As a child Vale wondered what was outside her district, though her parents warned her that was a dangerous train of thought. She wondered what was on the other side of the ocean and just how far through the woods she would have to travel before she found another district. She’d likely have traveled into some trouble in her adventures if Nereus hadn’t stopped her. Being the protective older brother he was he hardly let her out of his sight and she definitely wasn’t alone long enough to try and escape to find another district. And so she was caged within the walls of four, her adventures barred by fences and kept close to home. After only a few years of exploration she had most of her home range mapped out with hiding places memorized for games of hide and seek and shortcuts to her friends houses like a map for survival as she tried to escape the watchful eye of her family.
Years passed and time didn’t dull her curiosity, but amplified it instead. At the age of nine she wanted more than ever to leave, feeling as if she were a baby bird cooped up in a tiny nest for too long. She wanted to fly, to be free from the walls of her home and free from any peering eyes. She wanted a moment to herself where she could run free and escape the confines of her district and of the Capitol. Her mother dismissed her as being childish and rebellious but as Vale grew older her desire to get out only increased and she vowed that it would one day happen.
The reaping came and Nereus was selected. It was a bit of a shock to Vale, as she didn't expect his name to be chosen. Only a few tears were shed as they got a few moments together to share words with one another that might be their last. It wasn’t a good thing to do, to think so negatively about a tribute coming back, but Vale couldn’t stop herself. Though she had faith in her brother there was part of her that was growing to detest the idea of tributes killing one another. It was widely accepted...or at least forced to be accepted, which was an uncomfortable thought in itself, but it was also widely supported or again, that’s what they were lead to believe. There was no doubt in her mind that the Capitolites enjoyed the games but she had to wonder if there were people in other districts who were feeling as she was now, as if they were all lost in some chaotic fantastical dream that just wouldn’t end. While the history of the world before Panem was keep widely secret there were things that people said about it. They said it was a world without the games, without barriers keeping citizens in place and without a dictative ruler. Vale wished for that world as her brother left, she wished that he hadn’t had to sacrifice himself for a government she knew wouldn’t appreciate his sacrifice.
With Nereus in the games Vale found herself with far more freedoms. It wasn’t as though she were granted permission for anything but without the watchful eyes of her brother ready to keep her from trouble she found herself readily in danger. It wasn’t an immediate danger, or it didn’t seem like it as the outside world opened up into something beautiful outside the fence of four that had kept her caged for so long. She spent nearly every day the games were on away from her home. It wasn’t acceptable with her parents who tried to keep her home though she managed to sneak out and each day found herself wandering farther and farther into the unknown, deeper into the woods that she hoped might eventually reveal another one of the districts. She never got far enough to discover anything.
Five days had passed in the games and they were won. While it was true that Valeria was happy her brother was returning to her there was some apprehensions she had developed in his returning. In the end she’d seen what he’d done in the arena. He wasn’t the same to her, there was something that seemed to change about him especially after Pearl’s death. She felt a pity for her brother then before remembering that his arrival back in the district would put a halt to her adventures. She ventured out early on the morning he was due to arrive home, hoping to pack in one more adventure. And adventure she found.
For the first time in her life, on that morning of the victory parade, she met a member of another district. Samuel Golden was a year younger than herself but it would have been hard to tell. He was tall for his age and though he had yet to outgrow his boyish features she found herself able to imagine the man he might become. The unfortunate part about their first meeting was that she had little time in the woods that day, because though she wasn’t thrilled to have her babysitter back she was quite thrilled to see her brother and congratulate him on his victory. And so she asked the boy to meet her again. She wasn’t sure that getting away from her district would be as easy but she figured that with Nereus occupied but the chaos surrounding his winning he’d have less time to watch after her than he had before. With a meeting time in place and the location set she kissed Samuel on the cheek and turned back toward her home.
As the years passed and Vale grew into more of a woman than she had been at fifteen she found herself with more responsibilities. She had taken on an apprenticeship with a well known healer in her district and found the combination of her work and school to leave little time for adventure. She still managed to escape the eyes of the district, however. and found her way to the same spot where she and Samuel first met. Their meetings were characterized by different emotions. Sometimes they were calm, other times the like to play or be serious with one another. At one point their friendship made the leap to romance. It was natural, as Vale watched all the other girls in her district falling in love. She wasn’t allowed this common luxury however, as Nereus had scared off any suitor within a ten year age gap. He was unaware of her secret relationship though, as was the rest of her family and even her closest friends. She wouldn’t risk gossiping of her relationship to the wrong people, though she did unintentionally take a serious gamble as she learned that she had become pregnant. It was an early detection, as she was always conscious of her body, a nervous reaction she had to dealing with the sick that she just couldn’t shake. Without telling anyone the news was driving her a little mad. With Samuel being a career she didn’t know if asking him to stay would be the right thing to do or if she should let him go and Nereus......there was no way she could tell him without some serious thought on just how she would explain her secret four year relationship with a boy from One. It all became a little too complicated a little too quickly, but she remained calm, waiting for the right moment to share her latest secret.