(2019-03-02) Things You Do In Denver That Make People Dead
Olivia visits the 'Professor of Pushing Up Daisies' to find out what happened in Denver that left people dead.

It's a sunny afternoon, but none too warm outside. Winter seems determined to hang on for a little while longer, and there might even be more snow in the forecast tonight. The drive leading up to Sevin's house is shoveled, at least, and his battered old silver truck is parked at the top, suggesting he's home. And recently returned, in fact, considering the front door is open and there are a few bags of groceries in the tiny excuse for a back seat. The tall, swarthy fellow presently ambles out of the house and trudges toward the truck, apparently engrossed in something on his phone. He's in a coat, tee shirt and cargo pants, with what looks and smells like a clove cigarette between two fingers.

Olivia's battered 4x4 rumbles down the drive before pulling up in a way that 'accidentally' blocks Sevin's car from going anywhere. And she still hasn't got the bullet holes patched. The Agent jumps down from the vehicle, clad in a large ski jacket, boots, and jeans. Her pistol unseen but no doubt under her jacket. "Professor, how are you?" Olivia offers her best professional, and insincere, smile. "Heard you had some trouble in Denver." A nod towards the bags. "Would you like some help?"

Sevin pauses at the sound of a vehicle coming up the drive, and spraying gravel and snow in its wake. He squints slightly, expression vaguely irritated when he sees who it is. He'd know that bullet-holed 4x4 anywhere. His phone is shoved into his jacket's pocket, hands disappearing into them shortly after, and he paces closer as the federal agent climbs out of her vehicle. He doesn't have any visible firearms on him, but she knows him well enough to guess that he's probably got one concealed under his jacket. "I think I can manage," he replies evenly, not yet reaching for the truck's door. "Help you with something this afternoon?"

And she was being so kind. "I just wanted to see if you were okay. A nasty shoot-out in Denver. That poor girlfriend of yours was present, wasn't she? I can see why you were teaching her to shoot. How many did she get? Or was it all you?" She nods up at the house behind him. "And they sent you home. No charges. Free to roam the world. Don't find that odd at all? I do."

Sevin regards the special agent sidelong for a moment or two, then eventually hauls open the driver's side door of his truck and disappears inside briefly in order to retrieve the bags of groceries. The door's shoved closed with his shoulder, and he hitches his chin toward the house. "Like to come in and sit down? Awfully cold out here." No indication of whether he has the slightest clue what she's talking about with a shootout in Denver.

"It'll probably be awfully cold indoors too" Olivia deadpans before nodding. "Sure." If he doesn't want help with the groceries, she will simply amble in after him. And check any rooms they pass for other people. "Katherine not here? A gunfight is a tough thing to work through. It was her first I assume."

If he catches the barb aimed his way, the man gives no indication. The bags are switched to his right hand, keys jangled into his left, and he opens the door and holds it for Olivia. Like a gentleman. "She might be by later this evening. You'd have to ask her, though. I couldn't say for certain." Once they're both inside, the door is shut and deadbolted, and he ambles off for the kitchen to unpack the groceries. Nobody here but him and a couple of skittish dogs.

The deadbolting gets a slight frown from the Agent before she follows him to the kitchen. "I guess situations of intense danger and fear tend to bond people together." A dismissive wave of her hand. "Or drive them apart. So interesting that a professor and a B&B operator get up to such things. I could ask you about it of course but you'd never answer."

"It seems like you're fishing for something, Lopez, but since I'm not clear on what that is. Miss Stone and I broke up about a week ago." He watches the fed over his shoulder for a moment, then resumes shoving things into the fridge. "So you're wrong on both counts." Once the groceries are put away, he shrugs out of his jacket and tosses it across the back of a chair at the table. And he is indeed sporting a shoulder rig with a holstered firearm, which he doesn't bother removing just yet. It is his damned house, after all. "Are you here to question me further about that? I thought the police had everything they needed already."

"You broke up a week ago, yet you were both in a hotel room in Denver shooting people. Was that some kind of 'goodbye' fling or something? Most people just fuck for old time’s sake" Olivia shrugs, eyeing the gun for a moment. "I'm interested in why you were released so easily. I'm also interested in why some private company is asking questions about me. Hired someone to look into me, Professor?" An exaggerated shake of her head. "The professors at my college wouldn't even know who to call to do that. Things have changed so much."

