A/N: So, it was brought my attention I messed up in the last chapter. I had put Madge in it, when she is dead. So, sorry about it. I also had forgotten that I'd introduced Peeta's oldest brother and his wife and changed their names. So, I'll make sure I leave Madge out of this now, and change Peeta's oldest brother and his wife's names back to what they're suppose to be. Anyways, glad that was pointed out or I wouldn't have even noticed. Also, thank you for all the reviews and follows and favorites.
I wake up to the sun starting to stream through the window. I raise my eyes slightly to glance at the clock. 8 o'clock. I groan quickly sliding out of bed but not before I cast a glance at Katniss. Her face peaceful, and calm. Her thick dark eyelashes casting shadows just below her eyes. I can't help the grin that grosses my face as I look at this beautiful girl. My girl. I would never understand how I got lucky enough to be able to call the girl from the bakery mine.
I make my way to my dresser quickly grabbing a white shirt and dark blue jeans. I'm already an hour late for work. My mom was going to be furious when we got to the bakery. I slip into the bathroom careful not to wake Katniss. She never takes long to get ready. Unlike I imagine every other person in the Capitol does. I turn on the shower as I slide out of my clothes.
The room doesn't take long to be come damp with the heat of the running shower. I step into the shower letting the warm water run down my back, washing away all the makeup from my prep team. I sigh contentedly starting to feel more like myself again.
I bolt upright in bed at the sound of pounding on the door. I let out a sigh of irritating as I slip out of my bed, my feet coming in contact with the cold wooden floor. I cast a glance towards the bathroom hearing the shower running. Peeta would figure out where I went when he got out. I run down the stairs taking the steps two at a time.
"Coming!" I yell my voice still thick with sleep. I wasn't completely sure who could be here until I look at the clock.
"Shit," I mutter. I let out a groan guessing that Peeta's mom had come over to drag him to the bakery. I grumble with dislike for the woman who called herself Peeta's mother. She sure as hell didn't deserve that title. I wrench open the door. "God he just got back from - " I cut myself off when I see Seneca standing on the porch. "Oh," is all I manage.
"Katniss, we need to talk. This is serious." I look at him with an arched eyebrow unsure of what was so urgent. Haymitch has already clued me in on the problem I've created.
"About?" I say as I step away from the door allowing him to come in. He nods and strides toward the living room. I let out a sigh shutting the door. My problems just aren't going to end.
"Peeta. You. The whole situation. Your father is pissed. Do you realize what he wants to do with that boy?" I shake my head my stomach pulling into knots and doing uneasy flips. "He wants to make him the next Finnick Odair." My breath hitches in my throat, anger flaring up inside me until I'm practically seeing red.
"He can't do that! I won't let him!" I find myself shouting. "We're engaged for god's sake! He wouldn't do that. No. I'm not going to let him. I'll be damned if I do!" Seneca watches me yell and pace across the living room, with sympathy in his eyes.
"Katniss, look I don't want this to happen to the boy either. That's why you need to convince your father you love him. You need to get your act together." At the use of the word 'act' I strike out at a lamp sending it crashing to the floor.
"Why does no one understand!? I love Peeta Mellark! It never was and never will be a god damned act! He means more to me than my own life does, but apparently I haven't made that clear enough. Him, Haymitch, and Effie seem to be the only one's who can see I'm not faking anything." Seneca grabs my wrist.
"Katniss keep your voice down. I know you love him, I knew it since you wanted to save him. Look, I know all about your little encounter from the first time you came here. I also know you haven't been able to shake him, to forget about him. Most teenage girls would kill to be you. Having all the boys in Panem in love with you, but you were blind to that. You didn't care, and it's because of that boy upstairs. That's why I want to help you. You're so in love with him you're blind to everything else. You're blinded with love for that boy."
I press my lips together. How had I never figured that out before? I didn't even know all the other guys were interested in me. Maybe Seneca was right, maybe this whole time Peeta made me blind to every other guy out there. Maybe this whole time I had been falling in love with a boy I spoke to once, and maybe that's why it didn't take me all that long to say I love him.
