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Chapter OneMy blue grey eyes opened as the scent of coal wafted to the abandoned house I lived in. The locks of light brown hair were once a gorgeous gold, but had faded and colored due to the tainted air. I sat up and looked around, making sure that no one was here. Sighing, I pulled on my skin tight boots and and old jacket that I had found in the streets around the Hob, probably some drunkie...... Anyways, I looked out the window, which was basically a glass wall out to the forest behind me. Spruces, pines, and oaks laid behind that barbed fence, and the one place that I could live. Suddenly, the door creaked behind me and someone put their hands over my eyes. Before punching them in the gut, I took a deep breath, if it was who I think it is...... Pine, and bread.
"Hey, Cato," I said as I turned around. His blue eyes were soft and caring, unlike my grey ones, that were constantly hard and emotionless. He kissed me and slipped somthing into my hand. A handmade necklace. "How much did it cost you?" I asked."It doesn't matter what the price was," Cato murmured. "As long as you like it, it's priceless." I shook my head and grabbed his strong, hard hand, determined to hang on to it untill I die. I opened the door and pulled Cato to the forest, where we could gather and hunt. Retrieving a bow that Katniss had made for Cato, and my basket, so that we could finish harvesting the apples in the woods, I followed Cato as we made our way to the ridge. The birds chittered and the squirrels rustled, making it seem like an ordinary day, but it wasn't. When I had looked into Cato's eyes, I knew that to day was the one day that might seperate us forever. The reapings were here again.
~ ~ ~ ~
When I was back in my house, I found Prim, Cato's older sister, sitting on my bed, sitting next to the most beautiful dress of all. Prim was dressed in a red dress, with black flats and streamers through her blonde hair. The dress that was on my bed was a soft pink, with black trim, with matching black shoes.
"Really, Prim?" I whisper. She nods, Prim wasn't really the one to talk that much. I slipped them on and let Prim do my hair. Soft, light bouncy curls fell past my shoulders and she added a light coat of make-up, making my face look absolutely flawless.
I walked outside to the square with Prim and looked immediately for Cato. His name was only in the bowl four times, but still....And I had even more slips than Cato. I have six. We might say good-bye now while we still have the chance. I found him and rushed to him, surprised that he was in a black suit, accented with pink; and I hugged him.
"Cato," I began, but the sad look in his eyes made me stop. Suddenly, a hand was on my shoulder, I whirled around."Hello, Mr.Mellark," I sigh.
"Hello, Ariana," Peeta Mellark says quietly. "Go to your place." I nod and walk away from Cato. My blue-grey eyes were already starting to well up with tears that just could not be revealed. Suddenly, Arlen, our escourt with oranger hair and amber eyes closely related, suddenly dove his hand into glass bowl and called out a name.
"Clover June." He read aloud, crisp and clear. It's not me! I say with temperary relief. But a twelve year-old girl stepped forward, and before I could even think, I raised my hand to voulenteer.
Ok, at least the train ride was smooth..... Oh... Um Hi! *blush* Ok, so, where was I? Oh, yeah, Reaping, me voulenteering, ok, yeah. Anyways, I voulenteered for the 12 yr old, not to satasfy my love for blood, yada yada yada. I marched up to the stand, and went to Arlen.
"And your name is?" He asked smoothly.
"Ariana Spruce." I say with equal verb (Without the accent, ya know.) Suddenly, I hear a scream and my mother is making her way to the stage.
"Ariana Brooklan Spruce!" She cried, her blue eyes blazing like a fire. "How dare you.... you.... you run away! When you get home, I'll beat the living (word is not available) out of you! And if you don't make it out there alive, you got what was coming!" Peacekeepers restrained her and took her away, still cussing me out. I shrugged and smiled at Arlen, who was looking at me with a look of craziness in his eyes.
"O-K...." He sighed. "More excitement to come though!" He dug his hand in the boy's bowl and pulled out a name. "Cat-"
"I voulenteer!" Cato's voice came out of the blue. Now how did I know that that would happen?
"And your name?" Arlen asked.
"Cato Mellark." Cato climbed up the stage. Arlen laughed.
"Your name was reaped."
