She never expected herself to be a mother at such a young age. Before all of this, Chelsea often dreamed herself achieving her goals, traveling the world, having a blast of her life. Then, everything swirled down when Mathias bit her. To be honest, she wanted to forget it ever happened.
But, looking at the tiny angel she has right now, Chelsea is glad that it happened the way it was supposed to. Arthur and her decided to name their daughter Hope because she’s their only hope in this cruel world. It has been two weeks since her birth and she’s growing well. Chelsea couldn’t be more happier than this.
Arthur is getting used to his body. Well, with the occasional dropping stuff, tripping over something, or crying when Hope smiles at him. He’s trying hard to regain the memories he had lost. He said he remembered a little of his past. One of them was the moment he met Chelsea in the hospital after Mathias bit her.
Despite everything else, he does his best to provide. He built himself a bow and arrow. She didn’t know how he managed to do that. He goes fishing, hunting, and foraging just to provide food for them. As winter is drawing close, Arthur tries to stockpile some food knowing there wouldn’t be much during winter.
Chelsea leaves the bedroom after making sure the heat is enough to warm the room and keeping her daughter comfy. Then, Chelsea goes to the small hut next to the cabin where they keep all the food. They have enough dried fish and meat to go through the winter but Arthur is trying to find more just in case. The greens might just last for a week or two. The potatoes are enough.
Because of his different appearance, he did go to the nearest town which is two hours of walking from the cabin. He bought some food, medicine, clothes, and essentials. Chelsea knows he hid enough money in the cabin and she found it’s just below the kitchen flooring. She just doesn’t bother about it knowing the forest provides enough for her.
“You’re up,” Arthur says, coming back from the river with some cleaned fish. “I’ve just finished gutting and cleaning these fishes.”
“You’ve worked hard,” she says, grabbing a large bottle of salts to salt the fishes, prolonging their shelf span.
“No, no, I’ll do it.” He takes the salt from her. “It’s my fault that you and our baby have to live this way.”
“At least, we have a roof over our head and food on the table.”
“This is not how I pictured it to be.”
“What did you picture it like? Big castles, dozens of servants and cooks, comfy beds…”
“Something like that.”
“We’ll start anew somewhere. Just not now.”
“Because it’s cold and two hours hike to the nearest town to catch a bus to somewhere and we have a baby.”
“Good point. What do you feel you want to eat for lunch?”
“A steak and your best mashed potatoes.”
“Gotcha, babe. The rock is heating up.”
“Well, I found a flat granite stone when I went to hunt yesterday. Tested it out by heating it over the fire a bit. It worked a wonder to fry something.”
He leaves the hut after salting and hanging the fist. Chelsea follows him as he walks to the river. While he was at the town to buy a few things, Arthur bought a metal sheet and built a small makeshift box which he uses to store fresh meat and then place the metal box into the cold river. He made sure the metal box doesn’t have any leaking otherwise, the meat would probably not taste as fresh.
“Is your body’s previous soul a chef or something? Because you cook better than me.”
“I don’t really remember but I did know he used to work in a diner,” he answers, untying the rope from the tree near the river. “I guess some of his cooking skills are still intact in the mind.”
The rope is to keep the metal box from going somewhere else because of the flow of the river. Arthur strapped a large stone underneath the metal box to keep it still and submerge. He kneels by the river bank and sticks his hand into the water, searching for the box’s handle. Then, he pulls it out of the river.
“If this body is a human body, how did you get strong?”
He opens the box and smiles. “Perfect, the meat is preserved and still fresh. Look at the color.”
“At least it’s not the pale red. Pale red means the meat is exposed to the water too long. It won’t taste the same.”
“Good info, chef. I’m starving. What else do you need?”
“I got you covered, babe.”
He leads them to the fireplace next to the cabin. Everything is prepared and ready for the cooking. He even already had the mashed potatoes ready inside a pot.
“Oh, I smoked some meat if you want to eat it. You didn’t eat breakfast.”
Arthur chuckles as he makes a decent slice of the meat that is still hanging by the fireplace. It only receives a decent amount of heat to keep it warm and nice. Chelsea has had some changes in her body ever since she became a demon wolf. Her appetite is growing but her size is maintained. She doesn’t know why. She did read the book about the demon wolf when she was in the Council but it never mentioned about the appetite or anything regarding the metabolism. She used to be a vegetarian but it changed because a demon wolf needs meat.
“You know, I used to hate meat for no reasons,” she says, taking a mouthful of meat. “But since I became a demon wolf, everything just changed.”
“I didn’t know a werewolf could survive as a vegetarian.”
“You remember that?”
“Yeah, you told me you were vegetarian. It was a tough diet for a werewolf.”
“It was my way to have attention from my family.” Chelsea looks down to her plate. “I did everything to have their attention. I’d guess if I was sick because I didn’t consume meat, they would pay attention. Everyone knows werewolves survive on meat. It’s just the way.”
“There’s no use thinking of that now.” He kisses her forehead. “You can eat meat as much as you want.”
He pours water inside a large pot and hangs it over the fire, letting it boil the water. Then, he begins to place the fresh meat slices on the hot stone. The moment the meat touches the oil, Chelsea refuses to look away. It amuses him even more seeing her eyes just go full circle looking at the meat frying.
“Do you still want the best mashed potatoes?”
“Yes, please,” she replies absentmindedly and hands her plate like a girl starving to death.
“Careful, it’s hot.” He put two large scoops of mashed potatoes on her plate. “Eat well.”
“Thank you, good sir.”
Arthur smiles seeing that her appetite improves well since the birth of their daughter. There’s no need for a DNA test. He knows Hope is his daughter. From the moment he saw Chelsea and her bulging tummy, he knew it was his.
“What do you have in plan after all this?” she asks.
“Like we’ve discussed earlier, we’ll move out after the winter. Start somewhere else. I’ll find a job. The money we have right now probably could get us a decent place to live in. Then, Hope needs to get proper education for all of us to blend in with society.”
“That sounds scary. Hope will have to go to school.”
“I know. She’s a demon wolf and has my blood too. We can’t predict what will happen. We can’t afford to homeschool her. Not with this money we have. I know I should have saved more money here.”
“It’s not your fault. We can find jobs. I can work after she enters school.”
“One plan at a time, baby. Don’t overwhelm yourself so much.”
“Sounds good to me.”
After lunch, Chelsea goes back into the cabin to breastfeed their daughter. Arthur cleans up and stockpiles some chopped woods into the cabin. Because there is no electricity, they rely on fire to keep the place warm. They have enough candles to light the cabin during nighttime. By the time both of them are done with chores and everything, the sun is setting down.
“How do you feel?” Chelsea asks him as she joins him sitting on the floor in front of the fireplace.
“Being a human? It’s a bit weird. I don’t have the perks I used to have. It’s just dull and boring. It’s like I have to survive on Redbull just to have enough energy for the day. And I don’t drink Redbull.”
“It’s called being a human. Everything has its own limit.”
“Yeah, I guess the long walking and hiking thing has strengthened my legs.”
She laughs. Arthur cracks a few jokes as he watches the fire while Chelsea watches him attentively. A moment later, Arthur falls into a deep silence, something that never happened before. Suddenly, he grips tightly onto the coffee mug. The mug breaks into pieces. Chelsea quickly reaches for his hand.
“Arthur…” Chelsea says, stopping his hand.
Arthur knocks back into his senses. “Sorry, I didn’t...shit…” he realizes his hand is bleeding due to the shard.
“Are you alright?”
“Yeah, yeah, I’m alright.” he gets up. “I’ll go get this cleaned.”
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