Having been through a fair share of ups and downs in the recent days, Peyton and Pauline decided that a party was in order. After all, what would be a better way to let go of all the drama in their lives?
Except that if you live in a town like Newcrest, it seems the drama makes its way everywhere, and even invites itself to your party. Speaking of party crashers…
“Royce, what are you doing here?” Danrof exclaimed. “You’re not welcome in this house!”
Royce completely ignored him and turned his attention to Caleb instead: “Hey, I know you, punk! You’re the guy that likes to sip frappucinos with Peyton in that coffee shop! Hands off!”
Caleb managed to maintain his composure: “And your problem is?”
“You’re my problem!” Royce burst out. “You need to stay away from Peyton! I mean… because aliens are disgusting!”
“Dude, you have issues,” Caleb shook his head and exited the room. It seemed that every time he was in the vicinity of Peyton and Pauline, he would end up getting yelled at by a stranger. Quite the life these girls lead, he thought.
Meanwhile, Danrof studied Royce’s face, intridgued: “I think you are much more interested in aliens than you’d like to admit. Particularly in Peyton, of course.”
“Get lost,” Royce snarled at him.
“That’s hardly a feasible request,” Danrof shrugged. “The house only has a handful of rooms, and I’m familiar with most of them.”
Royce rolled his eyes and stomped away, muttering to himself.
“Hi Pauline,” Leo approached the girl nervously.
“Thanks for coming,” Pauline smiled.
“I wouldn’t have missed it,” Leo replied. “I hope we’re ok, after…”
He failed to finish the sentence.
“After that disaster of a date?” Pauline offered an ending helpfully. “I owe you an apology for the way I acted. You do know it’s not your fault, right?”
“No, I shouldn’t have taken you there in the first place,” he shook his head.
“Nonsense,” Pauline disagreed. “I’ve just got some issues I need to work through, clearly. But you were perfect.”
“Well, I’m sure most of the bar patrons find you perfect,” Pauline deflated. “After all, you’re Leo the dreamy bartender…”
“Right,” Leo stood up. “You know I am more than just a mixologist who likes to compliment the clientele…”
“Sorry,” Pauline looked down. “I didn’t mean it that way.”
“I’m not offended,” Leo replied. “It’s just, there’s one particular bar patron who I’d like impress a lot more than the others.” He looked at her coyly.
“I think you already have,” Pauline winked at him.
“That’s good to hear. I’ll… see you in a bit?”
He snuck into the downstairs bathroom, as nonchalantly as he could manage.
As soon as he closed the door behind him, a huge grin spread across his face.
She still liked him.
She still liked him!!!
“So Royce, what’s your game?” Pauline causally turned to Royce when Leo left the room.
“Well, considering you supposedly hate aliens, you do seem to be everywhere we are,” Pauline shrugged. “I mean, this is our house. Our party. That you were not invited to…”
“Didn’t realise it was ticketed entry,” Royce smirked.
“You do what you’ve gotta do,” Pauline told him. “But if you hurt my sister, you’ll learn about the alien wrath. Spoiler alert: It’s not pretty.”
And with an innocent smile, she left him to mull that over.
“Have you reached the same conclusion about Royce as I have?” Danrof asked Pauline.
“Is your conclusion is that Royce is a plumbag, than yes,” Pauline shrugged. “But let’s not waste time talking about Royce!”
“A change of subject then; you look rather beautiful tonight.”
Pauline blushed. “Danrof…”
“I like the way your dress matches your hair,” Danrof said matter-of-factly.
Pauline laughed: “You’re the best, Danrof!”
“I reciprocate the feeling,” Danrof assured her. “Although, we can’t both be the best, due to the definition of the word. I hear it is a common phrase, however. This culture is just fascinating!”
Pauline couldn’t stop giggling: “If only more people were like you!”
Leo was joined by his sister, Tabitha.
“So this is the famous Pauline?” she asked. “She seems to be rather friendly with that guy…”
“Well, they are friends… just friends… I think.” Leo looked across the room with uncertainty.
