A/N: Thank you all for your positive response to the last chapter. In case you haven't heard this story will conclude at 18 chapters. The remaining chapters should be pretty enjoyable since I figured that Everlark deserve it ;) This is where the M rating really comes into play guys haha

Thanks as always to my wonderful betas (Court81981 & WickedlyClever) and come follow me on tumblr! (thegirlonpeetamellark dot tumblr dot com)

Is it silly that I can't stop smiling?

Yes, you're being ridiculous, I scold myself.

Even still, my stupid grin refuses to go away and there is a large part of me that just doesn't seem to care.

It sounds crazy and stupid and ridiculous, but I honestly had no idea it was even possible to be this happy. I feel like my heart has doubled in size and I walk around like I'm floating on air.

Everything has changed.

Peeta and I have only been officially "together" for a few days and yet it seems like a lifetime. It feels like I've been wanting this and expecting it forever. And maybe in some way I was. It's almost like we've been in a relationship a lot longer because of how close we became while I was still seeing him for grief counseling.

There is no accurate way to describe what it felt like to kiss him for the first time, to hold him in my arms, to hear him tell me that he loves me. It was a joy so strong it overflowed into this wonderful, ecstatic sensation I can hardly process; an embarrassment of riches.

I find myself daydreaming for about the hundredth time as I put my car in park outside my apartment building. I think about his lips on mine, his arms pulling me closer, and his hard length pushing against me, making me wet with need.

I clench my thighs together and bite my lip. I can't stop thinking about him like that.

We've both had a lot of things to take care of in the past few days - him with his father's funeral arrangements and me with getting things ready for Prim when she comes home - so I haven't seen him since that first night when he slept with me in my bed.

I actually let out a content sigh and lean my head against the car window, remembering how he kissed me awake that morning. I could feel his morning arousal pressing into my inner thigh, but he just told me he loved me and got up to make breakfast.

My stomach turns with nervous excitement whenever I think about ultimately going down that road together. The thought alone is enough to make my heart speed up and my blood burn hot in anticipation. It's never been like this with me before. I've never felt so alive, so overwhelmed by passion, overcome with need that I didn't even know existed within me.

If anything has become glaringly apparent to me over the past few months, it's that Gale and I were much better as friends. Because now I see that there was no real spark between us, no fuel that created the burning fire I feel now with Peeta. The fire that has me thinking about that practically non-stop.

I finally drag myself out of my car and out of my daydream and take the elevator up to my apartment. When I step off onto my floor I pause, noticing that the door to Gale's place is open and there are voices coming from inside.

I walk by the apartment down the hall from my own slowly, peeking my head inside to see what's going on and to see if anyone is at home.

I jump back a little when I see Gale carrying a box.

"Hey," I say nervously, averting my eyes.

We haven't spoken or seen one another since that night we broke up. Despite the fact we ended things on pretty decent terms considering everything that happened, I still feel unsure and awkward around him.

Even though his sudden absence from my life hurt, I think the time apart was good for us to move on, to make a clean break.

He puts the box he was holding down on the ground and wipes his forehead with the hem of his shirt.

"Hey Catnip," he greets me and I feel a twinge of pain in my gut. Something that feels like longing and remorse for the friendship we had growing up, the doubt I feel now about whether we can ever get that back.

"What's with the boxes?" I ask, trying to sound casual.

"Finally moving out," he laughs.

I look up at him in shock, not expecting that answer in the least bit.

He sees my expression and continues, "I've been wanting to for a long time. I was just too spoiled with my mom's cooking and I told myself I needed to save money to pay back my loans."

"Oh," I say, nodding my head and playing with my keys. A small feeling of panic and dread is rising up in me as I process this new information. I thought it was bad enough that he was no longer part of my life, but the idea of him not living down the hall is almost unthinkable.

I realize that us ending things was probably the final push he needed to move away.

"So you're not just trying to get as far away from me as possible?" I joke, forcing a laugh; I have to joke, I have to keep it light or else I might start to cry.

"Not at all," he grins and there's a little light in his eyes and he seems genuine. "It's honestly just way too crowded here with Vick and Rory. And now that Posy is getting bigger they just don't have enough room for me anymore."

