Chapter 6

Two days went by much faster than I had believed it would.

It was six o'clock in the morning and instead of spending the early hours of the morning in my bed like I so desperately wanted, I was lying in Peetas lap in a nearly empty airport, his hands running through my as I dozed in and out of sleep. We had been here for nearly an hour already per Peetas request. Finnick looked just as miserable as I did, his hair not slicked back in it's usual style, blue rings under his eyes. Annie was on his arm, looking as beautiful as ever in her pair of designer sweats, her hair in perfectly calculated ringlets. The pair of ray bans over her eyes let me know that, she too, was not having the best of mornings. But regardless, she managed to look perfect.

I curse her. I looked like death had done it's job on me, my hair tied back in a lose braid that could have looked slightly better if I had been able to open my eyes when Peeta knocked on my door this morning. I had thrown on the first thing I'd seen and was starting to regret it. Peetas family would surely see me as the dirty slob slumming with their son standing next to Ken & Barbie. Luckily, Johanna and I had done more shopping in two days then I had ever done in my life. My suitcases were packed with clothes much too expensive and shoes I would probably never wear again. Perhaps if Peetas parents could get past the minor imposition of my being woken at the crack of dawn, they would forgive me for intruding on their home looking as if I was homeless.

Our flight was leaving at 7:30, at least that's what was written on the boarding pass Peeta had purchased for me. And the four of us had time too kill. No one spoke much, just the occasional comment on whatever game was on the night before or something from Annie about the wedding. By the way Finnicks eyes roll into the back of his head, I knew he was tired of hearing of it just as I was sure to be by the end of this trip.

I was happy Finnick and Annie were coming with us, not knowing how I would have survived the trip without extra people to come to my rescue if needed. I didn't strive in social situations. Other hands to hold on to if things began to go downhill was almost essential when taking me anywhere.

I had called Prim the night before, spoken to her briefly about the trip. I had initially called to see if the money had been sent and if they had gotten their presents. They had. Prim loved hers and my mother even whispered a 'thank you' from the other side of the phone. That was about as good as it would get from her but I didn't mind. I wasn't expecting anything more.

Any way, she couldn't contain her excitement when I told her I would be spending the holidays with my boyfriend-yes, boyfriend. She had screamed on the phone for what felt like hours and in times like this I was reminded that she was only eighteen. She had bombarded me with questions about Peeta. Where we were going, what I had gotten him, how serious things were becoming. For once, I had answers to all of her questions. It was strange being I rarely even had answers to my own.

"I'm glad you've found someone to make you happy, Katniss. God knows you deserve it," she told me. I was glad too.

She then proceeded to tell me about all the tests she's about to take before schools let out for break and about her best friend, Rue, who just got 'the cutest Jeep' she'd ever seen. Apparently, she begged mom for one of her own but my mother had told her they were top heavy and death machines. Mom probably just didn't have the money. Not enough unless I was the one sending it.

I wondered if she had gotten Prim anything for Christmas, anything other than what I had given her. Prim would never tell if she hadn't. She was too hell bent on mending the relationship between my mother and I to sell one of us out to the other. It wouldn't surprise me if Prim woke up Christmas morning with nothing under the tree. It had happened before. The thought begins to weigh on me heavily...

I let out a sigh, closing my eyes as Peetas fingers tug and pull. I feel the heat in my face rising, the slow anger that's pushing up through my chest and I have to fight the tears that threaten to come. Not tears of sadness but tears of anger. It seemed with my mother it was always tears of anger that overcame me.

"Are you okay," Peeta asks quietly, bending his lips down just above my ear so only I will be able to hear the words. He also does it too hide my face which is, inevitably, wet with the tears I couldn't conceal. My eyes peek around him to Finnick and Annie who are in their own world, smiling at something Finnick has pulled up on his phone.

I shake my head, reaching a hand up to wipe away the remains of my emotions. It was rare I let myself cry around Peeta, cry about something like my family. I don't want to burden him with the details of all the monsters that came before him so I try my best to keep emotional breakdowns about my mothers drug abuse, or my fathers death, or Prims naiveness to the world, to myself. Today, I'm unsuccessful.

