(2019-01-21) Sarah is Home
Sarah returns as lunch is being served in the B&B kitchen.

The snow has finally quit outside so people are out and about again, Kate got up early to go to Food4Less to grab some essentials, and is at home now cooking lunch. There is quiet music playing on a bluetooth speaker as she de-veins and pops the heads off of shrimp, a skillet to her right softly sizzling with butter, onions and garlic in it. A large calico cat is prancing around at her feet, waiting for some scrap or shrimp to be tossed his way.

Sam had promised to show Layla the B&B at some point, and that point ended up being today. After spending his early morning working at the library, he'd tracked Layla down and brought her up the hill to give a bit of a tour of the place. He briefly showed the room he was staying in and the great room with the fireplace where he'd often sit and write. Finally he leads the way into the kitchen. "I think that if word got out about how good the meals are this place would have a waiting list at all times of the year. I'm pretty sure Kate doesn't want that situation, but it's the truth of things." Sam is saying while he walks through into the kitchen along with Layla. "And speak of the devil herself." He says with a smile toward where Katherine is working on lunch. "Good morning."

"It is certainly unique in that the offerings aren't simply limited to breakfast." Layla agrees as she follows Sam around on the tour, her coat having been removed at some point after having come inside. When they step into the kitchen there is a quick sweep of the room, and then a smile towards Katherine, "Quite the lovely home you have here."

Katherine looks up at the pair when they arrive, a smile on her face. "Morning." She gestures to the counter and the stools there. "Would you two like some coffee?" She gazes at Layla, pausing for a moment to scoop up the shrimp and dump it into the waiting pan. "Thank you. It's my …fortress of solitude? Except that I'm never really alone here." She tilts her head toward the stove. "I'm making lunch if you two are interested. Garlic shrimp with peppers and onions." She gently shoos Blue away with her slippered foot. "Don't mind the cat, he usually doesn't come downstairs but he loves shrimp."

"He has good taste." Sam remarks, grinning while he watches the cat move away, but not be entirely deterred in its mission. Then he leads the way over to the stools, easing himself onto one. "I'd love coffee if you have it made. I mostly won't refuse if it's available." He looks to Layla and back to Kate - "I was showing Layla around the place, which I'm sure is likely obvious. Ran into Esme at the library this morning bright and early as well. She's well refreshed after her time off."

"Fortress of solitude?" Layla shakes her head faintly, "We all need our places to relax and refuel." She follows Sam towards one of the stools, settling on it, her coat being draped over her lap, "Thank you, but I think that I may pass on the lunch." There is a brief glance given towards the cat when he is mentioned, then she looks back towards Katherine, "Sam was just telling me, however, that the food is generally very good here."

Kate pours coffee for Sam, giving Layla a brief look before she sets the pot aside, she can pour more later. "I'm glad Esme had fun, she really seemed to enjoy Paris. I bet if she had the option, she might never have left to come home." She nods before she turns to the stove, picking up a black spatula. "I'm glad he's enjoying the food, that's what it's here for." She is quiet as she cooks for a few minutes, glancing at something in the oven. "How has business been going for you Layla?"

"Thank you." Sam says, accepting the coffee and lifting it to his lips for a small sip. "The food is excellent, yes. But, also the companionship and atmosphere. Layla thinks I'm a bit crazy for wanting to stay somewhere that's always so busy, but I think it has been a great way to meet people and learn about the city. I couldn't do it forever, but it's a treat for a month." He settles his mug down, looking to Layla at Kate's question.

"I wouldn't go so far as to say crazy." Layla points out with a laugh, shaking her head, "Just that constantly being around so many people in close proximity would not be my choice for a relaxing time." She glances over at Kate, her smile softening, "I prefer my solitude, that is all. But business has been going fine, I've not really done much locally, still handling things for Denver via telephone, however. But the office space here should be ready by the end of the month, and hopefully at that point things will really kick off."

