Chapter 5

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"Cato. Hi, I heard that you are top of your class at the elite academy. That's really cool." A random blonde told me.
"Really, I don't think that's accurate." I told her and looked for Clove
"Well I do." The girl said and smiled. We were only 10 and 11, so I don't get why she was acting like we were 13.
"Cato! There you are! I need a partner to beat!" Clove yelled as she ran over to me.
"Hi there!" The girl who I didn't even know said.
"Bye." Clove told her and started walking away, pulling me.
"Goodbye gorgeous." The girl yelled to me. Clove huffed and kept waking.
"Are you jealous?" I asked her.
"No! I just hate that she was throwing herself at you. It's gross."
"Well, it seems like you are jealous."
"Calm your ego blondie." Clove said and pulled me to the boxing station. She put on the gloves and started throwing punches at me. Technically we were supposed to have assistants be our sparing partners but Clove and I were still talking.
"Why don't you just admit it?" I asked her cockily.
"Because I'm not a liar?" She said/asked.
"Ha, and you didn't kiss me."
"Shut up!" She yelled. No one at the academy knew about us. Well, except Alex, but Clove already beat him up. And we agreed to keep it that way. We had to act like we hated each other, but lately it had started to feel like Clove actually hated me.
"Hey, that was terrible." I told her, "you and I should train more." She nodded. To anyone else it would like we were talking about something training related. But really, we were talking about meeting in the woods later.
"Ok. I will be expecting you here at exactly 5, if you are late you are running 3 laps around the whole building!" I told her to make it seem like we were being jerks to each other. Who knew being a 11 year old dating the girl that started as your enemy would be so complicated?
"You can count that I will be there. Any opportunity to show you up consider me there." She told me and walked out. Since this was the last class of the day we got to leave. Clove and I still had 2 hours before we were supposed to meet in the woods. I know that she will need to change. She might even go and talk to Alex. But he might have to go to school. He is only 15 anyways. I don't get why he's a teacher. I went home the shortest way. I didn't want to get bombarded by girls again. Since the whole Clove thing went down everyone has idolized me. Maybe because I somehow am still sane after dealing with Clove?
"Cato! Come here! Your father has some good news." My mom yelled as soon as I shut the door.
"Son, I got Clove Sevina off of the list today." My dad told me. I smiled and hugged him.
"Thank you daddy, I know that you didn't have to. But I promise that Clove really is a good person." I told him. I was so excited that I called him daddy. I hadn't called him that for years.
"You're very welcome, and I hope so. I had to fight very hard. So make sure she doesn't do anything dumb." He told me. I knew that he meant our trips to the woods had to stop. I told him about them one day and he told me to immediately stop it. I forgot that today when I made plans with Clove. I nodded to my dad and ran out the house. I bolted to the Victors Village. It might look suspicious but I have to keep her from the woods. Once I got through the gates I saw Clove walking down the path from her uncles house.
"What are you doing here Cato? I thought we were meeting there."
"We can't anymore, it's too risky. You aren't on the list anymore but they are watching you more than ever now. We can't go to the woods anymore." I whispered to her. I assumed that it was pretty safe to talk openly here but I had to be careful.
"Ugh! Why?"
"Cause I don't want to lose you because we wanted to hang out." I told her and hugged her.
"Fine! We'll go to the stupid academy instead. I have the keys anyways. Just come with me to get them." She told me and started waking back to Brutus' house.
"Back so soon?" Brutus said as soon as she had opened the door, "that's the quickest session you have ever had."
"Sorry actually I forgot the keys." She said and walked up the stairs. Brutus looked at me with a questioning look. He knew that we usually hung out in the woods. I mouthed back too dangerous, she's being watched like a hawk. Brutus nodded and smiled sadly. He liked me and Clove going to the woods and being goofy normal kids. But now we couldn't have that. After-all, we live in district 2 and train. Maybe if we weren't in the academy we could run around the town and let everyone know how we feel about each other.
"Ok. We can go now." Clove said as she ran down the stairs. She hugged Brutus and walked out the door. I followed her quickly. I didn't want her bragging that she beat me.
"Are you mad at me?"
"No, but I was really scared, I didn't want to hurt you. You know that."
"You're safe now. We both are. We are ok."
She snapped her head around and looked at me with those intense eyes, "How do I know that's the truth?"
"We are as safe as we ever will be. At least until we are 18, when we can be together. I promise Clove. We can do this." I told her and grabbed her hand. I wanted the whole district to know that I loved the small-but-deadly girl next to me.
"Cato. Are you sure?"
"Yes. I love you Clove. I would even tell the whole district if you wanted me to," I told her and brought her closer to me, "all you have to do is tell me."
"I don't care. All I care is that we are together." She said and kissed me. Right in front of anyone on the road. But the thing was, I didn't care. Let everyone know, after-all I just offered that. She pulled away and smiled up at me.
