(2019-03-03) Not Quite Naked Voices
August, Kate, and Sam gather for an unofficial Naked Voices extra shoot in the hot tub, hanging out a bit in August & Anthony's Oak Road home.
Players:
august..katherine..sam..


<TXT> From Katherine to Sam and August - If you two are free today at some point, let me know.

<TXT> From August to Katherine and Sam - I could get out of the bath sometime today.

<TXT> From Katherine to August and Sam - You have to be pruney, and if I don't get out of my house, I'm gonna get arrested today. So I might as well do something productive.

<TXT> From Sam to August and Katherine - Or we could all meet in the bath? I'm finishing up some things, but can likely get out.

<TXT> From August to Katherine and Sam - This tub is huge. I live in this tub. We could fit, I'm saying.

<TXT> From Katherine to Sam and August - Don't tempt me Sam, shit. I could sit in a.. oh my fucking god. I wanted to tape something today, but.. why don't we tape it in a hot tub or something? We CAN do something like that? Can we? Oh my god please, I could use the stress relief!

<TXT> From August to Katherine and Sam - There's a hot tub on the deck. Just saying. Full kitchen. Open bar. I'm trying to train Jackson to bring me a bag of popcorn when I say snacks, but so far he just waits for me to feed him a carrot.

<TXT> From Katherine to August and Sam - I think we should do this. Let me know when everyone is available. August if you're available sooner, I could really use a hug.

<TXT> From August to Katherine and Sam - I'll find a towel and something to wear.

<TXT> From Sam to August and Katherine - Those sound like the Sam thing. You OK, Kate?

<TXT> From Katherine to Sam and August - I'm okayish. But girl talk would not go amiss, and I'm just pissed off at this VERY moment.

<TXT> From Sam to Katherine and August - I have a meeting with my editor in the middle of the afternoon. Yes, I know it is Sunday. I could hang out for awhile until then - but I'm not girl talk.

<TXT> From Katherine to Sam and August - I'm gathering what I would need for an informal taping, and I can girl talk with August anytime, really.

<TXT> From August to Sam and Katherine - Behind the scenes online content?

<TXT> From Katherine to August and Sam - Could be.

<TXT> From Katherine to August and Sam - I'm about to stomp out of my kitchen in high dudgeon. You have a kitchen, right August? Can I cook this lasagna there? You can say you made it.

<TXT> From August to Katherine and Sam - I do. It's huge. I'll unlock the door, just come on in. It's digital.

<TXT> From August to Katherine and Sam - 115 Oak, park anywhere.

<TXT> From Sam to Katherine and August - Your place sounds awesome. Fire the the address - oh, you're ahead of me




Great Room - 115 Old Oak Road - Calaveras

Sun Mar 03, 2019 — Sun Mar 03 12:57:45 2019



Immaculately polished hardwood floors extend across this room which features high vaulted ceilings made of large natural wooden beams. The flooring is wide hewn timber, locally sourced, stained richly and well cared for through many years. The back wall of the room features a truly impressively sized cathedral style window which composes the entirety of the wall, floor-to-ceiling, extending up to meet the vaulted ceilings' height. The glass looks out over the deck, to the mountain landscapes of Calaveras, rolling wooded slopes and craggy rock visible at a glance. This view, it's clear, is the reason this property was built, faced mostly in glass on one side, and why it's always sold near-immediately when it comes onto the market. A large natural stonework hearth is built into a sidewall here and a large leather sectional rests in the center of the room atop a massive floor rug. A pair of huge wingback leather chairs back up to the windows, nestled against antique Tiffany lamps, which makes a rather lovely reading nook at night. Floor-to-ceiling built ins and bookshelves line an entire interior wall, and they're equally split between antique leather-bound books on Italian history, cooking, first edition anatomy texts, anthropological texts, and ancient poetry. Several wet specimens, some butterflies and large insects pinned under glass, and an entire disarticulated human skeleton rest in a floor-to-ceiling glass-walled case which also holds a large jar of human teeth, mostly from antique dentistry practice. Set just inside the entryway is a staircase leading upward to a second story landing.

To the other end of the massive space is a U shaped kitchen set into the open floor plan, counter pale, sparkle-veined granite, wide, richly stained cabinets, a huge stove hood, six burners, a deep stainless sink, and enough space to cater any size party from here, the heart of the home. Across a long length of counter which also doubles as a breakfast bar that seats six, is a huge, heavy wooden dining table for twelve, dark wood nicked and restored, lovingly oiled and cared for. Set into the heavy spindle legs are tiny bronzed bird skulls, lustre glimmering in even the lowest light.




There's a fire going in the enormous hearth, chimney venting out all smoke, though the woodsy smell persists, along with the light popping of wood logs burning. The back wall filters in a lot of light this time of day, making the varnished wood interiors gleam. It's no surprise August hangs out here, because the view is spectacular.

The front door is open, locks disengaged. Under the dining room table, Jackson chews on a miniature Tire toy, quietly whiling away his afternoon. Aug sits at the table in a long two-piece black dress, legs crossed, feet bare, waiting for her guests to arrive while she fucks round on Instagram, posting some recent tattoos.

Kate walks in, clearly in high dudgeon, a large pan of lasagna in her hands. The annoyed look on her face as she holds that large pan whilst trying to step out of her boots would be comical, if she didn't look like she was about to throw the pan. She spots the kitchen, stops to kiss August on the cheek before she moves to put the pan in an oven and start cooking. Her coat is pulled off, scarf unwrapped from her neck, beanie pulled loose before she sighs. "Hey." She is wearing a cropped black tee-shirt that shows her navel tattoo and a pair of tight black leggings. Her hair is an unruly mess, piled on top of her head.

