I don't own The Hunger Games.
'Stealth' was the only thing on Clove's mind as she made her way through the village. If she were to be caught out in the village it would be bad enough. But at such an hour as it was now? She would be lecture by Miss Trinket until she died.
Clove kept the hood of her black cloak pulled low over her head as she skirted the edges of the village. She took narrow, winding paths where she could so as to stay away from the night patrol's main routes. If they caught her, they would read the note she carried. Although she didn't know what it said, Clove knew that if the knights read it they would take it to the king, and both Augustus and Aya would face punishment- and it wasn't hard to tell who would come out of it better off than the other.
Eventually, Clove reached Aya's small house. She recognized it from Gus' lengthy description- the bare washing line strung out front, the crumbling roof tiles, the chipped paint walls, the well opposite- this was definitely the place. Tentatively, she knocked upon the wooden door. A few seconds later a girl opened it a crack, looking half scared to death. She was very pretty- it was evident why Augustus had taken note of her. Her light brown hair was streaked with blonde from the intense Panem sun and was tied into two plaits that almost reached her waist. Her skin was the same shade of deep tan that the other villagers had, and her eyes shone bright blue with fear.
"P-princess?" She stuttered nervously, opening the door a little wider.
"Aya. Augustus sent me." Clove smiled in a way that she hoped was reassuring. She saw the tension leave Aya's body as she sighed in relief.
"When you knocked, I thought you would be the night patrol looking for trouble. You should come inside in case they come this way." Aya shared a small smile with Clove.
"Thank you. If the night patrol is causing trouble," Clove followed Aya into a warm room with a lit fireplace. "I will see to it."
"Oh, they're not so bad. I think Augustus has straightened them out well in recent years." The room Aya had taken Clove into had only the light from the fireplace and one small candle. A length of pale blue material hung half-finished from a spinning wheel, and a damp-looking green dress was strung across the fireplace to dry. Aya took a seat in the wooden spinning wheel chair, and Clove sat across from her on a battered old sofa. The room was smaller than the castle's bathrooms, but it had a homely feel that her own stone walls lacked.
"Yes, Gus takes his job very seriously." Clove nodded in agreement.
"He does. Though, I didn't know that he had told you about me." The smile on Aya's face reminded Clove of her own, whenever she thought about Cato. She and Augustus sure were in deep with these people, people that they would never be allowed to be with.
"He told me before his first fight about you, and about his plans to marry you." Clove explained.
"Oh, that old dreamer." Aya waved a hand dismissively, but Clove could see in her eyes how badly she wanted Augustus, just as much as he wanted her.
"He gave me a letter, to give to you." Clove fished the letter out of her pocket and reached across the spinning wheel to hand it to Aya.
"A letter? How exciting! He's been stopping by less and less since the tournament began. He's just training so hard, he tells me." Aya chattered on happily as she tore the envelope open. She fell silent as she began to read. Her eyes were alight as she read the letter, but the happiness crumbled as she read on. By the time she finished the letter, there were tears in her eyes.
"Aya?" Clove frowned. "What's wrong?"
"Nothing." Aya fixed a smile on her face, but her eyes still looked ready to overflow at any second.
"I don't believe that for a second." Clove rose and reached a hand out to comfort her, but Aya stood up so quickly to avoid her that her chair flew backwards.
"You are lucky, Clove. Your brother is a kind, brave man. Augustus is a better person than I ever thought he would be, and I am privileged to have meant something to him. I have nothing but love for him." She wiped at her eyes quickly.
"You should probably go, before the guards at the castle realise that you are gone. It was an honour to meet you, Princess Clove." As she spoked, Aya ushered Clove out of the room and out of the front door. She turned around just before the door slammed shut, and saw a single tear running down Aya's cheek.
In her confused state, all Clove could was stare at the closed door. What the Panem did Augustus put in that letter?
Cato was in a deep, easy sleep. It had been a long day at the marketplace- he had been chased by the castle's guards twice. The first time for stealing a sack of apples, and the second for stealing five gold coins from an angry man as he yelled at a merchant. Nevertheless, it was a good day's haul. He would soon be able to buy a book for Trix that she had been wanting, one to help her learn more about numbers.
His deep sleep was soon broken by a loud pounding on his bedroom door. Groggily, he rose and staggered over to it to open it.
Glimmer stood in front of him, looking terrified.
"Glimmer. What's wrong?" Cato grabbed the candle off of his night stand and lit it. When he held it up, only then did he see the problem. Glimmer's nightgown and legs were covered in blood. She was pale as the moon, and visibly sweating as she kept one hand clutched to her six month pregnant stomach.
"Send for the doctor."
My dearest Aya,
It breaks my hand not to be able to spend every second of my day with you. The only life I want to live is one that has you in it, as my wife.
Clove has found love. He is a village boy, a fighter in the tournament. I have seen how she looks at him as he fights. She has not said anything to me, but she does not have to. I can see it in her eyes, the same way I see it in my own every time I catch a glimpse of my reflection. I can only hope that her love is as pure and as everlasting as ours is.
There is no soul that I would rather be with than you. You are everything to me, and I would hate the person that I would become if I ever were to hurt you. That is the reason why I write this letter to you, my love.
I have trained hard to win the tournament so that I could be granted a wish and take you as my wife. Alas, I cannot see this happening anymore. I have never seen Clove as happy as she is when she comes home from the village, when she does not think I know that she has been visiting her love. She shines. She absolutely shines. Who would I be to take that away from her? That is why if I face Cato in the final, and I am sure that I will, I will throw the fight. I cannot hurt the man she is in love with, and I cannot take away the only shot at happiness my little sister has even if it means losing my own, for I am sure that when he wins he will ask for her hand in marriage.
It is with sorrow in my heart that I let you go. Just know that I wish things could have been different. I will never love another as I have loved you, Aya. If there is ever anything you need, I will still be there to help and guide you, for the rest of your life so long as you need me.