A/N: I want to preface this by reiterating that this story contains adult content- smut/lemons/sex- whatever you prefer to call it. If you are underage or uncomfortable with this, then proceed with caution. Otherwise, please enjoy!
Disclaimer: I do not own The Hunger Games. I just like to play with the characters.
The room reeks of overly scented roses and the sharp, metallic tang of copper. The harsh perfume immediately assaults my senses upon entering the opulent office, settling like a fog in my brain and setting my nerves on edge. Katniss's hand spasms nervously in mine.
"Mr. Mellark and Miss Everdeen, how lovely to see you both. Please take a seat." President Snow gestures to the two plush chairs set several feet apart in front of his desk, and I'm forced drop my tight hold on Katniss's hand as we obey. My hand feels cold and empty without hers laced through it.
The President settles in the chair behind his desk, taking his time scrutinizing us with those bottomless eyes. The silence stretches on for what feels like hours, the tension in the room unbearably palpable. Snow allows it to build to an impossibly high point before he finally speaks.
"I must begin by congratulating both of you. You've done well convincing the districts of your love throughout the duration of your Victory Tour, and the country is absolutely infatuated with the pair of you." Snow pauses to enjoy the effect of his words, but I refuse to let up my poker face. There must be more. This is simply too good to be true. The insinuation that we truly prevented a rebellion by proving our "love" to the country with false kisses and pretty words is complete and utter bullshit, and everyone present knows it.
"The event of having two victors is…unprecedented, to say the least, not to mention having two such desirable victors as yourselves," Snow continues, a cruel smile curling his unnaturally puffy lips. "As I'm sure you know, victors are much revered here in the Capitol. People simply love you- the exotic, triumphant species of the districts. In fact, many of our residents in the city will pay handsomely for the special company of one such victor."
My stomach sinks to my feet. Snow's words break through the overwhelming cloud of fear and nerves in my head and I'm almost certain that I understand what he means.
I've heard the whispers passing through the crowds during our many Capitol parties.
Enough to gather a vague idea of what happens to select Victors after their Games, anyway. Haymitch became strangely silent and deflected the question when I asked him about it, but his refusal to answer only confirmed my suspicions.
Katniss and I are the famous star- crossed lovers of District 12, the reigning co-champions of the Hunger Games. We are special and desirable and the Capitol loves us. We are still children. But that does not matter to Snow, because he is going to sell us. He wants to force us into prostitution.
Chancing my first glance at Katniss since the beginning of this little "meeting," I can see that she has not yet comprehended Snow's words for what they mean. I never shared my suspicions with her, unable to justify adding yet another fresh terror to inspire her nightmares. Now, though, I wish I had said something because she's completely in the dark, about to be blind- sighted in the worst possible way. But for all her confusion, Katniss is no less defiant as she stares boldly back into the President's icy glare. Caught in a deadly staring contest with the devil himself.
Snow's hands are folded in front of him on the desk, his snake-like tongue darting out to moisten his lips, but his eyes begin to move away from hers. He allows his gaze to rove up and down her body, (which, in one of Cinna's beautifully crafted dresses is accentuated to its full potential) an expression of intense hunger twisting his face.
Rage and anger flare up in me like never before. How dare he look at her like that? How dare he sit there, cool and collected as ever, while condemning us to this terrible fate? He is a disgusting, perverted man, and I have the sudden urge to strangle him with my bare hands. If I was alone with him, I might do just that. The Peacekeepers outside the door would surely kill me, but that is a risk I would be willing to take. It's Katniss's life I won't risk, so I remain seated in my chair, the knuckles of my hand stark white from my restraining grip on the armrests.
"What are you saying? Are you going to sell us, then?" I spit. Anything to get him to stop salivating at Katniss like a starving Seam child looks at a loaf of bread in the bakery window. He turns toward me slowly, smile back in place on his repulsive face. Katniss whips her head to me as well, her eyes wide, hands clasped over her mouth. She's finally understood.
"Well, well, you catch on fast, don't you Mr. Mellark?" Snow's leer does not waver, but his tone is colored with surprise, evidently impressed that I caught on so quickly. I don't dignify his statement with a response though, so after a moment of heavy silence, he continues. "The answer to your question is yes and no. You see the star- crossed lovers are a matched set. We wouldn't want to destroy the illusion of your great 'love' to the entire country by having you service other people. Secrets such as that have a way of getting out, do they not? Your relationship would be ruined in the eyes of the public, and I might just find myself with a full- scale rebellion on my hands." He gives a mirthless laugh, as though the idea is ludicrous.
