Zoie - Protecting Katie's Man

From Masq
Date: Setting:

IC:  11/15/2008
RL: 05/08/2011

Kiva Coffee -- Albuquerque

 Large street-facing windows bring plenty of light into this cozy coffee and tea shop. An expansion of Laura's Herbal Apothecary, it has its own front entrance but shares a large open doorway in the shared wall so people can move easily from space to space. The walls are painted in warm, rich colors, and in one corner of the shop, a kiva-style fireplace adds a classic Southwestern touch. The whole room smells richly of coffee and tea, and the overall atmosphere of the shop is one of cozy relaxation.

 At the back of the shop, a long counter holds a cash register and a variety of clean, shiny equipment used to make the coffee and tea drinks sold here. A barista or two is there waiting to take the orders; they wear simple black aprons to keep clean and sometimes cast hopeful looks at the tip jar. Throughout the room, small tables and chairs provide a place to sit, as do comfy-looking armchairs and a booth tucked away in a nook by the front window. The shared wall between the cafe and the apothecary has a cut-out space where a large fish tank (+view here/fish) rests, surrounded by some displays selling coffee and tea. The tank can be viewed from either the apothecary side or the coffee shop side, often attracting curious viewers.

 A chalkboard menu (+view here/menu) is attached to the wall behind the barista counter, and a glass case set into the counter shows off various cookies and pastries for sale. Small signs perched here and there throughout the room promise free wifi for technologically-inclined visitors.

(Places and +views are available here)

Obvious exits:
Herbal Apothecary <HA>   Employees Only <EO>  Out to Lomas <O>

Kingston sits on one of the plush chairs reading a well work copy of "The Idiot" by Dostoevsky. A latte sits on the table beside him.

Katie strolls on in from the Apothecary side of the building, she's got a backpack slung over one shoulder. And stops to consider the state of the clientele before heading on back behind the counter to make herself a drink. A word of hello spoken to whoever might be on shift.

Petra comes in via the archway to Laura's, nevermind what the exit desc said. She stops by the counter to order herself a nice cuppa joe, black like her soul DUN DUN DUN, and then she's threading her way looking for a table. She pauses near Kingston's, bending over to catch the title on his book. "Ooh. Idiot's Guide to Dostoevsky, eh?"

Zoie steps out of the back and pauses at the counter. She starts to re-arrange some of the items as she watches people file in and out. As Katie enters, she lights up.

Kingston looks up at Petra when she speaks and then looks down at the book in mock confusion and says, "Is it? Well that would explain why it was reading so differently than I remembered it."

"Howdy, Zoie," Katie greets the other girl with an easy demeanor. "How ya'll doing? Has it been busy?" She begins making herself a hot chocolate, pulling a mug out from the employee's only cupboard for them.

"Yeah. It totally is. That or the book's callin' you names. I find when books do that, best thing to do's to throw 'em up against the wall. They HATE that. That shows THEM, don't it?" Petra lifts the lid of her coffee, blowing over it idly. She glances up at the counter for a moment, finally noticing Zoie and Katie, each of whom gets one of those patented chin-juts of greeting.

Sarah comes in quietly from the street, threading towards the counter with her hands shoved into the pockets of her thin coat. Right abouts the time she gets there, is when she's spying Katie behind the counter and scrunching her face a bit as she nears the register. After ordering a latte, she's glancing up and over at the co owner. "Uh.. hey. You remember me at all? The other night, drunk, and.. acting stupid?" Not good at all this apology nonsense, "Anyhow, I just wanted to say sorry.. that was pretty dumb of me." Don't pause, just pay, and step away. Even if it's without the drink just paid for. That's how real professional emotional hardcases handle things.

Zoie waves her fingers towards Petra and points to the menu. Subtle no? She grins to her with a bit of friendly calm and then back to Katie. She gives a soft giggle. "I hate standing idle. I tend to re-organize and like stuff." She beams towards her boss. "I'm doing great, what about you? Anything um... shaking?" Her eyes of green slide over towards Sarah.

Kingston arches an eyebrow at the strange girl's words and says, "Well I don't think things have quite deteriorated to that level yet but if they do I'll be sure to let you know."