"Seneca, I can't - I won't let this happen to him. My father will not turn him into Panem's new love toy. He's mine and anyone who dares lay a finger on him can go to hell," my voice is quieter now, but laced with venom and hatred.
As soon as I heard yelling I knew something was wrong. I quickly climb out of the shower drying myself off and slipping in my clothes. 8:20. Maybe Katniss is in a fight with my mom downstairs. The idea makes me uneasy. As soon as I open the bathroom door I hear a loud smash. The sound of glass shattering fills the house. My stomach twists into knots. I open my mouth to call Katniss's name when I hear her voice.
"Why does no one understand!? I love Peeta Mellark! It never was and never will be a god damned act! He means more to me than my own life does, but apparently I haven't made that clear enough. Him, Haymitch, and Effie seem to be the only one's who can see I'm not faking anything." I walk as quietly as possible to the top of the stairs, to listen in on the conversation. The next voice to speak startles me. Seneca. With the topic of conversation I assumed Haymitch would've been the one speaking with Katniss. I only catch the last part of what he says.
"Having all the boys in Panem in love with you, but you were blind to that. You didn't care, and it's because of that boy upstairs. That's why I want to help you. You're so in love with him you're blind to everything else. You're blinded with love for that boy." My eyebrows knit together in confusion. Katniss's voice is back to normal volume when she speaks again.
"Seneca, I can't - I won't let this happen to him. My father will not turn him into Panem's new love toy. He's mine and anyone who dares lay a finger on him can go to hell." It takes a moment for her words to sink in. Snow wanted me to be Panem's new prostitute. The idea makes me sick. This couldn't be happening. I'm engaged for god's sake.
"I know, Katniss. I'm not going to let it happen either. Look we'll make sure you two are married before the Quarter Quell, and we'll make sure that it's broadcast for all of Panem to see. You will never understand how much someone loves someone, until you see them on their wedding day. Trust me on that. Snow didn't believe my wife and I were truly in love until he saw us on our wedding day. He knew she'd be a weapon against me. Two weeks ago I found her dead, and I'd be a fool if I didn't know it was your father who had her killed."
My eyes widen. Snow killed Seneca's wife? I peer over the railing catching a glimpse of the engagement ring on Katniss's left hand. Snow wouldn't kill his own daughter. At least I pray to God he wouldn't. But who knows, he is the devil in disguise.
"He killed her?" My voice comes out in a whisper. My father truly would do anything. I place my face in my hands only looking up when I hear the clearing of a voice. I see Peeta standing behind the chair Seneca is in and I fling myself at him. I wrap my arms tightly around his torso burying my face in his chest, and that's when I lose it. I start weeping, the front of Peeta's shirt becoming wet with tears.
My Peeta. I got him in this situation all because I fell in love with him. His strong arms hold me to him tightly, his cheek resting against the top of my head. I could tell by the way his hands slightly shake that he had heard what my father wanted to do with him. I try to think of Peeta being auctioned off in the Capitol, which only makes me cry harder.
"No one's going to touch you, Peeta. I promise," I choke out between tears. He kisses the top of my head and pulls away cupping my face in his hands.
"Kat, listen to me. No one's going to take me from you. I'd rather die then be Panem's whore. I'm yours. It's not going to happen. We're going to get married and prove to this whole god forsaken country that I'm yours, and that you are mine. Trust me, I wouldn't put it past your father to try to do something like this to you." His thumbs brush away my tears.
"Peeta, I'm so sorry. It's my fault you're in this mess, and I - " He cuts me off with a soft tender kiss.
"Katniss, trust me," he whispers his blue eyes boring into mine.
"Then please understand, everything is going to be okay, and don't apologize. All of this is worth it, if it means I get you in the end." I lean into him, my forehead against his. He was right. Seneca clears his throat and we pull apart.
"I just wanted to warn you guys. I promise I'll do my best to keep you two safe. I'd better go now though," Seneca says as he stand.
