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Patty Abe ran through the forest, barely seeing the brush get thicker and taller as she ran. Tears flew backwards from her face as she sprinted. Her sister had had so many wishes, dreams, hopes...She had been so hopeful when no one else was. She had had great desires for graduation, college, life with Bart, a family of her own, and that one man in the arena had never let her have the chance. Now Patty's desire was for revenge.
Max was completely and utterly satisfied. All the supplies from both slaughtered camps were his own, the people back home knew he wasn't one to mess with, and Bart and his precious little Serena were both out of the picture and onto the spit. One didn't refuse meat in the arena. That other girl had probably seen enough of his power to stay away forever. Bart had mentioned her briefly as Patty. She seemed a bit old for the arena, but whatever. She was no threat.
Patty had found a cluster of trees where a few branches overlapped enough for her to camp there temporarily. She sat on the triangular seat the branches made and sobbed for her best friend and her sister. Whoever that murderer was on the beach, he would die. How easy to make it was another decision. Suddenly, her movements stilled. She held her breath without thinking about it, surprised at her instincts. A muscular, orange-haired man was moving through the jungle below her. She almost leapt right out of the tree to bring him down, but she didn't. She knew that this required more finesse. She wanted to kill him in the best way, in a way to let the families at home know that any evilness, in Max or Alexander, couldn't go unpunished. So she had to get there slowly. There's a way to outwit everyone. Even a killing machine. So she scurried as silently as she could until she was in front of him, and afte summoning all the gut she had, threw a banana down at him. He tensed, readied his club, looked up. Patty smiled down at him, and recognition crossed his face. He wanted to climb up and kill her, but he couldn't. He could see the branches wouldn't support a weight heavier than hers. So he asked, "Why the banana?" Forcing herself to keep a friendly tone, she said, "Heck, you can have 'em all. I'm allergic." "Are you by any chance Patty?" "In the flesh. Who are you?" "Max McDermott. And I'm winning the Battles, so you might as well climb down and let me kill you now." Patty laughed at his 'come down and let me kill you'. "I may throw bananas, but I'm not stupid enough to come down to a big guy like you. Pact, maybe?" Max was flattered. Finally, some recognition of how powerful he was. Besides that Patty was obviously a genius, she was hot, and stealthy. Bart needed a replacement. "Sure," he said. With a little squeal like she was elated, Patty climbed down and pecked him on the cheek. "So, are you older or younger than Serena?" Max asked curiously. Up close, she was clearly done with puberty. "Older. Twenty-one, to be exact," Patty replied, angry that Max had known enough about Serena to know her name. "You're not a teen?" Max said incredulously. She laughed. "You look a bit too mature for the Goth Battles too. You're what, twenty-two?" Patty's strategy was becoming clearer in her mind. She was a talented flirt, and Max was obviously flatterable. Soon murder would be pheasable.
Max stared up at the stars, wondering how an attraction happened so fast. Was it normal, or was it Patty, or was it him? He'd never had a girlfriend before. He knew almost nothing about it, but he felt drawn to his new ally. He imagined she liked him too. Who wouldn't, after seeing what he could do, how deadly he was? He'd have to kill her eventually, but that could wait. He scooted closer to Patty, slowly. Suddenly, she sat up and pressed her lips to his. Max reacted as Patty hoped, as enthusiastic as she pretended to be. She knew that, if she could pull off the kill itself, she would have victory over him. Love was a dangerous weapon in the right hands.