~ ~ ~ ~ ~
I looked out the train window and sighed, wondering when dinner- Katniss knocked on my door, calling me to dinner.
"Hi!" I said, sitting next to Cato. "Have you tried on the toe socks yet?"
Cato grinned and shook his head no. Well, at least we can spend more time together before we die. I look at Peeta and somthing has sparked in his eyes. He looks at Katniss and gives her a small nod, so small that I almost miss it.
"Ariana," Peeta starts. "Katniss and I know that you and Cato are....well,....Together. And we want to try somthing that happened wih us." I stared at them blankly, wondering what they were talking about.
"Cato, do you remember Uncle Haymitch?" Katniss quickly asked Cato. Cato nodded, he was as confused as I was about this judging by his look. "Well, when we were tributes, Haymitch was our mentor. He set us up as twins, in fact, that just about saved our lives. We think that we're going to do the same thing here. It's too bad that Haymitch is dead, though, he would have been more help to you than us."
I looked at Cato. Pretend that our love wasn't real? Impossible!~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
Ow!!!! I can see why Katniss said not to disobey our prep teams, it HURTS!!!!!!!! Anyways, Katniss told me that she requested Cinna's twin children to be our stylists; she also said that their names were Taylor and Anniquah. Yes!! They're both girls!!! Now I don't have to be completely embarresed when I meet my stylist! Oh, the door is opening! Yippe!!!!! O_o
I got Taylor, and let me tell you, he is a GUY!!!!! O_o....... So here I am, naked, in front of a dude............ AKWARD!!!!! (He's cute though! P.S. Don't tell Cato!!! He'd tear Taylor to shreds =])"Hi," I squeak.
"Hey!" He says good naturedly. "Give me a moment." He circles me and I kind of wish that I had put on a robe. Hey, He smells like pine trees!!! Anyways, he rounds me up and then takes my hand to sit. "Ok, so, My sister Anniquah and I (So Anniquah IS a girl!!) think that we should do somthing similar to what our father did. Flames is our accent and I want you and Cato to be dressed complementary. So, here's your dress!" Withot furthur adue, he pressed a red button and.......
Steamed pork chops came out.
"Whoops!" Taylor exclaimed. "Wrong one! Go ahead and eat by the way. Here's your dress!" He pressed a different button and a beautiful purple and black dress appeared, then suddenly somthing moved and the dress changed colors from purple to blue to red!! As if it was a firey lake!!!! COOL!!!!!! =P!!!!
Ok, so here I am in a freaking DRESS!!! And it weighs like, 300 pounds!!!!!!!
Cato looks HOT, but they cut his hair...... D=.... Anyways, Cato and I made a huge bang at the Chariot Rides, people were screaming our names and as a matter of fact, besides the part of the firey lake, the outfits sort of glow in the dark!!! How Cool is that?!?!?!?!?!??!?! Anyways, Cato and I are transported to our home/prision, as I hear Katniss mutter it, called the training center. I ride up in the elevator and this is crisp and clean, not junky and... well, smelly. I make it to my room and find two beds, Peeta must have told them to mix our rooms together. I lay down in bed and it's quite obvious that I will NOT get ANY sleep tonight. Cato must have sensed this because he climbed in bed with me. I curled up in his arms and pressed my cheek against his bare chest. Finally I could get some sleep....... Z.......Z..............Z............Z...................Z.......Z......................
Wow....last night was a living dream!!!! Cato and I...... Sigh.... Oh...... Hi!!!! Ok. So, now that I was awake, I rode the classy elevator downstairs and to the dining hall. When I got downstairs, I saw Peeta.................. Ok, ya' know what, I don't even want to describe it................ Then Peeta kind of saw me and blushed, pointed to the buffet and said that food was availible, then went back to making out with Katniss, EWWW!!!! (Adults really shouldn't make out..... for various reasons) So I greatfully got away. I turned around, my plate piled high, only then, when I was walking away, did I notice that most of the boys that which were down here (tributes and avoxes alike) were staring at my BUTT. Some were cute, but don't they know that I............oh, yeah, they don't............I guess I should make that a point..... Cato came out of the elevator, so I put my food down and rushed over to give him a huge hug. Then I kinda kissed him on the cheek. When I sat back down, I saw the boys looking at me, and I guess they didn't get the message.
