(2018-11-08) Breakfast at Kate's
It's breakfast. At Kate's!
Players:
katherine..luke..xavier..lucky..

Katherine is leaning over a cookbook, reading carefully from it as she adds herbs to a pot stewing on the stove. The snow is heavy outside, about four inches have fallen overnight. Snow boots sit near the kitchen door, and the filming crew is long gone, even if they have left behind some wires and a sound mixer.

*

"I think she likes the pen," Luke comes in from the backyard, dusting the snow off his shoulders and knocking his boots against the doorframe before he steps back into the kitchen. He's got a heavy coat on, along with his satchel, and had gone outside to look at the goat. Because of course he has. "She's looking good. You might want to get her some extra blankets, but she's really loving the snow."

*

There's the clatter of shoes on the stairs, heralding the arrival of Xavier. Who, as always, looks like he's waiting on the GQ camera crew to show up, with today's suit in a light grey herringbone, with a dark blue silk tie…and even a dark blue pocket square in the breast pocket. He peers around the corner before entering the kitchen, then steps inside. "Coffee?" Definitely the first priority, although he throws Luke a quick smile while he makes his way towards the pot. "Is it safe? For a goat to be in snow taller than it is?"

*

Katherine pours two cups of coffee, one for the singing vet, and the other for her guest. She puts them both on the table, pointing at Luke. "You sit down and get warm." She grins at Xavier, chuckling softly as she moves back to the stove. "I clean her pen out so she has places to hop about. If it gets any worse out there though, she'll get the garage and some blankets and hay." She closes the cookbook and leans a hip against the counter. "Are either of you hungry?"

*

Luke unbuttons his jacket now that he's indoors, flinging it over the back of the chair. He's wearing a comfortable flannel button-up and a pair of dark blue jeans beneath that jacket, likely not waiting on any camera crews to show up unless it's for the cover of 'awesome vets monthly'. He glances up to Xavier and offers him a broad grin as he settles down into a chair. "Ah, it's fine," he says of the goat. "I heard about your charity event, Xavier. There's going to be zoo animals?" he lifts a brow, before he looks back to Kate. "I could do with some breakfast. Thanks, Kate. You're too nice."

*

Xavier swerves to reach the table, and his mug of coffee. He settles into a chair, mug held protectively to his chest to ward off roving coffee thieves. "In the garage," he muses, with a shake of his head. "Well, better than in the living room, I suppose." He sips the coffee, offering Luke a nod in response. "Mm, yes. A generous donation to the Denver Zoo Outreach and Education department has persuaded them that their outreach efforts really should include a selection of their tropical-habitat animals at an appropriately themed charity event. I understand there will be some birds, a jaguar, and the like." He raises his hands, "Before you ask, the keepers will be accompanying them, and I will ensure that all the animals' needs are met, despite the weather." A pause at the last, before he slants a look in Kate's direction, and agrees, "She really is, yes."

*

Katherine won't tell Xavier that she sneaks the goat indoors any chance she gets. "I'm not too nice, I'm nice." She turns and pins Xavier with a look, eyes narrowing. "Not to you either, you paid for breakfast." Someone is cheeky this morning. She gathers the ingredients for an omelet, moving about the kitchen slowly. "I was thinking of getting together a small afterparty at the Boardroom after your event, Xavier. It's right next door, after all." She rolls sausage between her palms, looking thoughtful. "Luke, do you have a suit?" She looks curious, turning to grin in his direction.

*

Luke's blue eyes glimmer with childlike excitement as Xavier talks of jaguars and birds and 'the like,' oh my! He can barely contain his glee, it's obvious. But he smothers a grin into a mouthful of coffee, nodding over to Xavier. "Oh, I wasn't even going to ask. If you're dropping that much money on bringing them out here, I doubt you'd want to take any risks," he shrugs about the animal's needs, "I already got two tickets. I'm looking forward to it." He looks back to Kate and chuckles a little. "This is like the perfect excuse to wear my dress uniform. Abby's going to swoon," he wags his brows. "I was telling her we should do something stupid in our fancy clothes after, like go bowling or something."

