Hello! And welcome to First Run, the prequel to Rerun. This is the story of Katniss and Peeta's time together in Crete. Basically, it will follow the snapshots from the slideshow Peeta made for Katniss in Chapter 5 of Rerun. It's not necessary to have read Rerun, but I think the story will be better for you if you do.
This first chapter is short, so that I can gauge your interest in it. Do let me know if you enjoy it, and if you'd like to read more.
Katniss drags her fingertips along the cream-colored wall as she follows the steward down the hallway. Glancing over her shoulder, she can see Prim walking just a step behind her. Prim's adjusting her tube top, yet again, as she walks. They pass several doors in the smallish hotel. There must be 5 or 6 other rooms on this floor. The steward stops at the last door in the hallway. He places their bags on the floor as he fiddles with the key.
The loud noise of the door next to theirs opening startles her. The sound of rock music floats out of the open door. Katniss recognizes the song. It's "Change" by the Deftones. She kind of loves that song. Curiosity gets the best of her and she turns her head just in time to see a tall blonde man exit, wearing blue swim trunks and a beach towel draped over his shoulder. The man sees her and smiles.
So she smiles back.
"Peet! Come on!" the man yells into the open door of his suite. "Turn that shit off."
"Afto einai to domatio sas."
"What?" The steward's words pull her attention.
"You said you speak Greek," Prim complains.
"I said I speak some." 'I'm going to say this wrong.' "Parakaloume na epanalavete?"
"Ne. Afto einai to domatio sas."
"Oh! He just says this is our room. Efkharisto" she hands the man a few funny colored bills.
They enter the room and the sound of the Deftones playing next door vibrates through the walls.
Prim takes a scrutinizing look around. "It's nice."
"Nice? You wanted us to stay in a hostel."
"So, we're going to be here for two weeks! Hotels are better. Look, we have plenty of space. Besides, we'll be in a hostel when we go to Rome since we have that stupid 20-hour layover."
"Why are we arguing about this? You got your way. Geez, you need to relax."
"LSATs are over." Prim says adjusting her top again.
"I know!" Katniss gives her a confused look. Her eyes rake over Prim's shirt, a sea green tank top with a front pouch like a sweatshirt would have. "Why are you wearing that? It looks so uncomfortable."
"This is so in right now."
"But it makes you do this," Katniss grabs her boobs and adjusts them, "every two minutes."
"Whatever, you're just mad your tits are too big to rock a tank top."
"This shirt is cute."
"Whatever you say, Prim."
Katniss sits on the foot of her bed and sighs. Prim walks out on the balcony. "Great view," she says.
"Hmm?" Katniss looks at Prim and catches her smiling and waving.
'Is she flirting?'
Katniss rolls her eyes at Prim and drags her suitcase over to one of the dressers. She begins to unpack. The music from next door stops abruptly. Footsteps can be heard and then a door slamming. Prim walks back into the room.
"We're going to the beach. Right now."
"We just got here."
"So, I'm unpacking."
"Do it later."
Katniss sighs. "I don't really want to go."
"Well that's too damn bad." Prim walks over to Katniss and yanks a few items out of the bag. "Here. Put this on."
"It's a white bikini."
"Yeah. And you look hot in it."
"I can't go in the water in this."
"I don't see why not."
"Thats cus yous a ho!"
"No need to get all ho-stile," Katniss laughs.
"There you are, sis. I missed you."
Katniss stares down at the bikini in her hands. "Okay."
"Yeah. Let's go!"
Prim wraps her arms around Katniss's neck, hugging and choking her. "Yay!"
"But only for a little while."
Katniss hits the bell at the hotel's front desk for a fourth time without getting an answer. She brings her white sunglasses to rest on top of her head, pulling her hair out of her face as she does. Then she presses her palms onto the counter and lifts herself up and places her chest and stomach flat on the counter while craning her head to see into the office area.
"You have beautiful Dimples of Venus."
She lifts her chest off the counter and turns her head toward the voice.
The voice belongs to the blonde man she saw upstairs. He's still wearing blue trunks, but he's got a shirt on now. He's carrying a large blue umbrella. And he's flashing her a smile.
"I was admiring your Dimples of Venus."
He gestures towards her ass. She pushes herself off the counter and brings a hand to her back, feeling the exposed skin where her shirt had ridden up.
"Oh. I didn't know thats what those were called."
