AN: WARNING. Sexual situations in this chapter. Read at your own risk.


I don't mention the black mass to Peeta again. Nor do I see or feel anything unusual once we are back up in the attic with more lighting. Unfortunately, we don't even get started looking through the boxes that are up the time the sun goes down, it's hard to see anything and all we have done is separate the furniture from the boxes. We call it a night soon after.

The next day we head back up hoping to find something useful for Peeta's work. This time I am prepared with more flashlights and lamps. We start with a few boxes each. After a few hours the search is coming up nowhere. The boxes I have been going through are just old documents of god knows what. There is nothing personal about Peeta's ancestor.

He isn't having any better luck than I am.

"Ugh!" he exclaims after searching through his second box.

I look up and try to give him a reassuring smile but all that seems to come out is a grimace.

"There's nothing in here at all about my family. It's just junk," he says kicking the box.

"I have an idea," I say hoping it'll get his mind off of this for a while. "We need a break. Follow me."

He nods, defeated and follows me downstairs. I lead him out the front door and to the barn where I have all my hunting gear.

"Katniss, where are we going?" he asks.

"You said you wanted to see me shoot right?" I say over my shoulder as he trails behind me.


"Well," I say opening the door to the barn and grabbing my gear. "Let's go."

A smile lights up his face as I lead him into the woods near the house.

"No, not like that. You're holding it wrong." I say, exasperated at how little Peeta can follow directions.

He sighs audibly, "What am I doing wrong now?"

He's standing in front of me, holding the bow away from him. "Your feet are all wrong. Space them out a little more. Good. Now bring the bow closer to your face. NO! Put your elbow down."

Peeta stops abruptly and hands the bow to me. "I'm sorry. I can't do it." He walks away towards a tree not too far away and leans against it.

"You're just going to give up?" I ask, not quite believing he's already quit after only half an hour. He turns away as I head towards him. He brings one hand to his face, as if trying to rub the tension away. As he faces me, I notice that he's not tense at all. He's laughing. I can't help but smile at the look on his face.

He walks back towards me. "I'm terrible, huh?"

I put my head down as he stands in front of me, suddenly feeling very shy at our close proximity. "Yeah, you kind of are," I reply with a smirk on my face. I almost take a step back, startled when I realize his face is right in front of mine. I have to look down again, but not before catching the knowing look on his face. His closeness makes me nervous. It's been far too long since I've been this close to a man. I can feel my cheeks redden as he laughs. The action makes me look up. "What?" I whisper.

His hand slowly reaches up. I stiffen, thinking he's going to touch my cheek. Instead, his hand goes to my hair. "You have a leaf in your hair."

"Oh," I breathe out, feeling disappointed. He plucks the leaf from my hair and lets it go, the wind carrying it away. Instead of moving away, he takes another step toward me. I can feel his breath on my face as he stares into my eyes and I'm paralyzed by the intensity of them. He tucks a strand of hair that's been flying in my face from the wind, behind my ear.

"You're so beautiful," he whispers. My heart pounds in my chest at his words. He licks his lips and my gaze follows the action. Our lips are so close that if I move a hair's breadth forward they would be touching. I sense him move and my eyes automatically close. I feel his breath against my lips and then-

An ear piercing scream fill the woods around us. The sound is so loud I have to bring my hands up to cover my ears.

Peeta steps away from me and covers his ears too looking around, trying to figure out where the noise is coming from. The sound is inhuman. I've never heard anything like this before. And it goes on for what seems like forever. My head pounds and what I hear next drops me to my knees. It's a sound I've only ever heard in my dreams. My nightmares about the crash that ended my family's life fill my ears. I can hear Prim scream. My Mom. My Dad. Flashes of burning flesh fill my head. I close my eyes, desperately trying to drown out the sound. And just as suddenly as the sound started, it stops.

I find myself on the ground. My chest heaves up and down as I try to catch my breath. I finally am able to let go of my head and that's when I notice Peeta. He's in a similar position as I am. Only he's curled up in a ball, his hands still covering his ears and his eyes are shut tightly.

"Peeta?" I crawl towards him. I feel so weak. What the hell just happened? I reach him and place my hand on his arm. He startles and his eyes shoot open. He's breathing just as hard as I am.

"What the hell was that?" he cries, voicing my thoughts. "Did you hear that?"

I look around at the trees surrounding us. Nothing seems amiss. All I hear are the sounds of the forest. Birds chirping, the rustle of leaves from the breeze.

