Hello again, my dear readers! I couldn't stay away from Everlark for too long so here is the start of a new story for you. It takes place mostly during Mockingjay, but there are some twists in the original plots of Catching Fire (as you will see) and Mockingjay both. I know I'm not the first to go this route, but I hope you like my take on it.

As always, please feel free to leave reviews and let me know what you think. Your thoughts are greatly appreciated. Until next time...happy reading!

Disclaimer: Some dialogue taken from Suzanne Collins and Francis Lawrence's movie, The Hunger Games: Catching Fire

Warning: Mature content ahead!




Peeta and I lay in bed, trying to push the thoughts of the Quarter Quell from our minds and get some sleep. But after lying there for what felt like hours, I began to give up trying to sleep. I lay on my side, with my head on Peeta's chest, listening to his steady heartbeat. Normally, the sound lulled me to sleep, but not tonight.

Peeta's arm was around my shoulder and I felt him squeeze me gently.

"Peeta?" I whispered.

"Hmm?" he responded.

"Can you sleep?"

"No," he said, shifting slightly. "I gave up a while ago."

"Me too," I said sighing. We were silent for a moment before I sat up to look at him. "I don't want to be with anyone else in the arena. Just you."

"If that's what you want."

"That's what I want."

He nodded, the grief so evident in the lines of his face that my heart constricted at the sight.

I don't know what exactly led me to do it, if it was the sadness I felt over seeing him so depressed or the fact that I was planning to die for him in the arena, but I leaned forward and kissed him gently on the lips.

He seemed shocked for a moment and didn't kiss me back, but I lingered, willing his lips to mold to mine and they did. My lips parted slightly, and I slowly slid the tip of my tongue over his lips. He pulled back from me.

"Katniss," he began to protest, but I leaned forward and kissed him again. His hand came up and gently pushed my shoulder back. "Katniss, what are you doing?" he asked, the confusion on his face contradicting the longing in his eyes.

"Kissing you," I replied simply, leaning forward to kiss him again, but he held me back and shifted so he was sitting up straighter.

"Katniss, stop. What's going on?"

"I…I just want to kiss you," I whispered, beginning to feel embarrassed. "I thought you would like that…"

His brow furrowed. "Well, I…I do like it, but…I don't want you to kiss me just because you think that's what I want."

It suddenly hit me how selfish I was being. All of our kissing had been in front of the cameras, and while I'm sure Peeta wanted to believe that I was kissing him because I wanted to, I had already broken his heart once before.

While he still remained selfless and kind, he was more guarded now. I hadn't even considered his feelings when I kissed him just now. And why did I kiss him? Was it because I wanted to? I wasn't sure if that was it, but I knew that I liked the feeling it brought me. It had a way of making me forget what lay ahead of us.

His eyes were locked on my face, as if he could read all of my thoughts. I met his stare and said, "I want to."

His eyes widened slightly, but immediately narrowed as if he were suspicious. I leaned in close to him so that our lips were almost touching and whispered, "I want this, Peeta." And then I put my lips back on his.

I was mildly surprised at my forwardness. But as his lips began to melt into mine, I remembered why I wanted this. His desire began to overcome his restraint as his hands came up to hold my face. His tongue began to probe the seam of my lips and I parted them for him, our tongues dancing and exploring each other's mouths.

I realized I had never kissed Peeta this way before. And I had definitely never kissed him this way without cameras around. I realized I liked kissing him like this. It was making me dizzy and breathless, and made me feel light as a feather.

He was leaning against the headboard, mostly sitting up, and I sat with my body facing his. I tilted my head so that he could deepen the kiss and found myself drawing closer to him. I was now partially leaning on him, my hands on his chest. His hands moved to my sides, pulling me even closer until our chests were flush against each other.

We searched for new angles, our gasps mingling, and the heat mounting. All thoughts of the Quarter Quell left my mind as I became lost in this kiss. I began to wonder how I had never allowed myself to feel this before. Is this what Peeta had dreamed of all along?

