20110425 - Cake and Talk


Starbucks - Sears Tower - Jackson Street

America's Favorite Coffeehouse, or so it claims. Stepping inside, one finds a series of pristine booths and tables for the customers, an octagonal island on the far wall hosting the coffee, snacks and various offerings of this popular chain. The employees are neatly garbed and bearing polite smiles. The clientele tend toward yuppydom.




Cale is sitting in one of the segmented booths, though he has his own laptop set up before him. The noontime rush is on, but he managed to snag this spot before it got too heavy. He's expectant, but doesn't watch after those coming in too closely. Content to wait and fill the time spent waiting with his quiet, focused work. He has a cup of coffee close to hand, but other than that he hasn't ordered yet. <re>

Frank makes his way into Starbucks with the usual heavy steps. He heads for the counter, there to order food and drink, and leans back against it to wait for his order to be filled and to cast an eye over the place.

Ruby's arrival is heralded by the sound of money down the drain, otherwise known as the rustling of the bags she is carrying. She glances around, her gaze finding Frank first. She heads towards him, leaning against his side for a moment with the shopping bags in her hands. She murmurs, "Hot chocolate please." before her gaze moves to find Cale, offering him a wiggle of her fingers through one handful of bags.

Dylan wanders in shortly thereafter. He's not at the latest of a series of progressively more annoying temp jobs today and thus he's dressed in jeans and a t-shirt under a light flannel jacket. His expression is thoughtful and chipper and he has, of all things, a cookbook under his arm. He stops as he sees and senses the other folks there and then crosses to the counter himself, coming close to Frank and giving the man a deep nod, held for a second and then Ruby and Cale each get genial waves. He orders a cup of black coffee, no sugar, no milk.

Cale looks up slightly amid the time between Frank's entry and Ruby's. Noting the two and when Ruby looks his way, lifting a hand her way, then motioning towards his booth. He then nods to Dylan and motions him over as well. Plenty of room for more people there. And after his silent invitation, he looks down to his laptop, wrapping up the work that he was doing with a light bit of focus.

Frank's hand touches Ruby's shoulder as she leans up against him, and then he's ordering a second hot chocolate to go with the first. "Your beau's over there," he says to Ruby, pointing towards Cale. "Go on, I'll bring these over." He nods to Dylan, offering the man a smile. "On me," he tells the barrista. "And we'll 'ave that cake, too." He points at a catering-size chocolate fudge cake on the other side of the glass. With barely a blink, the girl starts getting the whole cake out from the counter - this is a lycanthrope hangout, after all.

Ruby's look of innocence probably doesn't fool anyone, and the evidence of guilt is there. "Ta." She shoots Frank a teasing look, before she heads towards the table with Cale, returning Dylan's wave with a frankly broad grin. She drops into the seat next to Cale and offers him a kiss as the bags get arranged around her feet.

Dylan wrinkles his nose at the smell of the cake and shakes his head a little. He takes his coffee and asks, "You need a hand with anything." The invitation from Cale and then the smile from Ruby get first a mildly arched eyebrow and then both lifted. He grins back faintly, looking a little wary just by habit.

"I'd be worried if I didn't know my wallet was still in my pocket," Cale comments to Ruby as she settles herself next to him. He kisses her of course, a hand lifting to rest on her shoulder for the light peck. "Fashion show later?" He grins playfully, then his other hand closes the laptop. He look sup towards Dylan again and tilts his head towards the table again before he settles back and lifts the hand from her shoulder, arm sliding over her shoulders casually.

Frank nods to Dylan. "Yup," he says. "Just a moment." To the barrista, "Can we have four small plates, please? Thanks. Dylan, grab those and take a seat, I'll sort the rest out." Frank seems to be assuming that Dylan will be joining them - taking it for granted, in fact, as he hefts the plate with the cake on and takes it to the booth.

Ruby returns the kiss lightly, giving him a softer smile. "Is it? Are you sure?" She questions him, teasing, her energy relaxed. "You might get to see some of it." She glances at the laptop, lifting her eyebrows at Cale questioningly. Dylan's suspicion is noted and replied to with the mock widened eyes of pure innocence.

Dylan nods and grabs the plates and silverware, as well as stack of napkins. He wanders over to Cale's table and gives the pair there another nod. "Morning." He puts the plates out of the way but still accessible and then shakes his head at that look of innocence from Ruby. His voice is quiet murmur as he says, "Yeeeaaa, right."

"I'm sitting right on it," Cale replies to Ruby with a light grin. " He tilts his head towards the laptop and says, "Just the usual work. Nothing too important, though." He smiles casually and looks up to Dylan. " Have a seat, man. What's with the look?" An honest level of curiosity. Frank's arrival with the cake prompts a light smile. "Not the best thing for midday, but we can pick up something more filling later, perhaps. Cale is settled on one side of a booth with Ruby close to hand, room enough for six, even seven at it with a chair moved to the end of the table. It's midday and noisy, but not tightly crowded.

Frank drops the plate of cake - an entire chocolate fudge cake with walnuts and health food pretensions - off at the table, then returns to the counter for the two hot chocolates for himself and Ruby. "What do you mean, not the best thing for midday? Huh. Weirdo." He's smiling as he sets the giant mugs down, though, nudging Ruby's towards her. "Dylan? Might want to let me in first, or you'll start gattin' claustawotsit."

Walking into Starbucks like the college student he is, Keith looks around from a textbook he's reading. His backpack seems to be slung around his back looking fairly heavy, though the man doesn't seem the least bit phased by the weight. Keith is wearing an outfit composed of a few new looking articles of fashionable clothing from Holister and American Eagle looking extremely preppy today. When he sights the others he begins an approach closing his book. "Hey guys!" He waves as he sends his energy out to greet everyone in turn, being sure to follow touching everyone in ranking order. "Might I come join you?" He looks around at each person in turn seeming to seriously be asking permission.

Ruby pulls hers towards her, glancing up at Frank. "Perfect for midday." She comments softly, returning Cale's grin, her eyes amused. She begins to play with the cream on her hot chocolate, using the spoon, slanting Cale a glance. Keith's arrival is met with an informal wave of her spoon, before she licks the cream from it.

