Death Wishes: a Twilight and Hunger Games Crossover

Bella Swan has bitterly hated Carlisle Cullen for not helping her father when he most needed it, causing the loss of her father. When she is chosen at the Reaping to go into the Hunger Games with Edward Cullen, she sees her chance to exact her revenge. What will happen in the arena?

Edward Cullen is a vampire so he is indifferent when he is chosen because none of the weapons can harm him. What happens when he falls in love with Bella Swan?

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8. Chapter 6- Gamemakers

Author's Note:Thank you to every one of you who have read this story! You are the reason this story continues to be written, gave the encouragements that make my finger long for the keys of my laptop so I could finish yet another chapter. Hope you enjoy the next chapter!

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Edward's POV

I escaped into my room before anyone could bother me after I returned from that first day of training.

During the course of the next two days, I had grown an unhealthy obsession over Bella Swan- my attraction to her and the puzzle of her mind.

I was in fierce contradiction to my feelings for her.

Every second you spend with her puts her in more danger., I told myself again and again.

I tried to argue. Too bad. You're stuck with her because you have been chosen to go with her into the Games.

I didn't know, couldn't decided, if it was a good thing or bad thing.

You put her in danger.

You have to protect her in the arena.

She doesn't need you to protect her. Except from yourself. She has the werewolf and her own Career skills to protect her from the external dangers aside from those of the supernatural world.

I winced at the thought. It was a good thing, morally right, for her to choose him over me. But it didn't make it any easier to try to force myself to accept the truth; a knife to my heart wouldn't be a strong enough description. The hole she would've filled opened larger, gained depth, until it tunneled a chasm through my heart and very being.

She was watching me. I could tell. I could feel her gaze burning into the back of my neck and it made me nervous- every time I felt nervous during the last two days, I would have to force back a chuckle at myself.

Her beautiful, stumbling walk, her graceful, eloquent speech, her easy blush, her silent mind. When I heard her say my name to the werewolf, I liked the way my name sounded on her lips. Musical. Good. Even though I wasn't good. I was happy that she actually defended me in front of the werewolf, treated me like an equal person instead of a freakish alien, think I was worth paying attention to, causing some deep, unfamiliar feeling to bloom in my chest.

I knew that the attraction was real now. Alice had said as much. But what really hurt was that I couldn't be with her. Because every moment, every second, every minute I spend with her, I put her in more danger. I can't allow that.

And if you be with her and when she dies, and Alice has already warned you about this, you will hurt and suffer eternally. I laughed bitterly at that thought. It wasn't as if I wouldn't hurt if she dies now.

Still, unable to help myself, I watched her through the clearest eyes there was on the District 2 floor, Jane and Alec, but their heads were filled with cold, murderous thoughts. I was incensed- what had she ever done to them?-  but also afraid, for Bella. I knew what Jane and Alec are capable of- the Volturi have ruled our kind for as long as Carlisle has been alive, which is a very long time indeed- and I'm suddenly glad of the werewolf child downstairs with Bella.

But I still wondered. Why? They are the Volturi so these thoughts don't surprise me. But what did happened that  caused these thoughts to suddenly spring up?

That girl. Why doesn't my gift work on her?, Jane thought repeatedly, frustrated.

The breath I was unconsciously holding whistled through my teeth in relieve. Jane's gift doesn't work on Bella either. Neither did mine. I'm guessing Alec's doesn't work either. Why? There was so much unknown and new things about this mysterious girl.

She knows too much. She and the boy will pay., Alec thought to himself. A hollow feeling curled in my stomach. The werewolf boy told her. I could feel my face contorting with horror and dread. As much as I hoped she wouldn't betray us, she was still a virtual stranger whom I don't know very much about; she was a Career, grown up in District 2 though she had proven that she wasn't who I think she was. What will she do?

Why didn't Alice tell me about this yet? Maybe the choice hasn't been made yet. That seemed like a possible reason.

I tried watching her through Mike's eyes though the thoughts were repulsing so I switched between Jane and Alec, Jacob and Mike though they all didn't seem to see her too often.

