(2018-12-27) The Ride Home
An actual conversation with plans made.

Sevin's truck pulls up outside the Alibi roughly on time, muffler spewing exhaust into the frigid air with a roar of the engine idling a little high. He reaches over to unlock the passenger side door. No chicken wire in the back of his truck today; just a thin layer of snow he hasn't bothered to brush off.

Kate jumps into the truck, a slight haze of tequila clinging to her as she buckles her seatbelt. "Thanks for coming to pick me up. Bar's still aren't my thing, and I can't stay that I didn't try." She glances over at him, trying to gauge his mood. "How're you?"

He turns slightly to watch Kate as she climbs in, his face half in profile; the angle of his jaw is sharp and almost arrogant, covered in that greying, scruffy beard. "I'm curious why you went, if they're not your thing." They're clearly not his, either. He's bundled into a coat, unbuttoned, white shirt visible underneath. His mood, as usual, is difficult to discern.

"People invite me out to bars and stuff all the time, it's kind of what people do." Kate rests her head on the back of the seat, closing her eyes as she gets comfortable. "Also a friend of Katya's, and I like to keep in touch with my friends, not all of them are comfortable coming to the B&B."

It's kind of what people do. People who aren't him, anyway. His pale gaze peruses her for a moment more, watching the line of her jaw and throat where she rests against the seat back. Then he looks away as he puts the truck into gear. "Seatbelt on." Not a question, not a suggestion, but an order. "How much did you have to drink?"

Kate tugs on her seatbelt, turning her head lazily to regard Sevin. "I had two shots, and a mixed drink. I'm a lightweight though, so that tequila went straight to my head. I'm not even sure why I had it. I don't like that stuff." Her shoulders rise in a slow shrug, her bottom lip caught in her teeth. "Where are we going?"

"We're going for a drive. And we're going to talk. Like I said we would." He lists these facts calmly and without inflection, his tongue snaking across his lips briefly to wet them as he maneuvers out onto the main road. His right hand remains on the gear shift throughout, left hand on the steering wheel. He drives stick, possibly for the ability to be in control. Almost certainly. The truck is old and fairly noisy, particularly in the winter, but at least it's warm inside. "Do you still want me to go with you? To Rio."

"Just making sure we don't have a destination." Katherine says quietly, watching the scenery for a few moments before she turns to watch Sevin drive. Him using a stick shift is amusing to her, watching each movement with slightly inebriated eyes and a smile on her face. She is quiet after his question, but it doesn't seem like she's thinking about it so much as she's just comfortable. "Yes."

These sorts of conversations are difficult for him, clearly. It's like navigating a minefield, and he's quite simply out of practice with this game. "I want to make a couple of things clear," he settles on finally, after a few minutes of silence. "I like you." That's spoken softly. "But if you're looking for someone who's going to.." He trails off there, and his brows furrow. He makes an exasperated sound. "Look. Yes, I'll go with you." Maybe that's all that matters here.

"Looking for someone who is going to…what exactly?" Katherine turns toward Sevin, crossing her legs as she watches him struggle with the conversation. She keeps from smiling, but it's a near thing, the corners of her lip twitching up. "I like you too, and I told you, I'm not asking for anything. Whatever you're willing to give.." She trails off, shrugging before she gazes down at her knees. "You will?" She turns her head to look out the window, not wanting to smile when he sounds frustrated.

"It doesn't matter." Or it does, and he can't or won't explain it. And, "I will." He glances over briefly, lips twitching with a slight smile that touches his eyes. Though doesn't quite banish something lurking in his tense shoulders, and the fact that he's almost certainly carrying that handgun somewhere on him. The one that spent the night beside Kate's bed.

"It does matter." Kate insists, staring at Sevin with a frown forming on her lips. "You don't want me to blur the lines, and I can't blur them if you explain them to me. I don't want to push, but ..you… won't tell me if I don't push." She gazes at him for a few quiet moments and picks at a thread on her jeans. "We'll only be gone for two days, though with a voucher I received if you wanted another day.." She shrugs and smirks, pulling the thread free.

Two days. Two days in a hotel room with an open bar, and about as far away from Calaveras and this ridiculous, frigid winter as he could possibly hope for. "I'm not looking for more entanglements. I'm not looking for the love of my life." He keeps his eyes on the road, save for a brief turn of his head toward her, watching her tug at that thread on her jeans. Then away again. "I have an ex wife. She wants to.. try to make things work." He rubs at his bearded cheek absently.

