Chapter 87: Cato

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I look down at Clove carefully immediately after I wake up. I hold her tightly, but not waking her up, and breathe her smell in. She's intoxicating, vanilla and cloves. I kiss her forehead lightly and roll over carefully and check the time, about 4 in the morning. I sigh loudly and Clove stirs, luckily she doesn't wake up.

I wriggle my arm from under her and sneak off of the bed. I stumble into the bathroom and relieve myself quickly. I wash my hands, trying to keep quiet and head downstairs to check if Clove's dad is dead. He deserves a slow agonizing death, not some quick, painless one. I turn on the tv and it blasts loudly. I turn the volume down quickly and pray that it didn't wake her.

I watch intently as Clove's dad walks around obviously starving and thirsty. I smirk, any time now and he'll be dead. He looks almost completely skin and bones but he's go an evil smirk plastered on his face. He walks around with what looks like a limp and trips multiple times before stopping in the only small field in the arena. It seems to be only dry grass, no trees or other plants.

He mutters some silent saying and looks up in the generated clouds. I see something approaching him from behind and hear foot-steps, not on screen. I look behind me careful and Clove stands there confused.

"Cato, why are you watching the Games?" Clove asks quietly. I beckon her over to me and she sits in my lap awkwardly. I hold her close to me and focus on the woman approaching her father carefully. The woman, from what I can see, is too skinny and her skin seems to droop off of her.

The woman charges weakly, a knife in her bony hands and leaps onto Clove's father. She struggle to cut his arm but he flips her over and she lands violently on the ground. She's the last 'tribute' left, she better win. He pulls out the gun, the illegal kind and smirks down at her. He stuffs it into her mouth and with that she's dead, he won.

"Clove, I'm sorry" I say quietly as the new government song, The Hanging Tree, plays until the screen goes dark. I hold her tightly and I can feel her tears soaking my shirt. I rub her back softly and pick her up softly. I carry her into our room and set her carefully next to me on our bed.

"Why? Shouldn't they kill him automatically? I swear if he comes near me and my family-" she starts furiously but I stop her with a firm kiss. I hold her arms carefully and press my lips to hers.

"Cato" she whimpers softly, not scared but I know she can't breathe well. I pull away from her soft lips and smile.

"Clove, violence is not always the answer" I say laying next to her. She huffs and rolls over onto me. She pecks my cheek and runs her hand over my waist, reminding me that I need to work-out. I roll over quietly and see it's almost 7. I sit up and walk over to the bathroom to wash up.

"Cato" Clove says from outside as I'm pulling on my shorts. I walk out to her, in only shorts, and smirk. She smiles and sits on the bed, patting the seat next to her for me "I'm sorry I was crying so much last night, I'm getting so weak" she says and I notice her tearing up.

"Clove, you're not weak because you cry" I say quietly "Crying means you've been strong for too long" I say firmly and she shrugs, obviously still doubtful. I hold her close and kiss her head.

"We should get going" she says sitting up and I sigh. I hold her hand and lead her to the closet where we grab each of our old training bags. She smirks and opens it before we're even out of the door. She holds one of her old training knives up and smiles wildly at me.

"Okay, calm down" I say jokingly "Let's go and you can throw them" I pull her gently all the way to the Training Center and we walk in casually.

"Clove!" I hear a scream from behind us. I turn quickly and see Enobaria screeching happily, while running to hug Clove. Behind her is Brutus who looks more awkward than anything.

"Hello Clove, I was worried about you" Enobaria says calmly. They hug and I walk over to Brutus awkwardly. I shake his hand and we walk back to Clove, still hugging Enobaria.

"Cato?" I look at Clove curiously and she smiles "Can we have some girl time?" she adds with her puppy-dog eyes and I reluctantly agree. I walk away with Brutus quietly and we go straight to sword-fighting.


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