(2018-11-26) Cheshire Smile
A Nicholas arrives.

The Wake Up, Calaveras crew has vacated the building and Kate is making her second round of breakfast. Omelets, hashbrowns, bacon, sausage and fresh toast with jam are on the offering, her movements around the kitchen graceful and easy. She has a phone on her shoulder, speaking into it with amusement. "Yes, I'm aware that she didn't speak with you, that's why I'm calling. I want to know how to cancel her classes there, she's going to be moving home for now." She brushes her hair behind her ear. "Yes, well .. I'm paying the bills, shouldn't I be able to say.. yes.. thank you." She hangs up the phone, rolling her eyes. "Never a dull moment." She mutters quietly to herself.

There's a bustle of activity throughout the great room that likely isn't the camera crew returned, considering the entire one-sided conversation sounds as though it is being spoken in Japanese. Along with it comes light laughter as Nicholas, attached to his cell phone, wooshes into the kitchen dressed in a snazzy fitted royal purple blazer, dark gray suit pants, and a black cotton t-shirt underneath the blazer. Fingers are wiggled to Katherine and then his forefinger is raised in the universal symbol of 'just one second' as he completes his call. Then, with a sigh, he tucks the phone in the pocket of his blazer. "Early morning meetings are just the /bane/ of my existence," his accent is thick, clearly from way out of town - out of America, even! "Whoever created time zones was a sadistic bastard, really. You must be Katherine," he extends a hand. "Nicholas Cartwright."

Katherine gazes at the hand, and then looks down at hers, washing and drying them before she shakes his hand. "Sorry, cooking and I don't want to get something sticky on another boarder. Welcome to the Stone Bed and Breakfast, Nicholas. Coffee?" She asks, tilting her head towards the brewing pot. "If you're hungry, breakfast is almost ready." She points to the stools near the counter. "Take a seat, let me know how I can help you."

Nicholas glances quick to the hand that's offered, as though deducing its cleanliness despite the fact that she's just washed it, and then gingerly takes her hand into his own for a quick shake. "Is it espresso?" there's so much hope there, until he looks towards her counter and rapidly deflates like a popped balloon. "There isn't a single place here to get a decent espresso. I spent half my morning scouring your little town for a coffee shop, imagine my surprise when it didn't even raise up to the level of a Starbucks," he sighs, approaching the stool with the kind of caution that one would take when approaching a snake. He looks for anything knit, before he takes a seat. "I'm not really a fan of breakfast, truly. Frankly, if it were entirely up to me, I wouldn't even be up before half past noon."

Katherine glances with him toward the coffee pot, eyebrows raised. "I'm sorry, but it is caffeine, just a slower route to …espresso land." She shrugs and goes back to making breakfast, a soft noise escaping her as he describes Java Junction. "We're just a little town, out of the way, we don't have a lot of fancy trappings here. In fact, there aren't any name branded places at all." She nods as he passes on breakfast, tsking softly. "It's a shame, I made the bread a few days ago, it's really good." She tilts her head as she turns the bacon, going quiet for a moment as she makes sure everything is set up so it won't burn for a moment. "So you're needing a room?"

"It's no matter. I'll have a machine brought in, it'll help liven the place up a bit. You'll just need to clear a space on the counter," Nicholas makes vague hand motions towards the clutter, his lips flat. "And yes, your town is … very little. Quaint. It reminds me of the little villages in Northern England. Good for a bit of a fairy tale, and not much else," he laughs a little. "But yes, a room is what I need, Katherine. And please for the love of all that is good in this world, do tell me that the one with the floral wallpaper is currently in use?" He looks absolutely desperate for the right answer here.

"You'll.. oh, okay.." Katherine glances at the counters, mentally calculating where a machine might fit, her eyes narrowed slightly. She turns her head back to gaze at Nicholas, blinking a few times before she shrugs. "The Daisy room is taken, yes." She bites on her bottom lip, considering some things. "If you want a larger sized bed, I'll have to put you in my room for the time being, until something comes available." She starts to dish out food for herself, putting it on a small plate and setting it aside. The rest goes in the warmer, and then she walks over to wash her hands again. "How long are you planning on staying?"

