His words echo around my shell-shocked brain; 'the existing pool of victors'. I look at Peeta in horror and then I realise. I am going back into the arena. My eyes widen in horror. We sit there, staring at each other for a minute before I become aware of the tears streaming down my face.
Suddenly, there's a knock on the door and Haymitch comes in. I quickly wipe my eyes and wrap my arms around my stomach. Haymitch already stinks of alcohol, so Peeta goes to make coffee to sober him up. I have a chance to talk with him.
"Haymitch," I begin, "we have to save Peeta. He can't go into the arena."
"That kid's gonna need a dad. 'specially one like him." He mumbles. "Look, I'll volunteer if his name gets called but if I'm chosen and he volunteers, there's nothing I can do, 'kay?" he says more clearly, his bloodshot eyes staring into my own. Unable to respond, I nod.
The day of the reaping comes around quickly. Peeta and Haymitch have been training for weeks, but I could barely do anything because Peeta wouldn't let me exert myself in my 'condition'.
I am now twelve weeks pregnant and my bump is more noticeable. I put on dark blue trousers, and a green shirt that seems to emphasise the slight curve of my stomach. When Peeta and I are both ready, we make our way to the reaping. He grips my hand tightly the whole way there. Instead of standing with the other sixteen and seventeen-year-olds, we take our places on either side of Effie.
She introduces herself, then walks to an absurdly large glass bow,l where a single slip of paper lies. She opens it and clears her throat.
"Katniss Everdeen," she says, almost regretfully.
I stand next to her as she picks up one of the other two slips of paper.
"Peeta Mellark" she calls out.
Haymitch steps forwards.
"I volunteer as a tribute." Haymitch's voice fills the town square and there is a note of determination in his tone.
Effie looks shocked, and Peeta seems to try to stop him, I can't focus and the heat is making my vision go blurry and my breath shallow and fast. Haymitch walks over to Effie and we shake hands. His look of concern on his face makes it clear that I look as bad as I feel.
"Well then," Effie interrupts, "we have our tributes".
I see my mother, Gale and Prim standing in the front row of people. Gale raises his hand in a three-fingered salute. My stomach drops. I pray that the peacekeepers don't notice, but then, everyone else copies.
Suddenly, peacekeepers take me and Haymitch by the arms and drag us away in the direction of the train. "No!" I protest "I have to say goodbye!" They ignore me and shove me away roughly. Haymitch manages to wrestle them off and shoves one of the ones pushing me away. "Leave her alone! She's pregnant." They ignore him and push us through the doors of the train. I trip over the step and fall, landing on my stomach. Peeta walks in a second later as Haymitch helps me up. "Are you hurt?" he asks angrily.
"I'll be ok, I just fell-"
"On your stomach," He finishes. "That could hurt the baby."
"I'm ok," I say "Really." I feel the baby move inside me, then something I haven't felt before. A sharp jab in my ribs. "Oh," I gasp.
"What's wrong?" Peeta rushes over to me. "Does it hurt? Are you in labour?"
"Calm down!" I tell him and Haymitch, who is looking concerned too. "I think the baby kicked."
Peeta's face floods with relief and he drops to his knees in front of me. I roll my eyes at him. He presses his hand lightly on my bump and frowns.
"There's nothing," he says.
"No," I move his hand slightly. "Here." I feel another push against my ribs. He grins and kisses my stomach "I'm your daddy and I can't wait to meet you," he says. I smile at his enthusiasm, but besides relief that the baby is ok, I only feel terror. The baby could get reaped or even worse, be born early in the arena.
"Great," says Haymitch. "Let's go to our compartments."