This is the end of my story!
Thanks for reading the past chapters, it means a lot to hear how much a lot of you enjoyed reading! I've loved reading your reviews and they've been inspiring me to write and read more fanfictions which have influenced this story. Thanks you guys and fellow Everlark shippers, I hope you guys have enjoyed reading as much as I have writing.
"This isn't right!" I shout across the conference table. My two business partners look at me with simple expressions; one keeps tapping his pen against the table, drumming it on the top at an annoying tempo. "You must know this isn't right! They're being exploited!"
"Peeta, you never had a problem with this before," One of them says calmly.
"Yeah, well, my opinion has changed," I say, collapsing back into my chair, thinking of Katniss. If she's leaving, I at least owe her this. I lean forward. "Listen; I don't need you guys in this business. I can buy you out."
They look interested in this. "How much are we talking?"
"How much are you asking?" I say.
They look at each other. Alvah, the older one, scribbles a price down on his notepad and slides it down the table. I look at the price and snort. "Seven million?" I say. "Each? I was thinking more like three."
"Five million," Cassius, the one who is about my age, haggles. Alvah nods urgently and I snort again; how desperate are these people? They've been getting millions from the business for two years. They're not poor. I'm just richer.
"No," I say. "Three million," They look disgruntled and displeased; good.
"Four million," Alvah says. I shake my head.
"Three million," I correct. Alvah slams his fist down onto the table and I raise my eyebrows in an attempt to be cocky.
"Meet us in the middle, here, Peeta!" Alvah says.
"I'm offering you three million, you greedy bastards, take it!" I shout. Alvah and Cassius look at each other for a few moments and I groan.
"Fine," Cassius says, rising from his seat. "We'll accept your offer."
"Fucking finally," I say. "I'll write up the paperwork. Just go, you two. It's been a horrific two years and I regret every moment." They're on their way out when I say, "Oh, and I meant two million. Bye."
They leave complaining, and I rub my forehead. I wonder if Katniss has gone; of course she has. She thinks I'm a sleaze. Which I am. No way in Hell would she hang around to watch something she hated be controlled by a guy she likes. Well, she said she liked me, anyway. Could just be a lie.
When I rang the escort system that night, I was pretty much expecting some dumb girl for me to fuck. But no. I got her. Katniss Everdeen, the girl who I threw the bread, shows up and turns out not to be a mindless whore who can't talk for herself. She's her, and the things that make her who she is are things I love. I just wish I hadn't fucked things up.
I write up the paper work and by the time I'm done, it's late. I pack up my things and the work keys and walk down the deserted corridors. If I was afraid of the dark, I might have run. But since The Hunger Games, the only thing I am afraid of is myself.
I lock up, get to the car, and I sit there for a while, not really doing anything but... grieving over my loss? Katniss was the first person in my life who wasn't about work since I arrived at the Capitol. She made Hell feel like home. Even when she was throwing up on my floor, I still wanted to be with her more than I wanted to be helping along slavery.
I drive home. She isn't there; of course she isn't. First time in a – what, month? – since she hasn't. I dump my keys on the kitchen counter and just stand there in the hallway. She hasn't left a note; not like I expected her too. I should have told her about my asshole business partners as soon as the problem arose. Then I wouldn't have gotten too attached.
And now, here I am: Peeta Mellark; District Twelve; coal; business man; abused as a kid; alone. Fell for a girl who was as sucked into the Capitol as I was. Lost that girl because of sheer stupidity.
Several days pass. I get up, shower, go to work, come back, eat, and then fall asleep. Sounds depressing, but isn't that everybody's routine? What was mine before? It was basically the same apart from 'sex' slung in there.
A knock on the door stops me in the middle of my meal on the Thursday night. I get up, ready to argue with somebody from work and yell at them for being sexist, when I swing the door open and she is stood there. Katniss.
Before I can say anything, or do anything, she blurts out, "Peeta, I think I'm pregnant."
It's been great writing for you guys and I hope you've enjoyed my story!