I nod my head and swallow, taking comfort in the fact that at least it sounds plausible instead of a bold-faced lie to cover the fact that he can't stand the sight of me anymore.

"It's going to be weird not having you down the hall," I admit, my voice quiet as I stare at the ground. I feel a bitter sadness swell up inside me and I have to take several deep breaths to calm down.

"It's been weird not seeing you or talking to you every day," Gale returns just as quietly, taking a few steps in my direction.

"I've missed you," I admit, finally meeting his eyes with my own as they begin to water with unshed tears.

He sighs and when he lifts his arms, I don't hesitate to go straight into them.

I wrap my arms around him and bury my head in his chest. He is so familiar; the smell and feel of him is such a comfort to me.

I sniffle and pull back, wiping my eyes.

"I love you, Catnip," he says, pressing a kiss to my forehead. "I wish things had been different for us or that we had figured out a while back that we were better off as friends."

"You mean I wasn't the world's best girlfriend?" I laugh.

He smiles. "No, and I definitely wasn't perfect either. But maybe that's just cause we were never supposed to be together like that." He takes a deep breath and continues sadly, "I just hope this didn't ruin things for us forever. I don't want to lose you as a friend."

"You won't," I assure him. "If you still want me in your life, I still want you in mine," I tell him. "Maybe not right away, maybe we should take some time right now, but I don't think I could handle losing you forever."

He throws his arm around my shoulders and starts walking with me down the hall, towards my apartment.

"I'll be here. I mean...you can't get rid of me that easily," he teases.

We stop by my door, and I turn to face him.

"I think the fact that we were friends longer than we were together will help us get back on track eventually."

"Definitely," he agrees. "I mean, I already feel less weird around you."

I laugh, feeling better too.

"Well, I'm glad," I say confidently. "You're too important to me for things to just end between us. Let's make sure that we don't just pretend that we're going to stay friends and actually do it."

"Absolutely," he grins, holding out his hand, "let's shake on it."

I shake his hand and then he turns and walks back towards his place, shouting over his shoulder.

"See you around, Catnip."

There is a knock on my door and I frown, wondering who it could be.

I'm not expecting anyone.

"Coming!" I shout from my room, throwing on a sweater and running a comb through my hair just in case.

When I open the door I'm greeted with the sight of my little sister, backpack on her shoulder and tote bag in her hand.

"Surprise!" she exclaims before dropping her bag on the floor and throwing her arms around me.

"Oh my god, Prim!" I wrap my arms around her and bury my head into those golden locks. I pull back and plant my arms on her shoulders so I can get a good look at her.

"What are you doing here?" I ask. "I was suppose to come pick you up tomorrow."

"That's why I said 'surprise,'" she replies, rolling her eyes at me playfully. "Effie thought it would be a good idea if she brought me back today so we could spend all day tomorrow together," she smiles.

"Oh Primrose," I hear a voice say from down the hall. I step outside my doorway to see Effie walking towards us carrying two shopping bags of clothes. "I do hope you have enough room in your closet for all these...additions...we've made to your wardrobe."

I don't even try and fight off the smile.

"How many clothes did you buy her?" I ask, taking the bags from Effie.

"Just the reasonable amount that any girl her age should have," Effie defends herself and by the look her and Prim share I know there is nothing 'reasonable' about it.

I throw my arms around Effie and hug her tightly for a moment.

"Thank you so much," I whisper in her ear and though she tenses up initially, she relaxes into the embrace and returns it fully. "Thank you for taking care of her."

"It was my pleasure, dear," Effie replies when we break away.

"Well, let's grab the rest of the things in the car and then we can say our goodbyes, shall we?" Effie asks and then turns and starts back down the hall before we can protest.

Prim and I share a smile at Effie's determined efficiency before following her to the car.

After we've brought all of Prim's things back to the apartment, which between the three of us only takes one trip, we settle down in the living room.

"Can I get you something to drink, Effie?" I ask.

"Some tea would be wonderful, darling," she returns from her spot on the couch.

"I'll tell you what, Katniss," Effie begins as Prim hands her a comb and sits on the floor in front of her. "It was lucky the case worker Mr. Abernathy was friends with that judge. Usually these things can take much longer than a few weeks."