Maybe it's the holidays. Maybe it's just the thought that I'm about to be surrounded by an actual family for the first time in years that overtakes my emotions today. Or maybe it's the fact that I'm still having to parent my own mother. It's probably all of the above.

"It's just my mother," I tell him. I wish he wouldn't ask any more questions but he does because that is Peeta. Always so caring and genuinely curious. He doesn't know much about her. Just that she abuses from time to time, not enough to kill her but enough to make her hostile, angry, many other things I wish she wasn't. I don't talk about her to him but there have been nights he comes to my aide when she does something to upset me. He doesn't ask me questions then, mostly because I don't give him a chance to speak in between the words of hate I spew.

"You don't mean that," he told me the one time I had said I hated her. The first time I said I hated her in front of him. But I meant it and deep down within him, he knew I meant it too.

Many nights I wondered what I would do if they called me, telling me my mother was found dead. Would I cry? I probably would, maybe get misty eyed but not for me, for Prim who still had so much hope that some day soon my mother might actually start being a mother. I had given up that hope when I was only fourteen years old, a few years after my father died. There was no use living in a fantasy land. Prim needed to be taken care of. I needed to be taken care of.

So as I watch little girls pull their mothers hands too and from in the airport, I just want to tell them how lucky they are. One, that their not in some shitty town in the middle of fucking no where Arkansas with a drug addicted mother and that two, they have someone who cares. But it would be pointless to tell any child that because of course they didn't live there and of course their mothers cared for them. Whose wouldn't?

After my refusal to answer any of his questions, Peeta finally gets the hint to stop asking and instead, falls into conversation with the older man to his left, talking with him about something on the news that I could care less about. Peeta is animated as he talks and the man is the same, jumping at him after some comment he makes about Tony Romo. The two laugh it off. I shrug it off.

My eyes roam the terminal, looking for anything that would mean a temporary escape from the small confined space we were all in. It must be nearing 7:30 because by now, it was completely full. Apparently, small town Virginia was a very popular place to be during the Christmas holidays. Who would have known?

When my eyes fall on an empty news stand, a small store, I know I have found my escape. "I'm going to buy gum," I tell Peeta, sliding out of his lap. He mumbles something about having some but in his quest to find it in his pockets, I've already walked away.

An older women greets me, making small talk with me as I move around her store, picking up this and picking up that. I get that she probably doesn't get much business. Not there when there are a bigger stores and stands that completely envelop the small structure. If I had not been looking, I probably would've simply overlooked the place like everyone else.

I'm reaching for gum when I hear my name being called. Not my name but my name-my other name. "Katherine!" The voice rings.

No. No, no, no, no. This cannot be happening to me. This has never happened to me.

I decide to try my luck. Maybe it wasn't me they were talking too. Katherine was a typical name, not something to outrageous. No. No they weren't speaking to me. It couldn't be.

"Katherine," the man calls again, now directly behind me. A tentative hand is placed on my back, causing me to jump to the immediate defense. But when I turn, it isn't the man who I thought. It's the handsome man, the one with the glass house who, was actually, quite nice to me during our two hours together only a week ago. What was his name again?

"Luke," I say once I remember, sticking out my hand formally. He looks taken aback but takes it, his wedding ring cold against my own fingers. I glance around him. Peeta is distracted, probably didn't even know where I ran off too. My eyes scan for the pretty blonde in the wedding pictures I saw in Lukes home, maybe the one child he told me he has. But he's alone. There is no one in the store but the sweet old women, Luke, and I. "How are you?"

"I've been good," he says with a smile. "And you? How's work treating ya?"

I flinch, looking around for someone, anyone, to hear. But the question was a normal one. One I would ask Finnick if I saw him at the grocery store. One I would ask Gale Hawthorne if, he too, decided to show up now. Only I would take immediate offense to such a simple question.

"I'm sorry," he whispers, his eyes going wide with fear. He tries to touch me again, just my arm but I jerk away before he has the chance. "I didn't... I mean... I'm sorry. I really don't know what to say," he tells me sheepishly. Well, we're in the same boat. "I probably shouldn't even have come up to you. I don't know what I was thinking."

