(2019-01-03) Meeting Nolan
Busy night in the B&B kitchen, much conversation.
Players:
heather..nolan..nina..julian..katherine..

There is a rapping at the door as Nolan arrives, bundled up in a dark peacoat and scarf over boots and jeans. The face is recognizable as that of the former action star, but likely moreso to news affiliates as a former Denver anchor in recent years. He waits patiently with gloved hands in his pockets.

-

"You hide your emotions?" Heather asks, playfully surprised at this revelation. "Just kidding." A nod to what the new show could be about. "Self-esteem would be good. Very good. So, like 'The View in Calaveras'?" The rapping at the door has Heather remembering. "Oh, that's probably Nolan. I asked him to drop by. You two need to meet in familiar surroundings. You still okay to shoot here or do you want to move it to the studio? We could rebuild your sitting room in there if it would make things easier."

-

"An adult view. Less old ladies, more real women with real issues who aren't afraid to talk about them." Katherine murmurs, grinning at Heather as she moves to answer the door. She opens it, taking a step back to admit Nolan. "C'mon in. You're just in time to grab a cup of coffee if you're interested." She leads him in to the kitchen, answering Heather once they reappear. "I want the show to be where everyone is comfortable. If it's easier for everyone to gather at the studio, I'm okay with that. Really." She pulls down another mug to pour more coffee, adding. "Oh and I have some ideas for people to be on the show, so I'd like for us all to get together to meet and discuss, once you see the outlines."

-

"A cup of coffee would be great, thank you," the man says with the smile that did well for him in Hollywood. He tugs off a glove and offers a hand to shake, "Nolan Lenox, pleasure to meet you Ms. Stone." As he follows Katherine in, he removes his other glove and scarf, and finally his coat, draping all over one arm. He dips his head to Heather in greeting and glances around the kitchen. "Quite the place you have here."

-

"Careful who you call an old lady on 'The View'" Heather calls after Katherine, though she will rise from her seat when Nolan arrives, offering to shake his hand. "What do you think, Nolan? Want to shoot in a studio copy of the sitting room here, or in the sitting room? We've been on location so far. Katherine and I were discussing where we wanted to take the show so your timing is perfect. She's also talking about a late night counterpart, though she'll be taking that one on herself. What about yourself, Nolan, anything you've always been interested in doing?"

The three of them are in the vicinity of the French windows, each with a mug of coffee.

-

After a couple weeks in the hospital, Calaveras' resident Warden, Julian Walker, has finally been released. With a bit of forewarning via call to Katherine, Julian arrives alongside Nina. He's still got a relatively thick bandage around his head, but he seems vastly improved from the early days under hospitalization.

There's not a lot of commotion coming from the front entrance, certainly not enough to announce the couple's presence prior to the man tentatively stepping through the archway into the kitchen, leaning slightly against the wall. "What, no balloons or anything?" The man smiles, albeit noticeably weakly, favoring one leg over the other as he takes a step into the kitchen and glances at Nina, noting her proximity in case he needs someone to lean on.

-

"I'm pretty sure I could take any one of those women in a fair fight." Katherine mutters, bringing a tray with sugar, creamer and some chocolate muffins to the table. She also brings a warm kettle and some tea bags as well. "Now Julian.." She begins, taking a detour to give him a very very gentle hug, before she steps back and pulls out two more chairs. "..the party isn't tonight, I want you to be stronger before we get down to proper celebrating. Julian, Nina, this is Nolan Lenox, he's going to be working with me on Wake Up, Calaveras. He's new in town." She smiles at Nolan. "This is Julian Walker and Nina Zhuo. They are, for all intents and purposes, family."

-

Nolan shakes Heather's hand with that same broad smile. "Wherever is most comfortable for everyone is fine by me. Would those staying here in the B&B be put out at all by filming here? I'm used to the studio but I can adapt," he admits. He ponders her question as he accepts his cup of coffee. "I wouldn't mind doing another show as well. I have ideas for a man on the street kind of thing, but not until I've settled in to Wake Up."

Nolan stands when Nina and Julian enter, likely old fashioned manners when a lady enters the room. "Good to meet you both. Newly arrived here to be on the morning show, yes. Do you need any help, Mister Walker?" he asks, gesturing to the bandage.

