Disclaimer: I do not own The Hunger Games or any of the characters
I try to resist groaning Mom walks into the room. "Katniss why haven't you left yet? The bakery shuts in twenty minutes."
I roll my eyes. "Why can't you or Prim go get it? I'm busy." I gesture to the bow sitting on the table. The string had broken whilst I had been hunting yesterday.
"Because it's your wedding cake, not ours. Now go, Mr Mellark is doing me a great favour by keeping it open."
"Fine." I huff, flinging my fathers old leather jacket on.
She nods happily and begins raking through one of the kitchen drawers for something.
As I walk through down the street everyone stares. Someone calls "Congratulations Katniss!". I ignore them. Ever since the engagement had been announced everyone was treating me differently. I couldn't go into the Hob without someone coming up to me and tearfully saying how they had always known this day would come.
I walk as quickly as I can through the Seam and into the town. Here no one cares. Some of the town girls who were in my class at school glare, but that was it. I had heard there vicious whispers in class as they discussed how I wasn't worthy. I just keep my eyes on the floor as I walk to the bakery.
A cheerful bell rings as I open the door. This was the first time I had been able to walk into the front of the bakery and pay for something, normally I would trade at the back of the shop or stare longingly at the cakes in the window with Prim. Today was different though, Sae had done a collection at the Hob to put towards a cake.
"Afternoon Katniss, I was worried you had forgotten." The baker stands behind the counter and smiles warmly at me.
"Sorry, I was busy at home." I reply sullenly, I feel a fraud taking money from the people in the Hob and using it for a stupid cake that I didn't even want.
"It's not a problem." He hands me a single loaf. "Here's the bread for the toasting, the cake is in the back, I'll fetch it in a minute."
"Thank you. How much is that?" I pull out the small coin purse I had in my pocket.
"Don't worry about it." The baker waves his hand.
"No I couldn't, how much?"
He shakes his head. "Please Katniss, consider it a present. I'll send Peeta out with the cake, please tell your mother I'm asking for her."
I nod awkwardly and put the purse back in my pocket. I hate not paying, but at least it means I can give the money back to Sae.
"Hi Katniss." The voice startles me and I almost drop the loaf on the floor.
The bakers son stands in front of me looking terrified. He's holding a large white box, which I assume holds the cake. "I'm sorry I scared you."
I shrug. "It's okay. Thank you for the cake, it's very generous of your father to make it for free."
Peeta looks nervous and I worry that I have gotten his father into trouble. "Actually I made it." He says. "I hope you like it."
"Oh. Thank you." I awkwardly reach out to take the box from him. "I'm sure it will be good, Prim loves looking at the cakes.
He smiles, looking pleased with himself. "Tell her to come in one day, I'd be glad to make her one."
I smile but I know there is no way we could ever afford one. "That would be nice."
Peeta's smile drops and he looks nervous once again. "Katniss are you happy?" He asks.
I have no idea what to say. The past month everyone has been gushing about how happy I must be, but not actually checking to see if I was.
"I mean are you happy with the wedding? I would hate to see you unhappy if you've rushed into this."
"I am very happy thank you very much." I reply defensively. "I have not rushed into anything, although I don't see how it concerns you." I know I should not be being so rude after he has just given me a free cake but I am furious that he thinks he can question me like that when I have never spoken to him before.
"I'm sorry, I didn't mean to offend you. I just don't want to see you upset." He looks like he's going to start crying himself.
"Well I am very excited." Even to me it sounds pathetic. I've never been interested in getting married, or starting a family. I was only doing this as it was what my mother wanted and what was expected of me.
The bell rings and the door opens. "Good you're still here! Your mom told me I'd find you here." My future husband walks over to me and puts his arms around me. "I've missed you today." He leans down and kisses me, I reluctantly allow him to, but I don't do anything back. "You'll get better eventually." He laughs, ruffling my hair.
I have to bite my lip to stop myself shouting something back at him.
"Is this the cake? Doesn't look very big, did you make it Mellark?"
"Yes I did. And this is what Katniss' mother requested." Peeta replies, he looks furious.
"Okay calm down baker boy. Come on Catnip, we have to get moving. Big day tomorrow!"
I nod weakly. "Yes Gale.
We walk back to the Seam together, I use the box as an excuse to avoid holding his hand. When we agreed to the toasting I thought Gale was just as reluctant as I was, but he had completely transformed. He took every opportunity to kiss me and started treating me as if we were a real couple.
"What was Mellark looking so upset about?" Gale asks as we near my house.
I shrug. "He didn't say much, just asked about the wedding."
Gale laughs. "Oh yeah, forgot about his little crush on you."
"What?" I hadn't even spoken to the boy before.
"What, you didn't know? It was pretty obvious. Everyone used to laugh about it, he was always watching you at school." He shakes his head, looking smug. "As if someone like you could marry a town boy. Like you would even want to. Kid seems like a total loser."
I don't reply, I'm too shocked. We had shared classes since we were children, but he never paid me any attention, nor I him.
"Sorry I can't come in, I promised mom I'd help with dinner. Apparently it's bad luck for us to see each other the night before the toasting anyway." Gale winks. "Get some sleep, try to at least look presentable tomorrow."
I say goodbye then walk into the house. It is empty, mom and Prim were probably making sure everything was perfect for the toasting, so I heat up some water for a bath.
I wash my hair and scrub myself clean, trying not to think of what I was actually preparing for.
Once I am dry and dressed, I climb into bed. I am sure there are arrangements mother would like me to help with but I need time to think. I bury myself in the covers and reflect on the day. How could a merchants son like me? I try to convince myself that it must be a joke, but there was no way I could forget the genuine look of sadness in Peeta's face as Gale kissed me. Although I had never spoken to him directly, I had heard plenty of stories about him. A lot of girls spoke about him, and Madge had mentioned many a time how handsome he was, and how unfair it was that his mother didn't let him date. I, of course, paid no attention, although the choices I had for the future were limited, they were still mine and I had no intention of letting a man choose for me. Now everything was different. It seemed like Gale would be making all of my choices from tomorrow onwards.
A/N: let me know what you think!:)