Always and Forever

Cheese buns

“Are you hungry?” Peeta asks me on our way back to our room.

“Starved.” I reply. He chuckles quietly and instead of heading to our own room we go straight to the dining room for a late lunch. Madge and Gale had decided to go back to their room and eat later; probably catching up on some much needed kissing or something.

We walk happily hand-in-hand to the dining room thankful that for now we are safe, as long as we stay together nothing should happen. I mean who would seriously want to fight Peeta? Well I guess he doesn’t look very intimidating when you just talk to him, but he can be quite the fighter especially if it has something to do with his wife of less than two weeks.

The dining room is almost deserted so Peeta and I just find a table for two and then walk over to the buffet.

I am so hungry I just grab some of everything: rolls, eggs, bacon, juice, yoghurt and cereal and even a cheese bun. I doubt it’ll be as good as Peeta’s cheese buns but it’s a cheese bun all the same. Peeta piles his plate equally as high, if you saw us you’d think we hadn’t eaten in days, and together we head back to our table.

“Okay I want you to tell me everything.” He says once we’ve been seated across from each other.

“Can we please eat now, talk later?” I ask, already biting into the semi-warm cheese bun and taking a gulp of cranberry juice.

“Sure.” Peeta replies and takes a bite of eggs and bacon. We eat the rest of our meal in silence then as soon as my plate is cleared Peeta pounces and I have to tell him everything that happened, what was said every little detail. It took a while but he is finally satisfied and we just sit back and enjoy the quiet.

“So what do you want to do today Kat?” I shrug lazily and lean back in my chair.

“I don’t know, something relaxing, maybe sit by the pool while there is still sunlight on the top deck?”

“Sounds like a plan.” Peeta smiles. “And then I heard that this evening there is going to be like a little cocktail party or something, it’ll give you a chance to wear one of your pretty dresses.”

“Yeah I don’t know Peeta.”

“Oh come on it’ll be fun!” He gives me his sad puppy dog eyes and I instantly melt.

“Okay fine, we’ll go.” He grins triumphantly and helps me up out of my chair. Intertwining our hands we stroll leisurely back to our cabin to change into our swimsuits.

“I sure hope we don’t come across Cato or his sister, I’d kind of like to enjoy this cruise without them.” Peeta says.

“But what if they really do try and sink the ship! What if the captain is actually in on this evil plan.”

“Don’t worry Kat, we’ll get through this.” He kisses my cheek and we continue on our way to our room. After I take a quick shower and change out of my now dirty clothes I slip into my swimsuit and throw a cover-up over top. Our beach bag still has our towels, sunglasses, sun lotion…etc. So we just pick it up and leave.

While Peeta locks the door I cross the hallway to the Hawthorne’s cabin and knock twice. A few moments later Madge opens the door looking quite flushed and bedraggled.

“Hey Madge, Peeta and I are heading up to the pool, you guys want to join us?” I ask smiling. She shakes her head. “No thanks, I’m tired and I think Gale just wants to hang out in our room for a bit. We’ll meet you for dinner though.”

“Okay, that’s fine.” I assure her. “Have fun.” She smiles back and closes the door. I smirk at Peeta and he and I make our way to the pool. Only a few other couples are out lounging on beach chairs, the rest are enjoying the coolness of the water. We find two chairs beside each other closer to the railing of the boat than the pool and settle down; each of us grab our sunglasses and a book and after spreading our towels out on the chair lay down and begin our lazy afternoon.

Peeta isn’t much of a reader but I can tell that he his trying to just read a book for me because I recently became a lover of books, especially adventures.

I get so engrossed in my story that I don’t hear the waitress asking if I’d like anything, so Peeta just orders me an iced drink.

“How’s your book?” he asks after about an hour of silence.

“Oh it’s amazing, you should read it sometime.”

“Mm.” Is all he says and I can hear him slurping his drink from the straw. Without taking my eyes off of the page I reach my arm over to the small plastic table in between us and locate my drink. I moan in satisfaction after taking a sip of the cool beverage, set it back down again and continue reading.

My eyes soon get drowsy from reading for over an hour and I soon drift off to sleep, my hand in Peeta’s.

