The Green Thorne Bed and Breakfast

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  1. [​IMG]

    The Green Thorne Bed and Breakfast sat large and white in a sea of Green. The rose gardens were in full bloom, pumping sweet fragrance into the air. The trees were old, giant things that cast stately dark shadows over the soft lush grass. There was no noise from cars just the lazy drone of the insects and the faint noises of the inhabitants of the house. The roof rose sharp and gabled, dark against the clear blue sky.

    The Thorne House was gorgeous, a stately traditional home that had been saved from the ravages of time by the last Thorne around. It had at least six bedrooms and four bathrooms, not including the attic that had been turned into two bedrooms for the owner, Noah Thorne and the new Cook. It sat on a large wooded lot of at least fifteen acres, not that there was anything else around. The B&B was at least a twenty minute drive from the closest town. A windy narrow drive next to a river that had always been popular with guests. The 'front' of the acreage was neatly manicured with gardens of both ornamental plants and of the eating variety.

    A picture perfect early summer in a picture perfect B&B.

    Unless you counted all the legends surrounding the House itself. Not to mention the grounds. Legends and Folklores of death, by murder or suicide or unnatural causes. Campfire stories, of course.

    Noah Thorne was a handsome dark haired man of around thirty-five. He had an affinity for plaid and for the color red and most importantly he'd been operating the Green Thorne B&B for almost five years. The B&B was his baby, his project. He still shuddered to think of what would have happened to the house had he not realized it still belonged to his family. He could still see his Grandmother at the sink laughing, in his minds eye. This year was different though, this year he'd have more time to get to see his guests, more time to laugh and have fun because this year he had a Cook. Joshua was a good cook and Noah liked his company.

    The last touches were ready, flowers in every vase with sprigs from the trees and clump of this or that. In his former life, Noah had been a jack-of-all-trades. He was settled now, no more traveling, no more constant searching for the perfect apartment. He'd found a place he loved and if it made him a little bit of money all the better. He peeked out the window looking at his other pride and joy, a red Ford 1948 truck in near perfect vintage and what hadn't been perfect; like the house he had fixed by himself with sweat and joy.

    Here it was, the first guests of the lazy balmy summer. The fans were all on and the windows were open with the curtains all a flutter. Noah checked himself in the mirror once more, he had to make a proper impression after all.

    Everything was just perfect. Noah waiting on guests, Joshua in the kitchen cooking lunch and making lemonade... Bliss.

  2. The Thorne house was now a bed and breakfast, was it? It had long been a source of interest for Vanessa Frieza and she had snapped up the opportunity to see the inside of it just as soon as possible. When she was a little girl, she'd lived not far from here but she'd never gotten to actually see the inside of the place. It had been something of a childhood dream, actually, so she couldn't help herself when she heard a rumor from her mother that the house was going to be open to people staying there.

    Vanessa was writing a new book, anyway. A novel, if you could call it that, and the house seemed the perfect place to get some inspiration for her trashy romances. It wasn't something she was especially proud of - that would be why she published under a fake name - but people assumed she did something since she had all that free time and plenty of money to get her by. She might not be living in the lap of luxury, but she certainly had plenty of money to do as she liked.

    Her first impression of the place was the rush of nostalgia, she had come around her and just stared at the house every time she had an opportunity as a girl. She'd been chased off the property numerous times, but she'd come back without fail until she'd turned eighteen and graduated. It had been ten years now since she'd come back to the place, but it looked as though it hadn't changed a bit since she'd last gazed longingly at the rose gardens. The scent of flowers was heavy on the breeze, a good omen she decided.

    Stepping up to the door, she pondered if she should just open it and enter, or knock. It seemed so strange for her to be contemplating entering the house for the very first time and so she ended up standing on the porch, frowning at the wooden portal. Funny how old memories could make one feel like an eleven-year-old girl again, so uncertain and nervous.

