(2019-01-23) Innocent Until Proven Guilty
Nina arrives for a short chat while August beheads a horse. Don't ask, it gets weird if you ask.

Katherine obviously hasn't been home very long, her coat is still cold and slightly damp from the snow outside, and the coffee isn't done brewing yet. She is seated at the counter, a book open in front of her. Her phone is in her hands and it looks like she's studying a language, looking up pronunciation as her crossed leg swings back and forth idly. Her phone buzzes with a text and she dismisses it to continue with her work, free hand absently moving to brush a curl behind her ear.

<TXT> From August to Katherine - Just finishing up in the sauna at the gym. You home or want to come swim?
<TXT> To August from Katherine - Just got home, Nina stopped by. Have you met Nina?
<TXT> From August to Katherine - I don't think I have. I'm gonna dip in and wash off, then shower and roll that way. 20 mins?

The B&B is always a convenient place to visit, since it has that requisite 'open door policy' firmly in place. Still, for someone who is always mindful of manners and proper protocols like Nina, she doesn't just barge into the place after coming through the door. Instead, she remains in the foyer and tentatively calls out. "Hello. Katherine, are you home?" Still, she's already removing her gloves and scarf, so clearly Nina knows the proprietress is, in fact, at home.

<TXT> From August to Katherine - You have juice? I'm not fooding well today. Need anything from the store on the way home?
<TXT> To August from Katherine - I have juice - Apple, orange and cranberry. If you could pick up flour, that'd be lovely. I'm making pierogies tomorrow.
<TXT> From August to Katherine - You got it. What kind?

Katherine turns away from the book she's looking at, blinking before she calls out. "I'm home, in the kitchen!" She calls out in response. The coffee is finished brewing so she gets to her feet, moving around to pour a cup. She fetches a second cup, just in case Nina wants some. Her phone buzzes again and she picks it up, tapping out a text message that almost immediately gets a response. She taps out another text and sets the phone down.

<TXT> To August from Katherine - Wheat flour, please.
<TXT> From August to Katherine - Cool, see you in few. <3

Nina makes her way into the kitchen, where she quickly flashes a smile at Katherine. The buzzing phone? Well, it's Kate's business and Nina isn't going to pry. "Did I manage to catch you with some down time?" She muses, as she approaches Katherine's side. "I am sorry we haven't visited sooner, but the past two weeks have been quite… intensive. I have never had to work a day job and be a caretaker in the evening before. I honestly don't know how you do it."

Katherine aims a smile at Nina, gesturing to the coffee. "Like a cup?" She glances around, all is quiet, for now. "Down time, yes. I just got home .." She clears her throat, shrugging as she closes her workbook. "Doing some studying, trying to learn a new language." She drops some dark chocolate in her coffee and waves away Nina's apology. "It's okay, I feel like it's gonna be a while before Julian is one hundred percent. I'm glad he has someone who can take care of him, otherwise he'd probably be on a bed here with me running wild trying to keep him fed and the like." She shifts a look at Nina and wrinkles her nose. "You juggle a lot, make some choices, leave the not hard stuff to the personal assistant." Charlotte is a godsend, thank you Heather.

Nina shakes her head at the offer of coffee. "No, but thank you for the offer." Her gloves are carefully placed on the counter, followed by a rather prim folding of her hands on top. "I thought about hiring a personal assistant to take care of Julian when I'm at work, but a twenty-one year old blonde girl from Florida applied and I decided it wasn't such a good idea." She smiles a faint smile of amusement, before lapsing into a more serious look. "Anyway, I just left work and on my way home, but I wanted to swing by briefly about Mister Westin. I assume you haven't heard from him since before Christmas?"

Katherine aims a look at Nina when she mentions a young blonde girl from Florida. "Yeah, you never toss a girl grenade into your relationship unless you actually want it to explode." She shrugs, taking a sip of her coffee before she raises her cup in a slight toast toward Nina. "Good on you for putting the kibosh on that idea." She shifts on her feet when Xavier is mentioned and she sighs. "I have not." She sets the coffee down, not wanting to spill. "Why do you ask?" Katherine is standing on one side of the counter, Nina close by.

"Well." Nina nods to Katherine's confirmation that Xavier had been MIA. "I have an associate who works for the DEGC. I was talking to him this morning about an investment, and he mentioned that the Westin Institute has been under investigation for a number of suspected fraudulent transactions, as well as some counts of possible criminal activities in reclaiming private properties. Right before Christmas, the Detroit Police received Court orders to search Westin Institute's offices and they planned to bring Mister Westin in for questioning." Beat. "That… is when he disappeared from the grid. Three days ago he was spotted and detained in Panama City, and is currently in the process of being extradited back to Detroit. None of this is officially confirmed, mind you, but my associate does have connections to credible sources." There's a longer pause as Nina studies Katherine's reaction. "I thought you should know."

