A/N: Sooo this is a a little more smut than usual haha ;) but I just can't help it though! The movie came out (which I freaking LOVED) and I've just been in such a fluffy/happy Peeniss mood lol. Obviously I wanted to give it a little back story and put it in context with something meaningful to them as characters so hopefully you enjoy this piece as a whole. Anyways, enjoy and review!

Waking up in Peeta's arms is not a new sensation for me. From those handful of nights in that cave, sharing that sleeping bag that kept our bodies warm, to the train ride during the victory tour, where his arms were the only thing that kept me sane, the feeling has become familiar. Even lately, starting a few weeks ago after falling asleep together on the couch, his body wrapped around mine is the only source of comfort that can calm me from my nightmares, the only thing that can make me feel like I'm not drowning in the pain the war caused.

This, however, is an entirely new feeling.

We are both naked and wrapped in a single sheet that is binding our bodies together. My back is pressed firmly against his chest and his right arm is snaked along my own, knotting our fingers together. His skin is so warm and we are so tightly pressed up against each other it feels like our flesh is melted into one.

From the slow, steady pattern of his breaths on my neck I can tell he is still asleep. I take the time to really savor the moment, trying to commit to memory every seemingly insignificant detail.

My eyes start to drift shut as I focus on the things you don't really need your eyes to appreciate: how calm and at ease I feel with his body cocooning mine, how the air from his breath tickles my neck, how his hands are strong and calloused, but warm and soft in my own, how the cool metal of his prosthetic leg feels good against my warm flesh, how it is at once both amazing and terrifying that I feel truly alive again when after the war ended I was so convinced I would never be okay again, that I would never recover.

My brain wraps up all these feelings and emotions that swirl around in my head and I am instantly transported back to last night and what occurred between us to make all of this possible.

I can't help the small smile that appears when I think about what we shared and how it will forever change things between us.

I awake with a start, not screaming or crying, but utterly terrified. It was my father and Prim this time, the details are already hazy and slipping away, but I feel scared and desperate and I'm suddenly reminded of just how much I miss them. I cling tightly to Peeta's body, burying my face in his chest and trying to slow my breathing.

Waking from my night terrors with his warm body next to mine is a luxury I don't know how I ever survived without. If he wasn't here, if he didn't start keeping me company at night for the past few weeks, I can't imagine what kind of state I would be in. I was slipping away, barely managing to survive when we first got back to 12, but with him by my side I feel like I can maybe handle the waves of pain that continue hitting me with such unexpected force.

I feel bad for waking him up because he is suddenly rubbing his arms up and down my back, whispering soothing words of comfort in my ear. I cling to him a little tighter, trying to tell him what it means to me for him to be here by my side, helping me through this. My hands run through the ends of his hair at the nape of his neck and then I pull back and look him in the eyes.

Those striking blue eyes make me feel a hundred things at once and I move forward to join our lips in a kiss. Our tongues slowly start to explore each other's mouth and I pause only long enough to catch my breath. The kiss is quickly gaining heat and all I know is that I don't want this to stop. It isn't the first time we've kissed since getting back to 12, but it is the first time that a kiss has been about more than just providing comfort or rekindling that part of our relationship.

This kiss makes my toes curl, makes me hook one of my legs around his, makes me desperate for more. This kiss creates a burning sensation inside me that I felt only once before on that beach, a sensation that I know only Peeta can satisfy.

My inability to communicate any of this leaves me with only my actions to let Peeta know how I'm feeling. I pull back and start planting kisses along his jaw line and down his neck, moaning his name and pulling his body flush against my own.

Without hesitation Peeta rolls on top of me, keeping our lips in constant contact as our movements become faster and more desperate. It feels so strange to feel this good, to feel nothing but desire and pleasure when I was so dead inside just months before. Peeta, and only Peeta, is the only one who could ever save me like this when I was so far gone, who could ever make me feel like this.