  3. Charlotte Lily Gregor crossed her arms over her chest as the taxi pulled up before the manicured lawn of the Green Thorne Bed and Breakfast. Ridiculous. She looked ridiculous, her brown hair done in immaculate curls that framed a gentle face, made up to as near perfection as one could get without having their own on-staff make-up artist. The full skirt of her gown was piled in the seat with her, and she stared down at feet clad in clear heels. She glared at the shoes, a reminder of a disaster, and looked to her left, only to have her face crease with greater annoyance. Sitting beside her, perfect, headband covered in white roses, was a veil. She looked away, out the window.

    The bed and breakfast was supposed to have been a honeymoon destination, a mark of a new life with a man who would have completed her plan. But things had not gone according to that plan. Now, honeymoon had become an escape. The reservations had been made in advance, the cab fare paid, and she had a generous sum of cash to spend. Why not just hide away? At least she could escape some of the embarrassment. Of course, arriving in her wedding gown would probably illicit no small amount of snickering, but perhaps she could avoid the other guests and as much of the staff as possible until she could change.

    For a time, she lingered in the cab and sulked. Eventually, she opened the door, stepping out and scooping up her veil. A few seconds were devoted to rummaging beneath the seat for the bouquet she'd angrily tossed inside two hours ago. By the time she'd found the flowers, the trunk was open and her bags sat upon the curb. She thanked the cab driver, tipped him well, and turned to look up the walkway at the bed and breakfast. As she picked up her bags, she mumbled to herself.

    “Welcome to your honeymoon, Lotte."

  4. The distinct smell of a blend of summer fresh seasonings filled the kitchen and every so often Joshua caught a whisp of peaches from the chopping board to his right. The scent was sweet to the nose but mouth-watering by sight alone, just one flavor that meshed well with the rest of today's lunch: a Caribbean inspired salad of various green lettuce and baby spinach. Red onions and peppers brought splashes of color to the dish with a little help from the peaches, of course. All that was needed now was the chicken (or tofu for some) and a drizzle of raspberry vinaigrette.

    Standing barefoot in front of the stove, cooking up some marinated chicken and tofu in two different pans, the dark-haired, olive tanned cook hummed a little tune that was quickly swallowed up by all of the other sounds in the kitchen: the sizzling of meat in a pan, the whirring of the overhead fan... Music to his ears. But despite the mild weather and even with the building being air conditioned, the kitchen never really was a comfortable temperature unless it wasn't in use. Thankfully though, the cook was unlike Noah who had to be seen by the guests, which of course meant his dress code was far more relaxed than his employer's was. Shorts and a muscle shirt served well for when he was next to a hot stove and darting back and forth with multitasking fever.

    Drifting away from the stove to let the food brown a little, he took advantage of the lull and tended to the lemonade. Several of the available rooms in the bed and breakfast had been booked for noon, one of which he'd heard from Noah was a newlywed couple. Joshua smiled to himself as he placed the lemonade in the fridge, next to lunch's dessert. Marriage had once been on his list of things to do... But that was all in the past and those kind of details about his previous life were best left alone. It would do him no good to think about such things and what was even more, he felt as though just thinking about that life would cause it to spill into this one.

    He would leave before that happened.

    Back at the stove, he gave the meat a stir, his free hand reaching up to touch his jawline. Stubble. He hadn't shaved today, having been far too busy with summer yardwork earlier this morning. He decided then without too much thought to it that he would finish preparing the dishes and then pop upstairs for a shower and some decent clothes in case Noah forced him to socialize with the guests.

  5. Noah took a deep breath, the house still except for the sounds of Joshua in the kitchen. He should go check on him before the guests arrived but it sounded like they already were! Noah fought down the panicked feelings of 'what the hell should I do?!', reminding himself he'd down this before and yes it was a little different this year but it certainly wasn't a bad thing!

    He made a mental list of who should be arriving, a woman (alone), and a couple (honeymoon). Both bedrooms were already set up and fresh, ready and inviting. First though he wanted to run by Joshua, after all it was his first season and Noah normally let the guests have a run of the house, including the kitchen and he didn't want that to change. Still though, not the first day!