"There are some days when I would be happier with more quiet, but I'm never bored." Kate pushes to her tip toes for a moment to pull down a cup, pouring herself some coffee. "Most of the people who stay here are out and about, so there are quieter days." She scoops the stuff in the pan into a bowl, adding a knob of butter and a little more garlic. "I look forward to seeing what kind of space you design. I've a few ideas for business as well. I've been talking to some of the owners in the mall close by, and they're pretty excited for what you're doing." She smiles at Layla and shrugs. "I think we can all use a little boost during the off season, and spring is going to be here before we know it."

"Maybe not quite crazy - but you didn't see the expression on your face when I told you I was staying here that first time." Sam says with a quick grin toward Layla, nodding and gesturing in agreement with Kate's words. "It's true. While occasionally it feels like half the city is here, most of the time it's quiet, even in the public spaces. And if I escape up to my room I don't really hear anything at all. Or no worse than any hotel where you might share a wall with another guest." He sips at the coffee again, adding - "Sounds like the city will really come alive once the weather changes. It's going to be a busy office by the time summer is here."

"Our busiest time of year is during the winter, all the skiers and the like. We get a different sort of folk during the summer. It's actually when I have the least amount of people here." Kate adds some heavy cream and milk to the pan, stirring gently. "That's fine with me, because I'd rather sunbathe than be doing laundry for hours at a time." She adds parmesan and continues to stir.

"You're still considering having someone on full time to take care of the B&B so you can delve into other projects, though?" Sam asks, his expression a bit unbelieving at Kate's declaration that she'd rather be sunning than working. He hadn't seen a lot of evidence that she ever stops. "Or you'll have to at least find someone to take care of things when all the networks start calling about bringing Naked Voices to the national stage."

"You've been talking about my business to people at….a mall?" Layla wonders, head tilting very faintly to the side, "I'm not sure that I've approached anyone in a mall before, usually because I've found them to be chain stores." She glances at Sam, adding for him, "My chain stores require oversight of any partnership deals that will have to go through the proper departments at home office, which is often a lot of red tape that I try to avoid." She then glances back at Katherine once more, "So your business slows down in summer? I don't imagine that I'll have a bevy of clients looking for the B&B stay, but those that I do I will be certain to direct towards you. I wonder…" She glances towards the stove and what Katherine is cooking, "Have you considered catering? Like…weddings and parties."

"I am considering having someone..help me out here more. Perhaps hiring Charlotte away from Heather and setting her up in a room here." Kate gazes at Layla and lets out a soft laugh, shaking her head. "The shops here aren't chain stores. We have a bridal business, and the woman who owns it makes everything by hand. She's booked up for the next few years, I've heard. The only chain store we have in the city is Food4Less, and ..well…they're Food4Less." She picks up a container of fettuccine noodles and starts to slowly add them to the sauce, adding the shrimp and peppers. "We mostly get repeat visitors during the summer here at the B&B, people who've come through at some other time. Most of my bookings are people who have stayed here at least twice already." She stirs gently, grinning toward Layla. "I do cater..occasionally? Mostly for friends who ask, too busy for anything more concrete though. The time is coming, I'll have to make a choice if the hospitality business is more important or the television shows. I'm not looking forward to that."

"The time will come when you have to bring them together and do a full time cooking show, Kate. I know you do segments on the morning show, but that's not really the same. Of course, I don't know how you manage to differentiate it from the other thousand cooking shows on the air … " Sam's teeth clasp down on his bottom lip and he shakes his head. He really doesn't know. Best to stick to writing rather than television production for him. He turns to look at Layla beside him - "Sounds like a hot ticket bridal business. I guess I shouldn't be surprised - must be lots of people who come up this way to get married with the beautiful scenery."

"Do you? I'm pleased to hear that, then." Layla offers when Katherine mentions that she gets repeat business in summer, "It's very unique that you don't have more chain stores, however. But, I suppose that my experience has been colored by the U.S. cities that I've so far done business in, both were much, much larger than here. Less room for locally owned businesses. Which is a shame." When Sam bites his bottom lip there is an amused smile, a hand reaching up to tap a finger against the lip before she wonders, "Which brings you joy and fulfillment, Katherine? This…or your television show?"

