(2019-01-27) Horse Stuffie
No plushie horse heads were harmed in the making of this log.
Players:
anthony..katherine..sam..

There is a fire built in the fireplace, coffee, muffins and croissants set out on a tray on the large ottoman. Curled up on the couch is a slender, dark haired woman, who looks incredibly at peace at the moment. She's not sleeping either. Her hair gathered in a messy bun, a loose mauve sweater with a wide neck worn over a white tank top. Heather gray wool leggings sheathing her long legs. She's bent over a book, her lips moving as she quietly speaks what she's reading. Her own cup of something warm and steaming sits within reach, her phone balanced on her thigh.

Sam is wide awake. He may not have slept at the B&B, but he'd returned there quite early that morning to get cleaned up, changed and do a bit of work. Now he has drifted back down stairs, dressed in comfortable jeans and a slightly oversized sweater which has a tendency to shift askew on his shoulders depending which way he leans, his backpack tossed over one shoulder likely speaks that he's soon going to go back out into the world. He slows his course when he passes through the Great Room, spotting the fire and array of foods and lastly Kate curled up on the couch. He lets out a small sigh and drags a hand over his face before changing his courses, his weight making the couch jiggle when he sits down on the other end of it. "Morning Kate." He keeps his voice low to respect the peace of the room.

Kate looks up from her book, aiming a warm smile at Sam. "Morning Sam." She greets, her voice soft for a moment. "Oh.." She closes her book, sets it aside and shifts as if she's going to get to her feet. "Coffee? Maybe something to eat?" She takes a small plate from the tray, offering to get him a muffin, croissant or both."How are you doing?" She asks, snagging a muffin and a croissant while she pours some coffee. What he doesn't eat, she likely will. She sets the coffee down near Sam and curls back up on the couch, a hand sneaking out to grab the book and slide it into her purse. The plate is sat near him, and when her phone buzzes it gets the briefest of looks before she silences it.

"Thank you. You know, I'm able to pour my own coffee. I didn't mean to crush in on your relaxation time so you could serve me. It's one thing when you're in the kitchen, but seems a bit different when you're cozied up with a book." All that said, he rips the croissant in half and takes the cup of coffee in his other hand. He shifts into a more comfortable position and takes a bite, eventually washing it down with the coffee. "I also don't mind if you answer that. I'm crashing your party here." He says, nodding to the phone, before looking over to find Kate's eyes. "I'm doing alright. And I hope you are too? Been trying to catch up to you, but we're running on different schedules right now I think."

"Sam.." Kate begins, aiming a smile in his direction. "I'm never really off duty, even though I've been sneaking away late at night lately." She curls up, her legs pressed against her chest as she pulls apart her own croissant. "It wasn't a cozy book either, just me learning new things." She takes a small bite of her croissant and lets out a contented sigh. "The phone? That's just Charlotte, she's downtown setting up something for me for later." The smile she aims at Sam is bright and infectious, her cheeks pink. "I'm doing great, thank you for asking, and if you ever really need to see me Sam? For any reason. You can call me, you know? I got your text, but I didn't wake up until late yesterday..I apologize for not returning it."

"How dare you have a life of your own like an adult." Sam mock-scolds at Kate's admission to 'sneaking' away. He gives a quiet laugh at that and dips his attention back to his croissant for a minute, his brow furrowing while he clearly struggles with what direction to take this conversation. "I know I can call, and I'm sure you would have made time had I asked for it. A lot of days we just cross paths, just happened to be unlucky for a couple." He considers his coffee very carefully before adding - "I know you wanted to talk about something - but I also had something I've been wanting to bring up."

"When you choose a business like this, Sam. You're pretty much giving up having a life. I'm lucky that I'm seeing someone who .." Kate trails off, clearly distracted by whatever train of thought is leaving the station in her head. She blinks and focuses on Sam. "Well then next time, call. Especially if you've a need to speak with me about something that puts that kind of look on your face." She frowns, setting aside her croissant to give the man seated on the couch her utmost attention. "Let's talk, and you bring up things, and then.." She trails off, hoping what looks like a reassuring smile is on her face.

