(2018-09-11) Prepping for the Storm
Katherine and Jessica make plans to hide from the approaching storm front.

Java Junction Calaveras
Tue Sep 11, 2018 — Tue Sep 11 21:43:18 2018

With copper light hangings, it leaves a rustic feel to the entire room. A long bar with a cash register below a sign that says Order Here boasts a display of pastries, bagels, croissants and other foods for breakfast. Sandwiches and soups and salads for lunch and dinner. On a chalk bard in colorful writing is a list of the different beverages offered as well as the prices. Numbers are given on the receipts so when called, patrons can get their order at the opposite end of the bar from the register.

Tables dot the room, wooden with simple center pieces and wooden chairs around them. Also built into one leg of each table is an electrical outlet for laptops or phone chargers. In one corner is a bean bag area with several magazines and a small book swap shelf.

While music plays softly from surround sound speakers, it is usually tuned into one of the two radio stations in the town. The country or rock, depending on what the barista selects at the time.

Katherine is standing in line with several others, and her fingers tap on her phone as she waits for people to move. Every so often she glances up and soon enough she's at the counter. "Mocha anything with caramel? I just want it to be sweet." She requests, aiming a brilliant smile at the barista. She taps into her phone again before slipping it into her back pocket. A lemon drop cookie is included with her drink and she stuffs a tip into the cup before she weaves through the room, finding a nice quiet place to sit. She settles down on a chair, tilting it back slightly as she takes a bite of her cookie. "Storm's coming in Frank. You gonna deliver me some coffee in a few days?" She calls out toward the counter. Frank gives her a salute and a snort, shaking his head in a definite no.

As it turns out, Jessica is already here! Imagine that. Taking up the corner table all by her lonesome, she's been nursing a cup of cooling coffee while keeping her eyes glued to the Macbook, and a pair of earbuds that keeps the outside world… outside. After watching some streamed video, she puts down the cup and begins typing away, possibly chiming in on some forum thingie. Having left her wisdom for the interwebs to ponder, she finally looks up from her computer and notices a familiar face across the cafe. The calling between Katherine and the cafe owner is watched with subdued amusement, before she leans forward against the table on folded arms. Jessica waits until Katherine sort of, kind of glances in her direction, before she calls out - while trying not to attract /everyone/s attention. "Hey! Kate!"

Katherine looks up and spots Jessica, her smile getting a bit brighter. She gets to her feet and brings her cup, and half of her cookie to Jessica's table. "Mind if I join you?" She asks, taking a sip of the chocolaty mixture in her cup. "You look like you're settling in good, are you writing about the storm that's coming in?" She glances out the door and frowns. "I love when stuff like this happens. I'm a big fan of bad weather, especially when the lights go out. I have so much non perishable food laid up, I could survive for a month. I light a fire in my fireplace, light some candles and hunker down."

Jessica is all smiles as Katherine preempts her invitation, and already moving her stuff over. Uncrossing her arms, she slides her Macbook to one side to make room for Kate's feast, giving her hair an idle toss until the B&B owner gets settled in. "I'm just sifting through the official weather warnings; the last ones were annoyingly non-specific about what to expect. I hate to write up a warning and people just go, 'Duh I know there's a storm coming. Tell me something I don't know!'" The reporter even uses a mock "guy voice" for that last bit, followed by an eyeroll. "So you're actually looking forward to this? What about your guests? What if someone complains and whines that they can't take a hot bath every night?"

"I'll give them a nice discount, and a frank talk about being a grown up." Kate jokes, wiggling her eyebrows at Jessica. "I only have one person in at the moment. The new baker, her name is Maia and she said she's going to make me cupcakes. Obviously, I'm now in love. Well.." She looks thoughtful, her eyes narrowing. "…I would be if I liked girls." She giggles at this and leans against the table, taking a drink of her cup. "I'm pretty sure Maia will be out before the storm moves in, her condo just needs some finishing touches." She squirms in her seat, looking excited. "So I might be on my own for the storm, and that suits me fine. The last time we had something like this, there were a lot of downed trees, and hail and stuff like that. It's precisely the reason I had a few trees on my property felled. When the wind kicks up around here, it really really kicks up."

