Madge stood on the marble staircase. A long wine glass clinked against her pearl bracelet. She raised it to her amused bright red lips. The room was crowded with people. The color stung her eyes. She was currently in a conversation with one of her husband's closest friends.
The curl of his blue mustache allured her. The way he pulled at it when he was trying to make a point. It was her turn to laugh. Her toes were screaming as she shifted in her nude six-inch heels. Her husband made eye contact from across the room.
Madge blew a kiss and winked. It was as if she were in an ongoing play. The curtains never closed. The stage hand simply kept feeding her the lines. She toyed with the endless strings of pearls around her neck. Her beige and champagne pink sequined dress pooled around her feet and draped over the edge of the stair.
Her hair was a mess of honey blonde curls on top of her head. The awkward bangs that flopped over eyes normally were pushed back by a tan headband. She brushed a hand over her partly exposed shoulder. It was her turn to laugh again.
That's when she saw him. He came in on the Mockingjay's arm. Katniss looked dashing in her electric blue ball gown with layers of tool but he was stunning. She tried to listen to the Officer's story but everything about him saddened her.
Arms wrapped around her. The smell of rose and blood filled her nostrils. "More company, my dear." He murmured into her ear and kissed her cheek. She laughed but it was forced and sad.
"The more the better, Snowflake." She looked back at him. The full of his white beard always surprised her as it scratched her face. The quirk of his smile sent chills down her back. He had a maroon suit on with a pitch black bow tie wrapped around his neck.
She made eye contact with the new guests. "I cannot wait for you to be only wearing pearls." He left her and she watched him move around her and down the stairs. Madge couldn't help but sneer at his back. She followed him and glided through the room.
Her stomach dropped as Gale gazed down at her. She cleared her throat and took Katniss in her arms. "How are you? Thank you for coming!" Snow seemed pleased with the attitude. Madge took Gale's hands in hers. "What a nice surprise!" She grinned and looked at Katniss, "is Peeta not well?"
Snow set his hand on the small of her back and that reminded Madge to drop her harsh grasp on Gale's hands. "Peeta is not well." Katniss said sadly. "I instead invited my cousin in his place." She touched her neck where the mockingjay pin hung off a chain. "I hope you don't mind." She said to the two of them.
Madge let Snow answer by looking up at him, "We don't mind at all." He said and his eyes gleamed as he looked down at his blonde wife. Madge didn't let her smile falter. They stalked away and it took Madge's efforts not look back.
Her wine was almost gone and she switched out her glass with another. The liquid rolled down her throat. She moved about the room trying to lose Snow. Finally, he stopped and got in a conversation. Madge moved away from his area and pressed herself against a wall.
She pressed a button on the wall and turned down a hallway. The wall closed up behind her. Her heels clicked and her lips were leaving a stain on the edge of her glass. She looked down at the ground and counted the doorways.
Madge walked into the greenhouse and felt a rush of cool air. Goosebumps bubbled on her skin and she smiled at the sound of babbling water. She sat back on a chaise and watched the fountain sprout water. She closed her eyes and raveled in the silence.
"Enjoying yourself?" She opened her eyes and watched him enter. Madge set her glass on the stone next to her.
"You know… you look very handsome in a suit, Hawthorne." She said and leaned forward. He sat at the end of her chair and pulled at his fuchsia tie. He unbuttoned the one button of his navy suit jacket.
"Cut the act." He smirked, "I can see right through it." He pulled on a loose curl and felt the skin of her cheek.
"Unfortunately, so can Snow. I believe." Gale nodded.
"Yes, well, he has forced you into this life." He said looking around the glass room. She looked at the white roses blocking them from the doors of the greenhouse.
"I don't have much time." She reminded him.
"You do though." He said and leaned forward taking her lips. She protested.
"What did you come here for?" She whispered.
"News." He said and pushed up his sleeves. He took out papers rolled around his arm. He showed her the plans. "The Quarter Quell is a trick." He said and let her go through them. "A fuel of rebellion." Madge's eyes widened at the diagrams and directions.
"No." He cut her off. "The tributes can't, not exactly. Haymitch has only alerted a few." Madge stood and swished her skirts out from under her.
"It always comes back to him." She glared. "Every plan. Every rescue. Every rebellion idea." Her heels clicked. "How much more do I have to put up with?" She cried. Gale stood up and took her face in his hands.
"This is it. This is going to work." He said. His eyes believed it. "Trust me." He whispered and took her lips again. He unzipped the back of her dress and his cold hands found the skin he had been missing.
"I do." She whispered and looked up at him. "I want to, so I will." Gale smiled sadly.
"Good." He said. "I'll stay in touch."
"About that." She unbuttoned his shirt and ran her hand inside to his pounding heart. "We need new communications, newspapers aren't cutting it." She said and they kissed long and slow again.
"Then what?" He asked.
"I do like these meetings." She smirked and his hands moved further down her back to her butt.
"So do I but they're dangerous and hard to plan." He took his hands out and zipped up her back.
"And short." She pouted and buttoned his shirt back up.
"We'll figure it out." He whispered.
"I hope so." She pulled a face. "I miss you." She admitted.
"I miss you too." He sighed and closed his eyes. They rested against each other's foreheads.
"I love you." She smiled and looked up at him through her unshed tears.
"I love you too." They laughed softly. Just as fast as he appeared, Gale was gone. She picked up her glass. Madge moved back through the greenhouse. She bent over and smelled a rather large white rose. The double doors opened and Snow walked in.
"There you are." He quirked an eyebrow and came to her side. Madge stood up straight and offered him a hand. He took it and pressed his lips to her diamond wedding ring.
"Here I am!" She smirked and looked down at the roses.
"I was beginning to worry." He said and took her waist with a strong grip. "I don't like to worry."
"No, I know that, Snowflake." She winked. "The party was loud. I came in here to find some peace." She showed him the flower. "You know I love to escape here." She leaned forward to smell the rose once more.
"I know." He glared. Her breath was cut short by a piercing in her back. Blood soaked her dress and set her spiraling to the floor. The wine glass dropped out of her hand and shattered. She looked up at him with hooded eyes.
"You won't get away with this." She chocked and coughed up blood.
"Oh… I think I will." He stepped over her and left the greenhouse. Madge coughed and tried to crawl to the doors only a few feet away. Tears rolled down her face and spoiled her make-up. Madge died looking up at the moon flooding the room.
Strawberry red blood staining the snow white floor.