(2018-11-21) Scene at Maude's
Random folks meet at Maude's before Thanksgiving.

It's afternoon, the day before Thanksgiving. Most people have finished grocery shopping, or are rushing around in desperation for the last turkey. Presley is not doing that, so probably was able to finish early….but isn't helping to cook yet. She's perched in one of the booths, a newly arrived and as of yet untouched milkshake in front of her on the table, and her cellphone in her hand. On the jukebox At The Hop is playing, someone has a sense of humor.

In comes Eve, all decked out in a bright mango-colored winter jacket with neon pink pants and colorful skids… so yeah, she isn't exactly matching the decor of the diner. In fact, the contrast between girl and diner is so glaring, the former actually does a double-take when she steps through the door. "Whoa! Time shift!" She says aloud, one hand lifting to shield her eyes. "When did I hit 88 miles per hour?" She's loud enough that the waiter behind the counter gives the girl an odd look, who by the way, is entirely unfazed and merely smiles. "Hey homie! Or wait, I guess I should be using the old days name… uhm, Greetings, Good Sir!"

The diner staff just rolls his eyes at Eve, and points a finger at the menu board behind him. It receives a quick glance… and so does Presley. "I'll have… what she's having!" Eve declares, followed by her shifting over to Presley's table. "What ARE you having?"

Hunter's stove still doesn't work, and so it is to the diner that he goes to get some food. He wanders in through the front door, the bell jingling a little bit as he steps inside and warms up his hands, rubbing them together as he stands behind the very brightly colored Eve. "I think your coat generated the 1 point 21 giggawatts of electricity needed for time travel." He then follows Eve's gaze over to Presley, who he gives a bit of a smile to and a dip of his head.

Presley looks up from her phone, not at Eve's arrival and outburst, that'd be rude. But the question about what she's having, "Um…mint chocolate chip shake, burger and fries. But those aren't here yet." She offers, carefully setting her phone down on the table before she notices Hunter's arrival, cheeks turning a bright red before she lifts a hand to wave, but it's to Eve she wonders, "Did you want to sit?"

Eve is distracted by the voice coming from behind, and looks back over her shoulder at Hunter. "Dude! You speak Emmett Brown! Welcome to 1955, homie." She 'greets' the young man, but her attention quickly turns back to Presley's reply, and the annoyed waiter. "Yeah, so… exactly what she's having." Beat. "Except no fries." Beat. "And no burger." Beat. "Oh, and instead of mint chocolate chip, can you make it strawberry, please?" Whipping out a card from a pocket, she hands it over to be swiped. Once it's done, she heads back to Presley's table and sits down across from the cowgirl, where she crosses her arms on the table top and grins at Presley. "Yes I did".

Warren has arrived.
Xavier has arrived.

Hunter gives Eve a thumbs up and a grin, and then he makes his way over to an empty seat at the counter, turning his back toward the girls as he orders himself a cup of coffee and folds his arms on the counter, studying the menu whose contents he knows by heart, as though ther emight be some new item revealed in some strange code within the other myriad items that will unlock the secrets of the universe. In the end, he orders himself a grilled cheese sandwich and some fries of his own.

"The strawberry is good, too." Presley tells Eve, who has just joined her at one of the booths. There are 50s tunes playing from the jukebox, and Presley has a milkshake already, but lacking the rest of her food for the moment. She leans forward, offering a hand across the table towards Eve, "I'm Presley, and that is Hunter." She gestures towards him, "Who is avoiding me because I was an idiot and was rude."

The door to Maude's swings open and Warren strides inside, catching it with a foot to keep it from swinging in Xavier's face (since he saw the man coming close behind). "Mister Westin," he keeps it respectful, before his eyes scan down the booths to land on Presley. "Hey Pres," he offers, lifting a hand, before he gestures to the girl at her table. "Who's your friend?"

Katya has arrived.

Xavier blinks as he recognizes Warren. "Ah, Mr. Starr." He grabs the door and opens it enough to slip inside. "Nice to see you," he offers. "I've had this place as a reco…" then he gets a look at the interior, and his expression turns peculiar. The man in the three piece suit is definitely not dressed for the decor. There's a moment when it seems like he's going to turn around and just walk out. Oh, but there are witnesses that know his name. So he musters a smile, and says, "Someone recommended this establishment. It's…charming. Lots of…character." He looks around, a bit helplessly.

