(2018-12-01) Laid Up

Xavier doesn't have his drafting table, but that's never stopped him. He's propped up in bed, although still dressed in nice trousers and a buttondown shirt, with waistcoat and jacket hanging up on a door in case he needs to Meet People, but his attention is focused on his oversized tablet. He's making careful, precise motions with a stylus, his expression focused and intent. He came down for some coffee early, and the remnants of that are still on a bedside table. Otherwise, the room is still, and quiet, with the window shades drawn.

Katherine knocks gently on the door, opening it up and peeking in. "Can I come in?" She asks, carrying a tray with coffee and bagels on it. "You look a little better." She notes, setting the tray on the end of the bed. She glances at the closed window shades, frowning. "Would look better with some light in here though."

"Always, Kate," Xavier says, although he doesn't look up at first. He finishes off the brief motions he was making on the tablet, then sets it aside to smile up at her. "Ah, delicious treats. Thank you." A glance at the window. "I think it's better if it remains covered, for the moment," he says, with another look at the basket he's placed in the corner. Then he returns his smile to her. "I feel better, as well. My shoulder is /significantly/ better, and the bruises are largely cosmetic. How are you doing?"

Katherine moves to sit on the edge of the bed, if they're room, a frown on her face. "I'm glad you're feeling better, you look better." She reaches out to gently touch his shoulder, biting down on her bottom lip. "What do you make of that basket that was delivered here?" She folds her hands in her lap, eyes on her fingers when she asks that particular question.

Xavier reaches out when she touches his shoulder, to take her hand and kiss it gently. He gives it a comforting squeeze. "It was from the assassin, but other than that, it was a very thoughtful gift. Albeit one that makes it clear she's been watching me for a while - there are several things I've not been able to eat here, because they're from small shops in Chicago or Detroit." He laughs, softly. "She's an unusual person. But it's nothing to worry about," he assures her, "and I don't want you to spend too much time fretting about it."

Katherine sighs, reaching out to take Xavier's hand, squeezing it. "She knows you're here. She knows my house." She lets her gaze meet his and she takes a deep breath. "We have to talk about that, you reassure me that there isn't anything to worry about, but I am worried. I am…frankly, a little terrified." She is almost clinging to his hand now, hers shaking. "I don't want you to think I like you any less, if anything the recent events have made me realize that I like you a lot. My family is here, and we've already been through so much. I'm afraid something bad is going to happen, and I don't think any of us can take that right now." She clears her throat and frowns. "I need you to find a place until this blows over." She looks pained, her jaw set. "Which scares me more, because if something happens to you and I could have prevented it.." She looks conflicted, her eyes falling back to their joined hands.

Xavier nods. He doesn't seem surprised. "I've already made overtures on a place downtown, as it happens. I was just waiting for the contract to be signed." He smiles at her. "I'm glad that we're in agreement. I'm not comfortable being a danger to you, or your family, and anyway…there are things I need to do that are best done which fewer eyes watching and people coming in and out." He chuckles. "Besides, think of it this way - you'll have a place to retreat to when even your room is not your own." He does study her face, then, more curious than hurt even as he asks, "Or would you prefer our association take a back burner until this is done? Or even for the duration. I know this isn't what you signed up for, and it isn't what you want."

Katherine swallows, letting out a shaky breath. She might even look faintly relieved. "I feel horrible having to have said that, even if you do understand." She lets him study her face, gazing back at him as a smile touches the corners of her lips. "I like you a lot. I don't want to push things aside and have a bunch of 'what if's' heavy on my mind." She gestures for him to scoot over, and if he does, she'll curl up next to him, sighing. "I always want to do what is best for everyone, so you tell me, Xavier — what is best for you here?"

Xavier looks at her for a long moment, his smile faint and bittersweet. He shakes his head. "No," he says, quietly. "In this case, you don't get to make the decision that makes everyone but yourself happy, my dear. Or, at least, if you do, it will be without my help. Decide what it is you /want/, and let me know. I'll be out of the bed and breakfast by nightfall - I think I have some time before the next attack, but if she's going to be taunting me, I'd rather she not get the idea of doing it with something that's going to scare or harm people. But the other, you will have to decide for yourself what's best for YOU. I will adapt, one way or the other." He doesn't sound upset, or angry. If anything, there's a lilt of affection in his voice, and he scoots over without hesitation, turning so that he can lightly stroke her with his good arm.

Katherine gazes up at Xavier, a slight lift to her brows as she watches him now. "You won't even tell me what would make you happy?" She asks quietly, reaching up to let her fingertips drift briefly over his bottom lip. "You could be wanting to create some distance so you can concentrate on things and are too nice to say so." She wraps her arms around him, taking care to hug him gently as not to aggravate his bruises. "I don't want things to change between us. I really don't."

