I wake up in the middle of the night. It was just a nightmare, I tell myself. It was just a nightmare. I still cant get it out of my head. It was all so real, the mutts with their shining white teeth and eyes of the fallen tributes, trying to rip our legs off as we clinged to the cornucopia. When one of them, the one with eyes identical to Rue's, tried to grab my foot, I woke up. My dreams usually are about the games. When they aren't, they are about her death, or about Peeta, being tortured by the Capitol. But the Capitol has fallen. There are no Hunger Games. I try not to think of my sister. It hurts too much. That's why I call her she or her in my mind. The pain is not so bad when I do it that way. But tonight, I cant manage to keep it away. "Prim, oh Prim, I'm so sorry you died. I should have been there to protect you, I should have saved you. Oh Prim, I'm so sorry" I think in my mind. Or I though I did. Peeta had heard me, of course he had. I said it out loud, with tears in my eyes. He leans over me and pulls a strand of my hair behind my ear.
"Are you alright, Katniss? Oh, no, don't cry, I'm here, I'm here. shh" he says, comforting me.
"Prim's dead Peeta." I say with a trembling voice.
"I know, Katniss. But she is in a better place now. She is happier. Don't worry, it was just a dream, just a dream, honey." he says, kissing my lips softly.
At the touch of his lips, I instantly feel a lot calmer. My sobbing stops and I take a shivering breath.
"Are you sure?" I say.
"Yes, I am sure, darling. Should we try and go back to sleep now?" he says with a calming voice.
"ok." I answer.
He lays back down and I snuggle into his bare chest. He wraps his arms around me and I fall asleep with a sigh.
I wake up and its morning. I tremble with my hand on Peeta's side of the bed, but he isn't there. I guess he got up to make breakfast. He does that every morning. Some nights, it takes longer for him to calm me down, and those nights he sleeps as long as I do. But usually he wakes before me. I get up and make the bed. I walk downstairs and am greeted with a hug from him.
"Good morning beautiful." he says with a loving voice.
"Good morning handsome." I answer jokingly and then kiss him. I feel his smile and break away. "What's so funny?" I ask, brushing away a curl of his hair from his head.
"Nothing, I'm just so happy I have someone like you. It would be so lonely in here without you. Have I told you in a while how much I love you?" he says with an even more loving voice.
I laugh, because he used the word you in the end of three sentences in a row, but answer "Yes, you have, every day. And I love you too." I say.
Then he kisses me and I get knocked off my feet, but before I fall he grabs me and holds me in his arms, my legs around his waist. We stay in that position for a while, kissing, nobody wanting to break away. We finally do when my stomach growls. I snort. My human needs always come in the way when I least want them to. I remember, when we kissed in the cave in the first games, my head started bleeding and he told me to lay back down. That was the only kiss that I didn't want to end. During that year I had only one other kiss like that, it was on the beach during the second games. Nowdays, I get that feeling every time we kiss.
"Well, we can continue later, you stomach seems to be empty." Peeta says, and I climb down from his embrace. He kisses me one last time, and goes to finish preparing breakfast. He seems to have been making pancakes, he knows me so well. He has put the pancakes in the fridge to cool down. He sets out the cutlery on both sides of the table. He also places maple syrup and a bowl of blueberries in the middle of the table. I compliment his cooking skills and he says that he wouldn't be cooking so well without me in the house.
"That's nothing compared to what you do for me." I say with a smile on my face.
"What? What do I do for you?" he asks, curious.
"Comfort me every night. Are there for me when nobody else is. Save me from drowning in my despair and grief. Love me when I really, honestly don't deserve it." I say, my smile fading with every word. At last, I let a small tear roll down my cheek, there would be no point holding it back. Peeta stands up and takes me in his arms and holds me tight, stroking my back.
"Oh, no, Katniss, you shouldn't be crying. You do deserve me, you actually deserve someone better than me, it's me who doesn't deserve you."
I feel almost angry at these words. How can he say that he doesn't deserve me? He is the most wonderful person in the world. But I know why he's saying that. He means the flashbacks. Every now and then, he gets flashbacks, an unsorted memory that the Capitol manipulated to a terrifying one. He doesn't get the urge to kill me anymore, but once, when I was standing too close, and he made a sudden movement, his arm hit me in the stomach. Pretty hard. When his flashback ended, he spent the rest of the night almost crying and asking me if I was ok, and saying that he will never forgive himself for what he did. I ended up almost crying too, because of how miserable he felt.
Before he can argue more, I kiss him hard. He relaxes and kisses me back.
"Don't ever say that I deserve someone better than you again. I probably will cry if you do. Promise?" I tell him.
"I promise." he says, and finishes our kiss. Then, suddenly, the doorbell rings. Peeta tells me to go get dressed and goes to get the door. I walk extra slowly, to hear who our visitor is.
"Um.. Hi." a slightly familiar voice says. I feel like it has changed a bit since I heard it last time, not like I've only heard it once or twice. I just can't place it.
"Uhh.. Hello.." Peeta says. He looks confused as he stands there, shirtless and in shorts by the door.
"Do you have any idea where Catni.. I mean Katniss is? I've been looking for her everywhere. She isn't in her house, the Hob, the Seam, or even the woo..." Peeta interrupts him.
"She's right here, actually." he says, waving me forward. I gasp when I hear the stranger talk. I know who the owner to that deep voice is. When I walk to the door beside Peeta my suspicions get confirmed. Yes, the person that stands by the door is Gale Hawthorne.