Tea and Confessions

Lilith roars her Shelby with a low, rumbling growl, the sexy sound of it almost palpable…Lil's presence is leaking into the car. She pulls up in front of the house, pops the trunk…she removes several items. One, a box wrapped in wool and velvet, low and flat. Two, some kind of plant hidden by a thick, sealed bag. She teeters a bit as she slams the hood shut with one sturdy hip, and moves to lightly nudge the door open. She hears the house's reminder, and wanders into the kitchen. "'Ello?"

Kass is currently wisking something in a large bowl, puttering around the kitchen. She looks up, "Ah, Lilith! Good evening, and how are you?" She sets the bowl down carefully, shaking her hand and then grabbing a towel to clean up with.

Lilith smiles a little hesitantly. It's a new look for the madame…simple clothes, akward poise. She sets the plastic-bag covered plant and cloth wrapped box down. The box slides onto the counter with a heavy sound. She hovers around it, smiles again. "I am fine, Kassandra. How are you feeling?"

Making a so-so gesture, Kass shrugs, "I am not too bad. A little tired, a little tired of being crazy." She chuckles at that, snagging a spatula and quickly, efficently, working the conents of the bowl into a pair of small baking dishes. It appears to be some sort of dark batter. She'll have them both in the oven in a jiffy, remarking, "And yourself? How are you?"

Lilith shrugs, taking a seat by the corner, hand hovering over her box. "I am well. Well enough. I came by to offer some gifts…I had hoped Aladriel was here as well."

"Ally and Maya are sleeping. We had a busy night, and a busy morning and she got worn out. I .. couldn't sleep, so I decided to try to bake." Kass glances at the box, then back to Lilith, "Gifts? Lil, you didn't need to bring us anything, your company is more than enough. What can I get for you to drink?"

Lilith smiles softly. "Something sweet and fruity, I think, for now…" She folds her hands over her box. "I wanted to bring gifts, Kassandra. I know I am poor with my words and in dealing with everyone on a…emotional level…so I do what I can with some pretty things." A subtle hint to last night, but no apologies offered, no excuses either. "This…is for both of you." She removes the bag from the plant

Sweet and fruity. Kass considers before moving to the bar and then the ice box, gathering a few things. She starts working, still an ear on the conversation. She nods to the words, pouring a handful of strawberries into a mixer along with some rum, some fresh lime juice, a bit of sugar, some ice. She ooos at the plant, "Very nice!" before holding up a finger and pulsing the blender a few times.

Delicacy. Purity. Divine. All these words have been used to describe the light, fresh plant before you. It's a sacred lotus flower, the Nelumbo Nucifera, a pair of flowers with delicate pink and white flowers. Adding to the beauty of the display, the two plants are in a delicate, high crystal clear glass bowl, half filled with water, delicate green contrasting with the bright colours of the aquatic petals. The stem is sturdy, but graceful, almost seeming to wind around itself in feminime curves to support the bowl.

Lilith moves the bowl to the centre of the counter so Kass can see what it actually is.

Snagging a glass, Kassandra moves to pour the drink before coming to look closer at the plant. She reaches a tenative finger towards it, just barely touching it. "They are beautiful, Lilith, truely. It is a very thoughtful gift." She smiles, setting down the drink and leaning in to smell the plant. "I like plants. Ever since coming out here, I've grown to appreciate them more and more."

Lilith smiles. "I'll keep that in mind…oh, this is lovely, thank you." She takes the glass she's offered, sniffs in appreciation, then sips with a pleased sigh. "I'm glad you like it. And it is for Ally as well. If you've got the time or money, you could always create a small, indoor pond to hold these and others." She chuckles a bit. "That's a good idea, I think…anyways, I've got some other things." She taps the box. "Not to give, just to show."

Kass is in the kitchen with Lilith. The room smells like cooking chocolate cake.

Lilith is sitting with Kassandra, sipping from a fruit drink smoothie thing. A beautiful pair of lotus flowers float in a delicate glass bowl in front of them, and Lil's got her hand placed protectively over a cloth wrapped box.

