I can tell he's trying but at the same time he's pushing me away. Or is he? Is it just me? He still has waking nightmares and flashbacks. Sometimes he scares me. I know he would never hurt me but when he has his nightmares it's almost like he reverts to the place he had been before we returned back to district 12. Three steps forward two steps back is what Peeta had said. I've finally realized that I more than care for him. It's hard for me to admit after everything we've gone through. I always thought that if I ever married it would be Gale. But it wasn't to be. Gale had said I would choose whoever I needed to survive and that was true just not the way he said it. I do need Peeta to survive and not for any other reason.
I love him.
There I finally admitted it. Peeta has always loved me since the first day he'd lain eyes on me years ago when we were 5 years old but since he has been Hijacked he's different, not the same boy I'd known. He is trying to show he cares and is slowing making his way back to the boy he was but I knew he would never truly come back to me. At least not the way we were going now. I have to change this, show him I truly cared. I'm so tired of keeping up a wall, of never letting anyone in. I want to trust someone with my heart and I want it to be Peeta. I don't care if he ever truly returns. I just want him. To lie in his arms and have no guilt for him to be in my bed. To be there when he has his flashbacks, to brush his beautiful blonde hair off his forehead whispering, 'I'm here, it's alright'. I want to be in his arms while I sleep because I know when his strong arms are around me no bad dreams dare enter my peaceful slumber. I watch him out the window. He's finishing planting Roses, Primroses. In memory of my sister, Prim. I had almost screamed at him before I realized they were not Roses like President Snow's but sweet roses that reminded me of my beloved sister. I smiled as I watch him wipe some dirt from his face. I walk to the door determined to tell him how I feel when suddenly a thought plagues me. What if he rejects me? What if he no longer wants me now that he has seen who I really am, my selfish nature? I shake my head. No I won't do this. I'm not going to live with 'What if's'. I turn the knob and walk out the door to where Peeta has just finished and is now wiping his hands on a towel and shaking the dirt out of his pants. I take a deep breath and plow ahead.
"Peeta?" He looks up and gives me a slight smile.
"Hey Katniss, I'm just finishing up. I'll be out of your hair soon." Says Peeta.
Just do it.
"No…. I mean you're not in my hair… I mean I want you to stay." I stutter.
A strange look shoots across his face and shadows his eyes.
"Stay? For supper or something?" He asks.
"No stay…forever, with me." He still for a few moments then walks towards me and puts his hands on my arms. Do I dare hope or is he just holding me to soften the blow when he tells me he doesn't want me.
"Move in with you, or?"
"No I want you to marry me Peeta." I say.
"What about Gale?" He asks.
"I don't want him, just you….unless you don't want me." I feel tears start to sting my eyes and spilling onto my cheeks. I hardly ever cry.
"Katniss, don't cry." He says as he wraps me in his arms after wiping away my tears. He pulls back and takes my face in his hands.
"No amount of Hijacking could take away the way I feel about you Katniss, I've loved you all my life and will always love you." I hiccuped and Peeta gives me a smile. "Yes I'll marry you Katniss Everdeen." I'm rewarded with a kiss containing all the love in the world proving to me that he truly does still love me. I'm wrapped in his arms and I feel so safe.
"What's going on here?" Says an almost familiar voice but I can't place it in my current state of bliss.
I turn remaining in Peeta's arms to look at the face that belongs to the voice.
"What are you doing here?" I ask.
"Is that any way to welcome your best friend home?" asks Gale.