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I walk down the residence hall and out into the sunshine. The warmth hits my skin and I grit my teeth a little, still pretty nervous of the sunlight. I hold onto my choker and look around at all the warm bodies around me. Their chattering is near deafening and I continue rolling the locket between my fingers. I've gone through the whole first day of college so many times, it really shouldn't make me this nervous. 

But of course it does. I'm not good in new settings, around this many pulsing beating hearts. I can hear the blood of a girl who passes me an I grip my necklace tighter. 

"Break that off and you fall to the ground in a pile of ashes," I hear a man's voice chide beside me and I grit my teeth. I turn to look at those stark grey eyes and scoff.

"I'm aware of the danger, Gale," I say, "And besides, It can't be broken. Rue saw to that."

"Ah yes, how is our friend with the magic touch?" I look away from him and roll my eyes. 

"Never mind her," I say softly. "Why are you here?" Gale scoffs and walks around me, a long black tie hanging over a smart dress shirt, sportcoat, and grey plaid trousers. "Moreover, why are you dressed like that?"

"I go where you go, Catnip," He says. "That is how this whole thing works. You received eternal life and in return, I earned your companionship." 

"So what, are you going to be a professor again?" I ask and he smirks. 

"Social Sciences," He says. "Haven't used that degree in a while."

"Benjamin Blake, huh?"  I say. "Thank god I'm staying away from that this time around. Dr. Blake is such an ass."

"You do realize he is an alias and not an alter ego?" He says and I scoff, walking away from him. 

"Well, no matter your name, I don't like having a stalker," I say too soft for anyone but him to hear me say.  I feel Gale creeping behind me and I sigh. "You know, just because you look ten years older than me with that stupid squirrel growing from your face, I'm only about two years younger than you in the empirical sense."

"You of course mean the Vampirical sense," He says and I glare at him as I walk.

"You know I don't like that word," I say. "Especially seeing as I never chose this."

"You're the one who fulfilled the contract by taking your first life," Gale reminds me as I continue to walk away from him. "If you had really wanted to die, you'd of just shriveled up in the sun like so many girls before you." I stop and close my eyes a moment, regaining my bearings and controlling my anger so I don't lose it in the sea of healthy, flowing, hormone filled blood bags around me. 

"Just, don't fuck it up this time," I reply, starting back towards the path near my first class.

"Don't make Daddy jealous, and no one will get hurt," He says and I sigh, holding my book against my chest. I hear the whispers, people pointing out attractive, "hot new people their eyes catch. It fills my head like static and I am getting a headache, my ears burning with the noise. I carefully slip into the arts building and  suddenly feel much more at home.

You see, I don't participate in fads. I don't dress in the freshest styles or worry about learning how to draw trendy eye shapes and such. I wear simple, black clothing. Cut up t-shirt, black, ripped up jeans, a pair of well worn hunting boots tied up tight. I don't show a whole lot of skin, not comfortable with the glares, the infinite youth and beauty given to me by my curse. I walk over to an easel and set my bag down , feeling a couple people's eyes on me, but thankfully not lustful, with their hearts beating and giving off pheromones I still find hard to control myself against. I start unpacking my things and  hear footsteps behind me and glance up to see someone who looks vaguely familiar.

"That's some nice ink you have there," the other student says, his blue eyes glancing at the branch crawling across my shoulder, a blue bird perched up on my bicep. I pull up where my shirt had fallen down and cover it back up. 

"Thanks, I guess," I say. "Sometimes I forget it's still there." I turn back to my things and set my brush set up on the cart of my easel. 

"You don't like it?" He asks and I shake my head.

"No, I mean, why would  permanently brand myself with something I didn't like?" I say. 

"I don't know, a stupid drunken mistake?" He suggests and I glance at him as I stand up. I look at the familiar, kind face and tilt my head a little.

"Well, it's a good thing I don't drink," I say softly. "I find myself far too compulsive." 

"A bit of control freak?" He asks and I glance at him. 

"Well, maybe a little," I reply and he smirks. 

"So then I must know, why when you've allowed such a lovely tattoo like that to keep hidden beneath your shirt?" He asks and I sigh. I glance at the sleeve I had slid up and sigh.

"I got it for myself but also to remind me of someone," I reply quietly. "It isn't for everyone else." He nods and sets down his stuff next to mine. My nostrils flare as I catch his scent and I glance over at him. 

"I totally get that," he says. "But if it is any consolation, It's nice, but faded enough to not draw too much attention. You don't have to be so self conscious about it." I nod and turn back to my things. I continue unpacking into the small cabinet and he holds out his hand.

"What are you doing, dude?" I ask.

"Introducing myself, seeing as it looks like I'll be sitting next to you for a least five hours a week," He says and I slowly take his hand. 

"I'm Katniss," I say and he smiles. 

"Lovely and memorable. I like it." He says. "I'm Peeta." I feel my blood run even colder than normal. The name, the features, those sky like eyes. 

"That's not possible," I mumble and he tilts his head a little to look at me.

"What was that?" He asks and I shake my head. 

"Sorry your name is just, really unique too," He looks down, chuckling.

"Yeah, it's a family name, from what my grandmother calls the old country," He says and I nod. 

"Same with mine," I reply. "Katniss is a kind of river plant that went extinct-"

"200 years ago," he says and I look at him. "I was a biology major last year before finding out that my little painting hobby could actually be a career." 

"Good to know," I reply. I turn to the front of the room, looking at the teacher as flashes of the boy, who could only possibly be this kid's ancestor. The Baker's son from the 1780's, Peeta Mellark.

The boy who saved my life.

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