So what about last chapter huh? :D I know lots of you were looking forward to that very much.
The scene on the beach was something that popped in my head one day, and that's what inspired me to write the story, so I guess you could say I wrote the whole story just to write that one scene.
Anyway, now that Finn and Annie are FINALLY together, we are sadly nearing the end of this story :'(
Once I end this story Emma Lane and I are going to start writing Annie's games from her POV that will pick up right were this story leaves off, so I'm very much looking forward to writing that with my dear friend.
SO, while we're writing that, I may also be writing and posting Mags' story as requested by many of you guys, since Emma is going to be helping me to write Annie's story, I'll have more time to write other stuff.
Anyway, just thought I'd give you guys a heads up. Don't worry we still have a little more of this story to get through, so it's not ending really soon.
Here's the chapter! And the song is "Arms" by Christina Perry.
Chapter Twenty-Two: Our first date, and other things.
That night I go to bed a little early, and try to get some sleep. This unfortunately doesn't work, I can't stop thinking about Annie, and my bed seems huge and empty as I think about her smile, the smell of her hair, the warmth of her skin, the sound of her voice. I half sigh and half growl in frustration as I roll over, stretching out on my stomach with my arms above my head. I shut my eyes tightly, taking a deep breath and forcing my muscles to relax.
I look around and freeze. I must have fallen asleep, because I'm in the arena again.
"Finnick, come play with me."I squeeze my eyes shut at the cheerful sing-song voice, refusing to turn around knowing what will meet my gaze. This is the worst of all my nightmares, it's never exactly the same, but it always ends the same, one way or the other. I feel a hand grab my wrist, and my eyes refuse to stay closed. Luna is looking at me with her large blue eyes, her golden hair wisping around her head like a halo, she's smiling as she pulls lightly on my arm.
"Come on Finnick, let's go play."My dream self automatically follows her through the arena forest, and I try my hardest to resist, knowing something horrible is going to happen any second. I'm not wrong as Luna pulls me into a clearing, I look around in horror at the dismembered bodies of Robbert, Cleo, Mrs. Cresta and Bruce. Luna giggles as she skips in between the bodies, splashing blood on her as she slips in the dark puddles.
"Come on Finnick, I have one toy left, you can help me!"
She runs over to me covered in blood, the red staining her pale skin. She pulls me over to a tree and I manage to control my dream self for a minute, stopping and shutting my eyes tightly.
"Finnick what's the matter? I saved this last toy for you."I shake my head.
"It's not real, it's not real."Luna tugs at my hand.
"Of course its real silly, come on and help me rip dolly's arms off!"
"Finn!"The cry pierces me through the heart, and my eyes slowly open. Luna has Annie tied to a tree, her hair matted with blood and her skin stained red. Luna suddenly has a long knife in her hand, and she giggles as she walks over to Annie.
"Do you want me to start?"
Annie looks at me with pleading in her eyes, as I slowly take the knife. I glance behind the tree and see Weasel grinning wickedly.
"Come on district four, you remember how I did it."I turn back to Annie, bringing the knife closer.
"Finn stop! Please!"
I ignore her begging cries, and slowly slit her throat, she gurgles horribly as blood streams from her neck. Luna giggles and turns to me.
I sit up gasping for air, covered in a cold sweat. Without a seconds hesitation I jump out of bed and run downstairs. Once I'm out the front door, I run to the back of the Cresta's house, and doing a quick run through of the house, I figure out which window is Annie's. Her room is on the top floor, and luckily there is a staircase leading up to the top balcony. I walk quietly and quickly up this, and when I reach the top balcony I walk along until I'm in front of Annie's window. It's not locked, and I make a mental note to tell Annie to keep it locked from now on. I slide it up slowly, and step inside, closing it behind me.
I turn and can barely make out Annie's shape on the bed, she's deathly still, and with the nightmare still replaying in my head I quickly walk over to her bed. She stirs as I sit on the edge of her bed, and I'm surprised she doesn't scream when she opens her eyes.