-

Nina is the designated driver today; given Julian's impression of a mummy, that's hardly surprising. Dressed in a smart black pantsuit, she still looks like she could've come straight from the corporate boardroom, even if she is fully prepared to pull double-duty as Julian's crutch. Mindful of that particular duty, she remains close to Julian, in case the fellow decides to collapse, and summons a pleasant smile as Katherine arrives to greet them - and introduce the others present. "Katherine." She greets, followed by the same smile, but adds a nod to Nolan. "Mister Lenox, very nice to meet you." And Heather, of course, whom she doesn't know, so she gets a generic "Hello."

-

"Heather McCormack" The blonde states to assauge Nina's concerns. "I run the local television station. Katherine's boss…or 'bossy bitch' as she used to call me. She smiles at the sight of Julian, even in such a state. "Good to see you're still with us, Sky. Let me know when you're up for an interview." To Nolan she notes, "We shoot it here already and the boarders don't seem to mind. Though if we move it to the studio, we'll lose all those people in the street who gawp through the window and hold up signs." She considers a moment. "/Is/ that actually a loss?" A quirk of a brow as Nolan also has an idea for a show. "Great. I'll have a look at your pitch and Katherine's outlines. I wasn't planning on doing anything this weekend" she smiles before her phone rings. A quick glance at it before she starts to head for the door. "I have to take this. Shouldn't be too long."

-

Julian accepts the hug from his psuedo sister, "I'm okay, Kitty." He murmers quietly, managing a smile to the woman as he straightens. To Nolan, he waves his hand dismissively, "No, I'm good." Sizing up the newcomer briefly, Julian spares the man a nod. "Welcome to the party." Looking at Heather, Julian smirks. "Looks like the the gender scales are balancing around here." To which he manages a smile at Nolan. "Heather, Nina. Nina, Heather. We all grew up together." He adds that last part as he finds a chair at the table and settles into it, grimacing slightly for the effort.

-

Katherine clears her throat, retaking her seat and smiling before she adds chocolate to her coffee. "I think we should give some serious thought about moving the show down to the studio. Not because I don't like having it here, but the studio is more central to everyone working on it and now that we're established, having them travel out of their way to accommodate me is silly. Especially since I have Charlotte, it's her job to pick up that slack, and we got it handled now." She watches Julian sit down, obviously concerned, but trying to downplay it a little. "Yeah, it's never a dull moment here, or in the city." She turns to Nolan, her eyes bright as she sips from her coffee. "How have you found it so far, enjoying the small town feel of things?"

-

The former action movie star resumes his seat at the kitchen table and sips some coffee. He rises again briefly when Heather leaves to take her call though. Someone's mama taught him manners Hollywood apparently couldn't break him of. He adds a little cream and sugar to his coffee but sparingly. He shakes his head a little at Katherine's question. "I do like it. Still got recognized in a coffee shop though, and had to give the barista an autograph. But I'm not getting mobbed, which is really nice. The studio would work well for me. I'm looking at the townhomes on Saminaw Row for living space. I'm staying at a hotel for now."

-

One may think that someone as sharp as Nina, she would recognize Nolan from the big screen. But she doesn't appear to — or maybe she just has her polite poker face up in full? In any event, she lets her smile act as a greeting to Heather once names are offered, since the TV station owner has to take that call. Returning to Julian's side, she pats him gently on the shoulder a couple of times. "He has recovered a lot since the shooting. Do you have any coffee going right now, Katherine?" She looks around the kitchen area, and heads towards the cabinets. "Can I use the cups from here?"

-

"I don't think they're enough people living in this city to form a mob." Julian comments, managing a chuckle though it seems more controlled as he keeps himself from moving too much. "Hey Kitty, I don't think either of us have had a real meal in awhile, I was kinda hoping we could raid your kitchen. Got anything floating around along with that coffee?" He reacts to the pat on his shoulder by reflexively reaching up to take Nina's hand. "How're the girls? I'm sure they're dying to see me." His tone of voice doesn't seem to convinced of that though.

-

Katherine shoots a look at Julian, smirking before she gets to her feet. "There is some coffee left, if you want, I can make a new pot." She gestures to the crock pot. "I have chicken pot pie prepared, who else wants some? I'll spoon up a few bowls." She glances upstairs, and then back to Julian. "Sarah is out with some friends. Lynn is upstairs, but she's napping. She and I went to the /doctor/ two days ago." She leans in to whisper something to Julian as she passes, pulling silverware and bowls out to serve.
Katherine leans in, her voice quiet as she whispers to Julian. "It's a boy."

