A/N Thank you sooo much to safe-real-always for being such and amazing beta and chelziebelle for prereading and all of her awesome input with this chapter! And thank you for reading! THG belongs to the wonderful Suzanne Collins - it's her world, I just live in it.
I make it two blocks from the club before Peeta's car pulls up next to me. Thankfully, I've calmed my sobs into dull hiccups. I keep my eyes trained forward, too proud and absolutely unwilling to look at him. He rolls down the window.
I keep walking. His car creeps along next to me.
"Will you please just get in the car?" he asks.
"No," I reply, curtly.
"You can't deny that we need to talk. Get in the car and talk to me. Please?" I hear his voice waver.
I stop in my tracks and shoot him a glare. "Where were you when I wanted to talk to you a month ago?" I spit out. He slams on the breaks, causing the tires to squeal and me to turn towards him for the first time.
"Are you kidding me?" he asks in disbelief, anger flashing in his eyes.
"No, I am not kidding you, Peeta. If you wanted to talk, you should have done it sooner. Clearly you were, excuse me, occupied by other things."
"You have a lot of nerve, Katniss. Like you weren't rubbing your ass all over Gale Hawthorne, of all people. Now, you could just get in the goddamned car, or I will be waiting at your apartment when you get there. Your choice," he hisses.
I walk for two more blocks, Peeta crawling along beside me in his car, deathly silent and shooting me the occasional glare. When my heel breaks at the beginning of the third, I stomp over to his car and slam my way into the passenger seat.
The rest of the ride is spent in stubborn silence. The air is thick and heavy from the tension between us, and I know that the only reason either of us hasn't said anything is because we're both being stubborn and spiteful.
When we arrive at my apartment, I bolt out of the car and slam the door. I make my way quickly up the stairs, trying to put as much distance between us as possible. After the spectacle in the club, the last thing that I want to do is talk to him. My stomach is in knots thinking about the conversation we are about to have, not to mention the fact that must I look like a lunatic. My meticulously applied makeup has to be running down my face from the torrential downpour of tears I let loose earlier, and I know that my hair is a ruined mess from the amount of times I've run my hands through it. When I reach my front door, I unlock it and make my way straight to the bathroom, leaving it slightly propped open for Peeta. I think about shutting and locking the deadbolt to avoid the situation entirely, but even now I can't make myself shut him out completely.
I hear him slam the door as I'm splashing cold water on my face. When all of the black streaks are gone, I pull my hair into a knot and slip off my dress, grabbing a pair of yoga pants and a tank top from the pile on top of the hamper. I'd rather wear the clothes that I slept in the night before than the dress I wore to the club – it smells of alcohol and regret. I take a moment to catch my breath before I head out into the living room.
When I step into the living room, Peeta is leaning against the wall, his arms crossed. I allow myself a quick glance up to his face and I see the rage that flashes behind his eyes. Their clear blue has darkened and his jaw is set. I can see the muscle pulsing as he grinds his teeth. I quickly lower my eyes and make my way to the couch, where I sit on the middle cushion, crossing my own arms and steadily avoiding his gaze.
We sit there in silence for what feels like hours, when in reality it can't have been more than a minute or two. He finally clears his throat and I bring my eyes up to meet his.
"Are you going to say anything?" he starts.
"I had a lot to say weeks ago. You didn't want to hear it then, so why do you suddenly want to hear it now?" I snap.
"God dammit, Katniss!" He slams his fist against the wall behind him before stalking across the room to stare out the living room window. He is silent for a few seconds before whirling around and catching me with a steely glare. "No, you know what? I don't give a fuck what you have to say. I have a lot to share so you can just fucking listen. Who the hell do you think you are? You come into my life, you play games with me from the beginning with the whole 'I don't want you, I want you' act. I thought you were different, Katniss. I feel like I proved myself over and over again to you, but you still lied. You lied the whole time we were together. I thought it was real, but it wasn't. It wasn't real." He chokes out the last sentence and turns back to the window.
