(2018-11-27) Full House
When your doors are open to the public, you shouldn't be surprised when the public comes in.

It snowed more than it was supposed to last night, so instead of having a film crew in her great room, Kate actually had to drive down the hill to the studio. Because of that, the normal scent of breakfast hasn't floated up the stairs yet, in fact, she is just getting in the door and getting started. She's wearing her beanie, wet with snow as she pulls things from the fridge to cook. She looks a little frazzled at the moment, but there is coffee brewing so that shouldn't last forever.

Down the steps from the upper hallway comes Nicholas, who breezes into the kitchen wearing an incredibly luxurious robe of navy blue silk with delicately detailed embroidery and billowing sleeves, and a pair of black silk pajamas. "Did my espresso machine make it in, love?" was the very first thing he says to Kate when he sees her, casually avoiding her in her wet hat as he folds himself into a stool at the bar.

Xavier is already dressed and looking sharp when he comes down with his usual rapid tread on the stairs. He's frowning at his phone as he enters the kitchen, but stops for a moment as he takes in Katherine and Nicholas. "Well, good morning to you both." He stares at Nicholas, or perhaps the robe, for a moment longer, then shakes his head, before going over and offering Kate a kiss on the temple. "I thought it sounded quiet down here. May I take…" he makes a motion at the wet hat, and if permitted to take it, he carries it to a hook to be banished to dry.

Katherine stops to stare at Nicholas when he appears in her kitchen, berobed and swathed in silk. "Espresso machine?" She questions, frowning thoughtfully for a moment before she remembers. "Ah, no. If someone was by to drop it off earlier, I wasn't home." She puts a pan on the stove, turning on the heat. "You don't want breakfast again?" She asks Nicholas as Xavier walks in the kitchen, offering the latter a scattered grin as he steps up to kiss her temple. When he plucks the hat off of her she makes a frustrated noise. "Sorry, things are late, if you..take a seat it should only take about ten minutes. Promise."

There's a cheeky little grin that grows a touch brighter when Xavier enters the room and kisses Kate on the temple, Nicholas idly biting at the very tip of his thumb. "Good morning, Xavier. It is about time," he sighs dramatically, putting his hand down to drape it along the bar top as he frowns over to Katherine. "Such a pity," he remarks of the espresso machine, before up pops his eyebrows. "Are you taking requests? In that case, I'll have a bit of bacon and perhaps a crumpet with a bit of jam," he says, before he looks back up to Xavier. "Were you going to make me wait for ages, Xavier while you gallivant around? It's quite rude," he says in what is a clearly playful sort of tone.

Xavier arches an eyebrow. "Yes, well, Nicholas, some of us /do/ pause to put on actual clothes before we leave our bedrooms. I realize it's inconvenient, but you may consider it a Midwest peculiarity." Despite the dryness of his voice, he's smiling, and after the hat has been put away, he returns to offer Nicholas a firm shake of the hand. "It's good to see you…although I admit I never thought it'd be in Colorado. I expected you to send an assistant, rather than brave the flyover states." There's a playful bit of curiosity there, before he moves to take his seat. "And take your time, Kate. And ignore Nicholas, unless you have a sudden crumpet-baking fever. He'll live, I promise."

Katherine takes a deep breath and lays bacon across a pan, her gaze raising to settle on Nicholas. "Bacon, yes… but I don't think I've ever made a crumpet." She is cracking fresh eggs into a bowl, adding salt, pepper and scallions. She pulls open the fridge again, pulling out orange juice. She pours herself a glass as she listens to the pair, her eyes shifting to see how much longer before her coffee will be ready. She whisks the eggs and pours them into a second pan, picking up a spatula to scramble them as they cook.

"Xavier, please," Nicholas waves a hand at him, before he touches the robe. "This was a gift from a Saudi prince. You can't expect me to only wear it in my bedroom," he breathes a sigh, "I'm starting to become very afraid that the.. peculiarities .. of the Midwest must have gone to your head, love." Was there a glance to Kate when he says it? Perhaps a sly one, but it just makes the upward curve of his lips a little broader. He sits up a touch straighter on the stool though, canting his head slightly from one side to the other. "I wouldn't have dreamed of giving up the chance of seeing the wild west with my very own two eyes. You know, the other day, I went to this darling little restaurant, it was like stepping into a time portal. I felt very Doctor Who," he flashes Xavier a grin. "There was an actual cow girl there, Xavier. It was so quaint." He looks to Kate afterward, and sighs again. "I suppose bacon will have to tide me over for now. But don't listen to Xavier, I may very well wind up dead."

Xavier laughs. "You're wasting a golden opportunity to build intrigue, but far be it from me to ruin your sartorial moment. As for the Midwest and its peculiarities…we both know you don't /care/ if I suddenly take up ten gallon hats and," he shudders, "flannel shirts, so long as the investments pan out. Which they will." He grins, and leans back in his chair a little. "And that must have been Maude's. It's very quaint, I agree. They've got a lot of ranches in the area, so cowgirls happen." He eyes the coffee machine, thoughtfully, then looks to Kate. "He'll be /fine/. He can have crumpets flown in if he's desperate. I hope you're charging him a real rate."

Katherine slides the eggs and some of the bacon on a dish, placing a fork on it. "He asked for a discount, he doesn't eat breakfast." She moves to set the plate in front of Xavier, preparing another one for Nicholas with just bacon. She squints at the Englishman as she sets his plate in front of him. She pours herself a cup of coffee and starts making more food, this time at a more leisurely pace. "He has a lot of opinions as well, apparently someone told him that we're turning the Winchester into a Motel Six. I wonder who that might have been." She shoots a look at Xavier before she turns her attention to her cooking.

