No, she hadn't succumbed to any of the vampires she unwittingly kept company with, nor did she die some gruesome end at the end of a gun, or a mugger's knife, or even at the hands of some hungered rapist. Nothing so drastic, nothing so sudden. In fact, she hadn't even come knocking on Old Scratch's front door, waiting for her admittance into that hot and happening place down south (and we don't mean Mexico during Cinco de Mayo, kiddies).
In truth, Hope Williams was dead, though she had suffered a more poetic death than an actual physical death. There was no blood shed, nor tragic last breath. Her heart hadn't even beat it's last final throb... but she had certainly expired.
In her own mind, anyhow.
It had been mere months that she'd been gone, but it had been long enough for the leader of the Lords of Order to change the girl - to strip her down to nothing (both figuritively and literally) and then mold and shape her into what she wanted to be. In fact, the girl was so receptive to this (perhaps part of what made her so attractive to Edward Holliday in the first place), that Hope Williams completely repressed the fact that Hope Williams ever existed.
Veronique told her that her name was Megan and, fractured as her psyche was by the time she reached her Mistress' hands, the girl realized that yes... yes, she was right. Her name was Megan. Megan sound perfectly right. Megan Sharpe.
She knew that was her name. She felt it in her heart. And as the days and nights bled into weeks and then months, Megan even forgot about how she came to be with Veronique and she steadily repressed more and more of her memories until, poof! Like a bad dream that one suddenly awoke from... they were gone.
Mind you, there were some uncertain moments. For instance, when Veronique took her in, she had no clothes. Not a stitch of clothing save for an expensive leather collar which her Mistress had fastened round the girl's neck herself. She remembered that. Her fingers had been cold and smooth, not unlike the first smile that she'd shared with Megan.
But that was past now. Now they trusted one another.
It had taken her a while to earn clothing - especially with how cringing and shy she'd been at first. Megan didn't like anyone seeing her naked; she was very shy about this but, even more peculiar, seeing herself naked in a mirror was enough to put the girl into near-hysterics. But Veronique was strangely patient with her... almost motherly (though Megan didn't think her mother had acted like her Mistress... even if she couldn't recall the woman). Only when the petite blonde cooperated and behaved herself did she finally get clothing.
All in all, there was little about HopeMegan that Veronique could complain about, save for the young woman's insecurities and complete lack of self-esteem. Aside from that, she was very obedient and, once Veronique convinced her it was far better to just cooperate and that she didn't mean to do terrible things to her (why she had that idea was anyone's guess), the young woman was suprisingly helpful.
Like a completely different girl.
It was this different girl that smiled cheerfully and waved to this person and that as she walked along the campus sidewalks, a spring in her step and the sunlight glinting off of her honey-blonde hair. No longer the mousy and shy girl that was often overlooked, this was a confident young woman that was going places in life and she turned heads and gained the appreciative looks of many. The girl didn't preen though - she was polite and friendly... but she obviously had some place to be and didn't dally.
Today's task: Veronique had forgotten some papers at the University and left a note for Megan to pick them up in the morning. This way, the girl could grade the papers during the day, Veronique would have the opportunity to check them over and then she could distribute the graded papers to her class the following evening. No wonder Veronique had wanted to pick up a slave - having an assistant was very convenient, wasn't it?
There wouldn't be any other reason that Veronique might prefer her girl to run errands during the day, would there? Don't be silly. It just wasn't safe for pretty young women to be out alone in the evenings.
Jogging up the short steps to the hall, Megan opened the door and went to step inside - temporarily blinded by the transition between the bright spring sunshine and the darkened hall. As such, she didn't see the person coming out at exactly the same time she was stepping in.
