I apologize this will be a super long AN but then I promise they will be short and sweet after this...
So this story is based off of a prompt by HGRomance... So I really hope I can make good on it! (Please read her stories 'Goddess' and 'Legend' They are UN-F'n-Believable! You won't be disappointed. )
So this is an AU about Massachusetts (Mostly the Boston area) just prior to and during the Revolutionary War. There may be story outside of Mass in the future, but I'm sticking here for now. I myself live a little north of Boston so it makes it easier for me.
The Story will be from Peeta's POV, and even though yes there will be romance between Peeta and a certain gray eyed beauty this really is Peeta's story and how he deals with family, politics, love and war during this time period...but again that's not to say that Katniss won't be a big part of this story because she will...
Speaking of Katniss... She out of everyone will probably be the most OOC. Story will explain it but in here she has kind of lost her self deprecating 'no one could love me' attitude and instead I have emphasized her I am a kick-ass chic who can take care of myself trait, so she should be fun (You will meet her in chapter 2)... Everyone else should be pretty In character...But w/ that said they may all be OOC for the time period. I'm not going to attempt to write the dialect of that period, mostly because I am not comfortable with it and will be afraid things will get stuffy...so I apologize in advance...
Umm what else...Ok I am going to try to be super factual with big events and such, but may have to alter names and some smaller events so that I can add that Hunger Games flair we all love so much, so I hope it translates well for those who love HG and those who love History (I am one of both).
I have also decided that for those who love history I am going to try and add a fact about that time period after ever chapter so I can get super dorky with you guys...
I am going to rate this M because its war so there will be violence, I may sneak in the occasional swear, and if all goes well maybe a little bit of lemon... I already have a pretty sexy scene in my head which involves Peeta, Katniss and a speech by Patrick Henry...hee hee hee
I will try to post once a week at least...hopefully I will always be able to stick to that or do better... **Crosses fingers***
I do not own the Hunger Games, but I do think Suzanne Collins is a genius!
I reeeeeeeally hope you enjoy!
I make my way down the road that I have traversed many times before, the simple dirt road that will lead me to my family's estate on the outskirts of Braintree, Massachusetts. The change of season is assaulting my senses, as I take a liberating breath of the springtime air. The road is quiet besides the sounds of my horse's heavy hoof falls and the birds chirping contently in the trees above my head as the mid-afternoon sun shines through new leaves.
A small marker to my left indicates that I am approaching the Adams Farm. I have never had the pleasure of meeting Mr. Adams, but a few years back his wife Abigail visited my father's bakery. I feel my chest knot up at the memory. My father had been so proud that day, he was more than happy to let Mrs. Adams sample anything and everything. I could see the gleam of pride in his eye when she very straightforwardly informed my father that these were the best cakes she had ever had. I peered at her curiously from the back room; finding her so interesting, a paradox if you will. She was more forward than any woman I had ever come across, yet there was a kindness about her that was unmistakable. She did not carry the same harshness in her eyes that the matriarch of our family did.
"Oh father.", I whisper softly, the words taken from me by a sweet scented zephyr. I miss him more and more everyday. My father passed away three months ago, a wasting disease the doctor had called it. He died on a Tuesday morning before the sun had even begun to illuminate the sky. The candle light next to his death bed flickered on the hollows of his face, casting eerie shadows on the man not long for this world. I held his hand and I cried. Neither my mother nor older brother came into this room very often, and had not on these past few days when time was becoming so short. My tears and strong grip were the only gifts of passing this wonderful man was given.
Moments before he took his last breath, his eyes opened and he looked into mine, for a moment all we did was stare into the mirrors of blue wordlessly, a smile playing on my father's lips. With what strength he had he squeezed my hand back.
"Peeta.", his voice was shaky and his breathing labored. I tried to shush him, hoping for him to save his strength, but he shook his head, determination in his eyes as he started again.
"Peeta... I could never have hoped for a better son. I am so proud... so proud of you." He paused momentarily to catch his breath, I could hear the rattle in his lungs, "Always do what is right, and you will never be... be wrong." The slight smile on his face holding on a few moments longer before his head is resting back on his pillow. His eyes closed one last time, and his grip on my hand wavered. Two heavy breaths later and he was gone. He was buried under the apple orchard on our estate at my insistence, it was his favorite place.
