(2018-12-03) The Mask Comes Off
Kate and Tony have an honest discussion over scotch.

The travel from the main living room area to the Garage Suite was not entirely far, nor entirely arduous, though Anthony provided a steady presence near Kate just on the off chance it was required, given her recent state. He'd grabbed his jacket on the way out of the house and as they entered, he was careful to shut the door behind her.

"Welcome to the Casa di Malone" he smirked and gestured toward the large couch, "Flop away, madame" he teased as the man made his long strides toward the location where he hung the majority of his clothing, which largely consisted of an array of various colored suits that were all arranged in chromatic groupings and in meticulous order.

He hung up his jacket with ease and untucked his merino wool long-sleeved shirt from his slacks with a grunt, allowing it to drape lazily over his belt and giving him an altogether much more casual appearance, "You want anythin'?" he asked, glancing toward the kitchenette, "I t'ink I got some booze but… not much else" he admitted with a slight shrug, heading back over toward the seating area.

Katherine climbs on the big couch, settling in with a sigh. "I wouldn't mind some whiskey or scotch if you have it." She admits, watching him move around the suite with a muted smile on her face. "I'm sorry that I haven't been more available, but it seems like every time I turn around, something is happening. I can't seem to escape it, and honestly? I kind of like it when it's busy. Keeps me from thinking too much."

"I'm not too surprised about that, honestly…" Anthony remarked at the revelation of at least a small amount of her enjoyed the chaos. Despite the vagueness, it was clear he knew exactly where the scotch was, and he gathered a small bowl of ice, two glasses and a bottle of Glenlivet 21, or an approximately two-hundred dollar bottle of single-malt.

He brought them back over with ease and clinked them down onto the table, taking the chair catercorner to the couch, dropping a single icecube into each and pouring a finger of the smooth golden liquid into either glass, extending one toward Katherine. "I understand you're a busy woman, so no hard feelin's, I'll try not to take it personally" he smirked.

Katherine takes the glass, drinking a sip, her eyes closing slowly as the taste spreads over her tongue. She swallows and when she opens her eyes, she looks a lot more relaxed. "I need to be less busy. I need to stop pushing things to the very edge. So..Mister Malone." She tilts her head slightly, eyebrows raised. "Please, tell me what is on your mind."

The subtle upturn at the edges of Anthony's lips was perpetual in the circumstance, though twisted somewhat higher when Katherine took a sip of the scotch, raising his own glass to take a sip - allowing it to settle across the back of his tongue, to feel the burn, and then the stream of the same burn down the throat as he swallowed.

"I feel as if you are a curious woman, Miss Stone." Anthony regarded, pursing his lips for a moment, "You are both open and yet entirely reserved about your emotions and intent, and I can never quite pinpoint your true feelings or position of standing with you in a social manner…" he canted his head aside somewhat, cool green hues looking over her, "Would you say that you like me, Miss Stone? Personally. Not Romantically."

Katherine is holding the scotch carefully in one hand and she dips a finger in, circling the rim of the glass with that finger, making a curious humming noise. "I'll apologize for that, Tony. You see, when you're dealing with hospitality, it's important that you don't give away your true feelings. I will rent to anyone, despite my personal feelings for them, as long as they're safe." She shifts a bit, crossing her legs, taking a sip from her glass. "I do like you, Anthony. The first few days you were here, I didn't trust you as far as I could throw you, but I believe that you're a decent person at the center of things."

Anthony leaned back into the cushion of his own chair, raising one hand as he ran the calloused fingers backward through his hair while Katherine spoke, his head still partially canted to one side as he listened. "That makes sense…" he assured her, nodding his head somewhat, "I'd say we are…" he paused, another purse to his lips, "If we ain't friends, I'd say at least maybe we're close ta' BEING friends, wouldn't you? I mean, you obviously feel comfortable enough with me to be here, with me, sharing a drink, discussing private matters, which you absolutely would NOT have done when I first got here…"

Katherine takes a deep breath, laughing softly. "We're close, it isn't hard to be my friend. Everyone gets three strikes, and then that's when I let them go." She raises her glass to Anthony, drinking from her glass. "You've not swung and missed yet." She wrinkles her nose, ducking her head as she says sheepishly, "You noticed that when I was showing you the room the first night, hmm? I'm always very very hesitant the first time I meet someone. Bad habit."

