Chapter 4: how do you like your blue eyed boy

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I’m in the shower before anyone else is awake the next morning. The spray is timed, so I wash and rinse quickly and then spend the next few minutes just standing under the hot water. I stretch my arms and back, hoping the heat will relax some of the muscles that are still protesting yesterday’s activities, but when I’m standing in nothing but my towel it doesn’t seem to have helped much. I slip back into my clothes, and re-braid my hair. I’m tying the laces on my boots when Az wanders in with Harper not far behind.

“How long have you been up?” she yawns.

“Half an hour,” I tell her.

“Ugh,” she grunts. “Morning people.”

Harper gives me a bleary eyed look and moves into a shower stall.

The cafeteria is surprisingly lively when I get there. I get in line, hoping to find something that I can eat, and end up with a plate of eggs, grapes, and a container of milk. It’ll have to do. I take a seat by myself, playing with my eggs and grapes. Cate slumps into the seat across from me, looking weary and hungover.

“Heard you got drunk,” I say in greeting.

“Who told you that?” she asks, never mind that I can still practically smell the alcohol on her.

“Eric,” I say. “When he came to tell me when my time in the nursery was up.”

“Why’d he do that?” she asks, swiping a bite of eggs off of my plate.

“Because you asked him too,” I say. “He said you were too drunk to take the stairs.”

“I was not,” she says indignantly. “I don’t even remember Eric being there.”

“If you don’t remember who was or wasn’t with you last night, how can you say you were sober enough to take the stairs?”

“I made it to my room just fine,” she says.

“That’s not what that scrape on your face says.”

She slaps a hand over the barely there mark on her face.

“I don’t like you,” she says, narrowing her eyes.

I push my plate of eggs towards her and offer my fork.

“I love you,” she sighs.

***

I’m the only transfer that has time for breakfast. Everyone else is blank eyed and sluggish when we arrive in the firing range. Four has placed a gun at each target station, and I choose one, check for ammunition, and slide the clip back in place. Az takes the place besides me and asks me to show her how to do that. I show her how to release the magazine and how to check to see if the chamber is loaded or not.

“How do you know all of this?”

“I’ve known I was Dauntless for a while. I studied.”

“I didn’t think this was for me until my Aptitude Test.”

I don’t have a reply, so she retreats back to her station, and I raise my gun to the target. I fire three shots in rapid succession, as rapid as I can with my hands still sore, and the holes in the target all place within the center ring. I’m pleased.

***

When I step into the training room, each of our names has been paired with another on the chalkboard. I’d forgotten that we’d be fighting today. I’ve been paired with Paisley, the only other Amity transfer besides Az. She’s shorter than I am, but heavier, and that may weigh in her advantage. Az has been paired with Sarah, the only Erudite transfer left. Sarah is taller than all the other initiates, taller than my brother I think, but she’s just as thin and boney as Az. Harper has been paired with James, the other Candor boy who transferred with him. Harper is slight where James is heavy, but, of what I’ve seen, Harper can be much more vicious.

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