(2018-11-19) Along Came A Chicken
Fresh eggs are nothing to joke about.

It was early in the morning, but not so early that it would be rude to show up at somebody's house. A beat-up old truck swings into Katherine's driveway, depositing Warren into the front yard. He ambles up to the door and knocks twice - not being a guest, it seemed rude to just wander into her house. Thus, he'll wait outside, bundled up in a thick flannel jacket, hands in his pockets after the knocking has finished.

Katherine opens the front door, blinking as she was not expecting anyone. "Hello." She says, stepping back to let Warren in. "Come on in, how are you?" She reaches to help him out of his jacket, hanging it on a hook near the door. "Cold out there isn't it? Come on in the kitchen with me, I'm almost finished cooking breakfast, if you want you can have some." She turns without further ado and walks into the kitchen, tugging her sweatshirt from around her waist to drape on a chair. "Coffee?"

"Mornin'," Warren's voice was deep and warm, friendly in these early hours. But he notices the blink, chuckling a little dryly as he's ushered into her house. "Sorry to bother you this early. I suppose I should've called ahead to make sure you were free, but I didn't have your number," he admits with a small grin, the laughter continuing as she fusses him into the kitchen. "Coffee would be great, thanks. I said I was gonna come by with the chickens, but as I was loading them up this morning, I realized you probably don't have a coop, do you? And it's gonna be way too cold outside to put them out in your yard without one of those," he flicks his glance to the back door once they are within the kitchen, before looking back to her. "So I brought over some wood and wire, it won't take me more than a couple hours to fix a simple coop up for you."

Katherine nods at Warren, when he asks about the coop. "I don't have a.." Then he says he's going to build one. "Are you sure? I have hay in the barn because I put it down for Rainbow when she's outside, but that's ..you're really too nice, you know that?" She pours coffee into a mug and clears her throat. "How do you take your coffee? You have to get warm before you go do any work. I mean, I'd feel bad if you came here, got chilled and then went right to work. Are you sure there isn't a coop I can buy at a store around here? Surely someone makes premade coops, I have the money, really. I.." She realizes she's word vomiting and hopes her cheeks aren't getting red. They are. "It's nice of you to come by like this."

"Whoa there, slow down a little," Warren holds up his hands in surrender as she keeps rambling on, his laughter deep and rumbling. "First off, it really isn't any trouble. Second off, if you go and buy one of those premade ones, you'll end up spending a couple hundred dollars /and/ it'll blow right down in the spring winds," he rolls his shoulders back, stepping over to the kitchen table to claim himself a seat. "I had some spare wood and wire, so it's not a big deal. It's a quick job, I promise. But I take my coffee with cream and sugar, please and thank you."

Katherine picks up the cream and sugar pot, walking it over with Warren's coffee. "If you're sure, but I insist that I pay you for doing this for me. I appreciate it a lot, and…well.. you deserve paid for your time." She thumbs back to the food. "I'll serve you a plate, anything you really don't eat? Any allergies?" She asks, pulling a plate from a cupboard. She moves around the kitchen like she's dancing, pulling things from here or there, grabbing a spatula, scooping food on a plate, adding some seasoning. "Today I made omelets, sausage, grits and some lemon ice after to get the taste out of your mouth. The ice is an experiment."

"You can insist on paying me, Miss Stone, but I'll just wind up insisting that I don't need to get paid. And I honestly don't. Not much going on for me at the moment and I like being busy," Warren chuckles as he reaches to take the cream and sugar pot from her, fixing up his coffee as they talk. He sets the cream and sugar pot down on the table once he's done, lifting his gaze to watch her dance around the kitchen with a softened smile twitching at his lips. "I like all those things, I don't have any allergies. How do you get the people staying here to ever leave, if you feed 'em like that?"

Katherine narrows her eyes, picking up silverware, carrying it to the table. "We'll have an insist-off then, and I believe I can be more pushy than you can be." She sets down the food and the salt and pepper. "I don't know, people come and go, some people stay longer than I might like..but.." She shrugs a shoulder and moves back to the kitchen. "Did you want toast? I forgot to ask." She makes herself a plate as she waits for a response, brushing her hair back absent. "Plenty of people stop by to eat every so often though, so I guess it must be okay."

