Hey! I missed you guys so much!
Can I just says 238 reviews!? How freaking awesome are all of you? Totally freaking awesome!
So here is the next chapter and guys, it is a long one! By long I mean over 5000 words long.
Now in this one there is a lot of flashbacks for Peeta, remember this is only a few years after the war so Peeta is NOT over the flashbacks, at all! I do hate though when people write him as weak so don't take the flashbacks as a sign of weakness. He's actually strong.
He also drops and F bomb in the end of the chapter so watch out! Haymitch may drop an F bomb too...
One more thing! Katniss is about 19 weeks pregnant, this story is written from Katniss's point of view so she thinks she's bigger than she is. A skinny 19 weeks pregnant girl isn't going to be huge but they do have a bump, if you want to see about how big google it.
Now review at the end and tell me what days would be best for me to update for you guys because I am definitely back on schedule.
Love ya'll, sorry for the wait! Now read and review!
I stare at Plutarch, dumfounded. What did he just say?
I see Peeta's fist clench next to me but he continues to stare out the window, trying to keep his sanity as we sit in this limo driving through the Capitol, learning that someone close has betrayed us.
I look around and realize now that we are alone in the car with Plutarch. A million questions run through my mind but the first thing that comes out of my mouth through clenched teeth is, "Where is he?"
Plutarch sighs and looks down. "He is in the other car. I'm sorry, I thought you guys already knew."
"Do you honestly think that Haymitch would be alive right now if we already knew?!" I yell. Peeta continues to stare out the window. His mouth tightens at the sound of Haymtich's name. I guess I am in this argument alone.
"I'm sorry." Plutarch says, "To be honest I don't think at the time he even realized what he was saying when we were talking."
"Explain." I say through my teeth.
"Katniss I think you are over reacting about this. It doesn't even matter anymore…"
"Explain." I hear from next to me. I turn to see Peeta looking at Plutarch ominously, his eyes trained on his face ready to listen to every word that will come out of his mouth. He takes my hand on my lap, part of his thumb brushing my stomach; I know this is to stop himself from having a flashback so I don't say anything and stare intently at Plutarch.
"We were on the phone a few months ago and I was trying to get him to persuade you two into coming to the Capitol for an interview, for the 3 year anniversary of the war." He starts. "He was fighting me off the whole time. Saying that you two were not ready to come back here. He even used the excuse about you, Katniss, not being allowed to leave your district. I was not giving up and in a last ditch effort I said I was going to call you personally and lift your sentence, allowing you to leave your District. He said there was no point, you wouldn't care and that it wasn't a good time. I kept fighting him and I can't really remember what I said but it really ticked him off. He said yet again that it wasn't a good time, but this time he said, and I quote, 'not with the kid coming and all, they are finally happy, leave them alone'. Of course I tried to investigate as to what that meant but he just hung up."
Peeta let out a breath and went back to staring out the window. This infuriated me but given the fact that it has only been a year since his last real flashback, not counting the one on the train, I know it must be hard for him to be here in the Capitol, let alone find out this information now.
"I am so sorry you two, i had no idea... I just got the information and told Caesar Flickerman and we made the show. so i guess technically Caesar told the world not Haymitch but he did give us the infor-" "
"Just shut up Plutarch, please." I say, trying to gather my thoughts.
We sit in the car in silence, the only noise coming from the dull sound of the engine and the sound of the road as we get closer and closer to our hotel. I take a few deep breaths and try to calm myself, remembering that to much stress is not good for me or the baby. I look at Peeta whose hard expression could make anyone cringe and look away, worried that he might turn that glaze on them, but I can see the pain in his eyes. He is hurt just as I am that a close friend of ours would betray us like this.
"How could he do this to us?" I ask myself. Peeta squeezes my hand and we ride in silence the rest of the way to the hotel.
We arrive at a fancy fifty story hotel in the dead center of the Capitol. People are lined up outside with cameras and pictures with our faces on them, pens in hand obviously wanting us to sign them. The chauffeur came around the car and opened the door for Peeta and I to exit. Peeta held my hand with an iron grip as we walked the path to the doors of the hotel; with all the flashing cameras and people shouting I seriously commend him for not having a flashback.