"Money is never a problem for us, Lilith, and time .. I have a lot of that these days." She starts to say more before the house's smartsystem fires up, alerting them that it has allowed Hitomi in and is directing her to the kitchen. "Ah. Ally said she thought 'tomi might come by."

Lilith face flickers a bit, and she slowly draws the box onto her lap. "Ah. Perhaps I will put this away for another time." Something of her usual self slides into place, the polite mannerisms kicking in, the slight, cold edge. "I'll explain later."

Kass raises a quizzical eye at Lilith and her mystery box, nodding. She, more than anyone, can understand secrets and the right time for them. The elf glances to the kitchen doorway as they wait on the Otaku, remarking, "Well, at least things got mostly settled last night. My apologies for the .. scene .. there at the end. I'm a bit frazzled these days."

Lilith smiles gently, shaking her head. "No, no, it's quite all right. I know I'm a bossy bitch and that certainly wasn't helping." She nods to the flowers. "Peace offering."

Lilith says "And, I know you'd like it."

Kass admits, "Ally says it is my elfiness coming out, that she expects me to be living in a tree soon like a squirrel." She laughs at that, moving to put dishes into the washer, "Elvis and Alexander make out all right? I seem to recall some startling revelations happening, but most of my brain, or lack thereof, was otherwise occupied and or shut down."

Lilith smiles. "Everything's fine. Poor Elvis is a bit…well, scared of Alexander, I suppose, but I'll speak with the boy later." Her smile gets, for the briefest of moments, soft, a romantic glow in her eyes. "Alexander…was wonderful in bed. I've never known him to be so…gentle a lover. He treated me like glass, with so much care…" The look fades in an instant, it's entirely possible Lil's completely unaware of it.

Lilith says "Anyways. Things are finally…fine, now, I think. People can get back on to normal things"

Kass listens, drying her hands on a dishtowel. "Elvis should be afraid of Alexander. There are entire gangs in the Warrens that tell tales of his prowess and live in fear he is coming back with a broom." She snickers to that, but quiets with the tales of their bedside affections. She doesn't draw attention to it, moving to the next point instead, "I think this is pretty much normal things. This is what we have to do until something erupts out of the ground and tries to eat Cleveland."

Lilith blinks. "Again?" A brief grin and a laugh after she takes another drink of fruit juice. "Mmmm….oooh, this *is* nice, Kassandra. It reminds me I really need to get more fruits in."

"I *love* fruit. I can't get enough of it, I spend thousands every week on whatever I can find." Kass confesses, "The main thing I spend money on? Food." She chuuckles, absently folding and then unfolding the towel before hanging it on the little bar for it.

Lilith rolls her eyes. "Thousands? Good lord, thank goodness I got used to British cooking. I love fresh greens as much as the next person, but really." She chuckles. "Speaking of. I've got a little treat out in the car, I couldn't bring it in because it was too heavy with everything else. I can pop out for a moment and put this box back anyways."

Kassandra looks curious, nodding. "Well, I don't spend much on meat outside of some seafood, which by the by is expensive to import, but otherwise it is just one of those things. It's just money, I make and lose so much, a few thousand I hardly notice."

She looks towards the ceiling, "Don't tell Aladriel that, however. She keeps track of every penny."

Lilith tsks tsks, rising to her feet and shaking a finger. "Now, now, miss. Communication is very important in relationships. Especially with money, you don't want things to get disorganized." She pauses, tilting her head to listen. Hitomi's taking her time. She takes a deep breath, unwraps the box. "I…Hitomi's not here yet, so…I wanted to show you this. It's most precious to me."

Kass smirks at the communiation comment, "Oh, I never get money disorganized." She quiets, eyes going to the box questioningly.