I return to the living room with Effie's tea and stop in my tracks as I watch her brush my sister's long blonde hair out. I smile, a warm, pleasant feeling flooding through me as I think about how all this time Prim was away she was with Effie.

She was being treated like a princess by Effie.

She was going to etiquette classes and getting new clothes and having her hair brushed and braided for her.

I realize that Prim going away for a little while was actually the best thing that ever happened to me. She got things from Effie that she never got with our mother, that she could have never gotten from me, things that every little girl needs, someone to obsess over her and spoil her rotten.

Her being away forced me to grow up; it forced me to confront things I had thought were bound to torment me for the rest of my life.

And, of course, most of all, it led me to Peeta.

"It was very lucky," I agree with Effie, placing her tea on the coffee table as she starts to braid Prim's hair.

"So I want details," Prim speaks up, getting my attention. "How is your new lover boy?"

Heat rushes to my cheeks and I can't help but look away when she starts laughing.

"He's fine," I mumble.

Prim was the first person I called after Gale and I broke up.

She was the first person I called when Peeta and I got together.

I still remember her high-pitched squealing when I told her about how he showed up at my door, how he kissed me and told me he loved me.

If anything made me certain, made me sure that this was what was suppose to happen, it was hearing how happy Prim was for me, how there wasn't a trace of doubt in her voice.

"Oh my god, you're blushing!" she cackles as Effie ties the end of her braid. "You have got it so bad!"

I force myself to hold onto some dignity. "Oh, it's so wonderful to have you home, Primrose," I tell her through gritted teeth.

She just clasps her hands together in glee.

"Alright, all finished," Effie announces.

She stands up off the couch and Prim turns around and gives her giant hug.

"Now I expect you girls to come visit me in New York," she tells us and I feel a lump start to form in my throat. I don't have the right words to tell her everything she's done for me. I don't know how to say 'goodbye' to this woman who watched over and took care of the biggest piece of my heart for several months.

"This summer!" Prim squeals excitedly.

My eyes start to glisten and Effie steps towards me with a small smile. "I know you girls will be just fine," she says and I can hear the emotion in her voice.

I throw my arms around her quickly and hug her as tightly as I can, hoping she understands what I'm trying to say.

When she pulls away she kisses me on the cheek and then grabs her purse.

"Now, don't you go forgetting everything you've learned from your etiquette classes," she tells Prim.

"Of course not!" Prim insists dramatically.

"Goodbye girls, take good care of each other!"

And with that Effie Trinkett turns and walks out of our lives.

A woman who I first thought of as a curse that turned out to be the biggest blessing of my life.

I take a deep breath and knock on his door.

In the time it takes for him to answer I feel my stomach doing flips as I try and take several deep breaths to calm my racing heart.

Peeta opens the door and gives me a crooked smile.


"Hi," I grin back at him. "I umm..brought food," I tell him, gesturing to the bag of take-out in my hand.

"Perfect," he replies as I step into his apartment and he closes the door.

I look around, never having been here before, and take in my surroundings. It's clean and comfortable and basically your average male apartment.

I place the bag of food on the dining room table near the kitchen and then turn back to him.


I can barely get out the awkward, mumbled words before he wraps his arms around me and kisses me.

I make a little gasp of surprise and delight and he groans in response.

He has one hand tangled in my hair, grasping the back of my head and pulling me to him as he tastes my lips slowly, softly, sweetly. His other hand is wrapped around my waist so our entire bodies are flush against each other.

His lips are soft and make me feel warm and dazed, like my body is sluggish and my mind can't think straight, can't think of anything but him and how good he feels. The kisses are innocent, our lips brushing against each other as we take our time.

Finally, I pull back, keeping my hands on his shoulders as I bite down on my bottom lip to suppress the silly grin that threatens to break my face.

"Sorry, I needed to do that," he whispers and the sound of his voice, the heavy desire I hear, sends shivers through my body.

"Don't apologize," I tell him, trailing my thumb along the strong, defined line of his jaw, feeling the smooth skin there.

"God I missed you these past couple days," he says, ducking his head to press kisses under my jaw and along my neck. My eyes practically roll to the back of my head as I grab onto him and focus on the sensation of his lips on my skin, his body pressed to mine.