~ ~ ~ ~ ~
Training was extremely exciting. I impressed a bunch of boys and a few of them actually came up and flirted with me! They were: The boy from 9, 8, 11, 2, 4, and of course, Cato!!! I threw knives untill I could get a decent wedge between the panels and right in the heart of the practice dummy. Axes were another matter, and maces. I was terrible with them...... So I went to the plant's section. I aced every test that they threw at me. And I found out that I was pretty good at painting, so I aced the camoflasue tests too. I aced everything except axes and maces. I sat down and one of the boys stepped up.
"Hey," He said. "My name's Julian. What's your cutie?"
"Ariana," I say coldly. He grinned, obviously not picking up that I don't want anything to do with him.
"Firey," he muttered, leaning closer. "Just the way I like them." I leaned back, a scowl on my face. I would do somthing, but hurting a tribute is illegal. Just then, a rough voice was next to him.
"Get your paws off my girlfriend," Cato whispered in Julian's ear. Julian sighed and sat back, his green eyes blazing. Wow, I was a hit! Julian left and Cato and I ate lunch together. "What did he want?" he finally asked.
"Don't know," I responded. "He called me cutie, asked for my name, then said, 'Firey, just the way I like them.'"
Cato scowled and held somthing up. A black box. He slipped it into my hand and I looked at him. Cato nodded at the box and I opened it. A ring. I gasped and Cato got down on one knee.
"Ariana Brooklyn Spruce," He said, his eyes shimmering. "Will you do the honor of being my wife?" I nodded and the few people that were watching clapped, they were all girls. The boys finally caught on about what was going on, and they all scowled, I knew now that they were all forming a plan.
They were going to kill Cato and keep me for themselves.
Hey gurls, you know that lovely, painful visit we get every month or so?? It was supposed to come last night and it never came...... greeattt............I saw Cato and smiled at the thought of the ring from a couple of days ago. And today was the interview day!!! I could announce everything!!! Anyways, I met around with Peeta and Katniss. Katniss would train me, and Cato would be trained with his father. I met up with Katniss and she looked me up and down.
"What?" I asked.
"Wondering how we're going to show you off. You're a hit so far, your charming, fierce, and witty, and the crowd loves you," Katniss says. "Not to mention that 12 in training." Oh, yeah, traning. Cato and I had both gotten a 12 in traning. "Here, try humble."
"Ok," I say. We go through multiple questions and it's evedint that I'm NOT humble. Or Sexy, no matter what the boys think. Or mysterious, but I'm feirce. So Katniss came up with a new angle: Angelic.
I would be the perfect little tribute, sponsers lined up, but if Caesar asks about my love, to reveal every thing about Cato and I. It was my perfect angle.
We defidently came up with my angle. Now time for the girly, frilly, shallow parts. Dresses and high heels. Katniss puts me in a pair of bright red pumps and a dress that flows on the ground even with the shoes.
Thankfully, the hour is up and I'm put into the hands of my prep team. They put my nails into sparkling little shapes ith a glowing finsh, my body is powdered with multicolored gold and silver dust and I am wearing a pale red and orange eyeshadow with a deep black mascara, they even put on a deep shade of lipstick.Soon, Taylor is back, with the dress, but it's covered up. I close my eyes and grab a hand as I slip into my shoes, I'm relieved that they're flats. Taylor slips on the dress, which is lighter than I imagined, and tells me to open my eyes. I am a gourgeous little angel. The dress touches the floor, but is split in the middle of my left thigh, it's a pure white dress with golden trim, the sleeves are not on my shoulders, but on my arms, and it's just this thin little strip, about 2 inches thick that's there.
"Oh, Taylor," I sigh. "It's beautiful! I....I don't know how to thank you!"
Taylor smiles "Then don't. Just win them over. My bet is always on you, Ariana."
I smile and hug him. Taylor made me twirl around, and the reaction was immediate, the dress changed from white, rippling out to silver, then to gold, then a soft baby pink, then back to white. I walk downstairs and whenever I move, it stays white, Taylor must have tampered with it to make it like that. "Ariana, I'll be sitting with the other stylists, so if you feel nervous, look up for me. Ok?" I nod and Taylor escourts me to the line. Cato is in a suit made from the same stuff, a rippling effect moving over us. I saw a bunch of boys staring at us jealously.
