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For the Liquid Measure of Your Steps

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There's a reason they don't talk about section four.


Katniss is leading them through the brush. Peeta at her back, his heavy feet creating noises that echo. The flowers are vivid, delicate petals of deep pink and gold peeking through vines, a sunset bursting from the earth of the jungle. The fragrance hits her, seconds after the rubber sole of her shoe crushes a blossom down.

"What is that?" Peeta asks, but his voice already sounds far away, dreamy. A liquid tone that slides straight to her gut.

Katniss slowly turns, her eyes focus on Peeta, take in the color on his cheeks. A rosy flush. She wants to smooth her fingers over the skin there, kiss him. Feel him touching back. She wants to—

"Oh." Finnick lets out a loud breath. "Fuck."

Katniss brings her gaze to him and a shiver loops its way down her spine. The expression on his face is heated. He's staring right at her, eyes gone dark, teeth digging into his bottom lip. Her pulse picks up. She takes a step back, puts distance between them, and tries to clip the feeling short. She registers that this must be a symptom forced by the Game. It has to be. She just needs to catch herself, and stop this, fight it off.

"Why," Finnick says. "Katniss, is this...?" He leaves the sentence hanging.

"Yes," she agrees. "We should—" Katniss looks down at her hands and frowns. She has her undershirt lifted, baring her stomach, her fingers twisted into the fabric below her chest.

Peeta makes a noise, a soft hum that brings her attention back around. He has his arms crossed over his chest, his body is held tight, as though he's restraining himself. Katniss feels a buzz go through her. It starts low, in her belly, then spreads its way out. Peeta's body sways forward. "Katniss," he says. He gasps it out.

Katniss makes an attempt. A try to push away the itch that has taken over. But her entire body's thrumming with it, desperate, urging her on. She can feel sweat start to prick at the back of her neck. She eyes Finnick. He already looks near-crazed, dangerous, his hands clenched into tight fists. He's straining towards her, chest rising and falling with rapid breaths, and she knows he won't hold for long.

Katniss looks back to Peeta. The handsome lines of his face. Her memory provides a flash of moving pictures. Their first kiss. Berries. The secure grasp of his hand. Her Peeta. The boy with the bread. She doesn't want to allow the Capitol to take this from them. Not their first time, not like this.

Her body's burning now. She's wound tight, electricity sparking through her veins, making her dizzy on her feet. Katniss feels her thighs clench. She's a moment away from breaking, one second in time, a heartbeat from giving in. She makes the decision quick.

She can't do this to Peeta. She won't.

"Finnick," she demands, "I need you to touch me. Now."

Finnick doesn't wait a second more. His steps to her are long, sure, full of intent. He lifts her off the ground in one easy movement, as if she were weightless. A rag doll. He pins her body against the green bark of tree trunk, forces her legs around his waist, and licks his way into her mouth.

It is not at all like kissing Peeta. There is nothing gentle about it. No soft brush of lips asking for permission. There is just a dirty slide of tongues and teeth, a battle for control. Finnick's got one hand beneath her, supporting her weight, he tugs at her braid with the other, baring her neck. He moves his lips down, kissing across her skin there, placing harsh little nips into the flesh. He speaks, low, under his breath. Tells her all the nasty things he's going to do to her, and she wants, so badly, for him to make true on every single one.

"Want to put my dick in you," he says. "Fuck you open and fill you up. I'm going to feel that pussy come, so sweet, all over my cock."

It should sound vile, disgusting, those crude words coming from this man. But she's drunk on it, hot from his touches, and she wants for nothing more than taking it from him, letting it happen. She thinks, then, what this must look like back home. She fists into Finnick's shirt to push away, but she finds her hands pulling at him, drawing him closer, instead. Katniss starts, realizing how vulnerable they are right now, open to any deadly threat the Games might bring. Or maybe it's just the humiliation they're after. It's so sick and twisted. She cannot bring herself to stop, either way.

Finnick starts rolling his hips, little thrusts that allow her to feel the fullness of his cock. It's new to her, exhilarating, and she rubs against him, testing the friction out. He gets a little crazy then. "Need more," he says. "I need more." He gets his hand up under her shirt, palms at her breast, and then pulls the clothing over her head.

Finnick lowers her, settles Katniss down on her feet. He tugs off his own undergarments, revealing his well-muscled body, tanned gold by the sun. She's staring, she knows she is, her eyes hold on the stretch of his cock. She wets her lips, tries to hear the words he's saying over the sound of her own breath. She forces herself to look in another direction, catches Peeta standing feet away. He's stripped bare, wild-eyed and panting. He's touching himself. Long, furious strokes and she feels a harsh kick of longing, a drum pounding in her chest.

"Your clothes, sweetheart," Finnick is saying, and she turns back to him, concentrates on his sounds. "Take them off."

He's on her as soon as her underwear hits the ground. Rough, sea-worn hands caressing over the soft skin he finds. Katniss touches back. Finnick feels solid, so male, as she brushes her fingers down his sides, holds at his waist. The feel of them, naked, grinding together sends a heady reaction that travels through her, bursts from her body with a gasp. Finnick captures it with his mouth, sways them to the ground, still kissing at her lips.

