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When the Fire Ceased

By Maree_Mellark

Drama / Romance

Chapter 1

4 months later

This last 4 months have been a little confusing for me. I guess for Peeta too. We are living in the same house; Peeta's house. Mine only brings back memories about the war... and memories of her. My sister Prim, who died in that explosion. Thinking of her still brings tears into my eyes, so I always try to push it away, but today, I can't help remembering her.

I still don't dare going to my house. Just to pick up some clothes. I'm afraid I'll never will gain enough courage to go back there... leave alone entering to Prim's room which no person has been in there since the bombing of District 12.

I'm sitting on the couch. It's been an hour since I got here, just after I haunted in the woods of 12 and stopped by my house to pick up something. And Peeta should be here by now. He always comes back from the bakery around 3:00 o'clock. I check my watch, it's 5:00 o'clock. I yawn. Maybe he just had some extra work and will be a little late. I try to realx, I didn't sleep last night, I had a nightmare, Prim was screaming full of terror, I couldn't find her... I couldn't because it was not Prim, it was the jabberjays. My eyelids are heavy, and I drit into sleep. I don't have nightmares though I don't have any dreams either. 

The sun entering through the window is what wakes me. It's morning, I can't belive I slept the whole night on the couch. I look around. Peeta is not here yet. If he were, he would have woken me up when he arrived. Doesn't he? I look around. he's not in his room or the kitchen or anywhere in the house. 

Where is he? I start panicking. No, I can't panick. He's probably just late. He is okay. 

I wait for a few minutes. And I can't hold it. I grab my boots and my coat and get out of the house. 

The bakery is not far, 10 minutes from here.

I walk at a quick pace, and I finally arrive.

He is usually in the back room frosting cakes. I wave hello to Jonas, the second in charge, and he waves back. 

"Is Peeta here?". I ask

He looks around. "Guess not. It's too early, he comes a little later. He's not home?". 

"He's not home." I say and turn around walking to the exit. 

"Well I'll tell you if I see him!". Shouts Jonas from behind but I don't reply, I'm already outside the bakery. 

He is not at the bakery and he's not home neither. Where could he possibly be? Maybe he's with Haymitch. I try to walk normally, but I just realized that I'm running. When I arrive, I knock the door, maybe a little too harshly. 

"Haymitch!". I shout as I try to open the door and realize it's already open. 

I step in. It smells of alcohol and sweat, the usual smell. Haymitch is sitting on the couch, with a bottle in his hand. 

He turns around and sees me, "Hi sweethert. Can I help you?". 

"Hi. Have you seen Peeta?" I ask agitated.

"Mhmm... nope. Haven't seen him. Maybe he just got tired of you and went to live in the woods. Because you are such a nice person." the last thing he said with an ironic tone.

I don't say anything. His expression changes. I think he regrets what he just said. "Sorry sweetheart, I have not seen him. I'll tell you if I do.". 

I nod and start walking to the door. I need to get out of here. Not much because of Haymitch, but for the smell, it's making me dizzy. And I have to find Peeta. 

I'm standing outside Haymitch's house, in the Victor's Village. It's freezing. 

I walk to Peeta's house, maybe he is there by now. I enter. Nothing. He is not here. 

Now I'm panicking. Where is he? Terrible things that might have happened to him start haunting me. I try to push away the thought as I realize I'm running again. I'll re-check the bakery. 

I check my watch, it's  almost 9:00. 

I finally arrive. I walk through the door and I don't remove the snow from my boots before entering, I don't take my coat off either. 

"Hey Katniss! Did you find Peeta?" says Jonas from behind. "Are you okay?".

But I don't reply, I'm climbing the stairs. The bakery has two floors, though nobody goes to the second floor.

I look around. There's nothing but a few sacks of flour... and a door.

"Peeta?" I say. "Peeta!". I say louder this time. I'm about to open the door just as I hear a few noises. I hear footsteps, and whoever is in there starts opening the door, it's locked. 

"Hey,  Katniss" says Peeta catching his breath. "What's going on? Are you okay?" He says with bewilderment in his tone.

I realize I'm crying. My face is sticky with tears. "Peeta where were you? You scared me.".

He stares at me confused. 

"You didn't get home last night Peeta! I couldn't find you anywhere.". I say. 

He steps outside the little room and closes the door. "Yeah... sorry Katniss. I had many things to do, someone is having a party and I had to frost many cupcakes and things, you know. But I left you a message with Haymitch last night. It was too late and I didn't want to wake you up so I left him a note so he could deliver it to you. Maybe he was just too drunk as usual. I'm sorry Katniss.". He says with a sad tone. 

"It's okay Peeta" before I can stop myself, I wrap my arms around him. I catch him by surprise because he stumbles a little, but then he embraces me too. We stay there a brief moment. 

I don't want him to see me like this. My face all covered with tears, so I wash them with the hem of my sweater. "God. I hate crying" I say and smile a little as I look up to him because I feel him staring at me. 

"Why were you-" he begins to ask. But I know what he's going to ask:  Why are you crying? I don't know the answer either. I have some thoughts that need to be cleared. But not now, not now.

I interrupt his question instead, "What's in that room Peeta?" I ask pointing at the door behind him. 

He hesitates, "Hmmm nothing, just a place where I can frost cakes alone, I can focus better." he says, though I don't buy it completely. 

"Well, let's go home." Peeta says, "I owe you a dinner.". 

"Okay.". I reply with a small smile. 

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1. Chapter 1
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