Chapter 13: Betrayal

As I woke up I enjoyed the few first minutes of peace until the events from last night came crashing into my mind. I looked over at Josh who was peacefully asleep on the other cot. I didn't want to disturb him. He seemed to trust her wholeheartedly as he just sleep there. I could've killed him right then and there. But I didn't. Of course I couldn't. Something inside of me felt a little warm. This feeling came with an alarm going off in my head. This could not happen. She couldn't have feelings for anyone if she wanted to be crowned victor. She pushed the thought away and scratched in a note on the tree trunk. Her stomach growled and she slung her bow and arrows on her shoulder. She needed breakfast and apparently so did Josh. She climbed down the tree, and went into the jungle.

She didn't realize until an hour later how loud her feet were stomping. She took a deep breath and tread as light as she could. She barely made a sound. She looked around her and spotted a gray furred monkey just sitting on a branch. She inched slowly towards it and aimed her arrow. She let it fly and it hit the monkey's skull. The monkey fell to the ground and she went over to get it. I looked all around to find some dry sticks to build a fire. I just about had enough to make a fire when I heard a branch snap. I instictiveley dropped down and pulled my arrow up. Lily parted the branches and stepped into the clearing. I relaxed, but only a little bit. She saw my glare and knew why I was mad. "Look Sym, I couldn't have done anything about the girl from Ten or Josh." She pleaded with me. I just glared at her. She took a deep breath and went on. "But you know, you didn't have to kill Turk." She said. I couldn't beleive my ears. What the heck! Oblivous to my expressions, she went on. "Shelby really liked Turk and he really liked her back. I mean they were, I don't know, soulmates. You didn't have to kill him." She said. She fell silent as I looked toward her and aimed my arrow straight at her heart. "You have five seconds before I kill you to get the hell out of here. You are allied with the Careers and I will NOT be an ally to someone who gives sentiment to them. Oh, and if you tell them where I am. The next time I see you, YOU will be the one with the arrow in your skull. Go!" I said. She looked stunned and I started counting. "One....Two...." I said. She looked at me wide eyed and then scurried off. Probably towards the Careers. I knew me and Josh only had a limited head start, so I ran as fast as I could. The monkey hanging beside me.

When I climb up the tree, Josh is awake and reading the note. I scramble up and he sees me. I say a quick "Hello." and fill him in on what just happened. He sits back and helps me put everything in my backpack. We climb down and I suddenly remember the monkey in my hand. I quickly skin and cook it. Careful not to let the smoke to billow and then we eat on the way. We are jogging for what seems like an hour, until he stops to take a rest. He drinks all the water in my water bottle and I say laughing, "Hey! I wanted some." Really I didn't need any. I wasn't even breathing that hard. He looks at me disbeleiving and says, "Oh, please. You don't need this." He then takes another long drink of the water. I roll my eyes and smile. He finishes up and we keep walking a little slower now. He knaws on the monkey bone and I say, "Are you hungry again?" He smiles sheepishly. "I thought you got a training score of eight, not two." I say smiling. His mouth drops open and he fakes a hurt face, "You better take that back." He says in mocking way. I roll my eyes and he laughs. "And I thought you got an eleven." He says smirking. "I did, because I am much better than you." I say and take off running. He chases after me and catches up with me. I laugh as he tells me to slow down, and I slow down saying, "What you can't run that fast?" I smile at him and he makes a lunge for me. I sidestep it easily and he laughs as he falls on the ground. I help him up and say, "Still hungry?"

I shoot an arrow through two colorful birds and start roasting them. Josh climbs a tree and lays out the cots. I looke around for the Careers, but they seem strangely absent. I just shrug it off and get back to roasting the birds. They are pretty good, once you roast them. The monkey was okay, but these are delicous. I find myself too knawing on the bones after dinner and Josh teases me. I look up at the sky and nobody appears. The Gamemakers will probably get bored and start trying to kill us. As the national anthem ends, it goes pitch dark and we lie there trying hard to sleep and trying hard not to.

After a little while, I think Josh is asleep, but he asks me suddenly, "Hey Sym?" I take a deep breath and say, "Yeah?" "You know that girl I was talking about in my interview?" He asks. My heart beats faster and I struggle to breathe as I say, "Yeah." He takes a deep breath and says, "Well, that was you." For a moment I can't say anything. He turns to me and I look at him. He's studying my reaction, but I'm truely stunned. Then he does something I will never forget, he kisses me. It's not a passionate one. I just freeze up. I can't move at all. I really wish this wasn't televised. I look like a freak. He finally pulls back and he studies me. I look at him and he looks at me. Then I lean foward and kiss him. He seems surprised, but doesn't show it as he kisses me back. We pull away and he says, "I've always wanted to do that." I just sit back and he looks at me. "Why did you volunteer?" I ask him. He smiles at me and says, "I think you aready know why." I nod. I do. He volunteered to protect me. I take a deep breath and look up at the sky. He starts to stroke my hair and I fall asleep, content.

I am awoken near dawn by someone shuffiling around and some muffled whispers. My heart starts beating at the speed of light. Someone has found us and is at the base of our tree. I remain still and look across to Josh. He is sound asleep. How could he not notice the people down there? Then I hear something terrible, someone is climbing up. I am just about to scream when someone's head pokes up. It's Brawn. He smiles a cruel smile and whispers, "Time to go." He grabs my mouth as I'm about to scream. He cuts me off so Josh doesn't wake up. He throws my bow and arrows onto the ground and Shine catches them. He then throws my backpack too. I look over at Josh and he is still sound asleep. Again, How could he not hear this? Brawn pulls white cloth out of his backpack and ties it around my mouth. I am trying hard to get Josh's attention, but to no avail. Brawn scratches something into the bark, probably a note, and then lowers me down to Shine and the rest of the Careers. They smile evily and someone knocks me out from behind. My last thought as I see Lily smiling evily is... I have been betrayed.

Read Chapter 14!

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