(2018-12-04) Untitled Michael Roberts Project
Claire pursues her agenda with Presley. Finn is distractingly pretty.

Java Junction

With copper light hangings, it leaves a rustic feel to the entire room. A long bar with a cash register below a sign that says Order Here boasts a display of pastries, bagels, croissants and other foods for breakfast. Sandwiches and soups and salads for lunch and dinner. On a chalk bard in colorful writing is a list of the different beverages offered as well as the prices. Numbers are given on the receipts so when called, patrons can get their order at the opposite end of the bar from the register.

Tables dot the room, wooden with simple center pieces and wooden chairs around them. Also built into one leg of each table is an electrical outlet for laptops or phone chargers. In one corner is a bean bag area with several magazines and a small book swap shelf.

While music plays softly from surround sound speakers, it is usually tuned into one of the two radio stations in the town. The country or rock, depending on what the barista selects at the time.

That cold, clear weather drives people indoors, including Claire. She has the look of a person that intends to rush through a meal, just now claiming a table near the door - one of the few with more than a single empty chair, it being the lunch-rush - with an overpriced sandwich and a cup of coffee. She dumps her backpack into the other empty chair at her table, and does what every red-blooded American does: checks her phone. The rest of the coffee shop is full of people doing similar shit.

It's cold, but snowy, and well, it's Colorado. Presley is painfully used to the weather systems, and rolls with it by bundling herself up against it and hustling herself everywhere at top speed. Which means that she hustles through that door like she's going to freeze if she stops moving, and in fact doesn't stop until she's at the counter ordering hot chocolate.

The bundled person doesn't draw immediate attention. Claire just flicks a look up from her phone when someone comes in, finishes whatever she was texting, and sets to cream-and-sugaring her coffee. It's only while Presley is waiting for her cocoa and Claire is idly surveying the patrons that the light of recognition dawns, and she (so subtly) makes it obvious that there's an empty chair right here at her table. She moves the backpack, and she nudges the chair out a little, and then she waits. Situated so she can catch Presley's eye the second she turns!

Wait. Wait. So much waiting. But as soon as Presley has the hot chocolate in hand she's turning, not recognizing Claire from the brief meeting, though, so unless there is something like arm waving, she might just wander towards that other free chair over there.

Claire has no shame. She wavewavewaves, beckoning toward Presley with a flap of her hand. "You can sit here," from all the way across the cafe. At least her smile is really nice so she doesn't look like a complete crazy person.

"Oh, thanks." Presley is probably far too nice to think that anyone is actually crazy, and is oblivious to threats of cultists and serial killers anyways. She moves towards the table, setting her cup down before unbundling herself and sitting, only to finally recognize Claire, "Oh, you were at the charity thing, right?"

Claire's beam is equal parts self-satisfaction and honest delight; yay, it worked~! She drops her hand back down, using it to unwrap her overpriced sandwich. "No problem. It's so crowded in here, so I'm glad to have someone to sit with me so no one else tries to." Pausing in the sandwich-unveiling, she puts her hand out to Presley, nodding. "I was, I recognize you, actually. You're Presley Starr, right? I'm Claire Reed, it's nice to meet you."

"Yeah." Presley replies, smiling at Claire as she reaches out to take the offered hand, giving it a quick shake, "It's nice to meet you officially and stuff." She then pulls her hand back, only so that she can wrap it around her cup, "Did you enjoy the show?"

Claire offers half of her expensive turkey sandwich - it probably has hipster crap like avocados and bean sprouts on it - with a finger-nudge of it toward Presley. "Do you want some? No mayo, though." She takes a little bite, small enough that she can swallow it quickly and answer, "I really did, thank you. My mother was sooooo jealous about Calvin Shay's show. Did you like it? I thought it was very romantic."

"It was great!" Presley agrees, reaching for the offered half of sandwich, not even looking shocked about things like avocado and bean sprouts. She was probably raised better than that. "I had no idea that he was going to call her up, but…like, it was so amazing. I heard that they retweeted all video from that like a million times."

All starry-eyed, Claire says, "I would've fainted! I don't know how that woman even manage to speak, let alone sing. Somebody sent me a clip of it from a better view than I had, I've watched it probably a hundred times." She pretend-shivers with remembered delight. "I didn't get to see all of the events afterward, did you ride at all?"

The pair are sitting at a table, there is the lunch thing happening, they have drinks, splitting a sandwich. Otherwise conversating like adults, or something.