Kate gets a tilted grin on her face and shrugs, pulling the pot off of the fire. "We're a lot smaller than most people realize, and chain stores don't always seem to do well here." She stirs the pasta dish one more time before she turns to gaze at Layla. "They both do. I like this place because I get to meet new people, I get to cook - which is a passion of mine - and I never seem to slow down. I don't do well with an abundance of quiet time. Television is nice because it allows me to reach out to people, do quirky things and I get paid very well. I also like working with Heather, which is very strange to me, given our past together." She pulls a bowl from the cupboard, fishing a fork out of the silverware drawer. "Neither of you want lunch? I can pack it to go for later, if you'd like."

"And given your present together. I can't tell most days whether you love her like a sister or want to throw up your hands and have nothing to do with her." Sam remarks about Heather, but his tone is light. "Though, maybe those are one in the same?" The smell of the food is hard to ignore and he glances over toward the dish. "I had a late second breakfast so I don't really need a meal. But, I'd try a taste? Just a couple bites."

"I wouldn't say that you are smaller than I realized, but the fabric of the economy of chain versus local is different than I had anticipated." Layla smiles, then shakes her head at the offer of shrimp again, "Thank you, but I'm not very hungry." She glances at Sam, then back to Katherine, "But if you insist on packing it to go I certainly won't refuse the generous offer." She adjusts her coat, crossing her legs before she leans forward to rest her forearms on the counter, "If you don't mind my asking, if what you truly love is cooking, why not simply pursue that? You need to have established a demand for your cooking already…and something like that can eat up plenty of time, and expose you to new people as well."

Katherine scoops noodles and the rest into a small bowl, setting it in front of Sam. She gets a container, and dishes out a serving for two, letting it breathe before she puts a lid on it. "Well, for a few months it wasn't about pursuing what I love, it was about making sure my family was safe and had what they needed. Now that I've a solid base to work with, I suppose I could do what I love? There is a part of me who loves the hospitality business, and the television business…every single facet is something that I truly enjoy." She shrugs, fixing herself a bowl of pasta while she grabs a fork. "I think about giving any part of it up and it distresses me a little bit, to be honest."

Sam smiles in thanks for the small bit of the lunch serving and takes up his fork, twisting it into the pasta until it's tightly wound on his fork while he listens to the exchange between Kate and Layla, nodding along with both of them. "It should be possible to have more than one passion in your life, I guess it's just finding the balance so you don't turn things you love into obligations and stress. Not that I'm really one to preach about the finer points of finding balance." He admits, pushing his fork into his mouth and saying nothing more. Sam and Layla are both on stools at the counter and Kate is on the other side in the kitchen, just finishing up some lunch. Mm. Shrimp.

"Cooking and the restaurant business is the hospitality business, and there are plenty of chefs that also do media spots, or have their own shows." Layla gestures in Sam's direction, since he was the one that mentioned the cooking shows. "You'd potentially have to figure out what would set your show apart from others, but there are a variety of ways to do that. Travel ones, for instance, if you are interested in meeting new people, that would certainly fill that need."

Kate slants a look at Layla, looking thoughtful as she turns her fork to gather pasta on it. "Oh we do cooking segments on the morning show occasionally, less so when Mitch was there because he'd get in the way and almost got burnt once. I'd have to see what Nolan thinks, but really? I'm pretty happy with where my life is at right now, it's just a little busy, that's all. All of my ducks are in a row, and if I had an extra five hours in a day? I'd be golden." She shrugs her shoulders and lifts her pasta to her mouth, shoving it in. She doesn't speak for a few moments while she chews and swallows. "I should brainstorm a cooking show though, maybe for someone a little more talented in that department."

"You're plenty talented." Sam argues, finishing his bite and shaking his head. He's not one to push anyone in a particular direction, but it wouldn't be for lack of ability. "This is very good." He likely sounds like a broken record on that account by now. In a somewhat abrupt change of subject he asks - "Was Sevin, ah … OK? Yesterday?" The question sounded less awkward in his mind.

A flicker of confusion washes over Layla's face for a moment before she shakes her head, "I'm sorry…I just thought when you were saying you would have to make a choice that…" She then lifts a hand, palm out, "Forgive me. It is not any of my concern, and I should not offer an unsolicitied opinion." The hand then drops back to her lap as she glances curiously at Sam and his question.

