Here ya go sweetie!!!
“It’s been six months, you would think I would be used to
living downtown by now.” Katniss mutters to herself as she rushes into her
apartment building. She is juggling the canvas bags from Trader Joe’s, her messenger
bag and her package from Prim that was mailed to her at work.
She is too busy trying to keep her bananas from falling out
of the bag when she hears her new favorite little voice calling, “Kitty! Your bananas
are going to fall.”
She looks up and is so glad to see her neighbor, little
three year old, Ethan Mellark with his too cute Dad, Peeta. She ignores the way
her heart flutters every time she sees Peeta and instead says to his mini-me, “Hey
sweetie. Can you get them for me? I don’t like brown bananas.”
He wrinkles his nose at that. “Not me, too.”
“Don’t you mean, ‘me, either,’?” Peeta’s deep baritones sends
delicious chills up and down her spine.
Ethan sighs, “that’s what I said Daddy.” The adults exchange
a smile over the little one’s head.
Peeta steps around his son and grabs her bananas while the
elevator door opens. “Thank you,” Katniss says.
They get out of the way of old Mrs. Johnson who moves slower
than Christmas and get in after she exits with a smile.
“Daddy! I was going to get that,” Ethan huffs with a pout.
“Hey, don’t be pouty.” Katniss squats down beside him. She
almost topples over when he wraps his arms around her neck and squeezes as hard
as he can. “Why don’t you come with me, and help me put up these groceries and you
can feed buttercup for me. Ok? But ask your dad to make sure its ok.”
Ethan doesn’t even let go and turns to look at Peeta. “I’m
going with Kitty, k?”
“You help her and not get in her way. Bring her home with
you after you feed the cat. She can eat spaghetti with us.”
“Peeta—“ she starts and he shakes his head at her protest. “You
feed me all the time.”
“That is because when you eat with us, Ethan eats all of his
veggies.” The elevator opens on their floor and Peeta takes her Trader Joe’s
bags and she digs her keys out of her purse. Ethan takes the door key in their
familiar routine and with a little bit of help from Daddy, they get the door
open and Peeta sets the groceries on the table.
He turns to go next door to his apartment while Ethan goes
looking for buttercup. He turns back and asks, “We have to go to Sam’s
tomorrow. Do you still want to come with us?”
“Yes! I need cat food and I want some of those peanut butter
pretzel bites.” She admits.
Peeta can’t stop his chuckle that makes her weak in the
knees. “Your favorites—“ he is interrupted when Ethan comes back into the
living room carrying a very patient buttercup upside down who meows pitifully. “Ethan!
I don’t think he likes that!”
“He does. He told me that he does.”
Katniss and Peeta help buttercup get onto his feet, and Peeta
says, “I’m going to fix spaghetti. I’ll see you two in a minute.”
Katniss and Ethan hold hands and walk into the big box
department store behind Peeta who is pushing the buggy. She has come enough
with her new favorite guys that she knows that Ethan knows where to find all
the free samples. He starts to pull her down the main aisle when Peeta says, “not
so fast Bear. You need to pick out something for Mommy.”
“Dad—“ he whines. “She doesn’t care what I get her. All she
cares about if I make a mess.” Katniss heart breaks when he says, “she don’t even
hug me anymore.”
Katniss isn’t at all surprised when Peeta sweeps his son
into his arms. She can’t hear what Peeta is saying, but she is surprised when Ethan
jumps into her arms next. She hugs him as long as he wants to hold her and she
whispers in his ear, “I love your hugs. They are the most perfect hugs in the
She jumps a little when she feels Peeta drawing them both
into a hug. She tries not to focus on how he feels like home when she hears a
high pitched voice she hasn’t heard in years behind her. “Katniss? Is that you?”
Peeta meets her eyes and she rolls her eyes. Ethan still won’t
let go, so she turned around to see her Great Aunt Effie sitting there in one of
the automated buggies that the store provides. “Aunt Effie! How are you?”
Effie looks at the little boy, and Katniss can see the
confusion on Effie’s face. “When did you get married? And why didn’t you invite
me and your uncle?”
Ethan has let go and is watching Effie. Ethan asks, “You got
“No!” Katniss looks at Effie. “No, I’m not married. These
are my neighbors. Peeta lets me come with him so I can buy cat food in bulk.”
Understanding crosses Effie’s face. “Well let me tell you
sweetheart, he’s a good looking man. You need to hurry up and tell him that you
want him as much as he wants you. He’s been lonely far too long.”
Katniss can feel red heat flooding her face, and she can’t
even look at Peeta until she hears Effie talking again, this time to Peeta. “Young
man, let me tell you something about Katniss Everdeen. She wants so much out of
life, but for some reason, she has always been afraid to go get it.” she sneaks
a wink at Katniss. “You two were made for each other. It’s all over your faces.”
Effie pushes the go button on her scooter. “Just make sure ya’ll invite me to
Katniss watches her aunt scoot around the corner and looks
at Peeta horrified. Before she can apologize, Peeta is gathering her in his
arms and claims her lips. She can feel herself growing weak in the knees and
she wants to run her fingers through his curls when he pulls away and softly
swears, “Damn! I’ve been wanting to do that ever since you moved in six months
“Daddy, are you going to marry Kitty?”
“Maybe one day, son, maybe one day.” and Peeta kisses her
breathless again in the middle of Sam’s. Katniss swears she can hear Aunt Effie
cackling away in delight.