(2019-01-26) Damn Fine Coffee
Saturday morning is a popular time to go get coffee.

This morning finds the local coffee joint blessedly quiet, and free from the university crowd that normally occupies it during the week. A smattering of people linger with hot drinks and pastries, and the barista on duty is mopping behind the counter during a lull in customers. One such lingerer is a relatively common fixture around here; tall, dark-haired gentleman with dark, scruffy hair sprawled bonelessly in a chair at a small window table. Laptop in front of him, notepad beside it, and a textbook in his hands that he's currently paging through while sipping his coffee.

Sam doesn't really do days of the week. So it's always a bit surprising when he arrives at a place that's usually busy and then it isn't. Then math has to happen. And that's not his strength. He pushes through the front door of the coffee shop wrapped in his usually array of cold weather gear, slowly pulling off his toque, scarf and unzipping his jacket while he approaches the front counter. He's here nearly every day and he only ever orders black coffee, so the mug is ready for him by the time he's digging out his wallet to pay for it. With the coffee secured he turns and walks into the seating area, spotting Sevin there working. No one is likely watching his expression dip into a tight frown before he pushes it into something more of his usual smile. "Good morning, Sevin." He says pleasantly, approaching the professor without much worry about interrupting him.

Vyv, by contrast, is not usually here. May never have been here, in fact, and the glance around when he strolls in suggests he's still reserving judgement on whether changing that fact is one of his better choices or not. It apparently passes muster well enough that he doesn't turn right back around and leave, at least, instead pulling off his leather gloves as he heads toward the counter, and tucking them into the pockets of his long camel coat. That gets unbuttoned, the cashmere scarf loosened as he eyes the menu, and then the pastries. Those get a distinctly dubious look, though he does deign to try one of the cinnamon rolls along with the coffee he orders. Also black. He pays, and waits at the designated 'waiting' spot for it, turning to study the few customers currently in the room. They at least don't get quite so dubious a look as the pastries did.

No one, and least of all Sevin himself, who looks utterly absorbed in his work. He seems to find whatever he was looking for in the reference text, and begins typing one-handed. Hunt and peck, which takes roughly eight million years to get out a complete sentence. He doesn't look up until he's finished, and finds a familiar face looking back at him. Polite smile, which is reciprocated with a shade more restraint from the swarthy foreigner. "Morning." A beat, and a glance to the well-dressed man at the counter eyeing the cinnamon rolls. Then back to Sam. It almost seems for a moment like he might resume his work without another word, but then he thinks to offer quietly, "Like to join me?" Tap of the opposite chair with his boot, to nudge it out a fraction.

"You're likely busy." Sam says, dark eyes drifting over all the evidence that Sevin clearly is busy. Or at least pretending to be. "But, I won't linger too long. I really just needed something to pick me up." Is that the coffee or the spirited conversation with Sevin he refers to? Sam rolls his coat off his shoulders and hangs it on the back of the chair opposite the man. He's wearing a simple v-neck sweater with a white t-shirt beneath it, belt and close fitting jeans. He sets down his coffee and settles down into that chair, giving his hair a few brushes with his fingers to try to repair the damage the toque did. He also follows Sevin's eyes to see Vyv walk into the shop, trying to place whether it's a face he has seen before. He has seen most people who come here.

The thing about waiting for one's number to be called is that it gives a person time to think, and in a moment of possible madness, Vyv adds one of the croissants to his order. It at least doesn't add much time to the wait, and he, his mug, and his plate of dual pastries make their way to one of the tables. A small one, with a nice window view — which makes it, in fact, the one next to the other pair of men. He acknowledges them with a slight inclination of the head and a quiet, British-accented, "Good morning," before he settles in. The coat's peeled off, to sit on its own chair with his scarf, and he lifts the coffee, breathing in the scent before taking a tentative sip. A slight wince; too hot still.

"I am." Busy, Sevin means. And has no qualms about plainly saying so. Those lecture notes aren't going to write themselves. "But I could use a break." His thumb scratch-scratches at his beard thoughtfully, and then he scribbles a few things down on the notepad and closes up the book he'd been referencing. His notes are clearly written in a foreign language; arabic, if Sam is at all familiar with the sloping, right-to-left abjads that comprise it. The textbook's title is 'Canonical quantisation and harmonic oscillator displacements in vacuum states'. Nerd city, in other words.
His pale gaze trails Vyv contemplatively on his way by; slight nod at the greeting, but he seems not the most engaging sort, and doesn't offer a reply. To Sam: "How was the taping? Kate seemed to think it went well." He's polite enough at least to close his laptop and slide it into the bag at his feet, to free up some room at the table.

"Good morning." Sam offers brightly to the stranger who is settling into the seat nearby. He seems to be more the type to talk to anyone who would sit still enough to listen for a time. He also takes those brief moment to look at Vyv a bit more closely, but doesn't say anything else. Of course, he doesn't keep his voice down when he replies to Sevin, either. "I thought it went really well. I don't know how it will actually show when it's on television, but I think the chemistry was good. I was afraid that three people sitting in front of cameras trying to talk about sex would turn into a lot of awkward silences, but it really didn't. Hopefully it will be just as dynamic when we add in different guests." He leans back in his seat and takes up his own steaming coffee, carefully sipping at it while he watches Sevin across the table. "I'm glad Kate was happy with it. She has been very excited about making it happen. It's satisfying when so much work finally bears fruit."

Vyv may not be the most engaging sort himself; he doesn't seem to particularly care about the lack of or have expected anything more than the slight nod, and Sam's reply just gets the ghost of a smile, just at one side of his mouth. The coffee's set down to cool, and he takes a moment to eye up the cinnamon roll and croissant on his plate before getting slightly distracted by the conversation at the next table. And that, it seems, is enough to get him to further engage. "Oh, you're doing Katherine's show, are you? The Naked one?" he asks across the pair of tables, looking toward Sam specifically. There's an assessing sort of look, which probably doesn't have anything directly to do with Nakedness, but who knows.

Sevin looks a little bemused about something Sam says. Or perhaps all of it. He eases back in his chair and sips his own lukewarm coffee while he observes the younger man opposite; and one benefit of a not terribly talkative conversational partner, is that he makes a fairly good listener. "It does seem to be her baby. I'm glad it's working out well." The professor, too, has his coat off and draped across the back of his chair. Crisp white shirt turned up to the elbows, top button or two undone. Dark pants and heeled boots. Casual yet not. "When do you find out whether it'll be picked up for more installments?" He stumbles on that last word, like it took him a minute to find the English for it. And turns to glance over his shoulder at Vyv, when the Brit interjects. Another, more lengthy study of the man, though nothing offered beyond a tiny twitch of his lips that barely approximates a smile.

The door to the coffee shop opens and, despite it being her day off (as if she really has those), Vyv's personal assistant blows in with the wind. Cassidy Carr is wrapped up in a pale blue wool trench which gets removed quickly to shake any snowflakes off it. Beneath it is revealed a long-sleeved, white linen blouse beneath a grey tweed sleeveless sheath dress with subtle pink and blue embroidered details at the neckline, hem, and pockets. It's worn with translucent white tights and silver strappy heels. In winter. Because fashion is important. She manages to just hear her boss talk about being naked, and blinks over at Vyv.

