A/N: Whew! Here's the last of it! I hope you enjoyed :)

Katniss was more than a little surprised when she walked into work the next morning to find a small white envelope laying on her computer keyboard. She glanced around the near-empty office scanning for the possible sender. She picked up the small orange flower that accompanied it, twisted it between her fingers and brought it briefly to her nose. She reached for the envelope noticing her name scrawled across the front in Peeta's familiar, smooth, writing. Turning it over in her hands, she lifted the flap to discover a simple note inside. It read:


I'm sorry for being weird yesterday. I was being stupid. Forgive me?


P.S. dinner tonight at 7?

Katniss felt a smile tug at her lips as she glanced around again for any sign of Peeta. She considered the note a moment longer before setting it back on her desk and heading to the break room for some water for her blossom. She wasn't sure what was up with Peeta, or what prompted the note. But when she considered his behavior from the day before, he had been noticeably different. If she didn't know better, she would've thought him jealous over the sudden appearance of Dalton. But that was ridiculous to even consider since the two of them were just friends, right?

Although, she definitely felt a peculiar pulling at her heart when he blew off her lunch invitation. She grew more than a little concerned when he mentioned in passing that he had a headache (that would explain why he was acting so distant and short with her). She also thought a little too long about his leaving early for the day, saying something about meeting with Finnick, Annie, and the kids for dinner. In the past she couldn't have cared less about Peeta or his feelings, but the more she got to know him and spend time with him, the more that began to change.

She was lost deeply in her thoughts when Peeta's voice filled the quiet space, causing her to startle.

"I see you got my note." He said, nodding toward the flower she held in her hand.

"I'm beginning to think you like scaring me!" She chastised, heart beating wildly, as she filled a small glass with water.

"Yes, I got your note." Katniss continued, a smile playing on her lips as she set the bud inside. "You're allowed to have bad days. You feeling better?" She glanced at him from the corner of her eye before turning to lean back on the counter.

"Yeah, nothing a swift kick in the pants from Annie couldn't fix." He replied with a smirk as he rubbed the back of his neck.

"What's that supposed to mean?" Katniss asked glancing at him suspiciously before she walked back toward her desk with Peeta following closely behind.

"I'll tell you later." He replied, waving it off. "We still on for dinner tonight?"

"Definitely." She replied as she sat down at her desk and settled the flower beside her computer.

"Great!" Peeta said with a clap of his hands.

Katniss shot him a smile, glad for the change in his mood. Once Peeta had walked away, she grabbed her phone and eagerly texted a picture of the flower to Johanna. Her friend's reply was swift:

"Will you just sleep with the poor guy already?!"

Katniss scoffed and rolled her eyes before replying,

"It's not like that! He was only apologizing for blowing me off yesterday."

"Jealous." Was all Johanna replied.

"I doubt it! It was nothing, just a bad day."

"And that's why you're still single!"


"Oh darling, go buy a brain! He. Likes. You. You like him. Simple. Stop over complicating things! And stop being so oblivious…it's not cute anymore."

Katniss rolled her eyes and set the phone down intent on ignoring her friend's jabs. Not one to leave well enough alone, Johanna's next texts pinged in quickly, one after the other. Katniss picked up her phone and read:

"He was jealous, acted like an ass and had enough maturity to admit it AND apologize?"

"Good luck finding many men like that!"

"And again… Stop. Over. Complicating. Everything. It's time to put on your big girl panties and have a real relationship already!"

"I love you, you enormously stubborn pain in the ass! Let me know how dinner goes tonight. Xox"

Katniss chuckled while setting her phone down again, knowing that Johanna's rant was over. She had made several valid points but there was work to be done now. Even though thoughts of having Peeta Mellark all to herself this evening made that near impossible.

Katniss ran her fingers through her hair and tugged at the bottom of her blouse, wondering if she had overdressed. She also questioned if the lace undergarments she'd opted for instead of her usual cotton was taking things a bit too far, or expecting too much too soon.

"Too late to turn back now!" thought Katniss, she had already knocked on his door signaling her arrival.

"Hey." Peeta offered simply as he opened the door, eyes surveying her. Katniss began feeling unnerved as his stare grew longer, an unreadable look upon his face.

"Can I come in?" She asked, peering over his shoulder curiously.

"Of course! Please!" Peeta said, seeming to break from his trance as he moved aside to let her in.

"Nice place." She remarked as she took in the sight of his apartment.

The inside of the home was simple. The layout was open, with one space leading seamlessly into another. The furniture and decor exuded warmth, comfort and manliness, but not so much that Katniss felt like she was in a dorm. She found her mind wandering dangerously as she assessed the home, curious to know what every room in his apartment looked like.

"You look really beautiful, Katniss." Peeta offered looking bashful.

"Thank you." She replied after a moment, coming out of her head.

She tucked her hair behind her ear, feeling a heat rise to her cheeks as they stared at each other for a long moment before a chiming from the kitchen pulled Peeta's attention.

"Dinner will be ready in ten minutes. Make yourself comfortable." He announced, motioning toward the sofa in the other room as he stepped away to the stove.