Up until now I had been passively seething, hoping to avoid the whole situation, but I feel something snap inside of me at his words. I jump up from my position on the couch, cross the room and grab his wrist, pulling him until he faces me.
"Are you fucking kidding me? You didn't want to hear anything I had to say. You didn't let me explain myself at all!" I shout.
He wrenches his wrist from my grasp and meets my glare with one of his own. "What the fuck is there to explain, Katniss? You used me!" he shouts back. "Why would I want to hear anything you had to say? Your words were right there in that email. The email that you left up on my computer, which is really fucking stupid, by the way. I would think that you would cover your ass a little bit better than that."
"Well what about you? If it was so real for you, why did you just jump into bed with the first random you saw? You know, the tall leggy blonde that you couldn't keep your hands off of tonight?" I spit out.
"Don't even act like you didn't have your ass pressed up against Hawthorne all night. Let me guess, he swooped in to pick up the pieces as soon as he saw I was out of the picture. What a classy guy," Peeta growls, taking a step closer and glaring down at me.
I push his chest forcefully, causing him to stumble backwards. I spin and quickly cross the room, heading down the hallway towards my bedroom. Peeta follows, grabbing my arm and spinning me around. He backs me up against the wall of the hallway, and when his body is flush against mine, he grabs my chin forcefully and before I can even catch my breath, he seals his mouth over mine. My lips part instinctively and his tongue finds its way in. Neither of us is willing to give up control, so our tongues battle for dominance in a messy, forceful, angry kiss. I nip at his bottom lip, not caring whether or not I hurt him. His answering moan tells me that he doesn't mind.
I don't realize that I had been holding my breath until Peeta pulls away. I pant as he rests his head against my forehead, his own chest heaving from his labored breathing. He looks at me, anger still flashing in his eyes, although the rage is slightly dulled.
"Did he kiss you like that, Katniss? Did you let him fuck you?" His voice is a low growl. He tilts his hips up so that I can feel him, his hardness brushing against me.
"Nothing happened with him, you fucking asshole. Did you fuck your blonde model?" I counter, with a grind of my own hips. He bucks against me and narrows his eyes.
"No, I didn't," he answers.
"But you were going to," I say.
"No, I wasn't," he murmurs, before dipping his head down to latch himself onto my neck. He sucks forcefully and I can already feel the warmth of the bruise rising to the surface. "As pissed off as I am at you, you're still all I can think about."
My hips jerk forward at his words and he moves his hand down to cup me through the fabric of my pants, his fingers find my clit and press down, hard and unyielding.
I moan into his ear. "Don't fucking tease me, Mellark. If you're going to fuck me, do it now."
Before the words are even fully out of my mouth, I find myself thrown over Peeta's shoulder as he stalks down the hallway and into my bedroom.
He lays me down on the bed and grabs my hips roughly, pulling me down so that my pelvis is just at the edge. He wastes no time peeling off my yoga pants and underwear at the same time. I try to close my legs at my sudden nakedness but he grabs my thighs and pushes them apart.
"No. Touch yourself," he commands.
He backs up and begins undoing his belt as I trail my fingers down and brush the sensitive bundle of nerves. I shiver at the contact. By the time I reach down to slip a finger inside, his pants are around his ankles and he knocks my hand aside. With one quick thrust, he is fully sheathed. He pauses for only for a second before beginning to pump his hips quickly and roughly.
I wrap my legs around his waist and he leans over me on his forearms, his forehead resting against mine. We don't kiss, but our eye contact is steady and unbroken. I see the hurt and anger in his eyes, as well as the lust. I'm sure he sees the same in mine.
Peeta's thrusts remain steady and I meet his hips with my own. The tension is building, but I need more to be thrown fully over the edge. As if he's reading my mind, Peeta reaches his hand down and grazes his thumb over my clit, and it is my undoing.
I feel myself clenching around him as the spring in my stomach uncoils. I pant and moan and scratch his back, his name falling from my lips like a chant.