Sam arrives a few minutes later. He doesn't drive, so it was a hike up the hill to August's place. His cheeks are rosy from the cold and it feels a bit weird to just let himself into the strange house. Still, he does and tugs off his winter things before venturing forward into the main room to find August. "Hey. I guess I got the right place." He says, flashing a quick smile. He's wearing a simple grey sweater and jeans, his backpack hanging from one hand. "Kate here - " Yes. She is. He hears her in the kitchen.

Aug's not far off the kitchen, just behind that long counter, really. She smiles and turns her head to kiss Katherine's cheek. "Girl, you look fit to be tied." She rises from her seat at the table, putting her phone down. "Tattoo's healed well." She watches the pan go into the oven, leaning against the marble countertop. "I love lasagna."

As the door opens again, she looks over. "Hey, Sam. Welcome. Come on in, help yourself to anything. Drinks in the fridge—beer, water, juice, wine, Coke…" She wanders over to slide her arms around his shoulders. Apparently wandering into her home means he gets a hug, and it's a genuine one. Aug doesn't do quick squeezes. "You're freezing. Did you walk?"

Jackson glances over when Kate arrives, getting up to go and greet her, perhaps to check her out and give a nuzzle. He oofs, not quite a bark, barely vocalizing. And then he goes to check out Sam, the new guy. Incoming fawn colored mastiff! He's only 5+ months old, but he already outweighs a lot of regular dogs, at somewhere in the 90 pound range. When fully grown, he's likely to weigh in at 230.

"Thanks. I am fit to be tied. I'm losing my fucking mind." Kate glances toward the oven and smirks, shrugging a shoulder. "That's like six pounds of lasagna, if you don't eat it, Maxon or Jasper will." She smiles as Sam walks in, raising a hand to wave at him as she tries to look normal. "You are flushed, one of us is driving you home, probably me. August is gonna end up in her bathtub again.. with lasagna." She kneels down to commune with Jackson for a few beats, until he goes to make a new friend. "I ..have equipment in the car." Out she dashes.

Sam wraps his arms around August and returns the hug, smiling. "It was a good walk. It's crisp out there. I needed a bit of exercise. I went to the gym the other day, but once in a week doesn't really cut it." Then he crosses over toward Kate and puts an arm around her for a hug as well. "Losing your mind is better than it already being lost." The words are light, but the concern in his expression isn't something he's very good at trying to hide. "Good to see you both."

August turns her pale gaze to Kate as the brunette mentions the lasagna and bathtub. She just nods and says, "Yeah, that's true. I'm not even gonna lie." She will definitely end up doing that later. "Remind me to check your fitness progress next time we meet." She means grabbing his ass, but he probably doesn't know that. There's a brief look exchanged with Kate that says girl talk later, because somebody appears to have lit her fire. August, on the other hand, is looking relaxed, if a tiny bit sleepy, but that's just by her eyes.

Jackson trots over after getting his nuzzle in, and waits by the door like he knows Kate's going to return.

Return she does, with a camera and a tripod. "You know, if we're going to actually get into the hot tub, any makeup put on my face is going to wash off, so I think I'm just going to set it up to get the side of my face that isn't bruised." Kate looks thoughtful, making sounds that prompt Jackson to follow her as she hustles to the balcony. The bruise is nearly gone, the slight discoloration and yellowing of her skin only noticeable to those who are used to how she normally looks. She meets August's eyes, and nods slightly before she slips through the door.

"Keeping the lights dim likely isn't a terrible idea." Sam says, nodding to August about letting his progress be known. He doesn't know that involve ass grabbing, but likely wouldn't complain too much about that kind of /ass/essment. He squats down to have his few moments introducing himself properly to the dog while he waits for Kate to get things setup however she needs.

"The hot tub's outside. What's the temperature?" August glances out, clearly not having left the house today. She takes those few strides over to the back window to press the back of her hand to the glass wall, as if that's going to tell her something specific. Aug turns to follow Kate outside to check on the freeze factor out there. "If that doesn't work out for today, we could do the dining table." With all the esoteric bookshelf errata in the background.

Jackson, meanwhile, takes every advantage of Sam's affection, presenting himself to be loved. He's soft and warm and cuddly. And will grow into a dog who is all of those things plus enormously linebacker sized.




Balcony - 115 Old Oak Road - Calaveras

Sun Mar 03, 2019 — Sun Mar 03 13:38:40 2019



The view from here borders on majestic, with the rolling mountainous landscapes prominent at the edges of Calaveras and the impressive natural oak trees that vary from deep greens to vibrant orange and yellows depending on the season. The air is sweet and fresh, tinged with the earthy scent one can only find on a wooded mountainside. Thickly hewn redwood planks form the balcony platform that extends outward from the houses great room with the cathedral window looking across it, though wraps its length around to the front of the house, wrapping the entire length of it. A large hot tub is set into one corner of the balcony with a redwood finish that matches the deck, a few small tables with chairs, and an outdoor barbecue grilling island features seating enough for a party. A few strands of outdoor patio lights have been added, white, which can be enjoyed in the evening, or simply turned off to allow a clear, breathtaking view of the Colorado night sky to take center stage. There is nothing like the diamond-scattered clear night viewed through the bite of clean mountain air.




Kate takes a deep breath, looking around before she responds. "Mid forties, this is warm to me.." She watches August as she arrives, tilting her head to get the final say from the queen herself. She holds the camera in both hands, turning to see if Sam is going to follow them out to give his viewpoint. "I'm down for anything, you both got me away from the B&B, and i didn't murder anyone."

"Any day where you don't murder someone is a good day." Sam replies quietly, walking out onto the balcony into the cool day. "It's fine out here. It's not nearly as cold as it has been. And if we're in the water it should be quite cozy. I mostly prefer hot tubs in the winter - I find I overheat way too quickly when it's both hot outside and hot in the water." He shrugs and grabs at the hem of his sweater, pulling off his shirt without further hesitation. Yup. That's colder. Poor Sam is a bit pale with the sweater off. This winter has gone on for too long and he could really use some sunshine.