Katherine smiles at Layla, nodding at her words. "If this show that I'm doing goes well? I'll have less time to devote to the B&B, and it's not fair to my guests to receive less than the quality service that they have already begun to expect. If I can't make my commitments, I'll hire on someone here to help me, but I can't exactly just sell the place. This is my family home. My sisters live here with me, and I'm fairly certain they'd have some objections." She turns her fork in her pasta again. "It was a discussion, not really an unsolicited opinion, so please don't worry about it. You said your job was making peoples dreams come true, didn't you?" She shifts a look at Sam, eyebrows raised. "At the library? He seemed fine to me, why?"

And then there is Sarah. She comes wobbling into kitchen. She's still in PJ bottoms and a loose t-shirt. She walks in and goes right for the frigde to retrieve a bottle of water and she is about to leave.

Except…this is her first appearance in the house in a month. She spent the holidays back in Pennsylvania with some friends and decided to stay a little after classes began again. And…now she's home, probably arriving in the dead of night or somesuch.

Sam twirls another bite of the pasta with his fork and one hand, the other reaching out to set on one of Layla's hands lightly. He smiles at the description of Layla's job. "Likely the hardest part is having people know what their dreams are. Or that they don't change every few months." Then he directs his eyes down at his twirled pasta, lips twisting a bit and shaking his head. "That's good. If he was fine. I don't - I mean, we haven't really talked all that often. It's good." He repeats, not pressing the subject further. Perhaps he's content with Katherine's assurances. Or he's distracted by the appearance of someone he has never seen before wandering into the room.

"That is one way of putting it, yes." Layla replies, folding her hands in her lap, "But that is really just one facet of what I do…sometimes those that are my clients aren't looking for a dream, exactly, but just to have their life made easier." She reaches a hand out, resting it lightly on Sam's leg, "For instance, using Sam as an example. Someone like him relocates somewhere for quiet and solitude to work on a book, but needs certain things handled. He, or his agent, could contact someone like me who would arrange for someone to act as a personal assistant. Fetching laundry, doing things around the house as needed, making meals. I would not call that wish fulfillment, or even dreams, but it would certainly be something I can arrange." Sarah's arrival is offered a smile as well, but she doesn't interrupt the woman's journey and quest for water.

Kate wordlessly watches Sarah walk into the kitchen, her fork stuck in her noodles. She flicks a glance at Sam when he speaks, but doesn't respond to any of his words. When Sarah moves to walk away, she finally speaks up. "Lunch, Sarah —if you're hungry. Also, Sam here is one of our guests, and this is his girlfriend Layla, she's setting up a business in Calaveras." She turns her attention to the latter, nodding along with her explanation, her head tilted slightly. "I was just using the words you used at the studio, that's all." She moves to get another bowl, probably because she's not going to take no as an answer from her sister when it comes to lunch.

"Oh…" Sarah peers at the pasta, frowning slightly. "Mm. Yeah, it'll be fine. It looks so fucking good." She makes herself a small portion and looks at the guests. "Why do you want strangers in our kitchen, Kat? This B&B thing is just weird." Beat. "I don't mean anything person. You two seem cool."

"You never know what kind of people you'll end up with at your table." Sam agrees with a quietly amused grin on his lips at Sarah's short and direct words to Katherine. He spins the last bite of his pasta on his fork and glances between the two. "Luckily, we are pretty cool. But, not everyone can be like us. Though, we likely will empty out of your kitchen pretty soon. Just need to finish and we should make our way back down the hill." While Sarah wasn't formally introduced, it's not a big leap for Sam to figure out who she is. He pops the last bite of his mini-lunch into his mouth.

"It's a great way to simplify what I do in terms that the public will understand." Layla smiles at Katherine once more before she glances at Sarah, nodding to her when she is introduced, "You've a very lovely home." When Sam mentions that they will be clearing out of the kitchen pretty soon she nods as well, "Sam was just showing me around, and Katherine was generous with her lunch."