"I could be," Xavier allows, then nips at her fingertip, playfully. "I'm not. If I wanted distance, Kate, I'd simply call a pause, or a halt." He leans in to kiss her nose, gently. "What I don't want is for you to feel trapped in a relationship which is causing you distress - and yes, I do notice that it is - because you will feel guilty if you give /yourself/ some space. I told you back when this all started…I don't want to add to your grief. I'm selfish enough, and I want you enough, that I'm not going to do the gentlemanly thing and just bow out of your life, but I'm not quite enough of a bastard to resent if you decide to take care of yourself rather than the strange man you just met. Even if he is good in bed." He waggles his eyebrows.

Katherine gazes up at Xavier, laughing softly when her nose is gently kissed. "I don't feel trapped, how could I? You are constantly offering reassurance and kind words letting me know that I just have to speak up if I need things to change, which..I really do appreciate. You've been far kinder to me than you claim you are." She settles against him, a hand idly playing with the fabric of his shirt. "Unfortunately, with you moving out, there will already be space there. It could be a good thing though, I've often heard that living together so soon can cause problems to begin with." She's teasing, a smile on her face now. "So the only thing that will change is your address, and ..we'll see what happens?" She bites down on her bottom lip, frowning. "You said she's going to taunt you? How?" She asks, turning her head to gaze up at his face.

"You deserve kindness, Kate," Xavier says, simply. Then his eyebrows arch. "Even if you /have/ been telling tales out of school." He kisses her nose again. "Anthony and I had a conversation. You understand that our 'no lies' policy is predicated on the idea that I /can/ trust you with the truth, yes?" His expression remains gentle, chiding rather than angry, and he draws his fingers down the line of her cheek and jaw. "But yes. I'll get a nice place and try to lure you over for dinner at some point, soon. As for taunting…I'm not sure she sees it as that. Teasing, perhaps, or playful banter between friends. A friend she's going to kill. She's a bit," he spins his finger around her temple.

Katherine doesn't look completely abashed when Xavier speaks, but her cheeks get pink and she looks briefly surprised. "I was extremely vague with him, but he would have known if I was lying and he seemed to have caught that I was when Luke was by." She sighs, letting her head relax as she listens to the rest of his words. "Playful banter between friends. Are you sure you don't want to hide out somewhere until she gets bored and goes away? Maybe if you're not available when your time is up, the clock will reset or something." She sighs, turning to swat at his finger when he spins it. "More than a bit, I think."

"He's a canny fellow. And interested in becoming part of the Winchester circle, by the by. I've left the decision in your hands - I am tentatively for it, particularly if Angela or Nicholas decide to pull out. He's got the financial backing, and then some, and if nothing else, I'd rather have him as an ally in town than a competitor. But ultimately, it's your call." He pauses at her suggestion, then shakes his head. "Even if she did, it wouldn't solve the real problem, Kate. The assassin is just a tool. I need to find the hand that's wielding that tool. If I killed her, or she gives up, another one will be hired - and /this/ one might be a professional content with a headshot from a thousand yards away." He's very matter of fact about it. "But I have my next step well in hand."

"He made it seem that he wasn't interested in the hotel, but ..if he is.." Kate trails off, looking lost in thought for a few moments. "I like Anthony, and I think he's a funny guy, but I also don't completely trust him. There is something there that gives me some pause." She goes quiet for a few moments, and then reluctantly sits up, reaching for a cup of coffee. "You have the next step in hand, which means that you're doing something about it, rather than waiting for something to come to you again?" She takes a drink, leaning slightly to gaze around the window dressing to see if it started to snow again. "I would really like it if you didn't get yourself killed, Xavier, just remember that."

"I'm not any more thrilled to meet my end than you would be," Xavier says, his voice a little dry and amused. "But, yes. I have a plan." He caresses her back when she sits up, watching her with a lopsided sort of smile. "And you're a wise woman. Anthony is…a lot like myself, in a lot of ways. He's more dangerous than he likes to seem. And if you'd rather not entangle the Winchester any further in dangerous things, I won't despair. But I've agreed to chat with Angela when she gets back from overseas. Depending on if she decides to be in or out, we could include another, but we don't have to. I can take on any investment burden that others decide not to take."

Katherine holds her coffee in both hands, turning to smirk at Xavier. "I need to realize that I'm already swimming in dangerous waters, and either find a nice buoy or let my self sink and deal with the problem." She wrinkles her nose and there is a brief flash of anger that's gone in the blink of an eye. "I hope Angela is having a lovely time." She turns to take another drink of coffee. "I would like, at some point soon, to sit down together and make some firm decisions of what exactly we want this project to be. I want to have a firm picture in my mind, so that people will stop treating me like a.. " She pauses, swallowing and taking a breath. ".. like someone who doesn't know what she's doing or what she wants. The next time someone tosses budget into my face, I might scream. I understand that people don't always understand each other, but it is a lot harder for people to misunderstand things when they are laid out in concrete terms."