So now I am heading to see my mother and brother, but not to go home. When my father died it stopped being home. I am currently on break from my studies at Harvard. It is the desire of my mother that I become a lawyer. It is not to say that I do not enjoy my studies. Frankly, I have excelled at them, especially in terms of speechwriting and public speaking. My professor calls me a natural wordsmith with a talent for persuasion, traits that will come in handy in a courtroom. However, I had always pictured myself taking over my father's bakery when he retired. My happiest memories were born in that bakery when I was in the company of my father. My mother would never hear of such a thing, I was not to play merchant like my father, and was instead to make something of myself and my name. So instead of walking in my father's footsteps after graduating from Boston Latin, I was sent to Cambridge to attend Harvard. I was thoroughly disappointed; my father was clearly heartbroken.
It is not as if my father came from nothing, his family were of a merchant class and had run a family bakery for many years. My mother on the other hand came from exceeding wealth. Most of her family lives in Canada now, but my mother, for some reason, decided to settle down in Massachusetts with my father. It has always been puzzling to me how the two had ended up together in the first place. I had often wondered to myself, with slight amusement, if no one else would have that shrew of a woman.
Once married and settled, my mother found it aberrant that my father, who was now subject to so much wealth, would continue to run the bakery. She simply chose not to understand that it was not a livelihood for my father, but the makings of his soul. As soon as my father became too ill to run the bakery on his own and I had been shipped off to school, my mother closed the doors to my father's spirit. She sold the land without delay, donating the money from the sale to the Church of England. I often wonder if this cruel act was not the cause of my father's ultimate demise.
The young stable boy named Thom, a small dark haired lad whose father works for my mother running the estate, meets me near the large white house to take Lily, my horse. I dismount Lily and quickly reward her with an apple I retrieve from my coat pocket. After eating the apple, she lowers her head and I gently rub the white spot between her eyes, the color out of place on her otherwise chestnut color hair.
"Hello Thom." I look down to the small boy whose unruly black curls rival the blond ones on my head.
"Hello", he glances around quickly. "...Peeta." I give him a knowing smile, if someone else were around he would have to address me as "Mr Mellark", but I am not one for all that proper nonsense. I see him quickly glance at my other coat pocket and I can't help but chuckle as his cheeks flush with heat. I pull out the small package of peppermints that I picked up In Cambridge specifically for Thom. They are his favorite after all. Thom happily frees my hand of the bag and rewards me with a large smile. "Thank you Peeta." I just nod back.
"Take care of Lily.", I say with a wave before heading up to the house. I remove my hat and coat as soon as I close the door behind me. I yell out a greeting, but am only answered back by the quiet and stillness of the house. I sigh, expecting no less, and make my way to the kitchen. The ride has left me famished. When I open the door I am greeted by the sound and smells of cooking.
"Peeta!" I look up to see our old cook Sae making her way around the counter, hands extended. I walk towards her and she takes my face in her hands, using her thumbs to drag over the bit of stubble that has grown since this morning. My hands come up to cover hers and I smile at the happiness that is on her face.
"Hello Sae." I lean over and kiss her on her cheek. Sae has been cooking for the family since I was in diapers and in all my 19 years I have never met a kinder soul. She managed to do her job all this time while still giving me the motherly affection I was missing. "Where's mother and Luke, were they not expecting me?" Sae releases my face and her smile falls.
"They are in the parlor with the Cartwrights." I cock my head and narrow my eyes in confusion at her words. She merely shrugs. "I haven't a clue as to the reason for their visit, but I do know your mother is in one of her moods." I smirk at her choice of words.
"Mr. Mellark?" I hear a soft voice behind me, I turn to see a beautiful girl with green eyes and dark hair. When our eyes meet she curtsies gently and averts her gaze.
"Annie!" I say enthusiastically. I take two strides in her direction and pull her into an embrace. She stiffens temporarily and then reciprocates the hug. Annie's mother was the head housekeeper for as long as I can remember. She was a widow with a young daughter to raise and no monetary support. My father managed to get her a job, and her daughter Annie, lived in the house with her, becoming the closest thing to a sister, and the best playmate I have ever had. When her mother died last year, both father and I managed to secure Annie her mother's old position.
"Peeta.", she squeaks into my shoulder, "You are going to make trouble for me. Your mother sent me to find you." I pull back but still steady my arms on her shoulders. Her mouth is serious, but her eyes are anything but. "We've missed you.", she whispers. I can't help but smile as I look between the two women who may be the last real family I have.
