Thump. Thump. Thump-thump. Thump.
Katniss sat up abruptly in the bed, her fists tugging at the thick sheets below her. Her chest heaved hard and her eyes narrowed as she oriented herself within her surroundings. A bed. A large bed. A large bed with a headboard that had suspicious markings around each of the poles that supported it. She smiled as she inhaled through her nose and smelled the now familiar scent. Johanna. Pine and leather, and the faint smell of sulfur from firewood. Johanna's downstairs fireplace was directly connected to her bedroom one, which was still crackling at a low flame.
As Finch had predicted, Johanna was an early riser, because she was nowhere to be found as Katniss groggily scouted the room for the other girl. Katniss eyed the clock on the dresser to see, with despondence, the green digits displaying 6:08AM. The noises that had awoken her from her slumber continued from one of the floors below the bedroom. It wasn't even so much a noise as a thumping vibration in the walls. Katniss followed the noises down the first flight of stairs, but found the first floor deserted and dark, except for the dim glow of Johanna's fireplace in her small den. Katniss turned the handle of the door to the basement level and was nearly bowled over by the loud pounding of deep bass and a blaring trumpet that hit her in the face.
She followed the noise down the stairs until she got to the base of the steps and found Johanna. The basement was a lot larger than Katniss had imagined. One side was completely finished, with a series of overstuffed leather chairs facing a large projection screen like a tiny movie theater. The other side was unfinished, dark cement with a smattering of exercise equipment across blue mats. Johanna, however, was on a small mat, twirling a long-handled axe up around her head, then downward in front of her as if she were splitting an invisible log. The mat didn't break or tear beneath the force of her thrust; it absorbed the impact with the noise.
Katniss watched Johanna for a while as she continued that action, over and over again; to some particularly heavy hip hop blaring from unseen speakers. She was slicked with sweat from head to toe. Her black hair was pulled back; leaving just her short bangs sticking to her head. Both of her arms were taut with tension as she grunted with effort, swinging the axe around with practiced movements. She slammed it into the mat below her and looked up, finally meeting Katniss's gaze. Katniss knew her jaw was open and she made no attempt to hide it.
Johanna cocked her eyebrow and smirked. "Wanna play?" she mouthed over the sound of the music. She gave Katniss a wink as she plucked her axe from the mat and placed it on the wall, where Katniss only then noticed a few more black axes that hung on hooks there. Johanna wiped sweat from her forehead and picked up a small remote and pressed one button, prompting the music to cease. "Did I wake you?"
"Sort of," Katniss replied. "It was quiet enough, though. Is it soundproofed down here?"
Johanna nodded. "Yeah. I've had one too many neighbor's complaints about my music or my exercising, so," she shrugged, "came to a compromise. The whole place is soundproofed, actually. Including the bedroom," Johanna drawled with a wink. Katniss chewed on her bottom lip, raking her eyes over Johanna's form. Her lithe body was contained in a black tank top that hugged her sides, and a pair of skintight polyester capri pants. Every inch of her skin was sweaty and glistening under the recessed lights in the ceiling above her. Katniss felt herself sway a bit back and forth. "You all right?"
Katniss shook herself from her stupor. "Yeah, I'm fine."
"Are you sure, Katniss Everdeen?" Johanna came toward her, almost stalking her, and then braced her forearm next to them, canting her head to the side. Her eyes then traversed Katniss's body, from her bare feet, up her legs, her torso, then directly into her eyes. Katniss felt the immediate stirring low in her abdomen under Johanna's intense stare. "Are you sure you're all right?" Katniss was certain Johanna had purposefully lowered the timbre of her voice.
Katniss felt her heart speed up to twice its normal pace as she drew her eyes up to meet Johanna's piercing gaze. Johanna's chest was heaving with the exertion of her exercise, her face and body flushed pink. "How are you - how do you do this so early?"
"Do what?" Johanna questioned with an innocent tone, but a wide smirk. "Exercise?"
"Make me feel like this," Katniss respired, drawing closer to Johanna. She could feel the heat radiating off of Johanna and found the warmth, combined with the general musk of a post-workout Johanna, particularly affecting. "Stop looking at me like that," Katniss whispered, looking away bashfully. "I just woke up, and I - I haven't brushed my teeth yet."
Johanna chortled. "Like I care." As Johanna leaned in to kiss her, the vibration of her cell phone on a table behind her made Johanna screw her eyes shut and grunt in frustration. "Saved by the bell," she purred, pushing off the wall and walking backward to retrieve her cell phone. Johanna wrapped a towel around her neck and began wiping off her sweat as she picked up her phone. "Mason." Johanna paced to the other side of the room and ran her fingers along the shiny edges of one of her axes. "Hey babe." Katniss froze and sobered up. "We've got the court at 11:30, just before lunch. Then lunch at the club." Johanna smiled slyly, running her tongue over the tops of her teeth. "You know I got you, girl. Yeah. All right. See you then."
Katniss attempted to gaze around the room casually but she knew she was failing miserably. Instead she turned on her heel and began up the stairs. "I'm gonna shower," she called in a garbled voice and took off up the staircase. She heard Johanna's voice calling from behind her but once the door closed, the sound was completely gone. Katniss flew up the second flight of stairs to Johanna's bathroom. The master bathroom had two sinks that came out of the wall, embedded in a counter that was the same deep cedar color as Johanna's eyes. There was a freestanding claw foot tub on one side, a small room with a toilet, and a large walk-in glass shower. Like everywhere else in the apartment, most of the furniture was wooden, even the walls of the shower itself. Some sort of treated wood, or possibly fake, that repelled water. Katniss also observed a small, triangular built-in seat in the corner and a built in shelving unit with various shampoos, soaps, and body washes as she turned on the faucets. There were two showerheads, one on each side of the walls that rained down on her in the center of the shower.
Katniss stood under the spray of the water after undressing, pressing her palms against the warm wood and bracing her weight there. She had no right to the jealousy inside her. It wasn't as if she and Johanna were something official. They weren't. They hooked up a few times, and she was here in Johanna's apartment, but who else had been? Plenty of other women, and men, Katniss was sure. Her political parties and rallies and late night meetings at the Capitol; all great places to meet attractive, rich, politically connected men and women. People who were more her speed, not some backwoods hunter-slash-college student who didn't know the first thing about the inner workings of the government.
What an easy set up for Johanna, Katniss thought acerbically. Call Katniss whenever she wanted to get laid, and when Johanna tired of her she could just go home. Then she could bring around her cool friends and have her cocktail parties, and bang models or do whatever it is privileged, rich kids do, even into adulthood. Katniss bathed as quickly as she could, careful to avoid the scents that were Johanna's. She didn't want to smell like her; she much preferred to smell the scent of Johanna's skin directly.
Angrily Katniss turned off the spray and stepped out of the shower, watching the steam get sucked up into an air vent above her head. She wrapped a basil-colored towel around herself, tucking it in underneath her armpits. Katniss stared at herself in the mirror, scrutinizing her own appearance callously. She was just a plain girl from the poor side of the tracks; she couldn't compete with the kind of people Johanna knew. The fact that Katniss thought otherwise made her feel hopelessly naive. Johanna had been groomed since birth to be convincing and manipulative, but Katniss held onto a small hope that perhaps she wasn't just another deal Johanna was pulling.
The aforementioned girl opened the door to the bathroom, peeking inside. "There you are," she said brightly, swinging the door open and letting herself in. Katniss stepped away from the mirror, raising an eyebrow at Johanna's intrusion. Johanna stepped to the side and hoisted herself up on her bathroom sink. "I was thinking of taking you somewhere fun for breakfast."
"Fun?" Katniss repeated, snagging a comb from the counter and running it through her hair. Johanna slid off the edge of the counter and sauntered behind her, snatching the comb from her hand. Johanna began combing her hair for her, watching her reaction in the mirror. "What kind of fun?"