-

Nolan blinks at the mention of homemade chicken pot pie. "I could stand to eat. And that sounds and smells delicious." Mental note: Benefit - coworker also fabulous cook. "Katherine, did you see that one of the rodeo family here is looking to start up a place for retired rodeo animals? I was going to donate to him, and though he might be a good guest to talk about it on the show. Warren Starr?"

-

Julian nods happily at the mention of chicken pot pie though as Katherine approaches, his eyebrow goes up. Then he blinks several times as whatever she whispered to him sinks in. "Huh, no shit?" He glances meaningfully at Nina, exchanging a brief look with her as he turns back to the other people at the table. As Nolan continues to speak, Julian's interest is seen to be steadily rising. Until it comes to a point where he's practically staring at the man. "Do I know you?"

-

"Don't worry, I know my way around. I can make a new pot of coffee." Nina tells Katherine, gesturing with one hand to 'shoo' her. "You can sit and talk to your guests." And sure enough, Nina fetches the cups from the cabinet, then busies herself around the counter to get a fresh pot of coffee going while the others chat.

-

Katherine brings enough chicken pot pie for everyone, serving people while Nina gets the coffee together. Once everyone has a bowl of chicken pot pie and spoons, she settles back down, sending a smile in Nina's direction. "Thank you, Nina." She nods over at Julian, wrinkling her nose. "No shit. She's excited now, I think?" She glances at Nolan and nods at him. "I think it would be a good idea to get him on the show and talk about it. It can't hurt, right?"

-

Nolan chuckles and gives Julian a hapless shrug. "You might, if you've seen the Quick and the Quarrelsome 6, or the Ripper Files, or any number of other B action movies from a decade or more ago." He nods to Katherine at her comment. "I'll see if Heather will approve it. If so I'll get him contacted.

-

Julian snaps his fingers and hits the table with his palm. "I knew it!" He glances at Nina excitedly then back to Nolan. "Are you kidding? When I was overseas, me and the boys binge watched all of your movies. I mean, they were Haji-quality DVDs, but hey, you get what you can over there. You're bigger than Elvis out there, let me tell you." He accepts the food and the coffee placed in front of him with an appreciative look to both Katherine and Nina, his gaze lingering on the asian woman's for a moment, exchanging a little moment between the two of them.

-

Katherine digs into her pot pie, grinning as Julian realizes who Nolan is. "Just think, Julian. You can write to your buddies and tell them that you get to hang out with him." She slants a look at Nolan, and after a bite of pot pie she clears her throat. "I do have a room free here, if you want to have three nice warm meals a day, and a carpool buddy to work. Just until you get set up with your townhome." She gestures with her spoon toward Julian and Heather. "They're over here often enough and we have a lot of other folks in and out, you'd meet most of the city in a few days, I would wager."

-

"I retired from acting quite a while ago, but I got into the news business a few years back. When the opening on the morning show here came, I decided to give it a shot. I need someplace a little quieter in my life than Denver," Nolan explains. He holds up a hand to Katherine. "No, no that's all right. I'm fine at the Winchester for now. But thank you for the offer. I still have a lot of things to get set up for myself around town, I'd barely even be here."

-

"The offer will stay open if you change your mind, Nolan. It would be nice to get to know you better." Katherine goes back to eating, spooning her chicken pot pie up slowly as she settles into her chair. "The Winchester is a nice place to stay." She pulls her phone from her pocket, tapping something on the screen gently.

-

"Thank you, you're very kind. I, ah," Nolan squints a little, a near wince, "heard a lot about Mitch Buchanan. My sympathies at having had to work with him. I think he's blackballed at the station I worked at in Denver."

-

Finally, Heather returns from her call, shoving her phone back into her pocket. "Did we decide we were doing everything at the studio? Better get some standing sets sorted out then." To Nolan and Katherine she asks, "Everyone gett on okay? You two will see a lot of each other. I'd hate for conversations to be between gritted teeth. Mitch…came with the studio. Ooh…food." She sits herself down for some pie. "Did I miss Skywalker having a geek moment?"