"This has never happened to me before," I admit. I grab the first hat I see, one with some cheesy touristy saying and throw it over my head. I don't know who I'm hiding from now but I realize I'm to exposed, to out in the open. Anyone could see me, really.

Now Luke is at a loss for words. Luke who looks like he is packed for a five year vacation by the size of his carry on. When you have all the money he does, I suppose you can afford all the extra fees it will cost him to take that thing on the plane. "Where are you headed?" He asks when all else fails.

"California," I blurt out randomly. I suddenly hope he's not going there.

"Oh," he says. "Family?" I nod my head. "I have this big business meeting down in Alabama tomorrow and Christmas Eve."

"Your wife can't be too happy about that," I remark bitterly, once again finding the gold wedding band around his finger.

"Yeah well, Naomi's never all that happy with me." So that's her name.

The speaker announces their boarding my flight, loud and clear for all the airport to hear. I look over his shoulder once more and sure enough, my eyes find Peeta who is looking quite confused and frazzled by my disappearance. I move around Luke, putting a pack of mint flavored gum and the hat I'd been wearing on the counter.

And goddammit, I've forgotten my wallet with Peeta.

I apologize to the women many times but before she can respond, Luke hands her a five dollar bill to cover my three dollar expenses. "Merry Christmas, Katherine," he whispers, moving around me to purchase a bag of candy.

I don't bother saying anything else, just turning on my heel, hiding my face from view, and high tailing it towards Peeta who looks more than happy to see me. "I was beginning to think you'd run away," he whispers, kissing my cheek. I smile, shaking my head and marching along side him to board the plane. When I look back Lukes eyes are watching us, a slow smile growing on his face.


I've never been fond of flying.

The flight is a short one, two hours at most but from the moment it takes off, my nerves are on high alert. Peeta grabs my hand, kissing my knuckles every few minutes, asking the attendants for glasses of water which they happily get for him. I can't keep the disdain off of my face when the blonde attendant comes around to our seats for the sixth time to ask Peeta if he needs anything else. "It would be no imposition. Maybe another glass of water? Some pretzels."

She's pretty. Not Annie pretty but pretty. Her blonde hair reminds me of Prims, long and shiny and curled at the ends. Her pink lipstick is not the most appealing thing, not with the contrast from her pale skin and when she smiles, I can't help but giggle at the small piece of spinach that has managed to stick itself between her front teeth.

"My boyfriends fine. Thank you," I tell her for the second time, not caring about the unappealing scowl on my face or the dirty look she shoots me back. I wait until she struts away, huffing dramatically before attending to a crying child who looks as if he actually needs help, before settling into Peetas side, my head in the crook of his neck. "I don't like people looking at things that aren't theirs," I say.

Peeta laughs. "Oh no? How about the two hours I had to sit in the emergency room with you while Dr. Intern flirted endlessly with you?" I playfully smack his arm. "I finally had to leave the room to give you to some time alone."

"He was stitching my thumb back together. You should be thanking him actually!" I joke.

"Thank him for what? I would love you with or without a thumb."

There is no more conversation from that point on, the realization of what Peeta just said hitting both of us. There have been moments, heated moments where we have both almost said the words but never directly. And now, my stomach flips and churns and tightens. I had never liked airplanes but now, this one seemed ten times smaller than it did ten minutes ago.

When the pilot announces the plane is preparing for take off, I couldn't be happier.


Virginia is nice. It's snowing when we land, sticking to the ground, sticking to the trees, sticking to everything. It's the first snow that I've seen, it not yet getting cold enough in the city despite it being December.

Peeta and Finnick are so excited that, once we've gotten our bags, they've wadded up the snow balls, throwing them back and forth at each other, pelting a few kids who dare throw a few at them. Annie and I sit to the side, laughing at "our boys" as she calls them. In the moment, that is exactly what they are. Boys.

But I love to see Peeta so carefree, so at home. I don't even complain when a giant snow ball is thrown my way, making my clothes damp. "Peeta you got me wet," I whine, getting to my feet to dust the bits of snow from my dark jeans.

