(2018-12-31) Impromptu Makeup Crew
All the man wants is a hot drink and some peace.

Java Junction, Calaveras
Mon Dec 31, 2018

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.

Coffee shops are the best place for people-watching. Seriously. Juniper Landis is off today but she's not one to hole up in her apartment and hide from the general public. Heavens, no, She's out there in the thick of it all on the afternoon leading up to New Years day. Somewhere, in multitudes of places, there are balloons ready to be dropped and people shit-faced at all hours of the day and just all manner of parties planned to ring in 2019. But at roundabouts 3pm on Monday, in Java Junction, Juni is nestled into her favorite chair sipping some sort of triple-steeped tea and eating the 'daily special' salad that is delicious. Even if she hates radishes.

She's a willowy girl, head crowned in a swath of white hair frosted with lavender highlights. Regardless of height she's folded into one of the bean bag chairs, taking a moment amidst watching people argue over soy lattes to peruse the book swap shelf. She pulls out a book with a dark facade and the design of a key on it's front. Opens it, lands right in the smuttiest section of Fifty Shades of Grey. Winces. Who put this here?!

Java Junction is steady, but not frantic.

He flew in last night to secure a room in a hotel for the time being. Nolan Lenox decided to do some exploring today and get a feel for his new town. The soon to be co-host of 'Wake up, Calaveras!' is in a dark peacoat and scarf, with jeans and winter boots visible below the hem, and leather gloves on his hands. Sunglasses are his only form of disguise at current. He doesn't expect to get to mobbed by fans in a place like this. It tends to draw the college crowd and younger and he's been out of the limelight for going on a decade now. He removes his shades after he steps inside, and tugs his gloves off, looking around. He heads for the counter to peruse their offerings.

Others notice the new arrival as curious patrons are apt to do. Juni meanwhile is wondering how people can be turned on by such garbage. She turns the book in her hands, narrows her eyes, just slides it on under the book shelf where nobody can see it. She thinks she is doing the world a favor. So after saving the world she lifts her cup to gulp down more of this steeped triple-berry concoction and—-wait, empty. Juni needs more. She wants to hang out a little bit longer and her bladder can handle the punishment. So up she gets from her nest, picking up her cup and grabbing her dishes… to rejoin the lineup. As fate would have it: right behind Nolan.

She watches the former movie star as he removes his glasses, and smiles despite herself. She's tall for a woman, just shy of six feet; all leg and flowy hippy frippery in the form of a peasantry blouse and tight pants. "Try the berry blast muffin. Pair it with a latte. Can't go wrong." She chimes out as if she has known Nolan for 30 years.

An expression of surprise crosses Nolan's face at someone addressing him without asking for an autograph. He's still not used to that. He turns to gives Juni the thousand-watt smile that made him a star in the first place, eyes crinkling at the corners. Twinkle twinkle. "Do they have almond milk and raw sugar here?" he asks her curiously. Ok, a health-conscious fella at the very least. Or a vegan. "Have we met?" he asks her. He was a news anchor in Denver for the last few years, it's possible he ran into a young woman like her there.

The bright movie-star smile causes Juni to smile right on back, a Cheshire smile minus the riddles and trickery; honest amusement. "Look at that smile," Offered airily to this stranger, further proof that she is utterly clueless to Nolan's track record. Perhaps a relief to the man!

"What a smile. Be careful with that, you'll put all the maids in a flutter!" She chimes.. not even in a poking-fun way. Just honest-to-goodness observation without a filter but backed by goodwill. Juni indicates a clutch of twenty-somethings gawking from the bean bag nook where Fifty Shades of WTF lived. Juni looks back to the man with the killer smile, "Sure do. Lots of raw sugar over there at the fixings table. Flash that smile and they'll hand you the carton of almond milk." Said easily as she peers into the sweets case. Nolan's query brings her blue eyes back to his face. "Nope. Not at all. If you don't count now." Juni doesn't watch television much, "New here, I take it?"

Nolan chuckles a little at the bold young woman's compliments. "Thank you, and yes, just moved here from Denver. Though originally from other parts. I'm…"

"NOLAN LENOX!" the barista squeals, already getting out a notepad and pen for an autograph.

