Chapter 10

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For a while father and I didn't talk. Cami and mom would always try to get us to have a conversation, but it would always fail.

"I have a boyfriend!" Cami blurted out. Mom, Dad and I all looked over at her.

"His name is Alex. He's amazing, skilled and funny," she sighed before anyone asked any questions.

"What is this boy's status and last name?" My father asked, sounding as mean as he has for the past month. He didn't even say happy birthday to me.

"Why does status matter, mom was your maid for gods sake, and his last name is Sevina," she replied angrily before throwing her napkin on the table and walking away.

I quickly followed her but before I got far enough away I heard my father say, "Damn, why do all my kids fall for the stupid Sevina's? They don't even deserve my kids."

"Don't you dare say that. You only feel that way because their mother rejected you when you asked her to the Academy Gala. Stop being so bitter. And for gods sake, go tell your son happy birthday!" My mother yelled at my father before throwing her stuff in the table and leaving my dad alone at the table.

Before I knew how cruel my dad could be, I would have gone to comfort him, but now that I know he is trying to guilt me into breaking up with Clove, or even worse, looking for something to report her on, I could care less. I left the house quietly and went to Brutus' house to grab the keys to the Academy, and to get Clove, tonight she is with Brutus and Enobaria.

I ran up to the door of the pristine house and knocked. A surprised Clove opened the door.
"Cato, hey, happy birthday," she greeted and hugged me. "I thought we were meeting later."

"I had to get out of my house, my dad wouldn't even look at me and refused to say anything to me. He didn't even say happy birthday."

"Cato. Come in," Bri stated with a smile. Since Clove and I have been together for a while now Bri is perfectly comfortable around me.

"Happy Birthday!" Brutus, Enobaria, Bri and Clove all yelled when I walked in. I smiled and thanked them all.

"Weren't you supposed to be here a little later than this?"Bri questioned.

"Well, you know my father, being a stubborn, arrogant man who thinks he knows what is the best for me."

"I'm sorry. He's kinda harsh on you with the reaping and you being eligible for the first time. We already know who's going, but it's still scary, because he doesn't want you to ever be eligible," Bri explained. I completely understood what she meant, but it still sucked that my own father wouldn't look at me or say happy birthday.

"Well, good thing I already made the cake," Enobaria interrupted with a chuckle, obviously attempting to lighten the mood. I laughed and felt better.

I wasn't related to them, but Brutus, Clove, Enobaria and Bri all felt like a better family to me than my own family. My family is so dysfunctional right now it's amazing that I am ever home.

"Then let's eat!" Clove exclaimed before bolting to the dinning room. I smiled and followed her along with everyone else. Sitting down for cake with Clove was way more fun and comfortable than at home, and I was so thankful for the relief.

"Kid, if you want you can stay here tonight," Brutus offered. I kindly thanked him and dug into the cake. When I was almost done Clove decided to take the last bit of my cake.

"Hey! It's my birthday, give me yours now." I demanded while trying to stab her cake with my fork.

"I am armed for your information, so if I were you I would back off," Clove threatened before reaching towards the butter knife on the table.

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