"Do you think that I'm looking for the love of my life?" Kate asks quietly, folding her arms loosely over her chest as she watches him. "So what you're saying to me is that you want to hang around me as time permits, occasionally have sex with me, and then take off when it suits you?" Her voice is deceptively calm, light even. She gazes away, her eyes out the window. "Pull over, there." She says, pointing to a lookout.

"Did I fucking say that?" he demands, voice a low rumble of warning. Eyes on the road, a glance toward the rest stop Kate points out. And with a rumbled sigh, he pulls the truck over with a brief skid and scattering of snow and rocks against its flanks, bumpity bump as they head up the slight incline. Once they reach the promontory point, with a decent view of the city washed in dusk, he murmurs low, "I'm sorry. I'm not very good at this."

"You implied it." Katherine responds, gazing back at Sevin, watching him as he pulls off the road. The expression on her face doesn't change, even when his low voice murmurs in the silence between them. "You don't have to be good at anything, but you do have to try to communicate with me." She unbuckles her seatbelt, frowning finally. "So, is that what this is?"

He eases back into his seat once the truck is stopped. His eyes close for a moment, then drift open again to focus on Kate. Her gaze is met evenly, unwaveringly, slight curl to his lip like something still irritating him. Getting under his skin. It could be her, or it could be something else entirely. His hand reaches for her thigh, hesitates, then rests upon it gently. "I told you that I liked you. I enjoy.. spending time with you. I just have. I have complications in my life. Not all of which I'm at liberty to explain."

"I'm not asking you to explain any of your complications. I'm asking you to explain what you want from me." Kate says gently, meeting his gaze without flinching or looking away. She slips a little closer, not making any sound for a few minutes. "So you keep your secrets, but don't try to confuse me or yank me around. All that shit does is piss me off."

He speaks quietly, voice low and threaded with something that's difficult to put a finger on. "I don't know what I want from you." His hand remains on her thigh, thumb stroking lightly, to and fro. It's a big, solid hand. Warm. "Can we just take this a day at a time. Please." Please. Pretty much the least likely word to come out of this man's mouth.

"What made you ..ask me out on a date?" Katherine scoots in more, relaxing against Sevin with a sigh. "It's the last question I'm going to ask right now, but I really want to know." She glances over at him and nods once. "One day at a time, but don't just disappear. Don't just ..evaporate out of nowhere and turn into smoke. Warn me. I can't do that again."

He gives her a look at that. A hard look, like she's wearing out his good will. And then it softens a touch and he looks toward his window, and it's impossible to say what he's thinking. There is, though, a slight smile in his voice. "You're beautiful. And very persistent. I admire that." He draws a breath, thumb still roving slowly. "And when I'm with you, I.." He seems uncertain how to finish that. "..I enjoy your company."

"One day at a time." Katherine says quietly, wrapping her arms around him so she can stay close for the moment, going quiet as she looks out the window. "I've never been this persistent before, so it probably has something to do with you. I would apologize, but ..you admire that."

He's a little tense, just for a moment, when her arms go around him. Not much of a hugger, though he tries to ease into it with a breath blown out his nose. He smells like clove smoke and wood chips, and his body is like a furnace under that coat. There's also definitely a handgun holstered under his right shoulder, the outline of it quite obvious when she presses against him. "Will we need to sort out a car rental, then? Flights already squared away, or?"

"Everything is sorted out. There is a driver, and we have this..penthouse with an amazing view. Food will be laid in, so will alcohol. There is a number I can call if I need anything refreshed or purchased." Katherine narrows her eyes, but he won't be able to see that from their positions. "You won't have any trouble leaving the country, will you?" She glances up at him, an eyebrow quirked slightly. She ignores the gun, if she doesn't she'll ask questions she probably shouldn't ask.

Do foreign looking men with arabic features and accents ever have trouble leaving the country? Or, more likely, coming back. Katherine probably knows the answer to that. "It'll be fine," he murmurs, as if distracted by a different train of thought. Then he turns back to her in time to catch the raised eyebrow, and watches her carefully, if without quite making eye contact. "Where can I drop you off?"

She moves to scoot away, a moue of disappointment on her features. "Home. I suppose." Kate turns to find where her seatbelt is, giving it a tug though it seems to be stuck for a moment. She goes slower and manages to pull it out enough to buckle.

