(2018-11-28) The First Date
Warren and Katya go on their first date. Warren gets to see Katya's true eye color.

It was just before seven that a beat-up old pick-up truck comes rumbling down the street through the trailers, driven purposefully slow so that the person in the cab could count the numbers on the mobile homes. It comes to a stop outside of #7, and there's a bit of motion within the truck before the door pops open. Warren comes out in a pair of fitted, dark blue jeans and a dark gray button-up, collar down and the last button undone; over it all, he's thrown on a wool coat. His boots look brand new, polished to a bit of a shine, and it's likely evident that he's put at least some thought into the whole ordeal. He fusses in his truck, extracting a bouquet of fresh pink and white lillies wrapped in brown paper, before he hits the door shut with his hip and proceeds to the trailer. Then, without much further ado? He knocks on the front door. Tap tap tap.

Katya knew she shouldn't be so nervous, but she was extremely nervous. She hadn't been on a proper date in forever. The trailer looked like a tornado went through it and she was just finishing stuffing a few things away to figure out later. Even though her shopping trip had proved successful, she still second and triple guessed herself before finally settling on the dress she had bought and tossing on her denimn jacket and boots. Her hair had been brushed a bit so, while still a curly mass, it wasn't as untamed looking as usual. To finish it off, bluish white snowflake contacts tied it all together. He barely got the third knock in before she opened the door, obviously having been waiting by it. She flashed him a bright smile. The dress she wore was black with just a touch of sparkle and a lace overlay in a halter top style and stopped just above where her black cowboy boots started. She leaned against the doorframe lightly, looking him over. "Hey you, lookin' good." She shifted to lean up and kiss his cheek in greeting.

Warren's hand was still raised to knock that third time when the door opened on up, and there was Katya. And there his hand stayed, hovering in the air, as Warren took in the sight of her. It was a long look, his eyebrows slowly rising in appreciation as he drinks in the sight of her, and then that awkward silence is broken with a woosh of air as she kisses his cheek. "Wow," he brings his hand down to rub at the back of his neck, a nervous chuckle peppering his speech. "You look.. wow. Beautiful. I mean you always look real pretty when I see you? But wow," he says it again, before he realizes he's likely rambling. And still staring. So he thrusts the lillies at her instead. "These are for you."
She blushes when he compliments her, though it might be hard to tell in the dying light. "Yeah? Thanks I-" She started and then stopped, not wanting to end up in a ramble of her own involving the turmoil of trying to pick out an outfit. Though it was now officially the nicest piece of clothing she owned. Instead, she gratefully accepted the lillies, inhaling their scent before grinning at him. "They're beautiful Warren. I love 'em. Lemme see if I can put 'em in somethin' and we can go." She took a step back so he could step inside the little home. She moved to the kitchen area to find something akin to a vase. "How's your day been since Kate's?" Katya's eyes drifted back over to him, lingering briefly before refocusing on finding a vase. Eventually finding a tall enough plastic container to put them in and add water.

"Oh, sure," Warren says of the lillies, though he lingers in her doorway just long enough to watch her backside as she retreats into the kitchen. There's another swift exhale of breath, his neck rubbed as he finally steps into her little house and closes the door behind him. "It was all right. Went to the cupcake shop after, 'cause it was right next to the flower shop," he laughs, coming around to her kitchen to lean himself on some counterspace. He can't seem to stop looking at her, his eyes just naturally focusing on her as she moves about to locate the container. "What about you?"

She knows he's leaning on the counter, or at least near it but she still jumps just a bit when she turns and he's standing there. Clearly also not accustomed to anyone else being in the house with her. She chuckled, setting the lilies inside the container, giving them another sniff. "They got it all lined up real nice down there huh? Bet there's some kind a wine and spirit shop next to the cupcake shop." Another laugh as she set the container on the counter, leaning against her side and grinning at him. "There, perfect." A nod to the flowers, thinking a moment. "Oh it was just fine. Did my grocery shoppin', tore apart my closet hemmin' an' hawin on what ta wear…but then I knew I wanted ta wear this one cause I-" She stopped and then started again, still blushing a little. "Cause even though Westin said it's all 'bout how the clothes make me feel…I bought it also cause I hoped you were gonna like it too." Then she shifted, straightening up a bit and clearing her throat. "Should we, ah, go? Ya don't got reservations or nothin' right?"

