"Eat, eat." The elderly woman, Mary, placed a bowl of soup on the table, sliding it towards me. I lifted my head, smiling in appreciation at her. Taking the spoon in one hand, I dipped it into the steaming liquid, feeling the eyes of the people sitting around me, watching my every move. The chicken soup was delicious. The flavor was amazing.
"It's great." I told her, watching as a smile lit up her face. She wrung her hands together, a timid sort of expression coming over her.
"I was going to be a chef," She told me softly. "I had built a restaurant and everything...but then the werewolves came..." Her voice trailed off and my smile dropped, uncomfortable. I ducked my head, turning back to the soup.
My fingers gripped the spoon. "Is that something you still desire to do?" I asked. The woman hesitated, her eyes flickering to her teenaged children who sat in the room, listening earnestly to what was being spoken.
Finally, she nodded. "Yes. When I gather enough funds I intend to rebuild the restaurant, with the help of my sons and daughter."
Her brown eyes searched mine as I sipped from the spoon. Outside, Harold and Penelope were talking with a few men and women from the neighboring houses. The houses which they lived in, had been built almost two month ago, under the watch of Xerxes.
When the houses had been completed and furnished, I had assisted some of the townfolk in moving in, making sure that they were comfortable with the houses they were to stay in, which most were.
And now, Penelope, Harold and I were revisiting the homes, wanting to see how they were getting along. Some were very welcoming to us being here, and were grateful, like Mary. Upon seeing me, she had urged me into her home, prepared some of her soup for me to eat. But not all were as kind as her.
I stared through a window, towards a house which I had attempted to go to. A man who lived there had thrown boiling hot water towards me and I barely managed to step away before it could touch my body. He had then proceeded to spit curses, calling me a 'disgusting sell-out' because I was Xerxes' mate. It wasn't the first time I had been called this.
Many people held the same opinion this man did and some went further by attacking me; more than once my life was threatened. I had been going to a store one night when gunfire rained out and I barely managed to get to safety. The hate which some held towards me was sickening, shocking.
I stood abruptly, pushing away the bowl. "You don't worry about gathering money to rebuild the restaurant. I will assign some men to construct it." My hand reached into the coat I wore, grasping a simple, white card and giving it to her. "Write your number on the back of it and I will have one of the construction workers call you."
Mary's mouth dropped open, the card trembling in her hands. "Are you certain?"
Nodding, I watched as her eyes glistened suspiciously with what looked like tears. Her son, upon hearing my words earlier had jumped up and left the room. He now returned with a black pen, which he gave to his mother. She scribbled down her number and name and I took it. Waving in goodbye I left the house, walking down the pathway towards where Harold waited for me.
His hands rubbed together as the chilly wind increased. "It's getting dark," He murmured, glancing at his watch which was strapped around his wrist. "We should leave soon."
I inclined my head in agreement, watching as Penelope bounded over to us, her red hair lifting in the breeze. "Look at what I got," She said, revealing a couple sweets in her gloved hands, her head tilting towards a couple standing on the porch of a house. "They gave me these."
I popped one of the chocolate sweets into my mouth. "Did you call Brad?" I asked Penelope. She nodded, eyes skirting over the houses.
"He should be here in less than five minutes." She rocked back and forth on her heels, turning to face the road. My eyes narrowed sharply as a jeep appeared, body stiffening as reporters jumped out of the vehicle, moving directly towards us in large strides.
Harold cursed, stepping forward in an attempt to block us, but his presence was ignored. A female reporter jabbed a microphone under my face, a smirk curling her thin lips and beady eyes stared into mine. "How do you respond to those rumors about you carrying Xerxes' child?"
I blinked. "Excuse me?"
She sighed, waving a hand. "It is rumored that you're pregnant. Would you like to respond to those claims?"
Penelope growled lowly in warning as the woman stepped closer to me. I shook my head, pushing her microphone away from me slightly. "I'm not pregnant." I spoke dryly. A man grasping a camera stepped forward.
"People have been saying that you're working alongside Xerxes in helping humans because of the fame he will give you. Do you have anything to say about that?"
My jaw clenched, the fingers which rested in my pockets forming fists. The familiar engine of Brad's car could be heard approaching. I leveled my gaze with the male. "I don't do what I do for fame," I spat and then gathered myself as flashes erupted. This is what they wanted, to see me angry. Harold placed a heavy hand on my shoulder, directing me away, pushing me a tad bit too roughly towards our awaiting car.
The reporters attempted to follow, but drew back once Brad, the six foot seven werewolf stepped forward, his snarl of warning piercing the air.
He slammed my door closed and I settled down beside Penelope, running a hand over my face. Harold sat opposite us, a similar expression to what I wore on his face. Tiredness and frustration. My tongue clicked against the roof of my mouth, staring through the tinted windows as Brad began driving.
Penelope leaned over to me. "Would you mind if I stayed over by your house for the night? I get so lonely in mine when Flynn isn't there."
I smiled sleepily as her green eyes blinking pleadingly. "Sure."
Brad dropped us off at my home, a house I had moved into a few days ago after wanting some form of independence. The house was small, yet cosy. I walked with Penelope up the driveway, listening to her babble about what we'd be doing tonight in excitement.
From the corner of my eye, I spotted one of my neighbours, Rita, poke her head out of her front door, watching us with piercing eyes. Facing her fully, I waved in greeting. Her response was her scowl deepening and the door slamming closed.
Harold chuckled behind me and I shrugged, continuing my trek up to the house. Harold immediately got to work on some paperwork whilst I decided to make some dinner. Penelope had a quick shower and then made herself comfortable in the living room, resting back on sofa with a dramatic sigh, her eyes lazily watching the persons on television.
I was in the middle of placing some spaghetti onto a plate when Harold cleared his throat, startling me. I looked up at him, confused and he waved a single sheet of paper before me.
"This is what we shall be doing tomorrow. It's not much, but you will need to be prepared," He paused, seeing that I couldn't take the paper. "I'll tell them to you."
For the next few minutes, I listened as Harold droned on in detail about two meeting that I would be attending. The townfolk had many questions and because I was Xerxes' mate, as well as the fact that he wasn't in the country at the moment, they thought it best that I answered them. When he finished, I told him I would also be visiting a couple more neighbourhoods.
Harold left afterwards, declining some of my food. He was tired and sleep was needed. I showed him to the door, watching as some of the neighbours looked through their windows as he left.
Barely managing to hold in my laugh at there blatant nosiness, I yelled a hearty 'goodnight' to them, hearing the gasps of surprise which erupted. Snickering I returned back into my home, sitting on the carpet in the living room with a plate of food cradled on my lap, a glass of water beside me, whilst Penelope began to speak.
"Our mates are returning tomorrow night." She said, a loving smile creeping onto her face. "Flynn is carrying me out to dinner."
I took a swig of the water, fingers tapping against the glass. "Cool."
Penelope leaned forward, peering down at me. "Do you and Xerxes have any plans?"
Clearing my throat, I shrugged, my eyes trailing down to my half eaten food. "Not that I know about." I muttered. "We haven't really talked that much since he left. We've both been busy."
Penelope nodded in understanding, although I could see the way her delicate brows furrowed in worry. I sent her a reassuring smile, a low sigh slipping from my lips as I turned afterwards to stare blankly at the television screen, uninterested in what was showing.
My fingers which was around the glass I currently held loosened slightly, my body relaxing as I listened to the clock overhead, it's rhythmic ticking sounds echoing in the room, somehow managing to be heard over the laughter from the television.
Well, here's the first chapter! Hope you enjoyed it. (: