Sorry for the late update, but we got stuck in a traffic jam and had to stop at a hotel for the night so we just got home yesterday night and we had to unpack I had to finish a paper due that night...anyway hope you understand :D
I know everyone gets busy from time to time so I know you guys can understand.
Thanks to everyone for the reviews, and thank you everyone for following/favoriting, and for those of you that I know are reading and not reviewing...(you know who you are.) ;)
reviewing really doesn't take long and I would really like to know what you think. So...keep that in mind.
Here we go with the chapter! I know I kind of left you hanging with the last chapter (bwahahah!)
So I shall end your misery and reveal what I have in mind.
Song for this chapter is "Hot and Cold" by Katy Perry.
(warning a little bit of risqué content, but nothing major or explicit, don't worry.)
Chapter ten: What is your game?
I wake up a little late the next morning, and since I'm in no rush to get up, I lay in bed for a while thinking.
I still haven't been able to figure out what exactly happened last night. All I know for sure, is Johanna Mason kissed me, and I kissed her back.
I debated whether I liked Johanna or not. At first she seems abrasive, arrogant, full of malice and downright nasty, but once you get to know her, you find out that this is mostly just a front. She is snarky, sarcastic and isn't afraid to give her opinion, but there's so much more to her than meets the eye. Sure she can be rude, quick to anger, and mean, but we all have our bad days. I've seen her damaged and insecure side, she's scarred and afraid but she's too proud to let anyone know, so that's one of the reasons she acts tough, and she is tough, she can definitely take care of herself.
I think what I feel for her is admiration, companionship and compassion, but I don't know why I kissed her. Out of pity? No that's not it.
I sigh, and pull the covers off my legs, then I get up and dress in jeans and a light grey T-shirt. With a deep breath I open the door and walk to the dining hall.
Johanna is already up, dressed in black skinny jeans and a black tank top. She has her strange necklace with the wooden medallion around her neck, and her feet are up on the table. She's holding a mug filled with Coffee, and she's reading a magazine.
She looks up when she hears me, and then looks back at her magazine as she says.
I furrow my eyebrows in confusion.
She takes a sip from her coffee, and turns the page in her magazine.
"I didn't say it was a good morning, I just said morning."
I shrug, and sit down across from her.
I order breakfast from one of the servers, and when he leaves I turn to Johanna and stare at her. Her hair isn't spiked in its usual fashion, and lays in a rather feminine pixie cut.
"Why are you staring at me?"
She asks nonchalantly as she flips another page.
"Are we going to talk about what happened last night?"
She takes a sip from her coffee before answering.
"What about last night?"
I raise my eyebrows, and lean back in my chair, crossing my arms over my chest.
"You kissed me."
She flips shut her magazine, and sets it on the table as she drops her feet to the floor and turns to face me, exclaiming like she just remembered.
I keep one eyebrow raised as I continue to stare at her.
"Yeah, that. Want to tell me what that was all about?"
She shrugs, leans back in her chair and takes a sip of coffee. Slowly setting the mug on the table as she says.
"Why'd you kiss me back?"
I shake my head.
"I asked you first."
She sighs, and rolls her eyes.
"It was just an experiment. I was testing something out."
I uncross my arms and lean forward resting my hands on the table.
"An experiment? What do you mean?"
"Over the past couple weeks I've been unweaving you."I frown confused.
She drinks some more coffee, drawing out the silence.
"Observing, watching, figuring you out. Anyway, I knew there was some kind of bond between us, and I wanted to test if it was a lover kind of thing."
She's not being very clear, and I'm still trying to figure out what she means.
"You kissed me to test if we were in love?"
She sighs as if it's terribly simple.
"Well yes, you could put it that way. There's something between us, an undeniable attraction. I'm just trying to figure out what it is."
I'm sure my face is very comical right now, because I'm confused, frustrated, amused and thinking all at the same time.
She raises her eyebrows.
"Don't deny you haven't been thinking the same thing. We have something Odair, I'm just trying to un-confuse things by figuring out what it is."
I shake my head, de-tangling my thoughts.
"So let me get this straight. We have some kind of bond according to you, and you aren't sure what it is, so you're trying to figure out what we have, and that's why you kissed me?"
She raises her hands in the air, saying sarcastically.
"At long last he understands!"
I can't help smiling, and she grins as she continues.
"Took you by surprise didn't I?"
I shake my head chuckling.
"That didn't stop you from kissing me back. Why did you anyway?"
She grows serious, staring intently into my eyes. I think for a while, that's what I've been trying to figure out.
