A/N: I do not own the Hunger Games characters. All credit to Suzanne Collins.
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"Everdeen! In my office, now!"
I hang my head at the harsh words. My editor, Haymitch, did not sound happy. I stand up in my cubicle, straighten my wrinkled skirt as best I can and head towards my doom. As I cross the newsroom floor, my colleagues shift their eyes downward to avoid making eye contact, but I know that the second the door to that office closes I am going to be the subject of some pretty ridiculous gossip. Damn, what have I done this time?
Haymitch doesn't even wait for me to sit down.
"Everdeen, what is this shit?" he spits at me, through a cloud of cigarette smoke. I see the bulge his flask makes in the breast pocket of his shirt and I know that this is going to be an interesting meeting.
"Excuse me, sir, but what shit are you talking about?" I can't help it; my tone is dripping with disdain. Right away I feel bad, Haymitch is rough around the edges, but he means well.
"Sweetheart, you know are one of the best writers I have ever met. I hired you before you even graduated college because you were so good. So why does this drivel keep coming across my desk?" he asks, tossing a few pieces of paper in my direction. A quick look at the headline tells me that it is my latest editorial on the upcoming election.
"But Haymitch, you said that I could write whatever I wanted. This is what I wanted to write about," I answer quickly.
"I know what I said, sweetheart, but this is Philadelphia Weekly. We focus on arts and entertainment. I expected you to choose a topic within those categories," he scoffs.
"Sir, you know that I want to write about politics. I'm grateful for the opportunities that you've given me, but I want to write something with substance," I begin to argue. I know it's no use, but I just can't help myself.
"Do you think our target audience gives a damn about substance? They are looking for the best concerts and events in the area. It's a free newspaper, Katniss. We don't do substance. So until you get that through that pretty little head of yours, you'll be writing about what I tell you to write about. Here's your first list of assignments. I don't want to see you until they're done. You know when deadline is," he says, effectively dismissing me as he reaches for his flask.
I grit my teeth at his condescending tone and turn towards the door. It takes every ounce of strength in my possession to not throw back a scathing remark, but I manage to get out of the office fairly quickly.
As I head back to my desk, I glance at the list of assignments, although I know there's nothing good there. A few idiotic sounding happy hour events, coverage of a local fundraiser and a restaurant review. A restaurant review? He has got to be kidding me. I roll my eyes and think to myself, "At least I'll get a free meal out of it, maybe even a decent bottle of wine."
The shit that I do for a byline.
"And then I said to him 'why did you even want to move in with me? You obviously don't give a shit about our future together!'"
I roll my eyes and take another sip of my wine. The merlot goes down smoothly, and I feel its warmth spreading in my stomach, massaging away the stress of the day. "Prim, you just moved in with him. Did you expect him to marry you and knock you up within two weeks?" I gaze at my sister over the rim of my glass.
"God, Katniss. Can't you ever just let me bitch? This is why you don't have a boyfriend, you're like a guy yourself," jokes my sister.
"No, I don't have a boyfriend because I'm not an idiot. Love equals pain," I reply.
"You're such a cynic. A little slice like you could have any guy you want," she says.
"I don't want anyone. Leave it alone, Prim," I say, with an edge to my voice.
My sister and I are sitting at an outdoor table at Vintage, sipping glasses of wine and rehashing the week. It has become our little Thursday night tradition after she moved out of the Fishtown apartment that we used to share and in with her boyfriend, Rory. Who, apparently, didn't give a shit about their future. I knew how dramatic my sister could be, so I took it with a grain of salt.
"Oh hey, I almost forgot. I got assigned a restaurant review, and the only time that I could schedule it was next Thursday. Would you want to tag along?" I ask my sister.
"Depends on what restaurant," she says with a noncommittal shrug and a healthy slug of wine.
"Primrose!" I feign indignation, "Are you just trying to mooch a free meal?"
"Only if it's a good one," she says, with a wink.
"Actually, I don't know. It just opened. It's called Sage, it's the new one on Chestnut St. It's supposed to be pretty good," I tell her.
"Are you kidding me? That's Peeta Mellark's new restaurant. Of course I'll be there!" she says with a squeal.
"Who the hell is Peeta Mellark?" I ask.
"You are not my sister. Don't talk to me again until you've done some research," says Prim, and with that she throws a twenty onto the table and disappears onto the crowded sidewalk.
I guess I have some research to do.