(2019-01-12) Established Rules
A quiet chat over some coffee.

Katherine is pulling her coat from her shoulders and yanking her hat off of her head, hanging up the first and stuffing the second into one of the coat pockets. She moves to the stove and leans in to start the coffee maker, obviously already loaded with water and coffee grounds. Someone is always a little too prepared. Whatever emotions that are roiling beneath the surface aren't easily discernible, for once, but she looks at ease.

Sam had been sitting not too far away from the fire in the Great Room having a lazy morning and working his way through a book. He'd spotted Kate come through the room, but had taken a minute to finish what he was reading before getting up and stretching and following her into the kitchen. He looks happy - but then, he has looked that way most of the time since his arrival. Maybe before that too? He sets his book down on the table and wanders over to lean against the counter. "Hey, Kate."

"Sam." Kate greets in return, leaning her hip against the opposite counter. "How has your morning been?" She asks, running fingers through her hair to catch and disperse any snowflakes that might have got caught there. She jerks her chin toward the coffee maker. "This'll be done in a little bit, if you're wanting some coffee. I've tea also, if you want options." She glances toward the book and then back to Sam. "Still reading The Rowan?"

"I'll likely wait for the coffee. Never much cared for tea." Sam admits, giving a small shrug. "And, yeah. Still The Rowan. I really like it. But, I'm not the fastest reader. I'm jealous of people who can blast through books in a few hours." He watches Kate suspiciously, thinking she may very well be one of those people. "How are you doing? I think I've been out of the house more than in it since I moved my room up here."

"Tea has it's moments, but for me they're pretty few and far between." Kate offers a warm smile before she opens a cookie jar, fishing out a snickerdoodle. "I sometimes read very fast, and sometimes I savor a book, reading as slow as I possibly can." She notes the suspicious look, offering an innocent one in return. "I'm doing okay. I just had my first Manhattan, which wasn't bad - surprisingly." She glances briefly toward the upstairs before she grins at Sam. "Means you're getting out and about, which is how you meet people in a new town." She teases gently, fishing a coffee cup from a cupboard and pulling the still brewing pot to get a quick pour. She sets this in front of Sam and settles the pot back into its cradle.

"Manhattan is my favourite cocktail. Followed by an Old Fashioned. I'm not sure where others rank past that, but since I mostly only have a single drink these days I don't really have to get too far down the list." Sam says with approval in his voice at her choice in lunch time beverages. He smiles in thanks when she sneaks a cup of the coffee for him and he takes it in his head, not sipping yet. "That is how you meet people. In fact, it looks like I'll have a place to live more permanently by the time February rolls around if all goes well. Sometimes things just fall into place in unexpected ways."

"For a long time? I didn't drink. I'd have virgin cocktails when I went out and about. Shirley Temple is still my favorite, but ..my absolute favorite drink?" Kate leans in to whisper it, a mischievous smile eon her face as she says the words quietly. "I'm glad you found something. Not always easy, but when things fall into place, it's almost like kismet." She takes a bite of her snickerdoodle, closing the lid to the cookie jar as her eyes briefly lid in pleasure. "So what is on your agenda this weekend?"

A grin springs to Sam's lips - more than anything that she felt it necessary to whisper the name of the drink to him rather than say it aloud. Like, August drops F-Bombs around the kitchen like they're so much candy. "I haven't actually heard of that. What's in it?" He asks, leaning on the counter and finally having a sip of his coffee while they chat. "And nothing is signed yet and it's not entirely - well, it's a space, but it isn't livable yet. That's why the date is a bit fuzzy. Hopefully it will all come together, though." Another sip while he thinks about the weekend - "No specific plans. I'll do some work. I don't really split weekends out from the other days. Likely have to deal with some of this apartment business. Otherwise? Hopefully relax, see some friends. The usual."

"Crown, cranberry juice, peach schnapps and pineapple juice." Kate nods at Sam, leaning back again while she crosses her legs at the ankle. "Well if Heather is about at some point, and you'd like to meet her, I have to go in to the studio this evening to get some work done. You're welcome to join us, she'll probably order in food. Hopefully not Indian, for some reason it doesn't always agree with me." She winces and shakes her head back and forth briefly. "Yeah, until the morning show? Weekends were just another day to me, now it's almost like a day off. Almost." She finishes the snickerdoodle and dusts her hands, pulling the pot to pour her own cup of coffee. Two square of dark chocolate are dropped in, and she gives it a quick stir.

