This is the 74th Hunger Games from Cato and Clove's Point of View. From the real star crossed lovers of the 74th annual Hunger Games. (There will be Clato later on)
Ok, guys, I have this whole story written out and finished. So I can post another chapter really quickly. I'll post another chapter depending on the reviews, if you like this story, please review it. Reviews are what make me want to continue writing, so depending on if I get any reviews and of they are good reviews or not I might post another chapter by tomorrow. Or if I don't get any reviews I might not post anymore chapters or if I do get some reviews maybe I'll post once a week. If you want, feel free to also add your opinion of how often I should post. Please Review! I love reading them, they make my day.
Rated T for cursing and violence
I feel the cold metal in my hand, lining it up with the moving target form of a human I throw. I hit right in the heart I can hear my trainer, Patricia congratulating me. I ignore it, I always hit my target. At least I have for the last 2 years. I got to the advanced level before anyone else, most people in here are 16-18, I'm 15 and I've been in this level for 1 ½ years. Knives are my specialty, aiming for me is easy with a knife. I love the feeling of holding them in my hand and the happy feeling that comes after I hit my target. The reaping for the Hunger Games is tomorrow, I like to consider myself ready, because well, I am like a prodigy with my amazing knife skills. I am also good with pretty much every other weapon, except for the bow. Not many people in my district use the bow, who would want to shoot someone when they could just as easily chop off their head? The bow bothers me a lot, I mean it's like a knife kind of, but you can use them from a longer distance. I've never been good with them though, so when I was 13 I decided to stop trying with it and concentrate on perfecting my skill with other weapons. I've been training all my life for the Hunger Games, as all the other people in my district have been. District 2 is the district with the most victors, then comes 1 then comes 4. The poorer districts have a nick name for us, the 'careers' since we train for the Games. It's against the rules for people to train for the games, but the capitol turns a blind eye on us. We are their favorites, and as long as we give the people living their entertainment why would they stop us? Sometimes I fear my district is a little too morbid, I mean they seem to love blood and killing. I mean I do too, I was raised like that, but I've never killed someone, though sometimes I'm tempted to. I'm sure I could kill anyone in this room right now with just a flick of my wrist.
"Alright guys', training today is over," Deus calls. He won the Hunger Games what? 9 years ago? "I'll see most of you tomorrow," he winks; he knows that most likely tomorrow two of us will be speeding on a train towards the capitol. "Remember in the Arena you're going to want to get as many weapons as you can get and that's ok, but also remember that food and warmth are just as important! Also, never let your guard down, eventually even your allies will turn on you, given a choice between Winning and glory or death what would you choose?!"
"Winning and glory!" Everyone calls. I know what Deus is talking about though, most of the time there is at least one alliance between Districts 1, 2, and 4 during the first part of the games. After they go out and kill everyone else, it's time to turn on your allies. I'll do anything to win, even if it means turning on my friends. Well, I'll make sure not to get too close to them, which would just make killing them in the end harder.
The class is dismissed and we all head out to our homes. Its dark out by now, we train from sun up to sun down, with only one break, one hour for lunch. I walk back with my best friends, Shawna and Jocelyn. Shawna has Auburn hair, brown eyes and a face splashed with freckles, and Jocelyn has brown hair and blue eyes, they are both two years older than me and they're both taller than me, but everyone my age is in the middle level so I don't have any friends my age. "You're going to volunteer tomorrow aren't you," Shawna it's not a question though, it's a statement; both my friends already know the answer.
"Yup," I grin, my friends know me so well.
"Great, then you're going to come back all rich and with an even larger ego," Jocelyn fake complained. "Though I'm not sure anyone can have a larger ego than you," she added as a second thought, "Except maybe Cato."
She's talking about Cato a boy that's year older than me and arrived the same year as me in advanced training. He is kinda hot with his sandy blonde hair, blue eyes, and large bulky muscly body. Both his parents are Victors, so he grew up in the Victors village and he has an insanely large ego. The Victors village is where people go and live after they win the games, ours has a crap load of houses in it, and we have to add more since we keep getting more and more Victors. I've never actually had a conversation with Cato, he has his friends I have mine. Though I know about him, he has a cocky arrogant attitude, and thinks he can do anything. It doesn't help that anything that he tries he ends up being able to do.
"If she comes back," Shawna says.
I glare at her, "Are you saying you doubt my ability?"
"No, it's just there's a chance you could lose, Clove. There's always a chance of that." Shawna says; she's always been the cautious one of the three of us. If she were to ever go into the games, she'd have a large chance of winning since she is strategic and insanely smart. Shawna also had a good ability to shoot and aim guns. That made her able to shoot a bow. That made me annoyed that she could do something that I couldn't.
"Oh, stop being such a downer, Shawna," Jocelyn scolds, she's usually the happy optimistic one. She's the complete opposite of Shawna, so naturally she hardly ever thinks things through and just does and says whatever pops into her mind. Also the boys flock to her like moths to a light, she's had at least what? 40 boyfriends in the last month? Well not really boyfriends just one night stands. Well not really one night stands, they can be one lunch stand, or one 5 minute stand, Jocelyn works fast. Jocelyn is amazing with a sword and hand-to-hand combat, she's very sturdily built. I for one, suck at hand-to-hand combat, since I'm so short and light. Once I tried it with Jocelyn and she just picked me up and carried me over her shoulder for half the day.
I am like the balance between Shawna and Jocelyn I'd like to think, I think things through and strategize before I act, not as much as Shawna but 30000 times more than Jocelyn. "I just want to make sure that you train when you get the chance and don't get over confident and get yourself killed." Shawna clarified. Wow, thanks for the vote of confidence.
