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The characters of the Hunger Games Trilogy do not belong to me; I just like to mess with them.
All I need in this life of sin, is me and my girlfriend.
Down to ride 'til the very end, it's me and my boyfriend…
-Beyonce and Jay-Z ('03 Bonnie and Clyde)-in honor of Prim and Rye!
Chapter Six: Peeta
Settle down with me
And I'll be your safety
You'll be my lady…
I open my eyes and turn over to hit the snooze on the alarm. The song is promptly off making the room silent. It's the weekend so I have all day to sleep if I want. The glint on my hand catches my eyes and my mind hasn't registered that it is the band on my finger.
My wedding band.
I turn over and see the bare back of my wife. My wife. My mind suddenly wanders to last night as I remember her body rising and falling in ecstasy. It is hard to believe that my best friend is the same girl who I made love to last night.
Made love? This is getting complicated already.
She shifts in her sleep and her dark hair covers her. I reach over and move it so her smooth back is exposed. Somehow my body seems to move towards her until my chest is against her back. She sighs in her sleep.
My lips go to her neck and I can taste the sweat on it. I react suddenly to her taste. One of my arms reaches over to her chest and my hand, on its own accord, tease her nipples. Katniss moans and turns her head towards me and our mouths connect.
"What are you doing?" she asks groggily.
"Just go with it," I tell her as I nip at her ear. My other hand which is around her waist travels downward until it reaches her thigh. Slowly I part her thighs and reach for her core which is already wet for me.
There is something about Katniss that makes me ache for her more than any other girl I've ever been with. Maybe it's because I know her so well and the thought of not knowing everything about her bothers me.
Her inside are dripping for me and without thought I move closer so that I am suddenly inside her.
"Peeta." It comes out in a slow moan as I push in further. She leans her head back and I can see that her eyes are closed, her lips in a small smile. The feeling of control rushes through me and it gives me pleasure to know that I am doing this to her.
She turns her head slightly so that she can kiss me. I moan into her mouth and increase the speed of my hips. Pulling away, she pushes back against me and now a groan escapes my mouth. For someone who believes that her past trysts were horrible, she seems to know what she is doing.
I switch between her nipples tugging at them and I can feel her slicken even more. "Come," I tell her.
Katniss gives me a grin and shakes her head. "I'm enjoying this too much."
Now she is truly awake.
I can feel my own release approaching so I quicken my thrusts and reach forward to touch the spot that I know will bring her to the edge.
I feel her tightened around me and she is crying out my name in both anger and pleasure. I let myself fall with her and I repeat her name like a chant.
"That wasn't fair," she says gasping for breath and I grin mischievously.
Her hair is matted to her face and her grey eyes are glowing in the aftermath of her climax. She is trying not to smile back at me.
"You look beautiful," I tell her.
"You look like shit," she replies jokingly. I pull her closer and tickle her. "Now make me breakfast."
"Okay," I reply. "But only because I know you can't cook."
Katniss growls and pushes me on my back. Then her lips meet mine. Before I can respond, she moves over me and out of the bed so that she can put a shirt on. I admire her backside before she turns to look at me.
"Well come on then, I didn't marry you for nothing."
So this is married life? I find it unnervingly comfortable.
"Peeta!" I feel myself get lifted off the ground and then thrown back onto my feet. "I haven't seen you in a week!"
"Hey Finnick," I greet my friend as I go to the front desk. He gives me a bright smile and follows me. "I've been celebrating my marriage. Here's your morning schedule." I hand him a clipboard and he looks over it. He runs a hand through his golden hair and a woman on a nearby bench-press whistles.
He winks at her. Finnick puts down the board and then looks at me.
"So I heard that my wife saw your wife's vagina."
"Why did she tell you that?" I ask him. "I should report her." Finnick laughs because he knows I won't say anything about Annie. She's like the big sister I never had.