"Me too.", I say softly before pulling Annie to me so I can plant a kiss on her forehead. With a heavy sigh I make my way towards the parlor.
As I open the doors that lead to the parlor, I see my mother and brother Luke, sitting at a table set for late tea with Mr. and Mrs. Cartwright and their daughter Adele. The Cartwrights have been my mother's closest friends for many years. I approach the table with caution, not knowing the reason for this late day meeting, my stomach twists with apprehension. Adele sees me first and her eyes light up with delight, the corners of her mouth tuning up slightly. My mother must catch the look on her face because without turning to greet me she addresses her guests.
"I must apologize for the tardiness of my youngest son. He has always been a hapless daydreamer like his father." I cringe inside at her mention of my father, but I hold my face steady and deny it the scowl it would like to display. As I close the distance between myself and the table, the rest of those seated finally look my way for the first time. I bow tightly at the Cartwrights.
"Mr and Mrs. Cartwright, Miss Cartwright." I finish with a nod to the family of three then turn to my brother and give him a nod before leaning over to give my mother a kiss on the cheek, which is merely for show. "Mother.", I say. I see her glare at me from the corner of her eyes. She turns ever so slightly in my direction and whispers.
"Will you tame that hair. You have the appearance of a dockworker." I ignore my mother's biting comment and look to her guests instead.
"It is such a pleasure to see you on this beautiful spring eve. To what do I owe this happy homecoming?" I almost choke on the word happy as I look at the puritanical scowl of Mrs. Cartwright, she is a woman of God and not much else. Luckily for Adele, her father shares her cheery disposition. My question is answered by awkward glances at my mother by the Cartwrights.
"Times are changing Peeta.", my mother begins, "Those who respect the crown and the love and protection it gives us, those who believe that we are still Englishmen are being treated with the utmost disrespect. We are expected to bow down to the likes of wild animals calling themselves Patriots." , she spits the word out as though it were bitter on her tongue. Suddenly her features soften towards me ever so slightly, and I wonder what game she is playing at. "There have been incidents, violence towards loyalists. We are no longer safe here..." Her pause seems to last an eternity and my heart begins to race. "We are moving Peeta. We are going to be living closer to my cousins up..." I cut her off before she can finish her sentence.
"In Nova Scotia?!", my voice comes out much louder than I intended, and my mother looks at me with a mix of shock and rage at my outburst.
"Yes, Peeta, Nova Scotia. We will be living with family."
"No..No I will not go... No, I will not move, I have school and... No this is..." This is my home. I think to myself, I love New England, I love Boston, I love it's fire, its spirit. I don't want to move to Canada. Seriously, Canada, of all places. I will not live with my mother's family, for all I know they are just like her. What kind of life and future would await me in the far north.
"Peeta, this is not a discussion, you will go." My mother's coloring betrays her rage, I glance quickly at the Cartwrights. Mrs. Cartwright's mouth is tied into a knot of disgust, Mr. Cartwright is looking at his lap, and Adele, my sweet, sweet Adele. Her sapphire eyes shimmer with unshed tears, as they plead to me. I nearly lose my resolve right there between her eyes and her cherry red lips, and bit of sunshine colored hair that can be seen from under her bonnet. I cannot tear my eyes away from her's as I ask my next question.
"And if I choose not to go?" I think I can hear my mother gasp.
"Then you are no longer a son of mine. You will be cut off entirely. You would be no better than any of those who wish to destroy our way of life. You would be nothing but a traitor." The venom she spits as she finishes her statement would be deadly enough to kill any serpent. I tear my eyes away from Adele's, about to state my case to my mother, when I am interrupted by a vindictive chuckle that comes from my brother.
"Peeta, try to be reasonable for once in your life. You are proving to be a bigger fool than our father." I look to Luke. My fingernails digging into the palm of hand and I feel my skin tighten over my knuckles. I take a deep cathartic breath, I am not at all surprised at my brother's attitude, he is a perfect copy of my mother, from his political views to his cruelness. He and father never saw eye to eye, but Luke was always the perfect prince that my mother wanted. Even though I expect this kind of comment from him, that does not mean that I am not enraged by it. I cannot stomach anyone speaking ill of my father, especially now that he is gone.