"It takes a lot for any raw idea to eventually become something substantial - that you can actually see or hear or touch." Sam continues, perhaps not satisfied with the vaguely bemused expression from Sevin. Or he simply likes to talk. The professor may be saved from too much more by Vyv's interjection, Sam's dark eyes swinging over the man to consider him a little bit more carefully. Then he smiles. "Yes. Naked Voices." Perhaps the emphasis to make sure all in hailing distance know that the bodies are well covered. "The first episode was filmed just this week. And hopefully we'll get to do more - " He looks to Sevin then, giving a small shake of his head - "Though I don't know when exactly that call is to be made." Sam's attention is captured by someone else coming into the shop, watching Cassidy for a couple heartbeats before fixing his attention back to Vyv. "You're a friend of Kate's?"

Fashion is important. Vyv glances up at the sound of the door opening as if he's expecting someone, and indeed, there she is! His gaze flicks from her hair down to the heels, and she gains a subtle nod of approval, then a slightly less faint smile than the previous one. It may also contain a hint of amusement at Sam's emphatic specification of the second word in the title, but surely he wouldn't have elided that portion on purpose. "Yes, I suppose I am," he answers, "I stay at the B-and-B." A tiny pause. "Mostly. She's asked me to be one of the guests. It seems likely to be fun." He picks the coffee back up to give sipping another go, and this time it works. "Vyvyan Vydal," he adds, as an afterthought, "Vyv, generally. Hello. And good morning, Cassidy." That, of course, to the young woman.

When Sam clarifies, Cassidy lets out a breath, and she smiles her usual professional smile for her boss. "Good morning, sir," she greets, gesturing to a chair at his table, "I didn't expect to run into you today, may I join you after I get myself some coffee?" She looks amused that he's actually eating the shop's pastries. "As a service, of course. So there is someone there for you to express your intense disappointment to over that cinnamon roll's terrible failings." That smile quirks to something a bit more wry. His assistant just gets him.

"Vyvyan Vydal. Vyv. Vydal. That's an impressive handle. Nice to meet you, Vyv. Kate did mention your name for one of the coming shows. I didn't know it, but now I do." Sam inclines his head toward Vyv. "Sam Ryce. I"m actually staying at the B&B as well. Mostly. I'm a little surprised we haven't tripped over each other before today." He extends his smile toward Cassidy - "And good morning. Did the cinnamon roll offend someone?" He wonders at her comments to Vyv.

She does. "If they're bad enough I might have had to call you anyway," Vyv replies to Cassidy, as if that would be a completely reasonable and rational reaction, "So please do." A vague gesture toward the seats not currently occupied by either himself or his coat, and he inclines his head to Sam in return. "Ah, yes, she mentioned you also," he says, "…and so am I, though I've been quite busy lately. Haven't been spending quite so much time there outside of sleep for a bit." 'Mostly' presumably aside, unless that's what he meant. "But at least that omission's being rectified now. And no, thus far it's merely mildly disgruntled me, but I haven't actually tasted it yet and the morning is still young." And then there's the croissant there too, to which he doesn't even refer.

Sevin looks a touch more intrigued when Vyv mentions the B&B, and shifts slightly in his chair so that he's half-facing the man. Sip of coffee, appraising glint in his eyes as he considers him carefully. And then when introductions are made, "Sevin Khan." He offers a large hand across, and looks like he's trying to think where he's heard the name 'Vydal' before.

Cassidy nods to Sam in greeting and lets Vyv do the answering about the crimes of the mass produced cinnamon roll, as she sets her coat on a chair and makes her way to the counter to order something hot and likely ridiculously sweet. Working for a sweets maker has made her crave all things sugary. And made her get a damned gym membership. She didn't even mention the croissant. Why a Patissier would even pick up such a thing from somewhere not in France is a mystery!

The next person through the door is a tall woman, a tall woman in platform stiletto boots. August Lexington steps into the coffee shop bundled up, for once, in a fluffy coat. Actually it kind of looks like she skinned a yeti for the dark faux fur lining her black coat, which is on but not zipped. She wears grey sunglasses with mirrorshades, black sweater, and black skinny jeans. She breezes in without so much as a look around and heads straight for the counter, where they keep all the things. Dear god caffeine.

Sam is sitting at the same table as Sevin and Vyv and Cassidy at at another, but within easy distance of each other. "Well, as I was saying to Sevin, the show was a lot of fun. After the first couple minutes of nerves it was flowing really easily and then it was over. I just hope the final product is actually interesting on TV. It will be fun to see how it feels with different guests." He nods toward Vyv at the comment about the guests and then his smile dances in his eyes when he looks over toward Sevin. "How is it that Kate hasn't asked you to be on the show yet, Sevin?" He's quite focused on the professor, so doesn't turn to see August arrive.

Why would Vyv pick up the croissant? Masochism, possibly. Or maybe he's just enjoying life too much today and something must be done. Either way, it's still getting snubbed for now. Sevin, on the other hand, does not. Vyv reaches over to accept the hand, giving it a wholly unobjectionable shake, and remarks, "Ah, the beau. Pleased to make your acquaintance as well." The appraising look is returned before he adds lightly, "She seemed quite pleased." A sip of the coffee, but maybe he really is waiting for Cassidy before he plunges into the horrors of coffee shop pastry. The opening of the door gets a flicker of a glance, one that extends a moment as he considers the new arrival. Or at the least, her earmuffs and sunglasses, since that's where the look ends up.

Sevin drags his gaze back to Sam once he's released Vyv's hand, and there's a little arch of one brow when he mentions Kate asking him to be on the show. A pause as if to make sure he heard that right, and then a bark of laughter. "Not a fucking chance," he replies, though does look genuinely amused by this notion. Him? On television? The arrival of a tall, grey-haired woman covered in ink draws his attention then, and holds it for a number of seconds. A breath, and he returns to his coffee, and idle contemplation of the patisserie..er, now that he's identified the professor as 'the beau'. "I'm sorry, what?" Maybe he's not familiar with the word. English is clearly not his first language. Or maybe even his second or third.

Cassidy, like Sevin, would no way in hell appear on Katherine's show. Not that she wouldn't love to, but Witsec gets really cranky about putting your face on TV when you're in their protection. She returns to Vyv's table and settles in with her whipped cream topped ridiculous coffee confection. She gives Sevin and same that courteous smile of hers before looking back to her boss. "We're actually making some progress on the shop," she notes to him. Clearly her threats to the contractors are working.

August leans against the counter, her inked hands turned backward so her fingers curl over the edge of it, tattoos flexing briefly. She orders quietly, to-go, a tall vanilla chai, double strong, no water, extra foam, and a toasted croissant, plain. "For the love of god, hurry." She drops a 50 on the counter and stares at the barista behind it. There are some quiet words exchanged, then Aug gripes: "No, that is not blood. Just take my money. Thank you." She leans heavily on the counter for a moment, her booted feet crossed at the ankles. After a long moment, she turns her head at a couple of familiar voices, though she's slow about it. Maybe it's the earmuffs.

The reaction that Sam gets from Sevin makes the younger man laugh in return - he wasn't sure what he was expecting, but it maybe wasn't that? "That's too bad." Still laughing. "That doesn't mean I'm not going to try. Maybe we'll wear down your resolve after awhile." Sam leans back in his seat, sitting across from Sevin. Vyv and Cassidy are seated at the next table and August has just arrived. And Sam just noticed that. "Good morning, August." He calls with a wave, perhaps a bit louder than the coffee-less woman might care for. "Join us?"

