Thank you to everyone who has waited for months for my dumb ass to finally post an update. Bless you all and I envy your patience. I am floored by the incredible response this story has gotten and it means so much to me that my fellow fangirls/boys find this worthy of their time. So again thank you all for your favorites, follows and reviews!
To my homegirl and fellow all around bestie and nerd!girl, Scoutchick104 for beta-ing this chapter and being so incredibly patient with all my grammar errors that seem to never end. I love ya, Goose!
I can be reached on tumblr under the username: stacylk
Songs listened to while writing this chapter: 'My Own' by Whitaker, 'If (Don't Ever Blame Yourself)' by Last Days of April
NOTICE: There are Sexual Situations in this chapter. Please Be a Responsible Reader.
He can feel her touch even before he fully wakes up, a span of skin from where both their shirts had risen up through the night now presses up against each other, the sensation sending a thrill through him. The early morning light filters in through the window of her room and Peeta has to squint against it even with his eyes closed. He can feel her rouse against him, as a quiet hum leaves her lips and he has to fight the urge to moan as she presses her body flush against his involuntarily. The first time he had laid down in her bed had been awkward and exhilarating all at the same time. Every fiber in his body had begun to hum, until all his senses revolved around her. Initially Katniss had been hesitant for their bodies to touch, laying down with a few inches separating them. But slowly, he had inched his hand over to hers sliding his pinky over the back her hand. It hadn't taken long for Katniss to grasp his hand and pull him close. Peeta had silently rolled onto his side as she curled her petite form against his broad chest. A contented sigh escaped his lips before he could stop it, his mind reeling immediately after frightened that she would become hesitant and pull away from his grasp. But she merely pressed her cheek more firmly to the spot above his heart, her own sigh filling the small space between them. It didn't take long for the both of them to fully settle into the other, Peeta with his cheek resting at the crown of her hair and Katniss' hand reaching up to lay at his jaw.
When they awoke the following morning, Katniss in her sleep had draped one leg over his midsection and Peeta had to stop himself from pulling over his body, her petite form pressing it against his front. The thought of her weight on top of him sent a rush of sensations to settle at his groin, and he had to remind himself that no matter how strong his desires were for her, his reason for sharing her bed was for comfort not for his own carnal needs, even if they threatened to swallow him whole. So for the last week as he watched over her and they embraced, Peeta held back his own desire to press his lips to her skin and explore every inch. He breathed out slowly trying to calm his mind as she lifted her arm up from between their bodies to lay her hand directly above his heart. Her fingers began to drum along to the rhythm of his pulse, something he had noticed her do in the morning especially if her sleep was restful, but on the occasions when her nightmares returned and he spent most of the night soothing her back to sleep, her hands would worry in the fabric of his shirt.
Peeta sighs as he turns his face towards her, opening his eyes. He isn't surprised to find her staring back at him, a slight smile gracing her lips as a yawn fills the silence of the room. "Hey."
Katniss tucks her chin as her smile deepens before looking back up at him. "Hey. Good morning."
Peeta reaches over to her cheek, picking up a random strand of hair that had escaped her braid during the night. He tucks it back behind her ear as he speaks. "No nightmares this time?"
She shakes her head and he could swear he feels her shiver as his fingers lightly brush over her jawline before falling back to his chest. "I did have a good dream though." A deep blush forms at her cheeks as her expression stills for a second as though she remembered something.
Peeta clears his throat gaining her attention again. "I'm glad it was good. We should all have good dreams."
Katniss watches him for what feels like forever, her grey eyes boring through him. A deep warmth begins to form at the span of skin that her hand now covered, only the thin fabric of his nightshirt separating them. He can feel his pulse quicken underneath her fingers , which embarrassed him, knowing that she could feel the increase in tempo. It was surprising to him how something as simple as a direct gaze from her could affect him in such a way. He had been in a fair share of unnerving situations but Katniss had a way of knocking his world off kilter.
