Hidden 6 mos ago 6 mos ago Post by OddApproved
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Ruben walked over to where Emma left the bag filled with scones since he was thinking of taking one. His eyes sharpened while in this thought; did he need one? He ate breakfast this morning, and he wasn't that hungry, but he wanted to try the blueberry and lemon zest scones, "Mhm..." he groaned to himself while looking around.

There were no orders at the time; Reya still did not come back with any, so he assumed she was busy. So, he could maybe take a piece of one before quickly washing his hands and getting back to work.
Exhaling quite sharply, he opened the bag and broke a bite-size piece off, "She's going to make me gain weight if she keeps bringing these around," he spoke to himself a lot and others too little.

Plopping the piece of scone in his mouth, he chewed it slowly to savor the flavors as he went over to wash his hands once again. Turning the sink on and putting soap on his one hand before rubbing them together, he placed them under the hotter than warm water.
Ruben began to cough from swallowing wrong, putting his mouth into his arm - he was trying to control his coughing fit. "Dammit," muffled words came from him as he forcefully swallowed the piece of scone. He coughs a little more before turning the water off and grabbing some paper towels.

Orders then started to come in, and he made his way over to the stove as nothing occurred a second ago. His throat was a little sore from the coughing fit.
Beginning to make all the different orders, Ruben seemed to enjoy being in the kitchen. Most of the time, a faint one-sided smile could be seen on his face as it was right now.

"Phew. It's a little busy out there today."

Glancing over to Reya when she spoke, he nodded his head to her comment. For the Fox Hole Tavern, this was considered a busy morning, but he was able to handle it nicely. With his experience in university and with high-end restaurants, Ruben saw this cooking as a piece of cake.

"Hey..."

That tone, Ruben thought when his expression seemed to waver a little. The faint smile he had on somewhat turned to furrow brows and a slight frown before being controlled into a more neutral expression.

"Er... Do you want to grab drinks at Bandits later tonight?"

Staring at her, he seemed to be thinking, and he put his attention back on the food. Ruben thought she was going to become sad with the tone she was using, but he ended up getting an offer to go out after their shifts. Making sure the food was not overcooking, Ruben seemed to be thinking about her question.

"I just... was thinking that I need to get out for a bit."

Thinking about it more, he glanced over to her while serving the first order up, which was the couple were on a road trip. Ruben knew he had time to move over to Reya, "I won't answer you till you eat," Ruben said while picking up the bag of scones Emma left and handing them to Reya. He was going to stand there till she took it even if those pancakes were burning; he was a stubborn man.

Making Reya think about eating something gave him time to think about his answer; did he want to go out to the bar and hang out? Was it going to be only Reya and him? Ruben wasn't the best in crowds and flourish in conversations that usually only had one other person than himself - maybe two on a good day, "Also, will it only be us?" he wanted to know. He didn't mind if others were there, but he would tend to lean on the more quiet side, and this was all because of trust issues. Trust issues his mother has built up over years because of living in Sanctuary. Anything that he did that his mom didn't deem 'secret worthy' which was most things, the town knew within a couple of days. He already had irreversible damage because of his father at home, publicly he couldn't handle the comments some people gave him. Ruben acted like stuff didn't bother him, but he realized while he got older - his nerves felt like they were melting and his once invisible shaking became apparent to others when he started to have anxiety. Ruben couldn't keep his emotions fully hidden like he use to; did he really want to keep them hidden like that anymore?


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Hidden 6 mos ago Post by The Muse
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"Dude, watch it next time."

Lily furrowed her brows and pursed her lips in a bit of a pout, upset that this stranger had taken such a stern tone with her. "I didn't even reach for it!" She thought, leaning back into her chair as to further herself from the girl and her artwork.

As the woman turned the sketchbook back to show her more, Lily's concerns instantly melted away. Her bright green eyes scanned the paper excitedly, taking in every bit of the detail as she could. "Woooooow. That's amazing! A tattoo artist, huh?" She turned her gaze back onto the woman, looking over her body to look for any tattoo's she might have.

"Please don't ask me to draw you."

Lily looked up to see if the woman had been talking to her, although her eyes looked past Lily instead. She turned her head in the direction the woman was looking, finding another person staring back at them.

"Oh, but she'd be a beautiful drawing! Look at her gorgeous hair! So bright and wonderful!" Lily giggled, smiling at the red-headed stranger while she admired her. She turned back to the blue-haired girl, holding her bright smile, "Draw her, draw her, draw her!" She chanted playfully, giggling again.

You're so loud! Shut.UP!

Suddenly, Lily's demeanor changed and her giggle died down while her smile slowly faded away. There was that voice in her head again, that intrusive little voice that repeated phrases she had heard in the past. She took a deep breath, keeping her previous therapist in mind. "It isn't real. You're here, now. Focus." She thought, shifting uncomfortably in her chair as her eyes zoned in on the ground of the cafe.

Pulling herself back into reality, Lily cleared her throat and turned back towards her table, grabbing a menu that had been sitting there. "So what's good to eat here?" She glanced over at her two new "friends" in the cafe, forcing a smile onto her lips again.



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Hidden 6 mos ago Post by The Muse
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Good morning, sir. Do you think Sheriff Williams will give me some time to personally eat some breakfast? I don't think the day's going to get wilder than that driver.

Levi smiled a bit as he read Jake's text message. The kid was still in the phase of doing everything by the book. He couldn't blame Jake though, he was still relatively new and Levi did the same thing for a few years, they all did.

I doubt he'd even notice. Meet you there?

Levi pulled out of the parking lot of the police station and began to head towards the Cosy Bear Café. This town was so small he'd reach it in about five whole minutes. At times it was nice that the main part of town all had their businesses fairly close to each other, it was very walkable. Other times it made Levi feel claustrophobic.

