President Everess POV

The moon hasn't disappeared yet when I wake up. I know that I have no chance at getting some more sleep, so I get up to make myself a drink. The alcohol loses its golden color when i mix it with strawberries and oranges. Everything is straight from District 11, and these goods arrived yesterday. I shudder as the sweet and sour tastes clashes in my mouth. The drink is disgusting, but it makes my head clear for the rest of the day.

Tess is still asleep when i find her. She has cuddled up behind one of the sofas, with her favorite toy bear. I can't believe it has gone ten years since I had her in my arms. She is so old, yet so childish. When I try to wake her up, i realise i am basically trying to wake up a stone. So I pick her up and put her in her chair, still sleeping. Breakfast is already served and I just started eating when Tess wakes up.

"Just five more minutes mommy." she mutters, still stuck in her dreams. I smile. On her plate there is three strawberries, one toast and some bacon. Her favorite.

I turn on the TV just as Tess starts eating on her toast. It's one week until the Reaping, so naturally the Hunger Games is everywhere. Atmos Valentine, the new host, is sitting with two analysts and is discussing last years games. They show a replay of the finale. The arena is a swamp and a poisonous fog is closing on the two last tributes. The girl from district 1 holds the boy from 4 underwater, and i can see how the boys struggles becomes weaker until he stops completely. I cast a worried glance at Tess. She is looking away and is reading a comic book. Tess has never liked the hunger games, it has to much death she says. My thoughts gets interrupted when Valum enters the room. I already know why he is here.

"What's on my schedule." I ask. Valum uses his hand to wipe the last of some sauce from his mouth. He probably ate in a hurry. Typical Valum, always oversleeping.

"In about an hour you have an appointment with the heads of the TV-channels about the rights for the Hunger Games." he says. I cringe. I do not want to spend my morning sitting in a room filled with fat men only wanting to get as much money for themself.

"Reschedule that." I say. "Put it on friday afternoon." Valum nods.

"Mommy, can i go from the table." Tess asks.

"Of course, sweetheart." I say with a smile. "Why don't you go to the garden? I heard from gardener that the strawberries are extra large this year."

She giggles, grabs her toy bear and starts running towards the garden. When I turn around I see Valum has a much more serious face. Now that the kids are away, things get ugly.

"Fawkes still says he is innocent." he says.

"He has a wife and a daughter." I respond. "Torture them. Then he will talk."

Tess Everess

I have looked for at least ten minutes and still no strawberries! Why does mom have to make the garden so big? Everything we eat still comes from the districts. Mom says that it feels peaceful here and that's why we have it. I am just interested in the strawberries.

When I walk around the corner I notice the man. He is sitting on a chair and is staring into the air. He is pretty scary looking, with scrawny black hair and a mustache. I hug Neddy, my toy bear, harder. Just as I decide to go the other way, the man sees me. He smiles.

"Hello there!" he says. I take a step back. The man waves me to him. Reluctantly I walk over to him and he opens his hand. A jelly bean, cola taste if you look at the color, is in it.

"Do you want some candy?" he says. I shake my head.

"Mommy said i shouldn't trust strangers." I say. The man laughs and takes away the jelly bean.

"You're mommy is a wise woman." he says.

"My mommy is the president." I respond. He look like he is surprised, but it's easy to see it's fake.

"Then you must be Tess Everess?" he asks. I nod.

"What are doing here, a little girl like you?" he says.

"Looking for strawberries, but i haven't found any yet." I answer. The man places his hand behind my ear and like magic pulls out a large strawberry. I giggle and take the berry. It is super sweet and melts in my mouth. When I open my eyes i see that the man is looking at Neddy.

"May you present us?" he asks. I look confused until I realise he means Neddy. I laugh.

"Meet Neddy." I say and hold him up so the man can see him. The man stands up and bows.

"It's an honour to meet you Neddy." he says. I laugh even more.

President Everess POV

Tess should have come back here by now. It has gone an hour and she should have already lost patience with the strawberries. She knows that on 9am she needs to have her bath. She has never missed the time, why would she start now? I just hope that she is just distracted, and that she isn't….

I let out a sigh when I finally find her. But the problem is that she is sitting on a strangers knees and talking to him. I think about calling the guards, but i recognise him. I don't know who he is but he isn't a threat. I think. I walk up to the pair, who burst out of laughter over something.

"Excuse me." I say. The man looks at me, going from confused to a smile. He reaches out his hand.

"You must be President Everess! It's a pleasure to meet you! I am Ivan Markaffer, the new head Gamemaker!" he says. I instantly remember where i have seen him. He was the gamemaker that Takia had recommended, and i trust Takia's judgment. I shake his hand.

"I am Neith Everess. It's an honour. What are you doing here?" I ask. Ivan reaches into his pockets and takes out a empty bag of jelly beans.

"My meeting with you is about to start in an hour and i got here early, so i took profit of the serenity and ate some candy. I tried to give your kid here some, but she didn't accept. You raised a smart kid." he says. I look at Tess.

"Do you like him sweetheart?" I ask. She smiles the most innocent smile ever, the smile i love the most.

"He's the best!" she answers. I look at Ivan and smile.

"If my daughter like you, I like you. I guess we can start the meeting now. What do you have to show me?"