Shawna, Jocelyn and I live in the same area. Our houses are gigantic and made of stone. Since District 2's specialty is masonry all of our buildings are elegant, fancy and beautiful. Jocelyn and Shawna's houses are next to each other, while mine is across the street. I say goodnight to them, and walk towards my door, but as soon as I hear the other two doors close behind them I turn away from my house. I want to go for a walk, and think, alone. My mom, sister and brother won't even notice I'm gone. My mom works late and when she comes home she goes straight to bed, my older sister and brother (twins) both have jobs, or they're out somewhere partying with their friends. My dad, well he apparently went into the Hunger Games at the age of 18, my mom had my older siblings at the age of 16, and had me 3 years later, the year my dad died. He and someone from District 8 were the last two, and somehow he ended up dead. I never met my dad; I was born 8 months after he died. I don't know if he even knew I existed. But I know one thing for sure, in my games; I'm going to make District 8 pay, by making sure that they don't get in the top 12. Even if it makes me die, it's what I have to do.
The night sky is a deep dark blue, with bright stars twinkling overhead; the moon is close to full tonight. I gaze up at it, I wonder if anyone else in a different district is doing the same thing as me now. It would be completely dark out if not for the street lights and the lights on in houses. I walk along the street and look around at my home, the place I grew up. I know what Shawna said is true, there is always a chance that I might die, my father proved that. But I can't show that, fear is a weakness, I must be strong and ruthless if I even want to think about winning the games. I actually hesitate do I really want to risk my life for a game? Die or kill people for some floozy people in the capitol's entertainment? Wait, where did that thought come from? Of course I will, I have to avenge my father's death if nothing else, even if I have to do it for some spoiled rich kid's entertainment. I come and sit down in a park bench; we do have a small park here in District 2, with a big elegant marble fountain in the middle of it. I look at the water, flowing so calmly and easily on the fountain; the splash noises make me feel drowsy. I lean my head back on the bench and feel my eye lids begin to fall, the last thing I see is one of the stars winking down at me from the heavens.
When I wake up, the sun is just beginning to rise. Great, I slept on a park bench for what might be my last night here, that's just fantastic. But what is really inconvenient for me is that I have to get home, and get ready. I jump up from the bench and begin to run towards my house. I arrive home around about 10 minutes later, panting a little. I walk up the front steps to our house and push open the door. Rex my older brother is inside watching last year's hunger games on our projector screen. I can hear upstairs that Rose had her music blasting from her room. I'm so jealous of my older siblings' names and they know it. Rex means king in Latin, and Rose is a beautiful flower, then there's Clove a spice. Yes, I love my name.
"Hey little sis, where have you been all night?" Rex asks from his place on the couch. "Or should I ask what have you been doing all night?" He winks. Rex is so not the normal over protective brother you usually think of, he's the type that if you've done it, he wants all the details. Yep, I have a perfectly normal brother.
"Sleeping," I reply.
"With who?" He winks again.
"Myself," as soon as I say it I know that I shouldn't have, I mentally face palm myself.
Rex raises his eye brows. "Oh really?"
"Rex you are such a perv!"
"Yeah, but it seems that I can at least get a real person to like me which is better than apparently you can say little sister."
I pick up the green vase that sits on a table next to be, and throw it towards Rex's head. He ducks. I knew he would, otherwise I wouldn't have thrown it. The vase breaks satisfyingly against the wall behind him. The music upstairs turns down, Oh great, Rose is coming down, I think to myself. I see her trot down the stairs, "What is going on down here?" she asks. Rose got all our parents good looks, I got all of their bad looks, and well, Rex was kind of in the middle. Rose had sleek brown hair and bright green eyes; she's tall and thin, with easy long quick working fingers. Meanwhile, I have annoying thin wispy brown hair and boring green eyes. I'm really short for fifteen, but on the upper side, I'm thin and agile. I have never been clumsy though, the only time I've knocked things over is when I'm mad, or I purposely do it. Rex has sleek brown hair like Rose's, green eyes (a mix of mine and Rose's); he's also tall, though he is muscly and thick, unlike me or Rose.
"Clove threw a vase at my head,"
"Rex is antagonizing me," we both say at the same time.
Rose looks at both of us and rolls her eyes, "Clove please clean up the glass off the floor and refrain from throwing mother's expensive valuables." I gape at her.
"Ha," Rex says. Even though they're twins, Rose is the oldest and obviously the one in control.
"And Rex, don't antagonize your sister," Rose said tuning to Rex.
Rex rolled his eyes and relaxed back down on the couch to watch the rest of the replay of the games.
I sigh and grab a dust pan and brush from the closet. Sweeping up the glass shards I imagine what will happen when I get home. I will be celebrated, as a hero, and Rex would never make fun of me again, and Rose wouldn't be able to tell me what to do. I smile at the thought. After I sweep all the glass into the pan I stand up and throw out the glass. Then I walk up the stairs to my room on the third floor. My room is in the attic, it's not like a small area though, it's gigantic. We have a flat roof with chairs on top of it. I often go up there with Jocelyn and Shawna to think or just hang out. I love my room; it is painted my favorite color, Royal blue. I have a large bed in the back corner, a dresser, wardrobe and even my personal bathroom. I look around my room; this may be the last time I see it. Don't be negative I scold myself, you will come home. I look around in my closet, what should I wear to the most important day of my life? I decide on a black sleeveless button up shirt and a pair of jeans (A/N yes the richer districts had jeans). I take a shower before changing into my clothes. I've heard that poorer districts had to wash themselves in a bucket-tub of sorts. I shiver at the thought, I almost feel bad for the other districts. After pulling on my shirt, I brush out my messy dark brown wet lump called my hair, pulling it up into a simple high ponytail at the top of my head. About an hour ago I heard the aircraft come in, signaling that the people from the Capitol have arrived.