He slips a hand under the loose t-shirt I'm wearing and rests it against the warm flesh of my hip, inching it up my side after a moment. I moan at the contact of his hand against my body and lift my hips up against his. Our groins press against each other and I know kissing will not be enough to satisfy either one of us tonight.

I realize this is the first time Peeta has ever touched me in an intimate way, that this is the first time we have ever gone farther than just kissing. I know he is waiting for my permission, but instead of saying anything I grab his hand and move it up over my breast.

The sound that escapes Peeta's mouth - a combination of a moan and a whimper - makes that burning sensation inside me roar to life.

Peeta softly kneads the flesh of my breast in his hand for a moment, groaning and instinctually pushing his hips harder against mine. Even through the fabric of his sweat pants I can feel the effect this is having on him. The feel of his hand on my breast and this hardness pressing against my inner thigh is causing a dull ache between my legs.

Impatient for more, I sit up and quickly discard my t-shirt and then tug at his own. He rids himself of the garment and then returns to kissing me, pressing his warm chest against my own. I don't even have time to think about how fast things are moving all the sudden. The truth is I don't care. I think we've both been waiting for this moment for a while and now that it's finally happening I don't want to stop.

My hands explore his strong body, appreciating the feel of the firm muscle beneath the warm skin like never before. I trace my hands up and down his back and then his chest, taking in every curve and every scar.

All conscious thought has seemed to float out the window and I'm acting strictly on instinct, strictly on what my body and heart are demanding. I don't over analyze or second guess any of it. Peeta is here and in this moment I want all of him, I want to feel connected to him, I want to make him feel as good as he is making me feel.

I tug at his sweat pants, pulling them down his hips just a bit. He pulls back from our kisses and looks me in the eye. A silent question that I answer by simply holding his gaze and then removing my own underwear.

When we are both finally naked he hovers above me and pulls the cover over our exposed bodies. He returns to pressing kisses along my face and under my jaw and then lets his hand travel down the curve of my hips before touching me between my legs.

I gasp the moment he touches me there and cling to his shoulders. Peeta's hands have always been so amazing to me. His hands can lift impressive weights, create artistic masterpieces, act as the anchor that keeps me together, and provide the comfort that lets me know that I am not alone. But I have never once imagined his hands could make me feel like this.

He hits the tiny nub of nerves and I cry out in pleasure. I shut my eyes, tensing up and focusing on the sensations that are threatening to consume me. After a moment he pulls his hand away and I look up at him, struggling to regain my composure.

"Katniss..." he whispers and I'm not sure if it's a question or an exclamation.

He holds my gaze again and I grab his face and pull him down for a long, soft kiss. I try to tell him everything he needs to know in that one kiss: that I'm sure I want this, that he won't hurt me, that I really do love him.

When he pulls back I see him swallow thickly and then he steadies his hands on either side of my head. He pushes inside me slowly at first and it definitely hurts. He is so big and my body isn't accustomed to being stretched in this new way. The sudden pain from him breaking the final barrier makes me wince, but I bite my lip not wanting him to know it hurts. He stays completely still and lets me adjust and when I start to relax a little he whispers into my ear, "Okay?"

"Okay," I tell him, pushing my hips against his to encourage his movement because that burning sensation inside me is growing warmer.

I feel like I'm flying, I feel like he is worshipping my body, making me his, making me feel complete in a way I've never felt before. Everything he does seems to be with me in mind. I can tell how hard he is fighting against his primal instincts to start thrusting at a furious pace, but instead he is taking his time, rocking against me, studying how I'm responding, working to get me to that point of ecstasy.

My whole body is starting to be engulfed in flames that I can't and don't want to stop. Peeta pushing inside me, hearing his own grunts of pleasure, knowing that this is what it ultimately came down to despite everything we had to get through to get here is too overwhelming. I can't hold on much longer and with a couple of hard, fast thrusts I tighten around him and my body dissolves into spasms I can't control.