"Fuck it, let's go for it." She leans over to adjust the controls on the hot tub box, even though this temperature is enough to make her seriously question her life's choices. It is warm compared to other days this month. She brushes off the cover, pulls it open and turns the timer and sets it to heat to 102 degrees. "I'll gather up the robes. I ordered some fluffy ones prepping for this day." Guests and a hot tub! "Y'all are crazy." It's cold to her, still, but she's from a tropical region. "I'll do that, and champagne or wine? Something in a bottle's easiest." She slips back inside after a moment, once they confirm a choice of beverage.

"Champagne." Kate decides, moving to quickly set up the camera. She tilts her head to the side as she lines up the shot, glancing out around the property every so often to make sure that everything looks okay. Once the camera is set, she pulls her shirt off, shimmies out of her leggings and climbs in the hot tub with her lace boyshorts and bra on. The water isn't heated yet so she doesn't settle down to sit, making a face until things start to warm up. "Listen, Sam. I don't want to murder people, but lately people are being jackasses. Kate has a limit, and it's been breached."

"You're dealing with so much shit - and perhaps I don't know all of it - I can't really blame you for feeling like you want to lash out, Kate. I know you don't want to, but I get that we all have limits. Hopefully you can unwind a bit here this afternoon." Sam says, pulling his jeans off. The talk of a hot tub had him put some trunks on beneath his jeans before he'd left his apartment - no doubt the audience is disappointed. He steps into the still cool water too, rubbing his hands together to stay warm.

August disappears for a while inside, gathering up an armload of fluffy robes, a bottle of champagne, three flutes. Like having people over in the still-winter-here-guys to hot tub it with a digital recorder is normal people behavior. When she returns, it's IN one of those robes, with Jackson trotting behind her. She folds the robes within reach of her co-hosts, then puts the glasses and bottle down before undoing her robe. She has … a lot of tattoos. A lot. August slips into the hot tub wearing a two piece string bikini, black. "Fuck me, fuck fuck fuck." It's cold. She's pale as hell, clearly that seven second robe drop to hot tub is a bitch. And the water's not hot yet. "Fuck fuck." She'll stop eventually.

The water heats up slightly and Kate eases down into it, letting out a slow breath. She turns her head toward the camera, eyes narrowed. "Okay, oh…that's starting to feel good." She submerges herself down to her neck, her eyes closing. "What's something that we can all agree that needs to be modernized?" She asks, shifting to make sure her hair doesn't get wet. She eyes August in her bikini, listening to the stream of profanity coming out of her mouth.

"Modernized?" Sam asks after easing himself down into the hot water. It feels very good - especially with the frosty air still on his face, the steam rising up all around them. He doesn't hide his amused expression as August swears her way onto the deck and eventually into the water. "Better now?" He asks her once she's able to get into the warmer water as well, before he looks back toward Kate. "Are you asking that in a social, big picture sense? Or more day to day tasks that we wish technology would have taken away by now?"

August is literally chattering over on her side of the tub, her arms crossed. She sinks in lower to the water, shooting a pale-eyed glance to Sam. "Maybe." It'll take a minute to warm her back up, this water. Her long hair is pulled up high on her head, secured in a messy bun. Aug sinks down until she's kneeling on the bottom, only her tattooed neck and head above the water. "I'd like to have street tacos delivered by drone." She reaches up to rub her hands over her submerged, but still chilled shoulders. "Barring that, I'll take equal representation in government and equal pay for equal f—… flipping work."

"Either or. Just curious." Kate murmurs, slanting a look at Sam, a smile forming on her lips. "Holy shit, I want that too August. Like, right now? Lasagna is good, but I want street tacos." She moves closer to August to share her body heat, giggling softly. "We'll make a Colorado girl out of you yet, August." She murmurs, giving her a hug. "I have to agree to your second point as well, we're operating on laws and practices that were put together when the country was small. It needs to be revisited."

"No argument from me on any of those points. Drone tacos, equal representation and equal pay are all things that need to happen yesterday. I'm in a bad business for it - women authors tend to get smaller advances. Figure that one out. Is there really anyone that can argue that men are somehow innately better at writing books? I might be able to argue the opposite." Sam shifts in the tub and rolls his shoulders, letting the rising heat seep into his muscles while he watches Kate and August. "I'd like to see this country in particular modernize the way they're able to collectively dismiss and dehumanize people that look differently than they do. I feel like we're regressing in this aspect, rather than coming to a better understanding."

Aug slides over to wrap her arms around Kate, thus ensuring higher ratings. She leans in and rests her head on the woman's shoulder. "If I could have street tacos delivered by drone, would do it every day." She, of course, doesn't cook. She laughs. "Me a Colorado girl? Girl."

Aug nods to the commentary about the country. "Yeah, and I do think we'll get there. We have some markers of progress." And some of slipping backward, of course. "I'm with you. We should be reaching out to each other, not hiding behind fences, even when the work is hard. It's why I travel so often — other places are different, and I've never been received with anything less than hospitality abroad. I mean, and in Calaveras. The B&B has pretty much linked me with the best things in my life right now."

"Colorado Bitch?" Kate murmurs, giggling softly before she says louder. "Colorado woman. You are older than me after all, I should have some respect for my elders." Her eyes dance as she says it, letting out a sigh. "People tend to hold on to something even when it doesn't make sense. Change is uncomfortable, and people aren't always willing to make themselves uncomfortable to see if something is better." She wrinkles her nose. "If we could only ease change in with the problems in our society as easy as cellular phones snuck it, it'd be rather amazing." She turns to gaze at Sam. "So tell us Sam, what have you been up to the last week or so?"