Lilith carefully, carefully unwraps it. You'd think it was made out of volcanic glass, the way she handles it. She glances at Kass, almost sharply, almost like she's checking to make sure of something…she turns back and whispers something to the box…it's beautiful, real wood, somewhat thick, with the serene face of a woman with her eyes closed on the top, surronded by vines, leaves, and what could be a curling snake. A click, and a lock opens…Lil seems now distracted, entranced, as she reaches her long, pale fingers inside, shifting some things, raising the lid. What unfolds is…sparkling. Shining. Gleaming. Little shelves unfold to reveal many, many coins, some small, some large, all old, some very ancient. Some simply rest on precious, jet black velvet, others are encased in delicate glass slides. "These are…*mine*. *Mine*. My coins. My life."

Kass looks carefully at the box, the coins inside. She carefully and slowly puts her hands behind her back at the look, the sound of Lil's voice. "They are very beautiful, Lilith. Very beautiful indeed." Kass keeps her voice devoid of anything that could even be construed as avarice or desire, commenting more on their look than any monetary value. "You must have been collecting these for quite some time."

Lilith seems to settle down a bit, and relaxes, smiling. She seems pleased with the compliments. "Oh yes. Since I first started getting some more disposable income, so many years ago. Some were gifts, most I acquired myself. " She slides one hand over a gold coin displayed in the centre, face softening. "To be honest…I was wildly jealous, for a moment, when Samuel gave you those two coins. He knows how I treasure them, but it was only a momentary bit of immaturity. I knew what it meant to you." She picks up the gold coin, holding it carefully in the palm of her hand. "I…I am not sure why I'm showing you this. I've shown only…one, maybe two other people."

"I am honoured that you have done so." Kass smiles carefully, taking a step away and then to the oven, putting distance between herself and the coins as she checks on the cake through the little window. She asks from there, "Is there any sort that you collect, or just all coins in general?" The elf shrugs, standing on tiptoes to retrieve a little cup of toothpicks, setting it on the counter, "I ask because I have friends in many places, I could have them look if there was something you were interested in?" She keeps her voice level, her tone suggesting that *she* isn't looking for any coins.

Lilith blinks, looking up. "All coins. Any coins." She looks back to the one in her palm in her hand and chuckles. "If you can get ones similar to your own I'd love it. I prefer ancient devices, and…well, since I've joined our little group I've grown more intrigued with all the previous "worlds". I want some from as far back as is possible." Her eyes gleam, and then she laughs again. "Good *heavens*, I must sound mad."

"Mad? Not at all, you collect coins. A perfectly normal hobby and quite dignified. I knew this decker in Memphis? He collected doorknobs. *That* is crazy." Kass smiles, padding over to the fridge to get a glass of juice. "But I'll keep an ear out. Besides the Foundation there are tons of little groups digging all over the world. If you don't care about their condition, you can get quite a number of precious things." She shrugs, taking a gulp. "Then again, there are other ways to go about collecting, especially if you don't care about resale. Museums, private collections, the like."

Lilith chuckles. "I see." She sits down again, leaning over the counter. "You must see this one. I've been studying my history a bit more, studying numisatics in detail. Samuel noted it's an Aztlantan coin, warned me they might like to know how I got it." A faint grin. "I thought you might appreciate the humor."

The coin is pure gold, and looks to be around the time of the Spanish Conquest, if you're into that sort of thing

Kass comes over to look, still keeping her hands to herself and firmly wrapped around her glass. "Very nice. And yes, they would be very interested in that, I believe. They are somewhat possessive of such things."

Lilith grunts and slides it back, closing the box. "Sod them. I bought it fair and square." Still, there's a twinkle in her eye. "I'll put this away…thank you for letting me share it with you. I'm still not sure what I was trying to accomplish, but…well. I thought you'd like it."

"And thank you for sharing them. They are a very special thing, our pasts and our memories, our possessions. They .. I guess act as touchstones." Kass nods, "I think they were very pretty."

Lilith nods. "I'll put these away, be right back."

Kassandra nods, moving to peek at the cakes again.

Lilith pops out to the car, and comes back a few minutes later with a bigger box. She tilts her head around it and smiles. "Tea?"

"Goddess! That is a huge box, Lil. And yes, I'll start the tea." Kass moves to snag the kettle and other devices, starting to get the things to make tea ready.

