Please don't hate me for what happened in the last chapter, it had to be done.
From the moment that I created his character I had this in mind. It was meant to be!
:'( It doesn't make it any easier though.
So this chapter is going to be a little depressing as we see how Finnick deals with Bruce's death.
Hey the first chapter was all sunshine and rainbows! You all knew this was coming.
So anyway, I might be able to update tomorrow, but if I don't then you probably won't get another update until friday, maybe saturday. I'm going over to a friend's house from Wed-Fri. So not going to be able to write than.
But I might be able to get a chapter up tomorrow, we'll see.
(oh and we are going to see some happiness in future chapters don't worry)
Here it is!
Oh and the song is "caught in a web" by Epica, and "Solitary ground" also by Epica.
Chapter Four: I need to know why.
The first thing I become aware of is the weight of blankets over me. Where am I? I know where I am, I'm in my room. Today's the day of the wedding, I can't forget the rings.
Suddenly I realise someone else is in the room. It's Annie, I don't know how I know, I just do. What is she doing here anyway?
I open my eyes, and I see the familiar white ceiling of my bedroom.
I turn my head on the pillow, looking to my right. Annie is asleep in a chair, her head resting on the mattress. She is holding onto my hand tightly, her forehead resting on it.
She stirs slightly. I sit up and run my free hand through her hair. She lifts her head, and looks at me sleepily. Realising I'm awake, she sits up quickly.
"Finn! Oh, ouch!"
She uses her free hand to hold onto the back of her neck.
"You shouldn't sleep like that, it get's your neck muscles all in a knot."
She smiles weakly.
"Thank's for the tip."
I pat the bed next to me, and she sits down next to me.
"What are you doing here Annie?"
I ask, as I start rubbing the kinks out of her neck.
"I was worried, you just passed out and wouldn't respond to anything or anyone."
She grabs one of my hands and turns around slightly.
"Are you alright? How are you feeling?"
I looks confused at her.
"Fine, why wouldn't I be?"
Her eyes are filled with sorrow.
"You...you don't remember...do you?"
I'm still horribly confused, what is she talking about?
Tears start to fall from her eyes, and I gently wipe them away.
"Annie what happened?"
She seems reluctant to tell me, but eventually she holds my hand tightly in hers, takes a deep breath and starts.
"Yesterday after the wedding, you and I started walking home together. I told you I had to go fix the guest bedroom for Lilly. I was almost at my house when I heard..."
I look at her hard.
She takes a deep breath.
"I heard you scream. It scared me so bad I couldn't move for a minute. It was like your soul had just broken. I ran as fast as I could and I found you in Bruce's study..."
She doesn't need to continue, everything comes back and hits me like a mountain fell on me. I gasp as I suddenly can't breathe, and the pain in my chest is worse than I could have ever imagined.
Annie holds onto my hand tighter than ever.
"Finn! Please don't! Not again!"
I brace myself against the mattress, the world feels like it's spinning out of control, and if I fall I'm going to be shattered in a million pieces.
I can't say anything else, but her name is like a handhold in the spinning universe.
I say her name over and over. She wraps both her arms around me, and holds onto me tightly.
"I'm here Finn, I'm not going to let you go."
I finally get the courage to let go of the mattress, and wrap my arm around her. She is the only thing that is solid as my world starts crashing in on me. She is my anchor.
"Annie...he's gone isn't he?"
She doesn't answer, but she holds me tighter. I force my other arm to move, and wrap both arms around her tightly.
"Finn, you have to be strong for him."
I nod wordlessly. It's what he would've wanted. I don't know how long we sit like that, wrapped in one another's arms. But while the world is spinning and crashing down around us, we are left whole and standing together. I couldn't remain whole if it wasn't for her.
Finally, I hear someone else come in the room, and before I know it Mrs. Cresta has her arms around me as well. Mags is the next to come, and she runs her fingers through my hair soothingly.
Eventually I am able to speak.
