(2018-11-15) Tea for Two
Girl talk gets serious.

There is a fire crackling in the fireplace, and the snow outside is thick and white, creating a quiet winter wonderland. Kate is curled up on the couch, knit blanket pulled around her form as she watches the news on the large television. An electric kettle has been plugged in and sits on the coffee table, a few packets of tea settled near it. "I thought I was ready for all of this snow." She groans, running fingers through her dark hair. "Ah well, at least it's pretty."

It's still somewhat strange to simply walk into someone's home, even if that home is also a public entity meant for people to be walking into. Angela at least doesn't call out as she lets herself in this time, instead knocking her boots off, unwinding her scarf, and removing her coat before she wanders upon Katherine in the great room. One dark brow quirks upwards, "Ms. Stone."

Kate turns to spot Angela, a warm smile forming on her lips. "Angela, come on in, get warm. Would you like a blanket?" She starts to get up, gesturing toward the kettle. "I can make you some tea or…get you some coffee?" She tugs at her sweat shirt, a crooked smile on her lips. "You can call me Katherine, or Kate. No need to be formal, right?"

"I'm fine, thank you." Angela replies with a quick smile, settling the coat on the arm of the couch before she moves closer to the fire, holding her hands out towards the heat. She gives Katherine a curious look for a moment before she nods, "Very well, Kate, then. I hope that I wasn't interrupting anything."

"Just me watching the news, worrying about the weather. The usual for this time of year." Katherine says, settling back down in her corner of the couch. "Did you find it difficult getting up the hill to get here?" She asks, raising her brows at Angela. "I hardly had anyone for breakfast today, I think people weren't up for the trip."

"My driver ended up parking at the bottom of the hill, truthfully. I walked, and walking up the hill wasn't too bad…but I can see how the trek would have made most turn back. It gave me time to think, though." And potentially freeze toes off, but she doesn't mention that. "At least you've got a somewhat captive audience for breakfast as well? Mr. Westin at least."

"He didn't come down for breakfast today. I left him a bagel and some coffee at his door, the last time I went upstairs to gather up some laundry it was gone, so he's at least nibbled on something." Katherine chuckles, picking up her tea to sip at it. "I love the snow, and it gets kind of deep here. When I was a teenager, I'd build big caves and tunnels outside. Great for thinking, until one of my many siblings came along to crush it." She aims a look at Angela, patting the sofa. "Sit, please. Are you sure you don't want any tea?"

"That is good. Wouldn't want to have him starve." Angela replies, rubbing her hands briefly together before she moves towards the sofa, settling down on it, legs crossing. "I'm sure, maybe once I warm up some, but I'm afraid that my fingers feel too numb to hold onto a cup. Do you usually get busy on the holidays around here?"

"Depends, there are a lot of people in Calaveras without family and I invite them up here for meals." Katherine glances upstairs, a thoughtful look on her face. "We don't usually get a ton of tourists here during the holidays, but between them, it's insanity. You're welcome to drop by for Thanksgiving or Christmas if you like, there will be a big meal, the table will be extended, and I make my own egg nog." She turns to face Angela, ignoring the television for the moment.

"Mm.." Angela replies, shaking her head, "Thank you, but I have tentative plans for Thanksgiving right now. Perhaps I'll drop by for Christmas, though. I've no actual plans for it at the moment. I should probably talk with my brothers or parents about if there are any family plans, but…" She shrugs one shoulder, a corner of her mouth kicking upwards, "Thank you for the invitation, though."

"You're always welcome here." Katherine smiles across at Angela, gathering her throw in her fingers to fidget with it. "Well good, now tell me, how have you been settling in? How is your brother?" She exhales and lets out a nervous laugh. "I don't know you very well, beyond the whole Olive Garden thing, and you being an investor if things go right. I feel as if I should fix that."

"Settling in? Just fine." Angela replies with a laugh, "I mean, it's home…so there's not been much settling beyond the business end of things." She then shakes her head, "Elliot is fine, though. I'm sure he's grading papers, or whatever it is that professors do." She tilts her head, a brow lifting a moment, "You're welcome to ask me whatever you'd like to get to know me."

Katherine wrinkles her nose, chuckling softly. "I guess I know what you mean, no matter how much I travel this is probably always going to be the ..most comfortable place for me." She settles back, giving Angela contemplative look. "Where are some of the most memorable places that you've traveled?" She asks, looking excited by this new game.

The question causes her to pause, head tilting a fraction, "I got to spend a month in Paris one summer, then there was…Hong Kong for business once, and I did a summer in Barcelona during law school. Probably the most memorable of places I've gotten to travel. You?" Angela wonders, tilting her chin faint, "What are the most memorable places you've gotten to travel?"