Johanna grinned suggestively in the mirror, tracing her fingers down Katniss's scalp. "Good fun, I promise." Johanna brushed hair over her left shoulder, pressing her lips against the crook of Katniss's neck. The shorter girl craned upward and ran her lips along the column of Katniss's neck to the rounded shell of her earlobe. "Have I let you down so far, Katniss Everdeen?" Katniss flicked her eyes to the mirror where Johanna's big, lustful brown hues reflected back at her. So far, no, Johanna had not let her down. It didn't stop the churning of jealousy that started in the pit of Katniss's stomach and spread upward to her heart at whoever was on the other line of that phone call. "You smell so good," Johanna murmured against her pulse, nuzzling into her hair. "And I smell like a men's locker room."
She scrunched her nose and backed away from Katniss, padding over to the shower. She turned it on and began stripping out of her clothes. Katniss knew that politely, she should divert her attention and give Johanna some privacy, but she found she couldn't. If she wanted privacy, she would've asked, Katniss reasoned with herself. Johanna peeled her tank top off and tossed it haphazardly into a wicker bin next to the shower. She shimmied out of her skintight pants and peeled off her underwear, lobbing them in the same pile. Johanna gingerly stepped into the shower, closing the glass door. The older girl was completely visible through the glass, shaking her head to spray water along the sides of the shower.
"Been in a lot of men's locker rooms?" Katniss inquired, crossing her arms over her chest and smirking.
Johanna chuckled and squirted some shampoo into her palms. "Wouldn't you like to know?" Johanna wiggled her eyebrows and returned her attention to lathering her hair with soap. "There's a bunch of new toothbrushes under the sink, since you were so concerned about your morning breath earlier and denied me a kiss," Johanna called over the sound of the water splashing on the tiles. Katniss didn't stop to wonder why Johanna would have a surplus of unopened toothbrushes. "And for breakfast, wear something... uh, business casual?" Katniss gulped as Johanna soaped up her loofah and began scrubbing it all over her body. Katniss had never before been jealous of an inanimate object, but that loofah was the subject of her ire at the moment.
"Where are you taking me?" Katniss asked, rummaging under the sink for the new toothbrush and trying desperately not to think about how wet and naked Johanna was just a few feet to her left.
"And ruin the surprise?" Johanna countered. "No way, young lady."
Katniss brushed her teeth with the green toothbrush she found beneath the sink and wiped her mouth. After placing the toothbrush on the counter - a not-so-subtle move to claim a space there and prove something to Finch - she looked over into the shower to see Johanna crafting a rather large bubble beard. Katniss cleared her throat and the older girl looked over at her, not a trace of shame in her expression. "What, uh, what are ya doin' in there?"
"Don't I look like my granddad like this?" The beard hung just below her neck, and she sculpted thick, white, bubbly muttonchops on the sides of her face. It was, in fact, the same facial hair her grandfather possessed. But a look down the rest of Johanna's body - her small, pert breasts, her taut abdomen, the small patch of dark black curls between her thighs, and her toned, long legs, well. That was nothing like her grandfather.
Katniss caught Johanna's eyes as she dragged them back up and shook her head. "No," she cracked, her voice uneven. She cleared her throat once more. "Not exactly."
Johanna cocked an eyebrow and skimmed her bubble beard off of her face. "If you hadn't rushed upstairs we could've done this together, you know. Why else would I have double showerheads?"
The image of running her hands along Johanna's soaped-up, slick body trucked into her consciousness and caused her to stare at Johanna with a blank expression, except for the heat in her eyes. Katniss tried to shake her head like her brain was an etch-a-sketch to get that image out of her mind.
"Right. I'm going to get dressed," Katniss informed her, turning on her bare heel and padding out of the bathroom and into Johanna's master bedroom. There was no reason to get bent out of shape. Who even knew who was on the other end of that phone? Maybe Johanna called people 'babe' all the time. There was nothing supporting her theory it was a lover of Johanna's other than her own insecurity. Katniss's phone jangled and she scrambled around Johanna's ridiculously spacious bed to retrieve it. "Hey Madge."
"Hey Kat," Madge chirped brightly on the other side of the line. "Guess whose dad needed to go to some senator's house so she's stuck in DC for the weekend with nothing to do?"
"The only person I know with a father in government, current company notwithstanding? You?" Katniss guessed with an eye roll. "That's great, though." If Madge was good for anything, she was a wonderful sounding board at which Katniss could toss her insecurities.
"Will you even have time to see me?" Madge inquired, her voice light and teasing. "Or are you too busy with you-know-who?" she sing-songed with an exaggerated amount of salaciousness in her tone.
Katniss chuckled as she draped her towel on Johanna's closet door and rummaged through her bags for some clothes. She tucked the phone between her cheek and shoulder and shimmied her underwear over her hips. She snatched a new lacy bra Cinna had picked out - in a move that made Katniss turn fifty shades of red in the boutique - and pulled the straps over her shoulders. In Cinna's defense, a quick look into Johanna's boudoir revealed that it did look as good as Cinna said it would. "I'll find time. She works a lot anyway, and I think she has plans for lunch. She -"
"Katniss?" Johanna called from the other room as the shower turned off. "Hey, if you want to, I'm meeting a friend at the country club, then we're having lunch. Do you play tennis?"
"Hold on, Madge," Katniss hushed into the phone. She placed her hand over the receiving microphone. "I don't play tennis but I would come, if you don't mind."
"Mind?" Johanna asked as she rounded the corner and entered her bedroom again. The shorter girl stopped dead in her tracks, eyes widening and her little mouth slipping open. "Why would I mind?" Johanna breathed, finishing a thought Katniss could clearly see Johanna was no longer thinking. Katniss was puzzled, briefly, until she realized she was standing in Johanna's bedroom in only her bra and panties. Johanna blinked a few times in rapid succession as Katniss bit her lip to quell the smirk desperately trying to crawl across her face. Finally Johanna saw the phone in her hand. "I'm sorry, you're on the phone. Go ahead. Do you want some privacy?"
"It's okay, it's just my friend Madge. She's here from school for the weekend," Katniss explained hastily, trying to keep herself focused, as Johanna was only wearing her robe that definitely looked like it might hit the floor any moment. Typically, Johanna apparently could only be bothered to rather carelessly and loosely tie the belt in the middle, leaving much of her midsection exposed except for her breasts. If it didn't fall off on its own accord, Katniss was going to help it along.
Johanna smiled. "Invite her, too. Tell her to text you where she's staying and we'll pick her up on the way to the club." Johanna took a few steps forward. "She's the one who set you up with Finnick, right?" Katniss bobbed her head and the other girl grinned. "Then at the very least, I owe her a lunch for that horrible decision that led to my meeting you."
Katniss blushed as she put the phone to her ear, her eyes never leaving the seductive gaze of the older girl. "Madge?"
"I heard and I'm so game. I'll text you the address of my hotel. Just give me the time." Katniss didn't answer because Johanna's eyes were so attuned to her own she could scarcely breathe. "Earth to Katniss?" Madge sighed on the other line. "You are so hopeless. Goodbye, Katniss."
Katniss let the phone slip out of her hand and fall to the bed, watching closely as Johanna narrowed the gap between them. She had never seen someone look so blatantly ...hungry before, for something other than food. It was almost frustrating because she had just changed, and here Johanna was with her half-nakedness and her bedroom eyes, making the throb between her legs unbearable, and nearly ruining her new underwear. "Christ's sake, Katniss. You could make a sinner change her ways," Johanna confessed in a low tone. Her eyes flicked away for a moment. "You just might." Her tongue darted out to swipe along both her lips as she got close enough to Katniss that the younger girl could feel the heat through her terrycloth robe. Relentless brown eyes returned to Katniss's gray ones. "I want to devour you."
