Hey people!I'm not sure how much I'm going to be able to update because of the holidays and everything, so I decided to post a quick chapter now so you guys will have something to read :)
Also since this is a quick chapter it will probably be shorter and I honestly have no idea what to do for this chapter :P So pardon me if it's not the greatest chapter I've ever posted :D
So with that said, here we go!
Oh! PS: slight change of plans with Annie's story, my friend and I will still be writing it together, but I will be posting it under my stories, so she's just going to give me the chapter she's written and I'll post it, then I'll post my chapter and so on and so forth, so keep a look out for Annie's games on my page, I'll have to talk to Emma about the name but I'll let you know! :)
(no song for this chapter because I don't know where it's going to go)
Chapter Twenty-Four: We'll figure it out...somehow.
I snap out of my musing as the train slows to a stop at the train station. I take a deep breath and let it out in a sigh, I'm home at last.
I stand up from the chair that I've spent most of my time sitting in, and walk to the doors, fidgeting impatiently for the doors to open. I can't wait to see Annie, to hold her in my arms and kiss her lips. Just thinking about her helps push aside memories of the capitol.
I mutter at the sleek silver doors, willing them to open, I need to breathe in the fresh salty air, I need to get out of this horribly confining space, I need freedom.
The doors slide open, and I almost run into them as I push through the space barely wide enough for me to slide through. I guess I should have waited until they were all the way open. Oh well.
I close my eyes and inhale the salty air deeply, listening to the wind blow through the dunes.
My eyes snap open and I spin around. Annie is standing to one side of the platform, dressed in a very pretty white sun dress. Her hair is blowing in a hundred different directions in the wind. A smile instantly forms on my lips, as she takes off at a run. She's in my arms in less than five seconds. She stretches up for a kiss, but I turn my head to the side and whisper quickly.
"Not here love."
Her eyes become slightly worried, but she quickly understands and recovers the situation by pretending to brush something off my nose.
"There you go, it's gone now."
She says cheerfully. I unwrap my arms from around her and hold her hand tightly.
"Why don't we go to the beach?"
She smiles and says with a small laugh.
"You just got here Finn."I nod and start walking towards the platform stairs.
"I know, but I want to go to the beach, come on let's race."Once we're down the stairs, we take off at a run and soon are splashing our feet in the shallows. I look around quickly, before pulling Annie into my arms and giving her the kiss I've been dreaming of ever since I left. When we finally break apart, she smiles and wraps her arms around my neck.
"I've missed you."
I smile and shake my head.
"You have no idea how hard it's been being away from you."
I give her another quick kiss, then I take a deep breath.
"Annie...I had a meeting with the president when I got to the capitol."
I can see the fear in her face, and her arms wrap tighter around my neck.
"What did he want?"
I shake my head.
"I'm not sure...he knew about us."
I shrug, hesitating before saying.
"He has pictures of us."Annie's eyes grow wide, and her forehead wrinkles slightly with concern.
"What? How could he..."I shrug again.
"I don't know, but he has pictures of us in the town, which isn't that unbelievable, he could have spy's or reporters hidden in the crowd. But what I'm more concerned about is...he had pictures of us in your old house."
She gasps, and her arms drop from my neck, she covers her mouth with her hands.
"In my house?"
I nod slowly.
"Does that creep have camera's hidden in my house?"
I wrap my arms tighter around her waist, and rest my forehead against hers.
"I don't know...one of the people that clean the house could easily have installed some cameras."
Annie curls her fingers around the back of my neck, and pulls me down closer to her.
"What are we going to do?"
I sigh, closing my eyes and breathing deeply the sweet smell of Annie's hair.
"Annie...what are you doing with me? I can never give you the life you deserve, I can never give you a family..."
She cuts me off with a quick kiss, and she shakes her head.
"Finnick Odair, I don't care what you think I deserve, we are meant to be together, and whatever comes our way we will figure out together, we'll find a way."
I smile slightly. There's the determined Annie I know and love.
"We'll find a way. We can get through anything can't we?"
She smiles and nods.
"We've already been through almost everything together...Robbert's death, you made it through the arena, you brought me back from going crazy, we've helped each other through nightmares, Bruce's death, other people in our life, breakups and being together, we even made it through the president."
The smile fades from my lips.
"Well I don't know about that last part. He just told me to keep what we have a secret, and he said he would leave us alone if we did."Annie looks confused.
"Well that's great...what's bothering you?"
I shift my feet a little.
"I don't know...it's not like him to just let something go, I think he still has a card to play in all this."
Annie holds my face in her hands and smiles.