"Thank you," I whisper and he nods giving me a half smile that's filled with sadness. I watch as he leaves the house. I wrap my arms around Peeta's torso again relaxing in his warm embrace.
"I love you," he whispers against the top of my head.
"I love you too." We pull apart and I manage a small genuine smile. "I'm going to get dressed, and then we'd better get to the bakery," I say and run up the stairs.
I let out a sigh as I watch Katniss run up the stairs. I wonder if I had known that this would be my life if I would've still initiated that contact with her that day outside the bakery. There's no way in hell I wouldn't have, because a life with Katniss no matter the amount of problems I face is better than a perfect life without her. I jump slightly startled when I hear a knock on the door.
I walk towards the door and open it, my eyes landing on my mother. I hold my breath waiting for the yelling to start. I'm unaware of what she'd done until I feel my cheek stinging. I raise my hand to my cheek realizing she had just slapped me.
"Peeta Mellark, how many times do I have to let you off easy? How many times do you want to prove to me just how worthless you are?" I look down at my feet trying to ignore her harsh words, trying to not let them affect me, but they do. They hurt so much. All I've ever wanted is my mom to love me, to approve of me, to be proud of me, but I'm never good enough for her. I'm never good enough for anyone, which is why I will never understand why Katniss loves me like she does.
"I'm sorry mom, we were tired and overslept. We haven't been sleeping well and - " She cuts me off my stepping on my foot. I wince jumping back slightly.
"I thought I raised you better then this. Why can't you be more like your brothers? You were a mistake you know if the - " I sigh cutting her off.
"Yeah I know. If the condom wouldn't have broke you wouldn't be stuck with me. I'm sorry I can't change that." She raises her hand again and I close my eyes waiting for the impact that never comes.
"You have no right to speak to him like that. You're a sad excuse for a mother. You do not deserve Peeta, you do not deserve to call yourself his mother and I'd suggest you don't come back here." I open my eyes to find Katniss holding my mother's wrist her tone threatening as she speaks.
"Katniss, don't - "
"No, Peeta. Don't tell me she doesn't deserve this. Listen to me, Marla. Peeta is as far from worthless as you can get. Want to see worthless take a look in the mirror sometime. Don't ever call him a mistake again either. As far as I'm considered he's the best thing that's ever happened to this god damned place. Another thing, if you ever lay a hand on him like that again you'll wish you hadn't." Katniss releases my mother's hand.
"Oh really? What can a worthless teenage girl like you do to me?" Katniss narrows her eyes, looking frightening even to me.
"I'm the president's daughter. You put the pieces together." My mom's eyes widen and I watch as she quickly composes her features.
"I'd be willing to be your bark is bigger than your bite," this is all my mom says before she scampers off the porch and down the street.
"Katniss, what the hell were you thinking?" I stare at her in disbelief.
"I was thinking that someone needed to stand up to her for you. I can see it in your eyes, you believe everything she tells you." Katniss's hand rests on my cheek where my mom had hit me, her touch soft and soothing. I shrug placing my hand over hers.
"Maybe because it is true. Everything I do is never good enough. I'm never good enough."
"You're good enough for me," her voice comes out in a whisper and I'm taken back. I search her eyes for any sign that what she had just said isn't true, but I find nothing but sincerity in her eyes. With that I lean in and find her lips with mine. This kiss is unlike any kiss we've ever shared. I let my hands rest on her hips as her hands wind themselves around my neck.
The kiss says everything we can't, everything we want to, but don't have enough time to actually say. The kiss is everything. Soft. Urgent. Loving. Passionate. Sweet. Deep. Full of longing. Everything fades away. All of our problems everything that happened this morning. It all fades away until it feels like it's just her and I. My hand tighten on her hips her shirt hitching up very slightly. My finger brushes over the exposed skin just above her jeans, causing her to let out an almost silent gasp.
Her fingers knot themselves into the baker of my hair, her tongue asking for entrance that I quickly grant. It's a new feeling, one I've never felt before, one I find myself enjoying immensely. I back her up until she's against the wall. The kiss only increases in intensity as she hitches a leg around my waist. I leave her lips trailing kisses along her jaw and down her neck causing her to gasp.
