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I manage to squeak out a feeble, "Why?" before turning back to Finnick. He shakes his head at me before answering.
"Well, she was the only living relative of Katniss that could enter the Games, since there was no District Twelve female victor." Finnick sighs sadly. "I wish it could have been changed." Women in the Capitol audience are screaming Finnick's name, much to my annoyance. He hardly seems to notice as he walks back to his chariot.
I turn back towards Prim, who looks like she's trying hard not to cry. I immediately want her as an ally, that I am one hundred percent sure of. She looks at me and her blue eyes meet my golden ones before she abruptly turns away.
Confused, I walk over to her. Haymitch and Chaff are laughing loudly at something and Prim looks nervous. Her golden hair weabes around her head in an intricate braid and her dress has flames on the wrists and reaches down to her knees. Her dress is completely black with flames rising up on the edges.
"Hi Prim," I say to her, and she turns towards me. A look of utmost sadness and despair clouds her face and I feel so much sympathy for her.
"Hi Rue," her voice cracks but she doesn't cry.
"Prim..." I don't know what to say. I can't comfort her, because only one of us is going to win. And we both want it to be ourselves. "Will you be my ally?"
She looks at me and replies without hesitation, "Yes." I smile and intertwine my hands with hers. "We can do this. For Katniss." Then I walk towards my chariot and climb inside, since it started moving. Chaff hurriedly throws himself in and he wraps his arm around my shoulder, waving his good hand at the crowd.
People like everyone's outfits, and the girls especially love Finnick's. As I look at him, and Enobaria, and Gloss and Cashmere, I realize the horrible truth.
I won't get out of this alive. Not with these people. And neither will Prim.
I keep the huge smile plastered on my face as we pull into the building where we'll be staying until the Games begin. People scream our names as we walk inside and our taken up to our individual floors by our escorts.
Once we get to the eleventh floor, Seeder is already waiting. She grasps us both in a hug before saying, "I'm sorry I didn't tell you earlier that Prim was-"
"It's fine," I mumble, even though it really isn't. All my fake happiness is erased off my features as I walk to my room. The very same room I stayed in last year still looks exactly the same.
A large white bed is against the wall by the door. A floor-to-ceiling window is directly in front of me and the door to the bathroom is wide open. A large, comfy-looking chair sits in the corner and a desk rests nex to my bed. Everything, and I mean everything, is velvet and I never really liked it. I ended up sleeping on the floor because the velvet irritated my skin last time.
Shedding my chariot costume, I lock the bathroom door and turn on the shower. I finally know how to use one, since we have one back home. The water automatically becomes warm and I lather all the makeup off my face. The colors go down the drain and the hairspray gets washed out of my hair, making me feel like myself again.
After scrubbing myself down, I step out of the shower and dry myself off. My hair frizzes up around my head but I don't bother to mess with it. It always calms down by morning. I dress in a thin white nightgown and hang up my dress, not wanting to get Lolli's work all ruined.
I climb into bed but I'm not tired. I stare up at the ceiling and look for cracks or bumps or anything to count, but even a ceiling is perfect in the Capitol. Everything is.
The thick, heavy blankets start to make me sweat, so I throw them off of me and get out of bed. I can kind of hear Chaff snoring next door and I think Seraph is watching TV in the main room. Tip-toeing out of there, I head to my left and away from the living room.
|Amandla Stenberg||as Rue|