"It's fine. We're here now." Sam says, carefully setting down his coffee and reaching to his backpack which was left by his feet. He speaks while he unzips it. "After the taping the other day I came back here. I found some food and ate. I was planning to go see Layla, but I was stupidly tired. I guess it was the big crash after the high of doing the show?" He shrugs, the reason doesn't matter too much. "Anyway, I went upstairs like a zombie and collapsed to sleep, still in my clothes. So I didn't actually see what I was sleeping with until the next morning when I got up." With his little story done, Sam pulls out the small horse head from his backpack. It was from some kind of stuffed animal, but has been neatly decapitated by scissors or a knife. He sets it carefully between himself and Katherine and then looks over toward his friend. He tries to school his expression toward neutral, but neutral is likely bad for Sam.

Kate looks from Sam down to the horse head, her gaze flitting back up to Sam. Her eyebrows are raised, and she's obviously waiting for him to speak more about it. He goes quiet, and there isn't any hint of laughter on his face so she sighs. "And the note? What did you think about the note?" She looks like a disappointed child at Christmas, her face falling after a moment or two. "This scared you, didn't it? That wasn't my intention. I had just made you an offer you couldn't refuse. It was a joke..the note…" She trails off, sighing before she rubs a hand over her face. "..you didn't get the note, did you? I am so sorry, Sam." She turns to reach for her coffee, her brows furrowed slightly. "If this upset you, I'll have to make it right." She leans down, rummaging through her purse, her bottom lip caught by her teeth.

The front door of the Stone Bed and Breakfast was operated without a knock, without so much as a cursory shout or notice, other than letting themselves through the front entryway. Perhaps not the best accent given the current climate of conversation at hand, though nonetheless what happened. The figure which transitioned from the outside to the interior of the home was a tall-ish man, black of hair and wearing what someone could safely assume at a passing glance to be an expensive ensemble of a three-piece navy suit draped by a warm camel overcoat. Tucked under one arm was the pristine white box which read 'Kitchenaid'.

Hearing the sounds of conversation, uninfringed upon by any outside sounds of noise, Tony found himself making his way into the Great Room where a pair of peridot green eyes glanced toward both Kate and Sam, arching his brows in curiousness, "Breakfast done already?" he mentioned, in an accent that was pointedly New York in its origin, Southside Manhattan should one be familiar of those sorts of things, and he took a few steps in to stand next to Kate's currently elected place, rapping fingertips against the side of the box, "You want this in the Kitchen, Kate?" he asked aside, glancing toward the stuffed horse head now presented on the middle of the sofa. He did not contain himself as well as Katherine, "Wow…"

"Note?" Sam says a bit dimly. "I didn't - I didn't see any note with it? Just the head tucked into my blankets." And for a moment he's not exactly sure what else to say. It's likely helpful that Tony arrives at about that time and drags his attention briefly away from the topic at hand - though that doesn't last long when the other man spots the horse and brings it right back. He gives a polite - if strained - smile toward the stranger before refocusing on Kate digging into her purse. "Kate? What are you doing? I just need to talk this through. I was a bit freaked out - yeah - but not…" He sighs, struggling to explain it. This was perhaps not how he'd expected this conversation to go.

"I left a note with the horse head, Sam. It was a joke, basically teasing you not to make the wrong decision because I wouldn't stop asking until I got a yes." Katherine pulls out her check book, and is briefly distracted by the arrival of Anthony. Even a mixer, pristine in its box, can't bring a smile to her face at the moment. Though, because she's Kate, she tries. "Oh, lovely man. Kitchen please, right on the counter?" She opens her check book and frowns. "I can only imagine what you might have thought since you didn't find the note, and.." She rests her hand on her thigh for a moment, a pen dangling loosely from her fingers. "..that just won't do. I'm going to refund your stay." She does math in her head, and after a brief headtilt, she begins to write.

"I wouldn't" Was all that Anthony had to offer, even without blatant and obvious lacking of knowledge of the given situation, though regarded Kate's checkbook with a glance and a smile toward Sam as he made his way toward the Kitchen and placed the box neatly atop the counter as per the owners request, brushing his hands free, he returned to the great room and found himself a seat which he openly and without askance as to the appropriateness of his joining, slumped into it, tugging at either side of his overcoat to free it form beneath his legs as he folded the right over his left, draping his arms along the armrests with a glance toward the horse head again, and shook his head with a soft smile. "Couldn't refuse, huh?" he muttered, arching an eyebrow upward toward Sam.