I walk out of my house, with Rex and Rose. Rose is wearing an elegant red sun dress that goes low on her back and Rex is wearing a clean deep purple shirt and jeans. This is their last year of going to the reaping, neither of them volunteered they already had enough in their lives without needing to go to the Games, though both of them would probably win. Rose was amazing with the bow, like Shawna, they have even trained together with the bow. Since Shawna is a closer age to Rose they hang out occasionally, I can't say that that doesn't bother me. Rex is great with spears, he can throw them long distances and with his sturdy build he could take on pretty much anyone in hand-to-hand combat. I'm strong, but not even close to as strong as my older siblings.
We check in with a lady that pricks our fingers for blood, no one flinches, not even the 12 year olds. We've all experienced this or expected it to happen, who cares about a little blood loss? No one is nervous; we've trained all our lives for this if anything we are ecstatic at the chance to bring honor, glory, and wealth to our district. I can hear everyone buzzing with excitement. The stage is amazing built, made out of black marble with delicately carved patterns all along it. Masonry remember? A weird lady comes up on the stage, she comes every year from the capitol but no one remembers her name, why should we? She's just another fancy weirdo from the capitol. There are two glass bowls on the stage; they are both loaded with little pieces of paper. Almost everyone puts their name in more than once, not for the provisions we have enough of those, but for a better chance of getting into the games. My name is in over 50 times.
"Welcome, welcome, to the 74th annual Hunger Games reaping," the lady on the stage has an annoyingly cheery voice. Joy, I get to have this lady around for like the first 3 weeks or whatever of training. That's awesome… "Ladies first," she says, you can hear her ridiculous heels clicking on the stage.
The lady puts her hand into the bowl, plucking out a card at random, "Amara!" She calls. Ugh Amara is 18 and she's so annoying, with her 'perfect' blonde curls and dark hazel eyes. I'm in her class, she's amazing with most weapons but she could never throw a knife as well as me. I think that she is jealous that I got into the advanced level before she did, also that I can throw a knife better than her. She's always making fun of my brown hair and green eyes and how ugly and small I am. I know she's delighted to be picked for the Hunger Games. This just makes it 10x better stealing her last chance at ever being in the games.
Before anyone else can do it I call out, "I volunteer!"
The crowd turns to face me; no one is surprised a volunteer in the wealthy districts happens almost every year. I walk up to the stage, I can see Amara glaring at me, this was her last chance to be in the games, and I had stolen it from her. That makes me grin.
"And, you are?" The lady inquires.
"Clove," I tell her, we're not really big on last names in District 2, and I can't even remember mine.
"The female tribute from District 2 is Clove!" The lady smiles directly where the camera is pointed, I snicker she is such a suck up.
Next the oddly dressed lady trots over to the boys' bowel, she then plucks out a name by random, walking back over to the microphone she opens the card. "Rex." She calls out. I freeze and stare at her. Out of all the names she had to choose my brother? I mean he's annoying and all, but I could never kill him or bear to see him be killed. Times seem to pass by slowly, I'm confused, and why hasn't anyone volunteered yet? Just my luck the one year no one volunteers is the year I chose to volunteer and my brother is chosen to be a tribute. I want to scream in frustration, yell at someone, stomp around and kill something. But none of those things will help me now. I find Rex in the crowd; he looks just as surprised and upset as me. He slowly begins to set out of the crowd and walk up towards the stage.
"I volunteer," a voice says, coming from my left. Everyone turns their heads to see who this year's male volunteer is, it's Cato. The one person I'm not sure I can kill from District 2 from the age level of 12-18. Well, besides Rex and Rose. I could never kill my own flesh and blood.
Cato stands up, with a cocky arrogant look on his face that everyone in this District knows. His muscles rippling, gods in heaven and hell those things were big. His blue eyes are staring at me, why is he staring at me? The intensity in those eyes matches nothing I've ever seen before. They're beautiful in their own kind of way- stop it! I mentally scold myself again, I can't get emotionally attached to anyone in these games if I want to live- it'll ruin me. Cato walks slowly and leisurely up to the well-built and beautifully carved stage. He jumps up on the stage- not using the steps, I snort, show off.
"Ah, what is your name young man?" The weirdly dressed lady asks Cato. She's staring at him, oh gods, that's gross she's probably like at least 10 years older than him. Get your gross eyes off him, I want to tell her. Wait- where did that thought come from?! This no emotion thing is going to be harder than I thought if they keep popping up uninvited like this.
"Cato," he says arrogance seeping into his voice.
"Oh…" She's staring at him again. "And District 2's tributes for the 74th annual Hunger games are, Cato and Clove!"
Everyone cheers, I wonder how many of them are real, and most of them are probably from jealous people. I sneak a glance at Cato; I'm surprised to already see his piercing blue eyes already staring at me. When he sees me looking at him he gives me a cocky smirk, I can feel the heat rushing to my face. God dammit emotions stop making me embarrassed at the stupidest things! He was looking at me already!
I stand alone in a room in the Justice building. I know this is the time my family and friends are supposed to come and say goodbye. But nobody is here yet, have they abandoned me? Just as that thought comes into my head the door to the room bursts open, and Rose, Rex, and my mother come into the room. "Oh, my baby." My mother says; there are tears streaming down her cheeks tears of happiness or tears of sadness I cannot tell.
She hugs me, what annoys me the most is that she is hunching over, because she's way taller than me. That's me, the knife-throwing legend of District 2 15 years old and I'm 5 feet 3 inches. And wait it gets better everyone except me in District 2 are tall, so even some 12 year olds are taller than me, that may be normal height in other Districts, I don't know, but here, I'm a freaking dwarf. Cato is a year older than me and he's at least a foot taller than me. Boy these games are going to be tall- I mean fun. "Mom, mom, I'm going to come home." I hug my mother back awkwardly.
