Chapter 1

(Katniss POV)

I place my hand against my flat stomach; this is where our child is supposed to be. Moving around happily, kicking me so hard that I will not be able to get any sleep. A boy? A girl? What would have it been? I guess I would never know because he is gone to the world and it was all thanks to me. I killed my baby with the help of his father. I should have never gotten close to him, nor should have tried to bring him back from the deadly images that cursed and poisoned his mind. He was never going to forgive himself for what he has done to me and our child. I wouldn't be surprised if he never came back at all, if he decided to stay as far away from me as possible. I had to remain positive and not think like that, He loved me too much to stay away from me like this and I loved him too much to back down without a fight. I wasn't going to give up on him so easily, and I wasn't going to let him vanish from my life. What if he tried to take his own life while he was in the capitol? What if the guilt of killing our baby was so bad that he decided to end it all? No, Haymitch and Effie would never let him do such a thing, He was under supervision. Besides, I knew he wouldn't do that to me; he would not kill himself and leave me all alone to deal with his death. However, those thoughts were still lingering in the back of my mind. When Peeta left me, not only a couple weeks ago, he made Gale (of all people) promise to take care of me and make sure I didn't do anything reckless or stupid. Gale had punched him square in the face and yelled at him for hurting me so much, not just because of the baby, but because he was tearing my heart into two pieces, but then after the first couple punches, Gale promised him he would take care of me. He grabbed him by his collar and threatened that if Peeta didn't come back to me and I remained a heartbroken young women for the rest of my life, then he was going to hunt him down to the end of the earth and kill him. Gale usually keeps his promises, too. I slapped Gale when he told me all of what he had done to Peeta. He didn't need to be hitting and threatening Peeta at a time like this. It was a dark time and I just wanted it to end.

I was curled up in a ball on our bed, staring at my beautiful pearl ring the glittered in the moonlight. The light was seeping through the curtains and illuminating my entire bedroom with a beautiful, soft glow. The large empty space beside me brought tears to my eyes. This is where he should be, holding me, kissing me, whispering in my ears, telling me how much he loves me.

I can't stand the fact that Peeta is out of my reach, and is so many miles away from me. He should be close to the capitol by now. That vile place that filled my head with so many memories; so many scars and terrors. It was their fault, they did this to him. They made him live a life of hatred and despair. He never has really gotten over the episodes, and never had a break in between them, like he told me he did. I later found out that he had been lying to me all this time about not having as many as he used to. However, in reality, he was having more and more by the minute and I was so afraid that the poison in his mind was expanding and that eventually it would cause him to drop dead. Was that why he left me here in District 12? So he could die in the capitol by himself? So I wouldn't have to see him die?

I cried into his pillow on the opposite side of me and tightened the hold I had on it. I inhaled any scent I could get from the pillow, hoping to catch his scent, but nothing pierced my nostrils but the smell of laundry freshener. My mother had just cleaned the sheets and pillows on the bed so any scent he left behind, was now gone thanks to the long wash in the washer downstairs.

I thought everything was peaceful; we had been living together so wonderfully for the past five years and all of a sudden our peace is interrupted by this horrible situation that we find ourselves in. I lost my baby, the love of my life and, once again, my sanity. I couldn't function without him, and he knew it, but yet, he stayed away from me. We were so many miles apart from each other, I could barely stand it.

I sobbed into his pillow. Eventually, those sobs turned to agonizing cries and soon, I was crying so hard that snot made its way out of my nostrils. I could feel my face heat up. My body was shaking and aching, my head pounded and all I wanted to do was find him, curl up next to him and have him hold me in his strong arms. But no such luck. He was gone and I didn't know if he was going to come back to me or stay in the capitol.

I cried and cried and cried, not being able to stop the horrible tears that were staining Peeta's pillow. I had my head buried into the pillow while tears streamed down my face, while thoughts about him never returning bounced around in my mind. We didn't end on good terms; I had gotten a bit mad at him because he was leaving me and because he had told me to move on to someone else if he did not come back. I threw my ring at him and I knew it hurt him so much, but the anger I felt towards him that day forbid any type of compassion.

More tears were flowing from my eyes as the door to my bedroom creaked opened, but I did not care as to who it was. I looked towards the two shadowy figures that were now present in my room. They were making their way across the floor and over to my large empty bed, but I paid very little attention to them and kept crying my eyes out.

