Fallen from Grace (Hunger Games)

68th Hunger Games


45. Can't Have Nice Things

    Emily was in the mentor's box watching the tributes training the day away. The girl was very good when it came to medical healing, the boy was off with the others climbing the monkey bars. The redheaded woman let out a sigh and sipped her umbrella drink through a straw as her green eyes remained on her tributes. The job was boring, just like the parade, but Phox told her to get her ass into gear and be a mentor for once.

    He said and didn't bother to come down with her. He probably ran off to talk badly about the younger mentors with Annabelle from Eleven again. Suppose it was punishment for ditching the night before to shoot arrows and gently beat up the other redhead.

    Speaking of which, Emily slightly turned in her swivel chair toward the other redhead victor. She pulled the straw from between her lips and let out a quiet sigh. Why was she so damn weird? She ran a hand through her curls, pushed herself from her chair and casually started off toward the seventeen-year-old victor.

    Abraham watched the tributes run around the training center, most of them like chickens with their heads cut off while he twirled the cup in his hand. He then turned his head seeing Emily approach him, “Red,” he greeted.

    “Rose,” she greeted back. Her eyes fell on his tributes just to see what his district had to offer, not like there was much competition compared to hers. Emily let out a sigh and looked back up at Abraham. "About . . . yesterday," she began with a small sigh, “It was dumb. I have a weird thing with . . . closeness, when it comes to the opposite sex," Emily finished before sipping her drink through a straw. It was stupid, but she had to push it like it was stupid.

    "I told you yesterday, it's no big deal,” he shrugged, "I'm sorry I made you uncomfortable. And know that I know I promise it won't happen again," the redheaded boy continued with a smile to further strengthen his point.

    Emily returned his expression with a short slight smile and finished off the rest of her drink. Least he didn't ask questions. She shook her head and placed the empty glass onto a passing tray an Avox held. "I didn't bruise your pretty face did I, Prince Charming?" the Eight victor asked with a smirk and a glance up to look at his face.

     "Nope, still as handsome as evah!" he rolled his eyes and glanced at the drink she placed on the Avox tray, "Now my ego? That's another story."

    He was such a dork.

    Her smile grew wider and lightly laughed. "What? It's not everyday you get your ass handed to you by someone shorter than you?" Emily added and tried to stifle her laughter.

    "Oooo." He laughed making a face and clutching a hand over his heart. "That hurts, Eight. Cut me deep."

    "Awwwww, so sorry," she laughed as she crossed her arms over and looked back at the tributes. "Maybe you'll get me next time," Emily added with a playful smirk.

    Abraham laughed and finished off his own drink. "Yeah maybe . . ."

    The woman bounced on the balls of her feet, tapping her finger against her arm before she let out a sigh. The Capitol expected the mentors to watch their kids to give them pointers on what to do or figure out what they’d be good at, for TEN HOURS. Sure, they could take a break with lunch and then off to dinner. But it was still a horrid job. "How have you kept yourself sane during this? It's a whole day of doing nothing. For three days no less!"

     "I alternate between doing my job and drinking," he nodded, "and I get to look forward to having dinner with the soon to be deceased and Wren,” he added in sarcastically.

    "Speaking of which, where is the pretty thing?" she asked and glanced up toward the other redhead.

    Abraham looked around, she took off a while ago but he didn’t complaining. "Oh, by the bar . . . Talking to the Ones."

    "Oooooooh, bold," she added, though it sounded like a mocking tone with a hint of sarcasm. What was that all about? Why the sudden bitterness in her voice?

    "Weeeell, I guess getting more scotch is out of the question . . ." the boy smirked, walking over to the glass overlooking the tributes.

    "That doesn't sound half bad actually," Emily answered quietly and looked around for the nearest Avox.

    "SOMEBODY has to pay attention to their tributes," the boy scoffed, and with Wren talking to the Career victors, that responsibility fell on him.

    "Yeah, well . . ." Emily started and took a glass from a wandering Avox, "Maybe being buzzed will make this job more fun," she shrugged and took a sip of the all too strong drink, coughing once after a swallow.