"I heard…" I gulp loudly, "I heard a piercing scream, then I started hearing other things… I can't explain it."

I shake my head to clear my thoughts of the images I saw. He's looking at me, almost in question.

"You mean you didn't hear the voices? I heard the piercing scream too, but… but afterward I just kept hearing my mo-" he stops himself short. His ears are bright pink, embarrassed about what he was about to say. "Nevermind."

I get up slowly. Still glancing around, making sure there's nothing out there. The screams could've been anything. They could be animals attacking each other for all I know. My mind is obviously playing tricks on me. There's no way I actually heard my parents and Prim. The noise must have triggered a nightmare. I may have been awake, but it was definitely a bad dream. There's no other explanation.

Peeta looks up at me as I survey the area. I reach my hand out to him to help him up and he takes hesitantly. "We should probably head back," I say. "Whatever that was may still be lurking around. I don't really want to be around if that thing comes back."

"You think that was animal?" he asks incredulously. I nod my head in affirmation and he shakes his head. "Katniss. That didn't sound like an animal to me. That didn't sound like anything I've ever heard of." He hesistated before he speaks again. "That sounded almost like… almost like an evil spirit."

My mouth drops open at the absurdity of his statement. "Evil spirit? It was just a couple of animals. I'm sure of it." He doesn't look convinced by the way he's looking around again. I shake my head again. "Let's get back. It's getting late and we haven't even had lunch yet."

I leave without waiting to see if he's following. What Peeta is suggesting is just plain ridiculous to me? There's no such thing as ghosts. And the suggestion has come up far too much in the little time that I've been on this property for my liking.

When we get back to the house Peeta seems distracted, but we don't mention what happened in the woods again. I make sandwiches and we eat in silence. Peeta doesn't offer any type of conversation like he normally does. In fact he seems kind of shaken. I'm feeling the same way, but I push the feeling aside. When he says he's tired and is going to spend the rest of his day in his room I don't question him. I call it a day as well.

A couple of days pass and Peeta still seems distracted, so I keep myself busy in the library. The next two weeks pass by quickly and to my delight, Peeta seems to forget the event from the woods. He doesn't ask for help but I volunteer my services anyway. I don't help him every day, I have other things to tend to myself, but I can tell he appreciates it nonetheless. We work in silence most of the time, but find ourselves in conversation quite often. Nothing out of the extraordinary happens, but every so often I see him looking around suspiciously with a frown on his face. When I question him, he gives me a smile but offers me no explanation. I can't help but think he's keeping something from me. That's silly, why would he keep it to himself. By the end of the week we've still been unsuccessful in finding anything.

After the almost kiss, there was a bit of awkwardness that we got over pretty quickly. I like him, I can't deny that. I catch myself looking at him far too much. The level of concentration on his face is somewhat hypnotic. Other times, I'll look up from searching through one of the boxes at him and I swear he's just been looking at me. Those are the times I can't seem to hide my blush. I smile inwardly at the thought that he might return some of the feelings I've developed for him.

Peeta gives it another couple of days before heading back into town to the hall of records to see if he's missed anything. He's usually there from the time it opens to the minute it closes. I'm there every day to have lunch with him. You're not desperate, I tell myself. You're just being a good hostess, I think ignoring the fact that I was the one that offered him a place to stay.

It's been a month since Peeta arrived and in that time we've grown close. I find myself opening up to him like I never have before with anyone. I'm not usually a big talker but he just makes it so easy. I've never met anyone like him. Even though he still hasn't found anything, he's still so optimistic. Most people would have given up by now but not him. I can tell he's getting discouraged, yet he still manages to keep a smile on his face.

A few days later, Peeta comes home (in no way am I implying that home belongs to me and him. I'm just saying in general) very excited and announces he has a job. Apparently, he noticed a help wanted sign at the local paper and decided to go for it. He was hired on the spot. He suggests we go and celebrate. It's been a long time since I've been out and he looks so happy, I can't deny him.

I let Peeta decide where to celebrate. He chooses a small diner located near the highway. It was either that or the burger shack located in town. I'm not too picky, but I'm glad that it's not anything fancy. Still, I find a nice summer dress to wear. A present from Prim for me from my last birthday. It was the last birthday I ever got to celebrate with her. Stop it, Katniss, I chide myself as I get dressed. This is a day of celebration. I quickly finish getting ready and head downstairs to where Peeta is waiting for me.