"There's no going back now." I told her.
"I know, and I don't care, we are us, and the whole district can know that. I won't care. It might even get those dumb blondes off you." She said and smirked. That was my Clove, sarcastic, sometimes scary, cocky and all together beautiful.
"Thanks Cato." Clove said and smiled. I must've been thinking out loud. Crap!
"Oh, um, I" I stuttered and she laughed.
"It's ok Cato. I know that I make you speechless and nothing you could say would describe how amazing you think I am." She teased. I realized then that we had walked the wrong way. Instead of going to the town, we were going more to the farmland/outer part of the district.
"Clove, where are we going? Are you going to kill me?" I asked jokingly.
"Maybe." She laughed, "and I'm not telling you." She replied and smirked.
"At least give me a hint." I whined. I just got a laugh from Clove.
"Hey Cato?"
"Do you think we are going to quickly? As in how much we think we love each other. Once people didn't feel like this until they were about 15."
"That was before we realized how short of a time we may have. Some of us might not live to be 19. You know that Clove? So it's fine that we are this intense. We have intense emotions, which we can't help!"
"I wonder what it was like at that time." She whispered. It was loud enough for me to hear but I knew she was quiet enough that the cameras couldn't hear.
"I do too." I told her. I wish I could have added then I could have my life with you and not have to worry about someone killing you, but I obviously couldn't.
"Everything would be so much easier," she said and grabbed my hand. She veered off the brick path that went through all of district 2 and into the woods.
"The place in taking you to isn't accessible by road. Unless you want to go the long way."
"Nope, I have to be home by normal time today."
"Ok. I think we can manage that." She said and kept walking, not letting go of my hand. I didn't even bother trying to talk to her while we were walking. She suddenly stopped, as if a ghost just went through her. She stared at a farmhouse in front of us.
"Where are we?"
"My old home." She said and pulled me. I could feel her hand shaking. She was afraid to be at this place where she was with her parents.
"Clove, you don't have to show me if you don't want to." I reassured her.
"I want to. I need closure."
"Clove, I'm sorry."
"It's ok." She paused, and took a breath in, "I can do this."
"Ok." I said and followed her. If she wanted to do this I wasn't going to convince her that she didn't have to.
"Just so you know, I want you to be the only person beside me to know this happened. They can know that we hung out but they can't know where we were. Got it?"
"Yeah," I replied suspiciously. Did her family still own this house? Or was it just sitting waiting for a new family?
"Good, because this may be partly illegal." She smirked. So we were substituting an absolutely illegal thing for kind of illegal, great.
"Don't look like that Cato. Last I knew this house is still assigned to my family. So it may be fine. I'm not 100% sure though." She shrugged. I let out a nervous laugh and she took out a set of keys. She put them in the slot and let out a deep breath before opening the door. She was still holding my hand, which she squeezed before walking into the house. There was an eerie glow through out the house due to the sunlight coming through the grimy windows. Although it was dark I could see that the house was still completely furnished, but everything had a layer of dust on it. Clove led me through the house wordlessly. I could tell that just being here was hard for her, and that if she tried to talk about it she would fail.
"Clover?" I asked her when I saw a wall full of pictures. There was one of 3 little kids, 2 girls and 1 boy.
"Yeah, that's us." She said with a fond smile. Clove let go of my hand and reached up to the picture. She picked the photo off the wall and wiped it off with her sleeve. She pointed to the smallest kid and looked at me.
"That's you, just a smaller Clover." I told her and smiled. She nodded and returned the smile. She put the picture back on the wall and kept walking. Even though I could see that she was still tense her walk was a little more relaxed. She went to the dining room where the table was set.
"I was setting up for dinner when my parents came down stairs with bags and grabbed me. They shoved me out the door and we ran. That was the last time we were all together." She told me, at least I think she was talking to me. She wasn't facing me so I didn't know. She picked up a knife from the table and threw it across the room. Even though it was just a butter knife it stuck in the wall.
"Sorry, but that was the last thing I touched in this house, I had to get my anger out." Clove told me with an apologetic look.
"It's fine, this is all about you and what you need to do." I told her and hugged her.
She hugged me back and whispered "thank you Cato, I owe you one" in the softest voice I have ever heard her use. I kissed the top of her head and squeezed her. She bent her head back and looked up at me, "You don't know how much this means to me."
"I don't, but as long as it means something to you I don't care, I would go anywhere with you," I told her and smiled when her cheeks got bright red. She was adorable when she was caught off guard.
"Well, there's still a lot of this house left to cover," Clove suggested and took my hand. We walked up the stairs where I saw a doors with all of the kids names on them. Brianne's was closed though. I saw that Clove's was the most decorated out of all of them. She was still an innocent and peaceful kid last time she was here. She wasn't a trained killer yet.
Don't get mad at me please. I just really wanted to update I will pick it up from her though so don't worry. Love y'all ;)

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