Hello people's :)
I am here to end the dreadful cliffhanger of last chapter (bwahahah)
I'm sorry for leaving you like that, but in my opinion every good story should leave you hanging :)
So, I am going to write this chapter, and then you guys will be able to know what happened in the last one.
Once again thank you sooo! Much for all of my faithful reviewers including; FirePearl97, CJstoriesandobsessions, wolfie18, canadianboy98, Estoma, Makebreadnotwar, and dancingaroundafire. You guys are amazing and this is a call out to thank you for reviewing, you guys inspire me to continue with the story, and I'm sorry if I'm cruel sometimes and leave you hanging or make you sad. Stay awesome ;)
song for this chapter is "Like a song" by Lenka.
(If you want when the song ends, just listen to it over again, because It's a little short, and it fits if you play it twice)
Chapter Thirteen: I never thought I'd see you again.
I sigh peacefully, and Annie laughs beside me.
"What was that for?"
She asks, her face appearing above my head, blocking my view of the clear blue sky. I have my arms crossed above my head, and I can feel the sand shifting beneath me.
"I'm just glad to be home."
Annie returns to sitting next to me, and sprinkles a little sand on my bare chest.
I warn her. She smiles, and her laugh makes me smile.
"I'm glad you're home too. You were gone for a while."I close my eyes, and without my vision, my other senses sharpen. I can hear the waves breaking and rushing up the shore, than retreating back into the ocean with a steady sigh. I can feel the sun against my skin, and I soak up the warmth.
"I was gone for a while. But I'm here now."
I open my eyes, and turn to look at her. She is sitting on one knee, her other one is bent in front of her and she's resting her chin on it. She's wearing her coral bathing suit with the ruffles. It contrasts well with her tan skin. She closes her eyes, and smiles as a breeze flows up from the ocean and brushes past us. It causes her thick brown hair to float out behind her, and she laughs, just because.
"Annie I wish we could stay like this forever, just you and me on the beach. Perfectly happy, no capitol, no games, no worries."
She takes a deep breath of the salty air, and opens her eyes. She leans back on her elbows, and stretches her legs in front of her.
"I wish we could sometimes too, but not all the time."
I look at her, and push myself up onto my elbows like she is.
"Why not all the time?"
"The ups and downs in life mold us Finn, we wouldn't be who we are now if it wasn't for things that have happened to us. Good and bad."
I turn to look at the ocean, looking so blue today with the sun causing the surface to sparkle. As I watch several dolphins jump out of the waves and flip in the air before diving back under.
"I guess that's true, but I don't know if I like who I am."
Annie smiles, and bumps her shoulder against mine."Well I like you just the way you are."I grin, and she laughs.
"You have something on your nose. Hang on."
She reaches forward, and starts to brush my nose, but I pull away quickly.
"Don't be a baby I hardly touched it."
When I pulled away from her, I shifted my arms in the sand, and something sharp pokes my arm.
"Ow. Must have been a shell."I look closely at my arm, and I see nothing, but it still feels like something is stuck in there. I ignore it and turn back to Annie.
"What time should we go back?"
"Not until later, I don't feel like leaving."
I smile and nod.
We sit for a while longer, and I notice the sound of the waves sounds like someone breathing steadily. In, out, in out, deep breaths. It's soothing, and I almost forget the pain in my arm. My nose still feels a little sore as well, but I ignore these and focus on the sunlight. Which doesn't seem to be shining as bright or as warm as before.
"Doesn't this seem a little wierd to you?"
I ask Annie, looking around with a frown. She looks at me and raises her eyebrows questioningly.
"Hmm? What do you mean?"
I shrug, shifting a little in the sand.
"The beach, it doesn't seem a little unnatural to you?"
"I don't know what you're talking about."
I shake my head, and Annie takes my right hand in hers.
"You'd better be alright Odair."
I frown and look at Annie.
She turns to look at me.
"I didn't say anything."
I shake my head. The pain in my arm becoming uncomfortable, the sun losing all its heat. In, out, in, out, in, out, the ocean breathes steadily.
"I...something isn't right..."
Annie looks at me closely.
"Finn are you alright?"
I shrug."I...don't know..."I close my eyes, and take a deep breath, in perfect sync with the waves.
"If you don't get better I swear I'll kill you."
I open my eyes, and gasp in surprise, I can't see anything.
I can still feel her holding my hand, but she doesn't answer me. My eyes are open, but they might as well be closed because I can't see a thing.
