(2018-11-12) Miss/ter Snow Bunny?
Over dinner at the B&B, Heather mentions her plans to strike a blow for equality, sort of, with this year's pageant.

As part of the Great Thaw of 2018, Katherine and Heather have just watched a movie together at the B&B; 'Marie Antoinette'. Is there a hidden meaning in that choice? At least they're not both in their PJs, sharing a joint, and gorging on ice cream - just the ice cream. Heather is dressed like she's just come from work, feet up on the coffee table, jacket over a chair somewhere. "Is that your favorite movie?" she asks before another mouthful of ice cream, the credits rolling on the television. "Pretty rude of that Xavier guy to disappear when we wanted to talk business. Suspicious?"

Katherine is dressed in her jammies, curled up in the corner of the couch. "It's not my favorite, but I like it well enough." She glances over at Heather, quirking a brow. "He had stuff to do, he didn't promise he'd meet with us. Didn't you google him last night? I told you to google him." She brushes her hair back behind her ears. "Hey…How are you doing though?"

"You don't just Google guys like him. You send out the investigators to look under the surface" Heather smirks. "And I don't want to see you hurt." It was hard to say that part, so she quickly adds, "That's my job." A wink for Katherine. "He's the kind of guy who buys up stuff, does it up, and then sells it on. Not the kind to care for the past. He has been quiet a while though. Got to wonder why he chose Calaveras to return to work." Another mouthful of ice cream.

"Did you send out investigators after him?" Katherine blinks at Heather, staring across the couch at her. "Well if you really want to, but make sure if you get a good laywer that they do more than a little digging. See if he's been involved with bad girls too." She aims a beatific smile at Heather.

"Guys like him are always involved with bad girls…and bad guys. Hmm, that's probably not fair. I'm making a lot of assumptions" Heather shrugs. "Didn't send investigators /after/ him. They're only looking under the surface. Going through old reports and stories. Did he say he was going to hang around for this project? And I have a good lawyer. They'd better be for how much they cost. And make sure you own at least fifty-one percent." A snort of amusement at the smile. "Still got a crush on him?"

Katherine wrinkles her nose and sighs at Heather. "They're looking under the surface, will you tell me what they find out?" She shrugs at Heather and lets out a soft laugh. "He said I would be majority shareholder and I would be able to buy him out at some point."

"Trouble is, you can be a majority shareholder with twenty per cent and another eight people having ten percent. Then three of those people get together and buy you out" Heather warns. "Seriously, make sure you have at least fifty-one percent from the beginning. And don't worry, if I find something shady about this guy, I will let the world know. This guy is a shark. Probably a legal shark, but a shark. He has to keep eating."

Katherine and Heather are sitting on the couch, just done with a movie. Katherine aims a look over at the woman across the couch. "I will make sure, hell, you're going to make sure, right? You said you were going to get me a lawyer, didn't you?" She rolls her eyes and sighs out loud. "Heather, it's fine. I don't think he's shady, shark maybe, shady no. Why don't you meet him before you form an unshakable opinion, huh?"

"Sure, I'll meet him. You know me, always see the best in people" Heather smirks before looking at the time. "Aren't you serving food soon?" A quirk of a brow at her fellow movie-watcher. "Do you serve in your PJs? No wonder you get repeat custom. Yeah, we can share a lawyer. Don't worry about that. Don't use a lawyer that /he/ suggests. Anything I can help with?" She means with the cooking. It would probably be best not to let Heather near a kitchen.

It's cold out there, so business is probably decent for dinner.
Pate's one of the customers that's been blown in by the weather. Not a bad thing, really, but he's got the lean-and-hungry look of someone who's better suited as a villain in an episode of Law and Order:SVU than a bed-and-breakfast-goer. He walks with heavy steps to an empty table, and settles him down there with an equally-heavy sigh. Everything about the man seems heavy: serious; dour; and maybe depressing.
It looks like it's been a long day for him.
Once sitting, he takes his gloves off slowly, stuffing them into the pockets of his jacket. Trucker cap still on, he might be here for a quick bite before heading back on the road. Seems odd that a road warrior would drag his tractor all the way here, but — well, when you want a good meal, you go to a reputable restaurant, period. Truck diners will give you gas, and that's hell for a man who might be spending eight hours in his own air.
Ain't no replacement for home-cooked food.

