Katniss rolled away from Peeta and ran a hand over her growing stomach. “I’m scared.” She admitted softly.
“Me too.” He put his hand over hers and kissed her softly.
“I had a tough day.”
“I figured.” He trailed his fingers over the small bump. “You’re usually into it, but you weren’t much this time.”
She pushed his hand away. “I don’t want this.”
He watched her a moment and then rolled out if bed.
She sat up. “What?”
“I’ll be right back.” He pulled on his pants and walked out of the room.
She pulled the blanket over her shoulders and curled onto her side. She was about to fall asleep when Peeta came into the room. Katniss rolled over and watched as he sat several tubes of paint on the beside table and unloaded some brushes and a board to mix paints. He exited into the bathroom and came back with a glass of water. He sat down on a stool.
“What are you doing?” She asked.
He pulled the blanket down to her waist. “Painting.”
“You want to paint on me?”
“Yes. Will you sing me Deep in the Meadow? Me and the baby, I mean.”
She sighed and started singing softly as he mixed his first paint color.
He slid the brush up her stomach and she faltered. “Tickle?”
“And cold.” She combed her fingers through his hair and continued to sing to the conclusion of the song. She got used to the tickle and the chill. She lay silently, staring up at the ceiling for a long time afterward.
“I’m sure the baby will love when you sing to it.” He said softly.
She looked at him. “You love it. I should do it more often.”
He looked up and smiled that dazzling smile she loved. “You definitely should.” He went back to work.
She combed her fingers through his hair some more and trailed her hand over her shoulders and back. She caressed his arm. She noticed his hand falter and she returned her hand to his hair. “I do love you. And I’ll love the baby. I’m still just so scared.”
“I know.” He blew on her stomach and then looked up at her. “Yesterday when I was slicing that loaf of bread, I got the urge to bring the knife to your throat.” He swallowed. “But then you started humming and I relaxed. And I finished slicing the bread and made you a sandwich.”
She moved her hand over his shoulder and down his arm. “Do you think the baby being here will help?”
“I don’t know.” He put his brush aside. “What do you think?”
Katniss looked down and say that Peeta had painted a detailed willow on her stomach. She smiled. “It’s beautiful. But it won’t stay long.”
“Doesn’t matter.” He closed his paints. “You notice how relaxed you are now?”
She smiled and moved her hand over his chest. “You’re going to be a great dad.”
“You’re going to be the best mom.” He rubbed her arm before he moved away to put his paint things on the dresser. He walked back to the bed and shed his pants. He climbed into the bed and traced the outline of the tree on her belly. “I’ll repaint it if you ever need me to.”
She picked up his hand and kissed his palm. “I’m still scared.”
“So am I.” He wrapped his arm around her as he moved closer. “It’ll be okay.”
“Hey, Katniss, you love me. Real or not real?”
“Real, Peeta.” She whispered.
“That’s all that matters right now.”
She curled into him. “Hold me tighter.” She begged.
He complied and eventually they both fell asleep.