It takes Katie a moment of looking at Sarah to recognize, and she lets the machine tend to the steaming of the milk for a moment. She waves her hand, as if to indicate it's no big thing. "Don't worry about that none. We all got bad days. It just kinda sucks yours had to happen on camera. Hope nothin' too bad came out of that for you." Then she looks over to Zoie, and Katie shrugs amiably. "Just homework, homework, and more homework. Nothin' exciting. The place is looking pretty well straightened. You got the machines all figured out?"

"Make a preemptive strike," Petra advises solemnly. "I guarantee you won't regret it." She stares at Zoie for a long moment, as though actually not getting what the girl is hinting at, and then watches the exchange between Sarah and Katie. Fond of staring at people, perhaps. Distractedly, she asks Kingston, "How's the shop goin'?"

Sarah smiles, tight, and nods to Katie, "Don't know how much will come of it.. probably a lot. But whatever, I deserved it. Shouldn't have acted like a moron." With her latte finished, a black gloved hand (latex free evidence gloves at that), takes the cup and raises it to Zoie and Katie both. Turning away from the counter, she's searching out and finding a table. Only really paying attention to what's right infront of her, like she's going 'out of her way' to not bump into anyone.

Kingston looks at Petra and says, "Not without lulling into a false sense of security first. Strike when it least expects it and all that." with a smile. He then goes back to his book but looks up when she asks how the shop is going and gives her a somewhat puzzled look and then takes a look around the coffeeshoppe and says, "Umm...it appears to be doing fine..though not actually working here I'm not really in a position to take credit for that."

Zoie slowly tips her head to the left as her big, green eyes watch Sarah now. She apparently doesn't know what happened. So the look of curiosity is turned towards Katie for an explanation. Then she smiles vibrantly at Kingston and Petra.

Katie gives a shrug to Sarah, watching her with a sedate and level gaze. "You've done good work all this time, I reckon one night off with some mistakes shouldn't undo all the rest." Katie says, as an aside to Zoie, "The Detective was having a bad day the other night." That seems to be about all the explanation she is going to give. "If she makes another order, make that one on the house." This is told both to Zoie, and whoever else might be manning the register this particular evening. Clearly not Petra! "Have ya'll seen Zack around tonight?"

Petra starts to smile at Kingston, then stares at him in the same puzzled fashion he stared at her. "No, not-- not the coffee shop, Kingywingy." DONE! "Your 'shop.' The dive shop? You know, with... with diving lessons and stuff?" Without asking, she moves to try and take a seat at his table. The poor man's NEVER going to be able to get back to his book!

Sarah smiles appreciatively across the cafe to Katie, but she doesn't speak up further. Seated in her little corner, with her arms tucked in against her, hands gloved up like she's expecting a crime scene to fall right out of the sky..... Thankfully it doesn't, that'd be strange. Her palms rest around the latte, turning it slowly as they slide in opposite directions of the cup, only infrequently drinking at the drink she's got. Those blue eyes go to searching, looking around, and not finding something, which hardly keeps her from the quest.

Kingston holds his place with his finger and sets his book on one knee for a moment as he resigns himself to the fact that reading time is apparently, now over. He gives Petra a strange look and says, "Ah.." when she mentions his dive shop and syas, "That would be nonexistant. I'm afraid yuo've got me confused with someone else." with a smile. His tone is pleasant though and doesn't seem annoyd by the misidentification.

Zoie blushes a bit at Zack's name and mutely shakes her blonde head back and forth. "No, I haven't seen him since he went to meet Jo..Jen.. Joel.. Joel, yes Joel." She smiles and bounces on the balls of her feet. "Can I like do something for you, Katie?"

"Oh? For me? Naw," Katie says, as she turns back to finish making the hot chocolate for herself. "I just am taking a break from homework for a spell." A look is cast sideways to the blushing Zoie, and Katie smiles a little. "Ah, Joel, right. I think he's working, so Zack must be off to bum some free pizza off him."

