Angry rolling clouds fill the sky, masking the bright rays of the sun and turning the sky a dreary shade of grey.
Finnick steps outside tentatively and heads to the rocky cliffs that overlook the vast expanse of rolling blue ocean. He sticks his hands in his pockets and looks out at the ocean, which is a murky shade of blue instead of the usual seafoam green.
His eyes scan the sharp, toothy surface of the cliffs that hugs over half of the perimeter of the ocean. A dab of colour draws his eyes to the body that is splayed over the rocks, despite the dense fog that gets in the way of his vision. He’d recognize that splash of chestnut brown hair anywhere. It’s Annie.
Finnick, with his heart racing, rushes to the body draped precariously over the jagged, moss-covered rocks.
“Annie,” he says, his voice slicked with panic. “Annie, come on. Wake up!”
Slowly, to his relief, she comes to. “Finn?” she says weakly.
“Annie, are you okay?” he asks. “What are you doing here?”
“Finn, is it really you?” she cries, her eyes gleaming with tears. “You came. I knew you’d come to save me.”
“Wha - Annie, what are you talking about?” Finnick asks, confusion twisting his emotions from panic to worry.
“I knew you’d come to save me from the Games. Please Finn, please take me home.” she begs. “I don’t like it here in the arena. Please take me home.”
Finnick stares hopelessly into the eyes of the girl who has been tainted by the cruelty of the Capitol. Rage boils inside him, threatening to upturn his insides. How dare they take Annie - sweet, innocent Annie - and play her like a pawn for the mere benefit of their entertainment? How can they stand to live with themselves knowing they have ruined the spirit of such a beautiful, carefree girl?
“Oh…of course I will take you home,” he says. “You’re safe as long as I’m here. You’ll never have to see the arena ever again, okay?”
“Finn, I love you,” she breathes. And when she kisses him, she pours all of her heart into the boy who has become her rock during her darkest times.
Finnick pulls her out of the water and into his arms, wrapping her so close that they seem to melt together, knowing, all the while, that no matter how closely he holds her, he will never be holding the Annie that he used to know.
But, no matter who she will become, he vows to hold her even tighter out of fear that if he doesn’t, he might not be able to hold her at all.