Just after Spring Break when many students were returning to finish up their graduate degrees, getting back into the seriousness of planning their lives and such, Shawn LaCroix, professional freelance photographer, took advantage of every billboard in the collegiate halls of the local universities, advertising decent bargain rates for studio-quality grad portraits.. and even wedding photographs, if students were venturing that far ahead. Surely a handful of them had returned from Spring Break with love in their eyes and plans for matrimony? Anyway.. it didn't hurt to get her name out there as a serious photographer. Shawn had a portfolio to backup her professionalism. Equipment was portable, and even makeshift studios were easily rented out in New York City.
Shawn was between contracted assignments and currently bucking for a spot with the New York Paranormal Society. A do-gooder at heart, unaware the Society engaged in questionably illegal activities, she dreamt of them with the same stars in her eyes that she'd once dreamt of the Talamascans in Anne Rice novels. In fact, she'd never even heard any negative rumors floating around about them at all. But like anyone else, viewed them as a rather benign group.. just like the Talamascans. The New York Paranormal Society observed and recorded psychic and paranormal phenomenon, but they never interfered with it. And just like young Jessie Reeves, Shawn LaCroix had a decent closet full of family skeletons and dark secrets. Things about which she was naturally curious. She wanted to learn all that she could learn, but with the tragic end of her mother's and her grandmother's lives some seven years ago (the only family she'd had), she'd been swallowed up in the vortex of an unforgiving world and almost utterly lost.
Seven years later, one would hardly know this of her. The Shawn LaCroix of today had put all the jigsaw pieces of her life back together, and kept herself focused on her goals.
With a green-tipped pushpin pinched between her lips, the young woman tacked up three fliers on the large cork-board, one in the middle and two on either end. Then she turned to rush off to the next hall, out the door and across the campus lawn. Bearing yet a stack of fliers in the crook of one arm, she pushed the exit door open and ran right smack into someone trying to enter, only to send a flurry of printed advertisements to the four winds. Instant paper chase.
"Oh no!" she cried out almost frantically, succumbing to the fruitless chase on the top of the steps. She had managed to gather perhaps ten or twelve sheets of paper at the most.. while the rest of the hundred and fifty or so just sailed away into the wild blue yonder like all the rest of the litter that comprised greater New York.
It wasn't the end of the world. Oh no.. far from it, in fact. But she could not help but whine that dejected sound people naturally give when bested by the four winds and a million sheets of paper.
The two collided with enough force that Hope almost staggered right back into the door - but she just caught herself. And equally quick reflexes allowed her to catch at least a few of the fast-escaping fliers. Amazing, wasn't it, how you never really realized how briskly the breeze was blowing until it caught something and made it airborn?
An umbrella. A hat. A mess of papers.
For a moment, the blonde haired girl stared down at one of the fliers in her grasp before blinking and following suit with an exasperated attempt at corralling some of the stray papers.
"I got a couple of them," she relayed to the girl, "but you'll probably have to print off some more."
Fate sure had a funny sense of humour.
The blue-eyed blonde offered forth the wad of papers that she'd managed to salvage - all big eyes and innocent smiles. Little did she know that she was staring at what was, ironically, blood kin to her very vampiric (albeit forgotten) husband. Yes, Fate had a funny sense of humour indeed.
"Hopefully some of those were extras?" she offered up. Hope was still wearing her leather satchel that she'd brought for transporting the papers home to grade. Already her mind was working and the girl hitched a thumb over her shoulder. "If not, I know where there's a printer. I'm sure you could print off some new ones if you need more."
"Maybe, you know... they'll get to a bigger audience this way. You know, more people will see them. Kind of like dropping them from a balloon."
Nope, a lot had been taken from the petite blonde... but her optimism? No. She could still choke a horse with her optimism.
"Oh.. thanks," Shawn said as she reached to accept the few sheets the other woman had managed to capture before they were blown into oblivion. "But I'm going to have to head off to Kinkos again," she said, then leaned a bit closer to confide: "I don't know how to work the Xerox machine."