Petra literally facepalms. Palm, meet face. Face, meet palm. She recovers quickly though, giving no apology or explanation for her utter confusion. "Dude! You totally SHOULD open a dive shop. Or, better yet, like a ski shop." In the desert. "I love skiing. Well, I'll leave y'all alone, then. Think about it, though." She shoots fingerguns at him, then starts to rise from her seat.

Kingston laughs as Petra facepalms though it's a good natured one. "And to think I'd gone this many years without knowing what my true calling was always meant to be. Fortunate I decided to pop in for a latte isn't it?"

Zoie tips her head and leans her hip to the counter as she looks around the area. "I think you have a really successful business here." Her lips curve upwards towards Katie. "Always people in here." Then her eyes move back towards Sarah.

Gareth comes in from the street, bells jingling as the door opens.

Petra is sitting at a table with Kingston, a coffee in her hand and her body moving as though to get up. Kingston has his finger marking the place of his book, The Idiot by Dostoevsky. Sarah is sitting at a table by herself. Katie and Sarah are behind the counter, I do believe.

Katie looks over at Petra, just to make sure she knows her horrible social faux pas. A bit of a grin, but she doesn't point it out any more than that. She's talking with Zoie, so she turns back to her and starts to add whip cream to the cup of cocoa she's making. "Yeah, though we haven't been open too very long. Still the new place in town, but I'm seein' more regulars coming in all the time."

"Hey, you know, what'm I good for?" A good question! "I'm like a total, you know, career counselor 'n shit. It's pretty awesome, and a service I provide *almost* for free." Pause. "...almost." Petra pauses, halfway between sitting and standing, and asks, "You want me to letcha get back to your book now?"

Sarah isn't doing much and certainly isn't imaginatively adding to the greater cosmos with her steller self reflection of the great beyond that is the random elements placed around the coffee shop. Having accomplished her apology, which is part of the twelve step program, she slides up from her chair and carries along with her, her latte on a path that loops wide of people, and ends her up at the exit. Not enough familiarity is present in the air to warrent much waving of farewells, so she doesn't. Not because she's rude, even if it IS rude not to wave.., but because she's all caught up in thinking deeply about nothing or everything, or nothing and everything. Paradoxically.

Gareth stalks into the coffee shop like it was a china shop he was ready to unleash the bulls on. He looks a bit red-faced, perhaps it's the cold. He's also singing, (but not loudly or anything. Jeez,) to "Carry On My Wayward Son" by Kansas, but it's clear he doesn't really know the lyrics that well. He bursts in, then looks around like he's not expecting people he knows, but oh! People he knows. He probably should have expected that.

Kingston smiles. "Hmm, well that would depend. How 'almost' free are these professed career counseling services?"

Zoie looks up at Gareth and waves her hand from behind the counter. She tries to hipcheck Katie a bit to point the man out.

"You know. You'd owe me, like, your firstborn child, but nothing important or anything," Petra assures Kingston. "Wouldn't even miss it. Him. Her. Whatever." She shrugs, then pauses as she hears the familiar strains of Gareth a-singin' and waggles her fingers at him. "Heeeeeeey, Gary Stu!" she greets.

Gareth salutes cheerfully to Zoie and Katie. He has a laaazy, I-totally-might-be-drunk look on his face. He's about to head over there when Petra calls him a name, so he turns and squints dubiously at her. "Ger-what?"

Katie seems a little surprised at the hipscheck, and she sets down her mug and looks at Zoie, then at what Zoie's hip checking about. A sudden smile for Gareth, and Katie waves back to his salute. "Howdy, ya'll!" she calls over to him, no doubt to distract him from Petra. "Do you and Gareth know one another?" she asks of Zoie.

Zoie smiles towards Gareth and tries to wave him over too. You know, gotta back up the Katie-Kat. "I've seen him with you a time.. maybe two. I don't really know him yet." She furrows her brows. "I might have forgotten. I do that sometimes."

Kingston laughs. "Oh thank god. I was afraid you were going to ask for something important or exessive."

"Oh, *heavens* no," Petra says with a broad smile. "I wouldn't *dream* of it." She retakes her seat fully, finally getting a nice sip of her coffee in, before informing Gareth, "That's your new name. So let it be written, so let it be done." She makes a vague wave of her hand in the direction of Zoie and Katie. Apparently she gives up her claim!