I met Finnick, a year ago, after Wheaton hired him as a personal trainer. Since we've hired him, our personal training business has doubled. My brother may not know anything about having actual relationships with people but his business savvy is on point. Women flock to our gym to train with Finnick but I've never seen a man so in love as he is with Annie.
"Just some husband and wife pillow talk," he replies. "How come I've never met your bride? I didn't even know you had a girlfriend."
"We were keeping it a secret for awhile now," I tell him. "You know, being together and engaged."
"Maybe you were keeping her from me," he says teasingly. "Afraid that I would steal her from you?"
"No, I was afraid she would've run when she saw your ugly mug," I retort.
"So how was your wedding night?" I shuffle papers to avoid his gaze and I try to not think of Katniss climaxing. "You give her the Peeta special?"
"What the hell is that?"
"You know," Finnick says. "Your signature move. Like my move, I like to stand up while Annie is laying on the bed and then I raise her left leg slightly and—"
"I don't need to hear this." My face is burning. "I don't think Annie would want you to tell me all of this."
"It's the move that's going to get her pregnant, Peeta," he tells me. "It has to be."
Finnick and Annie have been trying for a year now from what he tells me. They have done everything except for IVF treatments and considering a surrogate mother. I can tell that this is something that worries him because his green eyes are suddenly serious. Annie had a miscarriage before they moved here and it put a real damper on their spirits.
"I'm sure it will be," I assure him. "You will meet Katniss in an hour. She's just meeting with her counselors."
"Yoo-hoo! Finnick darling!" We look over to where Mrs. Zuckerberg, his first client, is waiting and she is gazing at him lasciviously. He sighs.
I guess sometimes it's not so fun to be desired.
"I love my job, I love my job…" he says as he walks away.
I spend the rest of the time handing out schedules to the other trainers. I also make sure that we have enough towels for the days. I consider texting Katniss to tell her that I miss her but stop myself. I'm going to see her soon. Why was I acting like some lovesick fool?
I don't love her in that way.
Then my mind flashes through images of Katniss. Her in her wedding dress, her in the light of the church, her sitting in my car as she plays with her braid…
I feel someone blow gently into my ear and then whip around quickly. Katniss is behind me grinning. "You're early!"
"Yeah, someone canceled their appointment so I got to go in earlier," she replies and joins me at the front desk. "Headed over so we could maybe grab some lunch."
"Ohmigod, who is this beautiful senorita?" Finnick saunters over. "Finnick Odair, my lovely."
"Katniss Ev—oh I mean—Mellark," she says and holds out her hand. Finnick kisses her hand.
"Yes, I see that my reputation precedes me."
"No, my husband was worried that your wife saw my vagina before he did." She grins at me and I glare at her. "Totally pure, this one."
"Pure?" I reach for her waist and then lift her easily over my shoulder. A couple of the patrons of the gym grin at me.
"Five minutes," Finnick informs me. I nod and turn so he could talk to Katniss. "I don't think you know what you've gotten yourself into."
"Oh I think I know exactly what I'm doing," she replies and I could tell that she is grinning. "See you in five."
Finnick salutes her and I walk towards the back room where our supply closet is. When we are inside, I settle her on her feet. Katniss sits on a pile of towels and then smiles up at me. "Hi."
"Hi." I sit next to her. "How was your session?"
"Well, the counselor said that my teachers understood and they agreed to let me take my midterm and then I can continue if I'd like."
"Sounds great," I tell her. "And how about down there?" I point to her lower body.
We had another morning interlude which included using the green tie that she liked so much. I grin in remembrance.
"I'm not made of glass, Peeta,"she tells me. "I'm okay." She looks over at me. "I liked it. Actually more than liked it."
I look over at her and she looks down at her folded hands. I lift her chin so I can look into her eyes. They are full of shyness yet there is also want. My lips find hers and I feel her press into me. When we are finished, our foreheads are pressed together.