Finnick laughs. "I'm sure he did," he jokes, wrapping Peeta in a headlock and rubbing a generous amount of snow into his curly hair. It falls in his eyes, shaggy and I can't help but run my fingers through it, trying to calm it all.

Annie groans, rolling her eyes as she punches Finnick in the side for his comment. "You can't be making jokes like that this whole trip," she tells him, squirming as he places a kiss on her cheek. "Finny!" She squeals, laughing as he hoists her over her shoulder and walks with her through the snow, placing her on her feet as he asks for the keys to the rental.

I turn away from them and towards Peeta who is staring at me, not event trying to be subtle about his actions. "What can I say? I've missed home!" And I know he has. He talks about it so much. Always telling me about the bakery and about this and about that. I knew he was homesick and I'm glad, that this time, I got to come with him to see the home he always misses so much.

"This is no Arkansas," I say. And it's not.

"Better?" He asks, peeking my cheek.

"No comparison."

And there isn't. Not with Peeta by my side.

"Enough, you too! Let's get on the road!" Finnick calls.

It's an hour drive to Peetas small town. An hour filled with inappropriate jokes and promises of sleeping on the couch. More than a few times, Peetas hand ventures to far up my leg to be considered friendly. More than once Finnick catches it before I do.

But the ride is enjoyable. Fun and without too much stress.

I understand in this hour in the car, why Finnick and Annie are so perfect for one another. When I'd first met the two, they seemed to have nothing in common and most of the time didn't get along. They were a strange couple, at least it seemed that way to me. The complete opposite of Peeta and I but there was no denying the love they shared for one another. Once again, I realize this. They fought, fought a lot and rarely agreed on anything. Whatever Finnick said made any squirm with embarrassment, whatever she said appeared boring to him. But when they looked at each other, there gazes were filled with something that even Peeta and I shared, something I couldn't explain. They loved each other and no one could deny that.

We stay the night in the Hilton, a hotel three miles away from the home Peeta grew up in. "I just want one night with my girl," he told me when I asked him why he was wasting money buying a hotel when we could just spend one night with his parents. I didn't fight him on it. I had a feeling Annie and I would be sharing a room once we got to the Mellark residence, at least that is how Finnick made it sound.

The women at the front desk is tall, a manly women who recognizes Peeta and Finnick the moment we enter. She runs around the front desk as fast as she can mange in her heels, trapping the two in a hug before they even know what to say. But they seem happy to see her, at least by the smiles on their faces and the squeezes they each give her shoulder. "So good to see you boys!"

"You too, Coach Howard," Peeta mumbles into her shoulder. She towers above the boys. I swallow when her gaze lands on Annie and I. "This is my girlfriend, Katniss," Peeta introduces, grabbing my hand and bringing me forward.

Coach Howard squeezes tightly. "Nice to meet you, Katniss! I've been hearing about you for quite some time." I blush. "And Annie, how good to see you again!"

"Coach Howard was our baseball coach back in high school," Finnick explains to me. Annie already knows the story. "Best damn baseball coach on the east coast i'll tell you that!" I nod my head. It all makes sense now.

Baseball had been a big part of Peetas life until leaving for college. Finnick has mentioned to me on few occasions that Peeta had offers from colleges to go play for them but it was never what he wanted. "I loved it but... Baseball was never it for me. I've always wanted to bake," he told me. Plus, his shoulder was completely ruined by his senior year. "There was no point in even believing it was a possibility. It's a good thing I didn't want to go for baseball. I would've been heartbroken."

I'm glad he hadn't taken his offers. Who knows where we would've been other wise? Maybe half way across the country, marrying some girl like Finnick was. He might be better off that way.

"I didn't know you were working here, Coach," Peeta comments once she's taken her seat back behind the computers. She just shakes her head.

"Well, you know boys, somethings gotta pay the bills. Being a teacher sure isn't doing much," she says.

Peetas eyes fall to me. "Actually, that's what Katniss went to school for."

