"Shyll?" I ask through the bedroom across the hall. It opens slowly and I see Shyll, he looks hurt but not broken. He smiles lightly, trying to contain some type of emotion and lets me in.
"How are you?" he asks, not seeming to care. I shrug and he nods, understandingly. He and Clove both lost their little brother, Martiall, so he probably unsderstands me.
"How's Clove taking it?" he asks more curiously. I smile, still sad and try to think of how to explain.
"Until now, she hasn't left her seat in front of the tv, watching the Games" I say slowly and he nods. I sigh and lean on the wall next to the door. He turns on the tv and the only show on is the Games. It's morning now in the arena and Martiall is starting to make a small fire. He's been doing really well, taken over the lake, and keeping well hidden and fed.
"Clove needs you more than ever" Shyll says, still watching the screen carefully. I nod, I wish I could say I know but he'd probably feel hurt. He smiles proudly as Martiall starts hunting for some pack of lizards. He manages to get three and spear them on a stick then roasts them over the fire.
"Are you going back to 2 after Martiall gets back" I ask and he shrugs. I take a seat at the table in front of the tv and watch halfway.
"I met this girl a while back, before Clove went to her first Games" he starts but stops to watch the Games for a while. He glances back and starts again "We're thinking of staying together in the Capitol, maybe have some kids later" he suggests to himself. I nod and sit there, mostly waiting for Clove to call me back in.
"Be good to her, she's been through a lot" Shyll says and I take that as a goodbye. I smile and walk out. I step into what could be called the main room and see Clove and her mom sharing some lunch and crying. I walk to her quickly and hug her from behind.
"Clove" I say sadly and she looks up at me smiling, was she laughing? I sigh, glad she's okay, but still confused.
"Sorry Cato" she says sweetly and she brings her lips to mine. We kiss for a while and she separates. I frown, already missing her taste and she laughs a little more. "We were thinking back to the better times" she says suddenly sadder. I hug her and pull her out of her chair gently, take her seat and sit her back in my lap. I hold her waist close to me and zone out as they continue to laugh about their stories. I can remember some of them but most are more personal family stories.
I rest my head in the crook of her neck and breath her intoxicating smell. She strokes my hair jokingly, as if I were Dagger and sighs.
"We should get going" Clove says half-heartedly. I nod and she hops out of my lap. She hugs her mom tightly and I shake her mother's hand. I take Clove's hand but her mom stops us.
"Be good to her" she whispers, Clove still oblivious. I nod, what is that supposed to mean? Does her family not trust me? I walk out with Clove and we head outside, our next destination.
"We're going to go walk around" I tell Gale quickly and he huffs. I look around, hoping to let Clove see Johanna but she's no where to be seen. I grab her hand, causing her to jump, and I hold her close.
"I want to go for a run" she says sheepishly. I nod and we run, hand in hand. We run past tall, gleaming buildings, past Capitol citizens that are now less dressy, probably feeling too horrible to want to dress up. I look over at Clove and she looks relatively normal, just stressed about Martiall.
We run until I can't go anymore and she says "I was just getting warmed up" I breathe in heavily and roll my eyes. We turn around and pass the same terrain we ran past on the way. We ended up in the woods on the edge of the Capitol, so it'll be a long walk.
"I love you Cato" Clove says hugging me from the side. I stop and hold her close for a second, checking our surroundings. We've both become paranoid of forests. I kiss her forehead lightly and grip her tightly to me.
"We head should home" she says and I nod. We walk past all of the same things, in the city. Some of the same people still looking us over awkwardly. I find it interesting how when we're the tributes they praise us for murder, but when we're basically the Game Makers they glare at us, I wave at them, ignoring their strange looks. Clove seems to be acting normal. We jog home, once I get enough energy, and we walk through Snow's mansion to our room quickly.
I walk into the bathroom, sweaty but feeling amazing, and start a shower. I strip my clothes and hop in. I start to wash my body with mint soap and some weird smelling conditioner. I lather, rinse, and repeat on my hair and start to wash the rest of me.
"Cato, I need to shower" Clove complains from outside "I stink!" I laugh lightly and turn off the water, feeling fresh and squeaky clean.
I grab a towel from the rack and start to dry off. I step out and Clove watches me intently. I try to act like I don't notice, but she's pretty prominent. I walk past her and stop next to her. I grab her chin sweetly and kiss her quickly.
"Cato you're adorable" she says and I sigh. She always calls me that, and we do this every time. I grab her by her bare waist and hold her close.
"I am not adorable" I say deeply and she giggles. I pull her close and hold her there. I finally let go and she strips her clothes off carefully. I look at her, hopefully not too creepily, and start to feel bad. I should have protected her better. She wouldn't have nearly as many scars. I lay on the bed and wait for her to come out. Dagger jumps on the bed and eyes me cautiously. She walks up to me slowly and I laugh, she loves me. She nuzzles me and lays next to me.
"Awww you're so adorable" Clove says and I roll over to face her. She smiles awkwardly, no shirt or shorts, just underwear. I smile and beckon her closer. She slips on a blue tank-top and jumps on my roughly, I huff deeply.
"g'night" I say in her neck. She shivers lightly and I pull her close. She starts to fall asleep and I sigh. She must have decided to not watch the Games, maybe she's more confident after her talk with her mom. I take one more breath of her smell and sleep takes me.