(2018-11-06) Digging Up the Past
Willow talks to Katherine about her case while Xavier gets more and more uncomfortable

Xavier was not around for dinner. Or for lunch, for that matter. Or even for breakfast; for some reason he was up before dawn and gone before the film crew set up. But he's back now, shaking off the snow at the door, hanging up his heavy wool overcoat, and proceeding directly to the kitchen, like there's no point looking anywhere else. "Ms. Stone?" he's already calling out as he enters the kitchen. He's not really looking up, though; his eyes are glued on his phone, and he's rapidly texting…something. Somewhere. As he walks blithely into the kitchen table. "Ms—goddamnit, who put a table here?" It almost certainly has not been moved.

Katherine is standing near the stove, putting away dinner. "Katherine here." She stresses her first name, almost certainly a reminder. "That table has been right there since the day you arrived, Mr. Westin. Come on in. Coffee? Dinner?" She gestures to the table, turning back to carve into the pork tenderloin so it will fit in a container.

Willow's back…again. Does this girl not have a home? Well…technically 'no'. "Hello? Anyone here?" There's always someone in the kitchen and today is no exception. "Ms Stone" she smiles before noticing Xavier rubbing at an injury. "Did they move the table again?" she asks, nodding in understanding, before sitting at the table. "Did Becca choose between you and Xander?" Once seated comfortably, she opens up her satchel bag and looks to Katherine. "Do you have time not to discuss your case?"

Xavier gives the table a suspicious look. "Are you certain? And, ah, yes. Katherine. My apologies." He sniffs at the pork tenderloin. "That smells delicious. Could you do it for three hundred?" He looks back down at the phone. "In…two weeks, give or take?" Then Willow returns and offers her perspective. He points. "Knew it. This table maliciously attacked me. Who is Xander?" Now he looks bewildered.

"Three hundred? Dinner?" Katherine glances between Xavier and Willow, noticeably confused. She starts to make up two plates, not even asking if Willow wants anything, the girl can eat. "I can talk to you, Willow. It's not a secret, so while I'm sure Xavier will be bored…" She trails off and clears her throat. "The table apologies, and yes…who is Xander?" She scoops mashed potatoes on the plate with some gravy and veggies and then carries both to the table, setting them down. Water follows shortly after, and then Katherine goes back to putting things away.

"I have no idea who Xander is. Becca was talking about boyfriends and I told her she should ask Xander, and she said Xavier, so she has two potentials with names that start with 'X'. I bet she even knows a person called Xylophone" Willow 'explains' as she unpacks her bag. A notebook. Pen. Pencil. Pencil sharpener. Eraser (scented). iPad (cracked screen). Phone. A little stuffed troll that she tells to keep quiet during the chat. Willow clears her throat to sound more professional before beginning. "Ms Katherine Stone of…what's the address? Oh, do you mind if I record this on my phone? In case I write something down wrong."

Xavier nods. "Dinner, yes. Well, it'll probably need to be a buffet. Something tells me Calaveras is a buffet type of town," he adds, a bit dry. "Tropical themed. Hors d'oeuvres, entrees, sides, desserts. I don't suppose you know a decent bartender?" And then there's food. He gravitates towards the plate and sits down with a quick thank you, falling silent as he realized there's a /whole other conversation/ here that isn't about whatever he's planning to do. Shock. Horror. He eavesdrops shamelessly, eyebrows going up at the bit about Becca. Hearing the word 'record' mentioned, though, he doesn't ask the questions clearly written on his face.

Katherine purses her lips and eyes Xavier. "You want me to make you a buffet in ..two weeks? I got confused." She glances at Willow, snorting when Becca is mentioned. She pours herself a cup of coffee. "Go ahead and record it, Willow. This is 120 Oak Ridge Road." She glances back at Xavier. "Tropical themed? I do know a decent bartender." She pulls a notepad closer, picking up a pen. "What am I cooking for?"

Willow starts up her phone to record the conversation. It takes a couple of jabs of her finger. "Testing. The quick brown fox jumped over the lazy elephant. Oh, that reminds me of a joke. I try to tell Vic a joke every morning to cheer her up. You'll like this one, Xavier. What is an 'asset'? Give up. A small donkey. How cool is that? Anyway, I'm here today in my capacity as dick assistant to interview Ms Katherine Stone about the accident that tragically killed her family. So horrible. And Vic the Dick is going to find who did it. So, Ms Stone, please tell us what happened that evening."

Xavier peers suspiciously at the phone. "Yes, precisely. I think you said something about catering before?" He waves the hand that isn't involved in bringing mashed potatoes and gravy to his mouth. "I want to hire you. I can e-mail you our standard contract for review, along with the typical rates. I don't even want to know what you usually charge," he adds, warningly. Then Willow starts talking and his expression flickers to irritated, then exasperated at the joke…and finally a bit horrified. "Oh." He clears his throat and lowers his voice. "We…can discuss business at a later date."