"You're not refunding my stay, Kate." Sam says, and the edge to his tone is perhaps sharper at that suggestion than his initial distress at finding a decapitated stuffed animal in his bed. "That's not what I'm after here. It was a joke. The note must have flown off the bed when I opened the door or maybe I crushed it down into the sheets when I was sleeping and only found the head. It's not really your fault that the joke went sour because of poor logistics." He sighs, reaching out to grab the horse beside him. He holds it up to his face and stares into its dead, dead eyes. Then with an easy flick of his wrist sends it soaring into the merrily burning fireplaces. The bargain bin stuffed animals at Food4Less seem to be made from pretty flammable materials, because the head ignites and begins to burn hot within seconds.

"Most certainly couldn't refused." Sam agrees with Tony, his voice tired while he considers the man more carefully who just joined them. "I'm Sam." He says, leaning forward on the couch and offering his horse-throwing hand for the man to shake.

Kate is still writing, she must have been quite serious. She speaks while she writes, her tone careful. "Sam, I can only imagine the thoughts that went through your head, and that's inexcusable. Next time, I'll hand you the damn thing." She carefully writes her signature, tears the check free from the book and holds it out to Sam. "Take it please, don't make me find another way to give you this refund." She places a hand over her heart and frowns. "You'll make me feel better if you take this." She shifts her gaze toward Tony, realizes what number of things could go through his head about offers and not refusing. "I uh, offered him a permanent spot on the evening show, and I wanted to make sure he would say yes." Her dark gaze shifts from Anthony to Sam, and then back again. Her cheeks get pink, but the blush is quickly banished.

"Sam, this is Anthony Malone, he was recently staying here in the garage suite." She makes proper introductions like a good hostess.

Anthony withdrew his phone, checked it for a moment, and caught the arching hurl of the decapitated horse head across the room into the fire, which he made a point to accent by a low whistle which ascended in tone until he mimiced a low explosion upon impacting the fire of the hearth, the man straightened himself and tucked the phone away into the inner breast pocket of his suit jacket as he extended his own hand out to shake Sam's with a smile. "Pleasure ta' meet you, Sam. Auggie's mentioned you a few times. Nice to finally put a face to the name…" he trailed, glancing toward Kate as she made the introduction which he grinned at, and chuffed a bit of laughter, "Sure, Kate. Sure. No offense, but I stayed here, you're not influencing anyone with that checkbook" he winked at her and leaned back into his chair after the introduction, "Y'know, Sam, generally I try not to shake the hands of men who just disposed of severed animal heads, so I'm making an exception" he smirked, "But like she said…" he flourished a hand toward Kate, "Tony Malone, the only person who really calls me Anthony is August when she wants me to make her breakfast…"

"I can't really sit here and deny I wasn't a bit freaked out. It seems stupid in hindsight - well, I told myself at the time too - but that doesn't mean the thoughts weren't still there." Sam's tone has lightened again and he even finds one of his usual smiles, tugging into a grin at Tony's comment while he shakes the man's hand. "The legendary Tony Malone. I've heard your name a couple times too. All good things, I assure you. At least that I'm willing to admit to. You understand I'm a bit on edge these days." He gestures toward the burning horse head in the nearby fire place.

He leans back into his place on the couch and reaches for his coffee, ignoring the cheque that Katherine is trying to give him. "Kate. I really don't want the money. You've been a hostess who is worth twice what I've paid to stay here. And my friend since the day I arrived. This whole mess just snowballed. The note got lost. I didn't see you for a couple days." He mimes a snow ball getting larger and larger, before looking out the window at the white blanket falling. "If you really need to do something with that money? I hear the food bank is searching for donations. I'll match whatever you wrote on that cheque. We'll donate it in memory of the horse."

"Charity is is then." Because Kate isn't taking no for an answer, again. She settles back into her seat, retrieving her cup of coffee. She takes a sip and puts the check in her purse, curling up until she's comfortable. There is a look paid to Tony, and while her expression seems warm, her eyes narrow slightly. "I'm not poor Tony." She says quietly, fingers tapping gently on the warmth of her cup. "I'll drop it for now, Sam, but I'll make amends somehow." She aims a look at the fireplace, frowning before she sets her mug aside to get to her feet. She pokes at the logs until they shift, adds another and then picks up her abandoned croissant. "Cup of coffee? Muffin?" She raises her brows toward the New Yorker in the expensive coat, ready to serve him if he decides he wants something.