"The real intrigue, Xavier, is /why/ he gave me the robe. The world may never know that particular mystery," remarks Nicholas in retort, his grin smooth. "And you're right. I don't really care, but I have to keep up the appearance of caring. As we all know love, appearances are very important." This is spoken to Xavier whilst he looks back to Kate, his eyes a little brighter. He picks at the bacon she drops down upon his plate, breaking off a piece to nibble at it. "Negotiation is the truest form of art. And I merely suggested that she may want to take the word 'budget' out of her vocabulary," he smiles sweetly to Xavier. "I know it is not in /yours/, after all."

Xavier stands up and pours a cup of coffee for himself almost /the moment/ Kate finishes with hers. The only reason he doesn't down half of it right there is probably because he likes having a throat. He returns to his seat. "Motel Six?" A brief laugh. "Never in the plan, that I've seen. Nicholas, have you /seen/ that building? Romanesque Revival with heavy Richardsonian influences, gold filigree work in the lobby, a ballroom, an attached lounge. It could be something truly special with a bit of polish and the right people providing the experience. There's nothing budget about it, even if it's never going to pull down Manhattan or Vail prices."

Katherine makes sure that the smile stays on face, even if the mushrooms she's dicing are getting pulverized. Whatever is going on in her head eventually gets her to relax and she aims a true smile at Nicholas. "Coffee with your bacon? I have juice too, or that almond milk that you mentioned." She watches Xavier as he talks about the Winchester, shaking her head slightly as she dumps mushrooms and smoked cheese on top of the new eggs that are cooking. "I think a lot of people are mistaking the word budget for something else." She murmurs, shrugging a shoulder. "Which is understandable, if one never had to use the word budget before."

"Yes, yes. I've /seen/ the building. And I've /heard/ quite a lot. Thus it is a very good thing that the right /person/ is here to provide the experience," Nicholas remarks, leaning back into his stool as he motions a hand to himself. It makes him smile, though it rapidly deteriorates when Kate says the B word again. He might've actually shuddered. "Budget is very synonymous with the word cheap, Katherine. Cut-price," he shudders again. "You just need to reframe. I'll speak with my advertising department, I'm sure they'll give you a better word to use."

Xavier gives Nicholas a skeptical look. "Hold on there, Nicholas. This /isn't/ New York, or London, or even Atlanta. What works in those places isn't going to pull in the same people in Calaveras, and it'll actively turn off locals looking for a luxury experience that doesn't make them feel…excluded. We have to be careful about branding and all of that, and it /can't/ be seen as an outside interest imposing 'city' on the locals. That'll fuck the whole thing up. There's a reason I put together the circle that I did, and why I brought in locals. We're gonna get pushback either way, but I'm doing what I can to minimize it, and that means playing nice, and getting buy in. Not stomping all over things." He's sitting at the table with Nicholas; Xavier in his suit, Nicholas in an ornate silk robe. Katherine is abusing mushrooms as she cooks and listens, and operates a knife in what should probably a worrisome manner for the two men.

"That's only what I said yesterday." Katherine mutters, pulling the eggs from the stove. She keeps an eye on the bacon and the sausage, taking a drink of coffee before she raises her voice to add. "It's also a historical building, so please don't get any ideas of tearing it completely apart and changing it, Nicholas. The city council would likely never agree to anything like that." She looks thoughtful for a moment, tilting her head to the side. "Economical, modest, reasonable, nominal? I mean, there are a lot of words that can be used, but I still don't think that any of the changes that anyone has even approached smells of anything cheap. It just allows us to draw in more than one type of customer, which seems like a smart idea to me. I'm just a small business owner though, I might be mistaken."

"I do not stomp, Xavier. I walk gracefully and carry very large bags of money," Nicholas says as he exits his stool in a smooth fashion, flashing a tight smile in Katherine's direction. "I've yet to once suggest tearing it completely down. To you, at least," he laughs a little, finishing what's left of his bacon and leaving his plate behind. "I do suggest you may wish to listen to advice and gentle guidance. You have one of the best at your disposal," a tip of the chin to Xavier, "Who has brought in some of the very best to assist you with buying your dream. I've no intention of you completely bending to my will, Katherine, but I don't often put good money into someone's hands without having at least a little say in what is done. I would think on the restaurant in place of the lounge. It's truly not an awful idea, particularly with that bar already across the street," he notes, before he floats away to the door. "I'm off to take my mid-morning nap. Ta-ta."

The back door of the Stone Bed and Breakfast creaked open to the familiar sound of Miss Rainbow Sparkle's insistent bleating and a rich baritone that likely would have sounded smooth if it wasn't for being butchered so badly by its wielder, "Yeah yeah, kid. Take it easy, I'm sure you'se gonna' get a walk sometime soon" Anthony reasoned with the animal as he made his way down the hallway in the characteristic stride of a man who'd woken up on the right side of the bed this morning. It was just in time to catch the silk-laden backside of Nicholas slipping into his, or more correctly, Katherine's room. It was subtle, but Tony definitely muttered some choice words and shook his head as he entered the Kitchen, pale green eyes falling on Xavier at his table, "Mornin' " he offered in passing as he approached the breakfast bar to find himself a seat on a stool, "You must be Mista' Westin 'at so many peoples is talkin' about aroun' here" he commented and turned his attention toward Katherine, "Kate, jesus, would you be the angel you are an' bless me wit' some coffee?" he accented by the light press of his palms together to mock a posture of prayer.