Plutarch shakes my hand at the doors of the Hotel and the cameras go wild. He nods to Peeta and throws us an apologetic look before turning and heading back to the car. Peeta and I duck inside the Hotel to avoid unwanted questions, we would be getting those latter, and go get our room keys.
Peeta takes the bags from the bell boy in one hand and takes mine in his other. We make our way to the room in silence, Peeta walking slightly in front of me as if expecting a threat appear at any moment. For the moment I am glad my mentor is not around, I don't know what Peeta or I would do if he was anywhere near us right now.
Peeta opens the door to the room and leads the way in dropping the bags next to the door; if you didn't know him you would think he was checking out the room just because he is seeing it for the first time, but I do know Peeta, I can see his eyes scanning the room, making sure we were alone.
I reach out and grab his hand and he turns and looks at me. His face is cold and guarded, I don't like this version of Peeta. I don't know if it was the stress of being in the Capitol or the fact that I just learned that one of the people I trusted most betrayed me or the stupid fact that I am bloody pregnant and my hormones a raging but a tear slips from the corner of my eye. My husbands face immediately starts to softens as he pulls me into a bone crushing hug.
Sobs wrack my body as Peeta guides me over to the bed. He sits me down on the edge and kneels in front of takes my face in his hands, looking me in the eye (do to the fact that even kneeling he was taller than me) I can see that he is as hurt as I am about our friend.
"Hey,"he said, whipping a tear from my face, "we're gonna be okay."
He kisses my forehead and sits next to me on the bed. I feel his arm slide under my legs and lift them onto his lap and his other hand settle on my waist. I wrest my head on his shoulder and silently allow tears to pour from my eyes. We stay this way for what seems like hours, but in reality was only about thirty minutes. Once the tears stopped flowing after about fifteen of those minutes we just sat in silence, listening to each other breath.
"Katniss." Peeta finally said. He opened his mouth to say more but all that followed was silence.
I turn my head to look at him and see that he is starting right back at me.
"What?" I say, my voice raspy and my throat thick from all the crying.
A knock at the door cuts him off.
"-better get that." He finishes. I slide my legs off his lap and stand in front of him with my arms around his neck, his hands settled no my waist, the person at the door knocks again.
"I love you too." I say. Peeta smiles for the first time since we got to the Capitol and kisses me softly.
The person at the door is nocking persistently now. Peeta stands and goes over to answer the door as I sit back down on the Bed, rubbing my stomach absent-mindedly. I hear the door open and crane my neck to see who it is.
"Hey kid. Took you long enough." Haymitch says as he tries to step around my husband. Peeta has gone completely still except for his hands which were balled into fists. His body began to shake and I immediately stand. As fast as I could without frightening him I rush over and grab hid hand, holding it close to my stomach.
"What's wrong with him?" Haymitch says gruffly.
I turn and scowl at him, "Shut up Haymitch." Is all I could manage before turning my attention back to Peeta. I move to stand I front of him and get him to focus his eyes on me. Beads of sweat start to run down his face as he tries to focus on not having a flashback, his eyes cloudy as he tries to concentrate.
"Peeta look at me." I say. "Look at me." His eyes slowly come to meet mine,
"that's it. Your fine, your here with me. Just me you and the baby."
Peeta's eyes dart to Haymitch and back to me.
"Ignore him. He's not important, it's just us." I flatten his hand over my slightly protruding stomach and place my hand on his.
"Just us." He repeats. I see his eyes come into focus and he immediately looks down. I sigh with relief and put a hand on his face. He places his hand over mine and kisses he inside of my wrist. He looks at me, then to Haymitch. I know how exhausting flashbacks can be for him and know that all he wants to do is take a shower and climb into bed.
"I can handle this." I say, knowing what he wanted to ask. Can he leave me alone with Haymitch. He gives me a look that says 'I really don't want to leave you alone with him'. He knows that I can handle myself though, and honestly I think he's more worried about what I'm going to do to Haymitch than what he would do to me.
He nods and kisses my forehead before heading to the bathroom, but not before sending Haymitch a warning glance.