I was lying on my stomach in the middle of my bed with nothing but Peeta's pillow wrapped in my arms. Both sides of the bed dipped down and I became aware of someone was wrapping their large, strong arms around me. As this was happening, a small sized hand began stroking my hair and patting my forehead.

I much rather be in Peeta's arms, than my best friend Gale Hawthorne; who was finally started to accept the fact that I was madly in love with Peeta. He knew how much I loved Peeta and how much it was hurting me to be away from him. He was trying his best to comfort me, but it wasn't his comfort I wanted; it was Peeta's. Gale was trying really hard to be a good friend and I thanked him for that. He no longer yelled at me for being in love with Peeta like he did when he first came back to District 12 about four or five months ago. He was really mean to me and that was only because he was in love with me. Hell, he was still in love with me I could see it every time his hungry eyes looked at me. He couldn't help it though; nobody could help who they fall in love with. I only hope Gale would fall out of love with me in time and move onto someone that would actually love him with all their heart and soul. He deserved that much. I just couldn't be the person to love him like that.

"Katniss," came Delly Cartwright's (Peeta's best friend) voice. Her voice was soft and somewhat soothing to me. She patted my head in a comforting way as I cried and cried. I couldn't stop the tears from coming.

I was lucky to have friends like Delly and Gale. They were the only ones that agreed to move into my house with me until Peeta made his return. Until the venom in his head was gone and he was able to think clearly. When was that going to be? When was he going to come home to me? What if he got to the capitol only to find out there was no cure to the venom? Would he stay there and work for President Paylor just so he wouldn't have to come back to me? My mother also lived in the house with me, but I hardly ever see her. She was too busy working at the hospital and taking care of people; it's like she doesn't even live here anymore. The only time I see her is at breakfast, dinner and when it is time for bed. Gale does live here somewhat but he is always working at the mines and taking care of his younger siblings. Ever since his mother died, he had to take the role of a parent in order for his family to survive. He doesn't work as much as he used to, when he first came back because he had received a huge amount of money that was long overdue from working in District 2. The money was like a final paycheck and he got a whole shit load of it.

"He loves you Katniss." Delly said as she continued to stroke my head. "He loves you more than anything in the world. He is doing this for you"

"Come on Catnip, no tears"

"H-he...L-left me" I managed to choke out and gripped his pillow tighter.

"Katniss, he knows what he is doing. I know Peeta... he will come back to you." Delly says, and pats me gently on my head.

"You need to stop crying now, alright sweetheart?" Gale hugs me closer to his body and I refuse to bury my head into his strong chest.

If I had my way, I would not be in his arms at all. I knew he was just trying to comfort me and all, but there was only on person's arms that I wanted to be wrapped up in and it sure as hell wasn't Gale; although I knew his intentions were good. I just wish these two would just leave me alone and go back into their rooms that were right next to mine. Delly's room was right of mine and Gale's was left. So, if I started sobbing like this, chances are they would hear me because these walls were somewhat thin and it was very easy to hear things. I was screwed either way because my mother's room was right across from mine so if neither Gale nor Delly heard me cry, then my mother would be the next person to comfort me.

"I-I want...him...b-back." I sobbed.

"Mellark won't abandon you" Gale says with confidence. He obviously doesn't know Peeta like I do; even if he does come back, Peeta was never going to touch me again. Not after having killed our child by accident, not after throwing me down a flight of stairs. Cutting me with a kitchen knife was one thing, but tossing me down a flight of stairs and causing me to miscarry our baby seemed too ruthless; even for his hijacked side. Thank God Haymitch was in the room when Peeta threw me. He was able to yank Peeta away from me when he bolted down the stairs after me to finish the job. Haymitch had to bash Peeta's head off a wall multiple times in order to knock him completely out. I could only lay there at the bottom of the steps while all kinds of pain pierced my entire body. When I started bleeding, Avara and Delly took me to the hospital immediately. I don't remember much after that; just blacking out and then waking up and having Doctor Hamila tell me I miscarried the baby. It was my entire fault; I should havenever tried to bring Peeta back from that episode. I should have known better and now, because of my recklessness, my son or daughter was dead; never having a shot at life because of me.