"That's my snap the fingers and make the world a better place answer. I don't think we quite understand quite how much we'd all gain by being open and inclusive. We wrap our arms around what we know and figure that's the best it can ever be. It's scary to take chances, even if those are going to improve life for everyone." Sam says, grinning toward the exchange between Kate and August. "If we're respecting our elders, I have a thing or two to talk to you both about how you're treating me. I'm getting the grumpy old man stage of my life. Kids these days." He runs his hand across the top of the water, tilting his head at Kate's question. "This is going to be a boring show if we deep dive into my week. I completed about forty pages of my latest graphic novel. That's over two hundred panels - drawn and inked. Well, coloured. I do everything digitally. Besides that? Spent some time at the gym. Hung out with a friend of mine and watched some movies from the 80s." He flashes a smile at Kate at this last point.

August laughs, "Sure, Colorado woman. Tattooed and living in the wilds." She glances over to the glass-walled great room, off camera. "With my soon-to-be two hundred and thirty pound dog and man who wears a tailored suit to work." This from a woman who looks more like she'd be dating a grizzled biker or a heavily tattooed musician or something. She tips back, finally, moving to lean against the hot tub's seat, slowly moving to sit up in it. Whew, chilly.

Aug's gaze lingers in the middle distance for a moment, and then she turns her attention to Sam. "Yeah, the instant access to each other comes with good and bad." She laughs and asks, "Do you need a hot tub cuddle, Sam?" She reaches over and gives his knee a squeeze under the surface. "Shit, two hundred panels in a week? That's a lot of drawing. I hope you're getting regular hand massages." She would know. "80s movies. I love the Princess Bride, but I could have stood more Fire Swamp scenes."

"Hand massages, why in the world did you say that and my mind went straight to hand jobs?" Kate frowns and eases into the warm water again now that August is warm. "We watched.. gosh, Goonies, Less than Zero, Dirty Dancing and .. the Breakfast Club. We also overdosed on room service, it was great." She tilts her head back, letting out a sigh. "Instant access has ruined a lot of things for people. They don't get together much anymore. Texting is an excuse not to meet or call. I'm guilty of that shit myself, and trying to break the habit."

"Hand jobs help the writing process too. Not going to deny that." Sam quips, grinning toward the other two. "That's an extremely productive week. Often I do a quarter of that. And I had outlines for all of these already. This is just the stage of the process where I need to start finishing pages and making sure everything comes together properly. When I get into the right state of mind it can be pretty relaxing to just draw." He bites at his bottom lip a moment and continues - "I think it's a balance. Technology helps me keep in touch with people so much more than I ever could before and not lose contact when I might otherwise. On the other hand, it's easy to forget to walk fifteen minutes and actually hang out with people."

"Hand massages are far more intimate and harder to pull off," August deadpans like a champion. She glances at the lens and then away and back to Kate, aaaand to Sam. "You know, Judd Nelson in that movie is basically my entire high school string of boy-flings." She had a type. "And then I went through an Ally Sheedy phase which was basically what I was doing on prom night." She sighs softly at the memory of youthful indiscretion. She grins that, at something Sam says.

"I can do both. Texting will never die. It's my lifeblood. Also how I get in a lot of quality image foreplay." Aug raises her brows. "We have busy lives and sometimes my goodnight is his good morning. Kick the tires via text and then there's no waiting." You're welcome, Calaveras, for that. "Try it. You'll like it."

"Never tried either myself, but they both sound interesting and fun." She makes an innocent face that might be genuine or fake, hard to tell. Kate grins slowly and lets out a sigh. "I was a Claire in high school, but I was also tortured by Heather so I was the very shy Claire." She shifts a bit in the water and runs her fingers up her arm slowly, dripping water as she pats her hair to make sure it's in place. "So you sext to get someone in the mood for on the spot sex instead of foreplay in person? I learn something new every day."

"You know, that's not something I've ever done much. Not to say never - just hasn't been a big part of my relationships. Maybe I should see what I can do to up my game. Always things to learn and it sounds like I have an expert willing to share her wisdom close at hand." Sam replies. "I'm still pretty sure it doesn't really compare to in person foreplay. I know they might take away my man card for saying so, but I often enjoy the lead up just as much as the main event. Though, some discussion to be had about at what line things cross over from foreplay into main event? Likely a bunch of topics we could dig into." He stands up in the tub, water dripping down and steam rising off his body. He steps out and takes up one of the robes. "I have to slip away for a bit though. I'm about to do a meeting with my editor in a puffy robe from August's living room."

"I mean, we send extremely suggestive selfies." August tips back against the wall of the hot tub once she finds a jet that'll ease a sore spot in the middle of her lower back. Lord have mercy. "I'm a very visual person. And then you do some foreplay in person, but it's not necessary, if you don't have the time, if you know what I mean." Everybody should know what she means. August is rarely subtle when it comes to sexual subject matter. "Don't get me wrong, the long way 'round is amazing. Weekends, vacation days, fuck off work days, whatever. When you have forty five minutes before one of your crashes out and the other heads out the door, you have to pre-game." She laughs as Sam chimes in. "I agree. I could neck for days." She nods to the living room. "Help yourself to anything in the kitchen." When his editor spots the disarticulated human skeleton in the background, that should make for some interesting discussion.

"Oh, well I couldn't do that. I'm pretty shy about sending pictures." Kate wrinkles her nose and turns her head toward August, listening as she speaks. "Hmm, well I'm going to have to think on all of these methods, because I feel like out of everyone here, I'm the least adventurous." She sighs and leans to the side, gazing through the doors. "Have some lasagna, it should be done in a about ten minutes, actually. I should have brought garlic bread too."