Warren leans back to laugh, eyes bright as he watches her move across the kitchen. "I'm not very pushy, Miss Stone, but I am utterly and completely stubborn. We can probably work something out? But you'll end up finding any cash you try to shove in my hands returned in the most creative of places," he winks, following her motions as she comes to the table with the food. "I'll do just fine without the toast. Are you going to get a plate for yourself and sit for awhile? You don't need to fuss after me, I promise," he flashes her a grin. "And if your food tastes as great as it smells, I think it's going to be far better than okay."

Kate carries her own plate to the table, settling down next to where her coffee had been sat. "I'll sit and eat with you, yes." She picks up a sausage and bites into it. "I'm not going to be pushy either, but if you bring back the money in creative ways, I'll just have to get more creative right back. It'll turn into a game or a compeition, and then where will we be?" She curls up in the chair, poking a fork into her eggs. "What's it like being in the rodeo? Is it ever scary?"

"Good," Warren says when she comes to sit down with her plate, though he will notably wait for her to start eating before he digs into his food. The first bite leaves him sighing with satisfaction, though it's followed with another low chuckle. "If you turn this into a competition, Miss Stone, it's gonna get real. I'm /very/ competitive," his grin turns wry as he looks at her from across the table. "And I almost always win. Just a fair warning," he says as he pops part of his sausage in his mouth, chewing. "Mmn, scary? More so dangerous, really. Had a couple broken bones, a concussion or two, but I've come out a lot better off than some riders I know," yet he lifts his shoulders in a casual shrug, as though the list of injuries was not that bad. "I couldn't think of a better life though."

"I think this is a nice type of competition." Katherine murmurs, grinning over at Warren as she picks up another piece of sauage to eat. "It's sort of like paying it forward, except the other person doesn't want you to!" She picks up her coffee and drinks from her mug. "I can't even ride a horse, let alone …that. You'd have to be very brave to get on again after a broken bone or a concussion." She raises her eyebrows, leaning forward slightly. "How often do you compete?" Katherine and Warren are seated at the table, eating breakfast, it's not snowing much outside, only the occasionally flurries.

Xavier has been locked in his room on the phone since before dawn - time zones are hell. He finally comes down, dressed in a dark grey suit with a startlingly white waistcoat, with a blue tie and pocket square. He pokes his head into the kitchen first, then enters fully with a hopeful smile. "Breakfast still available, or have I missed out?" Despite the question, it's to the coffee he goes first, pouring himself a mug of it with single-minded determination. A curious look is given to Warren.

"I'll bring this conversation back up when you cry uncle, we'll see if you still think it's the nice type of competition," Warren jokes playfully with Katherine, laughing between bites of food. He shrugs again at the talk of horse riding and broken bones. "What's that old saying? Something something always get back on the bull after you fall off it? Or maybe it's the horse," he considers this as he chews, "And I compete throughout the year for nationals. I'll wind up at the state fair in the summer, and hopefully make it to Vegas again this year,. his attention briefly stolen by the fancy suited man that comes waltzing into the kitchen. He doesn't comment on the timing of breakfast - that's Kate's place - but he does get to his feet and wipe his hand on the side of his jeans before he offers it to Xavier. "Warren Starr, nice to meet ya," he says in a friendly sort of way.

"I'll bring this conversation back up when you cry uncle, we'll see if you still think it's the nice type of competition," Warren jokes playfully with Katherine, laughing between bites of food. He shrugs again at the talk of horse riding and broken bones. "What's that old saying? Something something always get back on the bull after you fall off it? Or maybe it's the horse," he considers this as he chews, "And I compete throughout the year for nationals. I'll wind up at the state fair in the summer, and hopefully make it to Vegas again this year," he replies, his attention briefly stolen by the fancy suited man that comes waltzing into the kitchen. He doesn't comment on the timing of breakfast - that's Kate's place - but he does get to his feet and wipe his hand on the side of his jeans before he offers it to Xavier. "Warren Starr, nice to meet ya," he says in a friendly sort of way.