An overwhelming feeling of lightheadedness hit Katniss full force. "What time is breakfast?" Katniss managed to rasp out as little droplets of water from the tips of Johanna's hair splashed against her feet. She didn't notice. The only thing she could think about was the tiny bit of shared air between their lips.
"Too soon," Johanna whispered mournfully. "Not enough time for me to do even half the things I want to do to you," she purred, placing her hand on Katniss's hip. Johanna leant up and closed the distance between them, seizing Katniss's lips in a tender, but near desperate kiss. Tragically, Katniss's mind was wiped blank of any of the doubts she had earlier about Johanna's intentions. It seemed, where Johanna was concerned, she had a blind spot a mile wide, especially when on the receiving end of her kisses.
Katniss was pretty certain her mouth had not stopped hanging open in shock since they arrived outside the doors of their breakfast spot about half an hour earlier. Johanna's promise of "fun" was not at all what Katniss had imagined. Upon arriving at the Capitol, they were hurriedly escorted to a place Katniss had only seen on television and in films. A place of such storied importance, she wasn't sure she would have enough time to process it. But there she was, sitting on a couch across from Johanna, inside the Oval Office. Much of it was the same as it had always been, but there were touches of Johanna's grandfather everywhere. The faint smell of cigar smoke, the couches - normally some sort of beige plush - was forest green and built from exposed, reclaimed wood. Mason family spirit was everywhere.
The breakfast was served by a team of people, all of whom Johanna addressed by name, in a tone that was both formal and friendly. Smooth politician's talk. Johanna rattled off information about the room whilst they ate, entertaining an amused, and frankly rather overwhelmed, Katniss.
"When I was like six or seven - my dad was just a Rep then - we were invited to the White House for some ridiculous dinner. I don't know what the occasion was, all I know is that no one in this building was prepared for five Mason kids running roughshod all over this house." Johanna's lips took on a wistful grin. "We figured out how to get on the roof, and we snuck into the bowling alley. The Secret Service really hated that. But most of all, they hated when we played hide and seek."
"That's not so bad," Katniss replied, placing her plate down on the coffee table between them. A coffee table people like Madeleine Albright and Eleanor Roosevelt might have sat at and had tea. Not at the same time, but, at some point. "Isn't there that story of Teddy Roosevelt's kids soaping up the hallways and sliding around?"
Johanna nodded. "All true. But you don't play hide and seek with Secret Service around." The small smile on Johanna's face grew exponentially larger. "I hid for six hours."
Katniss's eyes bulged. "Six hours? Oh my god, Johanna," Katniss laughed, leaning back into the couch. "How? Where?"
"A lifetime of knowing how to hide from four older brothers, and right here in this office." Katniss gave a cursory look around. There seemed to be no place inside the room that someone could hide, and for good reason. Johanna got up from her seat and rounded the President's desk. "I hid underneath this desk for six hours. Because goddamn Nate told me we could hide anywhere and I didn't want to lose. But what he didn't tell me, was that the Oval Office was off limits." Johanna shot Katniss a sour look. "My dad kicked my ass that night. I was grounded for six months. Which meant pretty little to me, since we were all away at boarding school for most of the year." Johanna pulled the big chair out from the desk and plopped herself in it, propping her heels up on the desk. "Worth it, though. I won hide and seek and got ten bucks from each of my brothers."
Katniss rose from the couch and walked around the room, inspecting the picture frames and various items throughout the room. President Snow's Oval Office had an almost antiseptic look to it; all the white vases were adorned with white roses. President Mason let his wife do the decorating, and everything looked homey and pleasant. "So you don't like to lose?" Katniss ventured. "Color me surprised."
"No, Miss Everdeen, I don't. And I never do. Even when people think that I've lost," Johanna began, placing both her feet on the ground and clasping her hands on the desk, "I haven't."
Katniss snorted and sauntered over to the large, imposing desk. She tried not to think about the series of men who'd sat that that desk, making incredibly historic decisions. Instead she thought about the woman currently behind it, and how infuriatingly sexy her confidence was. "You look comfortable behind that desk. Don't let your father see you," Katniss teased, leaning her butt against the edge of the desk, tracing her fingers along the waxed corners.
Johanna's eyes dragged up the length of Katniss's body and settled on her eyes, brown hues turning into little slits. "I am comfortable with power, Katniss Everdeen. Would you like a demonstration?" The lingering leer Johanna gave Katniss made her stomach burble with both excitement and fear. "Wouldn't be the first time someone got lucky in this office."
The seated woman shrugged. "Men are gross from dust to dust," Johanna bemoaned with an eye roll. "Trust me. You're lucky you only have a sister. Brothers are the worst."
Speaking of, Katniss's eyes flitted to the wall where a very large photo caught her eye. She walked around the back of the Presidential chair and stood in front of the photo, eyes narrowed. It was clearly a large family photo of the Masons taken at some kind of picnic. Johanna was easy to spot - being one of only about four females in the photo - but the rest of them weren't as easy. Slowly, Katniss picked out Johanna's brothers: Nate was easiest, as he had spiked up hair with frosted blonde tips that contrasted horribly with his jet black hair, at least at this point in what Katniss surmised was his early twenties. Johanna's oldest brother, RJ, stood stone-faced in the back of the photo. He had a scraggly beard but a young face, even though he didn't even attempt to smile. Johanna's other two brothers, Blight and August, were tipping back drinks into their mouths, obscuring their faces. Johanna's mother stood out most of all against the sea of jet black Masons with her bright blonde hair and expressionless face.
"The seed is strong," Katniss murmured to the photo, glancing over it to look at the other members of Johanna's family. The President was front and center, beaming proudly.
"What's that?" Johanna inquired, the floor creaking beneath her feet as she crossed to stand behind Katniss. She peered over Katniss's shoulder to eye the photo. "Oh, right. Family reunion about ten years ago, before my grandfather was President." Johanna placed a gentle kiss in the crook of Katniss's neck and the younger girl shivered. "What did you say? Something about seeds?"
Katniss chuckled and turned into Johanna's space. The older girl immediately wrapped her hands around Katniss's waist and pulled them closer. "From Game of Thrones?" Johanna shook her head. "Before he dies, the Hand of the King says, 'The seed is strong.' He's referring to the fact that all the King's bastards have coal-black hair," Katniss explained, running her fingers through Johanna's coal-black mane, "but none of his 'real children' do. Insinuating the Queen was fucking around."
"Was she?" Johanna asked, cocking her head to the side.
Katniss nodded solemnly. "With her twin brother."
Johanna looked appropriately horrified. "Well that's repulsive." Katniss shrugged noncommittally and Johanna smirked and shook her head. "Here I am thinking you're some innocent little thing and you're watching shows that involve incestuous extra-marital affairs." Johanna tipped upward and kissed Katniss. "I like that you surprise me, Katniss Everdeen."
Katniss wrapped her arm around Johanna's back and pulled their bodies flush, deepening their chaste kiss with ardent purpose. Johanna let out a little hum of surprise into her mouth that quickly devolved into a quiet groan. The taller girl cupped Johanna's face with her free hand, swirling her tongue in a delicate dance with Johanna's, tasting the cinnamon and apple of the tart they had shared. Johanna's hand shot forward and she braced her palm and weight against the wall, wedging Katniss between her body and the hard surface.
The slow pound of footsteps interrupted them and Johanna flew several feet back from Katniss, smoothing the corners of her mouth as if some of Katniss's kiss was still lingering there. Casually, Johanna poised herself on the edge of the President's desk as a tall, statuesque black man and - Katniss gulped - the President entered the room from a door made out of the wall itself.
"Johanna," the President greeted with a warm smile. The President smelled like cologne and oak wood, not unlike Johanna's soft scent of pine and vanilla. The older man pulled Johanna from the desk and wrapped the young girl in his arms. Johanna returned the hug with a grin. The other man stood silently beside them. "Not hiding under the desk again, I hope."
Johanna blushed lightly and shook her head. "No, sir," she replied with an unexpected amount of deference. "I did sit at it though. Suits me," she replied with a wink.
The older man guffawed and nodded his head. "So it does. My son will be glad to hear it." Katniss ducked her gaze to the ground as none of the three of them acknowledged her presence. The President suddenly looked her way and his brown eyes widened. "My my, a young visitor. Johanna told me she was bringing a guest with her," he explained, turning to face Katniss completely. "She failed to mention how lovely you are." He extended his hand. "Roger Mason," he introduced with a distinct lack of grandeur. "It's a pleasure to meet you, Katniss Everdeen."
Katniss's gray eyes widened and she looked to Johanna for explanation. "Likewise, Mr. President. Thank you for letting me have breakfast here." And have my way with your granddaughter. "This was ...more than I could have imagined."
Roger Mason gave a look around and nodded his head. "It is quite a room, isn't it? So much history within these walls. I am humbled to be a part of it." He took a step back and swept open his arm. "This is my Chief of Staff, Boggs. Boggs, this is Katniss Everdeen." The slim, muscular man took a step forward and extended his arm, shaking Katniss's briefly. "And you remember my granddaughter, Johanna."
Boggs looked to Johanna, a queer emotion in his eyes. Johanna, for her part, gave away no expression at all. "Of course he remembers me," Johanna drawled, pushing herself off the desk to give Boggs a rather intimate pat on the bicep. "Lest you forget, sir, that I was the one who wrangled Boggs away from Senator Coin."
"You have an impeccable eye for talent," the President replied with a firm nod. Johanna and Boggs exchanged a look. "If you'll excuse me, the aforementioned Senator Coin has asked for an audience with me in her office." Johanna's eyebrows rose to her hairline. "I know, I don't like trudging down there but I don't want her to get too comfortable in my office." His eyes twinkled. "Once they sit in the chair, you can hardly get them out." He reached up a hand to stroke his full, bushy beard before turning to Katniss. "Stay as long as you'd like, Miss Everdeen."
"Thank you, Mr. President," Katniss replied quietly. They exchanged small smiles as he moved to leave the room. He gave Johanna a pat on the shoulder as he walked out, leaving the two girls alone with Boggs. The room seemed unnecessarily thick with tension all of a sudden, with Boggs and Johanna continuing their awkward stare-down. Katniss cleared her throat.
Johanna snapped out of her trance and looked to Katniss, giving her a smile. "What do you say you and me go on a little tour of DC before I get changed for the game?"
"Game?" Boggs questioned, clasping his hands behind his back. "Back into tennis?"
Johanna nodded. "Cress wants the scoop on Rep. Lyme's supposed suggestion for the Sec of Defense position." Boggs gave her a knowing nod and smirked. "I'm only going to tell her what I know, which is pretty little."
"Other than her name on the President's desk was all your doing," he teased in a droll tone.
Johanna wiped her face of expression and puckered her lips. "I'm sure I don't know what you're talking about, sir." The faux innocence in her voice and posture made Boggs straighten up and cleared the levity from his face. Johanna held out a crooked elbow toward Katniss. "Miss Everdeen?"
Katniss took the proffered arm and eyed the man. "Nice meeting you," she said evenly.
"You too," he replied quickly, watching them as Johanna escorted Katniss to the exit. "You watch out for that one," Boggs called after them. Katniss peered at him over her shoulder. "She's something else." The younger girl looked to Johanna to gauge her reaction and saw the older girl rolling her eyes at Boggs.
"Yeah, nice seeing you too, Boggs," Johanna called sarcastically over her shoulder as she ushered Katniss out the door.
Once they were well outside and on their way toward the Lincoln Memorial, Katniss turned to the unusually quiet Johanna. "What did he mean, to 'watch out for you?'" she asked in the most innocent voice she could muster. Something about their exchange had left Katniss with an uneasy feeling in her stomach.
Johanna shrugged her shoulders. "Boggs thinks he knows everything about everyone. And he does, that's his job." Johanna glanced at Katniss, eyes narrowed. "He has a particularly annoying habit of being right a lot. He's very passive-aggressive about it." Johanna expelled a sigh and brushed some hair from her face. "But he's a really fucking good chief of staff. Very loyal. Better than me, if you can believe that."
Katniss mused on that for a block or two, only to drudge the subject up once more. "How did you get him away from Senator Coin? Was it part of your blackmail against her?" Katniss didn't voice the loudest idea in her brain: Johanna seduced him away. It would explain their odd behavior in the office, and why Johanna was being uncharacteristically evasive now.
Johanna looked at her uneasily. "Not exactly," she deflected.
Katniss waited for her to elaborate, but nothing was forthcoming. So, she prodded, "Then how? If he's so loyal, how did you sway him?"
"Other than promising him the cushiest and most powerful position in government, outside of being a politician?" Johanna smirked. "I told you, power is attractive. It doesn't take much to convince a man of his worth. It's all part of the seduction. What man doesn't like to have his ego stroked?" Johanna scoffed, "Among other things. Took about six months, but by the end I had wrapped him up and served on a platter to my grandfather."
The uneasy feeling didn't leave Katniss's stomach, but she let the issue drop. They were rapidly approaching the Lincoln Memorial, which on a cold, cloudy day in winter wasn't nearly as crowded as Katniss assumed it would be. They crossed the great lawn to get closer to the memorial, the large, imposing statue casting a shadow over the two girls as they approached it. President Abraham Lincoln, humungous and cast in marble, sitting atop his chair. Katniss had always admired his great humor and steady hand of justice, even in the face of great adversity.
"Nearly all men can stand adversity," Johanna quoted, her hand trailing from where she had draped it around Katniss's back to instead hold her hand, "but if you want to test a man's character, give him power."
Katniss paused thoughtfully upon that quote. Johanna's life was rife with the giving and receiving of power. All she did, all day, was manipulate people and legislation to throw power behind a person or an idea. But none of it, other than the tone she took with subordinates, seemed put on. Johanna seemed very comfortable with the armor of power she wore, like it was deeply embedded in her DNA. Considering the family photo in the Oval Office was a host of powerful men and women, it essentially was. However, she didn't want Johanna's armor, she wanted what was underneath. She wasn't sure she'd ever get to it, or if Johanna would let her.
Katniss dragged her eyes away from the statue, noticing a group of girls gawking at them. Johanna paid them no mind until finally, one of them mustered up the courage to approach her. "Excuse me," she chirped, "are you Johanna Mason?"
Johanna looked over at her. "Depends on who's asking," she replied drolly. Two suited men that Katniss hadn't noticed their entire walk drew incrementally closer to Johanna. Secret Service, Katniss deduced, from their nearly unnoticeable earpieces, suits, and cropped haircuts.
"We're huge fans," the girl gushed, waving her friends over. The other three girls skittered forward all together like a brood of hens. "I did a term paper on the anti-bulling legislation that you helped write and pass." Johanna smiled broadly at that. "What you've done for the LGBT community is really fantastic."
"Thank you," Johanna replied. In her normal voice, Katniss noticed. "That means a lot to me."
"Do you mind if we take a picture?" A second little hen asked from behind the first hen. "Like a group selfie?"
Johanna grinned. "Of course." Without asking, one of the girls handed a rather large digital camera to Katniss.
Katniss hid the insult she felt and quickly figured out how to operate the camera as the girls all crowded around Johanna. The young blonde next to her threw her arm around Johanna's neck and pulled her in closely. Katniss gripped the camera tightly in her hands, wondering if there was any way Johanna could get her out of jail if she smashed the camera over the girl's head. And she nearly did, as after she readied them to pose for the photo, just as she hit the shutter, the girl yanked Johanna closer and smooched her on the cheek.
