Title: Katniss Everdeen's Rules to Live By
Rating: Definite M
Disclaimer: I don't own The Hunger Games, no copyright infringement intended.
Chapter 20: Family Meeting
A/N: Sorry for the wait on this!
I wake up to a strange feeling in my lower belly. Peeta and I must have fallen asleep on the couch while we were watching TV because he is slumped over at an awkward angle and I dozed off to the other side with my hand on my growing belly.
I feel it again and suddenly, I know what it is. The baby is kicking.
It's been a few weeks since Peeta and I decided to start our relationship over and try again and he has been amazing. He takes such good care of me and I can tell that he is excited about the baby as well.
The baby kicks again and I lean over to nudge Peeta awake. "Peeta!"
He wakes up with a start, nearly falling off of the couch in the process. "What? What happened?"
I stifle my giggle and gently take his large hand and place it on my round belly.
Peeta's uses his other hand to rub the sleep from his eyes. "What are you doing?"
I smile at him and place my hand over his so he doesn't move it from my stomach. "Just wait…"
I feel the baby kick and Peeta's hand flies up; his eyes wide in surprise. "What was that?"
I giggle at him; he's just too cute sometimes. "The baby kicked!"
His eyes widen further and his lips curve up into a smile. "Really? She kicked?" He places his hand on my swollen abdomen again and waits.
This time when she kicks, Peeta grins and rubs my belly gently. "That's awesome!" He leans over and kisses me softly.
I grin at his enthusiasm. If anyone would have told me several months ago that I would be pregnant and quickly falling in love with the baby's father, I would have told them that they are crazy. But now that I am here with my baby kicking and my boyfriend grinning like he just won a million dollars, it seems worth it.
Peeta and I are driving to his parents' house. I am beyond nervous as I have never met any of his family before. They live a good three hours away and Peeta's relationship with his mother is cordial at its best.
Peeta turns his car off of the highway and grips my hand tightly in his own. "I apologize in advance. My dad should be cool about this but my mother may not be that friendly towards you, and my one brother will be there as well and I can only guess what he will act like."
I feel my palms begin to sweat, but if Peeta notices he doesn't say anything. "What exactly did you tell them?"
He sighs as he takes a right turn into a housing plan. "Just that I will be bringing my girlfriend over to meet them."
"So they don't know that I'm pregnant?"
"They will soon," he mumbles as he pulls into a driveway in front of a white two-story house.
I am beyond nervous when Peeta opens the car door for me and helps me out. We walk hand in hand to the front door and I swear that when he rings the bell, my entire being is shaking like a leaf.
The door swings open and a guy who looks a lot like Peeta—if you added a few years and a beard—answers the door.
"Little bro! How've you been man? Introduce me to your…" His eyes flicker over to me, and quickly down to my burgeoning belly. "Whoa…"
Peeta steps in quickly. "Nick this is Katniss. Katniss, this is my brother Nick."
I politely shake his hand, but his eyes never leave my belly.
"Nice to meet you."
Nick's eyes finally tear away from my middle and meet my own. "You too."
Before Peeta can explain the situation to his brother, a voice calls out from somewhere in the house. "Nick, if that is Peeta and his friend let them in!"
Nick smirks at Peeta. "Have fun with mom." He lets us into the house and into the empty living room.
I hear pots and pans bustling from the kitchen which must be nearby.
"I'm just finishing up dinner. Your father will be home soon and we can all sit down to a nice meal together."
"Okay thanks," Peeta yells out and he squeezes my hand and leads me to sit on the white leather sofa next to him.
I hear footsteps drawing closer. "Well, introduce me to your new…" That's as far as the woman in the room got before the pot she was drying slips from her hands bangs loudly on the polished hardwood floor. "Oh my God…"
Dinner at the Mellark house is probably the most excruciating event I have gone through in a long time. After Peeta's mother got over her initial shock and we were properly introduced, she asked me and Peeta a bunch of rather prying questions about our relationship and the baby. I half expected her to start screaming, but she hasn't as of yet.
When Peeta's father got home, he seemed surprised that his son's new girlfriend was pregnant, but he was very nice to me and seemed happy to have a new grandchild on the way.
The tension in the air is palpable as Mrs. Mellark clears the dinner table. She darts me a pointed look as she picks up the last plate. "Katniss, let's go have a chat outside. The weather is beautiful and we need some girl time, don't you think?"
No, I really don't, but the look on her face tells me that I better agree with her. "Of course Mrs. Mellark. I give her a tense smile and follow her out the back door and onto the patio.
As soon as the door closes she points her finger in my face. "Now listen here you little hussy, I don't know how you tricked my son into knocking you up but he is way too good for you. He probably wanted to leave you so you decided to get pregnant just to keep him around, and he is such a gentleman that he will stay with you just because you are carrying his child."
I flinch at her harsh words but I was never one to back down, I always stick up for myself. "I did nothing of the sort. I'll admit that the pregnancy was unplanned, but I care for your son very much, and I don't want him for money or status or any of that 19th century bullshit. I'm very much capable of taking care of myself and Peeta knows that. He chose to stay with me and to support me and our unborn daughter."
Her nostrils flare. "You're nothing but trash! You'll marry Peeta and then divorce him just to get his money and part of his bakery! I know how you girls are!"
I get right up in her face, not willing to stand down. "You know next to nothing about me. You can't judge me or my motives just by meeting me. Peeta means a lot to me and I am not some gold-digging tramp. So I suggest you get your facts straight and show Peeta, me, and our baby the respect that we deserve!"
The ride home is filled with Peeta's apologies. After I told off his mother I ran back inside and asked Peeta if we could leave. I explained everything to him and he apologized profusely and promised to take me out on a nice romantic date the next day to make it up to me.
"Don't worry about her, nothing I have ever done and no one I have ever dated was good enough for her. On the bright side, Nick and Dad seemed to like you a lot. Oh, and my dad suggested a name for the baby."
I perk up, intrigued. "What is it?"
"It was his mother's name, my grandmother. Elisa."
"Elisa," I repeat trying out the name on my tongue. "I like it."
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