"It's not full on. Take this for example. You're heading him and you stop in the car before you get going. Just take a couple I miss you selfies, a blown kiss, whatever. Take a little half-unbuttoned shirt selfie at the long stop light in town." August shrugs. "Little hints here and there. I wouldn't advise texting while driving, but the way. I often do mine from a safe location like my bed. During the work week. Around lunch time. Just to check in and say I miss you." She smiles a bit and says, "I mean, now for example. Hot tub selfies. Wish you were here. That kinda thing. It's like sexting but let your lover's mind do the work."

She must be warmer now, because August is back in casual chit-chat mode. "I think you do fine. I saw some of that lingerie." She grins and glances toward the house. "I'm pretty sure there's all the stuff you need to make it in there. I mean, Tony's kitchen. Italian's gonna have the junk to make Italian food."

Kate holds her phone up, leaning in to put her arm around August's shoulder. She offers the camera a dazzling smile, waiting to actually take the picture until the pale woman smiles too. "I don't know, August. I try to do okay at some of this shit, and I'm damn near constantly surrounded by angry men lately." She rolls her eyes, setting her phone down after she types in a text. "Don't stop giving advice though, because who nkows what might strike like lightning and actually work out. She leans out of the hot tub, dripping as she fingers the camera to turn it off. A cool burst of wind makes her squeak and she ducks back under, her eyes closing for a few moments.

Kate holds her phone up, leaning in to put her arm around August's shoulder. She offers the camera a dazzling smile, waiting to actually take the picture until the pale woman smiles too. "I don't know, August. I try to do okay at some of this shit, and I'm damn near constantly surrounded by angry men lately." She rolls her eyes, setting her phone down after she types in a text. "Don't stop giving advice though, because who nkows what might strike like lightning and actually work out." She leans out of the hot tub, dripping as she fingers the camera to turn it off. A cool burst of wind makes her squeak and she ducks back under, her eyes closing for a few moments.

August takes a moment to turn her head, her cheek pressed against Kate's. She has strong selfie game, because when she smiles, it goes genuine fast, crinkling her eyes just a bit, flashing those pearlies she probably spent a fortune on. "One more." She makes a kissy face, the standard 20-something in a hot tub cuteness. She gives Kate's cheek a kiss and settles back to her back massaging jet. This is exactly the thing she needed to help ease some pain. "I find the angry ones are usually stressed, which makes them growl more. On one hand, hot. On the other shut the fuck up and let me work it out of your body with my body, right?" She opens her mouth to say something else, but that wind stops her cold. Literally. "Fuck." She drops to her knees and sinks down all the way up to her chin. "Colorado."

Kate takes a second selfie, making the kissy face with August. She turns her head to regard August, nodding slowly. "I'm not great in the face of stress. I never really had to deal with anger in my life all that much, my parents were happy people. My siblings were generally happy as well." She shrugs a shoulder and rests her head on August's shoulder when she sinks back down into the water. "All this anger and angst just twists me up, and then I can't ..I can't be myself and attempt to fix things." She laughs out loud when August sinks down enough to make her pull back from her shoulder. "Harvey is pushing. It's pissing me off. Out of all the times to push, to do it now? I'm confused about Sevin, afraid to be alone in my house, and he wants to talk things through. How do you get someone to stop pushing?"

"Oh." Aug looks to Kate for a moment. "I guess… yeah if you're just experiencing it for the first time, it's pretty stressful. I mean it can be anyway, if you don't know exactly which way the person's gonna go."

"Sometimes, when Tony and I disagree, and he gets annoyed, he'll just back off me. I mean, he used to. And I can't… I can't handle it. Yelling doesn't bother me. We come from big families and that's how we both grew up, I think. But the separation hurts. Now, he knows that, and he might step off for a minute, but he always comes back to me pretty fast, to put his arms around me. Before I can spiral out into the panic phase. Ironically I have commitment issues and abandonment issues. He started making room for that." August's issues are more like steamer trunks. Gotta make space.

She falls silent for a few beats before she turns to the subject of Harvey. "What's Malone no. 2 pushing about now?" Aug touches Kate's shoulder when she mentions Sevin. "Harvey's pushing you about Sevin or where you're living, or is… is Harvey trying to court you?"

Kate nods at August, nodding harder when she says separation hurts. "He wants to figure things out, talk. He said that I needed to buy a gun, get him to teach me how to use it. Sevin is already teaching me. He thinks I need to learn home defense. He's pushing, and I'm already afraid. I don't want to turn my house into a war zone. I'll drive my tenants right out the door." She winces, her eyes shifting to August before she adds. "He also wants to talk about my propositioning him, but I think when he says talk, he wants to tell me that he's interested. So part of me gets angry because he's pushing me. Part of me is getting angry because I don't want to discuss him being interested in me." She rolls her eyes and frowns. "He also thinks I'm stupid for sleeping at Sevin's. Mind you, I kind of think that I'm stupid for doing that too, because it just confuses me. He doesn't want to be with me, but he wants to ..fuck me. I just.. everything is confusing right now." Her phone buzzes as she gets a return text, and she glances at it for a few beats.

"The thing with guns and home defense is, you have to be comfortable doing it, because guns can be taken off you so easily. And… I mean yes. With the stuff that's going down, yes. But at your pace, when you're ready." Aug's hand slips down Kate's arm and into the water. "He can't make you a commando in 2 weeks through will alone. The ability to do harm to another person is something than even trained in you has its effects." She means it has a price. She doesn't elaborate, but Rio likely comes to mind.

"Yeah, awkward moment when a dude finds out you might be single and suddenly wants to have a talk about it." August's fingers slip behind her neck and she rubs with that hand, dripping trails of water across her tattoos. "Jesus, he commented on that too? On a roll today, Harvey." Aug shakes her head.

