Always and Forever

Men in Black

“It’s beautiful isn’t it?” Peeta asks. I nod and rest my head on his shoulder.

“I’ve never seen anything like it.”

We have been on the huge cruise ship for just a few hours and now that the land is out of sight all we can see is water all around, and it is truly unlike anything I have ever experienced in my life. The two of us stand side by side next to the railing that keeps us from falling into the water, looking out at the sparkling deep blue water and pointing out the occasional tropical looking fish.

“I’m so glad we came.” I whisper. “Me too.” Peeta replies, and I can hear the smile in his voice. His arm slips around my waist, pulling me even closer to him.

“I heard that there is a big pool on the deck above us, that’s where Madge and Gale went, want to try it out?” He asks a few minutes later.

“Sure, lets go.” I lift my head up and take Peeta’s hand, practically dragging him back to our room on the second floor, room 204; Madge and Gale are right across from us. Our suitcases are sitting in the middle of the floor probably from when the attendant left them there. We hadn’t even seen our room yet, too busy out watching the water I guess.

“It’s nice.” Peeta voices my own current thoughts. “Yeah, it is.” It is a large room with a king bed on one wall and a TV on the other; one large window at the end that looks over the water really completes it. We even have our own private bathroom with a large bath included.

“I don’t think I’ll ever want to leave.” I say flopping onto our huge bed. Peeta chuckles when I say this and picks up one of our suitcases and sets it on the bed. He locates our swimsuits and zips it back up, setting it back onto the floor.

“Here.” He tosses me my light blue and green tankini. “Let’s get out there before the sun leaves the deck." I nod and proceed to undress and change into my swimsuit. Peeta had asked me to wear something a little more covering than a bikini considering he doesn’t want anyone else looking at me, especially on our honeymoon. I kind of like how he is so protective of me and doesn’t even like other men to look or talk to me; so I bought another swimsuit that is equally as cute as the bikini I used to wear.

Ten minutes later we’re heading out the door in our suits with a beach bag filled with lotion, towels, sunglasses and whatever you’d need at the pool. We find Madge and Gale lying on beach chairs beside each other, Madge reading a book and Gale sound asleep, snoring softly.

“Hey guys!” Madge greets us. We say hello and grab two empty chairs next to them. Peeta sets the bag in between our chairs and we settle down.

“Want some sunscreen?” Peeta asks. I nod and he squirts some on his hand and rubs the cream all over my back, shoulders, arms and legs, then dabs a bit on my nose and ears.

“There you go.” He says smiling. “Now you look very shiny.” I laugh and squeeze some cream onto my own hands and rub it all over my husband’s broad back and shoulders. I wipe my greasy fingers off on the edge of his towel when I’m finished and lie back onto my chair, sighing with contentment.

“This is the life.” Peeta says, clasping his hands behind his head and closing his eyes. I reach down into the beach bag between us and pull out a book that I’ve been wanting to read for a while now. A few minutes of reading Peeta’s quiet snores begin beside me. I lean over and kiss his forehead and get back to reading.

I slowly open my eyes finding that I had fallen asleep while reading. I’m wondering what woke me up when I feel a poke in my side, then another. Finally I turn my head and come face to face with a grinning Peeta.

“It’s about time you woke up!” He says giving me a quick kiss. “I didn’t mean to fall asleep.” I tell him defensively.

“I know, but it felt good didn’t it?” I nod and pick up my book to resume reading. About 10 words into the paragraph the poking begins again.

“Peeta would you quit it!” I hiss playfully, keeping my eyes on the page. He doesn’t answer but keeps poking my side.

“What are you? 12?” He grins and leans over to me. “Wanna come swimming with me?” He whispers seductively.

“I want to read.” I say, trying not to look into is dark blue eyes.

“Oh come on, that’s boring! The sun’s not going to be here forever!”

“Maybe tomorrow.”

“I say let’s go swimming right now. You need to cool off some.”