After parking his black Ford F-150 into the cafe's parking lot, Levi glanced inside from the window and was surprised to see how many people were inside. Levi had only been here once before and during that time it had been dead as a doornail. He sighed, hoping that his police uniform didn't gather too much unwanted attention. No doubt word had gotten out that the town had someone new on the police force, and they likely weren't thrilled about it. Levi had found that most folks loved the Sheriff and that was largely due to how much he had let slide.

Steeling himself, he entered the bustling café and found an empty table. Just a few tables down, two women appeared to be having a lively conversation with one another while two other women sat at the counter. Trying not to eavesdrop on the conversation, Levi grabbed a menu and pondered to himself what sounded good to eat.

"I am so sorry everyone! Two seconds!!" Levi looked up to see the brunette he had seen at the café the last time he was here. She had been a good server the last time, so he was happy to see her again. Hopefully he'd get the same sort of service, even if she did appear to be late.




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Jake mulled over the message from his superior officer. Levi was somewhat right in that the sheriff would very likely not notice him slipping out for a short break. The sheriff seemed very lax. His stomach grumbled in defiance to his excessive thinking. It couldn't hurt, could it? With those thoughts, he revved up his car and exited the speed trap, making his way to the Cosy Bear Café.

Jacob parked his police car. The Cosy Bear Café's an establishment he's visited before. A quaint, rustic coffee shop. The Café had more customers than usual, a sight that gave Jake some gladness. He liked that they were receiving patronage. He stepped into the shop, scanning the insides for officer Brooks. He found Levi after a moment, offering him a slight wave before making his way to Levi's table. He did not seem to acknowledge nor know that a new face on the police force may not be met well by the townsfolk of Sanctuary.

"Hello, sir Levi." Jacob says, pale blue eyes resting on the gruff man, before taking a seat across him. Jacob, too, studied the unattended menu ahead of him whilst trying to make idle talk, "How's your morning been? As for me, some guy almost splattered mud on me, so my morning's been goin' ​swell." He let out a dry chuckle as he says those words.

Jacob eyes the patrons of the café. There were a few faces he recognized. Except for one, who appeared to be a stranger to Sactuary. He prided himself on knowing or being acquainted with the faces of Sanctuary. New faces were not an uncommon sight, usually truckers or hapless couples passing by. Still, it was something to raise an eyebrow over. As a police officer, it was probably best to keep the new faces in mind, just in case.



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Hidden 6 mos ago 6 mos ago Post by Artemis Arts
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Emma:


As she made her rounds, she spotted two familiar faces walk into the busy café and gave them a smile. "Just a moment gentleman!" She called out as she refilled a few coffee mugs. She never minded when any of the officers came into the café, then again she never had any problems with them because she never broke the law. Except that one time in high school when she drove to the pharmacy without a license.... But that was over a decade ago so it didn't count!

Shaking the thoughts from her head she gave the young woman at the bar another refill and then dropped the pot off on the warmer, skipping over to some familiar faces.

"Good morning boys, glad to see that my day was graced by your presence in my café!" She beamed and laughed at herself a little bit. "Now what can I get you both on this cold rainy morning? Something to warm you up hmm?" She asked and pulled out her ticket pad, tossing her head to get a stray curl out of her eyes. Meanwhile her ears were picking up the conversation happening back over at the bar until the gentleman out in their order for the morning.

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Hidden 6 mos ago 6 mos ago Post by ArticBeaver
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Location: Cosy Bear Interaction: @The Muse, @Rodiak



Beth absentmindedly held her coffee, both hands lightly grasping the cup while taking small sips. The homey, bitter taste always made the otherwise uptight doctor at ease, in mind and body, more than how she normally appears. Noticing the other woman look at her direction, not aware that she was looking directly at her, Beth returned a curious stare but was caught off guard when the woman smiled at her briefly. "Was I staring too much?" She thought. Her demeanor tensed however when the other woman turned around, eyes on her. Beth could somewhat hear what the conversation was about but the last bit, she heard.

"Oh, I-I'm sorry" Beth coughed slightly at the, from what she could only describe as an unintentional compliment. With a soft smile, she regains her composure. "I believe I wont make for a flattering image at this state. Unless you want something reminiscent to a wet duckling, then I may be a suitable reference." she meant it as a lighthearted quip whilst self consciously adjusting her glasses and the strands of her still damp hair from the rain.

Beth caught the brunette woman's sudden shift, she found it strange how her mood suddenly swings in the midst of things. Though hoping to ask what was wrong, she didn't go through thinking it would be too rude to pry, specially by a random person she'd barely known. "Well, I can attest that they have the best cheese cake in town." Beth smiles, moving forward with the chit chat. "That or I may just have very plain tastes."
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Patrick Carson




Patrick was not usually a fan of Audi but he had to admit that the Q7 was a nice piece of hardware. It was a tad flashier then he would have liked but with ski season in full swing, the only rental cars left for a last second rental were the expensive ones, and he sure as shit wasn't going to drive a Bentley.

As he had climbed out of Denver and into the mountains he had felt an almost instant sense of peace and tranquility. There was something special about the Rockies and had always loved it when work took him that way. This was his first time in the Denver area however and he had been glued to the window as his plane descended into the airport. Only when it had rolled up private side of the airfield had be pulled his gaze away.

He told the pilots to take a couple days in town, ordered his personal secretary to do some shopping, and then rented the car himself. He had a single travel bag and his camera bag; he had never given up on photography. He shifted slightly in the heated seat, rolled back his shoulders, and pushed the accelerator down.

Siri didn't steer him wrong as her dutifully loyal British accent guided him down the highway. He whipped through curves with ease, the countryside flashing past him, slowly fading away at the rain came down.