"That was dramatic." Haymitch says as he steps around me and inside the room. I shut the door and follow him in. The shower starts in the bathroom but I know Peeta will be listening.
"Nice room sweetheart, what'd you have to do to get th-"
"What the fuck!" Haymitch yells as his hand flies up to his left cheek where a hand print is nicely forming. My hand was stinging from the slap but it wasn't a bad feeling.
My rage from earlier was coming back to me with a new found fury. Haymitch was spitting out a plethora of curses as he clutched his face.
"What the hell was that for!?" He raged.
"What do you think it was for Haymitch, think real long and hard." I say through my teeth, my fists clenched at my side.
Recognition dawned on him and his face softened, "Plutarch told you." He stated. I just nod, unable to form words.
"Katniss I am so sorry, I didn't want you to find out like this-"
"You didn't want us to find out at all Haymitch!" I shoot, my hands flying in frustration. "Do you understand the amount of stress Peeta and I are under right now? Can you even comprehend the fact that we are both beyond our breaking points and we sure as hell don't need this shit!"
"Katniss I'm sorry."
"I am too, Haymtich. I am too." I say, trying to clam myself.
"If you would just let me explain." He pleads.
"Oh please do. I would love to hear this. Tell me Haymitch, how did you know I was pregnant in the first place. We told you right after we saw it on the TV that night! Explain to me how you could betray Peeta and I and tell the people we hate most something so personal. Tell me that Haymitch, explain away that."
With that I sit on the bed and cross my arms over my chest. Waiting for his rebuttal.
"I was just trying to protect you two." I scoff but let him continue. "Effie told me you were pregnant the day you found out, that woman couldn't keep a secret if her life depended on it. A few days later is when Plutarchs calls started coming in. He wanted you two to go to the Capitol, get interviewed, go on TV shows, walk the streets, say a speech in front of the tributes monument; I told him you wanted no part in any of that. He kept calling and calling and I tried so hard to just tell him to shove it and leave you two alone, and I guess that's when it came out."
"You guess?" I ask.
"Yes, Katniss, I guess. I never meant to hurt you two. It just kind if slipped out. I wasn't in my right mind at the time-"
"You mean you were drunk."
Haymitch looked hurt by my statement. He had been working really hard for the past year on becoming sober, thanks to Effie.
"Yes." He admits, looking down. "Effie and I had a drink to celebrate our engagement. Is that so wrong?"
I was silent. I didn't know what to say. No, it wasn't so wrong, in fact it's normal. I just looked at him and waited for him to continue.
"I couldn't even enjoy being engaged because all I could think about was how I just betrayed you two. Hell I didn't even drink the rest of the night because I was so freaking upset. Gosh, sweetheart when are you going to get it through your head that I seriously do care about you guys."
"Haymitch," I say, tears pricking at the corner of my eyes, I never used to get this emotional, damn hormones, "I know you care about us. But how are we suppose to trust you with anything after this? You made a mistake, I understand, but it wasn't an 'opps i knocked over the pickle jar' mistake; this was serious. I accept your apology Haymitch, but that's about all I can say right now."
"Alright kid," he says, placing a hand on my shoulder and looking me dead in the eye, "but I will make this up to you somehow. I swear."
I nod and Haymitch turns to walk out the door.
"Oh, and by the way, good luck with the interview tonight. Eff and I will be there if you need us."
I groan with the memory that in seven to eight hours I will be doing another interview with Caesar.
Haymitch smiles and the door clicks shut behind him as he leaves. A tear escapes my eye but I refuse to let anymore fall; If I start crying now I wont be able to stop.
Standing, I go over to the suitcase and pull out one of Peeta's shirt and a pair of his sweat pants and throw them on the bed. I undress down to my undergarments and reach for the cloths when I find a hand already there. Immediately, I spin around and bring my hand up to face my attacker but it is firmly caught in his grasp. Peeta stands over me wearing nothing but a low slung white towel around his middle, his hair damp and matted down to his head.
"Jumpy?" Peeta asks, releasing my arm, a look of worry on his face. "Haymitch didn't do anything stupid did he?"