"Legendary? Yeesh, I'm gonna' have to pay some people more money to stop talking to much" he laughed and nodded a bit, "Absolutely understandable. I'm told a horsehead generally shakes people up. You're lucky to still be sane" he commented with a grin and glanced toward Kate with a flick of an eyebrow, "Did I say you were poor? I'm a fuckin' accountant, Kate, I can guess what the revenue on this place is. Seriously, stop tryin' to throw money at people who don't want it." he smiled, canting his head aside in a half-lean and letting the situation die, though he did seem to purse his lips at the thought of it, "Naaah, thank you though, Kate. Always the perfect hostess" he smiled, "How's Sevin?"

"Friendships aren't a zero sum game, Kate. Mistakes happen, misunderstandings. It's not Tony's balance sheet. It's supposed to be about flexibility and forgiveness. I'm sure when I do something one of these days that upsets you that you're not going to want me to start dropping twenties on the table until the hurt goes away." Sam looks down into his coffee for a moment and then continues - "But, I'm happy for charity to have it. They likely need it more than either of us. Let's make some good come out of this little bit of silliness that went off the rails." He seems to consider saying more, but instead just sips at his coffee and tries to let the topic drop. The mention of Sevin gets a small smile from the author. "I saw the professor yesterday." He remarks, but says no more, as the question was really for Kate.

"Sam, c'mon. Friendship isn't a zero sum game. It's a lot of compromise and understanding. If you did something that upset me, I wouldn't expect money for it. If you broke something that I found valuable, I might expect it to be replaced. In this case, trust. It was broken, you were likely worried, and I'm trying to do what any businesswoman would do to make it right. A hotel would do the same." She flicks her fingers, taking a sip of coffee before she continues. "I already have a sizable donation of food for the charity this evening, the money will be a nice addition and hopefully will do some good." She glances at Tony when he mentions Sevin, and then that dark gaze moves to Sam. "Mmm, well Sevin is doing well. He'll be here later, I believe, but he begged for a little alone time to finish grading some papers. Apparently he can't concentrate on work when I'm there." She won't say why, that would be bad.

"Huh, what a *strange* and *unique* correlation, Kate. I can't *possibly* imagine why that may be…" Anthony said dryly with a deadpan delivery in which he stared at Kate like she grew a third arm and then finally twitched the edge of his lips into a smirk, idly bobbing his right wingtip clad foot as it dangled over his left knee. "So, Sam, I hear you've become part of this evening show with Kate and August, how ever do you handle yourself? The two of them are like magnets, stick anything between them and it's liable to get crushed" he smirked, withdrawing his phone to glance at it momentarily before depositing it back into his jacket. "I've yet to see it, but I've heard the first episode was pretty wild"

While Sam is quite certain this won't be the last discussion concerning HorseGate, he doesn't push the issue any further in the moment. Instead he's smiling and then laughing quietly at Sevin's apparent distraction when Kate is present. "Just wait until you do see the first episode, Tony. Kate makes it pretty clear why grading papers might not be a priority." It's maybe not the sort of thing that Sam would usually tease about, but since it was going to be announced to anyone watching the episode it's now fair game.

He takes another sip of his coffee and then sets the mug down, nodding to the comments about the evening show. "I thought the three of us worked pretty well together. It's clear that Kate and August have more history and chemistry, but I either managed to hold my own or they were on their best behaviour and didn't roll over me too much." He turns to Kate, curious on her thoughts.

Kate takes a sip of coffee, a look slanted at Tony when he speaks. "Where is your sarcasm button?" She asks mildly, her eyes flitting from his face down the front of his body. She takes another sip of her coffee and then glances over at Sam when Anthony asks his question. "I think we were behaving, because I'm pretty sure one of the questions that I threw in there on purpose would have gotten me slapped or..something would have been thrown at me." She shrugs, and doesn't let her face give anything away for a few moments. "I know you think the whole Sevin concentrating thing might be about sex, but maybe I just follow him around chatting and he reacts." Is this one of those statements you're supposed to add 'in bed' to?