I'm nervous as I walk down the stairs. It's been so long since I've been on a date. Not that this would even be considered a date. I mean, I hope it's a date. But Peeta never used those exact words.

I find him sitting on the couch, his hands clasped together tightly.

"Ready?" I ask quietly. Peeta looks up at the sound of my voice. His blue eyes sparkle as he takes me in. The look on his face makes me blush slightly and I fight hard to hide it.

"Wow. You look great," he says with the same boyish smile he had the first time I saw him.

I can't hide my blush with the compliment so I mutter a thank you. "Shall we go?" I ask, trying to get the attention off of me.

He nods his head and directs me towards the door. "After you."

It only takes ten minutes to get to the diner and we are soon seated with a glasses of water and menus in our hands. Peeta takes the lead on the conversation and doesn't mind me listening for the most part. He's very excited about his new job. It's only part time, but it's enough that he would have to stay in these parts longer than he anticipated.

I don't mind at all actually. In fact I've gotten so used to him being here with me that I'm just as excited as he is that he'll be staying longer.

"I'll be house hunting soon. I'm not sure what exactly is around these parts, but I'm sure I can find something."

House hunting? I think. An idea comes into my mind, but I quickly shake my head to get rid of it.

He must notice that I want to say something. "What is it?"

I hesitate before I answer. "Well… I was just thinking." I stop, color filling my cheeks and look away embarrassed.

He reaches out and grabs my hand. I freeze at the contact, but Peeta acts like it's the most natural thing in the world.

"Well, I-."

"Okay, kids what'll it be?"

I pull my hand away, as if we were caught doing something naughty. Red tints my cheeks as I grab my menu and hide behind it. I haven't even taken a look at it this whole time. I look over my menu to look at Peeta. He has a knowing smile and gives me a wink as he gives the waitress his order.

She turns to take my order and I quickly order the first thing I see on the menu. Once she's gone and I no longer have a menu to hide behind, I fidget in my seat. I've lost my train of thought, but Peeta seems to be right on track.

"What were you going to say?"

I shake my head again, trying to remember what we were discussing. "What were we talking about again?"

Peeta's laugh brings a rare smile to my face. "I was saying how I'm going to have to find a place to live now that I'm working down here."

Oh. "Oh, right."

He gives me a questioning look as if to say continue. "Well, I was just thinking. Maybe you can stay with me still." His smile is wider than I've ever seen and I continue before I chicken out. "I mean, you've already been staying with me for almost a month. You seem to be settled in just fine. No need to worry about finding a new place. God knows I have enough room as it is just for myself…." I trail off.

My gaze is on the table and I refuse to look up. God this is embarrassing, I think.

"Katniss, are you asking me to move in with you? This is barely our first date. Don't you think we're moving a little too fast?" His questions are said in jest, but the date part makes me look up.

"This is a date?"

I smile as red stains his cheeks, for once it's not me. He chuckles a little as he looks down examining his place setting. "I thought that was obvious when I asked you to celebrate with me," he says meeting my eyes across the table.

I can't help but smile even wider at the boyish look on his face. "Alright then. A date it is."

"Well now that we have established this as our first date, we should really talk about this moving in together business."

A sigh escapes my lips at my earlier suggestion. "Well, it only makes perfect sense don't you think? At least for a while. You can get your own place later if you want. No need to rush and leave," I say quickly.

Peeta seems to contemplate this for a few minutes then nods his head. "It does make sense. Ok, Miss Everdeen. I will take you up on that offer. But I insist on paying my dues. Now don't think about cutting anything on my expense."

I wave off his comments. "I wouldn't dream of it," I say as our waitress arrives with our salads. Conversation slows down as we start our meal, only the occasional comment being said. Peeta is the perfect gentleman throughout the night. I couldn't have asked for a better first date.

I try to decline dessert, but Peeta insists so we share a banana split. I'm taking my first bite when he starts asking me questions.

"So… have you noticed anything weird happening in the house?" he asks.

"What do you mean?" I ask as I take another bite of ice cream.

He shrugs his shoulders nonchalantly. "I don't know. I just get a strange feeling sometimes."

After the incident in the woods, I was hoping we could move past any more of this talk. "Nope." I say, hoping to put the conversation to rest. My mood is beginning to turn sour.

"You mean, you've never felt anything or even seen anything out of the miss?" He continues.

This isn't something I want to be talking about. I know what he's doing. He's insinuating something that's not possible. "It's an old house, Peeta. Of course there's going to be weird noises."

