So, for some reason, I love this song. I’ve been kicking around some ideas for a little while, and then this happened today. All mistakes are mine and the misters. so blame it all on us.
She never thought that the old church bells ringing in town would make her sad.
She also never thought that she would love a whiskey bottle as much as she does right now, either.
She grabs his pillow, the one he slept on just the other night and breathes in the last of him. “Damn it.” she swears out loud. No one is there to hear her but Jake, her sweet old black lab. She didn’t tell anyone where she was going when she left, after filling the back of her truck bed with their air mattress and the blankets and pillows they always used when they would come up here to camp. She forgot how they could hear everything from the town below, including the church bells that would ring every time someone got married.
She snorts, and brings the whiskey bottle back up to her lips. She ran out of 7up about an hour ago but it doesn’t matter because the whiskey isn’t burning on the way down anymore.
Unfortunately the whiskey isn’t making her forget how he would hold her in the middle of the night or how he promised her forever. Even now, the memory of his kisses makes her tears flow again. She should have known she was just a fuck to him. Nothing important at all. This time, when she drinks from the bottle, she can taste her tears.
Gary Allan’s CD plays on the radio beside her as she watches the colors of the sunset paint the sky orange and pink. “I can’t even watch the sun go down anymore without thinking about that ass.” Jake nudges her hand and her laugh is hoarse from the whiskey. “I’ll be ok, Jake. I think I have to shoot him first, then I’ll be ok.” Her tears really start when she whispers, “maybe.”
She lays down on top of him, his thick tail curling up and patting her back as she cries into his fur. “Why wasn’t I good enough for him?” Jake answers her by licking her tears away. She sits up, and wipes her face. “You know, we should leave town. You know, start over. Go somewhere where there aren’t any Mellarks—“
“But then I might not be able to find you.”
She turns to seek out the deep voice that, even now, sends shivers of desire through her, even as drunk as she is right now. Jake gives soft woof and tries to stand up to go to him, but Katniss grabs his collar so he stays in the truck with her.
“What are you doing here?” she demands to know. Her heart feels like it’s going to stop as she looks at him standing there in that damn suit that he said his mother had picked out for him and Finnick to wear today to the church. The tie is missing and the top buttons are undone. His curls are sticking straight up and she can tell that he has been running his hands through his hair like he does when he is worried… or upset.
“I couldn’t do it.” he says looking straight at her. She wants to look away when she sees the want in his eyes.
“Where is your truck?” she says hating herself for softening towards him even though she doesn’t want to.
“I walked the last little bit. I knew that if heard it, you wouldn’t be here when I got up here. Katniss, I—“
“You married her, then?” she interrupts him.
He still hasn’t taken his eyes off of her, and she can’t look away either. “No.”
“Well that’s stupid.”
“What was stupid was letting you leave.”
“You let me leave? No, Peeta, you left me. Up here. Don’t you remember that morning?” she stumbles to stand up in the truck bed, her tears running unchecked down her cheeks and she can’t keep from sobbing. “You left me, Peeta! Damn you—“
All of a sudden he is there, climbing into the truck with her and Jake. She pushes him away but she is glad that he is stronger than her when he pulls her close, holding her like he is afraid to let go. She lets herself cling to him like something, or someone it going to rip her away from him. She knows he is crying too when she feels his sobs.
“Are you real?” she asks through the whiskey cloud in her brain. “What happened?”
He is still holding her tight, when he says, “I left. I was getting ready to go into the church and they started ringing the bells. Finnick asked me if I was sure about marrying Clove. I didn’t say anything and walked out. I came straight here. I didn’t know what I was going to do if you wasn’t here—“
She looks up at him and her heart breaks for him with every tear that comes from his eyes. “That bitch can keep that fucking bakery. I’m not giving you up. Not ever again.” he promises. “Will you have me? Tell me I made the right decision—“
She cups his face, more sober than she has been all day at his words. “I love you, Peeta Mellark. No matter what, I always will. We can always open a new bakery, in a new town if you want to. As long as I’m with you, we can do anything.”
“You love me?” he asks, his goofy, happy smile chasing their tears away.
“I do. I think I always have.” She promises.
“I love you.” He cups her face, and they both chuckles when Jake bumps against them, making them stumble onto the air mattress. “Can I kiss you?”
“I hope so.” She quips before he claims her lips. She grabs his forearms, wanting something to hang on to because it feels like his kiss is going to sweep her away. She pulls away for a moment and scoots back in the bed of the truck, closer to the cab, where the rest of the pillows are. She crooks her finger wanting him to follow her.
First he shrugs off his jacket, and takes off his dress shoes. He starts to move, but she stops him with, “you are still overdressed Mellark,” she says pressing her toes into his chest.
He grabs her foot, and kisses her toes causing her to smile. “I’ve missed these toes.”
“I don’t like that suit on you.”
“So you want it—“
“Off. All of it gone, please.”
He smiles that heartbreaking smile that she fell in love with. “As you wish.”
Jake jumps down out of the truck and crawls underneath the tail gate as the truck begins to rock. He rests his head on his paws, knowing that his mistress is safe and happy again. He is almost asleep when he hears his people say the word “go.” he perks up his ears to hear, “let’s go get married,” the one who smells like bread says.
His girl replies, “Not today. Tomorrow will be our wedding day, you know, when I don’t smell like whiskey—“
Jake goes back to sleep knowing that all is right in his world again.