Finally, I find my voice and my reason. "How have you been?" I ask, pulling away. "Did you take care of everything?"

His eyes darken and his expression falters as I bring him back to reality, but instead of pulling back or shutting me out he just holds onto me tighter.

"Yeah, I got everything taken care of," he says. "It's going to be this weekend."

I nod my head to the news that his father's funeral now has a date. My heart clenches painfully as I think about him having to endure this pain, but I adopt a steely resolve to stand beside him and help him get through this.

I kiss him briefly to show my support.

"How's having Prim back?" he asks with a smile.

"Really great," I laugh. "She's having a sleepover tonight with all her old friends from school that she hasn't seen in months."

"Oh really?" he asks, a wicked look in his eyes as he gives me a mischievous smirk. "Does that mean I get to keep you here tonight all to myself?"

He returns his lips to the hollow of my throat and I feel my heart flutter and my lower belly clench in response to his words. The desire hits me fast and hard and I can feel every nerve ending in my body react as he licks and sucks my skin. He works his way up and under my jaw until his lips are right behind my ear and I have to grab onto him to keep from going weak in the knees.

Suddenly I'm overwhelmed by the passion coursing through me, the wetness gathering between my legs. I have never wanted someone this much, never desired to explore my sexuality and take it to new heights like this. And I know it's all because of Peeta, the connection I have with him, how he makes me feel.

Unexpectedly, nervousness and anxiety creep up on me, making me feel panicky and unsure because this is so new and intense. My heart starts to beat even faster as the fear of the unknown mixes with the lust and attraction.

Swallowing thickly, I pull away and gently ease myself out of his grasp. I give him a small smile, but don't exactly meet his eyes.

"We should eat," I suggest, and my voice sounds high and unnatural. "I brought Chinese food," I explain, moving over to grab the bag off the table.

He doesn't say anything in response as I grab the bag and bring it over to his kitchen counter. I start opening cabinets, making myself at home as I search for plates and cups.

"I wasn't sure what you like," I start to ramble, now pulling out eating utensils and serving spoons from the drawers, "so I just got a little bit of everything. Personally, I really like sweet and sour pork, but I'm not too big on chow mein."

I internally wince as I listen to myself babble nonsensically. I'm sure he thinks I'm a basket case considering we were just making out and now I'm obsessing over different types of Chinese food, but I can't help it.

There is a part of me that is hesitant and scared to go down that road with him for whatever reason. Even though I've practically been thinking about it non-stop since we got together, I realize that when we start to really be intimate with one another everything is going to change.

And it's not that I don't want it, because God do I want him like that. I just wonder if I'll be able to make him feel as good as I want to, if I'll be able to give him what he wants.

He oozes confidence and experience, and I have one time with Gale and a history of being unsure and wary when it comes to intimacy.

"Have you tried the new place on Lincoln?" I ask, continuing my mindless prattle about Chinese food. "It's just a hole in the wall, but it's actually pretty good."

I've opened the cartons of food by now and have started to dish out little servings onto each plate when I feel him move to stand directly behind me at the kitchen counter. I feel my breathing pick up and I'm so flustered I can barely think straight.

"Do you like pot stickers? I love pot stickers."

His hands snake around me, one grabbing my waist while the other takes hold of the hand that was dishing food out. I freeze from his touch, everything inside me going still, suddenly incapacitated.

"Katniss," he whispers, his lips right beside my ear so his breath tickles me.

"I don't want food right now," he says, a hint of laughter in his voice. "The food can wait," he adds.

I drop the spoon and slowly turn in his arms to face him. I look up at him and wish my heartbeat would return to a normal, acceptable rate.

"Am I making you nervous?" he asks and when I look into his eyes I see nothing but genuine concern. Nothing to indicate that he's secretly laughing at me for getting so flustered, for acting like an inexperienced teenager.

"I just...I want to do things with you...to you. I can't stop thinking about it. And I've never felt like this before. But at the same time it makes me nervous."

The truth escapes without me really intending it to, and when I glance up at him I see that his eyes have turned a dark shade of blue. He licks his bottom lip with his tongue and I think about his mouth on me.