    Just when Abraham swapped out his empty glass for a new drink then rolled his eyes at something, Emily’s drink was pulled out of her hand and a much taller figure walked around her to sit beside Abraham on the couch. “Mind if I cut into this lame-looking date of yours?" Gryffon asked with a smirk.

    "Yeah sure go ahead, Sauntor. I know how you like being the center of the universe,” Abraham responded with a roll of his eyes.

    Emily blinked, confused for a moment and looked to Gryffon. "I was still drinking that . . ." the Eight victor sighed, "And it’s not a date . . ." she muttered as she crossed her arms over.

    “Good for you,” the man commented first to Emily, before throwing the second redhead a sidelong glance. With a smirk, Gryffon mused, “You know me so well, Rose. I’m touched.” He leaned back and took of sip of what had been the girl’s drink, eyeing the two. “Oh right, you’re all, anti-men or someshit. Second day in a row with him, though, it’s cute. Progress,” he continued, motioning with the glass toward her before tilting it toward Rose.

    Emily rolled her eyes and took a seat at the swivel chair. "Abraham's nice," the woman shrugged and raised a hand to the closest Avox then retrieved a very fruity looking blended beverage.

    Abraham grit his teeth. He took a deep breath and looked through the glass to the tributes. "Mmmm," was all he could respond with, too angry to listen to Emily's comment.

    Gryffon chuckled at Emily’s comment first, his eyes narrowing. “He’s a fucking baby,” Gryffon retorted, his tone thoroughly amused. He finished up the drink he had at hand and placed it on the ground beside him only to look back at the two redheads. “Look at that cute pouty face of his, Em,” he sneered, “Don’t you just want to pinch his little cheeks?” Gryffon reached over, as if about to do just as he said.

    Emily was about to answer the man’s question, as well as telling him not to even try, when: "Don't you fucking touch me, Sauntor!" Abraham growled, stepping in the opposite direction.

    Well that shut her up. She probably should have seen this coming, Abraham told her he hated Gryffon last year and didn't keep it a secret the day before. Seeing them live in action was like watching a heavy show that made everyone uncomfortable and feel like shit after it was over. "I would rather not do such a thing," Emily finally said.

    Gryffon laughed a little, but pulled back. “Really wouldn’t want to, anyway. Children are revolting.”

   "Yeah, they are," she raised a brow at Gryffon and kept her eyes on him. The one causing all the drama was the most childish of all. Emily then kicked the man with her heel.

    “Bitch,” he scoffed at the girl’s kick, shooting her an annoyed glance. “And you defending him, still want me to think it isn’t a date? You just met the fucking kid.”

   Abraham scoffed. He rolled his eyes and took a swig of his drink. The more she glanced over at him, the stiffer his body became and the more tension he showed.

    "Technically," she spat and looked back at the other redhead in his corner of the couch, "I met him before I went into the arena and sometime last year," Emily corrected him, in between wishing Gryffon away so the atmosphere in the air wasn't so suffocatingly awful.

    “I remember last year. You two looked as uncomfortable as he does now,” he stated, cocking his head ever so slightly, with that ever-present smirk playing over his lips. “What warmed you up?” An almost sincere-sounding question, but the question, instead, had an accusing tone. Like both redheads had done something wrong by enjoying the other’s company.

    Emily pursed her lips at the man's question, yeah the first conversation they had since her winning was less than five minutes but that proved nothing. Hell, her first meeting with Gryffon was awful and look how that turned out: him going from alright to a man child with a flip of a switch. His question she wasn't sure how to answer. She didn't know, maybe it was because Abraham was one of very few decent victors in the pool of fuck ups. He didn't pry and kept his distance near comfortable.

    "I can still hear you, dickbags . . ." Abraham muttered under his breath, taking another long drink.

    “So proud of you . . . Want a medal?” Gryffon rolled his eyes, looking down at the redhead.