"It's been two years, Xavier. It's fine. Email me your contract, and I'll figure out how much things will cost and then get you a price." Katherine shifts, scooting to sit on the counter. "I wasn't home the evening that it occurred. What I do know is that there was a local football game, and my parents and siblings attended. They were on their way home, stopped for ice cream, and on their way up to Oak Ridge, they were struck head on by a truck. The person who was driving was gone by the time the EMS arrived, and the truck was stolen." She folds her hands in her lap. "A few bottles of Jack Daniels were on the floor, most of it was gone." She kicks her feet out briefly. "A neighbor who saw the aftermath made the 911 call, the person who did it didn't even manage that."

She glances at Xavier again, her tone even. "Is this for a business thing? Do you need space for the dinner?"

Willow furiously scribbles down notes as Katherine speaks. "Stolen truck. Hmm…" Maybe the connections from her car jacking days could come in handy here. She was still stealing cars two years ago. She looks horrified that she may have been driving the truck, but then she thinks about it and is pretty sure that is not the case. "Do you have that neighbor's name and address? And where did they stop for ice cream? Football game? Hmm…" More scribbled notes. "Tropical themed? In the middle of a Calaveras winter? Not sure if you're mocking us or making us all want to leave" she smiles at Xavier.

It turns out that a recitation of the death of most of a family kills Xavier's enthusiasm for arguing with Katherine about her pricing. For now. It doesn't kill his appetite, though, and he eats quickly and quietly as he listens. He waves his hand at her question, signaling 'later', with another glance at the phone. Someone doesn't like to have a record of his plans, apparently. Aside from the parts he already spilled. "Neither," he says, shortly, at Willow. But doesn't explain. He just finishes devouring his dinner; he's actually almost finished, despite decent manners.

"It's the gray house two doors down from here, Willow. The woman who lives there is Linsey Wick, she's the one who called for the ambulance." Katherine has had this conversation before, and somewhere inside she turns off when it comes up, her voice even and almost without inflection. "There is a place called triple scoop right near the campus where the game was." She watches Xavier eat, and then she frowns. "Oh, I'm sorry, Xavier. I should have pulled her aside for this discussion." She gazes down at her knees, smirking. "I honestly figured she already got the police report and was going to ask certain questions."

"It is always best to speak with the witness rather than read reports. They could remember new things. Or say things they were afraid to tell the police. The neighbor is two doors down? So it happened right outside?" Willow is surprised at this, even looking in the direction of the road, before back to Katherine. "Where were you and your sisters when all this happened? Anything happen afterwards that could be seen as odd? Anyone at the funeral that you didn't know?"

Xavier rolls his eyes. "Don't apologize, Katherine. It's your kitchen." He polishes off his plate - where the hell did it go - and picks up his plate and all to take to the kitchen sink. He even runs water briefly over it, although /actually cleaning/ is apparently beneath him. "Speaking of, I will leave you to take care of personal matters." He gives Willow a grave nod, then gathers up his phone and flees. FLEES.

"Right down at the turn off at the hill. So yes, not too far away." Katherine murmurs, gazing at Willow before she sighs. "I was away at school when it happened. Lynn was at a sleepover, and Sarah was a cheerleader at the game, she got a ride home from another cheer mom. Sarah is the one who called me to tell me what happened." She frowns, shaking her head. "My parents had a lot of friends, the funeral was crowded, and honestly? I was out of it for most of it, my world had just shattered."

Willow turns off professional mode to wipe a tear from her eye and reaching out to give Katherine's hand a squeeze. "I'm sorry to bring this all up again. We'll catch whoever did this. Vic is awesomely clever. She will even know better questions to ask then me. And she will do everything to help you out. And so will I." Her smile returns, warm and bright. "Sorry to frighten off Xavier. I have a habit of scaring away guys. Thanks for talking to me, Ms Stone." Professional mode re-engaged. "I'll get out of your hair…and thanks for the food. Incredible as always. You should do that cookbook."

"I'll think about the cookbook, and…don't worry about Xavier." Katherine exhales slowly, shrugging her shoulders. "Like I said, it's been two years, the police had stopped looking as far as I know. If you two can find anything, I'll be extremely grateful." She shifts on her feet, head tilted. "How much is all of this going to cost?"

"Vic will let you know the costs, but I'm pretty sure you'll get an 'Awesome Person' discount" Willow grins. "Not to mention deductions for all the food you supply. Oh, I wasn't worried about him. I'm used to it." She starts to pack all her things back into the bag. "I used to move in vehicle stealing circles. I can ask around. And if we don't find anything, which is totally not going to be the case, then you could talk about it on your show. That will get people calling in."

"Thank you, Willow. Your enthusiasm is catchy." Kate slips down from the counter, a slight smile forming on her lips. "Call me if you need anything else, okay? I'll be home most of the evening, I think."

"Nah, you need to go talk to your boyfriend about the Copacabana Party" Willow grins. "You'll be out partying." She slings her bag over one shoulder before giving Katherine a hug. "I need to check on Vic now. See what she has thrown up on today. Take care. Be happy." A wink before she is almost skipping out of the house.

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