And it was true. Shawn also struggled with fax machines, and most virtual office products as well, such as Microsoft Office excel spreadsheets and the like. Heading off to Kinkos, however, entailed a trip across town, and a decent two hour wait in line.. as there were always hundreds of people there wanting something printed, and at all times of the day. Which meant that, by the time she redid that chore.. getting around to pinning up her fliers wouldn't be until early the following week. Shawn laughed a bit though, as the other woman pointed out optimistically that fliers just thrown to the wind might gain a wider audience--
"I guess that's a good way to look at it." Then: "I don't suppose you're any good with the Xerox machine, are you?"
And what did campuses usually charge for a copy of something on plain white paper? A dime? It wasn't a bad price for a few sheets, but a little steep for the bulk that Shawn had purchased, and all printed on high quality paper that had been a rainbow of assorted colors. But she had ten bucks to spare on a quick hundred copies.. and a hopeful expression, waiting to see whether the other woman fared any better when it came to knowing how to use office machines.
"If you could show me where the library is.. and help me out with that, I'd be really indebted to you. Like.. forever."
Irony, indeed. Shawn LaCroix had no idea she was staring into the face of her.. great-great-great-great-great-great-etcetera-grandmother. Even if only by marriage, it still kind of boggled the mind, didn't it?
The blonde woman showed signs of, first, amazement and then amusement as the girl revealed she had no clue how to work a copier. Of course with the blonde, there was no light of malice or hint of nastiness with her amusement; she was the type of girl that seemed to smile easily and find reasons to laugh at life. There was something about her - almost as if there were a light, like a beacon, about the young woman.
Sometimes, you meet someone and you just know - they're good people. That was this girl. Optimistic, bright and enthusiastic. She answered the question with a smile.
"I'm pretty good with them. I've had a bit of practice helping out around here, so I'm pretty sure we can manage it." Ensuring Shawn had regathered all her papers and had ample time to rearrange them safely in her grasp, the other woman finally extended a hand, "I'm Megan, by the way. Megan Sharpe."
No, she wasn't. Not really... but try and tell her that. The mind has a wonderful way of protecting itself. Shielding itself from bad memories and traumatic events - particularly when a couple of sly undead have their fingers in there, meddling around a bit.
"Sure. Come on, I can totally help you out with that," she offered chipperly and caught Shawn by the arm in a friendly grasp. True, this Megan girl didn't seem like she was far out of college if, in fact, she was. She was probably around the right age to be binge drinking and partying with the campus boys (though she didn't quite give off the party girl vibe either).
"So are you new here?"
Obviously Shawn didn't appear all that long in the tooth either, her new found friend inquiring as to whether or not she was one of the students.
"It took me forever to learn my way around," she chattered on, steering Shawn off in the direction of the library. "I saw your flier... so you're a photographer?"
Grandmother? Great great great great? Who ever could have pictured something like that? Or even that the girl was someone's (delusionally) happy little homemaker? She hardly seemed old enough. Or experienced enough.
And she definitely didn't seem the type of nice girl to mix it up with the likes of Edward Holliday.
"Nice to meet you, Megan. I'm Shawn LaCroix," she offered, allowing the other girl to link her arm and tug her into whatever direction the campus library was in. There was an instant, mutual friendship formed between them, it seemed. For what were the odds of two really nice people running into each other in New York? It was almost nil, since the city was practically overflowing with people who never even seemed to see you, and if they did take notice, it was often just to inform you that you were in their way.
"I've only been in New York for two years. Does it show?" Shawn laughed a bit, supposing she might have still retained traces of an accent from the deep south, even though she had worked hard to lose it. Then: "I moved here right after I graduated from Washington University in Saint Louis. You know.. if you want to make it big, you have to move to New York. So that's what I did. And I'm still learning my way around!"
Most people however, never made the Big Time after being transplanted to the Big Apple. Most of them watched their hopes and dreams and aspirations run down the garbage disposals while schlepping as a dishwasher or a waiter at some New York City restaurant. In fact, you couldn't even go to a restaurant almost anywhere in Manhattan and find a real waiter. They were all singers, dancers, musicians, and thespians awaiting their big break at discovery.
