Fashionably Late

"It's 9 o'clock on the dot,
At the spot,

And I'm hanging' with her friends again
Great taste,

Beautiful place,

And you're fashionably late"

Fashionably Late-Falling in Reverse

Ok. I know I shouldn't be. But I'm irritated. I mean, where is she?

I've been walking around this ridiculous "mansion" of hers looking for her, and I can't find her anywhere. I've checked every room I can find, and nothing.

I already had to walk up here from the square when she didn't show up, so I'm irritated that it's for nothing.

I slam one last door after seeing another empty room, causing the door to rattle on its hinges with a satisfying smash. Someone down the hallway who's cleaning a picture on the wall turns to stare at me, but doesn't come to reprimand me. They probably see who I am and think better of it. I'm not sure if it's because I'm a victor, or if it's because my temper is legendary, but I get a sick thrill of watching her look away hastily when I stare them down.

Yes, I'm irritated.

Madge and I have had a standing date at the square on Wednesdays for the last 2 months, and I've come to rely on it. The only other person who's company I can depend on is Gale's, and he's been unpleasant to be around the last few weeks, following that unexpected kiss in the woods. Aggravated by my lack of input afterwards, he's been scare during the week and sullen on our Sundays. So I've avoided him the last few weeks, making our Sunday sessions shorter and shorter. I'm desperate for social interaction with a human being, and with Prim and Mother busy so often lately Madge has been my sole source.

And now she's nowhere to be found.

I want to kick something, and I settle on kicking the front door as I walk through it. I don't do any damage to the heavy wood door, but my foot throbs comfortingly afterwards and I make my way back towards home.

Home is the Victors Village, where my neighbors are Haymitch and Peeta. They are equally absent lately, Haymitch indoors in a drunken stupor and Peeta avoiding me. I know I've hurt him, caused him to ice me out after the Games. But I'd expected him to come around, to seek me out eventually. I know now it was too much to expect after what I'd done to him, but I'd figured that since he supposedly loved me, he'd make an effort to hunt me down.

Yeah, right.

I was going to let it be, let him come to me on his own. And if he didn't do it on his own, he'd have to for the Victor's Tour. We'd be expected to resume our whirlwind romance for the cameras, carrying on the facade for the benefit of the Capital. A part of me wondered how long we'd be able to keep it up, how long we'd have to keep it up, before the Capital forgot about us and we could quietly end our romance and move on with our lives.

I wasn't really sure how I felt about this. I'm not sure Peeta and I's friendship would last after that, how worn out we would be of each other's presence when it came time to part. A part of me knew that Peeta would be glad to be rid of the Games, to finally be able to move on from the heartbreak I'd caused him. I wondered how I'd feel. Gale had expressed an interest, an interest that, if I'm being honest, I'd seriously considered a few times these last few weeks, when his absence became nearly unbearable. But I also knew that the loss of Peeta, whether I was willing to really admit it or not, would be ruinous.

It's this train of thought that leads me to Peeta's front door. I know he's home, because I can smell the fresh-baked bread out of the oven. I breathe in deeply, then smile. Cheese buns. My favorite. I selfishly wonder if he knew they were my favorite, if he'd planned to bring them by as a peace offering. I know this is a ridiculous thought for me to even consider, but it's improved my move drastically. I knock on the front door, but no answer. I almost turn away, disappointed, when I hear movement upstairs. Assuming he's unable to hear me knock, I open the door and peek my head inside.


No answer, but I'm right about the movement upstairs. It sounds like Peeta is moving furniture around, which doesn't surprise me. Being a baker's son, he's used to staying busy. Not having to work at the bakery has been hard on him task-wise, so I assume he's rearranging furniture out of boredom. I smirk at this, determining then that I'm going to take Peeta with me to the woods today for the first time, in place of Madge.

I close the door behind me, then make my way up stairs. I hear a voice, Peeta's, but I can't make out what he's saying. I get to the top landing, then find myself in front of Peeta's bedroom door. I hesitate for a moment, wondering for a second what I'll see on the other side, then open the door.

It takes me a shocking moment to register what I'm seeing. Who I'm seeing. There are two people in the room. One is definitely Peeta, I recognize the back of his head by his softly curled blond locks, the strong shape of his shoulders. He has someone pinned against the wall. And he's...kissing them. I don't see who it is at first, because his head's in the way, until he moves his face to their neck. I see then the face I'd been searching for all day.


I'm rooted to the spot as I watch her face, which is screwed up in pleasure. She can't see me, because her eyes are shut, and she's thrown her head back with a sigh. I understand now that Peeta is kissing her cheek, her throat, her neck. One of his hands is at the back of her neck, the other at the small of her back.

And I think I'm going to be sick.

I try to pull my feet up, to turn and run, but I can't. I'm stuck there, as I watch Madge drag Peeta's face back to hers and she kisses him long and fervently. She's pushing against his chest now, as if she's trying to get him off of her, which pleases me. But then I notice her iron grip on his shirt, that she's pulling him close to her as she pulls him over to the bed. They tumble on it and she releases his shirt and she brings her hands up to cup his neck as he falls on top of her. Her grasp has left wrinkles on his shirt, which I recognize as the one he'd worn on the train, the day of our Reaping. This small fact leaves me dizzy and disoriented, and I'm barely able to register the fact that Madge is moving to kiss Peeta's neck, releasing his face. He turns away from her, allowing her access to his neck, and he's facing me. He doesn't see me at first, and I notice his eyes seem sad and distant, not what I'd expected in this situation. But then his eyes rise, and they meet mine.