Only after such an intense pleasure racks my body does Peeta let himself finish, increasing the urgency of his thrusts until with one long, hard jerk of his hips he drives deep inside me and and goes rigid. He releases a moan that doesn't sound anything like the kind, humble boy I've always known, but makes me see the powerful man he is becoming. He collapses down on top of me, pushing the air from my lungs and immediately showering the sweaty skin of my neck and collarbone with kisses.

I feel completely satiated.

He pulls back after a while and with him still inside me he whispers, '"You love me. Real or Not Real?"

I have to hold back the tears that start to build at the idea there could ever be any doubt in his mind after what we just shared.

I tell him 'Real' and kiss him and keep him inside me because I never want to let go.

I'm so lost in my daydreams of last night I don't notice when Peeta stirs awake beside me. He stretches slightly and then wraps an arm around my waist, planting kisses along my shoulder.

"Morning," he murmurs, and I feel silly that I can barely contain the grin on my face.

"Morning," I reply as he moves my hair away from my shoulder, keeping his lips in constant contact with my skin.

I'm grateful that my back is towards him because it is so clearly written on my face the effect he is having on me, how he is just making me melt in his hands.

"So..." Peeta begins and my heart races at the realization we will actually have to talk about what happened last night between us.

"So?" I ask, playing dumb and he laughs.

"Last night. Real or Not Real?" He questions.

I can't help but laugh. "Very real," I tell him and tilt my head back to share a proper kiss.

"That's what I thought," he grins cheekily as we pull away. "Seemed too perfect to have been a dream."

I blush a little and bit down softly on my lower lip. I don't know where this sudden shyness is coming from, but I can't help but feeling like things are different now. Not that I would even want to, but there is no going back now after what we have shared. Our relationship can never be the same and I'm glad. There is no longer getting around what we mean to one another, how much we love each other. It's all out there in the open and the drastic change is both frightening and exhilarating.

Peeta breaks me from my train of thought when he speaks up again. "There is something I really want to do," he says and then rolls me onto my back and lifts the sheet off our naked bodies. "I didn't get a chance to appreciate this last night."

I'm confused for a moment until I see him holding the sheet away from us and drinking in the sight of my naked body. He lets his eyes roam up and down for a good long while. I'm blushing and embarrassed, but secretly pleased to have him lusting over me, and too caught off guard by his actions to say anything.

Finally he looks back up at me and places a kiss on my cheek. "You are so beautiful," he says and pulls my back flush against his chest again.

As usual, I completely fail in comparison to Peeta in being able to express what I'm feeling in the moment. To compensate I take one of his hands in mine and press my lips to his palm.

He moves his hands to my waist and pulls me firmly against him. "Katniss..." he breathes out and I'm suddenly aware of his hardness pressing against me. I don't know how quite to react at first. Logically I know I have no reason to be hesitant now that we have already made love, but for some reason I feel unsure and inexperienced.

Last night feels like a completely different experience to the reality of lying naked in bed with him now in the morning light, his arousal plainly evident. Last night everything was slow and quiet and under the cover of darkness, it almost felt like a dream. It was easy to jump into such unchartered territory without hesitation.

Now, reality is hard to escape, and as much as the feel of Peeta's flesh against my own is starting that burning sensation inside me to come alive all over again, I can't help but feel a little intimidated. I am so unfamiliar with loving someone in this way. It took me much too long to even admit that I cared about Peeta in this kind of way in the first place.

To give myself time to get over my issues I tell him I should get a start on the day so I can be back from the woods for dinner. I sit up in bed with the sheet clutched to my chest, looking for something to wear.

"Kinda pointless now," Peeta speaks up, almost reading my mind.

When I turn and look back at him he has a smug smile and is sprawled out across the bed, the sheet barely covering him from the waist down.

"You think you're funny," I tell him, biting back a smile and shaking my head.