"I do want to meet her." Sam replies, tone somewhere between enthusiastic and wary. "If I'm not around here when you go send me a message and I'll come over if I'm free. If I'm not, it will just make me seem mysterious and hard to get." A quick grin from the author before he shakes his head. "Though, I don't really do mysterious very well." He looks into the darkness of his coffee for a couple seconds while he thinks, before finally asking - "How about your new show? Still coming together?"

"She'll be pleased, people are usually afraid to meet her once they get wind of her reputation." Kate nods at Sam, pulling her phone out when it buzzes to gaze at it. She sets it aside and quirks a brow at Sam, head tilting slightly to the side. "Do you do hard to get well?" She asks, her lips twitching as she fights a grin. She takes a breath and lets a smile curve her lips instead. "It's coming together, part of the reason I'm meeting Heather today is so we can do some screen tests and discuss the people I've invited to join us as occasional guests. Which..is something I should talk to you about at some point. Maybe. If you're still possibly interested in giving the men of the world a voice in a sea of women."

"No, no. I'm pretty bad at hard to get too. I'm more of an easy to manipulate open book. But, don't tell Heather that." Sam says with a quick grin. "I'm hoping you'll save me from agreeing to anything too outrageous." He lifts the coffee mug again and takes a careful sip from it, finding it has cooled some, he drinks a little more while he laughs softly at Katherine's final comment. "I'd be very interested in being involved. I was a bit nervous when you first mentioned it, but I feel like I know you a lot better now." Despite it being only a bit more than a week later. They'd talked a lot! "But, I hope the men of the world won't be counting on me to go to bat for them. I'm not all that impressed with Team Man these days."

Kate aims an amused look at Sam, clearing her throat before she takes a drink from her mug. "I won't tell Heather, and I will try very hard not to use that newfound knowledge against you." She hides half of her expression by taking a drink from her mug, her eyes shifting to the door and the weather for a few brief moments. When she sets her cup aside, she seems to have mastered whatever emotion she was trying to hide, her usual smile on her face. "I'm glad you want to be involved, I think I might want you for the first guest spot, if you're amenable." She looks thoughtful before she adds. "Yeah, Team Man has a lot of not great things on the record right now, but it's not nice to judge everyone based on a few bad apples."

"No, of course not. Painting with broad strokes isn't a good idea, but that doesn't mean that we don't have systematic problems and whether or not we're doing demonstrably bad things we're still enabling a society where others doing those things is shrugged off or entirely ignored." Sam's brow furrows while he speaks, but he lets it ease after he gets the words out. "And I'm no doubt preaching to the choir. But, yes, if you think I'm a good fit when you need a guest, I'm happy to come and listen and talk. I know I haven't actually seen the show or the topics yet, but I think it will be very good. Important."

Whatever she expected Sam to say, it wasn't that, so Kate just settles her gaze on his face. "Very well said, Sam." She says quietly, taking another drink from her coffee. "I think you will be, mostly because of what you just said, and there are a few other reasons that I'll keep to myself, up here." She gently taps her temple with a slender finger, turning to open the fridge, pulling out a container of watermelon chunks. She sets them on the counter, popping the lid with a soft grunt. She fishes out a chunk and takes a bite, not noticing when some juice trickles down her chin. "You'll see a sample of sorts when we do the camera tests, if you're about. It'll be us sitting on the set, chatting with each other while the camera rolls. If someone doesn't look okay, we try to fix it, or we write them off as unsuitable for television." She's mostly joking, make up can fix anything but the jitters.

"I've been interviewed on camera often enough. I know this is a different vibe than question and answer, but the idea of being in front of a camera has never really bothered me. I'm always pleased when I see myself afterwards and the makeup seems to take off five years." Not that Sam is old by any means, nor does he even look his age, but you still get over thirty and start thinking very wistfully about twenty-five. "Do I know any of the others on your regular panel? Or are you still keeping that under wraps?"