Jessica grins crookedly at the girly love with this Maia person, picking up her cup for a quick sip. Hey, maybe that helps stop her from blurting out the first thought that comes to her mind. Yes, best to leave that one well alone! "What about your sister? Not the college one. The other one." She clarifies. "And I was chatting with this one guy a few days ago… actually…" Jessica sits up and points her chin towards a table across the room. "…right over there. Declan Greene? He said he's staying at your place. Or did he move out too?"

"Lynn is around, but she's never *around*." Kate says, and there is a brief spasm of worry that crosses her face. "I tell her to come home right after school, she comes in around eleven. I yell at her and tell her to straighten up, she tells me that I'm not her mother. It's coming to a head, I think she's been staying at a friend's place." She shifts on her chair, taking a drink from her cup before she glances at the table when Jessica points at it. "He moved out a few days ago, his living space was ready to be occupied. Honestly though, I think he felt kind of awkward, because my other tenant at the time was trying to date me. Trying very hard." She exhales out a sigh and shrugs. "I like Declan, he's a really nice guy. I hope he didn't leave because he was uncomfortable. I hope his office and living space was actually finished."

Jessica's expression is slightly comical as she listens, as she stares a bit at Katherine, while trying to hold back a look of distaste from making an appearance…. and not entirely successful at that. "Um. Okaaaaay." The reporter tries to sound noncommittal, a finger lifting to press against her own lips, thoughtful. "That's… kind of weird that this person was trying so hard, it'd actually make other people THAT uncomfortable." With a shake of her head, she dismisses the thought. "I'm sure Declan just moved out because his place is done. He did mention he's expecting his helicopter to be delivered in a couple of days, when we were chatting." There is a longer pause as Jessica considers Kate's problem with her sister. "You know, I think I was like that when I was sixteen. She's sixteen, right? Or am I thinking of your other sister?"

Katherine laughs at the look on Jessica's face. "I get it, people have been giving me a stern talking to. I found it kind of strange as well." She winces, her nose wrinkling slightly before she glances away. "Jessica.." Her voice is quiet, leaning in toward the other woman. ".. I told him that I wouldn't consider dating him until he moved out, because living with someone that wants to date me seemed like pressure, and I didn't feel comfortable with it. He found a house the next day." She raises both eyebrows, shaking her head slightly as she takes a drink. "I wouldn't be so worried about it, but she's done a complete three sixty since my parents died. Went from making straight A's to failing. She hides things from me, locks her door now. Something is up. Even the therapist is worried." She takes another drink and exhales slowly. "There isn't much I can do until she asks for help. If I push, she'll just push back."

Jessica puts down her cup and spreads her hands. "I swear, Kate, some men just don't get it. I think there is a market for 'Understanding Women for Dummies', and I think you and I should co-author it." She rolls her eyes again, but lowers her voice after catching an odd look from Frank the cafe owner. "Just be careful. Some guys don't take rejection very well." She offers a quiet, more serious warning. The part about Lynn, well, Jessica listens is rather more thoughtful about it. "That doesn't sound too good. And if she's anything like me when I was sixteen…. she's not going to ask for help, because I sure didn't. When you're a teenager and you don't know how to deal with grief, you push away family." Beat. "Is there anyone she talks to or listens to? Family friends? Teachers?"

Kate meets Jessica's eyes, and she lets a bit of the fear she's feeling shine through. "I'm keeping an eye on things, there is something about him I can't put my finger on. Whatever it is, I'm wary." She chuckles softly at the mention of a book. "I think that's a good idea, we'd probably make quite a bit of money." She gazes down at her hands, silent for a moment while she thinks about her sister. "I've tried to get through to her friends, but her new ones are tough, and they see me as an interloper. I think. She talks to our therapist, but that's confidential. I trust that the Doctor would hopefully report something if it would be a danger to her or people around her. I tried to ask, and got a bit of a lecture." She spreads her hands apart, frowning. "I'm not her mother. I'm afraid if they think I can't handle this problem, they might try to take her away and put her in foster care. That's what I'm trying hard to avoid now. I don't want them to take her away from me."

