Hi Everyone! So here's that epilogue I promised to post in May.. *looks around nervously* - Well I hope you enjoy it! :)

I want to dedicate this last installment to my beta and friend Court81981 in honor of her completing her epic journey 'A Favorable Wind'. If you have not had the pleasure of reading this fic then you are definitely missing out because it has everything you would want in a story... Adventure, Suspense, Sexy Sailors, Glorious Smut and of course...Everlark!

And with that I hope you enjoy!

Three months later...

The pickup truck filled with the rest of his crew drops Peeta off in front of his modest blue house with the white picket fence. The front of the house is lined with red and yellow primroses. Peeta had planted them in honor of a young girl he would never meet but has heard so much about.

He's home from work earlier than usual. Construction on the house his crew is building on the other side of town was halted because supplies ran out. Materials have been hard to come by since the war ended. Peeta was lucky to have found a job in construction at all.

When Peeta and Katniss came across the town of Martinsburg, West Virginia three months ago, they both instantly fell in love with it. They found a house right away, and paid for it out of the money Katniss received for selling her home back in Connecticut.

Peeta searched for work right away, but most jobs revolved around the coal industry, the major resource around the Appalachian Mountains. Katniss begged him not to take a job in the coal mines, at one point bursting into tears as she explained the foreboding feeling she had about the profession. She had insisted that she could find work too besides the hunting she did to put fresh meat on their table, but Peeta had not felt right about the idea.

So it was by chance that Peeta met Abraham Oates.

Peeta had watched the tall dark-haired man exit a bank on the main street in town. As the man turned down the sidewalk, Peeta watched a dark object fall from the gentleman's pocket. When he got closer he saw it was a leather wallet. The bifold was heavy, and he could see the green corners of bills poking out from the opening.

Peeta looked up just in time to watch the owner turn a corner. He looked down at the wallet once again, opened it, looked inside and let out a shaky breath when he saw the vast number of bills folded inside—most of which were not ones and fives. For a moment Peeta actually thought about rushing home with the wallet. He knew their money was running out quickly, and he didn't want to fail Katniss. But instead he took a deep breath and started to run up the street. When he spotted the man, he slowed to a jog and called out to him.

"Sir, excuse me, sir. I think you dropped this." He waved the wallet in his hand as he approached the man. The owner's mouth dropped open as he closed the distance between himself and Peeta.

"I...oh God, thank you so much. I..." He started shaking his head, and he opened the wallet, looking at the contents briefly before pulling out a few bills and pushing them towards Peeta. "Please take this," he insisted. "You saved my life."

As much as Peeta would have liked to have taken the money he refused, his guilt over having had the thought to take the wallet for his own weighing heavily over him. The man quirked an eyebrow at Peeta in confusion.

"What's your name?" the man asked.

"Peeta, sir."

"Well Peeta, what do you do for work?" Peeta froze. He has not had this question asked to him before, and he's wasn't sure how to answer it so instead he said the first thing that came to mind.

"I was in the military, sir."

"What branch?"

"Army, sir."

The man rubbed his finger under his nose while studying Peeta. "Well Peeta, here's the thing. I need strapping young men like you to come work at my lumber yard, so if you find you need the work, I want you to come down to 'Martinsburg Lumber Company' on Washington Ave, and ask for me, Abraham Oates, and I'll get you a job."

Peeta's shock must have been apparent on his face because the man began to chuckle.

"It's the least I can do for a fellow war vet and an honest man." He lifted his wallet up.

"Thank you, sir." Peeta couldn't believe his luck. His stomach flipped excitedly as he ran, sore leg and all, the rest of the way home to tell Katniss the good news.

The next morning when Peeta arrived at the lumber yard, Abraham was happy to see him and gave Peeta a job right away.

Peeta enters the house through the side door that leads into the kitchen. As soon as he walks in, his foot splats into a small pool of liquid. When he looks around, he sees a thin layer of water over most of the kitchen floor. In front of him the cabinet doors that lead under the sink are wide open and Katniss is kneeling on the ground. Half her body is in the cabinet while the bottom half of her, which is clad in tight blue pants, is swaying with her movements. Water sprays out all around her, and Peeta can hear the clanging of metal tools against cast iron pipes.

Peeta knows he should run to help her, but he is momentarily paralyzed as he admires the way the clingy blue material hugs the swell of her ass. It is not until the water stops and Katniss begins to back out of the cabinet that he is able to tear his gaze away. She stands and turns around, jumping a little in shock when she sees him, but a smile quickly lights up her face.

"We had a leak," Katniss admits sheepishly. "But I think I have it under control." Peeta only nods in response as he stares at her.

The front of her blue pants are wet. She wears one of Peeta's blue button-down shirts tied into a knot just below her navel revealing her bare midriff . It is soaked, allowing the material to cling to her breasts. Her hair is held up with a damp red bandana, but a ringlet of dark hair cascades down the side of her face. Katniss scratches the side of her head hidden by the bandana with the wrench in her hand as she explains what happened, but all he can think is that Rosie the Riveter has nothing on Katniss Everdeen as he feels his cock begin to stir. His heart hammers against his chest and he knows he needs to leave the room until he can calm himself down, but he can't tear his eyes away from her.

In the time they have been together they have done no more than kiss even though they have slept entwined around each other in the same bed since discovering they both have nightmares. Occasionally their kisses became more heated, but they have never gone any farther despite Katniss's willingness.

Peeta has never wanted anything like he wants Katniss. He wants to feel her naked flesh against his, to feel her move underneath him. His need for her is painful at times, so much so that Peeta has had no choice but to grasp his length in his hands and pump it until he cries out her name. Yet for all his want, making that final leap both terrifies him and inundates him with guilt.

Katniss has made it clear that she will wait forever if she needs to for him to be ready, but the way her hooded eyes cloud and the way her erect nipples drag against his chest during a frantic kiss tell him she wants him too.

At one point Katniss had asked if he wanted to be married before they consummated their relationship. She told him she would be his wife in a heartbeat if he wanted her to be, and although the idea of marrying Katniss crosses his mind at least half a dozen times a day, that is not what is stopping him. It's just the want he has for her makes him feel guilty—it is so new to him and still feels very wrong.

But now here he stands, entranced by the wet clothing plastered to her soft curves and he can feel his pants tent in response. Katniss' words trail off as she glances down and catches sight of his arousal. His breath hitches in his throat when he sees where her eyes are directed. He feels heat crawl up his neck and onto his cheeks.

"I...uh...I'm going to get something to clean this up," he mumbles, eyes downcast to the floor. He turns quickly, making his escape from the kitchen.

"Wait, Peeta!" She calls out to him. "Please." The way she says please catches him off guard. He stops and turns back to face her.

Katniss splashes through water with her bare feet as she approaches him and stops just inches from him. Peeta gulps as he feels his resolve weaken with her proximity to him. He looks up and meets her mercury colored eyes. For a moment they just stare at eachother, no sounds escaping besides the quickened pace of their breathing. Katniss eventually breaks the stare, and she bites down hard on her bottom lip as she leans in, her lips so close that they brush against his ear.

"Do you feel that?" Her voice is a hoarse whisper "That hunger?" Peeta can do nothing but nod. He knows this hunger she talks about—the one that originates from the lower part of his gut and burns through his veins leaving him desperate for the ache to be satisfied.

"I feel that same hunger every damn time that I am with you," she practically groans into his ear, making his cock twitch. He gasps quietly when her hand makes contact with his stomach and then snakes its way down so it covers the proof of his hunger for her. She begins stroking it with her fingers, which causes Peeta to inhale his next breath sharply. "Sometimes," she continues, "it hurts to be around you because I can't manage to catch my breath and the pain of not being able to be with you the way I want to is just too much." She moves her hand to cup him and massage his rigid erection. He whimpers under her ministrations. Katniss pulls back so she can look into his lidded eyes once again. He shivers when he sees the pooling lust in hers.

"I love you, Peeta, and I will wait as long as you need me to, but you need to stop fighting this." Peeta stares intently at her lips as she speaks. "What you feel, what you want is not wrong in any way." She leans in and brushes her lips against his. "You have denied yourself pleasure long enough, Peeta." The movement of her mouth against his as she speaks sends shocks down to his groin. Her eyes meet his again.

"Do you want me?" And while the answer to her question is obvious there is a nervous edge to her voice. Peeta can barely keep his erratic thoughts straight; his worry, his guilt, his paranoia are all clawing at the forefront of his brain, but this question he knows the answer to.


"Then take off my shirt." Peeta moans at the request, sucking his bottom lip into his mouth, and his shaky hands lift automatically to the the knot that rests just below her navel. With clumsy hands he manages to untie the knot that is swollen with water, the shirt tails falling down in a sheet of wrinkled material.

Peeta's hands then move up the length of the button-down till he reaches the top button and slowly as his breathing quickens, he undoes every single one. Once the shirt is unbuttoned, his hands grasp on to either side near the shoulders. He looks to Katniss for permission, and she nods once before he pushes the material off of her shoulders. It falls behind her, pooling on the floor, exposing her bare breasts to him.

