A/N: Alright so we all know like 90% of stuff on here is post-Mockingjay which I love to death, because honestly that's such an interesting time to explore and well Canon is so perfect it's daunting to even attempt writing in that world, BUT I wanted to try something new. For this little tale I focused on a time I found interesting and something I think could have realistically happened. I guess you could say this is kind of based off that impulse Katniss has in the sewers during the final mission in the Capitol to kiss Peeta when she sees him slipping away.

I'm a little nervous and anxious to see how this is received so please review! THANKS!

All those months of taking it for granted that Peeta thought I was wonderful are over. Finally, he can see me for who I really am. Violent. Distrustful. Manipulative. Deadly.

And I hate him for it.

It feels almost like every other night as of late. I can't stop tossing and turning. I stare up at the stone ceiling of the room I share with Johanna, letting my mind wander to the dark places it likes to go to. I seem to exist in a state of constant, restless anxiety.

Tonight will be different though. I have a plan.

Since that encounter with Peeta last week I've been waging a war with myself. Part of me knows I should just go back to the earlier plan I had. The plan to simply let the tortured boy that the Capitol corrupted go, and follow through with my mission to kill Snow. I would avenge the deaths Snow caused and spare Peeta from any further pain I could inflict on him.

Another part of me can't help but clinging on to the possibility, the slightest glimmer of hope, that Peeta maybe isn't lost from me forever. He has clearly made some improvement. He was able to focus enough to decorate Finnick and Annie's wedding cake. He wasn't so enraged and out of control that he had to be sedated or physically restrained when we spoke. He actually even seemed a little like himself, other than his clear anger and mistrust towards me.

I am selfish enough to entertain the idea that helping Peeta get back to normal would, if not absolve, at least make up for, my past list of transgressions against him.

The plan evolved over several sleepless nights this past week.

The encounter with Peeta left me reeling. I didn't know how to handle the idea that Peeta can now so clearly see me for the horrible person that I am. I hated that everything that had happened made me realize I had taken him loving me for granted.

I would lie in bed, pushing off sleep in fear of nightmares and punishing myself with tortured thoughts. I thought of the Games, the deaths I have caused or witnessed, and how my only purpose now is to incite more death for the slim possibility that the Capitol will fall and this can all be over.

It started to become too much. It was exhausting to dwell on the trauma and tragedy of the past year and a half.

But then something happened.

My mind wandered to Peeta. When I thought of the pure, innocent boy who was tortured at the hands of the Capitol because of me I could literally no longer bare it. Almost like a defense mechanism my mind started to wander in the complete opposite direction. I started thinking instead about those few, fleeting moments when I could honestly say I felt happy, pleasure even, in recent memory. It was always the same. Those kisses in the cave, feeling his warm body next to mine during those nights on the train, sometimes even the feel of his hardness pressing against me when we woke in the morning. And then that final kiss we shared on the beach, when that new, different kind of hunger overcame me.

With these thoughts in mind I would bite softly down on my lower lip, carefully ensure Johanna was passed out from too many morphling doses, and let my hand travel down my body.

It was the first time I'd ever experimented with touching myself. Naturally I always wrote it off as a waste of time or simply not for me. I never even considered pleasuring myself. It was never a priority when my very survival, and the survival of the people I love, was in constant jeopardy. Even now, it seems like such an inappropriate and strange time to start experimenting.

The pain was too much though and I was so desperate for any kind of release. Anything that would make me feel good rather than the constant mental anguish I was experiencing almost every night.

In a way this is how the plan came about. When I touched myself I thought of Peeta. I pushed aside any feelings of guilt just for a moment and remembered how he had always been so loving and gentle with me. I would think about the unexpected heat behind some of his kisses.

I found that bundle of nerves and used two fingers to rub it in slow circles, increasing the pressure and pace as the tension built. I had to suppress any moans for fear of waking up Johanna, but I let my mind go and my body relax. I would imagine, and sometimes even hope, that it was his fingers touching me instead of my own. I thought of what it would be like to feel his naked body pressed up against my own.

I would work myself up until I was sweating and wet between my legs. When my body finally spasmed uncontrollably and I came back to earth I would try to cling to those few moments of reprieve that it had granted me from the harshness of reality.

Lying there in bed, my body still recovering, I could simply not accept the idea of letting Peeta go from my life forever. I knew I owed it to him to help him find his way back, just like what he would be doing for me if the roles were reversed.