    "Joshua? Is the lemonade ready? I think the first guests are here and oh! When you go upstairs to shower will you check on Gandolf? He was talking to the air again and I think he'd like some company but we've just been so busy today, I don't want him to pull an escaping trick..." Noah shot Josh a smile and a wink. "Have a nice shower."

    Then he was running to the door, knowing that people were walking up it. Who would it be? The couple, the young woman? Ah! He could see a female shape and no man beside her. It'd be the woman first. What on earth was her name again?

    "Vanessa?" He gave a smile, pushing open the door. "I was expecting you, welcome to the Green Thorne! Oh and I see my other guests are arriving as well!" He swung the door out and propped it open before ushering her inside. "Joshua has lunch almost ready, shall we get your bags? Oh and here comes the newl- - -" He stopped himself, realizing that the 'Bride' was alone. He gave an inner wince. Lovely start to the season, he only hoped it wasn't an omen. "Ah and there is Charlotte." He gave Vanessa a smile and waited on Charlotte to arrive to the steps, not saying a thing other than asking the two ladies if they needed help with their luggage.
  6. A bright sunny morning. Patrick Arlin was driving down a highway in the middle of nowhere again, on his way to nowhere in particular. This road trip idea had been one of his best. He could wander from one place to another, experience life, do nothing in particular. Experience life. He was a 21-year-old bored college student who was thinking about dropping out, actually. The break was going to help him determine whether he could get by in life with or without his schooling. So Patrick drove the back roads to see what he could find.

    The sunlight lessened and lessened as Patrick drove into deeper into a forest. Pine and oak trees surrounded the highway and got closer and closer, annoyed Patrick with the lack of light while he drove. He switched on his headlights, and the car sputtered. "What are you doing?" he shouted. "What was that? I'm in the middle of a forest, you're not supposed to sputter!" A few feet later, it stopped. "Oh great," Patrick groaned. "Talking to you didn't help? I'm all alone and you're giving out on me! I just had your oil changed, what..." He checked the sticker in the windshield and paled. "Two years ago. Of course. Right. That... was probably too long ago..."

    He got out of the car and kicked a wheel. "I thought I could rely on you!" Patrick looked around and sighed. Okay. Talking to the car isn't going to help, he thought. Maybe I should just keep walking on the highway. Someone is bound to pass, or I'm bound to get somewhere. Where is here, anyway? He looked around at the trees. They looked like trees everywhere else, only maybe a little dark and menacing. No, that was his imagination, most definitely, at being lost and alone and without his car! "Agh." He kicked the wheel again. "I'll be back! I'm not leaving you. I'll even get an oil change sometime." Patrick started walking along the road, wondering if he'd ever see anyone again.
  7. [​IMG]

    The light inside the forest was indeed spotted, nearly nonexistent in some places. Dark and more than slightly disturbing especially considering the open countryside that was before. It was warm but the shaded woods were cool and quiet, a rustle here, a rustle there...

    The shadows though, deeper than they should be and darting around. Crossing the road far behind him, sneaking up on him the other way around. Converging and circling, like sharks.

    There was a noise of a river in some spots and in others you could clearly see it. It was fast, boulders stood in the midst of it, rounded by the constant rushing waters, smooth and sunny. Only the edges of the mighty snaking waterway was dappled with shade. So there was clearly no reason for the shadows to be standing on the rocks in the bright sunlight, watching. At least out of the corner of his eyes, should he look directly at them, of course they were gone in a flash. They chased Patrick as he made his way to the edge of the forest. Just close enough to make him hurry his steps down the paved road. Just close enough.


    At the end of the road stood the Thorne House, the Bed and Breakfast in all it's glory. There was a sign that said 'Welcome'. The sky was once more bright and sunny with a few high fluffy clouds and scent of roses and food on the breeze.

    A country paradise.

