Chapter Three

Previous Chapter 

One Year Later…

“Movie it initiates! You can run faster than this!” I’m about twenty yards ahead of them. They’re going way too slow. I turn around again. “If I beat any of you back to the compound I’m going to hang you over the chasm!”

I slow down my pace, not too much for them to notice, but just enough for them to get there before me. I’m just about to reach the door to the compound when someone pulls me to them. I head butt them. They release me groaning. I turn around and see that Eric has a bloody nose.

“God Tris, do you really think that someone would be stupid enough to attack you right at the door to the compound? Do you even know how many cameras are on this door?” He groans again. His fingers are pinching the bridge of his nose.

“You shouldn’t scare me like that. Not today of all days.” I grumble. Today was my ninetieth birthday.

“I told you to lose that self pitying Abnegation bullshit already.” He barks.

I want to scream at him. I would love to do that, but I bite my tongue to stop myself. “Go to the infirmary Eric. Get that checked out.” I walk away from him to the training room. The initiates are sitting on the mats. “Who said that you could fucking relax. Go to the punching bags and get to work.”

I watch them all scramble to get to a bag. Good. I want them to fear me. I’ve been too easy on them for the last two weeks. Eric and Max have been telling me that from the beginning. I thought that if I was nicer to them they would go above and beyond, but I was proven wrong. So now I have to be a hard-ass because they are all lazy.

I dismiss them for the day after three grueling hours. Half of them look like they are going to die. I know that I was tougher than I had planned to been, but honestly I don’t care.

I keep an eye out for Eric as I walk to my apartment. He has a key. I’m hoping that he hasn’t used it today. He’s already asked me to move in. He’s asked me every three months since we started dating. I’ve said no every time. The small amount of space that I have from him is good. The space helps our relationship, especially on days like today when all I want is to be left alone.

I’ve made it perfectly clear that I want him to leave me to myself today. I even asked, begged, Max to give him more work. He must not have done what I asked since Eric was able to find me earlier.

I unlock my door. All of the lights are off. Perfect, he’s not here. I change in to a pair of pajamas. I throw my clothes in the direction of the hamper- not caring if I miss it or not. I climb in to bed, only seven more hours until my birthday is over.

I’ve been staring at the ceiling for the past two hours. Physically I am drained. Mentally I’m wired.

I’ve been thinking about my relationship with Eric. Things have been going good for us. I can’t get over the fact that every three months, like clockwork, Eric asks me to move in with him. I can just about predict the week he’s going to bring it up again. He gets nervous and he starts snapping at random people again. There’ve been rumors about why he gets like this, but none of them are correct.

Christina can’t understand why I don’t want to move in with him. Her and I were originally supposed to move in together, however Will asked her to move in with him at the end of initiation. Of course she said yes. They’ve been together for two years now. I get that she wants me to be happy, but she doesn’t understand why I want that small bit of space away from Eric.

Aside from the fact that he and I both work closely together, there’s the fact of my birthday. Last year Eric played hooky on his birthday. He bribed me to do the same and what we did want he wanted for the day- mainly drinking all day followed by birthday sex. He tried to get me to do the same. Unlike him, I just want to be by myself.

I know that if I move in with Eric before I’m able to get a grip on how I feel about my birthday that it will cause a huge fight every year. I know that he’ll continue to bug the crap out of me until he gets what he wants. In his words, “only last year you were allowed to act like a self loathing Abnegation. You’re Dauntless now, act like it.”

I hear the front door open and close softly. If I didn’t know who it was I’d hold my breath, but I know that no matter what Eric will find me.

The bedroom door opens. “What are you doing Tris?” I can hear the smirk in his voice.

“Spending my birthday the way that I want.” I turn on my side so my back is facing him.

I hear his clothes dropping on the floor. Eric climbs in to bed with me; he puts an arm around my waist, effectively trapping me. “Is this really how you want to spend your birthday?”

“Yes.” I sigh. I’d actually prefer to spend it alone, but I know that Eric’s not going to allow that.

“Fine, then we’ll do this. Even if it is boring as fuck.”

“Thanks.” I roll my eyes. I’m thankful that he can’t see that. I listen to Eric’s breathing. After a little while it starts to even out. For the first time initiation started he’s fallen asleep before me.

I slowly extract myself from him. It’s nice of him that he’s heree, but I wish that I could have spent today alone. I put the kettle on for tea. When the water boils I turn it off quickly not to wake Eric. Unfortuantely after a couple minutes Eric comes walking out. His hair is sticking up in twenty different directions.

“What are you doing out here?” He rubs his eyes.

“Just making a cup of tea.” I hold of the mug to show him. “Do you want one?”

“I’ll make it.” Eric gives me a kiss on my forehead. He walks around my apartment like he owns it. I like that he’s familiar and comfortable here. He brings his tea over to where I am. “Do you want me to make dinner?”

The one thing that I’ve never been able to get over is that Eric is a pretty descent cook. I shake my head. “I’m not that hungry.”

“You gotta eat babe. I didn’t see you at breakfast or lunch today.” He sighs.

I roll my eyes. I’m not hungry. I want to sleep, but I just can’t. My mind won’t let me relax.

“You have to eat. Remember how we basically live together. I was there when you left this morning- skipping breakfast. I didn’t see you later at lunch either. So from that I’m guessing you didn’t eat today.”

“I’m not hungry Eric. Tea is fine right now. When I get hungry I will make something, if you’re hungry then cook for yourself. No one’s stopping you from eating.”

Eric’s hand comes down on the counter. “This isn’t healthy Tris. You need to eat. I swear to god the Abnegation fuck up all the dependents.”

“And the Erudite are better? You’re all fucking not it alls.” I yell back. If he’s going to fight dirty then so am I.

“Really because I can’t give you a gift without you trying to return it.” He yells. He goes back to the bedroom. He comes out with a small wrapped box. “Here open this. I swear to god if you try to return this I’m going to go crazy.” He tosses the box at me.

I look at him. I told him I don’t want anything. I roll my eyes and open the box. Inside is a beautiful black stone ring. I look at Eric, but he’s kneeling down on one knee.

“Tris, will you marry me?” He smirks.

I stare at him. I won’t even move in with him, but he’s asking me to marry him. He’s fucking nuts.

“You have to answer me eventually.” He laughs. “My knee is really starting to hurt.”

“Eric.” I sigh. “I-“

“No don’t you dare so say no. I love you. I don’t know how many times since we’ve first said it that I’ve repeated it to you. I will keep repeating it to you until the day that I die. I’d say until the day we separate, but I’m not going to let that happen.” He laughs. “Say yes. I want your birthday to be a happy day for you. The day that we first got together and the day that we decided to make our lives permanent.” He stands up smiling.

