Hey guys! Sorry this chapter is a little late. I was at my friends house most of the day Wednesday and I celebrated Fourth of July today but here is another chapter. So I hope you enjoy this chapter and Happy Fourth everyone!
I wake up on the couch, with Cato's arm wrapped firmly around me. He is still sleeping. I don't even remember falling asleep last night. I look out the window and see District 2 in the distance. I decide to wake Cato up. I shake his shoulder gently and he wearily opens his eyes.
"Are we there?" he asks sleepily.
I laugh, "Almost."
We get up and meet Flora in the front of the train. She explains that Cato's family is going to meet us when we get out of the train station. Then Katniss and Peeta will go to the Mayor's house to get ready for the banquet tonight. Cato and I are allowed to go to his house to get ready. Butterflies fill my stomach at the thought of meeting Cato's family. Cato is worried about me getting hurt but I just want them to like me.
Cato sees the look on my face and asks, "What's wrong?"
"I don't know if they'll like me." I say quietly.
Cato wraps his arm around my shoulders, "I know my sister will like you. The only thing I'm concerned about is my dad."
"Relax Cato," I say, brushing off his concerns, "I don't think he'll do anything to me."
"You haven't seen him when he gets alcohol." Cato says darkly.
We pull into District 2 in few minutes. A huge crowd has assembled in the train stations to greet us and unlike the other districts, these people seem genuinely happy. They always are when the Victor is from their district. District 2 looks like a smaller, less grand version of the Capitol. It's clear that none of these people suffer from problems we do like starvation and poverty. Everyone seems extremely well off. I can see the stone quarries in the distance but it doesn't look like anyone is working today. We step off the train to thunderous applause and before we can get two feet off the platform Cato is caught in a mess of blond curls that I can only assume belong to his sister.
"Hey Amber," Cato says, wrapping his arms around her. She doesn't let go. "Amber, I've only been gone for two weeks." Cato laughs.
She pulls away and I see her light blue eyes are full of tears, "Cato," she says, "It's dad."
Cato's face darkens, "What happened? Did he hurt you?" He sounds furious.
Amber shakes her head, "No he didn't hurt me. But he's drunk. He's been throwing things and yelling and I don't know what to do." She sounds desperate.
"Come on," Cato says. He takes my hand and pulls me along with him as we weave our way through the crowd. When we get out Cato leads me down a long street that I'm assuming leads to the Victor's Village. He stops in front of a large house. Even from outside, I can hear things shattering.
Cato suddenly turns to me and grips my shoulders, "Stay here with Amber. I'm going to go try to calm him down."
"I want to come with you." I say immediately.
Cato shakes his head, "It would be my fault if he hurt you so I can't let that happen. Just stay here. Please." His voice is firm but his eyes are sad.
I nod, "Okay," I say quietly. As he is running into the house I feel someone tap on my shoulder. I forgot Amber was there. I turn to look at her. She is very pretty with curly blond hair that falls to her lower back and gorgeous blue eyes. She is small but all muscle.
"Hi," she says, "I'm Amber."
"I'm Avery," I say.
She laughs, "I know. I've heard a lot about you. Cato never stops talking about you."
This surprises me. Cato and I were in a fight up until the Victory Tour. "Really?" I ask.
She laughs again, "He really likes you Avery. You're fifteen right?"
"I just turned 16. What about you?" I ask.
"Thirteen." she says. She opens her mouth to continue but stops when we hear the yelling coming from inside the house. It sounds like Cato is yelling at his father.
Amber immediately starts to run up the stairs but I grab her arm, "Cato said to stay here!"
"I don't care!" she says, wrenching her arm out of my grasp and running through the door. I run after her and when I get into the house, a horrible sight greets me. There are empty wine bottles shattered everywhere, pictures lie smashed on the ground. Cato's dad is standing in the kitchen facing Cato with a knife in his hand.
His dad hears us come in, turns and starts walking towards us, "Well look who it is," he slurs. I step in front of Amber, automatically shielding her.
When Cato sees us, his eyes get wide. He runs over to us immediately, pushing me behind him.
"She's a pretty thing," he continues, "It would be a shame if anything bad happened to her." He laughs, but it's a cruel cold laugh that makes my blood run cold.