Gareth draws up his unsteady self and gives Petra a severe look. "Do I get to give you some stupid name in return?" he asks. "'Cos pretty much everyone who's called me Gary has turned out to be a douchebag." Spying Kingston, he waves, "Yo, man, how's the kids?" And then he's off to the counter. He fixes a steady gaze on the Dynamic Duo and says, "Big coffee. Sumatran blend. Unless you got the Kopi Luwak in the back there," he says, flashing Katie an innocent look.

Kingston lifts his latte to his lips and is quiet for a moment but doesn't resume his book. He seems content to people watch for the time being.

Petra is sitting at a table with Kingston, he with a latte and book, and her with a cup of coffee. Katie and Zoie are behind the counter, the former with a cup of hot chocolate. Gareth is up at the counter making his demands known!

Katie gives Gareth a sly smile back, eyes sparkling with mischief, "Maybe I ordered some.. just for you," Katie sets down her hot chocolate, the whip cream getting a chance to melt into it. "Gareth." Katie patently doesn't use his new given name. "This is Zoie. Friend of Annie and new employee of the Kiva Coffee. Zoie, this is Gareth." Katie says his name like he's one of those ONE NAME people... Like Petra. Then, she starts to make his coffee herself, so he can wonder what type he's getting.

And just to add more insanity to this place, Liane walks in, yawning but looking well rested. Someone's had a nice nap! Danny is apparently follows after her, though as soon as they arrive inside, Danny gives one brief glance, gives a small nod, then immediately sits at the nearest table, pulling out a magazine and reading it with total absorption. Liane rolls her eyes and waves towards the counter, but looks around the coffee shop instead of going up. AND SPOTS A PETRA. So of course Liane smiles and wanders over.

Zoie looks between Gareth and Katie. She might have hearts over her head as she flutters her lashes. Her eyes move between them again and she claps her hands a bit. "Awwwww."

"You can *try,*" Petra replies to Gareth, and puts her dukes up, giving him a not-very-threatening scowl. Then she turns her attention back to Kingston, and asks curiously, "...kids? You got sproglings, or is that a reference to like, pets?" She's nothing if not nosy! Her expression brightens as she spots Liane, and she waggles her fingers at the woman. "Hey, Raj!" She greets.

Kingston grins. "Nope, I have no children whatsoever. Why did you think I was so willing to take you up on your offer at that price? You'd be extracting your payment entirely in the abstract."

Gareth had a look like he was waiting for Kingston to respond, then shrugs. He did call out to the guy across the room and all, and it is a crowded coffee house. He turns back, awaiting coffee, but increasingly has an uncertain look, like his bluff just might have been called. "That's...Sumatran... right?" He turns back to inspect Zoie dubiously. "Heya, nicetameecha. What's Zoie stand for, anyways? Or is it just like a weird name?" Liane and Danny's presence is...noted.

"H-h-hello Petra." Liane says with a smile, then a small and less-certain, weaker smile for Kingston. "And...Arth-thur? M-mister Kingston. M-m-may I j-j-join you? Danny has th-threatened d-decapit-t-tation if I d-disturb her."

Katie ignores Gareth's question about the coffee, but she's sure preparing it carefully, possibly with LOVE if one of those hearts over Zoie's head falls in. Though Katie does look sideways at Zoie, a little nonplussed at her response.

After leaning back and making head-squishing motions with her fingers while squinting at Liane, Petra decides, "You'd look good headless." She then shrugs to Kingston and says, "Yeah, it's a rough gig, being All Knowing Career Counselor Lady. But you just need to get ONE proper crop of babies to come in and you're pretty much set for life."

Zoie tips her head. "Is Zoie a weird name? I've had it for all of mine, so I guess I didn't realize it." She blushes a bit to the tops of her cheeks as she looks away a bit. "It is um... I didn't pick it." She then watches Liane and smiles towards her.