“Katniss! Wake up!” I jerk my head up and then sit up all the way, looking around me.

“What?! Where am I?” I ask, beginning to panic.

“Kat, you’re fine, you just fell asleep out here and it’s getting late, I thought you might be hungry.”

“Oh, okay, man you scared me half to death." I say, my heart rate starting to lower back down to normal. “Sure let’s get out of here.”

The sun is already setting and only the occasional person is still outside. We quickly put all of our belongings back into the beach bag and Peeta slips his t-shirt on and I put my cover-up back over my bathing suit. We then make our way back to our cabin to get ready for dinner. I keep trying to persuade Peeta to staying in our room this evening but he insists that we try out this party and promised that if I don’t like it that we can leave. I still don’t want to but if it’ll make him happy I’ll doing anything.

Once we get back to our room we both take a shower to wash off all of the sun tan lotion then we get dressed for dinner. I find a summery skirt instead of a dress and a somewhat formal blouse to match. I slip into a pair of small heels that Peeta insisted I bring along. My skirt is a dark green with small white flowers and Peeta wears dark jeans and a green dress shirt to match me. I finish the outfit with the necklace Annie gave me.

“I don’t understand why we have to get dressed up just to go eat!” I complain to him while brushing out the tangles of my wet hair then blow-drying it.

“This is a very fancy ship Kat. It’s just the kind of thing you do to show respect.”

“Yeah whatever.” I grumble and go back to fixing my hair. In the middle of brushing I get the brush stuck on a tangle and no matter how hard I yank it I just end up hurting myself more. Then I feel a presence behind me, and Peeta’s hot breath on my bare neck.

“Need some help?” I nod and hand him the brush. With just a few gentle strokes the tangles are out and my hair is smooth and silky.

“Thanks.” I say smiling up at him. In answer he leans down to my level and places his lips on my own. I smile into the kiss and bring my arms up to lock around his neck. We probably would have stood there in each other’s arms and missed supper if a loud knock didn’t break us apart.

Peeta shuffles to the door while I finish drying my hair. It happens to be Madge and Gale just as I had suspected and Peeta invites them in.

“How was your day?” I ask without turning around.

“It was nice.” Madge says.

“That’s good.” I reply.

“What did you two do?” Gale asks.

“We went for a late lunch at the buffet then rested by the pool on the top deck for a few hours then came back here to shower, change and get ready for dinner.” Peeta informs them.

“By the way Peeta is making me go to this cocktail party tonight, you two want to join us?” I ask Madge with hopeful eyes.

Madge looks at Gale and he just shrugs his shoulders, “Sure, I’d like to come.” She smiles. “I have a few dresses that I’ve been dying to wear but haven’t had an occasion like this yet to wear them to!”

“Good!” I say glad that I’ll actually know at least two other people at this party.

“Well are you ready to eat?” Gale asks, rubbing his stomach. “Because I’m starved.” I nod and quickly tie my now dry hair back into a low ponytail. I then take Peeta’s hand and Madge laces her fingers through Gale’s and together the four of us begin walking merrily to dinner.

The captain greets us once again but this time I don’t just see him as the captain of our cruise, I see him also as a potential enemy, and if you look passed all his nice formalities and kind greetings there is definitely something going on with him. I look around the large dining hall but don’t see the other two kidnappers; they’ll probably try and stay away from us from now on. I wonder if we should start telling people about what they plan to do, to warn them; I mean I don’t want to ruin everyone’s vacation by worrying them but I’d feel really bad if something happened and we were the only ones who knew.

We are taken to our table and each given a menu. I settle with a chicken soup and some bread and Peeta tries another kind of fish again. The dining room is filling up fast and there are only so many waiters to serve us so we end up having to wait a while before receiving our meal; which for Madge and I is fine, we aren’t starving anyways but the guys are another story and every few minutes we can hear Gale or Peeta’s stomach growling. Our waitress eventually makes it with our bowls and plate lining both of her arms and then sets them in front of us. We all thank her and dig into the delicious food.

We are so concentrated on eating that neither of us notices a tall bronze haired young man and a small woman standing next to him. When I finally look up I gasp and choke on my soup.