Anthony's glass raised in harmony with Katherine's own and he flashed her a toothy smile of amusement, shrugging his broad shoulders a bit as he did so, taking a sip and then cradling the glass in his lap, folding one leg over the other. "In complete fairness, I wasn't the best gentleman the first night either, though in my defense, you are both very attractive and I was not aware of Xavier's existence" he grinned a bit, "So what do you *think* I want to talk about, Kate?" he posed, eyebrows arching curiously

Katherine grins at Anthony, her cheeks getting pink. "It was a very amusing offer, and I did just make your bed, so… one might misinterpret." She settles in, gazing over her knees at Anthony. "I think you want to talk about the Winchester, and possibly the very blatant misconception that people, and to a point I, have about you." She raises both of her eyebrows and grins. "Tell me if I'm right, I'm breathless to know."

"Jesus, don't fuckin' get breathless, I'll have to call the ambulance again…" Anthony remarked toward the woman with a smirk, though he strummed his fingertips against his glass, and bobbed his head a bit, "You would be correct in that assumption" he smiled, "Which would you like to talk about first?"

"No more ambulances, please. I don't think I can handle any more excitement today." Katherine's smile is warm, looking more than amused and happy that she managed to peg the discussion topics right on the head. "The Winchester please, it's quite a bit of my stress right now, and I would feel bad telling Xavier that." She levels a look at Tony. "You told him that I told you about him being ..taken off of that road, but don't tell him this. Don't tell him that he's a big source of my stress, he's going to get upset. Likely try to do something gentlemanly." She leans in, putting the glass on the coffee table, resting her chin on her knees.

The faintest quirk at the edge of Tony's lips quirked at the mention of him telling Xavier about what she'd told him, and he nodded softly, "I told him that you'd told me more to see what he'd do…" he hummed a low, thoughtful hum, "Men in positions like his only have a few ways of staying there, I was curious what sort of a man Xavier was…" Clink. A heavy finger fell against his glass, "If it's any condolence, I would have never let anything horrible happen to you, I wasn't lying, I quite like you Kate."

Anthony smiled, shrugging a shoulder, "I am, however, also a wonderful keeper of secrets, so I assure you that you're words are safe with me regarding the level of stress surrounding the Winchester. I'm not naive to that fact and, to be honest, I'd tried to tell Xavier as much in our meeting…" he clicked his tongue against the roof of his mouth, "He seems to think you are quite a tigress, you know…"

"Xavier is kind of an enigma. I know he's hiding things, we've had talks about lying between us." Katherine glances away, exhaling out a slow breath. "If it has to do with us, he's going to try to be forthright, but I have a feeling there is a lot that Xavier can't say, won't say, because he knows how it might make me feel." She shrugs, swirling the liquid around her glass. "Thank you, Tony, for that. Sometimes I think I'm in over my head, and I'm not always sure what the best course of action is." She sips from her glass, her cheeks pink. "I can be a bit feisty when I feel like I need to be. I don't mind having some give when it comes to people. I'm happy to bend, but I don't think I need to break."

"Oh, Jesus, no…" Tony chuckled softly, "Breakin' is about the last thing you need do, and I think you're more resilient than is given credit, for certain…" he smiled, rolling his glass in a small, slow circle atop his thigh, "So on the Winchester,…" he drew slowly, another click of his tongue against the roof of his mouth, "What is your hitch in allowing me to assist in the process?"

"I don't break very often, this morning wasn't a break. It was me letting everything sit on my chest, leaving me struggling to breathe." Katherine sets down the scotch and she folds her hands in her lap. "I just lost an investor because 'our vision doesn't mesh'." She tilts her head and shrugs. "I don't have a concrete vision yet, so I'm going to imagine there was more to that. You're already rich, and being involved in this deal with be a significant risk, despite the fact I think I can make something great out of it." She quirks a brow and smiles. "Why are you wanting to take this risk?"