Liane reaches up to touch a gloved hand to her neg, rubbing it absently. "Well, I d-do offer quite a bit of c-cake." She murmurs. She doesn't sit, yet, and now glances around awkwardly a touch, just catching Zoie's smile and returning it with a small one of her own. "There s-seems to be a crop of b-babies which will be h-harvestable this s-spring, though I b-believe most are acc-c-counted for."

Gareth flashes Zoie a dubious look. "Isn't your name, though? So, what's it short for? Or is it some hippie name?" He even tilts his head, furrowing his brow, slightly confused. "And most people don't pick their names. Parents think they got some right or somethin'." He shakes his head, like he doesn't necessarily approve.

"Zoie is usually a variant of the name Zoe. The origin is Greek, meaning Life," Katie answers, distracting Gareth with trivia before turning to give him the poison coffee. "On the house," she says, giving him a grin that's anything but reassuring. He'll notice she's even left it a little low, to give him room to add milk.

"Indeed you do," Petra confirms ominously, and makes more head-squishing motions with her fingers, cuz that's fun. Don't worry, I'm only going to squeesh your leetle head! "And yeah, I'm not looking forward to all this baby crap. You know SOMEBODY's gonna ask me to babysit. It's inevitable. I got it all planned out, though. I'mma print vouchers for babysitting, and people can cash 'em in for my calling a REAL babysitter."

Zoie lowers her brows to this and then sort of looks away. "It's my name, the whole of my .. um.. name." She looks at Katie and then starts to shift away. "Well um.. Katie has your drink." She moves to pick up one of the rags as she starts to clean the counter.

"If and w-when I decide to h-have a child, I am g-going to leave them in y-your care, if you r-remain in this c-city after graduation." Liane says, with a small grin. "In f-fact, when th-they reach f-five or six, you'll s-simply /have/ to b-babysit. You're the only o-one I know who would f-find decent movies and t-television for them to watch, save T-trace. And Trace will n-need a break sometimes." Liane says. She seems to hesitate a moment more, then gingerly takes a seat at Petra's table, slowly so Petra is free to kick her away!

"Maybe Terrell should pick the babysitters," Katie muses, and then reshoulders her backpack and picks up her hot chocolate. "Anyhow, I have to get back to my homework. It won't do itself, though I've tried to get it to." An innocent wave is given to Gareth, as Katie makes good her escape. "See all ya'll later."

Gareth takes the coffee from Katie. "Huh. 'Life'." He sniffs the coffee like he's expecting...something. To Zoie he says, "I didn' mean to put you on the spot or nothin', by the way. Sorry 'bout that." He moves over to put some milk and sugar in his coffee. He sniffs the coffee again. Pours a lot of milk in, like, just in case. He turns back to Katie. "You missed a great party on campus. Over on the Coronado dorms. Jello shots! I had some for you."

"Uh huh," Petra says, sounding utterly unconvinced. "Sure, then. We'll watch Nightmare on Elm Street 3 and I'll feed them meals heavy in garlic and sauerkraut so their breath stinks, and then I'll ignore them so I can talk on my phone. And maybe make out in front of them. You cool with that?" She fingerguns over at Katie, though, saying, "Yeah. What she said. Let Terrell pick 'em." She seems confident Terrell won't pick her!

Zoie takes a breath as she looks up at Gareth and smiles warmly towards him. "It's okay. I know that you meant nothing bad by it. It was good meeting you." She looks at his drink and then around the area. "Katie seems to really like you."

"I was always t-taught a broad r-range of exp-p-periences was n-necessary for a growing ch-child." Liane says, with a wrinkling of her nose. "T-terrell would just have the t-tribe members babysit, and while u-useful, not v-very broadening." A soft sigh from Liane. "I s-suppose I shall simply ask J-j-joel. And g-garlic is actually quite h-healthy. Th-thank you for p-promoting good eating h-habits." A smile over at Petra, one of those sincerely fond ones that says who knows what!

"Really?" Gareth says to Zoie. He seems dubious. Maybe a bit hopeful...maybe. That's probably the jello shots talking. Definitely mostly dubious. "Well, I'm a likeable guy. Everyone's always talking about how nice I am and what a pleasant, er, dispo---whatever that fuckin' word is," he says with a mild scowl directed at grammar. "Katie's, like, your boss, right?" Gareth asks.