Peeta nervously pulls at one of the buttons of his shirt, rising the fabric up enough so that she can see the skin underneath. Katniss slides her hand over to his, stopping his movements as she undoes the button. His breath catches in his throat as she pushes the fabric away, giving her a clear view of his skin and the scars that reside there. He wants to turn over and curl up on his side, a familiar feeling of shame rushing over him as he waits for the inevitable questioning that always follows. Most people he encountered were curious about how his body had become covered in the raised pink lines. Katniss however, never uttered a single question as she brushes her fingers over the markings, tracing each curve and path they take until her fingers reach his still buttoned shirt, just below his pecks. Peeta watches her intently as she fidgets with the fabric closing his eyes each time her fingers press against his skin.
He is so engrossed in the sensation of her hand on his skin that he misses what she is saying. Peeta opens his eyes to find her staring back at him. "What?"
Katniss clears her throat before averting her eyes back to the fabric she works between her fingers. "What was it like? At the orphanages, I mean."
Peeta breaths deeply as he reaches his free hand up to her temple, running his fingers through the hair there. "Some days were better than others." He can feel his chest constricting with the flood of emotions that threaten to choke him. "It's like being invisible, everyone looks through you, and after awhile it becomes what you expect and you forget what it means to be noticed. You don't miss being seen." He struggles to keep his hand steady and his eyes fixed on the crown of her head terrified of the pity he may see in her eyes. "It wasn't until I met you that I realized what I was missing by being invisible. I want to be seen by you, I want you to see me. To always see me." He draws in a breath as his eyes travels down to hers. "And that scares me."
Katniss curls her hands into the fabric of his shirt, griping onto it tightly. Peeta can feel her body tremble as she lets out a breath. "I'm afraid of everything. I'm afraid of living, of dying, of being incomplete and of never really knowing where I belong." He watches her intently as she closes her eyes willing her body to calm, but her hand only trembles even more against his skin. Peeta traces the side of her face stopping at her cheekbone to run his thumb over the skin there which causes her to open her eyes. "I live in a constant state of awareness, never really sure what's going to happen at any moment. It started after my father died, at first I hated feeling so scared but after a while it become a part of me, who I am. It's all I've ever known and I'm comfortable with it. But when I'm with you it seems to lessens a little bit."
He drags his thumb down the side of her face, tracing every curve until it settles at her lips. "It's funny because being near you scares the hell out of me. It terrifies me how much I want you to notice me, how much I need you to notice me."
His mind hardly has time to catch up with his body as he lowers his face, pressing his lips to hers and moving his hands down to the small of her back. A contented sigh fills the room and Peeta isn't sure if he had been the one to utter it. The air seems to heat up all at once as he pulls her up the length of his body to deepen the kiss. He has been in this position with her a few times before but something about this kiss feels different. There's a sense of urgency to the way she's pulling at the front of his shirt and threading her fingers through his hair tugging gently. It could just be that instead of the secluded meadow they were here lying in her bed, with the possibility of her mother and sister returning her early from their call and walking in on them. However, Peeta had a feeling that the fear of being discovered isn't the reason behind Katniss' fevered touches. Perhaps she was grasping onto any way to keep him close, just like he was attempting to do with her.
He was so caught up in the feel of her teeth dragging against his lower lip that he wasn't aware of her fingers deftly un doing the remaining buttons to his shirt until most of the fabric was already pushed aside. Peeta pulls his face back slightly attempting to slow his breathing down as her palms lay flat against the toned planes of his stomach. He has to swallow a few times until his vision clears and he has the ability to form a coherent thought. Her hair is already mussed from his roaming hands, the strands framing her flushed cheeks and shining eyes. Peeta has never seen her look so beautiful, it was as though a wall came down and he's now seeing her for who she truly is, and she is breathtaking.
