There are many things wrong about this, Annie knows. Wrong that he's so experienced and her hands quake as they trace lines on his skin. Wrong that they kept snatching him away from her with greedy hands and blood red lips and that even now, when he belongs to her, she's terrified they're coming to take him. Wrong that a minute ago, she was sobbing and trying to shove him away before the darkness took her.
The darkness has struck up to claim her frequently of late, bubbling over like a flooding stream. It's full of stirring water and lifelessness and disembodied head screaming. When she gets caught, she's drowning and being dragged under by headless bodies and cold limbs with sharp claws.
But, as Finnick always did, held her hand tightly and pulled her close. When she pulled back, she touched the dampened shoulder of his shirt, wet with her tears, which led to her current exploration.
Now divested of his shirt, Finnick leant back against the wall beside their bed, Annie half hovering above him. Her fingers are on his chest, tracing wobbly shapes against his skin. She bites her lip in concentration and his eyes never leave her face.
'What are you thinking, Annie?' he murmurs into the still space between them. Annie waits for the air to respond, but it never does.
Her thumb presses strongly into the skin at the base of his neck. 'You came back tattooed.' She says. She slides her fingers up to his lips, tracing them with a knuckle. 'Teeths and claws.'
Annie bends over him and mouths at the joint where his neck met his shoulder. Finnick ran his hands soothingly up the young woman's back, until she took the skin in between her teeth and bit. His hands held her hips tight and gently pulled her back.
'Annie…' he began.
'But you let them before!' she said indignantly.
'I let them do a lot of things before.' Finnick said. He leant forward and pressed their foreheads together. 'Never again.'
'Never again.' Annie repeated. Her eyes grew wide and, terrified, she pulled her hands into her lap, shuffling backwards across their bed. 'Never again?'
'Annie, Annie, it's okay.' He held her gently, as he always did, and pulled until he was laying down on the bed, his small wife cradled on his chest. 'Are you listening, Annie?' She nods as she settles her head under his chin. 'The Capitol used me for sex. They took me. When we married… I gave myself to you. I'm giving myself now, too. It's different, Annie, I love you.'
Their wedding night was brief and hurried. The celebrations in District 13 had run late and were full of energy. The first time they had sex, in their newly given quarters, it had been more about relief and comforting Annie from dealing with the crowds than actual pleasure.
In the handful of days since, their heated kisses only led to deep, contented sleep. She's not sure which one of them is responsible for that. But she doesn't want that any more. It's unfair. It's unfair that the big and the rich and the famous in the Capitol had Finnick in ways she couldn't understand. It's wrong that some of his regulars could wring pleasure out of the victor for hours and she has only satisfied him once. The thoughts make her shiver once more and his arms tightened around her.
But those people, those ugly people so far away, they tattooed him with teeth and fingernails and lips, sucking blood to the surface of his perfect skin. He didn't like that, but he let them, to protect her. He likes her hands on his skin.
At this realisation, Annie sits up, pulling free of her husband's arms and throwing the blanket covering them to the ground, revealing his smooth, tanned skin to her eyes and hands. His smile is indulgent and a little questioning, but he doesn't speak as she strokes fingers through his soft hair.
Finnick indulges in kissing her palms and fingers as they trail down his face. Her fingers rest in the hollow of his throat as she plucks at the skin she so briefly bit.
'No teeth?' she asks.
'No teeth.' He confirms. 'Kissing, though…'
She smiles at him, brilliant and amazing, leaning down to kiss his skin. She remembers back to many years ago, when he taught her to open her lips and kiss so very differently. Wondering what might happen, Annie parts her lips and her tongue darts out against his skin, as if she were kissing his mouth.
He releases a shuddering breath and she surges forward. He tastes like salt and home and full and heady. Eagerly, she explores across his chest with her tongue, chasing down the taste of her husband.
'The things you do to me…' Finnick whispers.
Annie has always loved his arms. Those strong and gentle arms with pattered scars from fish hooks and working and training, they have always meant safety for her. She dug her fingers into the solid muscles of his bicep as her lips travelled down to the soft skin on the inside of his elbow.
'What do you like?' she whispered, rubbing her nose against him. 'Tell me.'
