A/N: TWIST! Guess what? In this chapter you'll find out that our dear Cato and dearest Mint have...-suspenseful music-... ELOPED! Holy...
Read on to find out how THAT happened.
Oh and the rating has moved up since we will be adding, um, lemons, later on.
And another thing, Writer With No Words, you are so on.
Morning light seeped through the curtains all too soon and Cato flipped over to his right side with an exasperated groan. He tried to get comfortable with the covers pulled over his head but it didn't work. Finally, he pulled them off and his hand hit the sleeping figure besides him. Cato shot up and then took a deep breath, memories of the past day returning to him. He looked back at Mint and sighed before tucking the covers under her chin and pushing back the few strands of hair that were on her face. As he watched her sleep, he remembered how this had happened. How he had ended up marrying Mint.
A day earlier...
Cato walked back to his house, a happy smile on his face. Mint had liked the Lilly and he was ecstatic. She had actually kissed him too. Cato rubbed the spot on his cheek where he had felt her soft lips and then stepped inside the house. And that's when he realized something was wrong. There was complete silence in the house. Usually his house would be filled with the screams and shouts of Indigo and Alex wrestling or of Pastel yelling at the two to stop. Cato frowned and walked to the living room where he was met by a sight he had never seen before in his life. Pastel was crying and Alex was trying to comfort her while Indigo sat on the sofa next to them, a grim expression on her face. They saw Cato and instantly Pastel's cries grew worse and even Indigo looked like she was about to burst in tears.
"W-what happened?" Cato asked as dread filled him.
Indigo patted the space next to him and answered in a hoarse voice, "Come here."
Cato sat down and his elder siblings turned to him. "Indigo, tell him." Alex urged.
Indigo took a deep breath and sniffed. "Look, Cato, we didn't want you to marry Melody." She began. Cato cringed at the mention of Melody. He had completely forgot about her; the cause of all of his second worst nightmares, first being about the Hunger Games and losing his best friend, Clove.
"And we thought if Pastel got proposed to then Mother and Father would start planning her wedding and you would be able to get more time." Indigo paused.
"Get more time for what?" Cato questioned.
Indigo looked at Alex who nodded. "We were hoping you and... and Mint would fall in love during the time and get married." Alex explained.
Cato blinked twice. "You wanted..." He narrowed his eyes. "You wanted me to marry Mint?"
"She understood you, Cato." Pastel admitted tearfully. "And she made you smile and laugh even though you'd known her for only a while. She is the only one we trusted who could take care of you."
Cato didn't say anything as he tried to digest the information his brother and sisters had just given him. Marry Mint? His parents would never allow it. They would want to know her family background, which he didn't even know, and her 'status in society'. And Brutus would never allow it either after the short conversation they had had. But then, the more he thought of it, the more Cato liked the idea. Mint would be the perfect wife. She was so bubbly and sweet and it didn't matter to him that she had never stepped out of the house. Or she didn't know about simple things like the various types flowers. Cato caught himself just in time before he started thinking about what kind of mother she would make.
Indigo and Alex were watching their younger brother as various expressions flickered on his face and then Indigo spoke. "But we couldn't find anyone who would propose to Pastel so soon and suddenly. There was Darren, our last hope, but he wanted to date her first. And that too for a year or two."
Cato watched as Pastel burst into a fresh set of tears. "I'm so sorry, Cato. I tried, I really did." She sniffed. Cato wrapped his arms around her and pulled her closer.
"I know you did, Pastel." He whispered against her hair. "It's okay."
Indigo looked at the two and then nodded at Alex. He inhaled slowly and nodded back. "Cato, we thought up of something else that could save you from marrying Melody."
Cato glanced up at Alex before placing a kiss on Pastel's hair. He gestured towards Alex to continue. Alex smiled slightly. "We thought that maybe you could marry Mint now."
Cato paled. "Wait, what?"
"You could ask her to marry you." Indigo said. "And we could meet her and explain why. We'll have to do this before Mother and Father come home."
"Mother and Father wouldn't allow it." Cato sighed. Mint would make a way better wife than Melody. He definitely would prefer to marry Mint rather then Melody. "I don't know that much about her anyway. Besides, what if she refuses? She hardly knows me. We just happen to be friends."
"We'll tell her why you want to marry her." Alex licked his lips. "And with the way you've described her, it seems as if she'd be willing to help anyone in a crisis."
Indigo took Cato's hand in hers. "If there was another girl in the district, we would ask her. But right now, every girl here is obsessed about your money or your looks. Mint doesn't seem like that kind of girl."
"She's not." Cato gave her a small smile before saying, "But how will we get married? Mother won't allow it and that'll ruin everything."