"Oh thank God," Nicholas breathes a sigh of relief when she says the daisy room is taken, brows lofting in gentle slopes as she suggests he take her room. "I wouldn't want to put you out.." he starts, considering. "Does the room have it's own bathroom?" When she asks how long he'll be staying, it actually makes him laugh a little bit. "If I'm lucky, not very long at all. It all depends on your beau, of course. This Winchester deal is taking a bit too long for my liking, and I do so hate being dragged all the way across the universe to take care of things personally." He sighs dramatically.

Katherine aims a polite smile at Nicholas, shrugging when he says he doesn't want to put her out. "It's fine, it wouldn't be the first time, and yes..it has its own bathroom." She looks amused, rolling her eyes as she takes a bite of her eggs. "The only bedroom in the house that doesn't have to share a jack and jill." She makes an mm sound as he mentions her beau, taking a bite of sausage. "From what I understand the Winchester is taking as long as it is because it's a delicate negotiation, a historical part of the city." She chews carefully, watching the man across the counter. "I hope you're not in a huge hurry to get things taken care of, you may be lingering for a few months." She moves to pour herself some orange juice, snagging her toast and buttering it.

"I'll take it then," Nicholas says of the bedroom, the corner of his mouth twitching upward in a half smile. "I'm sure Xavier won't mind a bedmate. I'll have my own sheets brought in, of course, I have particular standards in thread count," he flashes her a warm smile, which rapidly deteriorates at the talk of the Winchester. "There are always ways to hurry things along, love. I've purchased many a historical property, the Winchester will not be the first. Though we'll have to discuss this .. budget.." he almost dry-heaves at the word. "Traveler talk I've been hearing."

"I'm sure he won't either, but I won't invade his space." Katherine says dryly, her eyes on her breakfast instead of Nicholas. "You're more than welcome to do whatever you need to make the space your own while you're here.." She points a fork at Nicholas. '..except renovation." She says that firmly, gazing back down at her eggs. "The hotel will eventually be a place that various classes can affordably enjoy." She remarks, standing up straight and making her way to the sink. "This isn't a famous resort town, we need to appeal to all types or we won't make money." She washes her plate, rinsing it and setting it in a drying rack.

"Is it truly an invasion if he allows it, love?" Nicholas replies with a smirk, leaning an elbow onto the counter behind him. H watches her closely as she moves about the kitchen, pointing forks at him and such, his expression keenly amused. "Yet," he replies. "It is not a famous resort town /yet/. Never dismiss the possibilities of potential, Katherine, or you'll waste it." He tips his head to the side as she gets up to rinse her plate. "You do realize that businesses very rarely make money their first year, yes? And hotels routinely operate at less than full capacity. Eighty, sometimes seventy percent, depending on the season. Hotels are very risky business, and if you intend on mixing several groups together, well." He shrugs his shoulders. "You may find, Katherine, that you're going to have to make some very hard choices. IF you intend to make money, of course."

"Allowing it and wanting it are two different things." Katherine remarks, watching Nicholas as he speaks, leaning against the counter. She crosses her arms over her chest and her ankles as well. "I've been running this place for two years, I may only have seven rooms, but I've managed to run in the black with a tidy profit. I've been doing my research, and I think that having options in the building will be a benefit and not a detriment." She glances toward the sink, frowning. "I'm already making hard choices, and I'll make a lot more during this process. What I won't do is turn my dream into a high end boutique hotel that is only busy when people like you are in town. There is already a very high end option up on the slopes, I intend to be the middle ground, since I'll be taking out one of the smaller competing businesses once I open."

