"You aren't supposed to be training." Mom hands me another cup of tea. I take it in both my hands, sipping graciously and slowly. An hour ago everyone left me alone. Except mom, who wanted to make sure I was okay and calmed down before sending me back to bed. It's almost three in the morning, and I'm still over angry with Tori. She has no right to be wearing something so special to my Aunt.
"I don't care." I don't mean to sound so sharp to my mother, but she doesn't notice, just turns away from me. I notice her swelling stomach under the red night shirt.
"You should start respecting Tori. I expect it from now on. Those aren't your close, you can't stop her from wearing-"
"They aren't hers either." I stand, my voice rising, but she sits me back down.
"Just learn to be nice to people, okay?"
"I'll be nice, when she leaves."
"She isn't leaving, you know that." I shrug the soft blanket she wrapped me in of my shoulders and dart up the stairs, she doesn't chase after me, but sighs loud enough for me to hear. I slam my door in return and tear off my leather gloves, throwing them across the room, then my jacket and boots. I lay on the bed, crying silently. My life was perfect before the games, why is everything falling apart now?
I almost cry myself to sleep, until I hear very faint footsteps outside my door. I silently get off the bed, walking to the door without a sound.
"For God's sake Tori!" A snarl comes from Tori's room a little ways away from mine.
"Quick, we have to go." Go, where? I don't hear anything else until the must have entered the kitchen, where their footsteps are audible. I sneak to the other end of my room, pull back on my boots over the leggings, and gloves. Then my jacket, and find the extra belt in my closet, already stocked with knives. I open the door, checking to make sure everyone's asleep. I heard mom go to bed a few minutes ago, so it's clear. Sneaking down the steps, I try to listen to anything they might say, but they make no sound except a pen scratching on paper in the dining room.
Then the front door shuts. They left, but where? I follow them, trying to stay quiet, until we get to the woods. They are heading to the docks, not far from our house, just a half mile through the forest. I know I won't be able to keep quiet in the twig-ridden woods in the dark because of my back, which is killing me.
I take a deep breath, losing they're shadows in the darkness of the woods. I take a few more breaths until stopping and closing my eyes. Something deep down changes, and I feel a bit better. I open my eyes again, this time I'm lower to the ground. I'm a panther now. (I meant panther in the last chapters instead of black jaguar, I get my big cats mixed up a lot!)
I don't know where my clothes go when I transform, but when I change back they reappear, so I guess it doesn't matter. But right now I have bigger things to focus on, my sister, and my so called cousin.
I creep through the forest, using my claws to tiptoe over roots and dried leaves. Tori nor Queenie's dark figures say anything for a long time, until we reach the docks.
Queenie helps Tori onto Aunt's ship. What are they doing? Why are they being so secretive? I have to know, or it will eat me alive. My panther body is larger than my human one, so I quickly change back, gaining all my cloths and belt, then sneak on the boat. They don't notice when I slip in the lowest floor of the boat.
When the time is right, and I think the sun has risen, I creep up to the second of the three floors below deck. I was right, the sun is rising. And the boat is starting to move.