He smiles at her and she takes in the sight of him. He's handsome. Tall, blue eyes, nice smile. And though he's looking at her like a meal, she can't help but wonder,
'Whats the quickest way to get rid of him?'
"I'm Rye," he says and he shifts the items in his arms to extend a hand to her.
"Nice to meet you, Rye. You know where any of the hotel staff is hiding?"
He pulls his hand back. "No, can't say I do."
"Thanks anyway," she smiles and she turns to walk towards the main hallway where Prim is waiting for her.
"Maybe I can help you?" he offers.
She turns around and raises an eyebrow to him. "I can't help but notice that you're American."
"Guilty. But I've been here a whole two days."
"Is that a fact?"
"It is. Are you looking for a restaurant? Or a beach?"
She allows her eyes to drift down his form once and back up to his eyes. "Look you seem really nice. But I should be going now," she smiles.
She turns and pulls her sunglasses down as she takes a few steps away. She quickly turns a corner and BOOM! She crashes right into someone. Her eyes dart to the floor as items fall out of the figure's hands and clamor at their feet.
'Shit, smooth, Katniss.'
"I'm sorry," she says, and she immediately bends down to retrieve some of the items. A football, and a small cooler.
"It's okay," a deep voice answers. And she pauses. She looks up finds the most handsome man she's ever seen standing before her. She pulls her sunglasses back up to get a better look at him. His blue eyes seem to be oceans. His lips turn up at the corner slightly making his mouth irresistible. And his hair, thick and blonde, hangs over his eyes in unruly locks.
'Close your mouth, Katniss. Stop staring.'
"Hi," he says.
"Hi," she replies.
His lips curl into a smile and she instinctively licks her lips at the sight.
"I'm sorry. I wasn't looking where I was going," she says as she extends the cooler to him.
"It's okay," he says as he accepts it. His fingertips brush against hers and bolts of lightening shoot down her spine.
"I was trying to find some info and then I had to get away from this guy," she shakes her head as she smiles at him.
"Someones bothering you?" His voice is full of concern.
"No, just staring at my ass," she shakes her head again.
He stands and offers her a hand. She accepts it, slipping her hand into his and letting him pull her up.
"I'm Peeta," he says.
"Katniss," she replies.
She's acutely aware of the fact that he hasn't let go of her hand yet.
"There you are, Peeta. Let's hit the road!" Rye says and he punches Peeta once in the arm as he stands next to him, causing Peeta and Katniss to break away from each other. "Nice to see you again," he says turning his attention to Katniss.
Now that she sees the two men side by side, she can see how similar they are. Both have blue eyes, blonde hair, and wide toothy smiles. But Peeta's jawline is that much stronger, and his eyes are that much bluer.
He's also an inch or two shorter.
Peeta notices the tight line Katniss's lips are pressed into as Rye speaks to her.
"Is this the guy?" He turns to Rye. "Why are you such a jerk off, dude?"
"This lovely lady nearly knocked me over trying to get away from some asshole who was staring at her ass."
Rye shrugs. "She's got a nice ass." He turns to Katniss. "You really do."
"Right." Katniss nods and turns away from them both.
"Wait," Peeta says, and he reaches out an grabs her wrist. She looks down and back at his fingers curled around her. "I apologize for my brother. He really is an asshole." Katniss's eyes drift from her wrist and up to Peeta's eyes. "Can I make it up to you?"
"I'm fine. Thanks."
"You said you needed some info? Well, I've been here a whole two days."
"Your brother mentioned that," she nods.
Peeta's eyes bore into hers and she softens.
"My sister and I want to find a beach."
"Well, the best beach is definitely Elofonissi beach."
"Okay. How do we get there?"
"Did you rent a car?"
"Um, no. You need to be 25 for that. So..."
"Right, sorry. I'm used to traveling with this old guy," Peeta hooks a thumb at Rye. "Drivings the best way. You could take a cab. Or, maybe we could give you a ride?"
"Oh, no. I wouldn't want to impose."
"It's no imposition. Honest. We were going there anyway." Peeta gestures to his black swim trunks and white rash guard. "It would be our pleasure," he smiles at her, then jabs his elbow into Rye's stomach. "Right, Rye?"
"Oof," Rye exhales as Peeta's elbow connects with him an he spins around and hits his arm with another right hook. "Right."