"Kate barely knows her way around a gun. She didn't shoot anyone." The clarification is offered quietly, and after considerable thought. "And I'm fairly sure all of this is in the police report, so why are you asking me?" Another glance over his shoulder, pale gaze thoughtful when she mentions the private contractor. There's a little tic in his jaw, but his expression remains guarded and difficult to read. "What are you afraid they'll find? I'm sure you don't have any skeletons in your closet, Special Agent." He could ask her if she'd like tea, or he could just go ahead and make some. He decides on the latter approach.

"I doubt I have anywhere near as many skeletons as you do, Professor" Olivia shrugs. "Yeah, there's lots in the police report. Self-defense…" Why does she say that last bit with a mocking snort? "Still, taking out four people by yourself is quite impressive. I guess the Physics helps with that. You know the angles to shoot and all that. And then there was the incident at Java Junction too. You should buy a lottery ticket."

Sevin puts some water on to boil and sifts through the cupboards for a box of tea. Something with plenty of caffeine, preferably. He speaks with his back to her and examines a couple of boxes before settling on a Darjeeling. "I suppose there's always an element of luck, when guns are involved." No comment on taking out four people alone. He turns back to face the Latina, arms folding as he takes up a lean against the counter. "I don't suppose you've got any leads on the one that got away?"

"I was hoping you would. Any idea on who they were? Why they felt a need to barge into that room? And don't tell me it was a 'hotel' invasion. The dead woman was dressed way too nice for that." Olivia can do the arm crossing too. "You do know that you could make me go away any time by just telling me the whole story. Unless you are an international terrorist and or criminal, of course."

"But I enjoy your company so very much, Lopez. Why would I do that?" Make her go away by telling the whole story, that is. He blows a breath out his nose then and shakes his head. "I don't have a fucking clue. My guess is, dollar store thugs hired to do someone else's dirty work. Which, uh…" He scratches at his bearded cheek and seems thoughtful for a moment. Like he wants to ask her something.

"I can understand that" Olivia nods sagely about her company. "Most people I interact with can't wait to see me. I'm easier to hit that way. Dollar store thugs? Seriously? I might believe that with the coffee shop. I might even believe that wasn't personal. But a hotel room in Denver… Are you trying to tell me you're not even interested in why it happened?" A slight tilt of her head. "You want to say something?"

Sevin actually chances a smile at that, though it's brief. It does, however, touch his eyes. "I didn't say anything of the sort," he replies, watching the younger woman carefully. "As a matter of fact. I'm quite interested. Particularly as it pertains to Miss Stone's safety. Which leads me to ask whether you have any…jurisdiction over investigating who the fuck this person is. And putting a stop to this bullshit." That gun of his is within easy reach at all times, though it seems to be Olivia he's focused on intently right now. "Because if you can't, or won't, then I will."

"Did you really just tell a Federal Agent you're about to go all vigilante?" Olivia stares at Sevin for a moment…but is she really surprised? "Tell me all you know about what happened…the real story…and I might be able to help. If it involves crimes across state lines, then I have jurisdiction. If it involves kidnapping, then I'm in. But I can't work in the dark. Will your girlfriend…sorry, ex-girlfriend…tell me the truth?"

"Depends on whether you're planning on doing your job, or wasting your time following me around. By the way, you should hire better help. Your boys couldn't tail a hibernating bear." Evading surveillance attempts. Just add it to a growing list of skills that no physics professor has any rationale for. "State lines? I don't know. Might fall under section two regardless." Of the federal jurisdiction code, he means. Never mind why he might know about that. "And I think I can get her to talk." He continues to watch Olivia carefully, seeming reasonably sure of himself on that last point.

"She hasn't seemed eager to talk before" Olivia points out, "But maybe this will…'help'. They let you see them." Protecting her fellow agents from scurrilous slander - though they probably are incompetent. "If it falls under Section Two, then I will do what I can to find out who is behind it. Seriously, you have to be completely honest with me. All of you."

The water's boiled by this point, and Sevin turns away for a moment to pour it into cups and drop a teabag into each. One of the cups is held out to Olivia with a little tip of his brow. "I have been as honest as I can. Believe me, Special Agent, I would tell you more if I could." Is he being genuine about that? There might be a twinge of something in his eyes, though hard to say what. "I'll…encourage her to cooperate," he offers mildly, gaze even as he sips his tea.

"That's the problem, Professor." Olivia takes the offered cup, blowing over the surface of the liquid. "You should be telling me what I need, not what you can. Criminals tell me what they can…which is nothing. Encourage?" That makes her smirk. "Don't beat her up on my account." A pause. "Salem involved in this?"