"Mm?" Vyv asks, attention drawn back to Sevin at the question. "The beau," he repeats, one corner of his mouth twitching upward, "Katherine's 'the man that I'm seeing'." It's not the worst Katherine impression; he doesn't even try to do her timbre or accent, but something about the rhythm and feeling of it is about right. He sips the coffee again, glancing at the concoction Cassidy's chosen and giving her a slight arch of one brow. Might be teasing. Might not. Her words, though, get a quite definite, "Good." Is he really letting her threaten the contractors? That's the most fun part! "Have they got the old renovations and original blueprints reconciled, finally?"

Cassidy looks over at August at the counter and her expression goes wistful for a moment. If her life hadn't taken such a detour, she'd be dressed like that probably. She was into gothy rebellious stuff back then. Instead, she's been groomed into this. She looks over at Vyv and is about to say something when she gets a text. She glances down at it and frowns. "Yes, they reconciled them. I'm sorry, I need to go. A friend needs me, but I'll send you the updated work schedule for the shop as soon as I get home." A friend, right. She has no friends. It's no doubt her handler wanting her to check in or something stupid. She puts on her coat, gathers up her drink, and gives everyone nearby a perfunctory nod of her head. "Pleasure meeting you. Have a good day." She hustles her way back out into the cold.

Layla makes her way through the door, her cellphone tucked against her ear, and her free hand already unbuttoning the front of her coat as she begins to move towards the counter on autopilot. "Of course." She isn't speaking very loudly, but she's not doing much to keep the conversation as quiet as she can, "They will be there by…" She pauses, lifting her hand to check her watch, "By nine, of course. No, I assure you that they will not be late." A moment later she offers a good bye to whoever was on the phone, turning it off before she slides the phone into her pocket to wait for her turn ordering coffee.

Not fucking likely, says the look Sevin gives Sam when he makes that determination. Not that he doesn't continue to look mildly amused and a little bit thoughtful about something, coffee cup hovered at his lips, pale gaze flicking back to Vyv when the man elucidates. "I see," is all he says, and whatever he's thinking is buried behind unflinching austerity. A brief check of his watch, and the textbook and notepad are slid into the bag with his laptop, head down as he straps it all in there. "I've got to get going," he tells Sam. "It was nice to see you again." Something about the way he says that; sharp edges and mechanical warmth. Like he's learned enough of the game to be polite, but little more.

"Mornin', Sam." August says, just loud enough to be heard across the way. Her mirror-shaded gaze pass over Sam, then Sevin, then jumps to Cassidy and Vyv as she turns her head a bit more. She watches Cassidy rise and flee, tugging her sunglasses down with one finger to watch the little blonde, very specifically her ass. "Good morning." That's all she says, then a little smile quirks her lips and she's turning from the counter stuffing a wad of cash change into her jacket pocket without counting. "Remember last time," is her parting shot to the barista. That means table delivery earns a tip. Rude bullshit earns a visit from Jasper, the hulking tattooer from the shop who is way more rude than August. She makes her way over to join Sevin and Sam, sliding into a chair at their table. "Howdy, co-host." Up close, Aug seems a little wan, but that could be a departure from dark lipstick today. She's very nearly natural on the lips, and her shades hide her eyes. "Khan," is spoken with a throaty little intonation. Thus greeted, she slides her hands into the pockets of her coat, crosses her legs, and sits back in her chair.

"Well, who am I going to complain to, then?" Vyv complains to Cassidy as she takes her leave, "This is not up to your usual standard of assistance, Ms. Carr." Never mind that she technically has a day off today. Or maybe that's why it's followed by a small, grudging 'oh, go on then' wave of one hand. Watching her leave means he also sees Layla enter, and if anyone wondered whether the appraising looks were flukes, evidence suggests otherwise. He gives a vaguely put-upon sigh, eyeing that cinnamon roll and croissant again, and sets down his coffee, finally breaking a bit off the roll and examining it rather than just popping it into his mouth like a normal person. Sevin gets a small inclination of the head in farewell, but it's distracted.

"Always a pleasure." Sam replies to Sevin when the other man starts to gather up his things to leave. He's excellent at painting on smiles, but it's not really hard to see when they don't reach his eyes. "Thank you for the company." He adds to the professor, the smile stretching a bit higher at Vyv's approximation of Kate's tone and cadence. "That's pretty spot on." He says to the other man, pausing while August comes and settles down at the table. "Hope you're doing well, August. I was just meeting Vyv here for the first time. Future guest number two."
Last, but indeed not least, he catches sight of Layla coming into the shop. Sam's eyes linger in that direction while she's getting her coffee, looking - well, happy.

There is money exchanged for the coffee she's ordered, then Layla waits for her coffee to be ready before she gathers it and begins to make her way towards the table where everyone seems to be gathered. Sam gets a smile as she makes her way over, "I was hoping that you might be here." But in an effort to not be rude to the others at the table she offers them a smile as well, "Hello, I hope that I'm not interrupting anything?" There is an actual question there, and the obvious open-ended part of it says that if she is, she'll be more than happy to remove herself until she won't be.

It seems to be a watch Sevin gather his stuff fest, because August is doing it too. And then Sam speaks up about Vydal. "Ah, the elusive Vyv beast," Auggie murmurs to Sam, though it's certainly loud enough to be overheard at the nearby table. "I've heard a lot about you, chef, presuming there aren't two Vyvs in this tiny burg, and you are, in fact, monsieur patissier." Look out, spot on French pronunciation. She turns to look at Sam. "Hanging in there, sweetheart, thanks for asking. And you? Been sleeping well?" Innocent questions, all. She follows Sam's gaze to Layla, smiling slightly without comment. "Please sit," is offered to Layla. Aug and Sam are at the table with Sevin, who appears to be math professorially departing with all his academic crap.

Sevin's timing is impeccable. August is just settling in as he announces his departure, and it's almost like he'd planned it that way. His coat is shrugged on with a roll of his shoulders, and a pack of clove cigarettes is already halfway out of his pocket by the time he pulls to his feet. "Bialtabe bikuli takid. Raja," is aimed Layla's way. Laptop bag slung across his shoulder, he's sure to collect what remains of his coffee as well. "See you later," seems intended for both occupants of his table as he ambles off, tapping out a smoke and bringing it to his lips. The bell above the door jingles as he shoves it open with his shoulder and makes his way out into the interminable cold.

"We're all just enjoying each other's company." Sam says to Layla, gesturing toward a nearby chair that he hopes she'll decide to take. "Seems like everyone just needed coffee about the same time. I need it almost all the time." And then his expression is one of amusement at August's Nature Documentary consideration of Vyv at the next table. He's even about to comment on it all - but that's before August makes quip about sleeping well. His hand on his way to his coffee stills and he looks carefully toward August. "I've managed. To sleep, I mean. Why do you ask?" He says as casually as he can muster.

Vyv is at his own table, next to theirs. The sound of his name is enough to pull his attention back from the cinnamon roll, which would probably be grateful for it if it were sapient, given that the look it was getting could give a capybara a run for its judgemental money. The one August gets is something closer to mildly amused. "Oui, c'est moi," he replies, and apparently the accent doesn't carry over into French. It just sounds… French. "Though I promise I'm not feeling particularly beastly today." Threatening cinnamon rolls' self-esteem is just a cheerful morning task, presumably. "You're August, are you? I've heard tell of you, also. Legends in the mist."