Eve, who is decked out in a bright mango-colored winter jacket, neon pink pants and multi-hued skids, leans forward against the table to peer at Presley's milkshake, but is quick to follow the cowgirl's gesture towards Hunter. Wait, the offered hand from Presley is reached for, but instead of shaken… Eve manhandles the other girl's fingers into a fist, so she can do a proper fistbump. "I'm Eve, named after /THE/ Biblical Hottie." Turning her head again towards Hunter, she studies the young man at the counter. "Seriously?" There is a short pause before she calls out. "Doc Brown! Come join us!" She'll even scoot over and pat the vacated spot next to herself.

Hunter glances over his shoulder toward Presley, unable to avoid hearing her considering the proximity of the counter to the booths, one brow arching. "I'm not avoiding you because you were an idiot or were rude, I just got the impression I made you uncomfortable. So this is me, being over here, trying not to do that." He adds some cream to his coffee. He does, however, lift the mug in salute to Eve when so introduced. There's a glance between them when Eve invites him over, and he shrugs and makes his way to their table with his coffee.

Katya slipped into the diner, taking stock of who all was around as she made her way to the counter to put in an order. Mostly faces she didn't recognize, though one that she did. A twitch of a smirk as neon-pink eyes caught sight of Xavier. "One day you're outfit will match your surroundings." She mused to him and then put in an order for a milkshake and one of the burger combos. A wave of greeting was given to the rest of the group of people present, even though she had no idea who they were personally - but she did vaguely recognize Presley from the Rodeo circuit. She was dressed in a thick black flannel with a tanktop peeking out from underneath it and a pair of black jeans with sturdy hiking boots.

Thankfully Eve introduces herself fairly perfectly, because now Presley can answer Warren's question, "This is Eve, and this is Hunter." Since both are now at the booth as well. She scoots herself over, making room for her brother to join them if he wants to, a quick look cast towards Xavier before she waves towards him as well. But there are Important Things happening, and she shakes her head at Hunter, "No. I mean, I just never…met anyone like that before, and I wasn't really expecting it and that was super rude of me to act like that."

"Uh huh," Warren doesn't sound overtly impressed at the introductions, though it's likely just because his gaze has landed a touch firmly on Hunter. But, perhaps he realizes it's not the time for Big Brothering - thus, there's a lift of his shoulders. "Nice to meet you both," he says to Hunter and Eve, and at least sounds like he means it. His attention wanders back to Xavier as he steps a little closer to Presley's booth, lips drawing into a wry grin. "This place has it's charm. Kinda like takin' a big step into the past, yeah?" There's a chuckle padding that statement, deepening as Katya wanders in to comment on Xavier's clothes. "Maybe we should take you shopping for some jeans and flannels, Mister Westin."

Xavier glances around at the familiar voice, and a quick smile lights up his face. "Ah, the bartender. I—" he does a slight double take, frowning at her face. Or possibly at the neon pink eyes. He makes a sort of 'well, that's a thing' noise, and his attention turns towards Warren, Presley, and the people around them. He smiles. "Xavier, please. And I would really rather simply build a few more restaurants where my outfit suits. Flannels. Really." He gives an exaggerated shudder. Then wanders over to the counter to subject the menu to scrutiny. "What's good?" he asks the room at large.

Suddenly, the place is filled up! Just like that. Eve has just scooted back against the wall for Hunter as he sits down, and is now looking at all the new faces that just popped up. Warren, of course, since he's joining them at the table - he also receives an upnod and a "'Sup? Friend of my new friend." Since, y'know, no name is given yet. Then her attention is drawn to Katya and Xavier, with the pair evidently knowing each other. Eve being Eve, she's not going to let all this talk about fashion go un-commented. "Wait. Wait. People. You can't dress him in /flannels/! I mean, look at him!" She even stands up a little, and gestures at Xavier like a gameshow presenter. "He's like that guy… 'I don't always time travel, but when I do, I prefer the 50's!'"