~ ~ ~ ~
The first part of the interviews were like a dream. Everything was so floaty and unlife like, but soon enough, they're calling my name and I walk up to the stage. Caesar this year is in a spring green outfit, his hair, eyeshadow, and lipstick matching.
"Hello! Ariana, is it?" He asks.
"Of course," I respond politely.
"So, Ariana," Caesar purrs. "What do you think about your outfits? The one you wore for the Opening Ceremonies made my heart pound, I wish that I was your lucky man."
"Oh, Caesar," I say softly. "I love the dresses and outfits, they seem to never end the complements that I have gotten." I get up and twirl around, "Look at it!" Caesar catches me and I giggle.
"Well, I won't stop. That 12 in training. Absolutely momentus. Can you give us the details?"
"I'm sorry," I purr. "That information is completely classified."
The croud groans and screams for me.
"Well, can you tell me your strategy?" Caesar asks.
"Well, I'm going to the Cornucopia, that's for sure," I say. "I just hope that they have my weapon, then, I'll kill a couple of people, grab some supplies, and it's evendent that I'll have an ally, seeing as the number of people that have come up to me." That was true, more than one girl and more than 5 boys had come up. "I'll ally with them and keep them alive as long as possible."
"As I was saying," Caesar said softly. "I wish that I was your lucky man. Tell me, do you have a man?"
My smile dropped and I dropped my voice. "Yes, and he voulenteered to protect me. Cato is my boyfriend. No, Cato is my fiancee'. And one more thing......." The crowd held their breath as I looked directly at the camera.
"I'm pregnant, and he's the father of my child."
After I announced that, you could literally hear a pin drop. It was like that for a few seconds, then the crowd went wild, reaching out to comfort me, my hand immediately went to my already swollen stomach, this was the first time I had said somthing about it, and truth be told, I've been pregnant for 9 months, so unless if I die on the first day, I'm gonna give birth to a kid! I sat back down in my seat, Caesar and a few other people trying to calm the crowd down. I went back to my seat and Cato took my hand.
"You're serious?" He asked. The only thing I could do is nod, yes, I thought, I am serious. My buzzer went off and the crowd had just been settled. Suddenly, they call up Cato and they start up with a get together thing that brings the house down. Cato is the likeable, but brute force that everyone loves, and it only makes me love him even more. They dismiss Cato and the shot of the tributes, but it was dominated by a shot of me..............
~ ~ ~ ~ ~
I sigh and Cato climbs in bed with me, holding a remote in his hands. We both know that there is no way we're getting any sleep tonight. And lookie what we found!!!!! The 74th and 75th Hunger Games, the 2 that Katniss and Peeta were in. Figure that we may as well get some knowldge on the Games.
I fell asleep, and right when Foxface died. I woke up the next morning with Cato looking down on me. I fixed his eyes with a puzzeled gaze."What?" I asked. Cato shook his head and masked hie emotions so that I had no idea what he was thinking. I was seperated from Cato and put into the hands of Taylor. Taylor and I got into a hovercraft and I waited to get into the arena, the Captiol people doing somthing to my arm. They explained that it was a tracking chip, they don't want to lose a tribute. then we are sent to the Catacombs, where we would be preparing for the Games. Taylor unwrapped my outfit, which they had put a shirt twice as big as I need it. The outfit included a white T-Shirt, a brown padded vest, brown capris, black skintight socks, and brown boots. Taylor put my hair in a ponytail and slid my wedding ring on my finger.
"Where did you find this?" I asked Taylor. He shrugged and grabbed my hand. We said nothing, just waited for the Games to start. Suddenly, a girl's voice comes on, telling the tributes to enter the arena. I step into the glass cylynder and Taylor helps me up.
"I'm betting on you, Ana," He says with a grim smile. I smile and give him a kiss on the cheek. When I step back, the glass slides over me and the container lurches forward. I start to panic, but am comforted by the sight of Taylor nodding at me. "Heads high." He mouths. I nod and hold my head high as I enter the arena. "Ladies and gentlemen, Let the 88th Hunger Games, begin!"
