Hello everybody! This is my new fic. I got the idea from reading bookgirl318's fic, 'Win a Date with Peeta Mellark!' I was greatly inspired to follow the plot but giving it my own twists, of course. Go ahead and check hers out when you have the time. :) I hope you all enjoy it! I'll be updating once a week. Review if you'd like but definitely follow if you enjoy it.
Also, this is the only chapter that has an omniscient point of view. The rest will be from first from either Peeta and Katniss.
Madge Undersee was hunched on her seat, her eyes glued to the screen of her laptop. She had accompanied Primrose Everdeen to the library since her older sister Katniss Everdeen was busy working and hadn't wanted Prim to venture out on her own. Katniss was right to be worried about her little sister, though. Prim was 17 and lovely. Her cornsilk hair flowed down her back, her sky blue eyes wide and beautiful surrounded by fluttering lashes. Prim was pale, her skin creamy like a milkmaid and unblemished. Still, no matter Prim's age, Katniss would always see Prim as the scrawny little girl she all but raised after her father's death and their mother's disappearance.
Madge and Prim looked alike more so than Katniss and Prim did, though. Madge was also fair haired and blue eyed and was constantly mistaken to be Prim's older sister, which only made Katniss sigh and roll her eyes. Katniss herself was 22 and was the opposite of her little sister's looks. Her dark hair was wavy and when the sun hit, one could pick out the red tones in her silky mane. Her skin was olive and smooth, easily tanned when she spent time out in the sun. Katniss' eyes were liquid silver and easily the most expressive part of her.
Madge clicked on a gossip site when a pop-up ad appeared on her screen. She was about to close it when the name 'Peeta Mellark' caught her eye. Her back straightened as she read the ad, her expression brightening.
"Prim! Prim come here!" Madge hissed.
She heard the soft thud of books being gathered and muffled footsteps as Prim hurried to her side.
"What? What is it, Madge?" Prim whispered.
"Look! Can you believe it?" Madge whispered excitedly, pointing at the screen.
Prim peered past her finger and at the screen, her eyes widening at the advertisement.
"'Win a date with Peeta Mellark! Panem's leading man is looking for the woman of his dreams and it could be YOU! To enter, please fill out the form at the bottom of the page and include a picture of yourself. The winner will be contacted via email and…" Prim's voice faded away, her eyes jumping to the form below.
"So? What do you think?" Madge asked, squirming on her seat.
"That's great, Madge… but I can't enter. You have to be 18," she whispered solemnly, taking the empty seat next to hers.
"Not for you, silly! Though I know you are a big fan of his. I meant for Katniss," she burst, then glanced around guiltily, not wanting to disturb anybody in the vicinity.
Prim's expression cleared and she grinned.
"Yes! That's such a great idea! But… how do we get her to enter? You know she won't go for this sort of thing," she mumbled, her face falling.
"Prim, we could enter her ourselves," Madge smirked, rolling her eyes at her young friend.
"Wouldn't that just anger Katniss?" Prim asked, raising a delicate brow.
Madge grimaced, imagining Katniss' reaction upon learning that she was entered to win a date with a famous movie star.
"What she doesn't know won't hurt her. Besides, what are the odds of her winning? If she doesn't, no harm done. But if she does, then she'd definitely be the luckiest girl ever!" Madge declared.
Prim nodded thoughtfully, her mind working quickly.
"And Katniss could use a nice night out. She's always working so hard and barely makes time for herself," Prim reasoned.
"So… you in?" Madge grinned.
"I'm in," Prim smiled back.
"You what?!" Peeta Mellark exclaimed, his expression dumbfounded.
"Look kid, you haven't been seen with a new woman on your arm and your movie debuts next month… you need something to keep you on the headlines. What better than this? Many of your fans would consider you hard to reach, out of their league, if you will, but this makes you one of them by going on a date with one of them. Know what I mean?" Haymitch Abernathy, Peeta's agent and manager, huffed.