I look at him. I can’t help the smile that forms on my lips. “Yes I’ll marry you.”

Eric wraps his arms around me, lifting me up. “Thank god.” He breathes. “I really didn’t want to think what would happen if you said no.” He puts me down. He takes the box from my hand. He delicately puts the ring on the fourth finger of my left hand.

“I love you Eric.” I smile.

“I love you too.” He brings his lips to mine, kissing me passionately. “I hope this day will be something you think of with happy memories instead of something that you want to hide from.”

If anyone ever saw this side of Eric, he’d go crazy. With me it’s different, it’s real love with us. He’s made my past two birthdays brighter. I can only imagine what the future is has in store for us, but I can’t wait for it.

Next Chapter 

Tris in Chapter 3
Tris is Chapter 3

Chapter 2

Previous Chapter

It’s been a week since my birthday. Ever since Eric kissed me I keep seeing him everywhere. I see him in the cafeteria when I get food. I always see him in the halls. Hell I even see him in my office. The day right after my birthday, Eric was waiting in there for me. He was just dropping in to see what I was teaching the initiates that day.

I lock my door behind me and make my way to the training room. I walk in exactly at nine. Any initiate who walks in after me is getting punished. When I walk in I see that everyone’s there before me. Too bad, I was hoping to make an example out of the initiates who are the bullies.

I show them how to properly hold a gun. I explain my stance and why it works. They watch me shoot. “It’s your turn now. You should have been able to pick up the stance. I don’t want to see any of you flinch when shooting. You joined Dauntless to be brave.” I yell.

I watch as the initiates try to shoot. I’ll correct them after the next round. I just want them used to holding a gun. A few of the initiates jump when the door bangs open. I don’t even have to look to know that it’s Eric. He’s been coming here once or twice a day. He says it’s to make sure that I’m doing my job properly.

“They suck.” He says loud enough for some of them to look over at him. “Keep your fucking eyes on the targets initiates. You can’t be that stupid!”

I hold in my smirk. “If one of them pisses themselves I’m making you clean it up.”

Eric glances at me. “I still have seniority over you.”

I bite the inside of my cheek. I’ve been trying to keep my mouth shut ever since he kissed me. He lost that little bit of edge that used to scare me. Now I just see him as a guy with a job to do not some ruthless leader who’s going to beat the shit outta me. “Okay Eric.”

He walks away from me. He goes to correct some of the initiates posture. I can see some of the girls either cringing away from him or leaning in to him. One was so close to him that her back was against his chest. I feel a small pang of jealously. It’s so stupid. I know that he can’t be interested in any of them. They’re still children.

He comes back and stands next to me. “God that Candor transfer is trying to get killed.”

“Whatever do you mean?” I smirk.

“You saw her. She was all over me. God I can’t stand this shit. It reminds me of you and Four. It was disgusting watching the two of you.” He makes a face.

“You could always push her over the chasm to teach her some respect.”

“Two completely different things.” He rolls his eyes. He glances at his watch. “Go to lunch. You all suck at this. I want you to be better when you come back.”

The initiates leave without a word. It leaves Eric and me in silence. I head to the tables and clean up their mess. I should really start to make them do this.

“So are we just going to ignore this?”

“Ignore what Eric?” I look over at him.

“Ignore that kiss.” He says bluntly.

“You’re the one who left. What was it you said? Have a happy birthday?”

He rolls his eyes at me. “It’s been a week. How many fucking hints do I have drop to you?”

“So you stalking me is a hint?”

“I was trying to talk to you, but you don’t give me the time of day. The only time you talk to me is when the initiates are here.” He yells suddenly. “Do you really thing that I enjoy watching these children? Not to mention having to deal with the desperate ones rubbing against. That’s not the body I want against mine.”

I shake my head. “You should have just opened your mouth.”

Eric walks to me. He roughly pulls the gun out of my hand. He lifts me up so I’m sitting on the table. “How’s this?” One of his hands goes to my neck while the other is gripping my waist. He pulls me to him, kissing me.

I moan against his lips when he does. This kiss is better than the one on my birthday. I run my tongue against his bottom lip and immediately Eric opens his mouth. His tongue runs against mine. God kissing him is always different.

My legs wrap around his waist to keep him close. His hand travels from my waist to my lower back rubbing small circles. He gently bites my lower lip when he pulls back.

“You never answered me.” He whispers in my ear.

“I like it.” I smile. I pull Eric to me. His kisses are addicting.

“Tris why the fuck are you still he-” a familiar voice yells.

Eric and I pull apart, staring at Christina. I unwrap my legs from his waist. Eric on the other hand doesn’t move. He stays at the spot between my legs. His hands are still on my body.

“Chris, give me a minute and I’ll meet you outside.” I tell her. I watch as she walks out of the door.

“I’ll let you go then.” Eric takes a step back.

I hop off the table. “Are you going to get food?”

Eric nods with a smile. “I’ll see you back here in a bit.” He walks out, ignoring the questions Christina is yelling at him.

I follow him, stopping when I see Christina standing there with her eyes wide. “What the hell was that?”

“Nothing you need to worry about.” I reply. I start to walk to the cafeteria.

“No that was definitely something. Why were you kissing Eric?” She yells.

“Gee why do you kiss Will? Is it because you like him?” I ask her like I’d speak to a child.

“That’s different Will and I are in a relationship. You and Eric aren’t anything. If you were you would have told me.”

“Maybe I kept something to myself so that it could be private. Not blabbed to the entire compound because you can’t keep your fucking mouth shut.” I yell at her. It wasn’t my intention to yell, but she just never knows when to be quiet.

I grab something that I can eat quickly since I have twenty minutes. I look over at Christina as she sits with Will. I can practically see the steam coming out of her ears. I see that Eric is sitting alone. I walk over to him, sitting across from him. He looks up at me and then goes back to his food.

“What are you doing here?” He asks blankly.

I roll my eyes. “Christina’s freaking out and she’s mad that I yelled at her. I’m letting her cool off. I can move if you don’t want me to sit with you.”

“Just sit. Obviously I’m not going to get mad that you sat down with me.” He smirks at me.

Again we eat in comfortable silence. It’s different than when I eat with Christina and Will. They’re always talking about something. I really don’t get a chance to speak. When we’re finished eating Eric takes my plate and puts it up on the conveyer for me. We both slowly walk to the training room.

“Do you want to grab dinner together tonight?” Eric asks me.

“In the cafeteria?” I question. Isn’t that what we just did?