There is a smile offered to Sevin as he makes his exit, then Layla sets her coffee down on the table before she begins to unbutton her coat. She settles it on the back of her chair before she sits down, her legs crossing before her attention swings towards Vyv. The coffee is reached for as she studies the man for a little while before she turns her attention towards Sam and August when the discussion of how he sleeps is brought up. She takes a careful sip from her coffee, waiting for the proper moment it seems to interject her own introduction to the conversation, "Layla Mostafa." Slightly inelegant as far as those things go.

It seems that August is watching Sevin do the mathy flee, but it's hard to tell where her eyes are directed behind those shiny lenses she wears. "Hm." She reaches up to brush a lock of grey hair back behind her ear, tucking it softly there. Though her ears are pierced several times, she's not wearing any earrings today. "Mm, yes, that's me. August Lexington. How ever did you guess?" Handily, this serves as an introduction for Layla too. She mms and then turns her head slightly, which would suggest she's looking at Sam. "A good sleep is incredibly important, Sam. We're on television now. We need our beauty rest." She touches Sam's shoulder, gives him a pat, then her hands return to her jacket pockets. "You okay? You seem a little tense." Just then, the barista delivers a white bakery bag and Auggie's to-go cup of vanilla chai. She smiles and hands over a folded cash tip. "Thank you, bella." The bag crinkles as it's placed on the table. "Layla, my pleasure. I've heard your name as well." Small towns.

"Like all good patissiers, I solve mysteries in my spare time," Vyv replies to August, "…and Sam there calling 'good morning, August' and getting a response may have been a subtle clue." His brows go up slightly at Layla's introduction. "Ah, hello. Vyvyan Vydal. Vyv. I believe you've been in contact with my assistant." A small inclination of his head to her, and he takes another drink of his now rapidly cooling coffee, sighs like a child told that he can't have dessert until he eats at least half of those peas, and pops the ripped off bit of cinnamon roll into his mouth, chewing it with apparent consideration.

"I'm sorry." Sam says, turning his focus back to Layla when she introduces herself, shaking his head. He's usually a bit better with social niceties. "August is working on the late show with Kate and I, and is generally a lovely person otherwise. And Vyv - " Well, the man just well introduced himself - "I just met him myself. He's coming on the show in a couple week too." Sam adds helpfully. Though this all he's still a bit more distracted than usual, until he finally reaches down to his ever present backpack and unzips it, carefully pulling out an item and setting it on the table just a few inches from August. It's a stuff animal head. Specifically from a horse. It looks like it has been cut neatly from the rest of the animal using a pair of scissors. It seems like a really weird thing to whip out in the middle of a coffee shop. "I have been a little wound up the last day or so. You won't believe where I found this."

"It is a pleasure to finally put a name to a face, Mister Vydal." Layla offers, a smile spreading across her face, "I've somewhat been in contact with your asisstant, afraid that it has been one of those timing issues." She shakes her head, looking actually apologetic about the timing of things, then she reaches into her pocket to pull out a single business card, reaching over to offer it to Vyv, "I'd very much like to sit down soon and speak with you, personally." She is doing her very best to not look at that severed stuffed horse head on the table, but there is a distinctly obvious glance there and away before she focuses on Vyv and lets Sam and August speak of other things.

"I wish I could say I was hung over, but it's not true," August murmurs. She does seem a little slower today than usual. "I can see why everyone has a crush on you, sweetheart." That sweeheart is for Vyvyan, but it could be repurposed if someone else needs it more, the stresses of the day being what they are and all. "Aw, thanks, Sam." Aug doesn't get called lovely often, so that's sweet. She ignores the white bakery bag in front of her, as her specially toasted croissant no doubt cools and slowly resumes its chewiness. She lifts her to-co cup and takes a sip. She glances down at Sam's backpack just as she's taking a second sip of her extremely steamy vanilla chai. And she snorks it, just a little. Aug coughs and puts her cup down, thankfully without sloshing it, then reaches up to cover her mouth with her hand, wiping a dribble of chai from her chin as she goes. Cough, cough. "Wow, Sam, you shouldn't whip stuff out like that in public." Her lips twitch. "What else you got down there?"

August and Sam and Layla are at a small table by the window, and Vyv's at the small table by the window next to it, accompanied by his coat and scarf, some coffee, and a plate that contains a croissant and a cinnamon roll. The latter's had a small bit torn off and just now eaten, and his nose wrinkles, followed by a small shake of the head. It at least reads as disapproval rather than disgust, so that's… something? He's willing enough to focus on the other table instead, reaching to accept the card. He glances briefly at the card, nodding to Layla afterward. "Mn. That can probably be arranged," he decides, tucking it away before he glances to the rest of that table again. "In your plush stuffed bed?" he suggests to Sam, and to August, "…I think you may overestimate the general world's taste level."

There is laughter that follows the entrance of Claire and Warren into the coffee shop, the latter of the pair bundled up from the cold in a beanie and a wool coat. It's clear they've been shopping, considering he's currently weighed down with bags, but he holds the door open for Claire anyway. The joke is left outside, though, so none of you fools get to figure out why they are laughing, but dammit. Something funny happened. Warren takes stock of the room before he spots the table by the window, and the horse head, his brows lifting as he heads that-a-way. He's got the bags, Claire can handle the coffee. "Did someone give somebody an offer they can't refuse?"

Claire can totally handle the coffee. She has to get over the giggles first, and spends the walk from the door to the counter taking care of that, and peeling off the various bits of gear it takes to walk around outside in January in Colorado, stuffing things into her pockets. Although there's a little finger-wiggle wave at the duo of tables full of people she knows - and a couple of smiles around at people she only sorta-knows - she must've missed the decapitated stuffy, 'cause there's no reaction. Instead, she spends the rest of this pose getting coffee and will join the table in the next one. Surely with some brilliant opening line.

"Yes. It was in my bed. Even worse, I actually slept with it for a night. I was so exhausted after the filming the other day I went back to the cozy B&B, had some dinner and passed out without even noticing a decapitated stuffed animal snuggled in my sheets." Sam explains this all in a matter of fact fashion. He doesn't look like he's entirely amused at the entire situation. He does push a smile to his lips when Warren approaches weight down with bag. "Hey Warren." Then he reaches out to poke idly at the horse head, gaze settling on August for a minute. He's trying read her and he can't do it. Is she so fucking guilty, or is dragging a horse head out of his bag just the kind of thing she finds funny anytime? It could really go either way.

"Only the tastes of a very few matter to me, Vyvyan," August returns with a soft smile. He can't see her eyes, but she is indeed looking at him. She reaches up to swipe at her chin one last time in case she missed any dribbles of chai, but she seems fine. She does wipe off a good deal of her pale pink lipstick, and leans over to pull a napkin from the holder on the table. She takes a moment to perform lipstick triage. "Wow." She reaches over to pick up the horse head. "That's a really neat hack job, though." She inspects the 'neck wound', pulling off a tuft of stuffing. "Kind of cute, though." She turns the horsie head over in her hands. She looks at it for a long moment. "Don't they have a bin of these at the Food4Less? That's so random." She glances over at Sam, turning her head enough that it's obvious she's doing so. "What did you do to deserve a little head?" And, yes, she does lift a hand to finger-waggle a greeting to Claire and Warren.

