Peeta, Finnick, Annie and I didn’t get back to camp until the sun was already beginning to set and the sky was all orange and pink. Madge and Gale had gone to their room and the four of us were dead tired from all the swimming we’d done. We didn’t find much but we did end up swimming all around the entire small island just to see that the other side is much like our side.
When we get back to shore Peeta and I grab a piece of fruit from the kitchen then headed straight to our own shelter. We’re barely inside before we both collapse onto the blankets and fall immediately asleep without even bothering to change.
“Katniss!” I groan and shut my eyes tighter.
“Katniss, you need to get up right now.” Peeta says seriously, giving my shoulders a gentle but firm shake.
“What is it?” I ask, opening my eyes just a crack.
“Finnick just spotted 2 small boats coming this way!” He exclaims.
“Great, now we can get back to district 12!” I say with a smile, sitting up.
“Uh don’t get your hopes up yet Kat, from what Finnick says he saw, the few people on those boats could be our worst enemies right now.”
“You don’t mean…” I don’t finish but Peeta knows whom I’m referring to.
“We think so.” He says gravely.
“Just great! We are finally sort of settling in to life here then they have to come and ruin it!” I yell, a little louder than necessary.
“I know Kat, that’s why we need to get ready, they could be here any time.” I am still in my bathing suit from yesterday so I quickly change into a shirt and a pair of shorts. While Peeta changes I braid my hair so it is out of the way and grab my bow and sling my quiver of arrows over my shoulder. Peeta then ties his dagger to his belt and the two of us set off to the Odair’s. A strange sense of nervousness and anger settles into the pit of my stomach as we make the short trek towards our destination and I instinctively grab Peeta’s hand and give it a squeeze. He looks down at me when I do this and kisses my forehead while saying, “Don’t worry Kat, we outnumber them and we have weapons, I promise I won’t let them hurt you.”
“I know.” I whisper, but even though I do know this in my heart, it is still hard not to be scared of what could happen.
Finnick and Annie meet us outside of their lodging and Madge and Gale are on their way over.
“How close are they?” Peeta asks. Finnick in answer picks up the old telescope that we found yesterday and looks through.
“They could be here in about ten minutes and it is definitely the captain with, Cato, Colette and another man that are in the boats.”
“Oh no.” Annie moans and Finnick wraps his arms around her. “Don’t worry honey, you and the baby will be fine. You and Madge are going to be put in a safe place until we run them off.” He assures her.
“But Finn, you have to let me help!” Annie objects.
“No.” He replies firmly. “I don’t want anything to happen to you that could end up hurting our baby.”
Annie finally nods in submission while rubbing her tummy soothingly. It is not yet evident that she is pregnant but she’ll probably start showing soon enough. Ever since they told us the big news yesterday morning Finnick has been overly protective of Annie, doing little things for her and not letting her do other simple tasks, it’s kinda sweet.
Finnick picks up the telescope again, pointing it out over the water.
“They’re really close now.” He informs us, hooking the scope to his pants. “We need to get Madge and Annie to a safe spot until this is all over.” Finn directs his speech to Gale who has just arrived with Madge. Gale nods in agreement, pulling his small wife closer to his side.
“Where are they going to go?” I ask.
“Annie and I found a small hidden cave not too far from here during our exploration the other day.” Finnick says.
“Okay, sounds good.”
“I’ll take Madge and Annie there then come back to help you three.” He tells us, gesturing to Gale, Peeta and me.
“Hopefully you are able to beat them.” Gale says and Peeta nods in agreement.
“Me too.” Finnick then picks up a backpack and stuffs in two blankets and some pieces of fruit for the girls to have with them just in case they have to stay in the cave longer than a few hours.
“Here, take this.” Finn hands me the telescope.
“Thanks.” I reply and hook it to my shorts much like he had done.
A minute later the three of them are ready and after Gale gives Madge an almost bone crushing hug and a passionate goodbye kiss, Finnick leads the two girls into the forest.
“How close are they now?” Peeta asks, coming to stand beside me. I hand him the telescope and he shuts one eye to get a better view.
“I see them!” Gale exclaims.
“Yeah, they’re almost here.” Peeta replies, handing me the scope and I in turn hook it back to my shorts.
Sure enough two small lifeboats are being tossed around in the waves and all the while being pulled closer and closer to shore, and us.
“I don’t think Finn will make it back before them.” Gale declares and Peeta and I nod solemnly.
“Should we hide until they come onto the shore, that way we’ll have the element of surprise?” I suggest.
“Good idea Catnip. We can hide behind the few large trees at the base of the forest.”
“Okay.” I say and the three of us move a little closer to the line of trees. We find three trees close together and after dividing the weapons evenly we separate. After Gale moves to his tree Peeta gives me a soothing hug then a kiss and I have to say I feel much more confidant now.
