Chapter Twenty-One

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My feet hit the dirt and I pushed off. My heart was beating faster than ever and I couldn't think straight. I looked behind me, he was coming.

I ran faster trying to avoid him. This was a life or death situation, I needed to stay as far away as possible.

I jumped behind a tree hoping he hadn't seen me do it. I crouched down trying to catch my breath. When I finally was ready to continue on I stood up and peered around the tree. A face was there, Alok was standing in front of me.

I took a step back trying to grab something to defend myself with. "Stay back," I cried at him. He didn't listen, he kept creeping forward with a devilish smile across his face.

I took another step back and tripped over a tree root. I fell down on my butt, Alok moved in closer now leaning over top of me.

I grabbed at my ankle, "Ow my ankle," I yelled. He didn't seem to care, he pulled out his machete from his belt. "Let me put you out of your misery," he laughed. He brought the machete down through my head, I screamed louder than I have ever heard anyone scream before. Then it went black.

"Keegan. Keagan wake up," I heard a voice say. I opened my eyes to see Cora over top of me. "What happened?" I mumbled.

"You had a nightmare," she said. I put my head back down on the ground. It was only a dream I kept reassuring myself, it was only a dream. Alok didn't actually kill me, I don't think he could not matter what we went through.

"Thank you Cora," I said trying to reassure her that I was alright, but in reality I was trying to reassure myself that was alright. She nodded and stood up, "Don't worry about it. It happens to all of us. I have nightmare all the time."

I looked at her, "About what?" She looked away, "About tributes killing my brother. He is only three years old, but I see someone stabbing him in front of me. And every time I am stuck and can't save him, I just have to stand there and watch."

I stood up, walking over to her to give her a hug. "It was only a dream, your brother is still alive," I kept whispering in her ear. She shook her head, "He might be, but I'm not. I will never see him again; all I have left of him to remember is this wooden ring he made me." She put out her hand for me to see the small ring on her hand, it had the word engraved, live for me.

Ryker came in opening the hatch, "Ready for me to show you what to do?" he asked. I nodded and climbed down the ladder. When I got the bottom steps he put out his hand for me to take it, and I did. We both smiled at each other but didn't let go of our grip.

"So we work as a team to do things around here. We get food in groups of two. We get material for our fort in groups of two. We get supplies and weapons in groups of two. Now that there are three of us, one can stay in the fort and guard it without having to worry about it," he said.

"And this plan works?" I asked. He grinned, his teeth were perfectly aligned and his dimples showed. "Of course it works, we have been using it since the beginning," he said.

I wasn't sure how long I was asleep after being stabbed, "How many days have we been in the games?" I heard a small shout from above, it was Cora, "We have been here a week!" she called down at us. Ryker waved up at her, so did I.

"Did you know her before the games?" I asked. I was asking a lot of questions today; I guess I was just trying to figure out who my new allies were.

He shrugged, "My younger sister and her were friends. I have known her since she was little, she is more like a sister then anything."

"She is a sweet girl. I don't know what I would have done if she hadn't let me come stay with you guys. I probably would be dead," I said.

"It seems we are luckier to have you than for you to have us. You are making our lives easier with runs and friending us. I am glad we are friends, though we just met I feel that we have known each other forever. I never noticed you back in District 12, I am not sure how I missed such a beautiful girl," he winked.

I felt my cheeks get warmer and start to blush. I turned my head away so he couldn't see my face. His had reached out for me, he cupped my face. He started to lean forward with his eyes closed. I did the same but kept one of my eyes open to see where he was going.

Our lips hit and sparks flew inside of me. He wrapped his arms around me and pushed me against a tree, I wrapped my legs around his waist and he lifted me up. We kissed like there was no tomorrow. It felt perfect.

We interrupted by a long scream and a thud. We both let go of each other and searched for the source of noise. Then we say it, I heard Ryker cry. Cora lay flat on the ground.

We both ran over to her, she wasn't moving. We both fell to our knees trying to feel a heart beat. "She is barely breathing," I said to him.

He put his head against her to listen. I took a better look at the girl, she did not look the same as when I first met her. Her face was bleeding, I'm not sure if it was coming from her nose or mouth. He body was facing all different directions and was covered in mud and blood.

Ryker went to pick her up, I put my hand on his shoulder to stop him. "I think she broke her back, we can't move her," I whispered.

I heard a small whimper as he moved his finger through her hair. He sang her a soft lullaby, I joined in to help. We both cried as we sung the soft song to Cora.

I heard a beeping noise and looked up in the air. Donation gifts were falling down to us, at least half a dozen. I jumped to my feet and began grabbing them, when I had them all I an back to Ryker and Cora.

I began searching through the supplies we had gotten for anything that would help us with broken backs. I found a small booklet with information that could be used to save Cora.

I turned to face Ryker to show him the book but he didn't care. He had Cora's hand in his and was crying into it. I looked over at her, her chest was no longer moving. The cannon went off. She was dead.

The tears formed in my eyes as I moved over to her. "Thank you," I kept whispering to her. When I was finally out of tears, I stood up and walked over to Ryker. He still held the girl, I grabbed his arm and pulled him up. He struggled to get back to Cora but I told him that was enough.

A roaring noise could be heard in the distance; the hover craft was coming for her. Then I remember the ring that was on Cora's finger. I quickly grabbed her hand and took off the ring, "Your brother won't be disappointed."

Within seconds of me taking off the wooden ring the hover craft was lifting her into the air. We both waved to her lifeless corps with tears falling down our faces. Then she was gone, forever.

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