Finnick sat on the beach with his arms wrapped around his knees. Wind whipped his hair stinging into his eyes and turned the surface of the sea to frenzied, foam-tipped waves, jagged lines of silver light stolen from the moon.

"Tell me a secret."

Words whispered into the ear of a man with more secrets in his head than he had blood in his veins. Finnick would have as gladly taken the one from him as the other, not just in dribs and drabs but in floods and torrents, taken everything the old bastard had in him rather than taking everything the old bastard had done to him.

"Tell me a secret."

One little secret. Just a test to see if he could do it. It had been so easy. The man had wanted to give him a necklace, diamonds and gold, something to soothe his conscience - what was left of it - for using Finnick. Instead of accepting the "gift," Finnick had slipped the chain over the man's own head and nipped at the lobe of his ear, tugged, and then told him, "Tell me a secret." And while the bastard had him bent over the arm of his couch, while he'd fucked him, that damned necklace slithering and sliding over Finnick's shoulders like a snake, he'd whispered in Finnick's ear some very interesting things about poison and President Snow.

Another gust of winter wind sent salt spray into Finnick's face. He wiped it on the sleeve of his sweater and huddled in closer on himself.

"Tell me a secret."

Words. Just words. Words that echoed in his brain, twining themselves around anything and everything they touched, filling his head until they slipped out, leaked onto his pillow in the dead of night.

"I don't know any secrets," Annie had told him and smiled. She had smiled and he had bolted from their bed, from their room, from their house. He had run away with only enough presence of mind to grab a sweater on his way out the door.

If he turned around, he'd be able to see the lights of the houses on Victors' Island. That is, he'd be able to see them if anyone was awake. Given that it was past midnight that was by no means a sure thing.

"Tell me a secret."

"Idiot," he said aloud, his voice ripped away by the wind. Clouds scuttled across the sky, thicker than they had been when he first ran away. Thick enough now to blot out the light, to steal it back from the waves and return it to the moon, hidden from view by those same clouds. Clouds that glowed dimly with icy pale blue light.

He felt her presence long before she said anything. He couldn't hear her approach on the sand - the wind stole that away, too - but he knew Annie was there all the same. She draped a blanket over his shoulders and then wormed her way beneath by his side. Almost immediately he felt his muscles begin to loosen and he put an arm around her shoulders, pulled her in closer and rested his cheek on her hair.

"Talk to me," she said, her eyes picking that tiny amount of light the clouds allowed and reflecting it back in silvery green. "What was so bad about you talking in your sleep?"

She didn't know about Haymitch and Mags, didn't know that they were working towards rebellion or that they'd asked him to collect information for them. Because she didn't know, he couldn't explain that talking in his sleep could become a disaster if he was sleeping with the wrong person, if he said too much about things he wasn't supposed to know. He didn't want there to be any secrets between them, but both Haymitch and Mags - especially Mags - had emphasized the need to keep it from not only Annie but everyone he cared about. And so Finnick lied.

Squeezing her shoulders, he kissed the top of her head and said, "It was nothing, Annie. Just a particularly bad nightmare. I had to get away for a little while."

She pulled back to look at him for a moment before settling back into his side. "I don't believe you." Twining her fingers together with his, she lifted his hand and kissed his knuckles. "But if you don't want to talk about it, that's okay. And when you're ready, we can go back inside where it's warm."

Finnick knew what she meant, but it didn't make any difference. There was no place warmer he could be but here with her on a deserted beach in the dead of winter, a cold wind blowing damp salt spray.