Xavier winces at Katherine. "None of those. It's not about being a small business owner, but it is about…knowing your best clientele. It's not even about room rates - having a sections of rooms with affordable rates is a great idea. But your whales, the customers who are going to buy every optional extra, who are going to drink down your minibar and book their snowscape weddings here? They're going to actively be turned off by a branding that suggests…economical, or modest. Whereas, your more budget-conscious customers will be thrilled to stay in a 'luxury' establishment, so long as they feel that they, personally, are getting a good or special deal. But," he grins, "advertising strategies are a lot further down the line in this process. And the restaurant idea is a good one," he adds, with a nod to Nicholas. He doesn't seem to see anything weird about the idea of a mid-morning nap - at least where Nicholas is concerned. He seems to remember his breakfast exists, and starts eating with vigor.

He looks up as the newcomer walks in, and offers Anthony a quick smile. "Only about half of it's true, whatever it is. I'm afraid you've got the advantage of me, Mister…?"

Katherine leans against the counter with a sigh, a hand running over her face. "This is going to turn into something I'm not going to want." She says quietly, and instead of getting upset, she just starts to work, snagging Nicholas' plate so she can dump it in soapy water. She puts the pan in there next and slowly washes, clearly lost in thought. She turns when Anthony walks in, nodding mutely in his direction as she dries off her hands, making him a plate of food, pouring coffee into a mug. She gathers silverware, salt, pepper and cream and sugar, setting things in front of Anthony where he sits. "Enjoy." She murmurs, turning back to gaze at Xavier. "I never said that I wanted economical or even modest. Never. In all of our discussions so far I've just said that I don't want to appeal to /one/ type of customer. Everyone /else/ seems to think that just because I run this place small that that's what I want out of the hotel." She turns back to the dishes, muttering to herself as she washes things with more verve than might be needed. She jerks her hand back after a moment, pulling a knife from the water and dropping it into the other side of the sink, wrapping her hand in her towel. "Shit." She nods from Anthony to Xavier. "Xavier, this is Anthony Malone, he's staying out in the garage."

"T'anks, Kate" Anthony immediately responded to Katherine's confirmation of getting him his morning fuel source of black coffee. His pale green eyes watched Kate's microagression's transpire as she scrubbed her plates like they owed her money - a thought that made Tony curl one side of his lips high into his taut cheek and shake his head, turning toward Xavier's words with a smile equally as quick as his own, "Please. Just Tony, only my priest 'an my motha' call me Ant'ny" he flashed a laughing smile of white teeth, "Ey' if half of it's true, you're doin' pretty good. I mean, dependin' on the half" he replied with a polite dip of his head in a respectful nod toward the man before gathering his cup of coffee which he pulled to hover above his torso with casual posture, eyes flicking toward Katherine, "You'se alright? Y'know they make aluminum bats if you'se really wanna' beat on 'em dishes…"

Xavier studies Katherine for a long moment. He says, carefully, "That isn't what I mean to say, or imply, Kate. I-" he breaks off as her hand jerks and she reaches for the towel. He rises to his feet, and moves towards her. "Do you have a first aid kit? I'll grab a bandage and antiseptic." A glance towards Anthony. "A pleasure to meet you, Mr. Malone. Although I think the bat might be a bad idea…if only because she might decide that the proxy of the dishes isn't enough," he adds, wryly.

"In the great room, there is one on the table where I put my keys." Katherine replies, squeezing her cut finger with the towel. She manages a smile for Anthony, moving to take a seat on a stool as she shakes her head. "I have a bat, unfortunately it's upstairs where Nicholas is taking a nap." She cradles her injured hand, gazing down at the cut apathetically. "I'll just invite Franklin over again, say nothing, and when Nicholas talks to me like I'm stupid the problem will take care of itself."

Tony flashed an amused grin toward Xavier at the mention of the possbile outcome if Katherine were to posess a bat and shook his head, sipping his coffe and Kate made her way to sit down, "You wan' me ta' go get the bat anyhow? I mean, maybe I fall on the way out, I'm so clumsy…" to which Anthony openly mimed as if he was swinging a bat with one hand while balancing his coffee in the other, gesturing at his wingtips at the suggestion of being clumsy, "It'd be a real shame, I mean, it's such a nice robe. I'm sure he could tell you'se how many silk worms he had to buy at an exorbitant amount ta' make it or somethin' " he commented, and the distate was palpable, though he offered a smile toward Kate with a shrug, sipping his coffee before speaking. "Maybe Franklin's right, you should take a fuckin' vacation…"

Xavier turns on his heel and disappears into the great room on first aid fetching duty. He's not far enough not to hear the conversation, though, when he returns, he says, "Please don't get your investors /or/ their expensive clothing assaulted, Kate. And Nicholas talks to everyone like they're stupid. He's young, he's brilliant, and he hasn't yet learned out to move /around/ as well as /through/. He hasn't had to." He puts the kit on the counter, and starts breaking out the goods with familiarity. He gestures at Katherine's hand, and unless stopped, will start swabbing the cut with antiseptic and then wrapping a bandaid securely around it with swift, practiced motions. "Who's Franklin?"

"I'm not going to get anyone assaulted on purpose, Xavier, but nobody who comes in this house on a regular basis is going to let him talk to me like that without me having to get between them." Katherine shrugs, surrendering her hand to Xavier so he can bandage the cut on her finger. "Franklin is a police officer, and he's pretty protective of me and my sisters." She glances at Anthony, her brows lofting briefly as he mimes whacking someone with a bat. "I'm fine. This is all fine. I just need a place to scream for a little bit. I might take a trip to the gym or something." She remembers herself and turns back to look at her guests. "Do you two need anything else?"