I see his eyes light up now, first with surprise, then a delight I can only compare to the look Buttercup gives a mouse he knows won't escape him.


His voice is firm, and it booms through the near silence of the room its occupants had been so accustomed to. Madge hears him and she wrenches her face from his neck to look at the doorway, to look at me, with a mix of surprise and horror.

"No," she says, shoving at Peeta, pushing him off her. "Katniss-"

"By all means," I manage to spit out in a tone that's venomous, even for me, "don't let me disturb you."

And before either of them can respond, I'm out of there. I manage to stumble my way down the hallway and thrust open the front door, then crash it shut behind me before dashing down the street and to my home.

I'm huddled on the couch in my family room when I hear a knock on the front door, followed by Peeta's voice. He's calling for me, begging me to answer the door.

I'm pretty sure I shout back something evil and mean, but I can't be sure because everything is a red haze right now.

I'm upset, confused, horrified, humiliated and horribly conflicted.

Why should I care if Peeta was kissing Madge? I justify to myself my anger at them, knowing in part I'm irritated that Madge didn't meet me like we'd promised because she was sucking the face of my pretend-boyfriend, who I'd gone to seek out when she's fallen through. Finding them together had been far more than irritating. But there was a dimension to the anger that I didn't want to acknowledge, or I didn't know how to. It was betrayal. Madge's and Peeta's. I felt like they'd betrayed me, kissing each other like that. As if either of them had a right to touch the other person, who was supposed to be mine. Madge was my friend and Peeta was...well, Peeta.

I supposed I'd taken for granted Peeta's affection for me. Part of me had naively assumed that a small piece of him would carry on loving me forever, making all things mine off limits to him. My family and my friends included. But District 12 wasn't that small, and Madge was in the same year as Peeta and I. And they were on more equal footing than I, both being from wealthier families in District 12. For whatever reason, the fact I'm a Hunger Games Victor doesn't seem to matter much in terms of who I can date. In my mind, I'm still a Seam brat, and that limits me to other Seam brats. Like Gale.

It's hard for me to think of Gale in this moment. I can't remember what I'd felt just a few days ago, the irresistible pull to give in to him, to accept his affections. Right now, I could hardly even remember what Gale felt like. His image was blurry in my head, drowned out by my anger at Peeta, the sense of betrayal that was consuming me.

I'm startled from my self-torture by emotions when I hear the front door swing open with a bang. I jump, and turn to see Peeta tramping up to me, fire in his eyes. I meet them defiantly, but I'm surprised when his hands go to my upper arms, dragging me to my feet to look him dead in the eyes, which set me on fire. I burn with the heat of his anger, let it kindle mine to a blazing heat that threatens to consume me. I'm completely caught off guard. Peeta has never put his hands on me like this before, and I can't help but feel like I've crossed a major line to turn him into such an aggressive figure. I'm ashamed for a moment, which is annoying, because he's the one who's betrayed me and not the other way around.

"What the hell, Katniss," he hisses, shaking me slightly as he speaks.

"I could say the same to you," I spit back, jerking my body to try to get away from him, with no luck. "Madge, Peeta? Really?"

"What do you care if I kiss Madge?" he asks, his voice low as his eyes continue to burn me.

"Madge was supposed to meet me today, in the square. We meet every Wednesday. And when I couldn't find her, I came looking for you. For company-"

"I ran into Madge in the square," he says, rolling his eyes at me. "You were half an hour late, and she was worried. I told her I'd seen you head off towards the woods, so you were probably caught up catching game. I walked her back to your place to wait, but your door was locked so she decided to wait with me."

"Where you decided to suck her face off in revenge?" I growl.

Peeta doesn't respond for a minute, hurt by my words. When he does answer me, it's not what I expected.

"Why do you care if I kiss Madge?" he asks again.

I'm taken aback. "Because she's my friend. Because you're risking exposing that what we did in the arena wasn't real. You're risking-"

"You kissed Gale."

I'm stunned by this, and all my breath has left my body. "How did you-"

"Gale has a big mouth," Peeta says with a scowl. "He wanted to make sure I knew where you and I stood, where he and you stood."

"I didn't kiss him back," I blurt out. I'm not sure why I say this, and I'm mortified that I have.

Peeta's face is one of shock now, and his grip on my shoulders is slack.

"You didn't?"

"No!" I shout, jerking my body again, this time succeeding in freeing myself from his grasp.

He stands there now, his arms at his sides, staring at me. We're both breathing hard, as if we've been running a marathon. Peeta doesn't seem sure how to handle this new information, based on the confused look. I expect him to apologize profusely now, to claim the whole things with Madge was nothing. To make me feel better, to regain my affections for him, however unromantic they may be.

