(2018-12-19) Dinner is Served
An invitation out of the blue is accepted.

A tall, dark stranger happens along just as Claire is headed out, and grabs the door for her as she's trying to exit without slipping and falling on her face. Though in truth, he's not all that tall. And he's not precisely a stranger - at least, not to Katherine. She might recognise him from last night, though he's dressed down significantly from the tailored wool coat and leather gloves; a simple battered bomber jacket, dark jeans and work boots today as he tromps up to the counter to place an order.

Katherine nibbles on her cookie, a thoughtful look on her face as she gazes out the window. She sees Sevin walking in, but at first she doesn't recognize him, but only because her first look is brief. She watches him order and then she realizes who he is, and if he turns in her direction she'll wave at him. She has a brief internal debate on if she should invite him to sit down, and just decides to wait to see what happens for now.

Sevin seems pretty zoned out, which appears to be par for the course for the man. He finishes placing his order, eases off to the side and is just slipping his phone out of his jacket pocket when he spots a familiar looking leggy brunette seated nearby. His eyes rove over her slowly, and then he smiles a little at her wave. Awkward waggle of fingers, phone flicked on and perused while he waits.

Katherine's brow furrows and she lets out a sigh before she gets to her feet, picking up her coat and her cookies. She walks in Sevin's direction, pausing by the counter to lean against it. "Just in for coffee and back out again?" She asks, brushing her hair away from her face. "Or are you planning on staying in the shop for a little bit?" She sets down the cookie box and pulls her coat on her arms.

Sevin's eyes tick up from his phone's screen, and he regards the younger woman from under stooped brows for a moment. Then her box of cookies. Then her face again. "In and back out again," he confirms, jerking his head slightly to the door. "I was headed home. Got a shed that needs finishing." Thrilling stuff, his life. "It's nice to see you again." He tracks the brush of her fingers through her hair, then turns back to his phone.

Katherine looks daunted for all of one moment before she speaks up again. "You're building a shed?" She asks, pulling her beanie from her pocket to shove it on her head. "You wouldn't want food while you're building, would you?" She asks, clearing her throat softly to make sure she got his attention. She shifts her box to her other arm, glancing outside briefly before she manages what she thinks might be an alluring smile.

Sevin is aware, surely, that she's watching him. He even looks up again slightly at the throat clearing. "Food?" he queries, tiny twinge of something at the corners of his lips, almost completely hidden by beardscruff. Then the 'alluring' smile snags him, and his phone's screen is switched off and the thing is tucked back into his jacket pocket. "I guess it depends on what kind of food you had in mind." His coffee is set down, and he drags his gaze away for a moment in order to collect it and snap on a lid. No cream, no sugar.

"Italian. I have dinner made in the warmer at home, and I can get some and bring it to you while you…fix your shed?" Katherine watches him put away his phone, her smile growing brighter. "Do you like home made lasagna?" She asks, setting down her box so she can button her coat. "I made garlic bread to go with it." She watches him with the coffee, then looks back at his face. "What is your address?"

Sevin stills with the cup of coffee in his hand, an inch away from his mouth. Standing this close to him, Katherine can likely smell something spicy and faintly sweet on him with a hint of bitterness; clove smoke, if she's familiar with such. "I love home made lasagna," he offers eventually, smile flickering to life properly now, dimpling his cheek. "I'm not in any rush, though. Would you mind if I stopped by to eat, instead of making you go to the trouble of dropping it off?" Pale green eyes snag hers, and hold them steadily.

"If you'd like. That would be fine." Katherine glances outside and then back to Sevin. "I walked here again, did you drive? Will you ride me up the hill?" She responds to the smile with one of her own, standing straight now that he's agreed to dinner. "It really wouldn't be trouble to drop it off though, just putting that out there for you." She picks up her box of cookies, opening them show them to Sevin. "Dessert, after dinner."