*

Xavier gives her a cheery grin. "I /should/ pay for breakfast, Katherine. It isn't as if I can't afford it, and you're an excellent cook. And that sounds like a delightful idea. If it's for the catering staff and the like, feel free to add rental fees and food costs to the contract." He turns his attention and his grin to Luke. "Glad to hear it. I am hoping that it will be enjoyable. And…Abby? Ah! This is your picnic partner who was going to eat off your naked abs instead of Ethan?" he asks, faux innocent.

*

Katherine makes a noise, her back still to the pair as she scrambles eggs, adding green peppers, onion and little pieces of ham. "I should charge you more." She mutters, a soft chuckle sounding as he instructs her to add more fees to the contract. It doesn't take long for the eggs to cook and soon she's scooping omelets and sausage on three plates. She serves her guests first and aims a look at Luke. "You really have to stop flirting with my boyfriend. I'm going to get jealous one of these days and throw snowballs at your face…again." She goes to retrieve her plate and coffee, carrying them over to the table. "I'm going shopping for a dress this week, driving up to Denver."

*

Luke pointedly stays out of the conversation of money, a smirk tugging at the corner of his mouth at Xavier's faux innocence. "That would be her. She's the best picnic partner, but don't tell Ethan I said that," he laughs, the sound deepening as he grins over to Katherine. "I can't help myself! There's just something so.. ~magnetic~ about him. You know what I mean!" he sighs dreamily, but it only makes him laugh a little harder, trying to silence himself with another gulp of coffee. "You should take Abby with you, she said she needs a dress," he says of Denver. "Do they have a Cracker Barrel in Denver?" Looks like this conversation's coming full circle.

*

Xavier waggles a finger in Katherine's direction. "I believe I have said as much." And then he looks delighted to have his omelet. It even gets him to release the death grip on the coffee cup so that he can cut it into neat, bite-sized pieces. "Your secret is safe with me, Luke. I'd say your crush was, too, but that seems to be /entirely/ public," he adds, with amusement. And then snorts at the Cracker Barrel remark. "If they do, I'm sure I don't know. I eat places where the menu consists of something /other/ than fat, grease, and starch shaped into various food-like arrangements." Harumph!

*

"I already quoted you a price, changing it would be rude." Katherine adds some pepper to her breakfast, rolling her eyes as she turns to stare at Luke. "He's my magnet!" She stabs some eggs with her fork, nodding slowly. "I'll call Abby, I hate driving up there on my own anyway." She giggles and nods at Luke. "There are Cracker Barrel's all along the interstate. I stop up there once a year to get rocking chairs, and some hook rugs." She leans back on her chair, looking thoughtful. "Their chicken pot pie is great, Xavier. Have you ever tried it? I kind of …mimic their recipe when I make my own."

*

"You know, we /have/ been best friends since high school. A love like that is /deep/, Kate, you can't tear us apart!" Luke laughs over to Kate, clearly being playful, before he picks up his fork to dig into his eggs. "But I'm glad I can trust /you/, Xavier. You seem like the sensible sort," is he buttering up the developer in hopes of getting a Cracker Barrel? Yes. "Still, you shouldn't knock Cracker Barrel until you try it! They have really good fried chicken, too," he says that last part mostly to Kate, before he looks back to Xavier. "How are you liking Calaveras so far, Xavier? I imagine it's not what you're used to."

*

Xavier casts his eyes to the heavens. "And people accuse /me/ of killing the soul of America, while embracing the embodiment of tasteless mediocrity. And have you /seen/ the buildings? Under all that regrettable kitsch, they're boring, repetitive, and entirely inauthentic. Cheaply built, as well," he grouses. The poor omelet takes the bulk of his grumpiness, as he stabs the pieces viciously as he eats. A few bites settle him down enough to be civil, though. "Mm. It's…well, the people I have met so far are lovely. It is certainly lacking in certain amenities, but I believe I can work here, and the recent disasters provide significant opportunity for land purchases at reasonable rates. The tax rates are also favorable." He settles back and looks at both of them, thoughtfully. "What do you two like about your town? Or not like, for that matter. We can take 'family-murdering serial killers' as read."