Peeta barely flinches. Katniss watches the interaction between them with a small smile.
"Okay." Peeta's smile spreads from ear to ear. "But I have to talk to my sister first."
"Okay! We'll meet you in the parking lot in ten minutes, okay?"
Peeta holds her gaze. He looks at her like he's nervous about letting her out of his sight. But finally he nods and offers her a small wave.
Katniss smiles at him and turns away. She walks down the hallway and spots Prim as soon as she reaches the lobby, lounging on one of the large chairs in the waiting area. Katniss gets closer to her and flops down on the chair next to her. Prim is playing with her phone.
"You should leave that upstairs."
"Yeah, you're right. I just got bored." She shows Katniss the screen of her LG EnV, where she's playing a game of Bejeweled. "It's not like I turned international roaming on."
"Not for $3 a minute," Katniss nods. "What time are Bristel and Rue getting in?"
"Later today. Why?"
"We should leave a note for them, so they know where we are."
"Where are we going?"
"To the beach just like you wanted. I got some guys to give us a ride. But we should leave a 'where to find the body' note in case they turn out to be murderers or something."
Peeta and Rye pass through the far end of the lobby on their way to the parking lot. Peeta smiles at Katniss as he disappears through a doorway.
"Them?" Prim asks.
"They're in the room next to us. Dibs on the shorter one!"
"I think he already has dibs on me." Katniss shrugs.
"Damn. I'll run upstairs and drop this phone off then."
"And I'll leave a note for Bristel."
They nod and then part ways without another word. Out of the corner of her eye, Katniss sees Prim waiting by the elevator. She turns, attempting to make her way over to the front desk and BOOM! She runs right into another person.
'Your grace knows no bounds, Katniss.'
Again she immediately drops to the floor and begins to pick up the items that have fallen. Lip stick, a compact mirror...actually it's all make up.
"Sorry. I'm having one of those days," she jokes.
"It's fine. I should've been looking too."
She looks up to find a beautiful blonde girl smiling at her. When they stand to their full heights, Katniss is a couple of inches shorter than her.
'Are those real?'
"Nice to run into another American," she says. "I'm Glimmer." She extends her hand.
"Katniss." She accepts Glimmer's outstretched hand. "And sorry again about the running into part."
"No worries. Here on spring break?"
Katniss nods. "Yeah, here for a couple of weeks."
"I'm sure we'll see each other around then."
The steward appears behind the desk with a single ding of the bell from Glimmer.
'What the fuck?'
"Boro na sas voithiso?"
"Do you speak English?" Glimmer asks sweetly.
"Of course. How can I help you?"
"Well I was wondering... Actually, you were here before me," Glimmer smiles and gestures to Katniss.
"Oh. Thank you. I'd like to leave a note for my girlfriends who are checking in later."
"Yes, here," the steward passes her a pen and paper.
Katniss scrawls a note down.
"Bristel and Rue, We're in 305. We are at Elofonissi beach with the guys from 304. Back soon. -Kat & Prim"
As she writes she hears Glimmer ask the steward.
"I was wondering what room the Mellarks are in. I'm a friend."
"They are in room 304."
"Oh good, they're not far. I'm in 302," she says to Katniss.
"305," Katniss smiles.
She folds the note and writes "Bristel Meyer" in clear handwriting and hands it back to the steward.
"Well, I should be going. It was nice to meet you, Glitter."
"Glimmer. I'm sure we'll see each other around."
Katniss turns just in time to see Prim step off the elevator. They approach each other and link arms as they make their way into the parking lot.
Katniss's eyes immediately fall on Peeta as he loads up the trunk. She stands motionless as she watches him work. His chest is broad, his arms are strong, and his ass, well she has to actively work to not reach over and squeeze it.
Peeta closes the trunk and turns around and his eyes lock with hers. For a moment, he doesn't move. He simply stares at her. Then he shakes his head and then smiles at her.
Katniss furrows her brow at him.
'Of course I came. I said I would, like ten minutes ago,'
But Peeta's eyes are so filled with relief that she chooses to only smile and nod in response.
"This is my sister, Prim." she gestures to the girl beside her.
"It's nice to meet you, Prim"
"Likewise. You're in the room next to us, right?"
"Were you playing the Deftones?" Katniss asks.
"Yeah that was me. Was it too loud?"
"Yes," Prim complains.
"I didn't mind it," Katniss smiles.