“No. What I meant was do you want to come over for dinner tonight? I’ll cook dinner for us. Something different than what we ate last week. What do you think? Interested?” I can see that Eric’s biting his lip. He looks nervous.

I nod. “I’d like that.”

Training the initiates goes by slowly. However, they seem to be picking up the guns easier than they did fighting. It’s not much, but it is improvement. By the end of the day, each of the initiates has at least gotten a bull’s eye once. Some of them shot it twice. It’ll be hard to figure out who is going to get cut after the first stage.

Eventually I dismiss them. They’re doing better. I was hoping that I didn’t have to make an example out of any of them. I clean up the bullet shells from the floor. I should really have an initiate do this instead of me.

Eric smiles at me when I’m done. “So do you want to come over in an hour? I should be able to shower and change in that time.”

“Sure.” I smile. This is a date right? I would assume that this is a date. We walk to our apartments. Every now and then our shoulders would bump into one another. Eric would smirk at me, like I did it on purpose.

“I’ll see you in a bit then.” Eric continues to his door.

“Wait! Are you changing into sweats or jeans?” I ask quickly.

“Sweats. I’m getting out of these pants for the day.”

I nod. So it’s not a date; just two people getting together for dinner. I have nothing worry about then. I take my time showering. When I get out I quickly change into sweat pants and a long sleeve shirt. I dry my hair as much as I can with my towel. I decide to just let the rest air dry. This isn’t a date anyway so it’s not like I have to make too much of an effort.

I glance at the time. It’s been about an hour. I grab my keys and lock up behind me. It’s strange to be walking to Eric’s apartment. I’ve never been this far down the hallway before. I knock on the door and wait.

The door opens up with a shirtless Eric. I have to force myself to bring my eyes away from his chest. Eric smirks. “See something you like?”

I blush. “Are you going to invite me in or do I have to stand here all night?” Eric moves over and allows me to enter. I look around his apartment. It’s about the same as mine. These apartments are really made for single people. I guess once someone gets married they can apply for a larger space.

I look over and see that Eric’s put a shirt on. It’s sad, Eric without a shirt is a great sight. He really should just walk around shirtless. No wonder the initiates are trying to feel him up. I bite my lip to keep myself from laughing.

“What are you thinking about over there?” He asks from the counter.

I smirk. “Just that some of the initiates would be jealous of the sight that I saw earlier.” I can’t hold in my laugh anymore.

“Shut up.” He laughs. “God those initiates are horrible. They really don’t understand the meaning of no… Anyway what are you in the mood for tonight?”

You, but I kept that thought to myself. “I’m fine with whatever. I still have that can of soup if you want that.”

Eric laughs as if it’s the funniest thing in the world. “No way.”

I shrug. “You can figure it all out then. You did pretty good last time.” I sit on Eric’s couch. It’s so comfortable. If I don’t get up soon then I’m going to fall asleep. I’ve been falling asleep early after training the initiates. I listen as Eric opens and closes cabinets. I can feel myself starting to fall asleep.

I wake up disoriented. I feel like a furnace. I move my head and look around. I fell asleep on the couch and I’m definitely not on the couch now. I feel an arm around me. Eric. He must have moved me to his room when I fell asleep. I shake him. “Eric. Wake up!”

“What?” He groans.

“What time is it?”

“Two in the morning.” He says in to my neck. “Go back to sleep. We’ll talk about it when the sun’s out.” He kisses my shoulder.

I wake up later to the bed moving. I look around. I’m not in my room, but Eric’s. It’s so strange to wake up here. Eric walks out of the bathroom without his shirt on.

“Morning sleepy head.” He smiles.

“Morning.” I yawn. “Why did I wake up in your bed when I fell asleep on the couch?”

Eric smirks. “Because when I finished making dinner you were asleep on the couch. Instead of me joining you on the couch I brought you to my bed. Obviously all we did was sleep.”

I smile. “You just wanted me for my cuddles huh?”

“No. I want you for your kisses too.” He leans down and kisses my lips gently.

I look at him with a small smile on my lips. “So what do you want?”

Eric thinks for a second. “You.”

“Me?”

“I want to be with you. I want to go on dates with you. I want to be able to kiss you. I want to spend time with you. I want to be the one to make you happy. I want to know more about you.”

I smile. “I think what you’re trying to say is that you want a relationship.”

“With you I do.”

I bite my lip. “I’d like that. You make me happy. You’re the first person to make me feel special on my birthday.” I pull Eric to me. My arms wrap around his neck as I kiss him. I don’t care if either of us have morning breath and neither does he.

Right now we’ll just have to see where this goes.

Next Chapter

Tris in Chapter 2
Tris in Chapter 2

Chapter 26: “Thanksgiving Day Part I”

Tris POV

Thanksgiving morning is always hectic at the Prior house. Normally, my mom gets up at the crack of dawn. Immediately, after putting on the coffee, she puts the turkey in the oven. The turkey has been thawing for days as well as marinating for the past 48 hours. Then, once that’s done, she wakes me up against my will. That’s when I’m put in charge of preparing certain sides. Now that’s a normal Thanksgiving morning. Today however, it was anything far from normal. My mom woke up two hours later than she planned. Those 120 minutes behind schedule caused her to go crazy.

“Beatrice! I need you to prepare the potatoes; peel, cube, and boil them. Then while that’s happening need you to prepare the green bean casserole.” She tells me in a sharp tone. The tone that says do not disobey me.

I nod in response. I go to the potatoes sitting on the kitchen table. “Prepare the entire bag right?”

“Yes!”

I look at the ten-pound bag in front of me. I hate peeling potatoes. I’ve always hated it. Normally, I’d bargain with her to chop onions and celery for the stuffing, but I’m too scared to make her angry. I do everything she asks. I even make sure that the potatoes are cut in even sizes so they all cook evenly. Compared to that the green bean casserole is a piece of cake. I prepare that in under ten minutes; including cleaning all of the bowls and utensils that I’ve used in the past hour.

“Hey mom.” I say quietly, not to disturb her. “I’m done. Is there anything else I can do to help you before everyone gets here?”

“Just make a simple salad and set the table for ten people. Then you are free to get ready for later. Everything will be done. All that we need to do is put it in the oven when everyone is here. Thank you for your help and not complaining about the potatoes.”

“No problem mom.” I smile at her. I do as she asks, placing the salad in the fridge to stay cool. I put a tablecloth down, and take the good china out of the cabinet. I set ten places, with the cloth napkins down as well. “Hey mom! I’m gonna head upstairs for a quick shower before dad and Caleb get back from the homeless shelter.”

I head up to the bathroom and take a quick shower. I get the nasty smell of potato juice off my hands. “Mom!” I yell. “I’m out of the shower!”