"Peeta..." The way she whispers my name 'causes me to shiver involuntarily. I slide my hands up her sides hitching her shirt up just a bit more. Her other leg witches around my waist now. I return my lips to her rubbing circles over her rib cage, just below her breath's. We're both gasping for air, but out lips never leave each others. We pull apart quickly when there's a knock on the door.
"Better get that," Katniss says tugging her shirt back into place. I nod and go to the door.
"Dude, are you coming in today or not?" Rye asks as soon as I open the door.
"Yeah, hold on. We'll walk back with you." I move away from the door and go back to Katniss. "Rye is here to collect us," I say. She nods slipping her hand into mine. We make our way back to Rye and follow him to the bakery.
Peeta and I fall into a routine that doesn't last long. Everyday we go to the bakery then come home and be together. On the weekends we spend time with the Everdeen's who now live in my old house next door. Peeta had helped me move in with him. I spent most nights at his house, and besides we were engaged it was pointless to be living separately.
The Everdeen's had tried to turn down our offer of the house but I insisted. The house was just going to sit there not being used so they might as well move in. After a while they finally accepted the other. Peeta and Mr. Everdeen refused to let Prim, Mrs. Everdeen, and I help move.
Not long after Effie, Cinna, and Portia came to District Twelve for wedding plans. It was to be held in the Justice Building here in Twelve. Effie insisted on a huge wedding with a white wedding dress, and walking down the isle, and I do's. She even insisted on a reception. She refused when Peeta explained how wedding's in District Twelve usually went.
Apparently they did a toasting. The couple would be assigned a house and the town would watch them cross into the threshold of their new home. Then they would sit by the fire and toast bread. I grew up in the Capitol, and our weddings was like what Effie wanted. Peeta had seemed a little disappointed.
"Peeta, marry me now," I had said one night after we had gotten in bed.
"What?" He asked looking at me in confusion. Our wedding was in exactly two weeks from that night. I shook my head and sat up gesturing for him to follow. He had followed without a word.
"Start a fire, I'll be right back." He nodded and went to the living room as I went to the kitchen. I sifted through the bread basket searching for raisin bread. The same type of bread he had given me that day behind the bakery. I finally found it and cut two pieces off the loaf placing them on small glass plates. I walked back into the living room and understanding flickers across Peeta's face.
"I should've guessed," he has said a wide smile breaking out across his face. We each took our pieces of bread and held them close to the fire letting them toast. My finger started to burn from the closeness of the fire by the time we pulled away our pieces of bread perfectly toasted. "I love you so much, Katniss," Peeta has said as he held the bread out to be and took a bite.
"I love you beyond words, Peeta Mellark," I said and held out my piece of bread and watched as he took a bite.
"Mrs. Mellark," he said grinning at me wider than I ever saw him grin. That night we fell asleep in front of the fire as Mr. and Mrs. Mellark. We hadn't told anyone about our toasting though. It was a private moment for him and I. No one else needed to know.
Now here I am, looking at myself in the mirror, watching Cinna and Portia work on me. Effie forced me to say at Haymitch's house last night saying it's not customary for the bride and groom to see each other before the wedding. I knew this but I didn't care. I argued with her for an hour before Peeta interjected telling me to stay at Haymitch's. With a sigh of defeat, I agreed.
I was now in one of the room at the Justice Building watching Portia work on my hair, and Cinna work on my make up. Portia curls my hair into a shower of ringlets before she pins it up in an elaborate up do, with curls and braids, and beads that resembled diamonds intertwined.
"Your father sent this." I stiffen at the mention of my father and watch as she places a diamond tiara at the base of my up do, the girls sprawling out behind it. "He said your mother wore it at their wedding." I take in a sharp intake of breath. Why? "Your something old." I bite my lip trying to forget what she had just said. It's just a tiara.