Again, I keep my face impassive because I'm waiting with baited breath for the kicker, and sure enough, it comes.
"However, the demand is higher than ever, and I have several people ready to pay exorbitant amounts of money for the pair of you, and so I have decided on an alternative. You will sleep with each other instead. On camera."
My insides don't seem to exist anymore. The bomb Snow just dropped has vaporized them, and I sit in the chair a useless puddle of sinewy skin and blinding fury.
I want to kill him. This man personally responsible for the deaths of hundreds of children for the entertainment of other despicable people; this man who prostitutes the rest. I want to rage about the injustice of it all, but I have no power here. Any outward display of emotion-anger, fear, or otherwise- could cost me dearly. Snow would see it as a weakness, and I refuse to show any such thing in front of him. Never again will I allow myself to be the pathetic, crying boy on the reaping stage.
Katniss looks as though she may be sick; her hands, like mine, gripping her armrests. I have the sudden desire to pry her hand from the chair and run far away and never look back. But that is not an option. We are Snow's prey, trapped in this room with nowhere to run, nowhere to hide, and the maniacal grin on his face proves that he knows it.
With us- his targets- cornered, Snow opens those bloated lips of his, and through his curiously stained teeth, he says, "Filming begins tomorrow."
"Peeta?" Katniss's shaky whisper shatters the silence in our dark Capitol bedroom. She's snuggled into her usual spot against my chest, and even before she spoke into the night, I could tell by the absence of her usual deep breathing and soft snores that I was not the only one lying awake.
"Hmm?" I say, turning my head so I can look into her eyes. They have become a bewitching shade of silver in the moonlight streaming through the open window.
"Have you ever…" she trails off, unable to vocalize the rest of the question. She doesn't need to, though, because I know her so well by now. It seems that her mind, like mine, refuses to dwell on anything but what we are to do only a few short hours from now.
"Had sex?" I finish the question for her and answer it in one fell swoop. "Twice."
Her body stiffens against me in the dark, her fingers retract against my chest, but all she says is, "Oh." There's a foreign emotion tainting her voice that I can't quite define. Jealousy perhaps? Or is it resentment? I can't be sure because after my confession I'm determined not to look at her. I trace my forefinger on the comforter's pattern to avoid her piercing gaze.
Katniss doesn't push for details, however, and I'm glad because I would rather forget those other girls, too. After all was said and done, neither of them really meant anything to me. They were just poor substitutes for the girl huddled against me now- the girl who will never want me back. At the very least, this conversation does open the door for me to ask the question that's been nagging in the back of mind for years now, whenever I saw her with him.
"What about you?" I'm careful to ask it in a delicately detached tone and avoid any words that will cause her further discomfort (i.e. sex and Gale).
To my surprise, I feel her shake her head no on the pillow next to me. I finally let my eyes flit back to hers. "Really?" I shouldn't push it but I have to know for sure. "Not even Gale…?"
"No," Katniss says firmly. "No, I never… It's not like that between us. I found out after the Games that he wanted… but I never did." Despite our current predicament, the jealous, self- indulgent side of myself that I try so hard to ignore (yet nevertheless exists) rejoices. I've already gotten further with Katniss than Gale could ever dream.
We lay in tense silence for another moment before Katniss speaks again. Her bottom lip is clenched between her teeth, and her beautiful sterling eyes are on the verge of tears. "I don't want my first time to be on camera," she chokes out before a single tear slides down her cheek. I swipe it away with my thumb and crush her even closer to my chest as if I can hide her away from the world. I want nothing more than to keep her safe in my arms, because I know exactly where this is headed and I don't like it. It feels all wrong. "Can we…" she doesn't finish the though, but again, it doesn't matter. I know what she wants. And I can't do it.
"Please? It's going to happen tomorrow anyway, and I… I can't let Snow take that, too," she pleads with me, and I know immediately that I'll surrender. I've always had a weakness for the girl with the braid, the girl who sings so beautifully that even the birds stop to listen. I can deny her nothing when she begs it of me. Besides, I've wanted this so badly for such a long time. It's just that I never though it would be like this.
All at once, the innumerable fantasies I've dreamt up over the years as I stroked myself in the dead of night swim to the forefront of my mind.
