"Katniss, shh, wake up." I hear a woman's soft voice bringing me out of my sleep. I return to the basement in Tigris' shop and see Cressida kneeling above me. "Are you okay? You seemed to be having a nightmare." She asks kindly.

Of course I had a nightmare, but this one must have been bad if she woke me up. I don't really even remember any dreams at all. "I'm fine." I respond. "Why are you up? I thought we decided not to have a guard." She looks exhausted. I doubt she has even closed her eyes we said goodnight to one another. "If you want, I'll stay up while you sleep if that will make you feel safer." I may be tired, but I can't watch her torture herself like this.

"No…it's not that. I know we don't need a guard. I just can't sleep, that's all." She's sitting on her pelt with her legs crossed, hunched over with fatigue. She must be afraid of something if she's fighting it that hard.

"Nightmares keeping you from trying?" I ask. I definitely know what it's like to go as long as possible without sleep, simply to avoid the disturbing images that come along with it. She doesn't respond, though. She just looks across the room, over the others that are fast asleep.

There's always been something about Cressida. She has had my back since the day we met. I've appreciated her every step of the way. I feel like I owe her.

Great, another debt to pay.

I scoot over and drag my pelt until it's next to hers and we are sitting beside each other. She glances over at me, only to recognize that I have moved. I have no idea what is going on through her mind right now, but she needs sleep, just like the rest of us.

"Come on, Cressida, what can I do to help you?" I ask as I place my hand on her shoulder. Her body buckles at the touch. It's as if I threw a hundred pounds of weights on her. She's much weaker than I thought.

"Sorry…" She chokes out. "I wasn't expecting you to touch me."

What? I just placed my hand on her shoulder, a mere act of sincerity. Why did it make her so whacked out? She begins to tense up. She buries her head in her knees and hides from the world.

It feels weird, being in this position. I have been taking care of people for years, but this is different. Cressida has always seemed so together, so on point. She looks even younger than myself right now, like a lost little girl.

I decide to place my hand on her back. She doesn't tense up as much this time, but I don't know if it's even possible for her to be anymore uncomfortable.

"Please, Cressida. Let's lay you down. I'll stay right here until you fall asleep, okay?" I whisper as I run my hand up and down her back, which is hopefully soothing her. I don't want to upset her again, but I do want her to know that I am here for her, as she has been for me.

She slowly breaks away from her clenched up limbs and turns to me. "Okay, Katniss. I trust you."

Well I kind of hope she trusts me. She did stick up for me when I was lying about my special mission for Coin. I don't think someone would do that if there weren't trust involved. I help her slide under the top pelt and I slide under mine. I move over until I'm able to reach her forehead with my hand. This always helped Prim get to sleep when she was little, so I figure it will help anyone. I run the tips of my fingers over her brow as lightly as possible. I think I hear her let out a sigh of relief. I don't say a word. I just continue to do my best at calming her down.

After a while, I think she has fallen asleep. I begin to move away and am startled when I feel Cressida grab my wrist. "No, don't go." She murmurs. It almost sounds like she's crying, but I can't tell. I go to move my hand back to her head, but she has a lock on my wrist, and pulls my arm over her. This causes me to be right next to her, with my arm holding her side. This is slightly uncomfortable for me. I'm not used to this kind of closeness with another woman other than my own family. This has a different feeling. I'm not sure if I like it. However, I don't want to pull away. It seems that our closeness has almost completely relaxed Cressida.

"What's going on? There's something you aren't telling me." I ask.

Her hand remains on my wrist but she loosens it. "I'm sorry, Katniss. I keep forgetting how young you are. This isn't right. I just…I just haven't had another woman near me like this in years. I just needed it. You can go back to your spot now. I'll be okay."

Something runs through me, like a chill down my back. So, Cressida likes women. Okay, a lot of people in Panem like people of the same sex. What I'm thinking about is, does Cressida like me? She's at least 10-15 years older than me. I guess that's why she said this isn't right. Also, I don't know if I like women. I haven't really ever even thought about it before. Well, actually, I did catch myself checking out Johanna Mason during one of her naked dips in the water in the arena. So, maybe I do like women at least a little bit. Who knows?

Well, now that we've been laying here for a while, I've grown comfortable by Cressida. Her warmth is soothing and her skin in very soft. Actually, this is kind of nice. It's different from the nights on the train with Peeta. This feels more…intimate. I decide to stay here with Cressida, and I even try to move closer into her. She realizes this and hesitates.

"Katniss, what are you doing?" She rolls her head back to look me in the eye, her own beginning to fill with tears. I never really paid attention to her eyes before; very soft, yet powerful. They have a way of conveying a message. I let her examine my face as she searches for whatever answer she needs. My eyes don't move from hers. I stare her down until she looks back up at me. I was right, her eyes could write a book. They are begging for something. They are begging for me.

I don't know what I should do. If it were Peeta or Gale, this would be much easier. With Cressida, however, I'm too nervous to even lean forward. As I ponder my thoughts, I feel the pelt slide over our heads. Cressida knows what I want to do. She must want me to do it, or she wouldn't have hidden our faces from the others. I widen my eyes to ask, "Are you sure?" And she only responds with a slight nod.