"Yeah mom, she's practically a living goddess of killing, she'll make it back home just fine," Rose smiles at me.
My mom stands up and wipes her eyes. "Yes, yes, I know. But you'll come back… different. I'm going to miss you Clove." She kisses me on the cheek. I know if she keeps doing this I'm going to cry too. I will not pull a Johanna Mason, sure she pretended to be weak but it made people look down on her until she kicked their sorry asses. But if I'm going to get to be in the 'career' pack I cannot be weak. Emotions are weakness, I can't afford weakness. Not any kind of weakness.
"Well, if Clove's a goddess of killing, then Cato's the major god of it, have you seen him fight?" Ugh, Rex I'm so going to kill him when I get back home, I don't care how relived I was that he was out of these games. I'm going to kill him, painfully.
"Well thank you, big brother, for this enormous vote of confidence you've given me." I smile sweetly at my older brother.
"Alright guys don't fight," Rosie scolds us both. "We have like 60 seconds left with Clove before she returns a grown up victor." She gives me a small smile. I run to her and hug her. I can't help it, 45 seconds left of emotion.
"Ah look she's a cry baby," Rex says, I turn to him; I do feel my eyes turn glassy. I punch him in the stomach, hard. "Owe!" Rex complains; I hug him to make it up. Truthfully it probably hurt me to punch his stone hard abs than it hurt him to get hit, but it's nice of him to pretend.
Then the four of us hug, I recognize this may be the last time. Tears stream down my cheeks; I don't even bother to wipe them away. Then the jerk ass white-clad peace keepers had to come and ruin the moment, the one moment that my whole family is together and it just gets ruined. My mother kisses me on the cheek, Rex gives me one last squeeze and last Rosie whispers to me, "I know you can do it, good luck, I'll see you soon." She then hugs me, "We love you, Clove." She presses something into my hand, and then she follows my mother and Rex from the room. I look down in my hand, it's Rose's white-gold Sapphire ring. She got this ring for being the best in her training class, she even graduated early. I clutch the ring to my heart and slip it on my finger.
I plop down on the couch behind me, this is the most affection my family has ever shown me, especially Rose. I feel the hot salty tears running down my face, some of them streaming on to my lips. I furiously wipe my eyes. 45 seconds of emotions remember? My brain reminds me. I take a deep breath and slow my breathing. I get up and walk to the mirror and I begin to take a tissue and wipe my cheeks. Now all that's left is to get my eyes from being puffy and red. That's when the door opens again, Jocelyn and Shawna run straight into the room. They both run up to me and give me hugs.
"Oh Clove," Shawna sighs. "Why…"
"I'm fine," I sniff.
"No you aren't," Jocelyn pulls me into a hug. "What's wrong? I thought you had everything in your dreams?" she asks.
"Oh god, Joce," Shawna says. "What's wrong? Really? She's going into the Hunger Games where only one comes out alive with Cato the killing machine."
"Oh," Jocelyn holds out the oh sound for longer than needed.
"It's not just that, though that bothers me too," I sniff. "My family, we had a, a moment. Like you know? A real loving family moment and they all pretty much told me they loved me. And now there may be a chance I don't return."
"You're being dramatic," Jocelyn says. "You can totally win! You're the youngest girl in the history of District 2 to ever be in the advanced class!"
"Yeah, and Cato has the capability of killing a ferocious beast with no weapons." I point out.
"Then throw a knife into his heart," Jocelyn advised.
"Yes, and if she misses she makes an enemy of the 'career' group." Shawna says.
"Oh, goodness, don't take my advice!" Jocelyn exclaims embarrassed.
"I learned that many years ago," I giggle. Dear god I just giggled what the hell is going on with me?!
"Did you just… giggle?" Jocelyn asks astonished.
"Oh shut up," I say irritated with myself.
"Lay off, Joce, she's nervous." Shawna scolded. "You can do this, Clove. Remember be brave but also don't forget to think things through ok?"
"Shawna you're going to be in my head for the rest of the games now!" I complain.
"Is that really that bad?" Shawna asks. I laugh.
"What about me?" Jocelyn huffs.
"Oh, you'll be there too." I tell her. "Scolding me about what I'm wearing I assume."
"I'll be here doing just that," Jocelyn looked pleased.
"Reminder, I don't pick the outfits."
"So? You can still do something good with it." Jocelyn shrugged.
"Yes, I'm so going to cut my outfit so I look hot on TV."
"You should do it," Jocelyn nods her head vigorously. This is the time when I ignore her horrible advice.
"Don't," Shawna says.
I laugh nervously, "Wasn't planning on it."
The peace keepers open the door. Damn, peace keepers ruining special moments since before the districts were made.
Jocelyn and Shawna quickly give me a quick hug, "See you in a month or so," Shawna tells me.
"Good luck," Jocelyn says.
They leave before the peace keepers forcefully take them out. I withhold tears watching them go. Why did I volunteer? Because, I grit my teeth, I can do this, I will win, I will.
No one else comes to visit me after Jocey and Shawna; soon afterwards I am walked out to a black car that will drive me to the train station. Cato is walked out with me, he wears his cocky grin and his handsome face was tear-free. I made sure to get rid of all signs of tears before I came out. Even somehow the redness in my eyes faded before I came out. I walk towards the car in an arrogant strut; I know that the people in the Capitol are watching; I need to show them that I am confident in my abilities to win. I need to show them that I know that I am coming home and that I will be the survivor. I need to show them that I will be able to do the exact thing that I'm wondering if I can do.