Kate steps around the counter, taking a seat on a stool, crossing her legs. "I think you look fine as you are." She says, leaning her back against the countertop, facing out towards the dining room table and the doors leading out to the back yard. "I have a firm yes from a woman named Katya, if you've met her, she's a bartender at the Alibi. I'm still trying to get a firm yes out of August, but if she decides she doesn't want to do it, I'll just possibly have two regulars and two guests each week. Either way, things will be interesting." She turns her head to look at Sam. "So you're comfortable in front of a camera. Comfortable when dealing with difficult questions, how comfortable are you with off the wall ideas?"

"I haven't met anyone named Katya. While it sometimes feels like I know half of this town, I don't think I'm quite there yet." Sam says with a low chuckles, then bobs his head in brief embarrassment at Kate's comment. "Thank you. I wasn't really fishing for compliments." He distracts himself by taking up one of the slices of watermelon and taking a bite of the juicy fruit. It's not likely the best thing to accompany coffee, but it's good. He nods along with her first couple points before his head tilts at the last one. "Off the wall ideas? I like to think I'm pretty flexible. Should I expect things to go sidewise at some point during the show?"

"Katya is ..she's an enigma, for sure. Sweet, but looks like she could kick your ass before you could blink twice if you did something you shouldn't have." Kate blinks a few times and giggles softly, reaching out for another chunk of watermelon, eating it before she speaks again. "Not during the show, I would never spring a surprise on someone during taping, unless I intimated to them that a surprise could be forthcoming. Television isn't forgiving. I mean, there are editors, but…you know what I mean." She gazes down at her hands, her brow furrowed slightly. "Never mind. No. Don't worry about off the wall things." She slides to her feet, moving to open the freezer, the door hiding her face as she stares into it ..possibly looking for dinner options?

This just leaves him more confused, and while he's usually hesitant about pushing on things, well, you can't always be that way. He pushes off the counter to stand up straighter while he watches Kate plunge into the freezer in search of dinner? Answers? The sweet, sweet darkness? "Kate? You can tell me what was on your mind. I'm not actually sure what to say to reassure you, since I have no idea what's bouncing around up there." He taps his head to indicate where. He watches to see how she reacts the the prompt.

Kate grimaces and slowly shuts the freezer door. She gazes at Sam, and her nose wrinkling a bit before she takes a deep breath. "I am absolutely horrible at this, so I apologize in advance and after I'm done talking I'm going hope that a stray meteor hits me so I don't have to deal with the aftermath." She raises her chin, gazing more to the ceiling than at Sam. "I have a rule, and it's one that I'm trying to abide by, so this off the wall idea would have to sit and fester until your place is ready for you." She winces and links her hands, her eyes drifting to the floor. "I was wondering if you might like to have dinner sometime. There are a lot of nice places in town, and I'm sure you'll get to see some of them before the month is up, but maybe you won't? I don't know. Anyway, I was going to propose that idea, but then it seemed to be silly to do so and now…meteor please?" She glances up, and salvation doesn't come, so she winces and opens the freezer door. "I think we're having a roast for dinner tonight." She announces from the freezer.

"Not the Indian place, though?" Is Sam's response, hoping the joke will help disarm some of the tension that has built while Kate was speaking. He can't help but grin when she buries herself back into the freezer and he shakes his head. "Kate. I'd love to have dinner sometime." He says simply enough, before continuing. "It would be very nice to see some of the restaurants in town and I hope it's pretty clear that I like spending time with you. Dinner would be nice." He does seem a little uncertain, however - "You have a rule against having dinner with people who are staying at the house?"

Kate pulls a roast out, setting it aside to thaw before she slowly closes the freezer door. "I have a rule against flirting with people who are paying to stay in my house." Her cheeks are pink when she makes eye contact with Sam, turning after a moment to run some water into the sink. "I mean, I'm awkward at it to begin with, but when you can't have room to let things settle, then it just gets complicated. Things are already pretty complicated so, the rule is a good idea?" She picks up a dish towel and dries her hands, blinking before she shoots a wry grin at him. "I was actually thinking Chinese. I never get to go there anymore, and I love egg rolls."