"We don't have to do anything you don't want to," he says. "We can go slow. I don't want to push you to do something you're not ready for."

A pleasant warm, tingling sensation washes over me and I relax a little, feeling some tension leave me. His words calm me and remind me that this is right, that Peeta loves me and I trust him and when we go down that road together it is going to be perfect and beautiful.

"Maybe we can save the main event for later and just build up to it," I offer, knowing that I need to touch him tonight. And I need him to touch me.

He grins. The most beautiful and playful and wonderful smile I've ever seen and pulls me closer. "I can do that," he replies. "I can definitely do that."

And then he kisses me and my mind goes quiet and I am pure sensation.


We're on Peeta's bed, him hovering over me with a ridiculous smile as I stare up at him in admiration. He has rid me of my shirt and I've just thrown his to the floor, taking in the sight of his toned chest and flat stomach.

He shakes his head as if to clear it and then returns to kissing me.

"Nothing, I just..." He mumbles between kisses. "I just can't believe this is really happening," he laughs.

"Me neither," I agree, letting my hands wander over his warm flesh. He is hard and strong everywhere, tight skin over firm muscle. I try and memorize every curve and hard ridge of his body, never wanting to take my hands off him.

He breaks away from our kiss and dips his head to my neck, trailing his lips against the skin there. He kisses me until he reaches my chest and then his head is between the valley of my breasts that are only covered by the lacy black bra I specifically wore for tonight.

His kisses the swell of one of my breasts and brings his hand up to grasp the other.

"Ahhh..." I moan softly and arch up towards him, feeling the direct connection between his hand on my chest and the ache between my legs.

"Are you sure this isn't a dream?" Peeta says, practically panting with desire. "This feels too perfect to not be a dream."

I bring my lips to his again and kiss him hard before pressing on his chest so he is forced to roll over on his back and I'm straddling his waist. I plant my hands flat on his chest and look down at him with a smirk.

"Definitely not a dream," I say, reaching behind me to unclasp my bra.

I see his eyes go wide when he realizes what I'm doing and I slowly let the bra fall away from me and toss it to the side.

I bite my lip a little self-consciously as Peeta looks at me for the first time. He is drinking in the sight of me like I am a tall glass of water and he is a man in the desert dying of thirst.

He licks his lips and then sits up so we're face to face.

He is breathing hard, but he doesn't say anything. Instead he takes my bare breasts in his hands and squeezes them gently. I gasp a little and rock my hips against his a little harder. Then he leans down and licks one of my nipples gently with his tongue.

I moan in response and run my fingers through his hair.

He cups and rubs and gently squeezes my breasts in his hands and when he sucks my nipple into his mouth I cry out in response.

"Don't stop," I whine, the words needy and desperate.

I can feel my clit throbbing against the rough material of my jeans and my hips start to rock into him, searching for some friction to ease the building tension.

In one swift move, he flips me over so I'm on my back again and he kisses me deeply, his tongue stroking my own, claiming my mouth.

Then his hand trails down between my legs and he rubs me over my jeans.

I cry out my approval, grasping onto him as my hips buck forward, searching for more.

"Can I take these off?" he asks, his hand hovering near the button of my pants.

"Yes," I reply breathlessly.

I help him as he peels the jeans down my legs, leaving me in just my underwear.

"You too," I tell him, reaching for his pants button.

When his pants hit the floor I'm left with the sight of Peeta in nothing but his boxer briefs, his hard and very thick length, straining against the thin material.

This is where it hits me that this is really happening, but instead of feeling unsure or worried like I did early I feel a sense of calm wash over me.

I love him.

His hand slips between my legs again before I can think or do anything else and when his fingers glide over my swollen clit I moan in response.

"Peeta..." I gasp, hands grabbing onto his broad shoulders to steady my already quaking body.

"I want to feel how wet you are," he whispers into my ear and his words make my heart slam against my chest frantically and the aching between my legs intensify.

I never once imagined that Peeta, who has always been nothing but sweet and gentle and soft-spoken, could say such sexy, unexpected things.

His hand slips past my underwear and as his thumb circles my clit he pushes a finger inside me.

"Ahhh...yes..." I cry out, hips jerking forward into his touch. "Yes, Peeta, yes..."