He raises his eyebrows and shrugs and this overly confident side of Peeta is not at all unappealing. I decide I can play along too so I stand up from the bed and take the one sheet that was covering both of our bodies with me, draping it around me like a dress and leaving him completely nude on the bed.

I move confidently across the room towards the bathroom, but when I look back at Peeta on the bed he hasn't moved an inch. I expected him to chase after me for the sheet or at least cover up. Instead he is lying in the same position, his hands folded behind his head, completely exposed.

I take in the sight of him, the full sight, the bare legs, the firm stomach, the broad chest and shoulders and the part of him I didn't get to fully appreciate last night. He is long and so very hard that I swallow thickly, feeling myself getting wet from just the thought of him between my legs.

"Enjoying the view?" He asks way too innocently and I flush even redder and turn and head for the bathroom, closing the door behind me.

It's unfair how good he already is at this, how easy and natural this comes to him.

I'm still just trying to not feel like a complete novice.

It's hard to concentrate on much of anything today. I'm supposed to be supervising the rebuilding of the bakery as well as making a few dozen batches of fresh loaves to hand out to the people returning to the district. I try and stay focus on the tasks at hand but my mind keeps wandering back to last night and then this morning, making love to Katniss, waking up with her naked in my arms.

I swallow thickly and then, not for the first time today, order myself to calm down and not get too excited. I can't let myself start fantasizing about those kind of things in the middle of the day when I'm at work.

I do, however, allow myself the dumb grin that appears across my face in smug satisfaction. I can't help remembering the look of pure ecstasy on her face when I brought her to the brink last night: mouth slightly ajar, whimpering my name, eyes rolling back into her head.

I swallow thickly and decide those thoughts aren't exactly helping me calm down either. It's hard not to get so caught up in those feelings though when it feels like everything I've wanted my whole life, everything that has been building between us since that first reaping, culminated with what happened last night.

It feels kind of like a dream. It almost feels too good to be true; that I'm in love with her, that she's in love with me, that we're sharing this mind blowing pleasure with one another now. I ultimately decide it's only fair after the pure torture of the past few years that we were made to suffer through.

I'm interrupted from my thoughts when Delly Cartwright walks into the still unfinished bakery. She sees me behind the counter kneading the dough and breaks into a huge smile.

"Peeta!" She exclaims, coming over to give me a hug.

"Delly, how are you?" I ask, genuinely glad to see a familiar face back again. "I didn't know you were back in town."

"I only got back a couple of days ago," she explains. "They gave us the option of staying in 13 or coming back here and well, this is home. And I have some extended family members that are moving back here and they wanted me to stay with them." She wears a brave smile and I think about how under the nice and sweet demeanor there is real strength to Delly Cartwright. Not many people would be able to lose what she has lost and still want to come back to where it all happened and move forward.

"That's great." I smile at her encouragingly.

"What about you?" She questions with a frown and I can see her concern. "Have you seen much of Katniss? How is she doing?"

"She's doing much better. We both are." I answer and the limited response seems to placate her.

"That's great, Peeta. I'm so happy for you guys. I don't know what happened when the war ended, but I know Katniss had been through a lot. You both have. I'm glad you guys are okay now." She says so earnestly it makes me feel grateful to still have a connection with someone from the past, that all was not lost in the war.

"Especially you Peeta," she adds after a moment and I look up at her questioningly. "I hated what the Capitol did to you with the hijacking...it was just...so unfair." The words fumble from her lips and she seems upset at the memory. "I'm just so glad the old you is back now." She finishes with a small smile.

For some reason these words unnerve me a little bit and I can't put my finger on why exactly. Instead of responding I smile and nod in appreciation and then offer her a few loaves of bread from the batch I've already finished.

When she leaves I get to work finishing the last few tasks I had for the day, baking the rest of the bread, telling Thom what I want changed in the blueprints for the second floor, and helping the workers set up the shelves in the back pantry. Finally, after a few hours I head back home and let my mind wander to what Delly said.