Somehow she knew it was me, I guess she can sense my presence like I can hers. I wrap my arms tightly around her, holding her for a minute as I try to forget the nightmare.
"Finnick is everything okay?"
I don't answer as I pull away from her and run my hand down her wavy hair, running my fingers through it to assure myself that there is no blood in it. I pull it out of the way and look at her neck, smooth and flawless. I kiss it lightly and wrap my arms around her again.
"Are you okay? What's going on."I shake my head lightly.
"Nightmare. I had to make sure you were alright."
She rubs her hands against my back, and kisses my shoulder.
"I'm fine, I'm safe."
I nod slowly, the nightmare fading from my mind as I fill my senses with her presence."Do you want to stay here tonight?"
I nod my head, and release her. She's smiles.
"Are you sure?"
I ask slowly. She nods.
"I won't have nightmare's either if you're here."
That settled it, now I'm not only protecting my own sleep, but Annie's as well. She pulls back the covers so I can slide under them. I wrap my arms around her and within several minutes I can hear her breathing peacefully. I stay awake for a little while, listening to her breath and focusing on the feeling of having her in my arms.
I finally allow myself to fall asleep, my lips pressed lightly against the back of her neck. The rest of the night the only dreams I have are memories of long happy days on the beach.
The next morning I wake up, gradually becoming aware of someone's fingers brushing against my face. I lay still, feeling the light delicate fingers trace my eyebrows, run down my nose, circle my cheekbones then run down my jaw, gently hovering on my lips. Then I feel Annie's lips softly brush against mine. This causes me to smile as my heart flutters, and I open my eyes.
I say quietly. She blushes slightly as she realises I was awake. I'm laying on my back, and she's kneeling next to me.
I push myself up on my elbows, drawing level with her and giving her a soft kiss.
I ask, she shakes her head.
"They wouldn't dare come near anything as beautiful as you."
She smiles, as I kiss her again.
"Well I'm glad I have such a handsome and strong protector as you."
I raise my eyebrows.
"So that's what I am to you? A protector."She looks at me in mock surprise.
"What did you think you were to me?"
I smile, and lean forward so our lips are almost touching, lowering my voice to a whisper.
"The love of your life."
"Oh stop teasing me."She says quickly, wrapping her arms around my neck and kissing me deeply. I fall back onto the bed, and she falls on top of me, pulling off my shirt then sitting on my stomach while she kisses me. I run my hands over her legs, sides and back, pulling her down closer to me. Our kissing starts to get pretty heated, when all of a sudden we hear a knock on the door. Annie sits bolt upright, and we both stare at the door.
"Annie? Can I come in."
Annie's eyes grow wide, and I'm sure my face is sheet white and terrified.
"Um...just a minute mom!"
Annie shouts towards the door. She climbs off me and looks around frantically.
"Under the bed quick!"
She whispers urgently. I roll off the bed and fall to the floor, sliding under the bed as fast as I can. I hold my breath and hope desperately I won't sneeze. I see her walking toward the door, and then I spot my shirt on the floor.
I call as loud as I dare, she hears me and spins around. I point to the shirt and she looks to the door before grabbing it and pulling it over her head. She walks over and opens the door as I slide farther under the bed. I can just see her feet and slender legs up to her knees.
"Good morning mom."I hear her say cheerfully, still breathing a little heavily from our kissing.
"Morning Annie...are you alright? You're out of breath, and what was that crashing sound?"
Annie thinking quickly says.
"Oh I was just exercising."
I see Mrs. Cresta's feet walk in the room, walking towards the bed.
"I see. I wanted to talk to...what are you wearing?"
I see Annie's feet walk over and stand in front of her mothers.
"Oh this? It's just an old shirt Finnick gave me ages ago, it's comfortable to sleep in."Mrs. Cresta hesitates before answering.
"You used to like sleeping in your fathers old shirts too."
Annie's feet shuffle a little.
"Yeah, I remember. Wearing Finn's shirt reminds me of dad."
