A Sheep in Wolf’s Clothing - Chapter 2 on AO3
Summary: Katniss and Peeta have hated each other for years. But when her mother and his father announce their engagement, Katniss realizes the fight has only just begun.
Rating: E for sexual content (to come in later chapters)
Chapter 2 can be read here.
It’s past dinnertime when we finally tie the bow on our preliminary plans. We’ve arranged it so that contact from here on out will be minimal—who thought Peeta Mellark could do something right?
To adjourn, we give each other stiff nods and stand. I fall in behind Peeta, my eyes unintentionally trailing down to the back of his jeans. My throat catches as I notice a red smear, deep as cherry stains, behind his left knee.
“Are you bleeding?”
He pauses in the doorway and turns. Scrunches his brows up into a frown. “What?”
“Your jeans are stained.”
He lifts his leg to inspect it, and immediately the worried expression gives way to one of amusement. He steps out onto the terrace. “Just paint from earlier.”
I fall silent as my desire to be apathetic around him and my natural curiosity duke it out, but once we’re in the parking lot, the latter wins. With our bodies sandwiched between his pickup and my hatchback, I ask, “Painting a room or something?”
I cringe, waiting for him to say he’s working on a service project—Oh, you know, just renovating houses in the Seam, since those poor, underprivileged folks, like you, need all the help they can get—or something else superficially selfless.
But he just shakes his head, jingling his keys in the pocket of his athletic shorts. “No, just painting.”
“…canvas?” His brow lifts. “Recreationally?”
He’s got to be shitting me. Macho wrestler and dickwad-to-historic-portions Peeta Mellark is a painter?
In response to my silence, Peeta rubs his mouth in disbelief, leaving the flesh plump and flushed. Red as grapefruit, or a kiss.
“You know,“ he continues slowly, "it’s a totally human thing to have hobbies.”
“I know,” I snap, not sure why I’m blushing. To assert myself I add, “I just assumed yours would be less… frilly. You know, something more along the lines of cyberbullying or stealing money from dog shelters.”
“Nope, don’t do any of that.” His fingers curl around the handle of his truck. “Those aren’t frilly enough for me.”
I’m not sure what to say, so I stand still with my arms folded as he slips into his truck. When he pulls away, I can’t bring myself to move.
After six years of loathing Peeta Mellark with every fiber of my being, how had I not known he was a painter?
My chest twitches and flutters—an infant sparrow, trying and failing to fly—when I realize how little I know about him. I know he’s extremely empathy deficient. I know he’s got a silver tongue and a penchant for mischief that makes that dangerous. I know he’s a wrestler. I know he’s a baker. Now, I know he’s a painter.
I scrape the corners of my memory for other things, but I come up empty-handed.