“I’ll see what I can find out,” Tabitha smirked. “Sister to the rescue!”
She casually carried her plate over to the table to get within earshot, joining a very pouty Cygnus.
“Who stole your kitten?” Tabitha asked him.
“What?” He looked at her, confused. “You’re talking to me?”
“Well obviously, where else am I going to find a dance partner whose outfit compliments mine?” she smiled politely.
Cygnus’s face lit up…
Ok, perhaps dancing with Cygnus was not the best idea, Tabitha cursed herself silently. Being encouraging to cheer the guy up was one thing, but boy did he like to get close…
Leo walked over to Pauline. The timing was perfect, there was barely anyone on the dance floor. She looked so beautiful… “Pauline, may I have…”
Plum. At the corner of his eyes, he noticed his sister needed help desperately. So much for timing…
“Whah!” he literally jumped in.
“Not cool, Leo,” Tabitha scolded him. “You scared the plumbob out of me!”
“Oh sorry, I’ll leave you to your dance partner then,” he teased her.
“Who’s coming to the rescue now?”
“We’ve got to have each other’s back,” Tabitha smiled.
“Family first,” Leo confirmed.
“Don’t I have the best brother?”
Tabitha pulled out her phone to snap a quick selfie of the sibling pair.
“Smile Leo, you look like such a dork!”
“Apparently it runs in the family…”
Meanwhile, Pauline had already started dancing solo.
“It’s apparent that you understand music,” Danrof complimented her. “It guides your every move.”
“Thanks, Danrof! Why don’t you join me?”
Danrof came closer to her.
“I can’t say I’m much of a dancer,” he said hesitantly. “It’s not really customary where I’m from…”
“Just do what you said, let the music guide your every move.”
“I said you have that capability, not me.”
“Just give it a try,” Pauline laughed.
Leo just watched them sadly from the corner of the dance floor.
Danrof bounced from side to side awkwardly.
“Is my point proven now?” He smiled. “I much prefer watching you dance. It makes me feel pink.”
Pauline didn’t quite know had to respond. As a half human, she herself hasn’t experienced it herself, but she’d been around enough aliens to know what a pink glow meant.
Question was, did Danrof make her feel that way?
Peyton, on the other hand was not feeling pink at all.
“Royce, do you just have to ruin everything? Get a clue, there’s a reason why you weren’t invited!”
“Pfft, just as well,” Royce uttered. “I don’t need this alien shenanigans!”
Peyton watched him leave. It should have felt good, getting to yell at him. So why was she close to tears? He was infuriating…
She slipped indoors discreetly.
“Danrof! Weren’t you just outside, dancing with Pauline?”
“I was, but it seemed you may need someone to talk to,” he said simply.
“I’m ok, really,” Peyton dismissed him.
“Your face seems to tell a different story.”
“I don’t know what’s wrong with me,” Peyton opened up. “It’s not like me to get hung up on a guy. Especially one that never misses an opportunity to diss me…”
“From what I’ve witnessed on this planet, romantic feelings cannot be controlled,” Danrof said.
“Speaking of romantic feelings, you and Pauline seemed to hit it off,” Peyton changed the topic.
“I’m not sure if I follow.”
“Danrof, you always follow,” Peyton grinned. “More so than the most!”
“I’ve never explored a romantic connection with another individual,” Danrof admitted.
“Well then what are you waiting for??? Now is a perfect time to have a go at that!”
Danrof was the last person to leave that evening.
“Thanks for being there for us,” Pauline said to him as they were saying goodbye. “You’re a great friend.”
Peyton cleared her throat significantly.
“Actually, Peyton and I had a conversation earlier which lead me to the conclusion that I may be exhibiting romantic feelings for you,” Danrof smiled sheepishly. “So friend may not be the most appropriate term.”
Pauline looked at her sister, and then at Danrof, wide-eyed: “I… I don’t know what to say.”
“That’s understandable, I don’t have much empirical evidence on the matter yet either,” Danrof said. “Perhaps we should spend more time together to evaluate our attachment?”
Pauline felt a warmth spread over her body: “That’s a great idea Danrof.”