Deep, human, teenager feelings has been surfacing on top of the shreds of humanity I managed to hang on to when I changed. Jealousy. Lust. Interest. Affection. Maybe even love. Human feelings multiplied a hundred times, feelings I was not accustomed to and found hard to control and press down. It hurts that all I could do was watch from a distance, longing pulling at my heart strings and making it hard to focus on anything but what I wanted.  Not her blood this time. The human way. But I can't. Because I's put her in danger. And I will not allow that. When will the misery end once it started?, I wondered as the yearning swirled in the hole in my heart, waiting for Bella, where Bella would've filled it in if we were the same.

I wanted to know her better, find out her personality, history, all those things that Jacob knows without effort.

Another jet of envy shot through my heart at the sound of the boy's name in my thoughts.

I looked back on her yelling at me this morning in the Center, the first time we talked. She had said she was landed with years of abuse.

Seeing Bella in pain made me wince myself, made my frozen, silent heartache. I couldn't believe it. Anger burned in my heart, directed at Carlisle. Why did he leave her dad that wretched night? He never told us why, just that he did leave an innocent man to die in the snow and that he was guilty and sorry.

Abuse was a part of her childhood, what made her purer and better than most other Careers.

She was shy. I could see that by the way she stammered when I talked to her during training. I would still have to prove that later though there are plenty of chances. The Interviews are coming up, after all.

The escort walked in and smiled brightly. "Edward! You have to show your skills to the Gamemakers!"

I groaned internally. I didn't want to show off. Showing off was rude. I didn't need the score. I'll live whether they gave me an 1 or a 12.

Sighing, I got ready and arrived at the dining room, staying as far away from the human food as possible, moving my shoulders up and down while holding my breath to prevent or reduce any chance of harming Bella.

One by one, the tributes before me disappear and never came back into the same room. I knew there was an advantage for me to seeing what they could do so I tuned the thoughts of the Gamemakers out. I was too focused on Bella's every move to try and figure out why the other tributes disappeared; I'll find out when I"disappear" myself. Instead, I watched Bella's every movement, memorizing the way she walked and talked and smiled and blushed. When the werewolf had squeezed her hand, my teeth snapped and clenched together vise.

I watched as she turned her head to gaze at me and flushed. Hm... I wondered what she's thinking right now.

Then, it occurred to me that staring out right at somebody was not polite in the slightest sense. So I turned my head the other way and continued my work through the eyes of the District 3 tributes.

She was called and in response, she walked clumsily to the door.

May the odds be ever in your favor, Isabella Swan., I yelled in my head playfully as I watched her enter.

It was my turn. I stepped through the doorway and, immediately, scents of my kind wafted into my nose. Fear overtook me and racked my body until it became a statue in front of the door. It can't be.

Where's Bella?, I thought, panicked. There are vampires here. Vampires. Vampires who don't live the same way my father, mother, sister, and brother figures do. Vampires who drink human blood freely. Vampires to whom Bella's blood may appeal to. My body went cold at the thought and the hole in my chest opened into a yearning black hole. But I had to make sure, even if it would hurt me more when I found out she's gone. I took a deep whiff and listened carefully for her heartbeat. And I both smelled and heard her. I relaxed, the hole returned to its former size, the fear dissolved, immediately, as her scent hit me like a battle ram and made fire race down my throat, made excessive venom pool in my mouth. As long as I burned, she's alive and well. And that's what counts for me. I'll suffer eternally for her.

That hesitation, that moment of fear, was only a few seconds but long enough to catch attention. No vampire would hesitate that long.

Some of the Gamemakers looked at me with boredom, and the human ones, very rare, maybe one or two among them, fascination or interest. They hadn't had a vampire or werewolf in here in a while because most either work in the Capitol or, like us, are scattered thinly over many Districts. This year probably broke their records., I thought, amused. Both a vampire and a werewolf. And, not just any vampire. An animal-blood drinking vampire.

A thought occurred to me. Werewolves were the vampire's natural enemy. What score did Jacob get? I had to clench my teeth back from the chuckles.

They fascination and interest on their faces quickly returned to boredom. I was just another vampire. Nothing special. I noticed most of the vampires were now only paying attention to me because they had to and because that was the polite thing to do but I could tell they wanted to be anywhere but here. I decided to show off my gift, something I'm proud of, to surprise them.