The more she hears of Kate's predicament, the more Jessica frowns. Opening her mouth, she wants to say something, but closes it without actually saying a word. Instead, she reaches out to put a hand over Kate's, just trying to be supportive. "I don't know what to say." She admits. "I'm not a therapist, or social worker. If I were, I'd offer to help. Although, if you think she might listen to someone who's gone down a rocky road before, and heed some advice how NOT to follow that path…" Jessica leaves that offer open, but doesn't push, nope. Just a squeeze of that hand will do for now. Or maybe a quick change of subject. "You want anything else to eat? I think I want a Danish. Damn cravings."

Kate glances toward the counter, returning the hand squeeze for a moment before she lets it go. Figuratively and literally. "They have lemon-drop cookies and oh the cheese danish is amazing. I had a cookie. I can't eat anymore, I had a huge dinner with the new girl." She takes a drink of her coffee and relaxes against her chair. "So since you've moved out of the B&B, how have things been going? I've been reading your stories, and they're always interesting. I can't believe that I met the voice of the newspaper and the voice on the radio. Have you met Kyrie?" She asks, taking another drink from her cup. "She was telling me that I should keep practicing my dancing. I think I need to invite her and a few others out so they can see how much of a disaster that is." Her phone beeps out a warning about the weather and she pulls it out to tap on it. "Good lord. Hot chocolate and my fireplace will be calling my name for the next few days."

Jessica's smile blooms again as Kate picks up on the lighter topics, her nose wrinkling in amusement at the promise of a dance disaster. "I'm sure you'll do fine. The only thing you have to remember when dancing, is just to let go and not /try/. Trying leads to fear. Fear leads to anger. Anger leads to suffering." She singsongs that last bit, and rises to her feet, picking up her purse. "I'll be right back."
And then she's off to the counter, ordering exactly what Kate suggested: a cheese danish. Credit card is swiped, and as promised she's back in a jiffy. "I haven't met a Kyrie. She works for the radio station?" Jess replies offhandedly as she retakes her seat, picking up the danish for a careful scrutiny, and a blissful inhale with her eyes closed. Reopening her eyes then, Jessica grins and holds the danish out under Kate's nose. "Here, temptation of the Dark Side." She quips, but the danish is quickly pulled back. "I'm settling in okay. You know I am renting a loft over a restaurant, right? It's real convenient, even though the place smells like tomato sauce all the time."

Kate laughs at her description of dancing. "Trying leads to tripping over someone and having them recount Homecoming, telling me I remind them of a *tank*." She looks affronted, but still amused as she crosses her legs. Her eyes close briefly as Jess waves the danish near her. "Mmm see, now you're going to have to come over tomorrow to try some of the cupcakes that Maia is making. If she's half as talented as she says she is, I'm going to be at the bakery every day. My ass is going to get fat, and I'm never going to find someone to love me forever!" She sing the last four words, warbling and trying not to laugh as she sings. "I mean, unless they like thick, happy with her cupcakes types of girls."

Jessica takes a bite off the danish, and chews on it looking all blissful. "Mmmmm." Again she closes her eyes and looks like she's floating in the clouds or something. "MMmmm." And now Jessica just looks like she's in… another kind of heaven, just enough to make some of the men stare a little. Fortunately, she is entirely oblivious, and soon reopens her eyes to look at her tablemate again. In fact, she leans to the side a bit to peer down at Katherine's side, grinning in response to the other woman's singing. "You're fine. Besides, even if you get big, some men still like that. My stepbrothers were perfect examples, but I don't want to repeat the colorful descriptions they used." Beat. "Maybe I should come over to try these cupcakes. Speaking of food, you said you have a lot of food stores at home?"

"I stock the pantry very often, and I have a chest freezer with lots of meat. When we get storms like this, I buy a few huge bags of ice, pile it in, and just eat the non perishable stuff." Katherine responds, a mischievous twinkle appearing in her eyes. "Don't tell anyone, but sometimes I fish out a steak and cook it on the grill during a storm. You can even cook the damn things in the fireplace if you're saucy." She wiggles her eyebrows at Jessica. "I am very saucy. I also like steak." She tilts her head slightly and focuses on Jessica. "Are you stocked? You're welcome to come back and stay when things fall apart. I have lots of candles, blankets, a fireplace… hot chocolate… and plenty of wood stores." She exhales out a happy sigh. "I get as stocked when winter hits, because there are some days when the power goes out and the snow just falls and falls."