"Dude, that's. Joel? I don't-- I don't think Joel even likes kids. No no. Pick, like, somebody else. Like I said, I'll totally give vouchers out, and I'll getcha a REAL babysitter." Petra rubs at the back of her neck, then glances over toward the Zoie/Gareth action. She then gets up from her seat and mutters, "I need a refill.":

"I w-wouldn't have Joel b-b-babysit." Liane points out. "B-but he knows nearly everyone. S-surely he'd know s-s-someone t-trustworthy." But otherwise, she simply shakes her head, then there's a beep! A BEEP! And so she takes out her phone, frowning and checking it.

Zoie blushes at the swearing and comes around the counter to try and touch Gareth's hand. "Yes, Zack and her own the place." Zoie tries to lead him towards the chair as she figures the jello shots are piling up. "You are a friend of hers, right?" She glances towards Petra, but will try to direct Gareth in the opposite direction if he allows. "She is the most beautiful woman I have ever seen. I'm sure that she really likes you and stuff."

Gareth leans on the counter and takes a tentative sip of his coffee. "It's good," he murmurs to himself. "Maybe /too/ good," he says suspiciously. He frowns, looking off at the doorway for a moment. He turns back. "She is quite...yeah," he says, as if agreeing with Zoie without really coming out and saying it. But he turns, and gives Zoie a steady look. "Here's the thing," Gareth says to Zoie. "I'm sure if Katie feels that way about me, she'd be completely fine with me getting coffee on the house a bit more often." He flashes Zoie a mild look at that. "You know, because of what a special person she is."

Petra doesn't seem to notice the steering away, and instead continues her trajectory toward the register to order herself that refill. More plain black coffee, though her cup was still half full. Still, she looks grateful for it, and blows over the top of it to cool it before putting the lid back on her coffee. Her errand complete, she heads back toward Liane. "As for Joel, he totally would know trustworthy people. Between him, me and Jai, you're gonna be set for life."

"I'm n-not so c-certain of that." Liane says with a faint smile. "B-between the th-three of you I shall be n-nursing one for ulc-c-cers, one for v-various scrapes and b-bruises they'll get n-knocking about places they shouldn't, and the l-last...well, I r-really don't have much to say." Liane admits, bringing out her embroidery hoop and examining it for a moment, before she begins to set her stitches.

Zoie laughs softly and then puts her fingers over her lips. "Sorry." She looks a bit mortified for laughing. "I umm.. I didn't mean to laugh. I'm still new or I'd totally give it to you on the house. Unfortunately, you aren't my best friend and because of that, I'm not willing to um.. you know.. take it out of my um.. paycheck." She shifts her weight a bit.

Gareth drinks more of his coffee, seems to approve of it, but then adds more milk to it. Just in case. He shrugs to Zoie. "All right, your funeral," he says, innocently. He might even be adjusting his halo. To Zoie he asks, "So, how long have you been working here? What's it mostly like? You met any weird people yet on the job?" Pause. "Y'know, outsida-" He motions to Petra and Liane, in a don't-look-or-the-weirdos-will-totally-notice kind of way.

"Wait, which one's the ulcers, and which one's the scrapes and bruises?" Petra asks, grinning toothily. She takes the lid off of her coffee again, now that she's settled back into her seat, and blows over it slowly. When she catches Gareth motioning in her direction, she lifts her coffee in a cheer to him, possibly not knowing what he's even talking about.

"Y-y-you know, I th-th-think I could do with a c-cup of coffee. P-perhaps a cookie, to see if that g-girl I've been showing n-knows how to d-do it properly. Oh! S-speaking of which, I was w-wondering if you could h-help me come up with some s-sort of low c-calorie, low f-fat items for the s-store." Liane is all innocence! Except for her small grin, and that crinkling at the corner of her eyes. Apparently Petra's not getting answers!

Zoie looks over towards Liane and Petra as Gareth indicates them. She tips her head. "I like Liane, I knew her in New York." She moves her eyes back to Gareth. "Not that long really. Zack and Katie hired me less than a month ago?" She lowers her brows and chuckles. "I'm sorry, between classes and here, I might be odd on my time."

