Chapter 12: River
Jeff had the best score out of all the tributes in the game this year. Yet he still insisted on getting out of bed early and putting me through training. Yesterday’s arena training was optional. Jeff of course, being Jeff, refused to allow me to go and insisted I stay and train with him.
Personally I think Jeff is just as good, if not better, than the actual trainers. Nobody could relate and connect with me the way he can. Plus, I doubt that any of the trainer could score higher than Jeff and were in no way shape or form more cunning or intelligent.
I, on the other hand, will without a doubt, be the first one whose blood splatters the ground.
“What are you thinking about?” Jeff murmurs as we walk down to the indoor beach.
“How much you deserve to win....and how I’m going to lose” I mutter.
He spins around and stands in my way. Instantly find myself staring at my toes. I wasn’t trying to upset him, I was only being honest. His hand slides under my chin and pulls my gaze to his. His deep blue eyes were filled with concern. Flecks of gold danced about inside them.
“I won’t let you die” he rumbled. “I’m going to protect you, your going to win.”
Tears unwillingly welled up in my eyes. I haven’t known him for more than 2 weeks and he’s willing to risk his perfect life for me. He was the best half brother anyone could ask for.
“Don’t cry, please don’t cry.” he says wrapping his arms protectively against me.
Suddenly Jeff tensed, I glanced around and saw Casey standing at the end of the hallway glaring at us. I could have sworn his eyes were red.
“Can I speak with River for a minute please?” he says calmly.
“Anything you have to say to can be said in front of me.” Jeff retorted, wrapping his arms tighter.
“Are you two dating or something? Cause just saying, that’s gross on so many different levels.” Casey says smirking.
“You and I both know that’s not true, now run along before I blow the entire water system running below this building.” Jeff spits.
“Look River, I didn’t mean to hurt you, that was just training. I swear I would never hurt you. You ran off before I had a chance to explain.” Casey says.
“Whatever, we can talk later, you should go.”
For a second Casey looked hurt, but he quickly recovered himself and stormed off.
“I don’t like that guy.” Jeff growls.
I grabbed his arm and pulled him towards the beach. We trained for hours and hours. In water and out. By the time we decided to stop it was already 6:20pm meaning we have to be in the dining hall in less than 10 minutes.
“Jeff, look at the time!” I exclaim.
“We can just eat in our room if you want, we could practice your water training that way.” Jeff says while pulling on his shirt.
“I want to see Claire before the games, because it might be my last chance to see her.”
The thought just occurred to me. After this, I will never be able to see my best friend, ever again. The thought brought fresh tears to my eyes and I choked back a sob.
I quickly pushed that realization to the back of my mind. Now is not the time to have an emotional breakdown. Not when Jeff was so happy about my training or when the games were just a short 24 hours away.
Despite my efforts Jeff picked up on my mood. “Something wrong?”
“No, everything’s fine.” I lied.
Jeff and I got dressed and started heading towards the dining room. The second we entered I sensed the tension and knew something was wrong.
Terribly, terribly wrong.