He doesn't let up on his thrusts as he pulls down the front of my tank top, exposing my breasts. His mouth finds a nipple and he bites down, causing me to gasp and thread my fingers into his silky curls. His hips begin to jerk erratically and I feel him start to twitch inside of me. Peeta collapses on my chest as he spills himself into me.
We lay there for a good amount of time, Peeta still inside me as we both catch our breath. I don't know who made the first move, but before I know it we're both naked and under the comforter, Peeta curled up against my back as we both drift off into a blissful, sated sleep.
I wake up with Peeta's hardness pressed into my backside and a delicious ache between my legs. Peeta sighs behind me and I turn in his arms to gaze at his sleeping face. His jaw is slack and there is a look of peace on his face as he snores gently – a welcome change from the anger that was there last night. As much as I am enjoying my view, I know that he and I need to talk about last night and I'm just not ready. I slip from his embrace and dress in the same clothes I wore last night. Peeta snuggles deeper into the sheets, moving his head onto my pillow. He smiles in his sleep.
I make my way to the kitchen, stretching out my stiff limbs as I go. I put on a pot of coffee and rummage around in the freezer for some frozen waffles. Peeta will probably be horrified. The image of his disgusted face staring down at a plate of Eggos flashes in my mind and I giggle.
"What's so funny?"
I jump at the unexpected question and turn to see Peeta standing in the doorway, leaning against the frame and gazing at me shyly.
I hold up the box of waffles. "I was picturing your look of horror when I serve you these."
"Ugh, throw those out. Disgusting." He shakes his head. "Look, Katniss, about last night..."
"Peeta, stop," I interrupt him, holding up my hand. He shuts his mouth and crosses his arms, looking at me expectantly. "I need to explain some things to you, and I should have done it from the beginning. I was assigned that piece when we first met. I didn't know how to handle the situation; here I was in my first serious position as a writer and I didn't want to blow it. But I was never going to write that piece, Peeta. I just needed to figure a way out of it, which I did. Right before I came to your apartment that day, I had told Crane that I had a conflict of interest and that he needed to reassign it. I should have told you about it though and I'm sorry."
I take a deep breath and venture a look at Peeta. He stares at me for a moment, searching my eyes. I meet his gaze, trying to show him with my eyes that I'm telling the truth and that I'm sorry for the way I went about things.
Peeta pushes off of the door frame and in two strides is standing in front of me. He tilts my chin up and brushes his lips on mine, swiftly but sweetly, before pulling me to him and wrapping his arms around me.
"I'm sorry, too" he murmurs into my tousled hair. "I should have listened to you. I was just so angry. I'm used to people using me for my father, but it's never hurt as badly as that did. I just threw all reason out the window."
I sigh and press my face into his chest, letting the dull thump of his heart lull me into a semi-trance. I take a deep breath in, drawing his familiar scent into my lungs. This is where I belong.
A thought comes to me and I clear my throat. "So, um, what about the girl you were with?" I ask tentatively.
He tenses up. "Glimmer. Her father is a very wealthy man that my dad is trying to woo into donating money to his campaign. My mom made me go out with her a few times. She's a nice girl, but there's nothing there," he answers.
"How far did it go? Be honest with me. If we're going to do this, we need to be honest," I tell him, almost choking on the words. Some part of me needs to know.
"Kissing. A little more, but no sex," he answers.
A pinch of jealousy twists my gut, but I breathe out a sigh of relief. "Thank you."
"I wasn't kidding when I said I still thought of you all the time, Katniss. I didn't want to be with anyone else. What about you and Gale?"
"Nothing, I swear. My biggest interaction this past month has been with Ben and Jerry," I tell him.
The air seems calmer since our confessions, the tension has left the room and my shoulders. I look up at Peeta. "You know, this honesty thing is really nice. We should come up with some guidelines for how we're going to move forward together," I propose.
"Like, rules?" he asks, scrunching his nose.
