Post by The Last Unicorn [Kay] on Sept 27, 2015 14:31:56 GMT -5
When Capricious was born, the day was marked with an extravagant celebration. The first Belhaven girl in a generation, born to the fourth son, his sixth and final child. She has no less than thirty first cousins, every single one of them boys. By the time Capri came along, the Belhaven Boys had established themselves as schoolyard bullies, passing the torch from grade to grade, making the lives of lesser Capitolites hell. At first the young boys didn't know what to do with a girl cousin. Should they coddle her? Toughen her up? Ignore her? As a toddler, they reacted in all three ways, elevating her to princess, shoving her into the dirt, and turning their backs when she entered the playroom.
That all changed when she turned six, during the first week of First Grade. She had two cousins in her year - Mallet and Ambry - who, being among the youngest of the Belhaven Boys, had plenty to prove to their older counterparts. They had been consistently malicious to her: tattling on her, tripping her, ripping out her silky dark ponytails. When she tried to direct the teacher's attention, she received a simple, "boys will be boys" and that was supposed to be the end of it.
It wasn't for Capricious, and so it wasn't for Mallet and Ambry.
She set her stage carefully, waiting until recess when she would have the largest audience. She started at one end of the playground, whispering to anyone who would listen that Mallet and Ambry had big crushes on her and wouldn't leave her alone. Within a few minutes the rumor had spread like wildfire. Her cousins found her atop the slide and yelled at her to come down so they could prove they didn't even like her.
"Oh really?" She called down from her perch. "If you don't like me, then you must like each other!" She declared shrilly. The playground erupted in taunting laughter. Mallet screamed at her as Ambry slunk away. But when he tried to climb up the ladder, some of the older kids stopped him with taunts, telling him to run after his secret crush. After that, she didn't have any more trouble with Mallet and Ambry, and she had learned a valuable lesson: always have a bigger piece of gossip to offer the masses, and she would be loved forever.
Of course it helped that eventually she grew into her too-big hair, and her skinny tomboy body twisted into heavy curves. By the time she was sixteen she was getting into the hottest bars without having to provide any ID. By the time she was seventeen, she was married.
In the video reels and View articles from that time, if one looks closely, one will see that not a single quote comes directly from Capricious Belhaven - Capricious King as of her wedding day. All of the quotes are from other family members or her lawyers. She stands still in the middle of the photos, her makeup perfect around her vacant eyes, her lips sealed together. Whatever transpired between Capri and Mr. King before that cold winter day is left to mystery and gossip. Some say that they met on Style Street and he courted her mercilessly, using her youth against her. He showered in jewels and flattery, blinding her to any possible complication. Others say that it was she who found her way to his mansion's doorstep and feigned injury to gain admittance. That she seduced him with her newly mature figure and trapped him with threats of exposure. The truth likely lies somewhere in between, for though Capricious' parents had the marriage successfully annulled due to "lack of consummation", nine months later, Capricious gave birth to her eldest son.
Another Belhaven boy, born to a King.
Capricious was hungry for more children, but not for the burden of being a scorned single parent with a lumpy body. She first interned and then was hired in the Marketing Department of the Games machine. She dropped her son off at day care six days a week, hit the gym, and then worked until well after sunset. If her son needed more of her attention, well, she promised him toys and fancy desserts.
By the time she was twenty-one, she had worked her way from the bottom to the lowest tier of management. Flush with power, Capricious couldn't simply be satisfied with minimal career success and a healthy toddler. She craved so much more. She began to spend less time at work and more time at the clubs, accepting dates from the most elite of young Capitolites, and spurning them once they had fallen for her. It wasn't until she crossed the path of [name] that she thought - perhaps there was more to live for than pulling the strings of the public.
Within a year they were married, with a proper courting and engagement period. They spent the first year of their marriage as an extended honeymoon, exploring the past arenas, indulging in each other, using up every last scrap of their savings accounts. When they returned to the Capitol, broke but very much in love, they discovered that though they had forgotten everyone else, no one had forgotten them.
Capricious has since burned all of the photos of their safari and their shocking return to society.
Her past exploits haunted Capri and her pragmatic wife. Though they both quickly secured jobs and formally adopted Capricious' son - who had spent the year with his father - it was impossible to pretend to be a family when cameras dogged their every foot fall. Capricious secretly adored the attention, even as it wore on her wife. They moved closer to their jobs, hired black cars to transport them everywhere. Capricious soothed her wife late in the evenings, telling her that they would soon be interested in someone else's life.
Except then the months of fertility treatments finally took, and Capricious at last found herself pregnant again.
The next summer, their family of three expanded to a family of five, and the Belhavens once again had a little girl to dote upon. Of course, Capricious gave birth to twins, but the little girl's brother is often forgotten in the grand story of her dramatic, prolonged birth. Over fifty hours of labor and numerous complications resulted in a very speedy caesarian section. Capricious might never have forgiven the doctors or her children, had they not first pulled out a perfectly pink little girl.
The papers told the story of the difficult birth, but Capricious forgot it the moment she held her daughter. The next few years were filled with a constant stream of diapers and joy. Capricious worked a steady forty-hour week, surprising herself with a desire to spend time with her family. She'd never been more in love or loved. And despite her limited work hours, she once again thrived. She helped to market the Games' hype in the spring, planning memorable campaigns for the reveal of the past few Quells. All the while, she continued her treatments, never satisfied to be middle of the pack. Many of her brothers already had three sons; though she was the only Belhaven to have a daughter, it wasn't enough.
Halfway through her third pregnancy, the doctors told her she had once again held onto two babies. Both boys.
She spiraled, becoming more like the Capricious who married a man on a whim, than the mother she was supposed to be. Despite being heavily pregnant, she partied all night, showed up late to work, and hit the bar circuit after, without so much as stepping one stiletto into her home. The tabloids scrambled, documenting every second of her downfall. She gave wandering, incoherent interviews, and more than once was forced to check into the psychiatric ward of the Capitol Hospital. At seven months, she was confined to bed rest, even though her pregnancy continued to be remarkably healthy. Two weeks later, she gave birth by emergency c-section, the doctors scrambling to pull the two boys out before her body failed under the weight of the pregnancy.
They came out purple and wriggling and Capricious wanted nothing to do with them.
When they came from the hospital - all three exhausted and crying - Capricious had intended to make amends with her wife, if no other reason than that she needed another adult to parent five little ones. But after the avox settled her into bed to recuperate from surgery, Capricious reached for the notepad she always kept at her bedside, and found a sheaf of divorce papers waiting for her.
She signed them that night and slept for twelve hours. As soon as she could hire a wet nurse and walk without excruciating pain, she returned to work. She switched departments, from Marketing to Public Relations, and began to coordinate affairs with Gamemakers. At first she worked for Anarcha Bentley, but it wasn't long before she transferred to Dom Copperview. For five years she had carefully managed the public's view of the Games.
Her works is more art than science, the subtle art of manipulating public opinion. And while Capricious still lands herself in the tabloids, it is never accidental.