"And that is why you will run away and get married." Indigo shifted in her seat slightly. "You'll take Mint to that one church which is at the edge of the District. You know, the one no one uses anymore but still has that old Priest living there. You get married to her while Alex quickly gets the rings. And then you come home to spill the beans to the parents." The glint was back in Indigo's eyes.
"What about Brutus? He's made it quite clear that he doesn't want me anywhere near his niece." Cato rubbed Pastel's back soothingly as his elder sister continued to sob.
"He wouldn't know. He's at the Capitol for a few days, meeting up with Seneca Crane for God knows what." Alex ran a hand through his hair. "We have a few days. And when he finds out, he won't be able to do anything because legally you'll be Mint's husband."
Cato bit his bottom lip. "And then the whole District would turn against us, right?" He huffed.
"Wrong." Indigo answered. "We'll go to the Mayor's house right after the wedding and tell him everything. He'll announce it as a legal marriage, kick Mother and Father out of the house and you two will be able to live happily ever after."
"Melody is the Mayor's daughter." Cato grumbled. It seemed as if all of the worst case scenarios were playing in his mind.
"Not by blood." Pastel straightened her back and pulled away, her face tear-stained and her eyes surprisingly dry. "Melody is his wife's daughter from her first marriage. And with the way she is, he obviously doesn't love her. And you know how much he adores your guts."
Cato nodded slowly. If marrying Mint would save him from marrying Melody, he would definitely do it. And apart from that, if he didn't marry Mint, who else could light up his world like she did?
Indigo informed them over the phone that Brutus was at the Capitol. Cato took a deep breath before knocking on the door to his (hopefully) future bride's house. Mint opened the door with a beaming face and she exclaimed, "You're back!"
Cato heard Alex let out a low whistle behind him and he stepped on his foot. Mint tilted her head when she saw smiling Pastel and cursing-while-clutching-his-foot, Alex. "Are they your siblings?" She asked.
"Uh, yeah." Cato answered, suddenly feeling as if the idea was not the best thing to do.
Pastel stepped in before Cato decided to faint. "We want to talk to you about something, is it alright if we come inside?"
"Of course." Mint said with a bright smile and ushered them inside. She led them to the sitting room and the three siblings sat down. Pastel cleared her throat and then told Mint everything, starting from Melody and Cato's first date all of the way to what was going on. Mint's blue eyes widened when Pastel told her of their plan. She concluded with, "Please, you're the only one who knows Cato for who he is even if you've only met him for a short time." The elder sister of the blonde Victor was crying again.
Mint looked at Cato. "You want to marry me?"
"So that you won't have to marry Melody?"
"Yes. But also because there's no one else in the District who sees me from the eyes you do. You don't judge me for what I did. For how many innocent children I killed. You don't care about how rich I am or the fact that I am a Victor. You see me for me."
Mint smiled. "I see you for who you really are because who you really are is more beautiful than what others make you out as." She paused. "Uncle Brutus will be angry. Very angry."
"He will." Alex agreed. "But if you have the Mayor on your side, he won't be able to do anything. And you have us three too. Indigo would kill anyone who laid even a finger on you."
"Can friends get married?" Mint asked Cato.
Cato grinned. "Friends are the ones who usually get married later on."
"I could show you the District." Pastel suggested. "I could tell you everything you never knew from being holed up here. You could be free."
And that was what made Mint agree to the Irone Siblings' Crazy idea. The freedom.
Cato and Mint were wed in the small church. The Priest was excited to know that a young couple were asking him to marry them and he happily agreed for no one ever visited his church. When he reached the altar, he asked Cato, "No parents? Or guests?"
Cato swallowed hard. "We're kind of in a hurry. My parents are, um, they're decorating the house."
The Priest nodded and Cato fidgeted in the black suit Alex had forced him to marry. "Just because you're getting married in such a hurry doesn't mean I'm going to let you get hitched in rags." Pastel had said while pulling Mint away to get her a dress and a veil. Indigo was getting the flowers. Alex ran through the doors and took his place next to his younger brother. He was the best man and the ring bearer. Indigo came next and stood on the other side, playing her role as the Bridesmaid in a light pink dress she clearly hated. And that's when Pastel walked in with Mint. Cato felt his cheeks turning red as he caught a glimpse of his bride-to-be. She looked beautiful, to put it simply. Pastel had dressed her in a light purple dress that had dark purple Lilacs running down the front, a dress she had worn before but Cato thought suited the bride more than his sister. Her hair was in a bun with Lilac clips holding the hairstyle together. And then there was the white veil which covered her face and fell down her back. She joined him at the alter and Cato smiled when he realized she was bright red.