"I don't think Xavier Westin has ever allowed something before that he hasn't wanted, love," Nicholas remarks with a laugh, his smirk blossoming into a full on cheeky grin as he watches her. "I can't speak to your current business practices, but a bed and breakfast is on a much smaller scale than an actual hotel. That isn't to say you won't make a profit - I'll curse the day Xavier Westin was ever born if you don't - but I would not expect the hotel to operate quite as similarly as your quaint little house here. You'll have far more overhead, for one," he points out. "Many, many salaries to pay. And the bill for electricity will likely make you faint the first time you see it," he grins. "I've no dreams of you turning the Winchester into the Four Seasons, love, though I'd far prefer that over the .. Motel Six option, which I've only just recently heard of," he looks like the word makes his skin crawl, he actually shudders at the thought.

"My sleeping arrangements aren't really your concern, to be blunt. You'll be comfortable here, that's all that matters." Katherine's polite smile doesn't waver, she pushes away from the counter, pouring a cup of coffee, dropping two squares of chocolate into it. "I don't expect it to operate the same way either, Nicholas. You'll have to give me some room to breathe though. We've barely made an acquaintance and you're already telling me what won't work for you. I think we should let the research and the numbers have their say before we shove any ideas out of a window." She rolls her eyes and shakes her head. "I don't know who made you think we're turning it into a Motel Six, but that was never on the table. An old beauty like the Winchester needs to be honored. She will be, and the hotel will be unique in character and in how it handles its customers." She quirks her eyebrows in a slight challenge. "You'll see." She takes a sip of her coffee and then a breath. "If you do choose to stay your rate will be sixty dollars a night, that includes three meals and laundry service if you require it. There is filming in my great room from seven in the morning until nine. I appear on a show called Wake Up, Calaveras. If you wish to sit and watch production, you're more than welcome to. If you do not, the kitchen will be accessible should you have need of it." She sets down her coffee cup. "Any questions?"

Nicholas bites the very tip of his tongue as he grins like a Cheshire cat, eyes brightening. He just looks tickled pink at the conversation. "I'm not concerned at all. Intrigued, perhaps. Curious? Most definitely. But concerned? Never," he winks at Katherine, almost giddy with it all. "I do hope you understand that this is my investment, too. I'm putting an awful lot of money on the line, and extending an awful lot of trust in Xavier. He's yet to let me down, but.." He wags a finger at Katherine. "I do so hope that you've not seduced him with your small town charm, love, and convinced him to bring all of his major investors in to buy you your dreams," It's playfully said in that very British accent of his, laughing away as he leans into the counter. "It's a very good way for him to lose business, if that's what he's done." The talk of money just earns her a small nod. "I suppose that's reasonable, although I do think I should get a discount as I'm not going to eat your breakfast. Do you take requests?" he asks, brows extended. "I'm off the dairy for the time being. I prefer almond milk over soy. And you film a show in here? With your goat?" he grins. "How quaint."

The back door of the Bed and Breakfast opened from the backyard and for the brief moment it had been opened the mild sound of a goat's bleating echoed in before being shut off by the door latching and a heavy breath of air that came from Anthony as he strode down the hallways, "Miss Stone, I's said hello ta' ya' little goat out 'ere like you'se said an' it jus' started screamin' at me, I dunno if it wan'sa smack me inna' gut or love me ta' the end'a the world" was heard before the physical presence of Anthony turned the corner into the kitchen, the sort of voice that would have likely sounded deep, smooth, and refined if it wasn't for the way it was delivered. His left hand raised toward Nicholas in a motionless wave as he appraised the man briefly with a pair of pale green eyes, "Mornin' " he offered simply as he approached the edge of the bar, "Is it still breakfast?" he asked, reaching his right hand over his left wrist to usher up the fabric of his sports coat to look at his watch, uncertain of the time.