I drunk in the scene as I waited for the gong to ring out. Pine and snow. Pine, just like at home. I looked at the Cornucopia, I knew that there'll be a Bloodbath, there usually is, but when I looked at the top of the pile, two golden bows were sitting there, Cato and I's bows. Immediately, I form a plan. I would rush in, grab some knives, some food, and a tent, then I would climb the Cornucopia to get the bows, maybe pick off a couple of people. The gong rings and before I could reach for the essentials, I was climbing the Cornucopia and was at the top before anyone noticed. I had both bows in my hand and tossed one down to Cato as he neared me. I slid down the Cornucopia and shot a boy in the heart while sliding down (I guess that's how good I am at shooting). It was the boy from 8, Pine if I remembered correctly, he was the second boy to confront me. I looked aound, The District 2 girl was waving to me, like, beconing me over. I took Cato's hand, and rushed towards her, I had Cato watch my back while I confronted her. I brought out a knife as I came close to her.
"What do you want?" I asked.
"Well," she sighs."Your boyfriend, or fiancee or whatever, made an alliance with the Careers. So if you're alling with him, you're with us." I sigh and look around, the bloodbath was over, and the Careers were advancing on me.
"Fine." As I said that, 11 cannons went off, and I knew the boy from 8 was dead, I had shot him myself. I waited for the cannons to stop, then nodded at her.
"Well, I'll start," The Girl from 2 said. "I'm Cahe."
They all looked at us carefully, waiting for us to say our names.
"Oh, I'm Ariana." I say.
"Cato." That was all Cato said before Cahe and Michael gave a gasp. Oh, yeah, Cato was from their District.
Cahe and Michael give Cato a hard stare before setting up some sort of group. Michael and Ryan were the strongest, so they were in charge. Then Cato and Cahe, then Julian and Me, then Tosh and Sparkle. In according. I gripped my bow and strapped a knife in my parkle boots, where I could reach down in a fight and switch it out to stab and for close range if my bow doesn't work. Cato stalks behind Michael and Ryan, while I walk with Cahe and Tosh.
"Just let her cool down," Tosh murmurs to me. I look at her and tentively return her smile. And truly, I think that if we wern't seperated into Districts, Tosh and I would be friends, not just the friends that would see eachother once in a while, true friends like Cato and I were before we were together.
~ ~ ~ ~
My eyes were alert that night, we had no idea what was going to happen, but a cannon had gone off early that afternoon. I knew that we didn't kill them, but I would soon see who it was. The anthem started and I looked up. D1 and 2 I knew were alive because they were in my alliance, and the first to pop up was the girl from three, Shaniah, then both tributes from 5,6, Thunder from 7, both from 8 (I had killed Pine.... :*( He was pretty cute....) The boy from 9, Jackson Hale, the 10 tributes, and Ever from 11. 12 dead, 11 more to go untill a Victor.... Tosh came up to me and nodded, signaling for me that my watch was up, so with that, I fell into a deep sleep.....
I woke up with Tosh and Sparkle by my side. I was quite freaked out because I forgot about the Games, the alliance, and the baby. The baby, my hand flew to my stomach and I felt a kick. It was a boy. And I had already thought of a name for him. Colbalt. But if it was a girl....... then her name would be Echo. Echo and Colbalt.My babies. I climbed out of my sleeping bag and woke up Cato.
"Wha???" He thrashed about until he saw me. "Oh, hey babe."
I blushed. "I felt a kick." I say and his eyes immediately light up. "I also have names. What do you think about Colbalt or Echo?"
"They're perfect." Cato says, his eyes softening. I smiled and flinched as Julian came to collect me for hunting. Grabbing my bow and a couple knives, I followed Julian to get food. An hour later, Julian and I came back, our bags full with fresh game. During our hunt, not only did I notice that the snow was starting to melt, but Julian was still trying to hit on me. Suddenly, two cannons echoed through the terrain. I look at Julian and his eyes were miorring my silent question. Who was that? I shake my head, brown terreses becoming touseled. I made it back to camp only seconds later, to see another cannon. Cato was standing over Ryan, knife in his hand and a red smile on Ryans throat.
