How Cato and Clove Won The Games

PG-13 for slight cussing, violence, gore, and some intimacy

Copyright © 2012 All rights reserved. All my stories, including chapters, prologues, epilogues and all associated content is copyrighted under the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988. All rights are reserved by the owner and creator of these works. Any unauthorised copying, broadcasting, manipulation, distribution or selling of these works constitutes as an infringement of copyright and is punishable by law.

Chapter 1

Where I spend half the night in his arms

The buzzing was what woke me out of my reverie. I turn over, onto my side, and feel the underside of my pillow, searching for the familiar handle of my favourite knife, a Case Integral Hunter. But, of course, it wasn't there.

I'd forgotten that I wasn't in my own bed back home anymore. I was in the fancy train headed to the Capitol. Of course, it wouldn't take long, but it was still a day's journey.

The buzzing sound was Cato's impatient knocking on my door, so fast and together it sounded like a bee's frantic buzzing.

I grogginly stood, uncomfortable with the absence of my knife. I opened the door slightly, so he only saw my eyes and forehead. His hair was messy, his blue eyes clouded like he was sleeping and tired.

"Cato?" I say, and my voice is tired and thick, almost hard to understand. His hands drop from the door and he tilts his head, and suddenly he blinks, his eyes clear.

" I doing here?" he asks me, his voice alert, angry, and confused. Very, very confused.

"You were knocking on my door, are you okay?" I say, opening the door wider and slapping the back of my hand on his forehead. It's cool, like he was just in a refrigerator.

He shakes me off, "No, I was just in my bed...what..." He looks around, leaning his hand on my doorframe. His powerful, muscle-y, cologne smelling body loomed over mine.

I took a step back into my room, "Were you sleep-walking?"

He shrugs, looking unconcerned, "I might have been. I just had a dream about food, and you, so I just..." he realizes how weird that must have sounded, because he stops talking and looks down.

"Go to bed, Cato," I glance out the window in my room, and see it's still dark, "It's late."

"I can't go back to sleep." He says as I try to close the door. I sigh, "Go play cards. Practice your sword fighting."

"Wanna practice knives with me?" He asks, and my heart picks up speed at the thought. I can't help the smirk that curves my thin lips, "Of course."

I huff with each throw, taking precise time with holding the knife in my hand. I angle it so it's close enough to my cheek to feel the blade, but far enough to not cut my skin.

I pull it back, and step forward a bit, and release it. My eyes follow it, mouth slightly ajar, my brain in a frenzy as I watch the knife slowly sail through the air, point aimed straight at the door..

"Yes!" I mutter as it hits the door perfectly. I grin over to Cato, who's having some trouble making his target.

I walk over and immediately see what he's doing wrong. "Are you trying to kill yourself or hit your target?"

He looks at me, concentration of the knife fading, "What?" I take the knife from his hand and show him the proper way to hold it. He scoffs and I turn to smirk at him, and I throw the knife quickly, with unerring accuracy.

I turned to face him, grinning. He doesn't sneer or scoff like he usually would, he shrugs, thoughtful, and decides, "Not bad."

I raise an eyebrow at him, along with another knife, and eventually smile, deciding he was being genuine, "Thanks."

As I'm about to let the next knife fly, he rests a hand on my arm. I turn my head, whiplike, to meet his eyes.

"What?" I demand, and his eyes are smouldering. "I'm tired, now." Immediately, I begin to whine, but he just shakes his head, "You can stay out here, but I'm going to bed."

I glance around. The Avox is still mute in the corner of the room, but other than the silent companion I would be alone. In the dark.

"Fine." I say, and I begin to put the knives back in the kitchen knife holder. Cato lazily helps, but he looks about to collapse by the time all the knives are back in place.

"Night." He says tiredly as he trudges back to his room. I hurry to keep up with him, glancing over my shoulder in the darkness. I put a hand on his shoulder in worry.

"Oh, right, you're scared of the dark. I forgot, I'm sorry." Cato says, his voice tired but considerate. I just shake my head, "It's fine. Just get me back to my room, okay?"

My eyes are shut tight. I hear him open the door and he leads me forward until I feel the bed against my hip. I feel brightness behind my eyelids and open my eyes, grateful.

"Thanks." I say to him. He shrugs, "Yeah. But now I'm sleeping here." I react quickly to his words.

"No! What? Why? No. My room." I sputter, sounding stupid, but worried that he'll stay if I don't speak up.

"I took you here." He says, as if it settles it, dooming me to owing him, and he collapses on the bed I'd earlier occupied.

I stand, unsure, hands permanent claws on the bed's surrounding wood as I watch him slowly fall asleep.

I sigh, understanding that once Cato gets to a certain level of a certain determination, there's no stopping him.

I raid the closets until I find some extra pillows and a thin blanket. He's lucky I don't get cold in the night.

I lay down on the floor, which is surprisingly soft, and fluff the pillow beneath me.

"Clove, that's ridiculous. Get up here." I hear Cato's muffled voice against the pillow on my bed. My eyes snap open, "No. Get out of my bed and I will!"

"Nope." He says, and I hear the faintest hint of a smile. I sit up, leaning on my hand, to look at him. He's sitting up a bit, almost sleeping, looking at me with amusement.

"Come on, I'm not going to r--pe you or anything. Unless you want me to." I hear the joke with the meaning behind it. I shake my head, "Get on the floor, I get the bed."

"Want me to join you on the floor?" He offers, his voice thick with exhaustion now. I'm about to snap out a sharp no! when I realize...if he falls asleep on the floor, I can steal the bed eventually.

"Yes." I say evenly, and he doesn't reply. But then he's dragging himself out of the bed and sitting down next to me, on the floor, his shirt off.

"I see you've made yourself comfortable." I say in annoyance when I notice his shirt on the bed. He nods, "For your benefit."

I roll my eyes, even though they do linger on his 6 pack. How do people even get that? I mean, he mostly does spear and sword work. I haven't seen him training with weights in a while.

"Stop staring." He then says, and he laughs confidentially, pulling the thick covers from the bed over us. I flush red from embarrassment in being caught, and I turn away from him as the cover completely envelopes me in the warmth.

I can't sleep. I'm constantly worrying about what Cato's doing beside me. After a few silent minutes, I turn to peek at him. He's asleep, or at least pretending to sleep. I can't move yet, though, because I'm not sure about it.

He must have moved closer while I was thinking earlier, because his body heat mingles with mine and the covers.

I turn back to face the wall as I was earlier, and I feel his arm snake around my stomach, pulling me closer, holding me, as if cradling a child.

I try to speak up, but my voice is closed off. I keep trying to say something until I choke out a barely audible, "Cato?"

He doesn't reply. I am close enough to feel his heartbeat against my back. His breath moves the top of my hair.

Why is he holding me? Does he do this every night to a pillow and I'm just the replacement?

I want to say something snarky, because I don't really think this should be happening, but my voice keeps wavering. I decide to focus on breathing evenly.

I must have fallen asleep, because I wake up, drowsy. Cato's arms are wrapped around me, condemning me to him. It's not day yet, because the window's not revealing any sun yet.

Maybe it's dawn. But I don't want to say I spent the night with Cato, so I slowly begin to unravel myself from him, and stand. I realize is it's cold, out of his arms. I look back at him, and see he's sound asleep.

I crawl into my bed, even though I don't have the covers. I don't need them. I curl up into a ball, and feel a little better. At least I get my bed.

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