    Then right on cue, the 69th Hunger Games victor Wren came clicking over with two drinks in her hand and plopping down into Abe's lap. "Afternoon ladies and gentlemen~"

    “Always a pleasure, Wren,” Gryffon mused sarcastically, quirking a brow at her, then at Rose.

    Wren pressed a very fake smile. "It's always so nice to see you both too."

    “Quite a catch you have there. I almost feel bad for her,” Gryffon said to Abraham.

    Abraham pinched the bridge of his nose, quickly downing the rest of his drink. He placed it on the ground next to his feet and took the non-umbrellaed drink from Wren’s hands. "Fuck off, Sauntor. Go play with kids your own age."

    Emily finished sipping her own drink, her annoyance level growing ever so slightly having Wren around. She was fully prepared for how horrid she was, as the redheaded Seven victor warned. "You know he's not a couch, right?" she asked and pointed to the redhead underneath Wren with her glass.

    The brunette slid off Abraham's lap, but still sat very close. "I'm so sorry, Emily. I wouldn't want to make you uncomfortable . . ." She then looked at Abraham and addressed him, but was loud enough for the whole group to hear, "I wasn't aware we were in the company of a nun."

    Emily’s eyes narrowed at the freckled woman in front of her. "Well, not everyone can be as loose as you, now can we?" The words just slipped past her lips and Emily stared at the woman with surprise, mainly at herself. The redhead took her empty glass and excused herself to go back to the bar. She needed something stronger now.
    “What an inappropriate nun you are, then,” Gryffon mused.

    Emily let out a sigh, trying her hardest to drain out the noise from the couch. Don't even listen. Don't listen to her. God, when the other redhead talked about her he wasn't sugar coating it. She was truly horrible. Emily ordered herself some vodka, and drained it down in one go. She really had no luck making good friends with the victor party, it was awful.

     Wren rolled her eyes. "Sooo if I'm loose what does that make you?" Wren asked Gryffon before she sipped her drink. God, she could even overhear her from the damn bar, they really needed to get the other victors to join and make enough conversation that they’d have to scream over each other. Just as long as she didn’t hear Wren’s voice.

    Emily ordered two more drink, then made her way back to the uncomfortable party.

    Gryffon eyed Emily’s form for a moment as she approached before looking back toward Wren. “Well if I’m not loose, then you’re going to have to ask her to place me somewhere,” Gryffon shrugged in answer. When Emily sat back down in her chair, she put her second drink onto the table. “Suddenly into drowning away your anger?” Gryffon commented with a smirk. “Or just proving newbie wrong?”

   "Drowning away the annoyance. If I drink, maybe I can drown out her squeaky voice," Emily answered casually, not even holding back on silence. She didn't care if the new Seven victor heard, she already insulted her anyway.

    Abraham was just about to get up from his chair, but he was stopped by Wren’s hand firmly on his lap and leaned back against him. Oh great, controlling too. Her first impression was not winning her any points.

    "Why does it matter?" Abraham sighed, "Just drop it."

    “Clearly you don’t know the girls you’re dealing with, Rose,” Gryffon chided, watching the two’s interaction with a mildly amused look. As if he knew them any better. “Don’t run away now, though. Shit’s getting interesting,” her pointed to the Seven redhead.

    "I've met some pretty indecent people these past few years," Emily informed at first, took a sip, "but she takes the crown and earned herself a piece of cake. If she eats that kind of thing, that is," she shrugged. Oh god, she felt the alcohol immediately. It felt like the warmth in her chest spread out to her fingers and toes. They tingled when they moved and her head felt a little light on her shoulders.

    Gryffon choked back a laugh at her comment. “You’re all so fucking pa-the-tic,” he chuckled, tilting his head back. “Come on, Em, you can do better than that."

    "Don't encourage me, GRYFF," she growled and sipped another drink.

    "I . . ." Abraham huffed in defeat. "Eight, come on. Don't stoop."

