have fun with Tris. Tell George I say hi.”
I jog up the steps to the third floor. I grab my phone from my room before knocking on her door. She opens it with a smile. She looks gorgeous. She has shorts and a tank top on.
“Ready?” I smile.
“Have fun.” I hear Christina yell as the door closes.
“So why am I wearing loose clothing?” Tris weaves her hand through mine.
“Well I was thinking of a less conventional date.” I hold the door for her. We make our way to my car. “I was thinking that we could go get tattoo’s together.”
“Really?” She smiles.
“Yeah. I wanted to get another and I thought that you might want to as well.” I open the car door for her.
“How come you never told me you had a car?” She asks as she gets in.
“It never came up.” I wink. I get in the drivers side and start it up. The drive to the tattoo shop is only twenty minutes. After five minutes of driving I reach over and hold Tris’s hand.
“So what are you getting?”
“Something Tori drew up for me. She normally draws a lot of my tattoos.” I let go of her hand and get the paper from my pocket, handing it to her. “I kinda just let Tori draw up what she wants when I say that I want to get a tattoo. She drew the bird on my chest.”
“It’s beautiful. I kinda want to ask her to make something for me when she gets the time.” Tris smiles.
“You should ask her.” I take her hand again and smile that she lets me.
We drive the rest of the way in comfortable silence. I like that we don’t have to always fill the silence when we’re together. I pull in to a spot in front of the tattoo shop.
George Wu, Tori’s brother, smiles when he see’s me. “So what has my sister made for you today Eric.”
“This.” I take the piece of paper out.
“Okay.” George looks at it then looks at Tris and our entwined hands. “Who’s this?”
“My girlfriend Tris.” I smile, squeezing her hand.
“Nice to meet you.” Tris smiles.
“You too. So are you getting a tattoo as well?”
“I think I might.” Tris smiles.
Chapter 12: Emergency Meeting
Max called an emergency building meeting tonight. He posted the notices on the door himself this morning, and he sent out an email. Anyone who skips this meeting has to see him. All the RA’s have to be there. Tris is the only one who is allowed to skip the meeting. I tried to get her to stay in my room while the meeting was going on, but she’s stubborn. She’s trying to act like what happened to her hasn’t affected her. I’m waiting for the act to drop, and for her to just let everything out. I watch Tris out of the corner of my eye. I’ve tried to make eye contact with her, but she seems to be in her own world right now. It’s probably best to just let her be right now.
She’s been in this state, on the verge of tears, since last night when Dauntless University Police dropped by the room. Drew and Peter were arrested last night, based on the fact that I was able to identify them. They told her that the two are not allowed on the quad without a member of the police with them. They are also going to be kicked off the quad by Tuesday. Tris won’t have to see them daily, but I’m sure she’s gonna end up seeing them around campus.
I glance at her again. She has her chin resting on her knees. If she was able to go invisible she probably would have by now. She still has on the clothes that I have her yesterday when she woke up, I hope they’re giving her a form of comfort that I can’t give her right now. I hate when I have to be in RA mode. I hope she is able to get over this one day I don’t want this to be her only memory at DU.
Slowly, the building makes their way to the basement. Some of the other RA’s have come down. Tori and Bud nod at me as they pass. All of the RA’s know what happened to Tris, Max held an emergency RA meeting this morning. Tori hasn’t met Tris, but she and Bud know that I’ve been interested in her. Tori took it personally that she was attacked. She dropped by after the meeting to speak to Tris. I think she told her that if she wants a girl to talk to she can always talk to her. Which is great of Tori. She’s one of the few people that I’m friends with, no matter what Max says.
I look away from Tris and I see Four walk in. He looks like crap. He hasn’t looked good since the meeting this morning. He would say anything, but I hope that he feels responsible for what happened to Tris. She may not blame him, but I definitely do. Tori and Bud do as well. Shit’s not looking for Four right now. Max was furious with him, he yelled at him in front of the entire staff.
Four’ eyes go wide when he sees Tris. He starts to make his way to her, but I block his path. “Move Eric.” He says in an annoyed tone.