"Katniss you need to stop crying alright, hon?" Delly tells me, but her voice seems so far away. I might be slipping off into some much-needed sleep. The last thing I hear before falling asleep, is the sound of Gale's voice saying something like, 'I'll stay with her. You go get sleep'. I don't want him to sleep in Peeta's spot and hold me like Peeta does. It isn't right to have Gale in here. I don't want him in here. I really don't; but before I can say anything, sleep drags me under and I am greeted with nightmares that I haven't had in so long.

There are the people I have killed. I'm watching blood squirt from their bodies, watching them twitch and go limb. Then, it all fades and a little boy with blond hair and blue eyes comes into view, he's only about five years old. We are standing in the middle of the woods facing each other. He is a cute little thing, looking exactly like Peeta.

He approaches me and places his hand on my stomach, his face goes serious for a second then in a matter of minutes, blood started seeping from his body. He cries and now lays limp on the forest floor. I screamed and kneeled down beside the child taking his head in my lap. Then, my eyes traveled to the other figure in front of me: Peeta. He stood there with a deadly grin on his face while tapping a dagger happily off the tips of his fingers. I screamed as he launched the dagger towards me. There was no avoiding it, but before the tip of the metal blade made contact with my forehead, my gray eyes snapped open and I was lying in my bed.

The sun was so high in the sky; rays of light were seeping through my window instead of moonlight. I was alone, nobody was there beside me.

Gale must have gone back into his room after I had calm down last night; which was a good thing. I hated the thought of him sleeping in the same bed as me. I looked at the clock sitting on the nightstand it read; 11:30 am. I was in no mood to get up today. If they allowed me, I would spend another day in bed. Although, I should get up and get a shower. I haven't had one of those in about a day or so and I didn't want to smell like crap.

I pulled my exhausted body off the bed. A tingling feeling ran down my legs as my feet hit the cold floor. I stretched the tightened muscles out of my legs and arms as a large yawn escaped from my mouth and I rubbed the sandman out of my tired eyes. As I was walking across the room, I came to a stop in front of my dresser and dug around to find something to wear. I found a pair of sweatpants and one of Peeta's large shirts that he had forgotten. I placed the shirt against my nostrils and inhaled his scent. It smelled like him. His shirt was the only little piece I had of him, besides the ring he gave me. I guess he forgot this one shirt when he was packing his clothes. He had taken almost everything; his clothes, tooth brush, everything; except for his painting supplies that stayed untouched and unused in the other room. I felt the tears begin to swell in my eyes, a few escaped and I wiped them away.

I slowly walked into the bathroom and turn the faucet on to extra hot. I shredded my clothes and allowed my body to be greeted with streams of hot scolding water that felt wonderful against the tense muscles. I rubbed shampoo and conditioner through my scalp and watch as the strands of white soap disappear beneath the drain. I placed my hands on the wall of the shower as I tried to decide if I want to go downstairs and join my friends and mother for breakfast. They would surely force me to anyway if I did not make an appearance at the table.

After my relaxing shower, I threw on my clothes and decided to calmly walk down the steps. Once I was down there, I was greeted with the fresh scent of pancakes, eggs, sausage and just about every breakfast food known to man.

I entered the kitchen and raised my brow as I caught sight of my prep team pushing tables together and setting plates and forks out for our large breakfast. God, I feel like I was in the capitol again.

Delly and Gale were helping my mother cook and once they saw me enter. I was immediately greeted with warm hellos. My prep team forced me to sit at the head of the table. Octavia poured me some juice while Venia set a plate in front of me.

I was somewhat glad they had stuck around instead of going back to the capitol with Haymitch, Effie and Peeta. I was reunited with my prep team at Haymitch's 47th birthday party. They had moved into one of the houses in the Victor's village for the time being. It was really sweet of them to hang around here in district 12 and make sure I was alright. My prep team was hysterical when they found out that I had lost the baby. They cried for me, cried for my child and cursed Peeta's name, which I slapped Octavia for that one. It wasn't Peeta's fault it was mine for getting to close to him. That was the final straw, once he discovered he fell into another episode, pushed me down a flight of stairs and caused me to lose our baby, he was on the first train out of here, desperately looking for a cure that would clear his head. I knew that there wasn't a cure.

"How are you doing today dear?" Venia asked me, placing a muffin on my plate.

"Fine." I lied. The truth was, I spent the majority of the night crying my eyes out, wishing Peeta was here to hold me, to comfort me and to save me from the nightmares that, for so long, remained dormant. However, now they were starting back up again. I vaguely remember Gale and Delly coming into my room and comforting me to the best of their ability.