"How long was I out?"
Mrs. Cresta answers.
"The wedding was two days ago."
I nod. Mrs. Cresta and Mags leave, saying they'll go prepare breakfast.
"Annie, why did he do it?"
She finally lets me go, still holding my hands though.
I take a deep breath.
"Why did Bruce kill himself? He promised he'd be there for me, he promised he would shape up."
She shakes her head slowly, tears building in her eyes.
"I don't know."
I grind my teeth together, blinking back the tears that blur my eyesight.
"Why Annie? I have to know."
She sobs, and I can see the pain in her eyes at seeing me so broken. I want to be strong for her, I want to be whole. But this is too much to handle, and I need someone to be strong for me.
"Annie...I'm sorry...I can't be strong for you."
She throws her arms around my neck, and sobs into my shoulder.
"You don't have to Finn, let me be the strong one this time."
I bury my face in her hair, and wrap my arms around her.
"You can't be strong all the time. Sometimes you have to let someone else be strong for you."
I nod, the tears finally escaping my eyes, and falling into Annie's waves. With a deep breath, Annie releases me.
"I know Bruce would want you to be strong, and I know that I'll always be here for you. Whenever you need me."
I put my hand on her cheek, and brush her tears away with my thumb.
"I promise I'll always be here when you need me."
I take a deep breath, as she wipes the tears off my face. Her touch is soothing, calm.
"I need you to do something for me."
I hold both her hands tightly in mine, and look her straight in the eye.
"I need you to stay here, and not tell Mags and your mom that I'm gone. Tell them that I'm taking a shower or something, okay?"
"Annie you promised you would be there when I needed you, I need you to do this for me."
She nods slowly.
"Okay. Where are you going?"
I swing my legs over the side of the bed and stand up.
"Somewhere, I'll be back soon."
She stands up and follows me to the dresser. I notice for the first time that I'm wearing just a pair of shorts. I pull out a pair of jeans and a sweatshirt.
"Finn, where are you going?"
With the clothes in hand, I turn around to face her.
"Annie, I just need to do something real quick, and I need to do it alone. I'll be back soon I promise."
She looks hurt that I won't tell her what I'm doing, but she nods.
"Okay, I understand. I'll go tell mom that you're going to shower and you want a little time alone."
I smile faintly.
She walks to the door, stops and turns around.
"Can you make me a promise?"
"Promise that you will always be there for me?"
I nod again.
She looks at me for a moment, then turns and walks out, closing the door behind her. I dress quickly, and escape out the window. Lucky for me I can walk on the roof around to the back of the house where there's a large dune. I jump onto it and slide down. Once on the bottom I brush myself off and walk quickly to the street.
It takes me only a minute to reach Bruce's house, and I quickly go in and shut the door behind me. Once inside, I take a deep breath, and walk to the study.
Once inside, I stare for a moment at the dark stain left in the wooden floor. Then with a great amount of will power, I look away from the stain, and walk over to the desk. I search through the drawers, and find nothing really important. I look in the trash bin, and notice that something was burned and then dumped in there. I pick up a small fragment with scorched edges, and examine it carefully.
It's blank unfortunately, but it has a strange slightly familiar smell, I hold it close to my nose, and breathe deeply. When the smell registers, I drop the fragment like it's poisoned. Blood, and roses. Whatever that was, it came from the president.
I return to the desk, and search the drawers again. Then I remember the night before the wedding, when I came and visited Bruce. He was reading something on a piece of paper, then he quickly hid it in the left drawer.
I search the drawer again, and then discover something rather interesting that I hadn't noticed before. It's deeper on the outside than it is on the inside. A false bottom?
I feel around the edges inside, and soon my finger catches on what feels like a splinter, as my finger runs over it, I hear a click and the bottom of the drawer pops up.
I say with a slight smile. Always on the safe side.
I lift up the bottom, and find a single white envelope laying in the middle of the drawer. I pick it up carefully, and with a deep breath, pull open the flap. I slide out a folded piece of paper, and slowly begin reading.
