Alrighty! So here's the chapter as promised, and once again let me apologize for what happened yesterday :P
I still can't believe that happened, Ugh! But I'm writing it all over again none-the-less and posting it all for you :)
And one of the things that really annoyed me about it was that was the last chapter as well! (oops!)
Oh yes I forgot to tell you...this is indeed the last chapter for my story :( and yes I am horribly sad about it, and I can't believe this story is finally ending. I have truly fallen in love with this story and why shouldn't I? It's my baby after all ;P
But! I will be writing the sequel which is Annie's story in her POV as you may know with my good friend Emma Lane, although I'm not sure what the name is or how often we'll be able to update I will let you all know, just follow me and you'll be alerted when I start posting it! (or you could just keep checking my profile, which ever you prefer)
I'm very excited for that and I may be writing a short story after that once again in Finn's POV telling about after her games how he helped her get a grip on reality and that sort of thing.
Oh and stay tuned because after this story I will immediately start on Mags' story! I know some of you are eager to start reading that and I'm going to have a lot of fun with that because we know virtually nothing about her except she lives in district four, and she won the hunger games, so lots of opportunities there.
And there's also the story about Finn and Annie's son which I will be writing as well. (whew! I am going to be busy!)
Love all you guys! Song for this chapter is "A drop in the ocean" by Ron Pope. (one of my fav songs!)
Chapter Twenty-Seven: Always here for you...always waiting for you.
The next morning I wake up a little early and decide to check on Annie. I walk quietly through the house, not wanting to disturb Mags or Mrs. Cresta, I know Mags doesn't sleep well, and Mrs. Cresta stayed up late worrying about Annie, they both need their sleep.
I wince as the stairs creak, and I step as lightly as I can, hurrying upstairs and walking to Annie's door. As I open it I hear her murmuring in her sleep, and rolling around on the bed.
I close the door as quietly as I can and walk over to Annie's bed. She's tossing and turning, her face pretty face lined with whatever discomfort she's experiencing in her slumber. Knowing how bad the nightmares can get, I sit on the edge of her bed and hold her hand in both of mine.
"No...no please...I'm sorry...stay away..."
Annie's whimpers quietly, a tear sliding out from under her eyelid. I lean down and lightly kiss her forehead, saying soothingly.
"Shh...It's okay love, I'm here."
When she hears my voice, her eyes snap open, and she sits up.
"No! Stay away!...Please..."
Although her eyes are open I can tell she's still asleep. I brush away her tear with my thumb as I say.
"Annie, it's okay I'm here."She shudders slightly at my touch, and turns towards me. Her eyes open wide as she notices me for the first time. She gasps with fear and slides across the bed away from me.
Her voice is pleading, as she reaches the top corner of her bed and presses her back up against the wall. I realize that since she's in some form of sleep she might think I'm someone else.
"Annie, it's me Finnick. You're safe, I'm here."
I say reassuringly, sliding across the bed towards her. She lets out a little strangled cry of fear and brings her knees tight up against her chest, wrapping her arms around her legs and resting her forehead against her knees.
She's begging now, her voice muffled slightly. I pause in the middle of the bed, unsure of what to do.
I use her nickname she gave me hoping that it will put her at ease. Her breathing quickens and she shakes her head slowly.
"No...no, no, no! Please!"
I reach forward and rest my hand on her shoulder, I feel her instantly stiffen.
She raises her head, and I see the tears streaming down her cheeks. She looks at me with pure fear and pleading.
She says with a sob, her shoulders shaking as the sobs grow more frequent.
"Sorry for what Annie?"
She shakes her head, closing her eyes tightly as more tears roll down her face.
I reach forward to wipe away her tears but she turns her head away from me, so I drop my hand, feeling tears of my own start to build in my eyes.
"I forgive you Annie...please whatever it is I forgive you."
She turns back to look at me, and for a moment there's hope in her eyes. I wipe the tears from her cheeks, and suddenly the fear returns to her eyes.
"No! Please! Stay away..."
She pulls away from me again, and falls off the bed. I am instantly on the floor in front of her, asking quickly.
"Annie! Are you alright?"
I put my hands on her shoulders as I look over her to make sure she hasn't hurt herself.
The desperate cry pierces my heart as Annie tries to pull away from me.
"Annie it's me!"
Suddenly she slaps me hard across the face. I release her and gasp in pain and shock, holding a hand to my stinging cheek. Annie suddenly blinks several times, looking around briefly.
She says slowly, then she seems to wake up fully, and she turns to look at me with fresh tears on her cheeks.
She sobs the name and I instantly have my arms wrapped around her. She presses her cheek against my cheek, and both of her hands are clinging to the front of my shirt, she's holding on so tightly that her knuckles are white.