Peeta's cock pulsates painfully in his pants as he stares at the two perfect mounds of olive-colored flesh. His instinct is to reach up and knead their pliableness with his fingers, but his anxiety stops him.

"Peeta." He moves his eyes up to hers. "Touch me," she begs. "Please." He swallows his nerves and hesitantly reaches towards her breasts.

At first he just lets the tips of his fingers trace the outline of her pebbled nipples, but then he becomes more brave and takes the nipples between two fingers, rolling them gently. Katniss releases a sigh as he does, which spurs him on. He covers her breasts with his hands and begins squeezing the flesh gently. She moans loudly and pushes into Peeta's hands.

He drags the tips of his fingers over her breasts, down her flat stomach, and rests his hands on her hips, leaving a trail of raised skin in his wake. He looks to her, eager for further instruction.

"Kiss me," she whispers. Peeta wastes no time cupping the back of Katniss's head with one hand and pulling her mouth to his. His other hand grasps her hip tightly as he traces her bottom lip with his tongue, begging for entrance. Katniss complies, opening her mouth, allowing his tongue to wrestle with hers. Her hands reach up between them, and she begins fumbling with the buttons of his brown shirt. Her movements startle Peeta, and he breaks his mouth away from hers.

"What are...?" But the rest of the words die in his throat as he looks down at Katniss. The feelings he has for her are indescribable. Why should he not be with her this way, this woman who brought him a love and inner peace, but also a hunger he has never felt before? Instead of trying to stop it, he lifts her off the ground so her waist is flush with his. Katniss wraps her legs around him, putting delicious pressure on his throbbing erection. He moans and his forehead hits her shoulder, his lips gently touch her skin, as his hips buck into hers

"Bedroom," she directs as her mouth latches on to suckle on soft flesh of his ear. Peeta walks quickly across the hall, trailing water as he goes. When he walks over to the foot of the bed—their bed—, he leans over, resting Katniss down while he hovers over her. As he finishes the removal of his shirt, he thinks back to the first time they were ever in this bed together...

It was only a few days after they had moved into the house. On the drive from Connecticut to West Virginia, the guilt began to fill Peeta. He never doubted his love for Katniss, but had he done the right thing? Had he just flippantly disregarded the vows and beliefs he held so dear? The more miles that were put between them and St. Bridget's, the more anxious Peeta became. It was for this reason that when Katniss showed him the bedroom for the first time, he said he would be more comfortable on the couch. He could see the hurt in her eyes, and he wanted to take it back, to be for her the man that she deserved. But as he went to open his mouth, to explain he was a fool, she stopped him with a gentle hand on his arm, the hurt from moments before replaced with a look of understanding, sympathy and love. So for the next two nights Peeta slept in the living room.

On night three Peeta awoke from his own nightmare, this one about the man who had been standing next to Peeta when a Japanese soldier shot him in the head. Once the sound of his own blood pumping quieted he heard a scream coming from across the hall. He was at her door in seconds, not bothering to knock when he heard the intensity and fear behind her wails.

Katniss thrashed in the bed, her blankets wrapped around her legs, her hands clenched in fists fighting off some unseen horror. Peeta was at her side quickly. He grabbed her wrists first then placed a knee in between her legs as he leaned close to her face, though she continued to wrench it from side to side.

"Katniss," he called to her in a voice as calm as he could muster. "Katniss, sweetheart, wake up please. It's just a dream. It's not real. Not real. Not real." His words coaxed Katniss awake. Her eyes flew open and after a moment of shocked confusion, her attention fell on the man hovering above her.

"Peeta?" she asked shakily before bursting into tears. Peeta rolled onto the bed next to her and quickly gathered Katniss into his arms, pulling her into his chest. She grasped onto his t-shirt while she continued to cry. He ran his fingers through her hair, and planted kisses on the top of her head while talking softly to her, letting her know that she was alright, that she was safe with him.

"Stay with me?" she asked when her tears finally ceased and she was able to pull back and look at him, her eyes bloodshot, her face splotchy and stained with tears.

"Always," he whispered wrapped around each other, clinging for dear life and then finally found sleep.

The dreams have not stop completely when he lies with her in his arms, but they do come less frequently for both of them.

Now Peeta is in bed with her for an entirely different reason, one he never thought possible, one he had been afraid to give into. But now that he is here and his exposed chest moves gently against Katniss's breasts, his mouth sucking in the swell of her lower lip, Katniss's hands thrusted into the hair on his head, he doesn't think he could stop. Peeta's anxiety has been swallowed by his need to feel himself inside of her.