This is why I'm surprised when Peeta's eyes flash, and then he's seized me again and is dragging me to the wall, where he pins me. He's turned me, so my stomach is facing the wall and he's pressed up against my back, holding me in place. His hands are at my wrists, and he's gripping them tightly as he pushes them into the wall, rendering me defenseless. I contemplate driving a heel into his foot to get him off me. But this is forgotten when I feel his lips on my ear, sending shivers down my spine. He's talking into my ear, his breath a warm rush against my ear and neck, making my bones liquid. I'm sure I would have stumbled if he wasn't holding me into the wall so efficiently. His voice a growl that makes my head buzz.

"What do you care if I kiss other girls, Katniss?" he purrs in my ear in a voice I've never heard him use. He almost doesn't sound like Peeta, and I consider for a wild moment that he may have been replaced by a Capital spy, until I realize the way my body is responding to his, the way it seems to call out his name...Peeta.

"I saw the look in your eyes." He's continuing to purr into my ear with that voice. "The hunger there. It surprised me, since you supposedly don't feel anything for me."

"I was surprised-ah!"

I'm cut off when I feel Peeta's teeth sink into my neck, biting down. He doesn't break the skin, and it doesn't really hurt that much. But it's a single piece of pain that's shooting down my body and settling into my lower abdomen, where a heat is settling uncomfortable, making me restless. Then Peeta's lips are back at my ears, and he's dragging them over the curve of my ear.

"Don't lie to me, Katniss," he murmurs. His hands leave my wrists and move down my arms to my waist, where he digs in his fingers with a tight grip. I can move my hands now, but I leave them where he left them on the wall, not sure if I can remember how to move them.

"I was thinking about seeing you today, you know," he says. He's moving his face down my throat, dragging the tip of his nose across my skin as he moves. "I was in the square to buy some of Prim's cheese, to make those cheese buns for you. Madge found me there, and she came back with me. She sat there and talked about you while I made the bread, complaining of how distant you'd been, letting it slip about your problems with Gale."

I'm making a mental note to kill Madge when I feel his lips touch the base of my throat, where it meets my shoulder. He's found a sensitive piece of skin there, and he's letting his breath blow over it. I shiver at the feel of the heat on my skin, which encourages him to place a kiss there.

"I'd just taken the buns out of the oven, wondering when you'd be home and if I should just drop them off or torture myself and try to see you. When I turned around, Madge was there, and she was kissing me. And for a while, I was able to pretend it was you."

He's talking into my neck now, and the heat on my neck causes me to let out a small whimper, which I'm ashamed of now. I'm moving my hands now, grasping at his fingers on my hips, trying to get him to let go. But he doesn't. Instead, he spins me around and slams my shoulders into the wall. He's holding me in place with his hips against mine and his hands move to cup my face in and iron grip.

This is not Peeta. I'm convinced of it now. The Peeta is not like this, he'd never pin me down like this, never force himself on me...

"What the hell are you doing, Peeta?"

His eyes are locked with mine now, and I can see it now, see what this act of his is hiding. He's hurt, he's confused, and he's angry with me. And under all that, I see my Peeta, who is so tender and sweet, who loves me more than I deserve. He's there still, but I can tell something has shifted for him. He seems determined to fight something, to prove something to me. I'm not sure if I'm ready for this confrontation yet, but he's going to make me face it, whether I'm ready or not.

"You're not the only one who can be possessive, Katniss," he says to me. His tone is serious now, as serious as when we were discussing life and death in the arena, and it sends chills down my spine. "You apparently know I'm yours, and I'm tired of you pretending you don't belong to me too."

He's nuzzling my cheek affectionately now in a very Peeta-like way, all sweetness and warmth, like the sugar buns I'm so fond of in the winter mornings. I relax now, comforted by the return by his affectionate side, even if his actions are aggressive. I'm reassured by the knowledge that this is still Peeta here with me, but I'm still uncomfortable with the way this all is so thoroughly out of my control.

I'm about to express my horror at all of this when his lips touch mine.

If his eyes were burning me, his kiss incinerates me. When our lips clash together, I'm instantly set aflame. I don't know what to do other than to let it happen, to let his touch consume me. Part of me is aware of his thumbs drawing circles on my cheeks, of the feel of his body as it presses mine into the wall. My hands are on his upper arms, and I register the thrill his body's strength sends through my body. I understand now that if Peeta had wanted to hurt me, he could have. He had a hundred times to kill me in the arena, and he would have had no difficulty in snapping my neck or throwing me into a tree and breaking my back. I vaguely register what a morbid thought that is to have when a boy who loves me is kissing me, but I can't seem to control the stream of thought racing through my head. I know I should be considering Gale, what's been brewing between us, but I find it hard to remember Gale when Peeta's lips are setting me on to blaze.

His lips are insistent and hungry on mine, making demands I'm not sure I fully understand. I wait for him to give up, but he doesn't. He continues to consume me, to drown out all coherent thought as my body screams into his, trying to obey his body's command for my surrender. But I won't let it surrender, won't give in to what Peeta's asking of me.

Peeta's lips are leaving my lips now and trailing down my face to my neck, then finding that place he's discovered makes me shiver. He's sucking at it now, occasionally drawing his teeth across the skin made sensitive by his lips. I register then that I'm whimpering, my body betraying me as it responds to him, caves to him. I feel my legs go limp and I expect myself to fall to the ground, but he's doing a spectacular job of keeping me in place on the wall. He moves up my neck again, this time to my ear.

"Give in, Katniss," he growls into my ear in that voice that has my body humming for him. "I'm not going to let you hide from this anymore."