"Fuck, Katniss..." He hisses, breathing through clenched teeth. "You're so beautiful. I want you so much."

The passion behind his words, his unexpected cussing, it all fuels my desire until I'm riding his hand desperately as he continues to thrust his fingers inside me.

He stops his movement and starts to tug my underwear down my legs. I help him kick them off my legs and then I reach for the waistband of his briefs.

I look up and meet his eyes and the gaze that passes between us sets me on fire.

I want to make him come, I want to make him scream my name.

His underwear falls to the floor and I take in the sight of him for the first time.

My center aches as I look down at his hard, swollen cock. He is thick and long and when I reach out and take him in my hand he pants 'yes' and pushes into my fist.

He kisses me once and then reaches over me to the nightstand by his bed. He opens the first drawer and pulls out a small bottle of lube.

I hold out my hand and he squirts some into it before I grasp him again firmly, my hand moving smoothly over the soft, but rigid skin.

He is breathing heavily now, his chest rising and falling as I work him up and down, my palm coming up over the head of his cock before gently tugging the skin back down.

"Yes, Katniss, yes..." he grunts.

His fingers slip between my legs again and I moan and let my legs fall to the side, opening myself up for him.

"Do you want it slow?" he whispers in my ear as his thumb circles my clit with languid strokes. "Or do you want it fast and hard?" He pants, driving three fingers inside me without warning.

I can't form words, I can't think, I can't do anything but rock my hips in response to his movements and moan and stroke his cock up and down, sliding it between my hands in a desperate motion.

"Say my name," he growls, sucking my nipple into his mouth and fondling my other breast with his free hand. "I want to hear you say it when you come."

"Peeta!" I call out, gasping and choking on the word because my mind can't function clearly right now. Everything is white hot and I can't fathom anything other than his hand between my legs, his cock in my hands.

"Fuck yes, Katniss..." He shouts and his hips are thrusting into my hands and his fingers are starting to work me relentlessly, pounding into me as his thumb punishes my clit and everything tightens and builds inside me.

My movements are hectic and I'm working him desperately, in rhythm with his thrusting hips and his deft fingers.

"Come for me, Katniss," he pants just as I feel myself reach that point of no return, that point where everything becomes too intense and I fall off the cliff. I shout his name in a voice so raw it sounds foreign to me. My insides tighten around his fingers as wave after wave of pleasure rolls through me.

He comes right after I do, his hips going still as he spills onto my hands and stomach. He grunts his approval before collapsing by my side.

I'm still too overwhelmed from my orgasm to think straight. My limbs feel heavy like they're made of lead and all I want to do is lay here in his arms as my heart beat returns to normal.

Vaguely I'm aware of him cleaning me up, using tissues from his nightstand to wipe his cum from my stomach and hands.

He kisses me on the forehead and then pulls me against him, his naked body pressed up against my own.

The last thing I remember thinking before dozing off is that I've never had an orgasm quite like that before.

I wake sometime later to the sound of running water coming from the bathroom. It sounds like shower spray hitting the tile.

I stretch out in bed, taking in the comfort of Peeta's scent all around me. A silly little grin appears when I remember what we were doing before we fell asleep.

I force myself out of bed and don't even bother to get dressed as I tiptoe into his bathroom completely naked.

He has shut the door and the light is on and the room is filled with steam, making the mirror foggy and unclear.

When I close the door behind me I bite my lip and take in the sight of his naked body through the shower door. I approach him, careful not to make any noise as the idea of standing under the water with him, wet and naked, sends a secret thrill through me.

I crack the door open just a little and he has his head under the stream of water with his eyes closed. When he pulls back he opens them and looks right at me, breaking out into that smile I love.

"Want some company?" I ask, raising my eyebrows.

"God, yes," He replies immediately and I laugh as I step in to join him.

He pulls me to him under the warm water, his hands wrapping around my waist as he kisses me. My hands lock around his neck and he pulls me against him so our naked bodies are flush against each other and the warm water is flowing down over us.

I feel his length pressed between us and the simple memory of the orgasm he gave me earlier is enough for the wetness to start to gather between my legs.