"Me? No.." Presley shakes her head, smiling, "I was just helping my parents organize it, and stuff. Warren rode, though…My brother?" She makes a sort of vague gesture that might be meant to be some not-descriptive hand motion with the turkey sandwich. "And then there was the parade…the little kids? That was a nightmare. You know that they don't listen well?"

Ducking into the coffee shop from out of the snow comes Finn, bundled up in a red-with-gold-accents UCC hooded pullover jacket. There's a quick glance around as he steps into the line, which is thankfully extremely short. "Can I get one of those cranberry bars and uh.. Do you have just like a bottle of Coke?" he asks the cashier, who gives him an extremely funny look. Who orders Coke at a coffee shop?

Claire nods, her brother, and just a pleasant, "We've met." There's a little laugh about the kids and their inability to listen. "I didn't get to see much of it that day, but I've definitely seen its like. They look so cute, though, even when they just wind up riding in circles." She traces such a circle on the table in front of her, making a face. "Do you normally ride, though? I heard you ride sometimes." Her tunnel vision prevents her from noticing pretty-Finn yet, despite him being a Coke-ordering weirdo.

Soooooo preeeeetty. Presley notices, but she's also polite and both doesn't stare, and pays attention to Claire and her questions. "Oh…yeah." She replies, blinking a bit, cheeks flushing, "I usually ride, I've been riding in shows since I was a kid, it was just not this year…Had to help, you know?"

The cashier /does/ end up procuring a bottle of Coke along with Finn's cranberry something-or-another, all the money exchanged before he's given his drink and little baggie of pastry. He turns on his heel after, passing by the girls' table as they discuss riding, mostly because he was headed to one of the empty tables in their vicinity. "You two ride in shows?" It might be rude to interrupt, but it was mostly a curious question as he sets his items on his table. There's a glance exchanged between the two of them as he flashes a dimpled grin. "Like dirt bike riding? Neither of you really look like dirt bike riders, do they even do that sort of thing here?"

It's just the tiniest tell - just a little second when Claire's lips purse and pull askew, and she hides it quickly by taking a bite of her sandwich. THIS PRETTY ASSHOLE IS RUINING EVERYTHING. Ostensibly because she's chewing right now, she doesn't get around to verbally greeting the newcomer to the conversation, just wiggles her fingers his way and lets Presley answer the whole dirt-bike-riding issue.

"Oh." Presley blinks, taking a full half minute before she manages to actually find a response to this, because something pretty is talking to her. "No, horses." She corrects, after taking a moment to find her brain, "I ride in the rodeos…I don't think that Ms. Reed rides." She glances towards Claire, double-checking her own information in that regard.

"Rodeos?" Finn's baby blue eyes open fractionally wider than before as he cracks open his Coke. "Like, for real rodeos? With the bulls and horses and clowns and everything? That's so cool," he expresses directly to Presley, "Is she one of the clowns?" He points a thumb to Claire, before he looks at her and grins a little. "You know, not that you look funny or anything. Because you don't!" he adds almost immediately, "But she said you don't ride, so I don't know."

Claire answers Presley pleasantly, "No, no. I don't ride in them. I'm just an interested party?" She sips some coffee, managing to keep a 100% credible smile in place while Finn calls her a rodeo clown. "Actually," before Pretty completely derails all this ground-work she's been laying, "I'm with a crew shooting a documentary about rodeos. We'd love if you'd be willing to be interviewed? Not right now, obviously, but in a week or two?"

"For real rodeos, with horses and bulls and everything." Presley replies with a quick nod for Finn, then she pauses, glancing at Claire before she laughs, "Oh, sure." She shakes her head, not looking like she fully believes that this is an actual thing, but she's certainly willing to play along.

"Dang," Finn remarks to Presley, as though he were in awe of her. "And you do that, huh? Ride on bulls? Because that's insane," but it's said in a way that makes it sound as though he thought it were super cool and not crazy. He sips from his soda as he bounces a glance between the Presley and Claire, brows going up at the talk of rodeo documentaries. "Oh, sorry. I didn't know you two were doing business," he motions between them with his free hand, looking a touch embarrassed by the whole butting in thing. And yet he keeps on going, "Is it going to be on Netflix? The documentary?"

