The town of Evanshaw was quite small compared to other towns. Everyone who lived there knew each other, smiling and engaging in small conversations as they passed each other.
Lauren James, a twenty-year-old in the town, owned a bakery that was quite popular with the residents in Evanshaw.
When Mark Peters moves into town, also interested in baking, will he and Lauren click or will a competition form between them?
Lauren James was quite happy to live she did. She had a nice big park for strolls, a few shops that came quite handy when she ran low on supplies, and very friendly neighbours. Everyone knew each other, always stopping to have a nice little conversation in the streets. Everything was in walking distance, and being quite a fan of exercise, this was perfect for Lauren.
The town of Evanshaw was a low populated town, located by the English seaside, Norfolk. Many people retreated there to get a quiet and peaceful life, others spending their retirement there. Despite being a quiet and peaceful town, Lauren was quite a popular resident, supplying everyone with traditional cakes and pastries, owning her own little cake shop in the centre of town. The view from Evanshaw was impeccable, the sea view could be seen all around the town. The sea side air was also delightful, and reasons why many of the residence liked to live there. People rarely moved into the town, but when they did, everyone welcomed them warmly, introducing most people in the town, telling them about the popular spots and shops in Evanshaw. Lauren would always make the new arrivals a selection of cookies and muffins, everyone enjoyed them.
Lauren lived with her mother and step-father, her real father passing away when she was little. She still found it weird that she was twenty years old and still living at home, but she was rarely at home anyway, spending most of her time at the bakery.
'Lauren, we're getting new next door neighbours soon. I saw that Mr Harrison moved out, the sign outside now says sold.' Her mother had said one morning in the bakery kitchen. Her mother would often help her out, so she could manage making everything and getting it out on shelves before the first customers would arrive. Sometimes even using her own skills in the kitchen, following Laurens recipes. The girl would often try out new flavours, experimenting with new ingredients. Her mother and step-father were normally the testers.
Jamie - her best friend, ran the counter. She was highly skilled at maths, something Lauren wasn't, and that made everything much more easy for her. The two got on very well, attending school together and clicking very well from the beginning. They were always there for each other, never falling out.
'Any clue when they're arriving? I guess I'll have to make them some cookies and cakes.' Lauren said, mixing some cake batter, ready for the customer to come and collect them when they were ready. It was rare for her to get custom orders, but when she did, she tried her best to get them perfect.
'No clue, but they're the first new resident in the town for a few months, let's hope they're up for a good chat over some tea.' Her mother chuckled, picking up the recipe card Lauren was using, skimming over the sheet of paper. It was for one of Laurens favourite cakes, red velvet. She adored the flavours of the cake. It was one of her specials, and also her most popular cakes.
Lauren had always loved to bake; she was great at it. Her mother always used to notice the signs, her often having an assistant when making dinner. She also had an eye for detail, making sure everything was perfect, presentation being superb. Her mother was even more surprised when her daughter had come to her asking about ideas for the shop, including the name which ended up being 'James bake shop' because the girl didn't have any other ideas. Her mother agreed to the idea, soon helping the girl purchasing the old pizza parlour that went out business a few years back. It was a decent size, complete with a good sized kitchen.
'Mother, you always invite people round for tea, maybe let someone else do it for once?' Lauren has started lining her muffin tin, getting everything ready to fill the cases with the red cake mixture. Her mother was always fond of new neighbours. Every time someone moved in, she would greet them, maybe even help them unpack. It was true to say she had given her fair share of first welcomes.
'I like inviting them round, Lauren. It's a chance to get to know everyone more. Wouldn't it be nice if the new resident was around your age? You haven't had a boyfriend in such a long time.' Lauren rolled her eyes, she hated her mother talking about boys with her. Shaking her head, Lauren proceeded to grace around the kitchen, tiding up as she went along.
'Mother, do you have to talk about such a silly topic? I'd rather work than talk about boys.' the girl chuckled, pushing her fringe out of her face with her flour covered hands. She grabbed the nearest tea towel, wiping her hands, knowing she should have really done that before she pushed her fringe out of her face.
'Fine, fine,' her mother shook her head in amusement, giggling at her daughter's embarrassment. Charlotte Simons was quite a slim woman, always dressed proper in skirts and dresses, her ash blonde hair always tucked into a neat bun. 'What time are the people coming to get this order? I heard they're not from Evanshaw?' Charlotte asked, standing up and walking over to the door, leaning on the polished frame.
'Tomorrow at ten, you're leaving already?' Lauren looked at her mother curiously, wondering why she was leaving so sudden. It had started to get dark outside, indicating it was obviously later than Lauren thought.
'Darling, its eight o'clock, Daniel will be home soon and I need to start dinner.' Lauren walked over to her mother, giving her a kiss on the cheek, careful not to get any flour from her apron on her mother's dress. In heals, Lauren was the same height as her mother - something that always came as an advantage.
'I'll be home about nine, okay?' Lauren had walked back over to the work surface, filling each cake case with mixture, careful not to drip anything or spill any mixture. She made sure the mixture was evenly distributed over the cases, all of them mostly even.
'Fine by me, I'll leave your food on the cooker, you can re-heat it if you still want It.' her mother gave a small wave, exciting the shop.
Alone time was what Lauren liked the most. It gave her time to think - mostly to come up with new recipes or think about people in the town. Her mind drifted to the new neighbours she would be getting. She hoped that maybe it was someone her age, but that was a rare occasion for the town. The last person her age was someone she had a strong detest for, the pair never getting on when they spoke. Snapping out of her thoughts, she placed her cakes into the pre-heated oven, setting the timer. Normally, it would take around twenty minutes for the cakes to cook, giving her plenty of time to wash up - even if she had done most of it.
She filled the sink with hot water, making sure it wasn't hot enough to burn her hands. Taking washing-up liquid, squeezing some into the running water. Bubbles erupted to the surface, Lauren shutting of the water when there was enough in the sink. Lauren never did like to use dishwashers, she always liked to do things by hand, to pass the time. She opened the drawer next to the sink, pulling out a fresh cloth, rubber gloves and a tea-towel, placing the dry towel on the side, ready to dry her items after. She pulled on the yellow, rubber gloves, wrinkling her nose at the pungent smell of rubber the gloves gave off. Grabbing the cloth, she plunged it into the water, bringing it back to the surface and giving it a tight squeeze, ringing out the excess water. Grabbing the silverware first. Lauren hummed along to the tune of 'Act My Age' by One Direction. She wasn't a fan of the band, but she had to admit, the song was quite catchy.
Lauren finished the dishes, drying up and putting everything away, just in time for the cakes to be taken out of the oven. She grabbed an oven mitten, opening the cooker and waving the steam out of her face with her hand. She grabbed the tray pulling out of the oven, careful not to burn herself. Setting the tray down on the top of the work surface, Lauren took off the oven mitten, leaving the cakes to cool.
Walking over to the sink, Lauren turned on the tap, reaching for a glass out of the cupboard. She filled the glass, gulping down the clear liquid. She had an uneasy feeling in her stomach, scared about her neighbours - what if her mother was right? What if the neighbour was her age; she did kind of hope for that. 'I wish,' Lauren chucked, tipping the last bit of water in the sink. Oh she wished...