Anthony's lips parted into a display of handsomely white teeth at Sam's words, "No offense to your aptitude Sam, you seem like a pretty witty sort, but I'm going to side with some caution on this one and say they were likely on their best behavior" he mused, leaning toward one side and propping his elbow more heavily into the armrest of his chair, knuckles skyward and brushing at the edge of his whiskery, salt and pepper jawline.

When Kate spoke up, however, he arched an eyebrow, "Ask Auggie, I'm sure she can tell you" he remarked and winked a single flitter of a vibrant green eye, leaning his jaw into his fist, "Oh no, Katherine. Why *ever* would innocent persons such as Sam and I take your words to suggest anything of the sort? You said it, not us" he smiled.

"I, for one, don't want to know where the button is." Sam just wants that on the table. Whatever tension had been present earlier in the conversation seems to have eased away and he has pulled his legs up beneath him on the couch, comfortable. "And, as Tony says, I didn't mean to imply it was only sex constantly and all the time. I understand the need to just have some alone time to focus on work - even if the other person in the room is just quietly reading I find I have a hard time getting deep into the place that I need to be to really concentrate." It's l likely sex all the time, is what his expression reads even as he says different things.

"I expect you're right. They were gentle with me. Perhaps me being there makes it so things don't get too wild for television." Yup, totally keeping them under control.

"I still want to know. It might be worth getting into trouble to turn off the sarcasm." Kate laughs softly, shaking her head back and forth before she takes a drink from her mug, emptying it. "Eh, I like it when someone cooks for me, that's a huge draw to me going over there. He doesn't like leaving his dogs alone for a long time, so it makes sense." She sets her cup down and bites into her croissant. "Of course we were nice to Sam. Like the horse head implied, I want him to be on the show. I can't promise we'll always be so restrained, but the last thing we want to do is make anyone uncomfortable. Unless .." She trails off for a moment, gaze flitting between Tony and Sam. "..I mean…we can be mischievous occasionally." She brushes a few crumbs from her thigh and wrinkles her nose. "I think we're gonna throw a bit of a party soon, if the next few episodes go well."

"Kate, you don't have to justify going to your boyfriends house. This isn't high school." Anthony grinned at Kate, reaching up to adjust his tie a little looser and smoothing a hand down the front of his vest and leg, as if mirroring Kate's brush of crumbs though he bore exactly none. "A party huh? That could be fun…" he began to smile and then raised a hand, shaking a finger as if making a bullet point in the air, "Ah, that reminds me, couple things…"

For a moment, Tony rolled his eyes up to ponder on them and then leveled his eyes back toward Kate, "One. August says to mention having me on the show, because I expressed I thought it'd be fun. Two, with the house having closed, August and I will likely be having a house warming party at some point, though will likely wait until the seasons get a little warmer so people can actually use the deck and the pool" he smiled, collapsing his hand atop the armrest then with a nod. Eyes turning toward Sam, he canted his head somewhat, "So what brought you here, Sam, granted it seems to have been a great move what with you being the new addition to a television show"

"It's like Tony is just reaching into my head and pulling out my thoughts. I was about to say - now that Layla has been invited to be on the show we've set the precedent for having partners on the panel. And just yesterday I was asking Sevin why he hadn't been signed up for an episode yet." Sam's grin cuts across his face at the mention of this, clearly quite pleased with the reaction he gained from that little interaction. "And while those thoughts were going through my mind, I was thinking Tony here should make an appearance as well."

Sam leaves that topic in Kate's lap to consider while he answers Tony's other question. "Believe it or not, I came here to concentrate on writing and stay out of the limelight a bit. It hasn't escaped me that becoming a fixture on a television show isn't exactly in line with those goals. But, I'm getting plenty of work done. The show isn't a big commitment time-wise and it's a lot of fun." He watches Tony a moment before asking - "You're from New York?"

Kate gets to her feet, pouring coffee into a mug. She didn't bring any chocolate squares into the great room, so she retreats to the kitchen with a quiet, 'Pardon me'. She isn't gone long, back and curling up on the couch, sniffing at the brew in her hands before she begins to speak. "We have to tape the first four shows, have them run by the focus group, and make cuts and changes and see if Heather even wants to keep it. Early buzz is showing that more episodes will be ordered. Then we just have to find a slot and appropriate time frame for release." She takes a drink, shrugs and puts the cup down. "Sevin won't be on the show. Anthony, I'll work out a time for you once I get clearance from Heather that we're going to continue taping."

