“She loves you, you know,” says Peeta. “She as good as told me after they whipped you.”

“Don’t believe it,” Gale answers. “The way she kissed you in the Quarter Quell…well, she never kissed me like that.”

“It was just part of the show,” Peeta tells him, although there’s an edge of doubt in his voice.

“No, you won her over. Gave up everything for her. Maybe that’s the only way to convince her you love her.” There’s a long pause. “I should have volunteered to take your place in the first Games. Protected her then.”

“You couldn’t,” says Peeta. “She’d never have forgiven you. You had to take care of her family. They matter more to her than her life.”

“Well, it won’t be an issue much longer. I think it’s unlikely all three of us will be alive at the end of the war. And if we are, I guess it’s Katniss’s problem. Who to choose.” Gale yawns. “We should get some sleep.”

“Yeah.” I hear Peeta’s handcuffs slide down the support as he settles in. “I wonder how she’ll make up her mind.”

“Oh, that I do know.” I can just catch Gale’s last words through the layer of fur. “Katniss will pick whoever she thinks she can’t survive without.”