Jessica blinks, stopping just as she's about to take another bite of the danish. And now there is a sudden look of concern on her face. "Wait, the power actually goes out around here?" There. That's one disadvantage of being new in town, and hasn't experienced a winter here. "What kind of outages does this town usually see? Because I, uh, am not stocked. Like, AT ALL. I figure I can always just eat at the restaurant downstairs if I run out of food, but if the power is out I guess that plan won't work." She makes an exaggerated scared face. "Maybe… I should pack some stuff and come stay at your place until this storm blows over."

Katherine aims a slight smile at Jessica. "Most of the nicer houses have generators. I have one as well, but I only use it as a last resort during the winter to keep us warm. Any place with lots of snow or storms is going to have some outages, and we're no different." She leans forward on the table, gesturing at Jess. "I have two open rooms, lots of food, a decent store of water. One night in the great room with the fireplace and you'll never look at a storm as an inconvenience. You'll love it." She nods and tosses her hair over her shoulder. "Come stay, as a friend, not as some paying customer. We'll have a girls night if Maia is still there when the craziness hits. I might tell her just to stay too, she won't have had time to go to the store to buy scads of toilet paper, eggs and bread. Like most do."

Jessica's smile is not just of relief, but also of gratitude. "I'd love that. Thanks Kate, for the offer and for the warning." She peers down at the danish for a second. "I sure have been needing a lot of rescuing lately, yikes." She murmurs, shrugs and takes another bite of the danish. Chew, chew, swallow, swallow. "Well now I know what to write about the storm warning. Power outage! Stock up food! Stock up water! No restaurants! Crash at a friend's place!" The reporter deadpans, before tilting her head to regard Katherine. A wider smile slowly forms on her lips. "You know what else we can do? I can totally teach you how to dance."

Kate giggles and aims an amused look at Jessica. "You could, if you're brave. If you want to know what you're getting into, ask my old Homecomng date. He's apparently back in town now as well. Julian Walker." She rolls her eyes and looks embarrassed. "I feel like I almost maimed the poor guy in school. He was pretty kind about it." She laughs and taps her fingers on the table top. "Make sure to tell people to stay away from the river during and after the storm. Seems like every single time we get bad weather, there is a story about someone being swept away because they weren't careful. The last place I'd be anywhere near is the river. No. No. No."

Jessica peers a bit at Kate, at the mention of the name Julian. But hey, surely there is more than one Julian in Calaveras, right? "Funny. I just ran into a Julian the other day. I'm sure it's a different Julian though; the one I met didn't look like the type to be maimed by a girl." She chuckles, and takes a couple more bites to finish the danish. A hand comes up to cover her mouth while she chews, and then the cup is lifted so she can wash the mouthful down with her lukewarm coffee. "Hey, that's a really good tip. Hold on." Wiping her hands with a napkin, Jessica quickly types on her Macbook, taking notes. "Stay. The. Hell. Away. From. River. There."

"Big guy, Warden. Looks like he should be in a Levi commercial?" Katherine says, snorting out a soft laugh as she turns to gesture for a mocha refill. She gets another salute from Frank, but this one looks like it's a good salute. "He used to be skinny, and to his credit it was hard to knock him over. Apparently I sprained something and he couldn't play football or ..whatever… well." She rolls her eyes, not looking very sorry about it. "Yeah. Watch the river from a house on the hill or something. Don't attempt swimming when it's high. They don't find people until spring when crap like that happens." She pulls her phone from her pocket and takes a look at it. "I can't wait to see what you write, hopefully it won't be so bad, but boring is not good news. So I'll hope for a smidge of chaos too."

Jessica looks up from her Macbook and smiles wryly at Kate. "I'm trying to see how much I can get away with, before the Chief chews me out. I mean, I don't want to stray too far from what people expect to read in the news, but exactly what you said, boring is not good news. And people just tune out boring news. I didn't study journalism so people can tune me out." Her attention returns to the monitor screen while she types some more. When she's done, Jess clasps her hands together to prop up her chin. "Warden. Ranger? I think it's the same guy then. Wow, small world." She exclaims. "Listen: he's going to tell you he saved my life on the mountains. I'm not denying that he did, and I'm totally grateful for it, but there's more to that story." The reporter bobs her head sagely.

