Preface: A Crease In The Nut

(Two months before the reaping)

My dark brown hair, almost red in the summer light, swirls around my heart-shaped face. Cato, lays on the ground of our hill, a crease in the side of the Nut, a giant mountain where the peacekeepers are trained, that lets you look over all of district 2. We found it on one of our many dates, one of the few that we didn't spend tossing knives, or batting at the other one with a sword. Those were the dates I favored, but Cato, no, Cato liked the ones where we spent hours heaving our sweaty bodies up the sides of mountains. And technically, I am glad that we found this place, one of the only places I can be myself. Of course, wherever Cato is, I'm more myself there than anywhere else. He is the only one I constantly don't want to throw a knife at. But there really is something special about this place.

"Clover," Cato heaves, picking at dirt underneath his fingernail, using his name for me. My real name is Clove, but he says I bring him luck.

"Hmm?" I ask, theatrically excited about what the 'love of my life' has to say.

"I love you," He says flatly.

His comment takes me by surprise, usually, whenever he wants to tell me something, he usually says something along the lines of "I'm hungry," or "lets go back to town and throw some spears," or something like that.

I feel my face burn red hot. "I… love you too." I manage to stammer out. He smirks and kisses me.

Little did I know everything would change in a few weeks time.