“No! There’s no reason for you to go step in Tris’s direction, let alone go speak to her.” I say back. I look over his shoulder and I see Zeke walk in. He shakes his head as he sees us talking, but he doesn’t come closer.
“Just move Eric.” He goes to take another step, but I block him.
“No, you have no right to go talk to her. Tris may not blame you for what happened, but I do. You’re lucky that she has been with me the entire weekend, otherwise I would have beat your pathetic ass by now. I’ve done it once and I’d love to do it again.” I tell him in a menacing tone.
Four makes a noise of disbelief. “I’m going to go talk to her.”
“No.” I laugh. “She told me what you told her. How was telling her at a party, when she was there to have fun with her friends, the right place to do that?”
“Mind your own business.” He takes another step that I block. From the corner of my eye I can see Tori, Bud and Zeke all coming closer to us. God I hope they don’t break us apart if we get in to it.
“No it is my business if you harass my girlfriend.” I tell him quietly.
Four goes to say something, but Max comes in the room. He looks at all the RA’s standing around me and Four. He steps between us. “Separate yourselves. Four go over to Zeke. Eric go in the other direction.”
I walk to where Tris is. I stand next to the couch she’s sitting on. I hear her let out a breath.
I watch Eric and Four talk closely. No one is able to hear what they are saying, but anyone who’s in the room is starring at them. I see Tori and Bud slowly make their way to Eric and Four while Zeke makes his way closer to Four.
Christina sits down next to me. “What’s going on with them?” She looks over at me. “Oh my god. What happened to your face?”
“Nothing.” I mumble. I haven’t slept in the room since Thursday. I haven’t heard from her since she texted me asking if I could spend the night somewhere else. I shouldn’t have come to this meeting. Eric was right. Being here surrounded by people is not what I want.
I make a move to get up, but Max walks in the room. He separates Eric and Four sending them in different directions. Eric stands next to me, and I breathe again. He sits on the arm of the couch, and his hand starts to rub my back. His touch is comforting.
Max nods at me before he begins to speak. “As some of you may know, last night two students in this building were arrested. They were arrested because they attacked a student in my building.” Once he says this I can feel eyes on me. “Now I know I look like a nice guy.” He pauses, and people laugh. Max doesn’t come off as being nice, personable yes, but definitely not nice. “But I don’t take kindly to my residents being attacked by other residents. Now the first floor meeting I may have left it to your RA’s to tell you what you can and cannot do. But I didn’t think that some of you were stupid enough to think that attacking another student was acceptable.”
Everyone goes silent. I hear a few people whispering. I feel like everyone’s eyes are on me and the stares are suffocating me. I want to get up, but I’m glued to the seat.
“I’m making it my personal mission to get these students kicked out of Dauntless. Residents should feel safe here, not like they are going to be attacked if they walk on their own. So I’m warning all of you now, do not screw up. It’s too early for me to be dealing with all of this shit.” He pauses. “Next week we are giving self defense classes. If you are a girl I recommend that you sign up or just show up. I would prefer to see all of you there.”
I look past Max, and see Four starring at me. He looks upset, and extremely angry. I hope that Eric told him we were dating. I look back at Max.
“Everyone better make good decisions from now on.” With that he departs. He says something to Eric, too quietly for me to hear.
I see Four making his way to me, but Eric blocks his path. “I told you to leave her alone.” Eric says in an annoyed tone. The few who are left stand there looking at him and Four.
“You’re not in charge of me, let alone her.” Four says back.
I see Eric tense. I know what’s going to happen before Four does, and for the first time I feel sorry for him. Eric reaches back and punches Four in the jaw. And suddenly they’re fighting. Zeke and Bud try to pull them apart. Tori gets in the middle of them, cutting them off from one another. Eric has a black eye and a small cut on his cheek. Four’s lip is bleeding and his jaw is sporting a black and blue.
“Are you two stupid?” She yells. “Max just told us all to make better decisions and you two are acting like children. Eric go to Tris. And Four leave her alone. She obviously doesn’t want to talk to you. So leave her alone. Or do you want me to get Max? He seemed pretty pissed at you this morning.”