"No, not rules... more like what our limits are. What we need from each other," I say.
"I like that idea," he says, nodding his head.
"Come here." I grab his hand and lead him to the couch, scooping a yellow legal pad and pen off of the dining room table as I go. We settle on the couch and I prop the pad on a throw pillow. I label the sheet "K&P Part 2 Guidelines" writing with my tongue poking out between my lips.
"Such a journalist," Peeta teases, poking me in the side.
"Shut up," I laugh. "Okay, number one should be that we stay completely honest with each other, about everything."
"Definitely. Number two: we have to trust each other." He takes the pad and writes down number two.
"Three, no matter what, we have to communicate with each other." I write it down.
"And four, let's make it a point to have 'state of the union' discussions – we can both get our feelings out on the table," he proposes.
"Anything else?" I ask him.
"I like those for now. Short and sweet. We can add to it if need be," he tells me. "Now, a more pressing matter of business. Last night isn't how I wanted out first time to be, so I'll just have to make it up to you now."
Peeta winks and heads towards the bedroom. "Coming?" he calls over his shoulder, his eyes flashing devilishly. I practically run to catch up with him.
When I walk into the bedroom, Peeta is sitting on the edge of the bed, his hands in his lap. I stand in front of him and he pulls me down to straddle his lap. Our lips meet and I instantly find my hands buried in his hair. I feel him harden beneath me and I shift in his lap, grazing his growing erection. He jerks up, pulling my hips down to increase the friction.
"I've thought of this so many times," he whispers into my neck, his breath making me shiver.
Without warning, he flips me over and scoots me up to the middle of the bed. He lowers himself on top of me, our hips gyrating as we continue our kiss. We move together in tandem, slow and deliberate. Peeta's bare chest presses against me and I need to feel his skin on mine. I reach between us and grab the hem of my shirt but Peeta's hands push mine aside.
"Let me," he says, lifting the tank top gently up and over my head. I lift my arms up to slip it fully off.
Instead of settling back down on top of me, Peeta moves lower down on the bed, trailing kisses across my stomach before hooking his hands in the top of my pants and sliding them off deftly. This time, I don't try to hide myself from him, I leave my legs splayed as he licks up the inside of my thigh. He takes his time, kissing and licking everywhere except the one spot I'm aching for him to focus on.
"Peeta, please," I pant.
"Please what?" he teases.
"You know what," I tell him.
Instead of answering me he flattens his tongue and swipes it through my folds, stopping to suck on my clit briefly before repeating the action over and over. I let out a whimper when he adds his fingers into the mix.
"Is that what you want?" he asks.
"Y-yes," I stammer. He continues to use his teeth, tongue, and fingers to build me into a frenzy before he abruptly pulls his head away and settles himself next to me, propped up on the pillows.
"What? What the hell," I protest.
"I want to be inside of you when you come." He gazes at me with hooded eyes. "Come here."
I climb on Peeta's lap and position him at my entrance before I slowly sink down, taking him in fully. We both groan as he fills me. He grabs my hips and I start to move, grinding into his pelvis so that I hit the perfect spot on every downstroke, causing a fire to spark in my belly. It doesn't take long before I feel myself begin to lose control.
He looks into my eyes. "Come."
As soon as the word spills from his mouth the tension that had been building snaps like a rubber band, causing my body to collapse on his chest and moan out his name as my walls contract around his length. The orgasm seems to last impossibly long, and Peeta's hands roaming up and down my sides and over my breasts cause my overly sensitive skin to break out in goosebumps.
As I start to come back to earth, Peeta flips me over so that he is looming over me, his weight resting on his hands. He pumps slowly at first, gradually gaining speed until his hips jerk with no recognizable rhythm and I feel him spill hotly into me. After he recovers from his own release, he brings his head down to rest on my chest. I twine my arms around his neck, slowly regaining the ability to function.
"Here's to our second first time," he mumbles between my breasts and I let out a laugh.
We don't leave the bedroom until after our fourth first time.