All of my senses were becoming heightened and I noticed things I had never noticed before. Like how sculpted Peeta's chest muscles felt under my fingertips, how strong but gentle his hands were, how soft and sweet his lips tasted.

Suddenly, as if they had a mind of their own, my hands were slipping down his chest to the hem of his shirt. I slowly slid my hands underneath, feeling his stomach muscles flinch at my touch and goosebumps rise on his skin. I ran my hands over his bare skin, feeling the light dusting of hair around his navel and across his chest.

When I stretched my arms to reach around his back and dug my nails in, this seemed to trigger something in him. He groaned as his lips left mine and began to kiss across my cheek and down my neck.

I moaned slightly as his actions sent shivers down my spine. His hands began to knead the flesh of my hips, as if they were itching to touch more of me. I leaned my head back farther for him to have better access to my neck. I didn't want him to stop what he was doing, but he did when my hands ran down the tops of his thighs.

He was panting, his breath ragged. I opened my eyes to see why he had stopped. Even though I could tell he was trying to calm down, I could see his eyes smoldering in the moonlight. And I noticed other things too. Like how his hair was now mussed and his lips were swollen.

"Katniss," he breathed out. "I…We…We should stop."

"Why?" I asked, sounding a little too innocent.

He swallowed audibly. "I don't want you to do anything you'll regret," he whispered, dropping his eyes from my stare and running his hands over his face.

I knew what he was referring to. I had never really given much thought to it in the past, resolute in my decision to never get married or have children. But the way Peeta was making me feel right now was quickly making that decision seem less and less significant. And getting lost like this made all of my grief seem so distant. I didn't want Peeta to stop. I wanted to get lost in him.

I gently pried his hands away from his face and forced him to look up at me. The longing was still etched in his face, but his eyes were full of regret. I wanted him to be able to forget his grief too – if only for a little while.

I leaned forward and kissed him again, hoping this kiss would convey what I wanted him to understand. It must have worked because it seemed the rest of his restraint dissolved.

He suddenly grabbed me and guided me to lie down next to him on the bed. As our kissing became more and more heated, I drew closer to him again until our bodies were flush against each other.

I felt something hard poking my lower abdomen and flushed as I realized what it was. Normally, I think this would be something that Peeta would be embarrassed about, but he was so far gone he probably didn't even think about it.

And normally, this would be something that I would panic about, but instead it had the opposite effect. I felt oddly proud that I was responsible for his excitement. So I wrapped my leg around him to pull him closer to me until he was pressed against my core.

He let out a deep moan as I pushed against him and kissed me with more fervor. My hands trailed down to the edge of his shirt again until I was tugging it back up. We stopped kissing for a moment to remove his shirt and then immediately reconnected once it was flung to the side.

My hands explored his naked chest, running my fingers down his stomach and feeling the muscles twitch in my wake.

His hands squeezed my hips, and his fingers burned against my bare skin where my shirt had slightly ridden up. I tried to subtly maneuver in a way that made my shirt rise farther. I wanted to feel his hands on me. But Peeta, ever the gentlemen, would need a more obvious hint than that before he did something so bold with me.

"Peeta…" I breathed as he began to trail kisses down my neck and to my collar bone. I felt his tongue flick against my skin and I shivered with pleasure.

A heat that I didn't understand was beginning to pool between my legs and I moaned as I pushed myself against him. He seemed even harder than before. I had the sudden urge to feel him, but was completely unsure of how to do it properly so I continued running my hands over his naked chest and back, feeling his sculpted muscles.

To my surprise, his hands began to move further up my sides until they were just under my breasts. Not close enough to touch them, but enough to make me want him to touch them. Realizing that he wasn't going to do it himself, I grabbed the edge of my nightshirt and pulled it over my head, breaking our kiss.