"No, no he was fine." I say and wrap my arms around his waist.
"Good." Peeta says, giving me a small kiss on the crown of my head, his arms encircling me.
I crane my neck and look up at my stunning husband and say, "Wanna take a nap with me?"
Peeta smiles and pecks me on the lips. I can tell by the dark circles starting to form under his eyes that the flashback really took a tole on him; even though he didn't go all psycho Peeta it still takes him a huge amount of strength to fight it off.
"I would love nothing more." he replies.
I turn around and grab the cloths I just took out of the suitcase and Peeta starts to laugh.
"What's so funny?" I ask as I slip the shirt on over my head.
"I just thought those were for me." he laughs and goes to find a pair of boxers to put on.
When we are both dressed and ready we jump right into bed; my back snuggled up close to Peeta's chest, his arm slung around my waist, this almost feels normal. I guess that's the best I can hope for at the moment.
I wake up a few hours later to a knock from Effie at the door.
"Leaving in thirty minutes you two, you better be ready! It's a big, big, big day!"
Her heals click away and I can feel Peeta's muscles tensed behind me. I role over and look at his eyes first to make sure he's not having another flashback. they were their regular blue so it can't be that... unless he is fighting one off.
"Im fine." he says, his teeth gritted.
"I don't believe you." I tell him. He smiles at me but it falters and he is back deep in thought.
"It's just that phrase," he says after a minute, rolling over and putting an arm behind his head, "she used to say it during the Games to wake us up."
"I know." I tell him. I prop myself up on my elbow to see his face; by the expression he's wearing I can tell we are thinking the same thing.
I just want to get this stupid interview over with and be out of this retched place. It brings back to many memories for both my husband and I. I hate it here, I just want to go home.
"We should probably get ready. Wouldn't want to be late would we." Peeta says. I groan and lay my head on his shoulder and sling my arm across his chest. He laughs and kisses my head before sliding out from under me and walking toward the suitcase.
"Can't we just say I got sick and that we have to go home?" I groan, burying my face in the pillow.
"You know as well as I that that would never work. now here," Peeta says, tossing something on the bed on top of me, "put that on."
I peak out from under the blankets to see an orange dress that was strapless on one side and a full sleeve on the other. On the sleeve rhinestones and sparkles ran up the arm. It was short and looked skin tight.
"Peeta," I complain, "this will never fit me."
"Katniss you aren't all that pregnant yet. Plus I had it ordered especially for you, meaning a gorgeous pregnant woman of about 19 weeks."
"Whatever you say."
Grabbing the dress I slide out of bed a little less gracefully than my husband and head toward the bathroom. Like I expected it was fully stocked with make-up and hair stylers. Like I need it, no doubt a prep team will be waiting for me when we get to the interview.
I unzip the back of the dress and slide it up, putting my arm through the sleeve. Before zipping it up I brush my hair out and braid it to the side so that it doesn't get caught in the zipper. Then I pick up the mascara and put a little on, maybe if I have some make-up on the prep team won't have to do much to me. Then I reach for the zipper but don't get very far. It gets caught in the middle of my back, damn dresses. I always did hate these things.
"Peeta!" I call. "Can you come zip me up?"
"Yeah!" he calls back. Two seconds later the door opens and Peeta is standing there in a full suit with a tie on that matches my dress.
"You look nice." I state. he smiles at me and motions for me to turn around. He zips up the back of my dress and puts his hands on my waist.
"You look even better Mrs. Mellark." He whispers in my ear. It sends a chill up my spine and I can tell he's feeling better.
"You gonna be okay to do this?" I ask seriously, spinning around in his arms.
"Do you lack confidence in me?" he replies with a snarky smile. I whack him on the arm and he laughs. he captures my lips in a lingering kiss before taking my hand and leading me out of the bathroom. I pick up the heels that Peeta no doubt ordered with the dress and slide those on and within the minute we are out the door, down the stairs, and in our own private limo.
