Fallen from Grace (Hunger Games)

68th Hunger Games

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13. Silence

     Emily and Liam had to hide in a different building after they ate in case Careers came by their building, there was no doubt in their mind that cooked meat caught their attention. They both quickly hid in a broken apartment three blocks away and watched the streets when the Careers ran past them toward their old building.

     They ducked away from the window and crawled across the living room floor toward one of the bedrooms. It was a small studio apartment space with rotting wallpaper peeling off and dust and chipped ceiling pain covered the floor. It was like an old home back in Eight that once held a family and had long since been abandoned. Stay low and stay out of sight. And hide somewhere close to an exit in case their predators broke in, hopefully they would only notice the front door and wouldn’t put two and two together that the fire escape led to anywhere special.

     Liam peeked out the window once in a while as Emily looked through the drawers of the bedroom to find anything useful for them. Whenever the wood drawers screamed at her pull, she would immediately stop and inch it open little by little until the opening was big enough for her to stick her arm in and search around.

     Emily managed to find moth eaten clothing, a thimble, socks in perfect condition, goggles, a beanie, and a jacket that was too small on Liam. She looked into a jewelry box and found a sewing needle stuck in a corner. “Give me the jacket,” she said absently and took the blanket from the bed and cut it with scissors left on the nightstand.

     “Okay?” Liam raised a brow and tossed her the dusty jacket she found. “What are you doing?”

     “I’m going to alter our jackets. Yours especially. Where was it tight around you?” the redhead asked.

     “Arms and shoulders,” he answered.

     “Okay,” she nodded.

     “You’re seriously going to do it?” Liam asked.

     “We’re not doing anything at the moment until it’s safe to wander out again,” she shrugged. Although, she was far too calm for her own good, given their circumstance for the time being. Then again, they had food and running water that they managed to obtain on their second day in the arena. In her mind, the only thing they needed to fear were the Careers and wandering wolves.

     Emily finished cutting the blanket and pulled out the thread with the help of the needle until it was long enough to sew the blanket piece to the collar of Liam’s jacket. He watched her as she did her work, her eyes intense on the jacket and her hands quick as he had ever seen. She lightly tugged at the piece from the jacket and did a second stitching for security and tugged at it one more time when she was done; satisfied with the new addition.

     Her district partner looked out the window again and cracked the window open for better sound outside if they couldn’t see anything threatening to them. Emily pulled the stitches out from both arms and added the pieces of fabric to the shoulders and sewed them before she put the arm pieces back. With a pull to both of them, the blanket adding some stretch around the shoulders and arms, Emily tossed the blanket to Liam’s lap.

     Liam pried his eyes away from the street and looked down at Emily’s finished project and then back at her to find her adding a hoodie to her jacket like his. She had always been quicker than him at sewing ever since she transferred up in the same age group as him back home. She improved with time and soon she finished her projects faster than him by the time she was nine. And, she was always more thorough with her craftsmanship.

     He pulled the jacket on and stretched his arms in front of him then crossed them over, the jacket being much comfier compared to before. He then pulled the new hood over his head and pulled it over his forehead. Big enough to cover his head and face and wide enough to not feel suffocated.

     “Is it alright?” Emily asked as she sewed the second stitching to her hood.

     “It’s great,” he smiled and pulled the hood away as he sat beside her.

     Emily lightly smiled at his closeness and did her check-up routine. All finished.

     “You completely shredded this blanket,” Liam chuckled as he picked up the tattered blanket.

     Emily looked to it too and lightly smiled at him. Her eyes fell on some thinner pieces at its edge before she ripped a piece from it. “Can I have your wrist?” she asked.

     Liam raised his brow at her and lifted his dominant hand to her.

     “The other one . . .” Emily meekly corrected.

      His eyes slightly widened at her as she tied the torn piece of fabric around his wrist. He stared at her in confusion and wonder, as if what she did was a dream.

     And to him, it was . . .

     In District Eight, rings were too expensive. In fact, any sort of jewelry or fancy accessory were too expensive. So to replace wedding rings, tying a piece of matching fabric around a significant other’s wrist was one’s exchanging of rings.

     He blinked at her whilst her face burned as red as her hair. He couldn’t begin to imagine what ran through her head to make her want to . . . marry him at that moment. But then he tried to analyze her and her way of thinking; they were in the Games and there was no way in hell they’d get out together. She learned he had loved her for years and she had only recently accepted his romantic feelings toward her whilst their actions remained the same besides the additional kissing. And for one second, just one, he thought maybe she did it to entertain him. He loved her as a girl far longer than she had loved him as a man. Why NOT die married with the one you love? Or at least died knowing you were married to someone precious to you.

     Whatever he thought, it was Emily. No one more perfect . . .

     Liam took a piece of the blanket and ripped it before he tied it into a knot around her left wrist. Once he finished, his hands lingered around her hand and leaned his forehead against hers and closed his eyes. He had told her that he always imagined telling her at some point, he wanted to tell her he loved her after her last reaping. To celebrate both their safety. What he did not tell her was how much he wanted to marry her, how BADLY he wanted them to. It wasn’t how he imagined, but that didn’t matter to him . . .

     She wasn’t some girl he and his brother found on the street ten years ago . . .

     She wasn’t a poor girl stuck in a horrible nightmare of a household . . .

     She wasn’t some little redhead he befriended just for the hell of it . . .

     Emily was special . . . someone he had grown up with, his best friend, his angel fallen from grace . . . Liam saw Emily . . .

     Liam saw his wife . . .

     Emily took his hand and intertwined their fingers as she was the first to press her lips to his. Liam ran his hands through her hair and gently pulled her close to him. She leaned closer to him, rose on her knees, and kissed him more deeply than moments ago.

     She loved him so much it hurt to breathe . . .

     Emily ran her hand through his messy hair and—

     BOOM

     They stopped and stared at each other with wide eyes. Moment of peace was ruined and they remembered where they were. Liam and Emily looked out he window and heard yet another building crumble to the ground, but that time it sounded closer. And the ground shook underneath them. Liam rose to his knees to get a better look out the window and saw it . . .

     “The apartment building across from us is gone . . .”

     A second building . . . and it was closer that time . . . was it to add more fear for the budding newlyweds? Or was it a warning?

     A reminder . . .?

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