I quickly change and blow dry my hair. I know that my dad’s boss, Marcus Eaton, and his son are coming for dinner. I haven’t seen Tobias since I was eight or nine. After his parents divorced he spent thanksgiving with his moms family. I’m excited to see him again.

I head downstairs and see my mom’s already dressed. She looks up at me when I enter. “Go change.” She tells me.

“What?” I look down at my outfit. I’m wearing a black pencil skirt with a black long sleeve shirt with a white peter pan collar. It’s appropriate. “Why?”

“You look like you’re going to a funeral. This is a holiday. You should be wearing something festive with color, not looking like someone killed your closest relative.” She looks me up and down. “Marcus and Tobias are going to be here in thirty minutes. Go change.”

I shake my head, but do what I’m told. I pass my dad on the steps.

“We missed you at the homeless shelter today.” He smiles. “You look beautiful by the way.”

“Thanks, but I’m changing. Mom’s making me.” I say shrugging. My dad laughs, but nods at me.

I get to my bedroom and change in to a red, “festive”, sweater and some black dress pants. I grab my phone and head down stairs. I hear a beep and I see that I have a few text messages from some friends. I also saw that Eric called me earlier. I take a seat on the couch and call him back. It rings for a couple seconds before he picks up.

“Hey Tris. What’s up?” He says, I think I can hear a smile in his voice.

“Hey. Nothing really, my mom made me change out of my first outfit because she said I looked like I was going to a funeral.” I laugh. “What are you up to?”

“I’m just watching the football game with my brother and having a few beers.” He replies. “Just out of curiosity, what were you wearing before?”

I roll my eyes. “I had on a black pencil skirt with a black long sleeve shirt with a white collar.”

“I bet you looked good. Too bad you didn’t send me a picture.” He laughs.

I smile in to the phone. “I’m sure that you look good right now. What are your parents making you wear for thanksgiving? Casual or dressy?”

“Well we have about three more hours until my parents colleague Janine comes over with her husband. So I’ll be forced to wear a suit when that happens, but right now I’m in sweats.”

“You should send me a picture of you in your suit.” I giggle. “I’m pretty sure that you’d look sexy wearing your suit, but I’d like a picture confirmation.”

“That could be arranged. My parents are even making me take out the piercing, so you’ll see what straight laced Eric looks like. Trust me it’s not as sexy.” He laughs.

“I’m sure that I’ll like him just the same.” I smile. The doorbell rings. I hear my mom yell for me to answer the door. “Hey I gotta go Eric, but I’ll text you a picture of what I’m wearing and call you later tonight.”

“Okay. Enjoy your holiday and wish your parents a happy thanksgiving for me. Bye babe.”

“Bye.” I smile. I stuff my phone in my pocket and go to the door. I open it and smile at Marcus standing there, holding a bottle of wine for dinner. “Hello Mr. Eaton, happy thanksgiving. Please come in.”

“Happy thanksgiving Beatrice.” He smiles as he steps past me in to the house.

I look at the figure that’s standing in the doorway. That can’t be Tobias! There’s no way. I make eye contact with Four who’s just as shocked as I am. “Happy thanksgiving. Please come in.” I say in a tense voice. He steps inside without a word and goes to say hello to my mother and father.

Fantastic.

Eric POV

I end my phone call with Tris with a smile. I look over at Trevor. “What?”

“You, Eric Coulter, are in love with her. It’s actually kinda disgusting.” He makes a face. “Don’t get me wrong, I’m glad that you and her are dating, but having to witness all the sexual tension between you two is nasty.”

I think back to our phone call last night…

How come you didn’t tell me about the email from conflict resolution?” I sigh in to my phone.

Because what are you going to be able to do? I didn’t want you to constantly worry about me. I was able to slip away from Peter on Halloween. I’m able to take care of myself. You shouldn’t have to worry about this.” Tris tells me in a calm voice.

How the hell is she so fucking calm? I want to go beat his fucking face in, go do more damage than I’ve already done. I want conflict resolution to give me five minutes alone with him with no repercussions. “It’s my job to worry about you. I care about you Tris.”

I care about you too Eric, but you can’t always worry about me. There are some things that I have to face on my own. This is one of them. You’ve been there with me throughout this entire experience, but I need to just face this on my own. I’ve already been doing so for a month.” She tells me.

I know that she’s right. She’s gotten better at dealing with everything that happened. She told me a couple weeks ago that she decided to go see the therapist, Johanna Reyes, so I guess she’s working towards getting over this.

Fine, but I’m still going to care about you.” I smile in to the phone.

I know you are Eric.”

Good, but just know that if I was there I’d definitely put you over my leg and spank you.”

I’d love to see you try.” Tris replies back confidently.

I’d definitely be able to baby. Then once you’d taken your punishment I’d go down on you, eating that sweet pussy of yours.” I breathe in to the phone. Just the thought of going down on her already has me hard. I reach in to my pants, absentmindedly stroking myself. I groan in to the phone without thinking.

Are you trying to start phone sex Eric?” She asks, and I can hear the smile in her voice.

Yes.” I smirk. “All I can think about is your mouth sucking my dick.”

That’s all you can think about Eric?” Trevor says from the door.

Shit, I gotta call you back Tris.” I end the phone call and throw a pillow at my brother. “Ever heard of knocking asshole!”

“You’re the one who barged in to my room last night. I know for a fact the fucking door was closed.” I roll my eyes.

Trevor laughs. “Yeah, yeah. I just wish I could get that damn image out of my mind bro. So have you told her?”

“Told her what?” I look at him, keeping my face void of emotion.

“That you love her.”


“We’ve only been dating for three months. You can’t love someone in three months. I’d scare her of if I said I love you to her now.”

Trevor shakes his head. “You’re an idiot. I can’t wait to see when you bring her to meet mom and dad. I really hope I’m there for that.”

“Shut up.” I take a sip of my beer. We watch the remainder of the game in silence. When we have about an hour before our parent’s guests are set to arrive we part ways to get ready.

I hop in the shower. What meant to be a quick ten-minute shower, was actually thirty minutes. Every time I’ve stepped in the shower all I can think about is Tris in here with me, which leads to me getting hard, which then means I have to remedy the situation. I get out from my shower relaxed and calm. I know this isn’t going to last long.

Normal holidays end up in arguments. Mostly between me and my father. He starts off going on about how I’m an idiot for getting an eye brow piercing, which then leads to why I would get so many tattoos, and then it leads to how I’m the failure of the family. Yes, I’m the failure because I’d like to become a cop and help people. Yeah, I’m the crazy one here.