I'd never noticed Clove before I graduated into the advanced class. She was and still is the youngest to ever get into that class. Before that she was just some scrawny little girl that no one took notice to. Well, no one took notice to the skill that she had, not her. She was picked on; a few times it had been me picking on her. But when she got into at the age of 13 everyone was astonished. I thought people would be impressed that I'd gotten in at 14, but people had done that before, I was just ignored. At first I'd thought that it had to be some kind of mistake, like she'd somehow hacked her way into the advanced class. Then I saw her throw knives. It hit every single one of the moving targets. Everyone was staring at the little girl in astonishment. I mean little too; she was probably like four feet tall. To this day Clove remains smaller than the rest of us from District 2. I don't really understand why, since all the rest of her family is pretty tall. She turned and smirked at every single one of our astonished faces. I was incredulous; a 13 year old had a better smirk than me. I was going to need to work on that. Over the last one and a half years I've watched Clove from the corners of my eyes. I know it's creepy, but it would be creepier if I stared at her all day everyday wouldn't it? I've watched her knife throwing; she's never missed her target not even once in all this past time. Knives are obviously her strong suit; Clove's weakest point is archery. Though I've got to admit that it hard to do, even I can't do it. Clove can handle a gun, sword, and pretty much any weapon you give her besides a bow. I've watched her (stop judging!) gain popularity with some older girls, I mean seriously, a 15 year old is best friends with two 17 year olds. Though I've noticed she's never had a boyfriend I have to wonder why since she is so beautiful and talented.
Then today, I was planning on volunteering today, I'd warned off pretty much everyone else from doing so. Then she volunteered. I couldn't go into the arena with her! I couldn't kill her! That'd be like ripping my own heart out, which I wasn't willing to do. So I was going to let whoever it was that got pulled from the bowel go into the games, and I was going to let Clove kill him. Then her brother got picked, I saw a look of panic rise to Clove's face, I knew it would be the end of her if she had to kill her brother. So I did the stupidest thing possible, I volunteered.
She looked surprised to hear someone volunteer, when she saw that it was me she looked confused, joyful, and concerned. The confused was probably due to the fact that I had just spared either her brother or her from dying, the joyful was that she didn't have to kill her brother just kill me (yay) and the concerned, was that concern for me or concern for how to beat me? Probably the second. I can't kill her though, but I want to live at the same time, so the best choice would be… Well the romantic one would be to sacrifice myself for her make sure that she wins, that unromantic thing to do would be let her die, lead her into a trap or something. I know there's only one option for me in that list, and I'm not sure that I like it, but at the same time I couldn't stand the other.
I am now standing alone in a room in the justice building. I clutch the gold necklace that I wear always, I will use it as my token, and it was what my father wore into his games, so maybe it'll grant me good luck. My ears, being like bats hear something coming from the wall, I lean up against the wall and press my ear to it.
"Yeah mom, she's practically a living goddess of killing, she'll make it back home just fine," that sounds like Rose, Clove's beautiful older sister.
"Yes, yes, I know. But you'll come back… different. I'm going to miss you Clove." That's probably her mother. I always wondered where Clove's dad was.
"Well, if Clove's a goddess of killing, then Cato's-" Rex began. Then the doors to the room I was standing in opened up. It was my mother, and my little brother. This is probably the last time that I will ever see them again. I yearn to listen back against the wall and find out what I am. But I know I can't my mother would for sure scold me for listening in on a conversation.
"Oh Cato, I know you can do it, I know you can win." My mother comes up and hugs me. I get a mouthful of her blonde hair.
I spit it out. "Mom," I complain.
"I'm sorry, it's just I'll miss you after you leave." My mother hugs me again.
"But we know that we'll see you again." My little brother Solis adds in. Solis is only 3 so he doesn't exactly know what's going on, but he knows that I'm going away.
"Yes, we do." My mother smiles at me. She has full belief that I'm coming back, probably more belief than I do.
I kneel down and hug Solis. Then I pick him up and spin him around in the air, "You be good and take care of our mother, ok?" I tell him.
"Yep!" He says joyfully.
"Someday you're going to go into the Hunger Games and win them too," I tell him. Solis nods. "Where's father?" I ask.
"Oh… he had to work." As in he didn't care enough to say goodbye to me, thanks dad.
"I heard who your mentors are," my mother smiles. "It's Brutus and Chelsey."
They're good friends with my family. "Oh," is all I can say.
"Yes, so if you train your hardest, and work your hardest, I'm sure you can make it out alive." My mother says confidently. "But you may want to get rid of that other girl first…. What her name? Cinnamon?"
"Clove," I fill in, the sound of her name makes me smile.
"Stop smiling," my mother instructs, I stop. "Yes get rid of Clove first, the people in your Alliance won't see it as weakness but they'll see it at strength. If you get rid of her first you have no one else to worry about, you can take care of 1 and 4 no problem and the rest are just waiting to be hunted." My mother smiles, she won the Hunger games like 15 years ago, and my father won like 17 so technically we own 2 houses in the Victors Village.
"Mm, yes?" my mom seems deep in thought probably about her games.
"I love you," I hug her.
"Oh, I love you too, sweetie," she hugs me back.
Solis hugs my leg. My family has full confidence I'll make it out, more confidence than I have in myself.
Solis and my mom are the only people to come and visit me, the rest of the time I just lounge around, bored. I tried listing into the wall again, but she was just talking to Jocelyn and Shawna so I decided to give Clove a little privacy. Clove, Clove, Clove I love her name it the most beautiful word I've ever heard and she's the most beautiful thing I've ever seen. Finally the peace keepers walk me and Clove from the Justice building towards a black car that will take us to the train station. Clove is walking out cockily and with full confidence. I wonder what her friends or/and family said to stroke her ego. She's walking with all the confidence in the world that she will win, and she has a pretty large chance to win, so maybe there's the reason for it. We climb into the back of the car, the peace keepers walking along with us the whole way, as if we'd try to run away.