Shawn might have been numbered among the thousands of disillusioned losers, had she not been so resourceful with her time and talents between contracted assignments. Her last one, doing ad-copy photos for a junk catalog (similar to those little Fingerhut mags that come around in the mailboxes) had recently ended. And now she was back pounding the pavement again for freelance photo shoots while awaiting her next big contract -- hopefully with the New York Paranormal Society. In fact.. she did have an interview scheduled there later this afternoon with a Mr. James March, whom she assumed was in charge of the HR department.
"Yeah, I'm a photographer. Stuff like this," she said, briefly holding up the salvaged stack of fliers, "pays the bills. My real passion is photographing ghosts. And not because I want to be famous on tv.. like Ghost Hunters and stuff like that."
Shawn suddenly laughed and shook her head as they reached the campus library and ascended the concrete steps to the main doors. "Alright.. that's part of it. But.. it's a love that comes from my childhood. You know.. all that supernatural stuff. My grandmother gave it to me."
Shawn reached to tug the door open, gesturing for the blonde woman to go in ahead of her. Because she was all sorts of polite that way. You always opened the door for strangers, if possible. You always said 'thank you' if they opened a door for you. And you always let other people go first, whether through a door or in a serving line at a buffet. And you always apologized and said 'pardon me' whenever someone was in your way.
"I love how libraries and bookstores smell," she said completely off the wall after crossing the threshold.
"Shawn... that's such a pretty name," Megan smiled over her shoulder. "And LaCroix... Is that French?" She turned back forward, no doubt looking where she was going, but also hiding that little puzzled frown that creased her brow. The girl couldn't help but feel the funniest twinge when she'd asked that question. Almost a pang, like something lost. Strange.
Perhaps, she mused, it was some sign that she needed to take a trip to France one day. See the Eiffel Tower. Buy a dumb beret and eat some baguettes.
The blonde girl gave a laugh and shook her head, "No. Doesn't show at all," she grinned. "Of course, most everyone in New York came from somewhere else, you know. Very few of us natives left anymore." Yes, just in case Shawn hadn't been able to tell, her new companion was one of the natives. Born and bred, as far as she could remember. Of course, there were a few foggy spots in the girl's memory, here and there.
The New York sunshine was both warming and invigorating, lifting troubles away and casting them back into the shadows where they belonged. The trees were starting to form buds and dazzled what was once bleary landscape with neon green hues. Spring was in the air and the campus was filled with hopeful faces like those of the two girls. All for different reasons though.
"Do you go to school here?" Megan perked a brow at the photography comment - said brows arching a bit higher when Shawn mentioned ghosts.
"Really? You believe in all that? Ghosts, vampires, wolfmen...stuff like that?"
It was hard to say if she was incredulous, surprised or skeptical when she said it that way.
"Thank you," Megan murmured quietly and slipped in as the door was held open for her. Apparently even some of the northerners taught their younguns some manners too. The blonde girl beelined for the Xerox machine like she made the trip their regularly - and apparently she did, judging by the brief smile from the stoic looking woman behind a desk. A nod was exchanged before she motioned Shawn in closer.
"I like the new ones," she confided. "The musty ones kind of make me sad though. I can't stand the smell of dust and... I don't know, old things I guess. It's weird."
Turning to the other girl anew, she gestured to the copier, "Shawn, meet Xerox. Xerox meet Shawn."
The compliment drew a sudden smile to Shawn's equally pretty face. Then: "Yes, it's French. It means 'the cross'. But to tell you the truth, I don't know any French at all. I didn't even know I had any French blood in me until.." she trailed off. There just was no good way at all to explain the sudden emergence of a long-lost ancestor who had technically died nearly two hundred years ago. But then it didn't matter. Megan had already asked her something else--
"No.." Shawn's brow crinkled for a brief moment before repeating herself. "I graduated.. in Saint Louis." But she smiled nonetheless to learn that Megan was a native New Yorker, and added almost as an afterthought- "We should go out sometime. Are you doing anything tonight?"