"Sevin is equipped to deal with whatever comes for you. So it Tony. I mean there's a reason I've been sleeping here while you've been sleeping at Sevin's place. This house," she gestures. "It's basically a fortress." Sure, sitting exposed on the back deck isn't so fortressy, but the drop off from the deck is pretty steep. There's a good chance they'd have some warning. Course now that Aug's thought of that, her gaze turns to the view. And all those trees clinging to the foothills. "… When I was briefly with Sevin, we discussed no lies and no commitments. I said I would never be faithful to him and he was cool with that."

"I'm not ready, that's not me. The mere thought of it terrifies me beyond belief." Kate pulls her legs up and wraps her arms around herself, blowing out a quiet breath. "I just..I would rather not have that conversation with Harvey, full stop. I'm going to tell him if he brings it up again any time soon. I don't like him like that, and it's not going to change. He'd be better off finding someone else to keep him company." She gazes at August when she speaks of Sevin. "That's the problem though August, I would have been okay with the same set up. When I asked Sam out for dinner, that's when commitment came up, and I wasn't the one who said it first." She swallows and lets out a soft, bitter laugh. "The same with no lies, there are always lies." She shrugs her shoulders and gazes down into the water. "Telling me about them, and then asking me to trust him was like thrusting a sword in my abdomen, and telling me I won't feel it when he turns it counterclockwise." She gazes out at the trees, going quiet.

August nods, her gaze on Kate. She says, "It took me a long time to be comfortable enough with a gun to carry one. I learned how to use a knife first. Even that might not be right for you. Maybe you're a baton girl. Or mace. Or you prefer your hands. There are a lot of ways to look after yourself. And a lot of people never even learn to fire a taser, let alone a pistol."

"There's absolutely nothing wrong with that. Harvey needs to stop pushing. If he chose to have a gun in his hand, that's fine. His choice. Your choice belongs to you, and he better get it through his head. You can say no, full stop. Anytime. I know you know that, but I feel like hearing it again helps. For me too. Reaffirming, you know? Because everybody thinks women need to say yes to big strong men with their big strong advice." Aug smirks faintly, her hands coming up to brush over her shoulders again.

The tattooer glances at the hot tub timer. She leans over to check the temperature, then uses a pool thermometer to test to be sure it's accurate. "We should get out soon, before we roast something." Not that it feels like it's possible on a day like today. "I mean… omission or silence, but no active lies is what I said. If I said no omission, I'd have to find a different dating pool entirely." Calaveras is so full of secrets. "We should pop this champagne. I need a drink."

Kate turns back, looking thoughtful. "Whatever makes me okay, feeling safe, I haven't found it yet. I'm not terrible with firearms, but they scare me pretty bad, the noise startles me." She wrinkles her nose, dunking herself under the water briefly, coming up with a sigh. "I think that Harvey feels like if he doesn't say it, I'm not going to know it, I know. I'm not into him like that." She glances back out to the trees, getting to her feet. "I didn't have any idea how much he was lying until he told me that he was. I haven't even told you, it didn't feel right. You know about the name thing, that's huge for me. Part of me wishes he had lied to me, came up with any excuse. Knowing ..it really doesn't help." She steps out and wraps herself in one of the robes, nodding at August. "I could use a drink too, and..food, I think."

"I still jump every time a gun goes off. It's just wired in me. Inside, they're so much louder. At the range you have the ear protecting, you know? Even then, I flinch. I can't help it." There's a pause before Aug goes on to ask, "More than his name he was lying about?" She glances over, a little frown line creasing her brows, "What else?"

August moves to reluctantly stand from the tub. Her jaw locks the second all that mountain air hits her wet, exposed body. A bikini was the worst idea ever. She wades to the side and climbs out, slipping into a robe before a string of profanity issue — nope, no profanity. She's to cold to f-bomb. She's trying to relearn how to breathe at his very moment. "… Holy." She swallows, grabs up the glasses and bottle, and scampers inside. On the backswing of the door, "FUCK," issues from inside. Sorry, Sam, Sam's editor. Where ever in the house he set up, that was definitely audible.




Great Room - 115 Old Oak Road - Calaveras

Sun Mar 03, 2019 — Sun Mar 03 16:07:57 2019



Immaculately polished hardwood floors extend across this room which features high vaulted ceilings made of large natural wooden beams. The flooring is wide hewn timber, locally sourced, stained richly and well cared for through many years. The back wall of the room features a truly impressively sized cathedral style window which composes the entirety of the wall, floor-to-ceiling, extending up to meet the vaulted ceilings' height. The glass looks out over the deck, to the mountain landscapes of Calaveras, rolling wooded slopes and craggy rock visible at a glance. This view, it's clear, is the reason this property was built, faced mostly in glass on one side, and why it's always sold near-immediately when it comes onto the market. A large natural stonework hearth is built into a sidewall here and a large leather sectional rests in the center of the room atop a massive floor rug. A pair of huge wingback leather chairs back up to the windows, nestled against antique Tiffany lamps, which makes a rather lovely reading nook at night. Floor-to-ceiling built ins and bookshelves line an entire interior wall, and they're equally split between antique leather-bound books on Italian history, cooking, first edition anatomy texts, anthropological texts, and ancient poetry. Several wet specimens, some butterflies and large insects pinned under glass, and an entire disarticulated human skeleton rest in a floor-to-ceiling glass-walled case which also holds a large jar of human teeth, mostly from antique dentistry practice. Set just inside the entryway is a staircase leading upward to a second story landing.