Edgar doesn't cook, but he does drive. That's why he comes in from outside, bundled up against the cold. Upon seeing Katherine, he perks up and smiles. "Hey, there," he says. Heather gets an amiable nod. "I hope I'm not here too late." His bruises have faded, his burns have healed. He actually looks like he's in one piece. He stops short as Pate walks in, and he regards him with cautious fascination.

Katherine pads into the kitchen, grimacing at Heather. "Don't touch anything, dinner has been in the oven for a while now." She watches as Pate walks in, offering him a friendly smile. "I hope chicken pot pie is okay with you." She brings a glass of water across the room, setting it next to Pate. "Katherine Stone, I run the B&B. You are?" She's shameless as she tries to get the name of the man she's about to feed. Makes her feel safer. Edgar's greeting makes her turn briefly, wiggling her fingers. "Right on time, actually. Come on in and sit down. What do you want to drink Edgar?"

Heather holds her hands up in surrender about the warning to not touch anything in the kitchen - sound advice. Instead she will go greet the customers. A nod to Edgar and a curious look for Pate; that man looks dangerous. "Heather McCormack" she adds to Katherine's introduction, "I don't work here." She takes a seat herself.

"Chicken pot pie's just fine with me, lass."
Oh. He's Scottish. At least, Pate sounds that way: can't mistake that accent. As Scotsmen go, he is a tired one; his voice belies the menace in his eyes, like a lazy cat. "And thanks for the water. I'm, ah — " He eyes Katherine for a few moments. After all, she asked for his name, and then greeted Edgar.
It gives him a second to think about what to do, at least.
"The name's Patrick. People call me Pate." Well, it sounds like he said 'Patrick', but it might have been 'Padraig'. Foreign names. *eyerolls* "I'm, ah — " Lips press together. Eyes shift to Heather. " — well — I'm Scottish." He grins for a second, in an attempt to be goofy and self-effacing.
Unfortunately, the grin looks vicious and cunning, like Pate's eyes.

Katherine aims a warm smile at Pate now that he's identified himself. She follows his look to Heather and then looks back to Pate. "Nice to meet you, I'll get dinner served up pretty quick. Go ahead and get warm, okay?" She starts to spoon pot pie into four bowls, the helpings quite large, and adds silverware to each before carrying them over to the table. She sets a bowl in front of Heather and Pate, goes back to the counter, and then sets one in an empty seat and one in front of Edgar. "You get up to this part of Calaveras often, Pate?"

"We met at the KCC1 party," Edgar tells Heather. No mention of what happened that night. He just smiles through the flashbacks, honestly. He gives Kate a kiss on the cheek, then takes a seat in the kitchen. "Hi, Pate," he says, offering his hand to shake. "I'm Edgar. Most people call me Ed." He's as American as they come, and if one had to place his accent, he's spent some time in New Jersey. "Thanks Kate, this looks great."

"I remember" Heather nods to Edgar. "Though there was a lot to remember from that night. Good to see that the culprits are still at large out there." A frown at that - the security at the station has had to be exceptionally tight now. And it costs a fortune. A smile of thanks for Katherine at the arrival of food. "Nice to meet you, Pate. From the old country?" She is a McCormack after all…though about four generations Colorado. "That's a long way to come for a meal, but Katherine's cooking is worth it."

"Aye, Ed."
Pate shakes hands firmly. It must be a trucker thing. Despite having had gloves on, the man's hands are cold and rough, as if they are used often for hard labor. His attention shifts from the man back to Katherine, though, as he's bidden to respond to her. "I can't say that I come up here often. I just happen to be around because of a call a friend wanted me to cover." Brief explanation. "I, ah — I'm a bit of handyman, you see." He grins again, momentarily, and it's like a tiger's feral grimace.
He shifts in his chair, a little uncomfortable it seems.
"Ah, no, Heather, not from there, no, not directly and not for a while." Another transplant, probably an immigrant. "I've a place in Cedar, yeah? Not that I really get to spend much time there, what with being on the road a lot, but — " Shrug. " — it's home. Not a lot, but I think of it as home." He fixes his eyes on Heather for a moment. "You've been back lately? To the old country, I mean."
His gaze is unerring, and not half as charming as his accent.

