Hey guys, I've got a short Oneshot for you. I wrote this as part of Prompts in Panem's round 4 day 3 challenge, Gluttony. If you want to check out my other entries, search Prompts in Panem and find just-a-matter-of-perception (that's my tumblr). I hope this isn't too OOC or AU for you guys... but well, I don't really care if you don't like it I guess. Everyone can have their own opinion.
It is inspired by that damn good book, The Great Gatsby. (gotta love the 20s)
Disclaimer: I own nothing... NOTHING
"Back then all of us drank too much. The more in tune with the times we were, the more we drank. And none of us contributed anything new."
-Nick Carraway, The Great Gatsby
Peeta entered her worn down apartment, wondering how things could have gone so wrong. It felt like just a moment ago that they'd been in this very room, letting the rich jazz move their feet in harmony; alcohol seeping through their pores and clouding their judgement, nothing existing except for them and the music.
Now, half the flat was charred, black from the fire that had consumed it. And she had gone up with it.
He brought his hand to his face, choking back a sob. How had this happened? How had she disappeared so easily?
He'd left everything behind for nothing but the memories of his dark haired beauty.
He clutched the shirt in his hand tightly, tracing the red print. Everything had been so perfect.
He would do anything to get the feeling of love back.
Even if it had only been for one night, Katniss Everdeen had been all his.
Six months earlier
Peeta Mellark walked into the late night New York City club, immediately bombarded with the smell of smoke and alcohol. This was not the kind of place he usually wandered into.
He lived on Long Island, in a mansion of a house with the rest of the family. He was a proper young man, not someone impulsive, or rebellious, but tonight, he was feeling different.
In his opinion, the riches of the Mellark Estate could go to hell.
He'd had just about enough of being around his family.
He wandered further into the depths of the club, the lights so dim and sensual that he could hardly see his own feet. People were scattered around, holding their drinks and laughing, watching the young lady up on the stage.
She wore a dark red dress that was much shorter than the ones the proper women of Long Island wore, a pattern of flames licking up her sides. Her dark hair was cut by her jaw, curling just slightly below her ears.
She was gorgeous, exotic and different, and nothing like anyone he'd ever seen before.
Peeta quickly found himself entranced, her sultry voice filling his ears with a haunting melody.
He could watch her for days.
He stayed longer than he intended, even after she'd finished, hoping that he might just be able to talk to her.
Less than an hour later, she popped out from the back of the stage, her red dress swirling beneath the dim lighting. She approached him immediately, a mischievous look on her face.
"You don't get out often do you?" she asked him, pushing a fallen blond curl back behind his ear.
"How would you know?" he was enthralled.
"You're not dressed like the rest of them," she started, pulling on the perfectly pressed lapel of his suit. "And you haven't had a single drink."
"I don't need liquor to have a good time," he replied, watching her red-painted lips form a smile.
"Well, I would argue that you've never known what a good time is."
She ordered them both drinks, and after those came more, and more.
There seemed to be no end.
He found himself becoming increasingly giddy, his whole body feeling looser, and he just kept drinking.
It was all too easy to take one more sip, and then another, and another, until his glass was drained once again.
And she did the same.
Before he knew it he was kissing a girl whose name he didn't even know, her red dress engulfing him in her fire.
He was being impulsive, and he loved it. Every unnecessary drink drove him closer to her.
They danced, they laughed, they kissed some more, and soon enough she was pulling him up into her apartment up above the club.
"Your name?" he asked between passionate kisses.
He learned for the first time what it really meant to have a good time.
Sunlight crept through her blinds, and he was greeted with the smooth olive skin of her back. He smiled for just a moment, lost in the memories of the previous night's events.
Soon, that all changed.
His responsibilities fell like bricks upon his shoulder, slowly crushing him into dust. He pulled himself out of bed reluctantly, pulling his jacket back on.
Morning had come too soon.
His head throbbed, yet he found it reassuring. It was a reminder that it hadn't all been a dream. In the end, his only souvenir of the night was a stain of crimson lipstick on his now wrinkled dress shirt.
He didn't want to leave her, to eventually forget everything they'd had together, but he had knew the consequences would catch up with him all too soon.
He just vowed to himself that he would return one day.
He couldn't make himself forget about her. Everywhere he looked her existence would bleed through, sending into a trance of reminiscence. Nothing about his life felt satisfactory anymore. He couldn't focus on his tasks, on his schooling, on most of his life really.
He looked at his fiancée and wished that her hair was much darker, shorter, that she wasn't so rigid and cold. He couldn't make himself lie to her any longer.
"I'm sorry Delly, I can't do this." He said softly, brushing a hand through his unruly blond locks. "I can't be with you,"
And he left her without another word, her tear stained face staring at him longingly.
She'd really thought she would marry him one day.
His mother screamed that he was ruining his life, that one trashy whore wasn't worth throwing everything away. She would disown him if he left for the city.
"She probably only wants you for your money," she sneered.
"Well I guess it's good that I won't have any." He replied, turning and walking away.
He decided to leave the pressure, and the stress, the things that were turning him into a monster. He just wanted to remember the feel of her lips on his, and how easy it had all been.
He wanted Katniss Everdeen to be his forever, no matter the cost, no matter the consequence. He wanted to marry her, and care for her, and feel loved every moment of the day.
That was the life he wanted.
He hopped in his car, the short drive into the city feeling like a fateful journey. He would find his dark-haired flapper girl, and never let her go.
He would see her again.