I take out the eyebrow piercing and look at myself in the mirror. I look like a child without it on. I really don’t like it. Screw it. I put the piercing back in place. I’m not going to cower down to my parents anymore. If worse comes to worse then they cause a fight and I don’t come to anymore family holidays. I get dressed in the suit my mother left on the bed for me, it’s navy blue with a white shirt and royal blue tie.

I look at myself. With the piercing I look like myself. Good. I deserve to be myself at my own home. I take a mirror selfie of myself and send it to Tris. God I wish she had invited me to her house for Thanksgiving. I would of rather been there than here.

I go downstairs and meet my brother in the kitchen. He looks at me, then raises an eyebrow at me. I shrug in response. He hands me a beer… This is going to be a long night.

Birthday Wishes

Chapter One

I sighed as I walked around the training room. The new initiates were horrible. It’s been a two weeks since they started out, but it doesn’t seem like they are getting better at fighting. I observe the transfer from Erudite- she’s small, similar to my build when I first got here, but she’s the only good one. She’s making some progress. Everyone else stinks. I take a deep breath. “All right everyone go to lunch!” I yell. “And when you get back you better work harder than this!”

I massage my temples. I have a horrible headache. This day feels like it’s going to last forever. This always happens on my birthday. I lay down on one of the unused mats.

I think of my birthdays the last few years. In Abnegation we didn’t really celebrate birthdays. The gift was that you were excused from chores on that day. Last year my brother was the one who had to take over my dinner responsibilities. Either way, I’m not a fan of celebrating my birthday. I don’t like people fawning over me. I don’t want to be the center of attention; unlike Christina who arranged a huge party for herself this year. There were so many people in her apartment that it was impossible to move.

I’m pulled out of my thoughts when the door to the training room opens. It can’t be the transfers; I just sent them to lunch ten minutes ago. I tilt my head from starring at the ceiling, and I see Eric peering down at me. “What do you want Eric?”

“I was coming to see how the transfers are doing, but they’re not here. Where are they?” He asks in a hard voice.

I roll my eyes. I continue to lie there. “They were doing horribly so I sent them to lunch early.”

He shakes his head. “What are you doing down there?”

“Minding my own business.” I mutter.

“What was that?”

“Nothing. I just have a headache. I don’t feel like being in the cafeteria where everyone’s talking so I thought I’d just stay here.”

Eric doesn’t say anything, but he joins me on the mat. I look over at him and see that he’s made himself comfortable.

“What are you doing Eric?”

“I’m joining you. I’m a leader, you don’t get to question me.”

“Whatever.” I turn my head back so I’m staring at the ceiling again.

“What the fuck crawled up your ass this morning stiff? Normally you can’t shut the fuck up about how well the transfers are doing. Today you feeding them to the wolves.”

I don’t say anything. What am I going to say? Today’s my birthday and I’m so used to it being insignificant that I’m not mentioning it to anyone? Yeah that’s not going to happen.

“Your Dauntless leader asked you a question! Answer it!” He barks.

“I’m not allowed to be in a bad mood? You’re always a pain in the fucking ass, but we still have to put up with you?” I bark back. Before I can react, Eric has me pinned underneath him. “Hey!”

“I’ll repeat the god damn question. What the fuck is your problem stiff?”

I try to get out of his hold, but he has my arms pinned back with his forearms and his knees are digging in to my legs making it impossible for me to move without hurting myself. “Get off me you ass!” I head butt him, it loosens his hold on me enough that I’m able to switch our positions so now he’s pinned underneath me. The difference is that my knee is digging in to his crotch. “Are you going to leave me alone?”

The only sound he makes is a grunt.

“I can’t hear you.” I whisper in his ear, taunting him.

“Get off me you fucking bitch.” He gets himself out from under me, his hand massaging his crotch. “What the hell is up with you today?”

“Nothing Eric, I’m just in a bad mood.” I sigh. “Why can’t you go bother someone else and just leave me be?”

“Because everybody else is eating lunch. You’re the only person who’s not there.”

“How does me not being there affect you?” I roll my eyes.

“Excuse me for seeing if you were okay. If I knew you were gonna crush my balls I would have left you alone.”

I shake my head. How is it that Eric is the only person that noticed I wasn’t at lunch? We’re not even acquaintances, let a lone friends. I look over at him. He’s starring back at me.

“So what’s wrong with you today? You’re never like this.”

“We’re not friends Eric. Do you really think that I’m going to tell you what’s bothering me?”

“I doubt you’d prefer to talk to your friends about your bad mood.” I shrug at him. “Come on Tris, what’s the worst that happens? I know more about you? What’s so wrong with that?”

“I’m not going to bother you with my problems.” I reply.

“You’re in Dauntless now. So stop with that Abnegation bullshit. What’s bothering you so much today?”

Mentally, I weigh the pros and cons of telling Eric about my birthday. The cons are adding up faster than the pros. I sigh and look over at him. “Today’s my birthday.”

“Happy birthday!” He smiles at me. I roll my eyes. “What you hate your birthday?”

“I don’t hate it, but I don’t like celebrating or making a big deal out of it. Last year the big thing was that I was excused from cooking dinner. You don’t make a big deal out of your birthdays in Abnegation. It’s just stuck with me. I’d rather pretend that it isn’t my birthday than do something.”

Eric’s quiet for a minute. “Well that’s stupid. I can understand you not wanting to do any thing, but why would you keep it quiet that it’s your birthday?”

“Have you met my friends? They don’t understand my reasons. You don’t even understand my reasons and you’re pretty rational. I’d rather just pretend that I don’t have a birthday.”

“You can do what you want Tris, I’m not going to stop you.” He frowns. “But I do have a proposition for you.”

“What?”

“Come to my apartment for dinner tonight. It won’t be anything crazy, just two people having dinner together.”

“Thanks, but no thanks Eric. I’d prefer to just spend tonight alone.”

“Are you going to eat today? I didn’t see you at breakfast and you’re skipping lunch now.”

Why does he know all that? That’s a little freaky. “Yes, I’m going to eat. I ate breakfast in my apartment today. I’ll eat dinner when I get done with the initiates. They should be coming back soon. You should go get some food before lunch ends.” I smile, mostly in an attempt for him to get going.

Eric shakes his head. “I’ll wait with you. I want to watch the fights and see how they are all doing.”

Thankfully the initiates come back soon, so Eric and I aren’t sitting in silence for too long. We both watch the fights quietly, only announcing matches and winners. When they’re done I dismiss them early. There’s no reason for me to make them work harder. I clean up the few items left behind. I can feel Eric starring at me from the door.