Haymitch and Effie had their own ride there of witch I was eternally grateful. The limo ride was quiet except for the noise of the buzzing city streets. It took us about fifteen minutes to get to the studio and when we arrived the amount of people standing outside was astonishing. Cameras were flashing in every direction and reporters were lined up ready to ask us more questions than we wanted to answer. Reading my mind no doubt, or maybe just my worried face, Peeta knocked on the drivers window and asked if there was a private back entrance we could go in to avoid the crowd. He nodded and we drove around back to a small back ally door.
thanking the driver we climbed out of the car and Peeta knocked since the door was locked.
"No fan entrance here! Leave or I'll call the authorities!" a woman's voice chirped.
"Excuse me. My name is Peeta Mellark and my wife and I would really appreciate it if you would let us in." Peeta said politely.
"That is the seventh time someone has said that to me today!" the woman scoffed. "Now leave."
"Get out of the way you idiot." a mans voice that was no doubt Plutarchs said on the other side. "Let them in!"
"LET THEM IN!"
The door clicked open and Peeta and I stepped inside. The woman standing there turned green like the color of her hair when she got a look at Peeta and I.
"The Mellarks." she said, right before she fainted.
"So sorry about that." Plutarch says. I look at him and then back down at the girl. "Don't worry, she's fine. does this all the time. You two look stunning. Lets get you into hair and make-up."
Without another word Peeta and I were grabbed by prep teams and taken into different rooms. As they worked I was reminded of the old days when we were getting ready for interviews, I hope Peeta's not having the same memories, if he is i feel bad for whoever is in the room with him.
The prep team that was with me now was not the one I had back in the day. These were new people, who, for a change, were not overly chatty. This is something I had not experienced with a prep team before; to be frank it's kind of weird. They put some orange eye shadow on me and a little bit of blush but they left my hair alone. They mostly focused on covering up the scars I had left on my shoulder and exposed arm and it took up most of their time to do that.
Once I was all done it was time for the interview. I went to find Peeta back stage and found him sitting on a crate staring at a wall.
"Peeta," I say approaching him, "are you okay?"
"Yeah," he says, looking up at me, "I think I am." I see no sign of a flashback so I smile and hold out my hand.
"Let's go get this over with."
He smiles and takes my hand. We pass Effie and Haymitch as we make our way to the side of the stage and they wish us luck but Peeta doesn't even look at them. I guess he is more focused than I thought.
"And now, don't get to excited but we have some very special guest with us tonight." I hear Caesar say, "Now I want you all to give a warm welcome to Katniss and Peeta Mellark!"
The roar of the crowd is deafening. Peeta squeezes my hand as we step out onto the stage and shake Caesars hand. It takes his a full two minutes to get the crowd to stop cheering, all the time Peeta has a death grip on my hand, but you wouldn't be able to tell by the smile on mine or his face.
"Katniss, Peeta! It's been so long!" Caesar exclaims, a huge smile plastered on his face,"I've missed you two!"
"We've missed you too Caesar." Peeta says smiling.
"So, Katniss, it looks like you two have been very busy!" he laughs and the whole crowd does to. I laugh as well and Peeta smiles down at our hands in my lap.
"Yes Caesar you could say that." I say, but I am looking at Peeta, he is now smiling back at me.
"Oh well isn't that sweet folks." the crowd lets out a sigh and some aw's. "So let's adress this Gale topic..."
"There is nothing to address." I say. "Peeta and I are having a baby, our baby. I haven't seen Gale for two years. He came to visit a few weeks back when he found out Peeta and I were pregnant. End of story."
The crowd cheers and Caesar lets out a relieved laugh.
"That is very good to hear Katniss. Very good to hear. So Peeta, how did you feel when Gale came to visit your pregnant wife. And congratulations on the baby by the way, I couldn't be happier for the both of you."
Peeta takes a deep breath and looks at me and talks, "Thanks Caesar and I was fine with it. Gale is Katniss's friend, I had no problems with him coming to visit."
I squeeze his hand a little to let him know I know what he means. He truly didn't have a problem with Gale coming to visit. We did everything we could to keep my beating from getting back to the Capitol so that we would have as little conflict as possible.
"Well that's wonderful. What a supportive husband, eh folks!" the crowd cheers more and we smile at each other.