I went to school for teaching, something I don't tell many people because explaining why I'm not a teacher would be too hard. After all the schooling, I had just decided to give it up? Who would believe that? But the truth was, like Coach Howard had said, there was no money in teaching. I tried it here and there for a few years, tutoring some kids privately and then working as a substitute at a private school on the west side of town. But there was little money to made there. Not enough to pay my apartment, electricity, and all the bills that came along with being an adult.

Working for Snow during the night time hours and teaching during the day took it's toll on me physically too. Got me in trouble a lot with Snow for not being what the men expected, what they wanted when they paid for my services. So ultimately I gave up the job as being a teacher, put my degree in the bottom drawer of my dresser along with everything else I don't wish to see.

Just another remainder of the array of things I'm forced to give away in order just to take care of myself.

Peeta thinks I don't teach in a classroom because I don't believe in the education system or at least that's what I've told him. He thinks I tutor here and there, make enough money to support myself. Never asks too many questions about it and if he does, I recount old stories. I realize I may have to recount a lot of old stories. Knowing Peeta, he'll be bragging quite a bit this weekend.

"I tutor here and there now," I say, smiling politely. "Just enough to pay the bills!"

"I completely understand," she says. "The government does not pay us enough for the work we do. I'm almost offended by it."

She hands us our room keys, one to me, one to Annie. Peeta mumbles something about settling in and that he'll be "right up" which means he wants me to leave. When Finnick tells Annie the same thing, I don't worry.

The ride to the twenty-seventh floor is a long one, Annie standing silently beside me messing with a piece of her red hair. Occasionally she looks at me out of the corner of her eye. I see no more of the chatty Annie that was with us in the car but then again, I'm not always the friendliest or most welcoming person. Is she waiting for me to make a move? To say something?

"I'm really glad I came," I offer, giving her a small smile.

"Isn't it great? I think you'll really love Peetas family," she says, turning her body to face me. "His brothers are great and his nieces, oh my god, I could just eat them up one by one!"

I nod my head and smile. Peeta doesn't relay much to me about his family but the one thing he doesn't mind sharing is news about his three nieces. A set of twins and then one girl. From the pictures I've seen, they were blessed with the Mellark looks, blonde hair and blue eyes, curls that go on for days and days.

Annie tells me about them as we walk down the long corridor to our connected rooms. The twins, who are both 5, refuse to eat a single thing that is prepared for them every Christmas dinner, she tells me. "We always end up making a midnight run to McDonalds because the girls are starving and both Finnick and I are tired of hearing them complain!"

"My sister Prim used to be that way," I say. "I'd have to force food down her throat or else she would go all day without eating." I don't mention the part about why she did it. About how she was protesting. About how she refused to eat if her mother didn't. I left that out because that didn't make the story appealing, it made it sad.

"You have a sister?" Annie asks, not waiting for an invitation to enter the room Peeta and I will be sharing. I don't have many girl friends, but I suppose this is what they do. Sit and chat, laugh, share stories. It's different for me but I go with it, pretending she is Johanna though they couldn't be more different.

"Yes, just one. Her name is Primrose," I say. "Our parents had a thing for plants or at least my dad did. He grew up in the woods of Arkansas, fell in love with all things outdoorsy." I can almost imagine him now as I say the words, high in the branches of a tree, calling me up though there is no way a child so young should be climbing so high. I imagine him swinging from the rope he placed on the willow by the lake, teaching me how to use it properly if I wanted to use it for swimming. The way he sang when we would take the hike up the hilly terrain, waiting until the birds would sing the tune back to us then coming up with a new. Oh, he would've loved it here.

I don't notice I'm crying until I feel Annies arms tighten around me, a soft hand making circles on my back. "I'm so sorry, Katniss. Peeta told Finnick and I about your father. I just didn't want to say anything," she admits. "He sounds like a very great man."

I nod my head, pulling away from her hug, going back into my hole. I had let myself get to far out and look at what happened. "He was a good man."

Annie sits across from me, her legs crossed like they used to tell us in grade school. "Both of my parents died when I was eight in a car crash," she tells me. I find I'm unable to meet her eyes. I hadn't known, Peeta had never mentioned it but I had never thought to ask. If her parents had died... Whose house were we spending the second half of the holidays with? I say nothing. "My aunt and uncle took me in, moved me from Texas to a town a little ways from here after that."