I'm so glad the old you is back now.

I consider her words and my initial reaction to them. Then it hits me. I'm not fully confident that the old me really IS completely back now.

It's not that I don't feel in control. When a flashback hits it's rare and they usually come few and far between. I never feel that overwhelming rage and anger anymore, it's mainly just confusion and trying to push those shiny memories away. It's my life before the hijacking. The memories the capitol altered are still fuzzy, and other than knowing the thoughts of Katniss as an evil mutt trying to kill me are false, I couldn't tell you much more other than that with total certainty.

And I realize that if there is still this huge part of my life that is completely blurry to me I'm not exactly back to being my old self.

The realization is a little hard to stomach and I try to occupy my mind when I get back home, but it's almost impossible. My mind keeps wandering back to the same things, trying to sort out what I know for certain. I think about the cave in the first games: what was for the cameras and what was real? I think about the nights on the train during the victory tour: were we just friends then or something more? I think about that time on the beach during the Quell: did she really kiss me the way I remember it? I think about her and Gale: what was really between them and how far did it go, how long did it last?

The constant questions with answers I don't have start to become increasingly agitating. I grip my hands on the counter and close my eyes, trying to slow my breathing. I want to throw things across the room, I want to scream, I want to demand the truth immediately.

I'm just worked up enough to consider putting my first through a wall when I hear Katniss come in the front door. I hear the familiar sound of her dropping her bow, stripping off her jacket and calling out for me. Just her presence is enough to calm me and make my heart feel lighter. I want to take her in my arms and kiss her and think about what we did last night, not stand here angry and bitter.

She comes into the kitchen and greets me, a shy smile on her face as we embrace. I bury my head into her shoulder and inhale her scent, tangling my fingers through her hair. I hold her for as long as possible and when we finally pull away I see her eyes search my face in concern.

"You okay?" She ask pushing my hair away from my eyes.

"Yeah, I..." I hesitate. After what we shared last night it only feels right to be open and honest. "I want to talk to you about something. Follow me?"

Without waiting for a response I take her hand and lead her upstairs to our bed. It only seems right to have this kind of conversation in a more intimate place. When we're both sitting on the edge of the bed I see the look of concern in her eyes and I feel bad for making her worry.

"Have I ever told you when I started to really feel like myself again after my hijacking?" I decide to open up as much as possible so she has a complete understanding of where I'm coming from.

She shakes her her head 'no' and lets me continue uninterrupted. "It was after those first pods went off in the streets of the Capitol during that last mission. We ended up in someone's house afterwards and they showed us on TV. I saw for the first time with my own eyes the kind of monster they had turned me into. I saw how I completely lost my mind with rage and anger, and how my actions, inadvertent or not, got a member of our team killed. It was like a slap to the face, a wake up call that demanded my old self finally take back control. I couldn't let myself become that."

She doesn't say anything in response. Just holds my hands in hers and strokes them softly.

"The flashbacks are still there, but I at least feel in control of my actions. I feel in control of my mind and body, how I react and respond to things. Mostly it's just about sorting out the truth from the altered memories," I admit and it feels good to get this all off my chest.

"Why are you telling me this, Peeta?" She finally asks and I know she is just curious, not protesting the subject as a whole.

"I...I know they tried to turn me against you, make me believe things that weren't true. Everything from our first games up until the Quarter Quell is kind of just a blur to me now. There are a lot of shiny memories I know aren't real, but they're still there and it makes it hard to remember what really did happen. And I hate that because I want to remember everything about you, about what happened between us. I want to remember it all, the good and the bad." I hear the sound of desperation in my voice, but that doesn't matter now.

"Peeta...I..."Katniss stumbles over her words, trying to formulate a response.

"Please Katniss," I practically beg. "Tell me what really happened in the cave, what happened on the train and on that beach. What happened with you and Gale. I just want to know for sure. I can't stand the not knowing. Please. Tell me."