Content to smile a sort of smug upturn of his lips behind the brim of his coffee mug, Anthony sat quietly while both Katherine and Xavier exchanged words, though the temptation to laugh into his coffee at mention of needing a place to scream nearly got the better of him. "Guy's built like a fuckin' tank, too. Not fa' nothin' but I'd almost pay ta' see him beat up on -anybody- " Tony commented as he sat his mug down with a quiet clink of the ceramic atop the bar and raised his toast for a bite at the corner, "I'm good Kate, t'anks. You do what you gotta' do"

Xavier watches Kate for a long, silent moment, his brow furrowing. "If that's what you need to do," he says, eventually, his voice and expression settling into something neutral. "And I'm fi—that is, no, I don't need anything. As Mister Malone says, take care of what you feel the need to." His eyes flick to Anthony, and he smiles, briefly. "I swear, what do they feed these guys out here? They have a tendency to grow tall and broad, don't they?"

Katherine returns Xavier's silent look, sighing softly as she slips to her feet, murmuring softly to him before she closes the first aid kit. "He's still a police officer, Tony. So he would absolutely behave himself unless he had a stellar reason not to." She says out loud to Tony, opening the dishwasher to start to load it, using her unbandaged hand to accomplish the task. "You didn't help matters by implying that Nicholas is a pervert." She makes a soft noise, snorting as she closes the dishwasher door, powering it on. "I did send him a text telling him that was a mistake, because if I didn't, he'd be in this kitchen far too often for me to get anything done. After the whole Cassius thing, he's sensitive about that."

"I didn' do nothin'a the sort" Anthony replied to Katherine with a cockeyed smile as he finished one piece of toast and brushed his hands together, the callouses of his palms creating a low whistle as he did so, "I jus' said he seems like the kin'a guy who'd go t'rough someone's underwear drawer. I didn' specify if it was his own drawer, your drawer, my drawer…" Tony rambled, shrugging a shoulder, "Okay so maybe I intentionally made a lil' insinuation" he shrugged and grabbed for his coffee mug, glancing at Xavier with a bob of his head. "They sure do, maybe it'sa fres mountain air - seems like every other guy aroun' here is'a size of a brick shithouse" he chuckled, taking a long draw from the dark coffee. Though he leaned backward, as if to stretch his back and exuded a low groan, "I like Franklin though, regardless an' unrelated" he added on the back end of his words with a wave of his hand as if to dismiss it from his mind.

Xavier shakes his head at Kate, and leans in to murmur back to her. When he leans back, he gives Anthony a raised eyebrow. "What's this about Anthony being a pervert? And who is Cassius? I will neither confirm nor deny the first allegation, of course, but as obnoxious as he might get, he won't do anything that will imperil a profit-making opportunity." His brow furrows. "Why on earth would Nicholas even have the opportunity to go through Kate's underwear? It's not his style to break into other people's rooms, and I'm sure she keeps her door locked, anyway."

Katherine clears her throat, nodding briefly at Xavier. "Anthony implied that Nicholas is a pervert, which upset Franklin." She bites on her bottom lip, frowning as she turns to pour herself more coffee. "Cassius was a ..person who stayed here briefly and Franklin didn't think very much of him." She slips coffee into her mug, glancing briefly at Xavier and then back at her mug. "I had to give Nicholas my room, I'm out of places for people to sleep right now. I think Solo might be leaving soon, so when she does, I'll move Nicholas in there." She stirs her coffee with a spoon, tapping it on the rim of the mug before she puts the spoon in the sink. "Mostly understandings, and I hope he doesn't snoop in my room. He might find the lightsabre. Imagine explaining /that/."

While not warranting a response fully, the implication that Xavier made that Anthony was a pervert did not go unnoticed, his response coming in the form of a smirk that didn't boast the same level of amusement as it had prior, though it was no doubt still there. "I insisted she take the garage back until anotha' room opened up, but short'a turnin' ta' physical violence where she beat me wit' a…" he glanced at Kate, blinking, "…Lightsaber? Anyway, bottom line, she's stubborn, whatta' you'se gonna do" he shrugged, finishing off his cup of coffee before setting it back down. "I understand you're quite a busy guy, but we should arrange some time to talk at some point…" Tony waved a hand signifying the lack of importance, "Whenever you find time. I t'ink we share more than meets the eye"

Xavier stares at Katherine. "You did…what? Where are you sleeping? Why didn't you.." He snaps the lid of the first aid kit closed. "There is a limit to the amount of self-sacrifice that is charming, Kate," he says, and not even the mention of the 'lightsaber' can lighten his expression. "I'll talk to Nicholas about finding more suitable accommodations." He gives Anthony a brief nod. "I'd like that, I'm sure. I—" and then his pocket starts buzzing, and he frowns down at it, retrieving it with a curt, "Xavier Westin." His frown only deepends. "I have to take this, Kate, Mister Malone. My apologies." Then he walks away, already talking about steel tariffs and overhead adjustments.

Katherine lets out an exasperated breath, folding her arms over her chest when Xavier walks out of the kitchen. She turns her gaze to Anthony then, an eyebrow raised slightly. "Physical violence, huh?" She asks, laughing softly. "I'm not doing great this morning, I might need a jog along with the gym time." She gazes down at her feet, considering something before she gazes back up at Tony. "Is your breakfast okay? I can get you something else if you're still hungry."