"Warren." Layla greets the man when he comes over, but she mostly seems to allow the discussion of the horses head to dominate the situation, a hand raising to wave back towards Claire as well. She leans back in her seat, her attention turning towards August, "It's very distressing to hear that someone has access to someone elses room at a place of business. It is those kinds of things that can cause people to get bad reviews, and lose their customers. I certainly hope that Ms. Stone manages to find the individual that did it and prevent another guests room from being violated….a person's privacy should be paramount in that kind of business. I know that I've begun second guessing sending my clients there until the matter is dealt with."

"I'm sure most of us have slept with worse," Vyv says, washing subpar-pastry-taste out of his mouth with a swallow of more-or-less-par coffee. The quirk of lips is just about enough to suggest he's somewhat amused by the prank, at least. Despite being a fellow guest. "Did you refuse to give someone a part? Plush Mario, perhaps?" The second pastry gets a glance, but he's not ready to suffer quite that much yet. Claire and Warren get a glance too when they're clearly interested in the other table as well — the one to Warren lingers a moment, with that vague 'did I see him somewhere before?' sense to it. Hearing the name doesn't seem to ring a bell, though, and he just gives the guy a small head-inclination of greeting for now.

"Hey everyone," is Warren's polite reply, though he's still stuck on the horse head. His nose wrinkles as August pulls some of the cottony guts from it, brows lofting as he looks back to Sam. "Someone got into your room and put a stuffed animal head in your bed? At the B&B? What the.." he stalls out, mostly because Layla pretty succiently describes his own thoughts, but with less cussing and fussing. He opts to relieve himself of his burdensome load on the table close by, pulling out a seat for Claire before he dumps himself into another. There may be more to say, but he feels eyes on him, and sweeps his attention to the culprit: Vyv. "Hey," he inclines his head with a small smile, though it takes a second for the recognition to click. "Warren Starr. I think I saw you with Mister Malone, at the charity rodeo last month? Or maybe it was another sharp-dressed man who looks just like you."

Claire and coffee make it back to the table, a boring one for Warren and an AWESOME one with whipped cream and sprinkles for Claire. She's handing over the boring one, and looking at Vyv while Warren's introducing himself to the man. When there's an appropriate break in the dialogue, she asks with a head-tip, "Did you give me a pear pastry once, and then I never saw you again?" Her confused blinkety-blink carries over nicely into what's going on at the more populated table, as she sits down among all the shopping and stuff and looks at the horsehead stuffy. Then at Sam, then at Layla while she's speaking, and stays quiet and drinks some coffee, obviously weirded out.

Sam manages to keep a severe expression on his face through August's comment - even if it was funny - but he doesn't do so well with Vyv's, lips tugging into a grin and he shakes his head. He reaches out and grabs the horse head and stuffs it back into his backpack where it seems to live now. Ready to come out to amuse everyone. He draws in a slow breath and reaches for his coffee, turning to listen at Layla's words and nodding when she's finished. "It's worrying. I can appreciate a joke - but I don't know if it even is a joke. And I don't know who had access to my room. I'm trying to keep it all in perspective, but … " It's gone now. The horse. And he seems content to let the conversation fade from it. "I'm going to talk to Kate and get to the bottom of things." He adds, in case anywhere is very excited to hear about what the next steps in this little Scooby Doo adventure will be. Now, new topics, new people. He sips at his coffee, leaning shifting so that he's a bit closer to Layla when others join the table and more room is needed. "Hi Claire." He adds.

August pulls a tube of lipstick out of her pocket, her cell phone out of the other, and turns her camera to selfie mode with a tap of a claw-tipped thumb. She applies a quick, but precise swipe to each half of her upper lip, then the bottom, then a little bitty touch-up before she presses her lips together once and stows everything. Except the phone. With the phone, she snaps a pic of Sam's horsie head. She glances up as Layla weighs in. "Violated? Really. Seems a little dramatic." She mms, then, "I'm sure the B&B will weather the plushie storm." Smirk. "It's been booked solid for as long as I've been tiptoeing to the Garage Suite in the dead of night." She seems amused by that. August seems amused by most things. "If Yelp can't handle a stuffing, I don't know what our world is coming to." She chuckles and says to Vyv, "I've definitely slept with worse. Mmm. Still do." And enjoys it by the tone there. Still, she reaches over to touch Sam's shoulder again, this time the pressure of her fingers is warm, and lingers.

"Hello again, Claire." Layla greets when the cheerful one is closer, offering her a smile before she glances back at August, "I believe you are missing the point." She shakes her head faintly, "Someone, not the guest and I would assume not the proprieter, had access to a guest room long enough to place something in it. That means they are there long enough to remove something, or to rifle through the belongings of the guest. That is a violation of trust and privacy. Joke, well meaning or badly received or not, the point is that someone that should not have been there…was." She leans just a little forward, one hand reaching for her coffee, "You would feel that this was perfectly acceptable if someone came into your home and moved around all of your things? Someone that should not have been there, and into a space you felt was supposed to be safe from intrusions? I find that difficult to believe."
Then she shrugs her shoulders, "But perhaps this is simply how business is conducted here. I do not know." She lifts her coffee, bringing it to her mouth for a careful sip from it before she tucks a finger through the handle, holding it in her lap, turning her gaze towards Vyv, assessing the man for a moment before she simply falls silent. Evidently the minority in this opinion.

Vyv does something that nearly qualifies as a snap-and-point toward Warren; there's no pressure in the movement of the fingers so there's no actual sound, just the little movement of the hand. "Ah, yes, that's right. You rode a horse." Claire gets a closer look at her question, and that little half-smile returns. "Yes, I believe I did. Certainly sounds like the sort of thing I might do. Vyvyan Vydal," the last to both of them, "Vyv, usually. Hello again."
He settles back with what remains of his coffee. "If the room was locked, then presumably whoever was in there was someone who held a key. There aren't likely that many options. Given the proprietor and the guest in question," he inclines his head toward Sam, "are friends, perhaps it was her. She and Charlotte both enter my room regularly, to clean things or leave or remove food trays and the like. I'd prefer random people off the street didn't attempt the same, obviously. We know that someone who had access left the toy. We don't know that someone had access who ought not have. Presumably that's what you're aiming to continue investigating, isn't it?"

Warren turns his head up as Claire makes her approach, flashing her a bold smile. "Thanks," he says for the coffee, though there is a look towards her own, a slow chuckle escaping him. "That's not coffee, yanno. That's drinkable dessert," which explains why he reaches out with his finger to quick-swipe through the puff of whipped cream that tops her coffee and pop it into his mouth. "Vyvyan Vydal, now there's a name I've never heard before," he grins back to Vyv. The conversation of horse heads and breaking and entering is listened to, but he's made his comment. "Whaddya do for a living, Mister Vydal? You livin' up at the bed and breakfast, too?" he lifts a brow, curious.