"I would." Like. His eyes remain on Katherine as she looks away and back again, and eventually he eases away from the counter with his cup in hand. Siiip. "And I did. Let's go." Giving 'orders' seems to be his fall back. That or his social skills just need work. Off to the door he ambles, and chuckles when the box of cookies is flipped open. "After? Why not before? Or am I going to get my hand slapped if I try?"

Katherine chuckles softly as she follows Sevin from Java Junction, a bemused look on her face. She closes the box and looks like she's thinking before she responds. "I have had dessert before, a few times, but in this case? It'll taste better after, with coffee or tea." She gets into his vehicle, pointing up the hill. "I didn't put out Christmas lights this year, but when you go up the hill, it's the second house on the left." Eventually they make it to the house, and she guides him through the entryway and the great room, shrugging off her coat one arm at a time so she can keep a hold of her box. Once they reach the kitchen she sets the box aside. "Welcome to my home, find a seat at the counter or the table, whatever is more comfortable for you."

Sevin's truck is older, but warm enough with the heat blasting. The seats are flecked with dog hair, and there's a roll of chicken wire loaded up in the cargo area. He trails Katherine into her home, hands jammed into the pockets of his jacket, sharp gaze taking in the place as they cut toward the kitchen. "Thanks," he murmurs, with a brief smile as he settles in onto a stool at the island. He doesn't really fit with the polished, immaculate artisanship of the kitchen's construction; his jacket is beat up, his hair is scruffy, though he did his best to kick the snow off his boots at the front door.

Katherine opens one of the two ovens, pulling out a pan with oven mitted hands. "You're welcome. Would you like something to drink? I've wine, juice, water…soda." She watches him as she sets the pan down, pulling aluminum foil from the top of it. The inside of the pan is bubbling hot, fragrant steam rising from the lasagna. "Don't mind the mess, I have four boarders at the moment, and I don't really tell them where they can and can't leave coats, shoes…glitter." She shrugs and moves to a fresh loaf of bread, slicing it open with a bread knife. She puts two pieces into the toaster and soon the smell of garlic joins the other smells.

Once he's warmed up a little, Sevin shrugs out of his jacket and sweater and folds them across the back of his chair. Underneath, a faded dark grey tee shirt that makes it fairly obvious he's either a regular at the gym, or does some sort of regular physical work with his hands. And from the looks of him, the former seems unlikely. "Sure I can't help with anything?" he murmurs, watching Katherine more than her food as she bustles about. "Seem like you could use some time off your feet." His nostrils flare as the garlicky bread starts to singe in the toaster. Breath in, breath out in a pleasant sigh.

The light catches on the bread knife as she slices a few more pieces of bread for toast. Katherine glances up to respond and she blinks a few times, taking in the tee shirt and the man wearing it. "Oh..well.." She blinks again and then visibly shakes herself, her head shaking shortly after. "I don't really need help, but if you insist, the plates are in the cupboard right here next to the toaster." She pulls the toasted bread free, sliding in another two pieces. The darker ones are buttered lightly and set aside. "I'm used to being on my feet, I like to joke that my job never ends. Especially since I'm on call."

The sound of the knife carving up bread, and the faint sizzle of cheese cooling atop the lasagna seem to lull the man into a warm, thoughtful little fugue. His pale eyes trace Katherine's features absently, like he's committing the shape of her face and curve of her shoulders as she works, to memory. Then with a gruff little sound, he eases to his feet and ambles over to the indicated cupboard. Plates are withdrawn. Glasses, too. "Wine for you? I'd.. better not." He's driving.

"I'm not going to drink if you're not. Seems unfair. I'll have water." Katherine says, glancing toward Sevin to smile at him. "I have Riesling occasionally, but it doesn't always go with italian food. Too sweet, too soft." She pulls the toast that just pops out from the toaster and butters it, putting both pairs on the plates provided. She moves to slice the lasagna, putting a hefty portion on both plates, wrinkling her nose. "Just do your best, I might have gone slightly overboard." She adds silverware and pauses. "Table or counter?" She asks, glancing between them, but letting him make the decision on where they're going to eat.