Katherine gets to her feet, moving to the food on the warming plate. "I'll fix you something, Xavier. Have a seat." She pulls a plate from the cupboard and does the dance again, moving from place to place as she puts together breakfast for her guest. Sausage, omelet, grits and some weird lemon ice that's for after the meal. "You look really nice today, what's the occasion?" She asks, setting the plate in front of Xavier. "If you want toast, let me know." She bustles back to get the toast she made for herself. "Warren here is going to build some coops outside, they're giving me some chickens. Can you imagine it? Fresh eggs."

Xavier shifts his coffee mug to his left hand, and turns and offers Warren a brief, firm handshake with the right. He smiles, equally friendly. "Starr? I think I met a member of your family, a young woman? You have the rodeo, don't you?" His voice shades dry as he introduces himself. "Xavier. Xavier Westin. A pleasure to meet you." He looks down at himself at the compliment from Katherine, and grins at her. "No occasion. It just always suits a man to be well put together when he can." He takes a seat at the table, near Warren's place. "And that sounds…nice?" He actually looks a bit baffled. "Are regular eggs somehow unfresh?"

"Ah, that'd probably be my sister, Presley," Warren replies to Xavier with a broad grin. "And yep, we own the stadium. Never heard of the Westins in Calaveras before, you new in town?" His brows hike up at the question, raising steadily further upward when the comment is made about fresh versus regular eggs. He slowly returns to his seat. "There's actually a pretty big difference. Aside from the fact that the eggs you buy at the grocery store are already about a couple months old when you're gettin' 'em," he mentions to Xavier.

Katherine glances down at her jeans and shirt, frowning a little bit before she shrugs and makes her way back to the table, and her breakfast. She puts her toast down on her plate and grins at Warren. "We used to buy fresh eggs, they always tasted better to me. When you want more chicks, you just don't bother them, and hopefully you've a rooster as well." She picks at her eggs, taking a bite of them. "Well you look very put together, almost astoundingly so. I can only imagine what people are going to think of you when you walk by."

"Hello! Chicken delivery!" comes a voice from the front, a very familiar one to Warren, maybe semi-familiar to the other two. But it is very clear by the presence of the chickens that it is probably Presley.

Xavier waggles a fork at Katherine. "First, flattery will get you everywhere. Second, you look absolutely lovely." He stabs a sausage and takes a bite, savoring it before turning his attention back to Warren. "There are no Westins. Just me. And my company. I'm a land developer, here to explore the possibilities of development in Calaveras." He says this lightly, but watches Warren afterwards for a moment. Then he blinks as the voice calls out. "What, they're giving the chickens to you /right now/? Don't you need…things, for chickens?" What things, this city boy has no idea, but he's pretty sure that things are involved.

Warren shifts a glance between Katherine and Xavier as he lifts his cup to take a long sip. His breakfast is all but finished at this point, and thus after he's taken his drink? He gets up out of his chair to bring his plate to the sink and start to wash it. "Land developer? Huh. Didn't think we really needed much here in town," there's a definite frown, but he hides it in his plate washing motions, startled by the sudden announcement of chicken delivery. "Man, Pres, I told you to wait until I called," he raises his hand to his face, shaking his head a little in a frustrated motion. "I haven't even started the coop yet."

"Did you hear about the recent charity ball? He threw that, to help people who were devistated by the recent flooding." Katherine murmurs, her brow furrowed as Warren gets up to wash his plate. "Oh you don't have to do that, you can just leave it in the sink, really." She glances toward the the other room, blinking. "Come in here Presley, and get some breakfast. Are there chickens outside? You can put them in the garage with the hay bale until you get around to building, right?"

"Hey." Presley greets as she makes her way into the kitchen, an actual chicken tucked under her arm, a smile on her face for those that are present, "Yeah, they're nice and warm. Covered up so they won't make a fuss because of the new surroundings." She glances towards her brother, noting his frustration she moves over to hand him the single chicken she's carrying like some strange live, feathered purse, "I had to bring Lucille like, now. Otherwise she was going to get too upset just left in her cage like that. Hi, Ms. Stone."

Xavier's smile at Warren is thin and sharp. "A lot of people don't, Mr. Starr, until it's over and done with, and the realize how much more they can do, and in what comfort and safety they can do it. Progress is not necessarily a great evil." He takes a sip of his coffee - then nearly chokes on it when Presley enters /with/ a chicken. A real chicken. He stares. "Is…is that sanitary?"