"What is going on?"
I squeeze my eyes shut, and open them. Nothing. I can still hear the ocean, and I can still feel the pain in my arm, and my nose still feels sore, but I can't feel the suns warmth anymore, or the sand beneath my feet.
My ears search for the source of the sound. I know that voice...
"Finnick! Child what are you doing here?"
I open my eyes, and slowly my vision clears. As they come into focus, I gasp, my throat getting tight and my eyes filling with tears.
"But...that's not possible..."
I'm standing on a beach, and although I can hear the ocean, I can't see it and everywhere hangs a thick white mist. Standing in front of me, is a tall beautiful young woman with flowing wavy bronze colored hair. Her skin is a golden tan, and her long limbs move gracefully. She steps closer, and I barely manage to choke out one word.
Her deep, sea green eyes fill with tears as she smiles at me.
"Hello baby. You've grown up so much."Tears spill out of my eyes, and fall into the mist. She walks forward and reaches her hand forward, brushing it down my cheek.
"What's going on?"
I can feel her hand on my cheek, but it's like a dream, her hand feels like a breeze.
"Oh baby I love you so much, but you can't stay here."I reach up and brush the tears off her cheeks.
"Why not? Why can't I stay here with you?"
I hear another voice behind me, and I spin around.
"Because Annie still needs you. You're going to keep your promise aren't you?"
I choke, and rub my eyes.
He grins, and I stare at him. He doesn't look the same, he's healthy and strong, his skin is tan and his eyes are bright and lively.
I hold my hands to my head.
"I don't understand..."
I turn from Robbert to my mother, and then take several steps back.
"I...what...this...can't be real..."
Robbert shrugs, and sticks his hands in his pockets.
"What do you see?"
I look around.
"Nothing except you two, I can hear the ocean and I feel sand under my feet but I can't see anything."
A third voice hovers out of the mist.
"Then there's still time for him."
I gasp and slowly turn around.
He smiles, the grey gone from his hair, and the rough haggard look gone from his face.
"Finnick you're mother's right. You can't stay here, as much as we want you to, you don't belong here. At least not yet."
I shake my head.
"I don't understand...am I dead?"
Bruce shakes his head.
"Not yet at least."Robbert adds, I turn to look at my mother, and her green eyes are sad.
"It's time to go baby."
She walks up to me, and taking my face in her hands, she gently kisses my forehead.
"I'm so proud of you. We'll be together again."
More tears escape my eyes, as I feel a hand on my shoulder.
"Keep her safe okay?"
I turn and give Robbert a hug.
I turn back to see Bruce with his arm around my mother, and her arms around him. They look so happy.
"You two belonged with each other didn't you?"
My mother nods.
"We're together now, and you need to go back to be with Annie."
"Felicia's right. I'm sorry for what I did Finnick, we're looking out for you."
Robbert claps me on the back.
"Time to go."
I relax, and everything starts fading into the mist. My mother and Bruce wave."I love you baby."
"Make me proud Finnick."
Robbert fades away as well.
"Look out for Annie."Then there is nothing except blackness, and the sound of me breathing.
"Please wake up Finnick...how can I ever explain what happened to Annie? You have to wake up!"
I hear the voice, but it's not in my subconscious, the sound is from the outside. I attempt to open my eyes, and it doesn't work. I take a deep breath, and focus on things that I can feel.
The pain in my arm is real, the steady breathing sound is real, the soreness of my nose is real, and I can still feel someone holding my hand. I open my eyes.
White, that's the first thing I see. My eyelids flutter, and my eyes start to focus slowly. A ceiling? It's glowing with white light.
I feel the grip on my hand tighten, and I turn my head slowly.
The word comes out hoarse, and slightly muffled. There's something over my nose and mouth. I reach up and feel a plastic mask, I feebly pull it off.
I say slowly, my voice painfully weak. Johanna has my hand clutched tightly in both of hers, and she stands from the chair beside my bed.
I blink several times, and pull the mask off my head, barely having enough strength to. I feel something in my nose and I reach for it, Johanna stops my hand.
"Leave it, they had to put you on life support."
I glance at my left arm, and see the cause of pain is a needle sticking in my arm.
"Where am I?"
Johanna glances around distractedly.
"In the district seven hospital."
I groan, as I try to sit up, giving up quickly as I have barely enough strength to talk.
"What happened? The last thing I remember was being at the mayors house...then there was a lot of blood."
Johanna looks a bit guilty.
"I...uh...I kicked you in the nose, and then you started bleeding like crazy."
I blink in surprise.
"I had to go to the hospital because you kicked me and it made me bleed a lot?"
She shakes her head quickly.
"No, after your nose started bleeding, you coughed up a lot of blood as well. I got you out in the hall, but then your eyes glazed over and you threw up blood all over the carpet, after that you passed out. We got you to the hospital and you were put under intensive care."
I shiver as my memory returns.
"What's wrong with me? What makes you throw up blood?"
At that moment the door opens, and Leo comes in.
"Jojo, you need to eat something or I'll make you, and you need to sleep too, you haven't slept until..."He glances at me, and his eyes widen.
"Finnick! You're awake!"
I laugh weakly.
"Yeah I know, thank you captain obvious."
He laughs, and claps his hands.
"And he's still acting like Finnick!"
He starts doing a happy dance, and Johanna and I chuckle at him. I turn to her.
"You never said what was wrong with me."Leo runs up to my bed, and pulls himself up next to me. Staring with wide open eyes.
"The doctor said you were minoxenated."
Johanna ruffles her brothers curls, and smiles.
"He means intoxicated. They found some strange kind of poison in your blood. When I kicked your nose, it made it start bleed, which triggered the poison in your blood which made you start bleeding worse and coughing and throwing up blood."
I stare at her.
"Someone poisoned me?"
"They still have no idea how it got in your blood, or what it is exactly."
Leo leans close to my face, his eyes still wide with childish wonder.
"You almost died."
Leo leans back and watches me.
"I'm glad you didn't."
"Yeah me too."
Then I turn to Johanna.
"Leo was saying something about you not eating or sleeping? What's that about?"
She shrugs, and says nonchalantly.
"I haven't been very hungry lately."
Leo crosses his arms, and glares at her in perfect imitation.
She sticks her tongue at him, and he returns the gesture.
"So I'll be okay now?"
Johanna turns back to me.
"Well you lost almost a third of your blood, so even with the blood transfer you're going to need a couple of days rest before you move around."
"They had to suck blood out of Jojo's arm and then pump it into you."
I look at Johanna.
"You gave me your blood?"
"We're the same type, they needed it quick so I offered. You would have done the same for me."
I squeeze her hand gently.
She shrugs. Leo rolls his eyes, and coughs.
"Ahem. Mushy moment over yet?"
Johanna laughs, then bends over and starts kissing me. I smile as I hear Leo gasp and shout.
He hops off the bed and runs out of the room. Johanna gives me one last kiss, and straightens back up.
"That got rid of him."
I laugh."We could have gotten rid of him some other way."
Johanna looks at me and wrinkles her nose with a grin.
"Yeah but that was more fun."
I shake my head at her.
"You just like kissing me don't you?"
"You're a good kisser."
I laugh, and shake my head.
"We have the most whacked out relationship ever."
She laughs too."Yeah we kind of do."
Leo returns with several doctors, and they insist on doing some tests and shoo Johanna and Leo out of the room. I don't really remember much of what happens next, but after what seems like forever I'm alone in the room again, and the doctors said that I would be free to leave the hospital, but I would have to stay somewhere for at least another day before traveling.
Johanna returns to the room.
"Hey, the doctors just said you needed a place to stay until the day after tomorrow. Wanna stay with Leo and I? Our house in victors village is huge."
"Well if you don't mind."
She shakes her head.
"Not at all. Leo will love it."
In a few hours I'm laying on the couch in Johanna's living room, and Leo is showing me his drawings.
"And this one is a flower that blooms on one of the trees here."He says holding a picture of a large pink blossom up for me.
"Wow Leo, these are really good."
"Thanks. Do you want to see the ones of autumn?"
I nod, and he runs off to collect them. Johanna appears with a cup of chicken soup.
"Here you go, careful it's hot."
I take the cup.
"Thanks. It smells really good."
She laughs and shrugs.
"It came from a can so I don't know how it'll taste."
I laugh."Oh well in that case I won't give you any credit."
She laughs, and looks indignant.
"Hey I warmed it up."
I smile, and blow on the soup. She glances down at the scattered pages on the floor."Oh dear, Leo's showing you his drawings is he?"
I nod, taking a sip of the soup.
"Yes, he's got some real talent."
"Yeah, I'm glad I have enough money to buy him pencils and paper now. He deserves happiness."
She gets a faraway look in her eyes, and her face is numb. I sit up, and rub my hand across her shoulders.
"Hey, you alright?"
She looks at me, and blinks several times.
"Yeah, I'm fine."
Her voice is sad, and her eyes reflect the hurt and scarring that she tries to hide so well.
"It wasn't your fault."I say quietly. She bites her lip, and a tear builds in her eye. I can hear Leo's footsteps coming down the hall, and Johanna takes a deep breath, and wipes her eyes.
"Hey Leo, what do you want for dinner?"
He smiles, and shouts.
I laugh, and Johanna smiles.
"Pancakes it is. I'll be back soon."She gets up and walks to the kitchen. Leo watches her leave, then turns to me.
"I don't like when she's hurting."
I look at him surprised.
"What do you mean?"
He sighs, and sets his pictures on the floor.
"You can see it in her eyes if you look hard enough. She's hurting from when my mom died."
I take a drink of the soup, and ask him slowly.
"How do you know that?"
His eyes are sad as he answers.
"Cause that's how they looked when it happened."
I don't know what to say, he's as good an actor as Johanna. He acts like a little boy, but he had to grow up as fast as Johanna did.
"What do you remember?"
"Not much, I was only two. But I'll never forget the look in Jojo's eyes. She doesn't know I remember, and I know she acts all tough and strong for me so I won't be afraid, I'm not afraid, I just want her to be happy, so I act like a really little kid so that she has someone to look after."
I can't believe how grown up he really is.
"She needs you."
"I need her too, but I could take care of myself if anything happened to her. I know Jojo had to take care of herself when she was my age, and it must have been even harder for her since she's a girl."
"She's had a rough time, but you make her happy."
He smiles and nods.
"I love her so much, I'm glad I can make her happy."
He closes the subject by picking up a picture and handing it to me.
"Careful not to get any soup on it."
I laugh, and am extra careful as I look at the fiery landscape of all the leaves on the trees changing color.
That night, after eating pancakes and playing a game or two, Johanna helps me upstairs to the guest bedroom. I'm still shaky on my legs, but I'm regaining my strength. She stays with me for a little while, Leo is already in bed so we talk in low voices.
"Thanks for everything."
"Don't mention it. Maybe sometime Leo and I can visit you. He's always wanted to see the ocean."
"That would be fun, and I'm sure Leo would love it."
She sits on the edge of the bed.
"How are you feeling by the way?"
"A little tired and weak, but other than that I feel fine."
"Good. The night you were in the hospital, I called someone in district four."
"How did you get a number?"
"You have several numbers to call in case of emergency, they just had to pull up your profile."
I raise my eyebrows.
"Apparently all victors have them. Anyway Annie answered..."I cut her off quickly.
"You didn't tell her did you?"
She looks at me critically.
"Uh, no. I told Mrs. Cresta, I wouldn't tell Annie directly. Not after what you've told me about her, she probably would have had a mental breakdown or something."
I glare at her, and she looks at me innocently.
"What? She probably would have."
I shake my head.
"Annie isn't that fragile."
"I bet she is when it comes to you."
I look at her confused for a minute.
"Wait...how long was I unconscious?"
She thinks for a minute.
"The dinner party was...four days ago, so you were in a coma for three full days."
I stare at her.
"Now you see why I called, if you didn't show up like scheduled three days ago than they would have started to worry."
"Well they're most likely worrying anyway."
"Well at least they know what to worry about, I called them when the doctors kicked me out of your room and told them the news."
Johanna smiles at me.
"I talked to Annie for a while, she's a really sweet girl."
"Yeah she is."
Then I look suspiciously at her.
"Wait...what did she tell you?"
Johanna smiles, and stands up.
She walks to the door, and pauses in the doorway.
"Goodnight...fish."She giggles as I throw a pillow at her, and blows me a kiss as she closes the door. I chuckle, and grab the extra pillow.
I lay down, and slide my hand under the pillow.
I murmur and hold up my hand. There's a small partially healed cut on the end of my forefinger. That's when I remember that night in the garden, I cut my finger on that rose. Could it be...?
My mind wanders back to all the secrets I've been told about the president.
some people say he drinks the blood of his enemies!
I've heard that he drinks poison.
All I know is that everyone who was ahead of him in rank just mysteriously died. Some were said to have all of a sudden just exploded in blood!
Is it possible I was infected by the rose? I shiver thinking about that night, and I pull the covers up over my head, shutting my eyes tightly and focusing on the dream earlier about Annie. Finnally seeing her laughing face, and fading away into peaceful sleep.