"Just time?" Gareth asks, blinking. He sips more coffee. "So you don't have to be shy about it. What kind of weird people have you met here? Or...what's the coolest thing that's happened to you while working here? Also," he furrows his brow. "What exactly did Katie say about me, anyways?"

"I dunno," Petra says, after considering Liane at some length. "I mean, you know. I *do* have amazing cookin' skills, but I couldn't put them to use for just ANYbody. I mean, somebody who gives me a piece of information I want, THAT person could prolly get my assistance. But, y'know, WITHOUT that..." she trails off, her expression indicating that's a dire fate indeed.

Liane raises a single eyebrow, and her lips twitch. "R-really? Wh-what piece of inf-f-formation would you like to n-know?" Liane just can't hide a grin!

Zoie smiles towards Gareth. "Are you saying that I'm odd?" She blinks her lashes to him and thinks it over. "Vincent was um... erm... interesting. We spoke about horoscopes." She gives a chuckle. "She hasn't really said anything, but one just needs to look at you two to know something is going on."

Gareth hmms. "I know a Vincent. Works with machines? Supposedly really good with them, but..." He shrugs. "Horoscopes, huh?" He listens to Zoie spill about Katie and tilts his head, and takes a big drink from his coffee. "Do people often tell you you have a very active imagination?" he asks, all curiosity.

"Oh, Annie. Don't be coy. It doesn't suit you," Petra says ever so sweetly, and puts the lid back on her coffee before taking a sip. "I mean, I *could* tell you what I want to know, but then you'd owe me for that tidbit of information. Wouldn't you rather just pay up and get my help without also having to be in debt for that knowledge?"

"Coy? M-me?" Liane pauses in her embroidery stitches, looking at Petra with such a total lack of believable innocence one just /knows/ she'd suck as an actress. "Wh-while I would enj-j-joy having your h-help, I c-can probably m-manage to whip s-something up myself, but it w-would lack your exp-p-pertise. It w-would likely still sell, and you w-would still have nothing h-here you could eat along w-with your coffee, you would s-still be out of your t-tidbits of n-knowledge." Liane continues to embroider. "W-wouldn't you prefer to m-magnam-m-mously help a good c-cause, have one of y-your common hangouts now c-cater to your t-tastes, and h-have me in your debt wh-while also being p-p-praised for your k-kindness and g-gestures of charity and h-helpfulness?"

"Only when they know that I'm talking about the right stuff and they don't want others to know." Zoie responds and it may be the cockiest thing she's said. In fact, she looks a bit horrified for a moment that she said. Her cheeks flush a bright scarlet. "I um.. I mean.. um.. are you.. um... saying you are not interested in her?"

Petra takes a moment to consider Liane's counterproposal, and then merely smiles. "Nope." She couldn't possibly sound more self-satisfied with her decision, and she takes a nice long drink of coffee, eyeing the other woman.

Liane thoughtfully considers Petra's words, pulling thread through close. Once more, and then she bites the thread, pulling another color from her bag. After a moment of reflective silence in which she threads a needle, Liane smiles. "All r-right. H-how has your m-movie been going? W-well, I hope."

Gareth looks mildly shocked at Zoie's act of brazen arrogance! But he grins faintly. "Really, huh?" he asks. He lifts his right hand up and rubs his left shoulder, pushing down on it until it makes a cricking sound. He winces, then looks back. "I wasn't sayin' anything. I was kinda hoping to be praised for my kindness and gestures of charity and helpfulness, honestly." he admits. "But if I make any bold declarations of love and deep affection for anyone - I won't say who -" He elbows in the direction of Liane. "- I'll make sure you're the first to know. But as far as Katie goes, I think of her as a friend, and I do know she's a pretty private person, you understand? If she has feelings for anyone, I'm sure she'll tell that person, and I'm sure she's not big on it being some big scene." He says this last part carefully, and a bit seriously, with a faint, it-can't-be-helped shrug to it.

Zoie looks over at the mention of a movie and then back to Gareth. "Oh I'm sure she'd tell everyone how she feels." Her lips curve up a bit to that. Who has two thumbs and doesn't get it? That's right. This girl. She shifts her weight from the balls of her feet to her heels, allowing her body to rock. "Oh! I am sure that you have the best of charity and helpfulness."