Rain? Likely a Chinook. Probably why my heads been hurting since I landed. He was also squinting despite the darkening sky and decided maybe now was the time to slow down.

The town came into view, nestled in a small bowl amid towering forested peaks and the first glance was enough for him to see the appeal, and opportunity, in such a place. He slowed at he approached the town and allowed Siri to navigate him toward the only real hotel(ish) place in town, the Foxhole Tavern.

The Audi purred into the parking lot and he paused to look around. The were a number of large trucks and a couple smaller vehicles, none of them even remotely as new as his rental. Nothing for it then.

He climbed from the car, locked the door, and took the stairs to the front door two at a time. The building was remarkably interesting, rambling a fair bit, and it reminded him of the main Ranch house where he had grown up. A bit of nostalgia crept into his head as he pushed open the door.

He was struck at once by warmth and the smell of good cooking; at least it smelled good. He brushed his muddy feet on the mat and walked into the main lobby, looking for a check in desk of some sort. If couldn't find a room here, he'd have to try an Airbnb.

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Reya raised a brow as Ruben instructed her to eat and handed her the bag of scones that Emma had left. Apparently, he had been too enthralled in conversation with Emma previously to notice that Reya had already stuffed her face with one scone earlier that morning. Still, it was a nice gesture and one scone certainly wasn't going to hold her over for long. Shrugging, she took another scone out and set the bag back down on the counter. "Fiiiine..." She smiled and tore off a piece and put it in her mouth, "You happy now?"

That playful feeling quickly fled her body as Ruben asked if it would only be them going out to the bar. He must have thought she was asking him on a date! Instantly filled with embarrassment, she quickly tossed her half eaten scone into the nearest trash can and dusted her hands off. "You know... I-" She cleared her throat, feeling the heat enter her cheeks a bit. "I'm sorry. If you don't want to. Sorry! I, uh.... Yeah." She gave him a sheepish smile, hardly keeping eye contact with him as she began to make her way out of the kitchen. "I didn't mean to intrude.. I, uh.. I'm gonna go check on the guests."

Scooping up the order that was ready for the travel couple, Reya exited the kitchen as fast as she could. How foolish of her to ask an employee to spend time with her! For a moment she had forgotten that Ruben was her employee and she his superior - they weren't just friends working at the same place. Even if it felt that way to her, it clearly didn't feel that way to Ruben. Admittedly, Reya didn't have many close friends she could have asked to go out with her to the bar tonight. Work had been her entire life for many years and most of her "friends" were people who worked with her, but that connection was especially hollow when you had just become your "friends" boss one year ago.

"Here you are." Reya smiled as she set down the breakfast orders on the table of the couple. "I'll be right back with a coffee refill for you."

Hearing the door open, Reya looked over to find a brand new face she had never seen before. The older man looked around the tavern as if he was searching for something, which Reya usually took to mean that they were looking for a room to stay and were confused to find that the entrance of the tavern entered directly into the bar instead of a front desk. Originally, the building had only been a bar and the rooms had been added on later on - not the best building concept!

"Hello, sir!" Reya approached him with a bright smile, putting her previous feeling of embarrassment in the back of her mind. Again, she was thankful to have just enough work to keep her mind completely occupied. "Welcome to the Fox Hole. How can I help?"




Hidden 6 mos ago 6 mos ago Post by OddApproved
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Early, he was too busy when it came to listening to the echoing sound of the roof being a pain in the ass for another year in a row. Ruben did not notice that she had already eaten a scone, and if he had, he would continue to state that she needed to eat more. Reya was quick to throw a teasing vocal fit when it came to his demand, and he allowed a smile to creep upon his face, which naturally turned into a slight smirk for Ruben, "Yes, thank you," he appreciated that she at least ate some more. Besides, if he didn't' try - Emma would go on and on about it the next time she was around. Did he want her hounding him? Most of the time, he zoned it out anyway.

Ruben noticed the whole atmosphere in the kitchen changed; he didn't realize the girl overthought his comment about them going alone. In his defense, he wanted to know if he could talk himself out of going if she was inviting other people.
All this instant emotion flooding from the girl seemed to catch him off guard. He tried to open his mouth to talk a few times, but she was going on, and he didn't even realize she was embarrassed or how she took his comment, "Reya, you didn't intrude..." he whispered while rubbing his neck. Ruben didn't even know if the girl heard him or not while she left, but he sighed deeply.

Being alone in the kitchen again, he seemed to zone out from the happenings of a few seconds to minutes ago. His hand fell limp to his side while he thought. Only snapping out of these thoughts when he began to smell burning food, "Dammit, Ruben, you're an idiot," he stated to himself while rushing over to the food which was burning.
Ruben quickly tried to save what he could, only a few things, and everything else went into the trash. Trying his best to catch up on the orders, he realized the kitchen began to thicken with smoke from the food which burned, and the dripping of the leaking roof started to bother him again - he could hear it; it was similar to hearing your blood pulse while you have a headache.

Whispering to himself, he was somewhat mad at himself since Reya seemed to instantly shut down from him being quiet or anxiety-ridden about too many people. "You could have said yes," his voice was annoyed while talking to himself and fixing his mess of burnt food and delayed orders.
Ruben did view their relationship as a superior and employee-focused dynamic, but he did consider Reya a friend. While thinking about his social life, Ruben doesn't think he ever hung out with anyone in the past two years at his house. Ruben might have joined in on going to the bar or other places with people but quickly excluded himself from the night. He was only in a social area for maybe up to two hours before hiding away and spending time with his cats and dogs.