Maybe that is why she is crazy, the wedding stress getting the best of her. She is so desperate to start her own family. To create the family she never had.

"I'm sorry Annie," I mumble. Here I was feeling sorry for myself when things could've been much worse. I could've completely lost my mother. Prim and I would've been moved halfway across the country to live with the distant Aunt whom I didn't even know the name of. I could have been stripped from my woods, my friends, my home. But I wasn't and I should be thankful for that. I never have been but I was now.

"I don't remember much about them," she says. I worry she'll start crying and I won't know what to do. I won't hug her. I'm not that person. But when I look in her eyes, I know she won't. I suppose she's had enough time to heal. Enough time had passed where the thought of her parents didn't result in the feeling of bricks on your chest. I prayed the day came soon where I no longer felt that way. "That's the scariest part, really. Feeling like you've forgotten or you're forgetting."

And I understand because there are days when I wake up unable to remember the sound of my fathers voice or his eyes. When I must dig through the bottom drawer of my dresser and find the pictures buried deep down to remind myself. Thoughts of my father are all that keep me at peace most days. Thoughts of the person her would want me too be, a person he would be proud of. I don't know what I would do with myself if I forgot one day.

"I feel that way too sometimes. About my whole family, actually," I tell her, deciding to like Annie. "I haven't been home in years. It's too hard without my father there."

She nods her head. "I haven't been back to Texas since I was eighteen, maybe. My aunt and uncle flew me out there on the tenth anniversary of their death, had a 'celebration of life' they called it but it made me feel like 'remember their dead', you know? I don't know. The world seems so different without them but really it's not."

And it's not. The world keeps spinning with or without you. With or without what you love or who you love. When my father died, I felt that my world had stopped spinning. That everything had frozen in place but it hadn't. Time stops for no one.

"I think I need a drink," Annie says then, getting to her feet and grabbing her purse. "You coming?"


Four vodka and sprites later I can honestly say I'm drunk.

When we made it down to the lobby, Finnick and Peeta were nowhere to be found. We waited for them, only a few moments before deciding we would just go ourselves and let me tell you, we were having a great time. It turns our Annie is a really good dancer, at least when she gets some liquid courage in her. And I have diarrhea of the mouth under the influence.

Men come up to our table, all at least in their mid forties with two kids back at home. They all offer to buy us drinks which we gladly accept, not spending any of our own money as the night progressed. We sent them away after though. Even drunk not wanting to do anything compromising while being back in Finnick and Peetas hometown.

We head home a little after one, my head beginning to pound and Annie insisting she needs to get home to brush her teeth before bed. The doors to our combined room are open before we've made it halfway down the hall, Finnick and Peeta pulling us to safety. Annie says something funny, something only I would be able to understand being equally as drunk and we erupt in fits of laughter, ignoring the snide remarks coming our way.

"Katniss, I love you so fucking much," Annie slurs once the door is slammed behind us. "I love you so fucking much."

"I feel the same way, Annie," I tell her. "The. Same. Way."

"See you in the morning, Katniss," Finnick says, kicking the door shut with the heel of his foot as he manages to carry Annie into their room. Peeta does the same, leaving me a heap on the floor as he goes to turn on, what I believe to be, the shower.

"Strip, Katniss," Peeta yells from the bathroom, his words muffled by the door. I manage to crawl, kicking off the heels Annie had forced to wear and shimming from the dress of hers that I had borrowed. I was only in my underwear now, the black lacy set that I had bought at the mall a few days earlier. I had several extras in my bag.

"Only if you're doing it too," I say, standing to kiss Peetas shoulder. It's my go to move and he's expecting it, slipping away from my grasp and sending me an exasperated look, his eyes pleading for me to be obedient. "Look at what I bought for you," I say, turning around, shimming as he takes in the expanse of my back side then slowly moving to survey my front. "Do you like it Peeta? Annie said you would love it," I whisper in his ear, moving around to sit on the sink. I'm beginning to wish I hadn't removed the heels. This game would have been a lot more fun.

"Katniss, you're drunk," he says, running his hand over his face, his fingers knotting in his hair.