Frank greets Keith with a warm smile. "Grab a cuppa an' a little plate an' come an' join in," he says in a strong London accent, from the East End to be precise. "Got enough cake for everyone." And he did, there's a whole chocolate fudge cake with walnuts in the middle of the table, with Cale and Ruby sitting on one side of the booth and Dylan and Keith standing nearby. Frank slips into the seat with care, moving along to the very end so there's room for others to sit as well. "Easy," he says to Dylan. "Open mouth, insert cake, bite, chew, swallow. Right?"

Keith looks quite confused at Dylan as he speaks. "Afternoon Dylan. What might you mean Dylan, it's cake…" His accent is that of a mix of Cali and Ireland. It almost sounds as though Dylan just said the ocean isn't made of water. The expression on Keith's face shows an attempt at understanding though. Nodding at Frnak, Keith sets his bag down near the table to trots over to grab himself his latte and a plate before returning. When Keith gets back he scooches into the booth with everyone else nodding at Frank. "Yes, that's what I thought!"

Ruby is enjoying torturing Cale with the use of spoon, cream and mouth, but she pauses long enough to snag a slice of the cake, giving her brother a look of sweet innocence. "So I found this little boutique, left Auranna after we did some shopping there." She cuts hers with a fork, taking a bite quickly, with less teasing. "Cake is cake, Dylan." She glances up, noting the arrival of the other man, briefly narrowing her eyes.

Dylan just shakes his head and says, "Ah, I guess I just lost my sweet tooth in the last few years. I'm sure the cake is very nice." He takes a seat after Frank and puts his cup of coffee on the table. When Javier arrives, he gets a nod and just in case Frank missed it, Dylan clears his throat softly and looks off in that direction for a moment.

Javier walks to the line and waits to order his food. As he waits ee brushes his energy against Dylan as a form of greeting.

Frank retrieves himself a small plate and a large slice of cake. "Wimp," he accuses Dylan with an amused smile. His eyes flick to Javier, and then his attention goes back to his cake and cup of hot chocolate. "Although if Cale an' Ruby get any more sickenin'," he teases, "I probably shouldn't eat this… ow!"

"I'll have yours." Ruby offers helpfully to Dylan, her tone pure little sister, her expression holding innocence, practically a written denial about the ow from her brother. Despite that, she does deign to reach over with her fork and take some of his cake. "We'll be as bad as you and Dom." She replies sweetly.

Keith chuckles at Ruby's shopping comments. "Wow Ruby, I didn't know you liked to shop. Maybe next time we all can go shopping together." He then looks back to Dylan briefly getting an expression of curiosity and quiet fear as the scent of the lion. "Oh, you lost your sweet tooth? Poor boyo!" Seeing that Javier is friendly, Keith expression slowly shifts to a neutral look. Await for Frank to get his piece Keith follows suit and gets a slice for himself. "Oh, this looks good…" He then looks between Ruby and Cale with a chuckle. "Oh, I see how it is…" He winks at Frank clearly trying to tease Ruby.

"You should have come. Auranna needed a whole wardrobe." Ruby's quick reply to Keith is given with a grin, and oddly, a brief blush.

Dylan grins faintly at Frank and shrugs broadly. "Just consider it a diet of sorts." He takes a sip of coffee and gives Cale and Ruby an amused expression. "They aren't that bad. At least each is in their own chair." Keith's 'boyo' causes both eyebrows to shoot up and his grin turns a little sardonic. "Not exactly like losing a limb, people." That brush from Javier gets a polite, friendly reception, if a bit reserved, since he's minding his manners.

Fingers run though Lexine's hair as she enters Starbuck's, bringing the slight mess to some sense of order for a brief moment. The woman bee lines towards the counter with the look of someone that doesn't just /want/ coffee, but quite possibly needs it in their blood stream to survive.

Javier was waiting his turn on line to order his food. At long last Javier is finaly able to order. Once he gets his coffe he starts to walk towards the large group that is eating cake.

Frank heaves a heavy, long-suffering sigh at Ruby's words, but he's still smiling, even while giving her the hairy eyeball when she steals some of his cake. "They're in a booth," he points out to Dylan. "God knows what they're doin' under the table where we can't see it, an' God knows I don't know to know." He takes a sip of hot chocolate. He, Keith, Dylan, Ruby and Cale are in one of the booths, an almost whole chocolate cake with walnuts on a plate in the middle of the table and the missing slices in evidence on plates. Lexine's arrival gets a, "Hey, Lex!" from Frank, and a broad grin. "Grab a cuppa an' a plate, if you want some cake!" Javier's approach is noted, but for the moment it's unremarked.

Keith looks at Ruby nodding and tilting his head. "Really? I would have loved to assist her in finding an outfit. I might not be a complete guru, but I do have some fashion sense." He then looks upon Dylan once again. "You might be able to say it's not like losing a limb, but…" He gestures to himself. Clearly being known as the 'Pard Garbage Disposal' is quite accurate for Keith. "Anyways, food's food!" He takes his fork and starts casually eating the cake. Sensing the fox entering Keith's eyes shoot up to land upon her. Though seeing she's going toward the counter, Keith relaxes once more. "Oh come now Frank, I am sure they're not doing anything you and Dom wouldn't be doing yourselves…" Maybe Keith doesn't know the enforcer well, but he certainly thinks highly of him.

"I can show you what I'm doing under the table." Ruby's sweet smile is directed at her brother, along with a very sharp kick to his shins. "She spent a fortune." She informs Keith cheerfully, the blush fading slightly, before she smirks at him, the comment about her brother and his "wife" amusing her. Her fork pauses at the sight of Lexine and she lifts a hand, wiggling her fingers at the other woman, before her gaze moves to the approaching Javier, thoughtfully. Her teasing settles down, quietens, and she applies herself to hot chocolate and cake.

"What's wrong with us?" Cale glances about with a casual grin. "I suppose if too many more people show up, though, I'll have to squeeze Ruby into my lap." He glances at her. " I'm sure you wouldn't mind it. Would make things easier." His eyes flick towards Frank as he notes that with an amused curl of lips. His eyes lift to the side, considerin gLexine and Javier with a casual expression.

