CHAPTER 11

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Disclaimer: I do not own anything from The Hunger Games trilogy all rights go to Suzanne Collins. I do however own Quinn and her story.

Quinn hesitated as she sat down beside Finnick, sighing through her nose slightly. Her eyes scanned the centre of the arena, afraid to look at the man beside her; terrified to witness the broken look in his eyes. After a moment of silence,  she felt his fingers graze the back of her hand and despite her inner defences, immediately intertwined her fingers with his. The sky was beginning to turn into a soft sunset, one that could almost make them forget that they were supposed to be in a battle to the death. Almost.

Nothing could deter Quinn from her mission, from the promise that she had made to herself a long time ago – she was going to kill Snow. One way or another, she was going to watch as her knife sunk into his thigh, severing his artery and rendering his helpless. She was going to make him beg her to allow him to continue to pollute the air with his venomous breath and she was going to listen as her arrow whirred through the air, shattering his heart as his actions had done to hers. Quinn was going to watch as the life drain from his eyes, listen as his lungs heaved their final breath and smile at the sweet sense of retribution.

"Promise me that you won't do anything stupid. Promise me that you'll stay alive." Finnick finally spoke - as if reading her thoughts. He turned his gaze to survey her expression as a soft frown grazed her brow, "I know you don't understand why I keep asking that of you...or maybe you do but...just promise me?" As the victor beside him looked away, maintaining a stony silence, Finnick knew that it had been naïve to assume that she would put herself first. During the Quarter Quell, Quinn had grown to accept the fact that the man beside her had changed her, grown to accept that after years of resisting, she had let him into her life – into her heart – but she wasn't about to admit it. The waves danced over their feet, offering a break from the silence that had shortly ensued as the girl unconsciously grazed her thumb over his knuckles.

"I'm not very good at this whole emotional support thing..." Quinn finally spoke. "I mean, if you need someone me to punch someone? I could do that." A hearty chuckle escaped the man as he shook his head at her. "I'm sure Annie's going to be okay."

Squeezing her hand in response, Finnick smiled. He figured that they must be nearing the end of the Quarter Quell and every ounce of him prayed that whatever the plan was, they would be getting out alive. His gaze wandered over the girl, taking in every tiny detail as she seemed fixated on something further down the beach. He could almost hear the cogs in her head turning as she thought hard about whatever it was she was looking at. It was true that the victor could have looked for himself but in that moment, he decided that the rebellion could wait, the Mockingjay could wait. It was an exceptionally rare moment, like catching a glimpse of butterfly as it left its cocoon, and so he cherished it as he simply looked at her without being judged, held her hand without worrying that she was going to leave. The Hunger Games bred destruction but in that moment it allowed the creation of something so delicately intricate that the victor from four anxiously awaited its shatter.

"Katniss and Peeta are planning something." Was all she muttered as she glanced over his shoulder to look at the victors from twelve. "First chance they get, they're gone."

"You think?" Finnick asked as he studied her expression. He watched as her blonde sea-salted waves bounced as she nodded and returned her gaze to him. "You still don't trust them?"

"I don't trust anyone." A soft smile crept up onto Quinn's face as Finnick released her hand, pretending to have been stabbed in the heart and her smile only grew stronger as he stuck out his tongue and fell back into the sand, closing his eyes. "Idiot." She muttered, shaking her head and watching the cheeky grin that spread across his face, lighting up his eyes and deepening his dimples. "Katniss will do anything to protect Peeta. You can't ever truly trust someone like that."

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