Katniss has stopped giving him orders and has instead begun keening as Peeta plants open-mouthed kisses from her mouth, down her slender neck over her collarbone all the way down to her breast. He takes the nipple into his mouth and sucks greedily. Katniss moans loudly as Peeta takes her other breast into his hand. She begins bucking her hips up, meeting the top of Peeta's thigh.

"Peeta," she begs. "Please." Peeta pulls his mouth away from her breast and looks up to see Katniss's eyes cloudy with want, staring down at him.

"What do you need me to do? Just tell me," he pleads. Katniss takes a shuddering breath, her face flushed.

"Take off my pants." She pops the button and pulls down her zipper. "My underwear too," she adds.

Peeta licks his lips before hooking his fingers in the waist of the blue slacks, and he gives them a tug. Katniss lift her hips to help his efforts and soon she is completely naked in front of him. He drags his eyes down her body, stopping at the patch of dark, downy curls that seem to almost glisten in the sun-bathed room. His breath hitches as he takes in how absolutely stunning she is. When he looks back up to her face, he finds her eyes on the tent in his pants. At first he is embarrassed, ashamed even, but the wild, ravenous look in her eyes makes his rigid cock somehow swell more.

"Take off your pants and underwear too," she instructs, her eyes never leaving his groin. He toes off his shoes and peels his socks off, but the anxiety and nervousness along with his need to release his painful erection gives him bumbling hands, but finally his pants have pooled to the ground. The groan of relief that Peeta emits as he pushes the waistband of his underwear past his erection, allowing it to spring free, causes Katniss to bite her bottom lip. Peeta watches her eyes widen and her jaw unhinge when she looks at his freed length.


Peeta looks down, trying to figure out what is wrong, but has nothing to base it on. "What?" he asks sheepishly.

"You're big," she admits. Peeta can feel himself blush.

While in the military, even though he was the chaplain, that did not make him immune to hearing the conversations of lonely soldiers. Most of the men didn't mind talking about their raunchy rendezvous with him, mostly because he was a lot younger than the other chaplains. Peeta had heard the men constantly brag about how well endowed they all were, though he never saw proof of this.

"Is that ok?" Peeta asks lamely, his nerves starting to resurface. Katniss nods, a devilish smirk on her face.

"Come here, lie down with me." She pats the bed next to her. Peeta's breathing picks up as he crawls on hands and knees up the length of the bad, coming to a stop next to Katniss. He lies on his side and faces her. He is so close that his swollen cock rests against her outer thigh.

"Touch me," she whispers to him.

"Where?" he asks as he plants a kiss on her cheek.

Peeta watches Katniss's fingers crawl down her stomach into the dark curls before they sink into her. His heart crashes into his breastbone when her fingers begin making slow motions at the apex of her thighs. Her mouth pulls into a tight 'O' for a moment before she turns to Peeta and whispers the word, "Here".

Katniss grabs his hand with her free one and pulls it to her, placing it over her center, her fingers just beneath his, moving in a circular motion. Katniss pulls her arousal-bathed fingers away and uses them to guide Peeta's to the swollen clit just within her folds. Peeta gulps when he feels her wet warmth.

"You're...you're so wet," he stutters out. Katniss hums in response as she begins moving his fingers in the same circles over the needy bundle of nerves. Once Peeta has gotten the rhythm and pressure down, Katniss removes her guiding hand. Her head falls back on the pillow behind her, and she sighs softly.

Peeta can't keep his eyes off Katniss's face. The afternoon light bathes her features in a soft glow, which contort gently with pleasure. With some instruction, Peeta's tight circles bring Katniss to the brink. Her hips thrust against his hand, and his name spills from her lips like a prayer. Peeta can't seem to catch his breath when she screams out his name and her body trembles under his movements. The motion of his hand slows and eventually stops when she begins to squirm underneath him. It is silent besides the sound of Katniss's panting. Peeta pulls his fingers from her soaking folds.

"Thank you," she says with a raspy voice.

"Uh...you're welcome," he says as he looks down at his wet fingers.

"Can I confess something to you?" The phrase sends an unwelcome shiver down his spine, but he nods to her anyway.

"I touch myself there when I think of you," she whispers.

"Oh." Peeta swallows roughly. His length pulsates, begging to be relieved

"Do you... touch yourself and think of me?." Her eyes look away from Peeta, her flushed cheeks turning more red.

"Uh..." He clears his throat. "Yes."

"Like this?" And her hand is suddenly wrapped tightly around Peeta's hard erection. He hisses at the contact he's has been so desperate for. She begins pumping the length, slowly at first. Peeta groans loudly and turns onto his back. Katniss moves with him, her hand thrusts quickening. He begins grasping at the blankets around them, and he feels his orgasm build.