Katherine realizes she's still in her jammies, well sweatpants and a tank top, but still. Her cheeks get red, and she very slowly untangles the sweatshirt from around her waist and slips it on. "On the road a lot, you're a ..travelling handyman?" Any upset about her clothes is forgotten as she starts to speak to Pate again. "Well do try the pot pie, let me know if it's okay. If it isn't, I have leftovers from the rest of the week. Ribs, and even some lasagna. I want my guests to be comfortable, even if they're only here for dinner."

Edgar's hands don't feel like they've seen much hard labor, and though he shakes firmly, there isn't a lot of strength in him overall. He tucks in to his dinner, then remembers Katherine asked him what he wanted to drink. "Water's fine," he tells her. He goes back to eating with quite an appetite. Looks like someone forgot to eat again today.

Why does Heather have the feeling that when Pate asks his travel question, he is trying to figure out when her house is empty so he can break in? "Nah, haven't been back. I have too much to do around here. I run the local television channel. Katherine is one of my stars? If you watch morning television. A traveling handyman? Sounds…interesting." While Katherine is serving up food and drink, the others are at tables and already tucking in. "Vodka" Heather smiles about the drink choices, "Or a water like I should be having." A smirk at Katherine remembering to get dressed for dinner; Heather is in 'business' clothes - flat shoes, skirt, shirt, her jacket hanging over a chair somewhere.

"Oh, I think I'll be just fine, Ms. Stone."
Heather has Pate's attention. And Pate is apparently not shy about who he has an interest in. He casually jabs a fork into the pie that Katherine's delivered, and puts a morsel into his mouth. He visibly tastes and enjoys it while Heather responds to his question about going back 'home'. And, in reply, he murmurs as he chews, "A newswoman. Hopefully, not a fake news woman, yeah?" He smiles widely, and just a >little< weirdly. Like, indeed, he just might break into her home.
"Aye, this is good," calls Pate back over his shoulder in Katherine's general direction.
"And, no, not a traveling handyman. Just that a friend of mine needed a hand with something, yeah? So, he called me up, knows what I can do. So, I helped him, and it all got fixed." Beat. "As for traveling, I drive a truck, lass, overland. Takes me away from here a lot, but it pays a man well, as long as the man don't mind spending most of his time on his own with his thoughts." He looks to Edgar. "And his cat."
Yep. Cat in the cab. Totally normal.

There's the sound of the front door; there's something faintly sharp about the way it closes, though it's certainly not slammed. Rustling for few moments, and then Vyv appears, looking faintly annoyed and carrying a couple supermarket bags, which are somewhat incongruous with the tailored and put-together suit. The annoyance shifts to a hint of surprise for just a moment as he sees all the people in the room, and he pauses briefly, glancing over the assembled. Other boarders, perhaps…
"Good evening," he greets the room, in what seems like an English sort of accent, before continuing on in, attention falling on Katherine. "Any chance of stealing your kitchen in a bit?" he asks, and with a glance down at the bags, "…and your refrigerator now?" His gaze falls on the others' plates, and he adds, "Smells lovely, by the way."

Katherine gets to her feet to get drinks, aiming a 'behave' look at Heather before she pulls glasses from the cupboard. The comment about fake news earns a snorting laugh as she adds ice to both glasses and fills them with water. She carries them back to the table, setting them by Heather and Edgar before she plucks his bowl from his spot and gives him seconds. "Edgar, I feel like I should set a timer on my cell phone to call you and remind you that you need food to live." She smirks and gives him the second bowl. Vyv's appearance puts a smile on her face and she nods. "You can do both, but don't you want dinner first?" She tilts the bowl of chicken pot pie enticingly in his direction.

Edgar looks up at Pate and grins. "That's awesome. My cat doesn't like travel, but she's good company." For all that Heather's suspicious of Pate, Edgar has an open and accepting smile. This Scottish stranger is just so alien to everything he's ever known. He shoots Katherine a sheepish look. "I was writing and lost track of time." Vyv gets a curious look, and he smiles a little. "Hey. I'm Ed." With another bowl in front of him, he starts eating again.

