First time ever I saw your face...

It's a story within a story really. Ever wondered what happened to Peeta in prison in the hands of the capitol we know he got hijacked but what happened before that? This is the story of what happens to him and the realization that for the girl he loves- he will be her biggest threat.

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1. Chapter 1

 

Boom. Boom. Boom. 

 

My heart crashes so hard against my rib cage I'm sure it will damage itself. I smirk, my heart trying to escape from the confines of my chest, and me trying to escape from the confines of the capitol. Ironic. I look around my cell; it has glass on either side of the regular cuboid of a room. Joanna behind one side of glass, and the sweet Annie the other. I have quite a few survivors encircling my prison, but I feel so alone, for the person I want so desperately isn't on the other side of the snarling glass, oh no, she's been taken away and all that's left here with me is the memory of her voice, and the feeling of her last light kiss planted upon my cheek.

 

 What am I thinking? I'm so glad she's not here with me. So thankful that she's not in the cell next door to mine. White with the cold, body deteriorating from the torture, the hell of seeing her and not being able to hold her, no. Protect her. This new image that quickly forms in front of my eyes scares me so much I scream. It doesn't rouse any of my battered companions. Joanna has been flung back onto the tiled floor, glistening with water, her body still madly twitching from the surges of electrical voltage that powerfully play within her. Luckily from what I can tell she's unconscious.  Annie - who is so beyond reach, living life in her knotted brain of foggy thoughts- just sits like a deserted doll on a long lost shelf staring at the whitewashed walls and quietly consoles herself. Then there's Enobaria. I can't see Enobaria from my cell, nor Leaugue 1 and 2 but I can occasionally hear their painful screams that rattle through the doors, and jump off the walls before returning back to where it was born- their mouths. 

 

It's like the arena. Like clockwork they make sure you can hear it. And see it. (Hence the glass). And it's all I hear and see every hour of every day, voices, screams, some I know some I don't. Some that I hear all the time and some that are one-offs. Or there's the sight of an electrocuted Joanna, blood trickling like innocent rain drops down the side of the glass. Crimson red, glaring at me, not wanting to be overlooked. I can't do anything to stop it. And do you know what the worst part is? They haven't touched me yet. Haven't let my guttural screams free, so it too can join the others and rattle and bounce around the room or let my burning blood lick the floor.Not yet. I have to witness everyone else's torture whilst not having to endure my own. Knowing I'm fine. Perfectly fine.

 

I send a quiet message of thanks to my drunken friend Haymitch. "Thank you" I say, "Thank you for it being me here and not her." I close my eyes before I remember to say one more thing to him; "And thank you for keeping your side of the deal."

 

As soon as I was flung in here escape was my motive. It kept us busy thinking of underground routes and plans, disguises and weapons. We planned every last detail so there became a point where there was actual belief we could pull it off- It was the burning fuel that drove me through every day, it gave me the energy to wake up first thing in the morning and it kept my mind whirring at night. Until of course,Joanna and I where caught; she payed for it with more rounds of continuous torture. I didn't. After that I gave up planning even if it was all for the girl I loved. There's such a small chance I'll ever see her again it's pointless to try for her when the people next door to me are being hurt in unimaginable ways because of it. 

 

After that incident I just started existing and not living. I spent my dull and dragging days re-liveing old memories or waking up from my ever deepening nightmares of loosing Katniss that would leave me paralyzed and suffocated only to realise my nightmare had come true, and that I had truly lost her. I would sit,lie or paint with water on a canvas of  arctic floor tiles which just shows up the pictures I drew before it is evaporated and gone forever. I may also occasionally talk to a delusional Annie or once in a blue moon whisper to a conscious and stable Joanna who has just enough strength in her bodies's machine to keep up a conversation. Apart from that my days are so pointlessly spent in a numb dream - no amount of waking up will ever stop this cycle that is quickly eating away at my life.

 

 

 

I get up from the bed and walk over to Annie's side. I quietly rap on the sheet of glass no thicker than card, but created to be bullet and shatter proof so no amount of attacks you give it, it will always win. She jumps at the harsh sound, turns her head and looks at me; a wave of recognition plasters itself on her face as she tells herself I am no danger to her. She walks over so she is opposite to me. I smile and ask her something I've been dying to ask her ever since we've been thrown in here:

 

 

"Tell me how you met Finnick, Annie."

 

It's as if I had given her some glowing boost as she sits up, and pours out the most beautiful story I've ever heard. She may be nuts but she sure knows how to string perfect sentences together  and weave a fabric of blissful words.

 

"The hall was a midnight blue" she begins; "and there where little golden orbs from where the candle flames danced off their wicks. I, as usual was at the back, concealed by the shadows of the blue spotlights hoping not to be seen, or even acknowledged as a person; I'm not one for big parties, but having a family that is well respected in District 4 it was an absolute must to show my presence. Then I saw him. Finnick. Districts 4 golden boy, there he was only meters away from my hopefully-invisible-hideout. He was making small talk with the swarm of hopeful girls all buzzing like flies around him hoping to catch the new victor's eye. And I, gaze at this scene for what seems like hours when my little brother ran up to me, clearly seeing through my invisibility to talk to me. "Annie they have carrot cake here" he squealed as he held up a piece of half nibbled crumbling cake, I thanked that little rodent for eating my desert before he hurried away again, something was more worth his attention than his plain old sister-probably another sweat trolley, they where regularly brought out throughout the evening, crammed high with sugary pleasures that would make any person's heart race with excitement. Putting the cake down I had the feeling someone was standing over me, and there to my utter amazement he was. His bronze hair deflecting the navy blue in all different dazzling directions, his velvet tuxedo delicately embodied with tridents and his piercing eyes that caught mine and held them there. He sat down beside me and turned to me. 'Had enough dancing?" he said in that captivating purr, I smiled shyly not used to strangers talking at me, or being with me for this long, "I've done so much I'm surprised my legs haven't fallen off.'

 

As the night progressed we fell into one being. The rest of the night was a blur, and all I was aware of at the end was his body encircling mine as we, in a dreamlike way brushed around the dance floor, captivated by the music our hearts burning with desire for one another. That was the first time we met. Girls hated me, the capitol wouldn't have it Finnick Odaire being in love with a plain old district 4 girl? We need to make money with him, and so they sold his body off as if he were no more than a play thing. I never saw him again. Not even when I won the games -they made sure he was kept occupied somewhere within the capitol when I was touring the districts. So what else could I do but care for a broken heart and try and the live every day as if it were that night?  When he was mine, and I where his. As absurd as it seems especially in this age, life for the first time  was perfect then. Hopefully, if this war ends I can be with him again, and live as I'd always hope we would- in that dreamlike way where everything was simple, everything was perfect and there was no-one who would ever tear us apart again." 

 

It's then and only then does she realise my stunned face, and see's my eyes that have glaciated over with tears. "Was that what it was like with Katniss Peeta?" she whispers to me,  I smile at the fond memory, "much less grand than that, but the feelings where all the same;" I then do my side of the deal and spill out my first meeting with Katniss, it's a well known story now in Panem since it featured in the 74th Hunger Games, when Katniss and I were clinging on to survival and I told her about our first day of school, how she sung the Valley Song and how, at a young age I fell so deeply in love with her it's as if I'd known her for years. If I am ever lucky enough to see Katniss again I want to hold her and tell her I'll always protect her.

 

And this time I wont let go.

 

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