There are no words for how sorry I am. Life has been unbearable and unbearably hectic and I know this is short and it doesn't make up for anything I've done but I hope to get there. There's just... some things have been happening and it's insane. I'm so sorry. I'll try to update soon, I just... Wow, I suck. I don't even know what to say.

I'm sorry this is short, I'm sorry this is shitty, and I'm sorry for the wait.

I don't sleep in the next hour or so of freedom that I have left. I can't. Even attempting to sleep is an impossible task and I only settle for sitting in my bed, perched carefully, running my finger across the swollen bruises on my neck and wondering what the hell has happened to me.

It is seven in the morning. In a matter of days, depending only on how quickly the Hunger Games come to an end, I will be forced to be intimate with Finnick in a way we have done but twice before, something that wakes my body and leaves me breathless, aching to let Finnick know that he means more to me than I thought he could. Only now that I am without him - or, as without him as I have ever been because he is still with me, strangely, yet more distant - do I know how much I need him. Though I've always known that I need him, I hadn't quite realised to what extent. He's like my replacement Peeta.

A replacement Peeta... Is that all he is?

My arms suddenly itch and I shove away the urge to scratch them, forcing myself to stumble into the bathroom to take a shower because that will make me feel better; I also make sure I ignore all thoughts of Peeta and Finnick because, God, do I hope for Finnick's sake that he is not just a replacement Peeta. That would be cruel and wrong, and I would be using him in a way that is, perhaps, more abominable than that of how my clients use me. And that, I thought, was the worst that could happen.

It is not. However, Mr. Ingot has pushed those boundaries to a certain limit this time. A limit I didn't imagine I would ever tolerate but I suppose it's times like this you find out how much you need people, need the ones you loved; you can say you want to die as much as you may but when you face the facts - the cold, hard truth that you don't want to die - then you realise that what you truly want is someone to help you and love you. You want help. So, you keep your loved ones alive. You don't kill yourself. You do things that make make you want to die for the sole purpose of making sure your loved ones are alive so they can help you stay alive because, really, you don't want to die.

It's a never-ending maelstrom.

I shower for the rest of the hour, scrubbing my body and trying to calm my bruises though, I admit, I don't do it gently so perhaps they only grow more aggravated. It doesn't really matter because I'm sure the Capitol will find away to cover them up, as they cover up all other imperfections because none of us are good enough and we're all stupid robots under the rein of that vile, egotistical, money-sucking lecher of a President who only seeks to smell as rotten as-

A gasp breaks free of my lips and I look down, wincing when I catch sight of my mildly bruised stomach. My neck is, by far, the one place where the damage is at it's worse and so are my wrists, which I now notice are bleeding again, and the blood has smeared against my wet abdomen. Without wondering what happened, I step under the spray of the water - it is suddenly ice cold, and I now realise that I am shivering - and let the blood wash down the drain, watered down and menacing to the eye.

When I step out of the shower, I dress in the clothes I find Cinna has placed on the toilet and step into the bedroom, feeling cold both inside and out. I don't realise I'm not alone until Haymitch clears his throat.

"Sweetheart," he says, cocking an eyebrow at me. "Where have you been?"

My heart thumps. I feel my head whoosh and I stagger back, staring at him with wide eyes. "What are you doing?" I ask, almost in a mutter. "What are you doing here?"


"Logan!" My hands tear at my wet hair and I charge forward, hot eyes burning into Haymitch's. "For God's sake, what happened?! Why are you here?! Where's Logan?!"

Haymitch shoves himself up from the bed and grasps at my shoulders, pulling my shaking form straight. "Katniss!" He shakes me, frowning. "Breathe, for God's sake! Don't have another attack."

My feet are still shuffling on the spot restlessly and I can feel tears scratching at the back of my eyes like acid stains. Haymitch roughly pulls my arms down to my side and sits me on the bed, cursing. "Where is he?!" I cry. My throat is closing; my heart is going wild. "Haymitch, where is he?!"

I'm crying. I don't know when it started. I can just feel the wet tracks down my cheeks and see the blurriness of my vision as my head spins and spins and my voice cracks, and soon I am sobbing as I keep asking over and over where he is and what has happened-

"Katniss!" Haymitch calls over my cries, "Katniss! He's alive."

With a hitch in my breath, I look up and pull my hands from my mentor's grasp, rubbing the tears from my face. "W-What?"

"He's alive, for God's sake. He won."

He... won? Won? "What?"

"The Gamemakers. They sent out their grand finale - an earthquake, by the way - and Logan survived. The cave was strong enough to keep the rocks from separating but also strong enough to stop him from getting hit by a landslide. The Careers... they battled it out themselves. He lived, Katniss. He won."