"So the prenup says twice a week at minimum," I tell her. "Safe to say that we will probably go over this, many times. Is this okay with you?"
"Surprisingly yes," she tells me. Katniss leans back into the shelves. "It can get complicated quickly though." She traces my lips with her fingers than runs a hand through my hair. I close my eyes. Her touch soothes me.
"We know our limits." I pull her up so she is standing before me. "You tell me to stop than I will stop." I unbutton her shirt. "You tell me to do you in this supply room than I'll do that too."
Katniss grins. "I didn't say anything about that."
"You called me pure in front of Finnick," I say to her. "He's going to bug me this whole week now."
"So this is all about Finnick then?"
I shake my head. "Of course not." I put my hands on each of her shoulders and moved them up her neck then I cup her face. "I don't know what's going on with me but when you're not with me Katniss…"
She reaches up to touch my face and her grey eyes look into mine imploringly. "What?"
"I miss you." It comes out in whisper because I know that I will freak her out. Her eyes widen. "When you're gone, I miss you."
"You crazy boy," she says quietly. "You never think before you say things sometimes. It sounds like you're in love with me or something."
"We don't fall in love Katniss," I tell her. "We love, we make love but we don't fall in love."
Katniss breathes in for a moment as she exhales she looks up at me. "Well we wouldn't want Finnick to keep teasing you." She sits back against the pile of towels. "Come here Peeta."
Four minutes and twenty two seconds later, we emerge from the back room. Finnick stands on the front desk and begins to applaud much to our embarrassment.
"Ladies and Gentlemen, Mr. and Mrs. Peeta Mellark!" Katniss buries her face in my chest.
"I'm going to kill you," I tell Finnick.
"Or we're going to convince Annie to leave you." Katniss glares at him and he blows her a kiss.
"You can do that this weekend when we all have dinner," he tells us. "We finally have everything moved in. Bring your sister."
Katniss looks at me. "What do you think?" Then she looks at Finnick. "There's not going to be a sex swing or something, is there?"
"Please," Finnick says. "The swing is being delivered next week." He smiles at Katniss and puts an arm around her. "Say yes."
"We'll be there," I tell him. "Now stop touching my wife."
Katniss looks at me bewildered and I realize that I sound jealous.
But I'm not.
"So where did you meet Peeta?"
"At school," Katniss replies.
"No!" Haymitch hisses at her quietly. "Remember he brought you a cake when Prim was born!"
"Will you stop getting so pissed off at me?" Katniss stands up and goes to where he is sitting. "Stop jumping on me like I'm doing this on purpose."
Haymitch stands up and he is at least a full head taller than Katniss. "You don't realize that if you get caught than it's not only your ass, it's my ass, it's Peeta ass and it's Prim's ass that gets in trouble."
"I am trying but stop putting so much pressure on me," she tells him.
I approach them. "We all have to be on the same side here." I take Katniss's hand. "Now let's calm down." Prim and Effie were in her room having her weekly interview. They went over her week and how she was doing. Effie seems to avoid Haymitch's company at all costs and depending on his mood he is either happy or unhappy about it.
Haymitch looks down at Katniss. "You've got as much charm as a dead slug."
I put an arm around my fuming wife. "That's why I love her." I kiss the side of her head.
"You see?" Haymitch says to her. "That's how you convince Snow."
Katniss bristles at his tone. We are interrupted by Prim and Effie. "How is everything going here?" Effie gives us a cheerful smile though when she looks at Haymitch, her eyes harden.
"We're about to take a trip out," Haymitch said.
"What?" Katniss says.
"Put on a jacket and let's get the hell out of here," he says. "We all need some fresh air."
Katniss grabs her jacket and hands Prim her own from the coat rack. I have a hooded sweater on so I'll be fine.
"Peeta, can I drive your car?" Haymitch asks and I toss him the keys despite the glare I receive from Katniss. Haymitch may be certifiably insane but there something in me that trusts him despite his behavior toward Katniss. He turns to Effie. "You're coming too sweetheart. You work too hard."