The kitchen of the Stone B&B was still filled with the aroma of fresh breakfast and the acrid smell of brewed coffee with Anthony at the bar finishing his toast and Katherine in the kitchen with a fresh cup of coffee, engaged in conversation.

"A'right, mista' Westin aside, seriously, fuck t'at guy" Tony nodded toward the hallway toward the rooms with a low grunt of dissaproval, and he glanced from his plate of breakfast toward Katherine, "Oh no, it's amazin' I just don' normally eat a big breakfast like t'is, gotta' watch my figure an' shit y'know?" he grinned, "…or, more like I usually jus' drink my coffee, maybe eat some toast and call it good." he raised a hand and scratched the edge of his nose absentmindedly, "You an' me should probably have a sit down sometime too, Kate. By the by…"

Katya slipped into the B&B, thinking that it just might be the first time she'd been here. She was bundled in her usual thick flannel overshirt, though a longsleeved shirt was peeking out from beneath it. She also had on a pair of faded jeans and hiking boots. Pale yellow eyes today as she peered around, drawing nearer to the kitchen in search of a particular someone. Spying Anthony, she leaned lightly against the frame of the entry way. Katherine got an upnod and a tiny smile, but her gaze found Tony again, ever so slightly pensive. "You in the middle a anythin' important Tony? Aside tryina put meet on ya bones?"

Katherine shrugs at Tony, rolling her eyes as she pulls his nearly empty plate away to clean it up. "You don't like everyone you have to deal with on a daily basis, that's just a fact of life." She notices Katya's appearance, nodding in her direction as she gestures for her to come further in. "If you're not happy with your room, we don't need to have a sit down, just let me know and I'll fix the problem." She dunks his plate into the soapy water, making an effort to keep her bandaged finger dry. "Looks like you're about to get busy, in any case, which leaves me time to slip away to the gym."

Another vehicle pulls up to the rather busy B&B, this one a silver Acura RDX that has in fact been here before. The driver of the vehicle subsequently steps into the B&B itself, wearing a chic long black winter coat, covering everything but her matching black boots. The boots aren't really designed to traverse snow, so she makes her way very cautiously, and even taking a moment to brush off any snow clinging to her footwear before stepping inside. Won't catch her making a mess!

And then she follows the voices and heads towards the kitchen, and pauses at the sight of several folks gathered therein. A polite smile is offered all around, each face briefly studied, eye contact made, but ultimately it is the proprietress that Nina's attention falls on. "Good morning, Miss Katherine." She greets in her slightly accented, soft-spoken voice. "Are you on your way out?"

Anthony shivered as if he was subjected to the cold of the arctic, miming wrapping his arms around himself in an effort to get worm as he rested his pale green eyes on Katherine, "Fuckin' Frigid, Kate. Jesus christ, fine, I'll jus' go t'rough Westin" he commented and shook his head as he immediately dropped his motions, insuring it was in fact all an act. With the presence of a new voice, Tony turned atop his stool to look toward Katya, who he regarded with a warm upturn of his firm lips in a smile, "Mornin' Kiddo" he acknowledged her as he stood himself upright, stepping off from the stool with the click of his wingtipped shoes against the floor. "Seems I'm about'a be, huh?" he mentioned to Katya as he took a few lazy strides toward her, one hand slipping into his suit slacks and the other fishing into the inner-breast pocket of his jacket to retrieve a pack of Parliament cigarettes. The presence of the chic-overcoat wearing Asian woman however, warranted a hitch in his step as he flicked an eyebrow upward, "Mornin' Miss" he spoke as he retrived a single cigarette with his lips.

Katya chanced a glance between Kate and Anthony, quirking a brow towards him, maybe the vaguest hint of a smirk but she didn't comment on anything. Yet at least. "Only for a few minutes. Promise. Hate ta clutter up your busy schedule an' all." She mused. Looking over her shoulder as Nina arrived, she gave the woman a quick appraisal before giving her a nod of greeting. Then looked back to Tony. "Can we talk outside I guess, if you're 'bout to light up?" She pushed a hand through her hair before digging in the pocket of her flannel for her gloves so she could put them back on.

Katherine blinks a few times, shaking her head at Anthony, laughing softly. "If it's business that's something else entirely. If it's about your room…we'll just talk later." She nods at Nina, wiping her hands on a towel. "In a few minutes, yes. Is there something I can help you with before I head out, Nina?" Her face lights up and she holds up a finger. "Are you here for your luggage? I put it in the hall closet, I figured you'd be back for it." She looks embarrassed for a moment, a tilted grin appearing on her lips. "I was going to give it to Julian to pass along to you, but I wasn't sure if that was appropriate."

"I am here for the luggage, yes." Nina begins to smile her polite smile to Katherine's correct guess, but her expression already fades to one of mild surprise at the mention of Julian. "Well…" Her reply is briefly held back as Nina glances between the others present, and decides to go with a generic response. "…he is too busy to do heavy lifting for me, I'm sure." Beat. "I will just get them myself, if you can show me where the hall closet is."

"Everythin' is always about business, Kate, even if it's done over breakfast and a smile" Tony replied toward Katherine toward whom he then flashed a wink of one of his green eyes and turned his attention back toward Katya, depositing the soft pack of smokes to its rightful place in the interior pocket of his tweed suit jacket, "Of course, always got time for old friends" he replied around his cigarette which bobbed in his mouth as he spoke, raising a motionless left hand toward Nina in passing, "Have a good day" he muttered as he made his way toward Katya, "Lead'a way"

Katya pushed lightly off the frame, giving a nod to the women before heading towards the backyard.