Mrs. Cresta sits on the bed, and I hear her pat the spot next to her.
"Sit down with me for a minute, I wanted to talk to you."Annie's feet walk over and she sits down beside her mother, her feet hanging just in front of my face.
"What did you want to talk about mom?"
I shift ever so slightly under the bed, trying to make as little noise as possible.
"Well, it's just that ever since the dance, you haven't been acting like yourself, then all of a sudden you are happier than you have been in years, I mean for goodness sakes you practically glow all the time. I was just wondering if you were feeling okay."
I feel a sneeze coming on, and hold a hand over my nose, willing myself to hold it in. My eyes start to water as I hear Annie's reply.
"You're worried that I'm going crazy again."Now I have to cough, and my eyes are streaming.
"I didn't say that."
Mrs. Cresta says quickly.
"I know what you meant though. I'm fine really, it's just Finnick and I...we have a really good relationship now, for a while I wasn't sure who to trust or what I should do, but he's been waiting patiently all this time, and he's always been there for me, I finally realised if there was one person in the whole world who I could trust completely and who would always be there for me, it's him."Mrs. Cresta is silent for a moment, and I hope desperately that she will leave so I can sneeze.
"Well I'm glad that you two have finally worked out all your issues, you had me worried for a while there."
"What do you mean?"
"Well It's just, what I see in Finnick and you, it reminds me what I saw in your father."This is really great, having a heart to heart conversation with your daughter and all, but could you please leave so I can sneeze?
"But you always said the minute you saw daddy, your heart knew he was your soul mate."I hear Mrs. Cresta laugh, and I feel like my head is going to explode.
"Yes, and he was my soul mate, my one true love, we were meant to be together since the beginning of time, and we were meant to have two beautiful children."
I can barely see anymore because of my streaming eyes, and I reach forward lightly touching Annie's heel.
"So you think Finnick and I are soul mates?"
She asks quickly, getting my hint and trying to wrap up the conversation.
"Yes, there's only one person who can make your eyes light up like they do whenever he's around, I can't believe you two have known each other for as long as you have, and you've never even thought that you two were meant for each other."I touch Annie's heel again, I can't hold the sneeze in for another minute.
"Well, that is something to think about...Finnick and I together."
Mrs. Cresta stands up, and I almost laugh with joy.
"Yes, anyway I just wanted to make sure you were doing alright."Annie stands up as well.
"Thank you, and I really am fine, better than fine."
Mrs. Cresta starts walking towards the door, and Annie follows her.
"Well I'm going to finish getting breakfast ready, be down soon okay? I'll have breakfast on the table in about an hour."Annie holds the door open as her mother walks out into the hall.
"Okay thanks! I'm probably going to get a shower."She closes the door, and I sneeze loudly.
I hear Mrs. Cresta shout through the closed door.
Annie calls back, I drag myself out from underneath the bed, and gasp several times, wiping the tears from my cheeks. Annie walks over and starts giggling.
"I was hiding a boy under my bed! I never thought that scenario would come up."
I smile and sit up, rubbing my stinging nose.
"Well let's hope it never happens again."
She runs to the bathroom and turns the shower on, then she walks back over to me and stands on tiptoe, wrapping her arms around my neck.
"When the shower is on you can't hear anything other than the running water up here."
I smile, and lean down slightly.
"Yep."I lean a little closer to her, and lower my voice.
"So we could do this and no one would hear us?"
I ask as I kiss her. She runs her hands over my bare chest as she deepens the kiss. Just as it starts getting more passionate, we hear Mags call from downstairs.
"Hey I'm off to invite Finnick over for breakfast!"She shouts it loud enough for us to hear, and Annie sighs heavily.
"Great, you'd better get back."
I brush my fingers against her neck and smile.
"I'll see you in a minute."With one last kiss, I climb out the window and dash over to my house, within thirty seconds of climbing through a first story window, I hear a knock on the door. I walk over and try to slow my breathing.
"Morning Mags."I say with a smile. She raises her eyebrow at me.
