(2018-11-15) Get Stuffed
A capon gets stuffed, and I'm betting it didn't like it.

Pots and pans bang, things are tossed into the sink without care, and there is a steady stream of soft profanity coming from Kate as she marches around the kitchen. She holds a large knife like a weapon, aggressively cutting at carrots and celery, as if they might have insulted her some time in the recent past. The kitchen itself looks like a small tornado hit it, boxes, spices and various other things out and sitting on the counters. Six chocolate muffins have been assaulted, the tops eaten while the bottoms in the paper have been spared.

Xavier arrives, trudging into the the house from outside. The rather uncharacteristic sounds of disharmony draw him towards the kitchen after he takes off his outer coat, his hands still gloved against the cold. Today's suit is a shimmery, pale blue-grey silk blend, so he's certainly been in town rather than visiting property out by the ranches. He looks around, curiously, and then enters the kitchen, making his way towards those beheaded muffins. One is picked up, and he carefully pries the remainder out of its paper. "You seem upset," he observes, mildly. A sidelong look at the knife.

Katherine stabs the tip of the knife into the cutting board, narrowing her eyes at Xavier. "I am upset." She picks up a handful of overly diced celery and carrots, carrying them over to a bowl filled with spices and bread cubes. "Dinner will be fucking late." She mutters, stopping to actually look at Xavier. "I like your suit." She starts to stir the things in the bowl, adding some butter and stirring some more. "I had a visitor today, someone that you're familiar with. I'm going to let you know now if we're working together, there might be a little discord. It won't be on my end, I'm a god damned lady."

Xavier's eyebrows go up. He watches with undisguised fascination as Katherine stalks around and assaults the vegetables. "Dinner's fine whenever. I can keep myself occupied," he murmurs, with a wave at the chocolate muffins. "But this sounds entertaining. Let's see - me being familiar with whoever has you so riled up narrows the field, as does mention of business. So…did you and Ms. McCormack have a falling out? Or was it something with Ms. Bell?" He licks a couple of crumbs off his thumb, and pries another bite of muffin out of its paper.

Katherine goes still, takes a deep breath and then the stuffing really gets mashed, as if taking out her frustration on the bowl will keep her from speaking. It works for a few minutes and then she slams the bowl down on the counter. One might think she's about to start yelling, but her voice is actually quite civil when she speaks. "It would be Ms. Bell. She came for tea, and we ended up having a discussion. She wants to fuck my boyfriend, so she spent about an hour extolling your virtues and why you would be a good replacement." She holds up a hand, her eyes closing as she gathers herself. "Not that I don't think she's right about some things, but I found it extremely distasteful for her to push me toward you so she can get her own way." She opens her eyes and pulls a rinsed capon out of the sink, setting it in a pan before she angrily stuffs stuffing into it.

"Hmm." Xavier listens intently, his brow furrowing a bit. "I…see," he says, in that way that usually means that the person does not see at all, but fears that revealing this might just get him treated like that stuffing. He watches her with bright blue eyes. "Did you, perchance, happen to bring up the things that you've been struggling about within that relationship with her?"

"It seemed innocent! I thought she came for tea and to talk! She started asking all these questions about Ethan and then talk turned to you and it got.." Katherine looks stricken for a moment, her brows furrowing as she continues with what she's doing, her pace slowed considerably. She pats the thigh of the poor chicken, frowning. "..listen, Xavier.. why don't you sit down." She fishes some twine from a drawer and ties the legs of the capon together, rubbing the skin with butter. She slips it in the oven, washes her hands and approaches the table. "I didn't realize what she was asking questions for." She begins, pulling the tie from her apron. "Then she started asking questions about you."

Xavier goes to take a seat at her invitation. He takes the muffins with him - he's neatly but steadly picking off the chocolatey goodness from each piece of paper leaving it almost clean. He puts the two he's already finished on the table beside the muffins, but his attention remains on Katherine. "Yes, I would expect her to, Katherine. It doesn't particularly bother me."

