Of all places in Newcrest, scratch that, all places in the world, Yenn had never thought she would end up living here. But it made sense. With three kids now running around, Pauline and Leo needed a large family home. And it just happened to be the case this particular one was the largest house in town.
Of course, Lollipop Lair was barely recognisable as the one time home of evil mastermind plots. The previous owners had taken care of that. Now it was just up to the Bloomer household to put their own spin on things.
“Aunt Yenn, aunt Yenn, what’s my room like?” Seraphina interrupted Yenn’s stream of though, impatient.
“Why don’t you go inside and have a look?” The old woman smiled. “It’s upstairs, first one on the left – can’t miss it.”
Seraphina entered the building. She looked around the spacious hallway. So far so good, she thought.
A smile spread across her face as soon as she opened the door to her room. This was definitely to her liking. And she even had a balcony. This better be the best room in the house!
“So what do you think Vito, should we explore?” As the middle child, Carly was always eager to please.
“Let’s check out the garden,” Vito, the youngest, nodded his head in agreement.
“Woah, this is humongous!”
“And we still have a pool!”
“And monkey bars!”
“And… are you seeing what I’m seeing?”
“A pirate ship!” They both yelled out in unison.
As they came closer, the siblings saw Seraphina on the playground.
“I’m already ahead of you, losers!”
Meanwhile, Pauline slipped onto the seat of in front of her brand new piano. New being a relative term.
“I’ve always wanted a vintage piece like this,” she said with a satisfied grin.
Leo watched his wife delve into a concerto with quiet appreciation for a moment. But he couldn’t resist; the other side of the room was calling him.
According to Leo, the kitchen was the heart of the home. It was definitely going to be his domain, that much was certain.
Though he also knew he would enjoy the little reading nook he’d set up under the stairs.
Yenn approved of the setup too. It was hard to imagine the place all ominous, in Cassiel’s time. This shouldn’t be too bad, she figured.
After all, all Yenn needed to feel at home was placing her photos around the place.
Not to mention, this was as close as she’d ever get to her biological mother.
“Wee! This house is the best!” Carly exclaimed after bouncing off the slide.
“I know, right?” Vito joined in.
“You silly little things,” Seraphina shook her head. “How can you know? I for the record know that I’ve got the best room, so I could say something like that, but the two of you? Nuh-uh!”
“What? You’ve seen your room already?”
“Of course,” Seraphina giggled dismissively. “It’s the best one in the house. But I told you that already!”
The sibling trio rushed upstairs; Carly and Vito needed to see how their rooms would compare. As for Seraphina… well, she wanted to check the exact same thing.
“Hey little ones, slow down,” the children heard their father’s voice as they dashed to the new rooms.
“Wouldn’t want you tripping over on the very first day in the new home…”
Leo shook his head. None of the children were listening.
But who was he kidding? He was far too distracted for any parenting today. The new house was brilliant. He was just as eager to play in it as the kids were.
He started typing away the brand new recipe he came up with on the way there.
This wasn’t half bad, Vito figured. As long as the room had a drawing table and a violin, he was pleased. Not that those things were ever a worry. Pauline was thrilled that at least one of her children shared her love of all things creative.
“This is pretty cool!” Carly beamed. Seraphina looked around, evaluating her sister’s room.
“Pfft, not as cool as mine!”
“Well I like it,” Carly shrugged happily.
“You’re just jealous your room isn’t pink!” Seraphina hissed.
“I don’t even like pink!”
“I have a balcony!”
“And I have a chess set… and dragons!”
“What’s your problem?”
“Hey guys,” their brother’s voice interrupted the fight. “You should come check this out. I found the actual best room in the house!”
The two girls joined Vito in the last room.
“It’s a games room!”
“You’re right, this is pretty neat,” Seraphina admitted. “I get the pink chair!”
“I love our new home,” Carly bounced up and down her seat.
“Yeah… I think it’ll be alright.” Vito nodded seriously.
Yenn watched the three children play with a cautious smile. She didn’t remember so much sibling rivalry between her and her brother and sister. Not even Booker, the athletic jock was as competitive as Seraphina. But they were just children. And she was ancient. Maybe her memory wasn’t as good as it once used to be.
She made her way into the basement gym. Of course, this was where all the experiments went on in the lair. But she was determined not to let the place make her loose her zen.
She knew the family relied on it.
Pauline had to drag the little ones down from the games room and watch over them to make sure they did their homework that day. Well, if watching over a violin counts, that is.
“You mean we still have to do homework in the new house?”
“As long as I have the best room!”
“You’ve been typing furiously all day,” Pauline placed her hand on her husband’s shoulder.
“This place is really working for me,” Leo grinned, bewildered. “You won’t believe it… I wrote my first cook book!”
“That’s amazing! Though you do look a bit crazy now… How about we test out one of your recipes in the kitchen?”
“You guys must be getting hungry! Actually, I’m hungry,” Leo realised. “Sorry, I’ve gotten so carried away!”
“That’s ok. I like seeing you excited.”
Leo had been bouncing between the culinary career and writing ever since they’d gotten married. He loved both so much he just couldn’t seem to decide which one to stick with. He wrote a few books for the children and took odd catering jobs, but aside from his food blog, he wasn’t making much of a progress. Seeing him so in the zone was a welcome change for Pauline.
“So, do you think we’ll be happy here? In spite of the crazy history of this house?” Pauline asked when they were getting ready for bed.
“Weren’t your relatives happy here? The ones that came after the criminals, that is,” Leo laughed.
“I guess so… aunt Yenn never mentioned anything bad happening to them, at least.”
“Whatever the case, I know it’s the right place for us,” Leo said with confidence. “I know we’ll be happy here, because we already are.”
“Well if you’re so confident, than so am I,” Pauline smiled.
“There is one thing we haven’t tested in the house yet…”
Author’s note: Yes, we are returning to the lair once again! (And no, we haven’t fulfilled the generational goal yet, but Pauline and Peyton’s old house just didn’t suit the family anymore. It will still be the one we’ll end up using as the community lot, though!)
If you’re wondering about the layout, here’s a quick tour: