Home > Insurgent (Divergent #2)(11)

Insurgent (Divergent #2)(11)
Veronica Roth

I lean back and carefully pull the hem of my shirt down so it covers me again. For a second we just lie there, our heavy breaths mixing. I don’t mean to cry—now is not a good time to cry; no, it has to stop—but I can’t get the tears out of my eyes, no matter how many times I blink.

“Sorry,” I say.

He says almost sternly, “Don’t apologize.” He brushes the tears from my cheeks.

I know that I am birdlike, made narrow and small as if for taking flight, built straight-waisted and fragile. But when he touches me like he can’t bear to take his hand away, I don’t wish I was any different.

“I don’t mean to be such a mess,” I say, my voice cracking. “I just feel so . . .” I shake my head.

“It’s wrong,” he says. “It doesn’t matter if your parents are in a better place—they aren’t here with you, and that’s wrong, Tris. It shouldn’t have happened. It shouldn’t have happened to you. And anyone who tells you it’s okay is a liar.”

A sob racks my body again, and he wraps his arms around me so tightly I find it difficult to breathe, but it doesn’t matter. My dignified weeping gives way to full-on ugliness, my mouth open and my face contorted and sounds like a dying animal coming from my throat. If this continues I will break apart, and maybe that would be better, maybe it would be better to shatter and bear nothing.

He doesn’t speak for a long time, until I am quiet again.

“Sleep,” he says. “I’ll fight the bad dreams off if they come to get you.”

“With what?”

“My bare hands, obviously.”

I wrap my arm around his waist and take a deep breath of his shoulder. He smells like sweat and fresh air and mint, from the salve he sometimes uses to relax his sore muscles. He smells safe, too, like sunlit walks in the orchard and silent breakfasts in the dining hall. And in the moments before I drift off to sleep, I almost forget about our war-torn city and all the conflict that will come to find us soon, if we don’t find it first.

In the moments before I drift off to sleep, I hear him whisper, “I love you, Tris.”

And maybe I would say it back, but I am too far gone.


THAT MORNING I wake up to the buzz of an electric razor. Tobias stands in front of the mirror, his head tilted so he can see the corner of his jaw.

I hug my knees, covered by the sheet, and watch him.

“Good morning,” he says. “How did you sleep?”

“Okay.” I get up, and as he tilts his head back to address his chin with the razor, I wrap my arms around him, pressing my forehead to his back where the Dauntless tattoo peeks out from beneath his shirt.

He sets the razor down and folds his hands over mine. Neither of us breaks the silence. I listen to him breathe, and he strokes my fingers idly, the task at hand forgotten.

“I should go get ready,” I say after a while. I am reluctant to leave, but I am supposed to work in the laundry rooms, and I don’t want the Amity to say I’m not fulfilling my part of the deal they offered us.

“I’ll get you something to wear,” he says.

I walk barefoot down the hallway a few minutes later, wearing the shirt I slept in and a pair of shorts Tobias borrowed from the Amity. When I get back to my bedroom, Peter is standing next to my bed.

Instinct makes me straighten up and search the room for a blunt object.

“Get out,” I say as steadily as I can. But it’s hard to keep my voice from shaking. I can’t help but remember the look in his eyes as he held me over the chasm by my throat or slammed me against the wall in the Dauntless compound.

He turns to look at me. Lately when he looks at me it’s without his usual malice—instead he just seems exhausted, his posture slouched, his wounded arm in a sling. But I am not fooled.

“What are you doing in my room?”

He walks closer to me. “What are you doing stalking Marcus? I saw you after breakfast yesterday.”

I match his stare with my own. “That’s none of your business. Get out.”

“I’m here because I don’t know why you get to keep track of that hard drive,” he says. “It’s not like you’re particularly stable these days.”

“I’m unstable?” I laugh. “I find that a little funny, coming from you.”

Peter pinches his lips together and says nothing.

I narrow my eyes. “Why are you so interested in the hard drive anyway?”

“I’m not stupid,” he says. “I know it contains more than the simulation data.”

“No, you aren’t stupid, are you?” I say. “You think if you deliver it to the Erudite, they’ll forgive your indiscretion and let you back in their good graces.”

“I don’t want to be back in their good graces,” he says, stepping forward again. “If I had, I wouldn’t have helped you in the Dauntless compound.”

I jab his sternum with my index finger, digging in my fingernail. “You helped me because you didn’t want me to shoot you again.”

“I may not be an Abnegation-loving faction traitor.” He seizes my finger. “But no one gets to control me, especially not the Erudite.”

I yank my hand back, twisting so that he won’t be able to hold on. My hands are sweaty.

“I don’t expect you to understand.” I wipe my hands on the hem of my shirt as I inch toward the dresser. “I’m sure if it had been Candor and not Abnegation that got attacked, you would have just let your family get shot between the eyes without protest. But I’m not like that.”

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