He lays Katniss out before him, slips down her body, inhales sharply and says, "Fuck, you smell so good." For the barest of moments, there's a challenge that she recognizes in his eyes, a click that goes off inside her, giving back to the expression she finds. He's watching her, heavy and knowing, and Katniss cannot hold him back. It's useless. She's desperate for it.

She spreads her legs, opens wide for him, whines low in her a throat. An invitation. Finnick takes it, his fingers sliding through the slickness between her thighs. "Girl on fire," he says, and then laughs, as though he has told the best of jokes. "You are just dripping with wet."

He arranges her legs over his shoulders, leans in, and licks a wet line down her center with the flat of his tongue. Her body responds, trembles for more, and he spreads her apart with his hands, goes at it, eating her there while he spills pleased moans.

It is so absurdly good, intoxicating, because Finnick's mouth has been trained for this, for pleasure. She lifts her hips to the strokes of his tongue, fists her hand in his wavy hair. There's a fever spiking within her belly, a throb thundering through her, aching for more. She's making mindless little noises when she hears her name. An urgent sound cried out.

She finds Peeta, on his knees to Finnick's left. He's staring at the space where Finnick's mouth meets her flesh. Peeta's cock is sex-flushed, colored red, and leaking from the tip. He's pulling at it, rolling his balls with his other hand. He brings his gaze up to meet hers and lets slip a stuttered gasp. His face is a picture of pleasure-mixed-pain, messed up, strained. A dog on her leash. His eyes go to Finnick tonguing at her and then flick back towards her face.

"Katniss," Peeta sobs out. "Katniss, please."

She tugs at Finnick's hair, crushes him against her, trying to block Peeta's urgency out. He says her name again. A plea. "Katniss, I need this. I need to touch you." He's shaking, breaking right apart. "Katniss!" He sounds so forceful. Then a muffled huff of breath. "Katniss, please. I can't," he says. "I can't." His eyes are wet.

She cracks. "Oh," she cries, "Peeta," and Finnick stills his motions, lifts his head, tells her, "Yeah," as though she's given a command. He rises to his knees and moves forward, curls his fingers in the hair at the back of Peeta's neck. Peeta lets out a noise, a blast of surprise, and then Finnick's kissing him, diving into his mouth. Peeta wavers for a blink and then Katniss watches him fall. He's leaning into it, licking the taste of her from Finnick's mouth. Peeta's hungry for it, frantic, making little whimpers of sound.

Finnick thumbs over Peeta's nipple, twists at it, tugging it between his fingertips. Katniss slides her hand to the pool of wetness Finnick left behind, rubs at herself. She's watching them, an alluring blend of bronze and gold, and Peeta is growing needier, worked up on Finnick playing him so well.

Peeta pulls back from the kiss, panting for air, his hands still cupped around Finnick's shoulders. Finnick lifts an eyebrow. "Yeah?" he says, like he's tuned right in to Peeta's thoughts. "You like that. Feels good, doesn't it?" He smoothes his hands over the planes of Peeta's chest, leans in close, and lowers his voice so that Katniss has to strain to hear. His tone is wicked, course, and she catches, "Bet I know how to get you begging for more." Peeta groans and Finnick smiles, this cocky grin, then moves down Peeta's chest. He tongues across a nipple, teasing with light bites of teeth, then pulls the skin into his mouth, sucks, and Peeta says oh and please and damn.

Finnick's watching Peeta as he works over his chest, and Peeta is staring right back, a look of half-amazement on his face. Like he can't quite figure out how he got in this position. As if it's almost hard to believe it feels this good.

Finnick pulls off with a final flick of his tongue. "You make pretty sounds," he murmurs, and then reaches for Peeta's cock, wraps his fingers around the heavy weight of it. "I'm going to put my mouth on your dick now, take you all the way down." He strokes up Peeta's length once, twice. "It's gonna feel real good."

Peeta nods, bucks his hips for it, his breath is coming short and fast. Finnick takes Peeta easily into his mouth, one long swallow, and Peeta's head immediately snaps back, an endless moan rising from his throat. Finnick's bobbing up and down on him, pausing to tease with tongue around the ridge of Peeta's cock.

Katniss watches Peeta come undone. He is shivering, beautiful and exposed, and the muscles of her cunt clench, an involuntary response. She feels a sudden pressure at her entrance, and then Finnick is there, slipping a finger up inside her as he continues sucking Peeta. Finnick toys with her, twisting into her, and Katniss begs for all of it, calls out loud for more.

Peeta brings his gaze to Katniss, locks eyes with her, and stammers her name. His hips are rocking in time with Finnick's attentions. She wants, in that moment, more than anything for Peeta's touch. Just once. To feel the tenderness of his hands on her skin, and she watches, tingling for him, as Finnick takes him deep down his throat.

Peeta's gaze stays on her. He's staring as though he's memorizing every detail. His eyes turn wistful, so wanting, and he rasps, "Oh, Katniss," and then he spills, comes hard. He nearly collapses, only the strong pressure of Finnick's hands holding him up, and then Finnick lets go. Wiping at the mess on his lips with the back of his hand.