"I think most people in town like a good story. Sometimes you have to reach deep down in to drag up the good stuff, and I don't think there is anything wrong with that." Kate nods, watching as Jessica's fingers skip across the keyboard, she settles in and when Jess confirms that it was Julian, Kate chuckles. "There is always more to any good story." Kate affirms, propping her chin in her palm. "Julian is very circumspect though, he wouldn't gossip very much about something. That's why we were such good friends in high school." She quirks a brow at Jessica and wiggles her fingers a bit. "So what happened?"

Jessica peers again at Kate, then breaks into an unsuppressible giggle. "Wait a minute! You totally just asked me to gossip! Didn't you /just/ imply you are not friends with gossipers?" As the giggle fades, she is still grinning, but now she's shaking her head slowly. "Nope. That can be considered entrapment! I'm not telling." She purses her lips, eyes Kate sidelong, and evidently reconsiders. "Okay, maybe that'll be a story to tell when we're at your place." Beat. "So did you date him in school? I mean, he IS kinda cute. For a ranger."

"Hey, sometimes gossip is okay. I'm certainly not planning to hurt anyone with my words." Kate flutters her eyelashes, trying to look angelic. Probably failing. "Oh well awesome, we'll have a nice story to tell at the fireside. I have some crazy stories I can tell you as well." She meets that look, smirking a bit as the question is asked. "We just went to homecoming together, and we hung out, but I think I was too skinny and awkward for him back then. I had the biggest crush on him, but it was not to be." She brushes her hair over her shoulder. "He's the only person allowed to call me Kitty. Not even my mother would do that." She sighs and snorts, laughing softly. "So when should I expect you? The digital lock is the same four numbers as when you were staying there. I might be changing it in the next few days though. If I do, I'll text you."

Jessica ponders that question for a few seconds, tapping her chin thoughtfully. "The report we got says the storm front will be here over the weekend, probably early Saturday at the earliest. Maybe I should come over around then? I suppose I could even come over on Friday night, and help you get prepared. I might be a bit late on Friday though; there is an editorial meeting Friday afternoon and GOSH the Chief can taaaaaaalk." There is another eyeroll. "Is there anything I should bring over? Snacks? Drinks? Movies? Ammunition?"

Kate is gathering her things to go, nodding along as Jessica speaks. "Come over on Friday, I'll be stocking firewood in a nice accessible place and we can talk while I do my wood workout." She grins, and shrugs about the lateness. "I'll be up late on Friday, so it works out for me." She tucks her phone into her purse as the reporter starts to list the things she can bring, the last offer making Kate blink."Ammunition?" She laughs and clears her throat, trying hard not to giggle again. "Bring something you like to drink. I have a lot of soda, water, wine and hot chocolate but not everyone likes that stuff." She gets to her feet, slinging her purse over her shoulder. "I'll make some stuff so we'll have plenty of fun foods to eat, it'll be fun." She jerks her thumb toward the exit. "I'm going to go make sure Lynn made it home, I'll see you on Friday?"

Jessica bobs her head in affirmation. "Absolutely, Friday." She even gives Kate a thumb-up. "Thanks again, for the warning and the offer. And… hey." Jess leans forward, holding a hand out to the other woman. "If your sister is around over the weekend, and if it's okay with you, I'd like to try to have a talk with her." She smiles faintly and shrugs a shoulder. "I don't think it hurts to try, and who knows, maybe she's more open to talking to a stranger… cuz unlike family, strangers aren't always out to curb a teenager's style."

"If you would do that, I would be eternally grateful. I don't care how it happens, I just want her to be okay. Safe." Kate fidgets for a moment, tugging on her purse strap as she lets out a sigh. "Hey, thanks Jess. I look forward to the storms and to hanging out. Take care getting home." She points at the reporter, grinning. "Don't go down to the river to take pictures." She wiggles her fingers as she heads towards the door. "Call me if you need anything!"

Unless otherwise stated, the content of this page is licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 License