"It's simple really…" Anthony shrugged, raising his glass to take a drink. "The investment is a little risky, sure, though it stands to make at least a bit of money, and if I'm being entirely candid, I don't care if I make any. I'd be entirely content with breaking even" he smiled sincerely at her. "I want the collaboration, for one, as I think that with all of us collaborating it will be quite a wonderful building and an amazing business, we're all smart people…" he trailed, as if to admit that was just bullshit, "Though honestly, I care more about the publicity. I want a hand in it, and I intend to contribute, for certain, though the meaningfulness behind it and being able to list my name in the developing column is worth quite a bit more to me"

Katherine gets to her feet, shrugging off her robe as she drifts through the room, glancing out the window. "You'll forgive me, I hope, for my next question. Just know that everyone except Heather is probably going to hear it from me.." She turns her dark gaze on Anthony, folding her hands in front of her. "This money you'll be invested will all be on the up and up, right? If it isn't, tell me now, and nobody will ever hear it from me. I just need to know what is standing behind me." She walks closer, stepping back into the light they're sitting near. "Xavier admits that you're a dangerous type of man, and he wouldn't say something like that unless he truly believed it. He is not the type to hype someone up for the hell of it." She sinks back onto the couch, watching Anthony carefully.

A moment of silence came as Katherine awaited a response from Anthony, and he pressed his lips taut together and glanced aside thoughtfully, a low hum emitting from his throat, "He's not wrong. Under the right circumstances, I can likely see how that would be understood…" he nodded his head once, as if to affirm those particular words, "All of the money is above board, it's come from donations and the investments of various persons under the control of an organization which I manage…" he explains, gesturing toward his suit jacket on the hanger, "There's a business card in there if you'd like to have it. I represent a large financial leeway of the Investment Opportunities Unlimited group, and while the card says I am an Adviser, I'm more akin to the Chief Financial Officer" he smiled. "You're not naive. So I'll spare you the bullshit. I have friends who aren't above the board, though I assure you this particular money very much is"

Katherine's smile is genuine, and she eases back against the couch, pulling her feet up again. "Thank you for being honest with me, Tony." She says quietly, exhaling out a long breath. "I think you would be an excellent addition to this project." Her head tilts slightly to the side, and she slides a look to the window again, watching the snow start to fall. "I'll be honest, having a few dangerous people involved won't be a bad thing." Her gaze returns to Tony and there is a slightly hesitant smile there. "People will think twice before they attempt any shenanigans if there is a uncertain element in their midst. People will expect everything to be sunny and cheerful because I'm involved, but since you and Xavier are a part of it, I can certainly…be less pliant when it comes to some things."

The lips of Anthony curled into a cheshire like grin at Katherine and he was helpless to resist the rich bit of laughter that boiled over. "You nearly matched verbatim my sales pitch to Xavier about my involvement, Kate." he mused, and raising his glass toward his lips, he paused, ushering a soft 'Ah' and lowering it back down, "Also, Kate…" he began, clearing his throat, "While I'm clearly from New York, and I am, in fact, Anthony Malone, the whole wiseguy 'ey' yo' how you'se doin' routine? It gets me credibility on Mulberry street and makes people think I'm a jolly and lovable bafoon here in Calaveras…." he smiled, "I graduated with honors and a degree in Accounting and have been a multi-million dollar profit investment adviser for twenty years… I'm not an idiot" he winked and raised his glass to finally drink.

"I /never/ thought you were an idiot, even when I did wonder if you were a wiseguy." Katherine holds up a finger, laughing softly before she shrugs. "I've met plenty of people who speak in a certain way that are very intelligent. People who can't see through an accent to see the meaning behind it, or the way a person behaves, are not really the type of people you want to count as a friend." She brushes her hair away from her face and quirks a brow. "Tell me, how did Xavier react to you, when you presented this to him?" She takes a drink from her glass and glances toward the main building again. "I'm still a bit distressed at having asked him to leave."