  8. He couldn't really be sure his eyes weren't tricking him, what with all the things that had been happening lately, but Patrick wasn't really sure that the shadows weren't behaving strangely. Moving oddly. He walked along the road and kicked rocks while he walked. It was so dead. The sound of pine needles rustling on the wind sort of spooked him, not that he'd admit it. Patrick heard running water somewhere, maybe a river or a creek. As he walked along he got a few glances at it, the sunlight shining over there so hard it made his eyes hurt from the darkened road. His eyes were definitely playing tricks, as he thought a shadow had gotten up and waved at him as he looked.

    No, Patrick thought, there's no way in hell that that's what I saw. It's just too bright over there, and too dark here.

    He kept going along the road. He wouldn't admit it, but he was moving a little faster than he had been. The darkness of the forest threatened to swallow him up, and all of a sudden Patrick wondered if he'd even get his car out of there later. It had been an hour of walking and looking over his shoulder and imagining things, and he was getting more and more paranoid. As he finally broke out of the forest into the sunlight, he had to stop for a few minutes and shade his eyes while they adjusted. There was activity at the end of the road, a few cars and a house.

    Patrick went up to the house. "Welcome," the sign said. "Civilization!" Patrick muttered under his breath. He looked over his shoulder to the forest he came out of one last time before turning his back on it and opening the door to the Thorne House. There were still suitcases in the entry-way, and two women moving the suitcases around. Patrick looked around. One man seemed to have an air of being in charge around him. He walked up to him. "Excuse me, you look pretty busy, but I was wondering if there's someone here who can help me? My car died in the middle of the forest back there." And, he thought but didn't want to add, I'm not sure I want to go back for it...
  9. As was usually the case, Joshua replied to Noah with a simple nod and a soft smile, which might have seemed a bit lacking or even rude to another employer but not Noah. Mister Thorne, as Joshua would never in a million years refer to him, was both a relaxed boss but also his friend. At least, the closest thing the quiet cook had to a friend. Noah understood him quite well for how little time they'd known each other.

    His thoughts switching lanes, Joshua glanced up at the clock on the microwave and smiled even more. His timing had been perfect today, though the real test would come when the summer was halfway through. At that point, the weather was perfect for vacationing, meaning The Green Thorne would be the busiest and he'd have a few more mouths to feed for every meal. He was looking forward to that time though, because if he loved one thing it was challenging his cooking skills.


    He finished his afternoon task of making lunch by assembling the meal on five plates - three for the scheduled guests and two for Noah and himself - and made sure to put some ice cubes in the lemonade jug he sat on the counter next to the food. With a last check, he made sure everything was turned off in the kitchen, then slipped upstairs like a stealthy feline, avoiding the guests so they wouldn't see him in his current state. And sure enough, as he climbed the stairs to the attic, Joshua heard Gandolf in Noah's room, talking away at no one in particular. The knowledge made Joshua chuckle a little to himself, though in the back of his mind he somehow felt that it wasn't really a laughing matter. Regardless, he left Gandolf alone for a few minutes longer while he stepped into his own room and discarded his clothes in the hamper.

    The attic had two rooms and was considered the staff lodging of the bed and breakfast. In between the two rooms was a joined bathroom which they often shared. Gazing into the wide counter-length mirror, Joshua again rubbed his jawline and sighed. It'd been a while since he'd last had facial hair and perhaps he'd consider growing it out again one day but for now, his face needed a shave. He'd been just about to deliver the first stroke to his cream covered jaw when he caught the slightest of movement out of the corner of his eye. Turning his head in the appropriate direction, Joshua gazed at the open doorway leading to Noah's room. He could have sworn he saw a dark shadow flit across the opening and with a start, he wondered if Gandolf had escaped but when he poked his head into the room, he saw the large gray bird still safely locked in his cage. The bedroom was also empty, which made Joshua frown just a little at himself for imagining things. They don't know you're here, he repeated to himself until he started to believe it enough to return to shaving, though he closed both bedroom doors this time. Sometimes the guests wandered up into the attic afterall.