    "Stoop?" Wren gawked, "fucking rude~"

    "Oh, I’M rude,” Emily began, her tone astonished and the blood rushed through her veins. Her buzzed body feeling even better the more time went by. “The queen who started this is offended and I’M rude," she laughed. "What must I do? Bow to you as an apology? Offer you my finger? Or perhaps my tongue to silence myself forever? What must I do oh GREAT ONE," she hissed sarcastically with her arms outstretched and leaned forward in a small bow.

    "Um, excuse you," Wren scoffed, but she couldn't help but smirk, "I was talking to Abe, BITCH."

    “But she was talking to you, sweetheart. Might as well play along. She’s even calling you the queen,” Gryffon lilted toward Wren, rolling his eyes to look at her.

    Wren continued to smile triumphantly, her hand still proudly placed on Abraham's thigh.

    "Fuck . . ." Abraham muttered, and took a long drink of the drink Wren brought him.

    "I still mean what I said," she rolled her eyes and drained the rest of her drink. The warmth felt fuzzy under her skin. Or electrifying, something that felt weird and unnatural. The world felt like it was spinning at an unreal speed, she let out a breath and shook her head. But that just made it worse. "You're still a fucking bitch taking advantage of a really nice guy, and that's pretty ugly coming from a self-obsessed pretty girl," she narrowed her eyes at the freckled beauty and sipped her other vodka glass.

    Gryffon rolled his eyes at the redhead and waved over an Avox, taking a drink from the tray they held. He just quirked a brow at the couple sitting on the couch and tipped his drink.

    Wren drained her drink, watching Emily. "I don't care what you have to say, Aldair. You don't mean shit to me. You’re just some face to Abe. Because let's not pretend that's not what this is really about? I mean do you two even know each other's first names? I, on the other hand, am with him all the fucking time. So I guess you are right about that whole queen business, huh?"

    Jesus Christ. Unbelievable. Abraham choked on his drink. "Girls holy shit," he protested, but Wren’s hand just pressed harder on his leg.

    Emily scoffed with her eyes narrowed and shook her head, as she stood up she 'accidentally' tossed the remaining half of her vodka onto Wren's head. Which, to her dizzy satisfaction, made Wren screech like an angry bird. "Fuck you, bitch," she hissed and walked off.

    Wren tried to flick off as much of the vodka she could muster, screaming: “Fucking child!! You know people only get physical when they've been bested mentally. You know I'm right, you bitch!" Wren shrilly called after her.

    But Emily stopped listening a while ago, she was fuming to the point that she couldn’t quite hear the angry new girl over her own loud mental screaming. She was DONE. Just done for the day. What was she on about? Was she hinting at something that her insane mind created? What their feud was REALLY about? She was batshit mad!

    Emily stole a bottle from the bar that had already been opened, and left the mentor's box. She unscrewed the cap and took one large gulp from the mouth of the alcohol as she pressed her thumb to the elevator button. Got to forget the day, got to numb out the anger. She let out a sigh and pressed her warm forehead against the cool wall. She felt so weird, so weak, sick, and energetic at the same time.

    “Real great impression you left there,” Gryffon lilted, glancing down at her with a smirk when he stopped just a few inches away from Emily.

    "She was uuuuuh . . ." she mumbled in between gulping the cold air. The redhead took in deep breaths and swallowed the sick feeling in her throat and exhaled a breath. "She was uuuuhhh . . . A fucking bitch . . ." she finally answered when the door dinged and opened up. Emily slumped forward, leaning to the back of the small box with the back of her head against the glass window. "And yoooou fucking started it," Emily added, pointing her finger that held the bottle at him.

    Emily swore she felt herself slipping away, she wasn’t even thinking straight. Her eyes felt like they vibrated just like her toes, the warmth feeling tingly under her skin. Was that what being drunk was like?

    “A fucking bitch,” he echoed, his tone lilting with laughter at her wooziness. “Yes, that she was.” Gryffon slid into the elevator and tapped the button for the doors to close, glancing at her weak stance. He leaned against the wall opposite her, his arms crossed over his chest, his head tilted a bit. “I didn’t start shit with Wren. That was all you.”