Once settled in with his coffee, Hunter glances up as he is introduced to Warren and catches that firm gaze, both brows going up just a little bit. He lifts his coffee and judiciously takes a drink from it, saying nothing for the time being. He recognizes Xavier and says, "Heya." Then there's a glance over toward Eve, and he can't help but snicker just a little as she gestures toward Xavier and his wardrobe. "Yeah, I'm pretty sure he might break out in hives if you drape him in flannel. Some folks were meant for suits." Hunter is not one of them.

Katya laughed at Warren's suggestion of shopping for flannel and jeans. "It's be a good look on him." She flashed a little grin as she paid for her meal and then eyed Xavier again as Eve protested the flannel wearing. "But flannel looks good on everyone." A sage nod, "Good to see you again Westin." She did finally offer to Xavier as she slipped up into one of the stools, turning to focus on the group. "How's everyone doing?"

"Warren," says Warren to Eve by way of introduction, before he adds as an explanation, "I'm Presley's brother." He doesn't yet sit in the booth, taking to hovering just outside of it with his hip leaned against the side of the seating, chuckling deeply at Eve's gesturing. He flicks another glance to Xavier, his smile broad. "Ah, you never know, Mister Westin. You might put on a flannel and never take it off. They are super comfortable," he gestures to his own navy blue and black flanneled overshirt, "And like that one over there said, everybody looks good in flannel." He tips his chin to Katya to indicate, but his focus settles on her a little longer, appearing on the edge of recognition. It clicks after a minute, "I'm pretty sure I remember you. From Nationals?"

"This is Warren." She offers to both Eve and Hunter, since she's evidently being really, really bad about introductions today. "My brother." Presley just doesn't have anything to add to the flannel conversation, as she is one of those dirty flannel wearing sorts. "I invited Hunter to come by for Thanksgiving, he doesn't have anywhere else to go…and then Wyatt is coming after dinner, and.." She trails off, looking at Eve, "You don't need somewhere to go do you?"

Xavier points at Eve. "Her, I like. She has sense. Although I'm not The Most Interesting Man in the World, last time I checked." And lest anyone accuse him of humility, he adds with a sly little smile, "Maybe in the top twenty." He snorts at the various other opinions, giving Katya and Hunter a wry look. "Flannel is not universally flattering. And I don't break out in hives, just shame. Shame and sadness." He just /sighs/ at Warren, shakes his head, then turns to order a burger, fries, and…a malt. Because really, how can you come to a place like this and not order a malt?

Katya simply looked amused, "*kazhdomu svoye. Mne zhal', chto u tebya plokhoy vkus*", the Russian accent in full force as she spoke, directed at Xavier, though she didn't translate for him. Instead, just grinned again and thanked the waitress when her chocolate shake came over. Pink eyes landing on Warren, studying him briefly and then nodded. "Yeah, I think I remember you too. S'been awhile. How've you been?" She relaxed against the counter, using a spoon with her shake to start. "I'm Katya by the way." Offering to the people she didn't know.

"You actually wrestled Fidel Castro, didn'tcha?" Eve asks Xavier, with her palms up expectantly. Like, a please-say-yes gesture. But like any good crow, she is easily distracted by shiney objects, in this case Presley's question. "For Thanksgiving? Nah. I'm probably having Thanksgiving dinner with my sister, and savoring the traditional American feast of sushi and swarmara…oh!" Again, distracted, as one of the waitstaff comes over to deliver her strawberry milkshake. She eagerly sips the drink, shivers a bit as she gets brainfreeze, but also peers at Katya as the woman starts making Cyrillic noises.

"I told her she really didn't need to do that," Hunter quickly explains when Presley mentions Thanksgiving, "I've got a houseguest and I need to make sure that he's taken care of, so I'm all set, really." He holds up a hand, as though to stave off any potential fallout from having been invited to some family's Thanksgiving. He continues to focus mostly on his coffee as he listens to those around him talk.

"It's all right. The more the merrier," WARREN says about Thanksgiving, seemingly not put off by the strangers that Presley's decided should come around. "We've got a big place and our momma always makes way too much food. So it's no trouble." He flashes a smirk to Xavier's sigh, and he pushes off his perch so that he can lean over the counter order a banana milkshake when the waitress swings by again. Katya's foreign chattering makes him hike his brows, but he shrugs in response to her question. "I'm still alive, so there's something to be said about that. You?" he replies.