"I'll get your luggage." Katherine responds, smiling at Nina, holding up a finger. She walks out of the kitchen, and the sound of rummaging can be heard before she returns, bags in one hand, phone in the other. She darts a look toward the french doors that lead out to the backyard, shrugging as she sets the bags near Nina. "I was worried that you wouldn't be back for those, I was going to call, but it's been a bit busy around here lately and I hadn't found the time to do it. I'm sorry."

<TXT> From Warren to Katherine - I had to go downtown to grab something from the drug store. I don't suppose you're in the area and want to come have milkshakes at Maude's with me, would you?
<TXT> To Warren - I'm handing off some luggage to someone, but afterwards I should be available. Milkshakes huh?
<TXT> From Warren to Katherine - Don't tell me you've never had Maude's milkshakes before.
<TXT> To Warren - I have, but it's been a little while.
<TXT> From Warren to Katherine - Then you know full well what you're missing out on.
<TXT> To Warren - Where have you been lately? You dropped off the map, you know that?
<TXT> From Warren to Katherine - You can ask me that when you come have a milkshake with me.
<TXT> To Warren - Fair. I'll try to get away here shortly.
<TXT> From Warren to Katherine - Sounds good. Just let me know either way.

Nina politely waits for Katherine to bring her bags, at which point she crouches down for a quick visual inspection to ensure these are in fact her bags. "Oh, please don't apologize. I can't thank you enough for agreeing to store my things until my place is ready." Her smile, as always, is serene and polite. "And I know this place keeps you constantly busy. I hope at least your guests aren't causing you too much trouble?" A meaningful glance follows Kate's towards the french doors.

Katherine goes still for a moment, eyes on the doors before she gazes back at Nina. "I used to think this was easy, and now everything is complicated and it's not easy anymore." She runs fingers through her hair, sighing heavily. "I feel like I'm walking through a minefield on a daily basis now, but the hope is that it gets better instead of worse?" She leans against the counter, arms folded over her chest. "How are you settling into the city? Are you enjoying yourself here still?"

Nina rises back up, and briefly carries her bags to the side so they aren't tripping hazards. "I am settling in well, thank you. The place I have now is only a studio apartment, but I find it suits my needs. People are generally friendly, but… I notice there is an increasing number of newcomers, myself included. Mr. Stronghold thinks TechEase's move to Calaveras may have drawn the interest of other investors." Her shrug is more of a subtle roll of a shoulder, before her dark eyes rest on Kate gaugingly. "Do you know why when someone goes to a shop to purchase an item, they are a customer? But when they go to a restaurant or a hotel, they are guests?"

Katherine lets out a breath, nodding at Nina. "I've noticed a lot of newcomers as well, not all of them seeming to be on the up and up." Her gaze travels towards the doors again before she moves to settle on a stool. "No, Nina. Tell me why that is?" She asks, folding her hands on her lap, an amused half-smile on her lips.

<TXT> To Warren - Can't you /bring/ me a milkshake? I would love you forever if you did.
<TXT> From Warren to Katherine - I suppose. Where am I bringing it to?
<TXT> To Warren - My kitchen, of course.
<TXT> From Warren to Katherine - I'll be there in a bit, then.

Nina moves towards island, and folds her hands daintily on top. "The relationship between a customer and a vendor is purely monetary. Don't believe the term "customer satisfaction"; the only thing that matters is if a customer comes back to pay more money." Beat. "There is more than money between a guest and a host. There is an interpersonal relationship, and both sides need to realize there is an expectation of behavior. I think a lot of people don't understand that; when a guest acts like a customer, they would have overstayed their welcome."

Katherine watches Nina move about the kitchen, her eyes following her and resting on her when she starts to speak. "Interesting." She tilts her head, teeth pulling lightly on her lower lip. "So when a guest gets too familiar, or refuses to lean into that interpersonal relationship, things go wrong?" She gazes down at her hands, eyebrows quirked slightly. "You know, Nina…you stayed here for a while. I tend to treat my guests like family, and perhaps I need to put up some walls instead of inviting them so far in. Maybe. Possibly." Kate is sitting on a stool while Nina speaks to her, leaning on the kitchen island.

There's a knock at the front door, though Warren's been around a couple of times now so he knows he can just go ahead and let himself in. "Hey Miss Stone, it's just me," comes a deep voice from the hall, as he wipes his boots on the mat. There's a small pause before he adds, "Warren!" Just in case she wasn't sure. But down the hall he comes soon enough, bundled up in a coat and a pair of jeans, two large to-go cups in his hands. He pauses just inside the kitchen doorway, looking to Kate and then Nina. "Oh, you should've said you had company, I would've brought another," he says, flashing Nina a bright grin as he plunks a cup down near Kate. "Didn't know the kind you like, so you get chocolate. Can't go wrong with chocolate." Or so he hopes.

Nina's posture is just about perfect where she stands, hands folded on the island top. "Even with family, there needs to be boundaries. I was raised to behave when I am visiting, friends, family, strangers. If they are generous enough to open their homes to me, the leat I can do is to respect their wishes." No sooner has she finished, that Warren announces his arrival and appears with cups, making Nina turn her head to look over her shoulder. "Hello." She offers along with a polite smile.