"Tell Me."

The words echo in my mind for a moment and I have to laugh at the irony. All day I've been wondering how I could be better at the 'show' part of our relationship. I want to be more comfortable being intimate, proving to Peeta how I feel through our love making and being confident enough to embrace this new physical side of things. And now he wants me to somehow explain in words the complexity of our relationship over the past few years.

I take a deep breath and try to sort out all the thoughts running through my head. I think of my sudden shyness this morning, proving just how much of a teenager I really am, and I can't help but feel embarrassed. I think about Peeta, the loving, good, kind-hearted boy who became what he most feared: a piece in the Capitol's evil, sick games. And yet he has managed to fight through it and now all he wants is to go back to really being himself, the person he was before.

I decide that if anyone deserves that much it's him. He deserves to know that no matter what they did to him he is still the same person he always was. The boy with the bread, the boy who loved me with his whole heart, who was willing to die to save my life more than once. But the details of the past don't matter really. He's here with me after everything that has been said and done and we have somehow managed to find a way to be together and move forward.

The idea of being even the least bit 'scared' or 'intimidated' of the intimacy we shared last night is laughable to me now.

I suddenly feel such a strong, overpowering sensation to get as close as physically possible with him, but I owe it to him to at least explain first and then we can make love.

We can make love until the sun rises because being intimate with Peeta is the most real way I can think of to get back at them all - Snow and the Capitol - for what they did to him and to us. Being intimate with him means he is real and he is here and we're in love and we're moving on together from the war.

No one can take that way from us. I won't let them.

"Peeta..." I start, trying to decide how best to explain this. "I can't tell you what you want to hear." I realize that came out wrong when I see the look of disappointment on his face and I quickly try to amend my words.

"I just mean...I can't tell you everything about all those things that happened because to be perfectly honest I don't even know how to explain them myself. All I can tell you is that you've been in my heart since that day you gave me that bread in the rain. And that somewhere between that time in the cave and those nights sharing a bed on the train I started to care more and more about you. I started to care so much I ended up falling in love with you without even realizing it. And Gale...well it just took me too long to realize that I only cared about him as a friend, despite whatever he may have felt. I can only tell you that I was prepared to die for you during the Quarter Quell and that my world shattered when you were picked up by the Capitol and hijacked. I'm sorry I can't tell you more than that, but all that really matters is the here and now."

I study Peeta's face as he processes all of this. I hope he understands that I'm not being evasive by not giving him the answers he wants. I hope he understands that I'm not trying to gloss over the past, but trying to simply focus on the present where we have each other and the war is over.

After a long while he finally responds. "Okay," he says quietly, nodding his head.

"Okay?" I return, skeptically.

"Yeah, okay." He replies with a hint of a smile. "I wish everything was perfectly clear in my mind, but at least I'm back to being myself now and that's all that truly matters. I can tell the difference between the fake memories and the real ones and I don't lose my self in fits of rage. That's better than nothing."

"It's better than that," I protest, "You fought back against them, you overcame what they did to you."

"You're right," he smiles. "And you're right that all that really matters is you and me together, right here, right now. Being able to move on, to move past everything that happened when we have a million reasons just to fall apart."

I can't help but break into a huge grin as I crash my lips into his. The power of the love I feel for him is overwhelming. I remember my earlier resolution to embrace our physical intimacy. I want to make love to him until I collapse in exhaustion. I want to explore his body without pausing. I want to drown in those groans and whimpers of pleasure he made last night.

This is the most complete, the most pure and satisfying way, to prove to ourselves we are moving forward, to show how far we come. Despite everything we both have suffered, despite how close we both came to not having this, we're here now and we're together and in love.

My hand snakes under the shirt he is wearing to the bare skin of his torso. "Peeta..." I murmur, hoping he can hear the pleading tone in my voice.

I push him back on the bed and straddle his waist, continuing our heated kisses. I grind my hips against him and he groans, immediately bucking his hips towards me.