"Things are complicated." Sam agrees, and something about the way he says it makes it sound like it isn't entirely to do with Kate's house and her rules. He nods then. "It does seem like a good rule. Maybe I should have stayed at my motel?" He says, tone light and teasing. "And I do like Chinese." Again, he finds himself looking down into his coffee, perhaps not entirely certain how to put this next bit. "I should - well, I've been seeing someone. Here, in town, I mean. It's not exactly an exclusive thing - shit - I don't even know what to call it at this point. But, I just wanted to put it out there. I'd want to have dinner with you in any case, but I don't want to set the wrong kind of expectations."

Kate snorts out a soft laugh and looks like she might reach out to give him a gentle shove, but for now she keeps her hands to herself. "I'm not setting any expectations at all, and if it does become an exclusive thing before you manage to get a place, just tell me. I won't be upset, and we can keep things light and friendly." She huffs out a sigh and pulls out a knife from the block, grabbing some potatoes and carrots from their respective resting spots so she can prepare them. "I'm also seeing someone, and it's not an exclusive thing. If it were any less complicated and anger inducing, we probably wouldn't even be having this conversation right now." She shrugs and deftly skins the first potato. "Life is strange sometimes."

"I thought you were. I might have tried to break your rules earlier - but, I didn't want to step on any toes in that regard. And I thought it best that I get myself settled into the city." Sam lets out a short breath, nothing really a sigh, but a close cousin. "Life is strange all the time, Kate. I don't even know where to begin. If I could capture half the strangeness of life into my fiction in a compelling way - what a book that would be." His lips twist. "Anyway, I'm sorry things are complicated and anger inducing. If you ever need to talk about anything, you know where I'm at."

Kate blinks at Sam, surprised at his admission. She really didn't expect that. "We're both being honest here, so the night that I called you? I was considering bending the rules a bit myself. You can't step on someone who does everything that he can to put distance between himself and i, but I do appreciate that you did that." She gives him a thoughtful look before she continues to speak. "For once in my life I don't want to make a mistake, and then turn it into a choice. You're a really nice guy, and we have a lot in common. Maybe that might turn into something, but I want it to happen…the right way. If that makes any kind of sense." She shoots him a look as she starts to peel the second potato. "If I told you what was going on, you'd probably shake me and tell me that I need to wake up. Everyone else who I have confided in has. Except one."

"Maybe I would. Or I might think it at least. I try to be careful about pushing people about what they do. I think it's natural that we all think we know better than the person in the actual situation, but it's always so much easier when you're standing on the sidelines without the emotion and the investment." Sam replies, setting his coffee mug down on the corner while his eyes fix on Kate's hands making quick work of the potatoes. He smiles at her admission about the phone call, but he doesn't comment specifically about that. "It sounds like life had dragged you into some pretty damn rough places, Kate. And you've managed to push through each one and come out on the other side stronger. It's good to have friends and to listen to them, but keep trusting yourself."

Initial prepwork done, the roast, spices and some broth are put into the slow cooker to start. "My life is just as rough as anyone elses. I do my best to power through and see the silver on the clouds instead of letting myself dwell in the dark." Kate gestures to the coffee, and she runs a hand through her hair, looking distracted. "I'm trying to do that, trust myself, but my decisions the last two years haven't been the best. It's something I'm working on. We'll see how it irons out." She points vaguely toward her bedroom, clearing her throat. "I'm going to go take a really hot shower, sit down at my vanity, and try to put some armor on — like August has been teaching me — and then I'm gonna finish dinner. I'll try to get a hold of Heather and then I'll text you when I know what's going on. Yeah?"

"It's not always easy to focus on what's working well, I know it." Sam nods in understanding to Katherine escaping to take care of herself for a spell - "I have to go into town and deal with more apartment things. Like I said, the place needs work so we need to make that happen. Or at least plan it so it can happen on Monday." When Kate walks past he reaches out and just touches her arm lightly, but doesn't say anything else. He's always careful about physical touch, especially without boundaries being established, but it seemed like the right moment after the heaviness of the discussion they'd just had. After she's gone from the room he takes his cup to the sink to rinse it before heading back up to his room to get ready to go out.

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