    Fresh from his shower, garbed at the moment only with a towel around his waist, Joshua sat on the edge of Noah's bed and cocked his head to the side. The large African Gray Parrot in the cage a foot away mimicked him like the reflection in a mirror. "Afternoon, Gandolf," he said softly, righting his head again on his shoulders. The bird replied with a squawk that sounded like "Josh! Josh!" and fluttered his wings.

    Joshua could only chuckle at the crazy bird.
  10. It was way too freaking loud. Was there a marching band in the street or something?

    Dappled sunlight was also smacking her in the face like a bat, even if it was dappled, it was too much light.

    Oh, and the pounding headache and rolling nausea added beautiful flares to her full-fledged hangover.

    The true finishing touch, though, was the fact that she was breathing in the smell of warm dirt and plants. Chandler Parsley had been passed out... under a bush. Warm brown eyes blinked several times, trying to comprehend her situation. She couldn't.

    "The fuuuu-??" she groaned, wiggling around in the dirt until her head broke into sunlight.

    After a few seconds of hissing in pain, her eyes finally accepted the bright sunshine as unavoidable and adjusted accordingly. What Chandler saw was a ton of green and some giant trees. After grunting a few times while she slid further out from under the bush, she also saw a towering white beast of a house, part mini-castle and part old southern-looking masterpiece. To her own eyes, anyways.

    More moaning and a few whimpers later, Chandler stood her full five feet nothing, staring at the large house and terribly confused as to how she got there. Vaguely, she remembered an angry taxi driver and a man that had gotten tired of her antics that had led to her drunken stupor in the first place.

    "Oh..." she groaned, grasping her forehead. A clump of dirt smear there. Actually, dirt had smeared half of her at this point. Her black fleece pajama pants were clumped with it, and her blue t-shirt was now more brown than blue. Of her entire appearance, though, the shaggy, short dirt-tangled brown hair was the most unappealing. Her face might have been pretty if it wasn't dirty and smeared, and it wasn't really distinguishable if she was eighteen or twenty-five. At least the big, brown eyes were nice.

    Chandler shuffled closer to the sidewalk so she could see where the cacophony of voices was coming from.

    "Woah!" She ducked clumsily back under the bush. There were like four people there! No way was she appearing in her state until most of them were gone. She needed to go in there, though, because she had no idea how to get back to civilazation. And she had nowhere to go in the first place... maybe she could find her next gullible friend here... but not yet.

    For now, she just crawled back under the bush and covered her eyes.
  11. [​IMG]

    Richard Brian Kennedy wished walking wasn't so tedious.

    His body screamed 35, while his mind bellowed almost 21. It was a long way from where he came from. Not just on this particular journey either, this was true. Life itself was the longest road anyone walked down. This track only reminded him of this fact. The only thing that was more telling was the fact he was lost.

    A large back pack loomed upon him. It contained his whole life, though not much. Clothes, toothbrush, musical keyboard, microphone, notebook, and 1 pencil were its contents. They were all he was, besides a fedora. He was trained to use them all, and the toothbrush was not exception. Rich took these items all across the map called earth. To him, earth was just a over sized sandbox.

    "Where the sorry blue hell am I at?" He whispered to himself.

    Footsteps continued to slap the pavement. He looked about, to the environment. This wasn't exactly Dr. Seuss's paradise. Something was off, and Rich could tell. The light was not as bright as it should have been. Vibes formed as he passed an abandoned vehicle. This was getting weird, very quickly.
  12. [​IMG]

    Charlotte slowed as she made her way up the walk. There were others on the porch. Heat rose to her cheeks. She nearly stumbled as emotions welled up. The stubborn woman pushed it to the back of her mind. She could cry, scream, and throw things later. For now, she needed to get checked in and up to her room. The last bit of light before she reached the shade of the porch struck up a sudden riot of color as it reflected from the tiny crystals sewn onto the bodice of the wedding gown. The color was gone just as quickly.