"Katniss..." he breathes out and his desire only propels me forward.

I'm suddenly caught up in my own excitement and desire because I can barely calm myself enough to function properly. I want to feel him inside me, I want him to make me scream in pleasure, I want to make him come multiple times tonight. Being intimate with him makes me feel more alive than I have been in months.

I sit back and remove my shirt, loving the way Peeta stares at the sight of me topless in awe. To add to the effect I pull the tie from my hair and undo my braid, letting my hair fall down my shoulders in waves.

"I want you..." He says and I see that his eyes have darkened in desire. He reaches up from my hips to my breasts and the feel of his hands on me is enough to set me alight. I moan and impatiently tug at his own shirt, desperate to touch and see more of him.

When he removes his shirt I take a moment to appreciate the beauty of his chest. He is so strong. His shoulders and chest are so broad and firm you would think he works out every day. There are still a few scars and burned patches, but mostly the skin is flawless and virtually hairless. I run my hands down along it and rejoin our lips in a kiss.

He takes the opportunity to flip me on my back as he hovers above me. Our mouths never separating, his hands massaging my breasts, the warm skin of our bare torsos creating a friction that makes the feeling between my legs grow stronger.

I am so empowered, so emboldened by my earlier epiphany that making love to him can act as a cleansing ritual of sorts - healing from the past, moving forward together - that I want to take charge. I want to be the initiator, I want to be aggressive and prove just how much I love him.

I let my hand trail down his chest, over his stomach and slowly let it drift to his pants where I cup the bulge of his hardness over the fabric. Just his reaction - the sucking in of his breath, the pressing into my hand - tells me I'm off to a good start.

I fumble with the button of his pants before he finally pulls away from my lips to remove them himself. When he is completely nude, I take in the sight of his hardness and remember my reaction to it this morning. Instead of blushing I feel a combination of pride and desire. He is long and hard and I allow myself a shallow thrill that it is entirely for me, that I am doing this to him. I am no longer intimidated at the sight. I want to alleviate his arousal, I want to touch him, taste him.

I push him back on the bed and tentatively reach out to grasp him. As my fingers wrap around him Peeta lets out a strangled whimpering sound. I look up and see him with his eyes closed, trying to control his breathing. I start to stroke him up and down his length and his small moans and jerking of his hips are my reward.

After a moment though I realize I'm not exactly practiced in this particular skill. "What do you like?" I whisper into his ear and his eyes shoot open and look into mine. He hesitates for a moment before kissing me softly and taking my hand in his.

He wraps my hand around the base of his shaft and starts working it up and down at a methodically slow pace. Eventually he builds the momentum until I become familiar enough and his hand falls away and I am pumping him at a furious pace. His hips start to buck and that same feeling of boldness that propelled me earlier makes me lean down and take him in my mouth.

Peeta practically cries out in a mixture of surprise and pleasure, his hands immediately going to my head where he tangles them in my hair. I think he even lets out the first cuss word I've ever heard him use. I experiment between licking and sucking and seeing how much of an affect this is having on him makes my own need even greater.

"Katniss...I can't-" Peeta gasps, and his hips are starting to jerk uncontrollably. He pulls away and grips himself tightly and comes in long spurts over his stomach. He grabs his discarded shirt from earlier to clean himself off.

"I would have..." I begin, but he cuts me off with a kiss.

"It's okay," he smiles and then pushes me back onto the bed. His lips trail down my neck, sucking against the flesh as his hand finds my breast again. "I love you," he whispers as his hand trails down my body, but I'm too consumed by the sensations he is causing to even formulate a response. He pulls off my underwear and I tremble in anticipation.

His hand trails to my center where he cups me and I can't help digging my nails into his back as I bite my lip and whimper. He presses his thumb against that bundle of nerves and this time I can't hold back the moan that escapes my lips. He rubs his thumb in slow circles and gradually increases the pace and pressure until I'm panting and writhing on the bed. I briefly wonder how he is so good at this and then he slips a finger inside me and I all but lose it.