Sevin looks confused when she shifts away, and his hand leaves her thigh and catches at her forearm instead. "What?" His brows furrow, gaze sharpening as his pale eyes snap to her darker ones and hold there carefully. "What's bothering you."

"Seatbelt safety, you'll ..want me to buckle up if we're leaving." Kate makes eye contact with him, shaking her head back and forth. "I liked sitting here, talking to you. Our communication is a little…hit or miss sometimes, isn't it?"

There's a chuckle from the man, low and warm and even a little bit amused. "Mm, nice try." With the seatbelt safety. "Do you want to stay a little while longer?" His hand leaves her arm after a moment and returns to the gear shift, simply resting there for now. The communication comment has him looking a bit perplexed, but he leaves it alone.

"Stay, go.. I have a feeling you're off to do things, you're..always off to do things." Katherine glances down at his hand on the gear shift, and then back up at his face. "I really didn't expect you to come back the other night. I was surprised." She puts her feet up on the dash, gazing out the window. "Thank you though, for coming back."

The humour vanishes with her next words, and he's quiet for a few moments. Thinking, processing. Then he puts the truck in park and kills the ignition. It's going to get cold in here, and quickly. Resting his head back against the seat, he gazes out ahead for the span of a breath, then shifts to look toward Kate again. "I told you that I would. Do you think I don't keep my promises?"

Kate turns to meet his gaze, a carefully blank look on her face. "I didn't know if you kept your promises or not. I just knew that I couldn't breathe, and you were leaving me. I was afraid, angry and frustrated with you." She pulls her coat closer to her and shrugs. "Everyone leaves. The last few months have been a hard lesson in that, so it's shifted my priorities." She goes quiet, but only for a moment before she tosses a curveball. "Is it a culture thing that made you tell me to do whatever it was I wanted to do in regards to the plan B pill?"

That's fair, really. She barely knows him at all. Theirs has not been a traditional, predictable path and that's unlikely to change any time soon. "I told you I had something I needed to do." His words are chosen carefully, precisely, as they always are. And he watches her face in that quiet moment between thoughts, like he's memorizing the angles of it in the half-dark. "I told you I would come back when it was done." His lashes lower, gaze slipping away a fraction at the question. "A culture thing. I don't know. Why?"

"You did." Katherine agrees, and she gazes at him as he watches her, blinking slowly. When he looks away, she starts to laugh, low and warm. "It didn't seem to fit what seems to be going on here. The last thing I think you would want is a child mixed up in this. I figured you would be rather firm about me getting that pill, but you weren't, and it surprised me." She turns away and makes a noise. "Do you always look away when someone asks you something you're not sure if you want to answer?"

Confusion at first, and then it seems to dawn on him: "I think you misunderstood me." Language barrier at its finest. A faint smile touches the corners of his lips, but it's wry. "I don't want more children. Is that better?" And then her question, and that little noise she makes, and he reaches for her face to turn it back toward him firmly. His fingers press hard enough to redden the skin, and the motion is quick and possibly unexpected - unless she spots it and twists away. His voice is low, "Next time I'll be clearer."

"I absolutely misunderstood you, but it's okay. I don't want children." Kate isn't expecting him to reach out to turn her face toward him, her breath catching for a moment. "No, you won't. There are very few things you've been clear about, and I'm asking you all of these things now because you're answering me." A wry smile touches her lips now and she goes still under his fingers. "When you don't answer something, I know I either hit close to the mark or I've said something that makes you a little angry."

"Good. Then we're on the same page." No hesitation there. He doesn't release her jaw yet, but his grip does ease up slightly when she stills. There's a sense though that if she tried to pull away, the near-bruising hold he had on her might be re-established. "Hm." That's all he's got to say for her insight into his character, and he sits there for a matter of seconds, watching her. The truck's getting mighty cold. "I will be more careful in the future. I also want you to look into getting on the pill." He releases her finally and keys the ignition, cranking it back to life with a shudder and growl of the engine. "Is that going to be a problem?"

Katherine doesn't laugh, she just watches him carefully, not moving to pull away. "I don't think that will be a problem, I called my doctor earlier and I can pick up my script the day before we leave." She reaches out, warming her fingers as the truck comes to life, spewing out heat. "I should have already been on it, but honestly I haven't had a lot of opportunity for sex recently."