Kate purses her lips, gazing steadily at Nina for a few beats before she opens her mouth to reply. Her question gets stuck in her throat, and then she clears it, speaking quietly. "Panama City? I.. wow." She slowly folds her arms over her chest and leans back against the counter, her gaze shifting down to her feet. "That is..a lot to take in." She tilts her head, an eyebrow slightly quirked. "Are they investigating any of the work he's done here in Calaveras?" She asks quietly, considering the various ventures that he was involved in. "I talked to my lawyer when it seemed like he was gone for good, making sure that my accounts were secure and that nothing had been allocated for the Winchester deal."

Outside, the sound of a large truck backing up into the drive. It has a little rumble to it, and cuts off once lined up with the garage. There's a pause, then the open and shut of a heavy door. The sound of stilettos on the drive follow after.

Moments later, the back door opens into the kitchen, and August Lexington steps inside, pausing for a moment to shift a grocery bag to her other arm, and pull the door closed behind her.

Auggie wears a fitted, long sleeve black sweater in a fuzzy knit. A deep V neckline exposes a good portion of her fine-line black and grey chest tattoo, as well as the expanse of her tattooed throat. Her long grey hair is swept up in an artfully messy up-do, black lipstick, fair skin, dark, winged eyeliner. Black skinny jeans and a pair of five inch platform stilettos complete the look, soles flashing red, the only bit of overt color about her. She glances up to see Nina and Kate near the counter there. She glances between them, and doesn't say anything at first, moving to put the grocery bag down on the dining table.

Nina rolls a shoulder to the most prevalent question. "That isn't clear, but if I were to guess, I would say yes, eventually they will go through /all/ of his business deals. Your joint venture with him will likely be investigated as well, so it's prudent to prepare for a bit of a delay, but from the sounds of it, the focus of the investigation is aimed at criminal activities. Blackmail. Extortion. That sort of thing. If he wasn't directly involved in the acquisition negotiations, you shouldn't be too, too worried. The venture capital part, on the other hand…" Nina trails off when August walks into the kitchen, looking from the unfamiliar woman back to Katherine, and evidently decides to truncate her report right there. Who wants to talk about this stuff in front of guests, right? "…Well, it's something you can worry about later."

Kate's gaze flicks to August, the look of worry fading into something warm. "Hey you." She murmurs before she turns her attention back to Nina. "When he disappeared the deal fell through, there is no delay, it's done. The investors were his friends, business ..people." She shakes her head, spreading her hands out slightly. "I can be content with this, especially with things picking up for me on the television side of things." She moves to the fridge to open it, pulling out orange juice to pour some for August, setting it down and waggling a finger at her. "Drink that." She blinks, and as always, attempts to be a good hostess. "Nina, this is August Lexington, she's a good friend of mine." Gesturing to Nina, Kate turns to grin at August. "This is Nina, she's dating my brother, of sorts, Julian Walker. You'll see them around a bit, as they've an open invitation to stop in."

Aug glances over from pulling three items out of the bag: whole wheat flour, a stuffie horsie, and a four pack of Naked brand Mango Madness juice, in individual serving sizes. "Hey, babe." She turns to the counter with the flour in one hand, juices in the other, stuffie under her arm. "Here you go." She sets the flour down on the counter next to Kate. "Nina, my pleasure. Do continue. If this is scandalous, I'm into that." She smiles softly. "And I can keep a secret or two." Understatement. "Oh, do you have scissors, Katie?" She moves to the fridge to stow the mango juice, and then returns the couple of steps back, stilettos reporting each of her steps audibly. The woman's tall to begin with, so her long legs eat up the kitchen space quickly enough. 6'4" when she's standing in these shoes, August takes a lean against the counter, then perches on the edge of a stool, reaching for the juice Kate voluntold her to drink.

With the introduction, Nina turns to properly face August. Her smile is, as always, proper and polite, even if she has to look way, way up towards the tall woman's face. And somehow, Nina also manages to avoid the pitfall of letting her gaze wander from one tattoo to the next, because that is bad manners in Nina's world! "Nice to meet you, Miss Lexington." She spares a quick sidelong glance at Kate, and breaks into a lopsided smile. "I'm afraid it's not exactly scandalous news. I suppose it can be considering a bit shocking to Kate, but if Kate has absorbed the shock, it's really just news now."

