Chapter 27

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PEETA'S POV

Slash! The whip stings my back. I don't know why this is happening to me. I was coming home from work when some guys attacked me and tied me to the old whipping post in the square. The same one Gale was whipped at. 

"Aaahhhh!" I've been getting whipped for about 10 minutes maybe and I'm already limp. The screaming hurts my throat. I wonder where Katniss is. I wonder why she hasn't come to help me.

KATNISS'S POV

"Peeta." I gasp. Before Gale can catch me I take off running towards the tortureous sound of my fiance. As soon as I start running Gale comes after me. I've always been a faster runner than him so I don't think he'll catch me.

GALES'S POV

The corners of my mouth turn up into a smirk as I hear him scream. I brought a group of my buddies with me to get that job done while I tried to get Katniss to come back with me. 

"Peeta." Katniss gasps and start running. I'm afraid I won't be able to catch her. She's always been faster than me. I chase her through the thick green woods she knows better than me. A few times I almost get her but she races off out of my grasp.

KATNISS'S POV

I'm almost there when my lungs start to burn. I can see the old whipping post. And Peeta. Hot tears sting my eyes as I see Peeta limp with all the blood and lash marks. I push on faster than ever. I need to get to Peeta. 

I burst into town not daring to stop untill I reach Peeta. When I finally break into the town square I see Peeta again. I run in between Peeta and the guy whipping him.

"Stop!" I yell like I did for Gale those many years ago. The guy pushes me out of the way and onto he ground and smacks the whip down on Peeta again. Peeta moans and flinches but goes limp again. They guy raises the whip again but I crawl by his feet and pull them out from under him making him fall to the ground before he can slash Peeta again. The guy gets to his feet and raises the whip to hit me but a voice stops him. Gale. 

"I told you to only get him not her." He yells. 

"But she interfered." The guys whines like a little kid. I've never seen this guy in my life. How does Gale know him?

I can tell Gale get frustrated. "We'll finish this later Brett." He says agitated. I look at Gale shocked realizing that this was his plan. To attack Peeta and break us up so I could go and live with him. 

"How could you?" I ask. Brett and another guy go stand with Gale. "Gale, why?" I ask tears threatening to spill. Gale doesn't answer me but punches me in the face and walks away. Just as he leaves I hear Haymitch yelling at everyone to move. I look in his direction and see my mother. Thank goodness she's here. I come to my senses and get Peeta unhooked from the whipping post. He slumps down and his face rests on the ground. 

"Any strong men willing to help please do so. If not go home." Haymitch yells into the crowd. Only about four people come to help us carry Peeta back home.

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