Xavier turns and gives Katya a long, narrow eyed look. Then he sniffs. "I'm going to assume that was a compliment. Perhaps a declaration of love at first sight that you're just too shy to confess openly." He gets his malt first, and turns his back to the counter to look at the others, the old fashioned frosty glass in one hand, the other holding an extra large straw that is stabbed deeply into the creamy goodness. To Eve, he just grins mischeviously and puts a single finger to his lips. "Shhh." To Warren and Presley, he asks, "Do you two just invite everyone in the city over to your Thanksgiving feast?"

"Sushi?" Presley is just sort of uncertain how to take that, "Not turkey or ham?" She wonders, then glances at Warren, then Katya before she shakes her head at Hunter, "You can just bring your friend, like Warren said there is plenty of food to go around." She is just going to totally cling to the habit of inviting everyone she meets to Thanksgiving. "Not everyone." Despite protestations.

She took another spoonful of the chocolate shake and shrugged to Warren. "I'm here and also still alive. Though, still not sure if /here/ in this town is worth it or not yet. We'll see." A grin to Xavier. "Oh, you caught me. I'm madly in love with you. I'll seal the deal once you get on the mechanical bull." Obvious scarcasm is obvious, but it's good natured. Probably. "Nothing wrong with wanting to be, what's the word, neighborly?"

Eve grins lopsidedly at Xavier's Shhh. After finishing her first long sip of the shake, she points a finger at the suited man and loudly whispers: "Stay thirsty, my friend". Settling back in her seat comfortably, she turns to Presley for the cowgirl's uncertain look. Eve blinks, before slowly breaking into a smirk. "Babe, remind me some time to introduce you to the fine art of bullshitting." Beat. "So, Warren is your bro? And Hunter here is your potential romantic interest? Man, that's gotta be awkward. I don't envy you, Miss Presley."

"Ah, I think Calaveras'll grow on you," Warren replies to Katya with a wink as he twists to lean the small of his back against the counter whilst he waits for his milkshake. "It's a real charmin' place to live. I couldn't think of anywhere else I'd rather be." There's a flicker of a glance back to Xavier, head tipping subtly to one side. "No sense in lettin' people go hungry on Thanksgiving. I'm sure Miss Stone's much the same way. Surely you don't have a problem with that?" he asks, brows hiking up, before he grins back over to Katya. "Speakin' of, you're more than welcome down at the ranch if you don't have any place to go tomorrow." It's on the tail-end of saying that, that he hears Eve talk of potential romantic interests; his attention shifts back to Presley's table, his smile vanishing almost instantly.

Xavier takes a tentative sip from his straw. His eyebrows go up, and his next pull is more enthusiastic, if a bit surprised. There's a slant of his gaze towards Katya, and once he swallows, he says, "There's another part of that which you need to fulfill first, before there's even a chance of me getting on the mechanical bull." He might have said more, but Eve's point and stage whisper has him chuckling out loud. He takes another pull on the straw, before saying dryly to Warren, "Actually, I keep telling Ms. Stone that it's inefficient and detrimental to her business to continue to feed half the town for free." A pause, before he admits, "She does not agree." His amusement comes back in full force as Warren's attention turns to Presley and Hunter, though.

As soon as her food is set down, Katya immediately plucks up a fry and dips it in her shake before eating it. "Well,with you and yours here - I'm sure the Rodeos are pretty fun. I'm looking forward to when they start up." A nod to Warren and a wink to Xavier. "Don't worry baby, I'll show you a wild ride soon enough." Clearly more shameless teasing as she relaxes back and watches the total shift in Warren's demeanot. She munches down on another fry, hoping some kind of show was about to go down.

Ty comes in from the street, nestled in a thick coat that has seen better days. His hair is a little disheveled, and there's a hitch in his slow, otherwise steady gait. Yeah, he's not sober. But he is hungry. So he steps into the diner and promptly stops, looking around like 'now what?' He sniffs and rubs his nose on his sleeve, then scowls on general principle.

Hunter still seems dubious about these Thanksgiving plans, but he nods slowly then. "Okay, I just can't leave him right now. I'll see if he's up to going out for Thanksgiving." And that seems to be about as definite as he's willing to be. He takes another swallow from his coffee and then notices Ty, lifting his mug in salute. "Hey, Ty. How's it going?" He completely ignores Eve and Warren's reaction to Eve, just rolling his eyes a bit.