Peeta looked at Haymitch skeptically and shook his head.
"And how do we know this tactic isn't going to backfire massively on us?" he queried, his golden brow raised.
"Just trust me, kid," Haymitch growled.
"But you're going to choose the girl for me, am I right?"
Haymitch nodded and flopped into a seat of Peeta's office.
"How do I know you're not going to screw me over, Haymitch? I trust you but…" he trailed off.
"But you don't trust me. Kid, you offend me. We've worked together for many years. I've always been on your side when you've needed me and I've always come through for you," Haymitch replied, his grey eyes burning into Peeta's.
Peeta closed his eyes and let out a deep breath.
"Fine. Just… just… be fair," he sputtered, opening his sapphire eyes wearily.
Haymitch leered and jumped out of his seat.
"You've got nothing to worry about. Leave it all in my hands, kid," he winked and slouched out of Peeta's office.
Peeta stared after him, his shoulders slumped.
Well, if anything… okay, I can't think of anything good coming out of this. I must admit, though… I am lonely. There are only so many models and actresses Haymitch can set me up with. Beautiful as they may be, they don't stimulate me mentally. All they're focused on is their beauty and what it can get them. I want someone to joke around with, someone who isn't afraid to get dirty or of being seen without makeup on.
Peeta swiveled around in his chair, giving him a grand view of his pool and backyard, the lights of the city shimmering in the distance.
I love what I do but it's not the same without someone by my side to share it all with. Maybe this contest of Haymitch's will lead to finding that special someone. After all, he does know me best. I can only hope. If not, I'd just get a pleasant evening of conversation with a new girl who admires me. That's not so bad, right Peeta? I just can't help but have an ominous feeling about all this.
Katniss dropped her keys into the little dish next to the door and shuffled to the kitchen.
"Prim? I'm home!" she called, dropping her bag into one of the shabby chairs.
She heard the footsteps hurrying down the stairs and smiled, taking out pans and ingredients for dinner.
"Katniss! You're home!" she exclaimed, throwing herself at her sister and clinging to her.
Katniss laughed and wrapped her arms around her sister, gently poking her side.
"Nice to see you too, little duck. How did your studying go?"
Prim pulled away looked away from Katniss deliberately.
"It was good. I submitted a few applications too," she answered, washing some of the greens that Katniss pulled out.
She watched her little sister for a moment, getting the feeling that something was off about Prim but after a moment or two shrugged it off.
Must be because Prim is unsure about attending college… she probably thinks she won't be accepted. I know she's been filling out applications for full scholarships, though. She has the grades and extracurricular activities for it but there must be something else worrying her.
"How was Madge?"
"Good. She helped me out a few times on some homework and applications," Prim answered.
"I'm glad, little duck. You hungry? I'm going to cook some chicken with greens and rice," Katniss said.
Katniss smiled at her and got started on cooking the little legs and wings, seasoning them accordingly. Prim just watched her, noticing the dark bags under her eyes and the way her shoulders drooped.
"Katniss, you ever thought about becoming a chef?" she asked suddenly.
A tiny frown appeared between Katniss' eyebrows as she stirred the rice.
"Me? A chef? What makes you think that?"
"You've just always done the cooking. And you're really good too," Prim nodded towards the pans.
A bitter expression passed through Katniss' face briefly but then managed to force out a tight smile.
"I did it because mother was never around and I couldn't let you starve, little duck," she answered softly.
Prim bit her lip and watched her sister sadly.
"Besides, I wasn't that good at it at first. Do you remember how some things would end up scorched? I'm not a natural-born cook. It took me years to become good and even then this is mediocre, but it's the best that I can manage."
"If you'd only let me get a job…" Prim started.
Katniss' eyes turned icy as she glowered at Prim.
"No! I'm not going to let you throw away your bright future. Besides, I heard that they were going to do a few promotions at work so maybe I'll be one of the lucky ones. I get to work on time, leave later than I should and I obey their every whim. I'm the perfect employee," she said smugly.