Katniss wandered toward the living room gazing at the paintings on the wall, framed photographs adorned the tables that flanked the couch. She took a seat gingerly on the sofa, running her hand over its smooth brown leather and glanced briefly at the rough sketches drawn out on the pad of paper sitting on the coffee table in front of her.

"What did you want to drink?" Peeta asked drawing near.

"Whatever you're having." She replied giving him a smile.

"Beer it is!" He said with a snap of his fingers as he disappeared back to the kitchen, returning moments later with two bottles in hand.

"Are all of those yours?" Katniss asked, nodding toward the paintings on the wall beside them.

"Yep, all mine." He replied sitting down next to her and taking a swig of his drink. "Don't worry though, you're welcome to touch them." He said with a wink.

Katniss nudged him playfully in the side, taking a drink herself. They sat quietly for a moment while she eyed the art a moment longer.

"I think I'm falling for you." Peeta blurted out, catching her off guard.

She swallowed quickly causing herself to choke and sputter, trying to think of a way to respond.

"What?" She croaked trying to regain her composure.

"I'm falling for you, Katniss." Peeta admitted again gently.

Her mind was racing; stomach in knots. They had come so far in such a short time. Was it possible he really was falling for her?

"Are you sure?" She replied, instantly feeling stupid for asking such a question. "I mean…how do you know? What makes you think that?" She was floundering. Fast.

Peeta smirked, "I just do," he shrugged.

Another chime from the kitchen caught his attention. Katniss stood eagerly to follow him. She watched at his side as he pulled a dish from the oven, set it down and turned a series of knobs before removing his oven mitts.

"Listen, Katniss," Peeta said turning toward her, a thoughtful look crossing his features. "I don't think I can do this whole 'friends' thing with you. The more I think about it, the more I realize it's you. You're it for me. Even early on when I acted like a completely stupid jerk. I guess it was my way of getting your attention. Being near to you." He offered with a shrug.

"In the worst way possible." Katniss muttered under her breath, glancing to the side.

"Yes, in the worst way possible! I know!" He grabbed her hands in his looking her square in the eyes. "But I want you. I want to do this with you. I think about you all the time. I like being around you, talking with you, working with you." His voice rose with each admission.

"I'm tired of being alone, Katniss. I'm tired of being lonely…" He said quietly, trailing off.

They looked at each other for a long time while Katniss searched for the right response. She was terrible with the mushy stuff. Feelings and romanticism were never really her thing. Her mind reeled with several different ideas of words to say. It seemed, however, that none were forthcoming. After awhile Peeta looked expectantly at her and Katniss' mind froze completely.

"Say something." Peeta urged giving an awkward chuckle.

"Dinner smells amazing." Katniss offered meekly, going for the first idea that came mind.

Peeta heaved a sigh and turned to grab the dishes for dinner. Katniss felt her chest tighten. If words were not her strong suit, actions definitely were. Gathering her courage, she stepped closer to Peeta's side. He turned his head to eye her curiously just before she grabbed his face in her hands and pressed her lips to his. She tilted her head to deepen the kiss, feeling Peeta turning to face her. She felt his hands press against her back, bringing her closer to him and dug her fingers into his hair at the back of his neck, feeling his soft wavy locks on her skin. She allowed her hands to roam over his broad shoulders and down his arms.

Peeta pulled back after a moment and gave her a small smile before taking her face in his hands and kissing her lips so softly that Katniss wondered if they had made contact at all. She found herself eager to feel his mouth on hers again and pressed against him. Katniss felt relief when Peeta pressed back, a grunt coming from the back of his throat as he pushed her into the countertop.

"How about a tour?" Katniss asked pulling back breathlessly before diving back in to kiss Peeta.

Their hands roamed each others' bodies hungrily. While she was normally one to move painfully slow when it came to relationships, there was something about Peeta that ignited a fire in her. And right now there was only one thing she wanted to do slowly.

"Sure." Peeta replied with a quick nod before leaning down to kiss her neck.

"This is the ah-kitchen. Living room." He said with a quick glance around, motioning with his hand before tending to her neck again.

With his hands on her hips, he began to guide her backward down the short hallway. Leaving dinner behind and long forgotten.

"My studio." He choked out before a moan escaped his lips. Katniss smirked as she nibbled his earlobe, pleased with the reaction she had elicited.

"Bedroom." Peeta whispered pulling back once again, searching her eyes. Both stood breathless, foreheads against one another. Katniss' back pressed against the door.

"Thanks for showing me around." She replied biting her lip.

Reaching behind her back to search for the door's handle, she quickly found success. Peeta steadied the two of them as they spilled into the room.

"Peeta?" Katniss muttered.

Peeta gave her a noncommittal grunt and continued in his quest to kiss every inch of her neck, nibbling at her earlobe.

"Peeta!" She said more insistently.

"What?" He asked pausing from the action, a heavy-lidded expression on his face.

Katniss felt her stomach knot as she admitted, "I don't want to be friends either."

Peeta gave her a seductive smile as he dove in to kiss her lips, kicking the door shut behind them.