Epilogue

Tori hears the news first. The assistant is dead. One of her Dauntless found the body when they brought her next meal. The only visitor she had was Evelyn.

Tori storms towards the woman as she talks to one of her factionless. This is not how it's supposed to be. She is a leader to make this world better. Not be the same as the people they just took control back from.

"You killed her!"

Evelyn stares back at her. "I did."

"She was supposed to stand trial!" They are gathering a small crowd. "We're supposed to be doing this the right way!"

"She would have been sentenced to death regardless. I simply sped up the process."

"That's not the point!" she seethes.

Evelyn just stares back. "Then what is? She was Jeanine's assistant. She helped her and the Dauntless like Eric set this whole thing up. She's just as responsible as they are." Evelyn looks at the others around them before she meets Tori's gaze again. "I spoke to the factionless from Erudite. She was hand-chosen by Jeanine."

"She was also sold. You don't think that played a part in it?"

"Her choices played her part. She could have left," Evelyn points out. "We have a society to run. Let's focus on that and not the warranted death of a criminal."

Tori stares at the woman before she turns away. She needs to talk to Four. Maybe he could talk some sense into the woman before Tori actually acted on the temptation to strangle her. It was their job to make their world safe for everyone. That included the criminals until they were sentenced.

The End.


Author's Note:

So here we are at the end. It has been a long seven or so years and while I had this planned from the beginning, I know that many of you will be saddened by it. I was too, despite the fact that I wrote it. Amelia and Eric both made bad choices. Their decisions led them to this fate. In this world, there was never a possibility of a happily ever after for them. Not really. Amelia was never going to be able to live with the guilt of what she did in the name of survival and Eric was never going to let her go, not when he knew what fate would await her in the you have any questions or want to talk about it, don't be afraid to do so. If not here, find me on tumblr at asirensrage.

Thank you so much to Lauren who prompted me to start this when I gave her the idea, to Elle who helped me dive into the characters, to Sarah who was my beta for a good chunk of this and finally to Eden who asked me questions, prompting me to finish it and then editing it for me. I would not be here in this moment without any of you.

Now I promised you an...alternative version. Another ending. The one I had originally written for a friend no longer works with this. However, I find I am not fully done with these two. One of the ideas that I've been exploring is…what if Eric did not leave Erudite? What if he defied Jeanine and stayed?

Before I show you an excerpt of that, allow me to say one more thing. Thank you. You cannot know the joy and frustration that writing this has been, but it has been worth it because of all of you. Your reviews and messages have meant the world to me. It still leaves me astounded that you all enjoyed this so much. Thank you all so much. I really mean it. You have all amazed me with every remark made. Thank you for holding on and for giving this a chance in the first place. I hope you continue to read anything I write and even if you don't, thank you for reading this.

Now.

On to the excerpt:

He hasn't slept when he joins the crowd in the Choosing Ceremony. He has no clue if his parents are in the crowd and he doesn't look for them. He's not going to have to see them again, even if he makes it through initiation. He sits next to the same guys he's known for years. They joke around but he knows they stick around him because others are scared of him. They like that. They also don't shut up until the Candor leader walks on stage. You're not supposed to talk about your choice, but he already knows which ones of them are staying and who is leaving. He watches dispassionately as the names start to be called.

Finally, it is his turn.

He walks up slowly, taking his time to enjoy this moment. This is when everything is going to change. Jeanine catches his eye as he passes her, giving him a slight nod. He doesn't react. He stands in front of the basins and takes the knife. There is a part of him that wants Dauntless. There's a freedom there where no one would question his reactions...like why he acted physically before anything else.

But there's something he wants more, here in Erudite. It isn't going to be easy, but Eric has always been someone who knows what he wants. He cuts his hand and holds it above the basin of coals. Just before the drop falls, he moves his hand and lets it fall into the water.

"Erudite!" Jack Kang's voice calls out. There is clapping coming from the section dressed in blue. His gaze meets Jeanine's. Her eyes are stone cold. He can't help but smirk back. He's made his choice.