So here's another update, and I think this is probably one of the fluffiest things I've ever written. I'm really pleased with it, even though finding the style was hard because I was trying to use the show's structure of love in it, and obviously that's hard since it's a voice over, but I hope I did it justice!
Thank you again for all the lovely reviews, favorites, and alerts! They all mean so much to me, and please don't hesitate to ask me anything! Either in a review, PM, or my tumblr is .com. :)
Please tell me what you think because it's always encouraging as a writer!
I never expected to fall in love with her. Hell, I never imagined Katniss Everdeen and I would even see each other again after that fateful night at Gale and Johanna's wedding, but fate has a funny way of giving us what we need when we need it.
For instance, ten years ago, when Finnick Odair and I were college roommates, he would bring home so many girls I lost count. I had asked him once if any of these flings ever became anything, and he laughed at me like I had become a clown, slapped my shoulder affectionately, and told me, "Peet, Finnick Odair does not date. He doesn't do the sappy romantic dates, he doesn't stay in on a Friday night, and let me assure you that he will never fall under the trap of the pet names."
I wanted to ask him why he always referred to himself in third person whenever he was giving me a life lesson, but it was Finnick and I found it best never to question him. His life motto on living the single life was foolproof. He knew how to get out of commitments and he knew how to still keep the girls wanting more. I guess Finnick was kind of a jerk in college, at least when it came to girls, but that all changed our senior year of college.
We had decided to go to the closest beach from Penn State, as a bros-sort-of trip, and that was when we met Annie. She had run into Finnick first, demanded he apologize to her because she's a lady, and somehow convinced him to buy her dinner to make up for the emotional scars he had inflicted on her. It was really funny how easily whipped my friend could be when it came to Annie Cresta, and soon, I began to see more of her.
"I think she's the one," Finnick had told me after his fourth date with Annie. "I'm pretty sure she's the one I'm going to marry."
"But what about living the single life?" I retorted, tossing him a beer. "I thought no one could tie down the great Finnick Odair?"
I can still remember the goofy smile he made when he thought about Annie. "I love her, man. I want to spend every day with her." I had never seen my best friend so...emotional before. It was cute.
"How do you know?" I had asked, truly curious. "How do you know you're in love with someone, and how do you know you want to spend the rest of your life with her?"
"You'll just know," he told me, shaking his head of all the sappy thoughts I'm sure he was thinking of. She truly had changed my bachelor friend. "You'll just know when you meet her."
Finnick was wrong.
I didn't know I would fall in love with Katniss when I first met her, but as our one year anniversary grew closer, I couldn't help but think how I hoped we'd get to spend hundreds of anniversaries together. The thought scared me. I had never felt that way about a girl before, and especially for one so unconventional as Katniss, but I still couldn't be bothered to care.
I was falling in love with her.
It didn't start with a certainty.
It started with a possibility. I could possibly be in love with Katniss Everdeen, but even that thought scared the living hell out of me. It had been so long since I had felt this possible love for someone, and the last time I had gotten severely hurt from it.
But even with the fear of Katniss leaving me, or hurting me, I couldn't shake the admiration I felt toward her. Her presence made my life exciting, unpredictable, because I never knew what she was going to say, or how she would react.
"Don't you hate those creepy talking baby commercials?" she asks me one night.
I look at her, my right arm slung over her shoulders, and wonder where the hell that came from. The commercials weren't even on.
"Those talking baby commercials," she persists. "Don't you think they're creepy, because I sure do."
"What brought this on?"
I feel her shrug. "There was a creepy scene a few minutes ago, and I thought, 'What's creepier than a talking doll?' And talking baby commercials popped up right away. Those are far more creepy than any killer doll." I burst into laughter at her thought process and her skin flushes pink. "It's not funny!" Katniss argues, but I continue laughing until she punches me in the stomach to shut me up so she can hear the movie.
With my sore abdomen, I glance down at the girl wrapped in my arms, and yes, I can see that I'm possibly falling in love with her.
The possibility of being in love with Katniss Everdeen grows into a certainty. I am certain I am in love with this tough-as-nails girl, but it's still too soon in our relationship to admit anything. She's still new to letting herself open up to me, and I'm still new to feeling any commitment to a girl ever since Madge left me. We're both a mess when it comes to relationships, but I can't imagine relearning how to be in a relationship with anyone else but her.
I'm in love with Katniss Everdeen.
It feels liberating to finally realize it, but the secret stays tucked inside my heart. I'm afraid if I reveal my affections too soon, Katniss will run away, and my heart can't handle that abandonment again. I love Katniss, but I'm too afraid of telling her. It's still nice to have that bubbling feeling back, though.
"It looks like the most pathetic excuse of a flower," she mutters bitterly in my lap. I laugh and take her hand that is holding my charcoal into mine.
"You just have to practice," I encourage, adding shading to her dandelion.
"I'm not an artist like you," she argues once we finish her drawing. "I mean, look at this." She motions toward the drawing. "It's only decent looking because you made it prettier. How do you do it?"
The way she's frowning, with her nose all scrunched up like that, I can't help but want her. I never knew I'd ever find someone scowling so attractive, but then again, there are things that only Katniss can possess, like scowling, that makes it the most hottest thing ever.
I set the charcoal down on the table and pick her up. She squeals in shock as we bound across the apartment for my bedroom. "Peeta!"
I toss her on my bed and climb over her, already ravaging kisses along her covered breasts and neckline. "A muse," is all I say as I begin to tug off her ratty T-shirt. She laughs when I hit her tickle spot and everything inside me screams at how attractive I find her, how aroused I am. I'm sure she notices.
