Chapter 1

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"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."

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