Dylan scents the air at Frank's remark and then shakes his head ironically, both at the couple and himself for something that is just so /wrong/ in application to a social situation. He looks towards Lexine when Frank greets the woman, eyebrow arching again in faint surprise and then he looks back to the table, taking another sip of his coffee and studiously not hearing any commentary on what various people may or may not be getting up to in public. He grins at Cale and murmurs, "Oh no, don't throw her in that bri'erpatch."

Lexine's head turns at the calling out of her name, and a smile is quickly on her face. "Lovelies!," she calls over in greeting, waggling fingers towards the group. Her gaze drops to the cake, and she looks back to Frank with wide, mournful eyes. "Hell, there goes my diet," she bemoans. This doesn't stop her, however, from moving to the booth once her coffee is taken. She dips briefly, enough so to give Frank, then Ruby, a friendly kiss upon the cheek. "Good to see you too. One day I'll manage t'catch Dom out with you as well." She gives the others at the table a smile as well, polite.

Once Javier is at the table he gives Dylan a small smile "Hey Dylan how have you been?" To Keith he says "Hello Keith been a while." To Cale Javier simply says "Cale." Javier can't recall meeting Ruby or Frank before so he gives them two a nod.

"Ow," Frank grins good-naturedly at Ruby, and then to the table at large, "Anyone would think I was married. Or that Dom would want to get hitched to me. Budge up, chaps, let Lexine in." He's grinning as he gets kissed. "Nice to see you again, Lex. Dom's plannin' a proper Sunday dinner for everyone, she's had me ferryin' shoppin' all morning. Want to come?" Javier's nod gets returned. "Hi. I'm Frank, Frank Vaughan."

Ruby returns the kiss, her smile for Lexine truly affectionate, "You could see her then if you come over?" She invites her casually, with a disregard for Dom's place settings. Dylan's teasing with Cale earns both a glance, and a flash of her grin but she lapses into silence now Javier is here, returning that nod with more caution than her brother. Below the table, the foot that kicked Frank now nudges lightly against his foot.

Cale arches a brow slightly at Dylan's murmur, a questioning look given. He must not get the reference. He gives Lexine a respectful dip of his head. Then a slight one for Javier as well. His laptop bas disappeared, slid into its bag to mingle with the feet where it won't take up much real estate on the table. Keith gets a casual grin. "Trust me, he's had plenty of chances to pop on me, I think. I'd have to try to upset him for real, I think." He slips his arm lower, from shoulders to smooth around her waist as he scoots in on his side, sliding against the wall and tugging a bit with that arm to bring Ruby back flush with his side.

Dylan slides out of the booth to allow Lexine to sit next to Frank if she wishes (and coincidentally, to perhaps not end up stuck in the middle) and nods again to the pride leader, taking a couple of steps to the other side of the booth so he can lean casually on the top of the bench for the moment. "Javier. And, um, well, thanks." His tone is polite but affable but he pipes down when Frank introduces himself. He gives Keith a faintly amused glance, his expression saying, 'if you have to ask….' That amused look gets a bit broader as he shakes his head at Cale and mouths, 'later'.

Javier looks to Frank and lightly sniffs the air "Very nice to meet you Frank. I am Javier Vega." he then lowers his voice so that only those with enhanced hearing can hear him "Rex of the Pride." To Keith he says "My people and yours are on as good terms as we two can be."

Lexine grins to Frank, chuckling. "Now you know that I can't turn down Dom's cooking," she muses, shaking her head. "I'd love to come over." Her accent matches that of Frank and Ruby, though it's not as strong, fresh. "Good to meet you," she says to the unfamiliar faces, before scooting in to take the offered spot beside of Frank. "Thanks," is chirped to Dylan, coupled with a bright, winning smile. "Auranna, hmm? She works at my club some nights," is noted, before she looks over to Javier, giving him a nod of greeting.

Frank reaches out to touch Ruby's wrist, and as he does so, his calm, warm power flows over her. In the same low tone he replies to Javier, "Enforcer of the Pard." At that announcement, his power explands, claiming the table - or more precisely, the people at it - except for Lexine's bit for a few moments before retreating politely. And then at a more reasonable volume, Frank says, "Pleased to meet yer. Would you like some cake? We got plenty to go round."

Keith looks at Dylan with an expression of 'well you know…' before looking towards Javier. His voice is low to allow only enhanced hearing to pick-up, "I'm quite glad on that fact then." He then casually looks around at the rest of the group seems quite content with himself as he scoots to allow the maximum room for the rest of the group. When Lex mentions Anna, Keith looks at the lady. "Oh, you know Anna then. Oh, she is a wonderful lass isn't she?" He then feels Frank's energy and he beams a smile at the man with thanks.

Ruby budges up, leaning into Cale's embrace easily, her head against his shoulder, her hand returning Frank's touch. "She is dying to cook." She offers Lexine the words with a quick grin, but behind it her eyes are watchful, cautious. Her movement though, that gives enough room should Dylan want to sit. "Aura was fun." She comments lightly.

Cale gives Lexine a thoughtful look and offers to her. "Cale Soto. I wager you've probably heard of me. How good, though, is the question." His mood sobering some with the path his thoughts take. His eyes flick towards Frank for a moment and he offers a slight smile, but he returns his attention to Lexine. "If you like, I could speak to you later on the subject."

Dylan grins faintly at Lexine's thanks and he ducks his head in a casual 'you're welcome'. Sliding into the place Ruby opens up at the end of the bench after Lexine's seated on her side, he restrains a shiver at the feel of Frank's power, relaxing fractionally at the wash of it. He nods at Keith and reaches across the table to retrieve his coffee cup, taking another sip and seeming to be quite content to listen more than speak for the moment.

Javier does take note of Frank's impressive power level. He looks to Lexine and gives her a small smile "Hello there." He looks back to Frank and says "Thanks for the offer. However I am not staying long and not sure if there would be enough room for me any way. It was very nice to meet all of you."

In a sea of leopard-caused power, Lexine's own vulpine energy crackles—pressing out just enough so that she doesn't get lost in the larger wave that is Frank's, just enough to make it metaphysically clear that she is her own protection. She sips at her coffee as she watches Javier, before Cale's words drag her attention to him, her lips turning down in a brief frown. "Ah, yes, /you/," she intones, lowly. Some of that friendly air disappears, though it returns when she slides her gaze to Keith. "I've been delighted, by what I've seen of her. She's a good performer."