"Charity is nice and all. Though I've never seen Calaveras not take care of their own," Warren replies to Katherine simply, before he waves a hand at her. "I got it, it's just a plate. See? It's all done," he was putting the plate in the dryer rack when Presley comes in with a chicken, and all concerns of development are sort of thrust onto the back burner. "Jeeze, Pres! You can't just bring a chicken into somebody's house," he mutters under his breath, yet he takes the chicken from Presley regardless; Lucille rustles her feathers a little, but otherwise stays comfortably tucked under Warren's arm. "I'm sorry about this, Miss Stone. I'll start working on the coop now, and we can get out of yours and Mister Westin's hair," he looks to the latter, and frowns. "It's just a chicken."

Katherine starts to fix Presley a plate of food, watching the chicken with an amused look on her face. "Have a seat Presley, and don't listen to your brother, you can just bring a chicken into my house anytime. After all, there was a goat in pyjammas and a diaper in here an hour ago." She clears her throat, trying to look serious. "I clean up well after things." She brings a plate of food and sets it in front of Presley, nudging her gently. "Coffee or tea?" She asks, glancing between Warren and Xavier. "Now boys, I've declared this kitchen a no drama zone. We're all going to get along, or I'm going to start swatting people with a wooden spoon, do my gramma proud." She takes a seat again, nibbling at her food, which is probably a little less than lukewarm by now.

There is a look of mild surprise cast towards Xavier, "Lucille is the best layer I've got." Presely gives the hen a pet quickly on the head before she moves to take the seat, since Kate is insisting she's eating, she's going to eat. She then takes note of the tension between Xavier and her brother, then frowns at him herself, the former, not the latter. But Kate declares it no drama, and she adds super smoothly, "I'll help with the coop after I eat, Warren."

Xavier stares at the chicken. Then he looks down at his plate, with its delicious fried eggs. He looks back up at the chicken. Casually, he reaches out for a napkin holder, and sliiiides the holder between Lucille's beady eyed gaze of judgement and his plate. He clears his throat. "I'm not saying there's anything wrong with the chicken. I'm sure it's an exemplar of its…species." He picks up his fork, but carefully eats a sausage rather than cut into the eggs. "And if Ms. Stone says it's fine, then I'm sure it is." Although she gets a sidelong look at the mention of the pygmy goat and the diaper. He meets Presley's frown with a bland smile, then goes back to eyeing the chicken.

Lucille seems not to notice any tension about her whatsoever; she's clucking quietly with her beak tucked into her chest, nuzzling into Warren's side. It means Xavier's safe to eat the eggs - it's not like they are her children or anything. "Right, right. Ain't no drama from me, Miss Stone," Warren musters up a big grin for Katherine, mentioning to Xavier, "Lucille comes from a long line of prize-earning layers. I doubt she'd even go in the house if I put her down, but I'll just take her outside with me. At least so Mister Westin can eat his eggs without feeling bad," he glances to Presley and sighs a bit, but he's already heading towards the back door with the chicken. "I'll go and get the wood and start working."

"Presley, if I gave you money for you and your brother building the coops, you'd keep it right?" Katherine asks, glancing over at Presley with a tilted smile on her face. "He was making noise about not letting me pay him, and it was one thing for you all to set up the beautiful tree in my living room, it's quite another to give me chickens and build me a coop." She raises both eyebrows, pushing her plate away. "So maybe you'll help me out with this, and I'll give /you/ the money and you can find a way to slip it to him when his back is turned." She glances at Xavier, leaning in to quietly murmur. "I think it's safe, and wait until you taste the difference, you'll be surprised."

"You know that birds are cannibals." Presley offers to Xavier when she notices his worry about eating the eggs in front of the chicken, "And that eggs aren't even fertilized, so there was never any baby chick inside it." So have no fear! Eating the eggs is perfectly acceptable. She then smiles at Warren, then looks back at Kate, "Of course I wouldn't. We don't need anything for buildin' you a coop…right, Warren?"