There's a soft chuckle at her jump, and he leans away from the counter to stand up a little straighter. "Not used to havin' anybody around?" he murmurs, his gaze momentarily tearing from her to look at the flowers, his smile soft. "Real perfect," he agrees, but then he was right back to looking at her. The comment on 'Westin' makes his brows hike, though. "What's the dress gotta do with Xavier Westin?" he asks curiously, though his eyes slide appreciatively down her frame once again. "I mean.. I do like it. A lot," he acknowledges, clearing his throat a bit as he steps towards her. "But I like the girl in it a lot more," he adds, bowing his head to brush his lips right against her cheek. He straightens after, looking back to her door with a bit of a chuckle. "Yeah, you're right. We should probably go," he agrees, though there's a hint of reluctance. Still, he walks back to her front door, holding it open for her. "I hope you like the place I picked out. There's like, a damn steak house on every corner of the street 'round here."

"Not at all." She gave a wry smile at his question and she almost looked embarrassed when he inquired further about Westin. "Well he's one a the best dressed guys I seen in a while. And I couldn't very well go askin' you for advice cause that's 'bout as bad as a groom seein' his bride on the wedding day." Deadly serious, though she paused at the kiss on the cheek and her smile widened at his words. "Anyway…I dragged him out ta the mall ta help me find a dress. Cause I wanted to look nice and I was flailing kinda miserably." She moved over to his side as he opened the door and there was that glitter of mischief in her gaze again, relaxing some. "Cause if we don't go, we're gonna skip dinner and go right to dessert." Teasing, but she wasn't completely joking. A deep breath was taken as she stepped out into the cool night air. "I'm sure I'll love it, I ain't hardly been ta any of the one's round here yet."

"Xavier Westin helped you find a dress. For your date with me?" Warren flashes her a skeptical look, brows lofting a little higher. "And he didn't ask for nothin' in return? I didn't even think you knew 'im that well," he remarks, though there's another glance down her frame. "I do like it though. You look damn good, Katya, honest to goodness. If I wasn't tryin' to be a gentleman, I'd forget all about our other plans," he laughs a little, reaching for her hand once they're out into the night air, leading her down to his truck. He opens up the passenger side first, motioning for her to climb inside. The truck was old and beat-up, but the inside was kept clean and nice. "In you go. It's not a real far ride."

"He didn't know it was with you. Though I dunno if that woulda changed anything." She shrugged. "I owe 'im one. Prolly more relationship advice in the future. Not that I'm the best one ta give it but, whatever. I got common sense and that's what really matters." She gave his hand a squeeze. "And I don't really know 'im that well." A subtle shrug and she shifted a little closer as they made the short walk to his truck. "The feelin's mutal. Tryin' ta do things right can be a little…difficult. But it'll be worth it." She climbed up into the truck and settled in as she took a look around. It kind of gave her a cozy sensation. Another bright smile flashed his way, "Let's see whatcha got lined up for us."

Warren helps her up into the truck and closes the door behind her, coming around to get up into the driver's seat. The truck rumbles quietly to life when he inserts the key, and he glances aside to her with a quiet chuckle. "You been givin' him relationship advice?" he asks her as he pulls the truck up off the curb, to head down the street and out of the park. "For him with Miss Stone?" he clicks his tongue against the roof of his mouth, shaking his head a touch. "That's interestin'. I'm glad he was able to help you with the dress, honest. Though you coulda shown up at your door in a burlap sack and I would've been all right with that too," he laughs, but it's rather clear that he's actually being pretty serious about that. They hit the main drag of town, and it's not an awfully long time before they're coming to a stop around one corner or another; the steakhouse isn't a franchise, it's just a small mom & pop. He comes out of the truck to open up her door again, offering her his hand to help her out.

"I mean just once. I discouraged him from buying some diamond jewelry and stickin with some stuff he'd already bought to give 'er. Not that I knew it was for Miss Stone. Though I guess that makes sense since he's stayin' there an' all." She mused, relaxing back in the seat and giggling. "Well next time we're fixed to go out, I'll make sure to get the sack ready for wearin'." She teased. She looked to where they were going, curious. The steakhouse looks like a nice place and she accepts his hand to help her down. She brushes back a few strands of hair and chuckles as her stomach grumbles some. "It smells delicious, I'm sure it'll taste even better." She leaned into him a bit as they made their way inside.

