Chapter 16: Losing Prim

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in this chapter the italics is a flashback.

Peeta and I spend the day hiding out in the Cave, protected from the stormy weather. The rain and wind pelts against the cave walls and roof, creating a sweet melody but also giving the sound an angry touch. Neither of us mention the almost kiss again and it is almost like things are back to normal with us. Not that we had any sense of normal beforehand.

"I need to get to work tomorrow" Peeta mentions late in the afternoon.

I look out to the stormy grey sky "should we try to make a run for it?" I ask hesitantly.

"I think we might have to" Peeta sighs running a hand through his messy hair. I stand up, having to crouch a little from the low roof of the stone.

"Let's go" I say motioning for Peeta to follow me.

"Do you even know the way out of here?" Peeta asks as he shields his face from the rain with his arm. I roll my eyes at him; I know these woods better than the back of my hand.

"Of course I do" I scoff "I've been living here for over a year" and I immediately regret mentioning that when Peeta's face visibly falls. "Peeta" I warn.

"no Katniss, I just can't believe you had to live like that, you of all people" he murmurs and I nod my head slightly, brushing back a loose strand of my hair that had fallen from my braid, I had re-braided it after Peeta and I had both fallen asleep from his fingers gently running through my loose waves of raven hair.

We start the walk back to the main town and my hair is already plastered to my face, slick from the rain. I look over at a very dishevelled Peeta to see that he is completely in the same boat; with his usually waving blond hair now a dark blond and flat against his head.

We don't talk for most of the way. A lot of the time I forget he is walking beside me. I am looking up at the sky, the raindrops falling like pins against my face, the grey clouds stormy and moving fast with the wind.

I trip over a log I didn't see from looking up at the sky, I feel my stomach plummet as I fall towards the ground. I close my eyes tightly waiting for the moment of impact but it never comes. Instead I feel two strong hands seize my under my armpits and steady my when I'm halfway to the ground.

I open my eyes and Peeta pulls me so I'm standing upright. It is now that my mind swivels back to the kiss, we are that close again, my head tilted up slightly and my stormy grey eyes look into his deep blue ones. I am about to pull away when it hits me.

That sweet scent again, the one that is so distinctly Peeta and the oil paints, why oil paints? And the back of my mind is screaming at me to pull away, demanding that I run, because I don't need this right now. But I want to, I don't know where it's coming from but I am drawn to Peeta.

And that's when I remember, Peeta wants to be just friends, I had read him wrong earlier today in the cave. I pull away and it's like the earth has started moving again, time is unfrozen. The storm suddenly starts up again, even though it never really stopped, it did in my mind. Peeta shifts awkwardly and I turn away.

"Come on, let's get moving" I say and I hear him sigh behind me and I know he is running his hands through his hair. We continue walking until I am shivering from the cold.

"Do you want my jacket?" Peeta asks but I shake my head "it won't help, it's soaked" I say.

When we finally reach the main town I am just about ready to collapse on the ground and I think I might have, had it not been for Peeta's steady hand which somehow found its way onto the lower of my back between here and the edge of the woods. It was a small gesture but somehow it kept me standing upright. The warmth from the pressure of his hand was comforting in this storm, in some crazy way. Maybe that's just my homeless mind wheeling though, being craved of friendly or loving touch for most of your life creates such a desire.

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