Katherine raises a brow at Xavier. "I thought that you and her might have been involved. So when the talk turned to you, I asked her as much. It just all went downhill from there." She sighs, gazing off to the side before she reaches out for one of the muffin bottoms. "The shittiest part about it is that she's at least half right. If I'm not sure about something, I should get sure or do something about it. I just wish it was really her trying to be friendly, instead of it being her …wanting something." She takes a bite of the muffin. "She'll probably tell you that I like you."

"I did ask her out to coffee," Xavier says, easily. "We haven't had a chance to pursue that particular invitation yet, however." He pushes the nearest muffin bottom that he hasn't molested over to her. "Who's to say it isn't her trying to be friendly, Katherine? AND her trying to pursue her own goals. It's not murually exclusive - at least, not for people raised in a family like the Bells, or people like myself." He chuckles at the last. "Perhaps. She will be disappointed if she hopes to convey new information, though." He tilts his head to one side. "Does it really bother you that much that she might have a selfish motive?"

"Entitlement." Katherine murmurs, picking apart the muffin and eating bits at a time. "It does, because I try to think the best of people. If she wanted to know things because she wants Ethan, she should have just said as much. What can I do about it? If she wants him, she wants him." She rolls her eyes and sits back in her chair. "I think I'm mostly angry because she didn't make bad points when it came to you, and I want them to be bad points. It easier to push this whole thing out of my head when I have great reasons not to flirt with you." She pinches a bit of muffin between two fingers.

Xavier blinks, then laughs, softly. "Yes, entitlement, I suppose. But more than that - in the circles she and I operate in, Katherine, ulterior motives are taken as read. Everything is people using each other. Sometimes the arrangements are mutually beneficial, sometimes they have genuine emotion behind them, but they're still done because they advance an agenda." He smiles. "And if you want reasons why any potential relationship between us would be a terrible idea, you can start there."

Katherine leans back in the chair, gazing at Xavier as she continues to nibble at the muffin. "So if we slept together, you'd have an ulterior motive for it?" She looks vaguely offended, glancing toward the oven. "Sometimes I really hate that I'm gullible and trusting." She brushes her hair behind her ears, smirking slightly. "Doesn't that ever get boring, do you like always having to look over your shoulder?" She blinks a few times and then adds quietly. "I think it does, or you'd have answered that question the other night."

Xavier smiles lazily at her. "Sometimes the ulterior motive is pure selfishness, Katherine. I'd sleep with you because I suspect it'd be immensely enjoyable, and because I do like you. If I liked you without the desire, I wouldn't sleep with you. If I desired you without the liking, I wouldn't still be staying at your establishment, and I'd be trying to seduce you so that I could get it out of my system and concentrate on other things." All admitted without a moment of shame. He does glance away at being reminded of the conversation the other night. "Not boring," he says, after a moment. "It can be exhausting. But it is the way the world works."

Katherine blinks at Xavier a few times, and clearly she wants to say something, but instead she concentrates on the last. "That isn't how the world works, Xavier. You don't sacrifice happiness so that the rest of your juggled balls stay in the air. You can have both. You can be happy and successful, and I don't understand why you seem to believe it's one or the other." She gets to her feet, walking to open the oven, pulling out the capon so she can baste it. "Well, Xavier, I'll be honest with you, and with me there is no ulterior motive." She continues to drip butter over the capon skin, pulling out aluminum foil to tent over the breasts. "I'm more than a little curious about you, and have been and still am, tempted to act on it. I'm not dishonest though, so I wouldn't do it while I was in a relationship. So we'll see what happens, won't we?"

Xavier smiles. "I know you believe that, Katherine. And it's charming. A part of me wishes that I still did." His eyes follow her to the oven, a hint of wistfulness in his voice. It passes, resuming is usual deep calm. "But my experience differs. Which is fine. I don't want you to think the way that I do; your perspective on the world is one of the things that makes you charming." He sighs. "And I wouldn't expect you to, my dear. The offer remains open, but I never mentioned it until you broached the subject, and I'll not mention it again until - and unless - you feel comfortable doing so."

