In most situations, I would probably stop, drop, and roll if my clothes caught fire But, this wasn't… fire.
I didn't feel warm, except for in the hand that Willow held. She seemed just as surprised that we were on fire as I was. I looked over at her, smiling. She looked straightforward, a smile on her face. She was looking at the crowds, not waving but nodding slightly every few seconds.
I took my chance and put my arm around her neck, smiling wide and looking at the crowds. They cheered and hollered and yelped. Willow seemed just as surprised, but then realized what I was doing and did the same thing. The crowd loved us.
Being from District 12, our carriage arrived in front of President Snow last. I saw the other tributes waving. And some others standing there, no facial expressions. I unhooked my arm from around Willow's neck, reaching back for her hand. I knew she was nervous, she hated large crowds of people.
Even though I knew that President Snow was addressing everyone, I could feel him watching us. Studying us.
On our way out of the parade, when our carriage takes the final turn, I kiss Willow on the cheek.
And I swear the entire crowd screams at the top of their lungs.
Once we get off, Willow immediately heads for the elevator to go upstairs. "Wil-" I start, but am whisked away before I can finish.
Katniss takes me to a small room and shuts the door.
"You've got a brave spirit, Rye. The Capitol's in an uproar." Katniss sounds happy, but doesn't look it.
I smile. "Just trying to get Sponsors."
She opens the door, then pats me on the shoulder. "Don't let Willow find out it's only for the Sponsors. Her little heart will shatter into thousands of pieces."
Then Katniss leaves me there to drown in what I've done.