Without giving it another thought Peeta moves his hands to her hips, grasping tightly as he pulls her on top of his body. She gives a sharp yelp at the sudden action which earns a chuckle from him, as she sits up her legs straddling him just above his groin. He can already feel the warmth from between her thighs as she squirms above him, intensifying the sensation. Katniss adverts her eyes, and he can sense her uneasiness being in such a vulnerable position. He reaches up, moving the curtain of hair that has fallen out of her braid and is now covering most of her face. She locks eyes with him before she casts her eyes down to his chest fully visible as his shirt had opened up when he had pulled her on top of him. He closes his eyes as she runs her hands up and down the upper part of his body, all of his senses on full alert until all he felt was her touch. Peeta untangles his hands from her hair, as with unsteady movements he lowers his fingers to the hem of her own shirt. Her caresses still for a second before she moves her hands from his stomach to grasp his securely at the hem of her shirt. He was ready for the rejection he assumed was coming but she sighs slowly before helping him to raise the cloth up her body and eventually over her head. They continue to clasp hands as she raises her arms, exposing her upper body. Peeta throws the shirt to the side, not caring where it lands, as he takes in the slight curve of her breasts, her flat stomach and petite hips. Katniss pulls her hands free and immediately crosses her arms over her bare breasts. Peeta gently pulls her arms away and watches as a deep blush appears over her olive skin causing her already dusky nipples to darken. He aches to touch them and he can feel his fingers flex, as she keeps her eyes locked on his chest.
Peeta places a hand at her jaw bringing her face up. "How you feel about me seeing you naked is how I feel about you seeing my scars. It makes us vulnerable, exposed for everyone to see." He says as he brushes a stray hair from her face. "We keep apart of ourselves hidden, like it's some dirty secret. But your body isn't like my scars." This caused her to hold his gaze. "You are so beautiful."
She snorts, softly covering her face with her hands, before lowering them to his shoulders and kissing him softly. "So are you."
The friction of her bare chest against his was almost enough to cause him to orgasm at that moment, but knowing that this was just as difficult for her as for him, he didn't want to jeopardize anything because he couldn't control his own desires. He wants so much to be with her, to feel her bare body against his and discover every inch of her, inside and out. But more than anything he wants her to want him back. She shifts her hips pushing up on his stomach as her hands roam behind her, reaching for the band of his bottoms. He hadn't worn boxers underneath because of the warm weather and he can already feel his erection growing. He grimaces at what she must think of him, already being so excited and he curses his body and hormones for betraying him. Peeta slightly lifts his body off the mattress as her fingers brush against his growing erection. He watches her swivel her hips, pulling the waistband of his bottoms over his groin as the cool breeze comes through the open window caressing his sensitive skin. A soft moan escapes his lips as she touches his penis experimentally her fumbling movements endearing, for only a few seconds later he can feel a tightening in his testicles.
Peeta reaches out, attempting to still her action. She turns towards him. "Did I do it wrong?"
He chuckles. "No. It was good, but I'm afraid if you continue it'll all be over far too soon."
He watches as it takes a moment for her to understand his meaning. "Oh! I'm so sorry!"
Peeta shakes his head. "Never be sorry about that." He moves his hands to her thighs. "But are you sure you want to do this with me?"
He holds his breath as he watches a wave of emotions wash over her features. "I wouldn't want to do this with anyone else."
"Katniss we don't have to do this now."
She reaches for the ends of his shirt attempting to pull it down his arms. "I'm in this bed with you half naked because I choose to be, because I want you to know a part of me that no one else knows."
That was the only assurance he needed as he sits up pulling his shirt off fully before flipping her onto her back. She let out a full laugh as her dark tresses cascade over the pillow. Peeta pushes his bottoms down the rest of the way before kicking them off. He moves his hands to the band of her shorts, only to find that she has already pushed them down her legs while he was struggling with his own. He marveles over how soft her skin feels under his hands, the curve of her hip fitting perfectly into his palm. He hovers over her as he ghosts his hands down her waist stopping over the small patch of dark curls between her legs. The heat that emanates from her causes him to shudder, as he drags his fingers over the inside of her thigh. Katniss releases a shaky breath as he pushes her legs apart, settling between them.
He watches her eyes close as he places his forehead against hers. "Are you still afraid?"