"Katniss!" I stay put, even when I hear Prim's voice as her and Mrs. Everdeen walk in the room.
"Hey little duck," I say. I had started calling Prim this because whenever she tucked her shirt in the back would come undone, giving her the tail of a duck. I look in the mirror as Cinna finishes. He has given me a simple, yet shining look. White eye shadow that shimmered in the light. My eyelashes were impossibly long with mascara, and my eyeliner was simple, just a thin line of black. My cheeks were turned pink with rosy blush that gave the illusion I was constantly blushing. My lips with plump with pink shiny lip gloss. I looked...beautiful.
"You look so pretty, Katniss!" Prim gasps from behind me. I turn and smile at her tugging the lavender robe tighter around my body. Prim runs toward me in a baby purple dress that all the bridesmaids were wearing. She wraps her small arms around my waist in a tight embrace that I return.
"So do you," I say smiling. I look up at Mrs. Everdeen in the same baby purple dress. The dress has lacy sleeves that hang off the shoulder, and a fitted bodice that flares out at the waist in a smooth silk skirt. The bridesmaids dresses were elaborate, but compared to my wedding dress they looked simple. Cinna and Portia worked together for months on this one dress for me.
"Time for the dress," Portia says excitedly as Cinna carries it out. After about five minutes it's finally on. I turn to the full length mirror and gasp. The dress was single strapped, the strap made out of fabric flowers. The top covered my breasts perfectly, but had a deep v. The v was craftily made so it didn't show any cleavage. The bodice shimmered with white sparkles anytime I moved, and was tight fitting almost like a corset.
The back of the bodice dipped low on my back and had a corset like design that was the reason for Cinna and Portia taking so long to get it on. The ribbon was white and held the dress closed. The tight fitting part ends just above my waist, with a skirt flaring out, large and poofy. The dress reminded me of something you'd see in a fairy tale Only this isn't a fairy tale, it's my life. The four of them let out a collective gasp as they take me in.
"Portia, Cinna, thank you for much," I have to keep the tears of gratitude at bay not wanting to mess up Cinna's hard work. I find myself amazed that I can look in the mirror and call myself beautiful. I always looked so plain, jeans, tshirt, and no make up.
"No need to thank us, darling. We love you," Portia says with a smile. They both plant kisses on my cheek and leave the room to go join the crowd. Haymitch walks in after they leave. I'm taken back but his clean sober state. I don't even smell alcohol.
"Are you ready?" He asks giving me a genuine smile. Butterflies fill my stomach as I step into my white heels. I give a slight nod.
"Terrified, but ready." I look over at Mrs. Everdeen when she starts talking.
"You know, I was terrified as well on my wedding day. Terrified to the point I thought I was going to pass out or get sick, but then when I started walking down the isle, and I saw Coal standing at the alter and all that faded away. I was nothing but blissfully happy after I saw him," she says softly. I nod feeling a bit better about being scared.
"Sweetheart, you look absolutely beautiful," Haymitch says and I smile.
"Thank you," I say. He holds out his arm and I take it. Haymitch has always been the closest thing I had to a real father so I asked him if he'd walk me down the isle. He agreed happily. I've known him since I was ten years old, and whenever he'd come to the Capitol he'd treat me like my father should've. He was also the one who convinced the people in the Capitol to let Peeta and I have the wedding here in District Twelve. Our home. That meant there'd be camera's filming the whole thing though.
"We better go get in line," Mrs. Everdeen says hauling Prim with her. I take a deep breath trying to keep my legs from shaking.
"It's okay, sweetheart. I've got you." He gives me a smile that I return quickly. We walk out and line up behind the bridesmaids, and groomsmen. Prim escorted by her boyfriend Rory Hawthorne, Mrs. Everdeen escorted by Mr. Everdeen, Marla escorted by Johnathon - I was against Marla being in the wedding, but Peeta wanted his dead to be apart of it - Rye who is escorting Delly Cartwright, and Matthew escorting Vanessa. I watch as each pairing slowly begins to walk down the isle.