Kate picks up her coffee, taking a sip before she pulls out a drawer to slip some scissors from it. She sets them down on the counter, sharp end away from August. After a second sip, she sets the coffee down, collects her language studies workbook to clear off space on the counter and shrugs. "I'm..I don't even know how to .." She gestures to her temple, frowning for a moment. "When someone tells you that they're a bad man, you think they might be kidding, or at the very least exaggerating things to take advantage of the fact that most women like bad boys." She clears her throat, pushing away from the counter to pick up the flour and put it away. "When you find out it's true, you just have to .." She exhales and shuts the pantry, grunting softly. "When I thought he was gone for good, I cut my losses and moved on with my life. I can mourn Xavier, or I can simply hope for the best for him and ..let it go." She wrinkles her nose. "Sounds shitty, but .." She trails off, picking up her coffee cup again, another sip.

"I've seen firsthand that Kate bounces back pretty fast," August murmurs, her smile still lingering. "Auggie or August is fine, Nina." She wouldn't mind if the petite woman did check out her ink. That is, after all, why it's usually exposed. Today is a slightly less flashy day, in that she's covering most of it. For once. Must be laundry day or something. She glances over to Kate as the scissors come out, but doesn't reach for them right away. She listens to her speak, pale grey eyes turned to Kate. Her gaze follows the woman putting away the flour, back to the counter. She mms. She doesn't comment on the subject of bad boys, or even Xavier. She steps over to touch Kate's shoulder, then rubs her back briefly. "It's not shitty. It's survival, Katie." She lingers for a moment, then picks up the scissors, steps back to her place, and calmly beheads the stuffed animal.

Nina lifts her chin and smiles a bit wider towards August. "August it is. I didn't want to presume." The tall woman's comment about Kate bouncing back is echoed with a nod of Nina's head as well, who also turns to the proprietress. "To be fair to Mister Westin, he hasn't been convicted yet. And in America, a man is still innocent until proven guilty." She reminds, then adds in a bit of a deadpan. "Unlike where I come from, they hang a man first and look for evidence when his family goes to the newspaper." Beat. "And being a 'bad man' doesn't necessarily mean he didn't have genuine feelings for you, Kate. You just have to do what's best for you and your family." Her gaze follows August as the tattooist picks up the scissors — because it's always prudent to keep an eye on sharp objects — but when August starts beheading the sfuffed animal, it brings a curious cant to Nina's head. "That… reminds me…" She shifts back to Katherine. "…may I ask a personal favor? You know my chef skills rate somewhere near the bottom of the population; do you have any supper I can bring back to Julian? I don't want to keep bringing him takeout."

Kate is staring at what August did to the stuffed animal, eyes slightly wide for a few moments before she turns to Nina. "Well, keep this between you and I. Meaning, please don't tell Julian — if you can." She takes a deep breath and frowns. "Xavier had set up a vacation for us to go to Rio for New Years. Uh, he told me to go even if he couldn't, so I did. I took someone with me..and.." She clears her throat, moving to open the crock pot next to the coffee maker. She gently spoons chicken and dumplings into a container. "..well we were attacked there." She glances back at Nina quickly, her look to the shorter woman brief, before she is looking back at what she's doing with the ladle. "There were some people looking for him, and they weren't very nice. So I suppose we'll see if he turns out to be innocent, because these people didn't seem to think he was. I'm fairly certain they arrived meaning to end someones life." She nearly fills the tupperware bowl, pushing a lid on it before she open the fridge, pulling out a cake. Better than sex cake, chocolate with caramel, toffee and chocolate shavings with whipped cream frosting. She cuts two large pieces, putting them into a separate container. "You stop by anytime, Nina..for food for the both of you. I cook every day after three, for the guests, and I always make far too much."

There's a pause before August finishes her beheading of the stuffie, then puts the head down, sets the scissors aside, and takes the body over to dump it in the trash can. She's quiet as she does this, but is soon back at her seat to sip her juice again. "Hm." She gives the neck stuffing a poke back up into the head, then presses the edges together like she's thinking about sewing it. She goes very still when Kate begins to talk about Rio. August moves again a beat later, pulling some extra stuffing out, wandering over to dump that into the trash too. She seems satisfied with this result. "If you'll excuse me a moment, ladies." She glances to Nina, then Kate, and steps out of the kitchen, ostensibly headed to the little first floor bath.

Nina's dark eyes widen in surprise at Kate's story, but true to her usual composed self, that's the extent of her reaction. No disbelief. No shock. No hysterics. "I won't say a word about it to Julian. I suppose the silver lining is that with Mister Westin's arrest, that part should be done and finished." Pausing to nod to August's excusing herself, Nina also follows Kate where the cake is cut and a container is filled. She accepts it with both hands, and a rare bright smile on her lips. "Thank you for this, Kate. You are a lifesaver." The container is put down briefly so her gloves can be pulled on, followed by the scarf. "I know that wasn't the news you wanted to hear, but I thought it was important for you. Anyway, I should get home so Julian doesn't complain about the wait. Have a good evening, Kate. And you too, August!" Nina adds with a call, hopefully August can hear her.

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