Johanna extricated herself from the group uncomfortably, signing a few pamphlets for them as Katniss handed the camera back to the perpetrator. She ignored the girl's thank you and went to walk toward Johanna, but she was now enveloped in a small crowd. Tourists, young and old, circled around her to ask for photos and autographs, like she was a political rock star. The Secret Service men made themselves more apparent and kept the people at an arm's length from Johanna, which made Katniss marginally more relaxed. Once Johanna had smiled and shook hands with nearly everyone, she finally turned around to face Katniss. The mirth she had fabricated for her "fans" was completely gone from her face. In its place was annoyance, and guilt.
"I'm really sorry about that," Johanna expressed, closing the gap between them and taking Katniss by the hand. She led her around the side of the memorial, the two Secret Service men hanging about fifteen paces behind them.
"That one girl kissed you," Katniss blurted out, bitterness and shock coloring her words.
Johanna sighed. "I know. People think that because you're in the public eye, they sort of own a piece of you. You're a commodity. You start letting that happen, soon enough, you don't have any pieces left. But what can I do? Public perception is a large part of what makes me, and my family, so successful. I can't be the bitch I want to be. I always have to be someone I'm not. And you turn into that person so often, it becomes a part of you, like a second skin." Katniss entwined their fingers and gave Johanna's hand a tight squeeze. Katniss wanted, selfishly, to keep all the pieces of Johanna for herself. She wanted to deconstruct this powerful, complex woman to get to the girl beneath. She'd seen glimpses of her, especially on their dates. Johanna was a little more herself when Katniss could kiss her. She was very glad to keep trying that experiment to see if she could unveil Johanna entirely.
Johanna was called away for a meeting after their tour of the memorial, so she instructed Katniss that the Secret Service would escort her and Madge to the country club, and she'd meet them there. After detouring back to the apartment to change into something more casual, Katniss arrived in the unmarked black SUV outside Madge's hotel. Madge bounded out, directly into the waiting vehicle. She leaned over to hug Katniss tightly, then settled into her seat and buckled her seat belt.
"This is pretty neat," she said, looking out the blackened windows. "Secret Service. Cool country clubs. Eating lunch with Johanna Mason. It's like a different life."
"I know," Katniss replied, bringing one of her nails to her mouth to nibble on the edge of it nervously. Madge automatically brought her hand to Katniss's, forcing it out of her mouth and dropping it into her lap. Katniss flushed. "Sorry."
"Why are you nervous?" Madge asked, leapfrogging Katniss's apology with the practiced ease of a good friend. She turned and leveled her blue eyes at Katniss.
Katniss sighed, giving a look to the driver and the other guard in the front seats. It's not like they were listening anyway, and even if they were, they couldn't really pass judgment. Surely they wouldn't say anything to Johanna. "I think I'm in over my head."
Madge furrowed her brow, her light blonde eyebrows nearly touching she was frowning so hard. Katniss found it amusing. She had always found Madge amusing in the few years they'd known each other. They had slipped into an easy friendship after being assigned a dorm together, one free of obligation, but somehow, still very deep. Neither of them dated much, in spite of Madge's attempt at being a matchmaker, which made their relationship free of any tension. They studied quietly, they went out together socially on occasion, and they understood each other.
"Over your head in what sense? Like, because Johanna's a woman? Are you worried about the sex?" Madge queried, either having forgotten about the two men sitting in the front of the car, or not caring. Katniss figured it was the latter.
"No, that's -" Katniss blushed. "That hasn't been an issue." Her mind flashed back to Johanna making her come in the front seat of her car, and of her fucking Johanna breathless on the top of her desk. The only times they'd been intimate. Brief, and clothed, and all together not the experience Katniss was longing for. And definitely not her issue. "I mean, all of this," Katniss explained, sweeping her hand out to include the car, the men, the entire damn city. "Johanna's life is so different from mine. I mean, she's 27. I'm 21. I feel like she's a real adult and I'm a kid in diapers."
Madge rolled her eyes. "The age difference is irrelevant," Madge dismissed. "You're hardly a kid, Katniss. You're the most mature person I've ever known. An old soul." Katniss nudged her friend. "Johanna's life is different, but you knew that. You said you wanted to try things out with her anyway. How did you put it?" Madge tapped her chin in thought. "You told her you 'liked work.'" Katniss had rehashed her night with Johanna - leaving out the details of their tryst in the car - to Madge in an effort to calm herself down after their date. Madge had, of course, profusely encouraged her to pursue the relationship.
"I do, I really like her. I just think that all I am, that's not going to be enough. I've only been here like two days and I've only been comfortable once, when we were in bed." Madge waggled her eyebrows and Katniss couldn't help but flush deep red again. "Not even like that. Last night she was exhausted, so I made dinner and she fell asleep in my arms." Katniss's smile warmed at the memory.
"That's fucking adorable," Madge supplied with a huge grin.
"I know it is," Katniss huffed. "But it was only like that because Johanna was too tired to have her guard up." Katniss chewed on the inside of her cheek, trying to articulate the deep-down seed of insecurity she was harboring. "I feel like maybe, maybe this is all just convenient for Johanna. Having someone at her beck and call, emotionally and physically, that isn't tethered to this world of hers. Like I'm just a piece in her games."
Her blonde friend leaned back in her seat, seemingly contemplating Katniss's words. Something she appreciated about Madge was her keen ability to listen; to know when to interject and when to leave a silence. After a few, long minutes, she piped up. "Perhaps it's not just about convenience," Madge offered slowly. "Maybe you're right, she does want someone who isn't tethered to this world of hers, and can you blame her? Her life is exhausting." Katniss couldn't disagree with that statement. Even just the small crowd of people they encountered today seemed to sap Johanna of her energy, or at least her spirit. "Clearly embroiling her personal and professional lives hasn't worked out well for her so far. She's 27, hot, wealthy, funny, well-bred and well-educated, and one of the most connected and powerful people under 30 on the planet." Katniss raised her eyebrow. "And she's single. Almost perpetually so. So unless she's got bodies under her house or she's a furry or something, there's been something wrong with her choice in lovers if she's been picking them from the political world."
Katniss blinked over to her window. She hadn't thought of that. From her extensive googling of Johanna, she had only come up with a handful of possible former paramours. But the evidence surrounding the photos was conjectural. None of the people pictured were proven to be anyone Johanna had dated. It seemed that, because of her sexuality, anyone seen on the arm of Johanna Mason was suspected to be her new love interest. Madge placed her hand on Katniss's thigh. "Look at it this way. Johanna was under no obligation to take you out on that first date, or a second one. Does she seem like the type of person who wastes her time?"
"Not at all," Katniss murmured in a small voice. "I mean I guess it's a little early to be having such a crisis."
Madge pursed her lips. "A little," she goaded with a smirk. "She didn't get to where she is by being an idiot. I don't know Johanna personally, obviously, but what I do know of her, she seems like the type that goes after what she wants. And she's been going after you." The blonde shifted in her seat to turn her full attention to Katniss. "If she is playing you, then I'm completely wrong and she's an idiot. You're a catch, Katniss."
"How much am I paying you to say that?" Katniss inquired with a cheeky grin.
Madge huffed dramatically. "Not nearly enough."
Choosing to watch Johanna play tennis had been a remarkably good idea. Johanna and her friend were well into their game by the time Madge and Katniss arrived; evidently Johanna's meeting was shortened. In any case, the two younger girls found a spot in the spectator's seats to watch. There weren't many other people there, so Katniss got a nice view of Johanna, sweaty and focused.
"Who's the blonde?" Katniss inquired, nodding toward the other side of the court. She was a rather beautiful blonde with piercing blue eyes, an impressive physique, and a half-shaved head that exposed green vine tattoos that ran down her neck and nestled inside her tank top.