“Peeta I’m fine.” He stops poking me after that and I’m beginning to think that he decided to go by himself and join Madge and Gale in the water when my book is suddenly swiped out of my hands and placed into my bag.

“Hey!” I yell. But before I can say anything else I am lifted off my feet by some big, strong person who begins carrying me like a sack of potatoes towards the water that looks oh so cold.

“Peeta don’t you dare!” I screech at him, starting to get scared.

“Doesn’t it look inviting.” He whispers.

“NO!” I scream, but he jumps in anyway with me still in his clutches. As we sink into the water I have to say that it is quite pleasant, definitely not as cold as I had expected.

“Hey you’re awake!” Gale grins and swims over.

“Yeah, Katniss has been begging me to come swimming with her for a while so I finally relented.” This earns him a punch in the arm.

“Ow! What was that for?”
“For lying!” I say, and before he can grab me again I swim quickly over to Madge.

“Hey Katniss! Isn’t the water wonderful?” Madge squeals like a little kid, then goes under water and pops up next to me.

“Yeah, it’s great.” I say half-heartedly.

“Come on! Enjoy it while you can! We only have two weeks.” She grins then swims gracefully over to Gale and jumps onto his back, startling him. We all laugh when he lets out a yelp of surprise.

I end up having a lot more fun than I had expected and an hour later when the sun is beginning to set, we’re exhausted and have to drag ourselves to our rooms.

“Does anyone know when dinner is served around here?” I ask once we’ve arrive in our hallway.

“Didn’t you read that paper on the desk in your room?” Madge asks. “It has all the information on it. Dinner is at 6.”

“Thanks Madge.” I take a look at my watch.

“Well we only have any hour, better start getting ready.” Gale says and we head to our separate rooms. “Meet you back here at ten to.”

We say good-bye and unlock our door.

“If I wasn’t so hungry I’d go to bed right now!” I say, lying on the bed and closing my eyes.

“You just took a nap!” Peeta says, lying beside me.

“Yeah, but swimming is very tiring.” I argue.

“You’re right Kat, but I’m starving too and I can’t wait to check out the menu!” “I think it’s a buffet.” I tell him.

“Okay, whatever.” He rolls his eyes at me in annoyance.

We reluctantly get up and quickly unpack our things, placing them in the huge chest of drawers in our room. I hang up the few dresses that Madge made me bring, she said that dinner would be formal and that there were dances and things in the evenings; well hopefully I didn’t pack them for nothing. It's not very often that I can be forced into a dress.

When we’re finished with that we take a quick shower to rinse off the pool water and get back to smelling clean; I don’t wash my hair because it’ll take too long to dry and we need to get ready to go.

“Peeta, I can’t decide.” I whine. “A dress or just some skinny jeans and nice top.” He looks at the two outfits that I am holding up for him to see.

“I’d say that you should wear the dress for the first night just to be safe, then if it’s more informal you can wear the jeans tomorrow, and that dress isn’t the fanciest one that you brought.”

“Okay, if you say so.” I put the jeans and shirt back into my drawer and slip into the dress. It is knee length and my favorite color: forest green; it flows out from the waist and is snug around the middle. The neckline is square and it has two one inch wide straps, I complete the outfit with a pair of sliver flats, pearl earrings and necklace set that Peeta gave me for our wedding.

“You look amazing Kat.” He says looking me over. “Thanks, oh shoot I still have to fix my hair and we only have 10 minutes before we have to leave!” I begin to panic.

“Don’t worry.” Peeta assures me, placing his hand on my shoulder. “Just brush it and it’ll look perfect.”

“Okay, whatever you say. But if I end up looking like a witch, I'm blaming you!” I give him a smile and grab my brush off of the night table. When my hair is soft and shiny I slide in a matching green headband and put on a tad of lip-gloss.

“Ready?” Peeta asks. I nod and take his hand. “”Let’s go I’m starved.” He chuckles and opens our door, then locks it behind us, slipping the key into the pocket of his dress pants.

A few seconds later Madge and Gale exit their room as well and the four of us walk happily to the dining room that is a floor below us.

