The next morning, Logan flies home with me. As victors, we're allowed to choose a house to call our own, so we do. We pick a large house, but a simple one, with three bedrooms and a pool out back. We don't need anything special. Lilah can't be away from Logan for long, so she buys a house near us and moves down with Logan's dog, Rufus. Elias is ordered to continue my training, so he moves in right down the street. Marda visits often, and notices how little I eat, so she volunteers herself as a personal chef. James comes by every few days to primp me, making sure I keep up my beauty rituals. All-in-all, I can't complain about how things worked out.
But I can't be happy.
I can't go on.
Even with my family, friends, and Logan close by, there's a void inside. Logan understands. He feels it too. I have my own bedroom in the new house, but most nights I end up in Logan's. We sit for long hours, staring at the ceiling because it's better than reliving the Games when we close our eyes. I don't see Logan's playful smiles much anymore, and we don't talk a lot. It's as if our bond isn't enough to get us through the aftermath of the Games. It's a battle we have to fight on our own.
I call my mom to ask if I can have my old photo albums. The ones of me as a baby and as a teenager. The ones of my first vacation and my high school graduation. She happily obliges.
Logan walks in while I'm burning them in the fireplace.
At first he tries to stop me, but when he realizes what I'm doing, he helps. He looks wistfully at the child I was, at the hopeful young woman I became. But he knows she's gone.
About a month after our homecoming, I get my divorce papers in the mail. Thomas has already signed every page, and Logan holds my hand while I do the same.
Every day I expect the call that will be my orders to assassinate an enemy of Alanton's. I stare at my phone with dread every time it rings, but it's always mom checking in, or Marda asking if I've eaten. But I know someday the call will come. Alanton won't forget.
One night, after Kade is asleep, Logan and I sit in front of the fireplace, staring into the flames. This has become a nightly ritual for us, because we can't watch TV. There's always gossip about us or footage of the Games. So we sit, and we look at the fire. Earlier, I had gone to visit Charles's grave. I left him some daisies. Marda cooked us a delicious dinner. I even ate a few bites. The day wasn't anything special, and the evening feels the same as always. Logan takes my hand and squeezes. I look at him, and he smiles. It's the smile I remember. The smile that reminds me that he's still in there, the Logan that helped me through the Games. He's holding on. He's fighting his battle, and he's winning. I squeeze his hand and smile back. And that's when I know.
He'll get through this.
And so will I.
A/N: I can't express how grateful I am that this story has been read and enjoyed. Writing it has been the start of a new adventure for me, and the kindness of you readers and reviewers has given me the confidence to continue. Obviously there's more to Corenn and Logan's story, and it's up there in my head, fully formed and nagging to be written. But for now I'm going to focus on some original fiction. I can't wait to return to Corenn's world, and I hope you folks are still around when I do. Come find me on Twitter if you want to stay in touch (the link's on my profile). Thank you, thank you, thank you.