Frank inclines his head to Javier. "No worries," the Londoner says with a smile. "Thanks for droppin' by. I'm sure there'll be other times an' places where you got more time. Feel free to take some cake for the road, if you want?" He gives Lexine a quick wink, then reaches for his cup again.

Keith looks over at Lex with a chuckle, "How rude of me… I'm Keith." Keith nods at the others before an alarm goes off in his bag. "Oh, will you look it the time. I came here just before my lecture was supposed to happen. He attempts to scoot out of his place quickly, being sure not to hurt anyone in his way. "I trust I will see you all later?" He bows politely to the rest of the table. Using his Irish bred manners in public. "If you'd please excuse my rushing off…"

Ruby glances between Lexine and Cale, a questioning look in her eyes as she settles comfortable between Dylan and Cale. She pokes at the cake, letting Frank and Javier's conversation flow over her head. Her gaze does flicker over Javier, thoughtfully, with interest. "Later, Keith." She shoots the man a grin, quick and friendly.

Cale seems to have expected roughly that level of reaction and nods his head. "Me," he says lightly. "I would like to speak with you at a later date, but I'll leave that for a better time," he offers once more before leaving the topic alone. He lifts a hand towards Keith in a casual wave. "Take care," he offers. His attention drifting to Ruby. "So did you buy anything for public discussion? Or must I simply wait?" Her questioning look is left to wait for now, but his gaze will suggest a quiet 'later'. "I should come along on one of these trips. You know.. man's opinion and all."

Dylan Lexine gets a sharper look at that tone to Cale. He grins faintly, fairly sure that words wouldn't translate to violence in this setting. Keith gets a wave as he departs. He glances at Cale and his eyebrows go up in arch amusement as he asks, in a sotto voice, "Oooh, whose?" His tone is entirely innocent at that, though his eyes glitter with wicked humor.

Javier gives Frank a nod "I am sure there will be as well. Thanks for the cake offer, I will take what you are willing to give." He gives a wave to Keith as well.

Frank nods to Keith. "Go on, 'op it," he says, sounding amused. Sobering again, to Javier he nods, "A piece of cake, freely gifted." There's something perhaps oddly formal about the words.

"Just some essentials." Ruby's reply is light, teasing Cale, her eyes warm with affection as she looks up at the man. Dylan's humor and teasing is met with a narrow eyed, sisterly look, and a sharp jab of an elbow at close range. "Aura did well enough, and Keith offered first." She replies sweetly to both.

Lexine muses a fairwell to Keith as the man leaves, and lightly bumps shoulders with Frank after the man winks to her. Lexine is not a large woman, and next to Frank she manages to look even smaller. This does not stop her from glaring at Cale. "Yes, I think we should talk together, at some point," she says, in a smile that is closer to a showing of teeth than anything. But there's no actual violence offered. Just displeasure.

Javier takes the piece of cake offered and then says to Frank "Gifts between friends are often free. Thanks again… till next time farewell." Javier stays around to see if his words caused any hurt feelings if not he then walks off with the piece of cake.

"I'd leave the shopping to you three, I could be there for the opinions," Cale offers to Ruby with a casual grin. "You know I'm not much for fashion. Probably half the clothes I have are a few years old." His eyes flick to Dylan, a good natured grin returned. "Maybe you could come as well." His eyes flick up towards Javier for a moment before returning to Lexine. Her reply is accepted with a respectful dip of his head. "I'll give you my number. When you have time, call and I'll meet you wherever might be appropriate." And he reaches down under the table to snag his sketchbook, a clean sheet cannibalized for a piece that he can scrawl a number on with pencil. The number offered to Lexine then.

Dylan lets out a quiet 'oof!' noise at the elbow from Ruby and snickers quietly, trying to keep it down. The offer between Frank and Javier gets a look but he just gives the Rex another nod and a light wave before he looks back to Cale at that invitation, laughing quietly now. "Ah … I think that there are some things that probably shouldn't be communal."

If that wasn't quite the ritual response Frank anticipated, apparently it was close enough to make no difference. "Farewell," he replies to Javier, and then his attention returns to the table. "Cale, are you nuts? Goin' shoppin' with Ruby, to act as opinion? Don't do it. Take the advice of someone older'n you an' just don't do it." Not that Frank looks that old himself - late twenties, perhaps, at most.

Ruby's curiousity shows, and her gaze flickers between Lexine and Cale, but she watches Javier leave, in silence, before she gives Cale a speaking look, one eyebrow lifted questioningly. "Like we want you men hanging around." She does give her brother a nod though, shooting him a grin. "Better safe than sorry." She comments, her gaze lingering questioningly on Lexine.

Lexine glances to Javier, briefly, as he leaves. Her fingers are quick to snag the paper offered by Cale, and she lifts her rear off the bench enough so that said piece of paper can be slid into her back pocket. Ruby's look is not unnoticed, and she shakes her head before mouthing 'later'. Finally, Lex reaches to take a piece of the cake, occupying her mouth with something other than scowling at Cale for a few moments.

Cale gives that same sort of 'later' look once more to Ruby. Not unkindly, but firm in leaving the topic without detail. Frank's warning gets a light grin and he considers Ruby. "Might be worth it once the yget to the lingerie shop," he muses. His eyes rolling to Ruby, then towards Dylan thoughtfully. "I could pull my camera out of mothballs." He grins playfully as his eyes roll towards Ruby again, braced for a knock.

Dylan snickers at Cale's sally and watches Javier walk away, finally breathing a faint sigh. He glances towards Frank and says, quietly, "Something odd there." But then he cuts his eyes towards Lexine and he goes quiet, shrugging faintly and finishing off his coffee, watching the rest of them enjoy their cake.

Frank sighs. "Like you're gonna get to see 'em modellin' lingerie in a shop," he reminds Cale. "Kids. No patience. Here's hopin' you an' Lexine can sort out, Cale, 'cause Lex is a good friend of mine an' Ruby's." And then to Dylan, "Yeah? What do you reckon it was?"

Ruby gives Lexine a slow nod, her eyes thoughtful, but she easily slides into the habit of teasing, her cheeks flushing lightly, suddenly. "Well, you don't get the chance. Aura and I got everything from there already." She busies herself then, returning to the spoon and the cream on the cooling hot chocolate, her cheeks pink.