"I'm sure you heard you're invited for breakfast, and you owe me for walking all the way over here."
She grumbles. I glance at the open window in the living room.
"Um...how would I know I was invited?"
She scoffs and shakes her head.
"Fine, fine, you weren't just upstairs in miss Annie's bedroom and heard me say you were invited. Well you are invited, so are you coming or not?"
I smile and accept the invitation. After dressing I walked over to the Cresta's house, and entered through the front door like a civilised person. Breakfast went smoothly, although Mags kept casting Annie and I knowing looks with a raised eyebrow. Mrs. Cresta would look at both of us with a little half-smile, and after overhearing her conversation with Annie, I know why.
"Mrs. Cresta, would it be alright if I talked to you for a minute?"
I ask carefully, Mags gives me a warning look, and Annie looks confused. Mrs. Cresta looks slightly curious as she nods.
"Of course Finnick, why don't you help me with the dishes."I nod and stack the breakfast dishes before following Mrs. Cresta into the kitchen. As I take Annie's plate, she widens her eyes and raises her eyebrows questioningly, I shake my head slightly. I walk into the kitchen and set the dishes in the sink. I start rinsing them off and handing them to Mrs. Cresta who washes them.
"What did you want to talk about Finnick?"
I think for a minute, choosing my words very carefully.
"Well, it's no secret that Annie and I care for each other...and I was wondering if I could have your permission to date her."
Mrs. Cresta gets an amused smile on her face.
"Oh? What exactly are your intentions?"
I take a deep breath.
"Mrs. Cresta, you've known me for most of my life, and you know that I would do anything for Annie, and that I love her more than anything..."
Mrs. Cresta nods slowly.
"Go on."I take another deep breath and turn to face her."I am eighteen, and Annie's only sixteen and a half, she's still young but when she's old enough...and if she wants to...I want to spend the rest of my life with her."
Mrs. Cresta is silent for what seems like forever.
"Finnick, I know you would do anything for my little girl, and I know that you love her more than imaginable..."She pauses.
"I know you would take good care of her, and I think it would be wonderful if you would date her."
I exhale, and smile."Thank you, I would never do anything to hurt her, I would rather die."Mrs. Cresta nods with a smile. Than I take a deep breath and prepare to tell her the bad news.
"Mrs. Cresta...there's something else..."She frowns slightly.
"What do you mean?"
I start slowly rinsing off another plate.
"Well, technically I'm not allowed to have a relationship right now."
I hand her the plate and she just sets it down in the sink.
"Not allowed? I don't understand."I sigh.
"Because I'm so popular in the capitol, I would break to many hearts by having a girlfriend...I was politely told by the president not to do that."She looks confused.
"But why would..."I can't risk telling her about my 'jobs' so I just say.
"It doesn't make much sense, but that's the way it is. I'm telling you because we need to keep Annie and my relationship a secret, to everyone else we are just friends."
She thinks for a long time, then nods slowly.
"I think there's something to this you're not telling me, but I trust you."
We finish cleaning up, and afterwards I ask to speak to Annie alone, Mrs. Cresta smiles broadly, and Mags just looks confused now. I take Annie to the hallway, and before I can say anything she says.
"What was that all about?"
"I just asked your mom if I could date you."Her jaw drops.
"Yup, now we don't have to lie to her anymore, Mags already knows."Annie frowns.
"Mags knows? How?"
"Apparently you are a horrible liar."
"I'll take that as a compliment thank you. But what about keeping our relationship a secret?"
"I told your mom there were reasons to keep it between us, and she agreed."
Annie thinks for a while.
"Okay then, ask me."I frown.
"Ask you what?"
"Ask me out on a date mister Odair."I smile, and her hand into mine.
"Miss Cresta, would you do me the great honor of becoming my girlfriend?"
"Of course."I lean down and give her a quick kiss, then I whisper in her ear.
"I'll pick you up at four."I walk out into the living room and explain I have some errands to run, I thank Mrs. Cresta for breakfast and leave Annie to tell them how things went.