I put together a plan of action after I realized what needed to be done. The idea, oddly enough, was sort of based off Prim's own idea of helping Peeta, how she had suggested giving him doses of morphling when he saw images of me to combat the effects of the tracker jacker poison. I thought the basis of the idea, associating something good in his mind when he thought of me, could possibly work in real life too.

I thought that maybe if he felt something other than anger or fear when he looked at me, maybe if he felt desire or even pleasure, he could start to get back to normal.

It was a long shot, and it was quite selfish, but I had made my decision and I wasn't going back on it.

When I shared the basic premise of my plan with Johanna she agreed to help out if I continued giving her my doses of morphling, didn't implicate her if the plan went wrong, and of course, shared the details afterwards if it did go right.

Now I'm lying in my bed again where it all started, waiting for the plan to be set into motion. There is just enough time for me to start to get worked up with nerves and anxiety, imagining all the ways this can possibly go wrong. Before I can do anything though it is midnight and I quietly slip out of the room, hoping Johanna has already taken care of her end of the deal.

I slowly slip outside my room and follow the maze of halls and corridors that lead to the elevator which takes me to Peeta's floor. I stop around the corner from his room, making sure that Johanna has taken care of the guards that are usually stationed outside.

I approach the door making sure the coast really is clear. I take a deep breath, hovering my hand over the doorknob as I try and push all my doubts and second thoughts away.

I turn the knob, finding it open, and I really am in the clear now.

Johanna did her job to perfection.

The moment I enter a small glowing lamp in the corner of the room immediately turns on. He stirs and turns to face me and I realize how lucky I am that he doesn't immediately lunge across the room to strangle me.

He isn't restrained and clearly looks shocked, confused, and not exactly pleased to see me.

"What are you doing here?" He asks harshly and I stay near the door in case I have to make a quick escape. His tone makes me nervous to continue with the plan, makes me question if this was a good idea.

"I'm...I'm sorry," I manage to stutter out, still backed up against the door as he sits up more fully in bed. "I wanted to say sorry for how our last conversation went."

Peeta laughs. It's not cold and ruthless like some of his previous reactions to me as of late, but almost surprised and indifferent, like he doesn't understand the point of me apologizing, much less waking him up in the middle of the night to do it.

"Okay..." he trails off, waiting for me to continue. "And?"

"And I wanted to see you," I feel my voice waver, all my well made plans of the past few days seem completely insane and impossible now faced with the reality of actually talking to Peeta face to face.

"Okay, you've seen me," He retorts, but swings his legs off the side of the bed and sits up more fully. I know he's more curious about why I'm here than he's letting on and the fact he hasn't attacked me yet gives me the courage to go forward with the plan.

"I was hoping..." I begin, moving across the room towards him with great caution, "that I could talk to you somewhere alone." He looks around the empty room and I clarify. "Without fear of being watched or overheard.

He studies me intensely for a moment like he's trying to decide whether to trust a lying mutt. He doesn't say anything though and I can tell he's tempted by simple curiosity. He finally puts his head in his hands and sighs tiredly. "And you're not scared I'm going to hurt you?"

"No," I respond immediately and we both know I'm lying and that I should be.

He stands up from his bed, wearing simple drawstring hospital sleeping pants and a grey t-shirt. He shrugs. "Okay, let's talk."

I nod and turn to leave his room. He follows me outside and we take the elevator back to my floor and then head down the halls until we quietly slip into my room undisturbed. My mind is reeling that everything went according to plan, that I was able to pull it off with a little help from Johanna. I try to push away the fears of being caught or something going wrong or him suddenly attacking me.

I close the door quietly behind me as he enters the small room and try to lock it as discreetly as possible.

"So what do you want to talk about?" Peeta immediately questions as I approach him. He stands awkwardly in the middle of the room, clearly trying to keep his distant. A pain of regret goes through me when I realize how hard this must be for him, to be trying to stay under control, to be fighting off impulses to kill me right here on the spot.

"I just..." I falter over my words. I've never been good at communicating what I'm feeling, but I seem to be especially tongue tied in this moment. I don't know how to express everything I want to. "I just...I'm sorry for what they did to you," I blurt out suddenly on the verge of tears. That isn't exactly what wanted to say but it was clearly on my mind.

This isn't going how I planned at all.

I try to compose myself and wipe away any sign of tears before he notices.

"Well, thanks but that doesn't do me much good," Peeta responds and it isn't particularly malicious. He says it in a way that just shows me how broken he really is, how tired he is of everything.

"I know, I'm sorry," I sympathize.

