4 weeks later…
“Move it initiates. You can run a mile in ten minutes.” I yell.
“Actually they have to. Otherwise they’re cut.” Eric says loud enough for his voice to carry through the training room.
I look over at him rolling my eyes. Any initiate who doesn’t hit certain goals is cut. Not even after the first stage cut, but cut from initiation right that moment. This was one of Max’s new ideas and Eric and I are the ones who have to implement it. “Just because Max thought this was a good idea doesn’t mean that it is.”
“I’d keep that opinion to yourself Tris. There are eyes and ears everywhere here.” He whispers in my ear.
I take a deep breath and ignore the feeling of his breath on my neck. “Got it.” I watch as the last initiate goes over the finish line. I look at the clock. Nine minutes thirty seconds. He just made it.
“Good job.” Eric frowns. “Go back to the dorms and get some sleep. You guys are going to need it tomorrow.”
We watch as the initiates slowly leave the training room. When the door closes behind the last one I glance at Eric. He’s standing in front of a punching bag wrapping his knuckles. He tosses the tape to me. “Wrap up Tris. Just because they’ve finished training for the day doesn’t mean we can’t keep going.”
I roll my eyes, but wrap my knuckles. I put the tape in my pocket and go to a punching bag next to Eric. For the next hour, we go at the bags hard. Eventually Eric’s bag breaks and thuds to the floor.
“Are we done for the day oh ruthless leader?” I smirk at him.
“Yeah. I think I’ve done enough damage and you keep going at it you’re going to break that bag too.” He looks at the bag swinging dangerously in front of me.
I stop it, leaning against it. “What time is it?”
“Nine.” He frowns. “We missed dinner.”
Shit. I have nothing at my place. I’ve been eating in the canteen the last week. I should have gone to the pit and bought groceries. “You owe me dinner.”
“How do I owe you dinner?”
“I have nothing at my place. I’ve been eating in the canteen. It’s your responsibility to feed me.”
“I have nothing at my place either.” Eric’s eyes brighten. “We could sneak in to the kitchen and grab some stuff. I know the pass code.”
“I’m not going to go steal food from the faction Eric. That’s selfish.”
“Well it’s either borrow some food or starve. I don’t know about you, but I’m fucking hungry.”
I sigh. “Fine, but if we get caught you better have an excuse.”
We carefully make our way to the canteen. Eric quickly unlocks the doors. Being inside here is different at night. It’s rather creepy when it’s deserted. I follow Eric to the kitchen. I’m surprised that it’s rather small. I thought it’d be three times the size, not the size of my apartment. Eric stands in front of the pantry grabbing some items.
“Go to the fridge and get two eggs, some milk, bacon, and parmesan cheese.”
I do what he says, grabbing a bowl and putting everything in there. When I turn around Eric is standing in front of me when some pasta, chicken, and a couple slices of cake. “I thought we were only grabbing a couple of things?”
“This is a couple of things.” He shrugs. We walk out and quickly make our way back to his apartment. “So I’ll make dinner if you want to change and shower.”
I nod. I start to turn around, but Eric stops me.
“You have some stuff here. You can just shower here as long as you don’t mind smelling like me.” He smiles.
“Towels are where?”
“Under the sink.”
I nod, walking through his bedroom to get to the shower. I take a towel out, placing it on the counter. I leave my clothes in a pile on the floor and turn the shower on waiting for it to warm up. When I step inside I almost moan from how amazing the water feels. I wish I could spend an hour in the shower instead of a couple of minutes. I like how all of Eric’s shower products smell manly. It’s a calming scent.
I rinse off and shut the water. I dry myself the best I can before wrapping the towel around myself. When I walk out of the bathroom Eric is in the process of changing. He’s pulling his shirt over his head with his pants unzipped. He looks good. I can’t help, but stare. Even though he can be an ass, Eric is a hot piece of ass.
“See something you like Tris?
His voice pulls me out of the trance. I can feel a blush appearing on my cheeks. I avoid his gaze.
“I asked you a question.” Eric says moving in front of me. He lifts my face so he can look me in the eye. “See something you like? Because I haven’t been able to keep my eyes off you for a while.”
I bite my lip. I feel his thumb pull my lip away from my teeth. His hand stays against my cheek.
“Tris?” He looks me in the eye.
“Yes?” I whisper.
“I’m going to kiss you. If you don’t stop me then I’m really going to kiss you.”
I don’t stop him when I feel his lips against mine. My hands go to his neck to pull him closer to me. His hands go to the back of my thighs, lifting me so my legs are wrapped around his waist. I pull away from his lips. Immediately his lips go to my neck. “Eric.” I moan. “Eric I’m only in a towel. I need to change.”
Eric pulls away with a smile. He gently puts me to my feet. “I’ll go shower.” He walks to the bathroom, closing the door behind him.
I quickly change in to the clothes that I left here. Unfortunately, I don’t have a bra or panties, since my clothes from today are still in the bathroom. I hope Eric leaves them where they are. It’s embarrassing to think of him touching my bra and panties.
I go to the kitchen to give Eric some privacy. There’s steam coming from pans on the stove. I look inside and see that he made a pasta and bacon dish. It smells amazing. Since I’ve started eating dinner with Eric I’ve come to realize that he is a great cook. Any girl would be lucky enough to date him. You know minus the fact that he has a crazy temper. I take a seat at the bar stool in front of the counter.
Eric kissed me. He gave me an out and I didn’t take it. I kissed him back. What does this mean? He’s been dropping hints the entire time we’ve had this sleeping arrangement, but that really doesn’t mean he’s interested in me. I’m pulled from my thoughts when if feel hands on my waist and lips on my neck.
“What are you doing?” I question.
“Kissing you. I thought I was allowed to do that.”
“And what gave you the idea that you could do that?”
“I gave you an out before Tris. You kissed me back.” He breathes against my neck making me shiver.
“Eric…” I trail off not knowing what to say.
“We can talk about this later in bed.” He tells me with a smile. Eric serves us dinner. Once again it’s amazing. I have yet to eat anything inedible.
“Yes?” He looks up from his plate.
“Where’d you learn to cook? Everything you make always tastes amazing, but when I try to copy your recipes they taste horrible.”
Eric laughs. “I used to read cook books in Erudite. I found it relaxing. You can always tell where something went wrong based on the recipe.”
I stare at him with my mouth open. “Seriously?”
He shrugs. “I found it relaxing. The fact that I have a photographic memory helps.”
I shake my head. “Just when I think I know you Eric, you always surprise me.”
“You always surprise me Tris.” He smiles at his plate. “I thought I had you figured out after initiation, but here we are. For the past month we’ve been sleeping next to one another. I would have never known that you could never sleep either.”
I smile at him.
“I’ve gotten used to sleeping next to you each night. I tried to take a nap one day last week and I couldn’t. I’ve gotten used to your body wrapped around mine. And it goes past sleeping. You’ve become one of my closest friends.”
“I’ve definitely changed you. You’ve gotten sappy.” I joke.
“Well there’s that, but there’s something else that you’ve changed.” He pauses. “You made me want to be in a relationship.”
“With me?” I ask incredulously.
“Yes. I thought that was clear.” He laughs. “I like you Tris- more than a friend.”