The inside of the restaurant was just as quaint as the outside - it was very old school western, black and white photos of cowboys on the walls, decorated in horseshoes and antlers. The booths were leather and cozy, and there were a few people in the restaurant enjoying dinner - in the far back, the kitchen was open, and it was easy to see the chefs working with impressively large slabs of meat to serve to the customers. He tucks his hand against the small of her back as he brings her into the restaurant, flashing her a small grin. "Next time we go out, I'm thinkin' we should go on a ride up to the Overlook," he suggests, before he leans over the counter to have a chat with the waitress. It appears he did have reservations - he was prepared! And the hostess shows them to the booth they'll be seated at - tucked away in a corner, in close view of the kitchen.

Her gaze was drawn to the various wall decorations when they entered, peering a bit closer at some of the black and white photos. Then she peeked back over towards the waitress while Warren talked to her. Once they were seated, she laid her hand out near the middle of the table, wanting to hold his for a little bit at least. "I like this place. The decorations are neat, and the chefs look like they know what they're doin'." She looked over towards the kitchen and then back to him with a bit more of a grin. "Already thinkin' this date's gonna go well enough for there ta be a second…" She chuckled before adding, "I think the Overlook sounds like a great idea. Maybe with a little picnic or somethin'."

"All the photos are from the rodeos they hold here in town. But from years ago," Warren points out as he slides into the booth across from her, eagerly taking her hand up in his own as she lays it across the table, his fingers gently brushing across her knuckles. "I'm pretty sure I've found my grandpa in one of 'em, though it's a little hard to tell," he chuckles, his eyes bright as he looks across to her. "It might be a little too cold for a picnic. But maybe if we go closer to the afternoon," he shrugs, reaching for one of the menus to push it towards her with his free hand. "I'm glad you said you'd come out with me, Katya," he says in a quiet, sincere sort of way, smiling at her from across the table.

"Yeah? We'll have to look again before we leave. Maybe a second set a eyes will help." She accepted the menu with her free hand, starting to peruse it. A few strands of hair falling into her eyes as she looked it over. At his words, she looked back up at him, a warm smile on her lips. A soft look, probably the first he'd really seen from her. "I'm glad ya asked me Warren. i know we're still gettin' to know each other but with everything I know about ya already, I like you." She gave his hand a squeeze, brushing back those strands of hair. The waitress came by a few moments later to take their drink orders. Debating, Katya looked to Warren, then back to the waitress. "Sweet tea please." After she had left them again, Katya finally admitted, "Honestly I was surprised ya did. I figured a guy like you'd be snatched up already."

There's a bit of time when she looks down at the menu that Warren just looks across to her, his smile softening as her hair falls down into her eyes. Though, by the time she looks back up? He most certainly has averted his gaze to the menu, just long enough so it didn't look as though he were staring. Still, he looks back into her snowflake eyes when she addresses him, squeezing her hand back in return. "I like you, too," he murmurs, casting a glance aside to the waitress once she totally ruins the sweet mood by taking their drink orders. "Uh. Same for me, actually. Good choice," he chuckles back to Katya, wrinkling his nose a little. "Nah. I .. I don't date much, to be honest with you. I'm either travelin' too often to have roots here, or I find someone interestin' in several states over and.. well. I'm a little too old for flings anymore," he admits.

"I guess I can understand that. Rodeo life ain't easy - the little exposure I've had to it. Lots a travelin, it can be a strain on people. Relationships. Easier when you ain't tied down I guess if you're always havin' ta be away from them anyway." Thinking it over a moment and leaned on the table some, nearly forgetting about the menu again. "Life's too short ta not be livin' it to the fullest…and no one's really too old for flings in this day an' age but I can respect that. I ain't ever been in a 'real' relationship before. Always seemed like the people who were, were happier." Her thumb ran across his own as she studied their hands, how they intertwined. "How long ya plannin' to stay in the rodeo?" She asked after a moment, focusing up on him again. "Till ya just can't do it anymore?"