"Water it is," Sevin replies with a brief smile, and fills both tumblers with tap water. "Table," is his definitive answer to the question of where to sit. Clearly a man with no qualms about making decisions. "I'll confess I like a wine with a bit of bite to it, myself," he offers as he sets the glasses down and settles in. His jacket and sweater are left where they are. "But just a bit." He watches Katherine, bemused.

Katherine sets the plates on the table, turning to gather napkins for them both. "I do too, but I haven't had an opportunity to go buy any, it's been a little busy around here." She takes her seat at the table, crossing her legs, her eyes on the food in front of her. "You'll have to forgive me, I'm nervous. When I'm nervous, everything gets bigger and I tend to…" She thinks for a moment before she continues. "…go a little overboard or apologize overmuch. In this case? I won't apologize. I never do when I'm feeding someone. I like people to walk away from my kitchen full." She nods to Sevin. "Dig in, tell me if it's good?"

Sevin continues to look amused, and maybe a little curious when Katherine mentions feeling nervous. He watches her approach with an utterly guileless wandering of his gaze over her body before it slowly returns to her face. "Hm," is all he says for a little while, then brandishes his fork and knife, and does indeed dig in. He doesn't precisely eat like a savage, but one couldn't call it delicate either. "Very good," he manages in between mouthfuls, without quite looking up. Someone's hungry.

Katherine shifts in her seat, leaning in to eat. She eats a little slower than he does, dipping her bread into the red sauce. She drinks between bites, even taking a breather every once in a while. "I'm glad you like it." She says, and he must, he's eating pretty fast. She did spot the look he gave her as she moved to settle in her seat, and after a few moments she sets down her fork. "Do you look at everyone like that?" She looks surprised at herself asking the blunt question, but she decides to tough it out, keeping her gaze locked on Sevin to see how he might answer.

Sevin shovels in a few more forkfuls of lasagna, and washes it down with a slug of water before reaching for his napkin and dabbing at some sauce that's made its way into his scrubby beard. Pale green eyes cut toward Katherine's cheek, not quite meeting her gaze. "Like what?" he queries with a faint furrow of brows, fork poised to sink into the warm, gooey plate of noodles and meat sauce again.

Katherine takes a bite of her food, chewing to give herself some time before she has to answer. "Like you're trying to decide if they're dangerous, or good looking?" She glances from his fork to his eyes, aiming a smile at Sevin at the end, digging into her food again. "Forget I asked. It's just sometimes you'll look right at me, and other times you'll avoid it completely." She shrugs and picks up her toast, taking a big bite of it.

"Dangerous." It's repeated, like he's trying to make sure he heard that right. Then an honest to god laugh, low and warm and rough around the edges. "No, Ms. Stone, I don't think you're dangerous. I think you're very attractive. And far too young for me." The smile vanishes, though he does meet her gaze with those words. "And no, I'd rather not forget you asked, if it's all the same to you. You brought it up, it must be on your mind." He watches her eat the toast, then carves off another forkful of lasagna.

"I know I'm not dangerous." Katherine might look slightly affronted, and she doesn't hide it well at all. She sighs and she props her cheek on her palm, taking another bite of her lasagna. "Far too young for you." She repeats, her tone flat as she meets his gaze. "You can't know how old I am." She says, slightly piqued, gazing down at her plate as she spears some more noodles. "It was on my mind, but I don't think it's on my mind anymore. I'm going to be embarrassed now, probably until I figure out how to sink into the floor."

He shakes his head slowly, a very slight gesture. Those odd, intense eyes of his continue to peruse her face as she leans into her palm. "No, I can't know. But I can guess." The fork makes it into his mouth finally, and he chews and swallows. Another swipe with the napkin. He seems to consider something for a moment, and nearly says it, but then backtracks at the moment it's about to be voiced. His lips press together instead. "All right." And he goes for another bite, eyes on his food.