I try to garble out a "no" but it morphs into a moan on my lips. I feel him smile on my ear, murmuring his appreciation for my supposed acquiescence. His hands move from my face to my back, and I feel him playing with something behind me. I feel a slight tug at my hair, and I realize what he's doing. He's pulling the tie from the end of my braid. Before I can stop him he's throwing the tie to a corner of the room and is raking his fingers though my braid, undoing it. Once he's freed my hair he moves his lips back to mine and shoves his hands into my hair at my scalp. His fingers massage me there, sending chills down my spine. I feel something inside me give way and this time, when his lips meet mine, I kiss him back.

He groans in approval as he feels my lips move against his, and his hips press harder into mine. The feel of our lips moving together is exquisite, what I imagine lava must feel like as it glides over sandy beaches. Smooth and steady, burning and changing everything it touches. I feel my hands slide from his arms to his neck, where I grip the his hair. He gasps into my mouth, then does something unexpected. He bites my lower lip quickly and firmly, sending bolts of fire to the pool of steadily growing heat in my pelvis. The warmth there is collecting and pooling into a place between my legs I've never really paid much attention to, beyond my monthly cycle. I'm still trying to figure out what it means when I feel his tongue slide over the sting from the bite, soothing it. Then his tongue his tracing the parting of my lips, asking for entrance. I give without quite comprehending what I'm doing, and the feel of his tongue on mine is wonderful, and not at all the way I'd always expected this would feel like. I feel like we're melting together now, melding at the mouth. I feel my hands slide down his neck to his shoulders, arms and then his hips. My hands are fumbling at his shirt, and I can't really think beyond the point of wanting to feel his skin.

He doesn't stop me, and I slide my hands under his skin, gilding over the skin at his hips. He groans in my mouth, which makes me shiver. I slide my hands up his sides, exploring the new skin I'm exposing. As I move my hands up his body I'm pulling the shirt with me, until it hits his the spot where his arms meet his body. I feel his hands leave me then and I'm disappointed, until I realize he's raising his arms to allow me to pull his shirt off. As I lift the shirt off his body, our lips are temporarily separated. I feel the absence sharply in my gut, but when his lips come back to my a half second later, there's more fire than before. And now his hands are fumbling at my shirt, and we're repeating the process with me. I tremble as I feel his hands glide up my body, skimming the sides of my breasts as he goes. When the shirt hits my armpits I lift my arms obligingly to allow him to pull the shirt over my head. But this time his lips don't immediately crash to mine, even though I'm expecting and hoping for it.

No, his eyes are on my newly exposed flesh. A part of me wants to be embarrassed, is embarrassed by the way he's looking at me so reverentially. As if he's love to spend his life staring at my skin. I try to drag my arms over my chest to hide my exposed breasts, regretting my decision to go without a bra in defiance of the Capital's restricting garments I was forced to endure. Some of the girls my age need them, but mine are small and shapely enough that I'm comfortable enough to go without. But as my arms are moving to cover my chest, Peeta seizes them and brings them behind my back, pinning them together while he gives me a swift kiss. Then I'm horrified when he drops to his knees before me, as if he's going to bow down in worship. I'm about to beg him to stand up when his puts his hands at my hips and buries his face in my skin, kissing a trail of fire from hipbone to hipbone. I throw my head back against the wall so fiercely I hear the thud it makes. I think he must be looking up at me in response to the sound, but I can't be sure because my head is back and my eyes are closed. He pauses for so long I almost move to look down at him again, but then his lips are back to scorching a path on my skin.

He takes his time, careful to cover every inch of my olive skin with his lips. He's moving upward slowly, and takes a minute to dip his tongue into my navel, making me shiver with delight. His lips are reaching my ribcage when I take a minute to evaluate the situation. I've gone from blazing anger to desperate hunger in as much time as it took Peeta to slap a few kisses on my neck. I'm furious with myself for allowing this to happen, for letting Peeta get inside my head through something as simple as some physical contact. I stiffen under his touch now, which I know he notices because his grip on my hips hardens.

"Katniss," he rumbles against my skin. "No."

I'm about to insist my resolution on the matter when he abruptly stands and places his hands on my neck again, then he's thrusting them into my hair to capture some locks between his fingers, pulling my head back to look into his eyes.

"You're mine, Katniss," he says softly. For such a possessive statement, he says it with the most tenderness I've ever heard come from his lips.

This reminds me that this is still my Peeta, sweet and shy and adoring. And then I realize how many times I've thought the word "mine" today, and how often I've attached it to Peeta. I'm dying to pull myself away from him, but I'm rooted here, unable to leave his embrace.

"You've been mine since the Reaping," he continues, "it's just taken us this long to see it."

"I don't know what you're-"

"You knew it the instant you saw me with Madge. I belong to you, and you belong to me. We can't just forget what happened in that arena. You made the decision to die rather than kill me, than face leaving there without me."

"I only told Caesar that because-"

"I know why you think you said it." I'm annoyed at this, because Peeta has cut me off again. But my annoyance doesn't last long as I process the truth I've been trying to ignore in his eyes. "But I knew it the moment you handed me those berries and looked me in the eyes. We were bound together, in that arena, and we're stuck together now."

