#312 When Peeta’s brothers were watching the 74th Hunger Games they would sit there in perfect silence, each wondering why they had not volunteered for their brother like Katniss did for Prim. They kept telling themselves it was because they didn’t want Peeta to feel torn between his brothers and the girl he loved if it came down to it, but deep down they knew they were just scared. They were stronger than he was physically, but maybe his strength of spirit and heart would at least allow him to die in a dignified way. Maybe that would make up for their cowardice, they thought. But then again, it would be all the more reason for them to have stepped forward on reaping day. Once, when Peeta seemed hours from death by the lake, they glanced at each other and read the distress, shame, and guilt on each others face. “It should have been me”, mouthed one of them. And a tear of regret quickly overflowed from his shiny blue eyes.