He had the following order up, three American breakfasts since he could save most of what that entitled. Pancakes were not a slow thing to cook, and that was the burnt pile of stuff in the trash now. Ruben decided to plate up those three plates, grab a waitress tray, and take the orders out himself.
Going over to the truckers, he had a somewhat friendly smile on his face, "Here is your order; I apologize for the wait," he offered them a sincere smile with these words while placing their meal in front of them. Before leaving the table, he asked if they needed anything. One of the truckers decided to pick up a small conversation with the chef, asking Ruben questions and such - at least one of the truckers was not from around here. He was asking directions and how to get to one point in the state from here.

Since he wasn't busy or cooking anything, he decided to stand there with arms folded and talk to the three men. They seemed to be all traveling together or going to the same place.
He seemed like he was having a decent time with the three men. Ruben even laughed a little bit when something funny came up. The truckers appeared to appreciate that he came out to serve them; one of them added that he wasn't treating the girl 'right' aka, Reya, since she was the only server.
Ruben glanced over to Reya, who was busy with a new face. He explained that they were not engaged in the morning, and he helped when he could, but they seemed to tease him for it anyways. This trio seemed to want to have a good laugh while getting ready for the road again.

After the conversation, Ruben walked away and stared at Reya from across the room. He only did this for about a moment before entering the back with only an 'associates' sign. Moving his hands through his hair, he sighed, "I think I'll need a drink after work," saying those words to himself while going over to the sink and washing his hands.

While washing his hands, he tried to determine where the conversation went wrong. Was it something he said? Did he look at her funny without realizing it? Did he use the wrong tone? He kept washing his hands while thinking over the minor occurrence, "What did I do to get that reaction?" Ruben didn't realize that him asking if they were the only ones was flirting or her asking him out. Wiping his hands off, he kept trying to think, since he didn't believe that comment was the case - was it?

"Did I make her feel like she was intruding? How though?" he kept talking to himself. Ruben had a habit of talking aloud to himself since he would think things over better by doing that.
Leaning on the counter, he placed his hand somewhat over his mouth and chin while thinking. He stared at the ground; he had nothing else to do except wait for orders. Ruben was going to think about that conversation till he either talked to Reya and asked what he did wrong or figured out what went wrong by himself. He was planning to try and talk to her the next time she came through those swinging doors, since he didn't want to make any type of scenes in front of the customers or get fired.



Hidden 6 mos ago 6 mos ago Post by Rodiak
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Rodiak 𝕠𝕦𝕥 𝕠𝕗 𝕠𝕣𝕕𝕖𝕣

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A o k i R e y n a S a n d s t r ö m
A o k i R e y n a S a n d s t r ö m

L O C A T I O N: C O S Y B E A R C A F E
I N T E R A C T I O N S: L I L Y A L E S S I E @The Muse@ArticBeaver

Aoki arched an eyebrow but didn't say anything about the girl's sudden change in demeanor. Weird. Yet not unusual. Traveling around the world and then living in a city full of strange weirdos, Aoki had seen her fair share of odd behaviors. She was familiar with it, after all.

"I'm not drawing anyone, girly." Aoki winked up at the dark-haired girl above her. She then turned her attention to the other woman. "Although, you'd be a delight to draw." Aoki placed her sketchbook back on the table just as a cop walked in; she instantly wrinkled her nose towards his direction for a second before turning her attention back to the two other women. It was clear that she did not like him, or any authority figure at that, but effortlessly forced a smile towards the dark-haired woman.

"The cheesecake is good." Aoki confirmed, "But I think the cinnamon bagel twice toasted with cream cheese is just a bit better." She tapped her index finger on her chin as if deep in thought. "Or maybe they are both equally good. I guess it really depends on your tastes, girly."


S a n t i a g o C a l d e r o n D i a z
S a n t i a g o C a l d e r o n D i a z

L O C A T I O N: F O X H O L E T A V E R N
I N T E R A C T I O N S: N / A


Cold. Santiago could feel a cold hand on his bare back, sending shivers down his spine to his toes and back up. As much as he tried, he couldn't open his eyes. His head hurt too much like someone was trying to force his skull open with a jackhammer. Still, his mind was slowly putting the puzzle pieces back together while he lay there.

The Fox Hole Tavern. Drinks, shots, a friendly stranger. Lying about his age, looking a lot older than 27. Probably in his mid-30s, trying to impress the small town local that Santiago was. Something about passing by, a trucker. Going back home to visit his wife and two daughters in Seattle. Santiago couldn't remember anything else, not even a name.

Ha, he could remember the wife and kids but not the stranger's name.

"You're awake. Got you some "

Santiago hummed, keeping his eyes closed as he sat up, hand on his hand as if to help with the pounding pain. Fuck, Mark and Susan were going to kill him. His phone was probably dead by now; he was in dire need of an upgrade. The battery life on that iPhone was shit now.

"Not really." Santiago groaned, finally opening his eyes to catch the stranger walking into the bathroom, fully clothed now. Santiago didn't even remember what the guy looked like naked. "Coffe would- fuuuuuuuu" He scrambled out of bed and to the pile of his clothes that lay by the door. He fumbled around for his phone, groaning when he didn't feel it in the pockets of his jeans.

"In the bathroom, it's charging. It kept vibrating, saw it was almost going to die." The stranger said, poking his head out of the bathroom to look at Santiago. "Nothing to worry about, didn't go through it."

Santiago nodded, slipping on his boxers and rushing past the stranger to his phone. Yup. He was going to be dead meat when he got home. Ten missing texts from Susan, 12 from Mark, and a total of 13 missed calls from them both.

"You didn't mention you lived with your parents."

"They're not my parents." Santiago glanced at the stranger, eyes darting over the well-groomed beard and gentle warm brown eyes. "I'll get out of your hair." He unplugged his phone, mumbling thanks before turning around to the room change back into his clothes from the night before.

