New chapter! And the wait wasn't as long (I think). I'm on fangirl mode because J.K. Rowling just released this article in Rita Skeeter's perspective on the lives of the character's after the war on Pottermore.
But yeah, enjoy :)
"Hello Kitty Kat."
Katniss groaned at her nickname. It seemed like everyone was calling her that now. "Hi, Dad. Why are you calling? You should be in bed."
"Well, that was a very warm hello."
Katniss rolled her eyes and smiled. She missed her father. It was hard leaving her family to live in America. They weren't a rich family, so they only had enough money for her to visit once a year. She could only see Prim's smile, and the way she could light up the room, and taste her mother's cooking and go hunting with her father once a year. It sucked, but when she glanced over at Peeta and saw the heart-stopping smile he gave her, she realized that it was all worth it.
"I'm sorry," she said into the phone. "Hi, Dad, how are you?"
"I'm doing great, just missing my little girl."
She shook her head and chuckled silently. "I'm not little anymore, Dad."
"You'll always be my little girl, and nothing you say can change that." Katniss sighed, knowing that it was useless to argue with him. "So, is anything knew going on in your life?"
Katniss glanced at Peeta. It was the perfect opportunity, she realized, but she was nervous to tell him. She wasn't ashamed of being with Peeta. It was more of the fact that he was famous. Katniss's father had always been the protective father, and dating a celebrity was one of the things she knew he would want her to stay clear of. If Peeta were to break her heart in the future, it would affect her ten times more than if it were any other guy.
Peeta walked up to her and squeezed her hand. He couldn't hear what her dad said, but he could see the stress on her face. He wanted to reassure her that he would be there with her through everything.
That was the shove Katniss needed to tell her dad. Before she could stop herself, she blurted, "I'm dating Peeta Mellark."
She didn't expect it to click right away, but she knew it eventually would. Prim must have talked about him on several occasions.
"Who?" The confusion was evident in his voice.
"Peeta Mellark, he stared in the Spiderman movie that came out two years ago."
"The one Prim always talks about?"
Katniss said yes and closed her eyes, waiting for his reaction.
"And you're dating him?"
Katniss didn't realise she was squeezing Peeta's hand until she felt him trying to wiggle it out of her grasp. She let go and gave him an apologetic look. He shrugged it off but held his hand, grimacing.
"You're dating a celebrity."
Katniss was about to say yes when she realised it wasn't a question. He said it as if he was trying to make sense of the words.
"I've been dating him for a little bit over a month now and I wanted to tell you guys before the media finds out."
"Katniss, are you sure you know what you're getting into? These people are ruthless, they'll spread rumors about you, they could ruin your image."
"I know, dad, but Peeta's a good person. He won't let anything happen."
"I just don't want to see you get hurt, you're my little girl."
"I know. It's late, go to bed. I'll call you tomorrow, I promise."
"Okay. I love you."
"Love you too. Goodnight, Dad."
Katniss hung up the phone and turned to Peeta. "You won't hurt me, right? I mean, I'm giving up a lot for you, and I don't want to be someone you use for a few months and then throw away. I want to know that this is for the long run." She knew she had asked yesterday but she needed reassurance that she wasn't doing all this for nothing.
Peeta took her face in his hands and bore his eyes into hers. "This is real, Katniss, don't doubt it. I wouldn't put you into the spotlight like I'm going to do if I didn't believe a hundred percent in this relationship, okay?"
Katniss nodded. "Okay."
"Okay." Peeta let go of her face and looked around her apartment. "Now how about you give me a tour of the place."
"There's not much to it. Whatever you don't see is either the bedroom or the bathroom." Katniss said, embarrassed.
"Hey, I like this place. It feels lived in and that's what matters." They were silent for a while until Peeta had an idea. "How about I help you set up your new phone?"
Katniss fished the phone her purse, "I've never used an iPhone before."
"Why didn't you ever get one?"
"The first one came out when I was sixteen, but I had already gotten this phone," she held up her old phone, "and my parents didn't want to buy me another one. And when I moved out, I just didn't have a reason to buy one. This did everything I needed it to do, and that was enough for me."
Peeta nodded. He knew Katniss was more of a practical person than someone who got things because of how flashy it was. He admired her for that but didn't think he could have the same mind set. He was a person with an eye for beautiful things.
