Chapter 41

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~ A few days later ~

I wake up in a tangle of limbs, and panic slightly, before slipping back into relaxation. I was still getting used to sleeping with another person next to me, that the person touching my skin isn't trying to cut it or hurt me. That Finnick would never hurt me in any way.

I turn over, gently so as not to wake him, until I face the wall and Finnick's arms are wrapped around my waist, his chest against my back. I play with his hand softly, running over the soft skin meeting the rougher skin from all the strenuous work of fishing and net weaving. I move my hand up to his arms, tracing over the branch-like veins, all purple and blue. In the few days that we had been married, as it draws closer to the inevitable war we're going to have, I have made it my mission to take in every detail about Finnick I had never appreciated properly before.

I had never properly paid attention to the way his hip bones jut out when he stretches, or the way his nose twitches when he cringes at Haymitch or Plutarch's jokes, or the little scars he has on his back from various people and tasks, or the way that he sounds like he's reading poetry whenever he says my name or tells me that he loves me. Flaws and all.

A gentle kiss is placed on my shoulder blade. "Good morning, beautiful," Finnick says, his voice husky and deep from sleep - a sound that drives me wild, utterly wild.

"Hello," I whisper back.

"Good sleep?" his voice is muffled against my skin as he places soft kisses on my shoulder and up my neck.

"As good a sleep as a Victor can get," I tell him simply and he chuckles.

"Plans for the day?" he asks me, turning me around to face him. His hair is stuck up in different angles and his eyes are slightly cloudy from sleep, stubble beginning to form on his chin and jawline. Tiny scar next to his ear.

"Do as we're told until we can otherwise rebel," I shrug. "Same as we've been doing for the past twenty years,"

Another chuckle. The creases of his eyes are deep and his dimples are showing.

~

We spend the whole day talking to people - Johanna, Haymitch, Gale, Coin, Boggs, several people from other Districts. There are no jobs for us at the minute, so we kept ourselves busy until dinner. Katniss joins us, having also been joined by Johanna and Delly Cartwright. It's something to see Finnick's transformation since our marriage. I've been informed of his mentality when I was in the Capitol - not so much different from my own. His hands were raw when I returned but now they're healed and never let go of my own. Not when we walk, not when we eat. I doubt he ever plans to let go.

Katniss digs into her food ravenously, as if she's scared it's going to be taken away from her, and eventually she slows as we listen to Finnick telling some ridiculous story about a sea turtle swimming off with his hat. I had no idea if it was true or not but the table laughs before we realize Peeta is standing there. Directly across the table, behind the empty seat next to Johanna. Watching Katniss who chokes momentarily.

"Peeta!" says Delly. "It's so nice to see you out...and about."

Two large guards stand behind him. He holds his tray awkwardly, balanced on his fingertips since his wrists are shackled with a short chain between them.

"What's with the fancy bracelets?" asks Johanna.

"I'm not quite trustworthy yet," says Peeta. "I can't even sit here without your permission." He indicates the guards with his head.

"Sure he can sit here. We're old friends," says Johanna, patting the space beside her. The guards nod and Peeta takes a seat. "Peeta, Anna and I had adjoining cells in the Capitol. We're very familiar with each other's screams."

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