A/N: Originally written for Prisoner's Exchange on AO3 for CorinaLannister.
CW for kidnapping, implied dubcon.
Worse than Death
There were eyes in the dark. Tris blinked as she looked through the rear window of her home in the Abnegation sector. Everyone was expected to be inside for the evening. That was the routine for the Faction. Stay inside and stay safe.
Tris peered more carefully through the thick cut glass. She had seen the flash of reflective green and orange in the night, hadn't she?
"Come away from there," Tris' mother chided her. "Don't make trouble where none is needed."
If she had been born to a different family in a different Faction, Tris might have stuck out her tongue in protest. But either way she conceded to her mother's warning and pulled the heavy curtain back into place. There was already plenty of trouble out in the night without Tris inviting it into her family's home.
Still, even as an Abnegation born girl who knew all the warnings and all the tales of what went bump in the night, Tris had to wonder what it would be like to really experience it for herself.
Weres and therianthropes lived out past the wall in Amity. Sorcerers and witches guarded knowledge above all in Erudite. Clever djinns and sphinxes that bandied words like sabers in Candor. And of course the whole cadre of vampires, dhampires, and their ilk that lurked in the cold, stone tunnels - catacombs, the rumor mill whispered - underneath the city in Dauntless. While the other three factions might serve as a threat to the fae that Tris grew up with, it was undoubtedly the Dauntless which stirred the most fear and anxiety when the sun fell.
Sure, moonrise might cause some commotion if there were some Amity still within the walls, but the faction just wanted to roam, to run, to quite literally howl at the moon. The base instincts of those in Dauntless were not quite so benign.
Tris knew the eyes she had seen in the dark were those of someone who just wanted to feed .
It would be weeks later when Tris would see those eyes again, peering at her from the end of the street. She huddled under the bus station, her heels against the back of the canopy as far as she could go. The weather had turned unexpectedly and the skies had darkened prematurely with the summer storm. There should have been at least another hour of sunlight. Tris wanted nothing more than to get home to her own four walls and roof that wouldn't let the running water splash down into her shoes.
The reflectiveness was not dissimilar to the stray cats that lingered in the alleyways of Chicago. That was what caught Tris' attention. But there was no mistaking the orange hue to it which didn't ring true to an animal's eye. Nor did the height. When Tris squinted to make out the figure through the pouring rain, she couldn't find them again, cats eyes or not.
"Never look where they were," a voice purred in her ear. Tris jumped, her hands coming up instinctively to summon a wind blast to defend herself. Somehow by the time her body reacted, they had moved again. Her magic went awry, blowing only rain.
"See where they're going," the voice continued. Tris pulled her elbow back and up sharply, and it slammed into something solid. There was a satisfying crunch and grunt. She stumbled away from the shelter into the rain. It wasn't the same thing as a river, but perhaps the running water would deter her assailant.
Tris saw the figure hunched and clutching their face with a hand. Their shoulders were broad and they had the standard dark attire that the Dauntless favored. Tris' breath hitched as her fears were confirmed. A vampire or close enough, chancing the clouded skies rather than waiting for true nightfall.
Their head swiveled to face her once more, and when they - he , he was a young man - pulled their hand down Tris could see their lips pulled back in a grin.
"You should be afraid," he crooned. He stalked towards her with careful steps. Tris raised her hands to draw another wind spell to life. When she released the magic, he had already sidestepped the coming blast with unnatural quickness.
The rain plastered his hair to his head. Tris continued to backpedal. No matter what she did with her crooked fingers and summoned winds, she couldn't land a blow on him. The realization that he was toying with her only set her blood to chill further. Her back struck the building that she had walked into. The street was only so wide.
He pressed closer, forcing Tris to drop her hands to her sides lest she actually touch him. She could see blood from the wound she had inflicted though his nose didn't appear to still be damaged. Of course it wasn't. Vampires could heal themselves, could dance through air, could mesmerize weaker minds - all for the price to never feel the sun again.
Tris wondered why she hadn't taken the stories more seriously before. The hungry look in the vampire's eyes certainly terrified her now.
"What will you do now, little sylph?" he murmured. He lifted a hand to brush her hair to the side and she knew what would come next. He would feed. She would die, crumpled in the road just blocks from her home. And her name would just become another tale of warning to the rest of the city not to trust a Dauntless in the dark.
Idly, her brain offered to her the man's identity. She remembered meeting him on an off chance back at an inter-Faction event that the Candor had facilitated to try and enact a truce. The event had failed spectacularly but it had allowed for Tris to recognize his face now.
"Please, Eric, I don't want to die," Tris blurted out.
He paused, surprise replacing the arrogant smirk on his face as she named him. "Die?" he repeated. Then he shook his head, amusement once again twisting his lips. "Oh, that would be a tragic waste. I have better plans than that."
The seconds ticked by and Tris remained unbitten, remained breathing. She wished that she could control her fear and her racing heart. Still, the fact that she was still alive meant something. She wouldn't just give up and die here. Steeling herself, Tris turned to meet Eric's gaze.
"How so?" she meant to ask. Instead, her own thoughts turned blurry and unfocused. All she noticed were his eyes once more. The glint and glimmer they managed even in the pouring rain. How they captured hers.
"Why get just one bite in a dirty street when I can have you again and again back underground?" he asked. The question should have sent revulsion through Tris. Instead her head lolled in lazy agreement. Why shouldn't she agree? Why should she protest?
"Close your eyes. Sleep," Eric purred. She sighed, complacent, easing into his arms without complaint. Where she might wake up, she didn't know. But she knew those eyes would be there. Watching her.
A/N: Blanket statement for my oneshots - Please do not ask if I am continuing these. They are single "chapter" fics which I am considering complete. Thank you. - DragonMaster65