"To tell the truth, I don't know."
She narrows her eyes, and forces me to lock eyes with her. After a moment, she leans back in her chair, and gives me that one-sided smirk.
"Well Odair, I never would have guessed that."
I look at her confused as my breakfast arrives.
She leans across the table so far she's almost touching noses with me. She grins.
"You like me."
"What? Let's be serious here Jo, you're not a very likable person."
She sits back down and crosses her arms, tilting her chair on its back legs.
"True, I'm not the most likable person, but you've seen the side of me that is likable, and you like it!"
I shake my head.
She drops the chair back on all four legs, and shakes her head.
"Oh please, don't go into denial. That's so cowardly.I raise my eyebrows at her as I start eating my breakfast.
"Are you calling me a coward?"
"Yup. You are a coward, and a typical guy. You won't admit that you have feelings."
She watches me eat, and I finally reply.
"Fine, what makes you think I like you?"
She mockingly pretends to think hard, holding a finger to the side of her head.
"Hmmm. Oh yeah, you kissed me!"
I point my fork at her.
"Hey you kissed me!"
She grins and crosses her arms.
"Yeah, but you kissed me back."
I answer quickly.
"Maybe I just didn't want to hurt your feelings."
"Oh so know I have feelings? Just admit it already."
I finish eating, and push aside my plate.
"I won't admit something that isn't true."
She rolls her eyes.
"Of course. Whatever, anyway I discovered that what I feel for you isn't love. No matter what you feel. I think what we have is a close companionship, confidant, friend, a punching bag, someone you can tell all your secrets and pour your heart out to, mostly someone to relate to."
"So that's figured out."
"It still doesn't explain why you kissed me back."
Before I can reply, she adds.
"Whatever it was, it wasn't true love. You have someone else to give that to, and it sure the heck isn't me. I think I know who though, but that's for me to know."
She says this more to herself than to me, but she has something in her eyes, she knows something."I don't have a true love."
She shakes her head.
"False, you do have a true love, you just might not realise it yet. Or you're in denial."
I stand up, and she remains sitting.
"I'm going to my room, I'll see you later."
She stares at me as she replies.
"You're a very complicated person."
"Look who's talking."
She nods in agreement.
"True. But at least I'm not confused about myself. You've got to figure yourself out Odair, it can be dangerous not knowing what you need or want."
"Thanks for the advice. I'll see you later."
She waves a hand, picking up her coffee and magazine.
I go to my room, and look through my wardrobe for no reason. After a minute, there's a knock on the door.
I walk over and open it, Johanna is waiting outside the door, and before I can say anything, her arms are around my neck and she's kissing me again.
The force of her impact almost knocks me over, and I stagger against the wall and lean against it to regain my balance.
I pull away from her, both of my hands on her shoulders, holding her at arm's length.
"Jo! What are you doing?!"
"Admit it you liked kissing me last night."
I stare at her indignantly.
She lunges forward and kisses me again. I pull her off for the second time.
She says grinning.
She pushes forward again, and I say quickly.
"Okay! Okay! Fine, it wasn't horrible."
"Knew it. Doesn't it feel good to admit it?"
I shrug. She drops her voice to a whisper.
"If it makes you feel any better, I liked it too."
She leans forward again, and this time I don't stop her. She kisses me softly, then pulls away slightly.
"I don't love you Finnick, and you don't love me. But sometimes you don't need love."
She kisses me again, harder this time. Sliding her hands up my chest to my shoulders. I kiss her back, and wrap my arms around her waist.
She tugs at the top of my shirt, and pulls it over my head. Then she steps closer and runs her hands over my bare chest, kissing me more heated now. I run my fingers through her short hair, as she kisses my cheek, and moves to my neck.
I open my eyes, and frown."Jo."
She murmurs against my neck.
"What are we doing?"
She brushes her nose against my neck as she moves back to my mouth, kissing me, then answering with her lips still against mine.
"I don't know, but it doesn't matter."
She kisses me again, and I pull away. She pauses for a minute before kissing my neck again.
"But it does matter."
I say persistently. She kisses me right below my ear, and whispers.
"No it doesn't."
I turn my head away from her, and hold her wrists.
"You're too tense Odair, you need to relax."
She says brushing her fingertips against my chest. I shake my head.
"Not like this."
She kisses my jaw lightly.
"Why not like this?"
I hold her slightly away from me, and turn to look at her.
"What do you mean?"
"I can't do this to you. It's not right."