"That's exactly what I'm looking to find out, yes." Sam says to Vyv's assessment, which aligns with Layla's words pretty well and they've all captured his feelings about the situation quite succinctly. "Waking up beside a horse head was enough to freak me out. Claire can attest to that. But, after the initial shock it has been more about how did it get in there. I'd have suspected Kate more, but it just doesn't seem like her style?" He gives a quiet sigh but has visibly relaxed a little in the last few seconds. He smiles toward August at the contact at his shoulder, not denying it in any way, and then toward Layla, the expression attempting to be reassuring. Perhaps he regrets bringing it up in this conversation at all.

In a momentary aside, Claire tells Sam, "I'm glad you're not swimming with the fishes. I was worried. About - " All the things Layla just said. But she lets it go. "Though I'm a little disappointed?" She knuckles her (beard-free) chin, raising a questioning brow at him, the look sliding across Layla as if accusingly for a second. But it melts into an easy smile and she answers, "Hi, Layla! And hi, August!" After the finger-swipe, with a quick-swat at Warren's hand, she turns her body protectively around her cup, sniffing as if offended that he called her beverage of choice names. So she just ignores him and tells Vyv, "Hello, Mister Vydal. I'm Claire Reed, and your pastry left an impression. I'm happy to see you again." And wants to know the answer to Warren's question, so STFUs to let him answer.

August smiles, but doesn't reply to most of Layla's lecture on the point of a stuffed animal in the B&B. "Interesting take." She picks up her chai and takes a sip, now that it's cooled and there's little danger of a repeat performance of the dribble. "I often leave my door unlocked, and now that Malone's house has closed, he's not always there to bitch about it." There's a tip of her cup, a little waggle, "I would be mildly annoyed if someone walked out with my Louboutins, but cupcakes are always welcome." She mms behind her cup, "That said, most of the people who hang out in mine are cranky and/or armed, so unannounced entry is exceptionally unwise." She lifts one inked hand in a lazy gesture. "The bed and breakfast is a community hub, first and foremost a family. Everyone who stays is welcomed, and cared for. We watch out for our own." She gives Sam's shoulder a squeeze, then relinquishes the contact. "I'll see you at dinner or breakfast or on the set, whatever comes first." Her gaze sweeps Vyv, then Layla, then Claire, who gets a slightly wider smile, and Warren, also treated to that smile. "You two, I'll text you. I have a thing to ask." She gathers herself. "Pardon me, lovies, I have to go skin to the wind for a medical professional before a hot Italian drags me." On that note, August rises with her deli bag and her cup, offers up a long sigh. She glances out the window where it just looks cold as heck. "There's not enough vodka in the world." And then her heels telegraph her departure, and sharp stilettos clacking to the door.

"Highly unprofessional if so." Layla points out, her tone almost sounding disappointed by that, shaking her head. When August points out that the B&B is a community hub, and family there is a frown that appears before she murmurs softly, "You look out for people by allowing their privacy to be violated?" She shakes her head, setting her coffee down on the table. Then she reaches for her pocket, pulling out her phone deal with something before she sets it down next to her coffee, glancing at Sam and offering him a smile, "I've at least got good news, the inspection has passed, and they will be finishing things up over the course of the next week."

"Thank you, Claire. I … think." Sam replies with a somewhat bemused smile toward Claire's comments. It has been a busy morning and he hasn't even gotten that entire cup of coffee into him. That's likely the real crux of the problem. If someone broke into his room and left coffee - well, this might be a different conversation entirely. He seems quite pleased at Layla's news, however, the smile blossoming into something brighter. "I'm happy to hear that. I'm really looking forward to getting settled down into the place and - well, just having the space and the routine. I'm ready to have that in my life again." He sips his coffee, before continuing to anyone who is listening. "I really do enjoy it at the B&B. Despite this - " He gestures toward his backpack. "I'm glad I went there. And I plan to still spend plenty of time up the hill. It has been a fun month. But, totally ready for the apartment."

"Good," Vyv replies to Claire, with a small satisfied-looking smile. "I'm a patissier. And given the general competition," he gestures vaguely to his plate, "I think I ought to be rather embarrassed if it hadn't. And, yes, I've been there nearly since I got to town. Though it was meant to be a rather shorter stay. There's been some delays with renovation at the shop. Things aren't quite to inspection-passing level on the flat, yet." Which is annoying, but not half so annoying as glancing at the plate again. August gets a small head-inclination of farewell, and what might be the breath of a laugh at her complaint. "There is not," he agrees in a murmur, but it's the croissant he's looking at, and he finally picks it up, tearing it in half to look at the inside. "Just look at that," he says, sounding personally offended as he flicks at the innards a few times, encouraging them to flake, which they… at least do a little bit. "That is not a croissant. That barely aspires to crescent roll. I mean, really." He apparently can't bring himself to try eating that one, just dropping it unceremoniously back onto the plate and reclaiming his coffee. At least that doesn't actively sap one's will to live.

There's a curious lift of his brows at August's parting words, and he leans to murmur something to Claire. Whatever's said between them leaves him with a bemused smirk as he straightens up. "Does she uh… work for you?" he asks Layla, pointing in the general direction of the departing August, though there's a general sort of doubt in his expression that she'll be answering him in the affirmative. In the interim, he looks back to Vyv, racking his brain for the meaning of patissier - context clues, Warren! - and it dawns on him after awhile. "You make like, pastries? That's great, this town could use a good bakery. Or uh.. whatever a pastry place is called," he chuckles, shifting an arm over the back of Claire's chair while he takes up his normal, non-dessert coffee with his free hand. "If you left an impression on Claire, your stuff must be real good. When do you think you're gonna open your shop?"

"After the paint is dry there is a matter of furniture, but I've already got someone that'll bring that in to put into place. If we wish to replace things, we can. But this at least gets things situated for the moment." Layla shrugs her shoulders very faintly, "I've also some personal furniture coming from storage in Denver for part of the space." She glances towards Vyv, then the croissant in question before an amused smile crosses her face before the question from Warren gains her full attention, "No. I do not employ individuals like that, not…my style."

"I'm not disappointed that you're not swimming with the fishes. I'm disappointed that there's no evidence of a majestic beard in progress." Claire frowns sternly at Sam - which lasts a whopping two seconds before she claps her hands over her mouth. Whether it's because of what Warren said that none of y'all heard or what he asked Layla that all y'all heard is unclear, but it comes on the heels of those two things. Her very wide eyes trail August out the door, her little farewell wave a bit stunted. Eventually, she brings her attention back around to Vyv and his disappointing crescent roll. Genuinely, "I'm sorry it's terrible. All the more reason to get your business up-and-running that much quicker? Layla and Warren both seem to be plugging along with their new real estate ventures. Perhaps you've just got the wrong contractors? Or whatever?" Yep, she got thrown for a loop.

Sam looks between Warren and Layla in some surprise at Warren's question. He also adds - "August is a tattoo artist. At the Mad Tatter. She does really nice work." Not that Sam has any visible tattoos, but he has a decent eye for art. He grins a bit at Vyv's assessment. "I'm looking forward to spending a fair bit of time at your shop. Last time I was in France I made sure to make sure that I was in easy walking distance to the best boulangerie in each town I was visiting." He doesn't destroy the pronunciation, but clearly he doesn't speak french.
He blinks a couple times at Claire's clarification and then laughs. "Oh, shit. Right. I thought - sorry, my head is so stuck in horse land right now. No, I'm trying. The beard. It just hasn't really fleshed out yet." He hadn't shaved today, but that doesn't really give much to look at. A shadow at most. Finally he focuses his full attention on Layla again. "You work miracles. I'm sure it will be great, but if I need to get some different things that won't be a problem." He pushes his own chair back a little, then leans over to place a small kiss on Layla's cheek. "I promised my editor a quick call today which I have to see to. It was good to see everyone and great to meet you, Vyv." While he's standing up he says something more quietly to Layla.

