Always and Forever


A loud banging awakes me from my slumber early the next morning.

“Peeta, you going to get that?” I groan and feel around with my hand on the spot beside me, it’s cold. My eyes fly open and I sit up, searching all over our room.

“Peeta? Where are you?” Suddenly the bathroom door opens up and he steps out, a towel wrapped around his waist and his hair all wet and messy.

“What’s wrong Kat?” He asks, coming over to me and gathering me into his arms.

“I’m fine now, I just woke up and you were gone.” “I’m sorry, I couldn’t go back to sleep and didn’t want to wake you so I just took a shower.” We pull apart when the knocking on our door continues.

“I’ll get it.” I say and grab my housecoat pulling it on on my way to the door. After unlocking the many locks that are on the door and swinging it open I just stand there.

“Gale? What are you doing here?” My jaw drops when I see his face. Pale, dark circles under his eyes, I’ve only seen this once before and it was a very long time ago, he’s scared!

“Have you seen Madge?” He tries to ask casually, but I can tell he’s kind of freaked out.

“Uh no I haven’t, just woke up. Why Gale? What happened?” I invite him into the room where Peeta is now dressed and sitting on the edge of the bed and motion for him to sit down.

He takes a deep breath, “She told me earlier this morning that she needed a little bit of fresh air and would only be gone for a few minutes. I asked her if she wanted me to go with her but she said that she just wanted a little time alone; and that was over an hour ago!”

I sit down beside him and gently pat him on the back. “I’m sure she’s fine Gale, just lost track of time. How about we go look for her?” I suggest.

“That’s just it though Catnip, I’ve already been to where she told me she would be and she’s not there! I’m really worried about her.”

“I know, we’ll find her, just let me get changed real quick and we can go.” I grab a pair of black skinny jeans and a light blue tank and change in the bathroom; five minutes later we’re leaving our room and locking up behind us.

“Thanks so much for coming with me.” Gale says sincerely. “I don’t know what I would do if I lost her.” I just give him a small smile and take Peeta’s hand, and the three of us begin our search for the missing Madge Hawthorne.

“So where exactly did she tell you she was going?” I ask, trying to get some information that’ll help us to find her.

“Uh I think she mentioned the top deck.” “Good enough.” I say and hurry up all the flights of steps to the top deck. It is surprisingly quiet for 9am, not a soul in sight. A few minutes later the three of us are standing at the very top of the boat, which is pretty high from the water and waves below.

“Do you see her?” Gale asks, frantically looking all around for the golden head that belongs to his young wife. Peeta and I shake our heads in unison.

“Don’t worry man.” Peeta pats him on the back comfortingly. “We’ll find her eventually, she has to be on this boat.”

“Thanks Peet, that really helps.” Gale replies somewhat sarcastically. After a few more minutes of examining the deck for the missing Madge I decide to send Gale back to his room to check and see if she has come back yet, and Peeta and I continue searching on the different decks.

“Do you think that we should ask someone, maybe a maid or somebody if they have seen Madge this morning?” Peeta asks me once Gale has left and it is just the two of us.

“That’s not a bad idea.”

“What about that woman over there sweeping the deck?” I peer over in the direction he is subtly pointing. Sure enough a small lady in a crisp white uniform and hat has a broom in her hands and is sweeping furiously. I just nod as my answer and the two of us walk over to her.

Peeta then clears his throat loudly and she looks up and us, a little startled.

“May I help you?” she asks politely. I let Peeta handle the talking.

“Yes ma’am, I was just wondering if you had noticed a young woman about 21 years old with long golden, blond hair out on the top deck earlier this morning.” She seems to ponder his question for a moment, like she is trying to remember something.

“Do you know her?” She finally asks. I nod and speak up, “Yes she is the wife of my friend, the four of us came together.”

“Oh, I didn’t think she was married.” She mutters under her breath. I glance at Peeta and see that he heard it too.

“So you saw her?” He says excitedly. She nods slowly, “Yes she was conversing with two men, both dressed in black, then she walked away with them, that way.” She points to a staircase going down deeper into the ship.

“And about how long ago was that?” The maid looks at her watch then replies, “About half an hour ago.”

“Thank you so much.” Peeta flashes her a smile and she blushes but quickly looks down and returns to her sweeping.

“Are you thinking what I’m thinking?” I whisper to Peeta when we’re alone again.

“That those people she talked to then left with are those two men studying the layout of the ship from last night?” I nod.

“I don’t have a very good feeling about this.”

