This is a newly revised chapter, I plan to revise the whole story with help. So please enjoy.
I don't own The Hunger Games.
He walked down the beach, his hands stuffed in the pockets of his shorts. The beach was deserted as the morning sun peeped out over the horizon. Trident in hand, he made his way over the rocks to an abandoned beachhe had found years ago while fishing alongside his father.
He skillfully climbed the large, uneven rocks that receded into pebbles then thinned out into the golden sand, with expert finesse, acquired over the years of practice. When reaching the familiar beach he sat down and dug his fingers into the warm sand, head turned forward, he stared out at the rising sun.
He was brought out of his trance of by light sounds of quiet sobs coming from behind a lone palm tree, situated awkwardly on the center of the sandy expanse. His curiosity quickly got the best of him as he lifted himself from his place in the sand and made his way towards the tree. He peered around the tree to see a girl with her legs curled up to her chest and her head buried in her hands.
Hesitantly he walked, on light feet to where she was sitting, slowly lowering himself down next to the girl, awkwardly fiddling with his hands in his lap.
The girl jumped, staring wide-eyed at the hansom stranger next to her.
Her skin was olive and lightly baked golden by the constant sun, her lips rosy and full. Her dark hair fell loosely down her back in soft waves, her nose was petite sprinkled with cinnamon colored freckles, and her eyes a most stunning shade grey-green, framed by thick dark lashes that cast eerie shadows on her smooth cheeks.
A light red marking was visible on her cheek, but as he tried to get a better look she quickly turned her face away, obscuring the mark from his gaze.
"I thought I was the only one who knew about this place," his voice shook slightly, the soft sound of his voice hanging in the silence around them.
"I was under the same impression," she said finally, her voice clear, but slightly shaky.
"I'm Finnick by the way," he said extending a hand.
"Good for you," she said tersely, paying no attention to his outstretched hand.
"Right now is usually the time when you tell me your name," he prompted, lowering his hand.
"I'd hardly call this is a usual encounter, would you?"
"Please, just humor me."
"Fine," she spat in annoyance, "I'm Katniss."
"So Katniss, how old are you?"
"Why are you asking me this?" She demanded.
"Just trying to make conversation," he said, raising his hands defensively.
She was silent a moment, as she eyed him wearily, "sixteen," she answered finally, her eyes trained on the sand as she buried her fingers in it.
"So am I. See that wasn't so hard now was it?" he asked, when she didn't answer he quickly changed the topic, "okay so Katniss, what's wrong?"
"Nothing," she said dismissively
"It's okay you can trust me," he whispered his voice filling with sincerity.
"I just met you," she pointed out.
She turned to face him, the imperfection on her cheek almost visible. She looked into is eyes for a prolonged moment, the sound of crashing waves the only noise around them.
"It's my mom," she whispered, finally. "A couple of yearsago my little sister passed away, my mother didn't take it well andshe just needs someone to blames for it. But it's not her fault, I swear. When she's lucid she tells me it's my fault. She..." she trailed off, nervously breaking contact.
"What does she do?" Finnick asked, his eyebrows furrowed.
"She-she. She hits me, but it's not her fault. She's in pain," Katniss whispered turning her to face Finnick completely, the mark clear as day.
His breathing faltered when seeing the angry red marking running down otherwise perfect cheek. She looked down again tears slipping down her cheeks.
"She did that to you?" he whispered.
Katniss nodded her head slowly.
"But, it's not her fault."
"What did she hit you with?" he asked, ignoring her previous comment.
I don't know," she said shrugging her delicate shoulders, "she used to use her hand at the beginning but, she's started using other things like books and canes sometimes she uses a belt," she said as nonchalantly as if she were commenting on the weather. "I think this time it was the rolling-pin," she answered with a thick sniffle.
Finnick moved closer and wrapped his arms around her thin frame.
"What exactly do you think you're doing?" she asked in shock as his arms enveloped her torso.
"Oh come on Katniss, don't pretend you're not loving this," he mocked, his voice turning flirtatious.
He couldn't help but notice how small she was or how comfortably she fit in his arms, almost as if she were molded and shaped to fit like a missing puzzle piece. Thought she told herself it bothered her, she really couldn't complain.
Katniss and Finnick found themselves taking the rest of the day, bringing up only mundane and simple topics as they lay in the sand.
"Tell me something about yourself?" Finnick asked, turning on his side to face her.
"What do you want to know?" she murmured, her fingers aimlessly tracing spirals in the sand.
"I don't know, what was your sister like?" he asked, watching her face twist into a painful grimace. "It's okay we don't have to talk about that," he quickly reassured.
"No, it's alright," she whispered, toying nervously with her fingers in her lap. "There's nothing bad to say about Prim. God, she was perfect. Just so good, so much better than me, But I loved her, I really loved her."
"What about your father, surly he's not as bad as your mother?"
"No, he wasn't," she murmured, curling her legs closer into her chest.
"Wasn't?" he probed, hesitantly tip-toeing around the topic.
"How long ago?"
"A long time, it seems like forever."
"What was he like?"