After changing, Santiago hurried out of the room, closing the door just in time as the stranger called out his name. Without a clue, Santi climbed down the stairs from the rooms of the Fox Hole and down to the bar where it looked like business had started.

Great, and now Reya and Ruben would see him doing the walk of shame. Not that it was the first time.

((pretty high when i finished writing both of these sorry))
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Patrick Carson




"Welcome to the Fox Hole. How can I help?"

A young woman, probably about half his age, approached him with a smile so cheerful he was quite certain it could charm the birds out of trees in a Disney film. Behind her, coffees freshly refilled, a motley collection of happy looking customers suggested that Patrick had found a decent spot to stay.

His practised eye quickly took in the rest of the space. The building was old, post and beam by the looks of it, and had certainly seen better days. There was some signs of water damage, a leaky roof no doubt, and the wear and tear to the floor suggested many years of love with nary a new board in sight.

"Good Morning young lady. I'm just fine thank you." He offered his own smile. It wasn't as broad as hers, but certainly just as warm. Patrick was nothing if not a people person and he enjoyed anyone who wanted to have a pleasent engagement. "I'm hoping to engage a room, if you have one available, please."

The few vehicles in the parking lot suggested there were either a number of rooms available, or very few and they were full. "Just for two or three days I should think." He added quickly.

He felt his phone vibrate in his pocket and risked a quick glance at the door as the woman turned to lead him deeper into the building. No sign of the Denver realtor who was supposed to meet him yet. He wasn't going to waste much time. He'd one his research on Sanctuary and he intended to stay for a while.

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Lily raised a brow as the red-headed woman recommended a dessert. "Cheesecake in the morning?!" She glanced up at a clock on the wall that read 9:18am. "I think you must have a sweet tooth!" She giggled and returned her eyes to the menu as the other woman began to recommend a bagel instead. "Oooh, a cinnamon bagel does sound heavenly." She laughed and shook her head a bit, "You both have a sweet tooth!" She shrugged and set her menu down, "I'll take your word for it and give that a try."

Setting her menu down, Lily began to look around the room to find who would be taking their order. Upon spotting the two men in police uniforms a chill ran down her spine. Her eyes fixated on them for a minute or two, her mind stuck in the past. Though the police had often been very helpful in her life, recent events had made her often feel nauseous when seeing them. Her therapist had told her it was an effect of the PTSD and the anxiety.

Forcefully shaking the feeling away, she turned her eyes to the waitress who was currently taking their order. Immediately her mind went to her mother, who would have been having a fit that the waitress was taking orders from two patrons who had entered the business AFTER she had sat down. Lily's mother was the least patient person she had ever met, and no doubt would be calling for service and making a scene about it right about now.

Not wanting to follow in her mothers footsteps, Lily relaxed back into her seat and began to eye the blue-haired woman at the table across from hers. "I'm Lily, by the way." She turned to look over at the morning cheesecake lover, offering a soft smile. "Lily Alessio. It's nice to meet you both."

As she spoke her last name, she realized that her name had no weight here in this small rural town. In New York her last name meant something to most people. It meant that she had money and power. Sanctuary probably had no idea who the Alessio's were, and didn't care about who they were. It was an odd and scary feeling having no notoriety here, but freeing at the same time. Perhaps she could mold herself into whoever she wanted to be instead of what people already assumed her to be just by hearing her last name.



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"Someone splattered mud on you?" Levi looked up from his menu inquisitively, looking over Jake's uniform to see if he could find any of the residue. "On purpose?" He asked, meeting Jake's eyes again. Back in the city it wasn't uncommon for people to purposely aggress officers, especially in todays political climate, but he tried not to jump to conclusions. Although it was becoming increasingly common, Levi still would have thought it odd for someone in this small rural town to purposely pick a fight with an officer. There wasn't very far to run if you got into it with each other. Not to mention, the sheriff seemed to be in the pockets of most folks around town.

Before Jake was able to answer, the energetic brunette waitress appeared at their table. Levi smiled at her, truly glad to have her as his server again. While he found most people in this town dull and tiring, this girl was like a breath of fresh air. He wasn't sure what kept her so happy when everyone else here seemed so sullen, but he was glad to have her around - even for just this brief moment in time.

"Good Morning, miss. I'll have coffee and the egg and sausage special, please." He looked over at Jake, awaiting his order. Behind him, he noticed three women engaging in a light hearted conversation with one another. His gaze met the eyes of a blue haired woman who seemed to have an apparent distaste for the two officers. He could read the look in her eyes from a mile away, though she only looked at them momentarily. He kept his blue eyed gaze on her for a moment longer, making a mental note of her face, before turning his attention back to the waitress as Jake made his order.




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"Almost... being the key word, sir." Jacob replied, "Luckily I have lightning quick reflexes." He joked dryly. Though he jests, the situation with the irate driver was a tad annoying. It wasn't like he took personal pleasure in writing them up, he was just following the letter of the law. It was as if the driver was a child who was never reprimanded before. Well, he'll likely have to get used to such things, given that it was now his job and all. "Hopefully it won't escalate any further than that petulant behaviour." With a light sigh, he pushed those thoughts out of his mind, instead opting to focus on the menu.

Jacon nodded at the waitress- Emma. An individual he had a passing knowledge of- a happy and boisterous waitress of the Cozy Bear Diner. Sometimes a tad too bright and positive for him, but she was a nice sort. She also didn't seem to balk at his being a police officer, unlike some of the other folks of the town. "Mornin' Emma. Hope you've had a better morning than me." He smiled at her, "I'll have the eggs and bacon, with some water, Emma, thanks."