My eyes wandered over to where the two of them stood still flipping pancakes. Gale was a lot taller than she was. They had their backs to me as I examined them and let a small smile appear of my face. They were the best of friends anyone could have ever had.

My friends cooked breakfast in silence, my prep team chatted away. Once everything was done, my mother set the large breakfast on the table for us to devour.

"Sleep well honey?" My mother asked me.

I shrugged, "Not really"

"Nightmares?" She asked, but Gale suddenly changed the subject.

"Good weather this morning, huh?" He pointed out, gazing out the small window above my stove. The winter season has come to a stop for the time being and a strange warm draft drifted across every inch of District 12. I couldn't wait until the cold, wet, chilly, white snow vanished and would be replaced by warm, delightful spring air. The flowers were going to bloom, the water in the lake would heat up to a reasonable temperature which would allow us to swim, and the animals that took shelter for winter would raise and happily start scouting for food. I was excited for the warm weather, the flowers, the fresh air and the running streams. It has been so long since I have seen nature. The constant white color was really getting old and miserable. Now that the winter season was nearly over in about a month or two, it was time for spring to blossom and show its beauty. I was no longer excited for the warmth that would soon spread through District 12. I could be picking out my wedding dress, my lovely decoration, writing invitations and even picking out bridesmaids. But none of that was going to happen now because Peeta left me and he wasn't coming back, or so that was what my mind kept telling me over and over.

"Would you like to come into town with me Katniss?" Delly suddenly asks, taking a sip from her cup of coffee. I knew what she was trying to do and it wasn't going to work. I was not ready to leave the house and face the world without Peeta. I haven't left the house since Peeta left me and that was about three weeks ago and I had no intentions of leaving this house until Peeta came back into my life. I know it's only been three weeks, but those three weeks felt like a three years.

"No thank you, Delly." I say biting my nail while staring at the untouched juice in front of me. I didn't feel like eating or drinking a darn thing. Let's face it; I had no desire for food or to engulf a glass of water or juice. I didn't want anything.

"Katniss," My mother glanced up at me with a fork in her hand and a scolding look written across her features. "You can't keep doing this."

"I'm not doing anything" I say weakly.

"You're going into town and getting out of this house." My mother ordered me.

"I don't want too." I rejected.

"Oh, but Katniss shopping is much fun." Octavia says butting into the private conversation me and my mother were having. I glance at each member of the team. I could see the excitement in their eyes, and the hope that I would say yes. I shook my head and rested it down against the table, not even bothering to touch the meal that has been laid out for me.

"We can get your hair done." Flavius smiles.

"Or your nails." Venia adds.

"We miss working on you Katniss." Octavia chirps, taking a huge bite of her sausage.

"No! Alright...I don't...want to!" My voice is strained and I struggle to keep tears out of my eyes. Going into town was hard for me because I knew that my eyes would wander to the bakery and I couldn't withstand to go in there, let alone, pass by it.

"You are not going to do this the whole time he is gone!" Gale's loud voice suddenly pierces my ears. I look up to see nothing but determination in his eyes and that determination in his eyes was for me. He was not going to let me mope around all day in bed, cry over Peeta and let my newly formed depression get the best of me. Gale was going to make sure I remained strong and happy. He knew everything that was going on with me, the situations I was in, the baby, Peeta's hijacking, and the abandoned peacekeepers that were wandering into the new capitol looking for a fight. I was not supposed to know about anything that was going on in the capitol; the new capitol. About three times someone has attempted to shoot President Paylor through the skull, four times did a band of abandon peacekeepers make their way into the capitol and start shooting at random. I really thought the peacekeepers had vanished but I guess I was wrong; they would never ever vanish. There were so many people in the world that had been brought up to be peacekeepers. Those people mostly come from District 2, so I guess rumor had it President Paylor was keeping a good eye on that district. District 2 was always the most loyal and faithful to the capitol. What if there people wanted things back to the way they were? It wouldn't surprise me if District 2 led the band of peacekeepers into the capitol.

"I didn't do anything." I muttered to Gale in a final response.

"Exactly, you're not doing anything but moping around here. You hardly eat; you're always crying for God sakes and dammit Katniss... Mellark wouldn't like it!"He exclaims.