I listened carefully. Who's this? The one who got the attention that last night? Good for him.

Oh. I knew him. He probably didn't recognize me but I do him. He was simply accepted into the Volturi simply for his fighting skills. A cruel, ruthless, brutal fighter. Just like a normal Career. Bella would be a not normal Career., I thought, amused. I answered his thought out loud, using his name in my answer. "Yes, Sir"- I tried not to add any sarcasm to make it sound rude; it was difficult to do indeed for I didn't like him- "Felix. It happens that I caught some attention last night. And I thank you for your congratulations."

He stared at me like I had suddenly grown a second head. A mind-reading gift was not new to them for another vampire, Aro, Felix's own leader, the leader of the Volturi and the President of Panem, has one too. Though he has to touch you to hear every thing you ever saw or thought in your entire life. Well, existence because vampires were technically dead. There were never two identical gifts.

Carlisle has a theory about vampire gifts. He thinks that our strongest talent from when we were human would become our gift, a thousand times stronger, multiplied along with our senses and minds and, according to Rosalie, it was the most important thing of the change, our beauty. And because everybody's talent is different, everybody's mind works differently, there were no identical gifts. Of course, it was just a theory but it seemed to be correct.

Oh! Wow. Um..... You're welcome?, Felix thought, confused and scrambling to have coherent thoughts in his shock.

I moved on and focused on another Gamemaker. Cool gift. I wish I had one like that! I would hear what everybody is thinking. It would be so convenient in my line of work though my beauty and gift is also pretty useful., Heidi thought. Another Volturi. I wondered how much of the Volturi guards were Gamemakers. Heidi's main job was to bring humans for the vampires of the Capitol to feast on and she would lure them in with job offers and amazing sight-seeing. All for free! Wow! Note sarcasm.

Most of their victims were from the poorer Districts, where their hunger and starvation drove them to the point of desperation, when they would accept almost anything and do anything for a consistent food supply and a comfortable and warm place to sleep in.

"Thank you for you compliment on my gift, Lady Heidi." I tried not to sound strangled for she was a self-absorbed person, even more so than Rosalie, making me hate Heidi. At least Rosalie still cares about some of the people in her life. Heidi was cold and cruel but aren't all the Volturi that way? Isn't cold and cruel that caused Aro to start the Games tradition in the first place? That's why I hate the Volturi. They had no respect for human lives. I continued, "Yes, I am in total agreement. Your beauty-" I tried not to gag; Bella was the most beautiful in the world- "and charm are very potent and useful indeed. May they serve you the best of wishes and purposes."

A few more answers to their thoughts, after revealing I was the "son" of Carlisle, I was dismissed to muttering and murmurs in the crowd. I smiled to myself as I walked through the exit. I had caused an impression on the Gamemakers. A cold thought killed my tiny moment of happiness. If I made an impression, would I make the expectations from each tribute higher? Would I take down Bella's score?

I hurried back to my floor and was given the Interviews score.

Bella got an 10. The other Careers' points are around that range. There were a variety of points and I was amused as I analyzed my face- suddenly noticing I look old despite my seventeen-years-old features- staring at me from the screen. A number 10 flashes on the screen. I smiled to myself, a decent score but not high enough the catch attention. Still low enough for me to blend in.

That night, I sneaked down to Bella's bedroom. I couldn't stopped myself. I watched as she laid in bed, staring at the ceiling, making me increasingly frustrated. What was she thinking? It sounded like she aimed for an eleven or twelve; to please her dead father. She was also whispering about being mediocre, never standing out, never special or good at anything, always being plain and boring, a nobody who would die hours into the Games.

How I beg to differ.

I should have done worse so she could get what she wanted., I repeated, voice filled with regret, inside my head.

But if people and I keep on doing that, she'll be spoiled and become like Lauren., another voice countered.

I winced. I couldn't ever compare my pure good Bella to that perverted daydreamed. It pained me to see the disappointment in her eyes, at the sound of her sighs but not able do anything.

Thankfully, she fell asleep and I watched as she tossed and turned and mumbled, all the while making fire burn my throat with a thirst for her blood. I couldn't bear to even think about drinking her now. I was too fascinated and interested by her silent mind and good personality to ever be able to give in the something as simple as thirst, something I have been able to press down for hundreds of years.