Effie nods and I can see the happiness on her face. Those two have some kind of freaky relationship going on.
We all hop into my Chevy. I get into the passenger's seat while Katniss, Effie and Prim squeeze into the back. Haymitch whistles as he turns the engine on.
"Nice ride, kid," he comments and we set off to an unknown destination.
We get onto Park Presidio and continue onto the road that will take us towards the Golden Gate Bridge. The sun is just setting and it is hitting the bridge making it glow a deep red. Prim looks out the window gazing up as we pass under the arches.
Effie remains quiet but her face is relaxed and for a second under all the makeup, I can see a pretty woman.
"She doesn't need all the paint," Haymitch says quietly so only I can hear. "Daddy use to call her ugly everyday till he up and left. I see what you see kid." He turns to look at me. "Just like you see something in your little wifey that I don't."
When we pass the bridge and are in Marin, we take a sharp right onto Vista Point. It's a weekday so there are no tour buses blocking the view to the city. We park and Haymitch gets out of the car opening the backdoor so he can help Effie. I open the door for Katniss and Prim. We all approach the stone fence so that we can look out at the view of San Francisco.
"Be careful, Prim," Katniss says when Prim goes to sit on the stone fence which is thick enough for her to sit on.
I look over to where Haymitch and Effie are standing. They are both looking out. I can see that if they move an inch closer than their shoulders will touch.
I go to Katniss and throw my arm over her shoulder. She leans against me. "Sometimes it hard to believe that we live in that city," I say to her. "We're just two small beings in that metropolis."
"You're not so small to me," she tells me. Katniss wraps her arms around my waist and presses her face to my chest. "To me, you're a giant."
I kiss the top of her head. Haymitch approaches us and he looks out at the city.
"Now Katniss," he begins. "How did you meet Peeta?"
She looks up at me and smiles. "My mom had just come back from the hospital with Prim when the doorbell rang. My dad allowed me to open the door and I saw a boy with the brightest blue eyes I've ever seen. He had brought me a cake to celebrate my sister. We ate our slices together. I felt happy. I felt safe. Since then, I knew that he would take care of me."
"Now that is an answer that will convince Snow," he tells her. "Good job sweetheart."
I am at the gym when I get the call.
"Peeta?" The small voice says from my cell phone.
"Prim, are you okay?"
"Can you pick me up from school?"
"Sure," I tell her. "I'll pick you up in twenty minutes." Prim doesn't elaborate on what's going on before she hangs up.
I call Katniss to tell her what's going on but she doesn't answer her cellphone. She's probably in class and SF State has horrible phone reception. I leave a quick message saying that I'm picking up Prim and to call me when she can.
Finnick has no problem taking over for the day and I thank him as I rush out the door. I take Great Highway since it's the fastest way to Lowell where Prim goes. It doesn't take me long to find the front entrance and I head to the office. I find Prim sitting in one of the office chairs looking at her hands.
"Prim," I greet her. "Are you okay?"
She nods and I notice that she's in her gym clothes. "You need to sign me out," she tells me.
I go to the office aide. "Hi, I'm Peeta Mellark, Prim's brother. I need to sign her out," I tell her.
She checks her computer. "I don't see your name here. I only see Katniss Everdeen."
"She's my wife," I respond. Quickly I pull out my wallet and take out a photo of Katniss and me on our wedding day. "I have her phone number."
"Please, can you just let us go?" Prim begs and the woman looks at her for a moment. "I can tell my sister to call the office. She's in school right now."
"Well okay Prim but make sure your sister calls when you get in touch with her," the woman says to Prim kindly. "Feel better dear."
Prim nods and walks out. I follow after getting a sympathetic look from the woman.
I let Prim get into the car and then get into the driver's side. "What's going on Prim?"
She shakes her head. "I'm so humiliated."