*

Katherine snorts out a soft laugh, shaking her head slowly. "I'm not going to tear you apart, I think I'll just steal Abby and let you two embrace your love." She gazes at Xavier, completely amused by his high class outburst, eyebrows raised. Something occurs to her then and she glances upstairs. "Uhm, if you meet someone named Julian here, just ignore his rant. He's misinformed, grumpy and ..well he's a warden, so forests are very important to him." She pokes at her breakfast and leans an elbow on the table. "I like that I can take a walk down to the grocery store, or the Boardroom and every person I pass on my way there knows me." She finally takes a bite of her omelet, wrinkling her nose. "Until that killer thing started to be a problem, I used to be able to leave my doors unlocked too."

*

There's an upward spike of Luke's eyebrows in Xavier's direction, but he chuckles a little as he takes another bite of his omelet. "I don't know if they're actually accusing you of being soulless, honestly. You seem full of soul to me. People around here, they just think 'change' is a dirty word. If you want them to buy in, you have to prove you're not looking to make Calaveras another cardboard cut-out of Denver," he shrugs, flicking a glance to Kate and nodding his head. "Honestly? I left this place when I was eighteen and didn't look back, at least not at first. I always wanted out," he admits to Xavier. "I came back for my mom, and I guess I have a different mindset now. It's a slower pace here. People know each other, look out for each other. This stuff going on, the murders and stuff? That's not the home I know, unfortunately."

*

"I have already been called soulless in exactly those words," Xavier says, wryly. "But it wouldn't be the first time. And if the offender happens to have screwed themselves out of the ability to defend the ownership of that piece of property by attempting to be clever, well," he shrugs, his smile turning sharp, "it will make a much better office building than the wreck currently there." Then he clears his throat, affability returned. "Hmm. People do seem to like that - the 'knowing others' aspect." His momentarily blank expression suggests he can't understand why. "I've also noticed that your popular buildings are renovated from historical structures. New development will have to," he laughs, "stand out while fitting in. Is there anything - other than a Cracker Barrel - that you feel the town could really use?"

*

"You know what I always wanted us to have here?" Kate takes a deep breath and slumps in her seat. "A real honest to goodness museum. There is a lot of history here, and when you're in town people might walk around, point out homes…tell you when they were built and some of the history? It's not nearly complete." She shifts her gaze to Xavier, frowning. "I may not be completely behind development, but I don't think you're soulless either. Some of your ideas haven't been completely horrid, I just hope that you end up loving the charm we have here, and …you only add to the charm, instead of turning it into some other kind of thing entirely." She glances at Luke and looks thoughtful. "I've never left, sometimes I wish I had used the opportunity to cast the net wider when college came around."

*

"Well, some people are dicks," Luke replies to Xavier, his lips tipping into a faint frown. But it's gone by the time he takes another bite of his omelet, opening his mouth to say 'Cracker Barrel' to Xavier's inquiry, only to have Xavier catch him before the words fall out. He closes his mouth again, chewing as he thinks. "A museum /would/ be nice," he agrees to Kate with a slow nod. "The Library could use a refresher, too. Something more updated?" He was spitballing, it wasn't really something he's put a lot of thought into. "Honestly, I don't think I'd have come back if it wasn't for my mom," he says of leaving home. "I'm glad I did, though."

*

"A museum? Hm." Xavier looks thoughtful as he works his way through the omelet. "And I imagine the Library could, yes. Good bones, though. Thank you both for the information." He considers Luke for a moment. "And your practice is thriving, it seems like?"

*

Katherine gets to her feet, carrying her plate to the sink. "I'm going to put the rest of this food away, I have a nice lady named Twister coming over to teach me stripper pole things." She is listening to Luke's answer though, even going so far as to peek at him over her shoulder.