"Television channel /owner/" Heather corrects Pate, though she does have to also admit, "I do the news on the weekend. And, no, no fake news for me. I take my job seriously." The steely look on her face suggests she is very serious, though that look becomes an 'what?' expression in reply to Katherine's. "Truck driver? Interesting work? And you travel with a cat?" Uh-oh, wheels are turning in her head - 'The Cat and the Mack: Life on the Road'. Though they should get footage of driving in the bad weather to make it really dramatic. Before she can say anything, there is yet another tenant to look over - Vyv. Katherine needs a hotel just to fit in her B&B guests! "Hey" she replies to the greeting, "I'm Heather."

Pate's little world is shattered for a moment when he heard Vyv's voice.
He looks over his shoulder again at the newcomer, eyes narrowing for just a second. The different major sects in Great Britain hardly ever get along. It's a football/soccer thing these days, but the Scots have had their spats with the English, enough to make entertaining motion pictures. The irritation of hearing an English voice is momentary, however.
Because, you know, there's Heather so close by.
But, aw, damn, the fine television station owner's attention shifts. Pate blinks, confused for a moment, but then accepting of the fact that — well, there's a damn Brit in the room. Scotsmen sound charming, but Englishmen are charming. And, for the Man with the Menace, this is how life is. He stabs his fork into his pot pie, and puts another morsel into his mouth. Another delicious, gullet-warming morsel.
Okay, so life's not so bad.

Vyv eyes the tilted bowl — for a moment, as though it might have just made a catty remark about pocket squares, which is perhaps just spillover from the general sense of irritation, since it softens almost immediately, with a small lift of the brows and tilt of the head, and even smaller upward quirk at one side of his lips. "Well. If you insist," he says, the tone suggesting it's fair to interpret as an unqualified 'yes, please', particularly as it's followed by a, "Thank you."
Attention to the others, then, and the faint smile remains, a small inclination of his head acknowledging the greetings. "Vyv," he replies, "I've just taken the garage suite." The others get a somewhat closer once-over, then, and he adds to Edgar, "What do you write?" He moves over toward the fridge as he asks, and fairly swiftly unpacks the bags into it — not too many things, but cream, butter, some fruit he treats as though the air might bruise it, etc. A couple things remain in the bags as he sets them aside.

Katherine scoops another serving of chicken pot pie into a bowl, spears it with a fork and sets it on the table, nodding at Vyv. She fixes another glass of ice water, setting it near his bowl before she retakes her seat, curiously glancing between Pate and Heather for a moment. Shrugging she digs into her own food, tugging self-conciously at the hem of her sweatshirt once or twice before she leaves it be. "Heather…why don't you tell me what we have on tap for tomorrow so I can start making mental notes."

Edgar tells Vyv, "Science fiction, mostly. I'm working on a novel right now." He takes another bite of that delicious pot pie, then adds, "Well, not right now, but you know what I mean." To Katherine, he says, "At least Owen usually reminds me to take a break, but he had to work, so it was just me and Maudie. She only reminds me when she needs to eat." He smiles crookedly. "Cats, right?"

Heather looks in the direction of the world outside…and the biting cold. "If it starts to snow bad, we might have to show a repeat. The crew won't be able to get here. If they do make it, we have a piece on Miss Snow Bunny…" Heather winces at the thought of it. "Oh, and since I'm sponsoring it, I'm changing the rules. Guys can enter. We also have a preview of the 'A Lived Life' - where we get elderly people to relate their lives. Remember that idea we had at the retirement home?" She peers over at Edgar for a moment. "You write?" A gesture towards him as she looks back at Katherine. "Interview there for later in the week."

"Don't writers get to claim they're working on things 'right now' even at mealtime? Percolating and such. Absorbing human nature. That sort of thing," Vyv says, heading over to the spot Katherine's given him and settling in. The food gets a moment of closer visual appraisal before he takes up the fork, posture straight but tilted just slightly forward. Wouldn't do to drop it on himself. He takes a first bite, almost thoughtful, and then nods, the hint of a smile back as he looks over to the hostess. "Lovely, thank you," he says, before going for bite number two. "Cats seem quite popular around here… You're planning men for a 'Miss Snow Bunny'?" The last bit, of course, to Heather; from his expression this is mildly intriguing. "Do you envision them competing in drag?"