"Charlie, move! Carlisle, I beg you, please. Please save him, please help him!"

She was remembering her father's death. "I'm sorry.", I whispered into the darkness, knowing she couldn't hear it. 

"Edward", she seemingly answered, scarily clearly, and I started, turning around, muscles tensing with nervousness, an involuntary guilty expression twisting my features before I realized that she was still asleep.

She's dreaming of me., I thought surprised. And those warm human feelings inside me engulfed me. I was still in firm denial to what I felt for her but I couldn't denial that anymore.

It was as if I became a different man in the course of that one night. It was ad if I was a cold, unfeeling statue, now, I was a living breathing man. It doesn't make anything better though. In fact, it made thinking about leaving her and not being able to be with her even more painful.

I left hurriedly before she woke up and laid down on the bed to act like I was sleeping all night, thinking about what Alice told me and my obsession over Bella

Bella's POV

After three days of training, the private sessions with the Gamemakers were upon us.

Edward ignored me the whole time, pretending I wasn't there at all, as if I was invisible, as if I didn't exist. That hurt as I watched him every single day and, when we had retired to our rooms, I would feel as if I'm missing something, as if I had to, at least, be watching his profile walking from station to station every moment of my life. I had never been so happy to wake up everyday to go to training.

The idea of revenge should've appealed to me, should've made my blood boil with excitement and anticipation, but it doesn't now. I didn't question it one bit for I knew it was my feelings in the way of my "just" judgement.

When I told myself that, I had argued, If you want revenge, you should take it out on Carlisle. Not Edward.

I couldn't argue with that. I didn't want him to die, didn't want him to be killed in the arena.

Weak thoughts, I scolded myself. You are a Career. You shouldn't care the least bit about them.

But I can't help it!, I whined inside. Whining didn't make the situation any better.

Jacob pleaded me to tell him what Edward and I said to each other to cause such distress. "Please, please, please tell me what the bloodsucker told you."

I felt anger at the nickname Jacob made for him. "In case you haven't noticed, his name is Edward." I snapped angrily. "And I am not going to tell you." I paused, thinking. Should I tell him? But that conversation between Edward and I felt like something private, a secret, not to be told to outsiders.

I felt strange about calling Jacob an outsider. All my life, he was my one and only friend. So should I tell him? 

Yes., encouraged a part of me that cares for Jacob, maybe more than that. But that was too small a portion. But somebody else, someone I just met, holds the attraction of the majority.

No., countered the majority of me.

Yes!, the Jacob voice insisted. It was losing and was striving to remain and have comebacks during this argument. He's your best friend, by all means!

He's Edward., the other part retaliated. If you were to tell Jacob, he or Jacob's dead for sure. Jacob will go after him.

You'll save many more lives than you will take, Bella. You are kind-hearted. Charlie's voice whispered repeatedly in my head.

I chose the option where no one would get hurt. Except Jacob's feelings. "I'm sorry, Jacob. No. I'll tell you when I want to." When I do. Which is never. Sadly. I'm sorry, Jacob.

He groaned, frustrated. "You owe me the information, Bella. I told you everything you needed to know about vampires and werewolves and the supernatural world."

I hesitated. That was true. But once the choice was made, it was easy to follow out on it. I was sure, now. I wouldn't be convinced. "No", I answered firmly.

He stared at me pleadingly for one short fraction of a second before turning around and walking away.

"Jacob, wait!", I called after his retreating profile.

He turned back to me and I saw his eyes had hardened. "You chose the monster over me.", he said simply.

I had not reply to that for it was true. Would I do it again?, I wondered to myself after he was long gone. I couldn't find the answer inside me.

I cared for Jacob, he was my best friend. But Edward was just.....different. I knew that I wanted to choose Edward and only because I was afraid of hurting Jacob did the indecision form.

Would I make different choices if I never knew Jacob had feelings for me?

Yes. And I'm not sure I liked who I would've chosen, firmly, without doubt, over and over again.