"It can't be that bad," I tell her and give her a small smile.
"You wouldn't understand."
"You will have to explain what's going on before you can tell me that I won't understand," I tell her.
She mumbles incoherently.
"I got my period," Prim says slowly. "In gym class."
Now I understand the clothes. But now I have bigger issues.
I've grown up with boys. I am one. My mother doesn't seem like the kind of person who has periods. I'm cringing just thinking about. What do I say?
"Wow," I say after a moment. "That sucks."
"Do you have any questions?" I ask.
She looks at me incredulously. "Do you know anything about periods?" Prim scowls and I see the resemblance between her and Katniss.
"No, but there must be some way I can help," I tell her. "You have all your supplies?" I dig through my mind and pull up images of feminine products.
"Supplies?" Prim is raising her eyebrows at me.
"Never mind. " I shake my head. "Let's get something to eat."
I take her to Mel's Drive-In on Geary because I figure that nothing is as bad when you have a chocolate milkshake, right?
She is eating her burger when she decides to talk. "I'm the last girl in my class to get it."
"How do you know that?" I take a bite of my chicken sandwich.
"Well, I'm a stick for one," she says to me. "All the girls talk about having their periods and the cramps but not me. Finally when I get mine, it has to be in the most dramatic way possible."
"How was it dramatic?"
"It happened while I was bending forward in gym class. Rory was behind me and one of his friends was making fun of us." Her cheeks darken.
"I think it's better that it happened later." I take a sip of my shake and she looks at me curiously.
"Well now you have more people to advise you," I respond. "Also, growing up is not all it's cracked up to be."
"Why not?" Prim asks me. "I want to grow up. I want to become a woman and I want to have a boy kiss me."
"Trust me Prim," I assure her. "You will become a beautiful woman. Today is just day one so give yourself time for the rest to come along. A first kiss is not as important as your last one."
"What do you mean your last one?"
"Well after you've kissed all the losers you could kiss, you find a person who you want to kiss for the rest of your life," I tell her and an image of Katniss comes into my mind.
"Like you and Katniss?"
"Exactly. Like me and Katniss." I hate lying.
"It's not fair though," she tells me. "You've always known. I could tell it was the same with Katniss." I look up from my sandwich in surprise. "The electricity between you two. You could supply the whole city."
I smile at my sister. "You exaggerate."
"I see the way you look at each other," Prim says. "I see the way that my sister looks at you when you're not looking."
"Like she's just discovered she's in love with you."
I swallow the lump in my throat. "Really?"
"Prim, one day there is going to be a boy who is as in love with you as I am with your sister. I promise."
Something in me believes in the lie.
Prim smiles and takes a sip of her shake. "Thanks big brother." She places the glass down. "So what do you mean supplies?"
"You know those paper things that you put there," I tell her.
She laughs and it sound eerily like Katniss's laugh. "I was just messing with you."
"Sometimes you are just like your sister."
"So Prim got her period." Katniss says as she sits at the foot of our bed. She is dressed in one of my long shirts. It didn't take us long to get back to comfortable clothing despite the massive amounts of negligee that her friends had bought her for her trousseau. "I'm sorry that you had to deal with that."
"Well, we had a nice talk," I reply and hand her a hair tie. She puts her hair up in a topknot. "Prepares me for the next time."
"Well one day she will need advice again." I kneel before her and hand her the lotion that I was using so she can use it. "When she gets her heart broken or she discovers that boys are jerks or some other teenage issue."
"And why would she ask you and not me?" Katniss puts her hands on her hips. "I'm not that old that I can't relate to her."
"You were always a grown-up Katniss." I kiss her knees as I push them apart. "Even when we were kids."
"Just call me Grandma Katniss." She grins down at me and I run my hand up her thigh.
"Oh you're no Grandma." I kiss the inside of her thighs. Katniss sighs and lets herself fall back against the bed.