Finnick wastes no time in coming to her, adding a second finger inside. He fucks into her cunt, saying, "You are so damn tight. Do you have any idea how good you feel?" Katniss gives no answer, just grips tighter around him, watching him drive in and out. She feels doped, drugged out on it, and she brings her gaze up to search for Peeta, but he has gone absent from her line of sight.

Finnick pulls his fingers from her, moves up her body, props himself up on an elbow. He uses one hand to guide his cock between her legs. He rubs himself against her, smearing through the wetness before finding her clit, stroking at it with the head of his cock. "Ah," Katniss breathes, "more," and Finnick speeds his motions. Katniss digs her fingertips into his arms, gives away a series of little grunts.

"You need it like mad, don't you?" Finnick asks, and his voice sounds lust-filled, heated. He's still rubbing himself at her clit in small circles. "You want this dick. Want to ride me hard."

"Shut up, Finnick," she hisses. "Just shut up and do it, already." This brings him a laugh.

"Yeah," he says. "Gonna do it." He scrapes his teeth over the line of her jaw. "I'm going to shoot my come in you, sweetheart, push it all up deep inside." He licks over his lips once, and then again. "Finger your stretched-open little pussy until I can see what I put in you leaking out. And then," he tells her, "I'm gonna fuck my load back into you and do it all over again."

Yes, she thinks. Do it right now. Now, now, now. She raises her hips, tries to guide Finnick to where she needs him to be. Tries to force him inside.

"Greedy," he mocks, and then slides his length over her cunt, brings himself back up to ride at her clit. He does it again. "That's good," he tells her. "Fuck that's so nice, you feel so good, wet and hot all over my dick."

He's fucking against her, powerful strokes, but he still doesn't push himself inside. Katniss has no idea how he's lasting it out so long when all she wants is to feel the fat fullness of him filling her. But then, she thinks teasing is something Finnick Odair's always excelled at.

His body is rippling in waves, an ocean above her, and Katniss clutches at his back, tries to ride it out. She's so close to release, can feel it building, threatening to shatter. She reaches for it, pushes back against Finnick, and she's nearly there, nearly come apart when she feels a shift, change. The manufactured itch is dissipating, seeping out, the fever breaking and pouring from her veins. It leaves behind a kind of desire she's familiar with, natural, the type she feels at night in the dark, when she touches herself in bed.

She can see it the moment recognition hits Finnick, too.

"Katniss," he says, and it comes out quiet, questioning, as though he's startled to find it's her. His eyes turn soft, like it means something. Like she means something beneath him. Then he shoots a quick glance at her lips, and swallows, trying to push away. But Katniss rocks up, still aching for it, and she grabs at Finnick, whispers, "Don't."

He stills. His expression stays on her for a moment before he rolls his hips, and then Katniss follows, moving to the rhythm he sets. He cradles his hand at the back of her head. He's watching her face, and she turns away, closes her eyes. Finnick lets out a long sound and hooks his arms beneath her legs, lifts up, rubbing her over and over with his cock. Long, purposeful thrusts and Katniss goes tense beneath him. When her orgasm hits, she cries out, digs her fingernails into little moons on Finnick's back. He comes seconds later, his body going still and then shuddering above her, all around her. A tidal wave of motion.

He crashes down upon her after he's spent, burying his face in her throat, taking in shaky gulps of air. He's got his fingers tangled in the mess of her braid. They're both shaking, salted with sweat, and she can feel his release, sticky, covering her belly and chest.

The earth is damp and spongy beneath her. The sun bright, high in the sky, and the jungle is quiet, heavy with silence when Finnick lifts his head. "The fragrance wore off," he says. He searches her face for a beat before she looks away, flustered at what he'll find, and Finnick pushes up, rising to his feet. She watches him from the corner of her eye as he walks away, swaying on his feet, imbalanced.

All at once, Katniss registers that she is naked, still lying on the ground, and soaked in bodily fluids. She hurries on weak legs to her discarded clothes. She has one foot through her underwear when she feels the weight of eyes. She looks up, catching Peeta staring from a few feet away.

His expression is uneven. Warring between shame and hurt. At what they've done. At what they've all done here today. Pain wins out and Peeta's face goes so injured that Katniss realizes he must have watched every minute of her with Finnick. The full show. The moment stretches on for a second longer before Peeta turns away.

Finnick clears his throat. He still hasn't dressed. "So," he says, stretching his arms over his head, lengthening his spine. "Who's up for round two?"

Katniss glares until his joking grin wavers off into a shrug.

But it's too late for her to play faultless. Finnick Odair took something from her. More than a secret. Something precious and raw. A scratching guilt claws its way up her throat. Because Katniss knows the truth of it just as well as Finnick does. In that moment, she choose him, handed herself to him of her own free will.

Good, she thinks. I'm glad. If this gives Peeta one moment of hesitation, a snag in his feelings for her, it could save him. Save him from saving her. Katniss swipes at the corner of her eye.

There will only be one victor from the Quarter Quell.