Clove seems to feel uncomfortable sitting next to me in the car. I don't know why, I'm shockingly handsome. She's being quiet, lost in thought. When we arrive to the train station she walks to the train, again with confidence and arrogance, I watch her, she's so beautiful. I can't help but admire her. The capitol woman- Ellen- leads us to a car in the elevator that has couches and food galore. She smiles, "you can explore the train all you want, you shall be shown to your bedrooms later, and eat anything." She winks at me at the bedrooms part. Gods, how old is this lady? "The rules here are simple, don't attack anyone, don't kill the other tribute, and don't run away." Yes, I so volunteered just to run away and endanger my family, and Clove.
Clove walks over and plops herself down on one of the many cushions couches, she immediately crosses her arms and legs, she looks bored. I sit across from her.
"So…" What should I say?
"Hey…" Clove says even more awkwardly.
Before we can have this extremely awkward conversation, the door slides open. Clove's head whips to the side, I turn my head to see Brutus and Chelsey enter the room. Brutus is wearing a tight black T shirt and Jeans, Chelsey is wearing a strapless black shirt and jeans, matching much?
"Cato!" Brutus smiles, Chelsey comes and hugs me, no District 2 like at all, but hey, I've known them all my life.
I can feel Clove watching us. "Um, Brutus, Chelsey, this is Clove the girl from District 2." Chelsey and Brutus turn and seem to study Clove for a while. She narrows her eyes at them, not helping to make a good impression Clove I mentally call out to her.
"So you're the living legend of 2," Chelsey says, she cocks her head sideways. "You're not much."
I can see Clove's teeth grinding and her hands balling into fists. I stand up hastily, "Yes, Clove is amazing at throwing knives she's never missed her target."
"Yes, yes, I've heard all about you," Brutus looks interested. "So why did you choose knives as your specialty?"
Clove seems to think before answering his question, "Because I wanted something with range that could still be lethal in close courters." She answers.
Brutus chuckles, "Smart." He says. Obviously Brutus had taken immediate liking to Clove, sadly Chelsey had not. She was still glaring at Clove, Clove glared straight back.
"Well," Chelsey says slowly, "It's obvious who's going to bring glory and honor to District 2 this year, and it's not the girl."
Clove glares at Chelsey, Chelsey glares back. Then Clove lunges at Chelsey, knocking them both to the floor. They both begin to roll around; sending punches and kicks at each other as much as they possibly could. Chelsey grabs Clove's ponytail and yanks on it, hard, Clove gasps in pain, but not for long as she punches Chelsey in the face soon after. I watch in horrid fascination, if Clove can stand up this well against a Victor, maybe she might not need my help at all in the games. Then comes the part where I and Brutus had to pull the two girls apart. Clove grabs a butter knife from the table near them and slams it down into Chelsey's hand, pinning it to the floor. Chelsey yells in pain. Me and Brutus each go forward, I grab Clove off Chelsey and Brutus pulls the knife from Chelsey's hand and picks her up off the ground, both girls are fighting to get back at each other. "Clove! Seriously! Stop!" I exclaim; she's like a rabid animal at the moment. Clove stops, to my surprise, she then turns in a manner that forces me to let go of and stomps out of the room. "Really?" Brutus asked Chelsey, she really didn't have to be so cruel to Clove. It's not like Clove did anything to her.
Chelsey shrugs, "I didn't like her."
"That doesn't mean you have to pick on her," Brutus points out.
"She seemed snotty and overconfident," Chelsey insists.
"She hadn't even said a word to you before you started to pick on her."
"She narrowed her eyes at me as soon as I looked at her!"
"It was offensive."
"No it wasn't."
I decided to leave Brutus and Chelsey to their bickering while I go and find Clove. I look in every train car, and she's not in any of them. I even checked Chelsey and Brutus's rooms; she wasn't in any single one of the train cars. I wonder if she jumped from the train, but then I think again, Clove's smart she wouldn't do that, what she would do, is go somewhere no one would think to look.
Where would I never go? Well outside the train. But she's obviously not out there the train is going like 250 miles per hour. Where else? I walk into Clove's room and sit on the bed. No it's not creepy, it's not like she's changing or anything, and she's not even here. Then I see it, the edge of the carpet is folded up on the end, there is an old fashioned laundry chute. It's like from the 20th century or something. No one uses those things anymore; I'm surprised there even is one of those in here. But looking at it, it looks like that's where Clove went.
The chute's opening is just big enough to fit me, obviously if Clove went down this, she'd fit easily. I go down the chute fast, and land on top of something warm and squishy.
That warm and squishy thing is Clove. I'm literally lying on top of her. A-w-k-w-a-r-d I know. She stares up at me in surprise, I roll off her. This is just as awkward for her as it is for me. I'm about to say an apology or something about landing on her but she beats me to it. "How did you find me?"
"I went into your room and the carpet was rolled at the corner where you jumped through," I admit.
"You went into my room?" She smirks and raises an eyebrow.
"Um, yeah…" I want to change the subject, "are you alright? Sorry about Chelsey she can be a little…."
"Bitchy." Clove fills in.
I laugh, "I guess you could say that, but I don't advise doing it in front of her."
Clove lets out a little smile, "So, Cato, I have a question for you."
I am hesitant but I don't show it, "Shoot," I say.
"Why did you volunteer?"
Should I answer truthfully or just lie? "Um, I did it because nobody should have to kill their own flesh and blood, also I warned everyone else from volunteering so it would be my fault if one of you killed each other," a sliver of the truth.
