Home > Four: The Traitor (Divergent 0.4)(9)

Four: The Traitor (Divergent 0.4)(9)
Author: Veronica Roth

I hold the door open to usher them through it. As she passes me, Lynn says, “You wouldn’t tell Eric.”

“No, I wouldn’t,” I say. When Tris passes me I put out a hand, and it fits automatically in the space between her shoulder blades. I don’t even know if that was intentional or not. And I don’t really care.

The others start down the hallway, our original plan of spending time in the training room forgotten once Uriah and Zeke start bickering and Shauna and Marlene share the rest of a muffin.

“Wait a second,” I say to Tris. She turns to me, looking worried, so I try to smile, but it’s hard to feel like smiling right now.

I noticed tension in the training room when I posted the rankings earlier this evening—I never thought, when I was tallying up the points for the rankings, that maybe I should mark her down for her protection. It would have been an insult to her skill in the simulations to put her any lower on the list, but maybe she would have preferred the insult to the growing rift between her and her fellow transfers.

Even though she’s pale and exhausted, and there are little cuts around each of her nail beds, and a wavering look in her eyes, I know that’s not the case. This girl would never want to be tucked safely in the middle of the pack, never.

“You belong here, you know that?” I say. “You belong with us. It’ll be over soon, so . . . just hold on, okay?”

The back of my neck suddenly feels hot, and I scratch at it with one hand, unable to meet her eyes, though I can feel them on me as the silence stretches.

Then she slips her fingers between mine, and I stare at her, startled. I squeeze her hand, lightly, and it registers through my turmoil and my exhaustion that though I’ve touched her half a dozen times—each one a lapse in judgment—this is the first time she’s ever done it back.

Then she turns and runs to catch up with her friends.

And I stand in the hallway, alone, grinning like an idiot.

I try to sleep for the better part of an hour, twisting under the covers to find a comfortable position. But it seems like someone has replaced my mattress with a bag of rocks. Or maybe it’s just that my mind is too busy for sleep.

Eventually I give up, putting on my shoes and jacket and walking to the Pire, the way I do every time I can’t sleep. I think about running the fear landscape program again, but I didn’t think to replenish my supply of simulation serum this afternoon, and it would be a hassle to get some now. Instead I walk to the control room, where Gus greets me with a grunt and the other two on staff don’t even notice me come in.

I don’t try to go through Max’s files again—I feel like I know everything I need to know, which is that something bad is coming and I have no idea whether I’ll try to stop it.

I need to tell someone, I need someone to share in this with me, to tell me what to do. But there’s no one that I would trust with something like this. Even my friends here were born and raised in Dauntless; how can I know that they wouldn’t trust their leaders implicitly? I can’t know.

For some reason, Tris’s face comes to mind, open but stern as she clasps my hand in the hallway.

I scroll through the footage, looking over the city streets and then returning to the Dauntless compound. Most of the hallways are so dark, I couldn’t see anything even if it was there. In my headphones, I hear only the rush of water in the chasm or the whistle of wind through the alleys. I sigh, leaning my head into my hand, and watch the changing images, one after another, and let them lull me into something like sleep.

“Go to bed, Four,” Gus says from across the room.

I jerk awake, and nod. If I’m not actually looking at the footage it’s not a good idea for me to be in the control room. I log out of my account and walk down the hallway to the elevator, blinking myself awake.

As I walk across the lobby, I hear a scream coming from below, coming from the Pit. It’s not a good-natured Dauntless shout, or the shriek of someone who is scared but delighted, or anything but the particular tone, the particular pitch of terror.

Small rocks scatter behind me as I run down to the bottom of the Pit, my breathing fast and heavy, but even.

Three tall, dark-clothed people stand near the railing below. They are crowded around a fourth, smaller target, and even though I can’t see much about them, I know a fight when I see one. Or, I would call it a fight, if it wasn’t three against one.

One of the attackers wheels around, sees me, and sprints in the other direction. When I get closer I see one of the remaining attackers holding the target up, over the chasm, and I shout, “Hey!”

I see her hair, blond, and I can hardly see anything else. I collide with one of the attackers—Drew, I can tell by the color of his hair, orange-red—and slam him into the chasm barrier. I hit him once, twice, three times in the face, and he collapses to the ground, and then I’m kicking him and I can’t think, can’t think at all.

“Four.” Her voice is quiet, ragged, and it’s the only thing that could possibly reach me in this place. She’s hanging from the railing, dangling over the chasm like a piece of bait from a fishing hook. The other one, the last attacker, is gone.

I run toward her, grabbing her under her shoulders, and pull her over the edge of the railing. I hold her against me. She presses her face to my shoulder, twisting her fingers into my shirt.

Drew is on the ground, collapsed. I hear him groan as I carry her away—not to the infirmary, where the others who went after her would think to look for her, but to my apartment, in its lonely, removed corridor. I shove my way through the apartment door and lay her down on my bed. I run my fingers over her nose and cheekbones to check for breaks, then I feel for her pulse, and lean in close to listen to her breathing. Everything seems normal, steady. Even the bump on the back of her head, though swollen and scraped, doesn’t seem serious. She isn’t badly injured, but she could have been.

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