Sevin snorts softly and sips his tea. "It wasn't a euphemism." He means violence. Encourage wasn't a euphemism for violence. If he can be believed, that is. "I have no desire to hurt her. Or you, despite what you may think." And despite her being a federal agent, which clearly leaves a bad taste in his mouth, given the way he tends to look at her. "Salem? What the fuck would she have to do with this?"

"I don't know, you tell me?" Olivia shrugs about Salem. "She's a close, personal friend of yours after all. Probably your new girlfriend now. And she's hardly the most forthcoming of souls either. You know who are really good at avoidance? Cults. I have a lot of experience with them." A faint smile before a sip of her tea. "Glad to know that a harmless Professor of Physics doesn't want to hurt me."

Sevin arches a brow slightly at the suggestion and supposition, though neither confirms nor denies one way or the other. "I'm sure if you really wanted the answer to that. You could go and ask her yourself." He sips again and flashes the woman a quick grin. "Mm. Besides, if I did want to hurt you, there are much-" His phone buzzes right about then, and it seems to disrupt his train of thought. Which may be a good thing, given the track he was on. His eyes narrow a touch, and he digs the device out of his pants pocket, and composes a quick reply. "Do you think the attack has ties to the cultists?" He doesn't seem so sure of that.

"Please don't threaten me" Olivia deadpans, even if he didn't actually get around to telling her the better ways he knows of killing her. "None of your friends are talkers, Professor. Lucky they're not your students." She watches him do his text message, sipping on her tea and totally not checking what he is writing. "No, the Guardians of the Light are done. As much as a cult ever is. Another cult… Don't know but they usually don't attack hotels in the middle of cities to abduct someone. Much easier ways to do that."

Something about titpunching, based on the glimpse Olivia gets of his message. The screen is blacked out shortly after, and he slides the phone onto the counter behind him. "Are you going to be shipping back to Denver, then?" What with that cult business wrapping up. "And I wouldn't dream of threatening you, Lopez."

Yeah, 'titpunching' is going to make her treat Sevin better. Is that how he is going to encourage Katherine to talk? "No, I have a reason to hang around now." She doesn't mean Sevin and crew but it could be that soon! "Once the cult case inquiry is over, I'll be basing myself in Calaveras." Her smile for Sevin suggests 'Aren't you lucky'.

It's not clear precisely whom he sent that message to, or what it was in reference to, and he doesn't seem particularly inclined to elucidate either. A curious look is slanted toward the woman when she mentions a 'reason' to hang around. "And what might that be?" He doesn't return the smile. And he's probably not thrilled at the prospect of her being around on a permanent basis, not that he tells her this.

"Please, allow me to answer that question as you would." At which point Olivia stands there, lips sealed, looking somewhere else. As if she would put Liv in the sights of this guy. She stands there in silence for a few minutes before smiling sweetly at Sevin. "Real font of information, right? If only I /could/ tell you." A sarcastic emphasis on the 'c' word.

Sevin and Olivia are having a little chit chat in his kitchen. The Egyptian gentleman is leaned against the counter, sipping a cup of tea. With a teabag. How incredibly pedestrian of him. The front door is locked, but that's remedied shortly by him pushing away from the counter and heading over there. "That was cute," he tells Olivia, flashing her a quick smile. "Was that your impression of me? I think you need to work on your charm. I'm much more charming." He really isn't. The deadbolt is slid free, and the door tugged open a notch before he wanders back into the kitchen with his tea. "So you'll look into the fuck that's been harassing her, right?"

The door jiggles open a while later, there's the pop of a shoe on a step, then Salem walks right on in with a takeaway bag in one hand, a tray of drinks in the other, and a gym bag slung over her back. Her glossy black hair is pulled up in a high tail, and from the looks of her ensemble, she just came from the gym — yoga pants, a tank top, barefoot running shoes. Any sweat has dried, but there's already a bruise blooming up on her right upper arm. "For fucks sake. Your step is loose. Are you trying to kill your guests?"

"I thought you weren't seeing her anymore" Olivia deadpans about the 'fuck' bothering Katherine. "But I will look into her attempted kidnapping." Sevin, charming? She thought she had him down pat. And then look who's here; the Professor's partner in crime. "Salem" Olivia nods in greeting before noticing the bruise on her arm. "Jasper or Maxon? Maybe that loose step is one of the other ways Sevin can dispose of people. He was going to tell me some earlier."