And they were married. Simple golden bands glinted on their fingers and their faces had turned even more red after the kiss they had shared in the end. Pastel was holding a crying Indigo and Alex hugged Mint who laughed. The Priest was crying in joy for he had finally been given an oppurtunity to marry someone off. He left soon after, leaving Indigo to hug Mint and then warn Cato that if he ever hurt her sister-in-law, she would kill him in more ways than one. Alex nudged Cato with a sly smirk towards Mint, earning him a punch in the stomach, while Pastel and Indigo told Mint about all they had planned for them to do together. Pastel had had to pull Mint all of the way to the church because she had been so eager to see the birds and walk in the green meadows and dip her feet in the cold pond. But now that she had finally married their brother, they were willing to take her anywhere.
Alex rubbed his stomach and announced, "Now, who wants to meet the Mayor?"
The Mayor was surprised, to say the least, when he found out what had happened. Cato had heaved a sigh of relief when he found out that his parents were at the Mayor's house and not his office where the Mayor was.
"You did this because you didn't want to marry my step-daughter?" The Mayor asked.
Cato took Mint's hand. "Yes and no." He told him how Mint treated him and what was the real reason to their marriage. The Mayor smiled slowly and got up from his chair. He hugged Cato and then kissed Mint's forehead as Pastel, Indigo and Alex tried to conceal their relief.
"Then you shouldn't have come." The Mayor said. "The reason why you married this young lady is enough. Your marriage is welcome, my son. Forget about what Melody will do. She will move on. If I had known that you did not want to marry her, I would never have let my wife and your mother go through with it."
"Now, let me get the Marriage Certificate and we will announce your wedding tomorrow." The Mayor patted Cato's head.
"Thank you." Cato said. "Thank you so much."
"No need. You are as much my son as Melody is my daughter. Go home and enjoy your first day together. Everything will be taken care of." The Mayor picked a flower out of the vase that was on his desk. " I will send you your wedding presents later, but for now, this rose shall do." He handed the rose to Mint. "Take care of my son."
Mint nodded as Cato squeezed her hand. As they stepped out of the office, Alex rubbed his hands together, "All that's left is the parents."
His parents were angry. His father cursed his son and then stormed out of the house saying that he couldn't stay there for a moment longer. His mother was angrier. She yelled and screamed and finally stopped her cold, icy, hateful eyes on the wide-eyed and shaken Mint. "You trapped my son! You forced him to marry you! You are nothing but a poor-"
"Mother, that's enough!" Cato shouted. His anger visible in his blazing eyes. "You and Father will leave this house and go back to Father's Victor house."
"You dare kick me out of the house? I am the lady of this house and I say who stays and who leaves!" Stephanie screamed.
"No you are not." Alex said calmly. "Mint is. This is Cato's house. If you have a problem with that, we can call the Mayor."
"I will not accept her as my daughter-in-law." Stephanie sneered.
"You don't have to." Indigo answered. "Now get out before I make you."
"You. Will. Pay." Stephanie hissed at Mint before leaving.
Indigo glared at the door where her mother had disappeared to and growled in frustration before muttering, "I need to go kill something." She felt her pocket for the knives she kept and left.
Alex sighed. "I'll make sure she stays alive." He followed her out of the house.
"I'll get you guys something to eat." Pastel said and walked to the kitchen. An annoyed and angry Cato plopped down on a sofa and dropped his head in his hands. Mint sat down next to him. She watched him silently before wrapping her arms around his tense form and placing a kiss on the side of his neck. Cato looked up wearily. "I'm sorry about what my mother said."
"That's not a problem. I'm used to it." She let out a small laugh. "Now what?"
"Now," Cato shrugged. "Now, we get used to the fact that we're married. And that I am officially your husband and you are my wife."
Mint nodded, her arms still around Cato's torso. "Can I ask you something?"
"Sure." Cato pulled her closer, enjoying the warmth and comfort her presence provided.
"Does being married mean that we have to have... babies?" Mint's cheeks had turned pink at her question.
Cato froze before gaping at the brunette. "Babies? Um, not if you don't want to." He answered quickly.
"And if I do?" Mint asked.
"Then, then we'll take it one step at a time." Cato said. "I don't have anything against babies either, you know."
Mint nodded, content with his answer.
Cato felt Mint stir and he looked at her. Her eyes blinked open and she looked slightly confused at seeing Cato before smiling. "Good morning." She whispered and rubbed her eyes.
"Good morning." He whispered back and placed his head on the pillow. He turned so he could see her and felt her hand find his. She intertwined their fingers and moved closer.
Cato leaned forward and kissed her cheek. They hadn't shared a kiss on the lips since they had been wed, both of them being too shy to do so. And the night had been simply spent with their arms around one another. Cato didn't want to rush things. He wanted to take it slowly, starting from where they had left off as friends. He wanted her to fall for him completely before they did anything. So that when they were ready, it would be all lust and love, no regrets. However if Mint wanted him to conceive a child with her, he would do so. Because deep down, he wanted to experience that lust and love.