Katniss and Peeta on the beach, CATCHING FIRE by Suzanne Collins
Katniss Everdeen and Peeta Mellark haven’t had a whole lot of time to mull over their feelings for each other as they pretend to be the star-crossed lovers of District 12 in back-to-back Hunger Games contests. Still, their reluctant companionship has grown into friendship. In a scene in Catching Fire, as they have a discussion about which one of them should live through their second round of the death match, Katniss realizes that Peeta means much, much more to her than she’s ever let on in the past.
“I don’t want you forgetting how different our circumstances are. If you die, and I live, there’s no life for me at all back in District Twelve. You’re my whole life.” Peeta says. “I would never be happy again. It’s different for you. I’m not saying it wouldn’t be hard. But there are other people who’d make your life worth living.”
“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…. I realize only one person will be damaged beyond repair if Peeta dies. Me.
“I do,” I say. “I need you.”