I woke up the next morning, my throat feeling course from all the yelling I had done and my shoulders and hands in pain, from hitting and running into things. As soon as I sat up, I felt dizzy, so I lay down again until stars stopped blinding my eyes. I stood wobbly, and went to the bathroom, to clear up whatever mess I had left last night. I looked in the mirror on the way in. My hair was everywhere, but that hardly mattered anyways. I looked at the black clothes and remembered that I didn't have training today. That I had nothing today. That I would be alone all I. I doubted that any of the other girls would want to be next to be because of my anger yesterday. And I couldn't talk to any of the Kings. Especially Bo. I almost yearned to go and talk to him, but I couldn't bring myself to do it.
I wiped a stray tear from the corner of my eye and drank a cup of water, which I swished around in my mouth and then spat out, clearing the bad taste. I brushed my teeth and went over to the dresser I rarely used. Suddenly, I hoped that no one had heard the argument last night. Or else, the plans would be destroyed. Everything. Me, the Kings, Bo. I felt sick again as I remembered some of the things I had said. And I had yelled them. Quite loudly. I opened the dresser door and pulled out a pair of dark jeans and a shirt. I changed my socks and put on sneakers. Then I walked to the Dining Hall, a path which I had magnificently memorized in the past day or two. The hallway was empty.
I pulled open the doors to the hall and closed them behind me. The table was half full. I went and quietly sat next to Eliza, who didn't seem very happy to see me. Food was served a few minutes later as the rest of the table's members joined the table and got to talking. I looked at my food reservedly and waited for Bo to come to the meal, but he didn't. He wouldn't. He was probably writing angsty poetry about it by now. And then he would treat me distantly, like I understood was probably reasonable for yelling at him last night. We would never be the same again. He would get me kicked out for some reason and have someone else become his guard. And they would spend time with him and grow to like him and him to her and it would be happily ever after for them, just like in the story tales.
I ate my food quietly, not really paying attention to whatever conversations were going on around me. One more day. That was all I had to really last. And by the end of tonight I would either be dead or wishing I was from the guilt. But would I feel guilty then? Strangely enough, the thought comforted me. Then Bo and I wouldn't be fighting. I pushed the thoughts from my head, angrily. How dare I think like that? I would be strong. I apparently would have to kill the old asshole of a King and I would do it proudly. No more cowering from other people as I did the entire competition. I would not just hover around the Kings, being their pawn. I would... my thoughts were interrupted by a mug being practically slammed on the table in front of me. I looked up, shocked.
Finn was standing next to me, smirking. "Good morning Sunshine." He said blandly. I glanced at the hot mug suspiciously. A sharp scent filled my nostrils and I saw the steam rising up. "It's coffee." He said, "I heard you wanted some."
"Thanks." I exhaled and reached for the mug. It warmed my hands. I took a small sip and felt the warmth travel down my throat and it warmed my insides too.
"What was that?" Finn asked, still at my shoulder, "I couldn't hear you."
"I said 'thanks'," I said, slightly aggressive.
"Your welcome." Finn replied before he leaned in to my ear. "I'm sorry, Liv. I really am." I turned sharply towards him.
"No your not." I hissed, "You got me to do your dirty work."
"Get up," He said, nudging me with his annoyingly sharp elbow. "We're going to talk."
"I don't want to talk."
"Well, now you're being childish." He said,
"I had a "talk" last night."
"And I heard it went swimmingly." Finn said sarcastically. He waited a moment for me to move- which I didn't so he grabbed my upper arm forcefully and forced me to get up. Before he walked away from my chair he had me grab my drink. He pulled me out of the room and through many hallways to the library, where he let go of my arm. One of my hands reached up and rubbed the part he had grabbed. He gently shoved me across the room towards the table and into one of the chairs. He sat in one next to me. "Calmly," He said, it was odd seeing Finn fill the role of being the calm one for once. "What is your problem?"
"My problem?" I asked, "My problem! My problem is that you and your stupid brothers have been using me since day one! And stupid you suggested that you toss out your small plan-which apparently you've been scheming for months about, and just decide that I will stab a knife into your father. And then all your brothers agree its a good idea and I don't get a say!