If you are reading this than you know that I am dead.
I am so sorry that I had to leave you, but I had no other choice.
The president sent me a letter the day you came to see me.
I don't know how but he found out about you and me, he knows
that you are Felicia's son. In the letter he told me that he wouldn't
release the information to the public, but I had to "cooperate".
In the letter he mentioned how easy it would be to torture you by
threatening Annie and forcing you to be at the capitol more and more.
You are my weakness Finnick, and the president now knows it, I couldn't
let him use me against you, because of me you and Annie could get hurt.
I can't let that happen, I can't be responsible for causing either of you pain,
and if I don't go through with this, he will hurt Annie because he knows it
would hurt you, and through you me. I'm so sorry that I have to do this Finnick,
but I care about you too much to let something as little as my life get in the
way of yours. Please try to understand that I'm doing this to protect you.
Finnick I hope one day you'll understand, and that you will be able to forgive me.
Everyday I see you grow and mature, and everyday you remind me more and more
of your beautiful mother. I know you will continue to grow into the great man
I know you are, you've made me so proud, and I know your mother would be so
proud of you as well. Always remember that we both love you so much, and that
we are willing to die to try and give you the best life that you can have.
But Finnick, as long as there are people you love, there will always be a way
that the president can use them against you. You have to find something
to use against him, if you have any sort of leverage, he wouldn't dare threaten
those you love. Finnick, Annie needs you, and I know you need her, but you have
to know that the president will push you as far as you can go to protect her, and
when he has everything you can give, he will still use her to his advantage, that is
what he does. The future is dark Finnick, there are things coming, things that could
break the clouds of darkness, or make them denser. The ones we love are never safe,
Annie is always going to be in danger, unless you push her away. Finnick, you cannot
use my method to keep you safe, otherwise your mother and I would have died for
nothing. We gave our lives for yours, honor our wishes by living the best life that
you can, but the only way to keep Annie safe is to push her away, put up a wall between
you, and never look back. If you love her, you have to do this. I know it is going to break
her heart and yours, but time can heal the greatest wounds, and a broken heart is better
than a shattered soul. Please Finnick, do what you need to keep her safe.
It was too late for me to do that for your mother, don't make the same mistake I did.
Finnick I love you like my son, and I hope you can understand all that I'm asking
of you. You must not tell anyone why I did what I did. Once you are finished reading this
letter, you must burn it. No one must know.
I love you Finnick and I hope that you have the greatest life that you can.
I stare at the letter for a long time. Reading it through again. The president is the one to blame for his death! He killed him.
I pick up a box of matches from the desk, and set the letter on fire. The firelight flicker across my face as I watch the flames consume the paper. I drop the burning page in the trash bin, and watch as it sets the other papers on fire. The last words from Bruce are in my mind, permanently burned into my brain.
"The only way to keep Annie safe is to push her away, put up a wall between you and never look back. If you love her you have to do this."
How can I Bruce? How can I ever find the strength to let Annie go? She needs me... but she needs her life more. I can't ever let the president get hold of her. I can't let that happen.
The flames die down into smoldering ash, and I take a deep breath. I have to do it, I have to put up a wall between Annie and me. It's going to break her heart, and I don't know if I can survive without her. But maybe I can go on if I know that I'm keeping her safe by pushing her away. How can she understand why? She can't, not really. She'll never know the real reason.
"I'm sorry Annie."
I stand up slowly, and leave Bruce's house. I forgot that I was supposed to be upstairs taking a shower, so I just walk through the front door. Mags and Mrs. Cresta look surprised.
"Finnick, we thought you were upstairs."
Mrs. Cresta says. Mags gives Annie a look, and she just stares guiltily at the floor.
"Yeah sorry, I was going to but I needed some fresh air and some time alone."
Mrs. Cresta nods.
"I understand. There's a gentleman here to see you. He's waiting in the living room."