Lexine finishes her bite of cake, washing it down with some coffee before she speaks. "Good, old friends." The words seem more aimed to Frank and Ruby, the cheer back in her demeanor once more. "There's a place on the pier called the Silver Rose," she notes towards Ruby. "Nice stuff. Don't know if you've hit that one, yet. I think they still do custom work, too." Dylan is looked over at his words on Javier, and the woman nods her head in agreement.

"I suppose I'll just have to wait then.. could still bring the camera," Cala notes in a casual tease to Ruby. Though at Frank's note of Lexine, he returns his attention to her. "Lexine is the only one I haven't squared with yet. I will." His eyes flick to Frank with the last. A simple promise. He then looks towards Dylan thoughtfully. "Odd?" A curious edge to his expression.

Dylan shrugs at Frank, glances towards Lex and Cale at their looks and says quietly enough that it won't carry beyond their table, "He's just … ah, there's no polite way to say this. People of a certain, um, wattage, tend to be a little ..aloof. Not like horrible. Just kind of preternatural divas, expecting your green M&Ms in the dressing room, you know? You don't even notice because, well, it's natural. And generally cool." He tilts his head in the direction of the departed Rex and says, "Every time I've met him, he seems to have gone out of his way to dial that down and try to engage me as, if not an equal, then somebody closer than we are. I tend to worry when the officers of another club notice me in a way that doesn't involve scowling at my jokes." He shrugs. "Probably just paranoia."

Frank nods to Cale. "Good," he says fimly, with a hint of 'you'd better'. He listens quietly to Dylan, then smiles faintly. "If I ever start demandin' green sweets in my dressin' room, Ruby hits me an' then Dom clocks me one," he grins. "But yeah, I kinda felt the need to point out as you was all protected, 'cept Lex of course. Hope you didn't mind, but my trouble sense was goin' off. Nice to know other people was feelin' the same way." Reassuring, too, apparently.

"The Silver Rose." Ruby repeats the words, shooting Lexine a feminine grin of conspiracy. "I'll hit it as soon as I get more cash." She shoots her brother a smile, sweet as honey, her eyes wide. "Maybe he wants your body, Dylan." The quick verbal jab is made sweetly as she sips her hot chocolate. Cale's words are noted though, and it is obvious she will ask him later, and Frank gets a narrow eyed look.

Lexine makes a thoughtful sound, then nods to Dylan. "Something about him sets me on edge, too," she admits, then glances over to Frank. "If any of mine were here, I would have done the same. He thinks, from what I've heard, that he can /have/ any woman he lays his eyes on. Who knows if that extends to blokes as well." To Ruby, she flashes a grin. "Let me know when, and maybe I'll tag along."

Cale considers Dylan's words serious. "Too gracious? I've never really had much interaction with him, couldn't say." His voice soft. "Though I do find myself partial to the lack of diva edge." His eyes roll towards Frank, giving him a speaking grin along with that note. "I know you've got my back Frank. And it's a good thing to have in the back of your mind." Ruby's play gets a grin and his arm squeezes about her waist as he dips into a thoughtful quiet after murmuring, "He sounds like who I used to be."

Frank grimaces. "Oh, a Casnunder. Casanova? No, Casanunder. Blech. They set my teeth on edge, an' not just 'cause I've got a sister." After all, 'are you looking at my girl' is an invitation to a barney almost anywhere in the world. "They usually think they need to take on the biggest guy in the room. Dunno if you've noticed." He's sitting in one corner of a booth with the others around the table; there's a large chocolate cake in the middle of the table with several slices already missing.

Dylan grins at Ruby and Lexine, shaking his head, touching the side of his nose lightly as is to say, 'I'd have smelled that'. "I don't think I'm busty enough to be his type. And besides, with an alpha? Too … ah … yea, probably not." A thoughtful look, faintly uncomfortable then. "Or at least I think I'd be able to tell." He gives Frank another nod and a grateful look. "Yea, thanks for that. I didn't want to overtly ask because it might have been seen as a sign we don't trust his group. And Forest wouldn't thank me for screwing with his diplomatic relations. When Cale speaks, he laughs quietly and says, "I like it, personally. As long as nobody's pissed at me. It's, ah, comfortable, knowing that the people who are in charge have the strength to /be/ in charge. Expecting a little deference is fine and normal. But then again, I was 'raised' old school." He's still speaking quietly enough that nobody beyond their table would hear it.

Auranna slips into Starbucks moving for the counter, looking tired. She is wearing a blue halter top and mini-skirt outfit with heels. She doesn't notice anyone else at first until she orders herself a tall nonfat mocha with an extra shot of expresso. Only then does she realize there are others and turns letting her eyes wander and dipping her head a bit.

"Try, "You lookin' at me, mate?"" Ruby's offering to her brother, her lips quirking at the corners, Cale and Lexine's conversation forgotten for the moment. "I don't think he looked at me twice so I must not meet the criteria." She glances down, giving her lips a rueful twist before she returns to eating cake, perhaps in the hope it might add to her chest. "We could do a trip, Lex, take Aura. She seemed to like the underwear bit, bought some real crackers." Her cheeks colour a little though and she lifts her hand to wiggle her fingers at Auranna. "Cake, Aura!" She offers cheerfully.

Lexine is at Frank's side, eating a piece of the cake, her head bobbing in a quick nod. "Exactly," she says to the large man, gesturing with her fork. She seems about to say something more, but a sudden ringing from her pocket makes her frown, a small phone withdrawn. "Well, hell. Duty calls, n' all that. Thanks for the cake, Frank. I'll see you around. Nice to meet the rest of you." Auranna is given a wave of greeting, as the fox makes to slip out of the booth.

Cale rouses from his thought to consider Dylan's words. "Oh, strength is good. But the more understated it is most times, the better. I tend to think the less you need to yell to get people to listen, the better you are at leading. Or something like that." He grins at Frank and Ruby, adding, "I'm sort of glad that he didn't take a shine to you. A bit too much trouble that would be." Lexine's departure is noted and he offers her a light, "Be well." Not lingering as he noticed Auranna in the deal. He lifts a hand towards her, motioning for her to come on over with a light, warm smile.