They had already spent thirty minutes setting up Katniss's phone and transferring her contacts over when Peeta's phone rang. Katniss watched him as he talked to the person on his phone. His eyes were lit up in excitement; it reminded Katniss of a kid on Christmas morning.
Peeta hung up and grinned at Katniss. She was just about to ask him what had happened when he started talking. "I just got offered a part for a new movie."
Peeta's grin was rubbing off on Katniss. At that moment she could see how much he loved what he did and couldn't be happier for him. "That's great! What movie is it?"
"It's called Stuck in Love. They want me to play the part of Lou, the main character's boyfriend, and come in later today to read some lines."
"Why don't we celebrate?" Katniss asked uncharacteristically. "It's not every day my boyfriend stars in a movie plus I want to get out."
Peeta was confused. There weren't many ways for them to celebrate with their relationship was under wraps. "What do you have in mind?"
Katniss grinned at him playfully, "We could have an evening picnic."
Peeta smiled back at her. "That sounds lovely. I'll come back at six to pick you up."
"Okay. See you later."
Katniss didn't know what it was that had caused her mood. She didn't know if it was the rush of telling her dad about Peeta still lingering on her but what she did know was that she felt like their relationship was confined without being able to go out and have a proper date. She knew people would find out about their relationship sooner or later and wanted to know that she had had a real and peaceful date before that.
She wanted tonight to be the calm before the storm
Katniss sat on her porch waiting for Peeta. She was dressed in an orange sundress, Peeta's favourite colour.
It was fifteen minutes before he was supposed to pick her up, but Katniss was too excited to wait inside. Tonight would be their first real date. She realised that they could have done something like this ages ago, yet she was glad they didn't.
All those "dates" they had in Peeta's apartment were something she wouldn't trade for the world. Because of them, she felt so much closer to Peeta. They didn't face the same pressures they would have on a real date and they were able to be themselves. The time they had together in Peeta's apartment was better than a date at the most expensive restaurant in California.
That being said, she was glad to finally be able to go on a real date.
Ten minutes later, she saw Peeta's familiar car pull up and eagerly waved at him.
He got out of the car and gave her a quick kiss. "You look great. "
"Thanks." He led her to the car and held the door open for her.
Peeta wasted no time starting the car, wanting to get to their picnic spot before it got too dark. "I thought that we should drive around and see where the road takes us. We could have our picnic wherever we end up."
Katniss glanced at Peeta nervously. "You want us to just drive around aimlessly without any idea of where we're going?"
"Yeah, I mean it'll be fun."
One look in his pleading eyes and Katniss found it hard to deny him of his fun adventure. "Okay, but if we get lost, I will never forgive you."
Peeta broke into a grin and kissed her cheek before quickly turning back to the road.
They drove around for over half an hour only meeting a bit of traffic and talked about Peeta's new movie as well as the one that was coming out in a month. They also talked about Katniss's family and how Prim was going to react when she found out that Katniss was dating Peeta. Katniss noticed how Peeta didn't mention anything about his family, but decided it was a conversation for another day.
It had been an hour when Katniss felt the car start to slow down. She didn't think much of it until Peeta started to bang against the steering wheel and the car finally came to a stop. She glanced at him and he looked back at her apologetically.
"We're out of gas."
Katniss took a look around her but here was really nothing to look at. Peeta had driven them out into the middle of nowhere. They were sitting in silence, assessing their situation when Katniss started laughing.
She knew Peeta must be thinking she was crazy but she couldn't bring herself to care. Their whole situation was just so cliché that it was almost not impossible to laugh.
As if to prove her point, Peeta started cracking a grin then it soon evolved into full out laughter.
After minutes of their laughter they managed to calm themselves down and look for somewhere to eat their picnic food and figure out where they were.
Peeta grabbed the picnic basket from the car and took Katniss's hand with his free hand as they started walking.
"So much for the perfect evening picnic," Peeta said after a few minutes of walking, "I think this is more of a hike than a picnic, honestly."
"Good thing I like hikes." Peeta laughed, but Katniss continued seriously, "Doing anything with you is bound to be perfect. Whether it be flying to Paris in a private jet or taking a hike that was supposed to be a picnic in the middle of nowhere."