I manage to control my anger and choose not to make an ungentlemanly gesture, such as break Luke's nose. Instead I look straight into my mother's eyes. I stand tall and proud and use my diaphragm to make my voice clear. With careful precision I say my final words on the matter.
"I. Will. Not. Be. Joining. You. May the Lord bless thee and keep thee safe on your trip to your new home." Before anyone has a chance to stop me I leave the parlor.
I had always known growing up that my mother and father subscribed to differing political philosophies. When I was 14, I remember coming into the bakery after a day of school to find my father looking over a parchment in his hands. When I asked what the paper said he told me of a new tax set by parliament, called the Sugar Act. The act would put a 3-pence tax on every gallon of molasses. I was surprised by the gloom that was apparent on my father's face. I understood that molasses was a main ingredient in our pastries and cakes, but we were not lacking wealth, so I did not understand why a seemingly insignificant amount of money could mean so much to him. When I asked as much he simply sighed and smiled sadly. He told me it was not the amount or even the tax itself, but instead it was the act of taxation without representation. Our colonies did not have an ambassador to England and therefore were not given the ability to vote or voice our say on matters such as this. He then told me this tax was so England could make up for losses suffered during the French-Indian War, and that we were the only ones being taxed even though it was the colonists whose blood was spilled. As far as my father was concerned we had already paid our debts.
The conversation came up again at the evening meal. My mother thought it ridiculous that anyone would question any decision made by the crown. She was mortified that a question of paying taxes would even come up at her table. No matter how my father explained it, my mother would not believe her parent country was anything other than giving and gracious. Politics were not spoken of at our table again, but in the years since the Sugar Act we have had other taxes implemented without any voice. The Currency Act and Stamp Act came a few years later. I remember how elated my father was as he read to me in the kitchen of the bakery a speech by Patrick Henry in regards to the Stamp Act. I still remember the line as it flowed from my father's mouth, "If this be treason, make the most of it." Since that day I have followed the career of Patrick Henry very closely.
I find myself pacing my bedroom with no real plan of what to do next. I know that my mother was not bluffing, and that sooner or later she will expect me to leave this house. I am just not entirely sure where I will go. I silently mourn the end of my college education at least for now. As I am mentally trying to come up with some sort of plan I hear my bedroom door open behind me. I feel her before I hear her sweet voice.
"Peeta?" I turn and see Adele standing there, she looks defeated. Her shoulders slumped. Her eyes are rimmed with red, and the streaks of her hot tears have left their imprint on her cheeks. My stomach twists at the realization that I caused her pain. "Peeta you must come with us." Her voice cracks with desperation. I approach her, slowly raising my hand to cup her left cheek. She closes her eyes and leans into my palm. I let out a shaky breath before I speak.
"Oh Delly, my sweet beautiful Delly, I am so sorry, but I cannot go. This is... home." As she listens a sob escapes her lips and I take her into my arms, my shirt absorbing her tears. When the sobs that wrack her body finally subside I hear her soft voice again.
"I have always loved you, Peeta, sadly it's decisions like the one you made today that made me fall so incredibly hard for you." Her words bring the sting of tears to my eyes and I ask the question, even though I already know the answer.
"Stay with me?"
"You know I cannot.", she replies with a heavy sigh. I do know that, I know that she could never leave her family. I know that her own views are very much loyalist, and therefore this move will be safer for her. I do want for her to be safe... always. She pulls away not looking at me, and I know she does not have the strength to say goodbye, but I cannot leave it like this. This cannot end this way. I will not profess my love for her, because all it would do is hurt her now, but I need her to know that I did not make this decision lightly.
Just as she reaches the door I run to her, grabbing her arm, spinning her so she is facing me. In one swift motion I take her face in my hands and crash my lips into hers. The kiss is my everything, and I want to give everything to her. I press her against the closed door pinning her with my hips. She moans into my mouth as her hands reach into my unruly hair. Sadly the fire of the kiss soon becomes more and more hesitant, and I know that this is the end. When we break apart we look into each other eyes one last time before we both mouth the word, "Goodbye".
Fun Fact - The 1764 Sugar Act was actually put in place to replace the previous tax of the Molasses Act. What is funny is the Molasses Act was 6-pence per Gallon vs. the Sugar Acts 3-pence. The difference being that the Molasses act was almost never enforced, whereas the later Sugar Act was strictly enforced...
Thanks for Reading