"Pays for your college for one thing." Katherine mutters in Sarah's direction, rolling her eyes before she scoops up more noodles. "When did you get in, Sarah?" She asks, before she turns her gaze on the seated pair. "This is Sarah, she's going to school at the college." She takes a bite at her noodles before she moves to clean up her bowl, and the stove. "Don't take off though, Sarah. I have to ask you about a few things, and it's not easy to catch you sometimes."

Sarah was totally about to leave again too. Just she stops and attempts to jump on the kitchen counter to sit. It's a fail. So she leans. And eats. "No college yet, sis. Not ready yet." This subject is a salty one from the venom behind it. "So no. It's not paying for my schooling."

"Nice to meet you, Sarah." Sam offers, pleasantly enough even as he slips down off his stool and takes up his bowl and mug to carry over to the sink. He looks between the two sisters and then retreats to Layla's side, setting his hand casually on her back. "And thank-you for the lunch and company, Kate. They were both excellent. I'll see you at the taping this week if not before that." And whenever Layla is ready he'll lead the way back out of the kitchen to allow the sisters to talk.

"Thank you, and it was nice to meet you Sarah." Layla offers the girl a smile before she gets to her feet, stepping away from it, "Again, you've a lovely home, and thank you for inviting us to lunch." As soon as the good byes are given she nods to Sam, letting him usher her towards the exit.

Katherine closes her eyes briefly, her lips moving slightly before she opens them again to fix a look on Sarah. "Do have a seat at the dining room table, Sarah." She says, her voice polite as she moves to refresh her coffee, dropping chocolate into the cup. "You're welcome, Sam. It was good to see you again, Layla. I hope you both have a good afternoon." She makes her way around the counter, easing herself into one of the chairs, crossing her legs. "How are you doing, Sarah, really?"

"Bad." Sarah says as she sits down with her food. "I feel like shit. I tried to sit in on some classes at Penn State. I could stay awake or focus even if I was awake. School is done. Not even sure about working, to be honest. I don't want to be a burden to you, Kat. So, I'm pissed about it."

Katherine takes a sip of her coffee, gazing across the table at Sarah with thoughtful eyes. "I get that you feel like shit, and that things are bad. Like I told you before you went out of town, you have to do what is best for you, and I'll help you." She sets down her coffee and folds her hands, resting them in her lap. "I found a doctor that I'd like you to see, and Sarah? Even if you're pissed off about your circumstances, don't take it out on me, I want to help you. I'm here to help you. We can overcome anything if we have each others back."

"I know all this stuff. You care. Want to help…but it just…sucks, okay?" Sarah finally finds her appetite. "I don't know how sick I'm going to get and…" She shakes her head. "You take on so much, Kat. I didn't want to be another one. Another problem." She turns her gaze upward, towards her sister's room. "I mean…fuck.."

"What else is family for, Sarah?" Kate asks, staring at her coffee cup while she speaks. "I take on what I can handle, and I can handle this. I can help you." She shifts her eyes to Sarah and lets out a sigh. "Just don't shut me out, because all I'm going to do then is worry. Do you want me to worry? Won't that be worse?" She takes a deep breath and picks up her coffee cup. "I want you to meet someone, Sarah. Sometime soon, it's important to me."

"I'll keep you in the loop, alright?" Sarah concedes. "Shutting you out isn't working anyway. So who is this person?"

Katherine will take it, cradling her coffee cup in her hands as she takes a sip. "A guy that I'm seeing." She gazes back down into the dark depths of her cup. "Gonna ask you to be more polite with him than you were with Sam and Layla. If you can manage it."

Sarah sits up a little straighter. "Best behavior." She says, very seriously. "I promise. The fact that you asked makes it seem important to you. I won't be an asshole. I promise." She repeats. "I better lay back down. Rest now and maybe I'll be okay when the time comes." She stands up and hugs Kate. "Sorry for being…distant. I'm still processing this shit too so…anyway. I love you. I don't mean to be so…me." It seems like Sarah leaving in a hurry then, leaving behind her food. The small portion is about half eaten.

Katherine stares at the bowl after Sarah hugs and runs, sighing softly. She gets to her feet and gathers the dishes to clean up, putting away the rest of the leftovers for any other guests who may want them.

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