Arnaud was depressed. Every time he got an opportunity to work in the culinary field, he got fired for some stupid reason or another. The only person who could console him was Steffi. Her presence at least let him know that he had one person who thought he was worthwhile and worthy of being a celebrity chef. He was constantly trying out new recipes on her, to her rave reviews.
He figured he might as well invite her to move in. Since he'd graduated college, he'd remained true to their engagement, not straying. And frankly, he was too depressed to try meeting and dating new people anymore anyway. Steffi was comfortable, smart, supportive, and he liked having her around.
She tentatively suggested that they might as well make it official, since they'd been engaged for years with no actual plans on getting married. "It doesn't have to be a big fancy thing. I'd just like to be Mrs. Arnaud Beaumont." He agreed.
And regretted it. But he hoped that he would soon come to appreciate the married life and perhaps begin a family of their own.
And Steffi was a good woman, and would be a good mother. She was a little messy, but she was kind and enthusiastic and caring. And she wanted little more than to be with Arnaud the rest of their days. She was simple and wonderful, and Arnaud knew he'd chosen well. She would make a great wife and mother.
Speaking of becoming a mother, Steffi and Arnaud agreed wouldn't hurt to at least practice making a baby, even if they weren't successful right away.
Arnaud, still out of luck when it came to finding a job in the culinary career, continued with his creative pursuits - novel writing and painting.
It kept money coming into the house, which was important, and he enjoyed it.
Steffi seemed to have a new verve for life, playing outdoors making snow angels and snowmen.
She thought all her outdoor activity had caused her to get a cold, as she started to feel a bit ill, but it turned out she and Arnaud hadn't needed any practice at all. Youth and virility were on their side, and she was pregnant.
She was pleased with how excited Arnaud seemed to have a baby. He wasn't a bad guy, he just had a weird phobia of committment. He'd been honest and true to her though, and she was convinced that he would be a wonderful father. As for Arnaud, he was ecstatic to finally see a family of his own come together.
He continued to bring in money with novels and masterpieces, while Steffi continued to enjoy being pregnant.
...and cherished the attention Arnaud lavished upon her. He would make her anything she wanted to eat at the drop of a hat, he was so attentive. It began to worry him that his hobbies weren't bringing in enough money though. They would need to add a room for the baby or at least another bathroom, and they couldn't do that with drips and drabs from his creativity.
So, he decided to take a job in the journalism field. After all, he spent most of his time writing anyway, and he used to be a very outgoing person in college. He may as well have put both of those skills to work.
It turned out he had quite a knack for journalism, and just the right amount of moxie mixed with common sense to make him a success.
He quickly got promoted, and the bonus from that one promotion alone was enough for them to make the minor addition to the house.
It was a good thing, as the baby was swiftly on its way.
After some screaming and shouting and curses that Arnaud didn't even know Steffi knew, their new baby boy was born. They named him Benoit in honor of Arnaud's French heritage. (No face-on portrait, ack! Sorry!)
Arnaud couldn't believe the tiny miracle they had made. Steffi was lucky to pry poor Benoit out of his adoring father's hands long enough to give him a bath.
Despite his intense hatred of having to leave his new son and wife, Arnaud got up and went to work as usual the next day. In his genial mood, he graciously lent his boss a book, which turned out to be a good decision.
Almost effortlessly on his part, Arnaud reached the top of the journalism career and became a media magnate with the promotion he earned that day. Part of him was delighted: the hours were short and the pay great, and it had taken almost no trouble at all to achieve. But he still ached to be a chef - he knew that's what he was supposed to be.
He fell asleep that night to thoughts of how he could make a career move, while Benoit peacefully slept next door. Benoit was too small and too young for the parents to tell who he was most like, but there was a certain something that said he took after his Papa.
Arnaud is so clean, he bubbles even after getting out of the shower. // Buy off!?! What!? What does this feature do!? // The penguin takes the shortest route to the snowman.