Eric walks back to me. He sits on the arm of the couch.
“Tris what the hell happened this weekend?” Christina practically yells.
“You heard what Max said.” I resist the urge to roll my eyes at her.
“Why didn’t you tell me?” She asks with tears in her eyes.
I stand up quickly. I ignore the pain. “You didn’t even notice I was gone. Some fucking friend you are. You pushed me to spend time with Four on Friday. None of you noticed that I wasn’t there when you left the party? Or did you accept Four’s answer that I left?” Christina stares at me with a guilty look. “You believed him. You believed that I left okay and got back safe.” I shake my head as I walk away.
“Tris.” I hear Eric say my name.
“What?” I say in an annoyed tone.
“Max wanted to see you. He told me to have you drop by his office after the meeting.” He pulls me to him, just hugging me. “I can walk with you and wait if you want.” I nod. He keeps an arm around my shoulder as we walk to Max’s office.
I knock on the door, before slipping in. “Hey Max.”
“Tris, I see Eric gave you my message. Sit please.” He motions to a chair in front of his desk. “I didn’t get to speak to you before the meeting, but I just wanted to let you know that Drew and Peter will be moved out of the residence hall by 10 p.m. on Tuesday.”
I nod. “Okay.”
“I also wanted to give you the card of one of the school therapists. You don’t have to speak with her, but if you want to then you have the number for her.”
“Okay.” I say again, putting the business card in the sweatshirt pocket.
“Have you been back to your room yet?” Max asks randomly.
I shake my head no. “I’m annoyed at my roommate right now.”
“Well you should go speak to her soon. You’ll have to eventually, you can’t hide out at Eric’s much longer without running in to her.” He smiles reassuringly at me.
“I know, but I think I’ll wait until the swelling in Eric’s eye to go down before I talk to Christina.”
“Why is Eric’s eye swollen?”
I make a face. “He and Four got in a fight. Tori broke it up though, so they only have a few bruises.”
“That’s nothing new for them unfortunately. I’m sure you know about their past. Don’t worry. It shouldn’t happen again.” Max frowns. “I’ll let you go. If you need o talk you can drop by or if you can’t get over things with your roommate then you can come here and I’ll find another room for you.”
“Thanks for everything Max.” I open the door and see Eric standing there with Christina and all our friends. Thankfully Four isn’t there. I stare at them like a deer caught in headlights.
“Tris I know you’re mad,” Zeke starts off.
“But we didn’t know.” Christina interrupts. “I thought you were just spending the night with Eric the last two days.”
“Why would I leave a party by myself?” I counter.
“We just all trusted Four, Tris. I won’t be making that mistake anytime soon. I am more sorry then you will ever know. I think we’re all sorry.”
I nod because I have no words.
Chapter 11: In Safe Hands
I wake up to banging on the door. I jerk at the movement, and it hurts. “Ow.” I groan. I turn my neck to see Eric stirring awake. He gets up and goes to the door.
“Is she awake?” I hear a voice ask. Are they talking about me? Why would anyone care if I’m awake? I groan as I sit up.
“She is now.” Eric yawns. He looks over at me. I stare back at him. “Give me ten minutes. I’ll call you.” He closes the door and comes back to sit on the bed. He grabs something from his dresser and hands it to me. “How are you feeling?”
“Like an idiot.” I put the ice pack on my jaw.
“Why?” Eric smiles a bit.
“Because I was stupid for walking alone. And for letting Christina get me to go out last night. And for trusting stupid assholes.” I look at Eric. “Who was at the door?”
“Why was he at the door?” I just want to forget about this.
“Because I called him last night after I put you to bed. He wants to know if you wanna file a report.” Eric gently puts his hand on my shoulder.
“I just want to forget this happened.” I hold back tears. “I shouldn’t have walked alone. I just had to get away from Four.”
“What does Four have to do with any of this?” He asks. “Tell me.”
“Four told me why you two don’t get along. He went in to all the specific details. I just walked away. I didn’t even think twice before leaving the party. I just walked out. I just wanted to get away from Four and all of my friends. Then I run in to the guys from the floor an-”
“Wait the guys live on this floor?” Eric interrupts me. I stare at him like a deer in headlights. “Please tell me you remember their names.”
Tears leak out. “Eric, I just want to forget this happened. I made a stupid mistake. If I only walk away from it with a few bruises then I can live with it.”
“Tris, if you tell me their names I will promise you that I will do my best to keep you out of it. We can speak to Max, I can be the one to identify them. But I need names. Please Tris? I don’t want to see them even look at you.”
I continue to cry. Eric pulls me to him. It hurts, but I want him close to me. “Drew and Peter.” I mumble. “Those are their names. They live on this floor.”
“Thank you.” He kisses the top of my head. Eric holds me until I stop crying. “Do you want some clothes to change in to? I didn’t want to change you last night.”
Eric pulls away and searches through some drawers. “These are probably going to be big, but it will be comfy.”
“Thank you.” I get up slowly from his bed and go to the bathroom. I groan as I change. Everything hurts. Drew must have held me tight. There are bruises on my ribs. I am an idiot. I walk out to see Max standing in Eric’s bedroom.
Eric sends me a look that can only say I’m sorry.
“What’s going on?” I question.
“Eric called me last night and said that a resident was attacked. And I don’t take lightly to my residents being attacked. So if you know who they are then tell me. I don’t want them around others. I called campus police last night after I spoke with Eric. I told them a resident was attacked and when you woke up I’d give you their number to speak with them. They can arrest whoever attacked you. They are then automatically going to get a judicial hearing with the school. I can make it so they won’t know that it’s you who told me. Eric saw their faces. He’s an RA he’s supposed to know everyone on his floor. Instead of you being the witness he can be, but if you’re brave enough you can do it yourself.” Max smiles reassuringly at me.
“I already told him their names.” I look at the floor.
“Good. Please just tell me what happened.” Max sits on the corner of Eric’s desk.
Eric guides me to his bed, sitting down next to me. I tell them what happened once I left the party. I tell them how I bumped in to Peter and Drew and I didn’t feel safe, and I called Eric in case something happened. I tell him how Drew held me and Peter beat me, ripping the top of my dress, before I blacked out.
“Okay.” Max stands. “I will speak to campus police since I know their names. I will get a business card for you to give them a call. As the hearing gets closer I will do everything on my end to keep you out of it. I just needed to know all the facts.”
I nod. “Okay.” Max walks out of Eric’s room.
Eric turns to me. “I’m sorry, he just kinda barged in.” Eric pulls me to him and hugs me. “Everything is going to be okay Tris. Max helped me out with something worse.”
“With a coke addiction?” I ask timidly.
“Yes.” Eric pulls back from me, but he doesn’t remove his arms.
“Tell me. I was coming here to speak to you.”
“My freshmen year I partied too much. I was stupid. My parents never let me do anything. Everything at home was far from normal. My parents expected perfection. I always had to be in first place, the top of my class, and the perfect child. It was torture growing up in that household. So when I got freedom I wanted to stick it to them. So I partied as much as I could. Someone I was hanging out with introduced me to coke. And it was great. I was on top of the world. No one could stop me. Four tried. He really tried. Amar too, but then I just thought of Amar as Four’s little sidekick.” I finally look her in the eyes. “Know what the thing that got Amar kicked out was? He smoked pot in the room that night. And the smell went all the way down the hall. Max came up. He had the cops search the room. I guess I dropped a baggie of coke. Amar must of put it with his stuff. They found it. I wasn’t even there that night. I came back to the cops searching the room. The dogs barked at me, but Max intervened. He got me to say what was going on. And he got me to go to rehab and meetings. When I came back Max got me a job as an RA to keep track of me.”
She nods. “Does Four know all of this?”
“Probably not.” I pull Tris to me and hug her. I blame Four for this! Why the fuck would he allow her to leave that party alone? I feel so guilty. I should have asked her to stay in for the night with me.
“I’m sorry he told you last night. I was waiting to tell you about my past until I’d known you longer. I didn’t want to scare you away. I was kinda hoping that you would be my girlfriend when I told you.” I laugh.