"Hah - you did what?" Tony laughed, "I wasn't aware of that development" he commented with a smile, lifting his glass as he draped his arm over the armrest of the chair, he moved it through the air in circles idly while speaking, "He was unnerved that he hadn't seen through it, and it made him a little nervous. I think part of the reason he labeled me as so dangerous was likely that I blindsided him - as a man who prides himself on being in control of his environment, I'm sure that was…disturbing" he smirked, "I'll tell you what I told Xavier…" he cleared his throat softly.

"I bring significant financial backing, just like any other investor, but where you are all beholden specifically to the laws and regulations binding only by a thin piece of paper, I, admittedly, do not operate on that same limited scope of influence and control, and you're right, that does give you an advantage when dealing with other persons."

Katherine sighs and she furrows her brow, her breath hitching slightly. She closes her eyes for a moment, taking a deep breath and letting it out very slowly. "My family lives here, after what I told you the other night, I can't have him in the house where something bad could happen." She opens her eyes, focusing on Anthony. "We went through a lot two years ago when we lost our parents and our siblings. The last thing we need is to have violence or the threat of it in our house." She frowns and gazes down at her hands. "So I asked him to find a place." She goes quiet for a few moments and chuckles softly. "It's horrible of me, but it's actually nice to know that he is fallible. There are times when I thought he had every angle thought out in advance."

There was a sincerity behind Tony's eyes as Katherine spoke of her hardships and familial woes, and he sighed heavily, "It musta' been hard, honestly…" he admitted, "When I say that you're a very strong and impressive woman, I wasn't joking. It takes a lot to shoulder what you have, and frankly, do" he smiled, albeit a bit softly, "I don't think anyone would or does fault you for asking him to leave, hon. And yes, he's fallible. He's only human…"

Tony paused for a moment, taking the time to sip his whiskey as he rose to his feat, casually slipping one hand into his pocket as he approached Kate, looking out the window, "Xavier and I are a lot alike, truth be told. If I had been born in slightly different circumstances t's not impossible that I'd be just like he is, nor if he were to end up just like me…" his tone was distant, nearly one of reminiscence, "We're like opposite sides of the same coin…" he nodded, "Ah, though Kate, seriously…." he turned his attention toward her fully, "Don't tell anyone else about what occurred with Xavier, you understand? It would be quite bad for all of us"

Katherine gets to her feet, picking up her robe to slip it on. "I'm reasonably sure that it's already going to end badly for Xavier." She stares at Anthony for a moment, pulling the robe close to her body. "I already started putting distance in here.." She taps her heart with her palm, and once again she has to take a deep breath. "I am going to bed, Tony. Perhaps I can catch you for breakfast?" She asks, turning to look at him. "I'll be making an attempt at playing normal tomorrow, I don't want to alarm Claire."

Anthony's firm lips pulled into a gentle and comforting smile, "I un'astand, Kate… Really" he assured her, tipping back his glass of scotch and finishing it off with a familiar burn, "You could always crash here, I hear the couch is miiiiighty comfy" he smiled, "I wouldn't even be ungentlemanly" he mused, setting his glass down as he made a slow stroll for the door, "But I guess if you *really* gotta' go and sleep all alone in the house, I get it…it gets lonely out here though, you oughta' come grab a drink sometime, seein' as how you know where my stash of the good stuff is now"

"I'll visit again, even though from what I hear, you'll be leaving us soon." Kate aims a playfully hurt look at Anthony, letting her bottom lip poke out in a pout. "It's alright, you'll invite me to see the new place, and I'll find your stash there too." She pulls her robe tighter around her. "Good night, Tony."

The brief pause of his hand on the doorknob was caused by the words Kate said, and a cockeyed bit of a grin crossed his features as he captured his bottom lip for just a moment as his pale green eyes sized her up one last time and in that moment he was painfully aware of just how close they were, nodding once, he finally released his lips and smiled that devilish smile, "Yeah. I s'pose I will" and with that, he opened the door and let Kate out of the garage suite.

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