0.05 ; the time for thank you's is over | ✔

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0.05 ; the time for thank you's is over

"So, you're the famous Clove Carrow then?" says Crystalline, crossing one long leg over the other and taking a sip of her drink. She looks me up and down with positive interest, frowning slightly at my height, but making no attempt to mention it. "And Cato Hadley of course, everybody knows about you."

The look on Cato's face is pained, almost regretful, and I can instantly tell that something happened in his own half an hour that none of us want to hear. "Well, I was the favourite to win this years games, but they all hate me now." he says, running his hands through his hair "But it was my choice, nobody to blame but myself." He stares at me pointedly, daring me to say otherwise, to question him. I don't. Because I know that what he did on stage was not an accident. It was a thank-you, for saving his life all those years ago. It must have been a spur-of-the-moment occurrence: he couldn't have predicted that I was to be reaped. That would be impossible.

Nobody speaks, or even moves, for at least a minute. The silence is never-ending and awkward. And I can't break it.

"Anyone for coffee?" says Tallulah, thankfully dragging us out of the quiet, plastering a fake smile upon her overly decorated face. 

"Yes please" I say, and I decide to take a seat opposite Crystalline and Brutus. Cato doesn't sit down, just hovers awkwardly over the sofa, not taking any notice of the conversation that is beginning to flow out of the silence of before.

"So" says Crystalline, her eyes narrowing "Clove, how old are you?"

"Fifteen." I reply, clasping my hands together, avoiding the emerald green orbs that practically jump out of her pale face. "Career?" she asks, smirking.

"Yes, eight years." I mutter in reply, still looking away from her. She doesn't seem to notice, and carries on prying.

 "What's your sport?" she leans closer towards me, hunching over. By that, I'm guessing she means 'what's your best weapon?'. No point in lying: there's more 'thanks' coming my way if I do.

"Knives." I say, standing up and retreating towards the other side of the carriage. All eyes follow me, probably expecting me to do something that would demonstrate my skills. If they want that, they're going to have to wait for the training days. Except Cato, of course, but the less said about him right now, the better.  He knows what I can do, there's no need to show him.

"You gonna show us anything?" grunts Brutus, scowling and folding his huge arms over his chest.

"I wasn't planning on it" I say, examining the elaborate dishes on the table in front of me, my back to him "But, if you're looking for a display then I don't mind."

Brutus smirks, along with Crystalline. And then I catch Cato's eye. He stands, almost frozen in the centre of the carriage, eyes trained on me, just like the day after the mountain incident, in the training centre, as if he is trying to remember something that his mind has been closed to for  while.

I look towards my feet, embarrassed, and select a knife from one of the lavish dishes. They are all far too dainty, nothing like my usual ones, which are long, razor sharp and quite often serrated, but I pick out the most lethal looking one there. Then I turn to face my audience, choose a target of a small circle drawn on the wall - most probably an earlier career getting some extra practice - and throw. It cuts through the air and my audience follow it with wide eyes, right until it hits, dead-centre, in the middle of the circle.

I look towards my mentors, now both with mouths wide open in utter surprise. They didn't expect that, obviously. But I'm not interested in their reactions. I'm interested in Cato's.