"Cato?!?!?!" I stand infront of him, shocked. "What's gotten into you?" Cato's bright blue eyes turned to face me, their shine gone, replaced by madness.
"Ariana," He said, his voice rigid. "You'll understand. I killed him for us. There was no other way." I shake my head. Julian rushed to my side and stared at Cato with wide green eyes. I shke my head.
"Cato," I whisper. "I don't know you anymore." And with that, I ran off.
~ ~ ~ ~ ~
I sat in a tree, miles away, crying my eyes out. I suddenly heard footsteps. Swinging my bow around to the person underneath me, I faced two pairs of bright green eyes.
"Ariana," Tosh murmurs. "We heard what happend with you and Cato. Sorry." I shrug, as if it was no big deal. "Allies?" The words slip out of my friend's mouth. I nod, not feeling up for words. They say nothing, but ease me out of my oak tree. The snow had now melted, leaving the grass and plants visible. I grab my bow and hear a movement. Crack! I whirled around at the sound of a cracking branch, and fell down in a soundless wail. They were coming! Tosh had sensed this and ordered Julian to fight whomever was attacking off. I was let loose in pain and almost blacked out. Suddenly, as the baby was out, I felt one more convulsion. Two more babys, and a cannon. Tosh screamed, and went to go kill the intruder. Julian was dead. And the babys slid out. Tosh screamed once more, and her cannon sounded. The triplets were in my hand, but I blacked out.
My kids, where where they??? I blinked, looking around, strapped to another tree, my arms and feet bound.
"Hello, Ariana," A familiar voice sneered. "I've been watching you." Cahe. I look up, and shielded
my eyeswith my bound hands, she was sillouetted in the harsh sunlight.
"You'll never get away with this, Cahe," I hissed, earning myself a deep cut on my cheek.
"Actually, Cato is on his way," Cahe murmurs, wiping the blood from her blade. I
gasped, and was rewarded with a cruel smile. Suddenly, bracken cracked and Cato came through the cave entrance.
"NO!" He shouted, and lunged himself at Cahe, stabbing her in the back with his dagger. "Triplets..." He murmurs. "They were triplets. Names?"
"Eclipse, Echo and Colbalt. Let me see them," I insisted. The baby girl,one of them had bright silver eyes, Eclipse. Another, had curly hair, Echo. And the boy, with freckles, Colbalt. My babies.
Suddenly, More bracken cracked and the last tribute was here. Tristan. Cato faught her, but she got close to me, and stabbed me in the stomach.
I faded in and out of consiousness, but the victors were announced. And I guess that I was dead. My babies were alive, so was Cato. Then... how am I still breathing??? As I was lifted into the hovercraft, I became unconcious.
Darkness, that's all that I saw, but somthing rattled and floated into my consiousness. A song, one that I was sung to when I had first run away.
Deep in the meadow, hidden far away,
A cloak of leaves, a moonbeam ray.
Forget your woes, and let your troubles lay,
And when again it's morning, they'll wash away.
Here it's safe, here it's warm,
Here the daisies guard you from every harm.
Here your dreams are sweet, and tomorrow brings them true,
Here is the place where I love you.
I see a light, and float towards it, instead of going deeper into the darkness. And I open my eyes.
Katniss is above me, holding my hand, crying. And suddenly... Bleep, bleep, bleep, bleep. I was in the hospital. Katniss looked at me, and gasped.
"Ariana?" She was thourouly shocked. "But you're- you're dead." I shake my head.
"What's going on?" I ask stupidly... I had just survived a Hunger Games.
"You were in a coma..." Katniss says slowly. "And you just died... but you came back."
"How long was I out?" Another stupid question.
"Sixteen years... Echo, Eclipse and Colbalt are now elligable for the Victor's kids Quarter Quell."
To be continued in Forever and Always =) Thx!!!1
Ok, so this will be the story of Ariana Spruce (a.k.a. Me if u look on my pro.) But If u want, as I see at the bottom, I will enter your tributes ;)
|11||P12/9||P15/10|dead = Dead!!!!
Ok, so I'm like, obsessed with shocked faces, so here is the charachters with shocked faces!!!