Katniss, below me and moaning in ecstasy, her luscious body inviting me deeper into its exquisite depths. Katniss, squirming with need as I tease her relentlessly. Katniss, writhing and screaming my name as she comes…
Shit. I'm getting hard just thinking about it, and here's the real thing right in front of me, begging me to do it here and now. A single glance into her terrified, steadfast face snaps any of my remaining restraint in half.
I sigh, resigned to do this for her. "Okay, but I want you to tell me to stop at any point if you're hurt or uncomfortable. " She gives a jerky nod of her head, her trembling fingers reaching for the hem of her nightgown, but I stay her wrists. "No," I shake my head, "We're gonna take it slow."
If I must do this, I decide, I'm going to do it right. I'm going ensure that this is as pleasurable as possible for her. I'm going to make Katniss Everdeen scream for me.
Caressing her flushed olive cheek with my hand, I lower my mouth to hers- the very first time with no audience whatsoever. I'm so nervous that it seems to take forever for our lips to meet, but when they finally do, hers are warm and soft, pliable against my own. This is how we always kiss for the cameras and the crowds; it's never gone further than the chaste moving of lips and occasional fumbling of hands, but this time I let my tongue trace the seam of her mouth. She startles at first, but soon welcomes the intrusion, allowing me to lave my tongue over hers. She lets me savor her, taste her, explore her mouth before she begins to respond with equal enthusiasm, sucking my bottom lip into her mouth to worry it gently between her teeth.
I can't contain the strangled moan that escapes my throat, and it seems to spur Katniss's confidence. Her hands are gradually unclenching from their tight fists to glide over my neck and shoulders, leaving a trail of burning heat as she goes.
Following Katniss's lead, I let my fingers trace only as far as hers. When her hands trail along my neck and back, I let mine smooth over the satin skin of her shoulders. I find the end of her long braid and comb my fingers through the plaits until her hair fans in glossy waves on the feather pillow.
Gradually, I move my lips from hers to suckle lightly at her neck, planting small, wet kisses along her collarbone. I make my way down further, and she gasps when I reach the curve of her breast peeking out from the low neckline of her nightgown. My eyes snap to make contact with hers, silently asking if this is okay. In answer, she twists her fingers into the hair at the nape of my neck, guiding me down to her chest. I pepper the tops of her breasts with small kisses; tease her hard nipples through the thin fabric still hiding them from view.
I can practically see her heart pounding in her chest as she pants, arching into me in search of more contact, but I wrench myself away from her to lift the hem of her nightdress. Together, we pull it over her head and let the silky material float to the floor.
I could swear my heart stops beating as I drink in the sight of the gloriously naked girl below me, her lacy underwear the only scrap of material remaining on her body. God, she's so beautiful. Her breasts are small, but still round and perfect and topped with peaked, rosy nipples that no one's ever seen before. Only me. The thought makes me grow even harder, my cock twitching with need in the confines of my shorts.
But I can't do anything about that yet. This is the first time I'll be with a girl who's never done this before, and the advice my brothers gave to me from what feels like a lifetime ago comes to mind. You have to loosen her up first. Relax her, make her feel good. And don't you dare come before she does.
Although it's dark, I can still see the color rising to Katniss's cheeks as I stare. She seems to be having an internal struggle- her natural instinct likely being to cover herself, to hide her vulnerability as she so often does behind her bow and arrow. Yet she resists the temptation to conceal her nakedness, keeping her arms stiffly at her sides and allowing me to see all of her. I long to reassure her, to tell her how flawless and stunning and amazing she is.
But I can't.
I remind myself that she doesn't love me, not the way that I love her. She doesn't even truly want this. We've been forced into this situation, I have to keep that in mind. I can't let my feelings for her distress and confuse her further. And yet these feelings for her are so overwhelming, so all- consuming, that I can almost forget that we'll have to do this on camera in less than 24 hours. Almost.
Eventually, my desire for Katniss outweighs the Capitol taint of the whole thing, and pushing aside the unpleasant thoughts, I drop my head back to her chest. She moans low in her throat when I lavish my tongue over each of her erect nipples in turn. I let my fingers drift down her stomach to the waistband of her underwear. When I pull them off, I find her completely bare.
This is not of Katniss's own volition, of course, but evidence of the grueling, hours- long prepping she'd endured earlier in the day. Even my own prep time had been much more involved than it was for the Hunger Games, because the audience will see everything this time. Each burn scar I'd managed to gain in the time I'd been back home, along with every unsavory blemish on my body had been buffed clean away, although unlike Katniss, I had been allowed to keep most of my natural body hair.