Nolan winces at the squeal and gestures over his shoulder at the barista while addressing the girl. "That would be me, yes. I've come down to take Mitch Buchanan's place as co-host of 'Wake up, Calaveras!'."

The barista holds out paper and pen to him as he reaches the counter. "I saw all your movies. The Quick and the Quarrelsome 6 was the best of that whole series!"

The autograph is signed with a chewing of Nolan's bottom lip. He was the villain in that flick afterall. "There you go, can I get a latte with almond milk?" he asks the guy with a calm demeanor. He knows once he sits somewhere, there will be more autographs to sign. He looks to Juni, "Could I get you to share a table with me, might keep the autograph hounds at bay."

"Wake up Calaveras!" Juni exclaims, though not with the fervor of the excited barista. She watches with a look of genuine amusement, white-lavender hair pulled over a shoulder, as the girl seeks that autograph. Then something occurs to her. Juni reacts as if she has all the time in the world. Her blue eyes sparkle as the autograph is signed but she's there, watching Nolan's response the fluster. Suddenly the cluster of twenty-somethings looks even more interested. Juni's cornflower blues slide back to Nolan. "Hey.. now that I think of it.. my brother loves The Quick and the Quarrelsome series." She leaves out that Sage thinks villainous Nolan is 'hot'. Nolan goes to seat himself, perhaps braces himself and Juni.. bless her.. smiles cheekily to the leering watchers. "I'm his make-up crew. He needs space. We need to consult, so go on with your coffee gossip!" Sings Juni to the girls and.. holy crap… it works. They relent.

Juni follows Nolan and eases herself into a chair with newly-brewed coffee. "Done and done."

Nolan settles in at a table, and she's right, he looks like he's preparing to be overrun like Custer at his last stand. Then the young woman sits with him and makes her declaration. He chuckles softly and stirs his latte, adding packets of raw sugar to it. "Thank you for that. Do you actually do makeup or work in the industry?" Dark eyes regard her seriously. "And I'd be happen to sign something for your brother, for your rescuing me here today."

Coffee? No tea, pardon; Juni's player is half-cracked from RLstuffs. She's forgetful. Juni settled in her seat as if she belongs there, even as her bag remains over yonder close to Fifty Shades of Kink. She can see what's going on over there.. if someone chooses to make off with her bag of 'assorted goods' and maybe a weed cookie.. that's on them. Instead Juni smiles calmly to the harried star, "That'll hold them off for maybe twenty minutes and eighteen seconds. Just let me lean in to stare at your face to 'assess' the lines and planes of your face to make me look legit." A pause as she sips, folding one long leg over the other. "I do makeup, but in a spa. In town. Among other things." A mysterious smile; she brightens. "Would you? Oh! Let me find something. Sage would cream his jeans in joy—-" Blush. "Wait.. huh… back up. Sorry. Filter is a bit wonkey.. you know what I mean. It's make his year." A pause.

"Fancy you being here. Do you like it here?" Asked easily; she knows naught of Nolan being brand new to town.

Nolan looks utterly amused at the unfiltered girl's words. "Sage, hm? And you would be? I don't think you got around to telling me your name yet. Do you have a card? I will definitely be looking for a spa to frequent." He leans over the table so she can pretend to be assessing him. "Don't mind the copious wrinkles. Hollywood was a rough town to live in. As for Calaveras, I only got in last night from Denver. Scouting out a place to call my own before I start work."

Nolan leans in, Juni is still settled back and casual. She recognizes the cue and puts on her serious face; she cranes forth to squint into his eyes. Hands lift to feel out but not actually touch his cheekbones. At a distance it looks legit. All the while, completely un-flustered, Juni carries on the conversation. Steam curls up from her unattended cup of tea, between the two. "No card. Just remember Paradise Spa, here in town. Ask for Juniper." Shameless plug, completely well-meaning. She smiles after the appropriate few minutes, eases back, pretends to.. uh, take notes. The masses can be gullible.

"I didn't see many wrinkles, Nolan." She gathered the name from the barista, who is still losing her marbles over the autograph. "My name is Juniper, but it's easier to call me Juni." Offered helpfully, then finally: a look of shock.

"Last night! Wow! VERY new! Do you need some help figuring out where to go? To live?" She asks.