Petra smiles right back at Liane, seeming amused and not at all downtrodden about her failure to extract her terrible price. "It's goin'," she says vaguely, with a wave of her hand. She rubs at the back of her neck, then juts her chin in the direction of Liane's sewing. "Whatcha makin' there?"

"It's a p-present." Liane confides. "O-one of my Ch-christmas presents--" She glances over at the counter, "...and s-s-something of a ..." She stops, looking back at her stitches. After a moment, she leans in to murmur something quietly to Petra, a little redfaced.

Liane murmurs to Petra, She mutters to Petra, "... p-p-present... a... s-surly... A... It... be... h-herbs... it... it's f-from a... chalk... and... is... a... age.... the... I... it."

Gareth glances back at Zoie, lifting his coffee cup up to finish off his drink. "Yeah, people keep telling me stuff like that for some reason." He shrugs. People are who they are! He lifts up from the counter, and fishes out some change. "I should get going, but I'll have a refill." He glances over at where Katie was. "The Sumatran kind," he says. "Extra strong. Not, er, whatever...you know...whatever she made me before."

Zoie smiles and moves over to get the refill. "Well come in anytime. I mean like.. I totally don't mind you loitering if you want. However, if it's only me on shift, you have to pay for your drinks. I like.. wouldn't even comp Jacob's if he came in."

Petra's smile only lifts as she hears what Liane has to say, growing into a full-on grin. "And this is why I will now follow you around town, waving a banner with your name on it, that all may see it and know your splendor." It doesn't even seem to be sarcastic, though she's *definitely* teasing. She mimes waving said banner all about. Her gaze shifts briefrly to Gareth as he begins getting ready to leave, but she doesn't say anything about it.

Liane's blush deepens, but she grins...just a touch impishly, at the corners. "I d-do hope you don't. I'm j-just aware of m-my...l-limitations in some areas. And I n-know my f-friends are as well." She glances at Petra again, still smiling. "And I r-really do th-think it will look l-l-lovely."

Gareth takes the refill and pays for it with what little change the IMPOVERISHED COLLEGE STUDENT can manage. He even tips! 20% of the refill, which is like a week's worth of cup ramens. Thanks, Zoie. Now Gareth will starve. For that he pours a lot of milk and sugar in, and gives a cheery grin. "Oh, cool! I like loitering. I ask a lot of questions, if that gets weird, then..." He looks momentarily confused. "Well, I'm not sure why it'd be weird. But some people seem to think it is. Whatever! Their loss!" He does look momentarily crushed at the idea he might not be getting free coffee in the future, however. He'll head out the door, and somewhere the Sad Theme from the Charlie Brown specials are playing, he'll wave to Petra and Liane on his way out, it's surprising he can even get up the energy. Sigh!

Petra shoots the departing Gareth a chin-jut of farewell, then returns her attention to Liane and gives the woman a warm smile. "I don't suppose I actually will do it, but I'll totally be doing it in here." She points at her head, nodding it quite seriously and squinting to show the effort this takes. "Lemme see it?"

Zoie watches Gareth leave as well. There is a tip of her head and then she chuckles. One hand lifts to wave to the other women. "Hey Liane, I'm going to be in the back so hollar if you need anything." She nods towards Petra (stealer of men or something) and then turns to walk in the backroom.

Liane blushes a touch. "It's n-n-not really very f-far in." She admits, but shows Petra what she's working on. The cloth is dark blue, a little heavy, and so far Liane's used neutral-color threads - white, greys, black - as well as green and gold. So far, from the size of the cloth and what little has been traced, it looks like some sort of cup, with a circular design in the center. Most of it is still undone.

"Ooh, Annie, that looks awesome!" Petra coos over the embroidery even if it isn't all that done, whether it really does look good or not. That's just how she do. She gives Zoie a chin-jut as the woman heads toward the backroom, and then rises from her seat. "Be right back. Gotta visit the little girls' room. And take a piss." Not one for euphemisms, apparently.