"Oh…sorry, I thought you were…" Presley starts, then trails off at the last thing Eve says, her cheeks flushing at the statement before she shakes her head, "No..umm. No." She shoots a glance at Hunter, then back at Eve, "I don't even know him." Because that makes a difference. Thankfully she's not paying attention to her brother, just looks up to see who Hunter talks to, and adds in a wave of her own, "Hi! Would you want to join us?" …and please god become a distraction from her own embarassment.

"Promises, promises," Xavier replies back to Katya, airly. His own food arrives moments after hers, and for a moment his attention turns back to the counter, and it's heaping burger and crispy fries. He tries a bite, then one of the fries, thinking it over. "Hmm. Quite good," he pronounces, at last.

Eve peers between Warren, Hunter and Presley for a bit. "Oh. Oopsie, right, sorry about that." She quickly does a zipping motion across her lips, before continuing to resume sucking on her milkshake. Because THAT helps! As people wave over to the new person, Eve will peer as well. "I think we need name cards for everyone." She observes with a sage nod.

Ty smiles as he sees Hunter. "Hey, man," he says, and he waves. Then he's being beckoned, and he shuffles toward the table with the kind of careful walk someone wasted uses so as to come off sober, only it never works. "How's it going?" he asks Hunter. "I didn't feel like cooking tonight, so…" So diner. He shrugs out of his coat and hangs it off the back of an empty chair before he sits. He looks around at the others. "S'up."

Katya chuckles again, though looks a little disappointed that nothing crazy happens. Then again, was she really expecting it to? 50/50 chance. She just winks at Xavier and then gives an upnod to the new person - Ty. "Anyway. I have a shift to be getting to. Nice seeing you all and I might just take you up on that offer Warren." About coming to the house for Thanksgiving. Maybe. " She reached over the counter to grab a to-go bag and a cup, obviously having done this before, and started getting her stuff ready to go. "Have a good day guys" She gave another wave before heading out.

Katya has left.

Xavier looks up from his dinner to study Ty, then he looks to Hunter. "Your houseguest?" Katya's departure is marked with a nod, but hey, fries. Fries are important. "And I confess the enthusiasm with which people in this city feed others is a bit…startling. It reminds me of Atlanta a little, but with less snark." A thoughtful pause. "Usually less snark."

"We've just met," Hunter finally deigns to acknowledge Eve's trouble-stirring with a little smirk and gives her a light elbow in the side since he's on the outside of the booth that she is sitting in. When Ty comes over he shakes his head to Xavier and says, "No, this is my friend Ty. Ty, this is Presley, Eve, and Xavier, or Mr. Westin as everyone likes to call him." His cup of coffee is empty and he thanks a passing server for a refill as it is filled up again. He then says to Eve, "Don't make her brother kill me yet, I have to get back to the future."

"Hi." Presley offers Ty, pausing when Hunter takes care of the introductions this time around, a quick smile offered before she reaches for her milkshake. She tucks the straw into her mouth as she starts to slide down a little in her seat, doing her very best to almost sink through the floor and fade away from notice. Then she lets her attention turn towards Xavier, offering, "It's polite and neighborly to offer food to people."

Eve flashes Hunter a crooked grin at the light elbowing, but doesn't fuss over it otherwise. "Just tell him you're actually his future grandson." She whispers conspiratorily at Hunter, before a new name is offered. "Hi Ty! Hi five!" She lifts a hand up for Ty. "Don't leave me hanging." She adds, for good measure. Hopefully she gets her hi-five, because then Eve can turn her attention back to Xavier. "Atlanta, seriously Dos Equis? I thought you'd say Soviet Russia, with your friend Natasha there. That's where the people feed the people."

"Hey," Ty says, giving Xavier and Presley and Eve each in turn. The high five gets a blink from him, but then he goes for it and returns a crisp high five. "I'm Tyler, but no one calls me that. They just call me Ty." His eyes are dilated, but he smiles, in a good mood at least. When the server comes around, he orders a cup of coffee, and he takes a menu to stare at. And stare at. Words, man. Just… man.

