I'm back! Just like I promised. Now, I decided I need to update this story, because today is the day it was supposed to be published! So, I'll keep it short and give you the first chapter of CRUMBLING SALVATION; Sequel to SHIPWRECKED.

Enjoy my buttercups!

And he's there. Looking at me intently, and then at Prim. His eyes say understanding and I nod. And then I still run. I run until I collapse, right in front of an oak tree. My oak tree, where my bow and arrows lay in one of its branches.

The realization of what's happening hits me hard.

I'm running. And I won't ever go back.

Where is this rebellion he's talking about?

But my thoughts are interrupted by a rustling in the foliage, as a tall figure stands in the shadows.


Katniss POV

I see him. His broad shoulders, blonde hair, blue eyes. It's him. The one I fell in love with on the island.

"Cato." is all I say. What else is there to say? The corners of his mouth raise slightly but then fall once he realizes the situation.

"You escaped again, huh?" he asks, a cold tone to it. I can tell he's angry, yet it's not the exploding anger I saw on the beach.

"It's not what you think. I had to get away... it was planned." I sigh, and get Prim up. She looks at Cato with wide eyes. I can see why she's timid; he is intimidating.

His eyes shoot straight to her. I can see them go wide for a second before asking me.

"Is that your-" he asks.

"Sister? Yes. Cato meet Prim. Prim, meet Cato." He smiles lightly and extends his hand. Prim doesn't shake it at first, but slowly grabs his.

"Nice to meet you Prim." He smiles and I see every ounce of anger gone. Of course; she always has that effect on people. She always manages to brighten their day. She doesn't reply though, just grins slightly.

He looks back in the direction of the village and then at me.

"Look, Katniss-" I cut him off.

"I know; I have to go." And with that, I turn around, no matter how much I want to spring back into his arms. I miss him so freaking much, but I know he still has anger put towards me.

"I wasn't going to say that," he states. I stare at him for a few seconds. The tension in the air could've been cut with a knife.

"Well," I start, "what were you going to say?" And there we are with the uncomfortable silence. Normally, I like it being quiet. But this isn't the kind of quiet I like. Not when there are so many words left unsaid.

I can feel his blue eyes drilling holes into my skull. And with that he replies softly.

"I want to come with you."

I don't decline, with a nod of my head and a turn with my heel.

All three of us walk quickly, with a need to escape.

It's later that night I confront Cato. I can't have the air suffocating me like this. I should be enjoying my time with Prim, not staying quiet for fear he'll start talking about... what happened.

Once she's asleep, I stand up. Wiping my pants, I walk over and sit next to his hulking figure. His face lifts up a bit before returning to stare at the ground.

"Hey," is all I say. And it's enough to capture his attention, as I feel him glance at me quickly. A cloud is forming over us, until he speaks.

"We can't avoid this Katniss."

"I know that."

"Then tell me why!" he whispers harshly. I look at him instead of staring off into the forest.

"Why what?" I ask quietly, after a minute of pure silence. He turns his whole body to me, and I stare into his eyes. They're not filled with anger; just sadness.

"Why you felt that you couldn't trust me. Why... you never told me." I look down at my hands and begin speaking. Though I'm not looking at him anymore, I know he's doing quite the opposite.

"I never knew who you really were at the time," I admitted. "I never knew until a few weeks, when I finally opened up to you. I was worried that if Snow came and found me, that you'd rat me out." I sigh.

He only nods his head, staring off into the distance. And when he does speak, it makes me jump at the unexpected sound.

"I'd never rat you out. Considering I need to be running too." I look at him and he just rolls his eyes. "Snow came into our old bakery a long time ago to... visit my dad. He had this pin on his cane, and I took it. I still have it."

He reaches his hand into his pocket and pulls out a circular gold pin with a mockingjay encased in the ring. The tips of the wings and an arrow are the only thing connecting the bird to the metal. I admit; it's beautiful... and it could feed a whole family for months.