Prim laughed softly and took out the dishes they were going to use.
"Yes, but it wouldn't hurt to have extra income around…"
"Prim, I said no. It starts out like this and then you'll end up working some petty job forever. I won't let you do that. Besides, I've been saving up and even if you don't get one of those full scholarships you'll still be able to attend college. Factor in my promotion and we'd have practically nothing to worry about," Katniss smiled brightly at her sister.
"Yeah, you'd only have to work your hide raw…" Prim mumbled.
Katniss shot her a dirty look as they sat down for dinner.
"That's not fair, Prim. I'm only trying to provide for you the way things weren't provided for me," she said quietly, grasping her fork.
Prim blushed scarlet, her eyes widening with guilt.
"I didn't mean it like that! I'm really, very appreciative, Katniss. You're the best big sister anybody could have. But it's just so unfair to you. You—"
"Prim, please. I don't want to argue about this right now," Katniss pleaded, her eyes solemn and tired.
Prim nodded and stared down at her plate.
They finished the rest of their dinner in silence and Prim offered to do the dishes. Katniss let her, reluctantly so and went upstairs to take a quick shower. She brushed her waist length hair out, a nightly ritual and stared dazedly at herself in the old mirror.
What is wrong with me? I'm 22 years old and working a dead end, if very much needed job. I have no love life and… well, no real life outside my job and Prim. Maybe Gale is right, I do need to go out and have some fun. Perhaps I'll ask Madge out for a drink this weekend. I'd ask Gale to come too, but I know how he feels about drinking with girls. Me, he doesn't mind. But Madge… that's something else. I'm not really sure why they don't get along. She and I get along. He and I get along… so why can't they both? One of the universe's unsolved mysteries, I'm sure. Mmm… my bed looks mighty cozy…
After calling out a 'goodnight, little duck!' to Prim, Katniss settled herself in bed and went straight to sleep.
Peeta pulled a pair of shorts on after his warm shower and settled in the middle his king size bed. He stared at the ceiling, thinking over the days' events.
I managed to evade Glimmer's texts and calls. I got in two hours of working out. I read a few scripts. Overall, an uneventful if successful day. Oh, and I can't forget Haymitch's crazy idea about finding me a date.
He ran his fingers through his damp hair, wondering for a moment how'd it feel if it was a woman running her fingers through his hair instead. He pictured a dainty hand with slender fingers and a tender touch doing so and smiled lazily.
His phone vibrated loudly on his bedside table, snapping him out of his reverie. Peeta opened his eyes and scowled uncharacteristically at the darn shiny thing, reaching out to grab it.
It was, surprise, surprise… Haymitch.
'Oh, forgot to tell you. You'll find out who the future Mrs. Mellark is in two weeks. Sleep tight, boy'
Peeta rolled his eyes but felt anxiety settle in the pit of his stomach.
Mrs. Mellark… he wishes! Just because he never married… come to think of it, I really don't know much about Haymitch's past. He must have had someone and lost her, why else would he be so grouchy all the time? Except when he's drinking of course… maybe one day I can get him to open up to me. Over liquor, obviously. It wouldn't be safe without it. Oh, no… what if I end up like him? Alone and angry. Never having experienced love or family…
But that was a lie. He had his family. They just lived far, far away from him. Peeta had visited them once or twice but that'd been it. Sure, he missed them but he was always so busy that he's never really had a chance to think of them. Or communicate with them. He'd even offered to give them money or even move them closer to him but they turned him down. In a way, Peeta was glad they did. He loved them very much but he couldn't possibly deal with having his mother so close again.
Is this why I'm so needy to have a woman in my life? Because the very first woman in my life let me down? Wouldn't doubt it. I sure am messed up, no wonder my "relationships" don't last long. Nor would I want them to. At least not with these women…
And with that thought lingering in his head, Peeta cuddled a pillow close to him and let slumber take over.