He shakes his head, seemingly frustrated. "I'm not talking about just weird noises, Katniss. I'm talking about the feeling of someone's eyes on you or having… strange dreams."

I try to laugh it off. "Aren't you a little too old to be believing in ghost stories?"

He chuckles a little, but there's no humor behind it. "Nevermind."

We finish our dessert in silence. I feel bad for the change in my mood. "I'm sorry, Peeta. How about me head home now, roomie?" I says, trying to lighten the mood.

He laughs again, but this time he gives me one of his winning smiles. "Okay. Let me just take care of the bill."

"Oh no, Peeta," I say, reaching for the check trying to stop him. "This is a celebration for you. Let me get this."

He pulls the check out of my reach, "Now what kind of date would I be if I made you pay?"

I put my hands up in surrender, trying to make up for our awkward conversation just a few minutes ago. I make my way out of the diner as Peeta takes care of the bill. I step outside into the warm night and head to the car. I'm beginning to learn that this place I chose to start over in is very different from the place I come from. Warm nights are something I'm going to have to get used to.

As I reach Peeta's car I lean against the passenger side door while I wait. I look back towards the diner and see Peeta waiting patiently to pay. The waitress seems to be deep in conversation with a regular. He looks up and notices me watching him and sends me a wave along with a goofy grin. I can't help the chuckle that leaves my mouth.

A sudden gust of wind surrounds me and I shiver from the surprising chill that goes down my spine. That's strange, I muse. The nights have been warm and there should be no reason for any type of cold wind to rush past me. I glance toward the trees around me. They're full of summer leaves, but they stand dead still.

I can't help but think it was some kind of warning. Like maybe something is coming. Don't be stupid, Katniss. I'm lost in thought when Peeta shows up out of nowhere.

"You ready to go?" I jump when I hear his voice. "I'm sorry. I didn't mean to scare you. I should've given you the keys so you wouldn't have been stuck standing out here. I didn't realize it was going to take so long."

I wave him off as he unlocks and opens my door. "It's fine, really. I usually not so jumpy, and with your loud footsteps I should've been able to hear you a mile away."

He chuckles as he closes my door and heads over to the driver side. Once he's settled and his belt buckled, he starts the car and we head home. The drive home is silent, but surprisingly not awkward. It's comfortable and I realize that it's not scaring me as much as it would have in the past. Peeta is one of the most genuinely nice people I have ever met. We've known each other for a month now and he has been nothing but respectful towards me. I smile as I hope maybe he's a little less respectful towards me once we get back home.

"What are you smiling about?" Peeta asks, breaking the silence.

I didn't realize he was watching me. I look away to try and hide another smile. Nothing," I say as I gaze out the window.

I chance a look back at him and see a smirk play on his lips as if he knows exactly what I was thinking. "Sure," he says playfully.

We head down the driveway and my heart starts to beat faster in anticipation of what might come. He puts the car in park and turns the ignition off. Neither of us make a move to leave the car. It's almost like we are both trying to see who will make the first move. Finally, I unbuckle my seatbelt and reach to open the door.

"Wait!" I pause, my hand in mid-air. "I'll get the door for you."

He opens the door for me and I smile up at him as I step out. "I know how to open doors you know."

He smiles sheepishly as we walk up to the porch. Instead of walking straight to door, Peeta steps towards the railing of the porch. He places both hands on the rail and looks up at toward the sky. I follow his lead and look up to a sky full of stars.

"Wow," I breathe out. Back in the city it's almost impossible to see any stars, but here – they light up the sky. "So beautiful."

"Gorgeous more like it."

Turning my head, I'm taken aback when I find him staring right at me. I don't even try to hide the reddening of my cheeks. He takes a step closer as I turn to meet him. His lips quirk up as he brings his arms to wrap around me and I step into them easily. I want this. Why fight the inevitable?

I take a deep breath and smile before placing my hands on his shoulders to steady myself. Before I can second guess what is happening, I take matters into my own hands as I shut my eyes and crush my lips to his. Peeta's breathe hitches in surprise, but his surprise doesn't last long. His hand finds the back of my neck and pulls me closer. His lips are softer than I could have ever imagined. Our lips slant against one another softly. It's the nicest kiss I've ever had. But I don't want nice. I hesitate for only a second before my tongue traces his bottom lip and he opens his mouth in invitation.

A groan escapes my lips before I can help it and I can feel him smile as our tongues seek one another out. My hands find their way into his hair and it's his turn to groan. He tastes like the ice cream we shared and I can't help but want this kiss to last forever. After what seems like hours we finally pull apart.