"Xavier is fine, I promise," Xavier assures the group. He switches back to his malt for a bit. "Mm," is the response to Presley. "Inviting strangers into your home is more than polite, I'd say. It's charitable, yes. But perhaps not overly wise. It opens you to the potential for exploitation - a risk to take with friends, perhaps, but perhaps too large for strangers." His attention shifts to Eve, and chuckles. "I've never been to Russia, so I couldn't possibly compare the hospitality." He offers Ty a pleasant nod of greeting, but studies the man skeptically.

"When did I go from Doc Brown to Marty McFly?" Hunter asks Eve with a bit of a smirk before taking a sip from his freshly warmed mug of coffee. Then he glances over toward Xavier and raises a brow. "Yeah, heard that's what happens when you welcome developers into your town too." There's the salt.

"I don't think anyone here would exploit anyone." Presley, bright shining idiot that she is, seems rather firm on that account. She sits up straighter, casting Hunter a look when he mentions developers, the very faintest of smiles appearing and vanishing before she offers towards Ty, voice a little quieter, "The burgers are great, and the shakes. I don't suggest the chicken strips, they are usually dry." She then glances at Eve, "So, how're you liking your shake?"

Ty looks up from his menu and says, "Oh, hey, a burger sounds great." He puts the menu down and sits up a bit. Looking at Xavier, he asks, "Are you that developer?" Word filters all the way down to the gutter, it seems. After a moment, he admits, "I'd probably exploit someone if I got the chance. Life's tough. You gotta get what you can get."

Eve leans in again to stage-whisper at Hunter. "The moment you got back to the 50's, and your mom falls for you… that's when." She /subtly/ points her head at Presley — not too obvious now. As for Hunter's jab at Xavier… for once it goes over her pink-and-blonde head, on account that she doesn't know Xavier is a developer, so she leaves that one be with nothing but a curious look. Instead, she looks back at Presley, who just reminded her about her shake. "Oh, this is great! Even though I question our collective wisdom. It's freezing outside with snow up to our yin-yang, we're all in here drinking icy cold drinks!"

Xavier grins cheerily at Hunter. "I'm not a vampire, Hunter. I don't wait for an invitation." No shame there, but Presley's firm rebuttal draws a soft laugh. "May you never find otherwise, Ms. Starr." He raises his malt in a salute, then turns back to his burger, devouring it neatly, with care to his cuffs, but with enthusiasm. He nods to Ty. "Probably. I can't promise it, since I don't know what exactly is being said, but /probably/ I am 'that' developer. If there's another prominent one around, then I'll have to find them and challenge them to a duel for first rights. It is the way of my people." This said utterly deadpan.

Hunter has to concede that to Xavier, and nods his head, lifting his cup of coffee in a sort of salute. Then he takes a drink from it while the others around him talk. He wiggles his hot cup of coffee in Eve's direction and says, "Wise like yoda." He also chuckles at Ty and says, "Yeah but you're not supposed to admit it. Way to be subtle." Then he actually laughs at Xavier and says, "That's how you get us. Be funny and likeable, and before we know it the whole town is a supermega shopping mall."

"The burgers are good." Presley adds again, then she just goes back to drinking her milk shake as everything turns to talking about terrible things, like supermega shopping malls and exploitation. But then there's Eve and the snow comment for the save, "Well, that's because ice cream is wonderful and it is warm here."

Ty grins at Hunter. "Yeah, but I'm not going to exploit these guys right now. I got my own money." When the server comes around again, he ordered a burger with everything on it. "I just heard there's this guy coming to Calaveras thinking of buying up everything and turning it into crappy stuff." He looks at Presley suddenly. "Are you from Starr Ranch?"

"Hey, I'm totes on-side with a supermega shopping mall." Eve announces aloud. "Man, I've been in town three days and I'm already having withdrawal symptoms. Where's my Zaras, my J-Crews and my FYE's? Girls' gotta accessorize, or we fade away." She sighs wistfully, before Presley reminds her of milkshakes and ice cream, making her bob her head eagerly. "Preach it, sistah. Ice cream IS wonderful. Even Yoda can't say no to that."