"I could stand some help in getting to know the town, certainly. Juniper and Sage? Your parents must be nature lovers?" Nolan looks amused at the charade being acted out for the onlookers. "And I think I can remember Paradise Spa. I have a feeling dealing with people so very early in the morning is going to require at least a weekly massage to maintain my sanity."

He looks around the coffee shop, taking it in as he shrugs out of his coat and scarf to reveal a simple white t-shirt, broad shoulders, and muscled arms. "So I guess this is the local coffee haunt, what about gyms? Jogging trails? I'd like to maintain my workout routine without being a hermit and putting a gym in my place when I get one."

"Nature lovers." She echoes, easing back go give the man his space. "Understatement. Funny though, my folks were not named after plants." Remarked casually as she clutches her mug, eyes ponderous. Talk of Paradise Spa grounds her again, "I've been there quite a few months. I really do like it. Great atmosphere. Ask—" Juni pauses, noting the revealing of a rather fantastic physique. Hey, she gives credit where credit is due. Without missing a beat she continues on, to answer questions. "This is the definitive coffee haunt. Maudes and Corner Cafe are good for those 'nuts to cooking breakfast' days." Juni considers, "There's a place called Peak Physique over University way. Go there in the afternoons to avoid the bulls who hog the machines." Spoken from experience?

A bright smile, "Silver Lake is the big hiking do around here. It's beautiful. Lots of trails and seasonal cabins closed up in the winter, looking all spooky and lonesome. Smells great." She explains. "Where are you living? Temporary lodgings?"

"I have a room at the Winchester for the time being. I'm hoping to find a condo or the like downtown, not too far from the TV station so I can maybe walk or bike to work. But if I have to live further out, so be it. I just don't want a giant house or a tiny apartment. Enough room to roam and maybe have a pet, not so much I have to hire people to clean it." Nolan lays out his preferences simply. Definitely looking for a bachelor pad it would seem.

"Oh!" Juni beams, "Wouldn't you know, there's that apartment building downtown. Biscuis Lofts," She muses, "Literally that.. once put out millions of crackers!" Exclaimed, eyes wide in her face. Hair a white corona behind her neck. "My brother and I live there… highest floor .. I think there's other ritzier places. But people seem drawn to the cracker factory." And outright giggle as she sets her mug down. Her look sobers, "People might recognize you though and it's awfully close quarters… but it's all newly renovated and all trendy!"

She blushes with pleasure, "I'm awful. I don't watch much television. What's your shtick gonna be on 'Wake up Calaveras!' …? Flashing that big ol' smile to give folks a proper wakeup?" Asked as the girls over yonder, by Fifty Shades of Whip Me Baby, sigh collectively. Wishing they knew how to do 'television' makeup.

"It's a morning talk show, like a local version of Good Morning, America. Katherine Stone is the co-host. I'll take a look at the lofts. I think I heard about some townhomes somewhere nearby, Saminaw Row is it?" Nolan adds, taking out his phone to tap in the information on the lofts, and a note about the spa. "Cost isn't much of an issue. As long as it isn't a mansion, I should be fine. I made a lot of money in the film industry and I was smart enough not to spend it all in my youth."

"Oh yeah! Katherine!" The white-haired lass chimes, "That's right.. smashing, she is! And—oh yeah! Saminaw," She beams. "Hidden gem I reckon. Write that down too. It's unassuming and I bet it's cozy and.. yeah. I think you'll find what you're looking for." Pause. "Hey, Katherine… she runs a really snazzy B&B here in town but I don't know if it'd be your bag. If you're wanting privacy and all." Juni tilts her head, smiles openly. "Word of mouth; I don't know her personally. But people talk and in this case it's favorable. Might be a good change of scenery til' you find your propr home."

She ignores her buzzing phone for the first round of calls, "Maybe Saminaw Row, then—" Buzz, buzz.. damned phone. An apologetic look as she checks it, briefly. Startle. "Oh crud.. it's my brother. He missed his bus and the schedule is crap on days like today. I'm afraid I have to leave you, Nolan."

She looks genuinely bothered, "Stop by the spa if you need to unwind. Ask for me."

"I'll definitely drop by the spa." Nolan quickly signs a napkin to "Sage" and hands it to the girl. "Give this to your brother will you?" he says with a grin. "Thanks for the rescue today, Juniper."

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