Mercy (A Hunger Games fanfic)

Avea Thatcher isn't like most careers from District 4, she has no interest in the games or the fame and glory that come with being Victor. But after her twin sister, Lyra, is executed, her older sister, Xanthe, decides to volunteer for the 56th Hunger Games as a form of suicide. Avea knows she has to be the one to fight in the games if she is to save her sister and keep her family together. Seen as a traitor by the careers, Avea struggles to stay alive in the arena while keeping a vow she made to Lyra and herself to not let anyone suffer before they die.

"Before I black out I make a vow to myself: 'I will never let anyone suffer like she did. I will never let anyone suffer like my sister did.' And then I'm pulled into the blackness."

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17. Chapter 16

The sun slides over the horizon and Ronan shifts next to me. His sky blue eyes flicker open and he smiles at me. God, could he be any more attractive. I smile back and sit up.

"Hurry up already sleepy head," I tease, "Your burning day light and we have some huntin' to do."

"Ugh, how do you have so much energy?" he groans.

I laugh, "Maybe because I wasn't up all day and night."

"I was just taking care of you. You ungrateful little thing," he jokes.

"Ya, I appreciate you watching me sleep, you creep," I ruffle his hair and he playfully swats my hand away.

"Making sure you don't bleed to death, I really am a creep," he says sarcastically.

I laugh and get to my feet, "Come on we have some hunting to do."

He groans, "Can't we just stay here."

I cross my arms and roll my eyes, "Sure, if you want to starve."

He stands up, "I'll go only because you asked so kindly." I swat his arm and he laughs.

I have all of my knifes and tomahawks with me and Ronan has his spears. Before we go I wake Eris up and tell her we are going hunting, so that we aren't leaving our allies undefended. She nods grogily and sits against a tree sword in hand. Ronan and I head into the woods to hunt. I suddenly remember the snares I set yesterday and when we check them we are rewarded with two rabbits and a squirrel. 'Take that you damned squirrel. I got you this time,' I think.

"Well, I guess we don't need to hunt then. Now we have an entire day to kill our enemies," Ronan says and I laugh.

"We don't have to spend the whole day hunting tributes," I say without thinking.

Ronan raises his eyebrows, "What else would we do?"

I blush, when I had said that I had been thinking about kissing Ronan. I've never kissed a boy before, but I really want to kiss Ronan. I act without thinking, I lean over and kiss Ronan. His lips feel warm on mine, but I'm nervous and pull back quickly.

"Is that what you wanted to do?" Ronan asks with a smile.

My cheeks must be really, really red right now, but I don't have time to feel embarrased because Ronan grabs my waist and kisses me again. His lips move softly against mine and I'm filled with a sense of euphoria. Normally I'd feel uncomfortable kissing a boy infront of the entire freaking country, but right now I'm too happy to care.

I put my hands around his neck and wrap my fingers in his hair, this may have to be the best first kiss ever, well technically second. He pulls me closer so that our hips are touching and I lean up for a better angle. This is beyond perfect, the feeling of his hands on my waist, his hair in my fingers, and his lips on my lips makes me giddy. Ronan pulls out of the kiss and presses his forehead against mine.

His smile is huge and I'm sure I wear an identical one, "I've wanted to kiss you since I first met you."

"Have you?" I ask and twist a piece of his hair around my pointer finger.

"I have. Have you?" he asks in return running his fingers through my long hair.

I bite my lip and look away a little embarrassed, "Since the reaping."

Ronan's smile widens and he gives me another quick kiss before gathering his spears, "We should head back. I don't want Eris and Harrison to be jealous that you spend all your time with me."

I laugh and we walk back to camp. When we get there Harrison is still asleep and Eris is gone, but so are her sword and water bottle so I don't worry too much. Ronan and I sit against a tree and skin and gut the squirrel and rabbits. I cut the scruff of the squirrel and slowly work my knife under the skin so that I can peel it off, the work is long and kind of gross, but I'm just glad I didn't get shown up by a squirrel again. Eris walks back into camp with a pleased smile on her face just after I've finished skinning the squirrel.