I begin to shake as I lean in and kiss Cressida. She immediately kisses me back, and puts her hand behind my neck. I feel her pull me in and our kiss becomes more powerful and full of heat. Her lips are full and soft. The skin on her face is smooth against my own. I eventually feel her tongue begin to search my mouth, and it fills my body with this heaviness that I can't explain. These past few days have been exhausting and horrifying, but somehow Cressida is taking it all away in this moment. It also seems that it's helping her.

She begins to lean over and slide on top of me, our kisses growing more passionately. Her hands run over my hair and I keep my own on her back. Cressida begins to move her kisses to my neck, and I can't help but moan softly into her ear. I never thought that it would feel this soothing, to have someone kiss me like this.

Between our bodies being pressed together, and the pelts over and under us, the heat is ridiculous. Cressida must be getting hot as well, because she slight sits up just enough to remove her shirt. Now not only do I have a woman on top of me kissing me, she's also half naked. For some reason though, it doesn't bother me. She's beautiful. Her collarbone is prominent while her breasts are in perfect proportion to her slender frame. Before coming back to me, she tugs at my shirttail. I give in and raise my back up enough to let her slide my hot, sticky shirt off as well. It only helps a little, but the feeling of Cressida's breasts pressing down on mine makes it very much worth it.

As we search each other's bodies with our hands, I feel her breath on my ear as she whispers, "Is this too much? I don't want to make you feel like you have to continue. I just have always found you to be so strong and beautiful, Katniss."

Her words melt into me. I'm complimented all of the time. However, she did it differently. She wants to make sure that I am okay before continuing with any more. She wants to make sure I trust her, and I do. I begin to crave her.

I pull her face around to mine, and kiss her softly. "It's not too much, Cressida. It's perfect." I whisper into her lips. She smiles down at me with an expression of relief. "Well, just tell me if I go too far, okay?" She asks. I nod my head and pull her in for another deep, long kiss. I realize that I really enjoy the taste of kissing Cressida. I want this to last as long as possible, before we have to begin the next step to Snow's mansion. I'm disappointed when she pulls away. Then, however, she moves her head down and kisses lightly on my collarbone. Her hands move even further down, and one slowly slips into the waistline of my pants. I bite my lip to resist saying anything. Part of me wants her to not go any further, because this is new to me and I'm nervous. However, the other part wants Cressida desperately. I decide to let her continue because, let's get real here. This may be my last night alive. Cressida's as well.

I feel her hand run over the outside of my underwear and I whimper when she reaches what I guess would be my clit. She massages me lightly and it makes me feel even hungrier for her. I move my hips against her hand and grab the back of her head. I pull her to me as I beg "Please, Cressida. Please."

She smiles and kisses the tip of my nose. "Patience, my little mockingjay."

This comment sets me on fire even more; the sense of possessiveness, along with the use of a term that has meant a million different things these past two years. She has control over me. She can do whatever she wants. I just want her to do it now.

She smirks at my look of desperation and begins to slide her hand beneath my underwear. Her face lightens up as she whispers, "Oh. My dear, you seem ready for me."

Well of course I am, I just begged her. But then I feel the wetness between my thighs and I realize what she means. My hand reaches out to caress her neck and I am about to beg for her again. But before I can open my mouth, she slowly enters me. My mouth opens to let out a moan but I remember that I must be quiet. Cressida runs her free hand through my hair as she continues to move inside of me. She's being extremely gentle, which I appreciate. I'm only used to touching myself, and even that was on rare occasion.

"You okay?" She says sweetly. I smile at her as she goes inside of me even deeper. I hold a hand over my mouth so I can moan without waking up the others. I can't hold it back anymore. Cressida feels amazing inside of me. I never expected for it to be this good, and I'm so glad she woke me up. This is much better than restless sleep.

As I ride against her fingers, all of my stress seems to leave me. She leans down and begins to kiss me deeply and I can barely kiss back. She has me so out of it that I can hardly concentrate. Her thrusts become a little rougher, and I think I know what the feeling that comes after it means. "Cressida, I think…I think…" I arch my back as I keep myself from screaming. Cressida doesn't quit fucking me until I fall back onto the pelt. She stays still inside of me while I catch my breath, and then slowly pulls out from me. Her fingers are dripping in my wetness, and my eyes widen as I watch her lick them clean. I didn't know people did that. For some reason, though, it's kind of hot.

She smiles when she sees my reaction and leans back down to kiss me, and I taste myself on her lips. She lightly giggles as she asks, "So, are you okay, Katniss?" She runs her hand through my hair again to help soothe me. I look her in the eye as I whisper, "I'm perfect."

She grins as she kisses my forehead. "I know. Now get some sleep." She rolls off of me and moves her pelt over a few places before uncovering herself. I didn't want her to go that fast, but the other's may be waking up soon. I peak around and see that nobody has moved an inch the entire time.

I lie back on my pelt and think about Cressida, who has already passed out. That's all she needed, human closeness. She has a glow to her that I've only seen when she's working. I wonder if she meant what she said about always finding me beautiful. A smile takes over my face as I remember her voice saying those words. I try my hardest to hang on to this moment as I fall asleep, because I know that tomorrow will bring more destruction. At least I know that Cressida will be by my side.