Chapter One

I'm raised up on my platform and I see the 23 tributes surrounding me. That's how many will be dead when the Games end, and I'll most likely be one of them. I look over at Katniss and see where her eyes are strained. A bow and arrows. She glances over at me and I shake my head. She looks confused and then the final five seconds start. She stares back at the Cornucopia and then back at me. A few seconds have passed before she jumps off the platform. The bow and arrows have already been taken. She runs in and takes hold of an orange backpack. A boy takes hold of it at the same time. She fights with him but eventually gets it. Then the girl from District 2 throws a knife at her, but she catches it with her backpack.

I run away from the Cornucopia and try to find a source of water. With Katniss's 11 in training the Careers will surely be after her. Maybe I can join them and protect her. I run until I find a source of water and drink some. I hear a footstep and turn around. The Careers. They were chasing me. I start to run but the boy from District 2's voice stops me. "Don't worry. We're not here to kill you. We need you to help us find Katniss." He assures me. I turn around and smile. This is the perfect oppertunity to protect her.

"She went north." I tell them and they laugh. The start heading in that direction and I follow them. The girl from District 1 hands me a spear. I run with them and watch as they laugh. They all see a big cloud of smoke and run in that direction. The girl from District 8. I heard someone call the girl from 2 Clove and the boy from 2 Cato. Clove takes her knife and stabs the girl in the back. Then we all run and wait for the cannon. One never sounds to represent her death. They play the anthem and show the dead tributes in the sky. She doesn't appear.

"She's not dead. I'm telling you." Cato says to Clove.

"I know she is I killed her myself!" Clove yells at him.

"Then why didn't a cannon blast!' yells Cato.

"Just wait here, I'll go finish her off." I say and run back in the direction of the smoke. She's still sitting there, weak from blood loss, but no where near dead. I run over and pin her to the ground. She screams as I stab my spear into her heart. I look up at the sky and see her picture. I laugh and run back to the Careers.

"Was she dead?" Cato asks me.

"No, but she is now." I say to him and he laughs. I look up and see Katniss in a tree, but I don't say anything. We run to the lake and set up camp. "Tomorrow we should set out to find Katniss. We'll have better luck in daylight." I tell them. They nod in reply. I'm the first to keep watch. I sometimes fall asleep for a second, and then flash back awake. After a while I wake Cato up so I can sleep. I lay down on one of our sleeping bags and doze off.

"Peeta, wake up, now!" Clove yells at me to wake me in the morning. I flash awake both well rested and ready to protect Katniss. We get up and I'm put in the back of the pack. We look up in the trees for Katniss, and find her sitting up on a high branch.

"Glimmer, shoot her." Cato tells the girl from 1. She takes her bow and arrows and aims for Katniss. She quickly climbs higher up the tree. Glimmer misses her and she laughs. Cato grabs the bow and arrow away from her and aims for Katniss. She presses herself against the tree, and he misses, too. She laughs again and Cato tries to climb the tree with his sword in his hand. He only ends up falling.

"Maybe we should just wait till morning. She can't stay up a tree forever." I say and they set up camp. I look up at her and she tries to make eye contact with me but she's so far up I can barely see her gray eyes sparkling. I doze off slowly, dreaming of Katniss.

Chapter Two

In my dreams I see her during the interview again. How beautiful she looked in the sparkling red dress. Her sparkling eyes. Then I see her on the platform about to run after the bow and arrows. I had confused her, and she couldn't get them. I feel a little bad about that, but I'm just glad she's still alive. Maybe she can stay alive long enough to win. I hope she does make it out of here alive. I suddenly flash awake, and look up the tree. Katniss is sawing on a branch, and the anthem is playing. Wait, there's a tracker jacker nest on it. The anthem stops and she stops. She'll drop the nest on us. Then I lay my head back and fall asleep.

In the morning I'm woken again by the anthem. I look up and Katniss is sawing again. The branch is about to fall. I get to my feet, and the branch falls. I run, but a few chase after me. I have a sting under my left eye and on my chest. When I'm positive all the tracker jackers are gone I run back to the campsite. Katniss is there trying to make Glimmer's bloated body release the bow and arrows. I wait for her to get them released and then run out of my position.

"Katniss, get out of here! What are you doing? Go! Get out of here! Go!" I yell at her, but I can tell she's confused. She must have gotten stung, too. I help her to her feet and push her away. "Go! Katniss, get out of here, go!" I yell at her again. She starts to run and I hear a branch break. I turn around and grab my spear. Cato he's after me. I keep trying to stab him, but he ends up stabbing my left leg with a sword. I give out a grunt, but keep trying to fight. Then when I know I can't anymore I try to get down to the river. I find a mud pile and camouflauge myself. I just lay there, waiting for someone to find me and kill me.

After a while I fall asleep and dream of Katniss, again. But now I see her with a few tracker jacker stings and injured. She has confused eyes as I tell her to run. I think I'm mumbling her name in my sleep. I suddenly flash awake to the sound of the anthem. I try to go to sleep again, but can't manage to. I don't know why, but I'm not hungry. I wish I would've allied with Katniss in the beginning instead of the Careers. Then they wouldn't have found her. Then maybe she'd be okay. I doze off again and then instead of dreaming about her, I mumble her name in my sleep. Then I'm woken again. Not by the anthem, though. Bye Claudius Templesmith's voice. It booms over the arena.

"Both tributes from the same district can win if they are the last two alive." He says. I think about it a minute. I don't know how long I was out, and he only said six of us are alive. I don't know who is for sure, though. I don't even know if Katniss is alive or not. I hope she is, but I'm still unsure. She probably is. Hopefully she is. She should be.

Then something interrupts my train of thought. I hear my name being called softly and hear footsteps. It's Katniss. She really is alive, and not dead. "Here to finish me off, sweetheart?" I ask scarastically. She seems confused because she doesn't respond yet.

"Peeta, where are you?" She asks and I don't answer. "Peeta?" She asks again. She barely misses my stomach.

"Well, don't step on me." I command her and she jumps back. I'm right under her. I open my eyes and smile. I laugh as she gasps. I had to camouflauge myself in order to stay alive, but I am alive, just barely.

"Close your eyes again." She commands me and I do as she says. "I guess all those hours frosting cakes really paid off." She says as she kneels beside me. I smile.

"Yes, frosting the final defense of the dying." I laugh.

"You're not going to die." She tells me firmly.

"Says who?" I ask her.

"Says me. We're on the same team now you know."

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