There's a breath blown out his nose, and a slight nod to that. The truck's put in gear and the heater turned up with a twist of a dial, and he pulls out onto the gravel access road - which is more snow than gravel just at the moment. "You seem to have no shortage of suitors," he remarks mildly as he pulls up to the offramp, then merges onto the highway with a kick of the accelerator and quick upshift of the gearbox. The man drives like someone who's done so professionally. Someone who's accustomed to speed, and occasionally craves the feel of it.

"I'll rephrase." Katherine says, watching him shift gears before she speaks again. "I haven't had a lot of opportunity for sex recently with people I would like to actually have sex with." She turns to gaze out the window, rolling her eyes. "Adoration is cute, but it's also empty. None of these men who come around actually know me. None of them try. They see nice, they see me take care of people and they figure that I'm going to be that warm and giving in everything that I do. That I'm going to baby them. I don't want a child."

"Mm. So you've mentioned." His eyes are on the road now as they head back into town. In the rough direction of the B&B. The snow's really coming down, and Sevin squints very slightly as he focuses on traffic and staying within the lines, when it's getting increasingly challenging to see. "I think it's a rare person who sees us for who we are," he tacks on after a long pause. His voice is quiet, and a little bit distant.

Kate doesn't pester him while he's driving, the snow is making things difficult enough as it is. She pulls her hat from her head, stuffing it into her pocket. "I don't think anyone ever really sees us for who we really are." Is all she says to that, hugging her coat to her as she sighs. "The weather is getting bad, are you going to stay?"

Sevin gears the truck down once conditions begin to worsen, but he doesn't seem overly bothered by the shape the roads are in. Focused, perhaps, but that quiet confidence of his hides any misgivings he might have. "You're quite young to be so bitter," he remarks quietly, and with a bit of a smile. Pale eyes flick toward Kate, then back to the road. "I can, if you'd like." He never seems particularly inclined to invite himself over.

"When you lose almost everything you love that kind of stuff happens." Kate responds, her eyes meeting his when he gives her that brief look. "I would like you to stay. I would also like you to keep your gun in a drawer or something. It's a little scary."

The roads are a little better as they head into town, and an inch of the tension in the older man's shoulders seems to ease off. His voice is low, and a little rough when he asks, "What did he do to you?" Lots of assumptions there, but he is not a delicate person. "I'll put it away. If it makes you feel better." The gun.

"He who?" Katherine blinks her head turning to look at Sevin, frowning. She folds her arms over her chest, looking a little comical with the puffy sleeves of her coat making her look like a marshmallow. "Thanks, it does make me feel better, it being left out in the open like that? What stops someone from walking in and picking it up and using it?"

"The fact that the magazine isn't loaded," Sevin replies flatly, eyes on the road. Then on Kate. And he tries not to smile, and fails. Clearing his throat, he turns onto the street housing the B&B and slows as he pulls up to the curb in front of the main building. "Whoever's clearly broken your heart," he clarifies after switching off the ignition.

"Ah, well..if it's not loaded, why is it in there?" Katherine restrains herself from poking at the gun she felt earlier, deciding that behaving herself was probably the best course of action. She unbuckles her seatbelt, opening the door. "Nobody has broken my heart. I was very fond of the last two men that I dated, one more than the other, but when I spoke of loss, I was speaking of my family." She slips from the truck, pulling her hat from her pocket for the short walk up to the door. She turns, and very politely, waits for Sevin to join her.

The question about the firearm is completely ignored. It may be that he's said all he's going to say about it, and he doesn't even bother evading the inquiry. Simply silence in response. "I'm sorry," he does offer after a moment, unbuckling his seatbelt and shoving his door open in preparation to follow. "You're right. I made an assumption." Then he trails along after, boots crunching the snow, moving with that slightly irregular gait that may or may not be noticeable. Smiling slightly, "You're an intriguing woman, Kate." Apropos of who the hell knows what.

"You do that sometimes, and it's fine." Katherine pushes open the front door, holding it open for Sevin. She closes it, locks it and turns to move up the stairs, into her room. "Being intriguing could be a good or a bad thing. In this case, I'll take it for the good." It doesn't take long for her to get out of her coat, and other outerwear, leaving the single lamp on that doesn't give off much light. "Thanks for staying."

Unless otherwise stated, the content of this page is licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 License