Finnick tried to breathe.
He could feel his "Instant Protection!" deodorant kicking in. in his mind he watched the incredibly annoying commercial for the deodorant ensue. Their irritating jingle crossed his mind. But it wasn't the commercial or even its catchy jingle that was sending his heart rate sky high.
Finnick opened the door to his apartment and the driver was waiting.
"Are you alright Sir?" the pudgy man who was in a cheap suit asked him. Finnick flashed a false smile and nodded. He was a gifted actor, this was a huge advantage next to most winners of the games, and he could always put on a show.
Finnick stepped out into the cool night air. It helped cool the blush under his light foundation that his publicist forced him to wear at every public gathering.
He couldn't think straight.
They had been so close. Her gray eyes had been in his. Those shattered eyes, broken by the capitol. All he wanted to do was put the pieces back together again. He wanted so desperately to press his mouth against hers and tell her it was all going to be okay. He wanted to hide her and keep her safe from all that the world would do to her. But the world had gotten to her first. It had control of him. Unfortunately he knew how sick the world was and there was almost no way he could keep her safe. No matter what he said or what she did. Annabeth would most likely be in danger for the rest of her time in the capitol.
He tried to shake his head, to rid himself of these feelings. He had just met this girl, these emotions were absurd. But that was how love was. Love was absurd, why not embrace it?
He felt like he was in some fantasy where fate had finally brought him just the person he needed. Annabeth. The name resounded in his mind with such happiness he had to work to keep from smiling. He had to stop thinking like this. She was mourning for goodness sake! He had no business thinking about her let alone falling in love. It was madness. He could not push her. It was completely selfish. But he wanted so badly . . .
A noise made him turn his head as the clacking of heels on the tile alerted him to her presence. His heart beat rose in his chest. She was beautiful. He could tell that this ensemble was not what she normally wore but she still rocked it.
The makeup and the hair disguised her face but he could still see her shattered eyes that were unmistakably hers. The dress draped beautifully around her reminding him of a delicate rain on a spring morning or a gentle breeze just on the cusp of winter.
Finnick flashed her a smile that he hoped didn't give away what he was thinking. Then he opened the car door despite the driver's mumbled protests. The driver sighed and went around the car and got in the driver's seat. It was a long black Carrge as they called it. The sleekest hover-car available. It was an eight seater, with a minibar, and a multitude of buttons that adjusted who knows what. He had it just for the two of them.
She avoided looking at him as she stepped into the car. Finnick locked his house and then jumped in across from her. She spread out her skirts and looked out the window. The Carrge started and they began traveling towards downtown. Finnick looked out the window and watched as they pulled out of his property. They got onto one of the main highways that went through one of the richest neighborhoods in The Capital. The houses were of all sorts of shapes and sizes. He watched Annabeth drink in everything she saw, but Finnick couldn't keep his eyes on the houses that he saw every day.
He looked at Annabeth and wondered what her story was. Who was she really? Was she like the girl in the Hunger Games currently? The girl who had stepped in for her sister. What was that girl's name? They had been talking about her everywhere he went. Had Annabeth lost a brother to the games? Maybe a boyfriend?
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