Once they had entered the library and headed straight for the Xerox copier, Shawn laid her stack of salvaged fliers to the surface and rifled through them for the cleanest one devoid of creases and wrinkles. And once she found one (miraculously), she handed it to the blonde woman before digging in her backpack for a ten dollar bill.
"Is there a change machine around?" she asked as she glanced around. If not, then the stoic-looking librarian behind the desk was the one to go to. And by then, Shawn had already stepped away, leaving Megan behind at the copy machine to guard her open wallet she'd left laying there, her backpack, and her paper stack. She was gone several minutes, too, having been sent from the librarian desk to.. another area of the library where, lo and behold, there was a change machine.
Shawn returned several minutes later, holding up a fistful of coins and beaming rather triumphantly over the fact that she was at least adept enough to handle the change machine. But she kept her tongue until she returned completely by Megan's side again. There was this cardinal rule about silence in libraries.. ever since she could remember. They were so austere, too. As if the library God was more demanding than even the church God when it came to absolute reverence. And from there, Shawn resumed their conversation as she watched the blonde woman work the settings on the Xerox--
"I didn't used to believe in ghosts.. and things," she said quietly, not really elaborating on the things. "I mean, I did when I was a little girl. Because my Gran did. She was all up into that stuff. But I just kind of outgrew it, I guess. Until.." Shawn trailed off again, only to turn the question right back to Megan--
"Do you? Believe in all that paranormal stuff?"
But it only took a brief moment for the seriousness to wash away when she was suddenly introduced to the copy machine.
"Hello, Mr. Xerox. Just don't try any funny business like making copies of my behind. I've heard about you, you know."
Megan smiled as Shawn explained the definition of her name. French names were pretty, weren't they? The French language, in general, was pretty.
Again, she felt that little stirring within her and the blonde brushed her hands off on the legs of her bluejeans, wondering why they felt damp all of a sudden. In fact, she felt a little clammy all over... hopefully she wasn't coming down with something!
She noted the other girl's wrinkled brow briefly and realized that she'd already said that she'd graduated, but she didn't dwell on it. It was becoming more and more common for people to realize that they'd finished school and it either wasn't what they wanted or they couldn't find a job or they just wanted to continue the whole party experience. It wasn't unheard of to go back to school.
"Tonight?" Good question. Veronique usually had work for her to do, but she'd be doing lectures this evening and, if she got all the papers graded, surely it wouldn't be a big deal for her to go out with her new friend, would it?
"Yeah, that would be awesome. Do you like clubbing?" She wasn't sure what Shawn's scene was - It was hard to say what kind of nightlife a St. Louis girl might enjoy, "Or something quieter?"
Megan watched for a moment as the other girl headed off in the direction that she gestured for change, then spying the girl's personal effects left scattered about on top of the copier. Had she been a snoop, it would have been tempting to take a peek in there... but then Megan already knew the girl's name and where she was from. It wasn't like she hadn't told all that information already - Besides, Megan wasn't the type to breech the bond of trust that the other girl had shown by leaving her stuff there. And so the blonde just watched over it, ensuring no purse snatchers came over to make a grab and go of Shawn's wallet.
She was just warming up the copier when Shawn returned.
"What, ghosts and vampires and stuff?" Megan glanced up and smiled to the other girl then shook her head and gave a little shrug of her shoulder. "No, not really. I believe that, when you die, you go one of two places... Either you go to Heaven or you to straight down South." Of course, not wanting to offend her new friend, she added on, "I'm not sure what all the balls of light and stuff are that the ghost hunters photograph, but it's really cool that you're trying to find out."
A laugh sounded at Shawn's teasing the copier and the blonde girl picked up one of her new friend's fliers.