I spend all day preparing for tonight, planning the perfect first official date with the love of my life. After I have everything planned, I get dressed in a pair of black pants, and a coral button down shirt, knowing its Annie's favorite color. Then I walk to her house and ring the bell. After a minute, it's opened by Annie. I gasp and smile.
"Annie, you are breathtaking."She smiles, and does a slow twirl. She's dressed in a green strapless dress that falls just above her ankles, and a pair of black flats. Her hair is lightly curled and all of it is down.
"Thanks Finn...you're wearing my favorite color!"She says excitedly as she notices my shirt. I've left my hair tousled in its natural fashion, knowing she likes that better. I smile.
"Well you're wearing my favorite color as well, and you left your hair down."
She smiles, and brushes her hair over her shoulder.
"I didn't know this was your favorite color."I lean forward and whisper.
"Of course, it's the color of your eyes."She blushes slightly, and I give her a kiss.
"Oh don't you two look adorable!"
We break apart and I feel my face heat up at Mrs. Cresta's voice. Annie is blushing slightly as well, but she's also grinning as she sees my face. Mrs. Cresta smiles.
"So where are you two going?"
I look at Annie and smile.
"That's a secret, Annie can tell you when we get back."Mrs. Cresta nods.
"I understand, have a good time you two."Annie and I wave goodbye, and start walking down the street.
"So It's a surprise?"
"Just wait and see."After a minute Annie looks around and turns to me.
"I think I know where we're going."I smile.
"I thought you might."
In another minute her face lights up and she smiles.
"Finnick..."I smile. As I stop her in front of her old house, it's not quite the same though, now it has soft music floating out the windows, and candles in all the windows.
"Do you want to see inside?"
She nods slowly. I lead her inside and she gasps. I have set up a table for two that looks like it's from a fancy resturaunt, and there are many more candles inside. The thing she seems most excited about, is a CD player I have set up. She walks over to it and puts her head close to the speakers.
"Is this a music player?"
I nod and walk over.
"This thing is ancient, I almost couldn't get one. The capitol can download hours of music into little pieces of glitter now, but I like the old CD's better."
Annie listens to the music for a while.
"I love this music, it's so beautiful."I open the CD players top, and look at the CD.
"This is some really old music, over a hundred years old."Annie looks over my shoulder.
"What's it called?"
"The people who made the music called themselves...A Fine Frenzy."
Annie closes her eyes.
"It's lovely."I smile and kiss her cheek.
"It's yours."She opens her eyes.
"I have lots more CD's for you as well."She hugs me and gives me a quick kiss.
"I love you!"
I laugh and shake my head.
"The night has just begun my love."I lead her over to the table and pull out her chair for her. She sits down and I walk to the kitchen, returning with two plates of food. Annie gasps.
"Did you make all this?"
I pretend to look offended.
"You sound like you don't believe I can cook."She laughs and shakes her head.
"No, I know you can cook...I just didn't know you could cook like this."I smile and hand her a glass of wine.
"When you spend that much time in the capitol, you learn a thing or two."The meal I made is a roast with carrots, potatoes and onions. I bought a basket of district fours special rolls, and for dessert I went to the most expensive bakery, and bought two death by chocolate cupcakes and chocolate ice cream. I also purchased a bottle of wine that is very tasty, and goes well with the meal. Annie seems very impressed with everything, and since that was the whole point of tonight, I decide mission accomplished.
"Finn that was wonderful."Annie says with a sigh. I smile.
"It's not over yet, can you still walk? I don't think I've ever seen you eat that much."
She laughs, and holds a hand to her stomach.
"I think I could manage to walk."I stand up.
"Good, because I have something special planned for you."She stands up and takes my hand.
"Something else? Don't you think you've done enough already?"
I shake my head and kiss her.
"Nothing is ever enough for you love."
She laughs as I take her outside. After a minute of walking, I take both of her hands in mine, and stop her.
"Okay close your eyes."
She looks around and smiles.
"Come on, just for a minute."