I walk out of the training room with Eric following silently behind me. When I get to the chasm I stop. “Why are you following me?”

“I’m not following you. I literally live down the hall from you. You’ve been living in your apartment for a year and you haven’t noticed that I live down the hall from you?” He laughs.

“Sorry,” I look away from him. “I completely forgot.” I continue walking with no further comments to Eric. When I get to my door, Eric walks past me to his apartment. I go inside and quickly change in to yoga pants and a long sleeve shirt. I lie on my bed relaxing, taking deep breaths.

My stomach grumbles violently, making it known that I should eat. I know that I should get up and make something for dinner, but I just don’t feel like cooking. I think there’s a can of soup in a cabinet. I can do that for dinner. I get up and search for the little can. I just find it when there’s a knock on the door. I open it up and see Eric standing there with two bags in his hands.

He pushes past me walking in uninvited. He sets the bags on the counter and looks at me.

“What are you doing Eric?” I glare at him, closing the door.

“I’m making dinner.”

“I told you that I’m going to eat. I have dinner already.”

Eric looks around and sees the can of soup sitting there. “That isn’t dinner. That’s what you eat when you’re sick.”

“I just want this day to be over Eric. Just go home so I can go to bed.” I sigh.

“No! I’m not gonna let you spend you’re birthday all alone. Come on I’ll make dinner. Then once we eat I’ll leave if you want me to.”

“Fine.”

“Great. I’ll cook all this. You should take a nap. You look fucking exhausted. I’ll come wake you up when it’s ready.”

“Okay.” I head to my room, snuggling up in my comforter. I listen to Eric as he moves around in my kitchen. I hold in a laugh when I hear him curse. After a couple minutes I can feel myself drifting off to sleep.

I wake up when I feel someone shaking me. I look up and see Eric smiling down at me. “Come on Tris, dinner’s ready.”

I stretch and get up. I walk out of my room and see Eric has set the small table too. Everything is plated too. He takes two beers out of the fridge and hands me one. “You really didn’t have to do this Eric.”

“I know I didn’t, but just accept it and move on.” He clinks his bottle against mine, before taking a large sip. “Come on, let’s eat before it gets cold.” He pulls out the chair for me. “I hope this is okay.”

I look down at the plate. A huge steak is sitting on there with some vegetables and potatoes. “I smells good. Thank you.” We eat in relative silence. By the time I finish Eric’s been done for ten minutes. He’s just been starring at me. “What Eric?”

“Nothing. I’m not allowed to look at you now? First I can’t walk behind you. Now I can’t look at you?” He smirks. “You’re becoming pretty bossy Tris.”

I shake my head and try not to laugh.

“Look at that. She finally smiles.” He smirks. “This is the first time you’ve looked remotely happy today.”

I shrug. “Like I said, I don’t like celebrating my birthday.”

“Was this a bad celebration?” He smiles.

“No it wasn’t.” I smile back.

“Can I just ask you something?” I nod. “I thought you and Four were dating. Why aren’t you spending the night with him?”

I laugh at that. “Eric, Four and I were mainly a thing during initiation. He and I are better as friends. Why?”

“No reason. I was just wondering why I hadn’t seen him around here.” He shrugs.

I nod. I get up and starting taking the plates so I can clean up.

“Uh it’s your birthday, I thought you were excused from dinner duty.” He smiles at me.

“Seriously? That’s the last time I tell you something.” I smirk.

Eric laughs. “Only I will ever know. I promise.” He takes the dishes from me and begins to clean up. After ten minutes, everything is clean. “There you go. Quick, easy, and painless.”

“Thank you for dinner Eric.” I walk over and give him a hug, along with a kiss on his cheek.

“You’re welcome.” He smiles back at me. “Well I’m gonna go. Night Tris.”

“Night Eric.” I follow him to the door, and close it behind him. I put the dishes away that are drying. I close the cabinet, ready to go to bed, when there’s a knock on my door. I open it and see Eric standing there again. This time he has a cupcake with a lit candle on it.

“Make a wish Tris.” He smiles. He enters my apartment, closing the door behind him.

I close my eyes and think for a moment. When I have my wish I open my eyes and blow it out. “Thank you Eric. This has been the best birthday I’ve ever had.”

He smiles again as he puts the cupcake down. “Think you can tell me what you wished for?”

“If I tell you then it’s not going to happen.” I laugh.

“Well can I give you my gift then?”

“You shouldn’t have gotten me anything.” I tell him honestly, just him forcing me to spend my birthday with him and making it enjoyable was enough.

“I didn’t spend anything on it. I swear.” Eric smiles. He puts his hand on my waist and brings me close to him. His other hand goes to my neck. He looks at my lips once before pulling me closer and kissing me.

Kissing Eric is definitely different and better than kissing Four. Four’s kisses were soft while Eric’s kiss is powerful. Our lips move in sync with one another. He licks my bottom lip, and immediately I open my lips allowing him access. His tongue dances against mine. I pull away when I’m out of breath.

Eric smiles at me. “I hope that you have a happy birthday Tris.” He kisses my forehead before walking out.

I smile at the door. This is an interesting end to my birthday.

Chapter 25: “Dinner with the Family”

Tris POV

“Yes, Eric, I have everything.” I sigh. How many more times is he going to ask me if I have everything I need for thanksgiving break.

“You’re sure that you have all your books? You didn’t leave any in your room or mine?” He asks again.

I glare at him. “Yes I have everything. I double checked last night, I triple checked this morning, and I checked again before we left.”

He is annoying when he’s in RA mode. No wonder why no one wants to be near him when he’s like this. Everything has to be his way, there’s no room for argument.

I pick up my backpack and go sit in his car. I’ll just wait for him here, while he makes sure he has everything. I’d love to mess with him and say that I left something when we’re half way to my house, but I’m pretty sure he’d skin me alive. I throw my bag in the back seat and wait for him.

Ten minutes later, Eric opens the front door getting in his car with a scowl.

“What did you forget something?” I roll my eyes.

“No some transfer did. He’s so fucking annoying, a bumbling idiot.” He slams the car door.

I resist the urge to roll my eyes. I’m not in the mood to get a lecture from him. When he’s in this type of mood it means avoid eye contact and no sudden movements; kinda like a rabid dog.

“Put your address in the GPS and then we can be on our way.” He hands me the GPS.

I do as he says. I still can’t believe that Eric and I only live a town over from one another. I understand that you can live in the same area as someone and never meet them, but it’s still surprising. I hand Eric his GPS back.

“Are you sure you have everything?” He asks me again.

I take a deep breath. “Yes I am sure, babe.”

