The last thing she expected to see when she got home from work was Peeta Mellark in her kitchen in an apron. Shirtless.

What the hell?

"Peeta Mellark, what are you doing in my kitchen?" she demanded, throwing her bag on the kitchen table, rather than the counter like she normally would. She couldn't, because it was covered in an entire restaurant worth of damned bowls and mixers and flour and icing and….

Was that a set of freaking measuring spoons?

She hadn't even realised she owned measuring spoons.

"You said I could!" He protested, holding his hands up innocently, a wooden spoon clutched tightly in his fist.

"Ugh, you know I don't mean that!" She kicked her shoes off, planting her hands on her hips. "I meant this no shirt business. Really? Is that even hygienic or safe?"

"I'm wearing an apron," he pointed out. "And anyway, it's hot. Your AC doesn't reach through to your kitchen." She rolled her eyes, already kind of regretting agreeing to let him use her place for this. Of course, the week he volunteered to bake cupcakes for his schools' bake sale was when his own kitchen was being renovated. And she, being his loving girlfriend or whatever, let him use hers.

She'd at least better get a damn cupcake out of this.

She pulled herself up onto the stool across from him, watching as he got back to work, pouring so much of this, and so much of that into the bowl. She had no idea what he was doing, and really didn't care. As long as it tasted good, that's all that mattered. Then she eyed the ingredients on the counter.

"You're not making cupcakes," she complained. "What the hell is this?"

Peeta smirked, and gently poured warm milk from a saucepan he had resting on the stove into his bowl, mixing whatever was already in there with the milk. "It's Easter this weekend, Katniss. So I figured I'd make hot cross buns instead."

"Hot cross what?"


Katniss groaned, propping her elbow on the counter and resting her chin in her hand. "Yeah, ok, smartass. I've never had them before. How do you make these culinary delights?"

He continued to combine the mixture in the bowl, looking up at Katniss through his lashes. "Really? You actually want to know how I'm making these?"

She glanced at the bowl in his hands, then back up at his smiling face. She snorted. "Nope. Not one bit. But will I like them?"

Peeta laughed. "Of course you'll like them. They'll be made by me." He took the dough out of the bowl, beginning to knead it lightly. She liked watching him work. The way the muscles in his forearms shifted with each movement, the way he so carefully kneaded the dough, treating it as if it was the most precious thing he'd ever held. And he had such nice hands, really, such strong hands, with long, talented fingers…..

She shook her head, jolting herself out of her thoughts before she started to think of Peeta Mellark under her, naked, on the floor of her kitchen. Which he had been last week, after a particularly gruelling grocery shopping expedition, but that was beside the point, really.

"Ok. Good then. Just make sure you leave some for me. Not all of them need to go to the bake sale you know." He chuckled, his way of promising to keep some for her. She slid off the seat, grabbed her shoes, and began making her way down the hall.

"I'm just going to have a shower. Then we can discuss what takeout we're going to get for dinner, because spoiler alert, I'm not cooking in there tonight, and neither are you."

"I've already started, though," he called out to her retreating back.

She turned, moving back towards the kitchen, leaning against the frame of the entryway. "Really? Then what are we having?"

He winked. "It's finishing off in the oven, and it's a surprise," he grinned. "And you don't want the surprise being spoiled, do you?" Peeta finished with the dough, put it in a fresh bowl and covered it with saran wrap, before turning to the sink to wash his hands. Katniss' jaw dropped.

"Holy shit, Mellark, you're not wearing any pants either!"

He glanced over his shoulder, and shrugged. "What can I say? It was hot."

She dropped her head in her hands, trying to contain the snort of laughter that was threatening to bubble over. Damn if the slim peek at his ass through the gap in the back of the apron wasn't enough to get her pulse racing and begin thinking of his fingers and hands on her again. He watched her barely suppress her giggles, wiping his hands on the dishcloth and slowly making his way over to the doorway. He stopped right in front of her, and crossed his arms over his chest.

"A problem, Everdeen?" he asked softly. If she'd been paying enough attention, she would've noted the gleam in his eye and the threat in his voice. She shook her head, worried if she spoke, she'd just end up laughing. And if she did, he'd think she thought it was funny. And he'd probably do it again. Cook naked in her kitchen.

Actually, maybe that wasn't so much a bad idea.

"Do you have anything to say?" he asked again, raising an eyebrow.

"You can't sell naked hot cross buns at the bake sale," she managed to blurt out, while trying to maintain any sense of composure.

"I can't?" He grinned, a slow, cocky smile that made her breath catch in her throat. "Well, all the more buns for you then, huh?" He replied, and she gulped. He wasn't amused like she was, wasn't trying to hold back the laughter like she was. He just kept staring at her, eyebrow cocked, and she finally recognised the gleam in his eye.


Peeta reached out, hooking his fingers through the belt loops on her jeans, tugging her closer to him. The backs of his fingers brushed against the skin of her stomach, and she couldn't help the resulting quiver through her belly. He slid an arm around her waist, moving his hand so it rested against the small of her back.

"Are you laughing at my cooking attire, Katniss?" he asked softly.


"Good. Because if you were laughing at me right now, I probably wouldn't do this." He leant down, laying his lips on hers more gently than she expected him to. She liked these soft kisses, the ones that felt sweet and slow, like they had all day to kiss and nothing else.

But after catching the glimpse of Peeta's ass before, it really wasn't going to be enough.

She reached up, sliding both her hands up along his jaw, curling them into the hair at the nape of his neck, slanting her mouth against his, changing the pace of the kiss until it was nothing but a heated tangle of lips and tongues and teeth. Her blood pounded in her veins, and she couldn't help the involuntary moan she released as he tore his lips from hers to trail kisses up along her jaw, before nibbling on the soft skin just below her ear. She gripped his hair even tighter, pulling it slightly in the way she knew he loved. He groaned, a low guttural sound that caused her heart to skip and everything in her body to thud and pulse and ache. She felt him take one, two, three steps forward, leading her backwards until her back slammed against the wall of the hallway, his body pressed firmly against hers. Both hands slid to cup her ass, pulling her closer, and she instinctively bounced off her toes, sliding first one leg, then the other around his waist. She rocked her hips into him, bringing his mouth back to hers as his cock twitched against her and oh damn that felt so good.

She slid her hands down, underneath the apron, trailing her fingers across the faint smattering of pale blonde hair across his chest, feeling his breath hitch at her touch. His left hand gripped her ass even tighter, while he brought his right up, slipping it up under her shirt. His fingers brushed the underside of her breast, and she mentally cursed the fact that she'd worn a bra today. Dammit.

But then Peeta's fingers were sliding up and over the fabric, dipping underneath, fingers gently brushing against her nipple, and she gasped against his mouth. She ground against him, rolling and shifting her hips, pressing up against his length until she knew she needed to get these damn shorts off her and his apron gone now. She reached up, tugging at the apron string tied around his neck. And tugged. And tugged.

She growled low in her throat, pulling away and glaring at Peeta's flushed face. "You and your damned double knots, Mellark," she muttered, and he grinned.

And then the fucking bell went on the oven.