"Okay, this is surprisingly easy," she began. "You just put your paper in here, like so..."
"It's totally your call, Megan. You're the native here."
Wasn't it wise to defer to the locals when it came to picking out the best places to eat or party? Megan Sharpe didn't really strike her as the club-scene-party-girl type who ran around half-baked on coke and poppers every chance she got. Maybe it was her disposition and overall girl-next-door vibe? Or the fact that she'd mentioned believing in Heaven and.. the other place she'd seemed even too pristine to call by name. Though to be nice, Shawn did offer out a slight suggestion--
"I have to wake up kind of early tomorrow, though.. so maybe somewhere that won't leave us with a headache or too bad of a hangover." Shawn laughed. Yeah.. she wasn't so much a party animal, either. But girls night out was always fun, even if only to the local pub for a meal and a cocktail or two.
Shawn stared at Megan for a moment, watching as she angled the sheet of paper under the machine's cover and explained the process. But Megan didn't realize that countless people had explained this same exact process to Shawn numerous times.. and for some odd reason, it just never sunk in and stayed lodged in her cerebral crinkles.
"Thanks again," she responded to the tutorial with a slightly rueful grin. Shawn was really good at some things. Just not office machines. Then: "So, what are you majoring in?"
You know, just trying to break the ice and whatnot. Shawn assumed because Megan was there at the university, she must be a student. Then again.. she could have been a non-tenured faculty member, too. Or.. even just an assistant, maybe. But it was back to the subject of ghosts and things, and trying to ascertain whether or not the paranormal encounters were real. Shawn thought for a moment before making yet another offer to the blonde woman--
"You know.. if you'd like to come over to my apartment for a few minutes before we go out, I could show some of my photos. I'd love a second opinion.. just so I know I'm not barking up the wrong tree and being all hokey." No one ever wanted to be laughed at, afterall. Or called a psycho when it came to supernatural experiences. In the end, one had only their own personal experiences and their own wits to rely on. And you either believed, or you didn't. There was no in-between.
Shawn had the girl pegged alright - she was definitely not a party-girl and this was confirmed when she actually gave Shawn a relieved look then laughed, "That sounds good. I'm not really much of a drinker anyhow. The occasional glass of wine with dinner, but that's it. What about dinner at The Spotted Pig? Or what kind of food do you like to eat? I guess I should ask first."
Equally trusting and friendly, Megan was eager to figure out something fun for the two of them to do, even if it was simply a nice dinner and getting to know one another better. There was any number of things to do in the city - It all depended on what you enjoyed and what kind of risks you didn't mind taking.
"You're welcome," she smiled back to the other girl, setting up how many copies they wanted as she chattered away, "Oh, I'm not majoring in anything at the moment. I like art and stuff, and I think maybe... sometimes, I might like to pursue a career in it but..." She shrugged, still smiling pleasantly, "I've just been so busy with so many other things and I wonder if it might not be the wrong path for me."
And then, if as understanding that this left her reasons for being at the college rather vague, she amended, "I'm an assistant, actually. I was just stopping by to pick up some papers."
The copier whirred and flashed happily for several moments, Megan checking a couple of the fliers to ensure they were coming out alright before handing them over to Shawn.
"I usually just take a taxi everywhere, but I could swing by and pick you up. It shouldn't be too long for him to wait - you know cabbies. So long as you pay them, they're happy." Sure, it would be a little bit pricy compared to just meeting Shawn somewhere for dinner, but Megan seemed to improvise well enough.
"I'd love to look at your pictures," she agreed, "Where's your apartment located at?"
Even as she asked, she was digging in her satchel for something to write with.
"I'm actually going home after I finish hanging up all these fliers," Shawn said, accepting the partial stack of paper before gesturing to the copier that was still spitting out copies into the tray. Megan's reply made it sound as if she weren't all that busy at the moment, other than fetching some last minute term papers, perhaps?