Tris laughed for the first time since she woke up. “Eric, I already feel like your girlfriend.” She smiles at me. “I’ve been drawn to you since I first spoke to you.”
I smile. “Then I want it official.”
“What do you mean official?” She questions me with a smile.
“That I get to kiss you in the halls, the dining room, the basement, hell anywhere that we want. I can get dinner with you. And if someone see’s you leaving my room it’s not a big deal.” I can’t help but have a huge smile.
“Okay.” Tris wraps her arms around my neck. She gently guides my lips to her. I pull her to me without thinking. “Ow.” She pulls back.
“Shit I’m sorry. I wasn’t thinking.” My hands drop from her.
“It’s okay.” Tris smiles. She looks around my room. “Do I still have my phone and purse?”
“Yes.” I reach for them on my dresser. “I picked them up last night. You somehow managed to hold on to them. That’s pretty impressive.”
“Thank you.” Tris unlocks her phone. “Holy shit.” She gasps. “I have 32 missed calls from Four. Not to mention a bunch of texts from Christina and Marlene.” I watch her scroll through the texts.
“What are they asking?”
“The basics of where I am, did I get back safe, and if I’m okay.” She responds. She puts her phone to her and listens to her voicemail. “And Four called asking where I am, if I’m still at the party. Now he’s asking if I’m in my room. Now he just wants to talk to me. Now he is worried about me. Oh this is from Chris asking if she can have the room tonight so she and Will can hook up.”
I roll my eyes at her roommate. She really only cares about herself. “Are you gonna respond?”
“I’ll text Christina that I’m safe. The same can be sent to Marlene. I’m texting Four to leave me alone. I made it clear last night that I don’t want anything to do with him.” She says as she furiously types. When she’s done she puts her phone and purse on the dresser.
“All done?” She nods. “Do you wanna go back to sleep for a little bit? It’s only seven, and you got here around 1.”
“Yeah I guess.” She slowly climbs to her side. “You’re gonna stay with me right?”
“Of course.” I pull the blankets over us. Instead of pulling Tris to me, I slide next to her, putting my arm under her head while the other goes around her waist.
I can hear Tris sigh. “I feel safe next to you.”
“You’re always safe with me.” I tell her before kissing the back of her head. Slowly we both manage to fall asleep.
Chapter Ten: Dirty Little Secret Part II
“Oh so this is about Eric?” Four rolls his eyes. “What do you see in him?”
“Eric and I are just friends. Why does it matter so much to you?”
“Because Eric is an asshole! He’s just gonna get you in trouble.”
“What do you mean?”
“Eric hasn’t mentioned to you why he and I don’t get along? Why barely anyone around here likes him?” I laugh. This is just hilarious. He hasn’t mentioned anything about his past to her.
Tris shakes her head at me. She looks confused. “What are you talking about?”
I resist the urge to roll my eyes. I take the whiskey bottle out of my bag. I take a sip and hand her the bottle. “You may want this.”
“I’m fine.” She hands the bottle back to me. “Tell me what you’re talking about!”
“Eric and I were roommates our freshmen year, along with Amar.” I pause and look at her.
“Get on with the story Four.” Tris says in an annoyed tone.
“In the beginning the three of us were friends. We were all great friends, actually. Slowly though Amar and I noticed a change in Eric. He was either high or low. He was always going to parties. He barely went to school. Before winter break I found a packet of coke on the floor. Amar and I knew that we weren’t doing coke. We figured that it had to be Eric’s. We tried to speak to him about it, but he ignored us. There wasn’t a change when we got back from winter break. I thought Eric would go back to normal if he was away from all the parties, but I was wrong.”
“Go on.” Tris says taking a sip of her beer.
“I ended up going home one weekend. I just wanted to get away from Eric and the tension in the room. When I got back Sunday, the room was a mess. All of Amar’s stuff was gone. I found out that Amar got arrested and he was automatically kicked out of school. Someone made a complaint that the room smelled like pot, and Max came in to search the room and found the coke. Eric somehow pinned it on Amar. Eric and I got in a huge fight.”
“What?” She questions. “This doesn’t sound like Eric.”
“Eric had the nerve to blame Amar. And Eric and I got in a huge fight. I ended up with a few bruised ribs, three broken fingers, and a broken wrist. They were able to separate me and Eric, and he and I haven’t spoken since. I got placed to live with Zeke. I’m not sure what happened with Eric. He was gone for the rest of the semester. The next year he returned back and he was an RA. I’m really not sure how that happened, but whatever.” I look at her. Tris looks confused, a little angry too. “I just wanted you to know the person that you’re hanging out with. You do deserve to know how he’s treated people.”
I sigh at Four. There’s a time and a place for things. This isn’t the time or the place. I shake my head and take a sip of my beer. Maybe Christina and Eric are right; maybe Four does have a thing for me. And I’m the idiot.
“Why are you telling me this?” I question. I’m not sure who to be angry at right now, Four or myself. Probably myself for believing that I could ever like a guy like Four. He was so sweet tonight.
“Tris, you deserve to know the truth. Especially, if you and Eric are going to hang out. I don’t want something to happen to you like what happened to Amar.” Four says this with one of the most sincere looks I’ve ever seen. It’s actually sickening. “It was my fault that Amar got kicked out. If I hadn’t gone home that weekend, then he wouldn’t of gotten kicked out. I refuse to let that happen to you.”
I take a deep breath. I just stare at Four. “You’re not my father. You don’t get to decide who I like, who I hang out with, who the fuck I choose to be with. You have this superiority complex.”
Four looks at me with wide eyes. “He’s already made you think I’m the enemy.”
I just want to scream. “Please! When I’m with Eric, he and I don’t talk about you. You’re not even on his radar, let alone mine! You’re just an asshole! A fucking asshole who can’t get it through his head that I am my own person. I decide who I spend time with. And right now I’m refusing to spend time with you. So just leave me alone for the rest of the night. I don’t even want to look at your pathetic face.” I walk away from him. From all of my friends.
Does he really think that bashing Eric is the way to get me to like him? Because it’s not. It just makes me mad at Four. It’s not his place to tell me Eric’s secrets. I’m mad Eric hasn’t mentioned it to me, but still Eric should still be the one to tell me.
I can hear Four saying my name, but I keep walking. I walk out the door we came through. I begin to head back to DU. After a minute of walking I stop. I look around, I’m not exactly sure where I am. I recognize the area, but I’m not sure. I shouldn’t of left with out someone else with me.
Someone bumps in to me. “Sorry.” They say. I look up at them. I recognize their face, but I’m not exactly sure why.
“It’s fine.” I smile weakly at them. “I’m sorry, but you look very familiar.”
The guy laughs. “I think I live on your floor at DU. I remember you getting called out by the RA.” He smiles at me. “I’m Peter.” He holds out his hand.
I shake it. “Tris.”
“Nice to meet you.” I pause. “Can you just tell me which way it is to the dorms?”
“My friend Drew and I are walking back now… Well once he gets done at the deli.” He smiles. “If you wait a minute, you can walk back with us.”
I nod. “Thanks.” I look at Peter as he looks to the deli. He looks nice, but there’s something about him that I’m not exactly trusting of. I grab my phone out of my purse. I scroll through my contacts. I pull up Eric’s number. Just as I’m about to hit send Peter speaks again.
“This is my friend Drew.” He introduces me to a stocky looking guy. He looks like he could crush me.
“Hi.” I say quietly.
“This is Tris, since we’re heading back to the dorms I said we’d walk her.” Peter smiles.
“I thought we were-”
“Walking back to the dorms to grab Molly.” Peter cuts Drew off.
Drew nods. “Right.” He smirks at me. “Let’s go.”
I follow them as they begin to walk. I stay a step behind them. There’s something off about them. I dial Eric’s number, but I keep the phone away from my ear.
“So how much longer until we’re there?” I ask loudly.
“Just up another block.” Peter smiles at me.
