“Andrew!” I hissed as a headlight trundled past our hiding place. As usual, he had a death wish. I tried to slow my heart as the engine died out.
“This is so...” I spat out some words.
“Dauntless?” He smirked, wiggling his eyebrow piercing.
“Reckless.” I rolled my eyes, stopping as his gaze met mine. Even after all these months, I still can’t suppress a blush.
The wind knocked a pine cone from a tree, landing on my foot, making me jump. I clutched Andrew’s hand, which had slithered through my fingers moments ago.
“You’re not normally this jumpy...” his tone was strong like his grasp.
“Well, we don’t normally go this far.” I sighed back. Hastily glancing over to the rails, all I could see was darkness. My breathing was still rather fast, increasing the more I thought about the dark. “Do we have to do this? It’s dangerous and it’s against the rules...”
“Aren’t we against the rules?”
“Frowned upon.” I pouted. He mimicked my expression.
“It’s just to spice things up around here for us.”
“What? Meeting up in secret isn’t enough for you?” I teased him by loosening my own grip and pulling back slightly. He pounced back, his face so close to mine I could lose myself in his chestnut eyes. Being so full of surety they scared me sometimes.
“Come on, for me?” His gaze turned to match a puppy’s, “It’ll be fun.” He began pulling me back.
I sighed, “Fine.”
His lips quickly pecked my cheek, “That’s my Stiff.” And, before I had a chance to smack him, we began running again.
My eyes were locked on the ground. You’d think with the amount of adrenaline in my veins at this point I’d turn into some sort of speedy super human, but still I was as slow as the minutes were ticking by today.
I was desperate to ask where we were heading to, but the night was so still that my ragged breaths were disturbing it enough.
Every dying bush seemed to lurk over our path. Every crack in the pavement seemed to be a hole into oblivion. My hands were tingling like they were on fire and my feet were howling.
Andrew stopped. I slapped into the back of him before freezing my steps too. Pushing me backwards, we dropped down to the ground, hidden behind a broken wall as long as we remained flat.
A man was on his knees, hands on top of his head in front of us. Someone with a gun in their hand was holding the victim in place whilst someone else stood back, observing the scene as a shadow. That’s all I saw, and all I wanted to see, before plunging down.
Andrew dared a peek, his black clothing aiding his camouflage. This that kind of thing didn’t occur in the factions. Our way of life brings peace.
This man must have disturbed that peace, but we were told that those who do this become factionless, not-
My thoughts were interrupted by the dreaded shot shaking through the air.
The bang reached our ears instantly. Andrew slammed back into the ground, seizing my shaking hand as he did. Chest rising, I tried to slow my breathing again, stopping as the sound of footsteps shuddered after the shot. My thoughts were racing with muted farewells; the suffocating haul of all the things still left to do. I was meant to say goodbye tomorrow, not today!
The click of reloading.
The silence of taking aim.
The whisper of another.
Raising his head again, I clasped Andrew’s hand tighter to try and keep him down. I did not want to watch his brains blow up. He looked over anyway. I squeezed my eyes shut.
All of a sudden, I was tugged onto my feet and we were running again. I half expected to be rained down upon by gunfire but, thankfully, it was just me unleashing my imagination to much.
“This is the last time, the last time, you get to choose anything.” Slumping against a disused fountain just outside Abnegation boarders, the adrenaline was scraping against the insides of my head, whirling like a thousand bees.
“You said that last time.” By the side of me, Andrew’s chest was rising fast but his recovery was much quicker than mine, “I get to choose all I like tomorrow.”
“You make the worse decisions.”
“‘Ey!” I forget to hold my tongue sometimes. Mum says it’ll get me into trouble some day but it’s better than just keeping quiet like she does. “We’d have to find new places to go anyway.”
Tomorrow. That word popped up too many times today. Andrew continued, “We should make the most of each other while it lasts.”
I feel his long fingers slide through my hair, undoing my rigid bun as he tried to kiss me again. The ringing in my ears force me to remember what had just happened and I push him away.
“A man died.”
“I was there too.” He folded his arms.
“Do you have any feelings? He’s dead.” My eyebrow’s furrowed at this irregular insensitivity.
“Yes, but he must have done summert stupid. It shouldn’t concern you.”
I pouted again, “Do you think we were a bit too stupid tonight...?”
“But then we wouldn’t be together at all.” Andrew smiled. I tried to smile back, but that shot still rang.
“Let’s take your mind off it shall we.” I felt the heat as he snuggled closer.
“Not now-” I groan
“Let’s talk about tomorrow.”
“The Choosing Ceremony’s gonna come round sometime, Ronny.”
“What’s there to talk about?” The thought of all the factions being stuffed into that rounded room with no escape made me shudder.
Andrew pursed his lips, rubbing his eyebrow in contemplation before saying, “What were your results?”
“I can’t say!” I tried to hush my shocked answer. The Aptitude Tests are taken in private and only you and your administrator know your results.
“Look.” Andrew peered over the top of the fountain, making sure no-one was around, “I want to tell someone and I’m sure you do too. Everyone wants to confide in someone.”
“Unless you’re Abnegation. Then you keep quiet...”
“It’s that what you got?”
“Well, then what?” Andrew put on a purr in his voice, “Come on. Be reckless.” He whispered.
I sighed before taken the deepest breath I could, “Candor.”
Andrew was right. It felt so much better to let it out, but I still couldn’t shake the edginess from my body. I hadn’t even told my parents, the two people that would try not to care for their faction about me abandoning them but I know they’ll be crushed.
“What?” I couldn’t hide the urgency in my voice. He had to be a Candor. He never lies. He trusts me.
“I got...” He couldn’t look me in the eye.
After a moment of pause, I took a deep breath. I had to face reality now. “It’s OK. I understand. We’ll just keep meeting in secret-”
“Wait, no, I...” He stumbled as he interrupted me, “I got Candor too.”
“Well, what’s wrong with that?” I stroked the silver spheres lining his eyebrow, letting my fingers trail down to his cheek.
“I got Dauntless too.”
His voice was almost inaudible. He got two results?
“We’ll go for Candor.” He said in a rush, “We both got that in our tests, even if mine were weird.” He grabbed my face in his hands, forcing me to look into his eyes, “I know you might want to go home but Abnegation is out of the question for both of us.”
I interrupted, “But... what about Dauntless?”
“Dauntless would be just as rubbish as it is now without you.” He winked. My thoughts were still circling.
“It’s up to you.” His voice was so loving; so tempting. I can’t give up all that now.
“Candor it is then.” I feel his soft lips on mine.
“So we’re going for glass.” He pulled away.
His lips are on mine again, urging me to kiss back. I give in; wrapping my arms round his neck and feeling the warmth run through my body. I let it push my thoughts aside. I’ve got to trust that he knows what he’s doing.
The shot was a distant murmur in my ears now. Andrew was right. That would never happen to us if we follow the factions correctly.
He wasn’t doing that.
I shook the last of my thoughts out as I relaxed and let his scent engulf me As long as I stayed quiet, we’ll be safe.
But Candor doesn’t keep secrets.