A knock on the door interrupts us. "Hold that thought," she tells me and then goes to answer the door. I sit on the edge of the bed trying to calm my raging erection.
Prim is standing at the doorway and she smiles at us. "I was wondering if I could invite Rory when we go to your friend's place." She looks down at her entwined hands. "I just don't want to be the odd one out."
My wife tilts her head and looks at her sister for a moment. "Is that the only reason you're inviting Rory?" Katniss asks her.
Prim shakes her head no. Crimson floods her cheeks.
Katniss and I look at one another. "Okay, but I'll be watching him," I tell her. Prim claps her hands and then hugs me then kisses Katniss before she rushes out the door.
Katniss closes the door and turns the lock. "Now where were we?" She sits back on the edge of the bed and I eagerly kneel before her.
"I think…" I push her knees apart. "…we were…" I lean down and kiss her thighs. "…right about…" Her back is on the bed and my lips are going further up until I reach my goal. "…here."
"Safe to say," she tells me, her voice tight with pleasure. "We definitely need to revise the prenup."
I think I was expecting to see a mini-Gale when I met Rory but the gangly kid who blushed harder than Prim was the complete opposite. I remember Gale in high school. He had a four more feet and twenty more pounds on me. We were never super close because he always saw me as competition for Katniss.
At the time, my mind was other girls so I never understood his glares whenever he was around.
"Thanks for letting me come along," he says when we are in front of Annie and Finnick's house. Prim takes his hand and I can't help but let a small smile creep on my face.
They own the top floor of a duplex in Potrero Hill. The neighborhood is mostly quiet except for the pizza place at the corner.
"We're happy to have you come along," I tell him. "Prim wouldn't come without you."
"Peeta!" She looks at me embarrassed then she looks at Rory. "Sorry, my brother can exaggerate sometimes."
Katniss looks over at me and I shrug before putting an arm around her. I ring the doorbell and we wait until I hear the heavy footsteps of Finnick. He throws open the door and pulls Katniss into a big hug.
Usually I would be fine with this.
Except that he has no shirt on.
"For chrissakes, Finnick," Katniss says when he pulls away. "Put a damn shirt on!"
"Why? Do you find this...distracting?"
He flexes his arm for her and she can't help but laugh at his antics. I am trying not to laugh either. When I look behind us, I see the Prim's eyes are as big as saucers and Rory is looking down.
"Finnick, this is Prim and this is Rory." I gesture over to the two teenagers. They both shake hands with him and I notice Prim admiring Finnick's handsome face. Poor Rory.
"Come on up, Annie is getting dinner started."
We follow him up the stairs admiring their home. The walls are a rich gold and there are vintage posters on the walls. When we reach the top of the stairs, the living room is to the left where a plush beige couch is placed across from a large flatscreen television and to the right is the dining room which holds a beautiful walnut dining table with matching chairs.
Annie comes in with a big smile and puts her arm around his waist. She is wearing a pretty red dress and her hair is down. She and Finnick are a striking couple.
"Nice to see you Peeta," she says as she hugs me. Then she hugs Katniss. "Nice to see you too Katniss."
"Annie, this is my sister Prim and her friend Rory," Katniss tells her.
She shakes their hands. "Please make yourself at home. We have the television if you want to watch anything and some DVD's. Also we have a PlayStation. Dinner won't be ready for another hour. I thought it would be nice to eat outside."
"Thanks for having us, Annie," Katniss says as we look around. "Pretty nice digs."
"I come from an old San Francisco family so I get a little bit of a hookup." She leads us into the living room. "Heard of the Aliotos?"
"Like the seafood restaurant on the Wharf?" Katniss goes to an old picture of fishermen on a side table. "You're related to them?"
"On my mother's side." Annie gestures to the couch and loveseat. "Please sit."
Katniss and I sit on the couch while Prim and Rory take the loveseat. Annie sits on the edge of the couch with Finnick standing next to her.