"It's not charming, it's probably a weakness or something." Katherine slides the bird back into the oven and winces as she catches sight of the stuffing. "One day you'll have to tell me what made you so cynical, because I imagine it's a hell of a story." She leans against the counter, smiling. "I hope Angela knows what she might be getting herself into." She stands up straight and glances around, frowning. She slowly starts to put things back in their places. "I feel bad that I called Ethan after she left, especially since…I wasn't completely honest with him."

"It is a weakness," Xavier agrees, "but…one that seems to have served you well so far." He stands as she starts to realize the state of the kitchen, and unless ordered away, starts to help her put things back in their proper order. "Ohhh, do I sense a bit of ruthless spiking of the chances between Ethan and Angela in the water, Ms. Stone? Tut tut. I expected better of you." He sounds more amused than disappointed, though. "However…if you do feel bad about it, I imagine there's still time to make apologies."

"It's served me well, because most of the people in this town are cut more from my mold than yours." Katherine says, watching him get up to help, her eyes following him around the kitchen. "I was crying because I was frustrated and upset. I did feel manipulated. I just didn't mention the root of all of it. I told him about what she said about him, but I didn't bring you up, or anything that came with it." She sneaks a look over at Xavier, trying not to grin. "Honestly, that isn't something you tell someone over the phone." She mimics holding a phone to her ear. "Yeah, she totally wants you, and to be honest, I kind of want to sleep with one of my guests. Okay, see you bye!" She snorts softly, kneeling down to put something under the sink.

Xavier seems to have spent enough time watching Katherine in the kitchen that he knows about where things go, despite the occasional frowning hesitation. "So…in order to work out how being manipulated made you feel bad, you manipulated your boyfriend?" An arch of the eyebrow. "And the other option /would/ have been a touch cruel. From what I've seen, Ethan hasn't really done anything to deserve being treated poorly."

"I already feel bad about it, Xavier. It's why I was angry cooking." Katherine gazes at him and and then down at her hands, fidgeting with the hem of her shirt. "I was completely honest with him, I just omitted the part where I am interested in another man." She fills the sink with soapy water, dumping dishes into it. "I will tell him the truth though, to his face, and I'll deal with the consequences. Which will probably be him telling me to get lost."

Xavier puts away the last thing in his hands, then comes to lean against the counter next to the seat, his expression curious. "Do you want him to tell you to get lost? Or do you want to use the opportunity to try and see if you and he can move your relationship to a more satisfactory level?" He smiles. "Because it seems a little as if you're not sure which you might prefer."

Katherine laughs softly, turning to eye Xavier for a few moments. "Now that would be extreme manipulation." She dries off her hands on a towel. "I want him to tell me that we can still be friends, and that maybe at some point we can hang out together again. If I have to tell him that I am interested in someone else to fix a relationship, then it isn't a stable or healthy relationship in the first place." She wags a finger at him, shaking her head. "I might not be sure of what I want, and that is simply because I don't want to hurt anyone. I know what I want."

Xavier reaches out, and unless she dodges, he gently taps the very end of her nose with a single fingertip. "And /that/ is the root of your struggles. Hurting people is also a part of the way the world works, and it's very difficult to get anything you want without doing it along the way." He smiles warmly at her. "But I wish you luck in resolving the situation in a manner to your liking."

Katherine laughs as Xavier taps the end of her nose, shaking her head at him. "I'm going to hurt Ethan, I'm not sure how much because we ..don't really talk about feelings." She raises a brow and smirks. "I could get everything I wanted with less morals, but unfortunately I can't talk myself into that." She rolls her eyes, and glancing toward the doors. "I'm a poor liar also, if I slept with you and just tried to keep it from Ethan, it would come out eventually."

"It's difficult the first few times," Xavier admits, cheerfully. "It gets easier as you go." He follows her glance towards the door, then starts moving in that direction. "Well, I have to return a few phone calls, so I'll wander out of your hair until dinner's ready. But it was, as always, a pleasure. I didn't /quite/ get to see you throwing crockery, but you were magnificent with that knife." He grins at her, cheekily, before ducking out.

"A thought that doesn't fill me with warmth." Katherine winces, turning to wash the dishes and stack them in the dishwasher. "Mhm, dinner, knife…" She shakes her head and waves him away, laughing softly to herself.

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