"I just wish I knew what was real and what isn't!" he bursts out after a moment, clearly aggravated. "I feel like Snow still has me prisoner, like they still own me."

Only I keep wishing I could think of a way to show the Captiol they don't own me.

The words Peeta spoke to me on that rooftop before our first games float back into my consciousness. I almost double over in pain at the notion of what they've done to him, how they have corrupted him in the worst possible way. I can't help it, I move forward and reach out to him without thinking.

"Peeta..." I whisper reaching out to touch his arm.

"Don't!" He immediately yells, pulling away from me and tensing up. I can see he is practically shaking in anger. He breathes heavily, clearly trying to control the rage bubbling up inside of him. "Don't touch me!" He shouts taking a small cup from Johanna's nightstand and throwing it across the room. It hits the wall and shatters to pieces. I'm immediately terrified someone is going to come and investigate the noise, but oddly not afraid for my own safety.

"Okay, I'm sorry," I tell him, encouraged to see his breathing start to return to normal.

"Why did you bring me here, Katniss?" Peeta asks and I'm caught off guard by the question. I'm not ready to admit that to him yet. I'm barely able to admit it to myself.

"I want to help you," I respond truthfully.

"No you don't," Peeta responds and the tone of his voice is unnerving. "If you wanted to help me you would tell me what the hell happened between us for the past year and a half. You would be upfront with me about everything. You would be helping me get my memory back."

His words are hurtful and yet true, so I lash out defensively. "I'm sorry, but I can't! It's too hard, Peeta!"

Before I even have a chance to consider what's going on Peeta moves across the room and grabs me by the shoulders. He pushes me until my back hits the wall and his forearm is pressed up against my chest, keeping me in place.

"And you don't think this is hard for me?" He questions angrily. His body is as close to my own as he can get without touching. His face is just inches away from mine. I can feel the tension in his muscles, the anger coursing through his veins as he stares me down.

"You don't think it's hard for me not to be able to separate lies from reality? You don't think it's hard to feel like I have no control over what I think or how I feel?" He practically spits the words out at me, laced with distaste and fury. I stare into those blue eyes I have always been able to get lost in, that have always been filled with such warmth and kindness and love. His pupils have dilated so much I can barely see any hint of the blue now and he looks like an entirely different person. Oddly, I take note of those blonde eyelashes I have always been so memorized by, how they are still as long and curly as I remember them.

Another feeling courses through me with his body so close to mine though, and it's not fear. I know I should be scared, terrified that he can wrap those strong hands around my throat and kill me in a matter of moments, but I'm not. I don't know why, but I don't really believe that he'll hurt me, like I can almost feel that enough of his old self has come back that he would stop before going that far. It's naive and foolish, but I am not afraid.

Instead, the feel of his body so close to mine makes me remember my plan, my whole reason for bringing him here tonight.

I want to touch him. I want him to touch me. I want him to stop being so angry and afraid and help him remember about us.

His forearm presses into my chest harder, pinning me against the wall. I can't help raising a hand protectively to try and hold him off, but he doesn't do anything else. "Do you know what it's like when every muscle in my body is demanding that I attack you right now? Every impulse, every thought I have is telling me to hurt you."

Now I am trembling, but I stand strong and keep my eyes locked with his. I don't want to give up yet. "Then why aren't you?" I manage to whisper out.

His arm relaxes a little and the pressure eases off my chest. "Because there is something else inside me that I can't ignore. Something that is telling me that hurting you is the last thing in the world I want to do, that I care about you a lot."

He studies me for a moment and then drops his arm. He turns and walks away, sitting on the edge of my bed where he puts his head in his hands. I study him for a long moment, noticing how he looks so defeated, like he has simply resigned to live this tortured existence now. It's this look of pain and misery on his face that makes me determined to follow through with my plan, that makes me so desperately want to help him get better.

Slowly I walk over to him, careful to take a seat next to him, but not too close to make him feel uncomfortable. "I care about you too Peeta, that's why I want to help you get better."

He raises his head to meet my eyes and I swallow thickly, deciding it's now or never.

"Will you let me try something?" I question timidly.

He doesn't respond, only turns to face me more fully and waits for me to continue.

Slowly, I move closer to him, making sure to watch his reaction and not do anything to upset him. When I'm inches away from his face and he realizes what I'm about to do he freezes, but he doesn't pull away. Our lips meet and it's just the softest connection at first, barely whispering against each others flesh.

The kiss evolves into something soft and sweet, reminiscent of previous ones we've shared. I can feel Peeta relaxing, opening his mouth a little more. I'm confident this is what he needed when I feel his hand reach up and cup my face.