Clove smiles, it's beautiful. "Thank you," she says.
"No problem, I've wanted to be in the Hunger Games for a while now anyway." I tell her, I have, just not in the same games as her.
"Same," Clove says. "I've seen you use a sword, you're really good, though, probably not as good as me." She smirks
"Oh really?" I raise my eyebrows at her.
"Really," She says with an arrogant look on her face.
"Well, maybe we'll just have to test that theory of yours so I can prove you wrong." I say.
"Maybe we should, so I can prove I'm right," Clove replies. Every minute I get to know her better I seem to like her more.
I roll my eyes, "You can try, knife girl."
"Did you just call me knife girl?" she grins.
"Yes, I believe that I did." I grin back.
"You're going down Cat."
"Seriously Cat?" I ask her.
"Or you could just call me hottest ever-supreme-destroyer," I inform her.
"But Cat fits better." She fakes whining.
I laugh, I haven't laughed like this for a long time.
"So Clove, are you planning on sitting here until we get to the Capitol?"
"No, just for a while, to think." She says. "I think best when I'm alone."
"There's a lock on your door for that." Clove smiles.
"Well, I guess, but down here seems more… private, if you hadn't noticed no one's been here in ages."
I look around; it is rather dusty down here. Clove is sitting atop a blanket, I'm pretty sure that my clothes are being covered with dust at this very moment.
I guess Clove notices me looked at my clothes because she says, "you can come sit on the blanket if you want," she scoots over and pats her hand beside her.
"Um, thanks." I get up and sit next to her. "Wow," I look around, "I didn't think it was possible for a train to have a laundry chute."
"Yeah, neither did I," Clove admits. "I just saw it, and thought why not? I mean, I did grab a blanket first though, no one's used these types of room in centuries."
"Yeah, well I just came down here head first," she laughs again, I love Clove's laugh, it's like a bell.
"Cato, did you come down here just to say that you're sorry for Chelsey?" Clove asks.
"Um, I came down to see if you were ok too…"
"How gentlemanly of you," I turn to face Clove; I see merriment in her eyes.
"Yes, I'm known for my gentlemen tendencies."
Clove smiles. "Yeah, and I'm known as the President-in-training of Panem."
I can feel how close she is to me, and that if I just leaned forward the slightest I could kiss her. But if I did that, she'd probably slap me in the face, ruining any chances of my friendship with her.
"I also came down here to see if I could find an ally, one that I can trust that won't stab me in the back in the Games."
Clove sighs, "The Games, I've been waiting for my chances my entire life, now that I'm actually going to be in them, I'm unsure if I made the right choice."
"Well," I check my watch. "5:30 right now and they are replaying the reapings every hour, so if we go upstairs and clean up, we can watch the reaping at 6."
"Ok, Cat, be ready then." Clove stands up. "Meet me in my room at, 5:50?"
"Sure, but why not my room?" I ask.
Clove smirks, "because you seem to know where my room is better than I know where yours is."
I feel heat rising to my face, what the heck?! Am I blushing?
"By the way," Clove adds, "since you're the last one sitting, you get to take the blanket." With that she bolts from the room, opening a door that I didn't even notice, leaving me alone with a dirty dusty blanket.
After I shower and change my clothes it is 5:45. I still have 5 minutes left, so I decide to get some snacks. I walk out to the main car, where we sat earlier. Brutus and Chelsey seemed to have gone to their rooms, so this room is empty. I grab a giant dish of what I think are cannoli's, and pile on some other food, then I carefully make my way towards Clove's room. I knock on the door, 3 times. Clove opens the door at the end of the third knock, she looks great. She is wearing a deep green shirt, jeans and some leather combat boots.
We go and sit down on Clove's comfortable feather mattress. "So, what's the food for?" Clove asks.
"I thought we might get hungry," I say. "I love munching on unhealthy things while watching TV."
"I like your way of thinking, Cat." She grins at me and picks a cannoli off the plate, stuffing half of it in her mouth.
"It is 5:58 turn the projector on." I instruct.
Clove picks up a piece of glass from the bedside table and runs her hand along it. The TV/projector flicks on and the lights go out Caesar Flickerman and Claudius Templesmith appear on the screen they are talking about something useless. Clove is next to me, now she's inhaling a cream puff, Jesus this girl eats fast, it makes me like her even more.
"And now," Caesar says, "Here are this year's reaping for the 74th annual Hunger Games."
The screen/projector comes on starting with District 1. Both from 1 are volunteers, no surprise there, the female tribute is tall with green eyes and blonde hair, her name is Glimmer, ugh 1 has the stupidest names. The male from 1 is lanky, he has short light brown hair and green eyes, and named Marvel (exactly what I said about the names.) Then it shows 2, Clove volunteering, and then me, it cuts out the little part of everyone waiting before I volunteered. 3, I barely notice anything interesting there, just some people to kill. Then there is District 4, that's the 3rd 'career' district, they have the least amount of Victors from all the careers, though some years ago Finnick Odair did win his games, no problem and put on a great show for the Capitol. 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, and 10 pass by quickly in my eyes, nothing to see there. But in 11, there is a large bulky male tribute and a young small female tribute, the male looks promising. Then there's 12, the female there volunteered people in the poorer Districts almost never volunteer so this will be interesting. Caesar and Claudius appear back on the projector/screen, "this year's games look quite promising, do they not, Claudius?"
"Yes, yes, I quite agree." Claudius replies. "It's not every day that someone volunteers from a poorer district. This might make this year's games the best yet."
"Anyway," Caesar says, "We'll see you in the next hour, or at the tribute parade." He winks and the screen starts to play useless stuff. Clove grabs the glass and seems to dial things on it, the lights pop back on and the screen/projector clicks off. I look down at the plate of food that sits between us. During the reaping replays I'm fairly sure I had maybe 5 pastries and some cookies, though the plate is half empty.