-

Katherine glances over at Nolan and then back to Heather. "I mean, he hasn't tried to sexually harass me yet, so he's miles ahead of Mitch already." She says this impishly, continuing to eat her food. "Yes, you did. It's okay, Julian has a lot of those moments, he's still a nerd at heart." She makes eye contact with Nolan. "Don't worry about Mitch, I was able to handle him. I just ignored half of what he said to me, and wore really high necklines."

-

"I'm glad he's out of town already. I never stood for that kind of behavior on any of my jobs, movie set or news set," Nolan mutters. He did have a reputation for being great to work with, and maintaining a family-esque atmosphere among movie casts and crew. "We're getting on just fine, Heather. I mean, Katherine has already fed me and given me coffee. She's pretty much the best co-worker ever."

-

"Careful, Nolan, you'll get addicted to her cooking. Most people do. Though I will have you know, that the studio puts on the best ham and cheese sandwiches that have ever existed…at the studio…on that day…around lunch time. I'm trying to get some cooking shows going too. I met this firefighter called Mustang…yes…that was his name. Barbeque expert. But he disappeared. I hope he didn't get hurt in a fire or anything. Do you want to do your pitches now? Oh, new Wake-Up shows resuming on the 14th. Everyone good with that? Assuming we finish the set in time."

-

Katherine's cheeks get pink and she rolls her eyes at Heather's words. "I'm good with that, gives me a little more time to relax and take some time off. Thank you, Heather. I'm looking forward to being back and…having new company." She glances over at Nolan and smiles. "I'm glad you like the food, and..I'm pretty sure there were a few women ready to chase Mitch out of town or take him to court."

-

"The 14th is fine for me, Heather. Thank you. I should have a place lined up by then and be settled in. I'll save my pitch for another time though. I need to get a few more things done today before I call it a night," Nolan admits. He puts his empty bowl of pot pie and empty mug in the sink before donning his coat and such again. "I look forward to working with you both, and I'm grateful for this opportunity," he says sincerely to the women. "I can show myself out."

-

"Thanks for taking the job, Nolan. Some people might consider it a step down, but I'm glad you can see the potential here" Heather smiles to her newest employee. "Take care out in the snow." Another mouthful of pie before a smirk about Mitch. "I can't believe Mitch thought the #MeToo dancers was a good thing. Thank goodness the costumer on the night refused the bikinis he wanted. When is your Paris trip, Katherine?"

-

"It was really nice to meet you, Nolan." Katherine murmurs, getting to her feet to clean up the dishes. "Next week." She answers Heather, filling the sink with hot soapy water. "Mitch was pretty..interesting, in that he never really figured out how offensive he really was."

-

"They never do. That's the problem" Heather sighs, finishing off her meal before bringing the dish towards the sink. "I'm glad you two are getting on. I was a bit worried. Do you want to do your pitches now? How are your sisters by the way? No sign of them again I see."

-

"Sarah is doing okay. Lynn is thawing out, and she's doing better." Katherine gazes at Heather, an amused look settling on her face. "Basically, I just want to gather four people every week, we talk about things frankly. No subject is taboo, and we attempt to bring out in the open things that people bury because they find it embarrassing." She quirks a brow at Heather. "I think it would do well. Women don't really talk about some things, and they really should."

-

"They most definitely should. Things are getting better, but there is still a long way to go. Can't stop now" Heather sighs before picking up a dishcloth. It looks like she is preparing to dry the dishes! "Will the four people change every week or am I looking to hire more people" she smiles fondly. "I'd better warn the FCC too…or not warn them and plead ignorance. I often don't know what is going on." A little laugh before she asks, "Lynn still all for keeping the baby?"

-

"It would be a core group, but sometimes a few different guests?" Katherine grins over at Heather, handing her a wet dish. "You might want to warn the FCC, but we could go through the first few episodes, and you can tell me if you think it will fly or sink. I just want something different, a little edgy, but informative." She nods at Heather. "It's a boy. We found out last week. I'm relaxing a little bit about it."

-

"A boy? Oh well, we can't win at everything." Heather is only teasing! Probably. "Any idea who you would like in the core group? What kind of set would you like? Live?" She takes the dish and starts to dry. How hard can it be? "It's not up to me to say if a show will be popular. That's what we have ratings for. We'll definitely give it a go. You thinking daily or weekly?"

