It has been so long since
the last time I watched Peeta bake. Honestly, for awhile I thought I
would have never seen this again.
Until recently, he had
some problems remembering his father’s recipes correctly. His hands
hadn’t been as steady as they were before the war, before the
hijacking. He couldn’t measure the exact amount of the ingredients
and even if he managed to get something even remotely similar to the
dough he had been making for all his life, it never were how he
wanted it to be. In the end he would throw it in the garbage, or
against a wall in a fit caused by a new episode. Sometimes he would
just curl up in a corner, crying silently because his family is gone
forever. Because, had the world been fair, he would have been in the
bakery working alongside them, not in the victors’ village of a
district destroyed by the Capitol’s bombs.
That’s why I’m so
surprised to see him at work this morning as I get back from one of
my first hunting trips. Apparently we are both getting a bit better.
Peeta looks up at me when
he hears me putting down my bag and smiles, a smudge of flour under
his left eye. Actually, there’s flour everywhere, on the
counter, on his clothes and apron, all over the kitchen floor. I
don’t remember him being this messy. But it doesn’t matter right now.
I sit silently on the
chair across the counter from him, prop my chin on my open palm, and
look at him work.
He dusts a handful of
flour on the dough in front of him and goes back at kneading. By the
look of it, he is making raisins and nuts bread.
It doesn’t take long for
me to space out looking at his hands. Those hands that used to held
the signs of a lifetime spent in a bakery, now marred by the scars of
a very different fire. But still the same hands. Big and strong, with
long, talented fingers. Hands that could create worlds, both on paper
and with food. If he can bake again, maybe soon he’ll start painting,
I focus on smaller
details. His nails are short. Not as cured as they would be under the
care of a specialized prep team, but very functional. His left pinkie
finger is a bit crooked. Perhaps he broke it some time after the
Quarter Quell and it didn’t heal properly. The smattering of blond
hair on the back of his hands and on his forearms is covered in small
residuals of flour and dough.
When my eyes are on his
forearms, they travel back following the line of muscles and tendons
straining against his skin. I see a particularly fluid flexing
whenever he presses the heels of his hands against the dough, another
as his fingers reshape it into its original form. It’s a mechanical,
hypnotizing movement. He does it so effortlessly and with such a
grace that it looks way more easier that it is. But I know, even
without looking, that there’s a thin coat of perspiration under his
It’s so good to see his
hands not betraying him. It reminds me of a time before the Quarter
Quell, when his hands were one of the parts of him that I used to be
fixated on. Because of how they could knead the perfect loaf of
bread, just like now. Because of how they could flow over a page and
bring to life the plants and berries my father described in his
plants book. Because of how they could bring me back from the
horrifying nightmares of the arena, drive away the images of death
and sorrow, lull me back to sleep. Give me the serenity that I so
I wonder, would his hands
have the same effect on me? Those hands that not so long ago wrapped
around my throat in a feverish attempt to kill the mutt, that still
could smother me if an especially bad episode reared its ugly head?
I think they might. I know
things have gotten worse for both of us after a second time in the
arena and a war. He was captured and tortured to the point of almost
destroying every shred of the strong, beautiful boy with the bread,
and that is something that I will never understand. The number of
people showing up in our nightmares is much bigger now, and they’re
not just dead children in the woods that we had to kill to survive.
Now they’re also innocent bystanders, people caught in the crossfire,
rebels, allies, friends, fathers, mothers, brothers, sisters. But I
think it will work. Perhaps it won’t be enough at first, there may be
a lot of crying and fighting and yelling, but eventually it could be
good. We could be good.
“What’re you thinking?”
I’m suddenly pulled back
from my reverie by Peeta’s question. I don’t know for how long I was
lost in it, but I’m sure that I was staring at Peeta’s hands all the
time. The little smile on his lips tells me that he finds it somehow
There’s no stopping the
blushing that I feel spreading all over my cheeks. I try to dismiss
it. “Nothing. I can’t wait to taste your bread.”