Anthony smirked aside at Sam as he spoke, though nearly laughed a bit when he mentioned Sevin being on the show for reasons not entirely clear. His eyebrows arched upward as he spoke, and then said exactly what Tony was thinking in regard to 'staying out of the limelight' accentuating that with a soft laugh, "Yeah, lower Manhattan, around the Little Italy borough. My father runs a lil' garage off Mulberry street" he explained nonchalantly, turning his eyes toward Kate when she returned from the kitchen.

"Just tell Heather if she doesn't approve it, I'll start my own network and host it" he faux glared, raising his fist in challenge, "Haven't heard a bad t'ing about it yet. Not to be all negative nancy about ya' morning show, but if it ran for as long as it did wit' that Mitch fuck, I'm sure this show will be a hit" he commented, nodding his head, "But that sounds fine. Just let me know, Kate. As long as I'm not on a business trip, I should be game for a pretty open schedule"

"I didn't grow up there, but spent the last twelve years there or so." Sam remarks regarding New York. "Though, the last few I've been away from it as much as present. Love the big city, but something very comforting about the sense of community that you can find in a place like here which is a lot harder to get in New York." He watches Kate depart and returning, nodding to the explanation about how the show will work. He honestly wasn't entirely clear what the process was, so it's good to know. "It's a very different audience than the morning show, I'm sure. But I really hope it finds the right eyes." He takes a sip of his coffee and refocuses on Kate. "You texted the other day and said you wanted to ask me about something else? You and Sevin and Layla?"

Kate just sits and listens to the pair, answering a text on her phone before she gets drawn back into the conversation. "Yeah, the morning show is looking better though with Nolan on it, even if I haven't been doing my best work lately. I'm sure things will improve there." She nods at Anthony, taking a sip from her mug. "That's a conversation that can wait for later, Sam." She drags a hand over her sweater and frowns. "You mentioned promotional things earlier, we had some ideas about that. Little spotumenteries, about day to day life here, featuring some of our guests." She picks up her phone, swipes out of her text messages and makes a note. "Which I think will work out well."

"That's for fuckin' sure…" Anthony muttered in response to Sam's mention of 'something you find easier here' and nodded, "Hard to find a little piece when the whole population of Calaveras is crammed into a single square mile of New York" he added and though subtle, twitched his lips into a smirk when Kate shut down the mention of conversation about Sevin, Layla, and Sam.

Tony leaned back for a moment, taking a deep breath and then gathered himself to stand, straightening the camel color of his overcoat. "Alright you two's, I mainly just came to drop off your mixer since it's been sitting on the bar in my new house for a week or two, I don't need it, and if August ever needs a professional Kitchenaid we're all fucked anyhow…" he grinned, turning his eyes toward Sam, he raised a large hand in a motionless wave, "Sam, pleasure meetin' you, I hope we get to see more of each other." he noted, looking toward Kate, "Kate, nice to see you, as always. I'm gonna go cuddle up next to August and love on my dog." he smiled, slipping a hand into the silk-lined pocket of his suit pants and heading for the back yard.

Sam nods when Anthony stands, flashing an easy smile up toward the man. "Nice to meet you too, Tony. Hopefully it becomes more a regular thing. I'm planning to be here for awhile." He gestures toward the kitchen - "I'm moving out of here before long, but I still plan to be a fixture in the kitchen up here as much as Kate will tolerate me."

Kate glances toward the kitchen, thinking about the appliance in there that is just begging to be used. "I'll bring you something I make with it soon, Tony. Depending on how busy I get in the next day or two." Her nose wrinkles as she considers August cooking, though .. "Probably make a funny blurb. I should talk to her about that." She glances toward Sam, chuckling softly. "I tolerate people very well, even if sometimes I should be a little …less tolerant."

Sam watches Anthony leave the room and settles into a brief silence afterwards. He watches the fire, all signs of the horse gone by this point, before finally looking over toward Kate. "If I'd just texted you when I found it the other day this would have been laughed off without another thought. This has been a master course in how not to handle a situation like this. The next time this happens I'll go about it very differently." He says with what is supposed to be a light smile. "Anthony seems nice." He adds.