"You could always ask me to come into the studio, I'm sure we could set something up. I walk down to the Boardroom on snowy days all the time." Katherine aims a smile at Heather, glancing at Edgar for a moment, eyes narrowing. "Did you move in with him already?" She hisses under her breath, blinking before she suddenly gets very interested in her food. "I think having a Mister Snow Bunny would be just as enchanting as a Miss. Maybe we could have both."

Edgar nods to Heather and says, "Yeah, I'm Knox Stevens." Now that name isn't unknown. Knox Stevens is a semi-famous science fiction author known for his dystopian futurescapes. To Katherine, he says, "I'd get up early for an interview for you. I can't say that about anyone else, but I owe you one for that movie night." He considers Vyv for a moment. "I suppose I could," he says, "but after thinking all day, I'm done. It's all about the food and zoning out now."

"We have the equipment in the studio, no problem there, but I'd hate to drag you through the snow. It's quite a walk. I'm sure Mitch would love to host by himself." Heather does not look too excited about that idea. "I wasn't planning on dragging them on stage, they could dress casual." A pause. "That was a little joke. Umm…I guess the evening wear section could see them in drag" she shrugs, "I'm not prejudiced. And I'm all for pussies being popular." She considers Katherine's suggestion. "Maybe a King and Queen of the Snow? That could work. When you mention it tomorrow on the show, say we have some exciting announcements soon and I'll figure it out before the end of the week." A nod to Edgar. "Quite a few sci-fi authors in town. You and the woman who runs 'A Likely Story'. Okay…there's two."

"Mm," Vyv says, to Heather, "I have noticed quite a number of people are actively into them. And I'm not sure how dragging men on stage would do in a pageant, but I believe it was a fairly successful television show, so you never know." Another bite of his pie, washed down by some water as he considers Edgar a moment in return. "Knox Stevens. I think I've read one of yours," he decides, "At an airport, a couple years ago. Something involving quasars? And an interestingly unpleasant antagonist."

"Heather, I walk mostly everywhere I go. I'll just come to the studio tomorrow, save everyone some time. We should get a weather protocol set up at some point anyway." Katherine gets to her feet, taking her empty bowl to the sink and rinsing it out. "I'd love to see men in a nice tuxedo with interesting ties and …" She sighs and shakes her head. "They should wear whatever they're comfortable with, unless we're going with a possible comedy angle." She turns to put away the rest of dinner, cleaning up so Vyv can use the kitchen. "Perhaps we can talk to Victor Stone about holding the competition up at the lodge.."

"Oh yeah," Edgar says to Heather, "what's her name, Devy Tyler. I've read her. I keep meaning to stop by to say hello. She's really good." With his belly now full, he settles back with his glass of water. "Arcadia Sinking," he says to Vyv. "Wow, that was my first book. I based that guy off a pimp I knew once named Mikey. He was literally the worst person I've ever met."

"The resort is the usual venue, but you're right, Katherine, I need to check if the new owner will allow it. Don't see why not. He needs to promote…I need to do a beauty pagaent" Heather muses before frowning at Katherine. "I'll send a driver. Can't have you presenting 'Wake Up, Calaveras' while you're falling asleep from exhaustion after walking all that way through the snow." A smile for Edgar. "Did that pimp ever sue you over using them?" A nod to Vyv. "No more women only. Since women 'have' to do a swimsuit section, maybe the men should have to do a bodybuilding section? We'll sort it out."

"The problem with a male evening wear competition is that, generally speaking, from a distance you might as well have a bevy of well-built penguins," Vyv says, gesturing vaguely with his fork. "It's all in the details. And a swimsuit section in a winter-themed competition seems a bit odd, but that said, I am wholly on board with this fairness plan." Probably not to enter, but who knows. The fork's tines end up pointed at Edgar, and he nods. "That's the one, yes. How much of that was off the real person? He must have been… =fascinating= to know, if it was even half. Made me feel downright saintly."