"I've never ever traveled before. Born here, raised here and even started college here." Katherine murmurs, settling back against the arm of the couch. "I am going to Vienna in a few weeks. I'm terribly excited. I've already packed for it ten times. I put things in, take them out, put them in again." She brushes her hair back from her face, biting down on her bottom lip. "Have you ever been? I hear the ballet is exceptionally beautiful."

"To Vienna? Can't say that I have…I know some about the history of it, but that is really it." Angela shakes her head at the question, "I wouldn't pack and unpack too many times, though. You'll forget to pack something…I find making a list, and checking it against what you pack is helpful. So, Vienna…what are you going to Vienna for?"

"You're right, I usually make lists, why didn't I make a list for this?" Katherine winces and leans to the side, pulling out a piece of paper and a pencil. "Oh, Ethan is working there and he invited me to go along so we could spend some time together. I'm sure he'll be busy here and there, but he thinks he'll have time to take me to the ballet." She starts to make a list, her eyes on her paper. "It's my first time out of the country, and I don't speak the language. It will be hilarious."

There is a very faint upwards twitch of her brows at that, "Ah. Well." She tilts her head, "You should be fine, something I've found in other countries is that there are plenty more that speak our language than we do theirs here. So you'll be able to find someone, and you can get one of those little translation books, too."

"With my luck, especially lately.." Kate makes a face, gazing toward the stairs as she frowns. "I'll probably get lost, sold to some well meaning farmer, and never manage to return home." She sighs, propping her chin in her palm. "I have a translation book, and I've been reading up on the language. Who knows, it might help, and it might not."

"Do you speak any language but English?" Angela wonders, lacing her fingers together in her lap, "Might also help, again, Europeans are a lot better at being multi-lingual than we are." She then shakes her head, "I know a few good lawyers, though, if you happen to get stuck over there..They might be able to get you returned home."

"I just speak English. I'm all but counting on Ethan to know enough to get me safely from one place to another." Katherine reaches out for her tea, smirking slightly. "My mother used to tell me that it's a bad idea to rely on a man, and she's right, but I can't learn another language in a few weeks. I've got a few …phrases like, where is your bathroom, and how far to the train, down." She shrugs, setting aside her list, several things written on it. "Do you like to travel?"

"Does Ethan speak German?" Angela wonders, sounding just a little surprised by the idea, then she nods, "I do like to travel, but I don't get to do as much of it as I'd like to do. Usually too busy with school in the past, or working. Luckily I got to travel for both school and work a few times." She shrugs her shoulders a bit, shifting topics slightly, "You and Ethan have been seeing each other how long?"

"Only bits, he speaks bits of everything except Spanish. Toons got him fluent in that." Katherine chuckles, cradling her tea in her hands as she nods at Angela. "I wish I had got to travel more, but with a very large family, vacations are the exception, not the norm." She takes a sip of her tea, her cheeks flushed slightly. "We got together shortly after Oktoberfest."

"Toons? Cartoons?" Angela's brows furrow a moment, looking uncertain that she gets what toons are, but then she nods, "You're an adult now, though. I don't think there's any children, so travel should be something you should be able to manage now, at least."

"Yes, he watches Loony Toons in Spanish." Katherine laughs out loud, setting her tea aside and out of her way. "Yeah, we'll see. I think he's all but settled in Calaveras. So I don't know how often he'll be travelling, or if he'll even want company after this trip. I try not to assume, you understand?"

"I do." Angela agrees with a nod, "Can't say that I've ever had to worry about that, but I do understand." She leans forward, a hand moving to point towards the electric teapot, "I wouldn't mind a cup of tea now, Kate. You can tell me why you think he might not want your company after this trip over tea."

Katherine gets to her feet, moving to fetch a cup for Angela. She sets it next to the teapot, pouring hot water into the mug. She unwraps an English Breakfast tea bag and dips it inside. "It's complicated, but mostly I'm not sure how much Ethan actually wants a relationship." She shrugs a shoulder, letting the tea steep as she retakes her seat. "I think he and I enjoy each others company, but I get the feeling it won't go terribly far. Do you ever get that feeling when you're with someone?"

"No." Angela shakes her head, "I try to not worry too much about the future, when it comes to relationships." She leans back in her seat, watching the tea cup for a little while before continuing, "If you enjoy the company, enjoy that. But if what you're wanting is something for the long term, then you should find something for the long term. That would be my advise, at least. It all really depends on what you want, and what you are willing to do to get what you want."