"That's Cressida. She's a producer and writer for the news. Something big... CNN I think, or MSNBC. Something legit," Madge explained. "I didn't know she and Johanna knew each other. Politicians rarely show up anywhere public with media." The blonde looked around and shrugged. "But this is the most exclusive country club in the Capitol, so I'm guessing nobody here will say anything."
Katniss hummed in thought and returned her attention to Johanna. Currently her hair was pulled back, and they battled in what only could be described as mini skirts. Johanna's was black, of course, to contrast Cressida's white get up. Each time either of them lunged for a shot, their skirts ruffled and rose and Katniss's mouth went dry. The gym echoed with their hard grunts of effort and groans of frustration as the lead ricocheted back and forth between them. Watching Johanna was not doing Katniss's libido any favors. Her body was covered in sweat, again, and the grunts she expelled upon serving or returning a volley was coiling something deep inside Katniss's stomach and crawling lower with each passing second.
Mercifully, the game was over after about an hour and a half. Johanna had just eked out a victory over the blonde, much to Cressida's loud annoyance. Johanna looked up to the spectator seats and winked at Katniss before disappearing into the locker room with a still-grumbling Cressida tailing behind. They emerged a short fifteen minutes later, both redressed with makeup reapplied, looking like they hadn't just sweat their asses off for nearly an hour.
The country club was offset from the gym; glass enclosed, and set out over the city of Washington DC. There weren't many people inside, but Madge whispered the names of the politicians she recognized as they were escorted to their table. Madge had more of an eye for these things than Katniss; she was up on current events and could pick a senator from a representative. Aside from being a Political Science major, her father being mayor back home meant Madge was attuned to the political world.
Once they settled into their table and all ordered their lunches, Johanna excused herself to make a phone call. Cressida sat across from the two younger women; her narrowed eyes alight with amusement. "So you're Katniss," Cressida stated, looking at the brunette.
"I would've thought you were Katniss," she said, nodding toward the blonde.
Madge wrinkled her nose. "Why? I've never even met her."
"You're blonde," Cressida replied simply with a shrug. She took a long sip from a glass of water, placing the glass gently on the white tablecloth. Off both of the girls' surprised looks, Cressida smirked. "You don't know Johanna that well, yet. But Johanna has a weakness for blondes. All of her female lovers have been blonde. There might have been a dubious redhead or two in there," Cressida mused thoughtfully, "but as long as I've known her, and longer, Johanna's always been so tragically attracted to the fairer sex with even fairer hair." She shrugged her shoulders. "No matter. She's never been one to be predictable, that's for sure. The only predictable thing is that they're always gorgeous, which you both are."
Before either Madge or Katniss could come up with a response, Johanna returned to the table, unaware of the tension. "Sorry about that. Now, where were we?" Johanna looked across the table at Madge and gave her a warm smile. "Madge Undersee. I have a question for you."
Unlike Katniss, who on their first date was quite intimidated by Johanna, Madge merely gave her an indifferent shrug. "And I, you. But you can go first."
"How do you know my brainless cousin Finnick?"
"Well that's an easy one," Madge teased. "I have a friend on the swim team who thought I'd be interested in Finnick. He's not really my type, so after he stopped flirting with me, I told him I had a hot friend I could set him up with."
Cressida laughed into her drink. "You didn't know Katniss was fishing in the other lake?"
Katniss's jaw clenched and she felt a soothing hand land on her thigh. She traced its origin to Johanna, whose gaze never left Madge's. Madge shrugged her shoulders again. "I never asked. Not that it matters." Katniss and Madge shared a smile. "It all worked out. She got what she wanted."
"An exponentially better date," Johanna bragged dramatically. "If I do say so myself." Her brown eyes moved over to Katniss. "Back me up here, Everdeen."
"Unforgettable, surely." Katniss nudged Johanna with her shoulder congenially. Johanna's hand on her thigh increased in pressure and the look of affection Johanna gave her was enough to make her stomach flutter.
Madge brushed imaginary dirt from her shoulder and blew on her nails. "Nailed it."
Johanna cocked an eyebrow toward the blonde. "Right, right. You're a matchmaker all right." She rolled her eyes and then settled them on the blonde. "Now you had some questions for me?"
"A ton, actually," Madge answered honestly. "I'm a Political Science major, so meeting you is kind of a dream. I had no idea Finnick Odair was your cousin, or I'd have tried to date him myself if that meant I could meet you."
Katniss saw Johanna's mouth twitch upward in a smirk. "Is that right?"
"Totally." Madge blinked down to her plate embarrassedly. "I'll try not to be too much of a fangirl, I promise."
"I'll try not to be a disappointment," Johanna drawled. The tops of Madge's cheeks flushed and Katniss shrank back into her seat. Johanna's hand on her thigh notwithstanding, she knew she was about to become a piece of furniture to them. Madge could babble about politics for hours, in the same way Katniss could do for history. And presumably Cressida was present to get some insider scoop from Johanna.
Cressida's eyes pinged between Johanna and Madge, and then she settled them on Katniss and her cheek dimpled deeply in a smirk. A weakness for blondes indeed, Katniss thought. It wasn't as if Johanna was flirting with Madge - and Katniss was pretty certain Madge wasn't queer anyway - but they fell into a rather effortless rapport that was lost on Katniss when she talked to Johanna. At least here, in this environment. Their dates were easy - there was no one around to distract Johanna. Here in Johanna's world there were a million things to take her attention away, and Katniss was no match for that.
After dropping Madge back at her hotel to meet with her father, the SUV took Johanna and Katniss back to Johanna's apartment. It had started snowing again, dropping fat snowflakes in their hair as they bustled in the doorway, shivering. Johanna shucked off her boots and hung up her jacket, rushing over to the fireplace to get the fire going again. "Would you mind getting the fire started in the bedroom?" Johanna asked, peering at Katniss over her shoulder. "I've got to make a quick call but I want the place getting warmer. Looks like we might be in for the night again."
Katniss nodded mutely and padded up the stairs to Johanna's bedroom. It didn't take long to get a fire going - years of hunting made her excellent at making a campfire, and it was even easier with the heat from the downstairs hearth warming the logs - and by the time she had gotten it done and turned around, Johanna was standing in the doorway.
"Thanks." Johanna stepped into the bedroom and crossed over to Katniss, placing her hands on Katniss's hips. "Are you okay? You seemed a little distant at lunch."
"I'm fine," Katniss protested, wiping her face of expression. "I was glad you and Madge hit it off."
"Who?" Johanna blinked a few times and then nodded. "Oh, your friend, right." When Katniss's eyes moved upward to meet Johanna's, she found a trace of guilt in them. "I apologize if my talking to your friend, and Cress, all through lunch was rude of me," Johanna began. Katniss watched Johanna's throat bob in an anxious manner. "But it wasn't because I didn't want to talk to you. Quite the opposite." Katniss raised her eyebrow but said nothing. Johanna sighed impatiently. "The thing is..." Johanna trailed off, scratching the back of her neck. "The thing is, when you're around, I have a hard time concentrating on anything. I saw you at lunch today and you just," Johanna exhaled heavily, "you looked so gorgeous that I was afraid if I didn't give your friend my attention, I never would've been able to get my eyes off of you."
Katniss blinked in surprise. Johanna's eyes dropped to her feet and she gently took the older girl's chin to bring their gazes level. "Really?"
Her hand glided around to cup Johanna's jaw and cheek, her thumb rubbing a small freckle near the dimple by her mouth. Johanna leaned into the touch. "You have no idea, the effect you can have."