"Duly noted, Nina." Katherine responds, getting to her feet. "I always expect people to behave, and get rather surprised when they don't. I'm also not great at correcting that behaviour, but I suppose I should make an attempt to get better." Warren's appearance and the milkshake make her smile, she pulls the to-go cup closer and takes a pull from the straw. "Chocolate is never wrong, Warren. If anyone ever tells you that it is, ignore them." Katherine, Nina and Warren are all near the kitchen counter, speaking quietly with one another.

"Hey," Warren tips a warm smile to Nina, before he glances to the other milkshake clasped in his hand. "Would over you mine, but I already drank from the straw, so.." he chuckles a little, looking back to Kate with brows slowly hiking. "Are we talkin' etiquette or somethin'?" It was at least somewhat gathered from the bits of conversation he's heard between Nina and Katherine, "Was someone misbehavin'?"

Katya stepped in from the backyard, laughing at something Tony had said. "Sure thing. But you gotta provide the shovels." She shuddered at the switch from cold to warm again and rubbed her glove-covered hands together. Pale yellow eyes taking stock of the kitchen once more, gaze landing on Warren for a moment and she smiled."Hey Warren." Moving further into the kitchen, pulling off her gloves so she could run a hand through her hair again.

Trailing behind Katya in from the backyard was Anthony, clad in his traditional 'not from around here' sense of style and with the subtle shiver of a man who'd just endured the elements outside for a smoke. "Mista' Starr, my favorite charity runna' " Tony commented in sight of Warren as he entered into the kitchen with a deep inhale of the lovely warm air, "Somebody say chocolate? I heard you was s'pose ta' get the Banana, or does it change dependin' on the day?" he mused as he slipped his hands into the silk-lined pockets of his suit pants, "Man, Kate, t'is place is fuckin' poppin' this mornin' "

The smile Nina offers to Warren remains polite, but now adds a hint of gratefulness. "That's a kind offer, thank you, but I am fine. I'm afraid I won't properly appreciate a milkshake anyway given the temperature outside." But also to his question, Nina adds sagely: "We were discussing boundaries, in fact, but etiquette by extension…" The Chinese woman's voice trails off as Katya and Anthony return from the backyard, and something the New Yorker said brings a serene, but noncommittal smile to her lips.

Katherine takes another drink from her milkshake, watching all the people gathered in her kitchen. She sets down her to-go cup and rubs her hands together. "Anyone want coffee? Tea? Something else to drink. Take a seat, get comfortable..whatever." She gestures at Nina and beams a smile. "I'm not great at boundaries, so..it's a bit of a free for all right now." She huffs out a sigh and finishes putting the morning meal away, a line on her brow showing that she might be slightly stressed out.

"That's why you drink 'em indoors when it's cold," replies Warren with a hint of a chuckle to Nina about the temperature outside. He looks back to Katherine afterward, his brows lifting just a touch higher, but he just shifts himself into a chair. "Boundaries are important," he adds his two cents with a small shrug, looking up when Anthony and Katya come into the kitchen from the backyard. "Oh, hey. If I'd known you were here, I'd have brought a milkshake for you, too," he says to Katya, before he laughs over to Anthony. "Chocolate is the kinda flavor that pretty much pleases everybody, yanno?"

Katya drifted a little closer to where Warren sat, considering Katherine for a moment, but she didn't know the woman very well and therefore didn't feel entirely comfortable with any kind of deeper than surface level questions. "Tea would be good. But if you wanna show me where ya keep the stuff, I could put it on. Seems like ya got your hands full. Should make Tony here help with that cleanin'." She offered up a little amused. A look back to Warren, she leaned over and took a sip from his milkshake without missing a beat and winked to him. "I can forgive it this time. I'm sure you'll find some way to make it up to me." Then straightened up again so she could move to help Katherine out.

"Ah, don' worry about it, I'm freezin' my balls of enough as it is" Tony replied to Warren with a wave of his hand to dismiss the issue, though his smile drifted toward Katherine, "Ey' calm down, whatta' 'bout you? I mean everyone is jus' here for you'se fantastic company, doll. Don' worry about tryin'a serve everyone, it ain' a restaurant" he explained as he made his way toward the bar, choosing to stand rather than sit and leaned his elbows atop it, glancing toward Nina to whom he extended one hand, "Hey miss, how you doin'? We didn' getta' chance to meet earlier wit' Katya shovin' me outside like'a bully she is, My name's Tony"

Nina unfolds her hands and accepts Anthony's offer, giving the man a gentle shake. "Pleased to meet you, Tony." There is a brief moment of hesitation before she adds, "My name is Nina." Almost as an afterthought, she looks around the rest of the faces, including them in the introduction of her name. "And as fantastic company as Miss Katherine is, I am really here to collect my luggage." She further clarifies, stepping back from the island to pick up the two bags placed near the wall. "I should be going and letting you all get back to your busy schedules." Then to Katherine. "Perhaps we can have lunch together some time?" 'We' probably include Julian, but Nina doesn't specify.

Katherine moves to the stove, filling a kettle and putting it on the heat. "I'm fine Tony, just need to shake off this morning and find a place to nap eventually." She opens the cupboard as she waits for the kettle to whistle, pulling down several kinds of tea. She sets them out and then pulls a few lemons from the fridge. "It is pretty cold outside, it's probably going to snow again." She eyes the doors with a slight frown on her face. "So, once I get you all squared away with tea and whatnot, I'm going to /walk/ to the gym and work out some of my bad mood. Hmm?" She gazes at Nina, smiling as she picks up her bags. "I look forward to lunch Nina, I'll bring along some baked goods, just give me a call."