Claire is prepared for skepticism! That's why she carries around her backpack, which she hefts off the floor right now and fishes through, digging out a sheet of paper that she puts on the table next to Presley's cocoa. It's a release form; "Oh good! This is an example that you can keep and read, then. You'd have to sign one before giving an interview, but don't sign this actual one. I just like people to have a chance to read them over ahead of time." She also points out where her name and number are, noting, "And you can call me if you have any questions about it." Followed by a cheerful nod at Finn, now that she doesn't have to hate him for interrupting. "I think so, when it's all done. Do you watch documentaries?" She even manages not to sound like she doubts it~

"Oh, no." Presley shakes her head, "I've ridden them for fun, and around the pasture. But never in the ring, that's not really….my thing." She answers rather lamely at that, reaching for the release form that Claire offers, looking it over, "Oh, sure. Can I have my Mom read this?" Because that's what kids do, right? "I'm not sure if I really want to be on netflix…sounds kind of scary."

"I don't know anybody who rides bulls for fun," remarks Finn, taking another sip from his Coke as he looks between the two of them. "Or for the rodeo, or in general, actually. I'm Finn," he tacks that introduction there at the end, his dimpled smile flashed, before he looks to Claire and shrugs. "Yeah," regarding watching documentaries. "I mean I watched Making a Murderer. And that one about OJ Simpson? And uh.." He shrugs his shoulders. That's probably the extent of his documentary watching, realistically. But he looks back to Presley and grins at her. "I think it's awesome and you should do it. I bet they have a cool story and everything."

"Of course," she can have her mom read it. "I gave some papers to your brother, too, would you…?" Claire has more crap in her backpack, and takes out a manila envelope to add to the table. "Would you please give this to your mom? Since you'll be talking to her about the release anyway." Yes, if she wasn't so completely earnest about this, it would absolutely come across skeezy, but her hopeful smile is honest instead of manipulative. And that earnestness carries over to echo Finn's latter assertion, "It's really going to be very great when it's all done. I'm super-excited."

"It's fun, I mean, riding around. Mostly just the horses, but sure…the bulls too. We used to dare each other to do it all the time, but honestly those guys are super calm when not in the chutes and stuff. Like, they KNOW they are there to do a job, you know?" Presley rambles for a moment, reaching out to take the items Claire offers without even looking in the envelope, "Sure." She replies, shoving everything into the pocket of her coat, "I'm Presley, and this is Ms. Reed."

"Huh," Finn says of the bulls, taking another sip of his Coke before he sets the bottle down. When Presley introduces herself, he can't help but grin again, the dimples showing. "Presley. Like Elvis? You go to UCC?" he asks her, before he looks back over to Claire. "What's the name? Of your documentary, I mean. So I can make sure to add it to my Netflix queue and watch it when it's ready?" Because obviously it would be there, totally waiting for them to film it.

Wow, manners totally took a back seat. "Oh, sorry. Hi, I'm Claire." She does another finger-wiggle, but really the beam is all for Presley here, brightening to full-wattage when she agrees to deliver that envelope, too (#bestdayever). There's a raptness in the way she listens to that little anecdote about the daring, "You are going to be fantastic." Followed by a, "Hmm? Oh. Uhhhm, it's called Untitled Michael Roberts Project?" Gently, "I don't think you can add it yet. Sorry."

"Yeah, like Elvis." Presley nods, looking for all the world like she's been asked that. So many times. But it doesn't seem to bother hr judging by the smile that stays fixed in place. "Uh, no. I don't. I mean, I have friends that do…but…" She shakes her head, "I work, with the family?" Oh so many broken dreams there. "Is Michael Roberts the director or something?"

"'Untitled Michael Roberts Project,'" Finn slowly repeats, word for word, as his phone is extracted out of his pocket and he types a note to himself. Only when finished does he look back up to Claire with a perplexed furrow of adorable brows. "That's a weird name for a documentary on rodeos. I don't think you're going to get many people watching it," he tells her with a small frown, but it vanishes as he shrugs his shoulders and looks back to Presley. "What kind of work do you do?" Because he totally has no idea who 'the' family is.

Claire sits up in her chair a little straighter while Finn is typing that out, making abbreviated 'uh' and 'uhm' noises. Finally, she clarifies slowly and still apologetically, like this misunderstanding rests solely on her shoulders, "I don't think that's what it will be called when it's done, though. If you watch his other films, it will probably show up on your 'recommended for you' list?" Her smile ends with a lip-bite and another, "Sorry," you beautiful idiot. "He is!" The director. "Though we use the term filmmaker. Have you seen his films? They're really good."

"Never heard of him. I don't watch movies much, though." And unless it is about Elvis, she's probably never seen a documentary. "Oh, we own Jackfield Stadium, so I work there, and then with the horses and stuff, or just do rodeo things?" Whatever rodeo things actually are. It doesn't matter. He's still talking, and she's totally willing to keep responding.