Katherine smiles back, offering Nicholas a playful wink. "I'm glad you're not concerned." She murmurs, picking up her coffee mug to sip from it again. "I haven't seduced Xavier to get him to buy me anything, let alone my dreams. My money will be on the line in the Winchester as well, a significant amount of it actually, as I plan to retain a majority share." She brushes her hair back, going quiet as Anthony appears. She tilts her head to get a glimpse of the goat jumping up and down and smirks. "She probably just needs let out to run, I'll take care of that shortly. Yes, breakfast is still being served. Take a seat here at the counter with Nicholas." She turns to make a plate for Anthony, piling eggs, sausage, bacon, hash browns and toast on a plate. "Coffee with your breakfast?" She asks, setting a mug beside the plate she puts in front of him. She focuses on Nicholas for a moment. "If you need a discount for breakfast, your rate will be fifty five a night, and yes, I keep almond milk in the house." She turns to refresh her coffee, offering a brief smile toward Anthony. "Those are fresh eggs, right out of the coop outside." Yes, she has chickens too.

"Mmmhmm. I suppose I'll be the judge of that," Nicholas keeps his brows lifted as his gaze adjusts from Katherine up to Anthony, inspecting the man for a long moment. "I hope you didn't let the animal out of her pen," he says to Anthony. "I did that yesterday and the thing followed me straight into the kitchen along with one of the chickens. It looks like your dear assistant was able to put them both back in their places, at least," that part was spoken to Katherine, before he cants his head back to Anthony, as they are soon to be counter mates, apparently. "Aren't you a delightful little thing," he murmurs with a sly grin. "From New York? Queens, I imagine, or somewhere in the vicinity." He looks back to Katherine after, flashing her another smile. "Have you considered putting a restaurant in place of the lounge at the Winchester?"

"Oh Jesus, yes, t'ank you, Katherine" Anthony replied at the mention of coffee as he followed her direction and assumed a seat atop a stool at the bar, looking over the plate in front of him he shook his head subtly, "And they was sayin' Maude's had good food, fuckin' marrone this looks beautiful" he commented at the hearty plate of soon to be devoured breakfast, as Katherine mentioned fresh eggs, Tony arched his brows with a nod, "Yeah, from ahh…" he snapped his fingers in thought of pulling something from memory, "Presley ann'a Starrs, right? Yeah, she mentioned somethin' about givin you'se some chickens'a somethin' " he replied, flashing her a smile of upturned lips against his taut facial features - and then turning that same smile toward Nicholas as he spoke, "I mean, I'd say I's got a few inches an' at least ten years on you, kiddo but I'll chalk it up to cultural indifference" and he turned his attention to his plate, placing a few fork fulls of egg into his mouth as he glanced toward Nicholas while speaking. He shrugged a shoulder a bit as he paused his eating for a moment, "Right, an' you must be from London, 'cause it's the only place upstandin' Brits come from, right?" to which he arched an eyebrow, implying the pure incredulous nature of the suggestion, "Manhattan area, Brooklyn occasionally, but all ova' the state really. You a friend'a Xavier's, huh?" he posed curiously as he turned his attention back toward his breakfast.

Katherine pours Anthony some coffee, flashing him a smile as he starts to eat, nodding. "Yes, Presley and Warren brought me the chickens and built the coop for me. They're lovely." She chuckles softly and smiles at Nicholas. "Charlotte is very capable, and the goat likes her. I'm sure she had no trouble." She takes a drink of her coffee. "We can talk business when we settle down somewhere to meet with Xavier, not over breakfast if you please." She murmurs, turning as she starts to pack up the leftovers and clean up. She darts a quick look back at the pair, smirking as they chat, opening the fridge to put containers inside. "Someone recently mentioned getting me a cow, but I'm fairly certain it was a joke. Would keep me from having to mow the grass in the summer and fall."

"Age is but a number," remarks Nicholas, plunking his elbow on the counter and cupping his chin into his hand. He casts a glance down Anthony as his lips twist into a faint smirk. "And we'll have to agree to disagree on the inches." The Chesire cat-like grin returns as he laughs, straightening up in his stool afterward. "Oxford, actually. But I do quite a lot of business in London. And in New York. It is one of the only places in America that I don't mind staying in for an extended period of time." He looks back to Katherine when she talks about the cow, looking briefly horrified. "Where /will/ you be putting the animals once you sell this place? Certainly not at the Winchester. Hopefully back to the farm they were taken from."