"You can guess." Katherine repeats, now there is an amused look on her face, watching him just as much as he watches her. "Please do guess, and we'll see how far off you are." She takes a drink from her water, watching him as he nearly says something, her eyebrows rising slightly. "Oh come on, I said what was on my mind, the least you could do.." She trails off, and out of nowhere a short spate of nervous laughter sounds, and she shakes her head, picking up her toast.

Sevin lifts one sturdy shoulder in a shrug, and chases his bite of food with a long drink of water. There's not much left on his plate, which should be a tribute to Katherine's cooking skill. "You said it wasn't on your mind anymore," he retorts with a furrow of his brows. Either he's that clueless, or he's playing her. A grin at her laugh though, and he eases back in his chair, giving his belly an absent scratch. "Twenty-five."

"You're not right." Katherine says, watching him get comfortable after eating all of that lasagna. She gets to her feet, moving to put coffee in the coffee maker, starting a pot. "Women say that, and I'm sure that you realize that they don't always mean it." She moves back to the table, taking her seat again. "Did you like it?" She asks, even though from the state of his plate, it's obviously that he didn't find it repugnant. "What do I get if you guess wrong? I should have asked that before you guessed, but.." She trails off with a shrug.

He watches her again as she gets up to fuss with coffee. He watches her, and particularly her backside. Because who wouldn't? He also doesn't seem bothered if she catches him doing so. Because he's shameless. "Yes," is his low murmur of a reply. "The lasagna, too. And you get nothing. How old are you, then?" The remainder of the lasagna is scooped up on his fork, clack clack as he scrapes the plate clean and devours it with a contented sound.

Katherine laughs, and it's not nervous laughter this time. She's genuinely amused. "I get nothing." She repeats, sighing for a moment before she meets Sevin's gaze. "Today I'm forty three. Tomorrow, I'll be thirty two. All kidding aside, I'm twenty seven." She pushes her plate away, half of her food still there. She lets out a soft burp, and her cheeks get pink for a moment. "Pardon me."

That laugh makes him smile. Slight, but unmistakable. He waits as Katherine details her magical ability to get younger and younger by the day, and raises a brow once she seems to be done. "That's pretty impressive. What will you be tomorrow, nineteen?" A laugh at the burp, and he nods to her plate. "Not going to finish?" It's none of his business really. But the man seems to have trouble not throwing his weight around. At least where pretty young things are concerned.

"No, I don't get younger than twenty seven. Soon that number will be twenty eight. I act older occasionally, but I haven't acted younger for…a while." Katherine blushes as he laughs at her, glancing down at her plate. "I'm full for now." She folds her arms over her chest and stares across the table at Sevin. She looks like she might say something else but she shakes her head instead. "Would you like some coffee, and perhaps dessert?"

Sevin uses his tonguetip to pick some food from between his teeth, like the savage he sometimes is. At least he's managed to maintain eye contact with her for the last few minutes of conversation. "Let me clean up for you, then," is offered rather quietly. A beat before he eases slowly to his feet, collects silverware onto plates and moves off to the sink. What's left on Katherine's plate is scraped into the compost bin, and he hunts for a bottle of dish soap and a rag to clean everything off with. Back still turned to the young woman, he answers her question, "I'd love some. What were you going to say?"

Katherine gets to her feet taking a few steps to the counter where she settles on a stool. She opens the box of cookies, pulling one from the box and snapping it in half. "I was going to ask why it matters if I'm nineteen or sixty." She takes a bite of the cookie, her eyes watching him clean and wash the dishes that they used for dinner. "It's rare that I watch someone else do the dishes." She notes, taking another bite of cookie before she gets to her feet again, this time moving around the counter to pour two cups of coffee. "Cookies or pie, your choice. The pie is cherry."

Sevin works efficiently, soaping and scrubbing and rinsing each dish and utensil with methodical precision. He's clearly not a man unaccustomed to being in the kitchen. "I've dated younger women before. It doesn't tend to work out." He doesn't look over as he speaks, but seems aware of Katherine moving closer, unsurprisingly going to fetch the coffee. "You don't know how to relax, do you?" he asks. He may or may not be joking.