My blood runs cold, but I look surprised and curious.
"Oh? I'll go see what he wants."
Annie jumps up.
"I'll come with you."
I shake my head.
"No, just stay here. I'll be back in a minute."
The hurt in her eyes is unbearable, and she looks at me like I'm betraying her. I turn away quickly, and walk to the living room.
A man in a suit is standing stiffly in the living room. He simply hands me a piece of paper, and with a bow, walks out. I hear the front door shut behind him, and I open the paper.
I only have to read the first line to find that it's a summons to the capitol. I sigh, and skim over the list of where I'll be staying and when my train is leaving, when Annie walks into the room. I fold the paper and stuff it in my pocket quickly.
"Annie! I told you to wait in the kitchen."
"Well tough. What did he want? And what's that?"
She asks pointing to my pocket.
"Nothing, just an interview or something they want me to do."
She looks uncertain.
"They want you back in the capitol? For how long?"
"I don't know, it depends. They always throw tons of parties and stuff, I'm not sure how long I'll be gone."
She nod slowly.
"But you just got home. Why do they want you so soon?"
"Who knows? There's always rivalry magazines and TV shows, if someone gets an interview with Finnick Odair they all need interviews with Finnick Odair."
She looks at me for a minute, then says very quietly.
"Why are you lying to me Finn?"
I scoff, and start walking towards the stairs.
"I'm not lying."
She grabs my arm to stop me, and stands in front of me.
"Yes, you are! And you just lied again. What's wrong? Tell me."
I shake her hand off my arm.
"Nothing is wrong! Why can't you just believe me?"
A tear falls out of her eye, and she wipes it away quickly.
"Well fine! If the great Finnick Odair doesn't trust me enough not to lie to me than I don't care why!"
Her voice has raised to a shout, and I find I'm shouting back at her.
"Good! Now if you'll excuse me I have to go pack!"
She crosses her arms, and steps out of the way. I storm towards the stairs, and as I reach the first step I hear her call after me.
I stop and turn around.
Seeing the hard look in my eyes, she pauses, biting her bottom lip to stop it quivering.
"I...please don't leave."
I force myself not to run to her and wrap my arms around her telling her that everything will be alright. Instead, I turn around and walk up the stairs. As I reach the top, I hear her burst into tears and run out the door.
I hear Mrs. Cresta call after her, then she follows her out. I blink away the tears in my eyes, pull out my suitcase, and begin randomly stuffing clothes into it. After a minute, Mags appears in the doorway.
"What was that?"
Her voice has gotten stronger, and it's easier to understand her know.
Mags walks over to me, and stands right in front of me.
"You just made that little girl burst into tears, now don't you dare tell me that was nothing."
I sigh, as if this is boring.
"Annie was acting like a little girl, it's not my fault she's so sensitive."
I gasp in shock as Mags slaps me hard on the cheek. She then calls me a very colorful name.
"How dare you. Don't act like the victim here, you have no right to pity yourself."
I rub my stinging cheek.
"How do you know? You have no idea what I'm going through!"
She shakes her head sadly.
"Nothing gives you the right to shout at that girl. I don't care what you say to me, but you better &%$# well treat that girl right. She's been an angel to your ungrateful !&% and if that's the way you repay her than you don't deserve her."
She turns around, and walks out.
"Well maybe I don't deserve her than!"
Mags shouts back.
"You don't! Have fun in the capitol!"
Her last words sting horribly. How could she say that when she knows what I'm going there for? Well I guess I do deserve it, well I didn't mean any of what I said, it nearly killed me to act like capitol Finnick to the ones I love. But they can't understand that I'm doing it to protect them.
Within an hour I'm packed, on the train and speeding to the capitol. I decline dinner, and spend the night in my room.
I go to sleep with a tear soaked pillow.
"Bruce, how could you ask me to do this? Didn't you know I would die inside? This isn't the life you or my mother wanted for me. This isn't a life worth living at all."