"I do not feel bad about eating eggs in front of a chicken," Xavier declares, with the kind of firm emphasis that means he TOTALLY does but would rather be beaten with a wooden spoon than admit it. But now he's forced to follow through, which means stab stab, poor little chicken-never-to-be. He cuts and chews. Right. Not hard. "You do not have to leave on my account, Mr. Starr. You were here first, and you are doing a kindness to Katherine." He gives Katherine an amused look. "You feed them; if they're content with that, then perhaps you should allow them to do a nice thing for the holidays."

Warren was already halfway out the door, the chicken under his arm still clucking away. "I'm not leavin', I'm going outside to start on this coop. You could always come outside and help, Mister Westin. I've got extra hammers," he suggests, a wry grin twisting his lips as he hikes his brows up in Xavier's general direction. But then he shrugs. "We're not taking any money!" he adds as he heads out to start his work.

"Xavier..they already got me a real tree, hauled it up here, trimmed it and went to the hardware store to get a stand and everything." Katherine sighs and glances between the siblings, her brow wrinkled slightly. "They did a kindness for me already, and I'm not going to take advantage of that. They're taking something home with them, either money or pies. I won't have any more argument about it." She tries to look stern, glancing between Warren, Xavier and Presley. She then gets to her feet, taking her coffee cup to refresh it. That way they can't see her trying not to apologize for being firm.

"You really don't need to give us anything, Miss Stone." Presley insists, but she totally takes the plate of food that Kate had made for her, and she works on cleaning the plate with the nice, quickness, but neatly, as she continues, "Would you accept anything in return, Miss Stone, if you did something nice for someone else?"

Xavier arches an eyebrow at the offer. "Certainly, Mr. Starr. I don't think I've ever built a chicken coop, before." He finishes off a bit of his breakfast, then rises to his feet, suit and all. "And, Katherine, they would be terribly foolish if they turned down pies you baked, kindness or no. They don't seem too foolish." When she turns around, he mouths at the stars, 'Take the damned pies'. Then he's back to blandly smiling when she looks around again. "There's no harm in everyone involved doing something nice for the other, surely?" Then he starts to move to follow Warren out.

"First time for everything," Warren manages to reply before he's out the door and into the yard, Lucille deposited to go clucking about whilst he goes to haul wood and wire out of the bed of his truck. It means he's not inside to hear the argument about pies, and completely missed Katherine being firm. But hey, Xavier's outside with him, which earns the man a surprising look. "You might wanna roll up your sleeves. Don't wanna be messin' up your fancy suit," he advises, dropping a pile of wood unceremoniously in the center of the yard before he scans the area. "I'm thinkin' we can build it in that corner over there," he points out a place by the trees. "I already cut the pieces up, so it should be an easy build. Just gotta start on the frame first."

"I accept things in return when I do something nice for people." Katherine says, still in the kitchen with Presley. "I think give and take are pretty important in any relationship, friendship or otherwise. If you take take take and don't give, eventually the other person doesn't want to give anymore." She narrows her eyes toward the girl, grinning. "So you'll take take take some pies, right?"

"Of course give and take are important, but you…" Presley starts, then she comes to a stop, shaking her head with a bit of a smile, rethinking whatever was on the tip of her tongue. Instead she just nods, "You're right, Miss Stone, we'd love to take one of your pies. Thank you, that's mighty kind of you."

Xavier nods, agreeably enough. He takes off his suit jacket, and frowns around at the snow-covered ground until he finds a suitably sturdy branch to hang it off of. Cufflinks are removed from his wrists, and his sleeves are rolled up to reveal muscular forearms. He drops the cufflinks into the breast pocket of his waistcoat. He glances at the suggested place. "Seems reasonable to me. I'll follow your lead on it, Mr. Starr, as I'm not familiar with the blueprint." But while the chicken clearly caused him some bafflement, the pile of wood receives a brief, fond smile and when the time comes to haul frame pieces, he pitches in without hesitation, and with a good deal of familiarity.
<FS3> Xavier rolls Construction: Success. (8 6 5 5)

Well, if Xavier's going to reveal /his/ muscular forearms? Warren's certainly going to follow suit. Thus, his jacket is shed and the sleeves of his flannel underneath are rolled up to the forearms, before the work can truly begin. "So how long have you been in Calaveras, Mister Westin?" He asks as he begins framing up the coop after the wood hauling has finished up, instructing Xavier where to hold the wood as he uses his power tools to screw the pieces into place. "You staying at the B&B?"