"I never knew it was so important to Snow," he continues. "When he found my family retreating to another country, he shot my mother and brothers. My father gave me the chest. The only thing I took from it that day we went to the other side was the pin. The rest of the chest is back on the island... along with Buttercup. I doubt he's alive."

I remember the stupid cat. In a way, it saddens me to think of him dead.

"I remember plunging into the water. The chest didn't sink. It was too light. And the gunman ran out of bullets. Snow burned down the ship and beheaded my father. And now, he's after me. It surprised me that he let me go home to the bakery. But I know that the only reason he let me go is because he loves a good chase." Like a cat and a mouse. But he isn't a cat. He's a snake.

"Well, good thing you saw me running. Now we can both get out of here." I look over to the sleeping Prim and then get up. Cato looks up at me but doesn't move. "I have to be getting to bed. I need to get a few hours of sleep before we get up early. After all," I laugh, "we are criminals." He gives me a puzzled look and remembers Snow's snarky comment.

'Can't have a criminal out of her cell.' He remembers it too, and just smirks.

"Goodnight Cato," I whisper and walk to Prim. I feel his eyes on me the time I lie down with her, my arm draping protectively over her stomach. I'll wake up when she does.

Before I close my eyes, I meet his. And I see his lips mouth something in response.

"Goodnight Katniss."

I fall asleep quickly.

Cato's POV

Seeing Katniss today surprises me. But the fact at how stupid I feel for getting mad is overcoming the surprise. I mean, I stole something of Snow's, and she stole what? I know it wasn't something of extreme worth. I'll ask her tomorrow.

Her sister definitely came as a surprise to me though. Blonde hair and blue eyes were the exact opposite of what I thought she looked like. In my mind, I thought she was a small Katniss. But she's so thin and delicate. I understand why Katniss sold her life on protecting Prim.

Which makes me feel like a major ass for getting mad. I shouldn't have abandoned her like that.

I'll talk to her about it tomorrow, right after I ask what she stole.

After a few minutes, of sitting and looking out on the forest, I stomp out the remains of the fire. The coals are still warm, so I lie down a couple feet from them to soak up their warmth.

The stars above me are similar to that at the islands. But the trees above cover most of the sky, so I only see small snippets through the bunches of branches.

I miss the island. I miss the smell of the ocean, and Buttercup. I miss him more than anything. I miss the soft sand, and the mystery inside the jungle. The small hut I called home.

I miss the chest that still lays inside that hut.

But what are the chances that we'll ever see that damn island again? One in a million.

If it were my choice, I'd run to the boats with Katniss and Prim over my shoulders. I'd sail out and return to it. And we'd live there, happy and healthy. And we could visit the kingdom. I'd marry Katniss and we'd be happy. Two lonely people who find a home in each other.

But I know my fantasy is already doomed. Snow would find us again, we'd both be hung or beheaded, Prim would be dead, and the hut would mold. Everything would collapse and us three would be nothing but a memory. But who's to remember us?

No one.

And with that thought, I close my eyes. The stars are too painful to look at now. My life is in more chaos than it ever has been in.

I quickly venture to sleep, remembering how I'll be getting up early with Katniss.

With Katniss.

I never thought I'd say that again.

So. There's the first chapter.

It would've been better, but once I tried to save the first draft, fanfiction logged me out. I thankfully had most of it saved.

Next chapter will be much, much longer. But I need to update Inferno, my other story. I think most of you are reading it!

I hope you all like my banner. c; I made it on this site called Lunapic, for whoever wants to make one. It works magic.

I'd love to hear from you all about what you think. I'm not forcing you to review, but even a private message would be nice! I don't have that '10 reviews or no chapter' rule AT ALL anymore. I felt like a dictator when I had it. But just know, the more I hear from you all, the faster I write!

I hope you liked this chapter my Buttercups.

See you hopefully soon!