I string an arrow on my precious bow but keep it aimed at the ground for now; I don’t want to just kill unnecessarily. I am the only one with a distance weapon, Gale and Peeta only have daggers so if they give me the signal I will shoot. I just kind of hope that whatever happens that we won’t have to kill, or be killed for that matter.
The four passengers of the two boats are now easily visible as the captain, Cato, Colette and a man I’ve never seen before. If they’ve been floating around for all this time without seeing land or getting food and water they are probably very weak and hungry, so hopefully it won’t be too much of a challenge to fight them, if it comes to that. A small part of me can’t help hoping that they’ll end up going to the other side of island or floating right past. My wish of course is not granted because the next time I look out over the beach and water the two boats have docked. I glance over at Peeta and he puts a finger to his lips, signaling for me to keep quiet. It’s a good thing that I am good at being quiet because of all my time hunting in the woods otherwise if I was any other normal girl I’d probably let out a scream or snap a twig or something dumb like that.
The three of us watch intently as the passengers hop out into the knee-deep water and begin pulling their boats to shore. My breathing immediately begins to quicken and my heart pounds loudly as my eyes stay trained on the foursome, coming closer and closer to our hiding place. I really hope they don’t find our shelters and steal our provisions, but we would stop them before they did anyways. Peeta gives me a small comforting smile and grasps the hilt of his dagger in preparation.
Once the boats are all the way up onto the sand the passengers take off their wet shoes and begin walking up the beach. I go from standing on one leg to the other, tired of standing still and ready for some action. I don’t have to wait long before they are only a few feet away and just a second later Gale gives Peeta and I the signal and we step out of hiding, pointing our weapons at the unwanted visitors.
“Well, well, well. Look who we have here.” The captain smirks, showing no fear whatsoever.
“Never thought we’d see you again.” Cato laughs deep in his throat.
“Same here.” I say, giving them a fake smile. “I hope you all are doing well.” Peeta smiles sweetly as well.
“Oh just dandy, thank you.” Cato spits out.
“Well we’d invite you to breakfast but we don’t really have enough food to spare so you’re on your own.” Gale informs them nonchalantly.
“Oh no problem, we have plenty of our own.” The captain says, motioning to a large pack on the mystery man’s back.
“Enough with the chit-chat!” Colette screeches. “Let’s just get this over with!”
“Patience dearie.” The captain calms her. “But you’re right, I’m tired of this, let’s just do what we came for and get back to civilization.” Our eyes widen when he says this. So they knew we were here already. I think to myself. And they only came back to finish us off so that when they get back to the capitol they won’t have to worry about us interfering with them again, not like we have ever since the rebellion, but whatever.
“How about we just say good-bye and head our separate ways.” Peeta suggests calmly.
“Oh you wish.” Cato sneers.
“Consider yourselves warned.” Gale smirks moves closer to them.
“Oh really, you seriously think that the three of you can take on us?” The captain makes a motion with his hand, gesturing to his three companions.
“Yes, we do.” I say.
“Well I guess we’ll let you die thinking that you didn’t go down without a fight.” The captain shrugs.
“What are you going to try and strangle us to death?” Gale jokes.
“Oh, no. We’ll use this.” The captain grins and pulls out a pistol. All the color drains from my face when I see the gun and I move to take Peeta’s hand.
“What about the other girls and the blond guy, I’m pretty sure you didn’t just leave them behind.” Colette asks. Nobody answers.
“Where are they hiding?” She screams. Again, we remain silent. Then the sound of the cocking of the gun is heard and our eyes move to the captain who has his pointer finger on the trigger and is pointing the barrel directly at Peeta’s heart.
“You will tell us or your precious husband will be dead in an instant.” Peeta gulps and I squeeze his hand almost to the point of pain.
“So, where are your friends?” Cato asks.
“We’re not telling!” Gale shouts at them.
“Probably not the best idea.” The captain says and slowly begins pulling back on the trigger.
“Wait!” I call out before the bullet is released. “Don’t shoot him, shoot me instead.” Peeta’s eyes go wide, “No Katniss! Are you crazy?”
“I have a plan, just go along with it.” I whisper and he nods somewhat reluctantly.
“You would really give up your life for him?” The captain asks, an amused look on his features.
“A thousand times.” I reply, the form of Finnick running down the beach towards us just visible out of the corner of my eye giving me the courage to proceed. He is behind the bad guys so they haven’t noticed him yet; I just need to keep talking to give Finnick time to get here.
“How sweet.” The captain smiles a sickly smile. “But I’d still like to shoot him first, don’t worry, you can join him right after.”
“Well I have a bow and once you pull that trigger Colette will also be dead in an instant.” I reply confidently while pointing the arrow right at the girl’s chest.
“No matter, she is of no further use to me anyways.” The captain replies with a shrug.