Sevin's house is its usual semi-disaster of schoolwork in some state of being marked, stacked atop obscure physics textbooks with lecture notes crammed into key sections like the world's worst bookmarking scheme. He's recently unpacked some groceries, though a bag of non-perishables still sits on the kitchen counter. At the sound of someone entering, the professor looks over; his eyes track Salem for a pace or two in silence before returning to Olivia. No comment on his loose step. Not one, but two Latinas sassing him in his own home might be making him a bit surlier than usual. "I'm not seeing her. But I give a shit about her safety." He's dressed down in a grey tee shirt and loose-fitting cargo pants this evening. Olivia probably caught him on his way in, as he hasn't unfastened his shoulder rig yet. Or it could be intentional, as the fed is also armed.

Those brown-black eyes of Salem's flit across the interior, and it's hard to say whether or not she's been here before by her glance. She does seem comfortable just walking right on in with food and drink, thought one might get the impression she's just like that. "Sevin." Her version of a belated hello. She walks right into the kitchen to put everything down, crinkles the bag, puts the drink tray aside and hops up onto the counter to sit and unpack. She glances over to Olivia finally, pulling one of three Maude's takeaway cups from the tray. She sips it and then says, "Max."

Salem turns her dark eyes to Sevin. "I think that may be a little drastic. The step isn't that bad after all." She sips again. "Chocolate malt?" There are very clearly two available and up for grabs. Salem does not appear to be armed. She crosses her legs and makes herself at home on the Egyptian's counter. She digs around in the bag with her other hand, unpacking items one by one. Fries, fries, fries, cheeseburger, pie, pie, pita wrap.

Olivia definitely has a gun but it is worn under the ski jacket she still has zipped up. Sevin could outdraw her easily. "If you worry about her safety, maybe you shouldn't have dragged her into whatever it is you're up to." She nods to Salem. "Max has quite the punch. I've got the bruises to prove it too." No grabbing of chocolate malts, she still has her tea from Sevin. "You have quite the appetite, Salem." She eyes off the two of them. "I should probably leave you to whatever plans you're hatching. I'm sure you don't want me hearing them."

The upholstery is dusted in dog hairs, no matter Sevin's attempts to regularly vacuum. And lest Salem think she's avoided running into the fabled mutts, one of them trots out of the bedroom right on cue with the smell of cheeseburgers wafting out from the kitchen, and begins sniffing around feet looking for dropped food. Preferably cheeseburgers. Clack, clack, clack of claws the hardwood mingled with the sound of the animal snuffling about. "Salem," greets the swarthy gentleman lounged against the counter she hoisted herself up atop, with a brief glance as she situates herself there. The food she's brought isn't his usual fare, but he reaches for the wrap after some hesitation. "Thanks for dinner." He takes a bite, chews and swallows. "My only plans right now are to eat a fuckload of food." He grabs a napkin, because mustard and beards don't mix. "Please do let me know what you find out, Ms. Lopez."

"Max hits hard, but he knows how to take a punch too." Salem seems amused. "It takes a while to put him down." She opens one of the pie boxes and regards it for a moment. Lemon, smells like. She picks that up whole with her hand and takes a bite, putting her malt down first, of course. "You don't want fries?" This is asked of Olivia. When the dog makes an appearance, Salem drags her feet up and sits cross-legged there. She doesn't seem in a hurry to rush Olivia off, though does seem to prefer that nothing furry snuffles her. Her gaze drops to the dog briefly, then she glances over at Sevin.

"Keep me informed, Professor, and I will keep you informed. That sound fair" Olivia smiles sweetly to Sevin before declining the offer of fries from Salem. Probably poisoned. "No thanks. You two have a pleasant night. I'll see myself out." And she does. Totally not placing a bug anywhere in the house as she leaves.

Poisoned? Unlikely. Sevin already had his chance with the tea. "Buenas noches, Ms. Lopez," he offers in casual farewell, then promptly takes another large bite of his food. She's welcome to bug his house, but given the givens, it's safe to say that he regularly sweeps for such. The dog snuffling around gets a sharp whistle and a gruff command in what sounds like Arabic. She eyes Salem somewhat mournfully for a moment before trotting off again. "Need some ice for that arm?" he asks the woman sitting cross-legged on his kitchen counter, once the door's shut after Olivia.

Salem glances between Olivia and Sevin while she eats her pie. She seems content to refuel on sugar and carbs while they discuss the vagaries of protecting a certain citizen. There's a tip up of two fingers in a bye salute to Olivia, who may hear her say, "I got that library book you asked for," before the door closes. "Quilting, really?"

"Arm will be fine. My hip's going to be purple." Salem seems fine, despite some developing bruises. "We traded body blows and Max hits like a two-ton truck. I think he broke his hand, though." She watches the dog go without comment.

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