"I don't need a driver." Katherine grunts at Heather, scowling as she finishes loading the dishwasher. "I just need my winter coat, a nice cozy hat and my boots. I'll be fine. I promise." She shoves the leftovers in the fridge and moves to take a seat again. Instead of arguing further about the various subjects being bandied about, she simply gazes between Vyv and Edgar as they speak, occasionally giving Heather a thoughtful look. After a few moments she leans in to whisper something to Heather.

"He's been dead for years," Edgar says. "Even if he wasn't, I wouldn't worry too much about getting sued over a character that bad. He would've had to prove he did all those things for there to be any similarity." He shakes his head. To Vyv, he says, "There is an uncomfortable amount of similarity. The world is genuinely a better place without him in it."

"Viewers like penguins" Heather points out to Vyv. "The competition was called 'Miss Snow Bunny', there was definitely a swimsuit section. It usually involved ear muffs, furry boots, and bikinis. The male viewers really appreciated that section if it was cold. I'm convinced the organisers turned the thermostat down." She won't argue with Katherine. They can give it a go. A quick glance to the eating monster that is Pate, offering him a nervous smile, before whispering back to Katherine.

Vyv gives a bit more of a smile at Edgar's reason for not worrying — well, more of a smirk, really, but it's clearer than the previous hints of one, even if it doesn't last terribly long. "Clever," he says, "…and I believe it. There's plenty of people I'd say that about less interesting than that character."
He continues eating his dinner, one brow arching at Heather's reply, and a bit higher at the whispers between the women. He waits for them to finish that before saying, "I didn't say I doubted there =was= a swimsuit section, I said it's odd for the theme. Which it is, though I'm sure someone somewhere has a frostbite fetish. And I don't doubt you on the thermostat, either. Maybe ensure it doesn't happen this year if you do the bodybuilding portion, though. And viewers like penguins when they're marching across the Antarctic. I'm just suggesting one might consider a sub-black-tie version of evening wear." Given how he's dressed, perhaps not a shock he has opinions.

Edgar says, "I have to admit, I know nothing about pageantry. The whole idea is crazy to me." He glances down at his thin self, adding, "And I don't see myself as the type to be on stage with the rest of the stud muffins. Though instead of a bodybuilder competition, why not just make them do swimwear, too? Bodybuilding is like taking a perfectly hot guy and going overboard. I don't like a guy who's too jacked. It's like trying to cuddle a pile of steel cables."

"I wouldn't know" Heather smiles to Edgar. "But you're right. I don't want to make it about the 'hunkiest' guys as much as I don't want to make it about breast size. The talent portion will hold more weight." She rolls her eyes. "Oh God…I'm going to need to find judges who can think with their heads. Mitch might have to be out." A nod to Vyv. "The thermostat will be up high. Besides, all the male competitors would complain about shrinkage if it was cold. Sub-black-tie?"

"Precisely," Vyv says with a hint of the smirk again, the fork toward Heather this time before it heads back into the bowl. "…and you =are= right," he adds, looking back to Edgar, "Admittedly I was imagining more of a 'hot men in swimwear with flexing' situation than the walking anatomy lesson types." A small nosewrinkle. "Some things can definitely be overdone."
A last bite of the food, and he sets the fork neatly into the bowl and takes up what's left of his water, leaning back a bit. "Suits," he clarifies to Heather, "rather than tuxedos. More leeway in cut, colour, fabric, general presentation. And if you can't find judges who can reliably think with their heads, perhaps you can at least put together a set who won't be all not-thinking the same things."

"Maybe I can find judges in this room" Heather smirks to the men before standing. "I have to go and get home before it gets any colder. And set up everything at the studio for the show. Nothing like leaving things to the last minute. Take care." She grabs her jacket, pulling it on as she heads out.

"I can usually think with my brain," Edgar says. He finishes his water, then gets up and brings his glass to the sink, "but I don't know if I'm judge material." He waves to Heather. "Good to see you again. I should get going. I gotta drive back into town without falling asleep."

"I like to imagine I can usually think with my brain," Vyv says, "and I judge things like it's going out of style, so I suppose there's that." Not quite volunteering, but then, it wasn't quite a request. He gets to his feet as well, picking up the bowl and inclining his head to the pair of them. "Good night, pleasant meeting you. I've got some cakes to make," he says, and there's a fleeting but proper smile to them both before he heads toward the sink.

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