"Which one of you plays the guitar?" Rory asks. The guitar sits in the corner of the living room.
"I played a little," Annie says shyly.
"May I?" Rory asks and she agrees.
Rory retrieves the guitar and sits back down next to Prim. She is looking at him curiously. He looks over at Katniss.
"Help me out, won't you Katniss?" She nods after a moment. My interest is peaked. I haven't heard Katniss sing since we were children.
Rory's fingers strum the guitar effortlessly. I can see that Prim is mesmerized for her eyes are focused on his fingers and our eyes meet quickly. She ducks her head at my teasing grin.
That is until Katniss starts to sing. Then I am captivated.
God, I feel like hell tonight
Tears of rage I cannot fight
I'd be the last to help you understand
Are you strong enough to be my man?
Nothing's true and nothing's right
So let me be alone tonight
Cause you can't change the way I am
Are you strong enough to be my man?
Finnick goes to me. "Your girl has some pipes." He pats by shoulder. I look over at Prim and her eyes are focused on Rory as he plays and harmonizes with Katniss. She is falling for him.
Lie to me
I promise I'll believe
Lie to me
But please don't leave…
I watch Katniss sings. Her eyes are closed but then she turns and focuses them on me. Her grey eyes are dancing and besides our wedding, I don't think that I've ever seen her so beautiful. Or so alive.
For a moment, I think that I might be in love with my wife.
The song ends and Finnick claps heartily. "We've got a lot of talent here!" He turns to Prim. "How about you doll? Do you sing too?"
"She's a beautiful dancer and Prim is a genius," Rory informs him as he looks at Prim adoringly. She is gazing at him. There is something different in her eyes.
"So I guess you're the only one with no talent then?" Finnick teases me.
"Peeta is an artist, I've seen his paintings. They're brilliant," my wife says defensively. "Not to mention he can carry hundred pound bags of flour."
"How would you know Katniss?" Annie asks her curiously and Katniss takes a sudden interest in her hands.
"I use to watch him on Saturday mornings when his family lived across the street from us," she mumbles. "Whenever the delivery came in."
Prim giggles. "So that's what you were doing! You'd never let me watch cartoons in the living room on Saturday!" Finnick and Annie smile while Rory and Prim laugh.
"Quit embarrassing my wife," I tell them and then kiss her on the cheek. "It's really flattering actually." I try to assure her because it is actually kind of nice to hear.
"I think it's time for dinner," Annie says standing up and she kisses Finnick on the cheek. "You should put a shirt on. It might be chilly out on the deck."
"So he actually walks around like that?" I ask her.
"No." Annie gives me an easy smile.
"Most of the time, he's naked." She grins and Finnick winks at her. The teenagers in the loveseat are both red.
"What kind of friends do we have?" Katniss asks me.
I simply kiss her cheek.
Annie has roasted a chicken and I help her carry it to the deck. Finnick and Katniss are lighting candles while Rory and Prim set the table.
"Let me get that for you babe," Finnick says rushing to Annie who is holding a bowl of potato salad. "You work too hard; you should be off your feet." I meet my wife's eyes and she smiles as she watches Finnick's sweet display of affection. He is always so cavalier except when it comes to Annie.
We all take our seats and settle in for dinner. It's warm tonight and only the sounds are the cars on the freeway in the distance. Everyone is enjoying dinner and I look across to where Prim and Rory are talking about the geometry test that they had. Prim has Rory wrapped around her finger.
I look at Katniss who is listening to Annie talk about how she is opening another clinic in this neighborhood.
"Well aren't you happy working in the clinic that you're in now?"
"It will be an easier commute for me," she says and pauses. "Since I'm having a baby."
We all go silent.
"You're having a baby?" Katniss asks and Annie nods grinning. Finnick puts his hand over hers.
"Congratulations!" I tell them and kiss Annie on the cheek.