I snapped at me, my anger getting the best of me. "You know nothing of the current situation I am in! The capitol is a dangerous place right now and I don't want him in there. Is it my fault that I am worried about him? If things are that bad and people are truly trying to kill Paylor, then..." Tears stung my eyes and I clutched the table cloth in my left hand. "Peeta could be killed and I...wouldn't have anything left to live for."

"Honey, getting yourself worked up about this won't help anyone." My mother calmly says.

"And who are you to tell me I am getting too worked up about my fiancée being in that place? A place where he could be killed any second."

"I know it's hard, but you have got to be strong." She tells me. That sets me off even more.

"Stay strong?! STAY STRONG?! Did you 'stay strong' when dad was in the mines? No. Did you 'stay strong' when he was killed because of the explosion? NO! You left me to fend for myself and Prim!" I rose and pounded my fists on the table, "So don't tell me to stay strong when you are far from it!"

"Katniss I think you should..."

"I thought of all people you would understand how I felt!" I yelled at my mother and excused myself from the table; I abandoned the untouched food and beverage and bolted upstairs. A pair of large footsteps was coming after me and that could only mean one person was following me. Gale gently grabbed hold of my arm and pulled me against his strong chest and allowed me to do nothing but sob until my eyes turned red and puffy, and my body began shaking.

"I-I want him here." I sobbed.

"Catnip, stop it alright. He's coming back." Gale assured me.

"No...No he's not coming back, the abandon peacekeepers will recognize him and they will kill him!" I wailed. Tears were coming down my face thick and fast now. "They'll kill him Gale...They'll kill him."

Gale took my face between his strong iron hands and wiped the tears away with his thumbs. "Look at me"

I refused and kept sobbing while staring at the ground.

"Look at me Katniss." He commanded with a slight turn of my head.

I obeyed and looked at him.

"He will be fine; there is nothing to worry about. President Paylor will find the source of Peacekeepers and she will put a stop to it. Peeta will find a cure to his venom and come back to you. Understand and then I'll walk you down the aisle, give you to him and you too can be together until you turn gray. You two will have beautiful children and...You'll become grandparents and eventually die together in your warm bed, in each other's arms and then after you're gone, you have the rest of the eternity in the after-life to spend with each other." His words were sweet, but I could tell it pained him to say it considering the fact that he was still somewhat in love with me, but he hid it well. The tears slowly subsided and I nodded my head in agreement. Peeta would come back; he had to come back for me, for us. He'll come back; he had to come back to me.

"I'm worried." I managed choke out.

"I know, but you know, Mellark has people with him." Gale says.

"That doesn't make things any better because Haymitch and Effie are still important to me, too."

"Everything is okay...Alright?" Gale wiped the tears that were still streaming down my face, "Now come downstairs and eat."

"I don't want to." I rejected.

"You have to eat. You haven't eaten for days." Gale looped his arms around me and forced me to walk down the steps, into the kitchen and back to where I was sitting. My prep team shot me sorrowful looks and then started telling me how sorry they were that I was suffering. I just wanted them to shut up and not give me their sympathy. I can do this on my own; I can handle having Peeta in the capitol looking for a cure that didn't exists.

My mother placed a large pancake on my plate and coated it with syrup. The juice Octavia had poured me still remained untouched. I was too worked up to eat, but I knew Gale would not let me leave this table until every bit of that pancake was eaten...so I began picking at it while my mind wandered to Peeta.

"I am so glad the weather is starting to warm up. It gives me a chance to wear my new shoes." Octavia smiled widely.

I rolled my eyes at her and cut a small piece of pancake and put it in my mouth. I wanted to escape these people and go upstairs, curl under the blankets and hide from the world outside. I tuned out the loud chatter of my prep team and focus on the sticky syrup that is causing the pancake in front of me to become soggy. I stared at it for the longest while not bothering to touch anymore of it. After breakfast, I actually helped mom with the dishes. We were completely silent; I was not saying one word to her. I was pissed at her for telling me to be strong and basically forget the fact that Peeta was in the capitol with Haymitch (two people that meant more to be than life) looking for a phantom cure.

I dried the dishes with a dry wash cloth and put them in their proper places on the shelves. Once they were all done, my mother pulled the plug from the sink and allowed the dirty water to rush down into the pipes.

"I know you love him, sweetie, and I know you worry, but the worst thing you can do right now be depressed like this." She says calmly.