"Do you think we ought to go outside and help?" Katherine asks Presley, a smug smile on her face as she gathers up some pies, putting them in a box, cardboard between each layer. "You can say your mind, by the way, it won't bother me. I am very grateful for what you and your brother have done, and continue to do for me. It's sweet, you two are very sweet." She surveys her kitchen for a moment, and decides to ignore the clutter and leftovers so she can look out the door, marveling at the men playing with wood.

Xavier does not bungle the job of holding things steady! He does look a touch silly, with the snow melting into his dress socks, but he actually seems to be enjoying himself. "Only a few weeks, and yes, Ms. Stone has been kind enough to allow me to board here for the long term. I will eventually cease to try her hospitality and patience, but I haven't quite found the right place, yet. I'm sure there are condos." A thoughtful pause. "Probably." He smiles at Warren. "And I take it that you and your family are long-time locals? Running a rodeo in the current climate must be difficult."

"Outside, Miss Stone?" Presley actually seems amused for a moment before she shakes her head, "Not yet, Miss Stone. Maybe when I finish?" Which she just eats a little slower, because she's not a fool, and she totally thinks she knows what is happening. Even if the adults seem oblivious themselves. "I was just going to say that momma always said it was both impolite to refuse a gift, but take something for doing something nice when you should do somethin' nice without expecting anything in return."

Kate eases down on a chair oppose of Presley, turning her attention back to her when she speaks. "Your mother sounds like a wise woman." She props her chin in her palm and taps idle fingers on the table. "Please though, call me Kate. You calling me Miss Stone reminds me of something I don't quite want to think about." She watches Presley eat, chuckling softly when she takes her time. "Do you think they're out there trying to show one another up?"

Warren and Xavier manage to get a frame up before Xavier runs to go take a VERY IMPORTANT BUSINESS CALL FROM CHINA, leaving Warren and his incredibly manly forearms outside there by himself. There's an awful lot of hammering going on out here now.

"Momma is a smart lady…and you don't argue with her. It's way safer." Presley replies with a laugh before she tucks a bite of sausage into her mouth. There is at least polite chewing and swallowing before she nods, "Alright, Miss Kate. I bet they are out there trying to prove just how manly they both are, and I do think Warren has an advantage of your fancy city man."

Miss Kate. Well it's not Miss Stone. "Well there is no reason that one has to be more manly than the other." Katherine says, her eyes darting toward the door for a moment, as she fights the urge to lean and look at what might be going on. "He's also not my fancy city man, he's just a fancy city man."

"You know that, and I know that.." Presley points out, that smile returning, all the amusement of a teenager at the silliness of adults. "But I'm pretty sure that as soon as their balls drop, boys kind of forget that there's not any reason to not be more manly than another. It's like when the stallions smell a mare that's in season, they'll start prancing around, tail up, ears forward. You got to keep them apart, or they're going to try and hurt each other."

"I see.." Katherine says slowly, blinking at Presley as talk turns to mares and stallions. "I don't think those two will try to hurt each other, it's just a coop after all." She gets to her feet, gathering the dishes since she's too polite to go outside and leave Presley in by herself. "Are you two ready for Thanksgiving?" She asks, rinsing off plates slowly.

It was like kismet. As soon as the words are out of Kate's mouth, there's a smack of a hammer and - "Oh, OW, FUCK!" from outside. But considering Warren's not bleeding out onto the snow, Xavier's still on his call, and Warren's just standing by the coop shaking his hand off? He probably just hurt himself.

"Those two? Probably not." Presley agrees with a laugh, "They're just prancing around." She then easily is distracted by the talk of Thanksgiving, "Yeah, momma and the aunts have been working all week on getting things ready. We've got the turkeys ready, and everyone should be there for it, I guess, I don't think anyone has said they won't make it, and they're planning…" She comes to an abrupt stop when she hears Warren, getting to her feet to head for the door without waiting on Kate.

Katherine turns off the sink, following Presley with a concerned look on her face. She steps outside, watches Warren for a moment before she clears her throat. "Need a first aid kit?" She asks, glancing back toward the kitchen. "Or maybe some ice?"