She smiles, and shakes her head slightly.
"I don't care, and who says it can't be right? I'm the last person on earth to expect you to love me."
She leans forward to kiss me again, and I say sternly.
"No! Jo I can't."
She sighs, and runs her hands through her hair.
"Finnick it's fine."
I shake my head.
"No, It's not."
She sighs, and rubs her eyes, then she drops her arms to her sides, and places a hand on her hip.
I run my fingers through my wavy hair.
"I just can't."
She shakes her head.
"Not good enough."
I drop my head, and close my eyes.
"Two years after I won my games, after I turned sixteen, the president came to visit me. He told me that I had to become a prostitute to the capitol if I wanted to keep the ones I loved safe. Now I receive letters telling me when I have to go, how long I have to be gone and who I'm going to be with. I have to lie to everyone I care about to keep them safe, and I have to take extra shifts now to keep Annie from becoming one too."
I sigh heavily, and raise my head.
"I'm on the tour with you because I am a slave, and I have appointments at each district. So now you know the truth about me. I'm just a love slave to whoever can pay the price."
Her wide-set brown eyes are dewy, and she drops my gaze.
She says in a barely audible whisper.
"I shouldn't have tried to do that to you."
I shake my head, and lift her chin so that she meets my gaze.
"It's not your fault, you didn't know."
She shook her head.
"I shouldn't have anyway. I don't know what's wrong with me. I don't love you...but I guess I've just never had someone treat me like you have before."
I brush away a tear that escaped to her cheek.
"Treated you how?"
Another tear falls out of her eye as she answers.
"Like they cared."
It's instinct that I pull her into my arms, and hold her tightly. She pulls away after a minute.
"You were the first person who acted like they actually cared about me, and I guess I just didn't want to miss a opurtunity to have a relationship."
I wipe her tears off.
"You said it yourself, we're not in love, but we do have a strong bond. I care about you Jo, but I don't think I'll ever be able to have that relationship with you."
She shakes her head.
"I know. I almost wrecked what we already have, and now that I'm thinking clearly I don't think I would be able to have that kind of relationship with you either."
I bend down and pick up my shirt, then I pull it over my head, and sigh.
"I'm sorry I shouldn't have let it get that far. I should have stopped you when you first came in here."
She shrugs, then grins mischievously.
"We're pretty good together though aren't we?"
I shake my head smiling.
"Yeah I guess so."
"You're one heck of a kisser."
"You're not so bad yourself."
She fluffs her hair, and sighs.
"Well I guess I should go."
I nod. She walks over to the door, and pauses in the doorway.
"Maybe we could do this again sometime?"
I chuckle, and shake my head.
"I was kidding, I'll see you later Odair."
She walks out and closes the door behind her. I walk over and sit on the bed.
That whole experience was weird, but it's good to figure out what exactly happened last night.
Now that I think about it, I feel for Johanna sort of what I feel for Annie, they're closer than a friend. But Annie is my best friend, and she's like a little sister. Johanna is definitely not like a little sister, although her and Annie are the same age, she seems so much older, and Annie always seems younger because she's so sweet and innocent.
I'm glad we were able to establish exactly what Johanna and my relationship is. I'm glad we didn't let it go any further, she just didn't know how to respond to someone who cared about her, but didn't care for her like that.
The rest of the day Johanna and I spend like any other day, but things have changed between us. for one, she now knows my secret, but thankfully hasn't asked me anything further about it, and for another thing, we now know where we stand with each other. We can tell each other anything in confidence, and we are close, just not that close.
A little before dinner, we find ourselves in one of the many lounges. I'm sitting on the couch, and Johanna is sitting on the other end with her knees bent and her feet up on the couch facing me.
My gaze wanders to the medallion she always wears around her neck, It's shaped like a shield, and is intricately carved, although I can't make out what it is.
"What are you looking at?"
She asks with a tease in her voice. I look up and grin.
"You're medallion, it's very interesting."
She unties the leather thong it hangs on and hold it up, looking at it.
"Do you want to keep staring at it? Or do you want to know what it is?"
"Well if you want to tell me I'd like to know about it."
She slides her feet to the floor, and slides over till she's right next to me, she hands me the medallion so I can look at it closer.
"My mother gave it to me before she died. The shield represents strong will and resistance, the tree that covers most of the shield is an oak, representing strength in being steadfast and loyal. If you look closely, you can see on one side of the tree right under the canopy is a horseshoe symbol which brings good luck and protection from bad luck. And on the other side of the tree there is a symbol that looks like a circle with a large letter A on top of it. This symbol represents the freedom to do what you want without being under oppression. I think that's my favorite."