"Please help me...I don't know what's wrong...I saw you...but you were covered in blood."
She gasps out between sobs, her tears forming a large wet spot on my shirt. I run my fingers through her hair soothingly, sliding my arm under her legs and lifting her up on the bed. I sit with Annie curled up on my lap, still clinging to me for dear life.
"Shh...It's alright, I'm here, your safe."
She trembles and sobs for a long time, occasionally gasping out what she saw.
"You were going to kill me Finn...you looked like a killer...you looked like you did in the arena."
I kiss the top of her head, holding her tighter as I reassure her."I would never hurt you Annie, I'm never going to be that Finnick again, I never have to face the arena again."
She slowly calms down, still clutching onto my shirt.
"Finn...don't let me go."
I rest my cheek on the top of her head and whisper.
I sit in the warmth of late afternoon sun, the light breeze slowly moving through my tousled hair. I look over at Annie who is sitting next to me, the breeze also blowing her dark brown waves towards me. She has her head tilted up towards the sky, her eyes closed and a smile on her face. She's always smiling when we are together.
"I love you."
I say, she straightens her head and looks at me, that beautiful smile still curving her perfect lips.
"I've lost count of how many times you've said that today."
I grin and give her a kiss.
"Well I can never say it enough, and you always need to hear it."
She turns back to look at the ocean, resting her chin on her drawn up knees. I look at the ocean as well, breathing in deeply and letting it out in a happy sigh. I am determined to enjoy this day, this is the last day of peaceful bliss that I will get to spend with Annie, well at least for a little while. Tomorrow our happiness will end when I board the train taking me to the victor of the sixty-ninth hunger game's victory tour.
Annie and I have gotten to spend the past six months not bothered by the capitol, six whole months of just us, together, without the threat of the president looming over us. Even though I got to spend my nineteenth birthday with Annie, and I won't be here to spend her seventeenth with her, and even though I will be due for a capitol trip soon after the victory tour, and then in six short months I will be mentoring the games again, I am going to enjoy the time I have now.
"Hey, what are you thinking about?"
Annie asks cheerfully. I shrug, still staring at the ocean.
"Just...things."I look at Annie as she nods slowly, the smile lessening on her face.
"You mean the games."
I nod wordlessly.
"It's not your fault you know."
I glance at her.
"No victor for district four this year...it's not your fault. I know you try your hardest every time to bring one of them home."
I think of the eighteen year-old boy who volunteered full of confidence that he would be coming back home to his family, the skinny fifteen year old girl with the honey colored hair and sad hazel eyes, just hoping her family would be alright without her. They both made it to the second week, both perishing when the career pack split up. The boy from one had been crowned victor this year, and I had to return home once again to two angry and hurting families, asking me why I hadn't brought their children home to them. Why did you let them die Finnick? Their lives didn't matter to you, you're just another one of them, another person turned to the ways of the capitol, after all, they've all heard the rumors.
"Yeah I know it's not my fault."
I say finally, digging my feet into the sand with a sigh.
"I just wish there was more I could do."
Annie puts her hand on my arm and gives me a gentle squeeze.
"You do all you can, and even if no one else believes it, I know you do."
I pull her hand off and slip my fingers between hers.
"I know. It's just hard."
She slides closer to me and rests her head on my shoulder.
"What time does your train leave tomorrow?"
I think over the information quickly.
"Early, it's a long ways to district twelve from here."
She nods silently, knowing I have 'appointments' at almost every stop.
"You'll get through this, you always do."
I slowly rub my hand up and down her arm, resting my cheek against the top of her head.
"I know. It's just hard, the worst part is being away from you for so long."
She tilts her head back and gives me a kiss.
"Well I hate it when you're gone, but you have to go and I'll be here when you get back."
"Yeah, I still miss you though."She laughs, and I wish she'd never stop.
"And I still miss you."
I sigh unhappily.
"I'm going to miss your birthday."
"So what? We can celebrate when you get back, we have more to celebrate then anyway."
"You're going to be seventeen..."
I say quietly, my voice trailing off. Annie is silent for a moment, finally saying what we were both thinking.
"Next year is the last time I'll be eligible for reaping."
I nod, six months after the seventieth hunger games Annie will turn eighteen and be safe from the reaping forever.
"I'm not going to get picked Finn, my name is only in there seven times. That's seven chances in hundreds."
I'm quiet for a moment, finally saying.
"But it's seven."
She sighs and straightens up, brushing some hair out of her face.
"Right, it's seven. You worry too much Finnick."
I grin, and brush the hair off her neck.
"Only about you."
She smiles and traces the gold chain around my neck.
"So you've never taken this off? Not even once?"
I shake my head.