"You feel so good," Peeta breathes out and I'm whimpering and clinging to him in desperation as he pumps one and then two fingers inside me.

Before I am too far gone a small voice in the back of my head decides that I want more than just his fingers, I want to fell all of him. "Peeta..." I pant, stilling his hand with my own and then reaching for his hardness.

I push against his chest until he rolls to the side and lays on his back. I climb on top of him, reaching down between us and taking him in my hand. I lower myself down over him and I gasp at how much fuller I feel, how much bigger he feels this way. We're both moaning and getting adjusted to the new position, my hands braced on his chest and his hands gripping my hips.

"So beautiful..." he murmurs as we lock eyes and as he starts to thrust upwards into me.

I cry out in pleasure because he is going so much deeper this time. I throw my head back in ecstasy and decide that the way Peeta is looking up at me, the grunts of pleasure he is making as he drives into me, makes me feel more feminine and beautiful than I have ever felt in my life.

I am overwhelmed at how the physical act of being intimate with him makes me feel connected to him in a way like never before. I love that I am making him feel the kind of ecstasy that is consuming me. I love that we are sharing this.

"Peeta!" I cry out, starting to ride him faster, going up and down on his hardness.

I see the look of pure animalistic lust in his eyes, his labored breathing, his furious motions as he works to get us both to that point.

Finally my body falls apart, my entire being shatters as I come undone in his arms. My brain ceases to function as wave after wave of pleasure roll through me. Peeta comes only moments after me, crying out as I feel him explode inside me.

We cling to each other as we attempt to recover. Our bodies incapacitated and completely satisfied. There are just those lingering, residual effects that make our minds hazy and our bodies lethargic.

I focus on the sound of his heart beat, the warm, strong arms that encircle my waist. I love the feel of his warm flesh against mine, the steady pattern of his breathing.

"I love you," I say, glancing up at him and remembering that I didn't respond when he said it to me in the middle of our lovemaking.

Peeta laughs and kisses me on the forehead.

"I love you too," he answers, pulling the covers over our bare bodies, "and that was amazing."

"Wasn't bad," I joke and he chuckles again. "I think I could do that with you every day for the rest of our lives."

"Sounds like a plan," Peeta agrees and pulls me in for a kiss. "It felt different than last night," he adds on a more serious note.

"I think last night we were just testing the waters," I explain.

"Yeah," he agrees and I can tell the temptation of sleep is starting to pull him in so I try and get out what I want to say.

"When we make love I want it to be about healing from the past," I whisper. "I want it to be about you and me moving forward together."

"It will be. It is." he responds and the look in his eyes tells me he already knows what I mean. That as usual, Peeta already has it all figured out when it took me a little longer to get there.

"I never thought I'd be comfortable enough to do this with anyone," I admit, looking away from him.

"I never thought my fantasies of you I had growing up, would actually become a reality one day," Peeta laughs, pulling me closer.

I smile at the admission, the thought that Peeta used to relieve himself with thoughts of me. It only makes me that much more certain, that much more glad we are sharing this.

Lying in bed together, holding each other's naked bodies makes me so calm and at ease. My mind starts to wander until I realize what else our lovemaking means to me. Besides overcoming the past and celebrating our survival against all odds, our love making means I don't have to be guarded or be the strong one anymore; something I have never stopped doing since my father died. He can take control and make me fall apart in his hands and dominate me in a good way

The idea is so wonderfully appealing I can't help but smile and let my hands start to trail down his chest. I know he is tempted to doze off, but I'm overcome with a sudden need to hear his groans of pleasure again. My hand trails down between his legs and I feel him instantly react to my touch.

I realize I'll never get sick of this, making him feel good, sharing this mind blowing ecstasy.

And after all we've suffered through I decide I won't be one to take pleasure for granted.