He must see something in my eyes, because he nods his head in approval, then dips his face to mine, to capture my lips again. His lips are moving slowly now, savoring each brush of our lips together. He leans into me now, and our bare skin touches for the first time. I gasp at the exquisite feeling of first contact, then wrap my arms around his neck and hold him close to me. His hands are on my hips, holding them tight. But slowly his hands move up my sides until he reaches the sides of my breasts, where he strokes gently for a few minutes. He gives me a few seconds to voice any distaste on my part and then, having not received any, his hands move inward to cup my breasts.

I hiss as he molds his hands to encompass them, letting them fill his palms. They begin to feel heavy and achy as he strokes them, but I feel them rise to attention when his thumbs brush over the now peaked nipples. I groan as his thumbs circle them, drawing them to tight little buds. Then he pinches them between thumb and forefinger, rolling them in his fingers. My lips tear from his as I throw my head back in a sigh of ecstasy, which frees up his lips to move down my throat to my collar bone, my upper chest, and my breasts.

He sucks on a nipple firmly and aggressively, as if he were trying to nurse the meaning of life from it. One of his hands continues to play with the bud that's not in him mouth while the other hand is drawing burning circles on my hips. My hands are in his head now, pressing him closer to my chest. He's groaning as I pull at his hair, which I'm learning is clearly a trigger for him. I curse as I feel his teeth brush and nip at me, and I feel my hips buck unconsciously forward. He curses as well against my flesh, then kisses his way over to the other nipple to administer equal treatment.

I'm about to thank him for the careful attention to fairness when his lips leave my breast and are back on my neck, sucking at the pulse point there that drives me while. He's nipping and kissing me there, leaving what I'm sure to be a mark. He's marking me, staking a claim. I know in my normal state of mind I'd be infuriated, but right now I can't think of anything hotter.

He's turning me gently now so I'm back to facing the wall. I let him pin my arms above my head with one of his large hands, then shiver as I feel his other hand slide from my cheek to my shoulder, down my back and then to the waistband of my jeans. He strokes the skin there at my hip, where flesh turns to skin. Then his hand is snaking around to my pelvis, where he swiftly undoes the button and zipper. The pants are so loose on me already that they slide down my legs and fall just below my knees. Peeta doesn't move to push them down any further, instead he turns his attention other places. He's playing with my belly button now, drawing lazy circles around it before gliding downward and underneath my underwear to cup my sex in his hand.

I gasp and throw my head back onto his shoulder, closing my eyes. His lips plant a kiss on the curve of my neck as I feel his fingers rubbing, searching for something. I'm not even sure what he's looking for until I feel it myself.

His fingers hit a bundle of nerves that sends a shoot of the most piercing pleasure I have ever known straight through my body and to my core, causing the growing dampness to become downright wet.

"Yes!" I manage to garble out in a half groan.

Peeta must have found what he was looking for, because now he's rubbing it deftly, stroking me in circles that has me rising on my toes and yanking at my arms, still held over my head by Peeta. His grip on my wrists turns to iron as he circles those nerves for a few more seconds, then plunges his fingers inside of me.

The invasion is welcome, and I can feel my wetness surge embarrassingly over his fingers and down his head. I'm about to apologize when Peeta's voice is a harsh growl in my ear.

"God, you're so hot, Katniss. You're so wet."

The words catch me off guard in a delicious way. This is my sweet Peeta, who hands out bread to children when his mother isn't looking, who brings Prim frosted cookies and flowers for my mother. Who always finds a scrap for even the hateful Buttercup. Who never has an unkind thing to say about anyone, no matter how much they deserve it. But now he's turned dangerous and rough with me in his arms, and I can't help the fact that it brings another surge of wetness to my core, which has him moaning again.

He uses his middle and ring finger to move slowly in and out of me while his thumb still moves steadily against my clit. And as those fingers move in and out, Peeta curls them once and hits a spot I never knew existed.

"Shit," I sputter softly, my legs going weak and I nearly fall from Peeta's grip. But his hold on my wrists keeps me up, and he experimentally strokes the spot again.

I see fireworks this time, and I grind into his hand in an attempt to make him touch it again. He gets my need and moves his fingers in and out again, making sure to hit that amazing spot every time.

I feel something akin to a spring winding up inside of me as Peeta continues to finger-fuck me into oblivion. I can hear his ragged breath in my ear, a hardness pressing into the back of my thigh. I almost die when he pulls his hand away, until I realize he's dragging my underwear down to join my pants. This time he's pulls them all the way day, then holds my hips to support me as I step out of them. Once I'm out of them, Peeta puts his feet on the insides of my feet, using his feet to push mine further apart. His hand is still holding my wrists to the wall, and soon his other hand resumes its position at my core, his fingers back to their torturous plunging.

Peeta's lips are at my ear again, and I don't understand what he's saying until he's said it for the third time.

"Watch, Katniss."

Somehow I manage to pick my head off of its cradle on his shoulder and press my forehead into the wall to look down. The sight is provocative. I can see his larger feet holding my smaller ones apart, leaving me exposed. His hand is buried in the curls between my legs, his thumb moving over me while I see his fingers moving in and out. He's changing his method now, moving his fingers up and down instead of in and out, and he's hitting the spot every time with the most delicious pleasure. The spring is winding tighter now, and I can tell it's either going to break or snap soon, because I'm about ready to die from it. And then, without warning, I something breaks and I'm consumed by contracting waves of pleasure. My legs turn to jell-o and my knees give out. Peeta's holding me around the waist now with the hand that had been holding my wrists, and he's holding me up while his other hand continues to rub me. A part of me registers that he's muttering a sting of curses and praise in my ear, but the rest of me is consumed by the force of my very first orgasm.