Dylan notices Auranna and catches that nod, returning it and giving her a wave. Lexine gets a polite, "Nice meeting you." He shrugs at Cale and says, "All well and good for, ah, most people. I'm just saying a more visceral demonstration is sometimes needed for those of us who tend to be of, um, two minds about things." He's obviously trying to keep the preternatural buzz words to a minimum, given they are in public, no matter how quiet the conversation may be.

"Take care, Lex," Frank says cheerfully, then adds, "Give 'em hell for interruptin' your cake." Auranna gets waved to and then waved over, with a cheerful, "Bring a plate!" Cale gets a grin and a wink, and then Frank asks Dylan mildly, "'Ave I needed to yell at anyone yet?"

Ruby's gaze lingers on the fox for a moment, her face thoughtful before she turns back to the others, her lively expression returning quickly. "I don't think I'm his type." She dismisses Cale's comments lightly, snugly positioned between Dylan and Cale, opposite Frank at the table. The cake in the middle is diminished, "I'm with Dylan." She murmurs softly, before she returns to finishing her own cake with cheerful pleasure, with a glance at her brother. "You don't have to, you nutjob, you're a fucking mountain." Spoken with light affection, and a sweet smile.

Auranna looks over and dips her head to Lexine, "Heya Boss Lady." she says and then just waves as she realizes that she is leaving. She looks at Ruby, and flushes a bit, but then adds, "I didn't buy all of them, that See through number was just to see your reaction." she teases towards Ruby. She moves a little more over towards the others, "Hello," she says softly. She seems in a okay mood, but is holding something back, but then she does that most of the time theses days.

Lexine takes her plate, with the half-eaten slice of cake, with her. "Off with their heads, n' all that." She beams a smile to Auranna, touching the girl's shoulder in more familiar greeting. "Take care," she offers to the group as a whole, before she and her stolen plate head out the door.

Cale nods to Dylan and says, "I won't disagree with you on that. I suppose the ratio might be up for debate, but eh.. details. Pointless." He arches a brow towards Frank. "Don't think you need to yell all that much. But you are pretty good at it." A knowing look given before he glances towards Auranna. "See thru?" His attention flits back to Ruby. "You sure I can't escort you to that Silver Rose place? Could be a bad neighborhood, wouldn't want you getting accosted along the way." He puts on his best white knight tone and forthright expression. Which is far too much for the moment.

Dylan looks up at Frank and then looks /up/ at Frank a little more and arches an eyebrow, his expression just a little too sardonically amused to be deadpan. He grins when Ruby speaks and just nods. Spinning the now empty coffee cup lightly between his hands, gently enough to not deform the paper, he looks towards Auranna, expression still light and pleasant but mildly inquiring. Cale gets a nod of agreement and then a faint smirk.

Frank grins at the various reactions, settling back in his seat. "No plate, no cake," he says to Auranna, still smiling, though after a look at Cale's expression he's glancing at Ruby and wincing in sympathy with what he thinks she's about to do.

Ruby's cheeks almost glow at the comment about the "see through number", but she tries to brush it off, her arm shifting, aimed directly at an elbow in Cale's ribs for that look at the other woman. "Cale wants to come with us and give his opinion, Aura." Her words put the topic firmly back on shopping and less on bits of see through material, but she jumps, as her cell phone rings. Sitting as she is, it is squirm to get it, and she glances at the screen before she wiggles past Dylan to answer it with a glance at Frank. She wanders off, out of sight, to speak.

Auranna smiles to Lexine as she goes and sighs softly. She then looks back to the others, "See you met my boss." she says and grins a little. She grins and giggles a little at Cale's words, especially the see through part. She doesn't add to much, just looks between Frank and Dylan for a moment before looking back to Ruby. She looks at Cale, "Really, you just want to see us in lingerie." she says and then giggles a bit, "That is alright though, too early for cake for me." she adds after a moment.

Cale takes the shot. He's been expecting it and gives a little grunt for her effort. It doesn't reduce his grin, though. And he lets Ruby go as she has to slither past to answer to her phone. "She's so mean," he murmurs as he rubs his side, though he hardly seems put out. "That would merely be a perk. After all, as an artist and a guy I have a certain grasp of aesthetics when it comes to the feminine form." And now his erudite voice comes out, again quite overplayed and he can't keep a straight face. "One of my favored to paint in fact."

Dylan blinks as cell phone chimes to let him know he has a text message and he scans the screen curiously. "Hm. Looks like my boss at the temp place needs somebody to fill in for half a day. And since I'm paying rent on that new place by myself now, I can use the money. Gotta run." He slides out of his seat as Ruby extracts her revenge on Cale and then snickers a bit as his speech. He shakes his head again, obviously amused and comfortable at the byplay between them. He gives Frank another deep nod of respect and everybody at the table a casual wave before he heads for the door, tossing his cup in the bin as he goes.

"Some people got no taste," Frank laments at Auranna's refusal of cake. "You're welcome to join us anyway. Even if cake is good whenever it's there." Ruby's look gets nodded to as his sister slips away, and then another phone goes off, Dylan explains and Frank says, "Good luck, Dylan." Cale gets a good ignoring.

Auranna cocks her head to the side a little, and settles down, "I just had a couple steaks and some eggs, regular breakfast these days, but leaves me full." she shakes her head a bit. She looks over and watches Dylan leave and does seem to relax a little after, she looks back to Cale, "Well I think you should be focusing on one female form right now." she teases and chuckles a bit.

Cale nods his head to Dylan and offers, "Good luck with that. Catch you later." Though he does come then to consider Frank for a moment. A thought coming to mind. "You know, I offered to paint Dom and she agreed. Not sure how you might feel about that sort of thing. Though maybe you two can decide on something that you'd like to hang up.. heck, if you wanted I could make it a family thing for all three of you. Once I get my hand back in, I'm going to want a handful of models and subjects." Auranna gets a smile and he says, "Oh, I am. I learned not to juggle or play around a long time ago. Bad first hand experience."

Frank shrugs to Cale. "Dom's her own woman," he points out. "What she decides to do is nothin' to do with me, unless it's me she's decidin' to do it to. Although I doubt she's gonna go breakin' Ruby's heart, so you're probably safe from that direction." A pause. "Probably." And then he gives Auranna a warm smile. "You know, tellin' a guy what he should be doin' only tempts him to do what he shouldn't. Proven fact, right, Cale?"