Xavier nods. "I'd agree. It's one of the reasons I sent out the prospectus. Hopefully it will encourage people to focus on what's next, rather than rehashing what has already been done." He smiles at her. "I'm happy to advise you in crafting your plan for the hotel - I can tell you what's likely to be profitable, from a land development standpoint, and how much various things are likely to cost. I also have my own…desires for the renovations, but don't mistake my desire for fact. And anything I propose that would be beyond our budget, I'll finance out of my own funds, of course, without alteration to the investment obligations."

Kate turns in the bed so that she's facing Xavier, her eyes bright as she smiles back at him. "Do you do this much for all of your potential business partners? Financing things out of your own funds?" She keeps her coffee in her hands to keep them toasty, warm amusement on her face. "We'll collaborate on what will be best for the crafting plan, because while you know what will be profitable, I know what people in Calaveras like, and despite most of our profits potentially coming from tourists.." She shrugs and pushes a curl behind her ear. "People in town will occasionally stay there, or they'll need to be on board to keep the project moving forward." She takes a drink from her mug and shrugs. "Do you think Angela is hesitating because of our relationship?" She blinks and then adds. "Hers and mine, I mean."

Xavier chuckles. "If I feel it needs to be done. And, in this case, if I /want/ to do it - which I do. I want to return the Winchester to the glory it once had, Kate. It has little to do with the investment circle itself, but it would be a tragedy not to do right by the old girl. She could be glamorous." His expression is soft, but also intent, as if he's gazing on something only he can see. But it's only a moment, before he refocuses on her. "But you're not wrong. And I think Angela is hesitating because she didn't feel her input was valued. I admit, I only care so much - I don't intend to run around behind the investors soothing hurt feelings and emotional boo boos. They can suck it up and get paid, or they can move on, and either is acceptable."

"Angela didn't have much to input during that walkthrough, she was on the phone." Katherine remarks, gazing steadily at Xavier. "If she wants to be taken seriously, or wants her opinion to be valued, then she needs to be present when things are being discussed." She shrugs and sets her coffee down. "I wouldn't go to a business meeting and coo to you while I was trying to get work done." She gets to her feet, moving the window shade aside for a moment, peeking out. "From the way things are going right now, it almost seems like that might be something you'll end up doing. I have found that no matter the age, people thrown into a group often need a babysitter to keep them in line." She glances over at Xavier, a wry grin on her face. "I'm just thankful that it's not my job this time."

Xavier raises his hands. "I don't disagree. I never passed judgement on the validity of what I feel is her objection, merely my observation on what it is likely to be. And I won't do it," he adds, wryly. "I don't need any investors to buy the hotel, and if it comes down to it, you don't need any investors except me. Or, if you'd prefer, Anthony or Nicholas. Any one of us could purchase the place outright, I expect, if we were so inclined. It's solely for the good press that this is even a circle rather than just a partnership between you and I."

"I know, I just …" Katherine furrows her brows, gazing down at her feet for a moment. "If this is going to work, and we're going to make it work well, I think it's important to make sure the boundaries of business and pleasure are clearly defined." She shrugs and walks back toward the bed. "Also the boundaries of friendship, and what might seem like a rivalry. I'm not .." She takes a deep breath, eyes darting around the room briefly. "..completely happy with how things have gone, but when it comes to the hotel, I can be professional with Angela Bell." She sits again, sipping from her coffee. "I think involving families with big names in the city is smart, but if she pulls what she did again, I'm going to be less inclined to chase if she tries to step out of the circle again."

Xavier watches her with a thoughtful expression and impassive blue eyes. "All right. If you want me to try to soothe her and bring her back in, then that's what I'll do. I will follow your lead as far as I can with this, my dear. And if we get to the point where I can't, I'll explain why." He yawns, then, and rubs at his eyes. "Damned dog pills. They kill the pain well enough, but then they knock me out rather quickly. If it's all right, I think I'll crash for a bit, then pack. But," he smiles. "Still on for the rodeo tonight?"

"I won't be able to make it, likely." Katherine gathers things on the tray, including the coffee cup he brought up earlier. "If you want a late dinner after the excitement.." She aims a look at him, eyes slightly narrowed. "..and try not to over do it, you let me know." She gets to her feet, moving to the door, balancing the tray on a hip while she opens the door. "You do what you think will work best with Angela, Xavier. Her being involved isn't really on my radar at the moment. If she's in, great, if she isn't.." She shrugs and smirks. "I have a lot more on my mind at the moment." She pauses before she slips out the door. "Rest well, okay?"

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