I come to eventually, but I still have the occasional after-tremor. My body shakes in his arms still but it's a different kind of shake now, from exhaustion instead of pleasure. But slowly I get my feet to respond and I'm able to stand on my own. I'm still pressing my forehead into the wall, my eyes shut as I use the cool of the wall to anchor me. Then slowly I open my eyes, and I'm horrified.

There's something wet on the floor. A small puddle. And I feel a dampness on the upper half of my thighs, far more than me just being turned on.

Good god, did I pee?

I turn to Peeta, mortified, until I see the satisfied look on his face. He must be able to read my thoughts, because he suddenly has a gentle smile on his face as he reaches out and pulls me into his arms, tucking my head under his chin. I feel the rumble of a small chuckle in his chest.

"It's fine, Katniss. That's normal. Well, sort of."

I pull my chin to look up at him, my eyes pleading for him to end the humiliation.

"It happens sometimes, when everything lines up. It's kind of like what we do. Guys, I mean."

I'm relieved slightly by his easy nature about this, until I remind myself that Peeta is kind to everyone. A sick thought enters my head, which I voice.

"How do you know all this?"

Peeta pulls back and has the decency to look away, slightly uncomfortable at the question.

"Not from personal experience, if that's what you're asking," he says, unable to meet my eyes. "But when you grow up with older brothers, you hear things. I mean, they're not pigs, but they talk."

He's able to look up sheepishly at me now. He's not touching me anymore, and I realize now would be a good time for me to make an exit from this situation. Pull a 'Well, that was great. Thanks for stopping by, you can go now. I'll see you for the Victory Tour'. But something about the sheepish look on his face, the way his jaw looks so strong as he grits his teeth, the shape of his shoulders, the curve of his waist...the trail of hair leading below his pants. Yeah, I've just had the most amazing first orgasm in the world, and I'm not done with him yet.

I startle Peeta by reaching out for his hand, pulling him toward me. I smile up at him, which melts is worried expression into one of surprise and delight.

"I'm glad," I say. "About your lack of experience, I mean. And excellent tutelage."

He's grinning at me now, wrapping his arms around my waist to pull me close, his hands playing with the loose ends of my hair.

"You look like an angel like this, you know," he says softly. He's looking at me earnestly, and I'm having trouble coming up with a response. "Don't get me wrong, you're braid great, and some day I'm going to hold on tight to it when I do that to you again, but you're hair is so long and beautiful, perfect with your skin."

I open my mouth to protest, but whether it's my beauty or the fact they'll be repeat performances I'm going to protest I'm not sure. But he doesn't give me a chance. He's kissing me again, searing my soul with his lips. I'm so attuned to him at this point, I match his kissed perfectly, knowing just when to open my lips to his to allow his tongue to come and coax mine. His hands are on my thighs now, then down to my knees. Before I know what he's doing, he's pulling my knees up to his hips, where he encourages me to lock my ankles and hold on to him. I oblige him, and then he carries me upstairs this way to my bedroom, where he dumps me on the bed.

I lay there for a minute, regarding him standing above me. He looks nervous now, unsure if he's overstepped a line by bringing me up here. But seeing him standing over me like this is delicious, and I can't help myself as I reach up and grab him by the waistband to pull him flush up against the side of the bed to stand between my legs. I smile up at him and his mouth is hanging open with surprise and wonder. I play with his waist band for a moment then, teasing his skin there as he had mine. But then my hands are at his button, moving to undo his pants. I'm not as swift at this as him, which irritates me. But eventually I manage both button and zipper. To make up for my fumbling, I yank down not just his pants but his boxers too.

I did this in an attempt to startle him, but I'm not sure who's more startled. He hisses in surprise as cool air hits his newly exposed flesh, and I hiss in appreciation. I'm practically nose to nose with the most amazing piece of male anatomy I could have imagined. Having to support a family doesn't leave a girl much time for fantasizing, and even when I can I'm only able to muster up half-concoted scenarios I never have the time or patience to let play out in my head. I'm regretting this now, because I feel like it would have prepared me for this now.

Gulping, I look up at him. He's looking at me with an amount of adoration I'm not sure what to do with. So instead of facing it, I reach up and seize his waist in my hands and pull him down on the bed with me. We fumble to get comfortable for a minute, before Peeta manages to get comfortable by positioning himself between my legs and holding himself up with his arms on either side of me. I'm reaching up and kissing him again, fumbling with the hair on his head that I know will make his squirm when I pull it, and I do so. He's groaning into this kiss, then pulls back.

"Katniss," he says while looking me square in the eye. "Are you sure?"

I shake my head, not in decline, but in exasperation.

"Yes," I snap at him. "I'm sure. But keep asking me and I may change my mind."