"You're just being paranoid, he knows there's nothing he can do that will break us apart, so he's letting us be as long as we do it under his terms; keeping it a secret."
I kiss her forehead and smile.
"Yeah, I guess you're right. I'm just being paranoid."
Annie slides her hand in mine, and we start walking up the beach.
"So what are we going to do about the president spying on us?"
I think for a minute.
"Well, he didn't have any pictures of us on the beach or in my house, so I think we're safe there."She nods, her eyes look faraway and she's acting distracted.
It takes her a minute to respond to me. She blinks suddenly and looks at me.
I frown slightly, and hold my hand to her cheek.
"Are you okay?"
She nods slowly.
I am not convinced.
She lets out a heavy sigh.
She trails off, and I hold her face in my hands, making her look at me.
"Annie, what's wrong?"
She drops my gaze as she answers.
"I'm scared Finnick."
Worry and anxiety instantly fill me, and I struggle not to panic.
"Why? What's scaring you?"
She puts her hands on my arms, closing her eyes as she answers slowly.
"I'm scared for you."
I frown puzzled.
"For me? Why?"
She hesitates before answering, finally saying.
"What if something happens to you?"
I still don't understand the cause for her fear, so I question further.
"I don't know...I just have so many nightmares...I wouldn't be able to keep it together if anything ever happened to you."
I kiss her forehead, and shake my head.
"That's never going to happen, I would never leave you."A tear falls from her eye as she buries her hands in my hair.
"You can't promise me that nothing will ever happen to you."
I shake my head again."No I can't, but you have to know that I would never do anything that would risk it. I will always be here with you Annie."
She sobs and wraps her arms around me, burying her face in my chest.
"I'm always scared Finnick...I'm afraid that I'll go crazy and you'll leave me."
I wrap my arms tightly around her, burying my face in her hair.
"Annie, I would never do that. And you aren't going to go crazy."
She shakes her head against my chest.
"You don't know that...sometimes I think I'm already crazy."
I pull away from her slightly, and make her look at me.
"Hey, you know what? You are crazy."
She looks startled.
I nod, brushing some hair out of her face as I say with a smile.
"That's the only explanation for why a gorgeous and perfect girl like you would be in love with me."
She smiles a little and says.
I shake my head.
"Nope, it's true. You are crazy Annie Cresta."
She stretches up and kisses me.
"Well you're crazy enough to be with a crazy girl so I guess we're perfect for each other."I grin.
"We're the perfect crazy couple."
She smiles, and gives me a hug, resting her head against my chest.
"I love you."
I kiss the top of her head.
"I love you too."
She suddenly pulls away from me and grabs both my hands.
"I have an idea!"
She's so excited that I laugh.
"Oh really? What?"
She smiles, and hops up and down.
"Let's go visit Poseidon and Ariel! You haven't seen them in ages and you've only seen Eric once."
"Are they home?"
"Well let's go."
She jumps up and gives me a kiss.
"Yay! Wait until you see him, he's so cute!"
In about an hour we are back in victors village knocking on Poseidon and Ariel's door. Lily answers it, and I'm surprised at how much she's grown in the past year.
She says with a slight squeal, then she looks at me and her eyes open wide.
I smile and nod.
"Hi Lily, do you remember me?"
She smiles and nods quickly.
"Yes...you were at mommy's wedding."
I nod with a friendly smile.
"That's right. We were wondering if we could come and visit with your little brother."
Her eye's light up at the mention of Eric, and she swings the door open wide, running back into the house shouting.
"Mommy! Finnick and Annie are here! They want to see Eric!"
Annie and I laugh as her cries echo through the house, and we walk inside. Ariel emerges from the sitting room, holding a book in one hand and supporting Eric on her hip with the other.
"Finnick! It's so good to see you."She says with a smile, as she sets her book down and gives me a hug.
"It's great to see you too. How have you been?"
She gives Annie a hug as she answers.
"We've been doing great, the real question is how have you been?"
I nod, looking at Annie with a smile as I reply.
"Better lately, much better."
Ariel ushers us into the living room.
"Come in and sit down. Can I get you anything?"
Annie and I shake our heads and Ariel sits across from us in a large armchair. Annie and I took the couch, and Lily plops down on the floor.
"I can't believe how big Eric is."I say shaking my head. His head is covered in a thick mass of brown hair, and his large blue eyes are electric like Ariel's. She sets him down on the floor, and he quickly crawls over to Lily.
"Yes he's growing fast, Poseidon says he'll be swimming soon, although I won't let him take Eric anywhere near the water, not yet at least."
I look around briefly.