His eyes widened. I noticed that he was doing all he could to keep his eyes on my face, but I gently took his hands and placed them back where they had been before, just under my breasts. I wasn't wearing a bra and the burning sensation where his hands were intensified. His will finally broke and he glanced down at my bared breasts. His eyes smoldered and his mouth fell slightly open. Once he looked though, it was as if he couldn't look away.

I pushed against him again to pull him out of his trance, and we moaned in unison at the delicious friction. Then his hands were suddenly caressing the sides of my breasts with feathery light touches.

I gasped at the sensation and arched towards him, desperately seeking for him to touch me. He seemed to catch the hint and kissed me tenderly as his hands fully cupped my small breasts. His thumbs began to rub around my nipples, which had hardened and puckered significantly, and I moaned more loudly.

Peeta's mouth covered my own to drown out the moan as he continued to massage my breasts and tease my nipples. When he kissed down my neck and began peppering kisses on my breasts I thought that there couldn't be a greater feeling, but then his mouth closed around a peak and I gasped loudly, arching into him.

He continued sucking and teasing, moving onto the other nipple. My hands found their way into his hair and tugged. He hummed in approval with my nipple in his mouth and the vibrations escalated the pleasure.

The next thing I knew, he was hovering over me, cradled between my legs. I felt his hardness teasing my core and I wrapped my legs around his thighs to pull him closer to me. We gasped against each other's mouths at the sensation.

I wasn't sure why it felt good for him to press there, but it did. And with each kiss to my mouth and breasts, the better it felt.

I became so lost in the sensation, that I didn't realize I was pulling at Peeta's pants until he stopped me.

"Katniss, we really need stop," he said quietly, leaning his forehead against mine, panting slightly.

"I don't want to," I whined.

He suddenly rolled off of me and flopped down on his back next to me.

I sat up to look at him, frustrated. "Why do we have to stop?" I demanded.

He stared up at the ceiling as he answered, "Because…we just do."

"That's not an answer," I said, irritated.

He sighed, but still wouldn't look at me. "I just…I can't do this."

Confusion swelled in me. "Why?" I suddenly felt very self-conscious and crossed my arms over my breasts.

It suddenly occurred to me that I might not be the first person Peeta had done this with. The green fog of jealousy crept into my mind. I felt my face form a scowl. "You've done this before haven't you? With someone else?"

He finally looked at me, surprise and confusion flickering in his narrowed eyes. "No. Why would you think that?"

I inwardly sighed with relief and the jealously fled. I shrugged. "You just...Because...A lot of girls like you. A lot of prettier girls..." I mumbled.

"Katniss, you seriously think that I don't find you pretty?" he asked, sitting up.

I shrugged.

"Well you're right...I don't find you pretty. I find you beautiful. Radiant. Stunning. Pretty doesn't even come close to describing how I see you." He took my hands in his, baring my breasts to him again. "I could never do this with anyone else. No one even compares to you."

"Then I don't understand," I whispered.

He sighed. "It's just…this isn't how I wanted this to happen."

"What do you mean?"

"I want you to do this because you love me, Katniss," he stated, his eyes boring into mine.

I couldn't hold his stare at those words. We were silent for a few moments as I formulated a response. When I had, I suddenly felt bold and moved to straddle him on the bed. His eyes got wide with shock as I pinned his arms down above his head. I could feel his manhood twitch against the back of my leg in excitement.

"Peeta, I don't know what to call what I feel for you," I began. "But I know this: I need you. And I can't stand the thought of anything happening to you. When I think about losing you, I can feel myself falling apart. When I wake up from a nightmare, your arms are the ones I want around me. Your voice is the one I want to hear…"

Peeta looked as if he were about to protest but I cut him off. "I need you Peeta. And I can't live without you. I don't know if that's love, but...I...I can't imagine spending my life with anyone else."

When I ended my speech, Peeta just stared at me dumbfounded. Shaking off the shock I felt at my own words, I became too impatient for his reply, and leaned down, still pinning his arms above his head, and kissed him deeply. He immediately responded, and the heat with which he kissed me back set me on fire and stole my breath away.

