The alarm clock buzzes me awake the next morning, not Rowan or Willow or Peeta. A creation of the Capitol that is programmed to wake us up at a certain time each morning. I turn it off and get ready, feeling better when the warm water trickles down my body.
"Kat!" Peeta calls from downstairs. "Breakfast is ready!"
"Coming!" I tie my wet hair into a ponytail and jog down the steps in my sweats.
Peeta's at the stove, in his running shoes, putting bacon and eggs on a platter.
"Willow already told the rest of them that I made breakfast," he says this plainly and without emotion. A sense of worry spills through me and I give him a look, eyeing what he's wearing.
"So you went running?"
"Did you take your medication for your attacks? And for your leg?"
I take some bacon off the platter and put it in my mouth as I await his answer. "No."
"Okay, well I'll go get it."
"It's fine, Katniss, I don't need it."
I give him a strange look and walk closer to him, "Peeta, what's wrong?"
He turn off the stove and turns around, circling his arms around my waist. He doesn't answer me, he simply kisses me for about ten seconds and pulls back smiling.
As he sets the table he drops a fork and leans over the pick it up.
"Peeta, don't!" I scold. He knows his limits, yet he's always pushing them. I know my limits, too, with my emotions, but I guess I'm pushing them as well.
"I can bend over, I'm not going to end up in a wheel chair because I bent over to pick up a fork."
He gently pushes me back and picks up the fork, putting it in the sink and placing a new one on the table.
"I think you should take your meds, at least for your leg."
"Hey! What smells so good?" Rowan asks as he comes down the steps.
"Dad made eggs and bacon," I tell him, sighing and dishing him up.
"It is way too early for everyone to be ready," Johanna grains as she makes her way in the house, followed by everyone staying at Peeta's. Everybody's already dressed, how early did they get up? Come I think of it, Rowan must've set an alarm if he's already ready for the day.
Willow comes in panting, dressed in her running gear, "I ran by Haymitch's and knocked on the door, but he wasn't awake."
"It's fine, Katniss will wake him up later," Peeta says, putting the food on the table for everyone. They dig in.
"Because that's just your job," he smiles and takes his seat at the large table next to me.
"So, Dad and I went running this morning," Willow says, trying desperately to lift the mood, but failing.
"I heard," I glance at Peeta and he looks guiltily at his plate. "He's not supposed to."
"To run?" Henry asks.
"Well, I guess we're doing this now," Peeta sighs and leans back in his chair.
"So?" Rowan prompts.
"No, I'm not supposed to run, or bend over, or lift heavy things, or sit on the ground or do anything that could worsen my injury," he admits.
I carry on bravely,"The doctor said that if he continues on doing these things he could end up with a cane or wheelchair in the next five to ten years."
"But he's only forty," Willow insists.
"Honey," Peeta says to Willow. "I'm fine. Your mother is just worried about me."
"Peeta you're not fine, in fact you need your medication unless you want me to call Dr. Aurelius."
"Who's he?" Rowan asks through a mouthful if eggs.
"We'll explain later," Peeta gives me a look and I take the hint.
We chat for awhile but the conversation overall just seems fake and forced. About halfway through it my throat won't let me speak so I nibble on bacon and wait for everyone to finish.
Before I know it we're sitting at the table and the kids sit with their notebooks at hand.
"Can I start?" Willow asks.
"Sure," Peeta nods.
"How did your parents die?"
Peeta swallows, "That will be explained after the next games."
"Okay," she sighs. "Then how about this one? What did each of you do to get your score?"
"I showed off my strength and Katniss..."
A smile takes over his face and soon Annie, Jo and Leo all have the same smile, having heard the story before.
"What did you do?" Rowan asked.
"I, uh showed my bow and arrow skills in a very...inappropriate way," I toss my bangs from my eyes, a bright smile invading my face. "I shot an arrow at the game makers."
So mega-super sorry for the wait and bad quality!