I hand it back to her, and she fastens it around her neck.
"I always wear it to remind me to stay strong-willed, steadfast, loyal, resistant against oppression, and to never forget that the pursuit of freedom against oppression is worth all the good and bad luck we have to live with in life."
"Those are all good things to remember."
She reaches forward, and traces the gold chain around my neck with her finger, stopping on the trident.
"What's the story behind this? You always wear it, it was your token wasn't it?"
"Annie came to say goodbye after I volunteered for Robbert, and she gave it to me, making me promise to take it with me in the arena, she said it would keep me safe."
"I guess it did in a way, after all you probably wouldn't have won if you didn't get that trident sponsor gift. Why still wear it though?"
"It reminds me of my strength when I feel weak, my old life when I get caught up in my new one, it reminds me of home when I'm at the capitol, and it reminds me of Annie."
"I know, I just wanted to hear you say it."
I raise an eyebrow.
"Oh you did? How?"
She leans back on the arm of the couch.
"Every time you talk about Her, you subconsciously run your finger along the chain, or pull on the trident."
I raise my eyebrows in surprise."Really?"
She nods."Most people wouldn't notice it."
I laugh."But you're not most people are you?"
She smiles and shakes her head.
"Nope, I'm not. I think it's great that you have each other, I know you need her."
She says it off-hand, but there's something else in her voice, in her eyes.
She looks at me surprised.
I can't help smiling.
"When you said I needed Annie, you were holding something back, what was it?"
She looks at me innocently.
"Who me? I wasn't hiding anything."
I look at her questioningly.
"Oh really? I'll have you know, I saw right past your little act during the games."
She opens her mouth in protest.
"You did not! Nobody did, that's why I won."
"I did. You see Johanna you're not the only one who can see through people. I was always good at it, but since I've won the games and been mentor I've only gotten better."
She looks at me suspiciously with narrowed eyes."I don't know if I should believe you."
"Believe it or not, it doesn't change the truth. You're not the only one who can do it."
"Fine, you knew I was putting on an act. Happy?"
"Nope, you still didn't answer my question."
She bats her eyelashes at me and smiles sweetly.
"What question would that be?"
I keep a dead serious face, although I'm inwardly laughing at her.
"You know very well what question."
"Fine, when I said you need Annie, I mean you really do need her, and I can bet she needs you as well."
I trace the trident with my finger as I ask.
"What does that mean?"
"It's simple, you can't live without each other."
This is true, I don't think I could live if anything happened to Annie.
"Well you're right."She shrugs.
"So that's all it was."
I nod. Then a servant comes up and announces that dinner is ready. Johanna and I go eat, then talk a little while longer, both of us turn in early though, tomorrow we'll be arriving in district six early, so we need our sleep.
I say as we part ways to our separate bedrooms.
"Night Odair, sleep well."
I walk into my room and close the door, knowing that I will probably have nightmares tonight.
I fall asleep, and about three hours later I'm woken up by a knock on the door. I open it to find Johanna in her pajamas clutching a pillow to her chest tightly.
I ask, she just nods. I open the door, and she walks in.
"I'm sorry for waking you...it's just..."
I nod, and get back in bed, pulling back the blankets for her. She hesitates, then climbs in next to me. I pull the covers over us, and lay on my back.
She is laying on her back right by my side, and I can feel her trembling. I hold up my open hand, and she slides hers into it quickly. I hold it tightly, and rest our linked hands on my chest. She rolls over so she's on her side, I wrap my other arm around her, and within a few minutes, she's fast asleep. Her hand resting lightly on my chest, with my hand over hers. I keep my arm tightly wrapped around her, letting her know that she's safe. I kiss the top of her head.
Authors note: So there we go! All out in the open and handled, I've always felt like Johanna and Finnick had something closer than just a friendship. They are never going to become "intimate" but they both know that they are closer than friends, just not quite that close. So now you can see how they've bonded and how there relationship is a close one. Plus I've always kind of imagined her making a move on him :P Plus in catching fire when he grabs her and drags her into the ocean and washes all the blood off of her while dunking her multiple times has always made me think they have a more complicated history together than just being fellow mentors. Anyway! Enough babbling. I will hopefully have another chapter up and running tomorrow, but I'm not sure about Wed. Because it's my little bro's birthday, and I have a class for half the day so...we'll see what I can do.
Love all you guys! Peace out!