Just as I had left the eatery and headed back to my room I was stopped not only by my mother but my father and brother as well. The three looked disappointed, maybe curious or possibly those two with a hint of anger.

"What did I do?" I asked them.

"Do you know who you were talking to?" My father asked me.

I shrugged my shoulders. That was a silly question, of course I did. Beside the fact why would it matter who I was talking to, he was nice and I had a good conversation.

"Of course, his name is Phoenix."

"What did he want?" My mother then proceeded to ask me.

"We just talked and then he wanted me to be his allie."

"Well what did you say?" My brother asked me.

"I told him I'd think about it and let him know. Then he was curious about my skills and I told him I was unsure."

I watched my mother and father move a few feet away and fall into deep conversation. I was curious as to what they were talking about. After a few moments they rejoined us again.

"Say yes to the allie buy make a suggestion of adding your brother into the group." My father spoke quickly.

"Why do you want me to say yes?" I asked my father.

The four of us returned to my room before he even bothered speaking. "Ember..." My father spoke simply.


"Yes Ember, it was his older sister. Well if you count her natural immaturity handicap then I guess she'd be his younger sister. She was reaped a year ago and didn't even make it out of the clearing before she was killed. He must see something in you that reminds him of his sister that he couldn't protect. Keep him close he might be the difference between life and death for you in the Games." My father finished.

That saddened me. Phoenix never mentioned his sister, then again I probably wouldn't. I shooed my brother and father out of the room before I dressed down into my night gown and climbed into bed. My mother talked to me about the events that would fill my day tomorrow and I moaned in annoyance. I just wanted to get the Game started and get it over with. I honestly don't understand why they have to drag this out.

My mother kissed my on the forehead before she tucked me in and left. I lay in bed with the lights off thinking about the Game and my chances of survival. For the first time in quite sometime I realized that 24 go in and 1 came out. That means if I survived my brother wouldn't and vice versa. I cried silently to myself until I felt like I couldn't cry anymore. Then I fell asleep.

That night I dreamed about a red headed girl with green eyes and innocent features that made up her face. Just like her brother that stood beside her she had freckles. They walked together into a neatly built clearing with lines of kids seperated by ages and sex. The glanced at one another and then it began. A tall man with aqua colored hair moved forward and welcomed them to the Hunger Games before he moved to the bowls where the names were. The male reached his hand into the bowl and plucked out a name. Ember Lacerion He called out.

Phoenix watched in horror as his screaming sister was being carried to the stage by two peace keepers. She thrashed and twisted but their grips were too strong to break from. She began screaming her brother Phoenix's name over and over. Phoenix had tears sliding down his face as he watched his sister who he had taken care of, raised and protected since their mother got sick being sentenced to death by the Hunger Games. This was the one time in his life that we was unable to protect her. He couldn't even volunteer because she was female and she was a male.

Suddenly the dream shifted and she was watching the girl named Ember standing on a platform listening to a count down. The she started running. Not even 30 steps in she was stabbed through the heart by a tribute from 6. Laying on the ground in a puddle Ember choaked to death on her own blood.

I opened my eyes to sit up quickly in my bed. I looked around panting from the nightmare I had just woke up from. It all seemed so real like it actually happened. I wiped my face in relief that my witnessing of the sister to Phoenix die, was just a dream. It was then that I realized I had been crying in my sleep. Seconds later the door opened and my brother walked in. He shut the door behind himself and came into my bed with me. He pulled me to his chest and held me tight.

"Nightmare?" He asked me.

I nodded me head. "How did you know?"

"I heard your screaming. You were shouting Phoenix's name and then you began shouting his sisters name. What were you dreaming about?" My brother asked concerned.

"I was dreaming about the reaping that brought about Embers death."

My brother squeezed me tighter before he kissed me cheek. "I'm going to protect you if its the last thing I do." he told me.

"If we make it to the end only one of us is coming out alive River."

"If we make it to the end you are coming out alive." My brother corrected me.

I began crying as I realized what he was saying to me. "You're not going to leave me, promise me River that you won't leave me."

My brother looked at me for a few moments. "I won't leave you until the very end Aloe." He began rubbing my hair as he made soothing noises to me. "Go to sleep I'll protect you from your nightmares. I'm right here and I am not going to leave you." He said to me.

I sniffled and wiped my nose on the sleeve of my gown before I slowly closed my eyes and returned back into the sleep that I had waken from. This time around my dreams were happy.

I was older, by the looks of it atleast 17 years old. My brother stood to my right he looked atleast 20. We were happy and so was my brother who seemed to be married to the girl he was in love with. Then in the picture came a familiar male with red hair.

"Aloe wake up" My brother spoke to me as he shook me awake from my dream. "Its time for breakfast. Lets get some food in you, you know how mom doesn't like you getting sick."

He practically pulled me from my bed and put a house coat around me before he half dragged me out of the room and to the eatery. Our parents were there and already eating when we arrived. I yawned and sat down beside them.

"It's nice of you to wake me up." I said sarcastically.

"Go get your breakfast" Was all my mother said to me.

I rose slowly to my feet and headed over to the tables that lined the walls. I pulled a plate to myself only to have it slip through my fingers and crash to the floor when Pheonix walked into the room. His green eyes sparkled and his hair was pulled back away from his face. When he saw me he smiled briefly as he walked over to my side to grab breakfast.

"I thought you said I wouldn't see you until the interviews?" I asked him.

He shrugged his shoulders. "I normally don't eat breakfast but I wanted to see you. I feel drawn to you like I was placed in this Game to protect you. You remind me of..." He cut himself off.

"I remind you of Ember?" I added.

He looked at me silently for the longest moment before he slowly nodded his head. "With the acception of your blonde hair and lack of freckles."

"I'm so sorry for your loss." I whispered.

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