I start gutting the creature and Eris says proudly, "I know were the Careers are!"

Ronan and I both put down my knifes and Harrison stirs in his sleeping bag. "You went looking for the Careers alone?" Ronan asks.

"Well, I wasn't looking for them, I just happened to over hear them wile I was taking a piss," Eris says defensively.

"Eris, do you not remember what happened yesterday? You can't go out alone" I say holding up my bandaged arm.

 Eris huffs, "I know, I know, but right now we need to take advantage of this excellent oppurtunity."

I sigh, "Fine. Where are they?"

Eris beams, "They are in the canyon near the cornucopia."

"Wait you went that far just to take a piss?" Ronan asks.

Eris rolls her eyes, "Ok, maybe I was looking for them."

"If the Careers are in the canyon, then why was Zale up here?" I ask.

It hits all of us at once, but I'm the first to say it, "He was specifically looking for me, wasn't he?"

Eris shifts uncomfortably, "I hate to say this, but he probably was."

I nod and try to change the subject, "If we're going to make a plan you better wake Harrison up."

Once Harrison is awake we begin to plan. We decide that it's to risky to attack in the light of day and they'll expect a night attack, so we'll attack at dawn when they least expect it.

"What about the cave rats?" Harrison asks.

I thiink about this for a moment before answering, "We'll have to find a path that doesn't cross any caves. We can scout that out now."

We grab our stuff and walk to the edge of the cliff staying low incase the Careers are down there. I look over the edge, the Career camp is empty. I motion for the others to join me, Eris, Ronan, and I look for a path while Harrison watches the woods for attackers. The only path that doesn't come across a cave is narrow and steep, but it will have to do. I notice that one part of the path juts out over the Cornucopia but is carefully hidden in part of the canyon's shadow and a plan begins forming in my head.

"I have a plan," I announce and the others look at me, "We have three people in the canyon who run in and attack the Careers and while the Careers are distracted the fourth person sits on that ledge," I point it out, "and attacks from up there. That way the Careers will have an attack coming from both sides and no way from protecting themselves from both attacks."

"Who would sit on the ledge?" Eris asks.

"It would have to be someone who can use a distance weapon. Harrison, you can throw knifes, right?" I ask looking at Harrison.

"Ya, but I'm not nearly as good as you," Harrison answers.

"Avea, you should be the one on the ledge," Eris adds.

I frown, "I don't know. I think I should be in the canyon."

"We can handle ourselves," Ronan says, "And besides if you are in the canyon all of the Careers will be after you."

"That's a bad thing?" if the others have my back, why does it matter?

"Yes, it is. You'll be on the ledge," Ronan decides for me.

I glare at him, but he doesn't notice. "Fine," I agree, but I still don't like it.

By the time we get to camp it's dark out and I've just settled into my sleeping bag when the anthem plays. There were no deaths today. The Capital must be blood thirsty, the battle tomorrow should satisfy them. I'm honestly scared for tomorrow, not for myself, I'll be the only safe one, but for my allies. Sleep evades me as I think about tomorrow, I turn to face Ronan, but he's asleep. I wrap my arm around him and hope that I can keep him safe. When sleep does come to me it's a dreamless one.

Eris shakes me awake after what seems like only seconds. It's still dark out but I can tell the sun will be rising soon. I load my belt with my four tomahawks and my packet of a dozen knifes, I almost leave the long hunting knife but bring it just incase. When we get to the canyon I let the others go first, the path leads about a hundred or so yards past the cornucopia. When they pass the ledge, where I'll be, I start making my way down. The path is incredibly narrow and very hard to see in the dark, but by some miracle we all make it safely to our spots, me hidden on the ledge and the others behind a curve in the canyon.

Eris motions for the others to wait, while she peeks around the corner to see if the any of the Careers are awake. None of them are, they're too arrogant to have a guard. When I look carefully I can just make out five sleeping bodies, they're should only be four, the Careers must have picked up another tribute. I see Eris count down from three and they charge.

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