“Sis!” Pauline and Peyton fell into each other’s arms as soon as they spotted one another.
“I’m so glad you could come this early,” Pauline beamed.
“Well, I needed to check out this Newcrest of yours, didn’t I,” Peyton grinned back. “You look awesome, by the way!”
“So do you!”
“So is this the bar you live above?” Peyton eyed the building curiously.
“Sure is,” Pauline nodded. “Though we’re moving soon – turns out the family has loads of money so we’re having a new house built. But we’ve reopened the bar now, we have staff and everything! Come on in!”
“Ciao bella,” the bartender waved at Pauline.
“How is it going, Leo?” Pauline giggled. In spite of having been born in Newcrest himself, Leo somehow still pulled off the inherited Italian charm. “This is Peyton, my best friend.”
“Nice to meet you,” he greeted Peyton enthusiastically. “I hope you enjoy Newcrest! Drinks on the house are in order!”
“I’m liking this bar already,” Peyton laughed. “Do you always get drinks on the house?”
“Pretty much,” Pauline chuckled. “We need to work on our business model…”
The girls were joined by other two patrons, Ryker and Madeleine Holmes.
“Ryker and Madeleine are actually my distant relatives, sort of,” Pauline explained. “Though I can never remember the details.”
“My dad Malakai also happened to be Pauline’s great-grandfather,” Ryker confirmed. “And my wife here is connected to the legacy through her dad, Newton.”
Peyton almost spit her drink out: “Wait, you’re related to the Newton? He was a legend! My mom still uses a bunch of his classics as a part of her sets. I can’t believe you didn’t tell me! How cool!”
“I had no idea until recently,” Pauline replied.
“You must be Peyton,” Yenn joined in. “I’ve heard so much about you.”
“Likewise!” Peyton jumped up.
Whilst Yenn and Peyton were getting to know one another, another newcomer had crept in.
“Grim,” Yenn noticed the cloaked figure. “Came to check up on me?”
“I just wanted to see what was new,” the reaper shrugged. “Since you seem to have a way of avoiding me, Yennefer.”
“No hard feelings, Grim,” Yenn told him. “I’m sure we’ll meet again soon.”
“I wouldn’t count on that, considering how long it took you the first time around,” grim shook his head. “But I’ve decided to make this pub my new local to make up for that. You should introduce ghost night. They’re all the rage in the netherworld.”
“What a night out,” Peyton said giddily.
“That part when Grim Reaper showed up was weird,” Pauline laughed.
“Yeah, I didn’t quite imagine that when your messages said that the place was dead,” Peyton joined in. “But I’m loving the idea of going to relax in a spa right after a nice evening at the pub.”
“Not to mention the eye-candy!”
The girls took turns being pampered by the local masseuse, Paige.
“Aah, this is the life,” Peyton purred happily. “Why did you not like Newcrest at first again?”
Pauline smiled. Why didn’t she?
The girls opted for breakfast over at Monty’s Goodies the following day.
“Hi Pauline,” Clare, the barista greeted them. “The usual?”
“Twice please,” Pauline nodded.
The bakery had recently been upgraded with a shiny new espresso machine, and got very popular with the locals for it.
But it wasn’t just the coffee and the baked goods that had people’s attention, Pauline and Peyton were in demand as well.
“I can’t say I expected this,” Peyton told her friend when they finally got around to eating breakfast.
“Me neither,” Pauline agreed happily. “Turns out Newcrest is not a bad place to be at all. Even though we’re technically in Magnolia promenade at the moment,” she laughed.
“Any chance your new house has a spare bedroom?” Peyton grinned.
“For you? Always!” Pauline exclaimed.