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CHAPTER 6

After being briefed on what our costumes will be. Portia dresses me, we all head to a room. When we enter Katniss and her stylist is waiting for us. She’s dressed identical to me. She’s so stunning. I shake Cinnia’s hand and we all go to the bottom level which is backstage of the stadium. Everyone’s ecstatic! The prep teams, Out stylists. Everyone. However Haymich is not here. He’s most likely passed out by now.

Katniss and I share a look of disbelief. How can everyone be so excited? District 12 is usually just a bit of side fun in the games. Just another tribute for the careers to enjoy mutating. We can’t make that big of an impact can we? Were escorted to the chariot. Our chariot is coal black, I suppose the represent our district. Portia is putting the final touches on me. Like putting me in the right position, and brushing some power on my face. Then they all jump of the chariot, to consult each other. Katniss and I are left alone.

“What do you think?.” She asks “About the fire?” She adds. She’s trying to keep a straight face; I can tell she’s nervous.

“I’ll rip your cape, if you’ll rip mine.” I say with a nervous smile.

“Deal” she agrees, and the came a half awkward, half nervous silence.

“I know we promised Haymich we’d do exactly as our stylists say, but I don’t think he considered this angle”. Katniss says

I nod in agreement. “Where is Haymich anyways? Isn’t he supposed to protect us from this sort of thing?” I say with my eyes scanning the room.

“Well with all that alcohol in him, it’s probably not advisable to be around open flame”. She blurs out. We both laugh out loud. Mainly because it’s true.

Suddenly out attention is off humor and on the opening music blearing in our ears.

The huge doors shifts open, and we can clearly see the crowd. We can hear the roar from the stadium. A sudden rush of adrenalin courses though my veins.

The turning in my stomach becomes a tornado, and the dryness in my mouth becomes a desert. They line all the districts up in a row, according to there number. Were last, as always. I can’t help but take note of the horses. There so controlled, yet so powerful, they don’t need a master. They know what there doing. There ready to pounce into action at any moment. I don’t really notice the districts. I know district 1 is very glittery. There always favorites. That also means they have the edge in the game. District by district follows into the stadium. Cinnia heads over to our chariot. He pulls out a plastic rectangle. It had some sort of fluid, and with the flick on his finger, it lights up with a flame. “Here we go then”. He say’s with a quiver in his voice. His obviously nervous too. We both tense with the expiation of pain. He puts the bright flame to katniss cape, and then mine. We burst into fire. Flames trickle up my legs though my arms to my neck. I feel nothing except a small tingle. Were unharmed, and the fire is still bursting away. Cinnia sighs “it works!”

Cinnia smiles at katniss, and pats her under the chin. This makes me angry, maybe a little jealous. “Remember heads high. Smile, and there going to love you”. With that word of advice, and a reassuring smile, he leaves the chariot. He quickly turns around gesturing that we hold hands. “What’s he saying?” katniss asks.

I’m not sure if she’s asking, because she doesn’t know. Or that she really doesn’t want to.

“I think he said for us to hold hands”. I say

I take katniss’s hand before she can object. We both watch Cinnia’s nod of approval. And that silences any doubts in katniss’s mind. Before we know it, the horse’s legs are moving and so are we. The crowd goes silent. But it’s quickly is replaced with cheers. The roar of the crowed I heard for district 1 is a kitten compared to the sound of the lion we have.

“Katniss!” “Peeta!” “District 12!” I hear them chanting.

We suddenly become crowed favorites. We grin and blow kisses. Katniss and I become

Very excited. The only other time I’ve ever seen her excited was when we were grade 3. We were learning about how the old world used to have a big games somewhere in the world every four years. I think it was called Olympia or something. Of course we weren’t allowed to know this information. But our teacher Miss Haul, told us about it because her mum told her about it, who heard it off her mum. After school a few the kids decided that next week we would re-create these games. Prim was one of younger ones who wanted to play, there were no objections, so we let her. The week , the games began. Katniss came with prim. I guess to support her. Prim played the first aid games. We pretend a boy had a cut on his leg she patched it up quickest. So she won, we gave her a stick with a vine on it. It meant first place…(we were in grade 3). Anyways, somehow prim forced katniss to participate in the singing game. Of course her beautiful voice won. She also received the stick. The two of them were so happy, and excited. They watched the rest of the games on there first place thrones. This was a big tree log. Her face is exactly the same as it was, those so many years ago. She looks at me with shock passing her face. She looks incredible, the flames engulfing her illumined face. I grasp her hand tighter and lift our arms above our heads. With out hands linked, they stand firm in the air. At this point the crowd goes ballistic. They start throwing flowers, earrings and necklaces. Pretty much anything they have. I catch our picture on the big screens. We are a united force. Champions. The winners of those games that our ancestors held, this is what they would have looked liked.

As the chariot begins to slow down, I lower our hands back to there usual position. Katniss grip begins to loosen. I hadn’t noticed how tight we held each others hand. This is the first time she has ever shown and sigh on affection since…ever. I don’t want to let go of her. Were one combined force, were connected, plus we need to be close for my plan to work. “No don’t let go of me, please I might fall out of this thing.” I lie.

“Okay”. She says. Tightening her grip again. All twelve of us are lined up in our chariots. I catch a quick glance at the other tributes. All the careers look furious. Epically that Cato boy. I smirk at him; he clenches his jaw and puffs out. Icing on the cake. President Snow begins to speak. The spotlight and the camera stays on us. Once snow finishes whatever it is he’s talking about, our horses begin to ride out back though the way we came. After about the same reaction we had the first time, we enter backstage and the doors close behind us. Before we’ve even have time to breathe, we are swarmed by prep teams, our stylists and pretty much anyone there. Except the tributes of course. We are given congratulations from pretty much every direction. Cinnia sprays us with something that puts the fire out. Katniss lets go of my hand, I suppose it had to end sometime. I figure I better sell my story. “Thanks for keeping hold of me, I was getting pretty shaky there.” I say. “It didn’t show, I’m sure no one noticed”. She reassures me.

“I’m sure they didn’t notice anything but you.” I blurt out. She blushes.

“You should wear flames more often. They suit you.” I flirt.

A little too flirty I think, because she stands on her toes and kisses me right on my bruise.

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