I have no idea how long I stood there, pondering between these two people when an Avox found me and led me back to my room, temporarily interrupting my train of thoughts and argument for it couldn't be called a debate inside me. It was all about my feelings and they weren't factual.

Once inside my room, my thinking resumed where it left out and the longer I laid there on my bed, the harder it is for me to decide, the more painful it is to think of the moment I would have to decide. My mind, or heart, was tore in two now.

Amber waltzed in and announced we were going to show off to the Gamemakers now.

Butterflies erupted inside me and queasily, I followed her out the door into the training room for the private training sessions with the Gamemakers.

I met up with Jacob and though he never spoke, I could see he seemed to have forgiven me to some degree, to my immense relief. I breathed a sigh.

We arrived and took a seat. James and Victoria were off and done at the beginning while I sat around, fidgeting with the hem of my shirt. Jacob was then called, depriving me of my only comfort. He gave my hand a comforting squeeze- I tried not to think that it was more than friendship for him but still friendship for me- and left the room, leaving me alone with my depressing thoughts. Which wasn't a good thing.

You are going to get a 0! There's no way that you'll get a high score!, sneered the voice at the back of my head. I flinched, wishing that what it was saying was untrue. No such thing. It continued. You are Isabella Swan, the disgraceful tribute, the One who Should Die, the One who Shouldn't Have Been Born. Because of that, my family and I had a really hard time trying to stay hidden from attention with the Capitol.

Why do I have to be the one with the weaknesses? Renee had nothing to say about the taunts, probably agreeing inside, though, when I have returned home, crying, hurt and feeling rejected, Charlie had reassured me once that I wasn't weak. He said I was just have kind heart and would save instead of take many lives. Unfortunately, we weren't as alone as we thought so somebody- I don't know who but now I suspect Renee for she was the only other person in the house- had heard him and earned him a beating and a degrading in his status as a Peacekeeper. We never spoke about that subject again and Charlie could only watch while it happened and the result but I promised myself I will never cry again; I will never make Charlie goes through that again for me.

Of course, Charlie's gone but I will still keep that promise until the end of my time. I wondered how long that will be, with my weaknesses and all.

I wasn't sure if keeping my promise to myself was possible now, what with the situation I'm in. With all the confusion and the initial shock at his reaction when I requested his favor that day over my friendship with Jacob and my mother and my grief over my dad, I had totally forgot I made that promise. I had already broke my promise many times.

I swear that I won't break it again., I told myself.

I hope I keep that promise.

Because my best friend had left the room and took the only comfort I had, I willingly, because I wanted to see him, unwillingly because I was nervous that he would catch me looking, sought out Edward. I found him easily enough. He was staring at me, his golden topaz eyes filled with wonder and frustration as he watched my every move. I flushed under his intense gaze from a few feet away and he turned politely away though I had a feeling he was still watching me.

But how?, I wondered. He turned his head the other way, to the back wall. There's no way he can still see me. Unless he has eyes on the back of his head. A hysterical giggle bubbled to my lips at the thought and I forced it down.

The test came way too fast. After what seemed like seconds after Jacob was called, I was up next. Taking deep breathes, trying to get past the hand wrapped around my throat now, I walked inside. I had saved my skill with knife-throwing for this moment. Make it perfect., I ordered myself.

I was nervous but I knew I would excel. At least, I told myself that again and again for if I got a low score, I couldn't live with myself.

Charlie had always assured I would get a high score, not often for he was shy and was uncomfortable with sharing feelings and compliments so every time he did, I must have done something better than usual; I would be very proud of myself. Renee would also congratulate me for doing a good job; she had helped me with the chores and homework so I could get it done faster, allowing me more time to practice and training, and other bothersome things that stood in the way of training. I had thanked her every time she did it for me and she'll just wave it off. How fast people change sometimes.

My eyes swept over the people in the room. Pale skin. fluid and graceful movements. Inhuman beauty. Vampires. Hopefully they didn't take down much of Jacob's score. Like there's  any hope in that.

There were also very advanced equipment. Moving dummies.

Those would be useful., I thought to myself, trying to be cheerful.

They all turned and some regarded me with interest. Others inhaled deeply and stared at me like a meal. I hated that look and it caused shivers to go up and down my body- I was a Career, for goodness' sake. I shouldn't feel fear! As if that was possible as I watched these ancient people study my every move.

