Chapter 21: Cato

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I run to the sound of Clove screaming in pain. I find her unconscious under a peace-keeper in his white outfit.

I jump on him and push him away from Clove. He falls to the ground and I hit him repeatedly over the head. He falls limp and I smile with mock pity.

"Mine" I yell and go over to Clove. She's breathing and seems to have regained consciousness. She smiles pitifully and she tries to get up. She flinches in pain.

"You want to go home?" I ask, carefully picking her up. I know she's still pretty afraid of me, but right now this could be life or death. I don't know yet. I walk carefully away from the probably dead peace-keeper and Clove falls limp halfway there. I start walk faster but keep my balance so I don't hurt her further.

"Boggs!" I yell and he runs to me with another man following. I immediately feel protective and give the strange man a glare. "Help her" he nods and hey clear the dining room table. I carefully place her on her back on the table and she groans. That's good, right?

"How did this happen?" the man asks carefully looking her over. I shrug.

"I heard her scream and this peace-keeper was on top of her. She was unconscious and I might have killed him" I say, slightly proudly. They nod and Boggs takes me over to him.

"We need to see her" he says awkwardly. I nod and he shakes his head sadly "under her clothes" I shake my head angrily and walk back to Clove.

"If she has broken bones we can only see them under her clothes" he says standing on the other side of her. "she might only have minutes" I nod and hold her hand. I watch as they gently strip her down and I see all the scars and bruises on her body. I feel heat and anger rise but try to stay calm.

"What did they do to you?" I ask her unconscious body quietly. They flip her over very carefully and I see the other half of her is covered with bruises, cuts and burns. I hold her hand very tightly and they start to swab her down with blue oil.

"What is that?" I ask. They smile innocently.

"It's a Capitol creation. It can tell us exactly where broken bones are" I nod and they go a little too far down for comfort. I give a quick glare to the head doctor and he stops his assistant. After 30 seconds certain areas of blue start to turn red.

"Her spine, it's fractured" the doctor says, immediately getting ready for surgery.

"Cato I recommend you get out of the room" a nurse says nervously. I look her angrily and shake my head.

"If she's in here so am I" I reply bitterly still holding her now cold hand tightly. She nods and walks over to the head doctor.

"We are going to operate, is that okay?" he asks carefully but already gathering his equipment.

"I've been in the Games, gore doesn't faze me anymore" I smile weakly but it replaced with a small frown. They tie her hair above her shoulders. They make an incision in her back where the red oil appeared. They start to open up the wound and I look away. I stroke her cheek and they finish rather quickly.

"Is that really it?" I ask expecting more time or more blood. The doctors all nod and stitch her up. "Can I take her up to our room?" I ask as I help them put her shirt on. They nod and we pick her up gently. I walk in front facing behind me while we go up the wood stairs.

"Lie her down here?" a darker woman asks. I nod and lie next to her. I sit with her for around two hours just admiring her everything. She's strong, a different type of strong than me. She's smart, a genius, very good at planning on the spot. Heat returns to her body slowly. I smile and slowly slide her closer to me.

"I love you Clover" I say quietly in her ear. She starts to move and slowly her eyes open.

"Hey what happened?" she croaks very weak and tired. I smile and feel overwhelming joy.

"A lot" I say simply. She smiles and lays on my chest. I stroke her silky hair and she sighs. She slides up to my face and kisses my cheek. She laughs at me and smiles.

"You recovered fast" I say holding her tightly. She shrugs.

"I guess Careers do" she says proudly. "What did they do to me?" she asks scratching her back. I quickly grab her hand and she looks very confused. I kiss her hands slowly and she blushes.

"Your spine was fractured" I tell her. She nods and looks down. I hug her tightly, being very careful of her back "Do you remember any thing?" I ask concerned. She smiles but shakes her head.

"Kind of" she says as her voice starts to get stronger "I remember the peace-keepers and Dagger attacking them they. She got hit and they took me away" I smile and get up "Hey, where are you going?" she asks sadly.

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