"I dunno about that. Bein' too old for a fling. It just started feelin' empty," Warren lifts his shoulders in a slight shrug, "I don't think I've ever been in a real relationship either, to be honest. Not one that was long enough to make any sorta impact, yanno? Guess I keep thinkin' I'll just find the right girl eventually and it'll click, and it won't matter if I'm gone for awhile. Or maybe she'll just come with me," he grins over to her. "But I dunno. Rodeo's my life. I don't wanna stop, I don't see myself stoppin' any time soon. Figured once I get too old to get in the ring, I'll do some trainin' or something. What about you though, huh?"

"You're not wrong. If all ya got is hook ups then it kinda all loses its luster. I just meant more in the technical sense I guess." She mused, smiling a touch as he continued on. "Sounds like the ideal thing. Travelin' together. Wouldn't be a bad set up I'd think." Eyeing him briefly, "You'd be a good trainer I bet. I gotta feelin' by the time you're too old for Rodeo ridin you'll have a couple kids already carryin' on the legacy." She laughed. "Starr family just kinda seems like that's how it goes yeah? Though I guess I only know you an' Presley." Thinking over his question, she tilted her head ever so slightly. "I don't know. I mean, I'm technically not doin' it professionally right now. More just a hobby kinda thing. I've thought about goin' professional, but I definitely need ta up my game if I'mma do that."
There's a wry smirk at the conversation, a slow chuckle escaping him. "You're not wrong, about that bein' how it goes. My momma's been ridin' my ass for a couple of years now," he shakes his head with another laugh, reaching for the menu to look it back over. "I'm not in a rush though. That's kinda bad first date talk, I think," he grins up at her. "If you're really thinkin' about going professional? I could help you. I don't mind. But I'd need to see you in action, and not just on somethin' mechanical." The waitress swings by to drop off their sweet teas and take their order. Warren steals his hand briefly away from Katya's own to pick up the menu and look at it a little more fully, before he orders himself the porterhouse - rare, of course. "That one's good, or the filet," he suggests to Katya.

"That don't surprise me one bit," To his mother pestering him, but she giggled. "Yeah it probably isn't. Might scare some people off." She sat up a little more as the waitress came with their teas. She took a sip and peeked over the menu again before pulling a 'I'll have what he's having' and ordered a Porterhouse, though to a medium-rare cook. Once the waitress had left them again, she offered another grin. "I'll trust your judgement. Any good country boy knows his steaks, ya know?" Then she thought for a moment longer. "Well you'll get ta see me on Saturday. But yeah, maybe I can come up to the ranch some time and we can run through a few things? Let ya get a better idea of the full scope? I'm no where near on your level. I'm good, but like, I ain't an expert at all. It's fun though. Even when I get thrown, it just makes me determined ta do better next time."

"Hopefully I don't let you down," Warren jokes about her trusting his judgment, the waitress taking away the menus. And once the table was cleared away? He reaches back to steal her hand into his own again. "I'm excited about the show, it should be a good one. For many reasons. Gettin' to see you do you stuff is one of 'em," he grins, running his thumb over her hand in a gentle sort of motion. "And if you get thrown, I know a few good nurses, so there's not too much to be worried about when it comes to that." There's a moment where he looks at her, tipping his head slightly from one side to the other. "But what's your story, huh? I mean, you apparently weren't raised in Texas. Spent some time in New York at least. I wanna know about ya."

She gives his hand a squeeze when he takes it back up, using her free hand to take another sip of her tea. "Yeah it's gonna be a lot of fun. No matter what happens. I got a card somewhere at the house for one a the docs in town to…Uma somethin' or other I think." She mused. When he asks about her, she thinks for a moment, wondering where to start. "Well…not exactly sure where I was born. Pretty sure New York. Somewhere. My parents adopted me when I was a baby. Though I didn't find that out until about…well my early teens I guess." Right around the time she started acting out Katya figured. "Anyway. My parents are Russian American, first generation so might as well still be in Russia." She grinned at that though. "They were great…even when I started giving them trouble. Dropped out of highschool, got involved with the wrong crowd…" Her voice trailed then and she shrugged a bit, putting another smile on. "I was in Texas for about 6 years actually I guess. But didn't get into Rodeo riding until the last 3 or 4. It's definitely helped keep me straight."