If Anthony had a reply for Nicholas, he chose to reserve it at the mention of 'age being but a number' and he helplessly split his casual smirk into an outright smile of amusement, shrugging a single shoulder and continuing to indulge himself in the lovely breakfast prepared for him. He sat, quietly and yet entirely attentively as he ate, glancing his eyes between Katherine and Nicholas as they exchanged words, though at the mention of a cow he arched his brow in interest, and even more after Nicholas spoke. "Y'know, Katherine…" he added, gathering a napkin and padding at his lips having cleared a decent portion of the plate, "I'm gonna have to agree wit' Nicky-boy here - what ever will you do once you sell the Bed and Breakfast" he commented, resting his eyes on Katherine with a slight cant to his jaw that suggested his interest was entirely piqued.

"Once things go one way or another with the Winchester, I'll make that decision with my sisters. This is their home too. I only own a third of the house." Katherine remarks, rolling her shoulders in a shrug. "I doubt they'll want the animals so I'll find a farm that will appreciate them, or return the chickens to the Starr's." She picks up her coffee and walks around the counter to take a seat on a stool. "I wouldn't mind having a home to go to after the working day is done, I have to live here while I work, but the same can't be said for the Winchester. Once we're on our feet and doing well, there will be managers, desk clerks and the rest. They won't need me breathing down their necks." She takes a drink of her coffee, watching as Charlotte lets the goat loose. She hops in circles around the red-haired girl, taking apple pieces from her hands. "So we'll see. I am not the put all my eggs a single basket type of woman."

"Aren't you adorable," Nicholas sways fingers in Anthony's direction, touching the man right on the shoulder briefly. "But it's Nicholas, thank you. 'Nicky' is reserved for the one and only Angela Bell, and she'll be right cross if you steal away her nickname for me." There's a twist of a smirk as he swings his focus back to Katherine. "I do fully agree with never putting your eggs in a single basket. There are so /many/ baskets to stick your eggs in, why choose only one?" It's probably not what she meant, but he's totally going for it.

"So I've been told, by you actually" Anthony replied toward Nicholas' initial words and as he finished his explanation and the name drop of someone Tony assumed he was intended to know, though didn't, he simply winked at Nicholas and flashed him a handsome, cockeyed smile of white teeth as he lifted his toast from the plate and bit into it, taking a slow draw of plain black coffee afterward. "Personally, I like my eggs fried and safely within my stomach, but that's just me" he commented, and traced his tongue silently over his teeth to insure they were free from any particles from breakfast as he took a deep breath, "A'right, its been a pleasant enough mornin' for me, I gotta' go find some smoke in my lungs an' some dirty exhaust'a somethin' to make me feel at home" he added as he rose from his seat, taking a deep few swallows from the coffe and setting the cup down atop the plate. "Katherine, my compliments to the most wonderful chef in Calaveras" he said as he withdrew a soft pack of cigarettes from his inner breast pocket, tossing one between his lips and heading for the door.

"Dinner is after seven." Katherine comments to Anthony as he gets up to go, turning to gaze at Nicholas for a few moments. "I think you and I need to come to an important understanding.." She begins, a slight twinkle in her eye. "When it comes to the Winchester, I value your opinion as an investor and as someone who has probably done this before. So when that comes up? Please do offer as many ideas, compliments, slights and whatever else is necessary. I want my place to do well, and I'll need your help with that. Not only on the money side." She sets down her coffee, her voice dropping a bit. "However, when it comes to my personal life? Where I am sleeping, who with, and what I do with any egg I come across? That is not in your purview, and I would highly appreciate maintaining some professionalism unless we grow to be friends. Are we on the same page?" She asks, blinking at Nicholas a few times before she gets to her feet. "Now, if you'd like, I can show you where you'll be staying."

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