She nods. "A little, but I don't feel quite so alone anymore."
Peeta can't hide the wide grin that threatens to take over his face, as he lowers his lips to hers. He kisses her with everything he has. Every emotion that rushes through him he empties into her until all he can feel is her, the way her fingers lightly graze the exposed skin of his chest, tracing his scars as if they are a road map to his heart. He realizes as he roams his hands up the sides of her body that this was the first time he could remember not feeling as though something was missing. She was all that existed, and as they explored each others bodies, with fevered kisses and concentrated pressure, Peeta knew that all the pain and loss he had felt through out the years were merely pathways leading him to this moment.
After his hands have smoothed over every reachable surface of skin, Peeta places a soft kiss to her lips and the tip of her nose. He keeps his eyes on her face, watching intently as she works her hands up his chest to hold tightly onto his shoulders. Peeta knows she is preparing herself for the discomfort to follow, and even through the fog of lust, he worries about causing her any pain. For even with the anticipation of his resulting pleasure the thought causes him to question his actions, as he feels her give his shoulders a reassuring squeeze.
Peeta takes a deep breath placing his hands on either side of her head as he positions the head of his erection at her core, he can already feel how aroused she is. Katniss tenses up as he enters her slowly, her walls wrapping around him so tight it's nearly painful. They both let out a shaky breath as he pushes through the barrier within her. It's as though everything stills as he buries himself in her all the way, her warmth surrounding him. Every nerve in his body begins firing off sensations he isn't even aware he could feel. He fights to keep his eyes open, gauging her reactions to his movements, even the smallest of hers causing a wave of pleasure to wash over him. Peeta curls his fingers, tangling them in the strands of her hair as he begins to pull back from her body, pushing back soon after. She closes her eyes as his body moves within hers and Peeta worries that the experience isn't as enjoyable for her as it is for him. After the third push he decides that any kind of pleasure isn't worth putting her through this much pain, so he begins to pull away from her until their bodies are nearly separated. Silently, he watches as she opens her eyes, her brow raising in question as Peeta begins to answer she lifts her knees up holding his hips tightly. He waits a few seconds before acceding to her, then pushes back into her, earning a strangled moan from her that vibrates through him.
The caution that he had possessed earlier was now gone as he presses his hips flush against hers in a frenzied need that seems to overtake him. Peeta lowers his cheek to rest against hers as he moves above her, their sweat drenched skin pressed tightly against the others. He's amazed by the sounds that escape her lips and equally the moans that are his own as her walls fit tightly around him. It isn't long until he can't hold back as the force of sensations that he swears could kill him push him over the edge. Peeta has to bite his tongue, trying to silence most of the cry that escapes his mouth as he empties into her. His breath heaves as his orgasm fades, while he hovers over Katniss, his arms threatening to fold under his weight. She lifts up enough to kiss him softly on the lips, before darting her tongue out to run over his bottom lip. His eyes roam over her face and chest, unable to decide where to keep his eyes as her hand comes to rest at his cheek. Her face is still flushed and he can feel his breath hitch from how beautiful she is.
Peeta doesn't move from above her, and he can feel himself become hard again as her walls continue to surround him. "I wish I could be less invisible."
Katniss gives off a soft chuckle as she lays back down bringing his face with her. "That's funny because I sometimes wish I was. Not with you though. I feel like you're the only one that really sees me."
He wants to do something more than nod, but all rational thought is lost as he feels her other hand travel down his shoulder stopping at the small of his back. Peeta begins to question her but as before she merely wraps her legs around his back, using her body to inform him of her intentions. He doesn't question when she pushes her hips against his or when she arches her back, aligning her chest with his mouth. He can't, because he knows that these types of moments are fleeting and all he wants to do is feel everything she's willing to give him. He just wants to be seen for the short amount time he's been given before he has to be invisible again.
A/N: Thank you for reading! There's only a couple of chapters left from here out, so I hope that those of you who have stuck with it this long won't be disappointed. Please Review!