"A patisserie," Vyv offers, "but 'good bakery' will do." Warren even gets half a smile for that. Claire gets a sigh. "It's actually not their fault, now," he says, sounding as though it pains him to have to defend them. "It's the owner before the last one, and whatever fly-by-night so-called contractors he employed. We're having to mitigate and replace some unlicensed changes to the building from then. It's doable, just… irritating." His fingertips have started tapping against the cup, though he catches it and stops them about there. "At any rate, our best guess has things sorted for the end of the month. Which would be lovely, with Valentine's day coming up." A soft huff, and he finishes off his coffee; the empty gets a Look for daring to be.
At least there's the question of Sam's missing beard, though — that's worth a look. "I'm trying to imagine you with a majestic beard, now," he informs the man; there's no sign of whether he's succeeding yet. "Pleased to meet you, as well. I suspect I'll see you at the studio if we continue failing otherwise, but I look forward to you spending a fair bit of time at my shop too." A quirk of the lips, smaller than the half-smile, but certainly there.

"I'll let you know." Layla replies to Sam, pausing to listen to his whisper before she smiles in return, murmuring something back to him. It's a quick exchange, and as soon as it is made she just offers her own opinions on things. Pastry things. "I run a business where I've clients that ask for specific things sometimes…and sometimes those are recommendations on the best places around to get what they are craving."
Yes, Claire. She is well aware of how her phrasing might sound. "Hopefully when your patisserie is up and running I can give my clients an honest answer on the best place to go for such things."

Claire pulls her lips askew, making an eek-face while she gives Sam's chin a second look. She mouths the word, 'Sorry,' his way. And also Layla's way. Then wiggles farewell-fingers at him, adding, "Chin-up, I'm sure that thing will start filling in aaaaany minute now." Except she looks around the table to impress upon everyone still lingering that she doesn't believe her words at all. Then clears her throat, focusing on Vyv's story about the contractors. "That would be perfect, wouldn't it? By Valentine's Day? Though you'll have some competition from that cupcake place. They sell cupcakes super cheap." She says this approvingly, while sipping her cup full of sugar. With a new beam at Layla, "Are you two going to go into business together? That seems like a perfect match, doesn't it."

"Nnh," Vyv says at the mention of 'that cupcake place', with an expression not wholly unlike if she'd mentioned 'that rat-pie place'. It's fairly brief, turning into something far more impassive with a shake of his head. "I may need more coffee," he decides. "Yes, though, we missed Christmas, but Valentine's is generally a high-volume period. Easter as well, though a bit less so. So, the sooner the better. And," he looks to Layla, "I do certainly hope you'll be able to give them an honest answer on that front." He leaves it to Layla to otherwise answer Claire, instead rising to his feet. "If you'll excuse me a moment…" The empty cup comes with him as he stands.

There is a bit of a frown when Claire mentions the cupcake place sells their cupcakes super cheap, but then she shakes her head, "Oh, not exactly going into business together." She glances towards Vyv when he makes his excuses and goes to get coffee, smiling once more at Claire though, "I am in business with myself, but I enjoy being able to partner with local businesses to fulfill the requests of my clients. Someone of elevated tastes and skills beyond….cupcakes…is perfect for my clients." She is not in the cupcake client business.

Ever so wise, Claire muses, "I imagine it's a lot of chocolate things when it comes to Valentine's Day. Is it boring? When you're sort of pigeon-holed by a holiday?" But she doesn't expect an answer, necessarily, especially when Vyv is getting up a moment later. Despite her chattering away through all this, she's managed to get through whatever she was drinking. And silent Warren has, too, so she decides presently, "Well, I wish you both luck. I hope your house turns out lovely, Layla, and your shop gets up and running smoothly, Mister Vydal. I'm going to take all these bags home with me." She contemplates Warren a second before deciding, "I guess you can come, too."

She gets one anyway! Vyv's willing to put off recaffeination for that long, at least. "Not only," he says, "…though yes, people do tend to lean toward pink and red and hearts and chocolate, and not all of the above are where I'm naturally inclined to work. One can do quite a lot of things with chocolate, though." Her previous mention of the cupcake place does not prevent her getting one of his fainter smiles to go with, "Hopefully you'll see proof of that this year, rather than next. Thank you." He gives the couple that small goodbye nod, and Layla an approving look — quite right, not being in the cupcake client business — before he crosses the rest of the way to the counter to get that drink. This time he does not venture any of the foods to go with it.

"It was a pleasure to see the both of you again." Layla offers to Claire and Warren when it comes time for them to be leaving, her head shaking just a bit in small amusement before she reaches for her drink. Evidently despite the exodus she isn't going to be going anywhere any time soon, at least until her coffee is actually finished. Or she's waiting for Vyv to return to talk business.

Claire and Warren and all their bags leave, with Claire calling out a cheerful, "It was nice to meet you!" on the way out the door.

Black coffee does not take very long. Just one of its many good qualities, in this situation. Vyv heads back toward his table with it, looking things over. Just the pair of them, now. "You're welcome to come join me, if you'd like," he invites, reclaiming his chair; the plate and its inhabitants get pushed off to one side, where he theoretically doesn't have to keep looking at them.

"I'd love to." Layla replies, reaching for her coffee, phone and her coat so that she can relocate herself to Vyv's table, tucking her phone back into her pocket and her coffee on the table. She then settles down in her chair, legs crossing before she folds her hands in her lap, offering him a faint smile, "I really have been looking forward to meeting you, officially." She tilts her head towards the table she'd been sitting at, "I had not expected it to be such a meeting, though."

"It's not a particularly large town, at least once you discount the tourists," Vyv says, "…but I seem quite good at meeting people in unexpected ways, lately. Curse of being busy, I suppose." Not that bad a curse, judging by tone. "I'm pleased to meet you officially regardless. How did you expect it?" He lifts his new coffee, but not quite to his lips; instead both hands wrap around the cup almost as though they were warming it. Which would seem to be redundant at best.

"Something a little more professional, perhaps." Layla replies with a smile, shaking her head at him as she reaches for her own coffee to pick it up and take a sip from it before she sets the coffee back onto the table. "Usually I don't find myself speaking so frankly about a fellow business owner, but I find that privacy is perhaps a hot button issue of mine? I believe that is the common term…hot button."

"Mm. Yes, think so." Vyv risks a small sip of the coffee, and survives. He might even live to taste another day. "I'd say perhaps talk about it to her before it's around about her, but if I'm honest that's probably mostly because I rather like her. I doubt I'd care particularly much otherwise." He doesn't really sound as though he cares particularly much as it is, frankly. "So, what would you like to discuss, specifically? Just a bit more detail on what you've mentioned so far, or…?"