*

Luke promptly chokes on his omelet, pounding on his chest. "I'm sorry, what?" he just /stares/ at Katherine.

*

Katherine furrows her brow, turning to gaze at Luke. "I am taking..pole dancing classes?" She sounds like she isn't sure, her gaze shifting around the kitchen. She looks at anything except Luke for ten or so seconds before she turns back to cleaning. "It was Ethan's idea. Sort of."

*

"You're taking pole dancing classes," Luke repeats slowly, in case he misunderstood. "From somebody named /Twister/?" There's about two seconds of silence before he bursts into laughter. It's going to take him awhile to calm down.

*

Katherine groans softly and she turns to throw a damp sponge at Luke. "She's really nice! She also came highly recommended!" She turns back to the sink, muttering as she continues to rinse dishes. "You could probably use them too, I heard they help loosen and limber people up."

*

Not even a damp sponge can diminish the laughter that's coming from Luke, but he finds calm in order to shove the last bites of omelet in his mouth. The damp sponge is tossed back, but he aims for the sink because he's a good person. "I dunno, I think if I tried to get up on a pole, I'd bust my ass. Is she bringing a pole /here/?" he's intrigued. "I mean I might stay to /watch/."

*

"Apparently there are..poles that .." Kate sighs, and rubs a hand over her face. "Yes, she's bringing a pole. If you stay you have to take part." She grabs the sponge and finishes off the dishes in the sink. "Don't you dare tell Ethan about this. It's a surprise."

*

Luke starts laughing all over again. Really, he might die, he's getting so red in the face. "Oh my god this is amazing!" he laughs and laughs, clutching his stomach. "Are you going to surprise him with a POLE DANCE?!"

*

Katherine is more than red in the face, and it's not because of laughter. "I'm not going to cart a POLE all over town, Luke. I'm trying to not be quite as clumsy and maybe pick up some rhythm. OKAY?" Her shoulders twitch as she eyes the vet, thinking about whacking him with one of her frying pans.

*

Maybe he recognizes the danger he's in - Luke quiets after another moment, but he looks like he could burst at any second. His eyes are bright. "Okay, okay!" he holds up his hands in surrender. "I mean it's totally nice of you to … work with… Twister.. to surprise Ethan… with pole dances," he manages to get through all of that without laughing again. "I won't say anything! But I don't think I'm going to join in. Unless you think Abby would be turned on by that?" he's thinking about it now.

*

Xavier has fallen silent while eating. And also while listening. His eyes have been growing steadily wider through the course of the conversation, and while he clearly doesn't feel comfortable enough to tease Katherine to the degree Luke is, the corners of his mouth are twitching with the attempt to hold in whatever smart-ass remarks he's clearly thinking about.

*

"I'm…oh my god. I'm not surprising him with pole dances because where am I going to get a pole?!" Katherine looks as if she wishes she could fall through the floor. Xavier being quiet makes her cheeks get even more red and she pushes her hair away from her face. "You are as bad a Julian, Luke." Oooh, burn.

*

"I thought Twister was bringing one!" Luke retorts to Kate, gathering up his now empty plate to bring it over to the sink and start washing it off. He snickers a little under his breath, but there's just a shrug when she claims he's bad as Julian. Maybe it would be a burn if he actually knew the guy. "Xavier, you going to dance on this pole, too?" he grins, clearly joking.

*

Xavier clears his throat. "I understand that Amazon does have a variety of home-installed, ah, dancing poles available for delivery." His expression is studiously neutral; don't ask how he knows that. "If it's only a pole standing in your way, well, I'm sure arrangements could be made." He also finishes off his last bit of food, and follows Luke to the sink. There's a low chuckle. "Now, now, Luke. I know that you've had your heart broken by Ethan's rejection, but I avoid rebound relationships."

