Peeta stared at his District mate in a new light as the girl from 2 fell to the ground dead. Saralyn was a strong person, inside and out. He looked at her tired and sad face, and he turned her around to hold her close. "It's ok, Saralyn. It's going to be ok." He rubbed her back gently. As soon as her face touched his shirt-covered chest, he felt her body shake with sobs.
Saralyn calmed down a little, and wiped her eyes. She looked up to Peeta's face. She fought with herself for a moment, then said, "Sorry, Peeta. I didn't mean to cry on you like that. Also, I'm going to do something I've wanted to do for a while... There are two other tributes left. Be careful out there." Saralyn stood on her toes to gently press her lips to his in a soft kiss, pouring her love into it. Then she was gone, running as fast as her leg would let her...
Peeta blinked in shock as he watched her run away. His fingers touched his lips. She kissed him! His head jerked when he realized that she was going off on her own to find the other two tributes. He hurried forward, hoping to catch up with her.
Katniss watched the screen as she held Primrose to her chest. She had to cover her sister's eyes at the deaths of the girls from 11 and 2. Katniss saw the love that Saralyn had for Peeta when the girl kissed the baker's son, and she felt for her. What Saralyn must be going through, running from her love and hoping he survived, must be painful! She ran a hand over Primrose's hair as they watched Saralyn running through the woods.
The blond looked up at her older sister. "Who do you think will survive?"
"I don't know, Prim. I just don't know."
Saralyn stayed in the shadows of the trees. She hurried from place to place, looking for the other two tributes. She was scared, but she thought about Peeta and every kid that died so far in the games, and that kept her going. She thought she saw someone move up ahead, so she inched closer. The figure ahead bent down, and picked something, before eating whatever it was.
It wasn't long before a cannon boomed and she jumped in fright. Saralyn stalked forward, and saw the only other girl tribute left lying on the ground with berries spilling from her hand. Saralyn recognized the berries, but couldn't put a name to them. She gathered some from the bush, and made her way to the Cornucopia. One more to go before Peeta could become the victor. She didn't want to die, but Peeta had someone to go back to. She didn't.
"I recognize those berries!" Katniss told Gale. "It's Nightshade! I think she's going to kill Cato, and then herself..." Katniss looked at Gale in horror.
He looked at her. "Why would she do that?"
"She loves him, and wants him to be happy... even if it's not with her." Katniss lay her head on his shoulder.
"Well, even if she does succeed and he comes home, he can't have you. You're mine." Gale held her close.
"And you're mine," Katniss replied.
Saralyn panted as she hurried through the woods. Her leg was starting to go green with infection, and it hurt so bad! She continued on her way, and found herself at the clearing where the Cornucopia was. Saralyn looked around, but didn't see Cato. She slowed down as she made her way to the Cornucopia, checking for traps as she went. She thought she heard a voice a little ways behind her but she couldn't see anyone when she turned to look. A sound at the Cornucopia had the brunet turning back around. There was Cato, standing at the top of the Cornucopia and staring down at her. Saralyn sighed and walked towards him. 'Hi, Cato. You don't look so good."
He jumped down and swayed. "Neither do you. I heard that you killed the girl that gave you that wound."
"I did," Saralyn replied. She reached into a bag, watching as he tensed, and dumped some berries into her hand. She glanced at him as his hand shot out and snatched the bag out of her hand. "Hey!" She called out.
Cato sneered at her. "You've got food, and I'm hungry." He laughed. "Don't worry, I'll kill you and your little boyfriend after I get my strength back. It's not like you can outrun me." He smirked at her, before popping a handful of berries into his mouth. The second he bit into them, his face showed his shock as he fell over dead. The berries' juice had quickly taken over his body, killing him instantly.
Saralyn sighed again. "Well, that was easy." She looked at the berries in her hand and sat down. She would miss seeing Peeta's smiling face. She could almost hear his voice. She raised the six berries to her mouth.
Peeta rushed into the clearing. He saw her raising the berries to her mouth, and yelled again. "Saralyn, stop!" He watched as she froze, and he ran over to her. He placed his hand over the berries in her hand. "Please don't do this."
"They must have a 'winner', Peeta. There's just the two of us left. One of us must die, and I can't let it be you. I love you too much for that." Saralyn flushed slightly at her admission. She looked away.
A camera zoomed in on the couple from 12. The people watching were mesmerized.
Peeta frowned. "So you're just going to give up?!" He couldn't believe it.
Saralyn glanced up at him, and then glared. "You love someone else! You can go back home and talk to her! You have a family! They might not care about you, but you have family! Let me die, and go to her!" A tear slip unnoticed down her cheek.
"She'll never give me a second glance," Peeta replied. "I love her but nothing will come from it. We're just too different. I know that, I've just been ignoring it." He had been thinking about it for a while now.
Saralyn was confused. "What are you saying?"
He sighed, "I'm saying that I would like to give this a try, but for that to happen, you need to live too."
"They won't allow us both to live."
"Then we die together." Peeta leaned forward, placing his free hand on her soft cheek, and gently kissed her lips. He felt her tilt her head and kiss him back. Then he pulled away, and took some of the berries from her hand. "On the count of three."
Before they could do anything, a voice rang out. "STOP! Due to unanimous voting, we have decided to change things this year. Ladies and gentlemen, I present the winners of the 74th Hunger Games!"