He must feel it too because his hands snake down to cup my behind and pull me even firmer against him. I am desperate to get closer, even though there is no closer. His cock twitches and hardens against me as he drags his lips to meet my own again.

"Katniss..." he pants when we break away and hearing my name on his lips like that gets me so hot with need. He kisses down my throat, licking and sucking and biting before taking my breast in his hand, pulling on my nipple until it puckers and hardens.

"I want you so much," he whispers into my ear, pushing my hair away from my neck so his lips tickle my skin. He drops his hand down and parts my legs, easing a finger inside me. I gasp and grab onto his shoulders to keep me steady.

"But I will wait as long as you need," he adds, his words gentle and soothing and I close my eyes as a sudden wave of emotion rolls through me. I swallow back the lump in my throat and close my eyes, overwhelmed by how much I love him, how much I can feel that he loves me.

I know when he says those words that he really means them, that he would like nothing more than to make love to me tonight, but he has absolutely no problem with waiting until I'm ready to take that step.

And then I'm kissing him desperately, my tongue stroking his, exploring his mouth, claiming those soft lips as my own. I want to possess him, I want him to know that he's mine and I love him and we're going to have sex soon, but not tonight.

"I love you," I tell him as we break away, my hands in a frenzy, running all over his toned, muscular chest that is wet from the water. "I love you so much," I kiss along his jaw and then down his throat and before I know it I'm pushing against his chest until his back hits the wall of the shower and I'm dropping to my knees.

"Katniss..." he gasps in surprise when he realizes what I'm about to do and the way his hips jerk forward involuntarily tells me how much he wants this.

I reach out and take him in my hand and then look up at him. The look in his eyes is so raw, so feral with need, a heavy mix of lust and love, that I feel myself respond, my center throbs in response to the idea of doing this to him, for him.

I want to make him fall apart, I want to pleasure him until his mind shatters and his body is completely at my mercy. I only focus on that, not on my doubts and insecurities of whether I can do this as well as I want to, when I open my mouth and guide his cock between my lips.

He groans and his hands fall to the top of my head, gently running through my hair and helping to guide my movements.

I swirl my tongue around him, tasting the shower water and the smooth skin over his rock-hard shaft. I use the pad of my tongue to stroke the hard ridge of him and his hips jerk forward, pushing himself deeper into my mouth

"Oh fuck..." he grunts as I wrap my lips around the base of his cock and drag them up to the head. I circle my lips around the tip and lick and suck and pump my fist up and down the rest of his length.

"Shit," he swears, his hips pushing forward like he can't help it. "Oh god, Katniss..." he says, grabbing onto both sides of my head as I take more of his length into my mouth. I wrap my lips around him as tightly as possibly, swirling my tongue and humming so he can feel the vibrations. "Yes, just like that," he moans.

I reach out and gently cup his balls and the sound he makes is so wild I know he is close to losing it so I start to increase my movements.

"I'm going to come," he tells me, trying to pull away, but I don't let him.

Vaguely, I think about how with him, I feel like a different person, I feel feminine and sexy and powerful and sucking him off turns me on and the thought of him coming in my mouth makes me wet.

"Katniss!" he cries out again like he's trying to give me a last minute warning, but I just close my lips around his length and urge him to come.

He groans, long and low as he finally finds his release and the feeling of satisfaction and pleasure and sheer giddiness knowing that I did this to him sweeps over me in full force. I lick him clean before finally joining him on my feet again.

He pulls me against him and kisses me gently, hands wrapped tightly around my waist like he never wants to let go.

"That was...incredible," he whispers, his voice raspy. "You are amazing."

I don't say anything. I just smile and kiss him again and let my hands run through his wet hair.

We use the rest of the time in the shower to actually wash our hair and clean our bodies before the hot water runs out. It's funny that we can go from me giving him head to playfully joking with each other as we move around the relatively small space completely naked. He helps to wash the shampoo out of my hair and I wash his back with soap.

Finally, when we're finished he turns off the water and opens the shower door. He reaches for the towel on the rack and then turns and wraps it around me. He gathers the towel in front and pulls me towards him, kissing me softly.

"Beautiful," he sighs before pressing a kiss to my forehead and the butterflies soar and flutter in my stomach making me feel ridiculous and silly, but I can't find it in me to care.