*

"Yes, Luke. I'm paying a woman fifty dollars to teach me pole dancing and I expect her to leave her expensive travelling pole so I can swing on it for Ethan." Katherine gives him a patient look, bumping into him with her shoulder. She blinks at Xavier, blinks again and then she reaches out to take his plate. "Mortifying." She murmurs, turning to rinse the plate off. "I think you can strip without a pole. Right? Right!" She tosses her hair and looks haughty. "Ethan will enjoy it, so yuck it up. I am immune now." Her face is still red.

*

Luke looks over his shoulder to just /pout/ at Xavier, but then he's laughing all over again. "Okay, okay. I'm done talking about Twister and her pole. But really? Fifty bucks?" He muses on this, bumping back into Kate before he wipes his hands off onto his pants, heading over to grab up his jacket. "I'm sure Ethan'll be over the moon. I know /I/ would be, if the tables were turned. But I should start heading over to the clinic," he sighs as he drags his coat over his arms. "Xavier, it's a pleasure as always. And Kate, thanks for breakfast."

*

Lucky has arrived.

*

"Tragic, I know," Xavier deadpans in response to Luke's pout. He provides a - probably unhelpful - nod of agreement, as well. "There are very, very few men who would not be delighted to be on the receiving end of…well, of /whatever/ happens in this particular case. Have fun." He grins at her, before turning to nod back to Luke. "Nice to speak with you again. Enjoy your animals and the healing thereof."

*

Katherine waves a soapy hand at the departing Luke, not looking in his direction. "Thank you for taking care of the goat, I'll call you to talk about the whole chipping thing in a day or two." She does turn to look at Xavier, but only for a moment before she finishes the dishes, using her foot to close the dishwasher.

*

Luke has left.

*

Pushingthrough the door to the Kitchen of the B and B, Lucky stands at the door, looking around quietly, before he lifts a hand in a wiggle of a wave to Katherine and then Xavier.
It's clear the man is quietly from money, his slender watch sparkling in the light, and anyone with a sense for fashion would notice that the Elfen male is wearing Gucci and carries a man bag along the same obnoxious level of branding. Still all of his clothes are dark, muted, almost conservatively worn as he moves into the area. "Hello," he says shyly, before he perches upon a stool. "I was wondering if you were still serving breakfast."

*

Xavier returns to his seat at the table, settling in apparently for the long haul. He meets her look with a playful lift of his eyebrows, then pulls out a phone. "So, you're chipping the goat? That will shut down my dastardly plans for a Christmas curry," he pretends to muse, heaving a sigh. He glances up as the new person enters, offering a brief smile of greeting.

*

Katherine smiles at Lucky as he walks in, nodding to the table Xavier seats himself at. "I am, I'll get you a plate and a cup of coffee, please get comfortable." She does just that, dishing out omelet and sausage, the building of a plate almost like a dance itself now. Drawer opens, silverware snatched, hip bumps the drawer closed. A turn to get the coffee, fingers wrapping around salt and pepper and then a few steps to the table, setting it all in front of Lucky. "Well she is my pet, and if someone takes her, I want to know who." She rubs her hands on her denim clad thighs and holds it out to Lucky. "Katherine Stone, proprietress. Enjoy your meal."

*

Lucky settles down and seems to get himself together, his hips shifting so that he can set his bag down gently. Then he turns and faces his plate, looking up and across at Xavier from time to time.
A fork is plucked up and he starts to eat delicately, small bites before he murmurs, "Thank you, Miss Stone. Lucky Berks," he notes. He takes the hand for a shake, then turns and offers his hand to Xavier. "it's nice to meet you as well. Is this a common place to hang out? I admit ever since I came back to town. I well, haven't done well in making a social life."

*

Xavier takes the offered hand in a brief, but firm shake. "Nice to meet you, Mr. Berks. I'm Xavier Westin. While this /does/ seem to be a popular place to hang out in the town, I'm actually one of Ms. Stone's tenants." He points to the upstairs as he leans back in his seat. "So you're newly returned to Calaveras? From where, if I may ask?"

