“No one really needs me,” he says, and there’s no self-pity in his voice. It’s true his family doesn’t need him. They will mourn him, as will a handful of friends. But they will get on. Even Haymitch, with the help of a lot of white liquor, will get on. I realize only one person will be damaged beyond repair if Peeta dies. Me.
“I do,” I say. “I need you.” He looks upset, takes a deep breath as if to begin a long argument, and that’s no good, no good at all, because he’ll start going on about Prim and my mother and everything and I’ll just get confused. So before he can talk, I stop his lips with a kiss.
You know when you’re drowning you don’t actually inhale until right before you black out. It’s called voluntary apnea. It’s like no matter how much you’re freaking out, the instinct to not let any water in is so strong that you won’t open your mouth until you feel like your head’s exploding. Then when you finally do let it in, that’s when it stops hurting. It’s not scary anymore. It’s.. actually kind of peaceful.