Ch. 13 Progress

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Peeta's P.O.V.

Did you forget your job?

"Shut up, shut up." I whisper.

Okay breathe, remember to breathe. That's what the nurses in District 13 said to do. I take a deep breath in and close my eyes.

Kill her.

I breathe out.

You're worthless. She's coming for you. You have to get her first.

I clench onto the table, my knuckles immediately turning white. My eyes snap open.

Kill her.

I breathe in and out, this time faster, trying to focus on anything but the voices.

"NO!" I shout.

"No, no, no" I whisper. The voice is quieter now, but persistent.

Hurry. Before it's too late. Kill. Now.

No. No, I can't. I tug at my hair.

"SHUT UP!" Just make it stop.

"Shut up, shut up." I say quieter now, desperate. I bang my forehead against my fist repeatedly. No, I will not kill for Snow. I won't hurt Katniss.

"Stop." I say, not knowing whether or not I actually said it out loud.

And then it's silent. I fought it. The flashback's over. I let out a sigh of relief and bury my face in my hands. They seem to be getting better lately, maybe it's because Katniss and I see each other more often, I don't know. But I do know that it's a good sign, that I'm getting stronger, and Katniss is in less danger. Suddenly aware of my surroundings, I realize how cold it is and remove myself from the chair at the kitchen table. I quickly manage to start a fire. Guess the arena training paid off... Right as I'm about to get up off the floor and find something to eat, there's a knock on the door.

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I slowly open the door, and when I see the person standing in front of me, I freeze. There she is.

"Katniss-" I am abruptly cut off by her falling into me. But it's a good thing because I had no idea where I was going with the rest of that sentence. I stumble backwards a little, catching her. She hangs onto me, her arms are wrapped around me so tightly, it's almost constricting. Surprised, it takes me a minute to overcome the shock of the moment and actually hug her back. When we pull apart, I don't know what to say. But she is the first one to talk.

"Can I stay here?" she asks quickly with an almost panicked look in her eye.

"Uh, Yeah. Of course." I reply, not having a clue what is going on in her head right now.

"Thanks." She smiles and relaxes a bit.

I grin back at her, and then it's quiet. We stare at each other, and for a second I swear she is going to lean closer. But then I fumble and lose grip of the match box I was holding. Smooth. A small smirk appears on Katniss' face, and I quickly reach down and pick up the box.

"Uh, well I was just going to get some food, you want anything?" I ask walking into the kitchen.

"Sure, what do you have?"

"I was gonna heat up some stew from yesterday, but I have other things if you don't want that." I say, wishing I knew she was going to come over. I would have made the lamb stew she likes, or cheese buns.

"No, stew sounds good" she replies. So I pour two bowls and heat them on the stove.

When they're done, I slide a bowl across the counter for her.

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