“Great.” I continue to walk with them. A few minutes later we’re in front of the dorm, Drew stops to tie his shoe. I turn around to say thank you to Peter, but someone wraps their arms around me.
“Hey! Let go of me.” I yell.
Peter puts his hand over my mouth to silence me. I struggle to move my head. I scream again. Peter covers my mouth again, and this time I bite. I bite until I taste blood.
“Help!” I scream. I feel a blow at my jaw, then at my temple, and everything starts to get fuzzy. I feel my dress being ripped, and suddenly I’m on the ground.
“Help.” I whisper.
I feel a hand with a soft touch on my cheek. And then the blackness around my vision gets fuzzy, and I allow it to takeover me.
I smile as I see Tris’s face appear on my phone. It’s a picture I took of her when she was sleeping in my bed earlier this week.
“Hey what’s up?” I say with a smile.
I don’t hear her respond. But I do hear her voice, it’s far from the phone but I can hear it.
“So how much longer until we’re there?” I hear Tris ask someone.
“Just up another block.” A voice responds back.
I keep listening. Why would Tris have called me if she was busy with some guy? I keep listening. She wouldn’t of called me unless something was up. I keep listening until I hear her scream.
“Hey! Let go of me.” Her voice comes from my phone.
Immediately I grab my keys and run. I run down the stairs, and out the dorm. I abruptly stop and listen. I can hear a struggle. I run to it. I see a guy hit Tris in the face. I run to them, and he gets another blow to her head.
I hit him, enough for him to go to the ground hard. I hit the guy holding Tris. She falls to the ground. I hit the guy that was holding her. I hear a crunch on his face. I broke his nose. Good. I kick him in the ribs. I turn to the other guy, who is just getting up. I punch him in the face, like how he did to Tris. I punch his ribs, enough that I know they’re bruised.
“Help.” I hear barely above a whisper. I look over at Tris. I let go of the asshole in front of me.
My hand reaches out to touch her cheek. She looks at me like she can’t see me. And all life goes out of her body. I stop breathing. I check her pulse. It’s still there thank god. I look around me. The two guys are gone. I didn’t even hear them leave. Shit. I should of gotten names from them.
I pick up Tris. Her bag falls. I bend down and pick up her phone and bag. I shove them in my pocket. I carry her through the building to my room. I place her on my bed, on what I’ve started to call her side. I take off her shoes, letting them fall to the ground. I put her phone and bag on my dresser. I grab my phone and keys. I go in the hall and call Max.
“Hey Eric, what’s up?”
“One of the residents was attacked.”
“Who?” He yells.
“Tris.” I breathe out.
“Where is she?” He asks.
“In my room.” I say. “She’s out cold. She’s alive and breathing, but she’s passed out.”
“I’ll be right there.” He hangs up. Less than a minute later Max is standing in front of me out of breath. “Is she okay?”
“Still in my room. What do you wanna do?” I ask.
Max runs a hand over his face. “We will file an incident report of what you saw. Do you recognize the attackers faces?”
“A bit, but I’m not sure from where.” I sigh. My heat is beating so fast; I’m surprised I’m still able to form a sentence.
“Okay. Write a statement of what happened, and what you saw.” Max says quickly. “Then get it to me as fast as possible. When Tris wakes up ask her if she wants to file a report. If she does, call me immediately and I will come here immediately. I don’t care if it’s three in the morning, call me. Hell just text me when she’s up.”
I nod. “Max, I beat the shit out of those guys. The two guys that we’re looking for are going to have busted up faces and bruises. If they are in this building we will see them and know who they are.”
“Good.” Max laughs. “Take care of her until she wakes up and call me.” He hands me two instant ice packs. “Give these to her when she wakes up.”
I nod. I go back in my room and look at Tris. She looks so small lying in my bed. Who would do this to her? I let out a breath I had no idea that I was holding.
Quickly I write up a statement; what I heard on the phone, what I did, and what I saw. I send it off to Max. I set up an ice pack. I put it on Tris’ head. I climb in to bed with her. I put my hand on the ice pack keeping it in place. I lay there next to her until I fall asleep listening to her breathe.