Fallen from Grace (Hunger Games)

68th Hunger Games


49. Maybe Not a Crush

    Emily sat on her couch staring at the wall with a confused and concerned look on her face. Ever since the events back in the Capitol, she had been contemplating WHY she behaved the way she did. WHY did Emily get mad at Gryffon Sauntor for cutting into her time with Abraham Rose? Why did she argue with the girl that was practically sprawled all over the redheaded boy? Why did Emily get herself drunk and, apparently, sleep with Gryffon? Her actions were unlike her and she didn’t understand them at all.

    So far she had fallen more and more into trusting the Eleven victor by revealing her secrets she really wouldn’t tell anyone that she couldn’t trust. And she SHOULDN’T trust the man. He was such a tool. And Emily was an idiot for still hanging around him when he had proven more times than none that he was an awful human being. But, the giant but that spiraled back, he hadn’t told anyone about her situations. The Capitol hadn’t bothered her on her horrible relationship with her parents, nor had they come breaking her door down on her being as barren as a desert. 

    The redhead shook her head and ran her hand through her long curls, then let out a huff. Sauntor wasn’t the topic. It was on her behavior. Emily furrowed her brows together, breathing in through her nostrils, and exaggerated a sigh. All in all, it all came back to the Rose. Maybe she was just protective of a new friend that wasn’t such a total pain in the ass and obviously wasn’t a broken toy like the rest of the mentors. Yeah, that had to be it.

    Biscuit kept moving things around in the other room that made Emily flinch and stare out to the other room, almost like she waited for something terrible to happen. The redhead let out a sigh, relaxed, and leaned against the back of the couch. Speaking of broken toys, Emily still couldn’t relax in her own home even when she was fully aware she was safe. She hadn’t found a way to make herself feel completely safe.

    Compared to Abraham, she might as well be a paranoid squirrel on meth. How he had managed to seem normal and unbroken after the Games was beyond her.

    What got her thinking about Abraham was a little article on some drama going on with him and Wren. Emily got bored halfway through the trash article, rolling her eyes at some nonsense Wren had said; it just just more gossip the Capitol vomited all over the pages to keep the popularity of past victors up. 

    Abraham didn't deserve that sort of idiotic nonsense. He was too sweet. And he clearly didn't want to be involved in any of it. Was the boy also too sweet enough to aggressively vocalize his thoughts on the matter?

    Emily sighed and leaned her head back to the back of the couch. "He's too sweet . . ." she muttered.

    "Who is?"

    The redhead looked toward Scottie coming into the living room and let out a huff, her hair flicked away from her face with her breath as the man fell onto the cushion beside her. "Abraham Rose, District Seven," she answered while she leaned over to the coffee table and tossed the magazine onto the youngest  Aldair brother's lap. "He's way too precious to be involved in this Victor nonsense."

    "How so?" Scottie asked and skimmed over the words in front of him.

    "He's quiet, but he's not afraid to lash out his words toward people he greatly dislikes. Abe is very sensitive of other's feelings," Emily went on, listing off her short conversations she had with the other redhead. His actions after they sparred alone told her enough about him, just the conversation with Gryffon around added more to Emily's awareness of Abraham's character. "He seems to take care of others before himself, and—"

    "I think what's going on is that you have a thing for him," Scottie chuckled.

    Emily stopped with her mouth hanging open mid sentence, her face turning a bright shade of pink before she pursed her lips and crossed her arms over her chest. "I do not . . ." she finally answered, her voice a little higher than usual.

    "Oh my god! I was joking! But you do don't you!?"

    "No!" she lied to herself, Emily's starting to turn just as red as her face and her eyes wider than ever. "God! I'm just concerned for him!"

    "You were talking about him like a jealous child trying to deny they didn't want a toy another kid was playing with," he laughed.

    "I—I just—I—" Emily kept stuttering, and her lack of effort to defend herself only made her redder. "It's not—" but Emily stop trying to fix her thoughts and sunk deeper into the couch with her hands pressed to her face. A thing for Abraham? But why!? They hardly spoke to each other and usually their effort for a conversation ended badly or awkwardly. Why Abraham? 

    Scottie merely smirked at the sight of Emily beside him and crossed his arms over his chest as he soaked in his triumphant effort to embarrass Emily. They both sat there in silence while the redhead recollected her thoughts, putting words together so she could sound like an actual person rather than a shrieking cow. Emily heard the sound of the door followed by crumpling paper bags full of ingredients from the market. Constantine came in and found his little brother and his sister-in-law sitting on the couch. 

    Emily's hands finally left her face for Constantine to see just how red her face could get and raised his brows at the sight then looked to Scottie. "Something interesting happened?"

    "Emily has a crush on the District Seven boy. A LEGIT crush."

    "Oh shit, really?" Conner chuckled.

    "Can we not make such a big deal about it? It's not a crush," Emily kept lying, mainly to herself.

    "She was talking about him and claimed that she's concerned for him," Scottie rolled his eyes.

    "Oh my god," Conner laughed airily and turned away to the kitchen across the way from the living room. "That sounds like the same excuse Liam used when he started crushing on you."

    "At least Liam was calmer talking about Emily. She just sounded angry," Scottie laughed.

    "Because I'm mad at the circumstances!" Emily groaned.

    "Oh my god she admitted it!" Scottie called in an excited tone and practically bounced on the cushion. "She likes this guy!"

    "I DIDN'T ADMIT ANYTHING!" she shrieked and hit Scottie with a pillow. 

    “But you didn’t add that you didn’t like him,” he kept teasing.

    “Stop putting words in my mouth!”

    “Okay, Scottie. You can stop teasing her,” Conner called from the kitchen, “She’s already redder than humanly possible.”

    Scottie kept on chuckling as Emily tried to take in slow deep breaths to calm herself down. But one loud snicker out of Scottie and she smacked him again with a pillow. “You’re a jerk . . .” she pouted and ran a hand through her hair.

    “Yeah . . .” he nodded, then he smiled widely with a mischievous look in his eye that Emily could only suspect what went through his head. “Compared to your sweet redhead boyfriend, I’m an ass.”

    “SCOTTIE!” she shrieked and hit him harder with a pillow as he tried to escape and run toward the kitchen to hide behind the island.

    “Kids! Seriously!” Conner groaned at them.

    “He started it!” Emily pointed accusingly at the youngest Aldair brother.

    “Nu uh!” Scottie defended childishly.

    “My god, it’s like you’re both eight-years-old again,” he sighed and turned back to put the food away. Emily pursed her lips and hugged the pillow to her chest with her eyes narrowed at Scottie. The blonde boy stuck his tongue out at her and Emily did the same then dropped the childish expression when Conner looked over his shoulder at the both of them.

    All in all, even if Emily didn’t feel completely safe in her own home the boys always managed to push away her insecurity. She had to rely on them, even after dodging death.

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