I rather like the feel of her silken folds against my fingers, but I know it's only adding to her self- consciousness and increasing her feeling of vulnerability because her thighs clench together at my touch. Moving my hand down her soft thigh, I let my lips find hers again, kissing her slowly, deeply, seeking to reassure and calm her.
"You need to let yourself relax," I murmur into her mouth. "Deep breaths." She follows my advice, taking several long, shuddering breaths. "Good," I praise her, giving her the softest of kisses. "Have you ever touched yourself, Katniss?" She pulls away from me, eyes wide, and gives a tiny nod, an even darker flush staining her cheeks.
She hesitates, but takes my hand and directs it to the glistening bud of nerves at her center. She moves my fingers in the tight, circular motions she likes, and once I catch the rhythm, I remove her fingers. Soon she's gripping my biceps, panting for breath and writhing beneath me.
It's even better than I imagined.
I can see her struggling to hold on, her firm grip on me anchoring her to reality. I let one of my fingers slide into her slick arousal, curling it forward, and forcing a strained, mewling whimper from her mouth. My cock throbs with need again. She is close.
"Come on, Katniss. Come for me," I urge her, increasing the pressure on her clit and adding a second finger inside of her.
It happens in an instant. Her back bows off the bed, her head falls back, and a strangled, divine scream emits from her throat.
I can't take it anymore. While she comes down from her high, gasping and shaking, I whip off my shirt and pants to allow my stiff, aching cock to spring free at last. Her eyes widen as she takes in the sight of me, finally naked before her. There is both longing and apprehension on her face.
Following her gaze as it trails down my body, it is then that I remember the leg. "Sorry," I mutter, shifting so that my prosthetic is behind me. I know that Katniss has seen glimpses of the leg, but never in its entirety. I always wear long pants to bed for fear of disgusting her with its presence. I've grown used to it in the months since the Games, having grudgingly accepted that it is now a part of me. For the most part, the high- quality equipment functions like a normal leg should, but I still hate that an essential piece of myself is a product of the Capitol.
Katniss, however, surprises me with her response. "No, it's not that… it's your… um, I don't think you'll fit," she says in a barely audible whisper, the blush coloring her cheeks darker than ever in the moonlight.
I have to force back a smile. Sometimes I forget just how pure Katniss really is. It's funny to think that this girl can face down bears in the woods without breaking a sweat, can murder others to ensure her own survival, and yet the sight of a naked man intimidates her. It actually endears me more to her, and I almost hate to be the one to destroy that innocence. I also don't want to hurt her. I never want anything to hurt Katniss.
I bend to kiss her once more, swiping the loose hairs from her sweaty face as I go. "We don't have to do it if you don't want," I assure her. The last thing I want is to force myself on her, despite the situation. But there is something else in Katniss's eyes- the steely glint of determination. She has already made up her mind.
She keeps her grey eyes locked on mine as she reaches tentatively toward my cock. Her small hand just manages to wrap around the base and she strokes the shaft from base-to-tip once, twice, three times. It feels so good, I'm forced to follow my own advice and take deep breaths to calm down. I won't last long if she keeps doing this.
Before she goes too far, I roll us suddenly so that Katniss hovers over me. "What-" she sputters, clearly thrown off by this turn of events.
"You're going to be on top," I explain gently. "This way you can set the pace. You can go as slow or as fast as you need." She's still eyeing me apprehensively, nerves etched in every line of her face, but her conviction wins out. She swings her leg over my stomach so that she's straddling me, my cock trapped between our sweaty bodies.
"Wait!" Another piece of my brothers' advice suddenly floods my brain. Condoms, little brother. Never forget. Mom would skin you alive if you ever got a girl pregnant. Unless of course, the baby is a girl… "I don't have anything. You know, to prevent-"
"Oh! Um, they gave me a shot today during prep, so we don't have to worry about… um… about anything," Katniss assures me awkwardly.
I guess that will save us from having to deal with condoms on camera tomorrow, but I'm glad it will serve for our purposes tonight because I'm not sure I could stop now even if I wanted to. I can feel the hot, wet puddle of her center against me, and I want nothing more than to push myself up into her dripping heat. But I resist, watch her line me up at her entrance, and oh.
It takes every ounce of willpower I possess not to come the instant my head disappears into her folds. A groan escapes me as she takes me farther into her body. My hands fist in the sheets from the effort of holding back from thrusting the rest of the way into her. Instead, I train my focus on the incredibly strong, beautiful girl before me. Her face is twisted in pain but she refuses to give into it as she sinks ever lower onto me. I have nothing but love and admiration for her.