"Have you tried older women?" Katherine asks, fetching mugs from a cupboard and filling them. She breaks two squares of dark chocolate and drops them in one cup, carrying them over to the dining room table. "I can relax." She says, a bit of a growl to her voice, scowling over at his back for a moment before she fetches the cookies. She dips the broken cookie into her coffee, taking a bite. "Take anything in your coffee when you're not in a coffee shop?"

Has he tried older women? The question causes him to turn slightly, and fix her with a curious look that's at once incredulous and amused. "Of course I've tried older women," he counters, before going back to the task of washing and drying the dishes. Including whatever else is already in the sink. "My ex wife is older than me. And no." Nothing in his coffee.

Katherine meets that look with a guileless one, a polite smile on her face. When he turns back to the dishes, she rolls her eyes, trying very hard not to laugh, or at the very least, to not have her laughter heard. "Perhaps you should judge a person by their actions and not their age, things tend to make more sense when I do that." She gazes at the box of cookies for a moment, trying to decide if they need to be plated. "There is a towel in the drawer under the sink to dry your hands off, when you've finished."

"Perhaps you shouldn't assume I'm judging anyone, period," Sevin retorts mildly, finishing up the last glass and hunting down the aforementioned towel to dry off. He doesn't sound annoyed, merely matter of fact. Then instead of coming over to have a seat, he bellies up to the counter and leans against it, reaching over to slip the lid off the box of cookies and snag one. It's lemony and crumbly, and his brows furrow in appreciation when he takes a bite.

"I never said you were judging anyone, I'm giving you advice for the future." Katherine glances at the cup of coffee she prepared for him, steaming on the table where he sat for dinner. She glances back at Sevin, and watches him as she dips her cookie in her coffee. "Is the cookie good?" She asks, nibbling on hers, pressing her lips together so she doesn't smile.

Sevin watches Katherine for a few moments, as if contemplating something about the woman. Her audacity, perhaps, in giving him advice. Or maybe he's just trying to figure out if she's got a point. "It is." He's in no rush to fetch his coffee. Another bite of cookie, and he seems content to lean against the counter and watch his host try not to smile. "Something funny?" A few crumbs are dabbed at with his fingertip and eaten.

Katherine nods at Sevin, her mouth full of cookie, and her too polite to talk while she's chewing. She takes a drink from her coffee and sets it down. "You are, a little bit." She admits, resting an elbow on the table before she adds. "I don't think I've ever met someone like you before. You make me nervous, make me laugh and at least twice this evening I've been tempted to throw something at you." She shrugs a shoulder and drags her gaze down to her coffee cup as she dips her cookie into the black liquid.

Sevin looks honestly a little bewildered by the answer he gets. It's a bit of a mixed bag, and there's clearly an element of cultural difference at play, too. "Only twice?" is his deadpan reply, and he reaches over to steal another cookie before ambling off in to fetch his coffee - and ultimately, take a seat next to Katherine. "Well, you know what I think." Sip.

"Only twice. It's not polite to throw things at people, so you have to resist the urge." Katherine sees the bewildered look on his face, but she doesn't comment. She watches him take a seat, finishing off the cookie she's broken apart. "I can't tell what you're thinking, but I'm sure it's amusing or something I wouldn't expect." She picks up her coffee cup, taking a drink from it before she sets it down. "If you were trying to get me to throw things at you more, you didn't manage it. I'm sorry."

"I'm afraid it's nothing terribly amusing." He thinks for a moment, mouth twisted a little to one side in an exaggerated expression of consideration. "Or maybe it is." Pale eyes flick back to the woman, and he blows on the surface of his coffee before taking a sip. "I think I want to take you out to dinner. That you don't have to cook. On the upside, you'll have more opportunities to not throw things at me." Totally straight face.

Katherine blinks a few times, the straight face automatically making her wary. "Like, a date?" She asks, her fingers tapping on the warm cup in front of her. "I was raised to not throw things at people when I'm out in public, so you would be quite safe in that regard." She picks up her cup, taking a drink from it as she watches Sevin. "I would like that, I haven't had a meal that I haven't had to cook in a little bit, and there are quite a few places in town that I have heard are excellent."