Lilith laughs softly. "No! No, I'll do it." She settles the box down, and begins removing…her silvered Russian samovar tea set. "I haven't done it Russian style in ages, I thought it'd be fun to try it again. It's part of the reason I hoped Ally was up, I've been trying to show her some more…" she grunts as she settles the heavy pot on the counter. "International habits."

"I don't know, she has French down pat." Kass grins wickedly and starts putting away her things.

Lilith snickers wickedly. "You know, there are in fact some Russian-born posistions…of course, most of the time that's for the cock." She chatters softly, talking "shop" in the most mundane way possible. "Actually, and it's very fascinating, there's been some sexual posistions and tricks developed around the world specifically for gay and lesbian couplings."

Kass chuckles faintly, "Well, I imagine there would have to be, given how long this sort of thing has gone on." She fans her face, only colouring a bit, "I may have to do some research, although it has been sort of fun muddling through things on my own. I probably am boring Ally though." She reflects, then shrugs, "Of course, Ally has no problem talking and saying so, so probably not."

Lilith smiles gently as she begins to get the water ready, checking the samovar pot, prepping the tea. "Don't worry so much, Kassandra. If you want, I've got some books you can borrow." She eyes the water temperature. "I know what you said about discovering things, but it doesn't hurt to…read up a little."

"Oh, I always worry. I've worried for .. a long time about all sorts of things. This is actually something nice to worry about, rather than getting shot in a dirty alleway or whether I am going to be able to find SAM missiles or the like." Kass grins, looking over the samovar for a moment.

Lilith reaches into a little pot and removes some dried pine cone bits, small chunks of wood. She puts them in the heating tray, lights it, fills the pot, and places the tea concentrate on top.

Lilith says "Ah ha. I can't say I've felt the same paranoia myself"

"Eh. I've had worse." Kass putters around, getting out cooling racks for the cake. "The arms dealing was more .. the sort of nervousness you get in the pit of your stomach before you go on to dance, maybe?" The elven woman shrugs at that, fussing with things a bit, "Of course, I also didn't really care for a very long time if I lived or died, so …" She pauses, looking over a bit, "Forget I said that last."

Lilith watches her, nodding. She smiles a bit. "No worries."

"I'm better now. Now I have at least two reasons to live." She chuckles, shaking it off and peeking back through the window of the oven. "The only problem I have with baking is that it takes too long."

Lilith nods, chuckling, and finally the water begins to bubble as the samovar heats. "Patience is good, though. I wish I had more of it."

"Patience is a very good thing. I wish I had more of it these days. Sam says I am a bit of a raw nerve, so I'm trying to expand my patience and .. self-control with some cooking and the like, just trying to get a better handle on myself." Kass chuckles a bit, spinning a potholder.

Lilith nods, now just sitting and waiting calmly while the samovar bubbles. "Mmm. You're better then me. You're a professional, you've suffered, and you've pulled through. I come to Denver and I cause a storm." She smiles a bit. "I'm a trouble maker."

"I am not sure that suffering makes me better than anyone, Lilith, and I imagine that you have your own stories of such. I haven't pulled through as much as .. shutdown." Kass toys with the potholder, "And I don't see any storms with your name on it, as such. Oh, a few dark clouds now and then, but a real storm? Not so much."

Lilith snorts. "I know I sound a little arrogant saying that…but. You're right, I've got my own stories. I still don't know if people realize what life was li….enh, nevermind." She waves a hand and begins to get the tea cups out, tiny cups with small handles, pouring the hot tea concentrate and then adding the water from the samovar. A pleasant piney scent fills the room from the burning pine cones, along with the soothing scents of traditional Russian tea. "Storms. I guess the best thing to do now is try and avoid them, or causing anymore. I'll give up the Profession as much as I am able, buckle down and focus on the Apple and training, like I promised myself I would do."