"I'm afraid I don't have it in me to be devious. If I'm not happy, we'll go back to being friends. If he's not happy, I would hope for the same." Katherine pours more hot water into her own cup, unwrapping another tea bag, dipping it into the steaming water. "I know what I want, I just never know what he wants. That's all." She leans to pick up Angela's cup, holding it out to her.

Angela reaches out to take the cup, leaning back, finger tapping lightly against the edge of it, "What is it you want, then?" She wonders, lifting the cup up to take a very careful, experimental sip off it before adding, "And why don't you just ask him what he wants?"

Kate picks up her tea, pulling the bag from it. "I want to be happy, it's what everyone wants. I need to do most of that for myself, obviously, but I'd like Ethan to be a part of that." She takes a sip of her tea, the second question making her cough, but she swallows to avoid making a mess. "Have you ever asked Ethan a direct question? You never get a straight answer. He won't answer something he doesn't want to answer, and he'll just change the subject."

"I have asked Ethan a direct question, and he's a very slippery individual." Angela agrees, her smile widening just a bit, "But I'm annoyingly persistent when it comes to getting the answers to questions I want the answers to. It's a delicate line, I realize, between persistence and nagging. So perhaps simply ask, and maybe he'll answer for once."

"I'm not persistent. I just want people to be comfortable or happy. I feel like…if he's not answering a question it's probably because he either doesn't have an answer, or he doesn't want it out there yet." Katherine rests her teacup on her knees, smiling back at Angela. "I have asked him, I ask him a lot of things. I'm a little bit awkward when it comes to being romantic, so I'm probably making a huge mess of it."

"Have you?" Angela considers that for a little while, taking another sip from her tea, then she leans forward to set the cup back down on the coffee table, "Why are you awkward about being romantic? If you don't mind my asking, that is."

"I have." Katherine says, her brow furrowing slightly. "Have you heard something that ..makes you think otherwise? I feel like I'm always the last to know something." Worry flashes across her features, her eyes moving to gaze into her tea. "I haven't had a lot of boyfriends, or significant others, whatever you call them. In high school, when I was interested in someone, Heather would snatch them up." She bites on her bottom lip, frowning a bit. "I really like Ethan a lot."

"Aaah, yes. Heather." Angela replies, laughing, "Sorry, I don't know your particular friend, but I've known plenty like that in my years. Sharks…wolves…predators. You can't turn your back on those sorts, they'll steal things right out from under you."

"I don't have to worry about Heather now." Katherine gets a wry grin on her face, nodding toward Angela. "Honestly though, if something can be stolen, it wasn't really yours to begin with. You protect your things, so that doesn't happen."

"No? That's good." Angela laces her fingers together, shaking her head just a bit. A flicker of amusement crosses over her face before she lets her attention wander around the room, "I'm sure that you'll figure it out, but relationships are easy. They are like all other friendships, just with sex involved…sometimes legalities such as the co-mingling of incomes, and children. But essentially they are all the same."

Katherine winces and shifts on the sofa, Angela's words making her frown for a moment before she gets to her feet to hide it. She moves across the room, putting a log into the fireplace and poking at it with a poker. "I suppose you're right." She finally murmurs, turning to nod at Angela. "Have you found anyone interesting since you've been home?"

"I suppose there are a few that I find interesting." Angela replies after a moment, reaching for her tea again to check the temperature on it before she takes a larger swallow, setting it back down before she gets to her feet. "I suppose that we'll just see what happens in my own future, hmm? Not even sure that I'll have time for thinking about it much in the future."

"Yes, business will be picking up." Kate agrees, watching Angela as she gets to her feet. "You're not leaving, are you?" She asks, raising a brow as she reaches out for her knit throw.

"Business will be picking up, but business is always busy it seems." Angela replies, shaking her head, moving towards the bookcase, "No, I'm not leaving. I've barely gotten warm, not sure that I'm ready to be taking myself right back out into the cold."

Pulling the warm blanket around her shoulders she eases back down on the couch. "Do you this that this hotel thing is a good idea?" She asks, tucking her legs underneath her, turning to watch Angela walk toward the bookcase. "I've been doing some research, and it's going to be ..a little more difficult than first thought. The building needs a lot of love to get it back into shape."

"You mean Mr. Westin's business proposal?" Angela wonders, pulling one of the romance novels off the shelf, idly looking at it before she puts it back in its place, "I think that if all things go according to plan that it'll be a great idea. However, there are always potential pitfalls in this sort of thing. I'm sure he explained all of them?"

"Yes, Xavier's proposal." Kate murmurs, watching Angela almost warily now, chin resting on her knees. "He's explained them, yes. To me, and to another potential investor. I think it can be a success, but I think it will take a lot of work to make it so. A lot of time." She pokes through the loose knit throw, messing with the toes of her socks. "We'll see what happens, won't we?"