    Lotte stuck her chin in the air, then struggled to hold the proud posture and set down two suitcases, an overnight bag, a dress bag, a veil, and a bouquet that was beginning to lose a few petals. One petal fluttered down to rest on the mock glass slipper on her right foot. For a moment, she was a portrait of proud sorrow. Then, just as the gentleman at the door offered to help with her bags, they inexplicably started to fall sideways, away from the group, crashing to the porch floor. The bouquet lost several more petals on the trip and the veil bounced most of the length of the porch before settling precariously on the furthest edge.

    This was too much for the overwhelmed woman who, in a fit of bridal rage, kicked one of the suitcases. Tears threatened, shimmering on her lashes before she dashed them away with the back of a hand. Taking a deep breath and composing herself, she offered a strained smile. “If you could help with the luggage, I suppose it would be very appreciated. Where do I sign in?” She hiked up her dress, stepping over the luggage to retrieve her veil and what remained of the flowers.
  13. Noah felt a little overworked at the instant, life just wasn't behaving today, was it? He scratched his head, looking between the two women and then over at the sudden man. Huh. The forest killed itself another car? Lucky day indeed. What else? He smiled at the three of them, picking up Lotte's bags easily. "It's not a problem, Miss. Sir? If you'll come inside I have a telephone you are welcome to use to call a tow truck?" He considered briefly about being slightly more helpful, after all it would look good to the guests. To show a spot of generosity. He could do that.

    He turned to Lotte with a smile. "Lets get you settled in your room first." He walked the former bride up the stairs to the large
    bedroom all decked out in roses of soft pinks and vibrant reds, white sheets and rose curtains. "The roses are beautiful this year." He gave her a smile, sitting the luggage beside the bed. His hands hovered over an arrangement, minutely adjusting them. Less romantic and more shabby chic, it was a little gift of his. Just a small adjustment and he could change the feel of any room and all he wanted was for his guests to be happy. "Lunch is served whenever you're ready, Charlotte."

    He waited a moment before traipsing back down the stairs to the man who had his car broke down. "I'm not a mechanic, but you can say I'm a hobbyist. I can do the basics. Was there any lights flashing? I'd hate to have you call the tow truck when I could easily fix it." He gave him a smile. "And I can certainly tow it, I've even got the chains for it."

  14. Lotte allowed herself to be led to the rather floral room. She paused at the door for a long moment, trying to imagine how things should have been, then putting the idea out of her mind. It would not do to linger. She should strive to enjoy herself, or, at the very least, get in some reading.

    She thanked the man as he left, picking the key to the room up from a table and twirling it slowly in her palms before replacing it. Crossing to the door, she shut it firmly once she was alone, hurrying to pull an outfit from one of the suitcases. She frowned at the clothes she had brought. Bright, cheerful, and small, the clothes would leave little to the imagination. But this was supposed to be her honeymoon, and it was the ring on her finger that would have been the “back off” sign to most. Not to mention the handsome man who was supposed to be on her arm.

    Eventually, she decided upon an outfit, changing into a pair of denim shorts, an azure tanktop, and a pair of strappy tan sandals. The wedding dress was tossed in a corner. At the moment, she just didn't have the state of mind to deal with the blasted thing. She grabbed her makeup kit, moving to the bathroom and scrubbing face and brushing hair. When this was finished, she put on much less formal makeup, pinning her hair out of her face with a simple butterfly clip. As she did this, a flash of light caught her attention: the day's bright sun reflecting in the diamond of her engagement ring.

    She found herself lingering for a long moment, just turning her hand this way and that, watching the light dance. Finally, she pulled the ring off and shoved it into the medicine cabinet before striding back into the bedroom, scooping up the key and her purse, and making her way downstairs. She'd barely made it to the bottom when a cheerful song from sometime a few decades past began to issue from within her purse. Pausing in the hall, not seeming to realize that she might be in the way, she fished her phone out, frowning and answering it.