Katherine gazes across the couch at Sam, her expression serious for a few beats before she laughs, her expression softening. "When in doubt, Sam. Text me. Especially if it has to do with the B&B. Please." She quirks a brow, head tilted slightly before she adds. "How did you handle the situation? I have been at Sevin's for the last two nights, so.. I have been a bit out of touch. I even turned off my phone last night." Her eyes shift to the kitchen before she glances back at Sam. "He can be nice. He can be not nice. It all depends on his mood."

"I guess that can be said for all of us to an extent." Sam remarks, though he doesn't really miss that the words were specifically about Tony. Polite thing to say. A bit of distress clouds Sam's face again when she asks how he did deal with the situation. "I'm sorry, Kate." He says first, rubbing at his jaw with his palm. "I was a bit freaked out. And I - well, I told almost everyone but for you. I really wanted to talk to you about it in person and I should have made that happen sooner." Now that he knows the truth of things, he seems to legitimately feel bad about how he treated the situation. "I'll be sure to tell everyone that it was just a joke that went sidewise." He assures her.

Kate sits up straight, her brows furrowed slightly. "You..everyone? Everyone who?" She looks a bit distressed for a moment herself, but she exhales and settles back against the couch. "No no, you were worried. I understand." She folds her hands and rests them in her lap, not meeting Sam's eyes as her thoughts roil and bubble for a short while. The silence is broken as she glances up at him. "Sam? The thing that I wanted to ask about.." She licks her lips, frowning. "Have I offended Layla in some way?"

"I mean, I don't know that many people hear. But. Claire and Layla and August. Warren. Vyv." It's a pretty healthy list given the time between when he found the head and now. He seems fine with watching the fire for a few seconds while those thoughts bubble and the surprise is clear on his face at the next question. He shakes his head. "Offended? Not that I'm aware of, Kate. I'm not privy to her every thought, but she hasn't said so."

"The other night I went out to get coffee, and she joined me, and the conversation was confusing. I will admit that I got cheeky at some point because of August and her text messages but.." Kate frowns and she shakes her head slightly, gazing at Sam. "She wanted me to..I don't even know. She tried to convey what she was after to Sevin in Arabic, but ..honestly? He's not very expressive when we're not at home, so he either ignores things or pretends he didn't hear something. She mentioned chatting about something less friendly and ..I'm still confused." She frowns down at her coffee and sets it aside.

<TXT> From August to Katherine - Morning babe. I have a man and a dog in my bed. How's yours going?
<TXT> From Katherine to August - I'm having a horse head conversation with Sam. My thighs are bruised, and I am of the opinion that men get better at sex with age. I might have the start of an addiction.
<TXT> From Katherine to August - Also, he's here for another six months, at least, so I'm walking on cloud nine or ten.
<TXT> From August to Katherine - His playmate has her very tight panties in a knot about the stuffie. Sam seems ok, but maybe a little spooked.
<TXT> From Katherine to August - We both know you did it. I fixed it. I fixed this so hard. You owe me cupcakes or a cuddle.

"It's hard for me to really say without having been there. Layla did mention that it seemed like you two were talking around each other a bit - my words, not hers. But, I didn't get the impression that she was offended in any way. Just frustrated perhaps that she wasn't able to express what she was saying in a way that landed. Hence the Arabic, I suppose. I know the language barrier is there, but her English is excellent. Though, it could be partly a cultural barrier as well? Or a simple misunderstanding. It wouldn't be the first time two didn't connect when at least one was distracted by other things." Sam works through these words slowly. Perhaps trying to frame it as he sees it without putting words into Layla's mouth. "I can ask her more directly, if you'd like me to. But, I wouldn't worry about it."

<TXT> From August to Katherine - Six? Six is good. Six is time to figure it out. Girl, I'll always give you those. You just wear something pretty & give me those big brown eyes.
<TXT> From Katherine to August - I went shopping. I got some *things*.
<TXT> From August to Katherine - Promising.