The captain of the ship greets us as we enter the large fancy dining room and one of the waitresses shows us to our table.

“I thought you said that it was going to be a buffet?” Peeta whispers to me on our way to our table.

“Well the brochure said that the buffet is for breakfast, I think.”

“Um, okay. Well I’d say that this is definitely a formal dinner, you can wear one of your other dresses tomorrow.” He grins and I inwardly grown. I was hoping that this would be a relaxing cruise and I wouldn’t have to worry about dressing up, so much for that.

We soon arrive at our table for four and the waitress promises to return once we are prepared to order.

“Wow, this could take a while.” Madge says while opening her menu. “Half of these dishes I haven’t even heard of!” Gale chuckles beside her, “How about we try something different for a change.”

“Sounds good.” Says Peeta, searching through his menu. I open my menu as well and find a lot of fish dishes so I decide to go with grilled salmon and a honey sauce. I’ve heard Annie and Finnick say that salmon is really good so I may as well try it out. About ten minutes later the pretty, young waitress arrives to take our orders.

“What are you getting?” I ask Gale once the waitress has left. “I picked catfish, sounds interesting.”

“Catfish?” I ask. “Sounds disgusting if you ask me.”

“Well I didn’t ask you.” Gale retorts and goes back to staring off into the crowd of people.

“What’s wrong with him?” I ask Madge who is sitting beside me. “I think he’s just a little tired.” She whispers back.

“Oh, okay.”

“He’s been staring in the same direction for the past 5 minutes.” I say a few minutes later; our food has yet to make an appearance. Madge and Peeta glance over to the area where Gale has been looking.

“Notice anything?” I ask. They both shake their heads, I’m surprised that Gale hasn’t even heard us talking here.

“Wait.” Peeta whispers. “What?” Madge and I ask, straining our eyes harder.

“Do you see those two men at that table in the back?” We search the tables until we find the right one then nod.

“They are staring at something on their table. I’m going to casually stroll by and try to see what it is.”

“Peeta are you crazy?” I mutter under my breath. “No I’m not, I’ll be right back.” Before I can stop him he stands up and begins walking in their direction.

“Where’s Peeta headed to?” I turn around to see that Gale is eyeing us both curiously.

“He went to spy on those two men over there.” Madge informs him.

“I think they’re up to something.” He says. “I’ve been staring at them for the past few minutes and I say that we stay away from them.”

“Why do you say that Gale?” Madge asks.

“Because they are studying the layout of this ship.” I look up to find that Peeta has returned.

“They’re what?” Gale whispers loudly.

“Studying the layout of the ship." Peeta repeats. " They have some parchment that has every room and every control labeled on it, I think they’re up to something.”

“That’s what Gale said.” I tell him.

“It might just be your imagination.” Madge says, trying to lighten the mood.

“Maybe.” Is all Peeta says, and thankfully that’s when the waitress shows up with our food.

Surprisingly my salmon is delicious and Gale lets me try his catfish, which doesn’t taste too bad either; Peeta ordered a steak and Madge just got a bowl of soup. We’re too tired to stay and order dessert so as soon as we’re finished we head back to our rooms. After saying good night to Madge and Gale we lock the door to our room and change into our pajamas.

“So how did you enjoy the first day?” Peeta asks once we’re snuggled down into the blankets.

“It was wonderful.” I say, my eyes getting quite droopy. “Peeta, do you think that we have anything to be worried about?”

“What do you mean Kat?” He asks, pulling me closer to him and I rest my head on his chest.

“Oh I don’t know, those two guys studying the ship.”

“Don’t worry, I’m sure it’s nothing, I’ll protect you.”

“I know.” I sigh and close my eyes.

“Get some rest.” He murmurs into my hair.

“Night Peeta, I love you.”

“Love you too Kat.” He kisses my head then sinks down into one of the fluffy pillows on our bed. I fall asleep almost immediately with thoughts of our first day, and I’d have to say that it was pretty awesome.

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