“And then there were two,” Sarah O’Brien tips the last contents of her glass easily, watching as Violet rounds the corner, muttering something about a ‘great injustice’ and ‘giving the gamemakers a piece of her mind’.
Charles Carson raises his glass, “May the best tribute win.”
O’Brien only snorts, moves her lips without making a sound.
“I do beg your pardon?”
“It’s cute, Carson. The way you think your Mary actually has a shot at it.”
“I’m not quite following.”
“You really think she’ll win, don’t you?”
“I think she has as much as of a chance as your Thomas, if that’s what you mean.”
O’Brien’s laugh is cold. “You’re so naive - is this what you find so endearing about him, Hughes?” Seated next to Charles, Elsie Hughes offers no response, purses her lips. “Mary’s no survivor. Oh she’s skilled, sure. We all saw how she skewered Branson,” another glance is thrown at Elsie, who only looks down into her lap, “but she’s no survivor. You’ve handed her everything on a shiny little platter, but winning ain’t like that. Thomas has clawed his way, tooth and nail, long before you were even training Mary how to throw a knife. This is what Thomas does, all he does: survive. And if you think he’s going to let anything, anyone get in his way, well,” the cup is slammed down on the table, “I’ll just let him prove you wrong.” Smirking, O’Brien leaves their company.
“Her hair never grew back properly, did it?” Elsie Hughes finally speaks.
Charles Carson is suddenly very pale. “You don’t think she’s right, do you? You don’t think Mary’ll lose to him -“
“I hope for your sake, Charles, and only for your sake, that she does win.”