To the other end of the massive space is a U shaped kitchen set into the open floor plan, counter pale, sparkle-veined granite, wide, richly stained cabinets, a huge stove hood, six burners, a deep stainless sink, and enough space to cater any size party from here, the heart of the home. Across a long length of counter which also doubles as a breakfast bar that seats six, is a huge, heavy wooden dining table for twelve, dark wood nicked and restored, lovingly oiled and cared for. Set into the heavy spindle legs are tiny bronzed bird skulls, lustre glimmering in even the lowest light.




By the time Kate joins her in the Great Room, she's already basically plastered to the hearth with her robe open, soaking up all those sweet, sweet heatwaves from the fire. "Sorry. My tits almost froze off." She's still holding the champagne and flutes.

Kate follows August in more sedately, not that she's not cold, but she has to gather the camera and the clothes that she shimmied out of. She walks over toward the fire, opening her robe to do the same as August, sighing. "I should have made time to grab a swimsuit, now I can't get dressed again until my bra and undies dry." She sets down the case with the camera, holding her hands out toward the fire. "A lot, August, and I'm already endangering your safety by being here because of the shit that has happened in Rio and Denver. This would create more danger, and more importantly, it's not my secrets to tell."

She runs fingers through her hair, tousling the curls on her hair as it slowly dries. "I kind of wish I could look up medical cases where tits have fallen off, because I think that would be an amazing thing to see, is that weird?" She checks her phone, tapping something into it before she eyes August. "Champagne me?" She asks, flashing the woman a smile.

August is through shivering by the time Kate also arrives to flash the fire. She laughs softly and says, "I mean, no harm, no foul. I probably have something you can borrow back in the bedroom to change into." She shivers a bit more as the heat bakes one side of her body thoroughly, then slips her robe and turns her back to the fire. She hugs the dry side of her robe to the front of her body. "We can throw your stuff in the dryer too." She looks over to Kate, then says, "Nobody's getting in here, and if they do, there's at least one firearm in every room." Not that you can tell by looking.

Aug tosses her robe aside, puts the flutes down on the hearth, then goes about opening the champagne bottle. It's still chilled, thankfully. She pulls the foil, grabs the neck, tips her thumb over the cork and hugs the bottle. She loosens the wire hood, then tips and twists the bottle with her hand on the cork. One, two, three mini turns and POP. No explosions, just a little gas escaping. She turns to pick up two flutes, filling them one handed. Someone must have worked as a bartender for a while. Or she just opens a lot of bottles of champagne. Aug offers her hand over so Kate can take one. "You're right, sorry I asked. Sevin's secrets are his own. Curious nature." She grins a bit. "Can't help it."

Kate considers for a few moments, gesturing toward the kitchen. "Is the laundry room through there? I'll just sit naked under the robe while stuff dries." She watches August open up the bottle, her lips pressed together to keep from laughing or even smiling. She takes one of the flutes, tips it back to take a drink, draining more than half the glass. "It's fine, I tell you nearly everything, but.. I just don't .." She folds her arms over her chest, her head tilted slightly to the side as she tries to gather her wits enough to speak. "..He's got a lot of secrets. It causes a lot of lies. I can't make sense of it, and just let things go." She swirls the liquid around in the flute, watching the bubbles foam. "I'm glad that you're safe here, but I miss having you at the house.. when I'm there."

"Yeah, right through that door." August gestures. "Just your normal front loaders." Not that they have ever been used, probably. Installed and not touched, except maybe for towels or something. They use a laundry service most of the time. "I think they're straightforward."

"Yeah, I know. Some things… you can't share. It's not easy dating a man with shit he needs to protect you from. Because no matter what, it always feels just a little bit condescending. Even if it's really not." She smiles a bit, then sits on the edge of the hearth, close enough to the fire to feel the warmth, but not so close she burns her ass. "I do too. I miss being able to just walk across the drive for breakfast. We'll do it again. Just … I want it to be once we figure out what's up with this shit and sort it. On our terms, not theirs." That retribution thread in Rio went out to all of them. And it's not like it's hard to find somebody who stands out like August (or Sevin, for that matter) in a town this small.

"One second." Kate darts in and there are a few bangs as she loads up the dryer, walking out toward the living room again. She's wrapped in a robe, and there isn't anything underneath, not that one can tell just by casually looking. She moves to sit beside August, picking up her flute so she can take a drink from it. "It does feel condescending, especially with Sevin, because he's older and doubly condescending in general." She leans forward, resting her chin on her knees. "I want to do something about this, waiting for it to happen again isn't an option anymore. I can't live my life like I'm afraid someone is going to jump out of the shadows to end it."

August has already started on her flute of champagne, but only a couple of sips or two are down. She's tied her robe closed, and draped her bikini over a warmer part of the hearth to dry there, since she has no time restrictions on when it's wearable again. "Yeah, the older man telling the younger woman he has to keep stuff back for her safety is never an easy thing to swallow. I hate it, but I get it in some cases. I'd like to think my sobriety will change some things, but I don't know that it will. I mean, of all the bad habits a man can have… I don't think that's necessarily the worst."

"Waiting on someone else's timeline isn't ideal. It's frustrating. I wish we knew more about them." Aug glances over to Kate. "I mean anything, really. Someone has to know something." If they've come to Colorado, they've definitely crossed a line. "I think that's more Sevin or Tony's realm. I didn't discuss it with him yet." She clears her throat. "But I did tell him the whole… um.. of Rio."

Kate gazes over at August, finishing off her glass of champagne, setting it down between them. "I get that he can't tell me things, and I'm over it right now. I have feelings for him, I don't think it will change. It just bothers me, very much, that one day he's going to walk off — telling me that he's going somewhere for a conference, or you know, some other thing that he just doesn't mention and he never comes back. The stress is..it's the thing that is making all of this difficult. He leaves, and I panic." She turns to meet August's gaze, her brow furrowed as she nods slowly. "I don't blame you for telling him, and something bad is coming, I'm not even sure how to handle that. I'm surprised I haven't had a panic attack. I'm holding on to the edge by the tips of my fingers. When you add the other factors and stress going on, I'm…I'm doing my best right now, but I dunno how long I'll be able to keep it together."