Eric nods and finally puts the car in drive. Once he’s on the highway, he reaches over and holds my hand. I’ve noticed that we’re always touching; holding hands or his arm around my shoulder or his hand on my knee.

“So what are you doing for Thanksgiving?” I ask him. Between midterms and now studying for finals we haven’t really spoken about what our holiday plans are.

“Um… It’ll probably just be my brother, parents, and me. My parents aren’t really big on family holidays. We used to spend it with my grand parents, but since they passed it’s just my immediate family.” He smiles at me. “What is your family doing?”

“My mom’s cooking. Normally she invites our neighbors over, the one that my brothers dating, and my dad’s boss and his son are coming over.” I shrug. “It’s nothing major.”

“That still sounds better than being at my house.” He replies.

I reach over and turn the radio on to a familiar station. I try my hardest not to sing when one of my favorite songs comes on.

Eric squeezes my hand. “I already know that you have a horrible singing voice, there’s no need for you to hold it in.”

“You’re such a jerk.” I laugh.

The rest of the ride is filled with me singing songs, horribly, that are playing on the radio. Eventually, Eric pulls up in front of my house. It’s a normal two-story house with a front yard and a deck in the back. When I was younger we had a pool, but my dad took it down saying that it was too indulgent.

“You’re home honey.” Eric smirks at me.

I smile at him. I look at my house. It doesn’t feel like home. I have to ask to go out, I have to ask to see friends, I have to ask if I want to have friends over. It’s like being back in high school and I have to be back home around 10.

Eric gets out of the car. He pops his trunk and grabs my duffle bag out. He looks at me as I sit in his car. He opens the door and stares at me. “Should I have just taken you to my house instead?”

“No.” I smile. “I’m just not ready to be treated like a child yet.”

Eric laughs as if it’s the funniest thing in the world. “Baby, don’t worry. Eventually that will end. I can’t make promises when, but eventually your parents will treat you like an adult instead of a child.”

I nod. Rationally, I know what he means. Emotionally, I want to be treated like an adult now, like how I’ve been acting for the past four months. I get out of his car and slide on my backpack. “Thanks for driving me. If you want to leave now you can and avoid my dad.”

“And miss seeing your mom who’s in love with me? No way.” He smiles. “I can’t wait to meet your dad.”

I sigh. Okay, let’s do this quick, fast, and painless. I keep repeating those words to myself as I walk up the front steps with Eric behind me. I unlock the door. “Hello? Anybody here?” I yell. I hear a little yipping noise and the clicking of little paws on the wood floor. Our tiny longhaired Chihuahua comes running at me. Jumping up to attempt to reach me. I bend down and immediately start rubbing his belly. “Hi Zoro! Did you miss me? I bet you did.”

Eric laughs next to me. “I thought you guys would have had a bigger dog.”

“Hey Zoro is fierce and will bite your nuts off; if I lift him high enough.” I frown at him. “Where’s mommy?” The little dog goes running, hopefully, in the direction of my mother.

Eric puts my bag down and follows the dog, pulling me with him. When we hear barking, I hear my mother asking the dog what’s wrong.

“He’s telling you I’m home mom. You didn’t hear me yelling for anybody?” I say from the doorway.

My mom jumps. “Tris don’t scare me like that.” She looks over at Eric. “Hello Eric.”

“Hi Mrs. Prior.” He smiles. I feel him rest his hand on my lower back.

“I told you to call me Natalie.” She scolds. She comes over and hugs me, doing the same with Eric. “So I hear you live close by?”

“Yeah, only twenty minutes away.” He smiles.

“Are you coming over tomorrow?” She pushes.

“I’ll be with my family tomorrow. I wasn’t aware that I was invited to thanksgiving here.” He smirks at me.

“You didn’t invite him?” She hits my arm. “And here I thought I was going to get some cute shots of all the couples for the Christmas cards.”

Immediately, my hand goes to my forehead. “Mom!”

“What? I thought it would be nice.” She shrugs, looking at Eric. “So are you staying for dinner?”

“I wasn’t aware I was invited for dinner until now.” He laughs.

“You’re always welcome here Eric.” My mom beams at him. “Tris’s father should be home in a couple hours. Stay for dinner and you can meet him.”

I bite the inside of my cheek.

“Well I’d love to stay for dinner. I can’t wait to meet your dad Tris.” He smirks at me.

“Great. I’ll make you guys some lunch.” My mom smiles. “Put your stuff in your room Tris. Eric can help you carry it up.”

I direct Eric to follow me. “You don’t have to stay for dinner if you don’t want to.” I tell Eric when we’re on the steps to the second floor, not within distance of my mother.

“Nah, I’d like to meet your dad. I can’t wait to meet your brother too.” Eric puts my duffle bag on my bed. He looks around my room. “It isn’t what I thought it would be.”

“What do you mean?” I look around my room. It has light grey walls, and my bed has a brick red comforter. I have some old pictures on the wall from high school. My room is surprisingly clean, especially since there was stuff left all over the place when I left for school in August.

“I thought it’d be a little more girly. Don’t get me wrong, I like it, it’s just not what I expected.” He stands in front of me. “So have you ever had a guy in your room?”

I roll my eyes. “Yes. Previous boyfriends have snuck in my room when my parents were home.”

Eric laughs. “Please, they aren’t half as great as me.”

“That’s true.” I smile. Stroking Eric’s ego gets me much farther in life.

Eric pulls me to him, and lays the mother of all kisses on me. If that’s what I get for stroking his ego then I should do it more often. His hand tangles in my hair, while the other grips my waist. His tongue explores my mouth, before he kisses down my jaw to my exposed neck. His hands slide down my body and I feel him lift me, my legs automatically wrap around him. I pull his hair and start to kiss his neck. Eric moves us so we’re on my bed, with him leaning over me. He guides my lips back to his.

My hands explore his body, slipping under his shirt I run my nails down his chest. I feel his abs tighten. My hands slide up his shirt, trying to pull it off.

Eric pulls away. “Babe, what are you doing?” He pulls his shirt back down.

“Nothing.” I smile innocently, sitting up.

“No way, you’re trying to start something.” He raises an eyebrow at me.

“You started first when you kissed me like that. What did you get jealous at me mentioning the fact that I have previous boyfriends? So you decided to stake your claim?” I smirk at him.

Eric laughs. “You have an overactive imagination baby.”

I roll my eyes at him. “You still like me.” I state confidently.

“I do.” Eric kisses my forehead.

Eric POV

I take a deep breath. Mrs. Prior told me that her husband is on the way home. Apparently he “just can’t wait to meet me”; I think she’s lying.

