This is my first post. Your reviews are greatly appreciated.

I do not own any part of The Hunger Games or any content related to the characters or stories created by Suzanne Collins. This following story is written for my own enjoyment.

Eventually, one night, it happens. I'm nuzzled warmly against his chest, unable to sleep. I can tell by his uneven breaths that sleep is eluding him as well. I slip my hand under the back of his shirt and rub my finger tips across his midsection. This isn't the first time I've done this so it doesn't surprise me when Peeta let's out a sigh of satisfaction. He welcomes any physical affection I initiate.

It's been months since our return and this is like any other night. Falling asleep in each other's arms is the only way we can sleep. Our arms are a fortress of safety and love. I steel a kiss on his exposed collar bone. His body tightens slightly at this new and unexpected display of love. I try not to over do it with my affectations of want but this evening is different.

It was a day like any other really. Breakfast with Greasy Sae. A walk around town, hand in hand, then tea with Haymitch followed by work in the garden. We worked on the book in front of the fire place. Peeta is still consumed with teaching me his art therapy. We sit, night after night, in front of his canvases, paintbrushes in hand and I swirl meaningless globs of paint around and around like it will unleash the horror plaguing my mind. But tonight instead of paint brushes we dip our fingers in the paint and run them senselessly across the canvass. The acrylic paint is cool under my finger tips. Of course I'm doing it all wrong. I don't have enough. I have too much. I use too much water. Just as I grow frustrated Peeta comes behind me. Lacing his fingers between mine he runs my hand across the canvass. I feel his body warmly pressed up against my back, his other arm wrapped tightly around my waist.

While I'm used to the presence of his body against mine feeling his paint covered fingers sensuously moving against mine ignites a fire that I've been fighting.

Lately each kiss has more meaning. Each touch pulls tighter at my heart. Even worse, I know I want more. I pull away quickly and detach myself from him when the flames threaten to take over. Tonight, however, while our paint covered interlocked fingers explore the canvass in red and orange colors I can't think of one reason to pull away.

So this evening, as I run my fingers over his muscular chest, I resign myself to give in. I always thought that when the time came I'd be a fumbling amateur. Unsure of what to do, how to behave or what is expected of me. I don't feel that way, though. With the stiffening of his body at my kiss I am drawn even closer to him.

I've told him I love him before. We say it all the time. But tonight, I resolve to show him. I position myself so that my lips are just barely touching his ear.

"I love you, Peeta," I mouth to him, barely a whisper. His body reacts instantly at the intimateness of my gesture. His hands move across my hips and he inches my already close body even closer to him. I let my lips trail along the side of his face before settling on his neck. Unconsciously my lips move to his, pressing firmly and eagerly accepted. I feel his fingertips tangle in my hair and move down my spine, gaining purchase on the small of my back. I pull away slightly, just enough so I can gaze into his blue eyes. They watch me speculatively, waiting for my next move.

"I love you," he finally returns. I feel his breath on my already enflamed skin and fully commit to my plans. I kiss him again, with full intent, moving my hands desperately across his body. He moves his body so his form is hovered just over mine. I take his face in my hands, finding his eyes.

I speak softly, and slowly, to ensure that he doesn't question my sincerity. "Peeta…," but then I stumble. I am choked with emotion, "Make love to me," I finally recover, barely audible. I see him put my actions together with my words. He sees the desperation in my eyes for his touch and he does not question me. He makes no move to reject my sentiment. Instead, we fall effortlessly into each other. No further words need to be spoken. We are prepared to commit ourselves together in the most absolute way.

Peeta slows down now and relishes in each touch. Each kiss. He slides off both of our shirts with ease. Our bare chests exposed I catch him studying every inch of my foreign, exposed body. I move my fingers along the smooth skin of chest while he does this same. Our breathing increases simultaneously as the kisses become more intense. I'm elated when he moves his lips from mine, down my chin and to my neck. He brushes them against my collar bone and over my heart. He moves his face over my torso, stealing kisses along the way while my fingers grasp onto his blonde curls.

I close my eyes and immerse myself in the sensation of his lips feeling the most sensitive parts of my body. Parts that have never been explored and have ached too long for this attention. I burrow my fingers into the elastic of his pants hinting that I want more. I hesitate, momentarily, and catch his eyes. He is as lost in our love as I am.

I steady his forehead to mine and speak without thoughts, it comes naturally. "Marry me, Peeta." He stops now. I've finally distracted him from our eager bodies. I see a smile spreading across his face before he leans down for a kiss. Then another. And another. He successfully removes the rest of our clothes without losing the focus on exploring my body. I notice parts of his body that I have seen before, even felt, but never like this. He is new to me. Beautiful. My confidence gains the more I realize that my gentle touch is as satisfying to him as his lips are when they brush up against my skin. I kiss the palm of his hand. He rubs his nose against mine. His hands take in my full chest as I tangle my legs around his hips.

I want more.

I run my fingers past his chest and make me needs clear. He understands and without any hesitation he reacts. Gently melting into me suddenly we are one. The foreign feeling of him inside me is uncomfortable for only a fraction of a section. My warmth invites him and encapsulates him. The sensation sends a thrill from the base of my spine and up my back until it arches in pleasure and I lose myself. I am no longer Katniss Everdeen. I am not the girl on fire. I am a woman. A lover. I am whole.

My legs, still latched around his hips, pull him closer. Closer. Closer, even still. He rocks to and from me and never stops kissing me, never stops touching me, never stops meeting my eyes. I hear his whispered "I love you," over and over again. It's too much. Too good. I feel a rational tear escape my eyes. He watches, rubs it away with his thumb, and simply smiles with understanding.

Time is lost. The feeling of our joined bodies takes over all other realities. I'm not sure how much time has gone when I feel his arms envelope my writhing body. He pulls me closer to him and let's out scattered breath, his movements are faster, more succinct before they begin to ebb. He slows, resting his palm on the side of my face; I lean into it and pull his lips to mine.

He's still inside me when his fingers move down my face, past my chest, over my belly button and further. He feels my warmth and, what can only be instinct, takes over. I'm sensitive and still smoldering with want when he creates a different sensation. He finds a part of me I never knew existed and I struggle to catch my breath under his lips while his fingers move in a slow and deliberate circular motion. I feel a building within. A low moan escapes me. My head leans back arching into the pleasure. My mind gives up. I lose myself with him. The release is forceful and welcomed by both of us. He is beginning to rock his body into me again, ostensibly, second winded by my very verbal acclamation of his efforts.

After a while, our bodies slow. Our breathing returns to normal. My body is more relaxed than it has ever been. I allow my naked chest to rest onto his where his arms, once again, surround me.

He lifts my chin to angle my face closer to his. With a smile, he asks, "You want to be my wife. Real or not real?"

A smile I cannot contain breaks across my face as I promise to be his. I answer, "Real."