"Kind. God, he was so kind. I always thought of everyone else first. We used to do everything together." Her sentences were sort and disorganized, as if the thoughts of her father were scattered and splayed like the sand they sat on.
"He has this boat, he called it the Mockingjay. It was an old wooden thing, that he built with his father and it had this light blue paint that was all flakey chipped, and it creaked like floorboards in an old house. I used to get soscared getting on that old boat, but he would always to say 'if you fall out, I'll jump in a get you', and he did. Every time I fell off that boat, he would be right there in there with me, every time." Her lips twisted into a sad smile, her eyes growing wetter.
"I miss him, so much. Sometimes I can't even stand it. He was my best friend, really my only friend," her voice started to shake as a sob slowly built up. "I miss him."
"What happened, to the boat?"
"It's gone, just like him. He died on it. Sunk, the boat sunk. His boat, our boat and then he was gone, just gone. He went out fishing, and the weather was bad, really bad. I begged him not to go but we needed the money and the food. So he went out on that little boat, and I never saw him again, him or that chipped little blue boat." Her sentences became short and jumbled again; it seemed to be a habit of hers. As her walls crumbled, her thoughts grew more and more scattered and unorganized.
"I don't go in anymore, the water, I don't go in," she informed him, looking up at him with tearing eyes.
He was silent. He couldn't find it in himself to talk, he just stared. While she stared back, her watering stormy eyes bearing into his.
"How come?" he asked, his voice coming back to him.
"How come what?" she questioned, her soft brow furrowed in confusion.
"How come you don't go in the water anymore?" he clarified.
"I don't want to die," she said simply.
"But you live in District 4, how can you manage to stay away from the water?"
"I just keep a safe distance. This works," she informed, gesturing to the sandy expanse separating them from the crashing waves before them.
"Well, c'mon then," he said, rinsing to his feet and extending a hand. "We need to rectify this situation immediately."
"What 'situation'?" she asked.
"Swimming," he clarified. "We're going swimming."
"Finnick I can't," Katniss warned, her quaking voice pleading. "I'm scared," she murmured softly, her voice cracking slightly.
"Katniss," he said sternly, looking straight into her eyes. "You can't keep running way fromthis. If you don't do something right now, nothing will ever change. Do you want to live like this forever?" he asked, his bright green eyes boarding into hers.
"Well then get up. Now" he urged, taking her hand.
She paused for a moment, mentally weighting her options. Hesitantly, and ever so slowly she placed her small hand in his large rough one, swiftly pulling her to her feet.
"What are you doing?" she asked in shock as he started to unbutton his shorts.
"Taking of my clothes," he stated.
"Why?" she questioned, her voice growing shrill.
"So my clothes don't get wet."
"Fine, but you're keeping those on," she informed, gesturing to his under shorts.
He proceeded to remove his shirt, pulling it over his head, exposing his tan, toned torso, before tossing it in the sand. His shortswere the next to go, leaving him clad only in his tightly fitting undershorts, leaving very little to the imagination.
"Are you going to change?" he asked, eyeing her like a hawk.
"Turn around," she instructed sternly. "Don't look," she warned as she unbuttoned her shirt, quickly looking over her solder, making sure he wasn't looking, before sliding her shorts down her legs. Once left I only her plain undergarments she turned to look at him, her arms folded securely over her chest.
"Come," he beckoned extending a hand in her direction. Hesitantly she complied, taking it in her own as they walked closer to the shoreline.
The soft foam of the surf grazed the tips of her toes, sending strong electric shock like tremors down her body.
"Calm down, I'm right here," he reassured, gripping her hand tighter.
As they waded into the calm shallows, her tremors grew stronger and came in strong waves, unlike the ones around them.
"Finnick, I can't go further," she stammered, he knuckles growing white around his wrist.
"What if I carried you?" he asked, placing his hand over hers. "I won't drop you, I promise."
"Okay," she whispered.
He picked her up bridal style and slowly waded deeper into the ocean. She shivered as they walked deeper into the warm ocean. The further they walked, the more force she applied as she dug her finer nails into his muscular back tightened her iron grip.
"Please. Please, don't let go, Please," she begged tucking her face into the crook of his neck, silent tears running down his chest, down into the sooth tide.
"I'm not going to let go," he reassured.
His feelings were confusing; he had only just met the girl and already was reluctant to leave her side. Even though they were surrounded by water as far as the eye could see she had a sort of fire that burned within her. She was the only fire the waters of District 4 could not put out.
She removed her head from his shoulder and looked him straight in the eyes. Her eyed looked like the sea in a raging storm. "Do you promise?" she asked in a small voice, barely audible above the sounds of crashing waves and whistling wind.
"I promise," I answered simply. He couldn't let go of this girl.
She was the Girl on Fire.
She was his Girl on Fire.
She would always be his Girl on Fire.
I really must thank all the amazing people who helped me revise this chapter. So without further a due I thank: Queen of the Type Writers who has an amazing handle on my atrocious spelling, casey7248 who has an amazing mind, and helped with the creative side to this piece. Also a huge thanks to DedicatedWallflower who was kind enough to look over this chapter and give me some feedback. And Ruella Roses, who took a first crack at my work.
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