"I'd only build a supermega shopping mall if enough people wanted it to make it profitable," Xavier says, with a roll of his shoulders. "If you're certain your friends and neighbors don't want such a thing, then you've nothing to fear, do you?" Although there's a quick smile at Eve's enthusiasm. He takes a sip of his malt, then stirs it with the straw. "Change is not necessarily the enemy. It can be opportunity." A glance towards Presley. "More visitors means more interest for entertainments such as rodeos, for example." The burger is finished off with another couple of bites, and he fastidiously wipes his fingers before pushing the plate away. "And I never make crappy stuff," he says, with a bland smile. "At any rate, it was a pleasure to meet you all. I should return to my lodgings." He drops several large bills on the counter near his plate, then heads for the door.

Xavier has left.

"I like picking on that guy," Hunter says, "Partly because he takes it pretty well." He takes another swallow from his coffee. No food for him. He apparently is purely running on caffeine today. He shakes his head at Eve and says, "Nope, not going to hear me argue against ice cream." Not that he's eating any.

"Oh, yeah." Presley replies, sitting up a little straighter when Ty asks her about her family, easing right on into a little easier of a topic, "I am! Yeah…My family owns it and stuff, and then the stadium." She glances towards where Xavier just exited before informing the three left at the table, "But a supermall isn't going to bring people to the rodeo, no matter what he says. People who like the rodeo come to follow their favorite riders, or to see the famous horse or bull or whatever. I've seen people like him trying to buy some of the ranches, and they are all terrible people. He doesn't even like chickens."

Ty watches Xavier go. "I think a big mall would be kind of stupid," he admits. Then again, he doesn't accessorize well at all. To Presley, he says, "My uncle used to own one of the ranches not far from you guys. I grew up out there. It's nice country. I don't know who owns the place now, though. It was years ago." His food arrives, and he settles into stuffing his face.

Eve has been busy sucking on her straw when Xavier leaves, even giving him a little wave, then settles back down to listen to her tablemates chat. There is a bit of a surprised look on her face when Presley calls them /terrible/ people. "Wait, really? They can't /all/ be bad. I mean, that dude is suave and sophisticated, and I'm 99.94% positive he's in it for the moolah, but you gotta give him credit for mixing it up with the locals. The big evil corporation'd totes bypass us peons and schmooze with the politicos."

Hunter settles back into his seat with his mug of coffee and slowly drains it while he listens to the others talk. He shrugs his shoulders and says, "I like the guy well enough. He's smart. He's got his game face on, and he's at least good-natured about it. But he's probably gong to fuck this town raw before he gets done with it. That whole, nothing to worry about what your friends and neighbors want is some bullshit too."

"Who was your uncle?" Presley wonders, setting her milkshake a little bit away from her, "I know everyone out around us, I mean, I think I do. If your uncle was that close, I probably, might…maybe remember him, and know who bought it. I remember the bank came for Mrs. Nettles ranch when she passed away, her daughter sold it." She pauses, glancing towards Eve, then Hunter before she shakes her head at Eve, "They are all terrible. You know, they come in, buy up the land, squeeze hard working people out and then build condos, or like…supermega malls. My family has owned their land for generations now, and we've worked hard. All the families out there have, but these..these corporate meanies come in, buy low, and screw everyone around."

"Gabe Noll," Ty says. Locals might recognize the name. He owned a ranch outside Calaveras, sold it a few years ago and moved to Idaho. His sister was the one whose family car went off a bridge, killing her. The husband and son survived. That was a long time ago, though, at least fifteen, sixteen years ago. "I moved into town when he left," Ty says. "But I reckon with moneybags here, all that's going to go away."

Eve is clearly not local, so Ty's thing goes completely over her head. But Presley's regaling of the meanies' deeds? "Welcome to the Corporate States of America, Cowgirl." Eve singsongs, pausing to drain the remainder of her milkshake through the straw. "I have an great grand uncle back home who had this big ol' house that looked like it belonged on Elm Street; a big dev came in and scooped up the whole neighborhood but the old grump wouldn't sell no matter what, so they shined these big lights into his house all night long. After three months he caved and sold. Gotta love their creativity." She adds sarcastically.

Now that her milkshake is finished, Eve gives Hunter a quick nudge in the side. "Alright kids, it's been fun hanging out, but I gotta split before my big sis calls the cops on me." Assuming she's allowed out, Eve stretches a bit before giving the peace sign to all and sundry. "Cowgirl. Ty-Ty. Marty. Ciao!"

Unless otherwise stated, the content of this page is licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 License