"How can I not be depressed? I lost my baby and my fiancée. The world seems to be going back to the way it was. The man I love, my mentor and father figure, and Effie could all be dead by morning"

"Sweetheart, Paylor knows what she is doing."

"I just can't believe there are still people out there that want the capitol as it was," I frowned.

"Honey it's mostly District 2." She explains.

No surprise there; District 2 was always the favorite one of the capitol and had always favored the capitol most before any other district; District 1 was just as bad as District 2. If war did break out in the capitol again, I would bet all the money I have that District 1 and 2 would side with the peacekeepers and try and destroy the new world Paylor has created. It is sick, in a way, that these people would want the old capitol people back in power. Did they really want that kind of life? To have to watch their children fight to the death in an arena each year? The arenas have been destroyed, but still the point is the old Capitol is ruthless and cruel and I know there is someone just as bad as President Snow out there, waiting for the right time, waiting for a chance to pounce at our freedom.

"If it comes down to it and war breaks out again, I am going to that capitol and taking down every last peacekeeper that stands in my way." I say, determined.

"This isn't your problem anymore." She says.

"The hell if it isn't. The love of my life is in there and if war breaks out and he is still in there, that does it. I will be on the next train to the capitol in a second."

"You won't go back there because Gale and I will stop you" She said.

"You want to keep me from him?" I raised my voice a bit, frustrated at my mother for even thinking about trying and keeping me away from Peeta.

"I'll keep you away from danger." She replies.

I said nothing else and dried the remaining dishes, placing them in the cabinet. I shot one last dirty look at my mother and stalked off into the living room to laze about by the fireplace. We no longer needed this fireplace to keep us warm. It was warm outside and about time to I was getting sick and tired of seeing nothing but white snow littering every inch of District 12; four long months of the stuff is long enough. My front door opened and Flavius poked his head through the doorway and gave me a large smile. I loved his orange corkscrew curls that bounced on the top of his head every time he took a step.

"Coming Katniss? We are going shopping." Flavius invited me.

"No thanks." I rejected him.

"Why? You have other plans?" He asks in disappointment.

I opened my mouth to answer, but Gale answered for me, "Yes she is going hunting with me."

Flavius smiled widely again, nodded his head in understanding and shut the door behind him. I stared at Gale with such a hard expression as he made his way over to the door and scooped up my hunting boots that I had not used in so long. He grabbed the spring coat off the rack and laid my gear on the empty space on the couch next to me. I made no attempt to knowledge the gear and laid my throbbing head against the arm of the couch.

"Come on put the gear on and let's go." Gale ordered.

"I don't want to go hunting" I said.

"Now!" He said with a straight and serious expression written across his face. He wasn't going to back down until I gave in and put on my hunting gear and I wasn't going to back down until he walked in the other direction and left me alone to my thoughts.

"No." I challenged him.

"Katniss Rose Everdeen right now." He demanded, almost cruelly.

"You're not my mother."

"No, I'm worse. Now get up." He commanded me with a small yell.

"No."

"Fine. We'll do this the hard way then." Gale stood there with his arms folded across his chest. He moved across the floor so he was standing right in front of me. He scooped up my boots and grabbed hold of my leg with such force. I struggled but he managed to slide on my boots and lift me off the couch to slide on my jacket. I struggled the whole time, but then gave up my struggle as he flipped me over his shoulder and carried me outside to greet the temporary warm air. I pounded on Gale's back the whole way to the forest. There was no more fence around District 12 anymore, so we did not have to crouch through the weak part. It was such a relief that they had torn down that massive fence and allowed us to come in go in the woods as freely as possible. We were permitted to hunt, trade and do anything our little hearts desired.

"Gale I think I can walk." I say and pound harder on his back.

He ignored me and carried me deeper into the forest. We were right smack dab in the middle of the forest when Gale decided to put me down. He gently set me on my feet and I crossed my arms over my chest and stared at the ground that has been hidden under the snow for so long. I almost forgot what the green grass looked like because it has been hidden under the white snow for so long. I took a good look around my surroundings and a gentle feeling of peace began to wash over me. The woods are my second home, it was my place of solitude. I really missed being here; I haven't been here in so long. I had forbid myself from ever stepping foot in this place because of my baby, but now that I had lost him, it didn't make much of a difference anyway. I didn't have to be careful anymore, opposed to that, I could be a reckless as I wanted to be and nobody was going to tell me otherwise.