"It hasn't left my neck since you put it on five years ago."
She smiles slightly.
"Why not take it off?"
"It's my good luck charm, and it always keeps a piece of you with me."
She holds up her arm to show me the bracelet I gave her.
"I've never taken this off either. Same reason."
She twists it around until she finds the charm she's looking for, she holds the golden trident between her fingers.
"This was originally part of the necklace you wear, so in a way we both have a piece of each other always with us."
I smile and brush my finger along the charms.
"Well we always have a part of each other anyway, this just symbolizes that."
I trail off again, and stand up. After several moments Annie stands up as well and says.
"Finn? What are you thinking about?"
I pause a moment, then turn to her.
"Annie, love of my life...will you marry me?"
Her jaw drops in shock, and she stammers.
"What? I...I...don't know what to say."
I explain quickly.
"Not know of course, we're both young still, and the timing isn't right. But when the time is right, I want you to be my wife, I want to spend the rest of my life with you, and I want to have a family."
She smiles, tears filling her eyes.
"I...I want that too."
"Is that a yes?"
She laughs and throws her arms around my neck.
"Yes! Yes, yes, a thousand times yes!"
I wrap my arms around her and laugh as well, spinning her around. When I set her down we share a long kiss, and Annie suddenly pulls away.
"Wait. What about the capitol? President Snow...if he ever found out..."
I shake my head.
"He won't find out."
She hesitates. Her hands at the back of my neck, slowly brushing through my hair.
"But what if he does? Oh Finn he would kill you."
I continue shaking my head.
"I'm too valuable to him, and he knows that if anything happened to you he would lose all control over me."
She bites her lower lip, thinking.
"Finn...when the time comes, and we do get married, can we please keep it between us my Mom and Mags?"
"Annie, what about a family? If we kept it a secret what would happen when you become pregnant?"
I'm thinking about my own mother, how she became pregnant out-of-wedlock and was rejected as a social outcast.
"I don't care. If I can be with you and have a family with you then I could care less what everyone else thinks. If we can have children and be safe, it doesn't matter what they think."
I smile and give her another kiss.
"Then yes, we can keep it a secret if that's what you want."
We return to lying on the beach, Annie now practically lying on top of me and our fingers are intertwined tightly. We lay like that for a long time, watching the sun sink slowly into the ocean.
Annie sits up and I follow suit, she hesitates for a moment before saying.
"When is the right time going to be?"
"I don't know, a year, maybe more. Right now definitely isn't the right time, but we'll know when it is. I think we'll both feel it's the right time and that's how we'll know."
"I hope it isn't too far away."
I kiss her cheek with a smile."It won't be, and we have the rest of our lives together."
She smiles and we fall silent again, watching as the sun shoots pink and orange rays across the sky. After a few minutes, Annie breaks the silence again."Finnick?"
She brushes her fingers across our linked hands as she says.
"What do you want our first child to be?"
I laugh and shake my head slightly.
"Annie, we don't even know when we are going to get married and you want to talk about kids?"
She smiles and gives me her puppy look."Just humor me, please?"
I smile and think for a minute."A boy."
She bumps her shoulder against mine with a light laugh.
"Typical, guys always want a boy."
I pretend to be indignant.
"Not just a boy, I want a girl too."
"So a boy and a girl?"
I shake my head.
"No, I want lots of kids, as many boys and girls as you want."
"Good, because I want lots of children too."
I nod solemnly.
"But only if they can all have their mother's heart and sense."
"And their father's sense of humor and will."
I think about this for a moment.
"And with a combination of both our looks they will be the most attractive, children with the greatest personalities ever!"
"I think if they had a good mix of both of us, then they would be pretty amazing."
I kiss her temple.
"They will be, and I can't wait to watch them grow up with you."
She smiles and says suddenly.
"Finnick, what would you want our first girl to be named?"
"Do you have any names you like?"
"I want our first girl to be named Felicia."
I freeze at the name, at my mothers name.
I echo quietly. Annie nods, unaware of my shock.
"Yes, the girl buried next to Bruce is named that, and ever since I saw it at his funeral I've fallen in love with the name. It's pretty don't you think?"
I nod slowly.
"It was my mothers."
She turns to me with complete surprise.
"Finn...I thought you didn't know your mother."
I shake my head slowly.
"I didn't. Bruce told me about her...they knew each other when they were young. The mayors son forced her to sleep with him and she got pregnant with me, before I was born she was reaped and Bruce volunteered so he could protect her, I don't think he ever intended to come out alive. My mother gave birth to me in the arena and then before she died she told Bruce the name she had picked for me. After that he took care of me until the end, then he stabbed himself in hopes that they would take me from the arena in his place. The retrieval team was told to take Bruce and leave me behind but a doctors assistant smuggled me out and gave me to Mags who put me in the boys community home. Bruce found out years later...no one else knows except for Mags and the doctors assistant who is now an avox."