Katniss bit her lower lip as a conveyor belt of emotions rolled through her mind. Was this just smooth talk because Johanna picked up on her jealousy? The look in Johanna's eyes appeared earnest, if only because she looked so surprised at her own feelings. The fact that Johanna found her attractive enough that she was a distraction was very appealing. Somehow, Johanna managed to soothe her insecurities with just that one statement. Katniss responded the only way she knew how. She leaned down and seized Johanna's lips in an aggressive, wet kiss.
Johanna's surprised moan empowered Katniss to walk Johanna backward to her bed, shoving the older girl down into the mattress. Her normally dark eyes turned almost pitch black with desire as Katniss straddled her and connected their lips once more, probing Johanna's warm mouth with her tongue. Johanna's hands scaled up her back, beneath her shirt, moving and crossing over her spine and making her muscles twitch. Without pause Johanna lifted Katniss's shirt right off of her, tossing it on the floor next to the bed. She followed suit with her own, and Katniss pressed both her hands against Johanna's shoulders and pinned her to the mattress. Johanna's hips lifted against her, and Katniss smothered Johanna's groan of approval with her mouth.
The dark-eyed beauty gasped as Katniss's lips left a wet trail down her jaw to her neck, nipping at her fluttering pulse. Katniss felt Johanna's hands move from her back to her pelvis, roughly unbuttoning her jeans and letting out an adorable grunt of frustration when she couldn't get them down Katniss's hips.
"Stand up," Johanna ordered, in a tone similar to the one she took with subordinates. Katniss crawled off the bed and stood up, with Johanna following suit. Johanna unzipped Katniss's jeans and then sank down with them as she pulled them toward the floor. Once she hit her knees and Katniss stepped out of the denim, Johanna laced kisses up her inner thighs, sucking on the tender flesh. Her hands massaged Katniss's firm backside, nuzzling her nose into the crotch of her panties. Katniss almost swooned when Johanna placed her tongue flat against her folds, through her underwear, and licked her. Looking down at the sight of Johanna practically worshipping her on her knees; Katniss knew Johanna could feel the surge of arousal that seeped out of her. Under normal circumstances she might be embarrassed, but now she was too aroused to care.
Johanna placed a few gentle kisses on the crease of her thigh. As she rose to her feet again, she nipped and ran her tongue along Katniss's stomach and between her breasts. Once she got to Katniss's neck, the younger girl finally had the presence of mind to unhook Johanna's bra and unzip the back of her skirt, letting it pool around their feet. Johanna replicated the action on Katniss, revealing Katniss's hardened nipples like she was unwrapping a longed for Christmas gift, all open-mouthed and wide-eyed. Katniss's eyes got wide as well, but not because her breasts were bare. Rather, the look in Johanna's eyes was something Katniss had never seen on something other than an animal. It was absolutely predatory.
Johanna's hands came to rest beneath the swell of Katniss's breasts and she leaned forward to nuzzle her face into Katniss's neck. "I still want to devour you," she confessed breathlessly. Her thumb caught the peak of Katniss's nipple and the younger girl groaned.
Katniss pushed the older girl on the bed and nearly leapt on her in desire, capturing Johanna's lips again. Johanna's hands slid up her flanks and into her hair, tangling it wildly as they kissed. "Then do it," Katniss replied ardently, in a voice she didn't even recognize. It was thick with want and desperation. "I - I want you so badly, Johanna."
Before Katniss could count to three she was turned onto her back, her weight shifted so her head lay on Johanna's pillow. The older girl ran a hand up her abdomen and to her breasts, rolling a nipple between her fingers. A bolt shot directly from that contact to her groin, igniting her already feverish desire. Johanna's lips suckled on her pulse before abandoning her neck for points farther south. The sensation of Johanna's mouth enveloping her breasts made Katniss squirm and moan with abandon. "God, Johanna, please."
Johanna paused in her actions, lifting herself up to bring her eyes level to Katniss. "You know what the French call an orgasm?" Katniss shook her head. She didn't even know her own name at this point, never mind some foreign term. "La petit mort," Johanna answered. "The little death." The older girl leaned down, kissing Katniss languidly and deeply before continuing. "I want you to beg me," Johanna explained, reaching up to caress the side of Katniss's face with the back of her hand. "But not until the pleasure and pain are so intense, you think you're about to die that little death. And when you feel that place," Johanna husked directly into her ear, "if you beg me like you did just now, I will make you come so hard you'll forget who you are."
Katniss growled in arousal and looped her arms over Johanna's shoulders to connect them in another heated embrace. Johanna's thigh nudged itself between Katniss's legs and applied sweet pressure to the area of building, burning desire. It wasn't nearly enough. She wanted the unobstructed feel of Johanna's skin against hers, and to see every inch of Johanna's pale flesh go pink with bodily bliss. Johanna pulled her underwear off of her, dropping it off the side of the bed. She then wiggled out of her own, and placed her body on top of Katniss's. Katniss felt her brain short circuit as Johanna's smooth legs met her own, her wet center just above Katniss's thigh, and her breasts rubbing against Katniss's own; nipples catching in a highly erotic and unexpected sensation.
She wanted to beg again. She desperately wanted Johanna to touch her, but she was enjoying just feeling Johanna's nearness. Johanna tucked Katniss's hair behind her ear and dipped her lips just above Katniss's.
"Spread your legs for me." Katniss's gray eyes nearly popped out of their sockets but she did as she was bid, opening her thighs as much as she could. She felt Johanna settle between them, the crooks of Johanna's elbows pushed against the inside of Katniss's knees. The pressure of Johanna leaning forward to grind against her made her legs stretch even farther apart, a delicious muscle strain spreading to her groin as she rested her heels on Johanna's back. Katniss was confused at their positioning until she felt the slick heat of Johanna's pussy rub directly against her own. The sensation was indescribable. Not to mention the look on Johanna's face, eyes closed and head tilted back and she rocked back and forth against Katniss's sex.
Katniss was glad Johanna knew what she was doing, because every single thrust rubbed her swollen, aching clit and brought her damn near close to that edge Johanna was speaking of. All Katniss could do was lift her hips only a little to match Johanna's movement. Johanna ground against her harder, and just a bit faster, and she felt Johanna's arms that were holding her up begin to tremble with effort. Katniss sensed the cresting of her own orgasm deep within the pit of her stomach. The tingling spread through her body, bidden by Johanna's amazing grunts and whines. The older girl leaned in closer to her, allowing Katniss to more clearly hear her unintelligible whimpers of pleasure.
"Mm, Katniss," Johanna breathed as her little hips thrust faster. Katniss used her hands to thread them in Johanna's hair, pushing the sweat-covers strands out of Johanna's face. "Oh, fuck, baby," Johanna whimpered, her voice high pitched and more wanton than Katniss had ever heard.
Johanna came violently, jerking against Katniss's sex and letting out a small shout of pleasure. Katniss watched, mesmerized, as Johanna's face - for a blissful moment - was free of any emotion but a post-orgasmic haze. When her eyes opened and cleared, she ducked her face to Katniss's neck to place gentle kisses there. There was no time for Katniss to reciprocate the affection as Johanna crawled backward and settled between Katniss's legs. Johanna used her hands to push Katniss's knees apart, dragging her hands underneath her thighs and her lips trailing to Katniss's center. Her senses exploded as Johanna ran her tongue from the pool of liquid near her entrance right to her clit. Katniss's hips jerked upward and Johanna allowed it, merely rocking with her and keeping her mouth frenziedly working Katniss's sex. There wouldn't be much of this she could take; the earlier thrusting, as well as Johanna calling her 'baby' with such unguarded affection, she had nearly come already.