"That aside, has Sanctuary been treating you well?" Jacob asks, knowing well how Levi was a relative newcomer to the small, rural town. Jacob followed his line of sight, while Levi was focusing on Jacob he seemed to take occasional glances at the conversing women a few tables away. With a curious brow, he asks, "Is there any trouble, sir?"





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Emma Lynch




"Coffee, alongside an egg and pig special, got it." She smiled, writing down his order before turning to Jacob with a big smile. She never minded whenever officers came in to eat, it was here, the tavern or their own kitchens and she never faulted people for not wanting to cook in their own homes sometimes- gives her family income and that was what mattered.

"Mornin' Emma. Hope you've had a better morning than me....I'll have the eggs and bacon, with some water, Emma, thanks."

"And good morning Jacob, I did have a pretty good morning thank you! I can get that going right away for you. Be right back with your drinks gentleman." She nodded and turned on her heel, briskly walking over to the kitchen to hang up the ticket in the window before beginning to get their drinks going. At least it was a simple order, cup of joe and a water. Glancing up, she noticed the women chatting away among themselves, and the loner at the bar that she had served just a few minutes before, making a mental note to slip her a muffin or something to brighten her day.

"Two seconds ladies, let me just run these drinks." She paused for a moment to address them all before continuing on her way to the officers, giving them their respective drinks and Jacob a straw before heading back over. She took a deep breath, finally slowing down for a few seconds as she looked at each woman for a moment, trying to decide who was going to her her attention first. "Alright, who's hungrier, I can take your order first." She chuckled, smiling to herself a little for the joke- she at least thought that it was funny.



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Veronica




There was a lot going on this morning in this café. Cops were here, and to be honest Nicky was a little surprised that there even were any cops in a town this size. But everyone needs a little order now and then... She was doing her best to just blend in- not draw any attention to herself this morning even though her hair and nose ring did that for her whenever she went to the grocery store. Like what did she ever do to that grandma a few days ago anyway!

But she shook her head and looked at the menu a little more, now just staring at it blankly, listening to the slight chaos going on aroudn her, something so different from how she grew up. But that kind of life seemed like it was years ago when it was just a few weeks ago before picking everything up and moving- here. Her Aunt just hadto live....here. "Thanks Auntie..." she sighed to herself, her spoon absently mixing her coffee as she began to become a little lost in thought.

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Being in a bigger city meant more opportunities for school, and Mr. Ray Dotson was in the workforce of engineers while Mrs.Dotson was an accountant for a big law firm. That meant their children had to have the best of the best when it came to school, making them sign Marcus and Louis up for private school.
In the private school they attended, homogeneous ways were introduced to them. Everyone had to wear the same uniforms, color-wise, and only got a few options out of the essential clothing. Being a private school with reinforced beliefs, girls got to wear skirts or dresses while boys wore pants or shorts.

While arriving home, Marcus was in high school and Louis in elementary-middle, but they got out simultaneously. They were walking through the white-painted door of the house they bought before both boys were born. Louis had earplugs in while Marcus dropped his bag right at the entrance, leaving it by the shoes without a care in the world.

"Marcus, take care of your bag; it doesn't belong by the dirty shoes; you know how I feel about things being left there," their mother stated while peaking around the corner of the kitchen, into the hallway. She was a blonde-haired, decent-looking middle-aged woman. Their parents were nothing special in the looks category even if the Dotson men were considered easy on the eyes - this side did not get the best genes except the kids.

Groaning out, he leaned over and picked up his bag with a sassy attitude. "Hey, Mister, I don't appreciate that attitude right when you get home. You could at least say Hi first or ask me how my day was," she almost used a demanding voice while giving him a stink eye as most mothers do; she was bird watching the teenager.

"Why don't you give attention to someone who needs it," Marcus casually gestured to his younger brother, who was standing right at the door. Taking one earplug out, he seemed somewhat surprised that the conversation was being pointed at him. Did Louis want the attention? Marcus and their mother appeared to be getting heated, and he slowly put the earplug back in before taking off his shoes.

"Hi, mom," Louis said while walking by and heading straight up the stairs to his room. He was not having any part of being in this conversation with his mother.
Their mother instantly gestured to Louis while he walked by, "Hello to you too, Lou," she said while looking at Marcus. She chooses to mouth these words to Marcus, "Be more like him, huh?" before going back into the kitchen.

"Are you serious!?" Marcus raised his voice out of ultimate disbelief, "He is like that because of your awful parenting!" he shouted throughout the house. Marcus instantly darted towards the stairs, stomping the whole way up.

"Marcus, come down and apologize! YOU do not speak to me like that; I am your mother!" She shouted up the stairs while going after him. Marcus seemed to ignore her and her words.
They stared at each other, one at the top and the other at the bottom of the stairs, while death glaring each other. There was a moment of silence before his mother spoke, "Linsy can't come over tomorrow,"

Marcus seemed to retaliate instantly, "Fine, Kathy!" he shouted at her while going into his room and slamming the door. His mother seemed not to know what else to say except to show anger by balling her fists before going back to the kitchen and back to cooking dinner.

Louis was in his room with the door locked; he kept his headphones in - while reading a chapter of a book that school required. He barely heard any of the stomping, shouting, or overall argument between his older family members.
The story that he was reading for school was classical, and it was about Robinhood, which was one of Louis's favorite characters. He enjoyed the Marvel films and such, but he desired people like Mogli or Robinhood.


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Hidden 6 mos ago 6 mos ago Post by Pagemaster
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Coldwell Banker Realty

Brian Johnson



The office had to look perfect. His secretary, Linda, who also did the cleaning at the end of the day, had stayed late to make sure that the small space looked as immaculate as possible. The window listings had been refreshed, everything dusted, and even the bathroom had a fresh toilet paper roll in it.