Aug is a little slower with her bubbly. She does offer over the bottle to top off Kate's glass if she wants a bit more, perhaps to go with dinner. "I think he'd like to have you in his life. I don't know what that means, going forward. But if he does leave, I don't think that means gone forever." August at least sounds like she hopes it's not the case that he's just going to vanish. That makes her rub her sternum. She gets really uncomfortable talking about friends leaving, though. "I understand that." Aug looks over at Kate, brows drawn up slightly. "I do. Nothing gets to me faster than losing someone."

"I didn't really mean to tell him. Something peripheral slipped out about seeing Sevin respond in a nonlethal fashion to a shooter, and of course he asked what the fuck I was talking about." Whups.

"I was about to get laid and my mouth took a break from my brain." August and her mouth ruins all kinds of potentially dirty scenarios. "I talk to much when a man touches me." Aug reaches over and takes Kate's hand. She laces her fingers with the brunette's. "We're going to get through this." She turns her head to look into those brown eyes. Her silver gaze is intent. "We will get through this. No one's taking you away."

Kate squeezes August's hand, quiet for a few minutes as August speaks to her. She meets her gaze, her brow furrowed slightly. "He doesn't tell me these things August. He just says things that hurt." She winces briefly when August mentions Sevin vanishing. A fine tremor shivers down her spine, and her hand squeezes August's hand harder. "I'll figure things out with Sevin eventually. Maybe I'll try talking to him while he's half asleep. That's when he's his friendliest." She rolls her eyes, letting out soft laughter.

"I'm sorry, Katie." Aug reaches over to take hold of Kate's hand in both of her own. "I don't know what's the matter with him, holding back. Or if he'll stop or when. Sevin keeps his own counsel more than anyone I've ever known." She glances down, gaze watching the light through the cathedral window play across the varnished hardwood floors. "I'm here if you need to talk." She smiles softly. "Or bake more lasagna." Subtlety, thy name is August. She finishes her flute of champagne and sets the delicate glass aside. "Around Christmas, I was pretty sure Tony was going to leave me. I mean, that's why I flew to Rio. I was feeling really messed up and unsure and with everything between us… I hate that you have that uncertainty now."

"August, I'm afraid that Sevin is pretty set in his ways. I imagine that for him to change would be a large and ..kind of scary thing. He doesn't trust me any more than I trust him. I think he's always waiting for me to walk away. Like I told Harvey yesterday, we're linked now, and I don't think that's going to change." Kate swallows and sighs, gazing down at her feet for a few beats. "It isn't always going to be a good thing that we're linked. We're opposites, and sometimes he says and does things that hurt." She runs her teeth over her bottom lip before she gets to her feet, moving toward the laundry room. "I hate it too, but I'm certain I'm not going to be able to do anything about it. I push, he shoves back, I beg and he tells me to stop boxing him in."

steps into the other room, and a few minutes later reappears, dressed. "So now, I just exist. Afraid to say how I feel, and afraid of what he might say. I can handle that for now, but who knows for how long." She kneels down in front of August, reaching out to gently brush her fingertips over the other woman's cheek. "I'm gonna take a friend some of this lasagna, and I'm probably gonna get drunk. Helps with sleeping." She leans in to kiss her forehead. "I'll text you, and ..we'll see what goes on, yeah?"

"August, I'm afraid that Sevin is pretty set in his ways. I imagine that for him to change would be a large and ..kind of scary thing. He doesn't trust me any more than I trust him. I think he's always waiting for me to walk away. Like I told Harvey yesterday, we're linked now, and I don't think that's going to change." Kate swallows and sighs, gazing down at her feet for a few beats. "It isn't always going to be a good thing that we're linked. We're opposites, and sometimes he says and does things that hurt." She runs her teeth over her bottom lip before she gets to her feet, moving toward the laundry room. "I hate it too, but I'm certain I'm not going to be able to do anything about it. I push, he shoves back, I beg and he tells me to stop boxing him in."

Kate steps into the other room, and a few minutes later reappears, dressed. "So now, I just exist. Afraid to say how I feel, and afraid of what he might say. I can handle that for now, but who knows for how long." She kneels down in front of August, reaching out to gently brush her fingertips over the other woman's cheek. "I'm gonna take a friend some of this lasagna, and I'm probably gonna get drunk. Helps with sleeping." She leans in to kiss her forehead. "I'll text you, and ..we'll see what goes on, yeah?"

August watches Kate as she speaks, considering all the things she's saying. It's a weighty silence, and then the tattooer watches her get up to leave, heading into the other room to change. She takes a breath, and, while Kate's gone, glances around the Great Room, at all of her and Tony's belongings combined in the space. The antique, wingback chairs, the heavy table inlaid with bronze sculptural bits, the new architecture, the old bones, and books, half his, half hers.

By the time Kate returns dressed, August straightens up. She smiles when Kate comes to her to touch her face. "Katie." She doesn't have any wisdom here, just two hands to squeeze her good friend's shoulders. "Love you, babe. Go feed someone." She smiles a bit wider. "Absolutely get drunk. It's good for you now and then." She mms at the soft kiss and adds, "Drive safe. Be safe. Text you later."

"August.. I love you too, and I'm glad that you're you. I'm glad that you.. make sense when nothing else does." Kate reaches out to hug the other woman, a brief hard squeeze before she lets go. "Be good. Don't do anything that …well no, I can't say that, because if you didn't do anything that I wouldn't do, you'd get quite bored." She gathers her things, making her way to the door. "Tell Tony that I'm sorry that I missed him."

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