We rest our foreheads against one another and try to control our breathing. My eyes are still shut tight when he speaks.

"I've wanted to do that since the moment we met."

I open my eyes to see the brightest smile I've ever seen on him. The happiness I'm feeling at the moment overwhelms me and I find it hard to speak. "I – uh – I've felt the same way," I breathe out, a smile matching his own on my face.

His arms are still wrapped around me, and I love the feelings that are stirring inside me. His thumb caresses my cheek and I lean my head into his hand. "I had a really great time tonight, Katniss."

"I did too, Peeta."

He pulls me with him towards the door. "Come on. I'll walk you to your room."

My face falls in disappointment. I don't know what I was thinking. Maybe I was hoping we could continue where we left off, but I should've guessed Peeta isn't the type to sleep with someone on the first date, even if I am.

We head inside and the first thing I notice is that it's very cold. I can tell Peeta feels the same way because he pulls me closer. We walk up the steps together and when we reach the landing, the temperature is noticeably warmer. We reach my room and I turn to Peeta to thank him, but I am met with his lips once more against mine. The kiss chaste but lingers for a few seconds until Peeta finally pulls away.

"Sorry," he offers sheepishly. "I had to do that one more time."

"Don't apologize. I liked it," I admit with a smile.

He returns the smile. "Goodnight. I'll see you tomorrow," he says as he walks backward down the hall towards his room.

"See you tomorrow," I answer as I enter my room and shut the door.

I wake with a start and the first thing I notice is Peeta standing at the door of my room, looking at me. I shiver, but not from the unusually cold atmosphere of the room. I glance at the clock on my bedside table. It reads 3:00am.

"Jesus Christ, you scared me! Is everything okay?" I ask him as he continues to stare at me. His gaze drops to my barely covered body, clad only in panties and a small camisole. I'm freezing. The sheet I fell asleep with has fallen below my waist and I reach to pull it up. "Pe-"

"Don't," he says suddenly and my hands freeze at the force of his voice. Our eyes meet. His eyes rake over me as he glides towards the end of my bed. He reaches his hand down to grab the sheet covering my legs and feet, pulling it towards him as his gaze lands on my barely covered breast. "Don't cover yourself up," he whispers, never taking his eyes off me.

His hands trace the insides of my calves, slowly moving up my legs. When they reach the backs of my knees, I'm roughly pulled towards him. Long gone is the sweet, respectful Peeta from earlier. He's been replaced by this new version, commanding and incredibly sexy. My eyes roll back as he unexpectedly reaches between by legs, rubbing my center over my drenched panties.

"So wet," he growls before pulling my panties to the side and plunging two fingers inside me roughly. I break my silence and moan as he fucks me with his fingers.

He continues to stroke me as my moans get louder and my eyes lift to his, the intensity still there. A whimper escapes my lips as he stops his ministrations, bringing his fingers to his mouth; licking and sucking them clean.

"Exquisite," he moans. All I can do is stare with wide eyes as he pulls my ruined underwear down my legs and removes them from my body. He tosses them carelessly to the side before dropping his head between my legs; his mouth finding my clit. My hips buck up into his face, wanting more.

My breathing is erratic. Who is this man? In the back of my mind, I feel like this has happened before. Not the act itself, for I've never had a man do this to me and it doesn't cross my mind that I'm letting him do this to me without question. But, it's like I've felt it before. It's the exact emotion I had in my dream of Peter. The one I'd been so embarrassed about.

Peeta continues his attack on my clit and my body can't take it anymore. I explode and call out. "PEETA!"

My body is shaking from the force of my orgasm and my breath is coming out in short spurts. My mind is hazy as I try to focus on what just happened. A noticeable shift permeates the air around us and it feels almost alarming. I feel Peeta move above me.

"Open your eyes."

The intensity in his gaze never wavers, and he slowly travels up my body, bringing my camisole up with him. He pulls it off and it joins my underwear on the floor. He settles between my thighs when he reaches my breast and my legs open up for him in invitation. Peeta nuzzles the peak with his nose before covering it with his mouth. My hands tangle in his hair and the throbbing between my thighs is almost painful, the aftershock of my orgasm still wracking my body.

He switches to the other nipple and brings his had up to cover the one he just left, flicking the tiny bud and causing me to keen in pleasure. No matter how hard I try to keep quiet, my moans fill the air. My hips buck up, trying to find the friction to quench this need. He stops suddenly and pulls himself away. I'm about to protest when he reaches down to the hem of his t-shirt and pulls it over his head. My eyes automatically land on the small trail of golden hair leading to the obvious bulge in his boxers.