"Where is Poseidon?"
Ariel glances out the window.
"Oh he went out to get some things for supper."
She turns back to face us quickly, her smile revealing the two small sapphires in her canines.
"Why don't you join us for supper? Annie I haven't seen your mother in ages, and this is the first time we've seen you Finnick since Eric was born. Oh please? It would be so nice to catch up with you all."
Annie and I look at each other and shrug.
"I don't have any plans."I say with a smile.
"I would love to come over, but I'll have to ask mom if she has any plans."
"Invite Mags as well, she's always welcome."
Annie nods with a smile.
"I will, thank you very much. We'd better go tell them than, we'll see you tonight!"
Ariel stands up and walks us to the door.
"Alright, why don't you come over at around five? We'll have dinner at six so we have time to talk before."Eric crawls after us with a happy squeal, crawling up and clinging to Ariel's leg. Annie and I walk out and wave.
"We'll see you tonight!"
Ariel picks up Eric as Lily runs up. They both wave, and Eric tries to copy them, thrashing his arm around. Annie and I laugh as we wave back to him. I walk Annie to her house, and stop in for a brief visit, seeing Mags and Mrs. Cresta for the first time since I've been back from the capitol. Then I walk to my house and decide to take a nap before getting ready to go over to Poseidon and Ariel's. I fall asleep quickly, still tired from my capitol visit.
The waves steadily crash along the shore, and I look around slowly. I know this, I've been here before...
I spin as I hear my own voice shout behind me. I stare in shock as I see myself running up the beach. But...I'm young, I'm fourteen dressed in the clothes I had when I returned from the arena. My hair is quickly blowing out of its perfect style as I dash as fast as I can through the sand. I know what this is...it's a memory. As my younger dream self runs closer, I can see the tears on my cheeks, and my eyes have that haunted look in them, a look that I've had ever since the arena, although now you can only see it after a nightmare or during the games. I remember it took almost a year for it to slowly fade away after returning from the arena.
My dream self screams again, suddenly I remember exactly what this is...this was right after I returned to district four, the first time I had been home since the reaping...I know just minutes earlier Mrs. Cresta had come to visit me at the train station, and broke the news that Robbert had died, and Annie had lost her mind. I'm running now, following my dream apparition up the beach, knowing where he's going. Soon I can see the large dune up ahead with the twin palm trees on it. The dream me slows down, cautiously approaching the dune as he sees the footprints in the sand.
I hear him call out quietly as he reaches the top of the dune, I follow him and see Annie spin around at his, voice. I can't help smiling at how young Annie looks, a skinny, lanky twelve-year-old with a mass of untamed brown waves. I know what follows, and my eyes grow sad as Annie runs forward.
She stands in front of me. Her skinny figure is pale, and her copper hair is flying everywhere as usual. But her dark green eyes are bloodshot, and have a faraway look in them.
"Well, never mind why you're late. Robbert should be here soon and..."
I place my hands on her shoulders. Looking her right in the eye.
"Annie...Robbert's not coming, and you know it."
She shakes her head, pushing my hands away.
"I don't know what you're talking about. Why wouldn't Robbert come? He said he would."
Something inside of me breaks at the sight of Annie, her mind is gone, she is outright denying that Robbert is gone.
"Annie listen to me! Robbert is dead! Do you hear me? And you know he is. He's gone!"
She slaps me hard. Her face angry.
"How dare you even say that!"
"He is! Annie he's gone!"
She raises her hand to slap me again, then her eyes change, and she blinks.
"No...he was just sleaping...no..."
Suddenly the memory changes, and Annie grows furious.
"You killed Robbert! Didn't you? I hate you!"
I shake my head quickly. What's going on? This isn't how it went. The dream Finnick fades, and Annie is suddenly grown up, she looks exactly like she does in the present but she's still shouting at me.
"Annie...what are you...I didn't kill him you know I didn't."
She shakes her head.
"I'm crazy Finnick and there's nothing you can do to help me. You're the reason I'm insane."She then bursts out laughing and shakes her head.
"Annie no! This isn't what happened!"
She smiles, and then scowls at me, giggling insanely.
"Oh no, this is what is going to happen...goodbye Finnick."Suddenly she's on top of Calypso's cliff, and she looks at me before jumping off the edge. I scream and run forward to stop her, but it's too late.
I snap awake, sitting up in bed with a yell. I shake my head quickly, covering my face with my hands and breathing deeply.
"It was only a dream...Annie is safe...she's fine. I snapped her out of it...she's in her right mind and that's how she's going to stay. Nothing can hurt her when I'm here."