Auranna shakes her head a little, "Not always, or maybe, I don't have a lot of experience dealing with men." she does flush. She looks over at Cale and smiles just a little before looking back at Frank. "So how are things going?"

"Just thought it prudent to ask," Cale says, his head dipped slightly. "And while sh certainly offers a pleasing aesthetic, I really don't think I'm her type of guy, even if I was worried. So all is well on that front." And he seems content with the matter. "But yeah. Being pushed against tends to encourage someone to push back." He considers Aura, then notes, "Might not be a bad idea to paint you too. You can pick any format you're comfortable with. Portrait, full body. Clothed, unclothed. Each has an appeal. Though not everyone is comfortable with putting nudes up on the wall unless they're official art. Assuming that I turn out something wall worthy. Usually I can, though." He smiles.

Frank gives Cale another smile. "Dom's got a mind of her own, an' I don't claim to know what it's thinkin'," he says. "But yeah, she ain't gonna try to break Ruby's heart." He glances from one to the other, then. "Me? I'm fine, Auranna, but I'm startin' to wonder if I shouldn't be askin' you that question. You seem to be a bit down, kid. Next time we ain't in Starbucks let's go for another walk, okay?"

Ruby returns, sliding her cell into her pocket, shooting Frank a look and a nod. "Painting Aura naked?" She picks up on the bit most likely to get Cale into trouble, her eyes narrowing on him., and she slides into the seat Dylan left. "Left another message for Zack." The comment is for Frank, given with a small shrug. "Who is going to try breaking my heart?" All the bits that spell trouble for Cale.

Auranna chuckles to Cale for a moment, "Kelly has first dibs on painting me." she looks at Ruby, "Kelly will be, I am going to sit for a set of pictures." she shakes her head, "Relax hun, I wouldn't try takin him from you, now you from him." she teases, and then looks back to Frank, "Can do that if you want, I am doing the best that I can." she looks down for a moment.

"Yes," Cale answers to Ruby without a flinch. "You know I paint. I'll paint you as well. If you're worried, I could paint both of you together. You'll see that being a nude model is actually pretty boring, regardless of what the racy stories in the books might say. And Dom won't be the one seducing me. I think she likes.. tougher guys than me." He smiles, softly amused as he slips closer to her, taking advantage of the extra room now. Auranna gets a subtly arched brow and a nod at her note on Kelly. "She's first then. Besides, I won 't be seriously painting for a little while yet regardless. And I think you're doing fine, Aura."

Frank nods to the returning Ruby. "Righto," he replies to her, then focuses on Auranna again. "When you're ready," he says, then adds with a wink, "An' when we ain't in Starbucks." He settles back, finishing off the last of his hot chocolate before making a face. "Left it too long. Blech."

Ruby shakes her head, "Didn't think you were, Aura." She replies lightly, but her forehead wrinkles briefly, before she ignores the rest of that statement. She does pointedly ignore Cale though, picking up her fork to finish her piece of cake slowly, picking it apart. Her face is thoughtful, her mind elsewhere.

Auranna nods to Cale and then looks over at Ruby, "Something bothering you?" she asks softly and then looks back to Frank, "Sure, I have been wanting to talk to you anyway." she says and shrugs, "Will try to come around later I guess." she takes a sip of her drink.

Cale grins casually at Ruby, leaning into her to nudge her shoulder with his. "I'm going to keep asking now that I've got the idea in my head," he notes to her lowly. "You two might make a rather nice contrast." His eyes flit between Ruby and Auranna thoughtfully, as if trying to craft the image in his mind. "I might have to get a nice set up for a backdrop.. just enough room at my place to squeeze that in, I think. With just enough room for two."

Frank nods to Auranna. "When you're ready," he repeats. And then Cale gets a long look, and an entirely serious, "Promise me, Cale, that I will never see a picture of my sister that I don't want to see."

"Keep asking." Ruby's words are a soft growl at Cale, her mood taking a swing downwards, as she drops her fork. "I'm alright, Aura. Just something I want to deal with, and I can't until I get hold of someone." She hesitates, before she pushes the plate away, reaching under the table to grab some bags. "Frank, mind if I slip off?" Her light request is part of that acceptance of her brother in charge of her they show.

Auranna raises a brow for a moment, focusing more on Ruby for a moment after nodding to Frank, "Well call me later maybe we can go do some more shopping or something." she says as she takes another sip of her drink.

Cale does ease off Ruby then, tilting his head over to place his chin against her shoulder lightly. "I'll tell you about the tension later. Though you mostly know already." He smile and then lifts his head, looking towards Frank thoughtfully. "I won't paint her any way she doesn't want to be and the pictures will be hers to do with as she pleases. Those two things I can promise." And he says so soberly enough.

Frank surveys his sister for long moments before nodding. "Yup, but only if you let me come with," he replies to her. He nods to Cale and Auranna, "Sorry, chaps. Enjoy the cake. It's really quite good, if you like walnuts. Auranna, come by when you're ready. Cale, be home for dinner or Dom will flip." And then he's setting about levering himself out of the corner seat of the booth, ready to give Ruby a hand with the bags.

Ruby avoids Auranna's look, giving her brother a glance, before she nods. She slips out of her chair, offering the bags to Frank. A discrete brush of her hand against Cale suggests that it isn't really him that is bugging her, and she gives both a quick smile, "Sounds good, Aura. See you later." She comments softly, turning and heading out.

Auranna nods to Frank and watches him and Ruby go before turning and looking to Cale once more. She takes a sip, not saying anything for a moment.

Cale tosses a casual salute at Frank. "Will do." The touch is taken with an understanding look that lingers a bit before he looks to Auranna. "I think we ought to divide the remains up. Right now might not be good for it, but later.. I think it'll be a nice thing to have. Not like you have to watch your figure too close." He cants his head a little and wonders, "What's on your mind? I got a penny if you want to trade in the traditional way." A light smile offered.

Frank follows Ruby out of the door, letting it close behind him.

Auranna cocks her head to the side, "Too much is on my mind and half of it, can't talk to you about, I am stuck in the middle in this and being pulled in too many directions." she shakes her head side to side, and shrugs, "We can cut it up and split it I guess."