I hope I get this over with soon. 

"What would you like to show us, Isabella Swan?" The voice was monotonous, bored. Like Jane and Alec's.

Another shiver threatened to go through me. I forced every muscle to stay rigid and stiff.

With a trembling voice- wishing that it wasn't trembling-, I replied, "May I use the moving targets and have the lights be turned off, please?"

"Yes", was the terse response of one of the crowd.

"Thank you", I choked out.

I grabbed some knives off a shelf and stood ready, facing the moving dummies.

"Are you ready?", asked a silken voice. Like Edward's.

I had to internally smack myself over the head to get my mind back into focus.

I nodded.

"Very well"

The lights suddenly flickered off and the room was suddenly plunged into pitch darkness. I couldn't see anything but I knew the room vaguely now.

A momentary panic overtook my senses, urged me to beg them to turn the lights back on. I forced down the delirious words on my tongue, waiting to spill over, and instead, took a knife.

I listened carefully for sounds of movement.

Charlie has always said that I worked well also in the dark. I had love to practice that with him too.

And I heard it. Metallic creaking sounds as they advanced forward, towards me. I tensed and got ready.

My muscles reacted before my mind commanded it to do so and sent the knife flying. I winced, fearful but not able to do anything for the knife was already out of my hands and control, only able to hope and hoping with all my might it would land on target and at the right time. It was and I let out the air being held in my mouth and relished in the sound of it whistling through my teeth. 

It went like that for many more minutes and when the lights finally flickered back on, I noticed they were pretty surprised. I felt proud. No one has ever been able to work in the dark as well as I did.

I expected applause, I expected compliments, as watching eagerly at their faces; I didn't feel as mediocre now. I could feel the excitement and pride in myself, a warm glow- as I could've jumped up and down with my excellent performance. I was so happy; my feelings going sky high and left me stunned for I haven't been this joyous since Charlie died and at the unexpectedness of it. As I stood for them to answer or dismiss me, as still as I could make myself, they just quickly rearranged their faces and their answer disappointed me, brought my excitement down to Earth like a plummeting bird with a broken wing.

"You may go", was their only response.

I nodded, excitement and pride gone, my thoughts returning to the negative- telling myself I'm average, plain, a disgrace- and trying to swallow past the lump in my throat, I left the room through the exit they indicated.

I couldn't do anything except sit around and wait anxiously for my score to come out. I have to get a high score. For Charlie. I was so nervous- I caught myself biting down on my lower lip more times than I can count- and the Gamemakers reaction after my performance was not very helpful to my already low self-confidence.

Butterflies in my stomach made me sick and I could barely eat or drink anything, as I waited and waited for the scores to come out.

Jacob has continued to be a silent comfort, not speaking or making a sound, just being comforting me by his presence alone. I found myself longing for Edward instead, which lead to a long scolding from and to myself about my betrayal to Jacob.

Finally, the TV came on and the scores were announced. James and Victoria were given eights, causing outraged stomping sounds on our ceiling and disturbing fight-scene sounds.

It was our turn. I held my breath as Jacob's face flashed on. A two. What had I expected when most of the Gamemakers are vampires?

Jacob was furious, and he, like Victoria and James, stomped around the floor, swearing under his breath, which seemed funny to me, until he started muttering about how unfair, unjust, biased and prejudiced "bloodsuckers" are, sending a sudden wave of sickening anger through me- my breathing came out faster and my arms folded on their own accord, eyes narrowing at Jacob with a mid of their own. How dare Jacob called Edward that?

I had to remind myself that not all vampires are as kind as Edward- was he kind or am I just saying that because I'm totally obsessed over him? (I blushed at that thought)-, Carlisle, for example. Or the vampires- too bad for Jacob and I- who were Gamekeepers and hasn't seen anything new in centuries and centuries, bored with the same things we keep on showing them.

I realized that was the first time I admitted to myself my feelings for Edward. I was afraid of love; Renee has always warned me so.

