Chapter 3: The Tributes (Daniel's POV)

I had sat in the same white walled room in the Remake Center for two and a half of the three hours I had been there. My styling team had taken one look at me, and didn't know what to do. They were thorough, checking every inch of my skin to find any blemishes they could fix.

All they found were the scars of my wings. They had tried everything they could to make them go away, but they just kept showing up again. After they had given up on that, they decided to just trim and wash my hair.

All that was left to do, was slip into some more than likely obnoxious costume.

I couldn't help but wonder what Lucinda was doing. I thought she was beautiful, perfect even, but the people of the Captial sure wouldn't see her that way. They would nit pick every inch of her body, and fix things they found unacceptable. It was a certain kind of attention her physical body wasn't used to. Her soul however, had gone through much worse.

Just then, my stylist came into the room, bringing a certain quiet, intimidating heat. He was a tall, muscular man with dark chocolate hair falling just below his ears with four small gold rings in each. There were swirling black tattoos all along his arms. His eyes were ringed with black coal to match his all black clothing. He had a gothic, Cam look about him. Next to him I felt especially ridiculous in the blank robe I was forced to put on.

"So," he said in a voice so smooth the sound of it simply slipped around me. "You're the famous Daniel Grigori?"

"That's what people have been calling me?"

"Not really." He pulled out a short silver chair, and sat down so he was facing me head-on. "But you've already made quite an impression. People say there's something unreal about you." I rolled my eyes.

"Typical."

"You get that a lot?"

"Kinda."

He nodded. "I'm Track." He put his big hand put, and we shook. "So," he started. "I was talking to Amelia, Luconda's stylist a few hours ago."

I couldn't help it. I straightened up at the mention of her name. He smirked.

"I know that look. You two together?"

"Maybe," I said avoiding his eyes.

He shook his head. "You do know how that's gonna end right?"

"Yeah."

There was a long silence before Track answered. "Well, I wish you both the best of luck." I looked up at him. He wasn't the worst person I had ever met by far. But he didn't understand. No one did really. "Anyways, Amelia and I have the outfits all worked out, but I have one more extra idea."

"What's that?" I asked.

A few hours later, Track and I were just entering the space underneath the Remake Center. I was fully dressed, and jittery, desperate to see her again.

Track and I walked around the rest of the Tributes to find Amelia and Lucinda. I didn't notice any of the others in the room. I finally saw her.

We were dressed in the same fabric, just done in different ways. I was wearing shredded jean shorts, and a short sleeved, unbuttoned jacket. The jacket was authentic fish net layered over a fabric that literally lapped over the ropes like waves. I also had a blue king's crown on my head that matched Lucinda's. That was Amelia's idea.

Lucinda looked as stunning as always, just with extra drama. She wore a halter top dress that stopped just above her knees, and was made of the same fabric and fish net as my jacket. She had simple black heels, that tied at the ankle with a ribbon. Her pale blue lipstick, and sea foam green eye shadow stood out against her pale face which was framed by long black curls.

She looked like a true ocean queen. My ocean queen.

She kept her eyes down as Amelia messed with how her crystal necklace fell on her collarbone.

"Hey," I whispered when I reached her side. I tilted my head towards hers, creating a space in which we were completely alone and effectively pushing Amelia away from both of us . I grabbed her hand, and used my free hand to tilt her chin up, forcing her to look at me. My heart sank a little at the sight of the heavy sadness I found in her eyes.

"I feel ridiculous," she whispered. I leaned down, and gently kissed her nose.

"I think you look beautiful."

"Alright lovebirds," Track said from behind them. "Get on the chariot."

I pulled Luce onto the chariot not letting go of her hand. Track stepped forward, and wound a long blue rope made of silk around our hands. It went from our wrists, and all the way up to our elbows.

"Track's idea," I said. She looked up and nodded. Some of the sadness had lifted form her eyes. She knew what the rope meant.

I finally took a look at the other tributes. The first four from districts 1 and 2 all looked about 17. there was a 12 year-old girl from district three paired with a tall brown haired boy about a year older than her. The two behind us were both thin, terrified 12 year-olds. I only got a brief flash of a blond from district 6 before the chariot lurched forward. My attention snapped back to the scene on front of me. A large gray archway growing ever larger, as we came closer to the Capitol people. Their roar of excitement filled my ears, as Lucinda and I were officially introduced to the richest people in Panem.