"You're probably right that it'll take a lot of work, and a lot of time." Angela agrees, turning back towards the couch to retake her seat, "I haven't had a chance to speak with Mr. Westin since he spoke with you, I don't think. There was a question of what you were wanting…just investment or to manage it when done, I think."

"I am hoping to manage it, though it will mean that I can't have this place anymore. Not without working myself into a lot of stress." Katherine glances toward the stairs, frowning. "Xavier has a lot of plans, and he's quite devious, so I'm almost certain that if he wants something, and wants it a certain way, he'll end up getting it."

"You think so?" Angela wonders, her brows raising upwards a bit, "I can't say that I actually know Mr. Westin that well, although he has unfortunate taste in sweatpants. Although he'd beg to differ on the matter. So, you'll have to close this place, or sell it?"

"It's my family home, I may just close it and continue to live here. There are far too many rooms though, so selling it would be smarter." Katherine's cheeks get red at Angela's words, and she glances away, nodding. "Xavier is something else completely."

"Is he?" Angela wonders, smiling a little more, curiosity crossing her features, "So what sort of something else do you find Mr. Westin?" She turns so that she can better face Katherine, "Now you've got me all curious about it."

Katherine shoots Angela a look and then she bursts into nervous laughter, shaking her head back and forth. "He's very direct, I've found, and doesn't seem all that put off by doing things that might not be politically correct or polite. Which is odd, don't you think? Someone so fastidious about his appearance and manners. He came home the other night, completely soused."

"Not really." Angela shakes her head, "You'll find that a lot of those with money, or power…sometimes both, are a lot less indirect about things. It's an entitlement thing, really. They act the way they do because they feel that is their right." Angela replies, lifting a hand to wiggle it a bit in the air, "So, not really odd. But, what has he been so direct about that hasn't been correct or polite?"

"Entitlement.." Katherine repeats, pursing her lips as a thoughtful look settles on her features. Blinking at Angela, she shakes her head, shrugging. "Nothing bad or anything. He's very polite, rarely ever putting a foot wrong, you know?"

"Ah, well." Angela shrugs, that smile widening, "So what makes you think that he's so very devious, or that he is likely to get his way no matter what the situation might be?"

Katherine gazes down at her hands, her cheeks ruddy. She realizes that she's fidgeting so she leans forward, picking up her tea cup. "Just..a feeling." She darts a quick look at Angela, and then takes a drink, then another. "You ever..get that feeling about someone?"

"Sometimes, yes." Angela agrees, watching Katherine for a moment before she leans forward, the smile smoothing out to something a little less amused, "Kate, not to pry, but has something happened between you and Mr. Westin?"

"Xavier." Katherine murmurs, a line appearing on her forehead as her brow furrows. "That is prying." She sets down her cup, turning to gaze at Angela. "We're working toward a business goal, that would just make things complicated." She holds Angela's gaze for a moment or two before she gazes toward the fireplace.

"You're right, that is prying." Angela agrees, leaning back again, brushing the entire thing aside, "So you've found that there is going to be a lot more work that needs to be done than first expected?"

"There are a lot of unused rooms right now, some of the stained glass in the original windows are chipped. Floors need to be redone, linens need to be purchased. The kitchen is straight out of the eighties, and for all the things we'll need to put in the building to modernize it? It will require electrical upgrades." Katherine says, her voice reciting in a flat tone, her expression one who is working through something in her head. She turns to face Angela and tilts her head. "Are you involved with Xavier?"

"Am I involved with Mr. Westin? I assume you mean romantically, and not in business. And no, I'm not involved with Mr. Westin." Angela replies, that amused smile widening once more, "He's a very fine looking man, and clearly has education, ambition and money. I'd say that he'd be a great catch if someone were looking for that, though."

Katherine leans her head back against the couch, her lips pursed slightly. "I'm already caught though, so .." She shrugs her shoulders, looking at the fireplace. She leans forward, picking up her teacup, finishing up the dregs inside.

"Are you?" Angela wonders, her brows lifting upwards, "I'm not sure…you say that things are uncertain between you and Ethan, and you don't know if he wants the same things you want. Doesn't sound to me as though you're caught as much as in a holding pattern."

"Even so, Angela. I don't think Ethan would be terribly pleased if I started messing around with Xavier, just because I'm uncertain about our future or what he wants." Katherine runs a hand over her face, sighing softly. "We've never really discussed the terms of our relationship, but I'm almost certain it isn't an open one." She worries at her bottom lip with her teeth, gazing at the other woman. "Are you interested in Ethan?"