"Like a date," he agrees with a slight smile, though by the time Katherine looks up to him, his attention's on his coffee again. The edges of what looks like a tattoo peek out from under the sleeve of his tee shirt; black letters etched into dusky skin poured over well-defined muscle. "Why don't I give you my number, and you let me know when you can get away? I teach during the week, though I'm usually off by six or so." He's putting on a brave face, but she might get the sense that 'dating' isn't something he's had much practice at lately.

Katherine pulls her phone from her pocket, waking it up by tapping the screen. She is distracted by what might be a tattoo, reaching out without realizing she's doing it. "What is that?" Her fingertips make contact with his arm and then she remembers herself, pulling her hand away. She clears her throat, brushing curly hair behind her ears. "When is the last time you went out on a date?"

Sevin's question wasn't answered, but the unexpected touch distracts him from this fact. His head whips toward her, and he stiffens, muscle coiling throughout his arm and back rather suddenly. It takes a moment or two for his brain to catch up with the fact that there's absolutely zero threat in front of him, and he releases an audible breath, and a chuckle. "A date, like a real date?" Whatever that means. "A.. few years, I guess. Is it that obvious?"

Katherine jumps when Sevin moves, and she freezes after, looking abashed. She doesn't ask about the tattoo again, instead she focuses on the question that he answered. "Kind of. It's okay, I'm awkward in general. I don't think you could be any worse." She looks thoughtful, gazing down at her phone before she glances at him. "I can sneak off anytime, really. I have an assistant named Charlotte. She takes care of things here when I have something to do." Her eyes are on her coffee cup. "I just have to prepare a bit if I'm ever away overnight. Mostly because of the goat."

Sevin has the good grace to look a little bit contrite about the flinch and almost-retaliation. It's probably no wonder he hasn't dated in a few years. "Charlotte's not the goat, is she?" he asks, seeming serious. But he has a pretty straight face even when joking. His coffee is finished, and he reaches around behind Katherine to snag his sweater and jacket off the chair next to her, before pulling them on in an unhurried fashion. "You let me know, then. And I'll make the arrangements."

"Charlotte is the assistant. The goat has a slightly more silly name and wears pyjamas." Katherine watches him pull his sweater and jacket on, getting to her feet and moving toward the counter. "Do you want to take some food home with you? It will just end up as left overs and…" She trails off, leaning against the counter. "When are you available in the next few days?"

Sevin watches her stand while shrugging into his jacket. Collar turned up, hands dug into the pockets briefly to make sure his phone and wallet are still there. "Sure," is offered after some consideration. "I don't promise it won't end up being devoured by two spoiled and jealous dogs, though, who don't like beautiful women cooking for me." His eyes glint with amusement and he pushes to his feet slowly. "Pretty much any day, after six. Here." His wallet is dug out and rifled through, and a bent business card is extracted and set on the counter. It lists him as 'Dr. Sevin Khan, PhD. Associate Professor, Department of Mathematics and Physics'

There's a cell number listed at the bottom, naturally.

Katherine fixes a Tupperware container with a large portion of lasagna, handing it over before she quips. "As long as I'm not being devoured by dogs, I'll happily take any alternative." Her cheeks are pink at the compliment, as she gazes down at the card. "I'll call you tomorrow, and we'll make plans. Perhaps after you've bought me dinner, you'll show me what is on your arm." She puts the card in her back pocket, moving around the counter. "Thank you for coming to dinner, and I hope you'll be back again."

After he's bought her dinner? Presumptuous little thing, isn't she. Not that he seems to mind the sass, judging by his crooked smile and the way his eyes follow her movement with an appreciative warmth. "I'll look forward to it," he replies, low-voiced. The tupperware is collected, and he takes a step back. "Thanks for the food. And the company. Ms. Stone." A moment's hesitation, and then he turns to go.

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