Even though I was straddling him, he was still stronger than me. He easily flipped us over until he was hovering over me again, grinding his hips into mine. This time, when I began to pull at his pants, he didn't stop me. I pushed his pants past his hips and he kicked them off the rest of the way, leaving him in black boxer briefs which did little to hide his hardened manhood.

His hands gently skimmed my sides as he began kissing and sucking my breasts again. Eventually, his hands ended up pulling my pants down too, leaving me in a pair of white cotton panties. I pushed my hips up into his, feeling his hardness in a new way. We both gasped loudly and he grinded into me again.

Seeing this side of Peeta was intoxicating. I had never seen him so unrestrained, so forward with his desires. He was always kind and gentle, but his actions now were so demanding and full of passion that it deliciously shocked me.

Suddenly, he stopped kissing my breasts and began to trail kisses down my abdomen, tantalizingly slow. When he reached the top of my panties, he looked up at me, as if he were asking permission. I nodded and lifted my hips up so that he could remove them. He tenderly kissed my thighs and hips as he made his way back up to my face, lying on his side next to me. His hand trailed down to my center as his tongue delved deeply into my mouth, making me moan.

When his fingers slid against my folds, he nuzzled my neck. He let out a low groan when one of his fingers found my entrance and slid in. The sensation was unlike anything I had ever experienced and I moaned appreciatively.

He pulled his finger back and slid it up my folds, suddenly hitting a sensitive spot that made my hips buck off of the bed. I gasped loudly and Peeta's eyes widened as he continued to rub the spot. I was so aroused by what he was doing to me that I reached over to feel him through his boxers. He let out a deep groan, throwing his head back. His fingers momentarily ceased their movements against my folds as he became lost in his own pleasure.

As if catching himself, he took a deep breath and returned his fingers to my folds. But as he picked up his rubbing again, I pulled his hand away and reached out with my other hand to grip the waistband of his boxers. Looking into my eyes, he understood what I wanted and helped me pull them down, his manhood springing free.

I could see him tremble slightly as he resisted the urge to cover himself. Having been heartbroken by me before, he must have felt so vulnerable and afraid that I would suddenly panic and change my mind upon seeing him.

I tried to resist the urge to look at him, but eventually my curiosity won. I looked down at him and let out a breath. I had seen men naked before when they were brought to my mother for healing, but I had never seen an aroused man before. It was different than I had imagined. Large, throbbing, insistent.

Instead of feeling my instinctual panic, I felt warmth for Peeta spread through my chest and I kissed him deeply as I wrapped my hand around his manhood, eliciting a moan from him. It didn't feel like I imagined it would. It was hard and soft at the same time, burning in my hand. Unsure of what to do, I squeezed again before opting to stroke him up and down.

It must have felt good, because Peeta rolled the rest of the way over onto his back, letting out a long, deep moan. I noticed his forehead was shiny with sweat and his hair clung to it.

I continued to stroke him until he gently pulled my hand away, forcing me onto my back again. As he hovered over me, his manhood pressed against my folds, I decided I wanted him to make love to me. I knew he would ask me a million times if I was sure, so without a word, I reached down between us to take him in my hand again. He lifted his hips a little bit to allow me easier access and I took the opportunity to gently tug him toward my entrance. I locked my legs around him tighter, pulling him closer to me, and guiding him into me.

I could feel him trembling as he held himself up on his arms, trying to maintain self-control. When he was partially inside of me, I felt him reach a barrier that made me inhale sharply.

"Katniss, we don't have to do this," he said, tenderly brushing my hair back from my face and attempting to pull out of me.

"No," I said, vehemently shaking my head. "I want this."

The look in my eyes must have conveyed my seriousness because he did not protest. He simply nodded and said, "Tell me when you're ready. And tell me if you want me to stop."

I nodded in agreement then took a deep breath as I said, "I'm ready."