I expect him to look wounded, which is what I need to keep this from getting emotionally out of hand. But instead he smiles down at me adoringly, then kisses me swiftly once on the lips, then works his way down my body. He stops to pay worship at my breasts again briefly, but then continues on, clear that he has other intention. He stops his downward progress to dip his tongue in my navel which makes me shiver. But then I realize his intentions, but I realize them a second too late to close him legs to him. He's already face to face with my core and is running a flat tongue right over my clit.

I hiss in pleasure, my body rocking with the sudden assault of pleasure. I'm begging Peeta to do something, but I'm not sure if it's to stop of to keep going. Peeta continues as if I've asking the former, stroking his tongue up and down me. And then his lips close over that bundle of nerves, sucking on it with the most delicious amount of suction. I'm shaking my head back and forth, groaning. And then I'm begging again, only this time I'm asking for something else.

"Peeta," I gasp, grasping at his hair, trying to pull him away. "Peeta, I need you inside me, please!"

"No," Peeta says, his voice a hot breath over my core.

I whimper in protest, to which he responds with another suck of my clit. I groan in a mix of satisfaction and annoyance.

"You'll need to be soft and wet for this, Katniss," he says softly. "I want to make sure I hurt you as little as possible."

I'm about to scream at him that I don't care if it hurts a little, I might even like it, I just need him inside me. But I'm stopped when he pushes two fingers inside of me, stopping me from any capability for form coherent words.

I can feel the pressure inside of me building again, coiling like a deadly snake in the pit of my stomach. I'm half terrified that I'll do that wet thing again, but by the time it occurs to me I'm too surrendered to the pleasure. His fingers are moving in and out, occassionally rubbing that delectable spot while he sucks on my clits. My fingers are pulling desperatly at his hair and pleasure, and he groans roughly against me.

And then I lose it. For the second time today I'm spiraling down the mountain I'd been climbing with that coiled spring, and the fall is delicious. I vaguely register than my legs have clamped around Peeta's head, holding him in place while I ride out my orgasm. My fingers are clenching the sheets desperately, cramping my hands.

And then, slowly, it ends. I'm able to release my hold on the sheets slowly and relax my legs, letting Peeta go. He looks up at me and I expect him to be annoyed, but instead he looks pleased with himself. I'm relieved to see his face is dry and the bed feels dry as well under my rear. Peeta can see the relief in my face, and he chuckles as he slides up my body to line up equally again.

"Like I said, it doesn't happen every time."

I'm about to retort when I feel something on my thigh. It's Peeta. And then I remember what this was all about, relaxing me, getting me ready. I'm about to panic when Peeta pulls me to look him in the eye. His eyes are gentle and his hands are on either side of my face, stroking my cheeks. He's looking at me in the most tender way in the world, and I can barely breathe from it.

"You know I love you, right?" he murmurs softly.

I can't respond, because I don't know how. So I nod. He seems to accept this, to accept me, because he nods, still smiling tenderly at me. And then I feel him adjust again, and he's laying between my legs with his pelvis lifted, careful to keep himself off of me. He makes sure our gazes are locked perfectly, then he lowers himself between my legs. I can feel the tip of him brush at my entrance, and I lock up in panic again. Peeta is brushing kisses to my cheeks, my forehead, then down to the base of my neck where he locates my sweet spot. He's kissing and nipping me there, driving me wild and back into a state of horny bliss when I feel him enter me.

It's a strange feeling, but not all together unpleasant. I understand now what Peeta had meant. The two orgasms had left me soaking wet, and my muscles were loose with the relaxation that comes after orgasm. I can feel my muscles giving way to the new intrusion, and while it's uncomfortable there's little pain. That is, until he moves in further. The further he goes, the tighter the pressure is. I've got my hands on his shoulders, and I know my grip is digging my fingernails into him. I know the slow pace is for my benefit, but I beg Peeta to hurry and be done with it. He gives me a sad look, but does as I ask and pushes forward the last bit.

The pain is there, but a part of me knows it could be worse. He holds his position for almost a minute, letting my body adjust to him. He's stoking my face, kissing my neck and petting my hair, then placing sweet, tender kisses on my lips. I feel the pain slowly dull, then tell him to go ahead and move. I can tell he's trying to be careful for my sake as he slowly pulls back and then slowly moves back in, going at a slow and steady pace to make sure I'm comfortable. But I can tell he's aching to let loose and I'm of a similar mind as a different ache begins to form in me again. It's not quite the same tightening as the coil before, but I don't think it's Peeta's fault. No, I think my body just isn't capable of going there a third time in such a short amount of time. But I can feel the pleasure building inside of me anyway, acknowledging the sweet burst that comes with every time Peeta's hips meet mine.

Not really understanding why, I tell Peeta, "Faster."

He stops for a second and locks eye with me again, confirming this is what I want. When I wiggle my hips at him again in instance, his eyes nearly roll back to his head. Then he picks up a faster tempo, to which a respond with a mewl of pleasure. He's gripping my hips tightly now and I've locked my ankles together behind him, pulling him toward me for each and every stroke. The pleasure of it all is astounding, as is the noises coming from Peeta. He's gasping, his hips moving from my hips and fumbling for my breasts, gripping them firmly as he plays with my nipples again between his fingers and thumbs. I moan my approval, and his tempo picks up again. He's nearly pounding into me furiously when I feel him give a hoarse cry, then he stiffens over me, his face screwed up in a mix of what appears to be pain and joy, which I know is his face of pure pleasure. And while I don't orgasm with him this time, I feel a sense of triumph and fulfillment as I feel him burst inside of me.

