Octavia didn't stop screaming or fighting Tam the entire way back to her cell and didn't calm down until she noticed her vision starting to dim in her left eye. She had to force herself to calm down despite her increasing panic for her friend and for herself. The games were ending, and she can't afford to lose any of her sight now. She's needs both eyes open. Sprawled on the cell's dusty floor, Octavia takes long, deep breaths and tries to focus on something else other than what is happening and going to happen.
"Wore yourself out?" Tam says a little breathy.
Octavia ignores Tam. Her thoughts drift to her burning, aching body suffering from her strenuous run. Through the aching, she feels her stinging feet, scratched up from her running, and ankle. There is a warmth accompanying the stinging in her ankle. Slowly, Octavia rises to check her bleeding ankle. Thankfully, Tam did not put the chain on this one.
There was a gash in the sock where debris had struck it and there was a little blood as well as pulls, fuzzies, and holes in the bottom from the pavement tearing at it. Removing the sock reveals there is more bruising than blood. Worries of infection from the small cut begin to rise in Octavia's chest, but she breathes them out as she focuses on getting to the sink and hoping, by chance, there would be water.
Octavia shakily gets up.
"Where do you think you're going?" Tam says.
"Bathroom," Octavia says.
Her voice reflects her exhaustion.
She hobbles over to the sink and grabs onto it as she balance on her good foot. With the sink knob turned as far as it can go, a series of fast drips plops out. She sucks in a sharp breath as the icy drips come in contact with her wound. Blood washes down the drain painstakingly slow.
She also collects water in the sock she wore and wrings water out when it has collected enough to wring it out. After doing this several times in attempt to wash it, she ties the sock around her ankle in a makeshift bandage.
She then sticks her head under the faucet to catch some drops of water. The drops provide tiny spots of comfort in her sandpapered mouth until the water stops on its own. She turns the faucet off, as if it made a difference, and hobbles to her bunk.
Hugging her knees to her chest, Octavia buries her face in her knees and transports her mind to empty thoughts. She struggles to think of nothing and doesn't realize she had fallen asleep until the lock to the cell door rattles. Lifting her head from her knees, Octavia sees Shard staring at her as Tam unlocks the door. She rubs the sleep out of her eyes.
Don't show him weakness. Don't show him fear, Octavia thinks. Don't allow him the pleasure. Be strong like Mindy said.
Octavia tries to imitate Mindy's strength with a confident stare back and straightening her posture. But her mimicry of Mindy makes her think of Mindy. She wonders how long she has been asleep. Octavia's heart quakes.
"What did you do to her?" Octavia asks in a heavy voice not displaying the strength she was trying to show.
"Now is that really a smart question?" Shard says as he enters the cell.
Octavia presses her back against the wall and hugs her knees tighter as Shard gets closer. His footsteps echo with each step. They had never echoed before.
"I didn't appreciate your little act-up in the Courtyard," Shard says. "It hurt my feelings you trying to run away. I thought we had something special." He puts his fingertips to his heart and overdramatically whips his head to the side. "But your little friend, Winters, has some jealousy problems and threw a wrench into our friendship. And now I have to reset the parameters of our relationship."
Shard yanks Octavia by the wrist off the bunk and throws her into the chair. He forces her to sit and slams her back into the back of the chair with his hand to pushing her in the chest. Octavia's breath is knocked out her and head slightly whips back, causing her momentary dizziness. Maintaining an almost a crushing pressure on her chest to keep her in place Shard gets in her face.
"I get you're anxious about getting out of here, and your time will come to get out. Whether or not it's with life's light still in your eyes is up to how good you behave and listen to me," Shard says.
Shard leans in closer to Octavia's face. Her quickened breaths bounce off his mask back into her face. She feels no breath from Shard as his cold eyes burrow into hers. A lump Octavia can't swallow forms in her throat.
"Or if you act up again, you may not make it all back home," he says. "Those pretty eyes look prettier in your head, but if you become troublesome, I'd like some sort of reward for having to deal with you."
He pushes her as he pushes himself away from her. His eyes drill into her for a minute more, each second making her nerve falter more, before he claps his hands together, making Octavia jump, and crinkles his eyes in a hidden smile.
"Okie. Punishment time over. Food time start!" Shard says as he runs and waves his hand at the guards. He jogs in place for a moment while waiting for the door to open and slips out it when there's a sliver big enough for him to fit through. Skipping away, he cheerily shouts, "Lunch buddy time!"
Octavia slowly puts a hand to her sore chest and blinks with mouth agape facing the direction Shard skipped off to. Tam rolls her eyes and sighs as she relocks the door. The other guards rubs his face and shakes his head. A sigh slips from his lips, too.
What do they see in that lunatic? Octavia thinks as she tries to process what happened.
YOU ARE READING
Being the daughter of the most powerful people in the country places a high societal value on Octavia. The glamour of this public-placed status wore off for her years ago as tragedy after tragedy has followed Octavia because of it. But the glamour n...