Her voice whispered in my mind now. Love makes you weak; gives your enemy an advantage. I should never have fallen in love with Charlie. Instead, I should've just stayed by his side peacefully and contently; we Careers know that people die too fast and we shouldn't be attached. When they leave us, we become weak, or someone we aren't supposed to be. She had laughed bitterly before gesturing at herself. You see this? This is what your father's death and my own foolishness got me.

I had shrunk away, scared, face weary, drawn and pale at trying to cope with this new mom.

When I had went to sleep that night, I knew that Renee may have been right, to a degree, even though she shouldn't have taken her anger out at me. I had swore to myself not to make the same mistake, not to be and do what my mother did.

I sighed internally at my weakness. How many other promises I had made to myself would I break? I had already cried once; I may have fallen for another.

My attention was suddenly drawn back to the screen when my face came on. I stared back at my eyes glaring from the screen, intimidated by the blank but fierce look in my eyes.

How did they get that picture of me?, wondered my subconscious; my main focus was on the screen and for a second, time seemed to stand still, I felt suffocated, probably because I was holding my breath.

What would I get? A repeated chant in my head.

Then, the number ten flashes on the screen and I felt an utter dismay, I could almost feel the remaining hope I had held on to drop from ground level to the center of planet Earth- a large negative number- as I watched in horror, the score mocking me from the screen.

My face disappeared almost instantly from the TV, along with my score, but I didn't need the screen to remember my score. It was burned into the back of my eyelids, into my brain, and taunted me from the confines of my memory.

"How did you get such high score?", Jacob complained repeatedly from his spot across the room where he had paced.

I didn't answer for a long time; I just stared at the long-dark screen, face ashen, in fierce denial and shock of my score.

I had promised Charlie I would get a 12. How did I get a 10?

You knew you were going to get a lower score anyway. So stop acting., chided a cold voice in the back of my head. I flinched at the words. You were never good enough. You are a disappointment to your District, parents, friends.

I didn't participate in dinner; I just went directly to my room, laying down to stare at the ceiling, and scolded myself, berating, putting myself down, like I always did when I had promised myself something and broke it. Which happened more after I had entered the Games and Charlie died than my entire life before.

I kept on feeling as if somebody was watching me but I couldn't put my finger on who or why somebody would do that and I couldn't bring myself to care much. All I did was lie on top of my bed and stare at the ceiling ad I put myself down for being an disgrace and breaking yet another one of my promises to Charlie.

The others had to good grace to lear me alone, except the person I suspect is  spying on me.

Hours were spent that way and night soon fell upon us. I wanted to change into something more comfortable to wear to sleep and I felt that I probably shouldn't change with somebody else in the room.

I closed my eyes and the normal scene of Charlie's death began to replay again and again and again, sending agony ripping through my chest, a monster clawing at my ribcage, making the thud of my heart dull and hollow. I had to fight the urge to scream and cry and sob like a little girl from a poorer, or more flowery and princess-y District, until I finally fell into a restless sleep.

When I woke up, the mysterious spy was gone.

To day was the Interviews; tomorrow will be the beginning of the Games. The thought sent a wave of dizziness coursing through me and I had to lean against the wall until the world stopped spinning with fear and regret.

You are supposed to be excited and ready for the Games; you are a Career., I scolded myself. You don't feel fear.

Nobody is ready for the Games. And everybody feels fear once in a while., I countered.

You shouldn't feel regret your choice- it doesn't matter if you have thought it through and pondered for hours and days or if it was made on the spur of the moment- had been made and you can't change it now.

No matter how much I wish I could turn back time and un-volunteer myself.

My thoughts unconsciously turned to Edward. You would never have met him if you didn't volunteer., a part of me thought dreamily.

And I'm not supposed to fall for him! I couldn't deny that now, no matter how hard I wish it wasn't true. He or I would die in the arena. It would hurt either you or him. Look at what Charlie's death did to Renee? You wouldn't want to become a monster.

So I decided to have nothing to do with Edward from now on, to save us both pain.

* * *

Author's Note: Yay! I got another chapter done! I have noticed, on average, that I update every two weeks so expect the next update to be at around that time though, sadly, I'm not making any promises because school and my teachers are unpredictable. Thank you for reading and I hope you enjoyed the chapter! 'See' you next, next week with the biggest cliffhanger of the already-written chapters!

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