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Home > Four: The Traitor (Divergent 0.4)(14)

Four: The Traitor (Divergent 0.4)(14)
Author: Veronica Roth

But then I see her with Will and Christina, standing by the railing, and I should call her name and ask her, but I can’t do it. Am I crazy, thinking of letting her into my head? Letting her see Marcus, learn my name, know everything I’ve tried so hard to keep hidden?

I start up the paths of the Pit again, my stomach churning. I reach the lobby, and the city lights are starting to go out all around us. I hear her footsteps on the stairs. She came after me.

I turn the black box in my hand.

“Since you’re here,” I say, like it’s casual, which is ridiculous, “you might as well go in with me.”

“Into your fear landscape?”

“Yes.”

“I can do that?”

“The serum connects you to the program, but the program determines whose landscape you go through. And right now, it’s set to put us through mine.”

“You would let me see that?”

I can’t quite look at her. “Why else do you think I’m going in?” My stomach hurts even worse. “There are some things I want to show you.”

I open the box and take out the first syringe. She tilts her head, and I inject the serum, just like we always do during fear simulations. But instead of injecting myself with the other syringe, I offer her the box. This is supposed to be my way of evening things out, after all.

“I’ve never done this before,” she says.

“Right here.” I touch the place. She shakes a little as she inserts the needle, and the deep ache is familiar, but it no longer bothers me. I’ve done this too many times. I watch her face. No turning back, no turning back. Time to see what we’re both made of.

I take her hand, or maybe she takes mine, and we walk into the fear landscape room together.

“See if you can figure out why they call me Four.”

The door closes behind us, and the room is black. She moves closer to me and says, “What’s your real name?”

“See if you can figure that out, too.”

The simulation begins.

The room opens up to a wide blue sky, and we are on the roof of the building, surrounded by the city, sparkling in the sun. It’s beautiful for just a moment before the wind starts, fierce and powerful, and I put my arm around her because I know she’s steadier than I am, in this place.

I’m having trouble breathing, which is normal for me, here. I find the rush of air suffocating, and the height makes me want to curl into a ball and hide.

“We have to jump off, right?” she says, and I remember that I can’t curl into a ball and hide; I have to face this now.

I nod.

“On three, okay?”

I nod again. All I have to do is follow her, that’s all I have to do.

She counts to three and drags me behind her as she runs, like she’s a sailboat and I’m an anchor, pulling us both down. We fall and I struggle against the sensation with every inch of me, terror shrieking in every nerve, and then I’m on the ground, clutching my chest.

She helps me to my feet. I feel stupid, remembering how she scaled that Ferris wheel with no hesitation.

“What’s next?”

I want to tell her it’s not a game; my fears aren’t thrilling rides she gets to go on. But she probably doesn’t mean it that way.

“It’s—”

The wall comes from nowhere, slamming into her back, my back, both our sides. Forcing us together, closer than we’ve ever been before.

“Confinement,” I say, and it’s worse than usual with her in here, taking up half the air. I groan a little, hunching over her. I hate it in here. I hate it in here.

“Hey,” she says. “It’s okay. Here—”

She pulls my arm around her. I’ve always thought of her as spare, not an ounce of extra anything on her. But her waist is soft.

“This is the first time I’m happy I’m so small,” she says.

“Mmhmm.”

She’s talking about how to get out. Fear-landscape strategy. I am trying to focus on breathing. Then she pulls us both down, to make the box smaller, and turns so her back is against my chest, so I’m completely wrapped around her.

“This is worse,” I say, because with my nervousness about the box and my nervousness about touching her combined, I can’t even think straight. “This is definitely . . .”

“Shh. Arms around me.”

I wrap my arms around her waist, and bury my face in her shoulder. She smells like Dauntless soap, and sweet, like apple.

I’m forgetting where I am.

She’s talking about the fear landscape again, and I’m listening, but I’m also focused on how she feels.

“So try to forget we’re here,” she finishes.

“Yeah?” I put my mouth right up against her ear, on purpose this time, to keep the distraction going, but also because I get the feeling I’m not the only one who’s distracted. “That easy, huh?”

“You know, most boys would enjoy being trapped in close quarters with a girl.”

“Not claustrophobic people, Tris!”

“Okay, okay.” She guides my hand to her chest, right under where her collarbone dips. All I can think about is what I want, which has nothing to do with getting out of this box, suddenly. “Feel my heartbeat. Can you feel it?”

“Yes.”

“Feel how steady it is?”

I smile into her shoulder. “It’s fast.”

“Yes, well, that has nothing to do with the box.” Of course it doesn’t. “Every time you feel me breathe, you breathe. Focus on that.”

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