Warren utters a low laugh as Katya comes to sip from his straw, glancing aside to her with an amused expression. "Yanno, it's a good thing I grew outta the whole girls have cooties thing a long time ago," he leans to nudge her playfully, before he lifts the cup so that he can take a drink himself. Afterward, the milkshake is offered back up to her, his attention briefly shifting to Kate as she bustles around the kitchen. "What happened this mornin'?" he asks curiously, a touch of concern in his voice.

"Lucky me." She chuckled, nudging him back lightly before sliding into the seat next to him, reaching over to pluck out a couple tea bags for when the water was ready. A brief moment of debate and then she did accept a second sip from the shake, then settled in her seat. Her head tilted, looking towards Nina as she seemed to be departing. "Stay warm." She offered, then shifted her attention back to Katherine, curious to see what the woman might say about the morning - since she was a little interested to know what happened as well.

"Well, it's my pleasure ta' meet ya's, Miss Nina" Tony replied toward Nina with a warm smile across his firm lips, and as she excuses herself he raised two fingers to the bridge of his brow in a casual wave, "Stay safe, Nina. It'd be a shame if we never got the opportunity to meet again" he chimed as he draped a long arm across the edge of the bar, interlocking his hands at the fingertips.

At the mention of what happened earlier, Tony shot his pale green eyes toward Katherine before breaking into a bold-faced grin, "Well, you'se see…" he began with a breath, "There's this fuckin' guy named Nicholas, or Nicky-boy as you may…" he trailed, "Let's jus' say he don' have the best manners in'a world"

"I will." Nina promises Katherine, then adds a smile of farewell to the rest of the room. "Enjoy the rest of your day." With that she departs. Even though most people are likely going to drag their heels just a bit longer to hear what was up with Katherine, Nina can likely do the same if she chooses, but she doesn't. Maybe it has to do with all her earlier talk about boundaries, after all.

"I have a new guest, and I'm having a hard time handling his requests." Katherine replies, pulling mugs down from a cupboard, pausing to take another drink from her chocolate shake. She aims a look back at Tony as he describes it differently, a frown on her face but she doesn't contradict him. She pulls the kettle from the stove and pours steaming water in the cup meant for Katya. "Anyone else?" She asks, smiling at Nina as she takes her leave. "There is just a lot going on right now, and I have a lot of balls to juggle."

Warren shifts on his stool, leaning an elbow on the counter so that he can be at a comfortable lean as he exchanges a glance between Tony and Katherine. "I'd say kill 'im with kindness, but it's probably not right to kill your guests. That's probably bad for business," he says to Kate with a wry grin, the milkshake lifted to take another sip before he extends his hand to hold it back to Katya again. "I'm good, Kate, thanks," he says of the tea, or needing anything, "I'm sorry about your guest. But if you need help with anything? You only gotta ask. I'm sure there'd be many people willin' to help, myself included." He casts a glance to Katya afterward, canting his head in a curious sort of way. "What're you up to anyway? Aside from bullyin' Mister Malone, apparently," he says that last part with a playful grin.

"Well I'm sure ya've already gotten offers ta have this Nicky set straight. But I'll toss out another one. Some people just need a real firm talkin' to ta get things through their thick heads." She said, completely straight-faced as Kate poured her tea. She dunked in a mixture of a green tea bag and a chamomile bag, letting it steep. "Thank you Miss Stone. I hope ya workout gives ya the outlet ya need. An' yeah, like Warren said - I'm happy ta lend a hand here an' there too." She offered. Looking back to Warren she shook her head at the shake. "Not gonna mix well with my tea." She chuckled, pulling her mug closer and warming her hands. "I'm just tha meanest, ya got me." Katya winked and then shrugged. "Just out an' about. Stopped in here ta talk ta Tony before headin' to the store. Gonna pick up some blueberries and a couple other things." A bit of a teasing tone to her words. "Figured it was about time I saw this place anyway. Been here long enough - it is a real nice plate." She nodded to Kate.

"I'ma feign a level'a disinterest in'a matta' an' jus' say 'No Comment' in regards to Nicky-boy" Anthony commented, twitching his lips into a smirk with a shake of his head toward Katherine, "You'se really do to damn much aroun' 'ere, you'se should hire some kinda' helper or somethin' " he thought aloud, taking a deep breath he fought back a potential yawn and blinked a few times. "You're like the nicest person in all'a Calaveras, doll. Don' deserve no added stress'a no punkass wiseguy like Nicky" Tony mentioned as he pulled his arm from the bar, standing upright. "I t'ink I might try an see what otha' shenanigans I can get into aroun' town, I heard there's some kinda' gentlemans club I may check out, they usually need money" he laughed

Katherine pours some water for tea for Tony as well, he didn't say if he wanted it, but it's still nice and warm. "I have an assistant actually, and if it wasn't for her I would have ran off to do laundry, food shopping and had to drive both of my sisters to school." She sighs, a faintly amused look no her face as she picks up her milkshake. "Well, Xavier thinks I need to stand up to him, I tried doing that yesterday, so I guess the next step is to boot him out. Seems extreme though, maybe he's just really angry deep in his black heart and needs a hug. Or a week without the luxury of money padding all of his problems." She eyes Tony as he mentions gentleman's club and takes another sip of her milkshake. "If you bring back anyone from Eternity, let me know. The girls down there are great." She glances at Katya and Warren, a smile on her face. "You two are welcome to stay as long as you want, have some tea, and there are sandwiches in the fridge for lunch. Help yourselves." She slips on a coat, making sure she takes her milkshake with her as she starts for the door.

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