"And what was that about needing civilian backing? You don't! You have a scape goat whose name is Liv! And I'll probably get killed immediately? And who cares? Certainly no one here since they drafted me to do their dirty work. By the way? How did you come up with so little of a plan in months? You came up with this one in a week and the plan before that was after a day!" Finn nodded along at my ranting, shushing me when I would get to loud, according to him. He asked questions accordingly, when I seemed to need them.
"And once more I hate to bring up the so called plan you had," I began sarcastically, "But the letter idea? Civilian backing? Who cares! After I kill your father for you and your stupid brothers I'll get speared through by your good friend, Maro! If you hadn't noticed in all of your years living around her- she had wicked fast reflexes and is quite sharp at protecting things. You never needed my grandmother, you just wanted to know about her to use me. I am nothing but a fork in a banquet."
"Interesting way of phrasing that," Finn said, his eyebrows knit together confusedly. "But I do understand why you're so pissy." Finn said.
"I am not pissy!" I said indignantly, feeling a little bit better. I had yelled at Bo last night, and he had yelled back but this was a little different. I was just saying things to get them out there and Finn was listening, acknowledging. But I was still angry and still wanted to do other things to get the idea of what I was to do in the future out of my head.
"Fine," Finn said, "Whatever. I am sorry, sis." He said though, looking into my eyes. "For suggesting it, but it...it has to be done." I looked to the ground. During the time I had ranted I had finished my coffee and now I was just holding an empty mug. Finn stood, pried the mug from my hands and left me alone in the library with my thoughts. But it was, for once, the only place I didn't want to be and the only time I didn't want to be alone with myself. I stood and left the library.
First, I tried to find a way to the training room using back hallways. I stumbled across some I had never seen before, and I wound up in a large empty room. There was a cobwebby bureau on one wall and the floor was incredibly dusty. I took a step into the room and looked at my feet. There was a very noticeable shoe mark from where I was. I looked up again. There were windows with stain glass on two of the walls, But, they were mostly covered up. The sheet falling in some places, leaving red light to hit the floor majestically.
Cautiously, I walked over to the bureau and ran a finger over the top. Very dusty. I pulled open on of the drawers and inside was what looked like some ancient papers and pens. I looked at it for a few minutes before I closed the drawer, and but a mental bookmark here. I would visit her another day. If I lived. And I would personally clean up that room and look through that desk. If I lived. I would play music in there and dance alone. If I lived. I walked the way I thought I remembered back to the way I first came. After only one wrong turned I made it to the library, where I walked to the Dining Hall and through the kitchens, only stopping to smell the loaves of bread in the oven. Everything was much busier in there than it had been. But, then again there was going to be a big party later and there was a large need for food.
In fact, the kitchen staff seemed to be doubled. There were people everywhere, rushing across the room. It was wild and yet amazing how they weren't that loud. A heavy set woman was coming my way, not looking where she was going. I scurried out of the room and into the training room, where, I ran a few laps around the gym. I had gotten used to running, or exercising everyday and even though running was one of the worst things in the world, I still felt I needed to. Once there was a light sheen of sweat on my face, I sat down and wiped it away with the sleeve of my shirt. I looked at the clock on the wall. I had time.
I also, didn't really care what I looked like to that party. Nor did I know the dress code, but I didn't care anyway. The only thing I cared about was seeing my family. Seeing Mom and the boys. Seeing Gran. Anticipation lit up in my stomach. I leaned my head against the wall.
I took a deep breath in. One out and continued doing that until I felt completely zen on the inside. Each second that ticked away on the clock on the wall was one second closer to me becoming a murderer. A cold blooded murderer. But, each second that ticked away also meant that I was one more second away from being with Bo. From talking...rationally. I pushed myself off the floor and left to go back through the kitchens and to the Dining Hall. In the room, I saw one of the girls...Nora talking with one of the cooks. I had to stop referring to them as 'one of the girls'. I was one of them and they me. And I would be stuck with them for, well...ever.
"Excuse me," I said, interrupting their conversation. "Do you know where the party is being held?"