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Cusp of Freedom

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Chapter 30

Finnick watched in horror as she stopped dancing. Something had happened. Something was dreadfully wrong. He thought he could almost see tears gleaming in her eyes. He felt like she was in trouble and he knew that he couldn't help. His heart ached.

"What is wrong do you think?" Luke asked him, his eyes still on Annabeth's dress. Finnick was so glad that Annabeth was a modest person.

"I am sure she is alright," Finnick said unconvincingly. Luke actually looked at him and frowned. Finnick's face grew warm. He sounded like he didn't care. Finnick forced his eyes to Annabeth who had turned away from him. Snow was smiling.

"Well," Luke said to him, "I am not going to leave her out there," the way he had said "I," made Finnick crumble. Luke was doing what Finnick should have done.

Luke, in all his swagger and tall dark hair, marched onto the dance floor. Finnick watched Luke ask for a turn to dance and Snow bowed to Annabeth and then left the dance floor. His chest tightened when Luke pulled Annabeth close to his strong body and held her in his arms. She avoided looking in his eyes and instead looked over his shoulder. The way that he looked at her, his eyes on the muscles on her neck and her prominent collar bone made Finnick want to punch the guy.

Finnick wondered which dance was harder to watch, Snow clearly hurt her deeper than Finnick thought possible or Luke who held her like a lover.

He couldn't watch. If he knew Luke, they wouldn't be done dancing for a few minutes. So Finnick walked out of the ball room. He didn't know where he was going but he just couldn't watch them. He was the one who wanted to hold her like that. But because of his knowledge of her loss, that was the reason he couldn't hold her like that.

It wasn't fair. But Finnick's life had never been fair.

Not the day that his parents died and other kid's parents didn't die. Not the way his friends abandoned him. Not his beauty that made him a toy in the hands of dictators. And certainly not falling in love with someone so perfect. Falling in love wasn't fair. Love isn't fair.

The more that he tried to push her from his mind the faster thoughts of her would swim back up.

Finnick shook his head.

He found himself in a relatively empty parlor area. There was a bar entirely made of glass and different colored lasers were shot through the glass making thousands of beams of light stain the walls.

"Finnick!" called a girl that Finnick recognized from his own district, it was Anne. Most of her friends called her Annie, but Finnick didn't know her very well. She had dyed her hair purple, or maybe it was a wig, and wore a gray dress that reminded him of Annabeth's eyes. How did his mind already see her everywhere? Why was that?

"Hey," Finnick said trying to put on a smile for her. She smiled back, slightly drunk, and grabbed his hand playfully and pulled him over to where she and a few girls were in one corner of the room.

"Finny," Anne said, even more intoxicated then he had first thought, "You have got to try this, it's like the best thing."

"Sure," Finnick said, her friends giggled clearly drunk as well. Finnick didn't even bother keeping his boredom from leaking into his voice, "What is it?" she tried to put a hand on his shoulder but missed and fell forward. He caught her and she giggled some more.

"You," she said pointing at him, "tap the unicorn." Finnick looked at her and frowned. What was she talking about? He looked at her friends in case they knew what she was talking about. They all smiled and nodded. Then one of the girls pulled a small green object out from behind her back. Then she handed it to him. Finnick looked it over. It was a plastic, green unicorn.

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