Without warning Katniss pulls her hand away, and Peeta cannot stop the whimper that leaves him from the loss of contact. His mouth hangs open as he tries to catch his breath. He looks to Katniss, hoping his need is apparent on his face. She smiles at him then kneels at his side. His hand comes up to touch her stomach gently as she leans over close to his ear.

"I want to feel you inside of me, Peeta." He blinks dumbly as the implication of what she has said sinks in.

"I..ah... I don't know... ah, I've never done that."

Katniss chuckles at his fumbled speech. "I know. If you want us to stop we can."

"No." He jumps in hastily. "No... I want to."

Katniss stares worriedly at Peeta for a few moments before moving to straddle him. Peeta sucks in a large gulp of air as Katniss positions her entrance just above his length. She looks at him once more before grasping him in her hands and gliding down, sheathing him with her warmth.

"Ahhh!" Peeta calls out when Katniss's tight walls cover him completely, She groans. When she begins to rock her hips, Peeta is afraid he will finish right then as he gasps, his hands finding purchase on her hips.

At first her movements are slow, her rhythm feels impossibly good, and their moans bounce off the walls. Peeta's cock fits perfectly inside of her, and he knows he has never felt a more beautiful agony as her movements tease his inevitable orgasm.

"Katniss," he moans. "I love you." His words seem to spur her on because her movements speed up. She lifts her hips up, almost pulling away from Peeta before slamming down once again.

Peeta shouts and whimpers as his balls begin to tingle and Katniss's tight walls begin to flutter around him.

"I...I can't..I." He shudders as he begins to thrust towards his release. Katniss cups his cheek with her hand.

"Its ok," she gasps. "Let go, for me. Please."

Peeta can't stop it, and when his orgasm hits he sees stars, He calls out what he thinks is Katniss' name as his fingers dig into her hips. He shudders at the intensity of his first time. Katniss leans over and plants gentle kisses on his lips and face, her tongue collects the perspiration that has beaded on his upper lip. She pulls herself off of him, and Peeta can feel a fluid drip against his stomach.

Katniss curls up next to him, her arms wrapped around his waist, her breasts against his side, her head resting on his bicep. Both of them lie in silence as their breathing returns to normal.

"Thank you," he whispers into her hair while planting kisses into it.

"For what?" She lifts her face to look at him.

"For this." He smiles. "For being patient with me, for loving me, for finding me." He watches as Katniss's mercury colored eyes shine with unshed tears and her bottom lip trembles.

"If it were not for you, I wouldn't be here," she confesses, her voice hoarse. Peeta's mind goes back to the woman he met in the graveyard, he remembers her vacant eyes, her sorrow filled heart, and he remembers the way her mother died. Suddenly he understands her meaning, and the thought threatens to overwhelm him. He sits up and pulls her into a strong embrace while tears prick the corner of his eyes.

"I love you, I love you, I love you." He repeats into the crook of her neck, with each declaration he can feel her arms tighten around him. "Never go where I can't follow," he begs.

"I promise." She pulls back. "I am yours, always."

15 years later...

Peeta kneels down in front of the grave, the moist dirt still in a mound, indicating a fresh burial. He had not planned on returning to Connecticut as he and Katniss had made a life for themselves in West Virginia, but when that private investigator had hunted him down and informed him that Father Haymitch Abernathy had passed away, and that Peeta was named in his last will and testament, he knew he owed it to his old mentor to visit the sleepy town.

Now that he is here in front of the freshly carved stone, he does not know what to say. In his hand he clutches the copy of "The Scarlet Letter" that was bestowed to him upon his arrival. He flips through the pages until he finds the old photograph of the older priest's true love.

Peeta glances back to Katniss, who is standing with their four children—one girl and three boys. He catches her eye and she smiles warmly at him, and even after all these years he can feel his heart swell at the sight of it.

He realizes in that moment he doesn't have to say anything. Peeta took the old man's advice: he followed his heart, and now his life is richer for it. As he stares down at the photograph, he realizes that it was not him who sinned by leaving the church, but instead it was Father Abernathy, who had turned away from love, that was the sinner.

Peeta knew the choice that the father made weighed heavy on the old man; he also knows that this book and photograph were meant to be a message to Peeta, to remind him that the sins of the father are not his own.

He rests his hand on the stone, bowing his head for a moment of silence, thanking the old priest. He then closes the photograph back into the book and stands, wiping the dirt from his slacks and then walks his way over to his family. He takes his wife by the hand and for the second time ever they walk out of this graveyard together.

Thank you so much for reading, and again a Thank You to Jeeno2 for the amazing prompt!

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