'I like your lips. And your hands.' Finnick answers, tangling their fingers together. Annie moves her lips to the sharp jut of his hip bone and her husband gasps. She looks up at his face, and the miles of skin between them. She wants it all. She wants her touch branded on him like their teeth were. She wants to reclaim the territory that was taken from her. She wants to draw out his pleasure and know how he sighs.
Annie straddles his thighs – long, strong thighs toned from all that swimming – and she fingers the hem of her underwear. 'What else do you like?'
'I like your skin.'
Annie lifts her night gown over her head, and immediately Finnick's hands are on her body, holding her rib cage in the palm of one hand, his strong fingers massaging her breast.
'Do you like me?' Annie asks.
Finnick looks at her, his adoring eyes glinting. 'Nah.' They both laugh, one of his hands moves up to cup her face, and she kisses the heel of his palm, grinning against his fingers. 'I love your smile. I love you so much.'
She leans down to him, her hair falling around their faces in a curtain as she kisses his lips, opening and exploring his mouth with her tongue. As much as she loves kissing Finnick's sinful mouth, Annie has just discovered the addictive taste of his body and she wants it all.
She tries his ear, sucking the lobe into her mouth. There's a patch of skin behind his ear that is full of his scent and she presses her nose into it. She explores his chest, learning his reactions and sounds. When she gently scrapes the back of her fingernails up his sides, he shivers and pants through his mouth.
She gently takes his manhood in hand, staring at it for a long time. 'No teeth.' She promises. He groans and presses his head back into the pillow as her lips touch his hard skin.
The taste is altogether unpleasant, but the saltiness reminds her of home and his finger tangle in her hair as Finnick sighs. 'Annie.' His voice is rough and deep.
Her hand is around the base and her lips are still brushing the head of his manhood and she meets his eyes. 'What do you like?'
Finnick lets out a strangled moan and is reduced to a litany of instructions and praise. 'Tighten your hand a little, yeah, just like that, now move… keep it firm. That's it, ohhhh, Annie.'
Annie is kissing and stroking his sensitive flesh when she remembers drawing those delicious sounds from him with her tongue.
'Ah!' Finnick yelps, his hands balling into fists in the bedding. Every muscle is tensed and thrown into sharp relief by the low light in their quarters. She sees every line along his body, the way his eyebrows scrunch in concentration and pleasure, his red lips parting as he struggles to control himself.
She releases his length and hovers above him, until he catches his breath and stares, dazed, up at her.
'Do you know what I like, Finnick?' she asks, her voice dropping to a low purr.
He blinks rapidly as he gathers himself. 'Me?'
'Nah.' She returns, leaning in to kiss the corner of his self-bitten lips to balm her teasing words. 'I like your taste.' Annie chases a droplet of sweat down his neck, keeping the salty tang on her tongue. 'I like your eyes.' She pressed their foreheads together in a familiar movement, before pulling back so she could watch his face very closely. 'I like children.'
A momentary flash of confusion crosses Finnick's handsome features before he realises what she means. He pushes himself up on his elbows, surging forward to capture her lips, joining them together in a dance of tongues and heat. Worry creases his brow and he pulls back reluctantly. 'Are you sure, Annie? It's not a good time to be bringing a child into the world, the revolution–'
She silences him with a kiss. 'It's never a good time. The Capitol would know, Snow would use us, and now, you could die on any mission and I could be pulled back into the darkness. But I want our child, Finnick.' She pressed the side of her face against his and whispered into his ear. 'We can have a baby together, Finn, children like us, playing in the ocean. A boy with your eyes, can't you see them?'
'I can, Annie.' He returns the whisper. 'They're beautiful.'
They kiss deeply, full of passion and emotion. He tightens his grip on her waist, broad hand stroking at the skin on her hip. When she aligns his most intimate area with her own, she meets his eyes and watches his face as they sink into each other, as they enfold into one being, one flesh, indivisible.
'What do you like?' she whispers to the heated air.
'You. Moving like the waves in the ocean.'
After, sweaty and exhausted, she lies on his chest, her head rising and falling with each deep breath he takes. In, and out. In, out.
The tides that hold the ocean.