-

"I was thinking to ask Esme, Katya, August and possibly Nina. I'd like the core group to be myself, August and Katya. The others could join us occasionally and we could have guests from different walks of life." Katherine quirks a brow at Heather, a thoughtful look on her face. "Not live, and maybe a set like a soda shop sort of? A square table, maybe with a glass top. We could drink while we talk, but we wouldn't necessarily have to let them know if it's alcoholic or anything. I was thinking about weekly to start."

-

"August? The pregnant tattooed woman who hangs out with Anthony? Okay, could be interesting. I'll have to check out your co-stars, of course. Make sure they can handle being on camera /and/ have an approach that people want to watch. Maybe some camera tests soon?" Heather suggests; she wasn't really expecting to be asked…was she? "Okay. If the cast works out, how about six episodes. We can drop them on…hmm…if you want to reach the people who need to hear it then a Friday or Saturday night would be bad. They won't be watching the television, they'll be out and about. Thursday night?"

-

Katherine nods at Heather, leaning a hip against the counter. "Thursday night sounds good. If you know of any strong, independant women who might want to guest, let me know. If we want different opinions and viewpoints, we need to occasionally mix it up." She turns and hoists herself up on the counter, crossing her legs. "I don't know why I want to do this, but ..I really really do."

-

"You want to do it because you want to make a difference. Like you always have" Heather shrugs, drying off the last of the plates to place on the counter. "And you want to show people that there is support out there. People who will listen and understand. Nothing wrong with any of that." A wry smile appears. "Okay, if I meet any, I will let you know. I would suggest Solo but it's been an effort just to get her to do a flight school show. Any men for this show?"

-

"I want men on the show too. Men have things that they want to discuss but don't feel like that they have an outlet." Katherine leans in to bump Heather with her shoulder. "I'm not sure who though. Maybe we can ask around to see if anyone is interested." She rests her head on Heather's shoulder. "Have I thanked you lately? Have I told you how much I appreciate everything you've done for me?" Her eyes flit up to Heather's face. "I'm going to try to get treatment, Heather. I don't want …I don't want people to worry, and I don't want to keep living my life like I have been. I want to get better."

-

"Plenty of people are interested on being on television. Trouble is, they're usually not the people you want on television. It's like politicians. Anyone who /wants/ to be in politics should be banned from being so" Heather smirks, bumping a little in return. And then a head on her shoulder? "It's fine" she replies softly, "That's what friends are for, right? Don't try to get treatment, just get it. You never know, they might tell you that you're fine and nothing is bad as it seems." A pause before teasing, "I'd get a second opinion." Her arm wraps around Katherine and gives her a side squeeze. "You're tough. You'll get through this."

-

Katherine laughs at Heather, nodding slowly before she wrinkles her nose. "We could ask Julian or..a few other guys that we know. I'd like a guy on the show every so often. Just for a contrast." She lets out a sigh and frowns. "From what I understand, Heather. It's trying. For the rest of my life, not to use. Not to slip up. Not to fail again." She returns Heather's hug, and it's clear that she's trying not to snuffle and snot on Heather's shoulder. "I'm not as tough as you think. I'm struggling, but it's got to stop."

-

"Oh no, not this guy." Julian speaks up from the doorway, having stepped outside for some fresh air and now returned. With a strained smile, he carefully picks his way to the table and settles down in a chair, grimacing only slightly from the effort. "I have no interest in finding out how I look on camera. Not curious out all."

-

"Don't have any sage advice for the masses?" Heather smiles to Julian. "Well…I guess you /are/ a man. They don't usually have anything interesting to say" she teases. "But, seriously, you doing okay? They really need to put an end to that cult. It's almost like they're being protected." She rests her head atop Katherine's. "Struggling means you're still fighting. Better than just giving up and being walked over. You won't fail again. Too many people are here for you."

-

Katherine chuckles lightly as Heather teases Julian, shutting off the water and turning to gaze at him. "I'm glad that you're up and moving around, Jules. I was really worried about you for a while. I mean..you should see the show we're doing before you absolutely say no to it." She brushes her hair back away from her face, behind an ear before she shoots Heather a look. A 'don't say anything else in front of Julian' look. "You'd look good, Jules. You obviously don't look in the mirror enough."