“You know,” he says as
he leans forward. “You can taste my bread whenever you want.”
Is this some kind of joke?
If it is, I don’t get it. But Peeta is biting his bottom lip to stop
himself from laughing, and a huge smile is threatening to split his
I can’t help but smile
back at him. My heart flutters. He is happy, I am happy.
“Shut up and keep
kneading, or we’ll never taste that bread.”
“Yes, ma'am.” He
salutes me, leaving a new line of flour above his right eyebrow.
I shake my head as I get
up to get back at my haul from hunting this morning.
Maybe tonight, when my
screams will wake us both and he’ll rush to my room to help me, I
should ask him to stay with me.
I startle awake and nearly jump off the bed at the sound of Prim’s voice.
“What the fuck, Prim?”
She sits cross-legged over me, unfazed by her actions. “So have you?”
I slip back down underneath the covers and scowl, pushing her away from me.
“Piss off Prim.” I tell her, kicking her away from me. “I didn’t hear her crying over the monitor.” I yawn and take in her appearance. She looks exhausted. Dark circles under her eyes. Her hair still in the curls she styled the night before. Her eyes are still lined with the black eyeliner and the eye shadow. She smells of a mix of her perfume and there is the slightest trace of male cologne. “You did the walk of shame home.” I gasp and see her bite her lip. “You owe me details.”
“I’ll grant you those details if you let me shower first?” She says. “I made you breakfast.”
I couldn’t deny her help. She’s done everything to help me since Willow arrived and I can’t get mad at her after everything she’s done. I can’t really get mad at my whole family, my tribe for their support and love.
Get Some is back! Thank you for your patience during this absence. I hope updates will now be regular and you guys will find out more about these characters.
Our eyes met for only a second, then he turned his head away. I dropped my gaze, embarrassed, and that’s when I saw it. The first dandelion of the year. A bell went off in my head. I thought of the hours spent in the woods with my father and I knew how we were going to survive.
“Well, he probably used up a lot of resources helping me knock you out,” I say mischievously.
“Yeah, about that,” says Peeta, entwining his fingers in mine. “Don’t try something like that again.”
“Or what?” I ask.
“Or…or…” He can’t think of anything good. “Just give me a minute.”
“What’s the problem?” I say with a grin.
“The problem is we’re both still alive. Which only reinforces the idea in your mind that you did the right thing,” says Peeta.
“I did do the right thing,” I say.
“No! Just don’t, Katniss!” His grip tightens, hurting my hand, and there’s real anger in his voice. “Don’t die for me. You won’t be doing me any favors. All right?
I’m startled by his intensity but recognize an excellent opportunity for getting food, so I try to keep up. "Maybe I did it for myself, Peeta, did you ever think of that? Maybe you aren’t the only one who…who worries about…what it would be like if…”
I fumble. I’m not as smooth with words as Peeta. And while I was talking, the idea of actually losing Peeta hit me again and I realized how much I don’t want him to die. And it’s not about the sponsors. And it’s not about what will happen back home. And it’s not just that I don’t want to be alone. It’s him. I do not want to lose the boy with the bread.
“If what, Katniss?” he says softly.
I wish I could pull the shutters closed, blocking out this moment from the prying eyes of Panem. Even if it means losing food. Whatever I’m feeling, it’s no one’s business but mine.
“That’s exactly the kind of topic Haymitch told me to steer clear of,” I say evasively, although Haymitch never said anything of the kind. In fact, he’s probably cursing me out right now for dropping the ball during such an emotionally charged moment. But Peeta somehow catches it.
“Then I’ll just have to fill in the blanks myself,” he says and moves into me.
This is the first kiss that we’re both fully aware of. Neither of us hobbled by sickness or pain or simply unconscious. Our lips neither burning with fever or icy cold. This is the first kiss where I actually feel stirring inside my chest. Warm and curious. This is the first kiss that makes me want another.
The Hunger Games
I couldn’t stop quoting this section because it’s just that good. This whole thing is swoon-worthy and such an important moment for Katniss and Peeta.