Peeta laughed again. "You're amazing, you know. Every other girl I've met, save a few, would have been kicking and screaming about tonight, but here you come in this beautiful orange dress, which is just incredible, and you take this whole walking thing in stride, not even caring about getting your dress dirty or wrecking your shoes."
Katniss blushed, not knowing how to take his compliment. "Well, going out with you is more important to me than getting my dress wrecked. I mean, I can always wash it."
They walked for what felt like forever until they finally found a small diner. They nestled themselves in a booth next to the window before making themselves comfortable and pulling out their sandwiches and cheese buns to Katniss's delight.
Peeta took a bite of his sandwich then look around the diner. It looked like a classic fifties diner from the tiled floors to the fake jukebox tucked away in the corner. Judging by the amount of people in the diner, Peeta figured they didn't get a lot of customers and suddenly felt bad for coming in here and eating his own food.
"Are you feeling like a smoothie, maybe fries?"
Katniss looked at him, confused. They had perfectly good food here and she didn't see why they should waste it.
Peeta sensed Katniss about to say no and quickly added in, "Please? We can have a picnic another day but how often do you see a fifties diner in LA?"
Katniss sighed and let him order them a smoothie and some fries.
Peeta waved over at the counter and she saw a busty blonde that couldn't be over seventeen come over. She was in the diner uniform but it all seemed too tight and too short. She at Katniss once over before setting her eyes on Peeta.
"Welcome to Sally's Diner, what can I get you?" Her eyes never left Peeta.
Katniss wasn't one to get jealous and she was most definitely not going to get jealous over a stupid teenager who thought it was cool to be slutty.
She took our order, her eyes only leaving Peeta to look at the pad she was writing on.
"I was wondering if you could also tell us where we are."
The girl leaned over slightly to show off her… assets before answering, "You're just outside of Inglewood."
Peeta thanked her politely and she turned around to leave but quickly turned back. "You know who you remind me of? Peeta Mellark." Katniss saw Peeta tense; they both knew she was going to put it together sooner or later. The teen looked at him a bit more before her eyes widened, "Oh my God! You are him! Who are you? I've never seen you in any movies and you're not pretty enough to be a model. I'm so going to tweet this."
Before they could do anything, she had already pulled out her phone and snapped a picture of their surprised faces.
"My friends are going to flip when they hear this," she said while walking back to the counter.
Peeta turned to Katniss, "We can go if you want."
"No, it's fine. What's the harm in staying?"
Peeta chose not to answer but instead pulled out his phone. Katniss watched him as he talked to whoever was on the other end. "Yeah, where just outside of Inglewood at a place called Sally's Diner." He paused for a few moments, "I don't know, it's in the middle of nowhere." He nodded his head even though he was the person couldn't see him and said a quick thank you and goodbye.
"Who was that?" Katniss asked curiously.
"Finnick. I was asking him to pick us up."
"What about your car?"
"I'll get someone to fill it up and pick it up later."
Katniss nodded and they waited patiently for their food to come. Five minutes later, an older lady came towards us with a strawberry milkshake and a large plate of fries came towards us. She gave us a warm smile as she put our food down and kindly told us to enjoy.
"Ever shared a milkshake before?" Katniss asked with a challenging grin.
"No but better late than never right?"
Katniss nodded and put two straws in the cup. They both leaned in and drank from their straws staring into each other's eyes. Both of them failed to notice the flash of a camera going off. Instead Peeta just laughed and said, "I don't know, it's kind of unnerving."
Katniss raised an eyebrow, "What is? Sharing a milkshake or having to look into my eyes?"
It was obvious Peeta was nervous. She found it kind of cute like that. "I don't know if anyone has ever told you this, but you look very intimidating and your eyes just add to it."
"Wow, I don't know whether to take that as a compliment or not."
Peeta's eyes widened realising what he just said. "No, I didn't mean it that way. I meant that you're gorgeous and intimidating, in a good way, and you just look like a complete badass, even in a dress."
Katniss sat there laughing as Peeta Mellark, who was known for his way with words and sweet-talking, found himself fumbling with words.
Meanwhile, outside the window, the flashing of cameras seemed to grow until it caught their eyes and they turned with smiles still plastered on their faces.