Warren was an attentive listener, his focus on her as she talks, brows raising in a couple of places, though the expression flattens after she goes on. "Interestin'. Never been to New York myself. I'm not a fan of big cities as it is, I'm thinkin' that one might drive me crazy. 'Specially if a whole lot of them talk like Mister Malone," he laughs a little, reaching for his drink to take a sip from the straw. "You still in touch with your parents?" he asks curiously, "And what ended up bringing you all the way out to Texas? Seems like that might've been a culture shock."

Katya didn't really intend to be vague, but as much as she liked Warren, she didn't feel wholly comfortable yet getting into the nitty gritty. So she was thankful for the moment when he didn't ask too many questions about New York itself. A little grin. "Most of 'em do. At least 'round where I lived. As bad a rap as NYC gets sometimes, there's some real good people who live there." She tapped her chin. "Sometimes. They were disappointed with me, still are kind of. But I called them before I came up here. Let them know I was doing better and all that. Might try to get them out here for a visit, or go out there. It's been a long while since I've seen them." She explained. "It was a culture shock, but I needed one. I was getting in too deep, more or less. I just needed to disappear. It's worked out so far."

Warren nods a touch, a ghost of a frown briefly on his lips - it fades quickly though, as he reaches to take another drink from his tea. "Family's important," he says after a moment of thought. "But I get sometimes that people don't always get along with each other, you know? And I know there aren't a whole lotta families that operate quite like mine," he laughs, shaking his head. "But if you wanna bring 'em out here for a visit? You should do that. We could show 'em around, all the good things about Calaveras. And maybe they'll see you doin' good, and that'll make them happy," he says with a smile to her.

Katya noticed the frown, always very aware of her surroundings, but she had promised herself she wasn't going to get in her head tonight and was sticking to that. "I love them and I know they love me. I just know I let 'em down ya know? But I'm tryna make up for it." She grinned at his proposed idea. "That sounds good. Maybe I can get 'em out here for Christmas. There's still plenty of time to plan for that. They'd like it here I think. Just to visit at least. I dunno if they could handle living here." She mused and giggled a bit. "And I'll apologize in advance. Cause my mom's 'bout as bad as yours with that gettin' hitched stuff. Soon as she lays eyes on you, she'll be tryin ta stuff me in a weddin dress." She brushed back a few strands of hair and shook her head. "But I ain't in any real rush either. When the right person comes, I'll know it. Ya know?"

As they talk, the waitress swings by with their food and a basket of bread before disappearing again. Warren chuckles a little as she talks about her mom, grinning a bit bashfully. "Well if that's the case, we absolutely can't let our parents meet each other. Else they'll probably have our whole wedding planned out," he jokes around, laughing as he lets go of her hand so that they can eat. "Speakin' of Christmas, what're you gonna do in the event you don't get your family on out here? 'Cause I know you wouldn't come around for Thanksgiving dinner, but my momma does a brunch for Christmas," he suggests as he reaches for some bread, pulling it open to lather on the butter. "It's usually a lot smaller. We get to bring a guest or two if we want, but definitely not the whole town."

"Oh lord you're prolly right. We'll make sure there's a clear separation of 'em for a while at least." Grinning at the thought. When their food came she sighed contently and picked up her knife and fork to start in on the steak first. "Christmas brunch…I could do that. yeah, that sounds like it would be nice. And I would like ta meet more a your family anyway. You're good people." She took a bite of the steak and made a pleased little noise. Swallowing, "This steak is amazing. I knew you were gonna have good taste."

Warren laughs deeply, eyes bright as they talk about their parents. "Well it'd be nice to meet 'em. Your parents. Even if it's just as a real casual thing, yanno?" He shrugs his shoulders, taking a bite out of his bread before he starts to work into his steak. Though he definitely looks up at the noise Katya makes, his grin bold. "It's good, huh? I've always loved it here," he says before he takes a bite for himself, nodding appreciatively. "That was a cute little sound," he adds with a chuckle, looking down to his food in a bashful sort of way.