Then all at once, my entire length is sheathed within her and she collapses onto my chest with an agonized whimper. I feel horrible. I never wanted to hurt her, never wanted to be the cause of her pain. The guilt is almost enough to distract myself from the incredible feeling of being inside her.
I smooth my hands tenderly up and down Katniss's back; run them through her silky hair, whisper soothing comforts in her ear. "That's right, Katniss. You did so well. Take your time," I tell her, contenting myself with suckling gently at the sweet, salty skin at the base of her neck while she breathes raggedly against my chest.
We gasp in unison when she finally shifts herself on top of me, my hips bucking upward of their own accord. I search her face for any sign of further discomfort, but find none, so I thrust again. This time it is slower, a delicious torture as I reach to the very deepest point of her. She braces her hands on my chest, rolls her hips experimentally, and together we find a steady rhythm. The discomfort seems to be fading from Katniss's features, and wanting her to feel the same overwhelming pleasure that I do, I begin to circle my thumb over her sensitive bundle of nerves again. Breathless whines tumble from her plush lips, and among the indistinguishable sounds falling from her mouth, one word is clear:
"Peeta," Katniss mewls, and that is it.
My name is a divine prayer on her lips and the sound of it sends me hurtling over the edge into an abyss of pleasure. Stars burst behind my eyelids, and along with the ecstasy thrumming through my veins is pure love for the girl in my bed now. She is the only real thing in the entire world. Katniss, the girl with the raven- colored braid and the smoky eyes; the girl who can silence the birds with her angelic voice. I love her and she loves me. In this moment, we are one.
And then it is gone.
I'm brought back to earth with a resounding shock when I open my eyes to see the Capitol seal in a frame on the opposite wall. The reality of our situation crashes down upon me, and I remember why we're here, why I'd been reluctant to do this in the first place.
It's not real. None of it is real.
The girl splayed across my chest does not love me, and I am a fool for allowing myself to believe- even for a second- that she does. The lump in my throat is forming quickly; tears are pricking my eyes. I have to get away before they spill over.
Rolling out from underneath her as quickly as I can, I mutter something about needing to use the bathroom. When I get there, I lock the door and turn on the shower before allowing the grief and rage and shame to overtake me.
The tears flow hot and salty down my cheeks, but I make no effort to stop them. I step into the scalding shower, wanting desperately to wash the heady combination of sex and bodily fluids from myself. I scrub my freshly buffed skin relentlessly until it is red and raw- my prep team will no doubt be horrified when they see it tomorrow morning- but I don't care. I feel used, filthy, despicable; and no amount of scrubbing can change that.
It is a long time later when I finally emerge from the bathroom, eyes swollen and skin stinging. Katniss is curled in a ball under the tangle of blankets on the bed, once again dressed in her nightgown. I doubt that she's really asleep, but it is easier to pretend than to face what we have done- what we will have to do again in a few short hours- and so I let her lie still and silent while I locate my pajama pants.
What I do not expect when I climb into bed is for her to snuggle up against me; but she does, and I find myself wrapping my arms around her like every other night. She buries her face in my chest again. I can feel tears on her cheeks, her heartbeat pounding erratically against mine. These things seem to say what Katniss herself cannot: I'm sorry.
And just like that, my heart melts for this girl, my anger at her long dissipated. It is not fair to blame Katniss, not really. She is in the exact same position as me and we are a team, after all. Snow wants to turn us against each other, but I will not let that happen. I know who the real enemy is, and it is certainly not the teenaged girl nestled in my arms.
This knowledge solidifies my resolve. Snow can throw whatever he wants at us, but the star-crossed lovers of District 12 will stand united. Always.
I press a lingering kiss to the top of Katniss's head, a silent apology for abandoning her so suddenly. She burrows closer to me in response. I tighten my arms around her, close my eyes, and will sleep to overtake me. We'll at least need to be well rested if we are to repeat this performance for the cameras tomorrow night.
A/N: Thank you so much for reading! As of now this is a one-shot. However, if it garners enough interest, I might consider adding to it. Please let me know in the reviews what you think so I know if it's even worth writing more!
Like any other fanfic writer, I love getting feedback. I cherish every single review, favorite, and follow. Your thoughts, praise, con-crit, etc. are always welcome.
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