"Well.." Kate settles comfortably on the couch, her eyes on Sam as she speaks. "..There are some people that I have known for a long long time, and they don't get …in." She takes a deep breath, trying to use her words to the best of her ability. "I .." She bites down on her lip, frowning. "Sam, when my parents passed away, I inherited a great deal of weight and responsibility. I didn't have time to cry, mourn or even figure out how I felt about my life, how I feel about my life. I'm polite. It's a shield of sorts, and I don't let many people past that shield. Two people …that's it." She brushes her hair away from her face and shrugs. "I'm always going to be polite to Layla, but I talk around everyone. In my line of work, both of them, how I appear to others is important, and I can't just say what I feel. If I did that..well it just wouldn't always be pretty." She purses her lips and glances away, her fingers on her cup. "That probably didn't make any sense."

<TXT> From Katherine to August - Sam confuses me sometimes.

"No, I understand. Or at least understand at a high level - I won't pretend to understand the full extent of it all." Sam says quietly in reply, his dark eyes lingering on Kate's while she gives her explanation. "And you should continue to do what you need to do to take care of yourself. Letting people in makes you very vulnerable and that's especially hard to deal with when you're wrapping up and pushing away so much pain and loss. No one should want to deny you that protection." He pushes his top teeth into his bottom lip while he pauses a few seconds and then continues. "I believe Layla was feeling like you wanted to say more to her during the conversation. That you were holding something back. And she was trying to tell you that she would be OK with you asking anything you wanted. I think that's what she was struggling to express. Not so much that she wanted you to open up, as much as not holding back on her account?"

"Well, I don't really have anything to say to her that I've buried away somewhere. I ..don't really know her." Katherine remarks wryly, aiming a slightly unsure smile at Sam. "Just.." She trails off, glancing at her phone as it buzzes. "Why don't you text August and get her ass out of the suite so we can see if we can round up Claire?"

"You want me to text her?" Sam says, digging his phone out of his pocket and starting to tap at the screen. "I don't have cupcakes to lure her out with. She might not be pleased." He remarks. He also adds - "And yeah, I don't know that you did have anything on your mind. But, I can see how Layla might have thought it - sometimes your expressions go off in other directions than the conversation. We've had chats where I've thought the same thing." He doesn't make this sound like a bad thing, but it could be easy to be confused.

<TXT> From August to Katherine - Howso?

Kate clears her throat, her cheeks getting pink again. "Sorry." She mutters quietly, her eyes down on her coffee. "As guarded as my emotions are, my face just displays whatever it wants. Which makes it very hard to .." She sits up straight and shrugs. "You're a good guy, Sam. A really good guy."

<TXT> From Katherine to August - People are so good at saying something but meaning something else. Sam is really good at that.
<TXT> From August to Katherine - What did he say?
<TXT> From Katherine to August - He was trying to explain what Layla was trying to say the other night. I guess?

"Well all have our moments." Sam replies, not really sure how comfortable he is with that particular title. He taps away on his phone while messages arrive and he sends replies. "August is naked. Which I don't see how that's relevant exactly, but … "

Kate raises her eyebrows at Sam, watching him use his phone to text. "Are you a bad guy then? Should I be careful?" She is teasing, clearly, a smile on her face that turns into a laugh when he mentions that August is naked. "Ask her for a selfie, because I don't believe it."

<TXT> From August to Katherine - Hm.
<TXT> From Katherine to August - He just told me that you're naked.
<TXT> From August to Katherine - I am naked. *selfie attached is a lot of August and in the background the edge of the bed with a blue pinstripe pair of legs.*
<TXT> From Katherine to August - Get your ass up woman, we've got work to do. Also, there is obviously a lot of ink I haven't seen on you yet.

"I know you're just teasing at me, Kate. I'm actually really happy you think that - because I try." Sam replies with some rawness in the honesty. Then he's back to smirking at the phone and shaking his head. "She found a body in her bed and is 'taking care of it'. I'm hoping it's Tony. So I figured she'd need 5 minutes."

"Five minutes. Yeah..takes longer with the older guys." Katherine remarks, her eyes twinkling with mirth. "If you'd like, we can head to the studio, perhaps firm up the questions we're going to ask? Maybe get the bevs together and the like?"

"I have faith in August." Sam says, pushing himself up to his feet and nodding to Kate. "We can go over. Ah, do you mind if I invite Layla to watch the taping? I know you said she would have been welcome at the first one."

"I don't mind." Katherine responds, moving to pick up her purse and coat. "I'll go start the car." She pulls her beanie on her head and moves to the entryway, shrugging her coat on.

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