With a final thrust of his hips, he had broken the barrier and was completely sheathed inside of me. I gasped at the pain as he gasped in pleasure, nearly collapsing on top of me.

"Are you okay?" he asked, collecting himself.

"Yes, just give me a moment," I replied quietly.

He kissed me as he allowed me to adjust to him.

When the pain had subsided to a slight discomfort, I let out a breath and said, "Okay."

He pulled his hips away from me, almost completely withdrawing from me, and then gently thrust back into me. After several more thrusts, he began to find a rhythm that seemed to please us both.

When I began meeting his thrusts, his arms buckled. "Katniss, I…I can't…I won't be able to…" he whispered, flushing.

I kissed him tenderly as I locked my legs around the backs of his legs, guiding him into me and letting him know it was alright.

He persisted with the steady rhythm for a little longer until his thrusts came quicker and a little more forcefully. He continued to quicken his thrusts, until they were frantic and he was panting desperately above me.

I wrapped my arms around him, placing my hands on his back, feeling the tenseness of his muscles. He shivered as I raked my nails down his back and then suddenly he went rigid above me. I looked up at him with intrigue as his muscles went taut, his eyes squeezed shut, his mouth fell open, and he let out a loud agonizing moan. I felt him pulsate inside of me and a warm rush spread through my abdomen. Then he collapsed on top of me, shuddering.

I kissed the top of his head as he tried to catch his breath.

After his breathing slowed, he turned his head to look at me. "Katniss, that was…that was amazing," he said. "Thank you." He peppered my face with kisses then tenderly kissed my lips.

I smiled down at him but suddenly his face fell and he looked serious. "Did that…did it feel good for you?"

I nodded. "Yes."

"But did you…did you…" he trailed off, seeming embarrassed.

"Did I what?" I asked, confused.

Instead of answering, he rolled off of me onto his side, pulling out of me. I felt a stickiness on my thighs and felt fluid leaking out of me. Peeta suddenly let his fingers trail down to my folds again where he immediately found that sensitive spot. It was even more sensitive than before and I gasped loudly as my hips bucked off the bed.

Peeta took on a look of concentration as he began to rub the spot intently, making me writhe and moan his name. I felt a tightening in my lower abdomen building, until suddenly it was as if my body couldn't take anymore and I felt a release. The pleasure radiated throughout my entire body, sending tingles down my legs and up my spine.

As I fought to catch my breath, I felt Peeta stroking my face gently. When I opened my eyes, I saw the sun was rising and was beginning to illuminate the room.

The dread of what was to come suddenly came crashing down on me again. Peeta must have thought the same thing because his face fell.

"Katniss," he began quietly. "No matter what happens in that arena, remember tonight. And remember how much…how much I love you."

He caressed my cheek as he said this and I felt tears well up in my eyes. "I won't forget," I promised as I leaned in to kiss him, silently thinking I wouldn't have to remember for very long if Haymitch held up his end of the deal and got Peeta out alive instead of me.

When I pulled away, I saw a soft, sad smile gracing his lips. "You have no idea how much that means to me. How much this meant to me. I understand what you've just given to me, Katniss, and I'm going to treasure that for the rest of my life." The fact that the rest of his life could only be a few more days went unspoken. But I silently promised him that I would get him out of the arena alive.

I smiled back at him as the sun rose a little higher and the golden hues highlighted his hair and eyelashes. I cuddled up next to him in the position we started the night in and watched the sun rise with him, his hand tenderly stroking my naked shoulder as mine played with the dark hairs on his chest.

Suddenly there was a soft knock on the door, letting us know it was time to get up. Peeta sighed and turned to leave a lingering kiss on my forehead.

I reluctantly moved away so that he could get up. He sat up and swung his legs over the edge of the bed. I watched his back muscles flex as he leaned down to pick up his boxers and pull them on. He found the rest of his clothes and pulled them back on as well.

As he walked to the door he turned around to look at me and said with a melancholy smile, "I'll see you soon."