"Oh my god, Johanna, please," Katniss begged. Katniss looked down to see Johanna slowing her pace, her black eyes meeting Katniss's, eyebrow raised in question. Katniss nodded. She was sure she was at the point Johanna described; pure and unadulterated desperation. "Please, Johanna. Please, I need it - I need -"
Johanna placed her lips around Katniss's swollen nub and sucked, just the tip of her tongue rolling a small circle around it. The feeling pushed Katniss over into a sprawling, almost painfully pleasurable climax. Johanna mentioned on their first date how much she enjoyed the touching of hands, how the smallest touch could set off fireworks. Katniss felt like she could see the whole spectrum of color behind her eyes as she came. The world ceased to spin and Katniss's brain went wonderfully, if a little frighteningly, blank. Johanna opened her mouth wider to move her tongue up and down, curling and flexing the muscle within Katniss's warm pussy. Johanna was right. For a few dizzying moments she had no idea who she was, or where she was. It was the most intense pleasure she had ever felt and it must have short-circuited her brain, like having a near death experience. A little death indeed.
Her breathing didn't seem to get any quieter, and she realized it was because Johanna had started plunging one finger slowly and gently in and out of her sex. Once her brain caught up, her walls contracted against the finger anxiously and Johanna looked up from staring at her actions to scrutinize Katniss's face. It was only one finger, Katniss knew that, but she hadn't...
She didn't want to reveal to Johanna that she hadn't ever had sex before. Their age gap and lifestyles aside, this should be the one place their differences shouldn't matter. She had gotten pretty far with Gale when they dated, but he hadn't ever penetrated her. Katniss had never wanted anyone enough to allow them near her this way.
Johanna was watching her closely as Katniss's mouth opened and closed a few times mutely. She lifted up her body and captured her lips, still sliding one finger in and out of Katniss's tightness. The kiss was not the same as before; this time Johanna was slow and deferential.
Her mouth moved to Katniss's ear and she kissed it a few times. "Am I hurting you?" Katniss's hips rose to meet Johanna's finger and she felt the girl smirk against her ear. "Okay then. Just relax." Katniss shot Johanna a droll glare and the older girl smiled. "Concentrate on my lips. Okay? Focus there." Johanna pulled out and circled Katniss's clit with her forefinger and middle finger. Her lips took Katniss's own, her tongue tracing Katniss's lower lip and gliding into her mouth. Katniss did as Johanna told her and concentrated on the feeling of Johanna's tongue inside her mouth. Her one hand tangled in Johanna's unruly black hair, the other gripped her bicep tightly to finally feel Johanna's body under exertion. It was incredible to feel the flexing of Johanna's muscles beneath her fingers, knowing those muscles were being used for her pleasure.
Another orgasm churned inside her, her breath starting to come in quick gasps. It felt different than before. Katniss looked down to see Johanna's finger sliding in and out of her, her thumb rubbing her clit. Her middle finger crooked upward and the feeling of Johanna against what she assumed must be her g-spot a few times made Katniss completely unravel, her hips bouncing off the bed and pushing down to force Johanna to go just a little deeper as her orgasm began to wane.
Johanna nearly collapsed on top of her, panting against her as all four of her fingers gingerly caressed Katniss's sex. She propped herself up on her free elbow, keeping her other hand busy. Katniss was positive she wouldn't be able to come again, even though Johanna's continued movements seemed to be indicating otherwise.
"Am I the first person to do that to you?" Johanna asked in a deep rasp. "To be inside you?"
"Yes," Katniss revealed, blushing and blinking away from Johanna's penetrative gaze. When she looked back over to Johanna, the brown of her eyes was nearly none existent she was so dilated with arousal.
"Did you like it?" she inquired, raising her eyebrow.
Johanna grinned. "Do you want me to do it again?" Katniss could barely function since Johanna's hand was still massaging her most intimate area, but she managed to nod. Johanna lips spread even wider and the same predatory look from before crossed her face. "Good. Because I want to fuck you," Johanna drawled, causing the bud of arousal in Katniss's stomach to blossom. "So hard and so well you won't be able to walk without thinking of how good I feel inside you." Her eyebrow cocked. "But I want you to beg for it."
Katniss raised her eyebrow. That was the game Johanna wanted to play? That was the sort of game in which Katniss wouldn't mind being a piece. She took Johanna's hand and forced it lower, pushing Johanna's middle finger inside her once more. She winced in a mixture of pain and arousal and opened her eyes to stare down Johanna. "Deal."
Katniss gripped Johanna's hair tightly in her hand, her hips rising off the bed a few inches, only to have Johanna push them back down. Her orgasm had ebbed, but Johanna was not letting up with her tongue inside her. She wanted to ask Johanna to stop, but her mouth couldn't form any words. And truthfully, she didn't want her to stop. The slow glide of Johanna's hot tongue against her overworked sex sent thrills in the bottom of her stomach. It was a feeling she wanted to repeat for as long as humanly possible.
Johanna's tongue curled inside her, then drew lines back up to her clit and fluttered over the swollen nub. Katniss gasped and wrenched Johanna's hair in her hands, biting her lower lip to suppress any louder groans. She didn't know why; her sounds seemed to spur Johanna on. Johanna didn't seem to need any help in that respect, anyway. Her own groans were loud against Katniss's sex.
"Fuck," Johanna swore, pulling back from Katniss's dripping wet center to wipe her mouth with the back of her hand and suck in some much needed oxygen. She pulled in a deep breath, peering up Katniss's sweat-covered torso to her eyes. "I'm going to grow fucking gills so I never have to stop licking your pussy."
Katniss felt her cheeks grow even warmer at Johanna's crude admission and she let out a self-conscious laugh. "Johanna," she admonished. "That would be impressive." She tugged on her bottom lip and watched as Johanna's eyes drank in the view of her exposed pussy, then looked back up at her.
Johanna cocked an eyebrow at her from between her legs. "Is that the only thing that's impressive?" Her tongue swabbed along her lower lip as she carefully watched Katniss's face.
Katniss crooked her finger and Johanna hoisted herself up on her hands and knees, crawling over her body. The younger girl took Johanna's head between her hands and brought her down for a deep, slow kiss. It had taken a kiss or two, but she began to truly enjoy the taste of herself and Johanna on their tongues. She slid her hands around the back of Johanna's neck and pulled their bodies flush. "Are you fishing for compliments?"
"I am not fishing," Johanna gaped. "I earned those compliments." The petulant pout she gave Katniss made the brunette smile warmly and tug her closer.
"You're incredible," Katniss murmured, kissing the crown of Johanna's head. "But you already knew that." Johanna stuck her tongue out at her. "I'm exhausted, and starving, and sore," Katniss rattled off, counting on her fingers. "And I definitely need a shower."
Johanna grinned wickedly. "Well, I will order us Chinese from this great place a few blocks over, bring down my grandmama's blanket, start a movie, and we can eat ourselves sick and rest our muscles."
"You sure?" Katniss queried, picking at invisible threads on the blanket. She had lost track of time after getting back from lunch, but it was well beyond 7pm and Johanna's phone hadn't rung once since getting home. Katniss slid out from beneath the blankets, snatching the shirt she'd worn to bed the night before and pulling it over her head. She grabbed a pair of shorts and pulled them over her hips, much to the dramatic dismay of Johanna. "I'm going to shower. You're not going to need to dash off for some late night meeting or something?"
Johanna snorted and tossed off her blankets, unabashedly displaying her nakedness and looping her arms over Katniss's shoulders. She placed a kiss on Katniss's neck. "Hop in that shower and I will join you once I put in our order okay?" She playfully swatted Katniss on her ass. "I'm not going anywhere, scout's honor." Katniss kissed her chastely before snagging her towel from Johanna's door and padding toward the bathroom. She heard Johanna sigh and the squeak of the mattress as she sat down. Katniss paused in her step and heard Johanna grumble, "I don't think I could leave you if I tried, Katniss Everdeen."
Author's Note: Been a while since I updated this piece, but I hope this satiates the need. I'm really glad y'all are enjoying this story, because it is pretty fun to write.
Thanks to Johannas-Motivational-Insults for her beta reading. She's a slavedriver. :P