"Peeta..." I murmur when we break away to catch our breath. I fight off my impulses to progress things any further and let him set the pace.

He pulls my lips back to his and the kiss starts to become even more heated. His tongue softly strokes mine. We continue to taste each other. It feels so good to touch him like this after so long, after everything that has happened. That hunger from the beach is slowly igniting in my bones.

He reaches out and rests a hand on my hip and just the feel of his hand against my body makes me tremble with desire. To have his hands on me in an intimate way, not in an act of aggression or anger, stirs up that need for pleasure I have been feeling over the past week, that need that led me to touch myself. I'm encouraged that he is responding to my lips and to my touch, and actually reciprocating rather than running away or lashing out. I know my plan is on the right track.

I pull away and stand up off the edge of the bed. He looks at me questioningly and I grab his hand and pull him up to stand beside me.

I take a breath to summon all the courage I have because this is a line we're about to cross that I have never even contemplated crossing before in my life. Even with telling myself it's just part of a plan to help Peeta recover, there's no denying this is a big step that even if he hadn't been hijacked would have been a huge moment for us.

I look into his eyes and notice the ocean blue color has returned. I can't quite read what he's thinking, but he's quiet and studying me and my heart responds with a pang that he's waiting for me to make the next move. I think how far he's come from the deranged boy screaming I was a mutt so many weeks ago.

It's in this moment I know that he won't hurt me, that my little plan was actually a good idea, that this is something we both need right now. I want to be intimate with him and feel his warm flesh and cry tears of joy that he's alive and with me instead of tortured beyond recognition or still in Snow's control like I feared for so long.

I reach out and grasp the hem of his District 13 issued, grey t-shirt. I toy with it for a moment before pulling it up and over his head. He lets me and I don't meet his eyes. After a moment I reach out for the drawstring of the sheer sleeping pants he is wearing. I slowly pull the string that undoes that small bow that had been tied to keep the pants around his hips. Almost instantly they fall to the floor in a heap, revealing he isn't wearing anything underneath and he stands before me now completely nude.

I can't help it when my eyes immediately find his hardness and I take in every detail about him in fascination. I have seen glimpses of the male body before when the dying or injured found their way to our kitchen table to be treated by my mother, but I have never been able to appreciate it up close like this. I'm overwhelmed by how badly I want to touch him and surprised that I'm not nervous or intimidated. He his hard and stiff and pointing straight up, as I appreciate what makes him a man. My eyes travel over the rest of his body, not as strong and healthy as he once was, but slowly recovering. I see the scars on his chest and arms and I shutter to think what they did to leave those marks on him.

My mind wanders back to the first games, when I found him by the river and helped cleaned him up, how I refused to look at the sight of his bare body. Now I can barely tear my eyes away from his naked form. He is so beautiful, even after everything he's been through, he is still perfect in my eyes. Nothing could ever really damage a soul as good and as pure as Peeta's I decide.

Finally, he speaks and his voice is just above a whisper. "What are you doing?"

I look up and see the curiosity in his eyes. He is simply going along with whatever I'm doing, putting up no complaints. It is a far cry from the anger and confusion he has been so inclined to as of late. He seems so much like his old self; sweet, timid, and gentle.

I reach out a hand to curl around his neck and before I pull his lips to meet my own I tell him, "I'm helping you remember."

Our tongues explore each other's mouth and I can feel the passion building now. The hesitance and apprehension from before has all but melted away. We can't hide our feelings anymore. He places his hands on my hips and pulls me flush against his naked body. I feel his hardness pressing against my lower belly and the wetness between my legs grow.

I pull away and lead him over to the edge of the bed where I gently push him down so he is lying flat on his back. I look down at him on the bed, naked and hard and waiting for me to join him. I have no regrets about what I've done tonight or what we are about to do.

I pull my t-shirt over my head and toss it aside, revealing my bare breasts to him. I pull the tie from my hair, releasing my braid and letting my hair fall in waves down my back. I see him watching me and I am trembling in anticipation. I reach down and pull off my sweats and underwear. I go over and crawl on top of him, letting our flesh meet slowly until we are fully pressed up against one another.

His hands travel down my side and then cup my ass, pulling me even tighter against himself. I cup his face in my hand and join our lips again, tasting him with a new urgency. After a frenzy of heated moments, rubbing and pawing at each other, I pull away and whisper in his ear, "I want to make you feel good."