-

Julian shifts in his seat, shooting Heather a look that dissolves into a smile and shrug. "As good as can be expected." He absently fiddles with the bandage around his head, "They still haven't wrangled them up yet?" He seems equally annoyed and surprised by the revelation and exhales slowly. If he notices the silent exchange between Katherine and Heather, he doesn't let on. "Hard pass, Kitty. I'm not really the talking sort anyway."

-

"They've kidnapped a cop, probably holding her hostage to prevent any interference. Not a good situation." Heather runs a television station, she has all the contacts to learn all the gossip. A nod to Katherine about keeping quiet about some things. "You could always glower sexily in the corner" she suggests to Julian. "You were always good at those brooding good looks. So, where did Nina come from?"

-

Katherine frowns at Heather, wincing at the news about the cop. She starts to put the dishes away, brewing another pot of coffee. She gathers her hair into a bun atop her head, and she rolls her eyes when Heather mentions Nina, bustling around to finish cleaning up. "Nina is amazing, I'm glad her and Julian started dating. They're adorable together." She winks at Julian when she passes him, resting a hand briefly on his shoulder.

-

Julian is in the process of absorbing the new revelation about a kidnapped cop, his expression actually taking on that brooding feature, until Heather comes from left field with the Nina question. He starts to say something as he squirms in his seat, but Katherine spares him the explanation. He nods, though the last part elicits a look from him to Katherine and he manages a half smile. He's never been one for words so it takes him a moment to formulate a response. "I, uh…she is…we met in a bar."

-

"Aww…whoever thought that Skywalker would blush over a girl" Heather giggles. "But seriously, it's great. She seems nice. Classy." She may have said that last word in surprise since it is in the context of Julian the Ranger. "Make sure you invite me to the wedding, okay? And do you like Katherine's new haircut? Did you notice?" Obviously doing her best to steer conversation away from the cult. No point getting Julian worked up over it in his state.

-

Katherine blinks as she's dragged back into the conversation, her hand automatically going to her shorn hair as her eyes get wide. "Heather." She hisses, reaching out to whack the girl in the arm as she moves to get some coffee. She pours a mug, adds some chocolate, and idly stirs it as she gazes from Julian to Heather. "So are you excited that I get to film with Nolan Lenox?" She asks, hopping on the subject change with the grace of a bull in a china shop.

-

Julian purses his lips, doing his best to appear his usually grumpy-old-man self. Ultimately he cracks though and there's a hint of the blush Heather is accusing him of. The cult had briefly began to noticeably upset him but it seems as though the diverted conversation successfully steered him away from it, particularly the mention of Nina. The mention of a wedding has Julian going through a coughing fit that lasts a good minute. "Heather, you're gonna put me back in the hospital." But he is at least smiling, though is quite breathless at the moment. Then he's turning to stare at Katherine, head tilting to the side slightly. "Oh. Yeah, it looks nice." Nice? That's the best he can do? Then again, this is Julian Walker. His repertoire of compliments isn't exactly extensive. "As long as you can get a few things autographed for me…"

-

Heather pouts at the punch to her arm before offering a 'what did I do' expression. She is totally innocent of everything! "If I'd know you were such a fanboy, Skywalker, I'd have asked if you wanted to be his assistant. You might have even paid /me/ for the privilege. Well…probably not…but it was worth thinking about. Hmm…gonna have to get his face out and about. Maybe some promo stuff on channel as well as radio. Better talk with Nolan about that though. Hey, Skywalker, got any quotes about Nolan I can put on adverts? 'Best actor of his generation'…something like that? And try not to cough yourself to death there."

-

Katherine snorts out a soft laugh at Heather's words, aiming a look at Julian. "You can ask him yourself, he'll be around every so often. I wish he would have stayed here." She drinks her coffee, running her fingers through her hair when it's mentioned, a rueful look on her face.

-

"Oh no," Julian begins, shaking his head and holding his hands up defensively. "No quotes from me. I mean, the guy is one of the top action stars of the 2000s, at least until John Wick came out. He'll definitely bring in an audience you wouldn't normally attract." The idea of being the man's assistant gives Julian pause, but he handwaves and leaves it alone. Hey, everyone is a fanboy of something. "Will he?" Julian glances down at his cell phone - a smartphone, must be a new addition. He insisted on not upgrading all these years. Someone or something is having an influence on him. It lights up and he glances down. "I'll have to stumble by again soon. But I have to go. Tell the girls I'm doing okay?".

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