"Hurry up, ladies. It's a long drive," Rye complains from the drivers seat.
Peeta shoots him a look, then turns back to Katniss. "It's not that long. About 20 minutes."
Peeta opens the passenger side back seat door of the blue sedan and gestures for Katniss to enter. Prim and Rye rolls their eyes, but Katniss simply smiles. Again. And she climbs into the car and let's him shut the door behind her. Prim let's herself in on the other side of the car.
"Rye. You're hot."
"And you're a pig."
Prim's turns to Katniss and gives her an exasperated look. Katniss shrugs apologetically.
"Let's go, then," Peeta says as he shuts his door.
They pull out of the parking lot and onto the street.
Katniss snaps her fingers "Oh, I almost forgot. There was a girl looking for you. Your last name is Mellark, right?"
"Yeah. How'd you know that?" Peeta asks
"She asked the front desk where the Mellarks are staying. I recognized the room number, since you're next to us."
"Who was it?" Rye chimes in.
"Oh, um.. Glitter or something. Tall, blonde-"
"Shut up, Rye." Peeta says through gritted teeth.
"Damn, litle bro. That chick's got it bad for you, huh?"
"I said shut up, Rye. Thanks for the heads up, Katniss."
A few minutes pass and they ride in quiet. It's not uncomfortable, as the scenic ride seems to hold everyone's attention.
Peeta breaks the silence. "Beautiful, huh? This your first time in Greece?"
"Yeah," Prim answers. "You?"
"Yeah. Always wanted to see it though. You traveling with a group?"
"Just a couple of friends. They're on the afternoon boat." Katniss explains. "You?"
"Just us. Happy to make new friends, though."
A few minutes later, they spot the beautiful clear blue water of the beach in the distance.
"Almost there," Rye promises.
"You've been here before?" Katniss asks.
"Yesterday," Rye explains.
Rye quickly finds a parking lot and shuts off the engine. "Well, here we are, ladies." He steps out of the car.
"Thanks for the ride," Prim says as she hurries out of the car.
Peeta climbs out of the car and opens Katniss's door. He extends his hand out to her, which she accepts. And he pulls her to stand.
"We have a large ground sheet and an umbrella."
"Do you maybe want to hang out with us?"
Katniss and Peeta look over to Prim and Rye, who are giving them both 'I hate you' looks.
'Suck it up, Prim!'
"With me?" Peeta clarifies.
"Oh... Yes. Absolutely. Thank you."
Peeta's smile widens. He walks over to the back of the car and opens the trunk. Prim crosses over to Katniss.
"This sucks ass, Kat. You know it's not fair."
Katniss yanks her shirt over her head. Prim follows suit. "Oh? But it was fair the time you made me double date that nerd Beetee with the horrible lisp while you got his hot friend? What did he keep calling me all night? Oh yeah. 'Ka-lish!'" She steps out of her shorts and stuffs her clothes into her bag at her feet.
"That was one time. Get over it. Let it go." Prim's shorts follow and she stuff them into Katninss's bag too.
Katniss hold up two fingers. "Twice!"
Prim presses her lips into a tight line and taps her foot. "Fine! But I hate you."
"No you don't, you love me."
"Everything all right, ladies?" Peeta asks. He's taken his shirt off, leaving him in just his black trunks.
"Yeah. It's just. It's really windy out here." Katniss turns to face into the wind, to blow her hair out of her eyes.
Peeta walks up to her and pulls an errant strand away from her face and smooths her hair back.
"You're so beautiful." Peeta smiles at her.
Katniss's windswept hair blows freely as she looks away. But she can't contain her smile and she feels a blush creep on her cheeks.
They hear the shutter of a camera and look in Rye's direction. "Did you just take a picture?" Katniss asks. Rye nods.
"Rye just got a coolpix. He's really into it."
"Just ignore him."
"It's a good picture. Got the beach in the background and everything."
"Well, let's go set up then." Peeta suggests. His fingers graze Katniss's knuckles. "I have high expectations for this."
She knows he's not talking about the beach.
Oh snap, throwback! Who remembers the EnV phone and the coolpix camera?...and those god damned tank tops with the pouch in the front. Oh, 2007. You seem so very long ago.
Also, I'm using google translate for the Greek parts. If you have another suggestion, I'm all ears.
If this storyline appeals to you, let me know :)