Chapter 9

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Today it's all coming back. The cameras. The Capitol. They're back to invade Katniss and Peeta's lives after such a short break. I'll admit - it's been fairly nice. Katniss and her family moved into the Victor's Village, along with Peeta. His family stayed at their bakery so it was just Peeta living alone. At least now there are only eight empty houses, instead of ten. I've spent most of my time with Peeta or at the Everdeen's house. I've grown quite close to the both of them, although Katniss sometimes disappears to somewhere unknown. If that's the case, I usually talk to her little sister, Prim. She seems to have matured since I last saw her at the Reaping, an innocent child screaming for her sister.

But the peace only lasts for so long. Because as soon as the Capitolites come back, everything changes. Katniss and Peeta resume their onscreen romance, I become the Capitols 'gorgeous girl' again, Haymitch is the drunk. At least we Effie and Cinna again today. I've been told to stay at Katniss' so they can get me ready at the same time, although, as per usual, all I have to do it hair, makeup, nails and change into something less comfortable.

I check my watch and stand. It's early but I better be getting Haymitch up, just liked he asked. I find my coat and wrap it tightly around myself and step out of my empty house to find Katniss holding three bottle of white liquor, making her way to Haymitch's house.

''Hey,'' I greet her, taking a bottle from her as we walk up to his door.

''Hey,'' she says, half smiling.

We reach the door and brace ourselves, thinking of how awful it's going to be, before pushing through and stepping inside.

The smell is awful for Katniss, but I'm used to it now. It's still filthy - the results of many drunken nights evident. We dodge the filth and find Haymitch, passed out, snoring at the kitchen table.

Katniss nudges his shoulder. ''Get up!'' she shouts loudly but all that happens is his snoring stops for a few seconds before resuming. She pushes him harder. ''Get up, Haymitch. It's tour day!''

I push the window open with Katniss' help, allowing the fresh air to invade his disgusting home. Katniss finds a tin coffeepot and begins to make coffee to wake him up. Meanwhile, I fill two empty basins with icy water and hand one to Katniss. We nod and then tip the water on Haymitch's head before leaping back. He makes a strange animal-like noise and jumps up, wielding a knife and screaming profanity at us. When he stops, he wipes his face on his sleeve and turns to the windowsill, where Katniss and I are perched against it, watching him.

''What are you two doing?'' he sputters.

''You told us to wake you an hour before the camera come,'' I say simply. ''And they're coming today,''

''What?'' he asks.

''Your idea,'' Katniss insists.

''Why am I wet?''

''You wouldn't wake up with the usual method,'' I shrug.

''Look, if you wanted to be babied, you should've asked Peeta, not us,'' Katniss adds.

''Asked me what?'' the unmistakable sound of Peeta's voice comes from across the room and I smile at him as he crosses to the table. He sets a loaf of fresh bread on the table and holds out his hand to Haymitch expectantly.

''Asked you to wake me without giving me pneumonia,'' Haymitch grumbles, handing over his knife. He pulls off his filthy shirt revealing a just as disgusting undershirt. I roll my eyes as he rubs himself down with the dry part.

Peeta smiles as he cleans the blade with the white liquor and slices the bread. For the past few weeks, Peeta's been keeping us all supplied with fresh baked goods. Bread, cookies, little cakes - they are all so delicious. He hands Haymitch the ends and then offers me some.

''Thank you,'' I nod, taking a piece, biting into it.

''Would you like a piece?'' he asks Katniss.

''No, I ate at the Hob,'' she refuses, sounding far too formal. ''But thank you,''

''You're welcome,'' Peeta says stiffly. I share a look with Haymitch.

''Brrr,'' he says, tossing his shirt to the side. ''You two have got a lot of warming up to do before showtime,''

''Take a bath Haymitch. I'll meet you at my house, Anna,'' she says before swinging out of the window and heading off back to her house.   


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