Weeks turned into months and both Madge and Annie are quite large, both being a little over 6 months pregnant now. Now that they are less than 3 months away from giving birth, both Finnick and Gale are more protective than ever. Peeta and I spend most of our time together except when I hunt with Gale around twice a week. Colette has seemed to be more and more distant; I mean she never did become great friends with us but now more than ever she stays to herself. None of us ever thought to be suspicious of the things she does when she’s alone until today.
“Find anything in your snares worth eating?” I ask Gale. We had gone separate ways to check on the snares then met up in our special meeting place.
“Sure did.” He grins, holding up two squirrels.
“Well, look what I got.” I say with a proud smirk and show him my three plump rabbits and a meaty looking bird.
“It was just those two snares.” Gale replies with a shrug.
“Yeah whatever.” I roll my eyes. After putting our catch in the bag we begin our 20-minute trek back to camp.
“Hey, want to make a quick stop at the waterfall and cool of a bit?”
Gale shakes his head, “Nah, I need to get back to Madge.”
“Gale, she’s only pregnant, you can’t be like this all the time or she’s going to start to feel even more claustrophobic.” I tell him.
“Really? I don't know about that...”
“How would you know, you’ve never been pregnant.” He counters.
“Yes, but I’m a girl, I know things.”
“Fine then, but only for a few minutes. I don’t want her to worry.” Gale relents and we change our direction just a little so that we can get to the waterfall. We must already be pretty close because I can here the water cascading off of the rocks from where we are.
We leave our game in the pack on the ground and hurry to the cool, refreshing water. We don’t go all the way in but just take off our shoes and wade in to the frayed ends of our shorts.
“See, doesn’t this feel nice?” I ask smiling.
“Yeah, it does.” Gale sighs contentedly and splashes some of the water onto his arms and neck. The water feels so delicious I wish that I had brought my swimsuit along. Then I remember that tonight Peeta and I are heading to our little pool further down the beach and I smile.
“What are you smiling about?” Gale asks smirking.
“Oh I’m just excited about mine and Peeta’s date tonight.” I sing song.
“Man you’d think you two were still dating.” He mumbles under his breath but still loud enough for me to hear him.
“Yeah, isn’t it nice?” I sigh and smile again.
“Enjoy it while you can then Catnip.”
“I will, thank you. What about you and Madge, any plans for this evening?”
“I don’t know. Madge isn’t much fun now a days, just really tired all the time.”
“Only three more months Gale, just three more. I’m sure you’ll survive.” I say laughing.
“Oh I know I will. I can’t wait to have a kid!”
“So do you want it to be a boy or girl?” I ask.
“I’m good with either one, but I’d love to have a little girl with curly blond hair like her mom’s but maybe my color of eyes.”
“That’s going to be one pretty girl Gale.”
“Yeah, she sure will be. She'll be shooting a bow by the time she can walk.”
I laugh and smack his arm. "You're going to have to take that up with Madge."
"Yeah, but I'm sure she'll be fine with it."
I just roll my eyes, unable to imagine Madge allowing her baby girl to handle a bow and arrow.
“We should probably head back now.” He suggests and begins making his way back to land.
“Okay.” I agree and follow behind. We slip into our sandals and Gale picks up the game, slings it over his shoulder and we make our way back to camp.
We have only been walking for a few minutes before my hunting senses pick up a faint voice. Stopping I whisper to Gale, “Did you hear that?” He nods in response, “Yeah, sounds like someone is talking through those bushes there.”
“Who do you think it is?” I ask nervously.
“I don’t know, maybe Finnick and Annie?” He suggests.
“I doubt it, doesn’t sound like either of them.”
“Well let’s find out.” Gale holds his pointer finger to his lips and leads to way, both of us making hardly any sound as we near the clump of bushes. The voice gets a little louder as well but I can tell that whoever is talking is trying to keep their voice as low as possible. Must mean that they are trying to hide something.
We arrive at the line of bushes a few moments later and stop, straining our ears to try and listen to the conversation. I don’t hear anything at first but then a strange static sound is heard and then a cracking voice. I glance sideways at Gale and he just shrugs, indicating that he doesn’t understand it either. But then the voice that we heard before begins speaking.
“…I know, I’m trying. But two of the women are 6 months pregnant and I just can’t try anything now.” I gasp and Gale clamps his hand tightly over my mouth. My eyes are wide open and my cheeks are heating up with anger. I know that voice. It belongs to Colette, the girl we’ve been blindly trusting all these months.
“...Do you think I could leave now”? She whines, “I’m tired of living on this island. It would be really easy for me to just disappear, I know that you have a ship. I still can’t believe I’m working for you after you killed my brother though. Yes I need the money but just for the record, I still hate you.”
I slowly pry Gale’s hand from my mouth but keep quiet. My legs are beginning to cramp up from crouching down but I don’t dare to move. I know how to be patient while waiting to pounce on my next meal. I can wait for hours in the same position and so can Gale. Guess it's a good thing if we don't want Colette to find us.