As it gets closer to being my turn I feel myself shaking even more. I grip my arrangement of purple and white flowers like it's a lifeline as I heat my cue. Haymitch and I start walking into the room filled with hundreds of people. People I've never met in my life, and some people I've known all my life. I can even pick out a few of the people I had spoken to a few times while in school. Or some of the victor's I had made friends with. Like Finnick Odair, Annie Cresta, Johanna Mason, and a few others.
I let my eyes look through the crowd of people before I look forward and see Peeta. His blonde curls gelled back like they had been for the reaping. The butterflies suddenly stop, along with the shaking and the biggest smile - probably bigger than I'd ever smiled - breaks out across my face. His expression mirror's mine his blue eyes looking ten times more blue then usual. Which I didn't think was possible.
Haymitch places my hand in Peeta's as Prim takes my bouquet. The minister starts talking, but I don't hear what he's saying. I only see, I only feel, Peeta.
"Peeta, please say your vows." Peeta had managed to talk me into writing our own vows even though we both knew I was terrible with words.
"Katniss, when I met you that day when we were twelve I realized I was a goner. Ever since that day you were constantly on my mind. It didn't help that your face was everywhere in Panem. Your face was always somewhere to remind me what I had let myself lose. I've never felt, special, or important, and I never thought I'd see you again. Then I got reaped and my world seemed to change from that very moment.
"When I got to the Capitol and saw you as I stepped off that elevator my heart did flips. I couldn't believe it was you. The girl I had fallen in love with. Then you said you were going to save me, to get me out of those games and I knew that you remembered that day as much as I had. I meant something to you. Katniss ever since that day my heart has been yours and I swear it will be yours forever. I will love you no matter what.
"I will love you through anything and everything. I'm yours. I just want to spend every minute of the rest of my life with you." His words bring me to tears.
"Now, Katniss, please say your vows."
"Peeta, we met that day when we were twelve and suddenly there was no one else. I guess you could say I was blinded by you. I didn't see anyone else, I didn't want anyone else. I mean, I didn't even know I wanted you, or that I had loved you. Not until I saw that you were reaped. Something clicked inside me and I realized that I did indeed love you.
"I've never been anything more than the president's daughter to all of Panem, but you saw me as Katniss. You didn't care that I was the president's daughter. You loved me regardless of who I am. I love you, Peeta Mellark. More than I could say. You saved me from a life of hell, and I can't thank you enough. My heart will always be yours. I'll love you no matter what. I'm yours, and your mine." My vows come out rushed, and not as good as I had practiced, but I got them out all the same.
I notice Peeta's blue eyes tearing up, a wide smile plastered on his place.
"Peeta, do you take Katniss to be your wife?"
"Katniss, do you take Peeta to be your husband?"
"I do." We exchange rings, though Peeta has to help me slide his on. I couldn't get my hand to stop shaking long enough to slip the ring on his finger.
"I now pronounce you husband and wife. You may now," Peeta doesn't hesitate before pressing his lips to mine. "kiss the bride." I let myself mold into Peeta forgetting everyone, forgetting the cameras. When he pulls away he grins at me and I laugh quietly wiping the lip gloss from his lips with my thumb.
"I love you, Mrs. Mellark."
"I love you too, Mr. Mellark." The audience around us cheers and I lean into Peeta my hand behind his back and his around my waist. I smile widely and walk back down the isle with Peeta this time. Followed by the bridesmaids and groomsmen, then our guests.
"You put the sun to shame you're so beautifully radiant, Mrs. Mellark," Peeta whispers in my ear causing me to blush - not that anyone could tell - and laugh quietly.
"You don't look too bad yourself," I say nudging him lightly. We enter the reception room, decorated elaborately. Peeta and I dance to the song I'll Be There For You, which is the song he picked out himself. The words float around as we dance and everyone watches. The words were perfect for us.
"I'll be there for you, these five words I swear to you, when you breathe I want to be the air for you. I'll be there for you," Peeta sings to me in a whisper which makes me smile wider. "I live and I'd die for you. Words can't say what love can do. I'll be there for you." The song draws to a close much to soon, and we're separated. His mom wanting a dance with him, and Haymitch wanting a dance with me.