    “Yes? Yes, mother, I'm fine. I'm at the bed and breakfast, mother, where else would I be? Of course I went anyway! Why would I waste all the planning and money? No, mother. No, I don't care if he's sorry. Look, I just want to move on with my life, and for now, this is the place I need to be. No, mother, I- Oh just- Mother! Arg!” She prodded the phone with a manicured finger, pressing the touchscreen “button” that turned it off and wishing momentarily for the satisfaction of an actual land line so she could have slammed it.
  15. Patrick blanched. Go back to the forest? With the weird shadows? Already? He had just finally made it out of there! He gulped and tried to think. "Are you sure you don't want me to just call a tow truck? The car just kind of stuttered and coughed and flopped. Though... where are we, exactly? Is there even a towing company nearby? Seems pretty secluded. I was surprised to find a house here right out of that forest, actually. Thought I'd be walking a lot longer." He babbled, hoping it would distract himself from the fear of going back to that forest.

    Suddenly he changed topics. "No, you're right. I should get it taken care of. To be honest, I hadn't gotten an oil change in a long time, so..." Patrick paused. "That probably is the start of my troubles. Any idea how to fix that? All I can ever figure out is how to put gas in the car."
  16. The soft murmur of conversation two floors below drew Joshua out of his daze. Hesitating only a brief moment longer, in order to stick a finger through the bars of the cage and stroke Gandolf's head and beak, the humble cook rose to his feet and lazily strolled back through the joined bathroom. However, the very moment he entered his own room, he heard the bird strike up another conversation with thin air and he rolled his eyes. Strange animal. But it had always been like that from the moment Joshua first met it several months ago, so he shrugged the behaviour out of his mind and concentrated instead on getting dressed.

    It was a pair of smoky-gray slacks that he decided on after a moment's consideration if he could be truly comfortable wearing them with the current weather. As he threaded a belt through the pant's loops and fastened it, he heard movement on the floor below and assumed that Noah had already started showing the guests to their rooms. That was his cue to hurry up, and he slipped on a fitted button-down longsleeved shirt, rolling said sleeves up to his elbows. The pastel blue-gray hue looked rather pleasant next to his skin color. Or at least, that was what a customer had claimed the last time he'd worn the garment. Smiling at the memory of that wonderful, hilarious little old woman, he tugged on a stylish navy blue vest and popped the lower of the two buttons through the corresponding hole.

    After that, it was a simple step of running a hand through his slightly damp hair to give it volume while wiggling his feet into a pair of sandles. Then he descended to the bottom floor to view the situation and see where he could help out. His gaze traveled over the customers' faces as he waited for orders from Noah and when someone would glance his way through the hustle and bustle, he made sure to smile and give a gentlemanly nod.

  17. "What?" Noah turned to the kid and winced at the news. That long without an oil change was bad bad news for a car. He just nodded. "That might actually be a better idea I think. Leave it to the professionals. Here, let me find the number for you." He gave him a winning smile before looking up and spotting his Cook, Joshua.

    "Josh, will you go ahead and set the table for Charlotte..." he stopped and turned back to Patrick. "Ah, we'll need to talk. This is a bed and breakfast and if you're interested there is one or two rooms free at the moment." Noah spun back around to Josh. "Set the table for me and for our young guest here, at the very least we can offer him a meal while the tow comes." Noah felt like he was doing far too many things at once honestly. Everyone was everywhere and they all needed his attention! Not to mention the broken-bride, he winced just thinking about how he should handle that one. He managed to take a deep breath, pulling out his smart phone and hunting down the number. "Oh, I'm horrible. I'm Noah Thorne, owner of the B&B and you are?" He asked Patrick, realizing in that instant that he hadn't introduced himself.

    After giving Patrick the number and introductions were made, Noah was quickly rounding up his known guests and herding them onto the beautiful back porch where Joshua had laid out their lunch. He was careful of Miss Charlotte of course, gently leading her outside and giving her a comfortable seat that was within a respectful distance, after all, he couldn't imagine crowding someone who had probably just had their heart broken but he wanted to include her and make sure she ate properly.