She sighs and closes her eyes.
"Okay great, now follow me."
I place her hands on my waist so she can follow me, and I lead her down to the ocean. I sigh thankfully as I glance out at the water, my calculations were correct.
"Okay Annie."I say, taking her hands and pulling her in front of me, then I put my hands on her waist and turn her so she's facing the ocean.
"Open your eyes."
I hear her gasp, and she covers her mouth with her hands.
"Finn...what is it?"
I look out at the ocean, which is glowing a light blue-green, every wave that crashes light up with a flash. The whole scene is magical and the beach is illuminated with a whimsical glow.
"It's bioluminescent plankton, they're migrating. I've seen it only once before, when I was really little, and I've heard old sailors talk about ghost water."
Annie stares at the ocean.
"How often does this happen?"
I shake my head.
"Not very often, it used to be called blue tide I think. Somehow the captiol can predict when it will happen, and I just found out yesterday that it was going on tonight."She slides her hand in mine, unable to take her eyes of the glow.
"Will it only happen tonight?"
"It'll go on for about a week, but tonight is when it's going to be the brightest."
We sit in silence for a moment, then I dig in my pocket and pull out a folded piece of paper.
"Annie, I've written something for you."
I unfold it as she turns to me curious, and I take a deep breath as I start reading.
"You're a falling star, you're my only escape, You're the line in the sand when I go to far. You're the ocean on an August day, you're the perfect thing to say. You play it coy, but it's kind of cute, when you smile at me you know exactly what you do, Love, don't pretend that you don't know it's true, cause you can see it when I look at you. And in this crazy life, and through these crazy times, it's you, you make me sing, you're every line, you're every word, you're everything. You're like a sunset, a wishing well, you light me up and I know you can tell, you're a mystery, you're from outer space, you're every minute of my every day. And I can't believe that I'm your man, and I get to kiss you love just cause I can, whatever comes our way, we'll see it through, because you know that's what our love can do. You're every song, and I sing along, because you're my everything."
I look up at Annie, and she has tears in her eyes.
"So what did you think?"
Her answer is to fling her arms around my neck and kiss me. When she breaks away I smile.
"Wow, I guess you liked it then."
She smiles and wipes her eyes quickly.
"Did you write that?"
I nod slowly.
"Do you get any more perfect? You cook, you write poetry, you love me unconditionally...I think I'm the luckiest girl whose ever lived."She stretches up on tiptoe, and kisses my lips lightly. I hold her face gently in my hands, and press my lips against hers. We walk along the beach for a little while, watching the glowing waves. We also discovered if you stomped on the wet sand, the area around your foot would flash with green light. We made a very amusing sight jumping around on the sand, laughing and splashing in the shallow water. After a while, we link hands and start walking back.
"I love you."I say quietly, kissing the top of her head. She smiles and tilts her head back to kiss my lips.
"How long are you going to say that?"
She asks with a light laugh, this being at least the tenth time I've said it tonight.
I reply, wrapping my arm around her shoulders.
"Because I will never stop loving you, and you need to be reminded all the time."
She smiles and leans against me, wrapping her arm around my waist as we walk.
"I love you too."We make it back to the town, and I take her home, saying goodbye on the porch.
"I love you."I say with a smile. She laughs.
"I know."I slowly reach out and brush her hair over her ear, then I slide my hand to the side of her neck, and gently pull her to meet my lips, kissing her slowly. She slides her hands up my chest and twists her fingers in my hair. After a minute, we break apart.
She gives me another quick kiss and says with a smile.
"Goodnight."She pulls away, and walks inside. I sigh happily, and walk back to my house. I walk up the steps and open the door, my eyes refuse to believe what they see, a small piece of paper floats down from the open door. After staring at it for several minutes, I decide it's real and pick it up. Opening it I find the usual information, along with a small note.
Naughty Naughty boy, now you have her involved.
Authors note: if anyone wants to know, the poem Finnick reads to Annie is "Everything" by Micheal Buble, with a few minor alterations to make it fit better.