"I'm fine, I'm fine!" Warren turns when he hears the commotion coming out the front door, having popped his thumb in his mouth for half a second. Now, he's back to shaking it. "Just caught my thumb on the hammer. I'm good, no need for ice, Miss Stone. But maybe a glass of water?" he wiggles his thumb to prove to the women that it's still in working order, before he's snatching the hammer up off the ground that had fallen.

"Idiot." Presley observes with amused fondness, and a large amount of relief for the fact that her brother didn't lose a limb or anything by making this coop. She glances at Kate, "I'll fetch the water." Then she's hustling right back inside before Kate can do it herself.

Kate turns to call out to Presley, but the girl is already inside before she can manage it. Instead she'll rub her arms with her hands, making her way over to the coop, or what has been made of it. "Are you really okay? I know that must hurt." She glances around, a frown on her face. "What happened to Xavier?"

There's a glance to Presley as she rushes back inside the house, but his focus returns to Kate soon after. "I'm fine, honest. I've been in a lot worse pain than this," he says with a broad grin, which rapidly falls into a frown when he notices her rubbing at her arms. He's quick to go and fetch the coat he discarded over the porch railing, bringing it back to her so that she can bundle up. "He had a call he needed to take. He helped me get most of the frame up," he says as he holds his coat open, very much intending to wrap her up in it.

"I'll go get my coat, you need to be warm too." Kate is turning toward the house, but she pauses, turning back and walking toward Warren, leaning in to murmur something quietly to him. She raises both of her brows, gazing down at the coop so far. "Well you've done a wonderful job of this, can I paint it in the spring? Something with flowers?"

You whisper, "Is your sister trying to throw us together?" to Warren.

"I took it off in the first place, it's no trouble," Warren insists, but whatever she whispers to him has him leaning back some. There's a glance to the house, and a long sigh that follows, as he murmurs something back to her. Then, with a shake of his head, he looks towards the coop and chuckles a little. "You can do whatever makes you happy, Miss Stone. It's your coop now. Flowers would look nice. I would just suggest not painting it red, chickens don't like red."
Warren whispers: I'm real sorry that she gave you that impression. She's just young and wide-eyed, I don't think she means any trouble.

And then Presley reappears! With the water. "I found the glasses!" It's a proud moment, finding glasses in someone elses kitchen, and she goes to offer the glass to her brother, "You sure your thumb isn't going to fall off? You remember when Shorty nailed his thumb to the fence last summer?"

Kate reaches out, taking Warren's coat and putting it on. "Suppose I can warm it up for you then." She turns when Presley comes back out, standing back so she can take a look at his thumb. "It looks okay, he'll probably get a bruise, or that..imperfection in his nail while it heals." She glances between the pair and then gazes inside of the coop, or what there is of one so far.

"I appreciate it, Miss Stone. Hopefully it doesn't smell too much like horse, I was riding this morning before I came by," Warren jokes with Katherine, before his attention slides back over to Presley. Is there a mild narrowing of his eyes? Perhaps, but he holds his thumb out for inspection as he takes the cup of water from her. "Thanks, Pres. You closed all the cabinets that you opened, right?" his brows hike up as he takes a long sip, then deposits the glass back in Presley's hand. "I'll probably lose the nail, but it won't be the first time. And ugh," he actually shudders as he turns back to the coop, to start hammering in the side panels. "I don't think I can ever unsee the memory of Shorty stuck on that fence."

"I closed all the cabinets I opened." Presley promises, glancing over at Kate to state it again, "I really did close all the cabinets." Then she examines the thumb before the glass of water is back in her hand, "You'll live." Expert opinion here. Then she carefully informs Kate, "Shorty is one of our ranch hands, and if you've never seen a cowboy without a thumb you've never seen the saddest thing in the world."

"Oh dear." Katherine murmurs, hugging the coat close for a few moments. "Well this is nice and warm, and I appreciate it. Do you want us to get out of your hair so you can finish your building?" She asks, glancing between Warren and Presley, a concerned look on her face. "We don't want to distract you, and you have to be getting cold out here."