The only thing that hadn't spiffed up much was Brian. He was staring at himself in the bathroom mirror and grimaced slightly. The paunch over his belt was partially covered by a leather jacket above blue jeans and a pair of newish cowboy boots. His thinning hair was hidden beneath a black cowboy hat and he shaved off his ridiculous moustache. There was no hiding his advancing age.

"You're fussing." Linda said from the front room. There were only five rooms after all, the main reception area and display board, the bathroom, and and three offices. Both his partners were away on a fishing trip and when the call had come in from Hall and Hall he had nearly dropped his cellphone into his coffee.

The man on the other end, Jason Perry, had informed Brian that he was coming up Sanctuary way in two days, that was two days ago, and he was bringing up a client who was interested in a number of properties. This wasn't the first person who had showed up in the last year looking for a piece of the quiet town, but it was the first such person who was bringing their own realtor.

Hall and Hall was well known for handling the sale of large properties, notably Ranches. There were three such places for sale in the area and he had pulled up the details on all three and printed them off, organizing them in neat folders on his desk.

The first was the KBO Ranch. Just over 310 acres of amazing countryside, pastures, river access, and unbeatable hunting. It came in at a cool $2,000,000 and was the closest to town. Most of the young folk who had grown up in Sanctuary had undoubtedly enjoyed their grad party on the property courtesy of the owner, Jake Baldry. The man had died recently and his kids, long moved away to the big city, were selling the property.

The second was the Eagle River Meadows Ranch, a stunning 3,300 acres about ten minute drive from town. Known locally for its delicious beef and pork products, it was currently owned by the Stevensons, all of whom wanted out of the business as uncertainty shook the market. Coming in at $8,500,000 it had recently been viewed a couple of times by developers looking to break it down into smaller acreages but nobody had bit yet.

The last property was, by far, his favourite. The Royal Antler Ranch, an epic 26,000 acres of mountains, rivers, lakes, fields, and thick forest, it was a property only a true rancher could love, but only a rich man could afford. It was a soft sale, meaning the owner had voiced interest but wasn't committed yet. The property was completely self sufficient, off the grid, and a 45 minute drive from town. John Williams, an old Texan, currently owned it, and like the KBO, his kids intended to sell it when he kicked off.

Brians thoughts were interrupted when the phone out front rang. He refused to run out and listen, instead waiting until Linda appeared in the doorway, a smile wreathing her handsome forty something face.

"I think your client has arrived!" She was fairly bursting to share the news.

"Outside?" He asked, still refusing to get up.

"No, no. Joyce from the market across from the Fox called and told me an incredibly expensive rental car just showed up. She had some choice things to say about how much she fancied the driver, but I don't think you need to hear those."

"No, thank you." He grimaced. "Did she recognize him?"

Linda gave him a pitying look. "Linda wouldn't recognize Joe Biden if he walked into her shop. No, she did not. Says he was a handsome enough fellow, late forties maybe. Well dressed, bald with a beard."

He nodded distractedly and she retired to the front room again. The news would fly through the older generation quickly enough and they would try to get a look at him. Maybe someone else would call with an update.

His cellphone buzzed and he started slightly, glancing down to see Jason Perrys name appear, the Hall and Hall man. He let it ring twice and then picked it up. He was trying to avoid seeming eager but the sale of any one of the ranches, with his ten precent commission, was going to make retiring a lot more appealing.

"Brian Johnson, Coldwell Realty."

"Yea, hi Brian, Jason Perry here." There was one heck of a noise in the background and he could barely hear the man.

"Hello Jason, I can barely hear you."

"My bad, sorry, forgot to call before I got in the helicopter. Where can we meet you?"

Helicopter!? Jesus Christ, who the fuck was this guy? He dug deep into his memory for a suitable spot and then recalled there was a seldom used sporting airstrip just on the edge of town; it served as an emergency field for the Federal Aviation Administration.

"The airport? It's more of a field, east side of town?"

"Great, I'll be there in fifteen. The client will meet us there. Hope that works?"

"Yes, of course." What else could he say? "I'll see you then."

"Great, thanks Brian." The line went dead and he rose quickly from his desk and walked into the front area, hurrying back to grab his car keys.

"You're going out?" Linda seemed incredulous.

"The client hired a helicopter, I have to go meet it at the airfield."

"A helicopter..." Whatever else she was about to say was lost as the door closed behind him. He climbed behind the wheel of his 2020 Ford F-150 and pulled out into the street.
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Camila Rodriguez



Camila was exhausted. She had spent the last two days traveling across the country with her transport van that carried her personal dog, Kuma, and three K9s ready to take on the next part of their journey as working dogs. She leaned against the counter of her kitchen savoring the chocolaty taste of her coffee while she stared out into her living room filled with the boxes that contained all her belongings that she decided to bring with her on this big move out west. Some of the boxes had been opened so that she could set up the Keurig and have a much needed fresh cup of ‘warm me up’ drink.

Camila’s newly built cabin was set on a 80 acre property that she purchased about two years ago and shared the land with a 4,800sqft professional kennel. It took a lot of hard work to reach this point in her life and she was definitely proud of herself. The house and kennel had been built to her specifications so that they were both green and efficient. Taking care of the dogs this morning took nearly no time at all thanks to the indoor/outdoor kennel set up she now had.

A second cup of coffee was being brewed for her brother that was still getting ready in the bathroom. Luis had driven the U-Haul truck with her Jeep hitched to the back and wanted to support his sister’s big life change. Once he was ready, the plan was to drop off the truck and drive Luis to the airport in Denver. He had work the next day and unfortunately couldn’t stick around to help her with unpacking or furniture shopping. Camila had decided to sell all her old furniture and appliances to truly have a fresh start.