"I wasn't the one that brought it up, simply that I've an opinion on the topic when it was. Nor do I stay there, or can I speak as a guest. I can simply make a choice to not suggest her business to my clients when they come to town, until it is resolved." Layla shakes her head, "I'm afraid with the types of clients I have they would be neither kind, nor amused, by such an occurance. Privacy and professionalism is important when you deal with those that I do." She then folds her hands back together in her lap, smiling just a bit, "More detail, really. I handle….particular issues and things for my clients. I believe that the business owner in question herself called it a professional concierge. I make certain that those with the means and the desires have just the very best, no matter what they desire. As such, I like to make certain I have the information and connections to make that happen for them."

Vyv glances out the window as the topic continues, taking another sip of the coffee. He may not have wholly run out of care — there's at least a slight nod or two in the right places to imply that he is in fact listening and understands her points — but it's probably getting pretty close, hovering with less distance than it ought to on the correct side of falling out of 'listening politely' and into 'not listening impolitely'. When she moves on, though, then the rest of his attention focuses properly again, his gaze resettling reasonably firmly on her.
"Concierge is a reasonable term for it, I suppose," he says, with a clearer nod, "and always a useful person to know. If the desire is for patisserie or chocolate, I'm almost certainly the best for rather some miles in any given direction." That little quirk at the corner of his mouth happens again, and he adds, "I presume, of course, that you'll want evidence of that aside from my own assessment, if there's to be an official, or semi-official, connection. That can be arranged. I could, and can, tell you my training and experience, etc., if you like, though I'm fairly certain I know the sort people likely to be your clients, and few of them will care about anything but the results and the smoothness of getting them regardless."

"While I'm sure that your experience and training is above reproach….We are more concerned with your results." Layla agrees with a slight inclination of her head for that, "I would, of course, pay for your time and effort for the evidence." She tilts her head very faintly, a thoughtful look crossing her features before she smiles a little more, "I was considering a house warming, for when the loft is finished. If you would be willing, I can hire you to provide the delictables for it. I realize you do not have a shop…yet, from what you were saying. But I think the kitchen in the loft would be suitable?"

"Of course," Vyv murmurs in the small space of that thoughtful look, the words almost lost behind the cup. Must be cooling down, because that's a larger sip than the ones before. "I do rather hope things will have finished coming together by then, but even if they haven't, we've arranged things to safely allow a certain amount of work in the kitchen. We do a few things for some people at City Hall, there's a bit of staff training… but yes, in a pinch, it's likely the kitchen in your loft would suffice." That last comes with a glance at what of her clothing and other belongings are easily visible; it's scarcely more than a flicker, but apparently enough for him to deem the probability reasonable. It might just about qualify as a compliment. "For that, I'd need a bit of extra time to see the layout and check calibrations, but not terribly much."

"They tell me that it'll be finished by the end of the week, you are welcome to come check. In case there is a pinch." Layla offers, offering that smile to him with a little bit of amusement for it, but she doesn't linger on it very long. "I was wearing that you were to be on the evening show, the one that Katherine is hosting with Sam and…" She lifts a hand, a finger pointing towards the door, "The tattooist, August was it?"

"Do let me know," Vyv says, "…mm. Shame I probably can't get them to work any faster by suggesting it's a competition." He drinks as she asks her question, and nods. "Yes… I thought someone else was one of the hosts, but it seems as though something's changed there. I'm not quite sure when I'm meant to do it, yet, but I'm sure that'll be handled." He says it like someone who's confident it doesn't need his own personal attention, rather than one who simply hopes it will magically work out on its own.

"After Claire, that is evidently your turn…then my turn. What those dates are, I don't know." Layla shakes her head a fraction, folding her hands together in her lap a moment, "As for how I got them to work faster….I offered them double the price of what they wanted to charge. I was ready to get out of my hotel room, so it seemed to be worth it in the end."

Vyv half-smiles again at that. "Useful in some situations, not so much others. In this one, if I genuinely thought they were in a position to work faster if I paid them more — short of adding another shift, which I have considered trying to arrange, but the city doesn't much like the idea — I'd find someone who sets their charges where it inspires them to work at the proper speed to begin with. But since I can't reasonably yell at them anymore," because surely it was totally reasonable before the current issues arose, "I have to release frustration somehow." Apparently, grumbling. "Looking forward to it? Seems like it could be… interesting, answering those sorts of questions with your partner," a vague gesture toward the door through which Sam left, "on the panel as well."

"Yes…Sam." Layla replies with a quick glance in the direction of the door, one corner of her mouth turning upwards before she shrugs her shoulders, "I'm not sure that it'll be nearly as interesting as you might imagine. Sam and I have a very…honest relationship with each other, and I honestly can't imagine that there could be any question asked that would have a shocking answer to it. But I might be surprised."

"Maybe you should pretend. It'd be good television," Vyv suggests, which might be a joke. Partly, at least. There's a hint of a smile, even if it's half-hidden by the cup again as he drinks. "How long have you been a thing, anyway? I wouldn't have thought you'd even have been in town long enough to have stopped surprising each other already." A pause, as if he might go on, but it only results in the corner of his mouth quirking up again, a faint sense of mischief and less faint suggestion of amusement in it.

"A few weeks." Layla replies, laughing faintly, "But…" She tilts her head, thinking about it, "I have a terrible tendency to ask the uncomfortable questions right away, and Sam tends to humor me by answering them, then asking them in turn. We've probably progressed to the year in stage of being aware of each others secrets and desires."

Vyv tilts his head at that, the touch of amusement still there, but joined by something more thoughtful. "Do you have a set list of uncomfortable questions, or do they just come to you frequently?" he asks. "I may ask an uncomfortable question now and then, but first they have to come to mind and then I have to want to know right then. Which isn't necessarily a given. I suspect I could go quite a while still running into surprises." Hmm.

"Usually they just come to mind, or the situation makes me think about them…" Layla decides after a little while of thought, shaking her head a fraction with a smile, "I think that it is a side-effect of my work, though. I tend to be the sort that…looks beyond the surface of things. Granted, my ability to ask Sam the more intimate of questions isn't one that is always repeatable with strangers or clients."

"Mm. Surfaces are underrated." Vyv's gaze drifts to the rejected pastries, and he adds, "But granted, not the whole of things." Fair chance their surfaces don't reach appropriate standards either, in his book, but… "I'm very tempted to ask what sorts of questions," he says, looking to her again, "but judging by the growing number of people wandering in and the switch to sandwiches," he glances toward the counter, where the pastries have been switched out for the lunch options, "I'm in danger of being late if I don't get going." A touch of the mischief returns as he adds, "I suppose I could ask you to email." He stands, beginning to reassemble himself into outdoor-going form, pausing after the coat and scarf to offer her a hand before they end up regloved. "Pleasure to properly make your acquaintance."

"Perhaps we can discuss the types of questions later." Layla agrees, getting to her feet as well, reaching out to take the offered hand, giving it a shake, "It truly was a pleasure to meet you face to face finally."

"Absolutely," Vyv replies, to either remark or both, "Do contact me when you know more about the housewarming plan." He pulls those gloves on, picks up his coffee, and eyes the plate a moment before he picks it up as well, rather than abandoning it where it is. Possibly he's being a decent person and not leaving it for the staff to deal with — but judging by the low key but wholly unnecessary drama of the way he lets go of the plate above the trash can to let the pastries plummet in as he strides by it on the way to the door, and the brief look of satisfaction that ensues, there's a fair chance it wasn't the main motivation.

Unless otherwise stated, the content of this page is licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 License