"We'd like you to be the Godparents," Finnick says. "You help me get my start here in San Francisco and well Annie knows Katniss pretty intimately since that appointment." Annie swats him on the arm.
The rest of the dinner we spend talking about baby names though Finnick is set on having a Finnick Junior. We have rocky road ice cream from Mitchell's for dessert. Later, Katniss leans against me as Rory strums on the guitar for Prim. Finnick dances with Annie around the deck.
"Are you happy?" I whisper into Katniss's ear and press my nose into her hair. She seems content with my arms wrapped around her.
I'm confused about what I'm feeling but at the same time I feel like there is no need for me to rush. I should let whatever happens just happen. It was always our way. We never thought about the effects our decisions would have.
Now it seemed that we had more to lose by thinking.
"Yes," she replies so softly that I almost don't hear her.
"Do you love me?"
Katniss stills for a moment. "Yes, but sometimes I'm not sure what kind of love it is."
That is as far as we go.
Before long, we are leaving Finnick and Annie's house and cruising on the 101 towards the 280 Freeway so we can make the exit towards Rory's house. He lives in the Sunset so there is no easy way to get there. I take a bunch of side streets and finally make it onto Ocean Avenue. I cut across 19th Avenue and turn onto a street when Rory tells me to.
"I'll walk you to the door," Prim tells him as we stop in front of the Hawthorne home.
"Thanks for the invite," Rory says when he gets out of the car. "It was fun."
"Nice seeing you Rory," I reply.
We watch as Rory and Prim walk to his door hand in hand.
"We probably shouldn't look at them," I tell Katniss.
"Do you want to see your sister's possible first kiss?"
Katniss shakes her head and turns to me. "Should I have a talk with her?"
"She's a good kid," I assure her.
A black car pulls into the driveway and after the person has parked, we see a familiar figure emerge from the car.
Katniss peers at the figure and then gasps in recognition. "Oh crap."
I feel my heart sink when I see him approach my Chevy.
Gale is back.
I would have had this done sooner but I have been sick as a dog for the past week. It's no fun to write and then get tired enough to pass out.
Did you spot the two lines from the book?
"Kiss Me" sung by Ed Sheeran
"Strong Enough" sung by Sheryl Crow
Finnick has made an appearance! I know some of you were anticipating this. Thank you to all of you who suggested that he work with Peeta.
Do you see something happening with Haymitch and Effie? We'll go more into that later.
Mel's Drive-In used to be one of those 50's restaurants where you drive up and then they put the tray on your car. I think it's the one that Spencer Tracy goes to in "Guess Who's Coming to Dinner".
Vista Point is in Marin and it's a real tourist spot if you want to check out the bridge.
Potrero Hill however is not since it is close to Hunter's Point. It is more office buildings and neighborhoods. The Culinary Academy, Zynga Headquarters and Sega Headquarters are located in Potrero. I use to go there all the time since my husband used to work for Zynga.
Mitchell's Ice Cream is an ice cream parlor in the Mission and I love their Rocky Road. They also have Mango Ice Cream and Ube, which is a Filipino flavor.
The Great Highway runs along the beach and I believe the fastest way to get to Lowell High School. 101 and 280 are the main freeways here. Ocean Avenue is a street that runs from the Excelsior District towards the Sunset District. 19th Avenue starts from the border of Daly City and San Francisco until the entrance of Golden Gate Park.
Confused yet? Trust me; it's easier than you think.
I really love the idea of exploring Prim more as someone suggested that stories tend to make her more static. It should make for good fun as she gets older.
Gale's back. Are you excited? I'm not and neither is Peeta.
Someone ask me why I stop showing the same events from each of their perspectives. I only wanted to do this until the actual marriage and then we kind of switch it up to move the story along.
NEXT: Katniss's POV and Gale's return. Dinner at the Mellarks and we meet Carrie.
Hopefully I get better soon or it might take longer for me to get the next chapter out.
Reviews mean love! Alerts and PM's are always welcome!