Disclaimer: If I owned the Hunger Games, there would be more funny moments between the characters!
Katniss walked to school ignoring the cramping in her stomach. She had only caught two squirrels the day before and insisted her mother and Prim eat the meat. She found some clover flowers growing on the lawn near the school and ate them.
Entering the fourteen-year olds' classroom, she spotted Madge who waved to her. Katniss dropped into her seat sighing. "Long morning?" Madge asked. Katniss shrugged. She really didn't know how to explain her situation to the Mayor's daughter. The teacher began a lecture on the management structure of the mines. Madge had to prod Katniss several times during the morning as Katniss was about ready to fall asleep. Katniss groaned. She wondered if the whole class could hear her stomach growling.
"It's almost lunchtime, dear." The teacher said smiling at Katniss as she collected her in-class essay.
"Thanks." Katniss said.
When the bell rang for lunch, Katniss nearly bolted down the hallway to the cafeteria. A most delicious smell was coming from the kitchen. It was the smell of freshly baked bread. The principal had the students line up by grades – the youngest children first. "In honor of his son's birthday, Mr. Mellark in the bakery has been kind enough to bake extra bread for all of us!" he announced. Katniss had to wipe her mouth on her sleeve, as she was unashamedly drooling. She smiled as she watched Prim leave the line with a large hunk of pita bread and the usual school meal. It was Katniss' turn. She got the bread and her lunch.
As soon as she exited the line, she shoved the bread in her mouth. It was fresh, filling her mouth, and had a subtle hint of spices. Tears rolled down her cheeks. The bread was also piping hot. She swallowed the whole thing with some difficulty as she sat down next to her friends.
"Katniss, are you ok?" Madge asked concerned staring at her friend's odd facial expression. "What's up?"
"PITA –IS - SO HOT!" Katniss gasped. Half of the cafeteria turned around and stared at her. "PITA!" She gasped. To her horror, Peeta Mellark stood up and waved. He was sitting at a table directly across from where Katniss.
"Do you – ah – need help – Katniss?" He stammered, blushing brilliantly to the roots of his blonde hair.
"Aaaw!" another fourteen year old called. "Peeta – you got a crush on your BIRTHDAY!"
"Uh – uh – ah -" Katniss kept her eyes down as she devoured her lunch. She looked up when she sensed someone standing behind her.
"Um – I'm – Dad's making me a cake – later – so – uh – you – you can have my bread." Peeta stammered. "Um – it's cooled down." Katniss stared at him warily. "Actually – why don't you come over to my party – you and Prim."
"I – uh – I don't know you – very well." Katniss stammered.
"Wait – I thought you said he was hot!" Madge squealed.
"She was talking about the pita bread you twit!" Gale Hawthorne called from a few tables over.
"Um – I - uh – I have to do some chores – later – um – I'll see." Katniss stammered. Chores really meant hunting.
"Ok." Peeta said. "Um – well – here." He put his bread on her plate. "That will get you through your chores." Katniss gave him a small smile.
"Thanks. Happy Birthday." Katniss said before eagerly taking a bite of the bread. Peeta smiled. Maybe someday he would be her boyfriend. But for now, he was content with being the boy with her bread.