Kass considers, "Is that what you want to do, Lilith? You've said that you want to continue maybe taking customers." The elven woman looks at her nails, shrugging. "I'd really hate for you to stop doing something because you are worried that someone else is upset about it. If it is what you want, what you and Alex decide for your relationship, if there is one," she waves a hand, "and I don't know, and I won't make presumptions there. If you *want* to do something, you should."

She sighs, "We all have our own stories, it's true. Sometimes we keep them close to the vest instead of telling them. I am not sure which is worse."

Lilith shrugs. "I thought I did…recent events…I don't know. I'm losing my taste for it, I guess. I'm tired of the fuss, the potential for trouble. Before, I'd never been in love. Now that I am I don't want to bollix it up, no matter how open Alexander says our relationship is." She admits this openly, honestly, with another shrug. "I like the control I have over people…but…I could also get that same thrill just escorting, or if we're on a run." She looks at Kass, passing over a small cup of hot tea. "Stories…it depends. On the story, on the person. If I had to, I'd explain my past. As it stands…I don't feel a pressing need to confess anything."

"Perhaps we can get some runs, then, so that you can get out any thrills you need in the field. We cannot have Alexander rushing around to tear people's arms off. It's untidy and would be bad for business." Kass chuckles a bit, nodding. "There is a time and a place for all stories. Maybe one day, we'll be stuck in a ice station in the middle of nowhere and we can trade back and forth to pass the time."

Lilith nods, lifting her tea cup and gently blowing the tea off it. "Try some, the flavour's a bit different when it's done in this fashion." She sips gingerly and continues. "As it stands…I don't know. I somehow feel after all this broo ha ha that I should ask Alex or Sam if there's a job ready overseas. Hell, I might just go back to London and visit some old friends, maybe I'll hear something interesting."

Blowing on her own tea, Kass mentions, "Well, that might not be a bad idea. Overseas has its own merits, and Goddess knows Samuel flies over there often enough. Might be able to find some things to do overthere, or something even to do around here. Some work would take all our minds off things."

Lilith sighs. "Mmm. Indeed." She sips again, wrapping her fingers around the cup. "I haven't been the most stable…okay, I'm never the most stable. Maybe a violent expenditure of time and bullets will work some of that off."

"I understand it can often be cathartic." Kass sips, "Mm, you are right, this is good, you are right. As for stability, you seem fairly stable to me. You haven't gone insane and stabbed anyone at dinner, you haven't drawn a gun on anyone in the middle of a hug. Overall, you are more sane than most of us."

Kassandra looks up as Aladriel enter, "Good nap, love?" She smiles over, having Russian tea with Lilith.

Lilith sighs. "That's just…physical, Kassandra. You've all been though far more than I have, you've all trained more then I have. You are soldiers. I am a whore who wants to play pretend." She shrugs and sips her tea, from a tiny silver cup. "While you draw a gun, I faint from stress. While someone stabs, I burst into tears. I play the cold hearted bitch, and then I fall in love."

Lilith twitches a bit when she spiels that out, and then readjusts, bobbing her head to Aladriel. "G'evening, Ally."

"Lil, if you are fainting and bursting into tears, you are at least doing it out of the public eye. I haven't had such luck. Which of us looks more trained?" Kass smiles at that, checking her internal clock and moving to take the cakes out of the oven.

Lilith shrugs again. "I speak of control and yet I have none, of late. Public, private…I'm not helping the team by causing all this trouble. I've tried several times to stop behaving the ass…and then I don't. I almost don't want to know what people must think of me." She quirks a wry smile.

Kass bites her lip, carefully turning the cakes out onto the racks. "Trouble? You keep saying that, but I haven't seen you in any trouble, unless you mean the little discussion last night. And .. well." Kass touches the top of the cake, pulling her hand back quickly and giving it a little look. "I don't know, Lil. I am not sure exactly why there is any trouble with what you do."

Lilith shakes her head. "Not with what I do. Just…I don't know. I'm trying to explain things to myself, I guess."

