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Chapter 6: Tributes and Tiaras

After dinner, Catarina led me to a room where our opening ceremony costumes were. I looked at mine through the paneled glass that held it. It was a dress that came at mid-thigh, a little too short for my comfort. "Do you have to make it THIS short?" I asked. Catarina just shrugged, "We want you to make an impression here. You have an excellent body and we can use that to out advantage." I blushed when she said I had an excellent body. I looked at it again. It was made from some sort of material that shined bright when light was shone on it. There was also a matching headband, bracelet, and ballet flats with bows. It was really cute. Then I noticed why this outfit appealed to me. Catarina was trying to go for the image of an innocent little girl. "You know," I said, "the image of an innocent little girl will not get sponsers' attention." Catarina said, "What we are going for is an innocent little girl who has a darker side when it come to the Games." Now that made more sense. I smiled, "That's brilliant." She smiled back, and told me to get into the costume so you could start the chariot ride soon. As soon as I got into the whole outfit, my prep team did light makeup on my face. They put on silver eyeshadow, lipstick, and some blush. As soon as they were done they all congratulated each other on their great work, and left. Conceded idiots. I thought.

After that, Catarina escorted me down to a building where all the other tributes and their horses and chariots were. The pair from District One are looking great as usual. They have on bejeweled clothes that sparkle in the light like ours do, only ours shines brighter. The other districts look pretty good, but none compare to Josh's and mine. Speaking of Josh, where is he? I look around and finally spot him coming through the big doors that I came in. He's dressed in a tuxedo that has the same shiny matariel as my dress. He looks great and I silently think the stylists did an excellent job! Then all my good thoughts of him vanish when he walks over to the Careers and casulally asks them something. I don't know what it was he asked them, but they seem to like him. As soon as he's done speaking, all of them burst out laughing except the male from District One who just smiles. Something was different about him. He was very unsettling, probably because he had bright yellow eyes that had an evil glint in them. I couldn't remember his name, but it started with a B. I stared at him for a while, shrugged, then went back to feeding my gray horses sugar cubes. After Josh had charmed the Careers, he came over by our chariot. "You look great." He said with awe in his voice. I didn't say anything. How could he have the nerve to talk to me after he just made an alliance with the Careers? "You look nice too." I said with caution. All the other tributes I could easily guess their strategy. The red-head from Eight was trying to make an alliance with the male from her district. The little boy from Eleven was trying to lay low. Even the girl from Twelve was trying to act like a weakling. But Josh, I just couldn't figure out. He looked at me with a questioning look, but I just shook my head as if saying, Tell you later. My strategy was simple, but yet complicated so the others wouldn't know. He grabbed one of the sugar cubes from the plate by the horses. "These are quite good. You should try them sometime." He said. "For your information, I was eating some when you so rudly took some out of my hand." I said. I sounded very sophisticated and I was glad. He put his hands up as if saying, I surrender. That's right. You will. I thought. Catarina and Faxon came out to help us onto the chariot. "Now remember you two, " Catarina said, "Make the Captial love you, this is their first impression." We both nodded and Josh helped me up into the chariot. I figured I'd accept his help, for now. We climbed onto the chariot, and the last thing I saw was Catarina waving good-bye to me.

The vastness and sound of the crowd suprised me at first, but I soon got used to it. I remembered what Catarina said. Make them love you. I was soon waving and smiling to all the crowds. The crowd was going wild, and it was all thanks to Catarina's designing. The lights shown so much, that we were blinding. I looked ahead and saw the tributes from both Five and Four looking back at us, and glaring. I didn't really care, I had the advantage that night. I was still waving and smiling at the crowd, and they were all clearly enjoying it. People were shouting and throwing roses at me. I grabbed one and pretended to smell it. They went even wilder. Yep, I had this in the bag. The chariots stop at the center as President Snow starts to speak about the Dark Days and 'What an honor it is to be reaped.' Yeah. Some honor. I thought.

After he's done talking our chariots are escorted back to a room where Luna, Lawrence, Jessie, Catarina, and Faxon are waiting for us along with the other tributes. Jessie rushes up to me and hugs me. "You were brilliant! You both were." She exclaims, hugging us both now. "Alright, alright." I say laughing. She steps back to look at us, and Luna steps up saying, "You were both brilliant! Now let's go discuss things in our apartment." Eying the tributes that are staring at us. We all pile into an elevator and Catarina presses a button labeled 6. "So we get a whole floor just to ourselves?" Josh asks. "Yep. Each District gets a seperate floor." Lawrence answers. Suddenly I remembered my grandma's headband. "Hey Catarina do you know where my token is?" I asked. "Was yours a headband with a pendant in it?" She asks. I nod saying, "Yep." "It's in our floor." She says. I nod and turn back to the elevator doors. They open to a lavish apartment with multiple bedrooms, a dining room, and a living room with a TV. I had to admit. It was awesome. "There's your room." Jessie says pointing down a hall to rooms side by side. "And yours, Josh." She says. I go into the room and lay down on the big bed, and find my headband. I put it on and I breathe a little easier.

Read Chapter 7!

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