"They'd like you I think. Dad can be a bit of a hardass sometimes, but he's just protective. It'd be nice if they could meet you and maybe some of the other people I've met." She took another bite of steak, savoring it. It was the first steak she'd had in a hot minute, so she was enjoying every bit. When he comments on the sound, without missing a beat - "I think you'll find I make a lot of cute sounds." Then she paused and cleared her throat, blushing scarlet. "That was really bad. I'm sorry." She took a long pull of her sweet tea, staring intently at the bread basket for a moment. Biting her lip she shook her head again and plucked up a roll, finally chancing a glance back up at him. The blush starting to come down a bit, but still definitely evident.

Warren was chewing on a piece of steak at that comment, and he nearly chokes on it, eyes widening not-so-subtly. "Oh," he swallows hard, knocking his knuckles into his chest with a rumbly sort of chuckle; she was blushing, and there was some color on his cheeks, too. But he doesn't look away. "It wasn't that bad," he comments with a light grin, after he takes a swallow of his drink to wash down the bite that nearly took him out. "Besides. I .. think I'd like to hear 'em. Your other cute sounds." It made the flush on his cheeks a little darker to admit that, and he finally looks away with a laugh. "Maybe we're both terrible."

She buried her face in her hands as he countered her. Her shoulders shook just a little and when she lifted her head finally, she was laughing. "We're both terrible." She giggled out, grinning. "I'm sorry Warren." She still felt the need to apologize. "I really like you and-" She started and then fell silent again, maybe a little embarrassed or shy about what she wanted to say. Busying herself with a bite of her roll in order to buy more time. Then, "This food is fantastic but part of me is still struggling to not just ask if you wanna get out of here." Finally admitting before busying herself with another bite of roll.

Warren sets his fork down as he laughs, shaking his head from side to side. But the sound sort of bubbles off when she starts apologizing. "What? No, Katya, there's nothing to be sorry for.." he starts out, furrowing his brow as she fusses with the roll. And then at her admission, he only grins, sneaking his hand across the table to steal her own for a moment. "Trust me, I thought about it too," he murmurs, giving her hand a fond squeeze. "'Cause if we're bein' honest? I've been thinking all night about how I wanna kiss you, but I figured it'd be too forward if I had done it the second you opened the front door."

When Warren took her hand, she returned the squeeze and relaxed as she set the roll down. A little grin forming as he continues on. "It might've been but, if I'm being honest, I wouldn't have had one bit of complainin' about it." She withdrew her hand slowly. "I'll be right back." She disappeared towards the bathroom area, only gone for a couple moments before she returned, sliding back into her seat. The snowflake contacts were gone and natural hazel eyes looked back at Warren, a shy little smile still on her lips. "And, just so it's clear…any time you wanna kiss me…you go right on a head an' do it."

It looked as though he had something else to say, but he quiets when she says she's going to be right back. The sudden disappearance left him with a befuddled sort of look as he watches her retreat towards the back, but he shrugs and takes the last few bites of his steak in the meanwhile. He was still chewing when she comes back, Warren lifting his eyes from his plate to look up into her own hazel ones, and there's a swift intake of breath through his nose. "Wow," he swallows, a smile stretching across his lips. "You have.. the most beautiful eyes, Katya," he murmurs. And he pushes his plate away, in favor of escaping his end of the booth to come sliding along into her own booth there beside her; it probably was a touch awkward of a place for a first kiss, but, it was probably obvious that he couldn't help himself in the moment. He reaches up, fingers tender on her chin, lifting it ever-so-slightly as he bends his head, and gingerly brushes his lips against her own.

Admittedly, she felt a little strange not having the contacts in, but her eyes probably appreciated it. His reaction helped put her at ease too. "Thank you…" She watched as he came over into her side. It might have been an odd first kiss kind of place, but Katya didn't care. The place was much less important than the person after all. She swore her heart skipped a beat as he started leaning in and lifted up her chin. When their lips met, she leaned into the kiss, deepening it. One hand moving to rest on his cheek lightly. When their lips parted, she gave him another grin. "Yanno…you're a real good kisser." She murmured.

His fingers go to stroke across the curve of her jaw when she leans into him, though he keeps the kiss relatively simple, just a tender touch. And there's a soft laugh at her words as they break away, his hand falling away from her face as he looks down with an embarrassed sort of grin. "You're pretty good at it yourself," he says warmly, honestly. "I'm really glad we got to do this," he adds once he looks back up to her. "I mean. Go on a date. Not just kiss. Though I'm really glad I got to do that, too, not gonna lie."


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