Cale is curious, of course. "Well, if you feel you can't talk to me, I can accept that." He considers Aura lightly for a moment before he murmurs, "It is a mess, isn't it? And I have the feeling people are making a lo tof assumptions on both sides." His voice meant for them alone. "You know, I've had the thought to go talk to them. Maybe clear some things up. I'd have to ask Forest first. Do you think that might help things?"

Auranna looks at Cale, "No I don't." she says and shakes her head, "Actually they wish to arrange a meeting with Forest, on the pier where it is neutral." she shakes her head, "He is probably the only one they will talk to at the moment, with the threats against them and such."

"Threats against them?" Cale's brows lift slightly. "I don't understand what you mean. No one's made any threats that I've heard of. There's been some brainstorming on how to face the situation, but to be honest, for the moment everyone is waiting. In part for me to finish my info hunt. Once I give that over to Forest, Gage and Frank, they'll likely be deciding what is or is not done. What Forest might desire, in the end, I don't really know. He hasn't hinted the times I've seen him."

Auranna looks at him for a moment, "You might might not have, but others have." she shakes her head a bit, "They want to talk to Forest, maybe that will make things easier, and it might not be easy for you to make your info hunt, they have moved, I don't even know where the new location is." she shakes her head a bit.

Cale nods his head. "Who has been making threats?" The question is direct. This one he'd like an answer to. "If someone is rocking the boat, potentially muddying the water, I'd like to know about it. I'll tell Forest so he can address them and look for an explanation." He tilts his head and says, "I'm not sure how you view me in this situation, but truth be told, I'd be fine with a nice, quiet resolution to this. There's been enough violence. Anyone who's advocating it in a serious way should be addressed."

Auranna looks at him for a moment, "I don't know exacts, probably the same one that has been saying that they were going to bomb Zack's apartment and the compound." she shakes her head, "Someone is manipulating it trying to make it worse than it is." she says. She looks at him, "I don't know what to think of anything, I just feel stuck in the middle, not sure how much longer I am going to have a home, or if I am going to have to leave too."

Cale arches a brow slightly. "This is the first that I've heard of that as well. Though it would explain why Forest cleared the compound." He pauses, then adds, "Do you think maybe no one is making threats and it's just a matter of people assuming when they shouldn't? I'll admit, Ahikam had been threatened with a few things before all this began, but nothing that was a strict death threat to him. Maybe they're assuming someone might do them harm when no such decision has ever been made."

Auranna looks at Cale, "Bull, both Dylan and Grace threatened to their faces to Kill Ahikam and Crystal more than once." she shakes her head a bit, "Yes people might be over reacting some on both sides. The best thing right now would be a meeting between Forest and them, Probably with Gage and Frank there as well, at neutral territory, the pier. So both can assure the other side that they are not trying to threaten. Before it is too late."

"By and large, most times Dylan has said such things, it's been to say in another Pard he would have been killed rather than the extended efforts that have been made to help him. Even I spent some time trying to explain things, though my own efforts were ultimately futile," Cale says. "I can't say I've been there for every instance of the two interacting, but given Ahikam's tendency to backbite, I'd be leery if he and Crystal were your sole sources for that information. I'm not saying Dylan was wrong or right to say such things, but that is the past. I don't know about bombs, but some are concerned that those two have given away our secrets to the two humans that were present. Or could. Which is a threat to the whole Pard. I'm reserving judgment. It concerns me, but I'd hope they have enough loyalty and common sense to some to stay themselves from discussing Pard matters at all with outsiders."

Auranna looks at him, "I have been there when they have done it." she says and shakes her head a bit, and then looks at him, "No one gets it. THey did not choose to leave, Crystal was thrown out, Ahi went because he loves her and she is his mate, John left because of Loyalty to them, and he no longer trusts Forest." she shakes her head a bit, "They haven't told them anything, or else Electra would have shown up at the compound when the police was looking for them." she shakes her head, "They still have people they care about in the pard, quite a few, and would not risk them. If they had a choice they would try to come back, but Forest would have to take Crystal back. Though if things go the way they aren, even that won't be a choice soon. There needs to be this meeting and soon." she finishes her drink, "I should go, I need to go burn off some steam now."

"I understand all those things," Cale replies lightly. He turns to section out half of the remaining cake as he adds, "And to be honest, I don't know what to make of Johnothan. I'v emade my own assumptions about him, which is why I'm staying with Ruby, Frank and Dom right now. Well, part of the reason. Their place is a comfortable place to be." He smiles as he lifts the plate to offer her a half of the cake. "I'll keep doing what I promised. And I'll let Forest do what he feels he must. And I hope you don't feel you have to leave. It might be best for you to step back and pull yourself from the middle. It's never a run place to be."

Auranna looks at him for a moment, "Johnothan is easy to deal with unless he is pushed, he is the type that won't make the first move, but will make sure he makes the last." she shakes her head a bit. She looks at him and takes the half, "Choices will determine if I have to leave. Choices the Pard makes, Forest included in there, will decide if I feel I have to go, if I feel I no longer belong, and then choices will determine if Jin and I try to make a new place here, or if we leave Chicago completely." she shakes her head, "I don't know if I can pull back from the middle, I care about people on both sides."

Cale nods his head slightly. "I'll ask Forest about the meeting.. has it been struck yet? I can make not eof the desire if it isn't yet something he knows about." He leans back a little, thoughtful for a moment before he adds, "Just don't go anywhere without coming to see me. Or Frank." He smiles and says, "I can see you two get along well. I'm not surprised, he's very easy to like. Either way, take care. I'll see you again later."

Auranna looks at Cale, "I haven't seen Forest yet, whomever sees him first can make it known and I can contact them to help arrange it if Forest lets me know." she looks at him for a moment, "I will see." she says and moves to slip out, "Take care of yourself and Ruby, I have grown to like her."

Cale smiles. "Of course I will. Take care of Ruby, that is. As much as she needs it, anyway. And I'll look to talk to Forest. See what he thinks about a powwow. And make a note of who it might be best to leave behind. Perhaps have Frank and Stephen accompany. Both solid, I think." He lifts a hand then. "We'll see. Have a good day, Aura."

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