Cato’s face is now burning with anger, “You liar!” He shouts and lunges for the captain, but before he gets too close the gun moves away from Peeta and the trigger is pulled. A loud pop sounds and Cato falls to the ground. Before the crazy captain can do any more damage Finnick arrives and with the hilt of his dagger hits the guy over the head and he falls to the ground next to a dead Cato. Colette screams and rushes to Cato’s side, telling him that she’s sorry and not to leave her, but he’s gone and there is nothing anyone can do about it.
“Are you all okay?” Finnick asks, coming over to us.
“Yeah, fine.” Gale assures him. “What about the girls?” He adds in a quieter tone.
“Safe and sound.” Finnick replies, “Sorry I didn’t get here sooner.”
“No problem.” Peeta says with a small smile. We then notice that the man who had been standing to the side during this whole ordeal has disappeared along with the pack of their provisions. This leaves Colette who is in no state to fight, with red, puffy eyes and tears still streaming down her cheeks and her shoulders trembling as she sits on her knees next to her dead brother. I do feel a little bad for her but before I can do anything Peeta being the sweet and caring person that he is, bends down beside her and putting an arm around her shoulders whispers soothing words until the girl begins to calm down. After a few minutes he helps her stand up and brings her over to Gale, Finnick and I.
“So I guess you’ll just take the boat and go back to the capitol?” Gale asks. Colette shrugs and wipes her eyes on her shirtsleeve.
“Don’t think that’ll be happening anytime soon.” Finnick announces. “Look.” All of us turn to where he is pointing to find that one of boats is now gone.
“Probably that other guy.” I mutter. “Yeah, who was he?” Peeta asks Colette.
“I-I don’t really know. He never spoke and I assumed that he was just another guy that needed money and was working for the captain.” She replies. It is strange to see the tough girl breaking down like this, weak and vulnerable.
“So are you going to leave or stay here?” Peeta asks.
“Probably stay here, I could never get back alone.” She replies.
“That’s no problem as long as you are civil to the rest of us and don’t try to kill us in our sleep.” Finnick jokes.
“I never wanted to hurt you.” She blurts out. “I was just in need of money and because of our past I jumped at the chance of revenge, but it cost my brother’s life and I’ll never get involved in something like that again.”
“That’s okay, at least you didn’t hurt any of us.” Finnick smiles.
“Yeah, but I would have!” She counters.
“It doesn’t matter as long as you don’t do anything now.”
“I promise I won’t.” She replies solemnly.
“Good.” Gale smiles and shakes her hand. “So if you aren’t taking the boat and none of us could ever get back home how about we put ‘unconscious’ over here in it and see if he can get back once he wakes up.” We turn to the unconscious captain comically planted face first in the sand.
“Sounds like a pretty good idea Gale.” I agree.
“Well let’s get it over with before he comes to.” Peeta says and begins tentatively walking over to the man.
“Don’t worry, I hit him pretty hard.” Finnick grins and walks over to help. The two boys drag the man down the beach and throw him into the boat. After taking out a backpack that could possibly be useful, they, with Gale’s help push the boat out into the water and we all watch as it rides the waves out of site.
“Well hopefully that’s the last we’ll be seeing of him.” Finnick says, wiping his hands on his pants.
“Me too.” I agree.
“Now, Gale and Peeta you guys can begin on a small shelter for Colette to stay in while she’s here and I’ll go and retrieve the girls.” Finnick orders.
“So they were hiding!” Colette grins.
“Yes, but don’t get any ideas.” Gale says, “No one lays a hand on my woman and gets away with it!”
“Don’t worry man, I’d never cross you.” Colette replies somewhat jokingly.
“See you soon!” Finnick calls and with that he sprints off in the opposite direction to get Madge and Annie.
“Well then.” Peeta says once Finnick is out of sight. “Where would you like your shelter to be?”
“Doesn’t matter.” Colette says. We show her Finn and Annie’s place, then Madge and Gale’s and last of all, Peeta’s and mine.
“Wow, you all did a really great job building these.” She compliments.
“It’s not much, but it does its job.” Peeta replies humbly.
Colette finally decides on a location with a cluster of a few trees for her shelter to be built. We now have a large square of the different shelters and paths to each one.
Finnick arrives a few minutes after we’ve begun to build and Gale immediately stops to meet Madge, lifting her up in his arms and swinging her around and giving her kisses all over her face while asking if she is alright. She just nods and smiles the whole time until Gale sets her down but doesn’t let go of hand.
The backpack that the boys had taken from the boat is actually Colette’s with her clothes and supplies so we don’t have to part with any of our things.
“Hey, how about some lunch?” Finnick suggests.
“Great, I’m starved!” Peeta and Gale announce at the same time while rubbing their stomachs.
“Good, because we’re having mangos! Again.”