"Oh," Finn's totally picking up what Claire's putting down, bobbing his head in a quick nod. "That's good. I'm glad I helped you figure that one out," as though she were changing the name from 'Untitled' to something else based on his genius suggestions alone. "But.. Who is he?" he asks, brows lifting again. Really, he probably just hadn't been paying attention, since he was so busy typing into his phone. He flashes Claire a grin, which is promptly turned to Presley as she explains what it is she does. Sort of, anyway. "Oh, yeah? Hey, that's pretty cool. I bet your rodeo things keep you pretty busy," whatever those things may be. There's a blink to his phone as it buzzes in his hands, and he makes a grimace, getting to his feet and scooping up his items. "I gotta go. Got a tutoring thing," he waves his bottle-holding hand at the both of them. "Maybe I'll see you both around sometime!" And then he's out.

Earnest Claire says earnestly, "You should watch them. The one he did about fashion models - " She holds up the 'okay' symbol with one hand, nodding enthusiastically. She might have had more to say, but Finn's abrupt departure has her blinkety-blinking after him. "Do you think he tutors people?" She asks this carefully, like she doesn't want to IMPLY anything but come on…

"Bye…" Presley replies, watching Finn as he makes his exit, her head tilting very faintly to the side before she turns back towards Claire, "Do you need tutoring for something?" Because that is totally something she'd ask for if she was in school.

Claire shakes her head quickly, smiling another gentle smile, this time at Presley. "No, I was just wondering if - anyway." She dials up the wattage on that smile, asking in return, "Do you? Or, I guess, have you ever thought about going to school instead of working for your family? UCC has a lot of good programs. And apparently some very pretty scenery." She casts a quick look at the front door, one last glimpse at Finn before he's outta sight.

Presley's cheeks flush bright red at the last part, but then she shakes her head, "No..I couldn't just leave my family like that. I gotta help them out, you know?" She states it with the careful resignation of someone that knows they were always going into the family business.

Truly, "I didn't mean to make you blush, sorry. But he was very attractive." Claire says this objectively while she folds up the trash from her sandwich, making a neat little ball of plastic wrap out of it. "You couldn't do both? People go to school part-time or - well, I had a job in college. It wasn't quite the same as what you do, true, but it's a lot of people manage it?"

"I mean…maybe?" Presley replies, her brows furrowing just a fraction, "But it's also very expensive, and we don't have a lot of money to just throw away." Not that education is being thrown away. But, that's not the point, is it?

Claire hmmms, like the money-issue never even entered into her mind. "You could look into a grant? Or a scholarship, perhaps? There must be scholarships for people affiliated with ranching communities. Especially in Colorado." Her hand moves toward her phone reflexively, like she's going to solve this problem right now, but she stops it before actually grasping the thing. "Or - do you like working for your family business? That's probably the relevant bit."

"Yeah." Presley has probably been saying yes to that question so long that she might not even really know the answer. "I love the horses, and the people and everything. I'm not sure what I'd do, you know?" She can only hope that Claire knows what she means.

Claire shares, "One of my good friends became an event coordinator, which I always thought sounded nice. It's like a paid party planner. She gets to go to weddings almost every weekend now." There's a jealous little sigh there. "But if you're happy doing what you're doing, then college really is just a big waste of time and money. You're very lucky."

Presley shrugs very faintly, "I suppose." She agrees, then smiles once more, scooting her chair back, "I guess that I should let you get back to your lunch though…and go read whatever that paper is. Thank you for sharing, though, Ms. Reed."

Now she takes the phone, saying, "You're welcome. Thank you for being even a little interested. Can I take your number?" Claire has the phone at the ready! "That way, when the crew is here, I can call you and set up a time for an interview? I think you'll be really very good for the film."

"Oh, I'm not…really sure I would be." Presley replies, shaking her head just a fraction, but she does offer the number when she notices that Claire has the phone out, fully prepared to take the number.

"Trust me, having the perspective of a young woman? Will be immensely helpful. We can only tell the story of the little boys that grew up riding bulls so many ways before it loses something." Claire taptaps the number in, smiling happily at the outcome of this luncheon. "And I really liked meeting you, Miss Starr. I look forward to talking to you again soon."

"Oh, you too, Ms. Reed." Presley replies, getting to her feet to pull her coat back on, as well as her scarf and gloves, "I hope you have a good rest of the day. You should try riding, sometime." She suggests, then starts for the door.

Claire absolutely, "I will!" She's got enough manners to wait till Presley is gone before rapidly firing off a series of text messages. With lots of :)s in them.

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