“It’s about time one of you took your eyes off your food.” At his voice everyone looks up and Peeta chokes on his fish and it takes quite a few pats on the back before he can breathe normally. Finally Madge speaks for all of us.

“Finn, Annie, what in the world are you two doing here?”

Finnick chuckles and Annie smiles next to him, “Well we had been wanting a vacation in a long time and decided to go on this cruise but we didn’t want to bother you on your honeymoon so we just kept to ourselves.”

“But, how? You didn’t get on the plane with us!” I say, still very confused.

“We took the early morning flight to District 4.” Annie replies quietly.

“I still can’t believe that you are here!” Peeta sputters, “This is great, have a seat.” He and Gale stand up and grab to empty chairs from another table and slide them up to our table for our guests.

“So, anything exciting happened for you yet?” Finnick asks casually. The four of us look at each other and finally Gale speaks up. “Oh Finnick you have no idea.”

“Really? What happened, tell us all about it!” Annie pleads clasping her hands together and placing them under chin like a little child listening to an exciting story.

I end up getting chosen to relate the story and after I’m finished Madge tells her side of the story and how she got kidnapped and everything. Finnick and Annie listening intently only interrupting to ask the occasional question for clarification. When our story is told Annie looks frightened and is holding tightly onto Finnick’s forearm.

“Do you think they’ll really try and sink this ship?” She asks.

“We’re hoping that it is all a hoax or a joke to scare us but I seriously wouldn’t put it past them.” I reply.

“We should tell the captain and maybe he can throw them overboard!” She squeals.

“Uh there is a part we left out of the story.” Peeta says quietly. He now has Finnick and Annie’s full attention.

“We’re pretty sure that the captain is in on whatever plan Cato and Colette have.”

They both cover their mouths in surprise. “But we shouldn’t talk about it here.” Madge whispers across the table and they both nod in agreement.

“So where are you two staying?” Peeta asks a little louder than before.

“Well surprise surprise our cabin is in the same hallway as you guys, just at the end.”

“Ha imagine that!” Gale laughs. We call our waitress back over and Finnick and Annie order their food. It arrives a lot quicker than ours did and about half an hour later they are finished eating.

“Are you guys ready to go back, the party is starts at 9pm so we have an hour to get ready.” Peeta tells us.

“Sure, let’s get out of here.” Finnick replies and pushes his chair back then after standing up helps Annie to her feet.

The six of us walk together back to our hallway then retreat to our respective rooms promising to reunite back outside in one hours time.

“Okay what am I going to wear?” I ask Peeta as soon as we’re alone in our room.

“Let’s see what you have first.” He says and we walk over to our large closet where I have my three fancy dresses hung. There is the one I wore last night then a floor length dark green dress with the wide strap over only one shoulder, I’d have to say that this one is my favorite, then I have one other that comes to my mid-calf that is a cream color with a light green sash a two little ruffles sleeves.

“The long green one.” Peeta says almost immediately after viewing all three.

“My thoughts exactly.” I say smiling and take it off the hanger. I don’t change yet because we have an hour and I don’t really want to wear it longer than is necessary.

For half an hour Peeta and I just lounge on our big bed, talking about anything and everything.

“I love you Katniss.” Peeta mumbles into my hair.

“I love you more.” I whisper and roll over to look him in the eye. He puts his arms around me and pulls me into his chest. I sigh in contentment and snuggle to him. We lie like that for a while resting and sneaking in the occasional kiss, but we finally have to get up and prepare for the party that I still don’t want to go to.

Peeta helps me zip up the back of my dress and once it’s on I put on some black sandals and a necklace and earring set that match my dress. I pull my wavy hair into a loose side pony and give myself a quick onceover in the mirror.

“You look amazing.” Peeta whispers behind me.

“Thanks.” I say blushing a little at the compliment.

“Ready?” I nod and take his hand once more. We meet the other two couples outside and both girls look utterly stunning.

Annie is wearing a knee length sea blue wavy dress with silver heels and Madge is wearing a long yellow strapless dress with matching heels and earrings; the dress definitely makes her hair look golden.

We look quite a sight walking down to the party, many glances were thrown our way and I could tell Peeta tense beside me every time someone even looked at me.

I felt like a princess on the arm of a prince and I decided that just this night, I would enjoy myself.

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