Her hands find my face and she gently starts giving me kisses to calm my hormones. "Slow down, Mellark," Katniss laughs, giving me another kiss. "We can't go far until next week." I groan in protest but roll off her, always respecting her space when her baby timer is at a high. This woman is driving me crazy, though. Couldn't we risk it?
I groan again, knowing she'd kill me if I suggest it. "Sorry," I mutter, pulling the pillow over my face to hide my dirty thoughts. I feel her climb on top of me, resting her chin on my chest, and her soft laugher shakes my being, not helping kill my dirty thoughts at all. Katniss pulls the pillow off my face and tosses it across the room. Something crashes in the background, and I wonder how a huntress can have such poor aim sometimes.
"You have charcoal on your face," she laughs, running her blackened hand across my cheek.
"I wonder where I got that from," I tease, trying to focus on anything but where my thoughts want to go.
She runs her darkened thumb across my forehead and smiles. "Simba," is all she says before bursting into laughter again. I'm still amazed Katniss is a hidden Disney nerd, and I love her even more for it. She gives me a peck on the nose, and I can't handle it. I can't contain it.
I pounce, shocking her with an old wrestling move of mine as I flip her over and lay all my weight on her so she can't escape. A small giggle escapes her mouth as she wriggles beneath me, and I silence it with a kiss.
"Do you really believe you're a lion?" she questions once we are both able to breathe again.
"You called me Simba, didn't you?" I peck her lips teasingly before she can answer. "I'm a lion, hear me roar."
"You're an idiot," she says, rolling her eyes at me. I smile at the way she says those three words, almost as though they were the three words.
Yes, I'm certain I love this girl.
I want to tell her.
It's ready to fly off my tongue.
I love Katniss Everdeen, and I'm ready for the world to know it. No one, not even my friends, know my feelings about her.
I'm ready to tell her.
I want to tell her, but I'm not sure how.
I tried once, but that didn't go so well.
We were sitting on her roof, looking up at the night sky, trying to see the stars from here, when she points to a cluster of stars.
"My dad used to always make stories about the stars," she explains nostalgically. "And when I was younger, well, I wasn't really popular with kids my age." I twist my head towards her and our eyes meet. Her eyes look sad, tired, and I squeeze her hand in encouragement to continue. I know how much she avoids talking about her dad at all costs. "Well, when I was little, I would come home crying because the little girls used to tease me mercilessly," she remembers, looking back up at the sky, "and I would tell him how no one wanted to be my friend. He used to sit me down in his lap and tell me, 'Katniss, see that cluster of stars? It took those stars years to find each other, so don't lose hope. The friends who'll mean something just haven't found you yet.'" She laughs, shaking her head, her voice returning to normal. "It's silly, I know, but it always calmed me down. At least for a little bit."
"It's not silly," I argue. "It's cute." Her nose scrunches at the compliment and I tell her to take the compliment for once.
"I just don't feel I ever deserve them."
"Well," I say, "you deserve a lot more than a crummy compliment, but I'm a private business owner. There's only so much I can afford." She doesn't argue with me for once, and I'm grateful for that. I like complimenting her, and even though she has never admitted to liking them, I can see how her eyes light up when she receives them, and how her teeth pull at her bottom lip bashfully when I say something extra sweet. I know she secretly likes hearing them come from me, so I drop them whenever I can.
A gust of wind passes us and we both scoot closer for warmth. Her hair smells of strawberries and spring as it blows in my face, loose from its confinement, and I kiss her temple. Nights like these are some of my favorite with Katniss. She loves nature, appreciates it, and in the middle of a busy city, it's hard to remember there's an outside world that doesn't include concrete. It's calming despite the dogs barking below us, or sirens blaring two blocks from here.
It's nice because I'm with her, and lately she's been making everything nice, perfect.
"Do you want to go inside?" Katniss asks once the wind starts to become unbearable to sit in.
I shrug, get up from the table we're lying on, and help her down. She smiles, pushing long strands of black hair from out of her vision, and I hold her there, telling her not to move. She gives me a questioning look, but I quiet her with a kiss. It surprises her, but her arms wrap around my neck as she pulls me closer to her height. We break apart after a few blissful moments, smiling peacefully at each other, and I know this is the perfect moment to tell her I love her. We haven't fought in over two months, we've gotten closer since our last big fight, and I'm tired of keeping the secret to myself.
"Katniss," I start, feeling my insides start to turn with nerves.
"I..." You can do this, I chant to myself. Say it! "I..." Oh no. Something is stuck in my throat. Nothing is coming out. What is breathing? How do I speak?
She patiently waits, wondering where I'm going with this.
"Falafel," I spit out.
What does that even mean?
Her calm expression turns into a confused one, with her eyebrow arching up in confusion. "...Excuse me?" We break apart, the moment ruined by my own stupidity. "Did you say falafel? What the hell is that?"
My mind spins for an explanation because I sure as hell can't tell her I was going to tell her I love her.
"It's... It's a..." My mind racks for an explanation. "My dad used to make these crazy pastries. Falafels. They're really good," I lie, my face probably the shade of a strawberry.
She believes me, letting her body relax again. "Oh. Are they hard to make, because I'm starving."
"Nope, not hard at all."
She grabs my hand and leads us to the roof top door to go back to her apartment. "Let's make some, then, because I'm starving."
"Sure thing," I laugh, mentally kicking myself as we make our way down to her apartment to make the food.
What the hell, self?