"I must say Mrs. Mellark, you look absolutely stunning in that dress. You wear pregnancy very well I must say." Caesar says and the crowd expresses it's love.
"I agree Caesar, she is beautiful." Peeta says more to me than to Caesar.
"You two are adorable! Now Katniss, Peeta, got any names you want to share with us today?" he asks. The crowd is silent waiting for the reply.
"You can take this one." Peeta says to me.
"We do have some names picked out but we don't know the sex of the baby yet." I say to the crowd. Peeta's eyes were still trained on me.
"Oh come on!" Caesar says. "You can tell us the names Katniss!"
"Only if you guys promise to keep them a secret." I say to the crowd.
"Of course we will! Right folks!" the crowd cheers once more in response and then goes utterly silent as they wait for my response.
"Well," I start and everyone leans in, I look at Peeta and try to imagine we are the only ones here, "if it's a girl her name will be Willow Rose Mellark..." Peeta smiles and the crowd whoops and awes but calms down quickly to hear the second name, "and for a boy his name will be Kaleb Rye Mellark."
The crowd goes nuts as Caesar laughs and stands and we stand with him as he reaches out to shake Peeta's hand, "And there you have it people! Baby Mellark is on its way! How about a round of applause for our two victors?"
The crowd goes nuts but I'm more preoccupied with the bone crushing grip that Peeta has on my hand and the way his eyes keep focusing in and out. Caesar just had to say victor didn't he?
I smile and wave and lead Peeta off the stage and back over to the crate that he was on before and make him sit.
"Peeta." I take both of his hands.
"Katniss," he says through gritted teeth, "I don't know if I can hold this one off."
His eyes were hard and desperate as they went back and forth between beautiful blue and black. He squeezes my hand so hard that I think I am starting to loose feeling but I don't care.
"Yes you can." I say. sweat starts to bead on his forehead and his eyes get more and more cloudy and dark.
"Let's play real or not real." I suggest.
"Katniss I can't even fucking think straight." he barks.
"Just try it, Peeta please, for me, for the baby." He nods and lets go of one of my hands to wipe the sweat off his head.
"Your a mutt real or not real."
"Not real, definitely not real." I say, a little hurt that that was his first question but I understand.
"That baby is mine, not Gale's, real or not real." His jaw is clenched and his knuckles white as he squeezes the hand that is free in a tight fist while waiting for the answer to the question.
"Very real." I answer right away, leaving no room for doubt.
"Liar!" he rips and I take his face in my hands. His breathing is raged and harsh so I try to stay as calm as I can.
"I'm not lying Peeta." I tell him.
"We won the First Games." he states more than asks.
People were starting to gather around now, trying to see what was happening. Haymitch and Effie I notice are standing close by, close enough for Haymitch to grab Peeta if he needs to.
"You let me get kidnapped in the second Games."
"Not real, I had no choice in the matter and demanded they save you." I state, wanting to punch Haymitch in the face at the moment because he made Peeta think that. Peeta was starting to calm down now, his breathing slowed and his eyes were more cloudy than dark.
"You love me, real or not real?" he all but whispers.
"Very real." I say. His eyes fade to the beautiful blue I love and can't help but hope that my child has his eyes.
"Alright clear out, there is nothing to see here people, get back to work!" Haymitch calls and Effie hands a towel over my shoulder to Peeta. He thanks her and wipes the sweat off his head.
"I'm sorry." he says, slightly panting.
"You have nothing to be sorry for. Let's just get you back to the hotel."
"Back home sounds better." he laughs and I laugh with him.
We gather our things and say goodbye to everyone, receiving thanks from Plutarch and Caesar telling us to come back soon but I really don't see that happening. We climb in the limo from the back way again to avoid the reporters and fans and ride back to the hotel. Once there Peeta and I take a shower and climb right into bed, glad this day was finally over. This was by far the most stressful day of my life. I'm just glad I get to go home tomorrow.
Stressful! Aren't you glad I didn't end it with a cliff hanger!?
Next chapter will be posted based on what day your reviews say for next week.
Quote for next chapter comes from...Try to figure it out;)
Love you guys!