I raise my eyebrows at Clove. "What? I was hungry and I like sugar." She shrugs.
"Yes, and you ate half of a gigantic plate of pastries in about a 20 minute show."
"Are you suggesting that I'm fat?" Clove asks in mock offense.
"No, I'm just saying you're a fast eater and probably a sugar addict."
"You got that right," she tries to take another pastry from the dish, but I grab the plate away before she can. "Cat," she complains. "Give them back. No rhyme intended."
"I think you've had enough sugar," I say, standing up. She tries to make a grab for the plate; I lift it above my head.
"Well, now you're just being insulting," Clove says. She's talking about the fact that she's short. Clove is now on her tippy toes trying to get the dish.
"Nah-ah," I hold the plate higher.
Clove jumps up on the bed and tries to reach them from there; I move the plate away from the bed.
"Shorty," I mock.
Clove grins, she jumps off the bed onto me, and I was not prepared for that, we both go falling to the floor, the pastry dish spilling.
"Ah, c'mon, Cat I thought you had a better grip than that." Ha, she should try having someone jump at her from a bed while she has a dish balanced on the tips of her fingers and see if she can hold onto it.
"Yeah, well I guess you're getting your revenge from me landing on top of you." I point out that she's still lying on top of me.
Clove shrugs, "I've been in worse situations." What does that mean?
At that moment Chelsey and Brutus come into the room. They stare at us from our place on the floor. Clove scrambles off me. "Well, well, what's going on in here?" Brutus grins.
"The annoying one is trying to screw Cato," Chelsey says. I notice that her hand is bandaged.
"I see you're back to your great to be around self again," Clove says, smiling blandly at Chelsey.
Chelsey ignore Clove and stares up at the ceiling.
"Uh, Chelsey had decided that since this year's female tribute is ah," Brutus pulls out a sheet of paper from his back pocket. "You know what? I'm not going to finish this list. Chelsey is quitting from mentoring this year, Enobaria will be filling in for her, and we'll be meeting her when we arrive at the Capitol."
"Ok," Clove says a bit too perkily.
"Oh, one thing before I leave," Chelsey says. "Cato, it'd be best to stay away from the little-" I'm not even going to think about the long list of insulting things Chelsey now uses to describe Clove.
"Awe," Clove puts her hand to her chest. "That's so sweat, I'm touched." Her temper is defiantly in control right now.
Chelsey stamps her foot and stomps out of the room. Brutus smiles weakly, "I think she was trying to get you mad again," Brutus addresses Clove.
Clove smiles, "I know, so I thought she'd be most annoyed if I let it in one ear and out the other."
"Well it worked," Brutus chuckled. "I should a- go talk to her. And, you may want to get a servant to clean this up." He waves his hand at the pasties on the floor then leaves the room.
I do decide to call a servant in to clean up the pastries, but Clove also instructs the girl to get us some hot chocolate and cookies, and not to come back until she had lots of both. The poor girl looked scared to death. After the girl leaves I turn to Clove, "you really have a way of getting what you want don't you, Clove?"
"Yep, Cat, it's one thing you should learn about me." She stretches out on her bed, head leaning against the pillows; she is just over halfway on the bed.
I jump onto the bed and sit next to her. "So about the games," I say casually. "Allies till the end?"
Clove seems to hesitate, "Allies to the end. I'm only saying this because I trust you, Cat. Please don't betray it."
I wouldn't ever do that. "Never," I tell her. Clove smiles up at me.
"Look what I found in here," Clove tells me, she pulls out the glass remote again and turns back on the projector screen. "They have every single one of the Hunger Games on here." She says happily.
I have got to admit, I'm quite interested in this myself. "So, how should we play it?" I ask. "1-73 or 73 down to 1?"
"I'm thinking, 1 to 73." Clove says.
I don't care; I just want to watch them again. "Sure," the servant girl comes into the room with a humongous silver steaming pitcher and a large plate of cookies.
"Is this good enough for you, Miss?" the servant asks Clove hesitantly.
"Yes, yes, this is great!" Clove beams at the girl who looks confused. "Thank you."
The servant sets the plate, pitcher and two mugs down on the bedside table next to Clove and leaves the room.
"Wow, Clove, sugar really gives you mood swings."
"Hmm?" Clove is distracted pouring hot chocolate in the mugs. "Here," she hand me a mug. I take a sip; it is delicious, just like I remember it.
"I said sugar really gives you mood swings."
"What do you mean by that?" Clove raises her eyebrows at me.
"I mean, one minute you're all harsh to the servant and the next you're beaming at her because she brings you a plate of cookies."
"Whatever Cat, is it wrong to enjoy good food while I still can?"
"I guess not, anyway all I was saying is that you get mood swings around sugar. I'm going to hate to see you in the Arena with no sugar."
"That's my motivation to get out," she jokes, "getting sugar again."
We both laugh.
Clove turns down the lights and plays the first Hunger Games.
Around 3 a.m. Clove drifts off, we're almost done the 24th Hunger Games when she does. She has her head leaning against my shoulder and cookie crumbs on her cheeks. God, she looks cute. After these games are over, I take the remote and turn the projector screen off. Clove looks so much younger in sleep, less snarky and confident. As soon as I turn the screen off I realize how tired I am. I lean my head back and close my eyes, sleep takes me almost immediately.
Ooooo he fell asleep, major cliff hanger. Ok so remember, I have this whole story already completed it depends on you whether or not I post more. Though I really hope you like it so far, after all I worked really hard on this. Cato and Clove are my favorite characters in the first book so maybe now you can like them too, at least a little. See you next time- Bookfanic