A moment later Peeta nearly collapses on top of me, gasping for hair. He buries his face in the crock of my neck, breathing deeply as he takes in my scent. I take a moment to do the same, my nose in his hair as I stroke his locks comfortingly. He smells amazing now, of Peeta and sweat and sex. If I could bottle his smell up and keep it, I would. As it is, I'm nearly lightheaded from inhaling his scent deeply and frequently.

He lifts his head a moment later to plant a sweet kiss on my lips, then he rolls of me, pulling out of me, leaving me with a dull feeling of loss. But he's soon pulling me into his arms, dragging me to his side and encouraging me to rest my head in the crook of his armpit, the soft, meaty bit between his pieces of muscle. I sigh as I close my eyes, enjoying the sound of his heart under my ear. I can feel a slow drip coming from my core, and I know it's Peeta's essence leaking out of me. I shift uncomfortably, and Peeta, as always, seems to sense what it is. He reaches to the nightstand and pulls out a handkerchief of mine and hands it to me. I sit up for a minute to clean myself off, then throw it to the ground with the rest of our discarded clothing and curl back into my comfortable spot at his side.

"I am sorry, you know," he says softly as he plants a kiss to my temple. "About Madge, I mean. I guess I was kind of doing it to get back at you. So it was pretty awful of me."

I look up at his face, which is screwed up in shame. I reach up and stoke his face, smiling at him tenderly and genuinely for the first time in ages.

"That'll teach me to be late, I guess," I say jokingly.

Peeta smiles back. "Fashionably late. You are a Capital girl now."

I screw up my nose in disgust. "Stop that. There's no need to add salt to the wound."

Peeta chuckles. "Alright. You're right."

As comfortable as I feel right now with him, I know I have to make the situation clear. I tuck my head back under his chin, and try to think of a way to explain this all to him. I settle for an easy, no misunderstandings statement.

"This doesn't change anything, you know," I say softly, unwilling to look up and meet his eyes. "I'm not...this isn't what I want. Love, I mean. I don't really know if I'm capable of loving anyone, besides Prim."

Peeta's quiet, and I wonder if he's alseep, until he responds in a voice so quiet I almost miss it.

"I'm sorry. I guess I thought-"

I flinch at his words, and cut him off quickly.

"I know, Peeta. I'm sorry."

He sighs then and wraps his arms around me to give me a quick hug.

"It's okay, Katniss. I can wait. I'll wait forever, if I have to."

I don't know how to respond to this, so I don't. And we lay there like that for a while, listening to the sound of each other's breathing and heartbeat until I find myself dozing off into slumber.

When I wake up later that day, Peeta is gone. The bed is empty and cold where he was, so I know he's been gone for a while. I'm feeling slightly upset by this, until I look over at the nightstand to see a glass of water and a plate of Katniss flower shaped cookies sitting there with a note from Peeta.

"Remember. I belong to you. You belong to me.

I love you."

For whatever reason, this note annoys me more than waking up to find him gone. It only reminds me of the anger I'd felt when I'd seen him with Madge. Maybe Peeta did belong to me, but did I really belong to him? Or was part of me still too tangled up in Gale to be free to give wholly to Peeta? And what about Prim? Didn't I belong to her too?

I ponder this as I eat the gift from Peeta and drink the water, but I never really come up with the answer.

I don't see Peeta again until after President Snow's visit, until the camera crews are around and we're embracing and falling into the snow, kissing. We don't talk about that day together, but there's an underlying tone whenever we're together, and every time we lock eyes I hear him saying it again.

"I belong to you...and you belong to me."


Hey guys! Thanks for reading this. I was kinda bitten by this plot bunny when listening to one of Falling in Reverse's new songs "Fashionably Late". I was working on my next chapter for "Kindled Ember" and just couldn't get anything done with this chilling inside my head.

Sorry about the bittersweet ending, but we know they end up together in the end anyway so I'm sure you'll all forgive me for that :)

Sorry if there were any grammar or spelling mistakes, I'll go back through in a few days when it's old to give it a clean eye. But I couldn't wait to post it, had to share!

If you liked this, check out my story currently in the works, "Kindled Embers". It's a "T" rated fic so I can have a wider base of people to read it, but I'll have a few things I'll post separately under "M" for those of us who like our toes to curl when reading our Everlark fics.

6/13/13-I got a few reviews about Peeta being OOC through his aggressiveness, so I went through and touched it up a little to tone down the "dom"...little too much "Fifty Shades" and Sylvia Day inspiration in there... :) I know it's a little harsh still for Peeta, but in my mind he's hit a major annoyance with Katniss and is confused and angry enough he's going to make her see what's between them. And honestly, that's just the kind of smut I like, take it or leave it! Also they thought Katniss was content in the end in Peeta's arms and then annoyed at the cookies, so I added an uncomfortable little bit there at the end between the two of them to make it clear that Katniss is still against an emotional relationship with Peeta. Hopefully that helps the emotions flow more for everybody!

Thanks for the reviews, they help a lot :) Keep em coming, I'd love to know your thoughts.

Kisses and love!

Simply Abbey