Peeta's instantly dropped when he saw what was outside the window. "Shit!" He scrambled out of the booth grabbing Katniss with him and quickly slapped down a twenty dollar bill on the table.
Katniss watched as he took them to a spot away from the photographers and hurriedly pulled out his phone. "Fuck Finnick, pick up the damn phone." He waited and sighed in relief when Finnick answered.
"I saw your car on the side of the road but I can't find the diner you guys are at. I'll wait by your car and you guys can walk back to it."
"There's a swarm of photographers taking pictures of Katniss and I. I don't know if we can."
"I don't think you have any other choice. It was bound to happen sooner or later."
Peeta sighed, knowing he was right. He knew it wouldn't be long before the media found out about his relationship with Katniss, but he hadn't been expecting it to happen like this. He took Katniss's hand and gave it a reassuring squeeze. "We're going to make a run for it. Don't let go of my hand, okay?"
Katniss nodded, too nervous to speak. The bright flashing of lights made her feel sick. It made her want to crawl into a hole and stay there until they left, but she knew that there wasn't any hope of them leaving while they were still in the building.
"Okay, keep your head down and don't answer any of their questions."
They opened the door and a roaring of voices erupted. Katniss could barely see in front of her because of the people crowding around her. She held on to Peeta's hand firmly. It was the only thing keeping her in anchored, knowing that he was there guiding her through everything.
As they tried to get through the crowd, Katniss picked up a few of the questions they were throwing at them.
"Peeta, who is this?"
"Is that your girlfriend?"
"What's her name?"
"Are you having an affair with her?"
The last question baffled her because the last time she checked, Peeta wasn't married to anyone else. She hoped so at least.
Katniss did as Peeta instructed and kept her head down and tried her best to avoid the paparazzi but she found it difficult to do so when they were jostling her, trying to get her to talk. She moved to avoid a camera hitting her when one photographer hit her nose with his elbow trying to avoid the same camera.
Katniss cried out in pain and put her hand under her nose. She pulled it back and saw a copious amount of blood on her fingers. She stood there in shock and pain as she watched Peeta yell at everyone to back off and stop taking pictures. That of course prompted them to take more pictures.
Katniss sensed that Peeta was going to punch someone and quickly guided them away from them. They quickly got to their car where they saw Finnick waiting for them. She looked back and saw that the paparazzi had enough sense of stay back and they quickly got into Finnick's car.
"What the hell happened to you?" He asked while they got in.
"One of the photographers elbowed my nose." I tried touching it to assess how bad it was but the slightest graze sent a jolt of pain through it, making it impossible to really see.
Peeta looked at her worriedly. He could see how much pain she was in. "Maybe we should take you to the hospital."
"No, it's fine. It honestly doesn't hurt that much." She was lying straight through her teeth. It hurt like hell, but she didn't want Peeta to worry.
"Katniss, we're taking you to the hospital whether you like it or not."
Katniss sighed, knowing she would get nowhere with the argument. "Fine, but don't bother going to the hospital. Madge is a nurse; she can fix my nose."
Peeta nodded in agreement and told Finnick to take them to the highway so Katniss could lead them to Madge's house from there.
Katniss leaned back and let out a deep breath. She looked up at Peeta and asked, "Be honest, how bad does it look?"
Peeta looked at my nose, and then opened his mouth to speak but he hesitated. After about a second he finally decided on saying, "I'll admit, you've had better days, but you still look as beautiful as ever."
Katniss smiled at him and gave him a kiss, trying to avoid her nose touching him. Finnick gave a big sigh as he glanced back and saw them kiss. "Hey guys, this is my car and I can feel the sexual tension back there, but please try and wait till you get out."
Peeta pulled away from Katniss and laughed but she didn't miss the slight blush that was creeping up his cheeks. "Just because you aren't getting any doesn't mean you have to spoil our fun."
"You're talking to the married guy over here. I'm getting a lot more than you are."
Katniss sat there smiling as they passed on playful banter. Peeta Mellark was going to be someone that completely rocked the boat in her life, especially now that people knew about their relationship, but she was more than ready for him. They would figure out how to proceed from where they were later but right now, she wanted to live in the moment with him.
There you go guys. I hope you enjoyed it!
Thanks again to my beta IceCreamGurl6455 for picking up all my stupid mistakes
Review and all that jazz