I begin to fully understand the lengths to which people have gone to protect me. What I mean to the rebels. My on going struggle against the Capitol, which has so often felt like a solitary journey, has not been undertaken alone. I have had thousands upon thousands of people from the districts at my side. I was their Mockingjay long before I accepted the role.
Peeta's awake already, sitting on the side of the bed, looking bewildered as the trio of doctors reassure him, flash lights in his eyes, checks his pules. I'm disappointed that mine was not the first face he saw when he woke up, but he sees it now. His features registrer disbelief and something more intense that I can't quite place. Desire? Desperation? Surely both, for he sweeps the doctors aside, leaps to his feets and moves towards me. I run to meet him, my arms extended to embrace him. His hands are reaching for mine too, to caress my face, I think.My lips are forming his name when his fingers lock around my throat.
The mayor finishes the dreary Treaty of Treason and motions for Peeta and me to shake hands. His are as solid and warm as those loaves of bread. Peeta looks me right in the eye and gives my hand what I think is meant to be a reassuring squeeze. Maybe it's just a nervous spasm. We turn back the crowd as the anthem of Panem plays. I think. Of course, the odds have not been very dependable of late.