"But I'm not really." And I'm not. Buzzed at the most but I can remember what day it is, where I am, my middle name. I move around him, leaning up on the tips of my toes to kiss his cheek, first to be sweet, then using my tongue to make slow circles, not stopping until I've gotten to his pulse point which is beating rapidly against my tongue. I smile against him.

Peeta Mellark is a weak man when it comes to my body.

"Katniss, not tonight," he protests. His hands still my hips but don't push them away.

"Then when? Because I'm not doing this sexy little strip tease for you in your parents house," I tell him. "You're getting your chance and you're getting it now. And I wouldn't wait long, Mellark. My patience is growing thin and it's getting very, very hot in here."

And it is. Uncomfortably hot. I reach around him with my foot, turning the handle of the shower off until I no longer hear the roar of the water. It's okay. No one will be using it tonight, I'm fairly sure.

Peeta wastes no more time, grabbing me by my hips and carrying me into the other room, lying me atop the white bed sheets. I laugh for a moment, kissing him with equal gusto as his tongue battles dominance with mine, his fingers going to my hair.

I roll the two of us over, sitting on his lap as I go to undo the button down polo he wore today, taking my time as his fingers anxiously tap the sides of hips, willing me to go faster. But no. This will go the tempo I want it too and right now, I want to go very slow. "Impatient, are we?"

He groans. "I thought I was getting a show," he says, his hand flying up to smack my exposed back side. I raise an eyebrow playfully, finally pulling the shirt away. "Why am I the naked one?" I look down then, smiling when I notice he, indeed, wasn't wearing pants. I didn't undo them do surely, he had too. When I look at him with confusion, he shrugs. "I was getting bored waiting around for you."

"Am I worth the wait," I ask, my lips trailing his collarbone. He shivers.


I decide he's waited long enough, climbing off of his lap, my bare feet padding against the floor as I go to check the lock. The last thing we need is visitors. When that's squared away, I saunter back, taking a second to lock eyes with him before removing the underwear, spinning them around my finger.

"Fuck me," he groans, his head falling back with a thud as my fingers move to undo the clasp of my bra. Once free, my nipples harden upon contact with the cold air. Peeta sighs heavily, motioning for me.

I waste no time, my need for him overpowering my want to tease him. He takes one breast into his mouth, suckling on the piece of tender flesh for a handful of moment before moving to the other, biting and then soothing the area with his tongue. He repeats the process over and over again until I'm sure my moment is coming near.

My need for him is so strong, I'm dripping on to his leg. Surely he can feel it. He must just be making me wait.

"I either need you to fuck me or make me come right now," I say, biting my lip. He's freed from his boxers in no time, his member pressing into me.

"How about both," he says, entering me swiftly and without difficulty.

We both groan at the unison. We're home.

Peeta guides the rhythm, his hands on the back of my thighs as I go up and down his length, moaning at the feeling of him hitting the brink, only to come all the way out to slam back in, giving me just the right amount of pressure.

His finger finds my clit in no time, making small circles. I know his climax is coming by the way his eyebrows knit together, the muscles between the two beginning to twitch. "God, yes," I moan, moving my head from side to side, wondering how anything in the world could feel this good.

"Fuck, Katniss, I can't hold out any longer," he warns, his hands clenching on my thighs as he tries to keep his composure. It doesn't matter. I'm almost there. A few more strokes of his fingers and I'll be done.

He loses it though. Loses my clit somewhere in the mess of things and I know he's right on the brink because his thrusts start to get sloppy. So I take matters into my own hands, leaning back on one of my arms as the other finds my clit, rubbing quickly in hopes we'll finish together.

Seeing me touch myself only pushes him further and the next thrusts is the last. He fills me up just in time for my own homecoming, his name falling from my mouth like a chant and I know there is nothing better than this right here.

We fall from our high together, my slumped in his arms, him tracing circles on my back. A sticky and sweaty mess. "How about that shower now," I suggest, climbing off of his lap, his once hard member falling out of me. He groans.

"I can't move," he admits.

"And I can't sleep!" Finnick screams in the room next to us.