"That ultimately circles back around to the conversation portion of things. If you are uncertain, you ask…if Ethan continues to be uncertain and unclear, well…you can take that as you wish. But if I were in your position, I'd certainly do my very best to find out what the status was, and re-examine how I felt about it all." She lifts a hand, finger pointing towards Katherine's cheeks, "Your reactions when talking about Mr. Westin certainly give me some clue as to how you might feel about him. As for Ethan? We've a history that goes back all the way to high school, but we're friends."

Katherine opens her mouth to respond, but then she tilts her head, her eyes narrowing slightly. "You didn't answer the question." She gets to her feet, tromping towards the kitchen.

Oh, it's probably a damn good thing that Katherine headed out, judging by Angela's expression. It's one of amusement, the sort of evil amusement of someone that knows damn good and well that they didn't answer the question and that it was a terrible thing to have done. The less than hot tea is picked up once more, then Angela follows towards the kitchen, her expression smoothing back out as she questions in return, "Are you interested in Mr. Westin?"

Katherine just put a bite of chocolate muffin in her maw when Angela appeared, her question makes Kate's brows raise and she chews slowly. "I'll answer yours if you answer mine." She challenges, picking another piece of soft muffin from the top, putting it in her mouth. Her expression isn't unfriendly, but it certainly is wary.

The tea bag is pulled out of her cup and disposed off before she dumps the rest of the tea into the sink, setting the cup down. "Alright. Deal." Angela replies, her arms crossing over her chest as she leans against a counter, facing Katherine, "You first, then."

"Yes, I'm very interested in Xavier." Katherine replies, tearing the muffin apart with her fingers, not looking at Angela. She glances up, frowning as she gazes at the other woman. "Your turn." She picks up a piece of muffin and puts it in her mouth, chewing slowly.

The answer doesn't appear to shock her, amuse maybe. Or maybe the fate of the poor muffin itself is what is amusing. Angela doesn't take a long time to answer, when she does it's a very simple response, echoing the one that Katherine gave. "Yes."

"Please tell me that you're not nudging me toward Xavier Westin because you want to hook up with Ethan." Katherine pushes the muffin aside, leaning toward Angela. "Tell me it's an altruistic want for another woman to be happy rather than you just trying to get what you want."

"Not at all." Angela replies, glancing briefly at the muffin again before she looks back at Katherine, noting her posture, "Your mannerisms when you speak about Mr. Westin is a dead giveaway to what you feel. I dare say I'd describe it as giddy as a school girl. When you speak about Ethan it is with a resigned fondness. One sounds more interesting than the other, wouldn't you say?"

"I barely know Xavier. I know what I've seen, and I also know that he's temporary. He's here to do business, and then it will call him away elsewhere. Getting involved with him is basically asking to get hurt." Katherine says, and she lets out a sigh before she continues. "I'm having some problems wrapping some things around my head with Ethan, but I like him a lot. I don't love him, but I like him a lot and I care about him." She pushes away from the counter and turns, opening the fridge. "So unfortunately, I have no clue what to do about this situation." She frowns as she considers what to cook, her voice soft. "Thank you for being honest with me though."

"You say you'd like to travel, and the chance to do that is right there." Angela points out, gesturing upwards towards the ceiling, "You're also assuming that it is temporary. I'm not a believer in that whole the right person can change someone thing, because you can't. What can happen is the right person, or situation, or business deal, or whatever can make that person change themselves." She holds up a hand, counting off points as she makes them, "You can remain with Ethan, someone you like but don't love, in a relationship that you don't even know what it is, or where it is going if it is going anywhere at all. Safe, though. Somewhere familiar. Or you can take the bold move, and see where things might happen to go with Mr. Westin, risk excitement, risk heartache. The choice isn't an easy one, but you probably should give it some further thought past him being temporary. Because it might not be true."

Katherine closes the fridge door, wiping away tears that have wet her face. "Unfortunately it isn't as pat as that. There are .." She runs fingers through her hair, frowning. "I probably should excuse myself, Angela. I need a shower. I need to think." She swallows, pulling the remains of the muffin toward the trash bin. "I don't want you to think that I dislike you, because that is not the case, but it probably should be a little bit before we sit down for tea again."

It's clear that asking what there are is right there on the tip of her tongue, but Angela manages to bite it back. Instead she steps away from where she's been leaning, "Of course." She stands there for a split second before she starts back towards the great room to gather up her coat and things, "I hope your Thanksgiving goes well."

Katherine nods, watching Angela as she gets ready to leave. "Yours as well." She replies politely, hands folded in front of her body. "Be careful getting home."

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