*

"Michigan originally, but then I came out here when I decided to travel. And then well, I just never left really. Signed up at the college and studied. But, well," Lucky blushes. "I met someone and then I wanted to work on my perfumery skill, and so then I moved around again. So there was some time in New York City and then some time in LA. We came back here then and Now My fiance is going back into Rodeo. I'm working on opening the gift shop, and that seems to suit me, just fine."

*

"Oh?" Xavier straightens up a little, studying Lucky with interest. "I'm from Detroit, originally, myself." Not that he sounds like it. "I didn't expect to see another Michigander hereabouts. Hope you enjoy it." He listens to the rest with his head tilted slightly to one side, expression open and interested. "Looking forward to the small town life, then? Where 'everyone knows your name'," he adds, with a grin, and the briefest of glances towards Katherine where she's doing Stuff.

*

Lucky glances over to Katherine, following Xavier's gaze only to drift his gaze back to the man across from him. "Well, I'm from Grand Rapids, so it's not the largest city, but New York was fun but very…cut throat. You wouldn't think it would be but well, the fashion industry just makes people into nasty individuals." He takes a bite of his eggs again, but the sausage goes mostly untouched. "I'm just glad I never did modeling. I'm not that…well, it's not good for me."

*

Katherine rolls her eyes at Xavier, it looks like she is starting prep on lunch. She brings the coffee pot over to refresh both mugs, her eyes zeroing in on the sausage. "Toast instead? I will admit that I'm horrible about having vegan options, my parents raised me to think that anyone who didn't eat meat is …" She trails off, brows furrowed as she clears her throat. "Nevermind.." She finishes, and as she walks past Xavier, her voice pitched low, "Don't you dare mention the goat."

*

*

Xavier laughs, softly. "Ah, yes. The New York fashion scene. The place where dog not only eats dog, but has a tendency to skin the loser and wear them as next season's trend." He grins, and shakes his head. "I dated a model, briefly - Fashion Week was eyeopening. Those people made me look cuddly and altruistic." He blinks innocently at Katherine. "What? Would I ever?" He totally would, but definitely seems to be trying to project an angelic air at the moment.

*

"Goat?" Lucky asks, his eyes darting about the room as he seems curious though he blinks and stares at Katherine, "Oh, it's not that I don't eat meat, I just mostly don't want to start putting on more weight I've been bouncing up and down and it's not good." He looks like he's far beyond healthy, but the young man seems sincere. "But if you do get vegan food, I'd eat it, sure." He nods.

*

"I'll see what I can find.." Katherine looks unsure, she gets most of her meats from a butcher in town. She gazes at Xavier even as she answers Lucky's question. "I have a pygmy goat, she's outside in the pen, but several people seem to want to make a curry or maybe a rack of ribs out of her." Her eyebrows loft slightly and a small smile curves her lips. "You dated a model? People make you look cuddly? I might need to visit New York one day." A woman with very bright red hair, teased high, steps into the kitchen. "Kate honey!! It's time!! Where can I set up this pole babe?"

Kate looks startled and her cheeks get red. "Uh, right in the great room Twister, thanks. I'll go get in my gym wear." She wipes her hands on a dish towel. "Will you two be okay?"

*

"I object. As a pygmy goat, there's hardly enough there to make a decent rack of ribs. Curry would be the most efficient use," Xavier puts in. So much for playing innocent. His eyebrows go up as Twister comes in. "Oh, my. I didn't realize you'd be practicing /here/." He finishes off his coffee, and stands. "I should actually be about making some more property visits. In the snow. The cold, cold snow," he says, deadpan. A nod to Lucky. "It was a pleasure to meet you, Mr. Burks. Hopefully we'll be able to chat again, soon."

*

Lucky lifts a hand and waves to Xavier then he stares at Katherine, "Umm…well, you know…If you feed it with grass and not too much hormones the meat will be tender?" he smiles and laughs, a soft almost giggle before he nods.

*

"No no no. No. Nobody is eating my goat." Katherine says, her tone pretty firm. She gazes at Xavier, a smile on her lips. "Yes, run while you can." She teases, wiggling her fingers as she goes to change into her gymwear.

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