"You could come with me.. and save a trip. I live over in Queens." And yeah, that would be insanely expensive, Megan making a trip to Queens in a cab, and another trip all the way back to --
"Where's this Spotted Pig? I've never heard of it," she mused, assuming it was somewhere here down in Lower Manhattan. Was it some kind of pulled pork barbeque place, reminiscent of home? And then: "Where do you live, Megan?"
For if the blonde woman wasn't in school currently, but only working as an assistant -- which, even if full time, she probably could not have afforded to live alone. There just weren't many places, even dumps, and especially near Manhattan, that were affordable. Shawn suspected she either still lived at home with her folks.. or perhaps with a roommate. Which, if the latter was the case.. she'd certainly be polite enough to invite her.. or him.. too. Shawn was nowhere near what you'd consider well-off. But she did bring in a decent little income when she worked.. particularly when she did graduation or wedding photos. On top of that, she'd also gotten a decent little life-insurance payout when her grandmother had died. Originally she was only to get half, as her mother was the second beneficiary named on Pearl LaCroix's Colonial Penn policy. But since Shawn's mother had also died tragically right along with her grandmother in the gale of Hurricane Katrina, Shawn LaCroix became the sole beneficiary of a $750,000 payout -- which was currently untaxed, untouched, and quietly collecting interest on Treasury Bonds in the First National Bank of Jackson, Mississippi.
Once the copier had finished one hundred copies on plain white paper, Shawn reached down to the tray on the side of the machine and gathered them up. And this time she stuffed them all down into her black canvas backpack, chancing no more mishaps with them until they were all safely tacked up on the corkboards in every hall on that campus. Afterward, she glanced down at her watch.
"I should be done here by about two-thirty," she said, pointing her chin briefly in another direction, though nowhere in particular. "That'll give you time to finish up whatever you had to do, then we could just meet up right here at the library again."
Shawn hadn't really had time to make many friends in the two short years she'd been in New York. It seemed she was always too busy chasing after the almighty dollar for any kind of social life. And frankly, she was now welcoming the change of pace. People needed friends. They weren't meant to be islands to themselves.
Saving a trip sounded like a good idea. Meagan had some ideas about going back to school in the future, which meant she needed to pinch and scrape together every penny that she possibly could. Frugality was paramount.
"That sounds like a great idea," she smiled and then paused a moment as Shawn asked where The Spotted Pig was. Sometimes, it took just a moment to get that brain up and working, you know.
"Oh! It's over on 11th Street, right up the way from Magnolia Bakery. You've been there, haven't you? They make the most amazing cupcakes!"
Hopefully Shawn wouldn't be too disappointed to discover that The Spotted Pig was actually a posh little imitation pub, catering to those who wanted a little taste of British food (whatever that was). They served delicacies like duck eggs and salads sprinkled with crispy bits of pig ear. If anything, Megan went there for the atmosphere. It was a pretty place with brick archways and a dark, rich interior like one might expect of an English pub (or at least how New York might make one look).
"Oh, I live nearby," the blonde girl explained and then smiled, "The instructor that I've been assisting... she's been letting me stay in an extra room until I get on my feet. I don't know what I'd do otherwise. New York is so terribly expensive!"
"I was actually looking at apartments in other states, one day." Megan's eyes widened, "Did you know that, in Ohio, you could get an apartment, twice the size of one of most of the ones here in Manny... and you'd pay maybe $600 a month? That's insane!"
And so she chattered along as she helped Shawn make her copies and then gather everything up.
"Two-thirty," the girl parroted and then squinted up at the library clock. "Oh sure, that gives me plenty of time." Megan smiled, "I guess I'll see you back here in a little bit then." One last cursory glance ensured that Shawn had everything under control before she gave the other girl a little nod and a quick wave of her fingers, "See you back here in a few then."
The blonde then turned and headed back the way she came, a spring in her step and a smile on her face.