Aladriel yawns as she pads into the kitchen in her pajamas. "Evening you two," she greets quietly. She seems subdued tonight, very likely from just being tired. She pads over to Kassandra and gives her a hug from behind. While she's doing it, she grabs the hand that Kass just used to touch the cake, giving it a quick peek to make sure that pretty skin wasn't burned. She lets go just as fast.

Kass grins at Aladriel's attentions, both the hug and the check of the hand. "She takes such good care of me. You wouldn't believe with all the augmentations I have how many times I burn myself or cut myself." She glances to Lilith, "We'll listen, Lilith. I can't promise I can offer any good insights, but I'll listen."

Lilith mutters, rubbing the cup between her hands. "You shouldn't have to listen or deal with my peculiarities."


Lilith starts to speak, stops. Tries again. "I…am in a odd posistion. I feel like I keep wobbling back and forth. And then I look around and realize that I'm part of this bigger picture now, the Watchers, all this business in Denver, and I think it best I try to keep myself as battened down as possible and stop distracting better and more expirienced people from the work they do."

Lilith says "And I keep rambling on about it. Gods…"

Ally looks at Lilith from over Kassandra's shoulder. The mage stays very close to Kass, but hangs back just enough to make sure that she's not in the way of Kass' movements. She just shadows the elf. "Don't think all like that. You're not a distraction. Relationships are important. Good ones are great. When they get rough…its just life."

Kassie nods, seeming very away of Ally near her. She smiles a little smile, taking care not to move too quickly or suddenly as she goes about putting together a quick buttercream frosting while they talk. "I agree. You aren not a bother, Lilith, nor are you rambling. You aren't distracting any 'experienced' people as far as I can tell, and if they didn't want to be distracted they wouldn't be."

While Kass is talking to Lilith, Ally looks at what the elf is doing, her tummy giving a little rumble as she watches the frosting get prepared. She sighs quietly. "There goes my diet," she mumbles.

Lilith nods, chuckling faintly. "I'm making too much of it again, aren't I?" She finishes her tea and sits back, smiling oddly. "You mentioned storms. I might not be causing one, but why do I feel like I've got one hanging over me? Or why do I feel like there might be one coming?"

Kass looks questioningly over her shoulder to Aladriel, "I'll find a way to work off the calories, love. Do you want something to eat, the cake won't be cool for a while yet? Lil, are you hungry?"

She doesn't wait for an answer, heading to the fridge to see what is availiable. "Maybe you have some sort of precog ability? I saw this show on the trid late one night that said that 1 in every great big number of people have psychic flashes of the future, and not magicians."

Lilith just watches her bustle about. "Gods, no. I've not got a drop of magical ability. I'm about as plain and as bloody minded Brit as they come." She smiles a bit. "This is just normal human pessimism."

"Ooooh no, Kassie," Ally says with a shake of her head as the elf trots to the fridge. "Just want something to drink. Mmm. Milk maybe. Cake and milk." The moment Kass' head is turned Ally dips a finger in the frosting and licks it off her finger, mmmming at the deliciousness.

"Milk coming right up." Kass recovers the milk, snagging a glass and pouring it in quick, efficent motions before returning to Ally with a glass. She scolds softly, "You are getting too worn out." She sighs, shaking her head and telling Lilith, "No, see, the trid show said everyone could do it, it was just .. something about the metahuman unconsciousness. I don't know, but it was late, I could have misheard. Or maybe you are just thinking that since Don Innocenti died that things are going to be bad."

Lilith watches the two women interact with curious disinterest, but she smiles slightly again. "Aye, I did hear that. 'Tis a shame, and I'm sure it's something of a personal loss for Samuel and his family. Unfortunately, as long as the conflict doesn't come too close to any of us, or my girls, I'll be content to watch and hope it blows over."

Lilith waves a hand, then. "As to precog, believe me, I don't have anything. Never have."

Winking at Kass even as she gets that little scold, Ally takes the glass that Kass hands her and sips it eagerly. "Thanks sweetie," she murmurs softly. Looking o Lillith for a second, "Don't sell yourself short, Lili. You'll never know…" she murmurs, about the possible precognition. "I"m going to head back upstairs, Kassie. Bring up a *small* piece of cake when you? Don't make a special trip," she asks as she gives the elf a quick hug before she starts towards the dining room and presumably upstairs.

Kass looks worriedly at Aladriel, nodding quickly, "Of course, love. Please, try to rest more?" She watches Ally head towards the dining room before turning back to answer Lilith. "I don't think there will be any issues with the mob or yakuza. They are busy with their own issues and don't have time to play with neutrals."

The elf glances back to the dining room, her eyes travelling up a bit as if she could see through the floor. She sighs, shaking her head again, "I am going to have words with her nursing supervisor. They are working her far too much."

Lilith nods. "Doctors get pushed very hard, I've heard. I feel bad for her, but at least she's doing some good." She idly rubs at an invisible smudge on her samovar. "I've felt that way about Alexander, sometimes. And Sam." She approaches the subject casually. Carefully, maybe. "I know I've certainly muddied that situation up."

Kass grumbles, "Still. If that woman keeps being rough on her, there are going to be words."

Lilith nods, chuckling. "Be gentle, Kassandra." She continues to rub at the samovar. "You know…I feel bad about dumping all of this on you, Kass. I've done nothing but rant and rave and I've never…never once done the same for any of you."

"Sure you have. You have listened to me rant and go on like a moonstruck calf about Aladriel several times. Don't worry about it, Lilith. You are .. you are one of the few friends I have in this world. I honestly don't mind." Kass smiles, sipping her tea. "So don't feel bad."

Lilith sighs and nods, smiling again. "Yes, but there's a difference…that's just love. A good thing. I…" She stops, looking out the window. "I am a stranger to the group. Everyone here has known each other for years, and I'm the intruder, the newcomer, and I've been dumping all me emotional crap on friends who've already formed a tight knit group, a family. I'm the skewed, adopted child." She chuckles a bit, but sadly.

"Ha! I've known all of you for a handful of months, and you are *not* an outsider to the group, nor have you dumped anything on anyone. We are all big people, Lil. If someone didn't want to hear it, they'd tell you. I don't know anyone except maybe Elvis who is quiet in this little cluster we have."

Lilith glances at Kassandra, tilting her head. "How odd. I thought that you had known everyone far longer then I. You seemed to fit in so much better then I did I assumed it was the result of longer term interaction." She gets up, placing her tea cup on the counter. "Can I…can I ask you something, Kassandra? Just this one time."

"Of course." Kass nods, setting down her own cup as well. "Ask away."

Lilith taps her fingers along the edge of the counter, firming her expression. "After the other night, after I calmed down…I spent most of today thinking. A lot. I meditated. I looked at my relationship with Alex…with Samuel." She looks at Kass, resolute. "I want to clarify somethings to you, because you talked to me first when I woke up that morning. I love Alexander, as a lover, my boyfriend, a romantic interest. I love Sam…because he was my first love, and I'll continue to love him, but not as a romantic interest. I was torn the other night, and confused, and struggling with some lingering infatuation. Also a definite sexual tension." She looks embarrassed, almost.

"After much thought, I decided it was better we probably didn't bed each other. I don't know if it would cause some emotional backlash or what, how Alex would really take it. But at the same time, I think Samuel does need some release, to bed someone, to have some comfort or ease because I think he's far more conflicted then I realize. I want to resolve things…I'd be glad to have a merry fuck, to work off those frustrations, but I don't know if I'm the right one for that. On the other hand, if I do nothing, what does that do to him?"

Kass considers for a long moment. "I don't know, Lilith, I honestly don't. Samuel says he wants several things. I think that he wouldn't reject a trist with you, provided that is all it was. I think he is worried that you are going to .. get too attached, or want to marry him or whatever. He is very concerned with having things with no complications. Add into that Alexander, not just a teammate but his brother .. well. It complicates things, and he gets worried, or scared, or nervous. I don't quite know the word."

"I think it would be good for both of you. I think it could be bad. But I think the good will outbalance any bad."