“…So why exactly do you want me to kill them all again? I can’t believe why you are doing this all for revenge, you must be pretty desperate. Yeah yeah, I know what they did, but just remember that it’s 6 against one, and the tiger didn’t end up killing the handsome boy from 12. He was unconscious for a time, I even volunteered to keep watch over him during the night, but that pregnant wife of his slept practically on top of him the entire time and I didn’t get the chance.
This time I have to hold Gale back otherwise if I let him have his own way he’d probably barge out there and get himself killed on the spot. I find a little peek hole through the bushes and spy through. Sure enough, Colette is sitting in the entrance of a little shelter that is totally stuffed with supplies. So that’s where she got that backpack she brought us. I think to myself. Growing more and more angry by the second. Colette must have some kind of communication with the outside world and a ship that could possibly bring us home if we could find it. The crackling voice sounds again but we can’t understand anything it says, I’m guessing that it is the captain. We should have killed him when we had the chance.
Colette then sets the walkie-talkie thing in a pack in her shelter and pulls out some bread. My mouth waters at the sight of it. I make up my mind right then that when she is away, we will come back and get some of the food for ourselves.
Gale then motions for us to go, so we slowly stand up, and without crunching too loudly on the leaves we make our silent departure.
Once we are out of hearing Gale speaks, “Okay, so we’re going to act as though nothing has happened. We don’t want Colette becoming suspicious. That way we have an advantage. I’ll tell the guys so that they can always keep an eye open, but I don’t suggest telling the girls, don’t need them freaking out about something they can’t do anything about.” I nod in agreement.
“Sure, although it’ll be quite difficult to act the same around Colette now that we know that she has been lying to us all this time.”
“Yeah it will, we’ll just have to do our best. We don’t see her very often anyways.”
“I guess.” I reply quietly and we continue on our way back to camp. A few minutes later we return. Finnick and Annie are out on the beach collecting seashells, Madge is taking a nap and Peeta is sitting outside our shelter shaping a piece of wood with his pocket knife. I wave good-bye to Gale and we head our separate ways. I just can't wait to tell Peeta my news, Gale had promised to tell Finnick. I’m so glad that I don’t have to keep something this big from Peeta, I don’t think I could do it. I feel really bad for Gale and Finnick who will be keeping this news to themselves, for now.
“Hey Kat! What took you so long?” I smile and give Peeta a kiss before sitting down next to him.
“Oh just the usual, catching our food, taking a quick dip in the waterfall and finding out that Colette has been lying to us this whole time, nothing strange.”
“What?” Peeta almost falls out of his seat. “What was that you said about Colette again?” He asks once he is seated normally again.
“Well, Gale and I were on our way home and we heard her talking on a walkie-talkie to the captain of our sunken ship.”
“Okay.” He takes a deep breath. “And what did you hear, exactly?”
“Well she was sitting outside a shelter full of supplies, and get this Peeta, she had bread!”
“What? She’s had provisions all along and didn’t tell us?”
“Yes. She was saying that she’s not going to try anything right now because Madge and Annie are pregnant. Also the tiger was actually supposed to kill Gale and she was whining that she wants to be picked up from the island. Peeta there is a ship nearby, we might be able to get back after all!”
Peeta smiles and gives me a hug, “We can only hope Kat.”
“Guess so.” I reply and give him another small kiss.
“So, um, are you hungry?” He asks.
“Very! Oh and I have some good meat for supper tonight.”
“Oh good. Well Finnick brought over two fish earlier this morning so I thought we’d have that and some fruit for lunch.”
“I am so craving something different to eat.” I complain.
“Believe me, so am I. Hopefully we will soon, if we can get some of Colette’s food.” Peeta says.
“Yeah, but I have to wonder how the food gets here without us knowing, I mean the island is pretty small.” I muse.
“No idea. They must do it quietly somehow in the middle of the night or something.”
I shrug, “We’ll find out soon enough.”
“I sure hope so Kat.” Peeta has already made a small fire so we sit together and cook our lunch and each munch on a mango while we wait for the fish to get crispy.
“Excited about our date tonight?” Peeta asks with a sly smile on his lips. I nod, my mouth full of the yellow goodness. Chewing quickly, then swallowing I reply, “Very excited. I feel like we’re dating again. Remember when you would come to my house almost every day because you said you wanted to ‘do it right’, and before we left my mom would always call after us telling me to be home by 10.”
Peeta chuckles, “I sure do remember. Those were good times.”
“And at least twice a week you would leave a bouquet of flowers from the meadow and a basket of cheese buns on my doorstep.” I smile at the memory.
“I’m surprised you didn’t make yourself fat on the amount of cheese buns you ate!”
“Hey!” I say defensively. “You’re the one that made them for me!”
“And I loved making them for you.” He smiles and gives me a kiss. The fish is soon ready to eat so I grab us each a plate and fork and we dig into our meager but sufficient meal.
“So, what do you want to do until tonight?” Peeta asks while wiping his hands and mouth and throwing the fish bones into our personal compost pile a few yards away.
“I don’t know. Whatever you want to do.” I say indifferently.
“That’s no help.” He pouts.
“Um okay. We could take a nap?” I suggest lamely.
“That’s no fun.”
“Yeah I know, so how about you choose something to do.” I recommend.
“Fine, how about we check out Colette’s supply shelter!”
“I don’t know.” I say quietly.
“Come on Kat, I want some real food!” Peeta whines.
“Me too, but she probably has a gun, and Gale also said that we’ll talk about it and make our move when she’s out of the way. We’re supposed to pretend that we don’t know anything for now.” I tell him.
“Oh fine. Let’s just go for a walk down the beach then.”
Peeta puts out the fire and I rinse our plates off with a little water from a
bucket. I grab my sunglasses from inside and re-braid my hair. Then I leave my
sandals at the door and we set off, hand in hand.
The sun is shining like most days and only a few wispy clouds float around the vast of blueness. A peaceful breeze blows the short hairs that don’t stay in my braid across my face and the smell of salt water is in the air. We make our way down to the beginning of the water and let the small waves break over our ankles.
“I’ll miss this when we go back.” I say, breaking the silence.
“Me too. But we can always visit District 4’s beach and stay with Finnick and Annie in a real house.” Peeta replies.
“Yeah.” I agree with a small sigh. “That’d be nice.”
Peeta swings our linked hands between our bodies and we continue our stroll down the beach.
“Hey Kat, what’s that over there?” My eyes look in the direction that his finger is pointing. “What, I don’t see anything.”
“It’s a lifeboat!” I squint my eyes and try to see it through the rays of the sun and finally after a few moments of carefully focusing on that one place I see it. Very faintly way down the beach sure enough there is a lifeboat, two men, and a woman, probably Colette. It seems as though they are unloading supplies although I’m quite surprised that they would do it in the brightness of day.
“I see it.” I tell Peeta. “Looks like they are bringing Colette supplies.”
“Maybe if we stole their lifeboat, we could find the larger ship that they are staying on, and threaten the captain to sail us back to Panem!”
“I doubt that’d ever happen so don’t get your hopes up. We’ll just have to wait for a rescue ship to come and pick us up.” I tell him logically.
“Yeah, I suppose you’re right.” He shrugs dejectedly then falls silent.
“Should we still check it out though?” I ask, still watching the figures piling supplies up on the beach.
“We’d have to hurry before the guys set off again.” Peeta replies.
“Well, I’m a pretty fast runner.” I say with a smirk.
“Let’s go then.” Peeta gives my hand a squeeze and we take off. We move closer and closer to the line of trees so that we won’t be so totally visible and pretty soon we are nearing the people. It’s a good thing too because as we arrive they have just set the last box on the sand.
“She has more stuff than she’ll ever use or eat!” I whisper angrily to Peeta.
“Now would have been a perfect time to get some bread from her secret stash.” He grumbles back.
“Don’t worry, we’ll get some.” I promise and move my eyes back to the couple on the beach.
“Okay listen closely, I have an idea.” Peeta whispers a moment later.
“All ears.” I reply.
“Okay. So I say that we wait for Colette to head back into the woods then we swim behind the lifeboat and follow it, then maybe we can find where the big ship is hiding with the supplies. We then come back, tell the others, pack up and take over the ship!”
“Sounds good to me.”
Peeta smiles and kisses my cheek. “Let’s just hope it works. We wait at least 20 minutes before all of the supplies have been taken into the woods, Colette waves goodbye to the man who I now know is not the captain but the guy working for him, and disappears into the woods. We wait another minute until the guy has pushed off and is rowing back around the island then we sprint across the sand and into the water, paddling quickly but quietly towards the boat. We keep a safe distance behind so that he doesn’t hear us but close enough so that we won’t lose him.
We stop for a break now and then when we get too close. The sandy shore is now quite far away and the water is deep beneath us.
“Do you think we should have told Finnick or Gale where we were going first?” I ask Peeta while treading water beside him.
“We didn’t have time, and besides they probably wouldn’t have let us go alone. We would have made more noise with three or four of us too.”
“Okay.” I reply simply and we resume swimming again. My arms and legs are beginning to burn after about half an hour of constant swimming, but finally we come to a tiny island that we never even noticed from our island and there before us, is a huge ship. We stay back, just treading water and watch the man in the lifeboat pull it up onto the small sandy beach and another man come towards him. They seem to be talking but I can’t hear anything and it’s driving me crazy! The other man appears to be the captain. We watch their exchange for a few minutes then Peeta speaks, “We should probably get back, we’ll talk to the others and make plans to come back. We just might be seeing home again after all.”
I give him a happy but tired smile and we begin swimming all the way back to our home island.
“I can’t believe they’ve been there all along!” I fume at Peeta, swimming on my back next to him.
“Well the captain had to have gotten a ship so they probably haven’t been there all 5 months.”
“Yeah I guess.” I reply and we continue on our way.
Twenty minutes later we drag our tired selves up onto the beach and all the way back to camp.
“You still want to go on our date tonight?” Peeta asks tiredly.
“I’m too tired.” I groan, dragging my feet behind me.
“Let’s just eat something and go to bed then.” He suggests.
“Sounds perfect.” I smile weakly and take his hand.
We arrive back at the camp a few minutes later and are bombarded with worried faces and hundreds of questions.
Ignoring their worries Peeta announces, “Boy do we have some news for you!”