   "Youuuuuu . . ." She began, but she lost her thought. She blinked slowly, looking up at the man from underneath her lashes sleepily. "You . . . came around when Abe and I were . . . were were were were . . . doing just fine."

    Gryffon nodded for her to go on almost mockingly when she stammered.

    She lifted the drink and tilted it back into her lips, drinking down the perfume smell of alcohol that loomed around her. "You hate him and that's why you, you you ruined the fun," she kept blaming him. Her train of thought was evaporating fast and repeated the words she got tongue tied in between. Her stupid tongue felt heavy. And tingly as well. God, what was wrong with her?

    "Neither of you looked exceptionally excited to be with the other," Gryffon mused slowly. "It's all fair, though. He hates me, I hate him . . . Why d'you care, though? You hardly hate me anymore anyway."

    "You're . . ." Emily started, and when the elevator stopped she stumbled back into the window and railing of the elevator and blinked in confusion. "You're getting there . . . you're just . . . lucky . . .” she continued, pushed herself from the wall and out of the elevator, “that you're fucking hot as hell . . ." Emily stammered and drank more from the bottle. It was weird. Like, the more she drank, the more attractive the Eleven victor became. When did that start happening? Weird.

    Gryffon chuckled lightly at her comment, rolling his eyes. He pushed himself out of the elevator, keeping half a step away from her; just close enough to own the excuse he was trying to make sure she wouldn't stumble. "Where'd that idea come from, hm?" the older Victor asked, a slight rise of his brow following his question  

    Emily shrugged with a loud 'I don't know' that didn't even sound like words. Emily kicked off her shoes, having them fly over the couch and one of them hitting an Avox standing in a corner. Emily waved them off to leave the room for some privacy and watched them go as she took another drain of the alcohol. "Why do you always hover so close!?" she asked, her tone coming out in a curious yell like she forgot he stood just a foot away from her. "Like, what, you wanna kiss me or something?" Emily shook her head and raised her shoulders while her arms followed? But that question sounded stupid and resulted in a giggle fit from Emily. Everything sounded funny. Like, kissing. Why was it such a big deal to people? It was literally mashing mouths together.

    Gryffon couldn't help but laugh a little at her question, rolling his eyes in the process. He looped his arm around her and pulled her a little closer, smirking down at her. "Kissing's lame, Em, why would I want to do that?"

    "I don't knoooooow," she shook her head with a playful smile on her lips, her tone sounded childlike. Her eyes were drawn to his lips, like they were interesting to look at. And a little bit hungry for them. Her fingers loosened, the neck of the bottle slipping out of her grasp and dropped onto the carpet floor as her arms lazily draped around his neck.

    Gryffon glanced down at the bottle, then back at her. Her arms around his neck was only encouraging him to come closer.

    She giggled for a few short seconds before she sucked in a breath and clasped the collar of Gryffon's shirt. "Hey, you knooooooow what's a good idea?" she smiled, "You getting naked. Right now," the redhead laughed airily.

    Gryffon hooked his fingers around the waist of her pants and tugged lightly as she giggled, he chuckled somewhat, pulling her closer only to push down on her clothes further. "Sounds like a good enough idea. Care to join me?"

    "Just get in my room and strip. I'll follow your lead," she answered in a slur of a whisper. The redhead pushed him toward her room's direction with a crooked smile. Her body felt hot, her skin felt foreign, and her actions weren't her own. Her head felt light, utterly buzzed and Emily felt like she liked it. Maybe she liked it? Her brain was far too fuzzy to know for sure. Her judgment lacked. She started to unbutton her top with one hand as she took some steps toward her room, and took Gryffon by the collar again, pulling him with her.

    Gryffon moved his hands up and pulled at either side of her shirt, tearing the last couple of buttons out of their place just before she pushed them past the door into her room. He shrugged her hands away and tugged his shirt off carelessly, a glare landing hungrily on her. "Strip," he echoed back to her.

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