"If you even touch her I'll kill you," Cato says through gritted teeth.
He chuckles, "I know you wouldn't be able to do that. You wouldn't kill your own father."
"Yeah well you didn't seem to have any problems killing your wife." Cato fires back. My hand flies to my mouth. Cato told me his mother dies but he didn't tell me it was like this.
His face darkens, "You're weak Cato. You always have been. No one will ever be able to see past that."
I look up at Cato and see tears streaming down his cheeks. I've only seen Cato cry once, when he thought I was dying. Suddenly, with a flick of his wrist that is all too familiar to me, Cato's father lets the knife fly. I can tell he is aiming for Cato and he would have made his mark too if I hadn't pushed him out of the way. Instead of Cato's chest, the knife ends up slicing across my arm. When Cato sees the blood running down my arm he snaps. He lunges at his father, knocking him to the ground. I grab Amber's hand and drag her out of the house with me. She is crying too.
"I'm so sorry," she says through her tears.
"For what?" I ask.
She points to my arm, "If I hadn't run in there, you wouldn't have gotten hurt."
"That wasn't yours or Cato's fault." I say, brushing off her concerns. "Stay here. I'll be right back."
"You can't go back in there!" she says.
"I've been through the Games," I reply, "I'll be okay, don't worry."
I run back inside and smash into Cato, "Are you okay?" he asks frantically.
I nod, "I'm fine Cato. Don't worry. Amber is too." I say, anticipating his next question, "What happened to your dad?"
He's in there. Knocked out." Cato says.
"I'm so sorry," I say.
"For what? I'm the one who brought you over here. I should have left you at the train station. Then you wouldn't have gotten is all my fault." he says.
"Cato, It's just a cut. I'll be okay." I say.
"Let me see it," He says. I hold out my arm revealing the shallow cut that stretches from my elbow down to my mid-forearm.
"See? It's not bad. Now come one. We better go outside. Amber's freaking out." I say.
Cato chuckles and leads me back outside. When Amber sees us she tackles Cato in a hug.
When she finally pulls away he turns to me, "I need to talk to you," he says quietly. I nod and he turns to Amber, "Why don't you go visit one of your friends okay?" She looks from me to Cato then smiles.
"Sure," she says, heading back into town.
"I'll be right back," Cato says. He goes into the house and comes back with some bandages. He wraps my arm up gently then helps me to my feet.
"Where are we going?" I ask.
"Just somewhere quiet to talk," Cato says. We end up stopping in a grassy area just outside of the Victor's Village.
"What did you want to talk about?" I ask quietly.
He hesitates for a minute, "I want to tell you about my mother." I just nod, telling him to continue. He takes a deep breath, "When I was 10, I was upstairs with Amber when we head my father screaming. It wasn't unusual because he does that a lot. I heard my mother arguing with. I figured he would get bored of yelling at her and go to sleep like he usually does but he didn't. They were at it for hours. Then we heard her screams." he stops.
"Cato, I don't know what to say," I say, my voice barely a whisper.
"I had to sneak out the back door with Amber so he wouldn't come for us next. That's when I started training. It was an excuse to get out of the house." he says bitterly, putting his head in his hands.
"Cato I'm not going to pretend I understand what you went through and that I know how you're feeling, because I don't. But I do want you to know that what your dad said was wrong. I did see past that part of you." I pause for a second, trying to work up the courage to say what I want to say, "And that's what made me fall in love with you."
Cato looks up at me. He doesn't say anything and for a second I think I made a mistake in telling him but then he takes my face in his hands and kisses me. It's slow, passionate, and perfect.
He pulls away and says, "I love you, Avery."
Wow that chapter had a lot of drama in it. But I really liked writing it and I can't wait to see what you think! So don't forget to review please!
Here are the review responses:
vampirevampirevampire: Thanks for the smiley faces haha. I'm glad you liked the last chapter and I hope you like this chapter just as much! Thank you for reviewing. I always love reading your reviews because you have reviewed every chapter since the beginning and it means a lot to me :)
ionilove: Here is another update! I hope you are enjoying this story and thanks for reviewing my other story as well!
THG4ever3: I agree, it was sweet. I love writing Cato's soft side because it shows a part of him we don't normally get to see. And thank you for the smiley face!