I roll to the side and let my hands travel down his body. I keep my eyes trained on his face so I can study his reaction. When my hand grasps his hardness he takes a sharp intake of breath, closes his eyes, and forms a small 'o' shape with his mouth. I work my hand up and down, gathering the fluid that has already leaked from the tip to ease my movements. I work a deliberately slow place and use my thumb to roll over the head when I reach the top.

"Katniss..." he breathes out and I can't help but smile hearing him say my name like that. Hearing him say my name like that is a small little victory, a way to show not all was lost and he won't always be filled with rage and anger at the thought of me like the Capitol had planned.

I start to increase my movements, seeing him start to jerk his hips in response and getting worked up myself. He is thrusting his himself into my hand and panting heavily. He cries out when he finally comes, leaving my hand and his stomach covered in his come.

I help him clean up with some tissues from my night stand as he recovers. When his breathing starts to return to normal and he has come back down from his high he looks at me carefully.

"Why are you doing this?" He asks, pushing a stray piece of hair behind my ear.

Because I love you.

The thought springs up out of nowhere and it startles me so much that I have to work not to allow the emotion it causes to register on my face. I am too much of a coward to say that out loud or even admit that to myself.

"Because I care about you...a lot," I settle for saying instead, "...and I want to help you get better...and you deserve something good," I add, tracing my fingers across his chest, absentmindedly drawing patterns and avoiding his eyes.

"I just...I want to make sure you don't think you owe me or something," Peeta explains grabbing my face to get me to look at him. He sees the confusion in my eyes and elaborates, "It's not your fault they hijacked me."

Immediately I feel on the verge of tears. Even after everything he's been through Peeta is the one reassuring me. He is not simply thinking about himself, but trying to relieve my guilt over the hell he's been put through. It makes me realize the old Peeta really is in there and is making his way back to me. It makes me feel so fortunate I didn't lose him forever.

Instead of responding I crawl back on top of him and rejoin our lips. I'm tasting him with a sense of desperation and rubbing our naked bodies against one another in a frenzy of heated movements. The ache between my legs grows stronger and my body takes over control of my actions, moving instinctually and in search of that pleasure I have been finding on my own the past few nights.

I grind my hips against his hardness, rubbing my wetness along the length of his shaft. We moan in unison, the feeling sending sparks through my body that leave me incapable of thinking of anything other than how good this feels. I get more desperate, pushing myself against him as I try find some pressure and friction for that bundle of nerves. While I'm panting and moaning against him he grabs me by the back of my legs and swiftly flips me over so I'm lying on my back and he's hovering above me.

It takes me off guard for a moment, especially since he is in such a position of power now, but his lips find the curve of my neck and I know it's okay. His hands travel down my body and when he makes contact with my wetness I can't help whimpering in pleasure. It feels better than what I even imagined. I cling to his body as he starts pumping his fingers inside of me and my hips thrust back against his hand in response. His movements get faster and I'm panting hard, feeling the tension build.

"Peeta..." I moan out, losing all control.

His thumb presses down on the that bundle of nerves, working it in slow, circular motions and I all but lose it. I feel my insides clench around his fingers and I cry out, shock waves shooting through my body. This is ten times greater than the release I've been finding on my own.

My fingernails dig into his back hard as I ride out the euphoria. It's not until my brain starts to function normally again that I notice Peeta's entire demeanor has changed. His eyes are closed, he is breathing heavily and his body is tense and rigid. I study him just long enough to realize what is happening, he is fighting off Capitol induced nightmares in his head, before his eyes shoot open and he grabs me by my wrists and roughly holds me down.

A momentary feeling of panic shoots through me as I realize how vulnerable I am right now. I can see the anger in his eyes, not murderous and out of control, but definitely still enough to have an effect on him. I decide not to be afraid though because I know this is something we'll still have to work through, even as he makes progress.

"Peeta, it's okay," I whisper gently, not fighting back against his hands, but letting him stay in control. "I'm not going to hurt you. It's all lies, everything the Capitol made you believe isn't true."

His hands tighten around my wrists a little, but I see a flicker of doubt in his eyes, like he is contemplating actually believing me. In an instant I make a decision and wrap my legs around his waist, pulling him against me, feeling his hardness rest between my legs. I grind my hips a little and I can see him slowly deflate, pulling away from the anger and giving into the feeling of pleasure where we are connected. He releases my hands and drops his head against my shoulder.

He mumbles something that sounds like an apology, but I just run my hands though his hair and keep pressing my hips against him. When my movements start growing in pace and desperation he rolls off to the side.