He steps out of the shower onto the mat and pulls another towel out of the cabinets for himself. He dries off and then turns and offers me his hand as I step out and join him.

As we stand side by side in his bathroom drying off I'm hit with overwhelming realization that I have never been happier in my entire life. By his side I feel comfortable and safe and loved and I know this is exactly where I'm supposed to be.

I look over at him as he runs the towel over his hair. He catches me watching him and breaks out into his beautiful, crooked smile.

"What?" he asks as I secure the towel under my arms and around my chest.

"Nothing," I laugh, biting down on my bottom lip to try and contain my smile.

He steps closer to me and runs his hand over my wet hair before cradling my face in his hand. His thumb glides along my cheekbone and he just stares down at me with a look in his eyes that makes my heart stutter.

"Come here," he whispers, grabbing my hand and leading me back into his room.

He leads me over to the edge of his bed where I sit down. Then he eases me down until I'm lying on my back and he hovers over me.

He kisses me, hard and needy, and as his tongue sweeps across my own and explores my mouth, he gently tugs at my towel, opening it and revealing my nakedness to him.

Not that he hasn't already seen it and explored it tonight.

His lips trail to my neck, putting me in a daze as he licks and nips and renders me completely under his influence. He sucks on my nipple, gently biting and squeezing my breast and I arch into him feeling the wetness start to pool between my legs.

"Peeta..." I moan, running my hands through his hair as he starts to trail kisses down my stomach.

Before I even realize what's happening his head is between my legs and he's keeping them spread apart with his hands.

"Peeta!" I almost shout, leaning up off the bed, and looking down at him wide-eyed.

His head is between my legs and he's planting soft kisses to my inner thighs and looking at me with a dangerous glint in his eyes.

His mouth is so very close to the part of me that is throbbing and aching for his touch, that is wet with need. But even still there is a small insecure part of me that is wary about letting him...do that. I've always thought this was just too intimate, too personal, required too much trust and letting go on my part to ever be something that I would allow.

But the sight of his lips kissing between my legs, tongue darting out to lick the skin of my inner thighs is slowly pushing all those reservations I've ever had out the window. And he looks so...hungry...if that's the right word. The thought makes me quiver with anticipation as wet heat floods down there and I lean back on my elbows.

"Let me taste you," I think he mumbles, but I'm not positive because the next thing I know his tongue is licking up the length of my folds and I'm moaning in pleasure.

"Oh my god," I moan, my hands going to his wavy blond hair as he starts to tease my clit, licking and sucking. My hips jerk forward, pushing myself into him, and all reservations, any sense of wariness or being shy about letting him do this to me completely vanishes.

I want his mouth on me as much as I can possibly get it.

"Fuck!" I cry out in ecstasy as he sucks my clit into his mouth. "Yes, Peeta, yes," I murmur incoherently as his tongue continues its assault on me, licking the wetness that pools there, pushing inside me frantically.

Without realizing it I find myself grabbing onto his head, pulling him closer like I want him to devour me whole. My hips are rocking in a circle, pushing back against his talented mouth as I ride this tidal wave of pleasure higher and higher.

He pulls back for just a moment looking up at me with a small smirk and I see the sheen around his mouth and noise from my wetness. "I love how you taste," he says, licking at me again with long strokes of his tongue that torment me.

My eyes roll to the back of my head from his words.

My hips are jerking erratically now, desperate for release.

He sucks my clit into his mouth and whine pathetically, pure bliss overtaking me.

My body is tensing up and just when I don't think I can take it anymore he says, "I love eating your pussy, Katniss."

I scream, loud and long as my orgasm hits me with full force. His words pushing me over the edge until I'm trembling and flying and my body is pure sensation. The pleasure lasts for what feels like a really long time, little tremors that keep rolling through me as my heartbeat slowly returns to normal.

I never in a million years thought Peeta had it in him to say something like...that.

And even more surprising...I never thought it would turn me on as much as it did.

The next thing I'm really aware of is Peeta pulling me against him, planting kisses on my cheeks and neck and running his hands up and down my back.

And then when I've finally returned to earth he asks something so casually and unexpected that I start laughing in response.

"Now how about that Chinese food?"