Kuma as sprawled out on the floor to her left, his black button nose twitching as he sniffed the air. He had already blessed the home with his beautiful white fur that had shed from his body and she could see the tuffs of fur floating across the bamboo floors like tumbleweeds in the desert. That would be the next order of business when she comes back home, unpacking the vacuum. The Keurig had finished pouring out a second cup when her brother emerged refreshed from the guest bathroom.

“You‘ve got good timing, your coffee just finished.” She called out, grabbing the cup from the machine and placing it to the side on the white marble countertop. Luis liked the way she made coffee, so Camila didn’t need to ask him what he wanted. She already had the bottle of honey and chocolate oat milk ready next to the Keurig.

“I’ll never get tired of this cabin, you styled it so well! Next PTO, I’m coming to visit.” He had only seen some of the house during the building process and had freaked out when they first walked in through the doors. The smaller two bedroom, two bath home had an open concept, with high ceilings and black framed windows. Some of the cabin exterior was brought indoors through the large wooden beams that were used to support the building, but Camila wasn’t one for the overwhelming wood theme that you would see in more traditional cabins so that was about it for wood in the home apart from trimmings and cabinets.

“Sure bro, come whenever you want.” She passed her brother the cup as she spoke. “When you’re done, we’ll lock up and head out to the city.”

“Sweet, thanks.” Luis replied, inhaling deeply the smell of the coffee before taking an exploratory sip. Once you burn your tongue once with a hot beverage, you’re always cautious when it comes to the first few sips.
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"Just for two or three days I should think."

"Wonderful!" Reya spun on her heel and gestured for the older man to follow her, "If you don't mind, just follow me this way."

Reya led the man to the opposite end of the bar and through an old creaky door which opened up into what might resemble a hotel lobby. In the middle of the room was a wooden receptionist desk, which Reya slipped behind and began to sort through a few papers. On each side of the lobby were two stair cases, each leading up to the second level which was filled with twenty individual rooms. In the bar area there were additional rooms on a second level, though those were rarely ever used these days. When the building had been originally built they had often been used for "ladies of the night", but now they served as storage. Reya had always told her father that they needed to clear out those rooms just in case they needed the extra room if they reached capacity... but who was she kidding, really?

"Alright. If you could just fill out your information here," She pulled out a couple of papers which asked for the mans general information like his name and phone number along with a statements saying that he would be responsible for replacing anything he broke, "Print name here. Initial here.. and signature here." She pointed to the fill in boxes and where he should sign, then slid him a pen.

As he went through the paperwork, Reya unlocked a cabinet inside the reception desk and began to dig through multiple room keys. "Ah-ha!" She pulled out a key with the number 20 engraved onto it. She grinned as she looked up and set the key down next to him on the desk, "I'll set you up with the best room in the house." She gave him a playful wink. Room 20 was on the right side of the building and the furthest away from the bar which meant it would be the quietest while you were trying to sleep. The tavern bar could get rowdy at night depending on what was going on.

When he was finished signing the papers, Reya stapled them together and threw the paperwork into a drawer and locked it. "Your room is just up these stairs to the right. Feel free to ask any of our staff for anything you need, there is a phone in your room as well that will reach one of us."

Slipping back out from behind the desk, Reya slowly began to walk toward the door the entered back into the bar area. "I have to get back to the bar guests, but I'll be around if you need anything. Come on in for some breakfast if you like! Thank you for staying at the Fox Hole!" With that, she disappeared behind the door.

Hurrying back into the kitchen to grab another food order, Reya caught just the end of Ruben's chat with himself.

"... she was intruding? How though?"

Quickly, the heat returned back to Reya's face. "Great.." She thought to herself, unsure of what to say or if she should even address it. Ignoring it was definitely the easier choice... Ignoring it as if she hadn't heard anything at all seemed fine!

Her eyes, avoiding his, quickly searched the counter for the order that the truckers had ordered but she found nothing. "Err.. did you get the..." She paused and peeked out the kitchen door into the bar area again, finding that the truckers had already been served their meal. She ducked back into the kitchen and hesitantly met his eyes.

"Thank you for getting their order out to them, I appreciate it."




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Rodiak 𝕠𝕦𝕥 𝕠𝕗 𝕠𝕣𝕕𝕖𝕣

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A o k i R e y n a S a n d s t r ö m
A o k i R e y n a S a n d s t r ö m

L O C A T I O N: C O S Y B E A R C A F E
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Aoki could feel lingering eyes on her as she had turned to look at her newly formed acquaintances. Probably from the two cops sitting at the table just a few feet away from them. Ignoring them, she tucked some of the blue behind her ear exposing the heavily pierced left ear. Her head tilted to the side just the slightest, an easy smile slipping over her features when the girl finally introduced herself.

"You're new here. Welcome to sleepy Sanctuary." Aoki reached back to the table for her phone when it pinged. "Aoki." She looked down at the screen, eyes darting across the screen for a second before looking back up at Lily. "My name I mean." She smiled again, easy like before, and put her phone down.

Alessio?

Aoki had heard that name before. During one of her trips with her mother to New York, she couldn't quite place it yet though. She had been younger then, a lot younger. Aoki didn't pay much attention to the meetings her mother had dragged her to. Too distracted with the DS her mother had gotten her to keep her quiet. The name though, rang familiar in her ears when she heard Lily say it. Probably related to some of her mother's business friends.

It didn't matter here.

"So, what brings you here? Passing by? A vacation maybe. The nature? The quietness of a small town?" Aoki looked at the other woman in front of her, tilting her head to the side again. "Your past?" She let the silence ride out for a second or two before that same easy smile rushed back to her feature. "I'm kidding, hun." She let out a small laugh, maybe a little too loud before picking up her cup and taking a small sip. "But it is nice to meet you, Lily. If you need a tour around let us know." She winked back at the red head.
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