Peeta gives my hand a squeeze. “I’m sure she’s fine Kat, we’ll find her.” It does little to comfort me but I trust him with my life so I just let it go.

“We’d better head back to the room and let Gale know before going down those stairs.” He suggests. I agree and together we make our way back to our rooms.

Gale is just exiting his room when we walk up, his face falls as soon as he sees that his wife is absent. “Did you find out anything?”

“Yeah, she was seen talking to two men in black then walked away with them and went down some stairs.” I tell him.

His jaw drops and he looks shocked. “Like the men in black we were watching yesterday?” I nod.

“But I don’t know why they would take Madge, I wonder if it has something to do with them and that map, although I don’t know what.”

“Well what are we standing around here for, let’s find my wife before something bad happens to her!”

“We’ll find her Gale.” I assure him. “I just hope that maid wasn’t lying to us.” And with that the three of us head back to the stairs where we could very well find Madge.

“I wonder how they got her to go with them so easily without making a scene.” I murmur to myself.

“Probably threatened her with Gale or something.” Peeta says. We soon arrive at our destination and begin descending the long set of steps.

“I think this is where people with less money have their rooms.” Gale whispers as we walk quietly down a long, dark and musty hallway. He is probably correct; doors line both walls although no sounds come from any of live indicating any signs of life.

Most of the doors that we try to open are locked, no surprise there. I’m starting to get quite hungry a while later when we still haven’t located Madge. Soon we come to a fork in the hallway, “We should split up.” Peeta mentions.

“Okay, you take Catnip, I’ll go alone.” Gale says and immediately starts walking down the right hallway so we take the left. This one is even darker than the one before, the only light emitting from the tiny slit under each door. We’ve only been walking for less than five minutes when we come to another fork.

“Okay, I’ll take this one, you take that one.” I tell him.

“Kat, I don’t want you going alone.”

“Don’t worry about me Peeta, I’ll be fine.” And before he can protest I rush into the right hallway. This one is a little brighter so I can actually see in front of me. The doors on either side of me soon become farther and farther apart until they stop altogether. I am just about to turn around because there is clearly nothing down here when I feel hands clamp down onto my mouth and a blindfold being put over my eyes. I get in a few good kicks and punches before my captor ties my hands tightly behind my back and forces me to walk. I obey because it’s the only thing I can do, but keep hoping that Peeta or Gale will come and rescue me in the next few seconds.

I can’t believe how stupid I was telling Peeta that I could go alone, now I will probably be in the same dilemma as Madge. On the good side I might get to see her, but that won’t help Peeta or Gale much.

I hear a door being opened and someone pushes me inside roughly. They then sit me down on a chair and untie my hands only to retie them behind my back again but this time attached to the chair. As soon as my kidnappers hand releases my mouth I let out an ear piercing scream only to have a gag quickly tied around my mouth making me choke.

Thankfully they take my blindfold off so that I can see where I am being held and who my captor or captors are. I am in a small square room with a small bed in one corner and a TV and desk on the other side, I am tied to a chair right in the heart of the room.

I try speaking but only gurgled sounds come out and I can’t even understand myself. Then I just glare at them, letting them now that I am not scared. There are two people dressed identically alike in all black wearing masks, one is tall and muscular and a little bit of blond hair sticks out from under the mask, the person beside him is a lot smaller and could possibly be a girl.

The big guy speaks first, “Nice of you to join our little party.” His voice is practically dripping with venom. The smaller person just laughs a high-pitched laugh. Definitely a girl, I think to myself.

“I think your little friend was getting lonely.” I quickly turn my head to find Madge in the same state that I am, we’re back to back. I glare at him again, but he just laughs evilly.

“You are probably wondering why you are here.” I nod, well duh. “Well I wanted to make sure that you were out of the way for the plans that my sister and I have in the next few days. I know that you like to investigate, don’t think that I didn’t notice you four staring at us last evening.” I just roll my eyes, trying to act nonchalant. At the same time I remember thinking that they're were two men in the dining room last night, not a boy and girl. I guess we could have been mistaken.

“You see,” he continues, “My sister and I have been studying this ship so that we can sink it at the right time.” My eyes go wide at what he just said. “That’s right, we’re going to sink this ship, just taking a little revenge.” At this I get a confused look on my face and he just laughs again.

“Oh yes, I said revenge, for everything you and your little friends put me and my sister through.” I am beginning to understand what he is saying, and I think I know who our captors are now, I wonder if Madge knows. Then he and his sister pull off their masks revealing the two people that I had thought I’d seen that last of three years ago.

Cato and Colette.

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