Annie stares at me in shock for a while, unable to say anything. Finally she gives me a tight hug and says.
I give her a squeeze and she pulls away, I smile.
"I'll tell you the whole story later."
She thinks of something and says quickly.
"Oh Finn, I can pick another girls name if..."
I cut her off."No, I love the fact that you picked that name even though you didn't know it was my mothers."
"Felicia, what should her middle name be?"
I think for a minute."Why don't we name her Rachel after your mom?"
Annie gets a small smile on her lips and says.
"I was actually thinking we could have her middle name be Mags."
I raise my eyebrows in surprise.
Annie laughs and shrugs.
"I love Mags, she's like the grandmother I never knew, and she's like your grandmother too. Besides Mags would be a cute middle name."
"Felicia Mags Odair. It does have a nice ring to it."
She kisses my cheek.
"Your turn. What do you want our first boy to be named?"
I think for a minute."Tristan. I've always liked the name."
Annie repeats the name slowly.
"Tristan...I like it, although I've never heard it before."
"It's an old name, and it's never been that common."
"What about a middle name?"
I don't even have to think about that one.
"Bruce. He was practically my father, and I would want to honor him by naming my first son after him, even if it's a middle name."
"Felicia Mags, and Tristan Bruce Odair."
She laughs slightly and gives me a kiss.
"I can't wait."
I smile and wrap my arm around her.
We spend a little more time on the beach, finally returning to the town. Mrs. Cresta and Mags both insist that Annie spend the night at my house, knowing that we won't get the chance to see each other for a while. I must have asked them a hundred times if they were sure, and Mrs. Cresta closes the discussion by saying she trusted me. So Annie spent the night at my house, although neither of us did much sleeping, for most of the night we just lay in bed with our arms around each other.
We both ended up dozing, and morning came far to fast. I dress quickly in a pair of jeans and a fitted black T-shirt, knowing I will have all the clothes I want to change into once I get on the train. I drop by to say goodbye to Mags and Mrs. Cresta, and Annie walks me to the train station.
"Try not to think about being gone, just think about when you get back okay?"
I nod, slowly walking down the street with Annie's fingers between mine.
"I'll be thinking of you every second."
"I'll be thinking of you too."
In what seems like seconds we're on the train station. I glance at the open train doors, and turn back to Annie."Well...I guess this is it."
She nods slowly, her grip on my hand has tightened, she doesn't want to let me go, and I don't want to let go either. We both know that for the next couple of weeks we will be constantly feeling the empty space in our chests, the ache of not being together. We'll be left alone all those nights to battle the dreams alone, everyday dragging by as we will time to move faster.
"Anytime you need me...look at the bracelet and close your eyes, I'll be with you."
She steps forward, a tear sliding down her cheek.
"I need you all the time."
She says quietly. I smile.
"Well then I suggest you keep that bracelet on all the time."
She smiles slightly, but it's quickly wiped away with her tears. I look around, and seeing nobody pull Annie to me and kiss her, pouring as much love and comfort I can, knowing it will have to last her all the time I'm gone. She does the same in return, and when we finally break apart I feel stronger. What's a few short weeks when we have forever?
"I'll be back before you know it love."
I whisper quietly, my forehead pressed against hers. She's resting both of her hands against my chest, and she takes a deep breath before replying.
"I'll be waiting."
I give her one last kiss, and force myself to board the train.
I stand by the window as the doors close and the train pulls slowly out of the station. Annie is still standing where I left her, she's being brave and holding her head high, even though there are tears running down her cheeks. She gifts me with a bright smile, knowing how much I love them. I give her a smile back and wave, and then she's gone.
But I don't feel sad, because I know, in a few weeks when the train speeds up to the station, she'll be waiting for me.
She'll always be waiting for me.
Authors note: So! I hope you all have enjoyed this story, and I hope some of you are sad that it is over. (like I am) But never fear like I mentioned above I have lots more planned to write so if you've enjoyed this at all I hope that you will continue to read my stories and thank you all sooo much for all the support I seriously appreciate it so much! Let me know if you think this story could have used anything or if you think I wrapped it up nicely, I wasn't too sure when I started but I'm happy with how it turned out :)
So to end off this story, I recomend you listen to "Luck" by Jason Mraz, feat. Colbie Caillat. I think it is perfect to wrap up this story and if you go to youtube and search "lucky Jason Mraz lyrics" A video should pop up.
THANK YOU! Everyone, I love all you guys and I hope you all will drop a review telling me what you think. (even you who never review) I figure since it's the last chapter you might as well :)