"We should wait..." he says, pulling me against him and running an arm down my side. I'm relieved to have pulled him from his episode, but momentarily confused over why we have stopped those heated movements. "We should wait...to do that," he mutters awkwardly, not looking at me, and I realize what he means.

"Yeah, you're right," I agree, resting my head on his shoulder, and he is. We aren't ready for that step yet and it wouldn't be right to do that when he is only slowly starting to make his way back to me.

We lay there in silence for a short while, breathing in unison, running our hands over each other's bodies in soothing movements. After a while Peeta finally speaks up, "Thanks...for that...it was...really good," he manages to stutter out and I can't help the grin that appears on my face.

"I'm glad," I respond, lifting my head to meet his eyes and we exchange shy smiles.

"Is that what you brought me here tonight for?" He questions, and I see a hint of amusement in his eyes. I can't help the blush that suddenly appears and I look away, biting down on my lower lip.

"Maybe," I mutter, feeling my embarrassment grow.

"Well, it helped," he says, pulling my face to his so our eyes meet. He leans in and joins our lips for a soft kiss.

When we pull away, I study him carefully. "Really?" I ask skeptically.

"Well, yeah..." He says, as his hand strokes my arm up and down. "That part I was telling you about that I can't ignore? That part of me that knows I really care about you? It feels like it actually got to be in control tonight, it got to decide what I think and do instead of the Capitol's poison."

Relief washes over me as I hear Peeta confirm what I could only have wished for. It gives me confidence and hope that he will keep getting better. I reach up and kiss him, smiling when I pull away at his tender embrace and gentle demeanor. It's gratifying to have had my plan work out so well when so few things in my life seem to ever go right.

"Do you think I could...stay here with you?" He asks timidly, and then hastily adds, "just for a little while."

"Sure," I smile, reaching out to cover our bare bodies with the bed sheets. "For a little while," I add, placing a kiss on his cheek because we both know he needs to get back to his room before morning.

We lie awake just holding each other for a while. My head rests on his chest and the sound of his heart beat is so comforting and soothing, a reminder that he is still alive and well despite everything he has endured. I can tell from the slowing, steady rhythm of his breathing he is starting to drift off, but I am not tempted by sleep. I want to lie here awake and aware in his arms as long as possible.

I don't know where we go from here, what we do if anyone finds out, or how to explain what will hopefully be the great strides Peeta has made in his recovery overnight. I cringe at the idea of even having to share an edited version of 'my plan' with his doctors, or worse, Haymitch and Plutarch. Sometime later, after thinking through the logistics of how we move forward and reliving the pleasure we shared earlier, I decide we should probably get him back to his room.

Before I even have a chance to rouse him though, he starts muttering in his sleep, tossing and turning with a pained expression on his face. I recognize the signs of a nightmare, whether Capitol induced or simply haunted memories from the past, I can't really tell.

I push the hair away from his face, softly stroking his head as I lean forward and whisper words or reassurance in his ear. "Peeta, it's okay...it's okay, Peeta," I tell him and he wraps his arms around me as he comes to. I can feel him trying to compose himself, recovering from whatever horror was just floating through his consciousness.

He is practically trembling and my heart aches at the pain he has to endure, all that he has suffered. I press a kiss to his cheek and slowly work my way down, trailing my lips down his throat and across his chest. He starts to relax a little, giving into the feel of my lips on his skin. I feel that ache between my own legs grow, but I only want to focus on Peeta and making him feel good.

I work my way lower, down his stomach until I'm even with his hardness and it seems like the most natural thing in the world when my tongue makes contact with him.

When I wrap my lips around his head a kind of wild, animalistic urge consumes me. I start to lick and suck him until he is thrusting his hips. I try and take him more fully in my mouth, desperate to get him off. His hands tangle in my hair and he cries out in ecstasy. I can feel he is trying to pull away, ready to finish, but I refuse to move.

My vision goes blurry for a moment as he comes in my mouth. It overwhelms me how much his own pleasure has an affect on me. That's what love is, I hear a voice whisper in my head, how seeing him happy makes me more happy than makes sense.

The realization is daunting and a little hard to accept, but it's in this moment that I know without a shadow of a doubt that it's true. I love Peeta Mellark, I think as the full weight of what this means hits me. Sharing this physical pleasure, having this intimate trust, being as close as two people can be has forced me to face the reality of what I've been denying for too long.

I am suddenly no longer afraid of how we move forward from here or if he'll continue to get better or any of the possible outcomes of the war.

As long as I have this, as long as I have him, I'm not really afraid of anything anymore.