    Heartbreak was a bitch. He knew that first hand.

  18. Lotte found herself being led along once more. The thought of food wasn't too appealing, driving her thoughts back to the rubbery chicken she should be enjoying, the cake that would never be cut. And there were people. But her host seemed considerate, and the food smelled delicious, better than anything a caterer could ever manage.

    She took a bite, closing her eyes and letting herself forget the troubles of the day. There was a problem, however. What the mind could forget, the heart was quick to remind it of, and she found herself gazing off into space when her eyes opened. Her hand was held, poised above the salad. The lemonade was forgotten.

    Anger surged through her, but she put on a brave face, going back to her meal. It was a delicious meal, and the lemonade, when she finally got to it, was just as wonderful. She wasn't used to someone actually getting the precise combination of sweet and tart that made truly amazing lemonade, but the cook seemed to have gotten it just right.
  19. Rich wasn't a fan of where this was going. So he decided to get his ass moving. Objects clunked together with every step. The backpack whips back and forth. Batting left and right, the blue eyes kept a lookout.

    Something was wrong out here, and he knew it. Adrenaline shot through his body at the thought of looking behind him. It seemed like that would be a last mistake.

    He exhausted body stopped just outside a large and beautiful home. Not knowing what else to do, Rich decided to sit in the yard. His energy was low, from fright and running. He heaved loud enough from any one of the front porch to hear. Fortunately, it's hard to miss anyone with a fedora and a backpack. When they just sit in a lawn, it only makes it harder to not see.
  20. Things were going fine. Just fine. Because everyone was slowly heading onto the back porch, it would be simple for Chandler to clean herself up a bit while no one could see her, play the part of a scared young woman, and bam! Sympathy. Sympathy meant food, money, and whatever the hell she wanted.

    And then someone just sat his ass down on the lawn, a few yards in front of the bush she had passed out under. Her hopes and dreams of money and food and money were dashed by Fedora-Wearing-Asshole... "Fwa". As if waking up under a bush with a hangover wasn't embarrassing enough on its own, now she could potentially lose her free ride to comfort. Even if it only lasted a day, or even half a day, as long as she got something that she needed it would be fine. But Fwa was unmoving. Sure he had only been there for a few moments, but still. This was her free ride. And to get that free ride, she needed sympathy. A creeper with a hangover hiding in a bush was more likely to get hit with a broom like a cat or sent to jail.

    She liked to think that her movements were stealthy, but her slow scooch deeper into the bush and towards the side of the house was more like an overturned turtle than a ninja. And ninjas didn't feel like midgets were hammering the insides of their skull, or like jellyfish were trying to crawl out of their stomach. Oh gods. Her stomach. It was starting a riot. At first there was just a headache, and she had hoped that if she ignored the rules of hangoverdome that maybe she wouldn't be subjected to them. Her hopes were dashed, again.

    There was really no way to throw up quietly. If any method was worth trying, now was the time. Mouth drying, bile slowly filling her mouth, Chandler desperately dug a hole in the dirt as deep as she could manage before putting her face close to it and vomiting up a horrible mixture of stomach acid and bile and, worst of all, partially broken-down Jack. For a few seconds things went swimmingly, for throwing up under a bush at least. Not terribly loud, and not projectile. But laying on her stomach, she couldn't vomit normally until she lifted herself onto her knees. The bush was pushing against her back, but she could breathe again.

    Fantastic. Avoiding her own vomit, Chandler collapsed in the dirt that stuck to cold, sweaty skin. A few seconds later, she peered over her arm and under the bush. Again, she had a silly hope, this time that Fwa hadn't seen or heard her. Her ability to improvise was shriveling. What would she do if she was found out? Claim that aliens had dumped her there? Maybe if she punched herself in the eye she could blame it on the man she was with last night... She watched Fwa warily, getting ready to practice her pitiful look.
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