Tris squeezes my hand before she gets up to set the table. I’ve offered to help multiple times, but Mrs. Prior told me to relax. I guess I looked a bit stressed.

A bit is putting it nicely. It was different when I was first meeting Mrs. Prior. I was nervous if she would like me, with Tris’s dad I want him to trust me. I want him to trust me enough to let me spend time with his daughter when he isn’t near. My pride is going to be bruised if he hates me.

My breath catches when I hear the front door open and close.

“Hey all. I’m home.” He calls out.

I watch as he goes in to the kitchen and says hello to his family. He comes out and looks at me. He’s just about my height, but he looks intimidating with his suit on; especially since I’m wearing jeans and a sweater.

“So you’re the guy that my daughters dating?” He smiles.

I stand up, going to shake his hand. “Yes.” I smile. “I’m Eric, it’s nice to meet you sir.”

“It’s nice to meet you too. I’ve heard a lot about you from my wife.”

“Hopefully all good.” I smile.

Tris comes in and stands next to me. “I see you already met Eric, dad.”

“I did. We didn’t get to speak much yet. I guess we’ll talk more over dinner.” He winks at her before going in the kitchen with Mrs. Prior.

I take a deep breath.

“I thought you were excited to meet my dad?” Tris asks.

“I am. I just hate the initial meeting. And the part where he interrogates me.”

Tris smiles and pulls me closer to kiss my cheek. “My dad’s going to love you. The last time I spoke to him on the phone he told me that he couldn’t wait to meet you. Apparently my mother’s only had nice things to say about you.”

I smile at her. “He said that to me too.”

“Then you have nothing to be worried about.” She reassures me. She pulls me in to the dining room where Mrs. Prior is putting dinner on the table.

“Andrew, have you heard from Caleb? Is he going to be home soon?” She calls out.

“He should be here in five minutes.” He replies. “I’m going to change real quick. I can’t wait to get out of this damn suit.”

“What does you dad do?” I ask Tris quietly.

“Oh, he works for the governor.” She replies. Tris takes her hand in mine under the dining room table. “Just be warned my brother has a big ego.”

“What do you mean?” I smirk. I’m rather curious to meet her brother, she doesn’t really talk about him that much. I’ve learned that he’s my age and is also an RA where he goes to school. I think she told me that he is a bio major, but he wants to be a neurobiologist like my father. How he got that when his mother was a cop and his dad works for the governor his beyond me. I guess everyone has their own passions; to each their own I guess.

“My brother believes that he is god’s gift to school. I’m pretty sure that he has the highest GPA in the school, but because of that he developed this superiority complex that he’s greater than everyone. Except for my parents.” She laughs. “Just be wary of him. He can attack your intelligence without you even realizing it.”

I smile at her. “I’ll be fine. I’m not worried about what he thinks about me; as long as you like me then I’m happy.”

Tris’s father comes down and sits with us at the table. He and Tris talk about what she’s studying in school, how she’s been doing in classes, and how her friends are. I guess Mrs. Prior told him about when all of her friends were waiting for her in Tris’s room. Finally, he starts in on me.

“So Eric, my wife told me that you’re also studying criminal justice like Beatrice.”

He states, rather than asks. I nod. “Are you going to take the police exam soon?”

“I’ll probably take it next year. I want to focus this year on school.” I reply.

“And then being a police officer will be your career?”

“Ideally. I’d like to be made detective in the future, but I still have a long way before that even happens.” I smile. “Tris told me that you work for the Govenor. What’s that like?”

Mr. Prior shrugs at my question. “I’ve been working with Marcus since we were in college, we’re old friends and we work well together.”

Talk about cryptic. From what I’ve heard in the media, the Governor’s been having a hard time in the public eye. Rumors have been spread that he beats his son, but no one has seen his son in the public eye since he was in middle school, so no one truly knows what’s been going on with him. My guess is he’s trying to separate himself from his father. No matter what Mr. Prior says Marcus Eaton looks like an ass. If I hated been eligible to vote when he was elected the first time, I would have voted for the other candidate.

The front door opens and closes. I hear footsteps coming closer to the dining room table. A thin, gangly, kid stands in front of us. There’s no way that he can be the same age as me. He barely looks old enough to drive, let alone be twenty.

“Hey dad, Beatrice.” He smiles, before his eyes land on me and he frowns. “Who’s this?”

“This,” Tris replies brusquely, “is my boyfriend Eric.”

He smiles at me briefly, before nodding in my direction. “Nice to meet you.”

Before I can reply, Mrs. Prior comes in from the kitchen. “Oh, Caleb, you’re home. We can eat dinner now. We’ve been waiting for you.” She chides. She guides him to his chair across from me and Tris, and goes to her own.

“Are you going to say grace, dear?” Mrs. Prior asks her husband.

We all clasp hands and bow our heads as Mr. Prior says grace, with us all saying amen afterwards. Mrs. Prior serves everyone, and it smells amazing.

Everyone’s quiet for a few minutes until Caleb starts talking.

“So Beatrice, when did you and Eric start dating?” He looks at me, rolling his eyes.

“First day I started at Dauntless.” Tris answers. I smirk at her.

“Oh, you both finally decided on a day.” Mrs. Prior pipes in.

“What?” Mr. Prior asks.

“Oh, they kissed the first night there, and then started dating a week later. When I met Eric, they hadn’t decided when they first got together. I guess they decided.” She smiles at the two of us.

Mr. Prior looks at us. “Oh you’ve been dating for a while then. I thought this was new.” He looks between us.

“No we’ve been dating for a couple months now. I was trying to tell you, but you never responded to any of my texts. Now that I think about it, I haven’t spoken to you since I moved in to school.” Tris says nicely, but I can hear the underlying edge to her voice.

“You should have told him that it was important, Beatrice. You know that our father is extremely busy each day.” Caleb chimes in with a condescending tone.

“That’s because he makes time to talk to you.” She smiles back.

If I could shrink down in my seat I would. I glance at Mrs. Prior and she does not look happy.

“So what are you studying Caleb?” I ask him, trying to divert attention away from this entire topic.

“I’m studying biology. I’d like to become a neurobiologist.” He replies. “So what are you studying Eric. I haven’t heard too much about you, aside from the fact that you’ve been dating my sister since she started that school.”

“I’m studying criminal justice like your sister. I too would like to be a police officer, and then maybe ten years in the future become detective. I’m shooting to become commissioner by the time I’m in my fifties.” I smile back at him.

Caleb doesn’t say anything, but Mr. Prior smiles at me. “Well it seems like you have a good head on your shoulders; even if you have an eyebrow piercing.”

I laugh. “Tris seems to like it.” From the corner of my eye I can see her cheeks go red.