He smirks down at me when my eyes widen. He's… big. The boxers covering his lower half do nothing to hide his size. My hands itch to reach down and stroke him, but I feel like I need permission. "You want it… don't you, Kat?"

I nod my head in affirmation, reaching my hand toward him when he moves to stand. He tsks teasingly.

"Patience is a virtue, my dear."

His boxers hit the floor and my mouth instantly waters. I want his dick in my mouth or in my pussy right now. A blush breaks across my face at how wanton my thoughts are at the moment. I have never wanted something or someone so bad in my life. He strokes himself slowly up and down and I am mesmerized by the action.

I'm so caught up in my thoughts that I barely register when he has once again settled himself between my legs. My eyes find his and I'm transfixed by them. I'm not sure how long I've been hypnotized but he suddenly plunges into me. He groans and the sound is glorious.

My legs wrap around his back, pulling him closer as he starts thrusting in and out with abandon. I meet him thrust for thrust. My senses are in overload as he continues to pound into me. The sound of our lovemaking echoes through the room and I can already feel the coil in my belly start to snap when he pulls out. I whimper in protest and then he's pulling me up.

He swiftly moves into a sitting position and brings me to hover over him.

"Mount me," he orders. My cheeks flame at being told what to do, but my pussy aches knowing he will be inside me once again. I lower myself onto him, slowly. Trying to savor the feel of his thick cock filling me. I can feel all of him in this position. My movement begin slowly as Peeta runs his hands up and down my torso, caressing my breasts with every pass. "Faster," he demands.

I never pegged Peeta to be so dominating in the bedroom, but his commands spur me on even more. I speed up, and the familiar coil returns as my clit rubs his cock in just the right spot. Peeta suddenly leans back against one arm while the other reaches around me to rest against the small of my back. The movement cause the length of his cock to slide deeper inside me. My back arches so far back that I think I may break in half. Our hips roll rhythmically against one another and I know I won't be able to hold on much longer.

"Oh, God!" I cry out as shudders wrack my body. A few more thrusts from Peeta and he comes with an animalistic cry. His arms pull me toward him in an embrace where we stay for what feels like hours trying to catch our breath. I'm exhausted as he finally lays me down against my pillow. I fight hard to keep my eyes open, but the exhaustions seems to win as I feel him sit next to me. The last thing I remember is him caressing my face and speaking what sounds like, 'Sleep, my love.' But that could have just been my imagination.

I awake in the morning, groggy and confused. I feel like something is off. The previous night's events rush to the front of my mind and jolts me wide awake. Instinctively, my hand reaches to the other side of the bed where my hand grabs nothing but sheet. Peeta didn't stay. He must have returned to his room after. Or maybe I imagined it altogether. But the delicious ache between my legs says otherwise.

The sun is shining brightly into my room. I usually wake up before the sun even rises and when I look at my clock, it reads 10:24. Maybe he woke up before me and is already awake and waiting for me, I ponder.

Nerves wrack my body as I get ready to head downstairs to search for Peeta. Thoughts fill my head at the realization of how wanton I acted last night. I'm embarrassed, to say the least, and hopeful there is no awkwardness between Peeta and myself when we see each other. Something doesn't feel right. Why did Peeta come to me? It just feels a little out of character for Peeta to do this and me for that matter. I couldn't help myself though. It was almost like my mind didn't have control, but my body did. I shake these thoughts from my head. I'm only stalling.

When I reach the bottom of the stairs, I expect to hear movement but all I hear is silence. I look through every room downstairs and find no one. Maybe he's in the attic, I think. But when I look, it's empty too.

I don't want to look outside to see if is car is here, so I knock on the door of his room. No answer. I open it and it's empty. I move to close the door and notice that the closet door is open and his luggage is gone.

Peeta's gone..

He doesn't return the rest of the day. Or the next.

AN: Thank you to everyone who has reviewed, followed and favorited this story. Wow. I'm still in awe at all the feedback I'm getting. Sorry this chapter is so late coming. Real life happens and unfortunately from now on, I don't know when the next update will be. I will do my best to not make you guys wait too long. Thank you for reading and again, feedback is always appreciated.

Also, thank you always to Wollaston for the continued awesome beta work and awesome banner. And to everyone who encouraged and pre-read for me, you're awesome.

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