"Let's shoot a deer today." Gale says trying to lightened the mood.

"Go ahead."

He grunted in frustration, "Why do you have to be so damn stubborn?"

"I don't like it when people force me to do things that I don't want to do!" I hiss at him.

"Too damn bad Katniss. I am not going to sit there and watch you be miserable because he left you." Gale hissed back at me and threw his book bag he had been carrying to the ground. He kneeled down and unzipped it, pulling out a knife and snare gear. I usually kept my bow and arrows in the woods because they were too dangerous to be left in my house. I just wasn't comfortable leaving them there with my family and friends nearby.

"Act like you care." I spit out.

Gale raised his eyebrows, "What are you talking about? I care about you a hell of a lot more than you deserve."

"You are thrilled Gale. I can see it in your eyes." I say sarcastically. The volume of my voice began to raise and so did his.

"What the hell are you talking about Katniss?" He questions with a shout.

"This is what you wanted all along isn't it? Him out of my life? Well here you go; he is gone." I really should not be being mean to him like this, but my emotions were rocketing and I was outraged at him for making me come out here when all I wanted to do was go home and curl up in a ball. I knew it was an unhealthy thing to do, but it seemed like it was the best option at the moment.

"I thought we put that behind us." Gale brought his voice down to a normal level and looked at me with such a sorrowful expression.

"I thought so to, but obviously you are not able to take your eyes off of me for only a second!" I yell at him.

"Do you even hear yourself? What is wrong with you Katniss?"

"WHAT IS WRONG? I'LL TELL YOU WHATS WRONG! I miscarried my baby with the help of his father, my fiancée left me to go to the capitol to search for a cure that has been slowly torturing him for so many years and the peacekeeper issue seems to be getting worse and worse every day." I raised my voice louder, echoing the whole forest, "I WON'T DO THIS AGAIN I WON'T"

"You won't have to do anything, okay? Paylor will take care of it." He yelled with just as much volume in his voice as mine.

I wanted to stop talking to him about this. Gale just didn't get how I felt; he just doesn't get that I don't function well without Peeta. I wrapped my arms around my chest and began walking towards the Victor's Village. I didn't want to hunt today and Dammit... Gale was not going to make me. He cut me off by stepping in front of me and placing his strong arms against my shoulders.

"Let's go find a deer." Gale orders again.

"I really don't want to." I mumbled with an edge to my voice.

Gale threw his hands up in the air in frustration. "What you want to mope around all day, feeling sorry for yourself just because he left you for a good reason?"

Gale was being hard on me because he cared so much about me that I knew for a fact. I could feel the tears start to rise up again as I turned my back on him and took a seat on the hard forest floor. I placed my head on my knees and the sobbing began. I couldn't help that I was broken beyond repair. Nothing besides Peeta could fix me. I needed to be beside him, I needed to be in his safe arms, but that was impossible. He was never going to touch me again, hold me again or even kiss me again. He couldn't forgive himself for abusing me that night when he tossed me down the large flight of stairs. I tried to tell him over and over that it was not his fault that he didn't need to pack his things, but my words didn't stop him and he left on the train station with Haymitch and Effie. If loosing Peeta wasn't enough, I had to lose Haymitch too. Haymitch was my father-figure and one of my best friends.

Gale crouched down beside my weeping form and pulled me into a gentle hug. My head hit his chest and I began to imagine and pretend that I was in Peeta's arms.

"Mellark loves you, alright? He fricking loves you. You have to stay strong for him." He said quietly.

"I know...I just...I can't do it!" I sobbed.

"Stop it now, Katniss." He forced me to my feet and wiped the tears that were forming in my eyes. I leaned against him and allowed more to flow down my face. Gale let me cry for the longest time before scooping me up into his arms and heading back to the house for lunch. We obviously didn't catch anything; it was kind of a mistake that he had brought me out here. I knew my best friend was just trying to help, but I was broken beyond repair and the only one that could help me was Peeta and he was beyond reach.

Gale set me on my feet before reaching the house. He patted me on the shoulder and entered my living room with me trailing behind him. I kicked off my shoes and went straight up to bed, never making eye contact with Gale or the others as I bolted upstairs and curled up on the bed. I curled up on his side and my mind began to wander, it wasn't long before I fell into a deep sleep. But before I did go to sleep, my last thought was, how was I going to escape District 12 and begin my journey to the capitol?

To be continued...