"It's not /that/ sad," Warren chuckles over to Katherine as he turns back to his work. It's hammer time! "Well I wouldn't mind if you ladies wanted to keep me company now that Mister Westin's run off? But it is pretty cold out here, so I'll understand if you want to get back into the kitchen where it's toasty," he grins over his shoulder to the both of them. "It won't be much longer. I did all the hard work back at home, cuttin' the wood and shaping it right."

"You need any help?" Presley questions, moving to step over towards her brother, although she pauses just in case he doesn't actually want any help from her. She then glances towards Kate, offering her a smile, "I'm sorry, I wasn't thinking. You probably don't want to hear about Shorty's thumb…"

"Oh, it's fine. Your stories are always amazing. Just in the kitchen I was picturing all of your family gathered around a large table. It sounds cozy, and will make some good memories for you." Katherine moves to take a seat on the edge of a wooden bench, avoiding snow on the ass. "Do you guys build coops like this often? How many chicken fit in a coop?"

"Maybe when I put the roof on," Warren says to Presley, going across the yard to grab one of the coop walls and haul it back. He sticks his tongue out of the corner of his mouth as he gauges the frame, and then lifts the wall into place, holding it steady with his left hand. "Actually, you wanna hold this up?" he asks Presley over a shoulder. "And it depends on the size of the coop, Miss Stone. This one'll fit four hens. You gotta have a certain amount of space between each of them," he says to her with a small smile. "You have big plans for Thanksgiving? I mean, I don't imagine you're workin' on the holidays, are you?"

"No, we don't…but we've gotten a few built over the years at home." Presley replies cheerfully, then she moves towards Warren when he says that he needs her help afterall, setting the glass down. She then moves to hold the part of the frame up that Warren needs help with, falling silent as her brother starts asking Kate about Thanksgiving.

"Unfortunately the nature of my job means I work every day, all day." Katherine shrugs, not looking unhappy about it. "I'll be cooking dinner for my guests, and anyone else who stops by hungry. I don't turn people away." She moves to help Presley, glancing between the siblings. "If you two didn't already have plans, I would have happily invited you here. I can't beat a large family dinner though. I remember them, they're always something to remember for a few days after."

Warren looks across to Presley when she comes to help, standing close to her to say something in a quiet voice. It's followed up with a smile at least, before he goes to fetch the hammer and nail the wall into place. "Well I was gonna say that you and Mister Westin could come up to the ranch and join us, but I understand if you've got a lot of guests to feed," he shrugs his shoulders. "But you're welcome to come for pie after. There'll be a lot of pie."

"Mister Westin assures me that he'll be very busy with paperwork that day, but I'm going to do my best to try to get him into the holiday spirit. I do make a lot of food." Katherine purses her lips and nods at the pair. "Perhaps I can swing that, I'll ask him if he'd like to come for pie. I have to drop off food at the care home before we come though. I try to cook for them every year."

The whisper though, it makes her frown, mostly looking a little embarassed by it. She then quiets down, continuing to hold the wood when needed, the look that she shoots to Kate after a little while is clearly apologetic. About something.

"That's unfortunate. You're free to stop by, even if he's busy. We can always pack something up for him, too," Warren says with a shrug, leaning away from the wall once it was nailed into place. Presley gets a light pat on the back - a reassuring sort - before he goes around to the back of the coop, looking over the roofless exterior to grin at Kate. "You do a lot, Miss Stone. A lot of good! But a lot," he comments, not judgmentally - it was just something he's noted. "It's good to stay busy though."

"It's pretty easy to cook some food, there are not a lot of people down at the home, thankfully." Katherine gazes at Presley and she sighs, glancing over at Warren. "You didn't have to do that." She shrugs out of his coat, hold it out to him. "There, it's warm. Now you two come back in when you're finished, I'll load up the pies for you to take home. Then you can maybe come back later to visit, so you can show me what I need to do with the eggs if I want a chick. I imagine I'll need to procure a rooster?"

Presley glances over at Warren at the pat on her back, offering him a smile. Only to the look at Katherine with alarmed horror, "What! No!" She exclaims, shaking her head as she steps away from the coop, "He was right, ma'am. I shouldn't have been so loose with what I was saying, it was really rude of me."

*There is more to this log, or so I'm told, but this is where I stepped out!

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