Peeta and I dance every now and then but for the most parts our guests keep pulling us in different directions. I was still amazed Peeta's mom wanted a dance. She looked genuinely happy for him. Maybe I had talked some sense into her, but it was doubtful.
When it comes time to cut the cake I gasp at it's beauty. Peeta and Rye had been working on this for the past two days, for hours on end and now I see why. We eat our cake and dance some more. At least until Haymitch cuts in.
"Hey, lover boy, share the bride." Peeta chuckles and good naturedly hands me off to Haymitch just as Prim comes up to dance with Peeta. "Congratulations, sweetheart," Haymitch says but I can see there's something he wants to tell me.
"Just say it," I say narrowing my eyes slightly.
"Alright. Word is before your wedding is shown tomorrow, they're going to announce the Quarter Quell." This news makes me extremely irritated. My father would try to take the best day of my life and taint it with the games. I shake it off though. Nothing can ruin tonight, it'll just ruin the recap. I tell myself this and instantly feel better.
"Let's not think about it tonight. I'm not going to ruin tonight," I say. Haymitch nods and gives me a smile, twirling me back in Peeta's direction.
"Hey, beautiful. Come back for more?" Peeta grins as Prim goes back to Rory.
"Of course I did." I wink and his arm wraps around my waist. "I wonder why Seneca didn't show up," I say as I look around the guests.
"Wedding's probably aren't a very happy subject for him at the moment, Kat," he says which makes sense.
"Yeah, you're right. Gosh, I can't believe I'm married to you. It's the best choice I've ever made," I say looking at my hand resting on his shoulder, studying my wedding band.
"I can say the same to you, you know," he says looking down at me with a wide smile. I lean up placing a soft kiss on his lips. The reception lasts a couple more hours, once it's over everyone watches us get in a car - Effie had pulled many strings to get it here - and drive back to our home. As we walk up the porch Peeta scoops me up in his arms and carries me inside.
"Someone listened to Effie's lectures about Capitol wedding traditions," I say teasingly he grins as he sets me down.
"Just for you," Peeta says. He captures my lips in a kiss picking me up once again. He starts walking up the stairs with me in his arms.
"God, I love you so damn much, Katniss. You have no idea," he says kicking our bedroom open.
"I love you just as much, if not more," I say. He chuckles.
"Not possible." He lays me on the bed and we spend the night showing each other just how deep our love runs.
The next is spent together. We don't even bother leaving the house. Peeta insists on calling me "Mrs. Mellark" all day, not that I mind. We sit in the living room talking and just being together. Unable to get enough of the others company. Around 6 the TV beeps and the Capitol seal appears. We exchange glances knowing exactly what's about to be announced. Peeta's arm wraps around my shoulder tightly as my father appears on screen.
He goes into the story of the Dark Days that all of us in Panem have heard enough times by now. He continues to talk and I try to ignore it until a young kind hands him a a card marked with 75.
"This year, for the third Quarter Quell," he speaks as he opens the card. "to show that even the strongest of them can't overcome the power of the Capitol this year tributes will be chosen from the pool of existing victors. Since, District Twelve has no real female victors the female tribute for District Twelve will be chosen out of every female in the district from ages twelve and up." His words take a moment to register and when they do I feel as if the air has been knocked out of me.
The pool of existing victors.
Two District Twelve male victors.
This can't be happening.
He can't go back. I just got him safe.
This can't be real.
The only real father figure I've ever had.
Peeta or Haymitch.
One of them is going back in the arena.
The boy I love more than my own life, or the man who was like a father.
And there's nothing I can do to save them.
Unless I volunteer to go in with them.
A/N: Alright, so this is the last chapter. But, there will be a sequel. As soon as I get the sequel up, I'll update this with an author's note and let you know. Thank you /so/ much to everyone who has favorited, followed, reviewed, and read this story. It means so much. So, I'll see you all for a sequel.