Lilith sighs, resting her elbows on the counter, her head in her hands. "I'd…I'd be fine with that. I never expected a real relationship with him. Well, if that doesn't sound too sluttish or cold….dammit all." She rubs her temples. "I don't…part of the reason I'd say no to bedding him is because while I don't…expect… a lot, I don't want to take it too lightly. He's too dear to me for that. At the same time, I find him physically attractive, I want to bed him…I just…don't want to hurt him, as silly as that sounds. At the very least, not cause him any more trouble."

Lilith looks up, almost exasperated. Worried. "When the hell did sex become so bloody hard to deal with?"

"I think he was concerned that Alex would have a problem with it, with you two doing .. whatever. I don't think the actual act with you is repugnant to him, he is .. as always, worried about 'mission security'." Kas starts putting frosting on the cooled cake layer, remarking, "I'd recommend pulling back and waiting for *him* to get his act together and come to *you*. Let him get his head on straight and deal with it. I imagine that he's been embarassed and had more of his personal life on display in the last few weeks than in his entire life."

Kass turns the cake, liberally frosting it as she talks, "I don't know when it became hard to deal with Lilith. Outside of Aladriel, I haven't made love with anyone that wasn't raping me."

There is a bit of a pause there, the spatula held in her hand. "I am sorry, that was a horrible thing to say." She sighs, rubbing at her eyes. "Forgive me, I'm as worn out as Ally and my mouth is moving without any help from my brain."

"I think he would welcome you, Lilith. He just needs to get himself straight."

Lilith nods, then freezes for a moment, her head snapping up to watch her. And then, that same, odd sympathy crosses over her face, the same look in her eyes. The survivor. The victim. "I understand. I've had it happen to me before. You don't need to apologize, ever." She then snaps her mouth shut and begins to busy herself with dissembling the samovar and packing it up. Very, very quickly.

Kass moves to place the second layer on the cake, looking to Lilith and the samovar, "I'm sorry Lilith, I misspoke." She closes her mouth again, watching her disassemble the device, quietly frosting the rest of the cake.

Lilith fusses, eyes firmly fixed on her task. "You didn't misspoke, I did. I've got no business dredging up my unfortunate past right now." She quirks a smile. "As to Samuel…we will see. Alex says he is fine with it. I'll be fine with it. I just hope he realizes I'll not go mad on him. I've bothered him far too many times since I've been here, and I feel a million times the fool each time I remember that."

"I don't think he'll mind, Lilith. I think he just needs to get accustomed to the idea of being open with people again. It's been a while for him." Kass keeps her eyes and mind on her own task.
Lilith nods. "I know how he feels in that regard." She snaps the box shut, and then rests her head against it for a moment, closing her eyes.

Kass nods quietly, spinning the cake around slowly as she smooths the frosting with a few quick motions. She glances to Lilith, "Yes. It seems to be going around."

Lilith hands clench on the box for a moment, and she laughs. Bitterly. "First person I've told in…years. Years." She grabs the box, hefts it, and calls out from behind it. "I…sorry. I didn't mean to bring you down. Par for the course for me, I suppose. Thank you for the lovely visit, but I probably should head home."

"You haven't brought me down, Lilith. Please, be careful on the drive home and try not to let this bring *you* down." Kass watches Lilith and her package prepare to leave.

Lilith shrugs, then pauses as she heads out the door. "Kass? Can you…please don't mention what I said to anyone. Not about…that." She obviously doesn't mean Sam himself, and her voice has just that hint of far off, distant fear. "Try to keep it from Ally, if you can."

"I will do my best, Lilith, not to say anything to anyone. I .. won't lie to you and say that Aladriel won't find out. She and I share mindspeaking spells and I don't know how far those delve. I'll try, tho." Kass nods, perhaps understanding.

Lilith nods, and peers out from around the box. She smiles a little. "Thank you. Please, if you have to, make sure Ally doesn't tell anyone either."

“Of course."

Lilith smiles again, bobs her head, and heads out the door.

February 28, 2009

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